THOSE NEC PROBLEMS

THEY WONT BE SOLVED IF YOU DO THE ABOVE!

Have you forgotten about it yet? That is the tactics, by now you are expected to have forgotten all about the NEC and “moved on”. Oh you were mad alright, many wrote in. How many got a reply? Not a lot of hands up I see. How many got an honest reply? Not a hand in sight.

What has happened to the SNP?. The party that for decades prided itself on its open, honest, accountable structure has been replaced by a NEC embroiled in internal plots, secret ballots that destroy all accountability, rule changes designed to pull a drawbridge up stopping any outsiders (for that read ordinary members) challenging those currently in power and make it very difficult to achieve personnel change.

To this end, they control the reconstructed NEC secretly blocking MP’s at Westminster contesting seats for Holyrood while dusting off their own applications for the vacant seats. Intent on pursuing a policy agenda that concentrates on GRA and the Hate Crime Bill, policies that are opposed by huge swathes of the membership. Some of those pushing this agenda admit they are “soft on Independence” and several had direct and indirect involvement in the Alex Salmond trial.

Strange things are happening elsewhere, SNP controlled Glasgow City Council are partly responsible for the jailing of Manny Singh the former AUOB organiser for the crime of refusing to move the agreed time of the Glasgow March as many of those participating had purchased travel tickets based on that original time which had been agreed and would then have arrived hours after the March if it was brought forward. Not sure what part of the Independence Revolution is an SNP administration reporting him to the Procurator Fiscal, then again there is a small section of the Party that are quite keen on courts and trials isn’t there? Think about this, the sentence was way in excess of the offence, why? Will this not act as a serious deterrent to others from being organisers of similar events in the future? What are we to make of SNP politicians playing a role in this?

I hear stories of good people being rejected by the Vetting Committee because they did not fit, particularly if they are planning to seek a seat where the woke front are busy backing their own candidate for the same seat. I haven’t even mentioned Edinburgh Central yet. Hearing Woke candidates fly through vetting while their competitors get held up and delayed allowing the Woke candidate a head start locally. I also got a message from a member of one of the minority groups who lost her position in the Group she was a member of for refusing to support GRA, so the problem is widespread at all levels. Much more on how candidate selection Is being influenced coming shortly in the weeks ahead. Be prepared for more shocks. Investigation underway.

The rules introduced in 2017 also pose a threat as Joanna Cherry wrote in the National last week “The risk is that we might insulate our elected representatives from the accountability we have always been proud of in the SNP and create a self-perpetuating group with no entryway for outsiders or fresh talent.Without a change we are in danger of creating a Catch-22. Only those with an existing profile can stand to be representatives and only those who have successfully become representatives will have a profile.” 

This is what happens when candidates are restricted to the contacts they can make with constituency members in a selection contest, you hand a huge advantage to those with name recognition and make it very difficult for anyone outside this elite group to win a nomination, no matter how talented they might be.

The only hope this democratic disaster can be averted is if ordinary members take back control and use their votes to start axing those responsible for this outrage from their positions of power. To do that they need to organise, identify those they wish to replace and put together a credible slate of candidates capable of winning the positions on the NEC. I hope there are those willing to take on this task. It is urgently needed. Those behind these moves are very focussed, the fight back must be as well if it is to be successful. Organisation is all. I can publicise your efforts but I can’t organise it unfortunately. Good folk that are members need to stand up for the ordinary grassroots members. In the past that would not have been a problem.

I can understand how this has come about. In recent years the SNP have been making steady political progress, caveat, in the polls. In these circumstances it’s understandable that people presume that progress is happening across the Party. It’s only when this group went too far and run the spiteful tactics on Joanna Cherry that light was shone on the matter and people suddenly realised all was not well. In the past members could have relied on one or two senior members speaking out but the strict regiment under Nicola does not treat open criticism well and I am sure many were intimidated. This intimidation did not serve the Party well as now the level of surgery required is much greater than would have been the case if operated on earlier.

There is a remarkable connection between the people involved in many of these problem areas, many feature the same people, close associates or partners, both male and female.It will be a big job to win this Party back. I very much hope the ordinary membership have the will and the courage to do so. Unity in any political party is important but the need for it must not be abused by those in authority running roughshod over the ordinary membership. Particularly if it’s for their own selfish benefits.

