Guest post by Eva Comrie, long term SNP activist and an inspiration to many. A writer with her own unique style and humour.

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When this phrase was coined, I would have been at best ten years old;  one of the generation born to those deemed insignificant, impecunious, donurt, spawn of cannon fodder. The enemy, the baddies, that was the Union, the Tories, blue they were back in them thar days. They’re now also found to be red and yella, all yella bellies to be honest, loyal to an outdated relic of a Union living in past ‘glories’ content to surrender Scotland’s health and wealth to a greedy and murderous neighbour. 

But a new species has been born these last few years – it’s the Scottish Nationalist deemed a superior type of Scottish Nationalist to others who considered themselves dyed in the wool ancient time served loyal faithful footsore worn out but ever optimistic Scottish Nationalists. And what a challenge it has been just to be traditional with values expecting transparency, honesty and full disclosure of financial positions and voting arrangements, resolutions and agendas. Those aspirations alone get you labelled a renegade these days.

I’m one of those Nats who finds herself shrunken by a little Alice in Wonderland magic ‘drink me’ potion in a tiny flask, I’ve been disappeared, into oblivion. I’m a member who puts her hand in her pocket, pays her dues, donates, encourages others so to do, gets sent the raffle tickets, but not the prizes, the bills, but not the perks, the orders, but not the rewards. Too wee. Gets to applaud, to cheer, but not to speak, shout, be heard – there to listen and to salute with a nostalgic tear in the eye, lump in the throat and a cry of ‘Wallace’ and ‘Scotland Forever’ as Trident continues to scream death upon the Clyde and hunger, want and disease ravage our land.. 

Too poor – that’s an interesting one; those who are not too poor have been enhanced by the rewards overwhelming unused mandates transported them upon to Westminster so to settle up, not down, to ditch devo for Indy, but temptation comprises seats with five figure salaries, expense accounts, credit cards, the comfort of working from home, able to dodge the mask wearing public, the virus ridden courts and panels, the schools, prisons, hospitals and places inhabited by the common people of Scotland, of whom we, the poor, remain the majority some 13 years into an SNP rule. 

Others also not too poor are the young guns, straight out of school, or Uni, invited to run offices for MPs and MSPs, proffer advice as specialist advisors to Ministers and the First Minister whilst still wet behind the ears as others with decades of experience are left to moulder, their talents ditched along with their grey faces and wrinkled tired old heads. Those same youths are destined for greater things as older minds with experience of life, of success and failure, with plans, projects and hopes, recognise the invisible nudge sideways towards the dung heap. That’s not the Scotland I used to know, not the Scotland you or I welcome or desire.

And stupid – who’s the daftie? Three years now we have observed the unfolding of a stramash costing a fortune and we’re no nearer the truth today than we were at the start; our Ministers defy Parliamentary requirements of disclosure and our MSPs who fancy themselves quizzing as Perry Mason’s stand-ins aren’t fit to carry Petrocelli’s hod; today in that Committee was once more a national embarrassment, the quality of the interrogation was nearly as low as the nature of the responses; I saw deflection, deceit and derailment and this Scotland is the poorer for it. Not in my name. Not in yours either, but we’re paying for it, what a parcel of rogues, on all sides. 

Millions spaffed in the name of justice? Justice would be better served if John Swinney sent Judge Judy a wee pleading text, set her up in Holyrood with a gavel and a clerk, a rusty typewriter and her bark. Otherwise, sack the whole bloody lot of them and start again. Scotland deserves better than a useless shower of halfwits devoid of skill, memory, ability and conscience. If that’s what Independence tenders, we need an 11 plus before any serving MSP or MP earns the right to stand for re-election. Then and only then might this country be saved. Otherwise, do a Belgium and we’ll manage without a Government, a border trench, some posts with flags, a date stamp and a nationalised printing press manned by the Brownies will do just fine. My campfire is alight. Get the Scottish Bluebells out, reclaim the right to burn and to boogie, before it’s too late.

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  1. Yup, Eva’s piece distils how very many ordinary members of long standing now feel.

    This is now an SNP more reminiscent of New Labour on steroids before it fell apart. And we should make no mistake, unless the SNP changes it will head to the same destruction as New Labour. The controlling elites and their well paid hangers on are only there through the grace of the members and the electorate.

    In fact the SNP now mirrors the once all powerful Labour Party in Scotland that now polls a lowly 13% . That same fate could very easily soon become that of the SNP. The parallels are uncanny and history will repeat unless the leadership and the coterie of control and their hangers-on change.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Why would Peter the Mole Murrell read Common Sense..

      He, his wife, and the anointed ones are in control. Murrell and his wife are thus far untouchable. Out of touch with the members. Potentially criminally corrupt. What does it matter as they ride the party to destruction, as they surely will.

