HAPPY ST ANDREW’S DAY.

Today is Scotland’s Day. We should celebrate our country and we should also especially celebrate it as this will be the last time we will do so without being a fully Independent country in our own right.

The First Minister has made a clear promise that if an SNP majority or a pro Independence majority is achieved in the forthcoming Scottish elections in May next year an Independence Referendum will follow very shortly, certainly within the second half of 2021.

That is something to celebrate because I am sure that when it goes ahead the people of Scotland will vote for Independence as they will see the overwhelming sense that the task of rebuilding our economy, after the twin blows of Covid 19 and being dragged out the EU and Single Market, are best handled by those who live and work in Scotland and who can best determine how to use Scotland’s resources on Scotland’s priorities.

When the alternative to that is remaining with the status quo and relying on the Westminster Tory Government to take on the task of rebuilding Scotland its not difficult to identify why most Scots now favour Independence. For the first time in my life the people of Scotland are out in front of our politicians demanding Independence. The politicians are having to learn catch up. How great is that?

I was also greatly encouraged by Mike Russell’s comments yesterday when he spoke out strongly in favour of a United Party but encouraging the most open discussion and debate within the Party on the various options before us. He has been around a long time and rightly boasted of the tradition of free debate that has existed in the SNP. The understanding and strength that comes from not trying to stifle alternative views. The Party should listen to him, it would be a much healthier and united Party if more members understood why that freedom of speech entitlement is crucial. I welcome his appeal and am happy to respond positively to it.

I am reluctant to blame the more recent recruits for the intolerance that divides the Party at this time but they don’t have the experience to realise the great strength that comes from true debate of divergent views. The policies that often emerge from such a debate are likely more robust and resilient and as such offers fewer hostages to fortune than an untested policy. Mike Russell is experienced enough to understand unity comes from tolerance of all views and proper, polite discussion that avoids, name calling, insults, bad language and all the other divisive nonsense that passes for politics these days.

Yesterday on a thread I was reading the name of Antony JC Kerr, a very well known nationalist from the past, now sadly departed, was mentioned and on this St Andrews Day I want to tell you all about a little known fact about Antony which illustrates what an inclusive Party the SNP were in years gone by. Antony was one of life’s eccentrics, quite brilliant, but eccentric in his manner and appearance. I was in severe disagreement with the Tory Party over the attempts to close Ravenscraig and Gartcosh. The postman arrived at my home and there was a long letter from Antony. In it he explained that every year he purchased six membership cards for the SNP and over the course of the year he would issue them to people who he believed were patriots of Scotland and deserving the honour of being a member of the SNP. It was a lovely gesture, the more so when some six months later he travelled to the border to “see off” the Gartcosh Marchers on our long trek to London with a tipple from his bottle of whisky, bought specially for the event! He was an inspiration to me at the time and a big part of why I eventually joined the SNP. He regularly wrote some truly excellent letters to Scotland’s newspapers arguing the case for Independence. He became quite famous for doing so.

So for all the above reasons let us follow Antony’s example, celebrate our National Day, recognise and respect each other, keep our politics open and honest and look forward to winning that freedom that will win us all the gratitude and admiration of all future generations of Scots to come.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

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19 thoughts on “HAPPY ST ANDREW’S DAY.

  1. Iain, do you believe the promises made by the FM?

    Maybe I’m too cynical but I cannot trust a single word of what she says.

    It is difficult to respect the Scottish Government/SNP leadership at this time. The reasons are clear and have been discussed on here and elsewhere without going in to them again.

    I have no faith that these people will treat the people of Scott with respect or be open and honest.

    I am very disillusioned for what the future holds for this beautiful country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy St Andrew’s Day to all. We are on the cusp, our time is now. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity with all that is happening within the UK. This could also be the last chance the SNP have to retain the willingness of the YES campaign to unconditionally support them, if they don’t deliver.

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  3. Sorry, but where and when was such a promise made? Are you able to provide a link to a report of it?

    All I’m aware of recently is not a promise, not even a statement of intent, merely the statement of a desire:

    “I want to see it in the early part of the next term of the Scottish parliament rather than the later part”

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  4. I would love to believe that a “promise” was made, but even during this conference too much was coming out from people there in the middle of it, who certainly did not seem too pleased with how “things” were being handled, as for Honesty & transparency, I think the world & it’s son know that is NOT something we have been witnessing under this present leadership.

    I agree with JB above, as what I heard was, “I would LIKE to see a referendum in the next TERM” that gives her the five years she said she wanted before stepping down.. Any news on the NEC count & who got what positions? That could go some way to assuring people that there are people now in the party that will push for more radical change in regard to another Referendum. And to bring the oarty back to where it used to be. Honest & Transparent.

    However if Scotlands referendum is going to be the responsibility of the TORY PARTY (as it was last time & our postal votes are going to be travelling to ENGLAND for safe keeping like last time. Then we will “never” win a referendum anyway.

