2007 - 2021

ALBA and the Unconscious Right

The chaotic launch of the new Alba Party has continued with a string of gaffes and mistakes – as first the boxer Alex Arthur then the economist and Bitcoin enthusiast Jim Walker issued statements and were forced into hasty non-apology apologies. Despite Salmond’s declaration that his campaign would be “entirely positive” one of his new candidates called Nicola Sturgeon “a cow” whilst the other has made vile racist comments against gypsies.

None of this is a surprise.

 

The problem is not just one of an absence of vetting by a party thrown together and launched in mayhem, it is reflective of people who think its appropriate to rally around a man who has behaved appallingly in public office. When that’s the basis – the origin – it’s not surprising at all that the candidates spew out homophobia racism or misogyny.

The party is mired in negativity and its supporters endless defence of such statements is a very real phenomenon.

The problem is rife: its background stems from the complete collapse of belief in Ends and Means and having literally no threshold for conduct, behaviour or language.

For a long time elements of the Yes movement have been drawn to tactics which they believe are ‘impactful’ (they’re really not) and convinced themselves that ‘anything goes’.

The conflation and confusion of RAGE for RADICALISM is rampant and has been boosted by an obsessive belief in Hate Bloggers who are now advisors to the new Alba party. This is a group of people who have contaminated the well of public discourse and whose modus operandi is now coursing through the new populism. The language has become so normalised – and the assumptions so internalised – that most of the adherents remain completely unaware that this is beyond the terms of acceptable discourse.

Arthur’s excuse is that he “shoots from the hip”. It’s just straight-talking. The “war on woke” is heard over and over in the nationalist movements unconscious right; it’s heard from the pulpits of Kevin McKenna and Iain Macwhirter and a thousand raging social media accounts. Its relentlessly macho and self-reinforcing.

This is a political phenomenon that portrays itself as a liberation movement and venerates a leader they think of as a freedom fighter – but is riddled with misogyny and cultural conservatism. Hilariously it thinks of itself being left-wing while holding a series of connected reactionary views.

The party is in danger of subverting the election campaign, not because it has a purposeful political agenda, or policies, but because it is the manifestation of some dark chaos and a pantomime of opportunism and entitled ignorance.

Ends and Means matter. How you achieve your political goals matter.

 

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Comments (45)

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  1. Iain Lennox says:

    …” the economist and Bitcoin enthusiast Jim Wallace issued statements ”

    An oops perhaps ?

    1. Oops indeed. Corona-brain. Sorry!

  2. MBC says:

    Well said Mike. The misogyny levelled at Nicola Sturgeon for daring to stand up for women from these hate bloggers now advocating Alba is an eye-opener. Interesting too that they are all male and non-resident in Scotland most of the year. From their offshore bases they plot and urge on a right-wing revolution in our bonnie land.

  3. Malcolm Kerr says:

    This isn’t your best. Speaking as an SNP member, thirteen years of unopposed power at Holyrood has changed the party (for the worse) and a challenge from within the movement is healthy. I had been hoping AS would have retired from public life. Nothing’s perfect, however, and I don’t believe anyone else would have got this off the ground. If we actually want independence then we need to get used to working with people we don’t like. For balance I’m looking forward to an article from your highly regarded contributor George Kerevan on why he has signed up to the ‘unconscious right’!

    1. Alan says:

      @Malcolm Kerr “…thirteen years of unopposed power at Holyrood has changed the party (for the worse) and a challenge from within the movement is healthy. ”

      Exactly. The vehicle for countering this may be far from perfect, but it’s foolish to ignore the mounting frustration and anger of many Indy supporters with the behaviour of the current SNP. Some in the SNP throwing bricks at Alba, deserved or otherwise, might benefit from some self-reflection on how we got to this point and their own role in the matter.

      1. James Mills says:

        ”13 years of unopposed power ” except for the wee fact that they were a minority administration from 2007-2011 , and from 2016 to present !

        ” has changed the party ( for the worse ) ” – your view ( and Malcolm Kerr ) , to which you are entitled , but other views are available !

        1. Alan says:

          @James Mills

          Agreed. Other views are available but I believe it will turn out that not a few people who support independence share Malcolm’s perspective on the current SNP.

      2. Malcolm Kerr says:

        Yeah. I’d go a little further. There has been a fundamental failure of leadership in the SNP since 2014. The current schism could and should have been avoided. I don’t believe history will look kindly on Nicola Sturgeon in her role as de facto leader of the independence movement.

