WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?

One minute pride, the next shame

I was so proud when my generation delivered the Scottish Parliament back in the 1990’s. At a stroke we had become a success. We had advanced the fight for full Independence a country mile. We had provided a platform where Scottish politics could for ever flourish and focus minds on what matters to our people. Unlike generations before we had concrete evidence of progress. Not for us a lifetime’s effort and little or nothing to show for it. Watch us go now we thought.

Initially progress was cautious Scottish Government’s formed by coalition between Labour and the Liberals kept things running as before. Yes there are more nationalists there but the electoral system, thus far,  had operated as intended and there was no sign the system would ever let the SNP into Government. The Parliament was awash with funding, so much so Jack McConnell thought it easier to return many millions to the Treasury in London rather than come up with constructive ideas on how to spend it in Scotland. Quite astonishing! The housing crisis must have been solved, just nobody knew or had noticed.

Then came 2007 and the SNP shocked Scotland through becoming the biggest Party in the election. By one seat. They had no majority mind but that maverick Alex Salmond claimed victory in the election and announced he intended to run a minority Government. The Unionists, still stunned by this SNP advance only offered a confused opposition and before anyone could do anything Alex Salmond became First Minister.

Now this is where the genius emerged, Alex recognised that the numbers left him vulnerable all the time so he had to come up with a defence. It was brilliant, he decided Scotland would have an innovative, active, popular Government and with machine gun speed introduced a host of popular policies. After years of Lab/Lib Lethargy here was a very positive contrast that the people could get behind. All of a sudden all talk of overthrowing the SNP government disappeared, the more so after the Tories, at the time led by the astute Annabel Goldie,  recognised an opportunity, particularly at budget time, to advance funding for some Tory priorities. As these often related to law and order or education, they were largely non contentious so it rarely proved a problem. The effect of this however was to remove the Lib Dems from their last role of significance in Holyrood. While in coalition with Labour they always enjoyed a few weeks of prominence when budget time came along and they could do a deal to win some concessions from Labour. Now they were out the loop entirely, an irrelevance!

Labour were  in the doldrums, not quite believing they were out of power for the first time, they were fraught with internal conflict as they tried to overcome the shock. In the public mind neither the Labour or Liberals looked Government material so no alternative to Salmond’s Government remained. He had successfully overcome his vulnerability but it still remained crucial his Government governed well and remain popular at all times. He would dare the opposition to try and topple him and exact a terrible price if they did. These were the golden years of the new Scottish Parliament. How proud we all were of this great success. Many found it unbelievable, a successful Scottish Government. It couldn’t get any better than this, but it could and did.

In the 2011 election the SNP received the accolade their years of good government deserved and they overturned the electoral system that was specifically designed to ensure no single Party could win a majority and they managed a one seat majority, thanks to a verging on miraculous combination of circumstances that delivered an always thought  impossible overall majority of one seat.

With Alex Salmond as First Minister he knew we must make the most of this opportunity and he instantly put in process the events which led to the first Independence Referendum which was held in September 2014. During an imaginative campaign support from Independence soared from 28% to 45% and we were on the point of victory until the last minute “vow” saved the day for the Union. It was heartbreak for many but also a pride that we had run such an excellent campaign.

That pride reached new levels when the reaction of the Scottish people emerged. Beaten? Never! Membership of the SNP DOUBLED, THEN TREBLED, THEN QUADRUPLED continuing to climb to over 120,000 people.

That is the inheritance.Nicola Sturgeon enjoyed as she stepped onto the stage at the crowded Hydro. Confidence was at record levels now we can finish the job. The 2015 General Election came quickly with the SNP sweeping all before them winning an astonishing 56 out of 59 seats. Now we will see action. When do independence discussion start? Alas, this turned out to be the high point for our hopes.

Gradually Nicola changed the personnel introducing her friends, mainly female to cabinet. Independence slipped off the radar as did most new ideas, it became a managerial emphasis rather than new policies. Government slowed down. The 2017 General Election was a huge disappointment, ignoring the wishes of the membership Independence did not feature in the campaign at all. The core Independence support found it all very underwhelming and 500,000 stayed at home leading to a big loss of seats.

Shortly thereafter the Brexit crisis was well underway as Nicola sought to save England from their folly. Brave fighting words and promises about not tolerating Scotland being dragged out the Single Market against our wishes. You would see, when that became inevitable Nicola had a “Secret plan” that would kick in and we would soon be free. Do you remember these days? The condemnation anyone attracted who suggested the “secret plan” was a fallacy?. Trust Nicola, that is all it took and with one bound we would be free.

Of course we know now there was no secret plan, there had never been one. What we had just witnessed was a bit of classic delay politics. Just you wait indeed!

So we have waited through the Brexit marathon, followed by Covid being over, more recently extended to the “effects of Covid being over” all the time the British Government are reducing the powers of Scotland, closing down our options, introducing. Plans to sideline Holyrood by financing Councils and projects directly. One sided waiting carries big penalties I am afraid.

Opportunities are missed daily, no confrontation over closing borders, no fight to stop powers being stripped while introducing hugely controversial and downright dangerous laws like GRA and the very dangerous Hate Crime Bill that attacks the very tenets of Freedom of Speech, alongside malicious prosecution of political rivals and opponents, squandering huge amounts of taxpayers cash following personal vendettas.

Lost their way? For sure. On a very wrong and dangerous path? Without doubt. Unlike Alex Salmond our First Minister has created a Government of pals, some, most would say most, of dubious ability and it is increasingly becoming very obvious.

Covid out of control, education in the hands of a particularly poor minister, likewise moving the disaster that is Humza from Justice where he presided in our Justice System plummeting to a lower reputation than any thought possible before, with evil and wrong prosecutions resulting in huge compensation being paid to the victims, and with more to come, promotion to Health does not auger well for that Department either.

So many mistakes, such evil manipulation of power, such irresponsible squandering of taxpayers cash trying to settle personal jealousies has created the situation where a man like myself who was publishing loyal fulsome praise about Nicola Sturgeon urging people to be patient and give her the opportunity to honour her word as recently as at the start of 2019 now finds that trust betrayed, praying for the day when she and her entourage are gone and have been replaced by people who stay true to the goal of full Independence. Who can replace the shame I feel for trusting her for so long and not recognising earlier that she has no intention of ever taking Independence forward if it risks her current power base. Too comfortable by half I regret to say.

I wanted to believe but it is madness to ignore the evidence. She shows no inclination never mind urgency, her Government and Party have ignored the need for preparation and progressing the Independence message. A series of internal moves has wrested control of the Party from the members and handed it over to a totally incompetent and misguided clique that controls the NEC who have removed any ability for members of branches to influence any event. The planned loss of National Council has effectively removed any ability for members to hold the elite clique to account. As money is raised until false pretences and spent on items not outlined in the financial appeal, the Party faces big credibility issues when next additional funds are required.

There is no vigour, no direction or vision, or planning. Activists are leaderless and mystified at the lack of campaigning materials or organised events. They know the Party now has an army of full time paid professionals, some with big salaries but all they see is the division between the payroll members and the volunteer membership widening by the day.

We should have all been more vigilant about this, it should never have been allowed to develop as it did but we wanted to trust, to believe. We found it hard to believe that our colleagues had a different agenda to progressing Independence.

We know now and for that error in judgement I am very sorry. I must confess to considerable anger that having being handed such a golden inheritance it has been allowed to be squandered as it has. I now doubt I will see Independence in my lifetime and that is a bitter pill to swallow. It will however not stop me trying, politics can change swiftly and nobody knows the future.

All we can do is hope and that has become a full time job for me these days.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.

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80 thoughts on “WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?