    I would rather we had a leader that had the guts to just declare a PLEBISCITE ELECTION. OR at least hold a Scottish referendum without WM being involved at all…Because if all this talk of the withdrawal of powers is true. Anytime after January 2021, is going to be too late..

    I think what people are also forgetting is, it was the EU that was forcing WM into devolving powers to the other nations. HEATH & MAGGIE simply refused to do so, as TORIES have never believed in Devolution.. BLAIR was forced into delivering it, He didn’t really want it either. But he was more keen on the EU than the Tories, So those who think it was a good deed by Labour are very mistaken..

    And once fully OUT of the EU, the Tories will see off Devolution in a heartbeat, infact I just read something yesterday from a Tory that said just that. “It was the EU that forced this devolution, now we can get rid of it..”. And I believe they will do just that..

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    1. Kurikat, the Brexiteers didn’t say “take back control” for no reason – take back control of as much as possible to Westminster is what they want right enough. The SNP leadership is asleep at the wheel – either because they are useless or they are doing it on purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “I think what people are also forgetting is, it was the EU that was forcing WM into devolving powers to the other nations. HEATH & MAGGIE simply refused to do so, as TORIES have never believed in Devolution.. BLAIR was forced into delivering it, He didn’t really want it either. But he was more keen on the EU than the Tories, So those who think it was a good deed by Labour are very mistaken..”

      Oh, really? I think I must have missed that entirely. So how did they do with forcing France to set up a Breton Parliament?

      Easy enough to see that the SNP has gone wrong with Wokery. But before that Sturgeon helped divide the troops by binning the 36% of SNP voters who supported Leave. And I’m afraid Salmond made “Independence In Europe” into an anti-nationalist dogma by force of his personality.

      So now we’re left with this type of post and some whimpering about how our right to escape London rule to join a different kind of Union.

      I won’t be voting SNP again. But I’ll vote for the kind of Real Nationalist that’ll give them a bloody nose in a constituency battle.

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  5. It takes a minimum of 9 months to hold a referendum. So she either sets the date before the May election – and risks losing an SNP majority at Holyrood to deliver it. And NOW would seem to be an appropriate time, since legally it puts the EU on notice, before Brexit is done.

    Or she waits until May 2021 to win Holyrood and declare it then – hmm 12 months in a year… 9 months minimum. I start to see a timing issue, don’t you?

    And that is before, Westminster, first ignores it, then decries it as illegal/unnecessary, then challenges it in the supreme court (in London) with no EU court to appeal to since Brexit will be done.

    Oh and with Covid still ongoing, and the challenges of Brexit to contend with… as the Civil Service Hub takes all the powers from Holyrood.

    But of course, if she can convince enough that this hint of policy is policy… then she sees off the threat of May becoming a Plebiscite Election.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with all you write but I am fed up arguing this so I am going to accept what her supporters tell me she has promised and expect it to happen. I will leave them to explain if it doesn’t happen. So they better get their skates on!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aha – so I obviously misinterpreted what was supposed to be a sarcastic or tongue in cheek statement, as she’d obviously said nothing of the sort. I must be being a bit slow witted today.

        Anyway, as to the statement I quoted. My interpretation of that would have to be the polar opposite of what your wrote in the above post. Namely that by expressing a wish rather than intent, she is signalling that no action towards independence will be taken during the early part of the next SP term.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. iainlawson27
    30th Nov 2020 at 12:57 pm
    I agree with all you write but I am fed up arguing this so I am going to accept what her supporters tell me she has promised and expect it to happen. I will leave them to explain if it doesn’t happen.

    That’s where I’m at also. Come 31 December 2021 we will know

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  7. Iain, Thanks for that lovely memory of the brilliant and amazing AJC Kerr.

    I had the great honour and privilege of being taught history by AJC at a Lanarkshire School in the 1960s. A true scholar, and towering intellectual, fluent in several European languages, a genuine toff (he was a kinsman of the Marquis of Lothian) a Cambridge graduate with the plummiest of Oxbridge accents, he came as a strange apparition to working class kids in a Motherwell school. He claimed direct descent from King David – not the King of Scots – but of the Old Testament.

    I’ve no reason to doubt his historical research!

    Amazingly, he commuted daily from Jedburgh (in the days before motorways) – as I recall it – in a 3 wheeled Reliant Robin – no big deal for a man who had cycled across the Sahara from Tunis to Nigeria! Such dedication.

    A true patriot – his teaching of Scottish history – amazingly barely part of the curriculum- to this the 14 year old (now 67), has never left me.

    I was an avid follower of his letters to the Herald until he died far too soon.

    I am so glad you tell this tale of a unique and generous man.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Iain, I would just like to point out that in your post above you say that Sturgeon has promised a referendum. She has but her actual words were a LEGAL referendum. So why insert LEGAL in to her statement? Has she clarified what she means by legal? Not to my knowledge. She did say in her speech in January of this year that a legal referendum was a sec 30 Westminster approved referendum. Is this just another dead end? Is she throwing out carrots to get votes and has no intention of having a referendum?

    A good leader would not be leading like this. She should go.

    Like

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