Photo by Gerd Altmann on


As the New Year commences it is a time for reflection. The year itself 2020 was fraught with difficulties, culminating with another spike in new Covid infections and the first true impacts of Brexit being experienced.

We see these problems as being very serious and of course they are but previous generations have also experienced huge crisis. The first twenty five years of the 20th Century featured the horrific First World War and the Spanish Flu pandemic. The next twenty five years featured the Great Depression and the Second World War.

I was born in 1952 as my parents generation were involved in rebuilding after the war, my recently married parents having to furnish their home with functional rather than stylish furniture, rationing still in use. Growing up in Clydebank, my town had a lot more rebuilding to do than most having been decimated by the Luftwaffe over two nights in March 1941.

It was a period of huge change, fridges, washing machines, tv, motor cars were all slowly becoming affordable for ordinary families. Later colour TV, an unthought of luxury only a decade before, became widespread.

I am constantly grateful of being a member of the generation who have reached pensionable age without having to survive a World War on that road. None of the other 20th Century generations of Scots until mine did so.

I remember as my parents aged their wonder at all the technological advances of their lifetimes and their struggle to comprehend it. I, at the time, took it all for granted. How times change, technological advances seem to me these days to move at breakneck speed. No sooner is some new advance launched and they often have a short life before they themselves are replaced with further development. 

Take music and entertainment for instance. I have experienced record players, taped music, Cd’s and video recorders, DVD’s now online music like Spotify that uses WiFi and provides an unimaginable range of music to your fingertips that can be played on computers, phones, iPads,wireless speakers. I witness my ten year old granddaughter using all this technology without hesitation while I am mindful I now resemble my parents and becoming increasing bemused and befuddled about how it all works.

Having spent the first part of my business life in the world of paper and filing cabinets  I spent increasing time in the world of computers and this has at least ensured I was semi aware of what enormous change was taking place. The new generations will have little or no knowledge of these times and probably will fail to appreciate that these computers replaced a lot of mundane, soul destroying tasks, but of course they also transformed the employment market at the same time.

My point in writing and recounting all this is the growing importance of time in my life. We all grow older, when we are younger time seems to move much slower. We can all remember when we were young and the time from one Christmas or Birthday to another seemed to take for ever. Nowadays it seems to pass in a flash, which makes the “wasted” year of 2020 all the more resented. This realisation that time is not on my side creates an urgency about delivering Independence sooner rather than later. That urgency was present in the lives of many friends and colleagues from these years who are no longer with us and missed out on reaching the successful end of our long journey to Independence. True giants many of them.

It has been emphasised by the deaths in recent weeks of long term campaigners Craig Munro and earlier this week Kay Ullrich. They were the dedicated campaigners when the SNP were barely at double figures in the polls, there were no careers in the SNP, rather the opposite, particularly in Local Government where jobs and particularly senior jobs were difficult to access without a Labour membership card.

Changed days indeed, that is progress I suppose but I look back with fondness to these days. We were a family then, we stuck together through thin and thin. We celebrated if our candidate saved their deposit. That story of the Party after a saved deposit was a favourite of Kay’s.( you needed 12.5% of the vote to secure that “victory”) But it was that band of souls, low in number but huge in commitment, operating on a shoestring budget that eventually succeeded in delivering the referendum from which the Scottish Parliament was created. We have never looked back ever since.

We won because we were aggressive, always on the attack, never relenting or falling for any of the multitude of political traps our opponents set for us. We won because of the commitment of our activists which ,while much fewer in number than today, were fueled by an inspiring message of the urgent need for Independence and led by inspiring leadership. The media was as hostile as they are today, there was no social media to provide any balance or opportunities for rebuttal, but we eventually won through.

It is what we need to do again. Urgently! Not for my generation, although we would celebrate, no the real winners will be today’s younger generation and all those who come after them gifted the privilege of living their lives in a free, fair and prosperous Scotland. What a prize?

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

If you appreciated this article why not take out a free subscription to this site which are available on the Home and Blog pages of this website.


  1. There are a lot of older SNP people who feel exactly like this- including me. We are still a movement- but the SNP was confronted with a vicious political system it had to survive- and there have been a lot of changes. We need to hold on to the spirit of the movement- with one last great big push for independence- as soon as possible.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Who indeed?

      I never ever believed after such a long battle to get them elected to where they are the GOVERNMENT of Scotland & the 3rd largest party in the U.K. And sending almost ever MP allocated in Scotland, to WM from the SNP PARTY. that they would turn into LABOUR Mark11.. I am angry that all those years treading the pavements, knocking on doors, & driving around the rural areas to convince farmers & those better off who lived miles out in the countryside to VOTE SNP.

      I no longer recognise the party of my younger & healthier years. YES, they are still doing a better job as GOVERNMENT for the people of Scotland, than LABOUR did for the working classes. BUT I never voted for Career Politicians who are happy to settle for Government.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. I don’t know if it is the case of the SNP becoming the establishment or of the Establishment joining the SNP.

      Until 2007 there was little mileage to be made by joining the SNP if you wanted to advance your career in politics but after 2014 the most assured route to political success in Scotland was via the SNP.

      But then, then there are more than a few long-time SNP politicians who were presumably once dedicated supporters of Independence but now appear to be dedicated supporters of the SNP & their own careers (aka salaries, expenses & pensions)…


  2. Well Dave Beverage, there used to be an old song about the working class being able to kiss my posterior because they’d got the foreman’s job at last. And that m afraid is true of many that now inhabit the SNP.