    2. Interesting: ” If we actually want independence then we need to get used to working with people we don’t like.”

      So in response to pointing out that people are racist, homophobic or misogynist you just say “get used to working with people we don’t like” because *checks notes* “independence”, is that right?

      1. Malcolm Kerr says:

        Good try, but no, I don’t think that. It’s not right. We need to base the movement for independence on integrity, personal self-awareness and an open-hearted approach to people whose views are different from our own. I don’t know Alex Arthur, of course. The tweets you quote are certainly offensive, but I found his apology honest and sincere, and it would be wrong to try to sum up any individual human being by quoting a couple of social media posts, and ignoring their achievements, ambitions and overall personal conduct. There always has to be a potential for redemption.

        1. James Mills says:

          ” we need to get use to working with people we don’t like ” – except , it appears , Nicola Sturgeon ? Wee contradiction there , Malcolm !

      2. Fultonius says:

        Do you remember what happened when everyone shouted down Farage and his supporters for being racists, bigots and dumb dumb stupid stupid? Or Trump…that went well.

        I don’t like Salmond, I wouldn’t want to associate with some of those who have joined…but to not learn the recent lessons, and ignore, dismiss and talk down to those who are looking for an outlet from 13 years of SNP getting more and more cosy….

    3. Iain MacLean says:

      I’d agree, opposition from within, if thoughtful, well argued and in line with the overall goal, is healthy. Has there been enough up to now, no. I’d suggest this is because the strategy to get to 60% in the polls was / is on track and why change the approach when the approach is working? Regards Alba, this is one man’s ego in the belief he will hurt individuals the SNP and rebuild his public standing, it has absolutely nothing to do with independence or the people of Scotland.

      The SNP is not labour, it is not the tories nor the liberals in so much that any difference, dissent or alternative view points are negatively spun by the press, bbc and opposition as disastrous or catastrophic to the independence cause, this is then picked upon and brought up ad nausea. Nine news stories on the same story on the bbc Scotland website last week, highlight this.

      tory mps betrayal of Mrs May over brexit is viewed as a temporary event that in no way impacts the tory’s capacity as a party to run the uk. No mention of that behaviour now or the unfolding disaster on trade of brexit, bbc and press have fallen into line, move on nothing to see here. SNP do not have the luxury of owning or controlling the bbc or press!

      The SNP are judged to a higher standard than tories or labour and receive more scrutiny than other parties, because of what is at stake, i.e. the end of the uk. Watch how the tory Covid procurements, Johnson’s liaison with an American lobbyist whilst London mayor or David Cameron lobbying scandals will fade from view very quickly with no action being taken.

      If we were not heading for an election I can see the need for a reshuffle bringing in some fresh faces and radical new ideas, hopefully that will come after May, but I’d finish off by saying the right woman is in charge and one our greatest assets in the struggle for freedom!

  4. Janet Fenton says:

    Strong words Mike, and it seems it will get worse before it gets better.

  5. Radio Jammor says:

    Agreed. How we get there matters. We aren’t just putting these people in place to get an Indy majority at Holyrood, but to get Independence and make Scotland a better place to be than it is in the UK.

    You have to ask yourself are these people going to persuade anyone not committed to “Yes” to vote for Indy.

    You have to ask yourself are these people going to make Scotland a better place to be.

    And whilst we are on the subject of Alba, people should be aware that one of their subtle advocates is blogger, James Kelly. He’s subtle and doesn’t make explicit statements (or answer specific questions), but that is what he is doing. With his blog and tweets he has been undermining the Greens and bigging-up Alba – when the most recent poll had the SNP & Greens on over 80 MSP seats (so we don’t need Alba). He even tried to deflect away from revelations about Arthur with whataboutery.

    He’ll also throw abuse at you and counter-accuse if you call him out on it. Wouldn’t surprise me if he fancied himself as an MSP and this being his way in to Holyrood.

    1. “when the most recent poll had the SNP & Greens on over 80 MSP seats (so we don’t need Alba)” – that’s been the case for some time as Ive repeatedly pointed out,

      1. Stewart Bremner says:

        Kelly has form for trying to do down the Greens. He was one of the key proponents and sources for ‘both votes SNP in 2016, regardless of how often he was disproven.

