2007 - 2021

Preparing for Independence


Frustration at the slowness of progress towards independence or a second referendum has built for years, and has now hardened into a bloc within the Yes movement who are explicitly campaigning against the SNP and organising to remove its leadership.

This is at a time when the party is soaring in the polls for Holyrood (voting intention from Survation shows the Greens up to 10% (+1) and the SNP up to 42% (+3) on the Regional List …) and at Westminster and when the Yes vote is at a historic high, and when the First Minister has a 50+ approval rating in contrast to the Prime Ministers -50 rating. In fact: “More than two-thirds of young Scots now back independence. The shift in favour of the Scottish Yes side is now the most prolonged in polling history” .

 

Despite this there’s a coterie of people who are explicitly committed to the tactic of relentlessly attacking the SNP: they are journalists, ex-politicians and bloggers acting as proxies for others. One is Stuart Campbell who today wrote that “the only hope of securing independence in the next decade is to get rid of the current leadership of the SNP” and “expelling them should be by far the most pressing goal of the Yes movement at this point in history.” The idea that the SNP is the principle obstacle to the goal of independence is a remarkable one, and one that bears some examination. Campbell was triggered by the First Minister tweeting against online misogyny and harassment, two of his own specialist subjects.

There’s some comic irony to this latest splenetic outburst. Campbell writes: ” …we’ve never been an SNP website” (conveniently forgetting the years in which he viciously attacked anyone who questioned the SNP’s tactic policies or behaviour) … “we’re an independence website, and that means fighting anyone who’s an obstacle to or an enemy of independence, whatever side they purport to be on. And the cold harsh truth is that right now that category includes a substantial chunk of the SNP.”

So to be clear this is an attack on most of the party, not just a few individuals.

Second you’d have to stifle a giggle at Campbell’s comments that his arguments have “brought a tsunami of abuse down on our heads”. Poppet. Having spent the best part of a decade marinading in a ceviche of his own bile and relentlessly attacking anyone who disagrees with him, he’s now upset when he gets a taste of the same.

 

Despite the constant drum of despair and hopelessness  – the reality is Scotland stands on the brink of a historic year with a huge cross-party pro-indy majority being predicted by all pollsters over months – and with Yes being in a historic and growing lead, this groups tactic is to destroy the party they used to support with fanatical obsession just a few months before the Scottish parliamentary elections.

That’s actually their plan.

What’s more the alternative way to independence is “the route outlined in compellingly-argued detail by Craig Murray in January.”

What is that exactly?

Murray argued: “So how should Scotland proceed? My advice would be to declare Independence at the earliest possible opportunity. We should recall all Scottish MPs from Westminster immediately. We should assemble all of Scotland’s MEP’s, MP’s and MSP’s in a National Assembly and declare Independence on the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, thus emphasising the historical continuity of the Scottish state. The views and laws of London now being irrelevant, we should organise, as an Independent state, our referendum to confirm Independence, to be held in September 2020.”

He goes on:

“There is going to be no process of Independence agreed with the British government. We have to take Independence, not beg for it. At some stage, there is always the danger that the British government may try to react by sending in the British Army to enforce Westminster’s will. If we believe we are an independent nation, we have to be prepared to defend ourselves as an independent state should the worst happen. Calling a confirmatory referendum as the first act of the Independent state would make it difficult for Johnson to justify sending in the British Army to try to prevent it, but we cannot rule it out. Hopefully that will not involve anyone getting killed, but we must be plain that Westminster will never voluntarily allow us to leave and may physically attack us if we try.”

In short the plan is to “just declare independence” then prepare for a civil war.

The arguments stems from the often repeated (but little examined) assertion that a Section 30 Order will never (ever) be agreed. Almost all of the nonsense spouted by Murray and Campbell and others flows directly from this strangely disempowering assertion.

Yesterday Murray tweeted: “Independence with Westminster consent will never happen. If you believe Scotland can only become independent if London agrees, you are a fake Independence supporter. I find people whose “plan” is to ask the Tories for permission contemptible.

The language is always grandioise and macho in the extreme, the detail is always absurd.

The rhetoric feeds into the frustration felt by many within the Yes movement but ignores several wider truths.

The first of which is that there are many indications that the UK government has changed tack under its new advisors and are now actively organising to manufacture just such a poll. This is because they know their position is completely untenable and likely to get worse. This is why you have seen over the last two months a flurry of Unionist organising and a series of bizarre attempts to shift the goalposts from George Galloway to James Forsyth to Lord Finkelstein.

The second of which is that pushing on a 10 point lead several of the main Yes organising groups are moving forward with campaigns and projects including the Scottish Independence Conventions Voices for Scotland and Believe in Scotland, amongst many more.  While fractious around the edges the independence movement is actually remarkably united and resilient. So the two key arguments that “there will never be a Section 30 Order” and “there is no campaign for independence” are just … not true.

The reality is that we face the very real prospect of winning a legally binding internationally recognised plebiscite that we are already publicly committed to. What you are being asked to believe is that this would be a good time to overthrow the party that will win that mandate and negotiate that referendum.

None of this means that there aren’t very legitimate criticisms of the SNP leadership. There are. None of this means that there aren’t individual policies that you might completely disagree with. Undoubtedly there will be. None of this means there haven’t been grave mistakes made in tactics and strategy. There have been. Nor does it mean that there isn’t room for direct action, mass civil disobedience, disruption at Westminster, assemblies, protest marches and rallies. All of these should be planned for the coming year ahead. So too should the continued work to develop the constitutional framework and process and the creation of the new institutions that will be required to give birth to the new Scotland. But if you had been told at the end of September 2014 that Yes would be ten points clear with a few months to a Holyrood election facing a massive pro-indy majority and a beleaguered and hapless Tory Prime Minister, would you have believed it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. David McCann says:

    For a long time I believed that Wings was a breath of fresh air in the independence movement.
    Silly me
    It was all hot air!
    Sadly he was probably a plant!

    1. Bob says:

      I posted recently on BC’s proposals to change Scottish media, that :

      “The most radical change to Scottish Media in preparation for independence would be to give a platform to those working tireleslly towards independence to inform us from outside the constraints of the media elite, as they are totally ignored and attacked by mainstream UK media. Support for independence is not be a career choice it is a focused collective objective.”

      BC is in danger of acting like the mainstream UK media they say they hope to change. Disagree by all means. I wouldn’t expect anything less as we deal with misinformation and propaganda, but as long as you avoid giving even an occasional platform to the many knowledgeable and established independent voices that are online you do the movement a disservice.

      Support for independence is not be a career choice it is a focused collective objective.

    2. Clootie says:

      Be fair! He did an outstanding level of work through 2012-2014.