    Not for them the goal of gaining managing director status for their country, they’re happy to be played as treacherous pay clerks taking the master’s shilling.

    And that is why we need to reinvigorate the SNP of old and get rid of the flotsam that his infested our party.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Another interesting article Iain.

    The gradualist trap is convincing people that there is no rush – no need to rush to get independence – each new generation comes along and they are in danger of falling in to that trap. Plenty of time they think and then they find that the years have gone by and Independence is still just something that will happen in the future.

    Most of Ireland is 100 years ahead of us and I think with the current SNP leadership we will soon be counting how many years ahead of us N. Ireland is.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Iain, lovely blog today. My dad joined the SNP on demob from the Fleet Air Arm in 1947 and I remember those days in the late 60’s and 70’s in particular when the SNP was indeed a band of “souls” – dedicated to Scotland’s freedom not careers! And the joy at not losing the deposit 😂. In my mind it always seemed to be George Leslie we were campaigning for back then…then St Andrew’s Uni with Alex Salmond…ah well changed days right enough but the “soul” of the party is still there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Iain, a real chunky piece of nostalgia there, and so true. The SNP was smaller then, and party apparatchiks were nowhere in sight. I don’t recall our elected politicians being smooth and polished, but still craggy with sharp corners. Furthermore, you never doubted their adherence to independence. That is what has changed, essentially: we have people in the top echelons of whom you could say, they are divided against themselves, very much in the Labour tradition.

    It took Alex Salmond a full seven years to get to a referendum, and even then, I think he would have wanted to wait another couple of years to push up the polls. He was a ‘gradualist’, too, but not in the same sense that the present-day ‘gradualists’ are. He wanted everything in place; he wanted to show that we could govern; and he wanted to prove to the Scots that they had the will and the right to regain their lost independence. I do not recall ever questioning the integrity of Mr Salmond or of the others who came before him, not even John Swinney who was the gradualist par excellence.

    There never was the feeling that they would not go for independence if the situation deteriorated, and I cannot think of a situation as bad as the one we are in now in relation to Scotland’s future. Even as the oil was being squandered, we had hope that we would get there. Personally, I no longer have that hope because I cannot bring myself to trust that we will reach independence now. I feel hurt and cynical about the party of which I am no longer a member. I cannot even articulate the betrayal I feel that Nicola Sturgeon and so many around her dealt the party’s women when they would have pushed through Gender Reform and the Hate crime bill without due diligence and proper testing and scrutiny. For me, that is where the fundamental problem lies: the present generation of SNP people – not all of them, by any means – seems to be willing to sacrifice independence for a shiny bauble of nothingness.

    I never believed that my party would be the one to overturn one majority group’s human rights in favour of extension (they already have their human rights) of rights that goes way beyond anything that others have, even non-trans men. People in my party were willing to crush the hard-won rights of its female members to kow tow to a tiny minority (initially, but that number his going exponentially, augmented by cross-dressers, drag queens and others, all of who want access to women’s spaces). That, for me, underlines what is wrong in the bone with the SNP now. I saw it coming in 2014, after the vote, when the NO vote was lauded as democratic and fair when it was actually colonialist, imperialist, me-ist selfishness of an order never before seen in British politics, but becoming a trend, with Brexit and the post Brexit debacle of the Internal Market laws and the anti democratic ‘Naw, forever and a day’ to self-determination, as laid down in the UN Charter and the equally illegal breaking of the Treaty of Union at every opportunity.

    Acquiescence is the name of the game for the SNP. Acquiesce. Acquiesce. Acquiesce. Until there is no longer anything in which to acquiesce. Why are the extended rights (which no other single group in society will have except trans people – more specifically, trans women) far more important than either the basic human rights of half the population (women) or a whole nation of people (the Scots). Why? That is the question we should have been asking of the FM. Indeed, it is not only trans people whose rights appear to be sacrosanct while ours are squandered: it is also the Scottish Unionist voter’s rights and the rUK voter’s rights which must be prized above rubies while ours, women’s and Scots, are expendable? I’m sorry, but I am just sick and tired and angry.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Great piece Lorna, with your permission I would like to publish this comment on my blog as a guest post if you are agreeable to that happening. Let me know and thanks again.


  6. I read MacAskill’s piece. If the May election is taken as a vote for independence they would try and cancel or delay it. Covid perfect excuse. It’s already being raised in the Tory press.


  7. Mairianna Clyde : We must stop worrying about what the tory liars will say or do. They took us out of europe after a very dodgy advisory referendum.

    Our enemies should never dictate what we can and cannot do. And that is the biggest problem for the SNP as our leader thinks they are democrats rather than lying charlatans.

    A campaign against the BBC will succeed as they are irredeemable collaborators. Then we have the independence plebiscite in May. I would invite the UN to oversee the election.

    President Biden is no friend of the english tories. He will prove to be a friend of Scotland – if only we have the courage to ask.

    Another great article Ian. And great stuff from Lorna Campbell (I agree with every word Lorna).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My question was really asking if the UK has the power to curtail an election in Scotland. Anybody know for sure? I am trying to war game potential scenarios.


    2. I would say that the biggest problem for the SNP is that they are led by lying charlatans.

      Only a state recognised by international law can request oversight of an election. Scotland is not independent yet so it cannot invite either the UN or the OSCE to oversee the election


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: