There is never been a political party where everybody can agree on everything. If you ever find someone who does, give them a wide berth because there is no brain inside their head. They are a machine.

So the ultra loyal fringe of any Party has to be treated with wariness at all times. My party right or wrong, is the road to nowhere, as the Labour Party finally discovered. I have always been able to debate strongly with opponents and remain friends. I recommend more people try it, it can be a lot of fun.

Of course people try to be loyal, that is the inbuilt advantage the establishment / leadership always start with in any debate. It is a big advantage and realistically it will only be on very rare occasions that they should lose an argument.

For them to lose they must needlessly abuse that advantage, presume or demand support unreasonably, take support for granted or worse of all, use and believe that Margaret Thatcher phrase “there is no alternative”. As long as democracy lives there will always be alternatives.

I fear we are getting near that stage in the Constitutional Debate. Earlier this week Nicola sailed the familiar one last push message on the ill fated and mythical voyage to a Section 30 order. It has been launched numerous times in the past, mandates have been secured, only to languish in the unused mandate cupboard at Party HQ.

For all the fanfare it was characteristically vague, no specific timetable, no explanation of what action if Westminster, as they have already publicly stated, just say no. Party loyalists argue “ah but this will be a different mandate” Really who said that? Do you really think it will change the position? No, majority support makes a section 30 order less likely, not more! We need to examine alternative routes. They are available.

So let’s go through this Section 30 argument. It is perfectly possible to use another democratic route to Independence, minus a Section 30 order. Go to Wikipedia, type in Independence Referendums and look at the long list of countries who went this route minus any approval of the countries they were seeking their Independence from.

Why do we need a referendum anyway?  Many of the countries that make up the current EU became independent by a parliamentary vote, not a referendum.

No less a UK Premier than Margaret Thatcher stated Scotland would be Independent if we returned a majority of Scottish MP’s from Scotland who were SNP. For most of the long time I served on the NEC of the Party that was also SNP Party policy. You can thank the gradualists for changing it.

So what is the alternative? Here is one possible strategy

  1. Nicola sends an ultimatum to Boris stating that unless a Section 30 order is approved in sufficient time for an Independence Referendum to be held on the same day as the May 2021 elections, then the constituency vote in those elections will represent the substitute referendum where the Party winning the majority of seats wins a mandate for or against Independence.
  2. If Westminster want the decision based on votes rather than seats then they must pass the Section 30 order with all speed otherwise it will be seats that will be the determining factor.
  3. This ultimatum to be voted on by all members of the Scottish Parliament and Scots MP’s representing seats in Scotland to give it the maximum authority.
  4. Great efforts to be made in Scotland to attract international support for this democratic method of allowing our people the international rights of self determination.
  5. Requests are made to both the EU AND UN to send monitors to supervise the voting and counting processes.
  6. Much of this can happen before we exit the Single Market and will hopefully attract support amongst current EU members.

Did you see what I did there? I set out a plan. I laid out a timeframe and a structure. Now I am sure people can come up with a host of reasons why it can’t happen but they are going to have a problem with me.

You see I know a lot of people in a country where you got jailed for supporting Independence. A country much smaller, much poorer than Scotland, effectively cut off from the rest of the World.

Yet they are Independent, since 1991, their poverty is largely gone, they have the lowest debt in Europe and are now the most digitally advanced nation in Europe. They are represented at the UN, are full members of the EU and NATO yet before they voted for Independence had far fewer friends and allies than Scotland enjoys today.

You see they never saw themselves as being too small or too poor and when people told them “no you can’t”, they shouted back and meant it ”YES WE CAN”.




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16 thoughts on “SOME OF US NEED TO GROW UP.

  1. People have split into 2 camps here: there’s the “how many effin mandates do you need” brigade and the “trust in wee Nic, she’s got a plan and they’re falling right into her trap” side.

    I’ve seen similar to the latter not that long ago in the cult of Tony Blair, the Dear Leader who could do no wrong. Thatcher scared me, but she was nothing compared to that psycho with his eyes gleaming with messianic zeal. He utterly terrified me. Anyway, I belong firmly in the former camp. It’s not a case of needing to grow up, more that there’s a lot of people lending their vote to the SNP purely because they’re supposed to be the vehicle that takes us to independence. You can imagine their disappointment then when that vote gets used to keep MPs and MSPs in pension pots and expense accounts. Labour used to bestride Scottish politics like an unassailable colossus. Where are they now? The SNP would do well to pay heed to the warnings of history.

    You’ve laid out a plan above. Why can’t they do the same? Why is it always jam tomorrow at the end of some rainbow in the distance?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. In May 2021 two way-points will have been passed justifying this plan. The first is it will have been seven years since the referendum, which gives legitimacy to the timing of a new vote and we will have been pulled out of the EU by the UK, which will give legitimacy to having a vote on independence.


  3. Thank you for another very good article. I don’t entirely agree with you, however. There has been a lot of debate over all the possible mechanisms for achieving independence, whether a Section 30 order is necessary, etc. In my opinion, all this is tangential to the real problem, which has been getting popular support for Independence to levels above 50%. I think the reason for the SNP’s reluctance to use multiple mandates has been the very real risk of losing a second referendum. It is only since the beginning of this year that opinion polls, fallible as they are, have shown consistent support percentages in the 50’s. If Westminster are seen to be ignoring an overwhelming majority for independence, it will be a democratic outrage, not a good look on the international stage for a government desperately seeking trade deals.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “We’re not going to sell into your market of 60 million people unless you stop being so beastly to these 5 million up north?”