      Unfortunately he missed a key part of the Independence story I.e. The direction of travel should be for Scots to decide.
      Stu, SSP, current SNP leadership, Greens etc etc all suffer this failing – here is how Scotland should look.
      A unified campaign for Independence should be the only topic until it is achieved.
      Post Independence the various parties can put forward their manifestos. Be it GRA, The Environment, Tax the Rich, Hate speech, EU membership etc etc

      The point of Independence is that WE decide.

      1. JD says:

        Spot on! I sometimes think that people lose sight of the goal in the interests of promoting their own ambitions. Independence means choice – end of!

  2. Ewen A. Morrison says:

    Dear, Mike Small, thank you for your simple and logical comments… earlier, I posted an article titled ‘Present Status’, and I closed the piece with these words: “Anyway, today’s political courses are guided better than ever before and it’s not easy to predict what an eventual destination/conclusion might be? The clear certainty is that change is both necessary, imminent and for a change: wonderfully exciting! Tomorrow’s electorate is today’s children and their future will be in their freshly independent Scotland!” ~ Perhaps we have similar thoughts about tactics, strategy and the acknowledgement of certain mistakes being made? Scotland’s independence cause is becoming more appealing to the electorate – it’s more of a ‘grassroots’ movement than one that’s inspired by our politicians and/or political parties… perhaps, there’ll be room for that direct action, civil disobedience, disruption at Westminster, rallies, etc. ~ We both understand that Scotland’s children will be growing up in a freshly independent nation!

    Thanks, again,

    Ewen

    None of this means there haven’t been grave mistakes made in tactics and strategy. There have been. Nor does it mean that there isn’t room for direct action, mass civil disobedience, disruption at Westminster, assemblies, protest marches and rallies. All of these should be planned for the coming year ahead. So too should the continued work to develop the constitutional framework and process and the creation of the new institutions that will be required to give birth to the new Scotland. But if you had been told at the end of September 2014 that Yes would be ten points clear with a few months to a Holyrood election facing a massive pro-indy majority and a beleaguered and hapless Tory Prime Minister, would you have believed it?

    Scotland/Alba

  3. Sean Clerkin says:

    Craig Murray is right in his analysis in that the British State will do everything to prevent Scottish Independence. We will have to take it whatever way we can. There will have to be direct action and massive civil disobedience. Marches and rallies won’t do it on its own. We should treat the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in 2021 as the mandate for Scottish Independence. If we get a clear majority of Pro independence MSPS at next years election we should we should declare Scottish Independence and leave behind the fast declining and out of date British State.

    1. Thanks Sean, hope you are well

    2. Clootie says:

      Are we allowed to disagree?

  4. Tom Scorer says:

    At last a blogger who is putting the case forward in a logical and straightforward manner. Wings and Murray not only are creating divisions but they are oversimlifying the independence process. Sadly they are not the only ones. The language coming from Westminster has subtly changed as they know their position is impossible to maintain. Thank you.

  5. Pete Ritchie says:

    Great piece Mike

  6. Alba woman says:

    Wings a macho land of miserable guys boring each other and us women to death.

  7. David says:

    There is a lot about the SNP leadership that I don’t like but I’m always aware that they don’t have to fight or campaign for my vote. My vote is in the bag until independence and whatever my reservations, frustration and anger, the SNP are 13 years in power and still growing and hopefully on the road to a second overall majority in an electoral system set up by unionists to prevent any party, but especially SNP, from winning such a mandate. Oh and …… I stopped liking Rev Stu when he decided that Twitter democracy would be a much better place if his followers used his block list cleanse their own twitter accounts. If he wasn’t a cult before he definitely became one on that day. I still have a Twitter account but Stu’s evangelists are adrift in the wilderness without their messiah.

    1. Carlynn says:

      I gave up on the Rev 18/24 months ago, when I saw a clear change in direction/rhetoric from him. Murray, I had concerns about his connection with reality from Day 1. I agree there are issues within the SNP that need to be addressed by the membership, sooner than later. However, the reality is, as we are well aware, the SNP is the ONLY viable vehicle to secure our Independence. So, what are these v/bloggers promoting myriad pop-up-parties about? I cannot see any genuine intention of their actions being for the betterment of Scotland’s people – I see it as a method for them to secure their names in the history books, one way or the other. From my perspective they are setting out to DELIBERATELY dupe Yessers with ridiculously simplistic arithmetic to suggest our election system can be *gamed* …. they win either way …. if it CAN be gamed, they get their butts in HR to cause who knows what mayhem …. if it CAN’T be gamed, then the prospect of Indy is lost for decades/centuries.

    2. Para_Handy says:

      I see I am not the only one to have parted ways with Wings when his “List” was issued and adopted by his sycophants.
      The same list that contained just as much within than outwith the Indy movement.

      Although Wings is not my cup of tea, I must admit though I see no way to Indy if we rely on “Asking” english governments for permission.
      Do we expect them (When those in power know the truth of Scots importance fiscally) to just say yes – and give up their cash cow?

      We WILL NOT gain Indy using any sort of “Permission” from english governments IMO.

      1. JD says:

        I may well be wrong and I am no historian but if this Internal Market Bill goes through and is signed by the Monarch then the Treaty of the Union becomes null and void. I know an archaic law was cited at the time of the proroging of parliament so the age of the document should not be a reason for disregarding the agreements contained therein. Surely Joanne Cherry could argue this in court (she is awesome). If this was legal and I was in charge, I would declare the Union suspended pending consultation with the people of Scotland. This should be done before 1.1.2021 so that when the UK leaves the EU, we could argue that at that time we were technically not a member of the Union thus giving us time to hold a referendum. The question on the Referendum would be Do you want to want Scotland to remain an independent country or do you want to negotiate a new Treaty of the Union with the rUK. The logistics might be horrendous but it might bear thinking about?

  8. Carlynn says:

    Great piece. It articulates precisely what I’ve been attempting to do in so many FB pages.

    Particularly, Wings/Murray/ISP v/bloggers are being completely mendacious in their rhetoric around the Indy process to the extent it *appears* they are, as so many say, actively attempting to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Although, attempting to convince fellow-Yessers of this is often akin to swimming through treacle. It’s almost as though these v/bloggers are operating from a playbook of actions designed specifically to pray on the anxieties of (naturally) jittery Yessers. Even their slogan (Max The Yes) has echoes of Cummings’ three-word mantras used to dupe English voters into Brexit and returning the Tories. I’ve seen many, too many, dedicated Yessers sup on the KoolAid provided by these charlatans and there appears no way to bring them back to their sensibilities.

    Repeatedly I’ve referred to them, Wings et al, as a modern-day Parcel O’ Rogues and I continue to believe that is the case.

