2007 - 2022

What Boris Day Means for Scotland

The slow grinding car crash of Brexit Britain takes a fresh turn as the Conservative Party elect Boris Johnson our Prime Minister. He’s a man who is so unfit for office that even some of the most discredited and immoral of his Tory colleagues are refusing to serve with him. He is a man whose litany of toxic behavior is all in the public realm – he has been hiding in plain sight – and whose backing by dark money has been charted in sedulous detail by George Kerevan.

The rumblings of his discontented colleagues will soon disappear – just as the qualms of Republicans about Donald Trump dissolved in the face of popularity and power. These people are all about opportunism, and routine racism, lying, threats of violence and a track record of incoherence and chaos are no deterrent to office.

The money swirling about Johnson’s campaign is extraordinary. An enthusiastic pro-BoJo email drops into the Bella Inbox from “The deVere Group one of the world’s largest independent advisors of specialist global financial solutions to international, local mass affluent, and high-net-worth clients.  It has a network of more than 70 offices across the world, over 80,000 clients and $12bn under advisement.”

Another from the First Minister reads:

“I have profound concerns about the prospect of his premiership and it would be hypocritical not to be frank about these. These are concerns that I am certain will be shared by the vast majority of people in Scotland who, had they been given any say, would not have chosen to hand the keys of Number 10 to someone with his views and track record.

“Mr Johnson should be in no doubt about the gravity of the situation he is about to inherit as Prime Minister nor, in particular, about the strength with which I and others will oppose his threat of a No-deal Brexit.”

“Brexit of any kind would be deeply damaging to Scotland and the rest of the UK, but his public pledge to leave the EU by October 31st – ‘come what may’ and ‘do or die’ – flies in the face of logic, common sense or any basic regard for the well-being of the people and nations of the UK.

“It is a deeply irresponsible threat, and not one that should be contemplated by any serious political leader. It should now be taken off the table without delay or equivocation.

“A No-deal Brexit would do huge damage to jobs, investment and living standards as well as posing serious and totally unnecessary questions on critical issues such as medical supplies.”

“Scotland did not vote for Brexit, or for the current Tory Government – and certainly not for Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. All of this underlines the need for Scotland to have the right to determine our own future, in line with the democratic wishes of all those who live here.”

But if Johnson’s elevation on the hot air of triumphalism may be a moment for the Tory party to relish, it is also a moment for the people of Scotland to reflect.

Johnson’s premiership creates an other uncomfortable moment for David Mundell. We fully expect him to act with his trademark steel and integrity.

But so too does the election of Jo Swinson prove a real problem for Ruth Davidson. The space in Scotland for an anti-democratic opportunistic and vastly over-hyped politician of the right has just got a little more crowded.

But this is not about personalities. It is true that one of his own colleagues has said: “Don’t be fooled Boris is a cold calculating narcissist a sociopath with the moral empathy of bacteria”.

But the reality is that Johnson’s election is to pave the way for a deregulated and extreme form of ‘Conservatism’ that will make Theresa May’s disastrous reign look like a walk in the park.

It’s time for the people who – five years ago – cast aside their doubts and voted No because they viewed remaining part of the Union on the basis that it was a source of economic strength, political security and internationalism, to look again at the unfolding shambles and reconsider.

It doesn’t really hold any credibility any more in the face of what you are witnessing, and it’s incumbent on you to face this new reality, not to hide in the comfort of indifference. The spectacle of Faragism and a Johnson No Deal Britain is what we are faced with and it’s time for those who imagined a different Union to stand up and help us create an alternative.



Comments (62)

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  1. Charles L. Gallagher says:

    Mike, don’t be so hard on ‘bacteria’ as there some ‘bacteria’ that we could not survive as a species without but you are right Boris is not one of them.

    1. Legerwood says:

      For example: Streptomyces app which produce over 70% of the world’s antibiotics as well as some antiviral compounds and anti parasitic compounds.

  2. Jo says:

    “It’s time for the people who five years ago cast aside their doubts and viewed remaining part of the Union on the basis that it was a font of economic strength, political security and internationalism look at the unfolding shambles and reconsider.”

    Indeed, but while agreeing with you on that, how can they do so if the usual suspects on social media continue with their standard book of favourite terms to hurl at NO voters? These people are a curse on the independence movement and they’re still not listening to appeals to rein in their bile.

    In recent months it’s been acknowledged that these morons are doing great damage.

    “Traitors”, “fake Scots”, “self-loathers”, “Scotland haters”….. the list goes on. How do such insults help to persuade wavering NOs who, currently, are looking south, since Brexit, with increasing alarm at the utter chaos there, to vote for independence?