  1. My husband said some time ago that Nicola had no intention of getting independence and there was no secret plan it was just a ruse. When I still believe the promises I used to say to him that if he was right then people, the membership would never forgive her if she lost so many opportunities. I still see many followers who are completely blinkered and wonder how long it will take for them to wake up and see what’s actually happening to a party many of us worked hard for and when they will realise independence is never coming as long as she is in power.

    Liked by 22 people

  2. Iain. A very powerful, accurate and depressing read at the start of the day! Like you, I wonder if indy in my lifetime is going to happen; but as you also say, anything in politics is possible. We all share some responsibility. I consistently voted SNP but did not, until recently take much interest in SNP “affairs” (sic!) nor the detailed workings of Holyrood. However, the biggest burden of conscience should lie with every SNP MP and MSP, sitting very comfortably with an indy mandate that they have no intention of progressing. Plus all the paid officials and hangers-on, not to forget the Scottish Greens. They take the money but they are not delivering indy nor effective and fair devolved governance. If the sleeping masses ever wake up, then the comfort blanket of paid service to Sturgeon and Murrell may start to feel like a coat of Jaggy Thistle?!

    Liked by 21 people

  3. Once again Iain you have written an excellent piece and have “told it like it is, and was.”
    Who can forget the night we won 56 seats? It was the most amazing feeling. When canvassing, I well remember asking a lady in her 90s to loan us her vote and when I canvassed her the next time she had been as good as her word and had voted SNP. She had always voted Tory. At that time we had a great story to tell, and it was a convincing one because it was true.
    Now with the paucity of talent throughout Holyrood we no longer have a fantastic story of actual achievements. We have a story of handouts. Necessary though these are I would like positive markers for health, education and the vision for eradicating poverty. I see no plans for these. I Like many others I get downhearted, but believe we all have to make the change happen. I just wish we had a little more direction. I’m now hoping that all of us in YES can make this work. Thank you again for all that you do.

    Liked by 20 people

  4. If she was being judged on undermining the independence movement and hamstringing the SNP, you would have to applaud her tactical and strategic nous. She’s taken control of the bridge and thrown away the key; she has total control over the levers of power.

    For those that dismiss her as ‘managerial’, you have to admit it’s quite the tour de force. The fact that she still manages to conceal this from so many makes it doubly so.

    No help to to Scottish independence, but objectively impressive, sadly.

    Liked by 13 people

  5. Well I’m younger than you and I doubt I’ll see independence either. It’s not impossible but the odds are shortening. We’d need rid of Sturgeon AND her replacement not being handpicked by her and indeed strong enough to clear out the careerists and hingers oan. Unless a true indy supporter takes over the SNP soon we are stuffed. Too many people think the sun shines out of Sturgeon and abuse anyone who criticises her. It took decades for people so see through SLAB hence my sombre forecast.

    “We have caught Scotland and will hold her tight” they said in 1707. Whilst Sturgeon focuses on her pronouns, the current English government, for that is what it is, is barricading the exit door and throwing away the key.

    Liked by 25 people

  6. Well said, but boy does the truth hurt.

    Sadly, we have a new parcel of rogues, not the landowners of yore, selling out their country for silver, but Indy Campaigners and SNP members, determined not to see the betrayal, lest they feel foolish and have to admit they’ve been wrong.

    And too bloody scared to make the necessary choices to get Indy over the line. They would rather campaing endlessly and live on dreams. They have ‘not yet’ tattood to their hearts, when in reality its ‘not ever, if we don’t go now’.

    And even more sadly, unless Alba starts doing things differently, the same game plan looks set to replay all over again. Another ‘gradualist, don’t scare the horses’ party just isn’t going to save us.

    Liked by 16 people

  7. This piece so accurately sums up how I feel too. Embarrassed at the number of times I defended Nicola and the SNP, actually heartbroken that a party I trusted and fully believed in have turned out to be no better than the charlatans in WM.

    Had high hopes when Alba was formed but seeing little being done to take the fight to the people as yet. Such a shame that, despite the court case outcome, so many have a dim view of Alex Salmond now. If only the media had also covered the defence in this case instead of focussing on the accusations then silence over the defence.
    During the last election so many hardcore Indy folk came out to pound the streets for Alba. The people who could see that SNP1 & 2 was a fallacy and only ensured the continued back door entry for unionist parties could see another way for an Indy majority and a party to hold the SNP to account. My hope is that Alba will regroup, come out fighting and win enough seats next time round to keep that promise and push the SNP to keep its promises of going for Indy and to make that the priority. We all know Nicola kicking Indy down the road again is giving WM the time they need and want to strip our powers. But it doesn’t change the declaration of Arbroath which states we are an equal nation – and as such we need not be on our knees begging permission from an assumed authority! Saor Alba

    Liked by 19 people

  8. A most excellent summary of the current state of things. Can we hope that the scales will fall from enough eyes soon enough? It’s hard to admit you’ve been fooled (as the English themselves are finding over Brexit!) Can the solution be found within the SNP, or is some wider approach needed? You are clearly very well informed, better so perhaps than the most of us, so any ideas, after all England’s current difficulty is surely Scotland’s opportunity ???

    Liked by 15 people

  9. My belief in Nicola Sturgeon followed a very similar path to yours Iain. Pride in our leader, gradually turning to disappointment as I realised she was not all that she appeared to be. I hope she sees that time is up for her and leaves Scottish politics gracefully, no doubt with her loyal following staying loyal to the end.She has nothing to offer Scotland and her dangerous policies have been rejected by the public in the recent so-called ‘consultations’. Even a little bit of pauchling could not have produced the results she wanted. Only a government with something to hide does not publish the results of consultations, despite FOI requests. She has shown her contempt for Scotland by ignoring those who voted for the SNP and instead going to a very dark place with policies that will wreak havoc for all people in Scotland. She brought hope but has given us fear.

    Liked by 22 people

    1. I agree but at the moment there is so much negativity about ALBA coming from the followers and many of the party faithful that it’s going to be an uphill struggle. Saw a Tweet from Cody slippers yesterday and he was very dismissive of ALBA. Not that I think this is a reason to give up, it not, onward and upward. Many of us did it before for the now ruined SNP so we can do it again. Saor Alba. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Yes, we can do it again, let’s see lots of Alba flags out at the next AUOB march (whenever that happens) get the message out there, get the vote out for the up and coming local elections, Nigel Farage, without winning a seat in the Commons or even a by-election still managed to force Cameron to hold a Brexit referendum – we could do the same with Alba and the inderef2. We need to be out there, we have heard all the talk about how independence will transform our nation, so what are we waiting for?

        Liked by 9 people

  10. When put in historical consequence, like you have done here Iain, it really does look Scotland classically managing to extract a humiliating defeat from what should have been an overwhelming victory.

    The circumstances had become so favourable it is no longer a case of pondering when will Scotland become Independence that should be asked. Rather we should be asking how on Earth have we not already restored Scotland’s full powers of self government!

    The other thing on my mind is why did such a switched on and sharp guy like Alex Salmond not notice in all his years having Nicola Sturgeon as his protege not identify the dangers inherent in the personality of his sidekick?

    The British state has been the greatest manipulator of pro-Independence movements in subjugated nations and peoples in all history and there is no doubt that they will have infiltrated the SNP. I am not a believer in conspiracy theories and have absolutely no evidence of one but I do wonder just exactly how high up the party the British agents have penetrated an how compromised the present leadership might be.

    However, I am at a loss to find another rational explanation of the behaviour of party bigwigs and the general direction of the party in the last 6 or 7 years.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head with the bit about British State. An establishment plant would be very good at hiding their true nature hence Alex not being aware of what was to come. She, Nicola, talks up a good show about hating Maggie but someone who really did that would not forget and let it all go to waste just to hold on to her power. I definitely think she and her useless husband are in cahoots with those that would see ideas of independence ruined.