  9. James Mills says:

    Thanks Mike ! Nail on the head !

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      I second that!

  10. Iain says:

    Excellent piece Mike. How support for the GRA somehow became construed as a lack of support for indy, as if the two things were mutually exclusive, is something we’ll hopefully look back on in happier years to come as just a curious spat on the road to it.

    1. Lorna Campbell says:

      Iain: if you believe what you’ve written, that GRA is a spat and is not connected to the slowing-down of independence by the party, you are deluded. As a man, you do not see GRA from the same perspective as a woman. Wee, spindly trans men in shorts are unlikely to be tackling you on the rugby pitch; they are unlikely to threaten your sex-based jobs; and they are unlikely to take over every prize and scholarship and board place and push you out. That’s because trans men were natal women, and women don’t behave like that. Many natal men (certainly not all), unfortunately, always have behave appallingly towards women, and the bullying, misogynistic trans lobby is wall to wall with these people. Members of the ‘woke’ cabal at the higher echelons of the party have stated publicly that independence is not a priority. I don’t want to be rude or sarcastic, but how like a man to trivialise women’s concerns – which, when you think about it (if you think about it at all) is precisely why the Suffragettes and Suffragists, and the liberation movement came into being. You might be happy in an independent Scotland that erases women from existence, but most women in the party and outside it are not thrilled at all.

      1. Lorna – how do you reconcile the idea that there is huge uproar about reform of some policies for trans people with the continued success of the SNP and the Greens?

        1. Lorna Campbell says:

          Mike Small: I would imagine that is because they are the obvious inheritors of the desperation that is assailing Scotland from all corners, Ed. We have almost (but not quite) reached that tipping point. Also, Nicola Sturgeon has been an oasis of calm and determination in this pandemic, albeit the overall outcome off not that different from England’s. For independence supporters of a green bent, the Greens will take their List vote. In any case, the GRA has been kicked into the long grass for the moment, but, as I have already said, a huge win might, paradoxically, result in this anti human rights of women policy and its ‘hate crime’ bill twin being pushed through, while independence languishes yet again. If there is nothing concrete on independence intended for the 2021 Manifesto, this will happen. As far as most women are concerned, although more and more are having their eyes opened, they simply cannot see the long-term legal ramifications of ‘full fat’ GRA. An Irish woman recently tweeted that they had almost wrested control of women out of the hands of one set of men in frocks only to have another set of controlling men in frocks foisted on them. Trans women, she said, were already taking over women’s meetings on abortion and other female gynaecological areas, and planting themselves front and centre. Anyone who thinks this is fine is a misogynist, pure and simple.

          It is certainly not these policies that is driving the popularity of both the SNP and the Greens, but, rather, stark, naked fear of what is coming courtesy of Brexit. People are right to be afraid – very afraid – because that is what happens when policies that many people do not support are pushed through undertake radar, as Johnson has done with numerous pieces of legislation since the pandemic started. Most independence supporters and those who have, through circumstances, been forced to re-evaluate their NO stance, are looking to the SNP, the Greens, and the other independence parties, to save them. That is why they are popular. If you are droning, you will clutch at whatever you think will keep you afloat and save you from sinking, no? People can now see that devolution was never, ever the answer to Scotland’s problems within the Union. Many now see that England-as-the-UK has fallen into an aggressive type of English Nationalism that scares them. There is no time to wait for another party to establish itself, nor time to find a new leader before 2021, and either, or both of these, would be political suicide, but that does not mean that everyone is happy, simply pragmatic. If Nicola Sturgeon asks, yet again, for another mandate and that is all she is offering after 2021, I doubt she will see the year’s end, because she might be forgiven many things, but not another let-down. Both she and the SNP will fall unless something very concrete, and very precipitate is offered in 2021, and intimated as such before the year’s end.

      2. Iain says:

        No I’m not deluded and you are merely off on a ferverous, paranoid gish-gallop. Do, for example, Rhiannon Spear, Angela Haggerty or indeed Sturgeon, as women, not understand the GRA from the perspective of women? Are they deluded too? Actually up until a couple of years ago I might have been inclined to agree with you and been content in a seemingly comforting space of ignorance. But I guess what? I learnt stuff.

        1. Lorna Campbell says:

          Iain: did you? Do share. I have spent the last year and more really researching the trans lobby. Before that, like you, I was supportive of the trans lobby. I am still supportive of individual trans people. I believe they have to learn to live with being trans, and accept it. What is wrong with being a trans woman rather than a ‘woman’? Do explain.

        2. Lorna Campbell says:

          Iain: oh, and how very masculine to support the aspirations of natal men over the aspirations of natal women, who must, by definition be “feverous and paranoid”, while men who believe they are women, or who claim they are women, must be believed and pandered to unquestioningly. You find nothing even slightly patronizing and patriarchal about that statement? As for the three women you cite, yes, I do say they are living in cloud cuckoo land. Yes, I do say that they have not looked at the long-term effects of their hideously retrogressive policy, but they are politicians, and politicians are notoriously silly when it comes to thinking ahead and long-term. So much better to be liked and admired for being ‘right on’, eh? Had it not occurred to you that their policy is breaching existing legislation? Had you bothered to read the 2010 Equality Act, for example, in your learning process that must, again, by definition, be so much more enlightening than my own, having been undertaken by a male person? What will you offer next? That my testimony is, by definition of being that of a female, worth precisely half of yours, as a man, as the old Christians used to believe and enforce?

          The three women you cite are high-echelon members of a party that tried to push through the ‘hate crime’ legislation, and thought that, by leaving ‘intent’, they were doing us all a favour, when, in reality, very few crimes of any nature whatsoever, in the Scottish (and every other jurisdiction) can be prosecuted without ‘intent’, or mens rea, as it has been for hundreds of years, so, yes, I question their commitment to finding legally-sound legislation that will not penalize natal women over trans women. The other factor is that trans people have ALL the rights that the rest of us do. Please tell us which ones they don’t have? While you are there, try thinking. Try working out why women had to fight for their sex-based rights and spaces in the first place, and then tell us all why you believe that trans women will not take over every area of natal’s women’s rights and spaces if the legislation allows them to? They are already encroaching across a whole swathe of areas, and the law has not even been passed yet, so why are you so confident they won’t do that, and that I’m being paranoid – particularly when other jurisdictions are already proving you wrong – Canada, The US, for example? And, finally, explain why trans people cannot be happy being trans people – exactly what they are? If they accepted that this is what they are, the problems for natal women would not rise. What do women, gay people and trans people all have in common? They are often subject to male violence, so isn’t it male violence that requires to be tackled? So, why the redefinition of ‘women’ and why the encroachment into natal women’s sex-based spaces and rights, the sex-based rights and spaces of another ‘at risk’ category when they already have all the human, civic, rights that the rest of the population has? Could it be money? You know, that stuff that women’s refuges and protection groups have so little of and which is spread so thinly, yet which the trans lobby is awash in, so much so that it can afford to hire international lawyers to advise them on how to push legislation under the radar, and to start with the young? A FoI into the trans lobby’s input into the sex education curriculum of Curriculum for Excellence is in the offing.