I write this article because a lot of people and branches have written to both Party HQ and the National Secretary. Many have not received even an acknowledgement or a reply to their specific questions. Clearly they are being ignored in the hope they will just go away. I am doing my best to make clear they won’t,,until someone, somewhere comes up with answers as to why the NEC acted as they did, clearly outside the Constitution. Rerun the vote without any secret ballot or PR system is the solution. It will be a running sore otherwise.

I don’t know who you should write to, The Chief Executive? Don’t know if he will still be there or if he could write back without further entangling himself in the entire mess. The Business Convener? By all accounts she has lost the ability to communicate to the lower orders. To encourage responses I will publish at least one article a fortnight until the replies arrive. Honest ones!

It’s really easy, if you want your Party back you need to create a storm over this. If you don’t it won’t be your Party anymore. It’s late in the day already, these people have got a real hold.

They are not running your Party well, by all accounts there are serious questions building over the Party’s finances and also current membership levels. Surely it makes sense to deal with these NEC problems and the Alex Salmond plot before more problems pile in on top?

Nobody is going away, ignorant silence will not work. I hope.

I am, as always

YOURS FOR SCOTLAND

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43 thoughts on “THOSE NEC PROBLEMS

  1. It’s a demoralising time for grass roots , increasingly relegated to the role of cannon fodder while management persist in discouraging talk of alternatives to the so called gold standard section 30 route .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. All true Iain….but given the freeze by the biz convener nat secy ceo its clear to me what should happen. The Party Leader needs to step in and dictate a way forward starting with a re run of the NEC vote under the same format as Nat Conf. Nicola can recover her credibility and even survive the Alex Salmond stitch up but Covid or not needs to get a grip and provide Party Leadership as well as Govt leadership.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This is the first step and is clearly down to Nicola if she is not to be seriously damaged in the area of honesty and transparency that has enabled here to win over many nos to our cause recently. Very difficult for her but that’s what leadership is about. The next step is down to the membership. NEC members, particularly the grassroots regional reps like me, can open the box. But changing the contents is up to the membership. We need to re-examine the Constitution. Reinstate National Council with elected delegates between Conferences. We’ve had 4 meetings of the NEC this year only 3 of the missing due to the pandemic. Officers have to answer questions at National Council which would tackle the non-answering of letters. Members aren’t alone. I have written 8 letters since March, 2 on tackling the fall out from the Alex Salmond case, the first in March!, 5 on the dual mandate plus a question at Committee, 1 on the need to use the authority of the Chair to break through the Equalities hold up and get down to the Campaign agenda. None of these are trivial matters. None have received a reply. Resolutions are required from branches and CAs. Look at the Constitution on the website and work it out. Make sure your delegates attend the Private sessions to counter the manipulators who will all be there.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Nicola Sturgeon by her own hand is seriously damaged particularly in regard to the aftermath of the conspiracy to discredit and defile Alex Salmond. It may well be the case that previously ‘No voting’ individuals have reconsidered their position and perhaps now have a clearer understanding of the case for independence.

        They most certainly have not been won over by Nicola Sturgeon’s barnstorming performances on the Scottish Independence campaign trail principally because no such official campaign has been embarked upon and the independently organised events throughout Scotland in recent times have generally been shunned in preference to a bigger stage in London and selfies with that champion of Scottish Independence, Alistair Campbell.

        We are given to believe that Nicola Sturgeon runs, as they say, a tight ship so it must be assumed that recent NEC EVENTS HAVE MET WITH HER APPROVAL and if this is not the case the very least SNP members should have received is an explanation of events.

        Joanna Cherry has made clear her thoughts on the apparent vendetta taking place within that party and it is disquieting that there appears to be little support from her colleagues at Westminster and for that matter Holyrood.
        There can be absolutely no doubt that the various cliques operating within the party structures do so with the tacit approval of Ms Sturgeon and her associates and therein lies the problem.

        The party members by which ever means must take back control of the management structures as failure to do so could potentially neuter further progress in attaining Independence anytime soon.

        It would appear that the mantra ‘Now Is Not The Time’ delivered by Theresa May has had an appealing resonance with the First Minister as she has wasted no time in deploying her own interpretation of it to further delay progress, that, in conjunction with the toothless pursuit of a Section 30 order speaks volumes of her commitment to deliver Independence.