    I’m for Scottish independence but I despair of the arrogance of some who now spout the sort of dangerous rubbish that will only make NO people dig their heels in.

    I commented the other day on a thread to say that Nicola Sturgeon was in danger of taking her eye off the ball on a number of pressing domestic issues. I warned against complacency. For saying this I was denounced as a “Brit-Nat”.

    All you say about the rapidly deteriorating state of the UK is true. That said, it doesn’t mean Scotland has an easy road ahead…not when the biggest hurdle is the unending supply of poison which some in the independence debate are prepared to empty into it. They will stop wavering NOs from making that leap to YES. And if we get Indyref2….it will be down to these idiots if it’s lost.

    Someone, somewhere needs to get it through their thick heads how reckless and stupid their conduct is and what it could cost Scotland in the long run.

    1. David says:

      Twitter is a massive echo chamber though and 99% of voters won’t see these comments or follow the bampots (on both sides)

      1. Jo says:

        I’m not talking about Twitter.

    2. Douglas says:

      Great day to bring up cybernats, Jo…

      Ggreat timing, after 160,00 English Tories have just foisted a lying racist PM on Scotland that our country never voted …

      Well done, Jo, keep up the good work for bankrupt Unionism…

      1. Jo says:


        “Well done, Jo, keep up the good work for bankrupt Unionism.”

        I rest my case.

        1. Douglas says:

          “You rest your case”… yeah, sure, Jo, whatever….

          The most important thing that has happened in the last 24 hours is that you were called a “Brit-Nat”, not that Boris is the new PM which is trivial in comparison, right? Correct? I bet that really shook you up, Jo… I’m sorry for you.

          I think it’s a pretty amazing thing to say BTL on an article appealing to No voters to change their minds after a nightmare appointment for Scotland, the worst ever in modern British democracy…

          Boris Johnson, notorious Scottophobe, most powerful politician in Scotland as from today without a vote here being cast…

          …Jo, internet user, described as “Brit Nat”…

          Anyway, why bother…

          1. But Douglas – doesn’t Jo have a case – that just when we can reach out to soft No voters and people who voted No with some sense (however misplaced) of a better Britain – become un-reachable if there’s a barrage of noise of binary negativity and abuse?

          2. Douglas says:

            Bella, there are more than 1.6 million autonomous YES voters, it is an unreasonable expectation that they all behave themselves on line, all of the time… and who is to say what that means exactly anyway? Is calling someone a Brit Nat online abuse? I don’t know if it is. I’ve been called a lot worse.

            To talk about this is just playing into the Unionist agenda – they have online abusers too and we never hear about that – and today is certainly not the day for this debate, nor in my opinion is any other day because constantly bringing it up doesn’t actually change anybody’s behaviour… Why would it? Cause Bella or Gerry Hassan or Jo up the page says so people are going to suddenly reform?

            That’s not the way world works, much less in a democracy. People will express themselves as they want, and as long as they’re not breaking the law, they are entitled to do so.. end of story….

          3. well yes, of course … but you either create good strategy and good cultures of political movements or you dont … and this is actually important

          4. Douglas says:

            You can create all the great strategies you want, Bella, it only takes a handful of online idiots out of 1.6 million YES voters to create a headline about this every other week if so desired…

            It is Unionist propaganda that online abuse is a YES problem. Where is the evidence for this? There’s no evidence at all. It’s propaganda pure and simple.

            And to follow their agenda here, as on so many other issues, is a big mistake… there is nothing to be gained by talking about this. Me, personally, whenever I have been subjected to online abuse, I just ignore it of course.. like most people do….

          5. Jo says:


            I have had plenty to say about Boris Johnson!

            The point I have made, although you choose to ignore it, is that if Scotland is to escape from him many people need to be brought over to YES. Hurling abuse at them won’t do it. If you don’t understand that then you’re the one we should all feel sorry for.

      2. Swiss Toni says:

        You seriously think that calling Boris Johnson a “lying racist” will convince any rational person that Scottish independence is a good idea ?

        Why not make a positive case for Scotland being a sovereign nation and forget about slagging “Westminster” and anyone and everyone with right of centre political views.

        1. Chris C says:

          Boris is a lying racist though and facts are facts.
          His writings about Scots being verminous and in need of extinguishing have already persuaded a couple of former no voters i know personally.
          I also know some former NO voters who have integrity and care about such things so pointing out demonstrable facts about the man who can dissolve Scottish parliament with the stroke of a pen is not inflammatory.