          1. Iain says:

            Angela Haggerty is a “high-echelon” member of the SNP? Go to bed “Lorna”.

  11. John McLeod says:

    Appreciate this article, Mike – it needed to be said. We all need to work as hard as possible for a big pro-indy majority in 2021. Its a time for solidarity.

  12. Iain MacPhail says:

    Agree with your analysis here.

    The one thing that is often left unspoken (on both indy yes and no sides) is the impact of No Deal Brexit.

    There seems a strong likelihood of empty shelves in January, potential for the sorts of riots we saw in England from 6-10 Aug 2011.

    What that does in a Scottish context is it will further denudes the economic and political cases for the union, and that (allied to better governance in Edinburgh) is driving soft no voters to Yes.

    In summary, if the likes of Douglas Ross, Alex Cole Hamilton & Richard Leonard wanted to save the union, their task was to use the much heralded “lead us dont leave us” political currency to prevent the 2016 Brexit becoming late 2020 UK meltdown.

    Their voices have been turned on the SNP rather than on Boris, Gove, May, Liddington, Cummings.

    So, I agree we are in the home straight now. I too ignore the Murray & wings extreme positions. And now we are in the box seat with Jan 1st bringing the final nail in the UK’s legitimacy coffin.

    At least in Scotland we have a ready made life raft

    1. Thanks Iain, agree completely – though we have covered the impact of No Deal Brexit many times

      1. Iain MacPhail says:

        Absolutely.
        I dont think the Scots in the die-hard pro-unionist side are really aware of the optics in January 21 for your ordinary man in the street.
        I daresay itll get harder to say “but what currency will you use” when the pound is tanking & medicines struggle to get through, let alone bog roll and prosecco.
        So totally agree with your analysis

    2. Stuart Clark says:

      Didn’t we have “empty shelves ” prior to Lock-down in March this year ?

      The worse is over now.

      1. Iain MacPhail says:

        Stuart that was due to covid lockdown.

        January will be about fresh food rotting in lorries in Kent, due to UK gov’s illpreparedness (stark)

        Itll be footage of animals/livestock penned in and starving for days on transporters, when we all knew May’s red lines introduced new borders as far back as 2016/17.

        Itll be medicine not getting through the border in time, before it goes out of date

        Itll be 40% tariffs on Perthshire beef

        Itll be team UK letting the side down

        That’s what’ll be different in January. Itll be self inflicted.

  13. Graham Ennis says:

    Well, history is a very strange thing. As Lenin said: “For years, nothing happens. Then suddenly, Years happen, all at once. “. It seems that Lenin, who was in Scotland for a while, along with Trotsky, (A story in itself) was right. He would have approved of the present situation totally, and would be busy making plans, if he were here today. The problem is that there are no plans being made. None, insofar as the SNP is concerned. Talking about Independence is one thing. But it is not a plan. I think activists should be visiting Catalonia, and talking to the activists there. “What went wrong? what went right?. What would you do next time?..how would you do it?….and much else. They had a detailed and well organised plan, but lost to the violence of the Spanish State. The SNP has ideas, and talks about them, but it has no actual operational plan. Whatever else they are, they are not revolutionaries. They are too twee for that. too middle class. Too “Nice”. What is now required is some bloody minded and strong willed planning and organising. An attempt by the SNP to go the Catalan route will be crushed by the london Goverment, quite ruthlessly. What is required is an actual well thought out set of strategies and tactics for this eventuality. There has to be a resistance, organised and networked, outwith the SNP, prepared and ready. This has to use the tactics of mass opposition to any direct interference by London and its forces in any Independence process. Non Violent civil resistance, disruption of any attempt to impose london;s will on Scotland, (which will be ruthlessly crushed, as in Catalonya) all of which is using the engine of the london Regime against itself, to alienate Scots, to make them angry, and to stiffen backs. This creates the required radical atmosphere, and pre-revolutionary situation, that makes the situation of the London Regime useless, unless they are prepared to send in armed troops and police. That in itself will either create independence, which has to be taken, not asked for, or it will mark the clear choice of the london Goverment to either use violence or give up and withdraw. People should realise that history has moved on, and a london move to violence would bring huge international protest and condemnation of the London Government, action by the EU, and much else. The situation is then fluid, and it would not be Ireland, in 1968, but the london Goverment between a rock and a hard place. We would be faced with a London regime headed not by the very dangerous Thatcher creature, but a nasty, vain and criminal weakling, Johnson, who would have no idea what to do. At that point, history would take its inevitable path, the present Tories are cowards, and would have to choose extreme violence or giving in. A grim situation, either way, but one that can only have one winner, which ultimately will not be london.
    London Government,

  14. Cath says:

    “None of this means that there aren’t very legitimate criticisms of the SNP leadership. There are. None of this means that there aren’t individual policies that you might completely disagree with. Undoubtedly there will be. None of this means there haven’t been grave mistakes made in tactics and strategy. There have been.”

    I’m glad you recognise this, as it suggests there isn’t so much difference between the “factions” in the Indy movement. I get frustrated with both “sides” – the Wings extremists who only seem to want to sow discontent and attack people who are doing what they think best. But also the “wheesht for Indy, don’t argue with anything the SNP says or does; we’ll tell you how to argue for Indy” types. The latter have allowed small problems to fester and grow into potentially massive ones, which may well explode in our faces closer to May.

    I also think where Wings does have a point is in concern that those “grave mistakes” in strategy continue until it’s too late. I really hope – and believe – he’s wrong on that and we will see a plan for Indy play out. But with Brexit, and potentially a no deal one at that, now upon us all the “Scotland won’t be dragged out the EU against its will” promises are now lies: we have been, and the implications of that will hit in 3 months. That will include, by necessity, an end to devolution in any areas the U.K. is agreeing U.K. trade deals on. It has to, as counties like the US aren’t making deals for England only anything.

    Unless there is a real and fast plan to deal with that, we’re screwed. Post May 2021 is too late to discover there isn’t one. We’ve already lost many pro Indy EU citizens who saw the writing on the wall. My fear is we end up pushed into the Craig Murray style fight for Indy because we wait too long for it to happen any other way.