      2. Michael says:

        But Mike, your unconscious bias leads you to completely miss the point as usual: none of the SNP leadership’s actions actually support the claim that it is leading us to independence (what is your evidence? ).

        And just angrily shouting that anyone who doesn’t see the world your way is an angry racist, homophobic and/or misogynist is just repetitive lazy nonsense. You’ve become more right wing than those you angrily detract as right wing, advocating against freedom of speech (which is now, in Orwellian fashion, a “right wing” position) and for authoritarian nonsense to enforce your “acceptable” liberal rationality on society.

        It’s like reading a Daily Mail rant about how biased and right wing The Sun is.

        Self reflection and self awareness anyone?

        1. Your view is welcome and understood – part of the point of sharing this was to share (my) and everyones partiality

  6. john burrows says:

    It is a common trait of all new political parties that you will find proponents who wear their underwear on their heads, with straws jammed up their noses.

    The SNP went through the same growth pains in the 70’s. At that time they were known generally as the ‘Tartan Tories.’ The Labour Party even today roundly claims they still are, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    But this misses the point entirely. The current SNP is led by a managerial class that does not do populism. The First Minister is a case in point.

    Not once has she acknowledged events arranged by AUOB over the past seven years, much less attended one. Apparently, she has a deep disdain for ‘flag waving,’ even going so far as expressing disappointment at the name of the party she leads. A bizarre position to hold given that indepedence is the ultimate form of populism, in geo political terms.

    This is a conundrum given we live in a society which very much is driven by populist agendas. It is in the DNA of the British to be seduced by populist messages. The Scot’s are no different to their English, Welsh or Irish cousins in this respect.

    Harnessing the messy but potent populism that energizes voters is not in Ms Sturgeon’s DNA. Alec Salmond has it in spades.

    Your desire for lily white political representation in Scotland is a utopian dream and defies reality. If I might para phrase Cromwell, I prefer those politicians who get things done, warts and all.

    If Salmonds party can garner support from those in Scotland who have been repelled by the questionable social causes espoused by the current leadership of the SNP, in lieu of having an effective strategy of bringing about the indepence of Scotland, to eject from Holyrood the non entities who front the parties of the ‘Union,’ I will shed no tears.

    1. Alan says:

      “Your desire for lily white political representation in Scotland is a utopian dream and defies reality. ”

      Indeed. The SNP have become a whited sepulchre.

      1. JohnTosh says:

        The independence movement should be a broad church but, thinking about it, there is now no natural home for right leaning independence supporters. The SNP should have been a vehicle to independence but, in the interim, forced into long term governance it has chosen a left wing stance and displaced Labour. Left leaning voters have a home whether they support independence or not. Not so the natural conservatives, which leaves a gap in the market.

        1. Michael says:

          The SNP leadership has chosen to ditched a meaningful social policy agenda for meaningless loony radical left social froth and opportunistic economic policy and a pledge to introduce radical right wing economic nonsense as our road map forward. The leadership has lost its way. It is not racist, homophobic or misogynist, even as much as the Orwellian thought police like to band about these labels to shame and silence people.

      2. James Mills says:

        SNP ”Whited sepulchres ” ? Does that make Alba/Salmond JESUS ?

        1. john burrows says:

          Reductio ad absurdum is a dishonest debating technique. The schism is not in the movement for independence but in the political vehicle meant to bring it about.

          The SNP is not a ‘big tent’ party any longer. Given the cross spectrum of support for independence accross all political opinion, it can no longer contain all within one rigid structure. New vehicles for independence supporters is not a bad thing. In fact it demonstrates that the SNP is in fact smaller than the movement. This is a welcome evolution.

          Ms Sturgeon is a Fabian who prefers a gradualist approach to independence. But events have overtaken this strategy. The SNP is not dealing with democrats in Westminster, but a blood and soil, proto fascist regime. We must fight fire with fire.

          The current Tory party is nothing more than a personality cult. It is entirely appropriate that the wing nuts that make up its membership worships a bone idle, philandering misogynist who cosplays as a working class bloke while he trashes the country. All with the tacit, if not active approval, of the bulk of the mainstream media.

          The SNP was itself on the cusp of becoming a personality cult. I for one am glad things have broken as they have.

          Given the state of play in the UK at the moment, people power will finally be the only thing between us and outright oppression. Honest rage is a force no political party has any ability to contain if it does nothing to assuage the grievance that has brought it about.