      Two votes SNP. Not I think now. In fact even the most traditional and loyal of SNP voters must now be questioning and indeed holding their nose about casting even the first SNP vote next May.

      Liked by 6 people

  2. And lest we think vested commercial interest isn’t at the heart of the current SNP government here is an extract from a government ministers book –

    “ Take health first of all. We would encourage the private sector to compete with established NHS hospitals, clinics and other services. We would encourage NHS management and staff to buy out existing NHS facilities and services under favourable financial terms and join the private sector. We would require NHS facilities that remained in government ownership to be run at a profit however modest. Those that failed to maintain profitability over a reasonable time frame would be privatised. In each geographic area the government would solicit bids from the area’s medical facilities and GPs for the various services it required for its citizens. Fragmentation of services may well see the redundancy of large general hospitals and their replacement with privately run clinics specialising and competing in particular medical procedures and services, at least in the more populated areas.
    One idea that is worth further consideration is the possibility that some provision may be supported by “Payment vouchers” made available free of charge to citizens in order that patients would receive treatment wherever they wished. Citizens who wished to make their own arrangements with medical service suppliers would be free to do so. Armed with their voucher they could shop for the fastest and best service and if they so wished add to the value of the voucher.”

    And this is from the man who now wants to be the SNP President after standing down as the minister for constitutional affairs.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Willie, thanks for reposting that from Craig Murray’s blog.

      I’m still trying to come to terms with that. How can someone from the SNP subscribe to an ideology that’s decades old and has been shown time and time and time again to not only fail but fail so spectacularly that the end result is a hundred times worse that the system it replaced.

      Business exists to make money. The only reason for business to be involved in healthcare is to create a system that transfers money from public hands to private ones.

      However, what I find so troubling is the utter lack of vision. Money is not a measure of efficiency. The most efficient health system I can envisage is one where the hospitals are empty. All the money is put into promoting health through getting people to eat better, take more exercise, etc. Remedial spending on health problems is orders of magnitude more expensive than preventing the problem in the first place. That’s even before you factor in the opportunity cost to the economy, families and society. A belief that private companies can solve this problem is simply derisory and utterly, utterly bankrupt.

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Willie although not a member of twatter I browse the site and last night I came across tweets from Chris McCusker a trade union rep within the SNP, Chris was explaining that he was having trouble choosing the nomination for SNP president, he was saying that his heart was leaning towards Mike Russell as he thought he was a good guy, but he also respected Craig Murray and his unstinting belief in independence

      As a trade unionist Chris should be horrified that Mike Russell would even contemplate any involvement of the PRIVATE sector within our SNHS never mind PROPOSE and FORWARD such an idea, although I notice Mike hasn’t made any PUBLIC pronouncements of his ideas, ( I wonder why )

      And to Eva Comrie thank you for your wonderful , truthful post it’s as if you have been inside my head but I know you haven’t because you put it more eloquently than I could have

      MBP how many sites have you been on now pushing your WHEESHT FOR INDY trope, never mind when Nicola and her cohorts eventually FAIL you and Scotland , you will be able to blame everyone else within your mirror

      good luck from a malcontent

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mike Russell is adamant that these ideas about health in the book he co-authored were not and still are not, his – I emailed him directly to ask, and got a fairly swift response. I haven’t read the book so can’t comment, but it does seem odd to allow one view to be put forward which is so opposed to your own.


  3. Can’t disagree with one word of that, and I’m all for sacking the whole bloody lot of them, I often think back to before 2014 when my sister and I both attended the very first protest at Pacific Quay, we were hanging about waiting for others to turn up when we got talking to a man who was a bit older than us and he asked if we were there for the protest, we said yes and he said I take it you’re SNP supporters, we said of course and he went on to tell us how long he had worked for the SNP all that he had done and how he’d worked alongside Nicola and how she had angled it to have him removed from his position, he showed us his membership card and it was obvious this was an intelligent man who knew his politics, we chatted for a while then he said I’ll tell you something and please take heed, keep you’re eye on queen Nicola she’s not all she seems, we were quite stunned by that and actually thought he was just some bitter man who felt he had been treated unfairly by Nicola, bearing in mind Alex Salmond was the leader at that time but we held Nicola in high regard also, we’ve often talked about that and wish we had paid closer attention to everything he was saying, my sister had done a post about it on one of the indy sights and having described him some knew of him and said he was just a trouble maker trying to cause division in the party, funnily enough he appeared on Newsnight about a week after that and the questions he was putting to the SNP were quite telling now looking back on it but of course he was looked on as an old fool, I wish we had taken note of his name, all we know is he was also a blogger at the time and one I expect who got a lot of stick from the movement, hindsight as they say is a Wonderfull thing.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Hi, Ian I just spoke to my sister about that blogger and she’s convinced he called himself Bob, she said his membership card said Robert something but we can’t remember his name, I also said he appeared on Newsnight it was actually Newsnet, we read a couple of his blogs after that and to be fair his articles were very well written and some of the things he said well you can imagine he got some stick for, my sister is sure she has information about him on an old hard drive so she’s going to have a look, I’ll let you know if I find anymore out but what I had forgotten about but she reminded me was he did say that day that Nicola and that man of hers will be the ruin of the party, well he wasn’t wrong about that so I’m of the mind he wasn’t wrong about a lot of things he said, my sister also doesn’t think he was as old as I thought him to be so there’s every chance he’s still about.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Really excellent post and comments , Yet again we’re reminded what has been lost , the quality and commitment of people like Eva , sidelined , their wealth of experience spurned by clueless ” Identity ” obsessives to facilitate even more clueless ” Identity ” obsessives , most of whom have probably never known a day of financial hardship in their puffs . Scunnered by the lot of them . Get them tae