    1. Thanks Cath. Of course I recognise this.

    2. Stéphane Séchaud says:

      Pro Indy EU citizen here. It’s looking increasingly likely that despite all the warm words and rhetoric, the Scottish Government is going to sit and watch our rights be removed and claim there is nothing they can do because it is reserved to Westminster. I intend to stay as long as I can and vote Yes, but I admit the experience of having my rights diminished and have it witnesses with little more than a whimper will leave a sour taste for quite some time.

      1. Elaine Fraser says:

        Try being a women when it comes to having your rights taken away not by UK but by the Scottish government with support of every other party. For those on here who think the reform of the GRA hasn’t happened and the debate can wait , please do a bit more reading , in reality women/girls in Scotland are already losing out at every turn.

        We won’t be shushed , not even for Indy

        1. Lorna Campbell says:

          Elaine: agreed. I find it galling that the men on so many threads and blogs seem to be quite happy to let the matter rest. They don’t want to see all their rights removed, but they are happy to tell women to be quiet as their rights are being removed, not by Westminster, but by the Scottish government. They have kicked GRA into the long grass for now, but they mean to resurrect it if they win big in 2021. I really do not believe that there is anything like the same determination for independence. Without women voting for independence, it will not happen.

  15. Tom Ultuous says:

    If Johnson had any sense he’d agree to an independence referendum next month and hope the media and project fear would reverse the trend. After Brexit (deal or no deal), when the reality of his “new golden age for Britain” sinks in, support for “No” vote will be in Liberal Democrat territory. There’s even the possibility of an IRA (maybe even loyalist) mainland blitz which will have the English clamouring for independence.

  16. Jack Collatin says:

    Indeed, Mr Small.

    I postulated Project Retaliate First, to begin now, while WM sinks into Brexit chaos.

    There is no ‘ego’ in negotiations.
    Campbell knows what he’s doing.
    An attempt to destroy the Independence momentum.
    Well said, sir.

  17. James Robertson says:

    I agree with every word, Mike. Thanks.

  18. David says:

    I’m sorry……….Eh No I’m not I totally disagree with your assessment of Murrell and Sturgeon.

  19. Squigglypen says:

    Brilliant article.
    I watched a program yesterday … Edinburgh Zoo are attempting to save the Scottish wildcat now on the brink of extinction. They were waiting for a grant from the EU of £6 million to keep the program running. They got it…can you imagine Bo Jo and his Scottish Quislings giving a monkeys about Scotland and its people never mind its wildcats? We HAVE to take independence..for the future of our country and children and our own mental health. Those creatures won’t let go..a bit like a tic….you have to dig the b*****d out..painful..but worth it…or else you sicken and die. Easy choice methinks.
    SNP ain’t perfect..but more perfect than Westmonster.

  20. William Ross says:

    Uncharacteristically, I find myself agreeing with most of what Mike writes here. If there is a clear Indy majority in the 2021 election, I believe that a Section 30 order will ultimately be granted. We live in a politico-legal reality. Looking at the utter disarray of the Unionists, you would have to believe that victory is a distinct possibility in 2021 and in a subsequent referendum. But I am not so optimistic as Mike. There are a number of critical factors which he has forgotten.

    Firstly, the Brexit saga will be over on 1 January 2021, either through a trade deal (which I still think likely) or a No Deal. 1 January is going to be a day of anxiety for both Leave and Remain supporters. If in fact the days and weeks pass easily (especially if we are talking No Deal) then a lot of embarrassment will be stalking the land.

    Secondly, the Salmond v Sturgeon conflict lies ahead of us, and none of us knows what that will bring. We do know that it will not be pretty.

    Thirdly ( and most importantly) YES has no credible position on the crucial currency issue which MUST be clear before the Holyrood election. The SNP’s position appears to be for sterlingisation at least, to begin with. Will people like Mike Small go into an election or a referendum arguing for sterlingisation if that is what it takes? Is there any possibility that the SNP can change tack to a Scottish currency before May 2021? I do not believe so.

    Fourthly, Covid may well be receding in importance ( via a vaccine) by Spring 2021. Covid has made Nicola look good.

    Regards

    William

    1. Tom Ultuous says:

      If there’s a no deal that means a border in Ireland. Can you really see the IRA taking Britain ripping up the Good Friday Agreement on the chin? The “UK” mainland will be an open goal for them. On top of the logistical mayhem at the ports we’ll have craters on port roads, bombs on lorries, drones over airports, foreign lorry drivers refusing to cross British ports and the same game of shell and pea that produced the pre-ceasefire headline “for the price of a few phone calls the IRA have brought the city of London to a standstill”.

    2. Hi William
      the Brexit saga will not be over on 1 January 2012, it will just be beginning and the catastrophic consequences of us not being independent will be being realised.
      The Salmond conflict does lie ahead. Whatever happens this is a matter of personality and conduct. It doesn’t have an impact on our constitutional future.
      I will be arguing for a Scottish currency. I agree the lack of clarity on this subject is perhaps the SNP’s weakest link.
      Covid may or not be receding in importance (lets hope so). There is no guarantee of a workable vaccine by Spring. You are right that Nicola Sturgeon has handlded the crisis well. I’m not sure why this is a negative?

  21. raineach says:

    ceviche? Love it. I shall be fair to Craig Murray: he articulated a route forward. that allows us to ‘game’ it, which allows us to reject it as unsatisfactory [civil wars aren’t vote winners and don’t help the economy]. Before we can take on the SNP leadership we have to look at each path to independence that they have not adopted, and examine it. When we do that it will be clear why they have not adopted it. Before we can construct the mythical Plan B we must first reject all the rubbish plans. Only then can we look at the problem dispassionately and only then can we hope to succeed/succede

  22. william smith says:

    Great article Mike and needed to be said, Campbell and the National are no friend of Scotland IMHO.

    1. Dougie Harrison says:

      Those who are currently devoting more time to attacking the SNP leadership than working to win people for independence seem to have NO IDEA of the lengths to which the UK State Machine will go to protect its very existence. Or maybe some, like the strange man behind Wings, know exactly what they’re doing. Because they are effectively supporting the UK State in precisely the way it most requires support – by seeking to divide its opponents.

      Whether or not that is true, there’s little the state WON’T do to protect its very existence. And right now, Wings and Murray are doing its job for it. The last time there were tanks on the UK streets to prevent a revolution was George Square, Glasgow in 1919. The UK state has become more sophisticated in a century, so maybe they won’t be used again. If Wings, Murray etc have their way, tanks won’t be needed. Because some in the independence movement seem intent on tearing us up from the inside.

      We need to build a UNITED movement to secure independence. Not squabble like immature kids in a playground. So thank you Mike, for initiating this discussion. Someone had to, and some won’t like having to face the truth.