          If things continue as they likely will do, given Johnson and the Tory party’s autocratic tendency’s and serial corruption, the unrest we are currently witnessing in England will inevitably follow the same path to the streets of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

          If we don’t offer people a democratic means by which they can escape this bedlam, massive civil unrest is inevitable.

        2. Alan says:

          I have no idea what it makes Salmond and Alba. They appear to wear their imperfections for all to see.

          The reference is to Heart of Darkness. Conrad presumably took it from Matthew 23: 27.

    2. John MacDonald says:

      “Not once has she acknowledged events arranged by AUOB over the past seven years”

      That’s not strictly true – she always acknowledges them, she just doesn’t attend them. And she’s been proven absolutely right not to do so. That Neil Mackay lad (not the journalist) is right up there with the other roasters cheerleading this band of misfits and rejects. Not to mention the various splits and fallouts involving the funds raised on the marches, and the petulant “we won’t do what the council tells us to do!” attitude to organising them, which finally led to one of them falling foul of the law. It’s daft to think the First Minister could put her name to them.

      But she’s never actually denounced them or anything like that – she’s simply not attended them. It’s quite strange how angry people get about it. They demand she validates them, and when she doesn’t, they turn on her. Good on her, I say.

      1. john burrows says:

        Mr McKay has not led AUOB for the past seven years. To my knowledge, he has only been in post this last year.

        Given no events have been spearheaded by this movement in that time due to the pandemic, he is not a fair representation of those who did. His inability to express himself in a mature way is his failing, not the movements.

        Your comment also tars all of those who went before him. Your innuendo further tars those who attended these events in the past who sincerely support Scottish independence.

        Sneering at folks for participating in peaceful and heart felt social events is exactly why the SNP are now perceived to be tone deaf by a substantial number of their former members. Of which I am one.

        Your disdain for communitarian political expression is disappointing but not unexpected. I have come to accept it as par for the course for the closed shop mentality that currently guides SNP political nous.

        1. gahetacicl says:

          I can speak as one-time AUOB marcher who regards all the Saltire-waving, roaring Harley Davidson stuff as a bit passe. Whatever you think of the aesthetic or cultural excesses of that lot, the imprisonment of Manny Singh and the stripping of his livelihood was bloody disgusting. Anything more than a couple of grand’s worth of a fine was clearly a case of pour encourager les autres..

          Ten times more disgusting was that his prosecution was apparently at the behest of an SNP-Green led council. Ten times more disgusting still was the lack of solidarity from all the Creative Scotland-funded Yes Commentariat.

          In some sense we have to conclude that SNP don’t even want a truly pro independence “base.” They want to play at New Labour 2.0 under devolution, relying on the Gen Z Green voters for a consistent if slim governing majority. The current Holyrood arrangement is for Sturgeon ala Goldilocks, “just right.”

          The difference between SNP and the late phase of New Labourism is that the shop-worn rhetoric of anti-Thatcherism is replaced by a more general and, at the moment, fresher anti-Unionism. If anti-Unionist rhetoric was actually supposed to ever translate into a serious independence agenda, obviously you wouldn’t be seeing punitive actions against errant organizers of direct action for independence.

  7. florian albert says:

    The SNP, which at present means Nicola Sturgeon and her followers, is clear panicked by the creation of Alba.
    A new parliament at Holyrood with Alex Salmond sitting behind Nicola Sturgeon would have a different dynamic to the one which Nicola Sturgeon has comfortably dominated for the last six years.
    More than anything else, a new party needs attention and publicity. The SNP is ensuring that Alba gets plenty of both.

  8. gahetacicl says:

    You know, I will make a fairly confident prediction that ALBA will issue some kind of economic policy paper which is to the left of the Growth Commission. We’ve already seen members of the Common Weal group joining.

    Talk of unconscious rightism sounds a bit East German to my ears. From a left-libertarian perspective one could just as easily say that the managerial centrist obsession with being on-message, with vetting by scraping social media and with pro-actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints (eg., Women’s Pledge) and viewing party democracy as a source of threat is “unconscious rightism.”

    Is it more problematic that people like Hanvey or Arthur are allowed to say sorry for bad statements and carry on than that say, Andy Wightman in the Greens must be forced out for voting his conscience? This is not a left-right distinction; it’s a freedom-authoritarianism distinction. Turns out, there are plenty of people in the independence movement who are on the anti-authoritarian side of the spectrum, and Thank God!