      No, can’t see it myself. WM don’t care about democratic outrages, never have cared about them, and aren’t going to start caring any time soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a two-way thing, Iain. My point is that I doubt if our plight would be of particular concern to a potential trading partner. I should’ve phrased it better. Nobody’s going to buy unless they’re also allowed to sell.


    2. The polls have risen due to the incompetence of Westminster re Covid. If the different outcomes between Scotland and rUK become similar, as they now are, the polls may fall again. So regarding your point about getting the polls above 50%, and accepting that 65/35 would be roughly as good as could be expected, that means that the key people that are open to switching to Yes are about 15% of voters. They will determine the outcome of a vote.

      What has or is being actively done by the SNP to help those key voters to actually change their views? We know the over 55’s are the main age group that is still strongly No. A lot is being done by various people on blogs but I doubt much of their argument winning information reaches the 15%. Wishful thinking won’t get the vote sustainably well above 50. I hope the current Covid increase in Scotland doesn’t get reflected in a lower poll vote, but it might.

      The SNP are failing to win voters and are basking in a result that was caused by Westminsters failings. Unless they start to do some of the heavy lifting, we are too reliant on Westminster to drive the polls, let alone win a vote on independence. They need to act like a party preparing for independence not still just arguing for a vote on it. That means having won all the arguments that they possibly can (pensions, currency, NHS, general economy etc). Actively promoting information about these key issues much more broadly than any blog can ever do, especially to the over 55’s, would bring the polls up to where they should be – 65/35. That’s what is and has been missing. A plan. That’s why 55/45 due to Covid is not a strong position to be in.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I neither agree nor disagree with your plan Iain, the point is that it IS A PLAN, with actions and timescales.

    It may be your “plan A” but I’m sure that you’d agree there could be other equally viable plans and you, like me, would support any one of them in order to get independence – note – not just a referendum on independence, but independence itself.

    Point is that SNP leadership has not set out a proper plan, actions, timescales etc but still feels that the construction of such a plan should be it’s sole responsibility and no-one else’s.

    That attitude demonstrates a serious lack of trust in the people of Scotland, the YES movement and the party’s membership.

    So it is little wonder that there is unrest among members,and among the YES movement and that alternative indy-supporting parties are on the blocks.

    “lack of trust” tends to be reciprocated, the SNP leadership don’t trust “us”, and “we” no longer trust them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Manifesto for Independence

    Renounce Section 30 process immediately and completely
    Assert competence of Scottish Parliament in constitutional matters
    Recall MPs to join with MSPs in a National Convention
    Propose dissolution of Union subject to referendum
    Call referendum entirely made and managed in Scotland

    #NoSection30 #ScottishUDI #UnionNoMore

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Some of the comments about Tony Blair are a bit over-the-top. Yes, he was a centrist Labour leader and not on the Left, but he was elected 3 times. Looking back I don’t get too excited about the war in Iraq. Yes, the whole WMD was a lie and many Iraqi regime soldiers died. Some civilians also died but, and excuse me for playing devil’s advocate here, they would have died or have been tortured anyway. Saddam Hussein’s record was not good: hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were killed by his forces. Many who were hysterical about this attempt to install a Shi-ite majority government have always kept silent about the regime’s victims, notably the Kurds. I find the Far-Left/extreme Liberal elements’ narrative grossly hypocritical here. There are people out there who are a lot worse than the US/UK when it comes to human rights’ abuses: Yemen, Libya, Eritrea, Somalia, Roningas in Burma etc, etc and it’s time the hand-wringing, virtue-signallers started recognizing this. Now back to Scottish independence.


  7. Nothing about the victims of Saddam Hussein, though. What about the Kurds? Look at what they have gone through!


  8. Iain thanks for this post as you and PAB infer there are MANY ways to skin this cat , but NO NS must stick with the one that has the LEAST chance , which I and many have GRAVE suspicions will NOT be acted upon, even Roddy McLeod of BB is lukewarm yet is appealing to indy supporters to COME TOGETHER and set aside their policy differences , GOOD ON Roddy BUT where is that same determination to DITCH PUBLICLY Nicola’s reviled and abusive policies until after indy to engender solidarity in the movement . Does anyone have a link to Nicola doing THAT to bring everyone together or is she so intransigent and dictatorial that the sheeple just have to suck it up


  9. Robert T. There are as you opine many ways to skin a cat. Some good, some bad, and some that might never deliver the skinned animal. I fear the latter and especially since it is Scotland that is now being skinned.

    Covid 19 has been a godsend for the First Minister. Serious or otherwise as the matter may be, it has become a long running a Broadway show for her. But all shows come to an end, as this one will.

    But under the cover of the COVID crisis due process within the party has been ditched and ignored whilst political advantage has been played in the background. The outrageous behaviour of the NEC with meeting called with no prior agenda, secret votes, and all of the other paraphernalia of subterfuge is clear evidence of that. But it is wider than that as ordinary members lose participation in party now being run by covert clique.

    Taking back control was a Brexit tag line but it is one the rank and file SNP need to take heed of. Control is wrested from them, policy is wrested from them, and control by the members for the members needs to be recovered. And it will be. The SNP came into existence for one principal reason and that reason still drives the majority of members today.

    Alex Salmond said, the dream will never die. We will take our independence. That desire, that driv3 has no5 gone away.

    Time therefore that we started to chase down alternative routes to independence and of which the S30 may be the weakest option.


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