        2. Douglas says:

          Swiss Tony, it is a matter of public record that the new Prime Minister of the UK is a liar and has made numerous racist comments… it is deeply worrying that he is considered even an acceptable candidate for such an important job.

          Boris Johnson is a liar and a racist and a homophobe and above all, a frivolous and very foolish man who lives in the bubble world of the rich where acts have no consequences

          And as I’ve said elsewhere here, I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything…why do people mistake stating one’s views on Bella with trying to “convince” these mysterious “swithering Unionists” or “rational people” as you call them.

          It’s politicians whose job it is try to convince voters to change their minds. I am not a politician obviously…

          1. Swiss Toni says:

            Strange that a racist would appoint the children of Ugandan Indians, Pakistani Muslims and Eastern European Jews to the 3 great offices of state.

            You continue to act like Rick from the Young Ones by hurling ad hominem abuse at Boris Johnson rather than debating his policies in a sensible manner.

            Would you prefer higher taxes, Baby Boxes and Named Person Scheme rather than a free market economy, small government and individual liberty ?

          2. The funny thing is Swiss Toni that people feel free to call Boris Johnson a racist liar when they wouldn’t call other people a racist liar. The reason is that he’s a racist liar – and there is nor fear of libel for saying so.

          3. Douglas says:

            Johnson doesn’t have any policies to debate, not real policies which are funded and thought through and can be scrutinized. He has a bunch of slogans… he’s a kind of posh Nigel Farage.

            And racism is a much more nuanced thing than your schema allows for. You know, white liberal Americans who voted Obama and don’t want their daughters marrying a black man? That kind of thing….

            Anyone who talks of blacks having “watermelon smiles” is obviously a racist, by any definition…

        3. John O'Dowd says:

          “Strange that a racist would appoint the children of Ugandan Indians, Pakistani Muslims and Eastern European Jews to the 3 great offices of state.”

          It’s actually quite a cunning move. What better cover for enacting racist policies than to place a pliant asian in the home office? (It has worked already in the case ofJohnson’s new Chancellor and erstwhile Home Secretary). Anyone with any knowledge of British Imperial history will know that purpose of bringing Indians to to Uganda (for example) was the very precisely racist motive of undermining native Africans. This divide and rule policy was Imperial standard operating procedure – and you do not need to start as far as Africa to find it!

          And anyone who has any direct knowledge often attitudes of – for example – Ugandan Asians would recognise precisely that kind of racism in the attitudes of many.

    3. Jo – I agree completely – as you probably know.Unfortunately some of that behavior has become a badge of honour.

      1. Me Bungo Pony says:

        Surveys carried out after the first indyref revealed that Indies were up to three times more likely to be the victims of on-line abuse than their unionist counterparts. This despite Indies outnumbering unionists by a considerable number in that medium. This is actual evidence that on-line abuse was far more of a unionist problem than an indie one, yet the population in general are still under the impression unionist trolls don’t exist and that abuse is a “cybernat” only phenomenon.

        Why is this? It’s because the main stream media have deliberately mis-informed the people on the issue and the politically passive have just lapped it up as gospel. If the No voters we have to persuade were on-line, “cybernats” would not be an issue as they would see the reality for themselves. Because they are not, the myth persists and hand-wringing on our part won’t change that. We could plead with every “cybernat” personally to stop being “nasty”/”forthright”/”brutally honest”/”whatever” and get a 100% response rate that leaves the on-line Indy community sweetness and light itself …. and the “nasty cybernat” myth would persist none-the-less.

        So I’m with Douglas on this one. It’s a waste of time and resources to fight among ourselves and do the unionist’s dirty work for them. Debating it only gives credence to the myth and unionists will happily point to it as evidence for their dishonest claims. As Douglas points out; now is not the time for self inflicted wounds.

      2. Chris C says:

        swiss tony yes i would much prefer to pay higher taxes in the knowledge it provided a safety net for those who need it.
        The very reason i want Indy is to create a more compassionate system and get away from the vile hostile environment that it sounds very much like you’re happy with.
        Libertarianism is a massive copout.
        Next you’ll be telling us that “tax is theft”

    4. Bill says:

      Well said JO. How much better would it be if the SNP government set about tackling the issues that lost the last referendum and worried less about another referendum ( which has been outlined here as not required). Sorting out the currency issue, setting up the institutions required for an independent country, making the response consequent upon the Brexit disaster and then being prepared and ready to resile from the treaty of union. Ultimately, we could enact that part of the Declaration of Arbroath “Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but one hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.”

      Surely the fundamental aim of the SNP should be independence. They are enjoying being in charge, they are becoming complacent, they are too ready to blame the Tories and to continually whinge on about a second referendum(which I am sure they might lose, and be happy so to do) while enjoying the benefits of being in office.

      Of course for the SNP, should independence be achieved, where would they go and what would they do? What happens to those parties that achieve their fundamental aims? Food for thought, and the election of Boris may well bring it on!!


    5. Steven says:

      Whilst it’s true that there are some in the yes movement who are total eejits e g the ones who talk about ‘traitors’ and’ fake Scots’ etc, feelings about such comments or people should have next to nothing to do with how people who previously voted no choose to-now vote in any referendum. It should be based only one thing, and one thing only, what do you think is the best course of action in this current situation? If you think it’s for Scotland to become independent then vote for it, if not don’t. It’s about your and your children’s future. That’s it.

      1. Not sure Steven,I think the tone and content of the Yes movement does have an impact on how the wider political project is perceived. Why wouldnt it?

  3. Chris C says:

    The whole situation is so disheartening.
    The amount of working class Brits actively seeking a no deal Brexit just shows that people care more about ideology than they do about their fellow citizens.
    I’ve also noticed an alarming split within the Indy movement over a number of issues. Self ID, the EU, The SNP to name a few but i would urge everyone who wants to exit this toxic horror show of a union to please please put their differences aside for the time being until we’re an independent nation able to have a proper debate over the differences we have.
    I have no doubt some of this agro is being created by those who would seek to damage the movement. We need to invoke the spirit of the 2014 indyref. That was the most positive movement i’ve ever felt part of and if we find that energy i’m sure we’ll get Indy over the line and start to engineer the country we want our kids to inherit.

    1. InOssiansCave says:

      All this infighting is happening for one reason only. The main party of independence won’t get into the bear pit. And a lot of us have seen this extreme reluctance to even go on a single indy march by our leader as very worrying. Silence on the QE2 building. A lot of us recognise there’s something far off at the top of the main indy party.

      1. Chris C says:

        I do take that on board but i also think the term “dont interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake” is appropriate.

        Why call a referendum now when England is eating itself and we’re not sure of a majority.
        This really is the last chance we’ll have for a long time so we must get it right.

        A no deal brexit and Boris win in a general election will see the ‘soft no’s’ move to YES in their droves.

        As King Leonidas said “HOLD”.

        I totally get the impatience but The SNP have taken us this far, abandoning them now would only benefit the Unionist parties until such time as we have another Independence supporting party as competent as The SNP.

  4. InOssiansCave says:

    The biggest problem independence has is the snp. It has no spine. The leadership is weak. And by which I mean our esteemed leader Nichola has an amazing ability to kick issues into the long grass. I have no doubt she is a competent minister. But at a time like this we need someone like Boris or Maggie who wid get into the bear pit & fight for their cause. All we get every few weeks is renewed outrage at the beeb.
    She’s already been told no S30 will be given. What’s her plan B. There isn’t one. Except take to Twitter. What’s her response to the new QE2 building in Edinburgh? Silence. Hollyrood will be gone soon enough. I’m now thinking the snp are the 4th unionist party in Scotland. And with that thought things start to make a lot more sense. We’ve been kept waiting longer than we should have. The natives are restless & the snp seem complacent in power. they’re not going to keep winning elections if they don’t deliver. The boldest thing they’ve done is walk out of parliament. Soon en a new party of independence will appear. Maybe that’s been the plan all along to split the Indy vote.

    1. “we need someone like Boris or Maggie” Er, no thanks.

      1. Chris C says:

        Yeah thats a strange statement.
        I want no part in personality politics.
        I want smart competent ministers savvy enough to take us from less than 20% to what appears now like a majority even in the face of relentless anti-SNP propaganda that too many people seem eager to believe just because the party isnt doing what they demand.
        How do you know theres no plan B? And if you genuinely think they are a unionist party i really dont know what to say.
        We’re right on the verge. The British have hundreds of years of experience in divide and conquer. They’re good at it and it seems to be working.