    I had been warning for over a year that this split was coming, and it was in Sturgeon’s gift to stop it, and that if she couldn’t or wouldn’t stop it, she wasn’t the right leader for the SNP. In the middle class activist-dominated Yes discussion spaces I followed, I was ignored, scorned and of course there are slimy little insinuations that you’re a misogynist whenever you criticize this female leader or support an (acquitted, alleged) sexual harasser (ie., an innocent man.)

    Well, now we are where we are. The split’s here and it is pretty big. In the coming battle for leadership of Yes, the SNP still holds some key advantages. Like its control of a de facto patronage network, with funding flows inevitably having a large swathe of Scottish civil society incentivising pro-government line-taking (rather grim when you consider it frankly.) But how quickly will their audience dwindle?

    1. James Mills says:

      You predicted this schism a year ago ? Nicola Sturgeon is the wrong person to lead the party ? The split is here and it is pretty big ” ”In the coming battle ”

      Do you carry a sandwich board with ”The end is Nigh ” written on it ?

      1. gahetacicl says:

        Hm.. The end of the Union might be nigh, now. Perhaps I’ll put that on a sandwich board.

  9. SleepingDog says:

    Because independence is for the long term, it is pretty essential for independence politicians to appear strategic, patient, and confident in the belief that eventually the great majority will see the benefits and back the case. It is counterproductive and in some cases borderline-disastrous to focus on short-term benefits and tactical ploys, to appear hasty and give the impression that you don’t believe there will ever be a substantial majority (say, 2:1 or more) of the electorate in favour, to parade (shall we say) low-quality candidates and give any indication that you believe only in bouncing the country over the independence line by any means by the smallest margin and counting that a ‘victory’, without the political literacy of planning for the inevitable backlash. To have so long to get prepared and yet to appear ill-prepared is only going to play into unionist hands, at a time when unionists have still failed to make a coherent argument for the union/empire. It is reasonable doubt about the future of an independent Scotland dominated by independence politicians that may be a more potent deterrent for change than any great affection for remaining in the UK.

    1. john burrows says:

      I will only point out that those same unionist hands are covered in the blood of innocents, and are responsible for the most wreckless economic and social harm perpetrated on the Scottish body politique since Thatchers’ disasterous reign.

      The UK is nothing but a shabby theme park, and the Tory party and their facilitators are just carnival hucksters, whose only purpose is to feather the nests of its doners at the expense of the lives of the citizens of this benighted realm.

      The sooner the UK is foreclosed the better for everyone. At least those with a conscience, compassion and empathy for their fellow human beings.

      The spivs and spads will survive whatever the outcome. Johnson shouldn’t worry too much about his legacy of being the PM when independence happens.

      He will not be alone for the blame when the scribes put pen to paper to record the history of this period. He’ll probably be charmed by the idea of ‘gifting’ us our independence in his doddoring old age.

  10. Jim Bennett says:

    There are no Gods and precious few heroes.

    I’ll happily vote SNP 1 whilst recognising that the party is dominated by managerialism and lack of radicalism. Nicola Sturgeon is a world class political operator who has led a ministerial group which nurtured sexual harassers and those who would groom 16 year old boys.

    Although she could give master classes in plausible deniability, I recognise her undoubted talents vastly outweigh her political timidity and faults.

    I have happily voted Green 2, whilst now recognising that Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvey happily junked one of the finest land activists that Scotland has seen on the alter of democratic centralism.

    I will likely vote Alba 2 in this election. Alex Salmond is a flawed man but also has done more to advance the cause of independence than the vast majority who are quick to condemn him.

    Do I condemn misogyny, racism and homophobia? Absolutely. Am I some sort of puritan who condemns everyone for life for mistakes? No.

    I’ve put my money where my mouth is where this is concerned by setting up successful businesses whose very purpose is to employ people with convictions. Middle class Guardianistas talk easily of inclusion and redemption; that is until those in the greatest need chap their doors. People make mistakes, sometimes grievous ones. The point is not to exclude them. I suspect that would leave us with very small numbers indeed.

    I am interested in independence for Scotland. In doing so, I recognise that Scotland has a history of racism, sectarianism and substantial portions of every evil that society is capable of. In delivering independence, I recognise that we are a flawed country with flawed people. Taking a sanctimonious, holier than thou approach to thiswill get the constituent parts of the independence movement nowhere.