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Excellent piece which pretty much sums up how I feel. I’m 63 so approaching that “dinosaur stage” where you find yourself “tolerated” – apparently I just “don’t get it”. And they’re right I just don’t get why transparency, honesty and even more important accountability are seen as liabilities or values to be dismissed out of hand as naive. I’ll keep plugging away out of love of country until I’m in my box but I’m damned if I’m going to go quietly…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Great piece, Eva, and so true, and well done, Iain for allowing Eva the opportunity to state her mind.

    Something has changed in the SNP, without a doubt. I recall people like Gordon Wilson, Winnie Ewing, Wendy Wood, Willie MacRae, Billy Wolfe, Donald Stewart, Allan MacCartney, et al, who were great debaters and speakers. Branch and constituency meetings were always chock full of ordinary people, too, wanting to air views. The 79 Group, with Alex Salmond at its head, was a youthful stirring-up of ideas from the left, and none of these people, from all wings of the party, was afraid of open debate. Yes, some of what was debated was pie in the sky idealism, and some of it was grounded in the harsh reality that was forced on the party by circumstances such as the oil discovery and its commandeering by Westminster.

    Success, as success often does, diluted some of those early ideals and ideas, often because stark reality enforced a new approach, but I cannot ever recall the youth of the party being quite so pushy and ambitious, trying to run before they had learned to walk. I do think, like Eva, that much of the mess that has been made of recent opportunities is down to that factor. Inexperience cannot be overcome in the job, not when affairs conspire to outsmart you. That is when experience comes into its own. Thatcher learned that hard lesson with her youthful city types whose grasp of the economic realities was sadly lacking; a relatively youthful Blair was himself too easily persuaded by the Americans, albeit he had done some good things, usually out of necessity and conviction, rather than good sense; and Cameron was far too inexperienced and arrogant to weather the Brexit conundrum and the vagaries of the Tory back-stabbers. That is not to say that young people have nothing to offer; of course they do; but they need to have their youthful enthusiasm tempered by life and experience. Too much too young is a recipe for disaster, and the young take to authoritarianism like ducks to water before they learn better.

    Where the SNP went badly wrong was in the aftermath of 2014, when, just a year later, a large majority was gained, followed by the disastrous Brexit vote, but both opportunities were squandered in favour of doing nothing. Alex Salmond was right, I believe, to have gone for the S30 Order and the Edinburgh Agreement in the circumstances in which he found the party. The S30 Order was always the best solution all round if it was honoured by Westminster, but, after the defeat of 2014, it became a liability because Westminster was never going to allow anything so close again. That was when the SNP leadership should have been looking for another route out of the Union, but it settled for devolution instead, too paralyzed by fear of what England might do if it tried to renege, and, I think, too innately cautious to risk a gamble and too settled in. What is unforgivable is the fact that nothing was done at all to try and find an alternative route in the six years after 2014. All the parliamentary party’s energy went in maintaining the status quo – to such an extent that independence was lost sight of in favour of divisive, so-called ‘progressive’ policies which are actually extremely regressive, policies that are more suited to immature, university union debates than to a mature parliamentary policy programme. Now, we face a No Deal Brexit, with time running out rapidly and still no answers from the SNP.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Sorry Lorna, I disagree that it was right to go for a referendum in 2014. The SNP should have stuck to using elections to get a mandate for independence. There are always elections and nobody can call them illegal or wildcat or whatever. There would be none of this once in a generation nonsense or gold standard nonsense. There would be none of this fixing referendums as per 1979. None of these long discussions about the referendum question etc etc

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Lorna wrote:
      “Where the SNP went badly wrong was in the aftermath of 2014, when, just a year later, a large majority was gained, followed by the disastrous Brexit vote, but both opportunities were squandered in favour of doing nothing. Alex Salmond was right, I believe, to have gone for the S30 Order and the Edinburgh Agreement in the circumstances in which he found the party”.