        Really what we should see in all of this is that a thorough redd oot of the destabilising forces within the party structures is carried out forthwith and genuine Independence supporters within the party must be the driving force in the prosecution of this. Challenges must be laid down to those who would thwart the progress of Scotland’s people towards Independence nothing less will suffice.

        The time is long bye when the First Minister of Scotland should endearingly be referred to as Nicola as if she was the nation’s favourite aunty. It is indisputably the case that Scotland’s managed progress towards Independence has been stalled under her stewardship and that may well be her political legacy in return for the adulation afforded to her in some quarters. SNP WAKE UP, SCOTLAND IS LOOKING ON.

        Like

    2. fundyone – Nicola Sturgeon may well survive all these issues but if she has not cleared out all the Britnats and conspirators and apologised to Salmond then she will be making it clear where she stands and people like me will no longer vote for such a party.

      I want to vote for independence not just another dodgy political party. My patience is not infinite.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Here’s a list of NEC contact details for anyone wishing to write to them. We should also write to Angus MacLeod to ask when/if there will be an autumn conference. I’ve done so and not received a response.

    SNP National Executive Committee
    President
    Ian Hudghton – Twitter – @HudghtonSNP
    Leader
    Nicola Sturgeon – @NicolaSturgeon
    Depute Leader
    Keith Brown – keith.brown.msp@parliament.scot
    National Treasurer
    Colin Beattie – colin.beattie.msp@parliament.scot
    National Secretary
    Angus MacLeod national.secretary@snp.org

    Business Convener
    Kirsten Oswald – Kirsten.oswald.mp@parliament.uk
    Organisation Convener
    Stacy Bradley – Twitter @stacybradleySNP
    Local Government Convener
    Ellen Forson – ellen.forson@scottish.parliament.uk
    Policy Development Convener
    Alyn Smith – alyn.smith.mp@parliament.uk
    Member Support Convener
    Douglas Daniel – Twitter @DouglasDaniel
    Women’s Convener
    Rhiannon Spear – Rhiannon.spear@glasgow.gov.uk
    Equalities Convener
    Fiona Robertson – Twitter – @FionaSNP
    BAME Convener
    Graham Campbell – graham.campbell@glasgow.gov.uk
    Disabled Members’ Convener
    Morag Fulton – has FB page where you can send message
    Ordinary Members (Parliamentarians)
    Tommy Sheppard – tommy.sheppard.mp@parliament.uk
    Alison Thewliss – Alison.thewliss.mp@parliament.uk
    Regional Members
    Lynne Anderson (Central Scotland) – andersonlyn@northlan.gov.uk
    Cameron McManus (Central Scotland) – mcmanusc@northlan.gov.uk
    Christina Cannon (Glasgow) – christina.cannon@glasgow.gov.uk
    Alexander Kerr (Glasgow) – has FB page where you can send message
    Munro Ross (Highlands & Islands) – has FB page
    Roz Currie (Lothian) – with Leith SNP and works for Tommy Sheppard. Sent her an email from website: http://www.leithsnp.scot
    Andy Diack (Lothian) – has FB page
    Rhuaraidh Fleming (Mid Scotland & Fife) – has FB page
    Mireille Pouget (Mid Scotland & Fife) – Twitter @Mireille_Pouget
    Dorothy Jessiman (North East Scotland) – see Yours for Scotland blog by Iain Lawson (https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com) – she was not happy with NEC decision
    Heather Anderson (South Scotland) – heather.anderson@scotborders.gov.uk
    Rob Davidson (South Scotland) – rob.davidson@dumgal.gov.uk
    Emma Hendrie (West Scotland) – Twitter @emmahendrie
    Robert Innes (West Scotland) – FB page

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gunnbarrett;

      Every second name on that list is not remotely trusted and writing to them is futile. Infiltration is rife.

      Iain (good post, btw):
      The only hope this democratic disaster can be averted is if ordinary members take back control and use their votes to start axing those responsible for this outrage from their positions of power.

      Every second name on the NEC is not remotely trusted and writing to them is futile. Infiltration is rife.

      Ordinary members are outside now, no longer to do with ordinary members. We need action from within, however, during a time of Brexit, Internal Market Bill, Covid and the ‘New Labour 2’ crew of the SNP, they’ll have their hands full organising.
      It’s going to be a long, cold Winter.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Well put together and very useful list Gunbarrett, But it seems to be missing the most divisive and dangerous member of the NEC. One Josh Mennie. Or perhaps he was in the Ladies toilet when you complied it.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Looking at this list even I, a NEC member, had not appreciated how many Councillors we had on the list. And, since the NEC voted NOT to apply the dual mandate FOR THE TIME BEING!! to Councillors I should have known as this as it should have been declared. The more I look at the way the dual mandate item was handled, the angrier I become.