      Liked by 16 people

    2. “how high up the party the British agents have penetrated an how compromised the present leadership might be.”

      I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories either. However, a wacky tale with no basis in reality is not the same as a proven MO of the British Security Services. I have no proof that Nicola Sturgeon is compromised, other than her behaviour, but it is what they do.

      The IRA had a special unit which investigated possible informants who had infiltrated them. One of the unit’s leaders was Freddie Scappaticci. It has been alleged that he was the British double agent known as “Stakeknife”.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stakeknife

      The Security Services would need to be idiots not to have infiltrated the SNP. Even if they could not get one of their own in a high/useful position, as in the Spycops scandal, they would happily blackmail anyone with secrets to keep into becoming their pawn.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_undercover_policing_relationships_scandal

      Has it happened? I don’t know. Could it happen? Of course it could. I don’t think that makes me a conspiracy theorist. I think it makes me a realist but time will tell.

      Liked by 14 people

      1. I absolutely agree. When I look at her behaviour and actions as far as I am concerned there are only two answers, she is a plant or someone in the establishment has something significant against her.

        Liked by 13 people

  11. It’s very sad, Iain. And thanks once again for your excellent work.

    This FM has removed Alex Salmond’s name and legacy from SNP history. Even just that has got to be a red line in the SNP.

    To have ordered her senior civil servant to open and conduct an unlawful and incompetent inhouse investigation into dubious claims about Alex Salmond and then to bypass police Investigation services in order to force its salacious and ludicrous findings upon the COPFS via cabinet authority, with the directive to open a police case against Alex Salmond… There are no other words for that but unethical, corrupt and wayward.

    I am concerned for independence in my lifetime. And even moreso for Scotland’s reputation as a place of fair play. If the only definition of politics is as the art of the possible, we need to see that people hungry for power have an infinite appetite for exploring the possibilities of power … And many of them are very bad. The worst of them evil.

    Thanks Iain, for still standing in the wind of this.

    Respect.

    Liked by 24 people

  12. The next couple of years will prove pivotal in my book.
    With a couple of exceptions, the new economic group the Scottish govt have employed will take a neoliberal approach (I’d be surprised if Mark Blyth stays the course). I believe the strategy is to placate the middle classes, bankers, then landed gentry, the Air BnB property gamblers etc. It won’t work. Britain worked for them – why change it?
    Meanwhile the working class will simply not bother to vote for a ‘mini Britain’. Why would they? They’ll simply stay at home. Then of course we can be labelled as an apathetic bunch who can’t even get out of bed to the ballot box.

    Nicola is a portfolio builder, not a nation builder. “Wellbeing economy”; “climate emergency”. They’re like brownie badges, except that there is no action behind the waffle – Her SpAd appointments tell a very different story to the TED talks.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m actually starting to feel like the dismantling of holyrood could be advantageous. It would be a massive own goal by the tories, but they are on a roll. It would remove a layer of bureaucracy which is simply stifling independence (see keatings case) and putting imaginary roadblocks in the way. At least the franchise would be simple – a majority of SNP MPs elected at GE would trigger independence negotiations. A confirmatory referendum could be held (by Scottish authorities under UN observation) to settle the matter.

    Section 30 was no gold standard. It was a golden ticket to better together, although I accept that was all we had in such a short space of time. The agreement was broken, purdah was breached and the BBC dominated it.

    I don’t know what the answer is. All I see is anger when anyone mentions a neutral voting franchise. In fact the SNP seem more angry with this than it does with the tories for potentially disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters with its voter ID bill. Make no mistake, the tories are already vote rigging the next general election, then of course they can say that the pro-indy vote is in decline.