      2. InOssiansCave says:

        You don’t get my meaning. We need someone who will get into the bear pit. Love her or hate her. I’m in the later camp. Maggie led from the front. You knew what she stood for. I despised her. How many indy marches has Nichola even been on? She’s the leader of the main party wanting independence. I think the snp are too comfy in power & have lost the fire in their belly. Read comments from indy supporters elsewhere. The frustration is rising with the wait & see approach. What’s their plan if/when hollyrood is abolished? Fracking is given the green light? There is no sense of urgency. No sense of movement from the snp & people are now seeing this. So when I say Boris. He is a snake. But he will defend his own agenda. And Maggie she was the same & a c…

        1. Chris c says:

          I’ve heard this a few times that they’ve grown complacent but i dont really see the evidence other than them not having outlined their exact intentions but knowing that Westminster is going to make it as hard as possible for us to have a refurendum it kinda makes sense not to advertise it yet. I agree that we need to see some movement soon but the SNP exist for an independent Scotland. I cant believe they would be so remiss in their duty as not to have a plan A B and C.
          Time will tell but remember that interference from unionist agents will be huge just now. Disinformation is everywhere.
          Its vital that the YES movement doesn’t split.
          That said, the SNP shouldnt be complacent about our unending support. You need only look at Labour to see how that plays out in Scotland.

        2. I’m not sure why you think marches are so important? Can you explain the strategic importance of marches?

          PS Holyrood isn’t going to be abolished.

          1. Derek Durkin says:

            Marches, alone, are not that important. However, when there is a distinct lack of engagement at the top of the movement then the grassroots YES groups lose hunger and momentum. Marches then become their only means of sharing our vision of Independence with like minded people and convincing the doubters that our movement is strong and growing.

        3. John Mooney says:

          Are you another Daniel Defoe in disguise,you most certainly give that impression also why hide behind a nom de plume.

  5. Alinscot says:

    I agree with most of the comments preceding this one, although I do think Douglas is not aware how he himself might look to swithering Unionists. As a long term SNP member, attendance at local branch meetings has dropped including most of our new members and a few stalwarts too – some of whom are quite despondent. I would go as far as to say that at one meeting attended by fewer than 10 members, we came away quite depressed. These people may still be signed a up as members but we need them on the ground and at meetings. Nothing was done to motivate the huge numbers joining after 2014 and they have been allowed to drift away and I know our branch is not alone. The SNP’s greatest assets in the past were its branches and their vast army of enthusiastic members who have been largely ignored as the hierarchy has grown in Edinburgh and it will take time to rebuild and re-motivate.

    Further, I believe constant reference to indyref2, mainly by the Tories, has not been challenged as a referendum is only a mechanism it is not a message. The question that has not really been asked is – why do we want a referendum? Oh, it’s independence, well tell us about the benefits and then we will think about a referendum. The biggest scandal is the time wasted over the last 3 years is not selling all the benefits and ramifications of independence in a simple way – forget reams of statistics and long boring explanations.

    Your contributor InOssiansCave is absolutely correct about Maggie and Boris leading from the front. While there are many competent speakers in our movement, people like Tony Blair, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Martin Luther King, Billy Graham and many others not to mention all the dictators of the world, had one thing in common simple empathetic oratory which pulls people to their cause and dispels doubt. We need such a person to lead the whole independence movement which is completely fragmented and now AUOB seems in trouble too.

    As to ChrisC’s comment on Plan A & B, in 2014 I waited in vain for a last minute cavalry charge but it only bcame from the anti independence media.

    This is quite simply a topic too big for this post.

    1. I agree with much of this – though the lost of charismatic (all male) orators is deeply problematic in history.

      I really challenge the idea that we want to follow the model of having some single totemic ‘leader’.

    2. Douglas says:

      Alinscot, interesting post.

      As for your comment about myself, I really cannot interact on a site like this – would not know how to – with a view to how I might be perceived to “swithering Unionists”. I don’t even really know if that is a meaningful category in fact, it is so broad and diffuse it means next to nothing.

      Besides, are we really to believe that people will decide whether to support independence or not based on comments made by individuals online? I cannot believe most people will make a decision on that basis, because it would be highly irrational to do so. That’s not how people make political decisions, much less in the case of independence which as you rightly say offers a number of concrete and tangible advantages over the Union of 1707.

      And I don’t see Ruth Davidson, Alasdair Darling or Gordon Brown wringing their hands and lamenting bad behaviour by people on the Unionist side of the argument. Not even when it amounts to violence, as in the case of George Square.

      And they’re right not to engage with it. Why should they? Just because you share a political belief with somebody – 1.6 million strangers in terms of YES – that doesn’t mean that you are responsible in any shape or form for their behaviour… you might as well be responsible for everybody with red hair and freckles…

      If you’re in a political party like the SNP – or the Stalinist Communist Party – then it is different, then you presumably have to follow party discipline, and likewise if you are in position of prominence and power you will be held to account.

      But for most of the 1.6 YES voters, that doesn’t apply and the principle of freedom of speech is absolutely fundamental to democratic society, it’s a fundamental democratic right, non-negotiable, not to be suspended even for the cause of independence… included in that fundamental right is the right to be obnoxious which, I’m afraid, many people are on the social media every single day about every issue you care to mention.