      Liked by 4 people

    4. You are not the only one Gunnbarrett who writes to the party and does not get a response. This is absolutely commonplace.

      The party at a grass roots level is being disregarded. They have engineered it that way. It is not functioning properly.

      Your blogging of this list will be helpful to many. This will help people engage.

      Publishing the timetable and process of events now underway would also be useful as would allow people to understand what is going on in a background of darkness.

      Candidate lists, such as the recent list of thirty five constituencies said to be unopposed nominations would be of interest. As would a listing of the and a listing of the remaining thirty eight constituencies where the status is unknown.

      Moreover, and this will be a very closely guarded secret, confirmation of who has secured vetting and when, together with details of those rejected would also be interesting. But of course the numbers denied vetting through administrate trickery and manipulation, that would be another totally black inner circle secret.

      Indeed, some time back as a test of process, Craig Murray applied for details on how to be vetted. Did he ever receive a response. I’ll leave you to guess on that.

      Yes the clique may have schemed well and may indeed think they have won the battle. But will they win the war. You know what, I don’t think so because there are more of us than their are of them. Enlist now, do your duty. Make this the party it should once again be, and if not then let us recreate it.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. You most certainly do not miss the point Iain about the utterly malign manipulation of candidate selection. Trying to become a candidate is now a tortuous uphill, if not impossible struggle where the processes are rigged against all save those save those that the ‘coterie of control’ have chosen.

    A party or should I say a clique within a party that wields all control. Vexatious vetting, restricting candidatures through compromised rule changes, briefings against individuals, release of confidential membership data, secret ballots, star chamber NEC sub committee candidate selections, the deliberate restriction and manipulation of communication into who gets, and who doesn’t, get communication, are all part of the toolbox.

    I know of one individual who after complaining repeatedly over a period of four weeks about not receiving emails was thereafter told that the party had checked over the last two weeks, had secured read receipts, and thus he has been receiving emails, and could he please advice of emails he didn’t received! But there are others, many many others.

    Or what of the new selection rules and timetable of events. Arising out of the unconstitutional and opaque NEC meeting of the 30th July 2020. When was this promulgated to members? Convene an NEC meeting end of July, sometime later in August (?) conclude a timetable, but fail to promulgate it, impose a close off for the 14th September 2020 – by which time ‘ preferred’ candidates appear to have been running around making contact using member lists. Or what of the other potential candidates who had to apply despite not being approved due to lack of vetting, which vetting is now being used as an herbicide to weed out those deemed deemed unacceptable.

    And wait to we get to the list candidate selection. That’ll be the lifeboat for the any remaining wokes needing placement.

    All goes to reinforce why we need to take back control, and reinforces why in terms of regional list seats we need also to ensure that we get list independence MSP seats in proportion to the proportion of the list vote.

    We need to kill our cancer, and the time is now.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Iain, you are a breath of fresh sir. Someone who tells it as it is without fear of favour – well done.

    It’s about time other independence bloggers started being more honest. Each day that goes by I lose more respect for certain bloggers who have done so much for independence in the past but now punt the weesh for Indy. Weesh for Indy is a dishonest approach. I have had enough of Britnat lies in my life and I am certainly not going to start accepting it from the SNP, independence supporters and the National.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Under-noted is link to members section of party website. If you are a current SNP member all you need is your details and password and you are in.

    https://my.snp.org/#/0/library/forms-guidance

    Contained within this section are links to such documents as –

    Forms & Guidance
    Constitution and Party Rules

    Constitution, Rules and Standing Orders
    Membership Rules
    Candidate Assessment Rules
    Candidate Appeals Panel Procedures
    Selection Rules – Scottish Parliament 2021

    Worth a read ?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stottin piece, Iain Lawson. This is what happens to parties that want to hang on to power at the expense of everything else, and I know that seems contradictory because you need to be in power to effect change, and certainly, independence. The SNP has been captured, though.