    Some have mentioned a National Assembly of councillors, politicians etc. Perhaps we need to set something like that up anyway, possibly via one of the existing independence groups – NowScotland for example. Of course politicians , councillors etc are welcome to join, but we can’t simply wait and hope that the Scottish Parliament will sanction this. Maybe it’s time, rather than thinking about defiance of WM, we start thinking about defiance of holyrood.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. NowScotland, Believe In Scotland, National Assembly….blah, blah, blah talking shops, but always with the begging bowl out.

      We need a democratic means to vote Indy, and for me a plebiscite election is a better option than an IndyRef2.

      We need to look smart for the friends of Indy, who at critical moments, start putting the breaks on, start diluting the message, start muddying the waters with other causes – this is not by accident, this is because they are placed.

      It is not by accident that first Labour – with the unelectable ‘loony left’ and then the SNP with the wokeratti, and now Plyd Comryn (sorry spelling not my strong point) are infiltrated with these ejjits. It is done to spike the vote, split the movement and destroy their credibility with the voters. And it works a treat.

      Liked by 13 people

      1. Daisy, I’m all for a plebiscite election and yes I believe it is the best and simplest means of obtaining independence. The point I made above is that the tories are dismantling democracy before our eyes. They are changing election results not through debate but by changing the rules and of course the SNP have no intention of running a plebiscite election, hence my points above.

        Liked by 7 people

    2. To bloody right. Holyrood has become what Tony Blair always envisaged it to be a Parish Council. all feet under the table career boys, and girls, all we have heard since Nicola sturgeon came to power is waffle, What about Land Reform? what about Universal Basic Income? What about Affordable Housing? What about an ageing population, (oh we cured that we move coronavirus patients into old folks homes and killed them off). What about all the specialised clinics for Hip and Knee replacement? Need I go on. Holyrood under the new management of NS has done nothing for Scotland since taking office, and the Tories, Labour and Fib/Dems, love her, for she is saving the Union, so will keep passing her budgets,

      Liked by 15 people

    3. Scott Egner
      A few short years ago such a suggestion of defiance would have been unthinkable but we have been robbed of hope and, at this juncture, are waiting for further political arrests and imprisonment of those who criticise the SNP government. What is left for us to do when corrupt politics and seriously dangerous policies have taken over and are being forced through HR against the democratic will of the people. I believe Nicola Sturgeon is compromised in some way, that seems beyond doubt, causing her to break from the Independence goal for Scotland and introduce policies that almost all of the population are against. We are living in very strange times and there may well be a unionist plant in the SNPG, moving the pawns on the chessboard.

      Liked by 8 people

  13. If there is no indyref2 next year the SNP is finished- even a bunkered Sturgeon knows that. The question is does she really care what happens to the SNP and to Scotland? I think she could be aiming for a well-payed job in the UN or EU and to hell with the rest of us. If not, where’s the preparation for indyref2? Yes, I could be wrong. Time will soon tell. The sooner the better.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. BTW, in my part of Moray I’m definitely seeing a rise in the number of people putting Saltire, Independence etc stickers on their cars and wearing pro-indy badges, t-shirts etc. I’m also seeing an increase in the reply of sorts with some, not many, putting up butcher’s apron stickers, wearing butcher’s apron masks etc. I know we have an English raf station here but even so it’s interesting to follow this development where people are starting to nail their colours to the mast. The people, if not the SNP, are getting ready.

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Think you might be right but see Republic of Scotland’s post below.
      Looks like NS is lining herself up for a cushy number ‘Stateside’.
      Ps. Doubt Peter will be going with her. Wishful thinking that he will be jailed after puloining our £600k.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. It seems to me that there is no money for Indy Ref 2. I’t all been spent. Hence no preparation. I think the 2024 GE should be a plebiscite election. A majority of Indy candidates elected, and they withdraw from the English Parliament of the UK, resile the Treaty of Union, hold a confirmatory plebiscite under the UN, and negotiate as an independent sovereign state with Westminster for a just distribution of the patrimony of the former UK.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Well said Iain, sadly its all true, next up will be the selling out of our NHS in the US trade deal, its all down hill for Scotland and independence under Sturgeon’s tenure.