      The Civil Wars in the newly independent, mineral rich Congo in the early 60s, and in oil-rich Nigeria a decade later, demonstrate how reactionary defenders of capitalism work most successfully: they prefer not to have to openly defend their own interests. Instead they foment divisions amongst their opponents… and let stupid squabblers do their work for them.

      The acute political crisis in the USA shows that what happens to Scotland is a wee side-show for global capital. They’d much prefer to sit back and let others do their work for them.

      Fortunately for the future security of capital, it can usually find silly folks, like Wings etc, to do just that.

      And no, I am NOT a member of the SNP.

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        Dougie Harrison: if you believe that criticizing the SNP leadership is working against independence, you are very mistaken. From day one, fighting Brexit on behalf of the whole UK was an error of such proportions that it is jaw-dropping. Holding out for another S30 Order referendum is on a par with that. Even a consultative referendum would be crushed, and don’t think England wouldn’t applaud, along with many rUK NO voters up here. A second pre independence referendum was always a self-made trap and allowed the Scottish Unionists and British/English Nationalists in our midst to set the pace and the agenda. Just wait till you see all the new candidates for 2021. Their idea of independence and what a new Scotland should look like will leave you all utterly wrong-footed. Maybe, then, you’ll understand why so many are now so angry at the inertia and lack of movement. Other nations that achieved their independence in circumstances that required their people to show some spine and to face down opposition that is itself unconstitutional, must be either shaking their heads at our utter stupidity and gullibility or laughing their heads off at our naivety. What other nation has ever allowed their opposition to call the tune like the SNP and Scotland has done? Right since 19 September, 2014, the UKG and NO voters in Scotland have decided the rate, and the direction, of, travel. Many think they are avoiding a NI-partition-type situation. In reality, they are creating one.

  23. Mark says:

    I can understand wings stance, ok a bit like marmite I grant you, but like him or not he does have a strong pro indy stance. And I can also see merit in this piece from BC. However i cannot see this uk government sitting with an 80 seat majority bowing and saying yes to a section 30. Why would they? They don’t need to agree with anything. Clearly this is the preferred choice of the current snp leadership which is fine, but I just can’t see a section 30 happening with all the will in the world. Scotland has other options, as Craig Murray has indicated. I certainly don’t advocate violence or extreme measures however. I believe the uk government, should this imb go through and it looks probable, then their hard no deal brexit, Scotland could then demonstrate the uk government has breached the act of union (an international treaty). If they haven’t already breached it. The union could then be paused until a confirmatory referendum can be held. See UN Vienna convention section 60. There are other options available to Scotland thats all im saying.

    1. Hi Mark – Ive gone over this several times but their own supporters are very clearly moving in this direction. Why? Because they believe they can win and they know that the effect of repressing a vote is just to ramp up support till it is uncontrollable. This isnt my view this is the view as articulated from within the Unionist camp. If I’ve time I’ll find you the links and the references but its been very clear in recent weeks. The Murray/Campbell view is completely self-defeating and disempowering and ignores tis reality that has been widely commented on for weeks now.

  24. William Ross says:

    Mike

    Thanks for your response.

    Regarding Brexit, the final act will take place on 1 January 2021. Consequences may rumble on but the man in the street will forget. I have never been able to understand your Project Fear regarding a No Deal as our economy is not sufficiently linked to the EU, and the change to WTO terms is not sufficiently great to cause any kind of catastrophe. Covid really is a catastrophe and we are bearing it pretty well. The point is that if there is a No Deal there had better be a catastrophe for your guys or you will be very badly shown up.

    The Salmond -Sturgeon conflagration is likely to pull the SNP apart. You just have to read the full Wings article you quoted.

    I do not believe that your plans for a separate Scottish currency are credible. At very least, they are massively risky. Again I ask, will you support the SNP in May 2021 if it means defending sterlingisation and the Growth Commission?

    I do not think that Sturgeon has been that impressive on COVID in reality but she looks good. Unlike Johnson’s case, her party shows monolithic unity. But she has essentially followed Johnson a fortnight later. The point is that she is unlikely to be able to give a party political broadcast every day in Spring 2021.

    Regards

    William

    1. A dozen independent think-tanks and half the Conservative party accept tat NO Deal will be an economic disaster (!!!)

      1. Wul says:

        William Ross might be right. “Economic Disaster” or not. Will it fire up the wo/man in the street enough to take a big risk on independence?

        The effects of “Economic Disasters” may simply be experienced by us plebs as “I got made redundant after my firm lost a contract”, “Aye, times are hard right enough”.

        We are already living with after effects of various (some centuries-old) “economic disasters” for working people and still we seem to struggle to locate the source; is it the immigrants? The SNP not focusing on the day job? The Unions/Welfare State made folk lazy? There’s just no enough jobs?

        I’m not so confident, in the absence of a truth-led media, about our ability to discern cause and effect when it comes to our sickly society.

    2. J Galt says:

      You raise an interesting point.

      A lot is invested in the “January No Deal Catastrophe” scenario by many on the Independence side.

      If you are right and apart from some short term disruption things just splutter on as usual, more or less, what then?

      The British establishment – whatever that may be – have a strong self preservation instinct and an apparent iron grip on the MSM, and consequently on how events are portrayed. They will probably be able to spin things to the satisfaction of your average punter.

      Another point is that as we are going through an economic catastrophe of unprecedented proportions already – with no end in sight – would your average Joe really notice another one on top?

      1. Have you had some sort of memory loss?

        Its not the “Independence side” who ave raised the alarm about a No Deal .. every single political party (including the Tories) have raised dire warnings about this scenario …

        1. J Galt says:

          No, no memory loss, just the ability to think for myself.

          Mind you, you (and the think tanks, politicians et al) may well be right.

          The thing is, unless Boris can pull a belated white rabbit of a “deal” from his top hat, we’re both going to have ringside seats in January, the proof – as they say – will be in the pudding.

    3. Lorna Campbell says:

      William Ross: our economy is sufficiently linked to the EU and to England (internal market) to cause us severe economic problems. Being part of the EU internal market and being part of the UK internal market are two very different things. The internal UK market will be set up with England in mind and we’ll be lucky of we, the Welsh and NI are afterthoughts. When the Tories talk of the One Nation state now, they mean that literally. That one state will be England. Everything that they are doing points in that direction. Eventually, there, directly, will be money only for UK sanctioned projects and policies, and Holyrood will be starved of funds for those policies and projects that do not suit Westminster. Ministers will be able to overturn Scottish legislation if it does not comply with the needs of the internal market, that same internal market that will be set up with England in mind only. You don’t need to injure your brain to realize that recalcitrant Scots will not be given succour, cannot be given succour in such a UK. The Scottish Unionists and rUKNationalists either don’t get it or they are deliberately ignoring the consequences for the majority of their fellows in Scotland just so long as they are ok themselves. They won’t be. Vichy Scots will be used for only as long as they are useful.