      There are two things which come up every so often on sites like Bella and elsewhere in the Indie media. One is on line behaviour by YES supporters – but never No voters – the other is the need for unity and an aversion to any issue which might be divisive, like the monarchy being part of the SNP indie package for example .

      I believe that both of these messages have been promoted in the indie community by people high up in the SNP with the clear and concrete aim of SNP control over the mainstream independence discourse. And then it filters down through the rank and file…

      If there is any evidence that online behaviour is more of a problem among YES voters than NO voters, can we please see it? If there is none, and given the media is 95% in the hands of supporters of the Union, then my conclusion is that this is mainly a propaganda tool by the Unionist media and political parties against indie supporters…

      In any case, we need vigorous debate in a cordial atmosphere, of that we can agree I’m sure…

      It is my belief that both

      1. Alan Bissett says:

        Douglas, are you the same gentleman who was on Bella the other week holding me to account for the attitudes and behaviour of every other Rangers fan in the country? And now I read this:

        “Just because you share a political belief with somebody – 1.6 million strangers in terms of YES – that doesn’t mean that you are responsible in any shape or form for their behaviour… you might as well be responsible for everybody with red hair and freckles…”

        If you’re not the same Douglas, apologies. If you are, then you might have a wee bit of explaining to do…?

        1. Douglas says:

          Hi Alan,

          It’s you that’s got the explaining to do I would say, you never answered my question about those songs and replacing certain words with other words, you cried me off…And if you’re thinking about comparing the SNP/YES with Rangers, please, please, please don’t go there…

          …we can resume if you feel like it on the next article on sectarianism and Rangers which will appear on these pages before too long when some other Scottish football celebrity is verbally abused for being born a Catholic.

          Besides, I can see Boris and Trump stumbling into war with Iran or China, Boris announcing it as a joke or something like that you know?. I can’t see how we can have two serial liars and complete narcissists in Nº10 and the White House without something really bad happening…

          1. Alan Bissett says:

            Well, Douglas, according to the logic you’ve just posted it wouldn’t make any difference if Rangers fans were making racist chants or not, because, as you said, we are not all personally accountable for the actions of others within the group with which we are affiliated. “You might as well be responsible for everybody with red hair and freckles…” So I’m glad we’ve put that one to bed.

            Obviously I agree with you that the situation re.Britain and America’s leadership is inconceivably bad. Farcical and dangerous.

          2. Douglas says:

            I really cannot see any comparison at all between a privately owned football club which actively disseminated religious hatred the length and breadth of Scotland for 100 years and refuses to disassociate itself from that tradition today, with anything at all in a nation wide independence movement…

            To make that analogy work, the SNP would have had to have been refusing to employ English people (for example) and their supporters engaging in anti English bigotry for 100 years or more (for instance), and the SNP would have to refuse to condemn that past today (which would be unthinkable) and some YES supporters continue to engage in the hate (to the sound of silence from the SNP)…

            …the reality of course is that entire SNP leadership would rather stand on its head all day than tolerate a single instance of anti-Englishness from any party member, so nothing at all like the Rangers board and its tolerance of numerous bigoted Rangers supporters, whose ideology of hating Irish Catholics, and those from that background, like hundreds and thousand of us are in Scotland, is not incidental to that football club but sbolutely inherent to its whole being…

            But don’t worry, Alan, you’re just one of a long line of Scottish Protestant writers since Walter Scott who have been absolutely central to the cementing the Union of 1707 by furthering an anti Irish, anti Catholic and hence anti Republican ideology…

            For me, Scottish independence under the UK monarchy is not something I can really get excited about… though of course I would vote for it over the status quo…

          3. Alan Bissett says:

            I’m not a Protestant, Douglas, I’m an atheist.

            Also, I wasn’t drawing any comparison whatsoever between Rangers and the SNP. I was merely agreeing with the principle which you just stated that individuals are not to be held responsible for the actions of the collective.

          4. Douglas says:

            You may be an atheist, but you’re a Protestant atheist, Alan… ..whereas I consider myself a Catholic agnostic…

            No, seriously, if you took a run at Scottish literature from Walter Scott to the present day, I think you’d broadly find that it is pro Union, pro Monarchy, anti-Catholic, anti Republican, pro Lowlands and romanticizing / othering Highlands, anti Gaelic and pro anglicizing and obviously, like every national literature in Europe, very or somewhat racist, very or somewhat sexist etc etc…

            I’m not sure if anybody has tried to tackle it from a critical perspective – the general sweep of Scottish literature, the basic component parts of its ideology – but it would be a good book….