    If we’re talking g about means and ends, how about thinking through a way of working with generally like minded people, who’ve made mistakes, as a starting point?

  11. Pub Bore says:

    Why the furore? Alba has given voters another option. And, as far as democracy’s our concern – the more, the healthier.

  12. Kenny Smith says:

    Mike you are starting to do my nut right in. The Romanian comment has a truth to it. I seen it myself at a yes rally in George Sq. Romanian men standing emptying the women n children’s begging cups then sending them back into the crowd to beg for more with people warning each other that people have had their pockets and bags dipped. It was the biggest collection of easy going welcoming people there ever has been but it was only stating the obvious. I’m not a right winger I respect the Romanian people and I value and welcome them here and appreciate the hard work the vast majority bring but every society has bad apples but just because you see people up to no good and call it out doesn’t make you a KKK member. People are free to make their own mind up and judge Alba accordingly but this muck dredging is beneath you. I remember a time when I came here to hear criticism and counter balance to the SNP corporate attitude, now you are a SNP pamphlet. I like the fact Alex Arthur isn’t a polished uni ponse and I like the fact Alba is here although they should never have been needed. I’ll still visit this site because it offers more than just views on Scottish politics but where I used to nearly always comment on what great articles you had written I find myself barely able to get to the end of one. Different opinions are healthy but the reaction to Alba says a lot. If that muppet Loki/McGarvey or whatever he calls himself now was a candidate would you change your tune. Get your head out of the SNPs arse mate

    1. Feel free not to visit this site, your comments and views are repellent

  13. Bernie Hughes says:

    ALBA is a toxic cartel of gropers, racists, transphobes and disgruntled careerists. The best we can hope for is that it acts as a sort of sump pump that draws some of the reactionary bile out of the Yes movement and flushes it down the drain.

  14. Graham Ennis says:

    OK, lets face reality now. Alba is in a state of very early gestation. There is no bulging belly yet.
    The “Leader” is totally absent a black shirt. He is absolutely not a Quisling. He is not a neo-consewrvative. he is more radical and to the left of things than Nicola.
    He is the most skilled politcal operater in Scotland.
    All he has to do, to kill the impending “Split Vote” question, is to adopt exactly the same policies on independence that the Green Party has. Thgey are much further to the left tan snp on social issues, solid on greenness, and absolutly rock solid on Independence. They will vote with the SNP on the freedom issue. That leaves them free to try and support more radical issues on internal Scottish politics. It does not subtract any votes from Scottish freedom. There is then a sp[ace for the Alba party, (Dreadfull name, there is nopt a genuine beduine Albanian amongst them. I await the appearance of the first Enver Hofva jokes).
    The Altegther Media and celebs party, as I have said today on here, has to be looked at as a Trojenb Horse run by media freaks and probably getting dark influence and funds from outside Scotland. The criminal question has been laid to rest in its grave by the trial. The most important thing is to drown Albsa in aslternative radical policies and greenness. SNMP has been burnt around the edges as it transformed from a fringe party to a main party of Goverment. It has had to make compromises to do so. But if Alba sticks to the list, and then stays offline, mostly, ecpet in the seats it can win in, and has a platform that is absolutely solid about free Scotland, it will do no great damage. Soar Alba!.

    1. Hi Graham
      top Albanian gags aside:
      “He is not a neo-conservative. he is more radical and to the left of things than Nicola.” – Please how your notes on this, the radical revisionism and hagiography says otherwise.
      “He is the most skilled political operator in Scotland.” – again show your notes.
      “All he has to do, to kill the impending “Split Vote” question, is to adopt exactly the same policies on independence that the Green Party has”. – that’s not going to happen. See above and also above.

  15. Peter Broughan says:

    I am entirely thirled to Means and Ends, which is why I am voting SNP 1 and Alba 2. It is the only possible choice for pragmatists who really do want independence. And Nicola has behaved much worse in office than Alec ever did. Leave the pitchforks down and let’s free
    Scotland. I mean REALLY free Scotland, instead of kidding on about it and instead using comfortable devolution to bring in crackpot policies based on anti-communal ( and anti-women) identity politics.

    1. Hi Peter – assuming ALBA are successful in having a few MSPs elected (an assumption not backed up by the opinion polls), how on earth would it make any difference to anything? Alex Salmond says he would start independence negotiations immediately but its not entirely clear on what basis and with what authority?

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