  25. Tom says:

    Mike, is it your judgement that:

    a) there has been political corruption, which in this context I define as the misuse of power at the top of the SNP and/or Scottish government, or

    b) no, there has been no political corruption, or

    c) there might have been, but we must await further evidence to know for sure.

    I assume you don’t hold view (a), and that view (b) is what you hope for. But would you like to give us your thoughts on (c)?

    Or would you prefer not to think about it (the issue doesn’t get so much as a passing reference in your article), and in particular its potential impact on the “historic” year you predict ahead for Scotland?

    1. There may have been political corruption, I don’t know.

      If people are guilty of wrongdoing they should be held to account.

      I’m not sure why this would effect the outcome of either a Holyrood election or a referendum though?

      I wonder what you’d like to happen?

  26. Clootie says:

    It will be interesting to see the performance of the Wings next fundraiser!
    People still visit the site looking for some worthwhile logic in the articles. However they seldom post now. The names are all new and I suspect mostly Unionists encouraging his core SNPbad entourage.

    In 2014 his site and blue book were a terrific contribution to the Independence cause.
    In 2020 he will be remembered as one of the major obstacles to Independence.

    1. Bob says:

      Have you any evidence to backup your sweeping assertions as I recognise none of them….the whole point of Wings continuing its forensic fact led work.

      You don’t have to agree with everything as the commitment to achieving independence is understood.

    2. Lorna Campbell says:

      Clootie: are you for real? Almost every single thing Stuart Campbell has written has come to pass. He is very seldom wrong. But you have it your way. You are all going to be very, very disappointed after May, 2021 unless the FM starts to listen to the dissidents.

  27. florian albert says:

    As somebody who is – comparatively – neutral in the dispute between the different groups supporting independence, it strikes me that at the heart of Wings’ antipathy to Nicola is the belief that she is not to be trusted, either personally or politically.
    I think that this view has wide traction in Scottish society; not (yet ?) a majority but a very significant minority.

    On the other side of the dispute, where Bella Caledonia, has firmly taken sides, there is a willingness to ‘bet the farm’ on Nicola Sturgeon’s political skill and integrity.
    It surprises me that so few of those who support Nicola Sturgeon seem to realize how much power they have allowed her to accrue.

    My guess is that Nicola will find, as so many politicians have before, that popularity can evaporate very quickly. If she doubts this, there are lots of Labour politicians who can provide chapter and verse.

    1. Clootie says:

      I agree. A sizeable MINORITY do not like her – they are called Unionists.

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        Clootie: it has nothing to do with disliking her. It has everything to do with all the broken promises and the inertia, the errors of judgement and the overly eager desire to please the Westminster establishment.

    2. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      My default position is that no politician is to be trusted and that democracy is about limiting the power politicians can exercise over society.

      A pox on all their houses!

      1. florian albert says:

        The success of our form of government, representative democracy, depends on attracting honest and capable people into politics. I am frequently tempted to adopt your approach but I know that, if we fail to attract such people, others – much worse – will fill the vacuum.
        None of the main political parties in the UK, including the SNP, seems to be doing well attracting honest and capable people. Part of the problem may be within the individual parties but part of it is without – in a society which is very quick to denigrate politicians. I am far from faultless in that respect.

        1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

          There are lots of honest and capable people in politics; I don’t buy into the lazy ‘Cowboy-and-Indian ‘ thinking that attributes our woes to the personalities of those with whom we disagree when they are in power. Call me an auld structuralist, but I think the problem is systemic, a product of our power-structures themselves.

          The success of any form of democracy depends not on having the ‘right’ people in power, but in limiting the power that any politician can exercise.

          1. florian albert says:

            I am not much of a fan of structuralists of any sort. To me, the fault lies less in our structures than ourselves, which includes politicians.

            Ultimately, our structures are mostly created by ourselves and our politicians.

  28. Liz Murray says:

    I quite agree with what you say, I’m also concerned at the way AUOB are becoming so restless and silly too. We are doing so well under Nicola and she is very canny. There would be no point in showing any plans, A or B .

  29. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

    The use of violence to acquire political power is deeply rooted in imperialism, capitalism, and white supremacy. I personally refuse to believe that the use of this same violence will ever create nonviolent systems of government that represent and support everyone.

    1. John Learmonth says:

      The use of violence to acheive political power is deeply rooted in all human societies…..

      1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

        Is it, aye? Then it’s worked a treat, hasn’t it?

    2. Lorna Campbell says:

      Anndrais: Africa passed you by? China? India? Umpteen South American and Latin American countries? The pursuit of power and wealth are endemic within all societies and all ethnic groups. White people are, perhaps, just a bit more ruthless. Democracy is the best hope we have of keeping it under some kind of control in the UK, and, indeed, in the West, this side of totalitarianism/fascism. Violence has always been endemic equally in right-wing and left-wing societies, and did/does not always require either imperialism or capitalism to propel it into being. What has happened in the SNP has happened so many times to other parties, both here and all over the world: they became successful, and power and wealth seekers, and those with an agenda that will not prove popular, but which they believe being part of a strong party will help them push through under the radar, start to colonize them, ostensibly in order to achieve the party’s stated goal/goals, but in a very luke-warm fashion that bodes ill for those who are placing their faith in the party in question. These people are ‘parasitic’ or ‘colonialist’ in the worst meanings of these words, and the party itself becomes a mere vehicle, directing it away from the primary policy objectives which brought it into being, and the aspirations of many who support it.

  30. Ste fe says:

    Mike

    Your claim that those who cite there will never be another section 30 order are wrong lacks rigour. You loosely cite George Galloway and James Forsyth. These are not indicative of UK government policy. More indicative are repeated statements by every UK leader and all 3 major Unionist parties, Johnson, Starmer and Davey saying they will not grant a section 30 order post Holyrood 2021. The continual citing of once in a generation means that at the very least this line is likely to hold until at least 2030 (16 years after 2014) and in line with the 1979-1997 timeline as well as Quebec precedents.

    It is likely to be in SNP thinking, if not actual strategy. My interpretation of the SNP is that they will request a section 30 order and it will of course subsequently be refused. They will then have a choice of options and my suspicion is the one they will choose is a legal challenge on whether Holyrood can hold a referendum legally. This will take ages and will almost certainly mean that we go into 2026 Holyrood with no referendum, advisory or legally binding. At which point we are already entering the 2030 timeline implied by once in a generation. It may be this is in fact a realistic timeline but a lot can go wrong by then. There will be huge challenges to overcome including Post-covid recovery, Brexit and of energy transition. The real risk in that time frame is that some of the population ((the soft yes vote) just sticks with it and gets bored of change. There is no guarantee that a section 30 will be granted further down the line in any case. Much more likely in that timeline if we do nothing the Scottish Parliament will be permanently diminished in stature.