            There is far too much consensus in Scottish literature it seems to me, and that is obviously due to the fact that it has been a bastion of resistance since McDiarmid to Anglicization, a refuge for Scotland’s distinctiveness vis-a-vis England… the blind spots in our literary tradition have been overlooked somewhat because of that I suspect…

            For example, I’m not aware of a novel which really goes out to tackles sectarianism in Scotland…. but it’s very hot and maybe I’m not thinking straight..


          5. Dougie Blackwood says:

            Where did all this sectarian rubbish come from? Is Boris a Billy or a Tim? I neither know nor care and will now discontinue notifications on this thread.

    3. Chris c says:

      Totally agree with you on pretty much all points. My point on plan A, B and C was more based in hope and logic than any knowledge.
      Surely to God they’ve learned the lessons of 2014 and the years since? If not then maybe they arent the party to get us to the promised land!
      I also agree with you about the need for a constant flow of information on how Indy will make peoples lives better. That seems to be lacking. I think we all crave a fairer more compassionate government and examples of how that would affect people and particularly our most vulnerable would help people create an image of what an independent Scotland would look like. At the moment that is more important than ever as when they create that image in their minds it’ll be compared to the clusterfuck we see in Westminster and decisions will be made. Information and imagery are vital and one thing for certain is that our opponents understand this

      1. Swiss Toni says:

        Chris c

        With respect, you are coming across as somewhat naive.

        “information on how Indy will make people lives better”

        Are you suggesting that independence will, in itself, make the life of a single Scot better? Governments in all countries have to make difficult choices; eg tax cuts or public spending increases, regulation or individual liberty. These decisions divide public opinion. A putative Scottish government might make different decisions from a UK government but I cannot see any intrinsic reason why these would be likelier to “make peoples lives better”. On the other hand the actions which the first Scottish government would need to take in order to reduce annual fiscal deficit from the current position of 8% of GDP to the 3% required to comply with EU Growth and Stability Pact and access the money markets would undoubtedly make most Scots lives worse in the medium term ( I am working on the assumption that peoples lives are made worse when a Government has no option but to impose a combination of tax increases and public spending cuts).

        “we all crave a fairer more compassionate government”

        So what specific things would such a government do differently ? Increase the level of wealth redistribution by increasing taxes for the wealthiest and increasing welfare payments ? Such a course of action would have serious negative consequences. The top 1% of taxpayers already contribute more than 30% of income tax revenue and the Laffer Curve states that increasing tax rates beyond a certain point actually reduces the amount of tax collected as the wealthiest are dis incentivised to earn more and may take the opportunity to relocate to where they can keep more of their wealth.

        A fairer society is the aim of socialism but it is difficult to see how this can be achieved without disincentivising people to work hard, gain qualifications and strive to improve their quality of life or without increasing the level of state involvement in the lives of citizens with the concomitant restrictions on individual liberty.

  6. Alinscot says:

    I would accept we do not want a totemic figure but we do need a real orator not just a good speaker to bring all the dispirit parts together. Not easy but bringing all the existing organisations together to a central core might be one way forward without diminishing their individual status.

  7. Dougie Blackwood says:

    On the evening of the day that Boris was announced as elected I was round the doors canvassing ahead of whatever comes our way. I feel that this is a much more productive way forward than shouting in the echo chamber or marching with like minded folk.

    On that day many people were out as it was a warm sunny night but I spoke to a few on the doorsteps. Most were appalled at the thought of Boris being PM, a couple told me they voted No last time but would now switch to Yes. One of these was a possible new member for the SNP. A week or two back, during the leadership election, I was along a typical Tory street and found, as expected most were Tory voters but on a couple of doorsteps there was an agreement that the Tories have lost the plot; some of these, previously solid Tory voters, might now either abstain or switch.

  8. Douglas says:

    As for Nicola Sturgeon’s aversion to going on marches, well marching does not form part the SNP’s brand of nationalism, does it? Nicola said not long ago in fact that “nationalism” wasn’t really the term for what the SNP stands for, and she is right…

    At least they are consistent. The SNP are too much of a clean machine to go on something like a march… they’re very managerial, it’s not their style.

    Are marches good? Well, I have my doubts about marches. I think the Catalan leaders Puigdemont and Junqueras were swept away by the euphoria of crowds – two million Catalans at their beck and call – and effectively lost the plot enough to declare a Catalan Republic on less than 50% of the popular vote.