    It is more than that, even so, because this ‘pseudo wokerati’ movement, specifically centred on GRA (the ‘hate crime’ bill was coupled with GRA to ensure those opposed are silenced). The trans lobby is a vociferous, shouty, bullying, law-breaking entity that is now well-established in the West, and is beginning to infiltrate Africa and the East. It has hi-jacked the UN humans rights in order to push its own agenda. Americans and Canadians, in particular, are just waking up to the long-term implications of this stuff.

    It is funded by governments, including the SG, but is more widely funded and supported by ‘big money’, and is part of the new (old) global neoliberal capitalist drive. Oddly, its proponents come from the left, but, it is almost entirely a right-wing totalitarian version of a left-wing idea, used and manipulated by bloated rich men, who are not themselves trans, so, again, we must try to penetrate the underlying agenda on the purely social spectrum, as well as the economic. Its front-line troops are young(ish) people, naive, immature and easily manipulated for their ideals and because they might well be trans themselves.

    The SNP, just like Labour and the Greens, and the Lib Dems, are merely the vehicles for its agenda, which is why independence is not a priority. The Tories, right-wing, and reactionary, have given it the Order of the Boot, meantime. Bumbling and daft Johnson might be, but he is not stupid. Personally, and it is just my opinion, and I could be wrong, I think that the UKG is using the division these issues have caused to destroy the party, and, by implication, independence. The SNP is well-infiltrated on several levels. That seems obvious now. I don’t believe there can be any doubt about it, and it is entirely consistent with the British State’s modus operandi. However, the membership, and the outside support, is starting to fight back, and it is not going as swimmingly as these people anticipated. We’ll see.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well said, Lorna. Third paragraph – you nailed it.

      Good post Iain. “I will publish at least one article a fortnight until the replies arrive.” Please keep them coming. As Louis Brandeis said. “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m in Clydesdale, just arrived from Angus McLeod a notification of the candidate being put forwards via the NEC.
    No idea who she is or what she stands for.
    The vacancy will exist as Aileen Campbell is standing down.
    🐼🐼

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    1. Put you’re mind at rest ,Mairi McAllan is a first class candidate,she stood against Mundell .Her father was the backbone of the YES Clysedale campaign in 2014 ,the whole family eat breath & live for independence.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Willie, if I remember correctly Craig Murray wrote on this matter (his personal experience of the selection process) on his blog not that long ago. A bit of an eye opener.

      Like

  9. Yes, Cubby, just checked out the Craig Murray situation.

    The comparison between Craig Murray and Rhiannon Spear could not be more pronounced, and not just because one supports independence whilst the other doesn’t.

    That Rhiannon Spears, supported the jailing of Manny Singh I’ll quote a Twitter Feed from her on the matter –

    “ Manny was reported to the PF because he did not comply with the Council’s start time…….I hope he works with the Council from the start next time “

    I do not wish to be pejorative but this is one nasty nasty piece of shit masquerading as a feminist. Singh organised a AUOB march with full involvement of the police. And it was a march that despite having had over 100,000 marchers attendees passed without incident.

    And his crime. Well that was to deny the spoilers like this piece of elected Council shit who wanted to change the arrangements at the last minute and require the march to kick off at 11.00am instead of 1.00 pm. ( 1.00 pm had been previously chosen and agreed because marchers were coming from all over Scotland by trains, busses and personal transport )

    So Ladies and gentlemen, like Peter Murrell and the alphabet schemers I give you the leadership’s preferred candidate for Argyll and Bute, Glasgow Councillor Rhiannon Spear.

    Thanks Cubby and Iain for the recollections. People in Argyll and Bute need to know what is attempted to be foisted on them.

    Like

    1. Willie – I got in to a debate with WGD about the jailing of Singh on his site and I put the question – why when there was in Glasgow the previous year a march at the later time ( a precedent having been set ) and no problems recorded by anyone was the date suddenly changed by the council at the last minute to an earlier time. It seemed to me a reasonable question to pose. (I have been on the last three Glasgow marches.)

      Anyway Mr Kavanagh decided to block my posts on the subject thereafter – WGD took the view it was all Singhs own fault nothing to do with the SNP or the council. The fact he could not debate it is very poor and tells me there is a lot of covering up going on of misdeeds of certain people in the SNP/Scotgov. I no longer post on WGD – it has become an SNP whitewash site.