    A plan B to mitigate this is essential as we will not be getting a section 30 order. This is a simple reality and does not mean that the many of us who know this are supportive of Stuart Campbell’s vanity attempts to destabilise the SNP. We are not.

    1. Hi Ste
      thanks for the comment. I must admit to using George Galloway to comical effect. I’ll dig up further sources to further my argument.
      You might be right, I might be right. Its my reading of the situation from multiple sources.

      I take your point that not everyone that supports a Plan B strategy is a Wings supporter. Fair enough.

      1. Ste fe says:

        Mike

        I wouldn’t necessarily define it as supportive of a plan B strategy vs just plan A. I’m supportive of getting a legally binding referendum through a Section 30 order. I just think there’s nae chance it will happen. I think alternatives (plan B) are also wrought with difficulty especially ones with clout (advisory referendum, direct action, mass civil disobedience, disruption at Westminster).

        i) An advisory referendum could be put on a collision course with a hostile BBC and media and of course frighten soft Yes and non-participation would likely be encouraged by unionists (see Catalan precedent).
        ii) Disruption at Westminster is possible but the numbers don’t really stack up at the moment to use votes to wreck policy, abstentionism is an option but doesn’t really do that much in my opinion.
        iii) Civil disobedience (same problem with soft Yes approval and hostile media). Not sure what form it would take.
        iv) Rallies and Marches – should continue but could do with senior representation – Sturgeon for instance.

        I appreciate the timing of a plan B strategy too. SNP strategists are so cautious that until this campaign independence has been hidden as priority 22 (see Stop Brexit etc). So, they have a manifesto for an independence referendum but in fact it’s a request for section 30 order. I can live with that ex-ante.

        Ex-post though action will be required. But the SNP is super cautious and will not want to rock the boat. I think of these options they’ll do some investigation whether holyrood can legally hold a referendum (take ages and almost certainly no), rallies with SNP representation at a big Edinburgh or Glasgow one (Nicola) and maybe something on SNP Westminster MPs doing something – dunno what would work. That to me is in line with a once in a generation timeline as I don’t think they have the stomach for a collision course advisory referendum fight.

        Their calculation, which might be right, is that not enough of the population in Scotland is agitated enough to support it. This may be true. But if it is true then it likely means another 10-15 years timeline before the once in a generation timescale is past its sell by date and unionists will have their own bag of tricks in that timeframe to ensure it doesn’t happen at that point too.

  31. Paddy Farrington says:

    Excellent piece. A further argument, if one were needed, is that it is doubtful that the SNP would win big if it went into a Holyrood election on a Plan B platform. We need to win a majority for a commitment to hold an independence referendum; with current divisions within the Yes movement, we should not take that for granted. But if we do win on that platform, our strategy should not just rest on the case for independence, but should be broadened out to encompass Scotland’s right to choose its future, free of Westminster’s veto. Indeed, a further argument against Plan B is that it far too easily gives up on that central democratic principle.

    If the UK Government refuses a Section 30 order based on an overwhelming and unconditional mandate, it will thereby weaken its own position. Back in the days of the Vietnam war, the Vietnamese liberation forces used to talk about turning the USA’s military strength against them, and did so to spectacular effect. We need to do the same, politically. Yes, Johnson and his clique can say No. But in doing so, they will weaken their own position and, provided we stay united to take full advantage, will hasten the Union’s demise.

  32. Just a note to everyone that we will not accept comments that are racist, homophobic, misogynist or transphobic.

    We are in favour of robust and open debate but we will not tolerate this. Please keep this in mind. People who will transgress these guidelines will be removed.

    Thank you.

    1. Elaine Fraser says:

      You are in favour of open debate ?
      Seriously?
      Women want to discuss what they see as the erasure of their hard won sex-based rights and the reform of the GRA and your pals the Green Party have said ‘no debate’. You don’t seem to have a problem with their position on this.
      Or am I missing something ?

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        Elaine: no, you are missing nothing. It is women and only women who have no right to open debate. If that were not the case, we would have open debate on GRA. We don’t and never have had. It is the legal implications of ‘full fat’ GRA that no one wants to talk about. Or is that another ‘plan’ that is so fiendishly perfect that no one except those in the SNP hierarchy need to know anything about it, and that ends to be kept secret in case the Unionists get wind of it? Aye, right!

  33. Elaine Fraser says:

    Would stating biological facts “transgress” your guidelines Mike ?

    Also, this site appears to have descended into a male only echo chamber with only few women trying to be heard .

    And how like a man ( Mike) to think this whole debate on GRA is all and only about a battle between him and another rival man (Wings )

    1. Lorna Campbell says:

      Elaine: I’d suggest that this battle between trans and natal women’s rights needs to be clarified. The trans lobby pretends that trans people have no rights when, in fact, they have exactly the same rights as the rest of us. This is why the long-term legal implications of ‘full fat’ GRA need to be aired: they cannot do other than eliminate natal women’s sex-based rights and spaces completely. The entire reason for natal women’s need for sex-based rights is down to male aggression and propensity for gathering everything of value to themselves. I am not having a go at men as a sex, but most of the men on here must admit that their sex has hardly been caring and sharing towards the female of the species since we all crawled out of the primordial soup. All you old Socialists know that Karl Marx, and to an extent, Engels, too, talked of females as the first defeated class, long before the working class-came into being. To expect women to stand aside and allow natal men, even if they do say they are women, to push us out of the way again, is almost, but not quite, beyond belief. What kind of independent Scotland are you prepared to settle for? Even the Greens and the Socialists? (It is ironic that the only party to stand up to the bullying trans lobby thus far has been the Tory party). An independent Scotland where all females are demoted to fourth class citizenship behind men, trans women and trans men (and, here, I’m assuming that you will accept trans men as men? We’ll see) because that is where we are headed if nothing is done to prevent it. Please do not assume that we will be your willing puppets if you will not help us in return. Quid pro quo, chaps. Oh, and where are the pro women pieces you promised us, Ed to balance the pro GRA pieces?

      1. Elaine Fraser says:

        Well said Lorna.

        Will a site called ‘Bella ‘robustly and publicly defend womens hard won sex-based rights?

        The answer is No

        We are wasting our time here

      2. Iain says:

        Didn’t think the autumn in Bath could produce quite that level of melancholy.

        1. Lorna Campbell says:

          Iain: who are you addressing? Bath? Neither Elaine nor I happen to be the Rev, to whom you are alluding, no? My surname is Campbell. So? You neglect to provide your surname, so you have something to hide?

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