    Which is not just undemocratic, it is sheer madness…. if Madrid hadn’t reacted in such a draconian fashion, then the whole thing wold possibly have just petered out after the UDI declaration which was unenforceable because the justice system and the forces of law and order, and the civil service in general, were never going to pay any attention to Puidgemont….

    But, back to the point: Puigdemont used marches and national celebrations to put pressure on Madrid. He said on more than one occasion to Rajoy “If you don’t give us a referendum, I’ll activate the street” (“activar la calle”). And he did that. But if you “activate the street” then you risk losing control of the movement, and the SNP would never countenance that. At the very least, if you base your power on big crowds and demonstrations, then you have to deliver, and even symbolically you are ceding some control, of course you are.

    That’s why Puigdemont declared the Republic. Because he felt he had no choice. Two million Catalans had turned out time and time again to demonstrate, and here was his chance. He felt he had to take it… people are in prison because of those marches, though not Puigdemont…

    As for the SNP, they need to do something. But what exactly? They’re never going to take independence to the street, so the only other option is that the street takes independence to the SNP, and more specifically, the Scottish Parliament…

  9. Alinscot says:

    Douglas, I agree we must debate in a cordial atmosphere. The SNP not being a street machine is possibly true now but anyone old enough will remember the large car cavalcades which were the mode operandi in the early days plus of course canvassing.

    For me the SNP leadership has become far too remote from the members, despite the comprehensive systems in place leading to national conference via various bodies. Without the SNP we would not be anywhere but it is possible, only possible, that some of the generals who have marched us to the top of the hill, are not the ones to take us over. One has to watch what one says on a public forum but there are quite strong indications that some of the really long servers in the hierarchy think they know best. A clue to this are the increasing number of online comments just like this one – in the hope perhaps that someone at HQ might read them.

    With regards to canvassing, members have been left to make up their own answers to the many doorstep questions that arose during 2014 as no guidance has been given. There are many ideas but it impossible to reach the leadership quickly and emails invariably are not automatically acknowledged. Never has there been a more opportune time than now to grasp the mettle and I’ll stop on that note.

    1. Douglas says:

      I completely agree with you about the SNP leadership. Too much power for too long..and that Growth Commission is just disgracefully unrepresentative of Scottish society, and those think tanks and consultancy firms. It stinks…

      That’s why we needed another indie party from the Left, but RISE were shouted down. So what can you do?

      I think canvassing is a much better way of doing democracy than marches. Canvassing doesn’t exist in Spain, not door chapping anyway. Street stalls, yes. But not to the same extent, nothing like the same extent….

      Having a one to one conversation is a much better, much healthier, much more fruitful albeit much less spectacular than a big march….we know that people’s capacity to reason is more likely to be clouded in a big crowd, that’s how Hitler won power. He basically invented the mass rally….

      So, I much prefer the Scottish way of doing democracy to the Catalan way, which is also the Spanish way…

      1. Bob says:

        “So what can you do?” vote for independence then all political parties in Scotland will be Scottish. The many so called problems with independence littered throughout these comments dissapear when Scotland is in control of its own resources and people for example currency, as every ( every ) independent country has a currency and is not the reason or an obstacle to become independent. Opposition in parliament will be Scottish opposition not that of the controling country next door.

  10. Elizabeth Lynch says:

    So we have Baw Jaw for PM. Be proud of yourselves, you who voted against independence. We voted against leaving the EU but BJ is determined to drag us out.

  11. Marie Biagi says:

    leave the European union

  12. FENRIR says:

    Agreed with the SNP, im feeling they are carreer politicians, the people of Scotland need tougher leaders when dealing with down south, if we trully want independence then we are gonna need a leader that has the cahoonas to turn round and say your laws are foreign in this country and do not apply to this Soveriegn international country and just go ahead with indy 2

  13. Ripley Gilmore says:

    I’m 13, not a ‘whizz-kid’ or anything like that, just interested in politics. All the articles produced here I can understand perfectly well, but it is also the same level of reading for a political-science doctorit, ultimately it is written in a way everyone, no matter their litrecay level, can understand . Thank you and keep doing great story’s!.

  14. PaddyT says:

    Ireland never aksed England it took freedom as its right, the Scots were happy to be a little brother to England for far too long and good luck with the democratic route, it achieved zero in Ireland

  15. w.b. robertson says:

    have waded through all of the above. It is fun for our politicians to blame Westminster for everything. ( the dead cats keep piling up on the table ) . But, like many of my fellow Yessirs & Leavers, I cannot understand the political logic of quitting Westminster only to substitute Brussels,

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