      The SNP policy is to eliminate short term prison sentences but Singh ends up in prison for starting a march at the same time as the previous year.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The Spear is not the only candidate for Argyll and Bute. She can be voted out by Branch members. As for Craig, he has applied at other times and been refused. Craig took refusal very personally. Craig verges on the Conspiracy thinking. I would guess, that is NOT a good look for an MP or MSP. Craig also has been a victim of a British vendetta, and has been on a crusade himself. I can understand that one would worry if his thinking is probably off beam in certain situations. It does NOT help matters that the NEC do not seem to be completely transparent…BUT please let’s do what we have to, to get Indy done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t blame Craig Murray for taking it personally when you consider some of the people who get selected. SNP members will vote SNP. What the SNP need is to keep lifelong independence supporters on board that are not party members ( like me) and they are making it harder than I can ever remember to vote SNP – never mind give them any money- why is that?

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  11. The SNP, the SNP – we have all put our trust in them, backed them, invested our votes and belief in them – that they deliver what they promised. We have backed this monolithic structure, and allowed it to happen.

    We and the SNP have a massive opposition, the forces of the establishment that have no fear of using whatever tools they have at their disposal (which are all the tools; power, money, media, surveillance etc) to work against us – so the real message doesn’t get out, so people don’t believe that independence is normal, can be done, would be better for us.

    The SNP haven’t just been doing nothing for independence in the past few years, they have been actively working against us, they are doing the British establishment job for them, their popularity does not translate as a vote for independence – it translates into support for devolution, for the status quo, because that’s all they stand for now. They pay lip service only to independence to cash in on the hopes and votes of independence supporters.

    I hear the mantra ‘there are a lot of good people in the SNP’ and ‘it’s just (!!) the leadership that’s at fault’ – well, sorry, but if you are compliant; you are complicit. The leadership is like that and still there because it is supported. See when people are dying, not just with Covid, I mean things like drug deaths, our poor longevity etc because all we have is this status quo, this devolution, I have no patience any more for the denialism and beliefs that the SNP have some secret plan to save us all – not only do they patently not have any plans, they patently have no intention of enacting any plans put forward to them. The delays to bringing about independence will cause more deaths and more hardship. The only way we will ever reach ‘economic recovery from Covid’ is by becoming independent. To put a caveat on independence, that we get it only after an event that will never happen, is yet another example and speaks volumes to me about how far the SNP is going to go to avoid it. Most people seem to blandly accept these bland sound bites.

    It’s like the ‘it’s a power grab’ sound bite: that has become bland and ineffectual and has been used already – to continue to use it for that bonkers internal market bill is pathetic – it is literally going to rip apart all our institutions that we’ve barely managed to hold together all these years. Whinging about it but not doing anything,,, well, that’s our modern SNP isn’t it? ‘A big boy did it and ran away. Wisnae us’. Bland and ineffectual.

    The SNP, by corralling us into the one place – reliance on them – to bring about independence, and then acting against our best interests, have done us, and them, a disservice. The leadership have put themselves in this position and have not behaved in a manner that suggests they are aware of the forces arrayed against them. Glasgow city council – what high hopes we had, but now worn down. Too many expectations on our part?

    In conversation yesterday (I occasionally talk to real live people) – I was met with some of the usual things that folk bandy about – we should have 60% vote for yes to ‘be very sure’ – eh?, says I, where does this 60% come from (various excuses about vague ‘it’s accepted internationally’ – no it isn’t, that’s not how countries normally get independence – etc) – and why would we want to go down some route of moral purity when we have centuries of propaganda to contend with, we have government’s arrayed against us with no qualms about acting illegally (the vow e.g) – people will be told they’ll lose their pension, when they won’t – why wait to achieve a mythical 60%, spending time and effort convincing people they are being lied to when we know for absolute certain they are. 50% + 1. That’s all I want, and all I expect. What we DO need, is the political will and force to enact it. That is all that is missing at this point in time.

    Also in conversation I got the ‘we can’t have a referendum during covid’ (well, Covid ain’t ever going away, diseases rarely just disappear, but the pandemic will end at some point). My point was on timing – and not taking the moral purity stance, that the fear surrounding Brexit is the best we can hope for for a large number of easy votes in favour of independence – let’s use that, lets cash in on that. Excuses that we can’t ‘campaign properly’ (properly? Oh-oh, do I detect moral purity creeping in again?) during Covid,,,

    So then I’m asked how would I vote in the election: what election, asks I? The May election, I’m told. What makes you think there will be one, asks I? What do you mean, I’m asked in confusion. Well, I said, you’ve just told me there can’t be a referendum because of Covid, and Covid won’t be gone in May next year, so why would they hold an election if it can’t be done?