      I respect of the first part of that quote, what do you think would have been the outcome of an opportunistic “wildcat” referendum held when support for independence was closer to 40% than it was to 50%? Support for independence may have briefly spiked at those points but it fell back to 2014 levels pretty damn rapidly. Its easy for keyboard warriors to smugly claim “opportunities” were wasted when they don’t have the huge responsibility of actually converting them into wins. Its only now, after years of highlighting Westminster lies, hypocrisy and ambivalence towards Scotland, coupled with demonstrably solid government by the SNP, that the people of Scotland are starting to get behind independence in the numbers and commitment they are. Had the SNP been as cavalier as the malcontents “say” (“flawed” hindsight and all that) they wish they had been, I doubt the SNP would still be in power in Scotland and independence would be further from reality than it has been “for a generation” (sic).

      As to the second part of the quote, this idea that Salmond “went for a S30” is becoming as mythic among malcontents as the “once in a generation” nonsense is among Tories. Salmond did not go for a S30. He had it bounced on him by Cameron in an attempt to “shoot the Nationalist fox”. Salmond had no intention of putting independence to the Scottish people until 2016-17 at the earliest, almost 10 years or more after coming to power. Sturgeon’s building support for independence through demonstrating sound government (Salmond’s strategy too remember) leading to a probable, winnable, referendum only seven years after coming to power looks positively speedy by comparison.

      Because the malcontents appear to dominate the indy internet right now, they believe they are the majority view. They are not. If they were, the SNP would be plummeting in the polls while the pop-up indy parties would be at least making a showing in them …. though the big smiles would be on Unionist faces. I can’t help but see an analogy with my own union branch. A popular candidate was elected Secretary. This angered a clique of activists who had tended to dominate meetings and considered the post was “theirs” by right. This led to an orchestrated, internecine campaign against the elected Secretary, leading to their spurious suspension …. much to the delight of the “malcontents”. However, predictably, it led to a branch in disarray and management riding roughshod over a disillusioned workforce while the “malcontents” maintained an “it wisnae me” view (without a shred of credibility). I get the impression the indy malcontents wont be happy until the same thing happens to the indy movement …. though, of course, they will still maintain that “it wisnae me” line anyway (without a shred of credibility).


  7. There is no doubt that Alex Salmond did a tremendous job in increasing the profile and percentage support of the Independence cause. However his pursuance of Section30 in favour of a rigorous, legally-based investigation of the Treaty Of Union may have been precipitate or even ‘too stupid’ The resultant legal opinion we shall never know.

    Much as there is a reluctance on the part of the SNP hierarchy, any opinion sought currently, may be influenced by the staging of a referendum in 2014. There was no popular vote in 1707.

    Section30 may just be the rope to hang us all. Now, where’s that Plan B?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Section30 may just be the rope to hang us all. Now, where’s that Plan B?
      I couldn’t agree more, I honestly believe going down the section 30 route will be the biggest mistake we could ever make, surely 2014 taught us something.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In what way was the “S30 route” in 2014 a “mistake”? What should it have “taught us”?

        As to Plan B, which Plan B should the SNP go for. There are several according to the plethora of malcontent keyboard warriors on which they cannot agree (though they gloss over their irreconcilable differences here to concentrate on their prime motive right now of “Get Sturgeon”). While the SNP plumping for one right now might placate a small percentage of malcontents, the rest would just be even more outraged as their own pet “infallible” plans are apparently side-lined. So what is the advantage for the SNP if they do? Malcontents would still be outraged, Unionists would have a heads-up and the SNP would be laid open to a charge of hypocrisy and deceit if they were to resort to a different Plan B than that advertised. No advantage what-so-ever.


  8. Malcontents, malcontents, malcontents. They seem to be everywhere, only online though. Not in real life of course.
    Do these malcontents not realise that not a single one of them has it right in any part of their myriad criticism and that their is nothing at all to worry about with regard to the SNP leadership?


    1. You make me laugh, you are blind to the empty businesses, the lost jobs. In your little oasis life is grand. There is nothing more comforting than blind ignorance and the arrogance to go with it.


      1. So, are you saying all those “empty businesses and the lost jobs” are down to the SNP? Is it nothing to do with a global pandemic coupled to an ultra-nationalist, Brexit obsessed UK govt rag-dolling a Scotland bound in an iniquitous union?

        You may want to qualify your post as it looks like something that could have been penned in Tory Central Office.

        PS I wouldn’t take g m’s post too seriously. I have a feeling it is a sarcastic swipe at me 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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