    I think, perhaps, people aren’t thinking things through for themselves. Where is the logic? A referendum is a vote, same kind of set-up needed as for any election. People are repeating sound bites and mantra phrases,,, 60% is a made up figure, all the excuses – that’s all I hear are excuses about why we can’t do this or that to gain independence – are excuses to wriggle out of actually doing it. I want to hear independence supporters discussing what CAN be done, how we CAN do it, instead of repeating all those excuses – and that’s the SNP that are peddling them (s.30 ones included) – what are the solutions? I want to hear people thinking for themselves instead of relying on constant negative excuses that are spoon fed to us. Yes, there are obstacles, lots of them – so, let’s find a way round them.

    To be frank, I’ve never thought of Nicola Sturgeon as particularly capable – has the skills required – to drive and negotiate our independence, but if her popularity and the skills she does have (speeches, debating, good acting) bring on independence I’d be happy, because there are lots of capable people in the SNP to actually do the hard lifting, if she were to appoint people based on skill. I have yet to see her negotiate her way out of a paper bag herself – if anyone has evidence to the contrary let me know, I could have missed something. She doesn’t appear to be inclined to appoint people based on skills either by the looks of things. And I think negotiation will be sorely needed between a vote and setting ourselves up. If she isn’t even going to drive us towards getting that vote,,, meh.

    Thanks for your article Iain, and I have noted there are some rumblings from activists within the SNP taking action so maybe things will get ,,, sorted. Sometime. We have all invested so much into the SNP – whether that’s time, money, belief or votes (or all of these) – it would be the best option if the SNP survived in some capacity. The thought of having to start over again from scratch ,,,

    But – we CAN do it, if needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Top post by Contrary.

    The SNP are looking like a fraudulent party. Getting votes on the promise of a referendum year after year – election after election. Even if they ever did get independence I would not fancy this leadership negotiating an independence settlement with Westminster. Just cast your mind back to the VOW and how meekly the breaking of the Edinburgh Agreement was accepted by the SNP. Cast your mind back to how meekly The Smith commission was accepted by the SNP – the Britnats effectively having a veto on everything. The Smith Commission was the time that the SNP should have insisted on control over the media in Scotland. If the SNP are just a party of devolution then they ain’t even doing a good job of that.

    The rollback of devolution is starting now.

    If the SNP were serious about independence then they would put a mandate for INDEPENDENCE in their manifesto in all future elections starting in May 2021 assuming it happens.

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  13. That’s true Cubby, now you mention it, if you think right back to straight after the 2014 referendum – the SNP were already starting the ‘get back in your box’ campaign – back then we’d just accepted it as inevitable and the same old etc, instead of considering the ramifications of how much more power the SNP held after that referendum than before, or could have held – what they could have demanded with our backing. They need indeed just roll over. We may have thought ‘is this a hill worth dying on’ – maybe not at the time,,, but with the number of hills now passed by, it may have been prudent to make a stand then (smith commission). Well, hindsight etc, can’t go back.

    This next step by Westminster isn’t just a bland roll back of devolution to my mind, though – think about all the things that were mainly ours before devolution – NHS, legal and education, they are all being targeted in the internal markets bill. They will leave Holyrood intact as a glorified council I’m sure – but we will be worse off than before I suspect. Asset-stripped while the SNP sit idly by saying how terrible it is,,,

    Well, that’s my horror-vision of the near future. I think our chances of gaining independence through ‘simple’ political means is going to dwindle rapidly after this year – and if the current SNP leadership is anything to go by, we shouldn’t expect any knights in shining armour to ride to our rescue – anybody promising anything is probably just trying to screw us over. Ahh, I’ve become totally cynical – but how CAN we tell someone is really sincere? With a legally binding agreement maybe!?

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  14. I agree in what is happening within the SNP i have suggested that if the SNP dont act before the May elections the YES groups should tell them we are throwing our weight behind ISP or AFI as their only agenda is INDEPENDENCE

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      1. Hello Ian it is not about something or nothing it is about forcing SNP to sit up and take notice of the right of the people what they want INDEPENDENCE now as whey feel let down by SNP for dragging their heels.

        Liked by 1 person

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