    Liked by 8 people

      1. I agree she has and continues to ruin his reputation. Those who don’t know him only see the ‘no smoke without fire’ theory.

        Liked by 9 people

    1. Do you remember that ad the Tories put out about Alex Salmond having Miliband in his top pocket.
      Well I wonder whose pocket Sturgeon is in. Anyone want to guess?

      Liked by 9 people

  15. There is absolutely nothing in this post that I can’t disagree with. 2015 & the 56MPs was when I started to think WHY? Why? Is she not jumping up & down screaming INDY here we come, she now had TWO majorities. And all we ever saw were photo shoots of her with those 56MPS.

    The conference where Alex Had a book to sell, just don’t seem right with me, NEVER at any time did we see her & Alex together, Alex was not even allowed to stand in the stage to address us, he was relegated to a corner of the arena. It took the people in the hall to stand & shout for him to get on the stage. The lights had been turned off, the microphone removed.. This was ALEX Salmond, this was her friend of 30yrs or so.

    The shouts got louder, GET ON THE STAGE, get on the stage.. He looked lost, was looking all around him, NOBODY from the SNP came near him.. Until the members just stood their chanting his name ALEX, ALEX over and over.. Eventually the lights went on, a microphone was handed to him. And he spoke to us HIS people. SHE could have avoided all of that, but she did not choose too..

    Something had changed alright, I started to blame Alex for stepping down. Because I believed if this was him still leader, & 56MPs under his leadership, “negotiations” at least would have started..

    But, I clung on, totally believing that she had to have a plan,I believed she was waiting for her OWN majority in HolyRood. In 2016, instead she lost the majority she inherited..

    What worried me though was, not once did she turn up to any of our marches/rallies, or even come outside HR when almost 200,000 people marched by..

    But like you, I was still defending her, still bumming her up to all & Sundry, there HAD to be a plan B, it was just being kept closely guarded..

    I admit to NOT being a fan of FULL membership of the EU, The only time I have ever agreed with a Tory was when they shouted, about us they wanting to LEAVE one union to join another Union.. I have always hoped that as an INDEPENDENT country, we Scots would follow the likes of Norway & Co: & join EFTA/EEA..

    However I also believed that Scotland had to vote REMAIN so that we had that “reason” to have another go at leaving the U.K Union. Surely if Scotland voted remain, then we could NOT BE DRAGGED OUT BY ENGLANDS VOTE…But we including ME did vote remain & we were dragged out..

    And what was Sturgeon doing, running to LONDON to help save THAT country from their own legal vote. She also had time to join every Pride March she could find.
    But not an INDY March..

    2017 saw another WM election & we lost 21 of our 56 seats, I could not believe that this country did NOT vote for Alex Salmond. Of course there was an agreement among the UNIONISTS That caused this to happen. But we still had the majority, if she says leader could not see what the UNIONISTS were up to then, then she was a hopeless leader..(turns out I was right on that).

    “If ever there was a time for Scotland to go it is now, with WM not able to vote or pass anything T.Mays wants & all arguing among themselves…”. Not my words but Alex Salmonds when asked a direct question at one of his shows in 2018..

    And that is when I realised Sturgeon would never be brave enough, because by now, she was enjoying power too much, she was walking on a cloud because of that huge increase in membership which I honestly believe she took to be because of her.. Whereas I still believe that was Scotland answering the failure of the 2014 referendum.

    By 2017, those same new members, gave up, she had done nothing with this huge new membership, she did nothing about being dragged out of the EU, & the saw nor heard anything positive during the 2017 election about Independence, so they stayed home..

    I was still a member then, but not a happy one, but I had to believe that there was a plan B.. so hung on..

    Until the Salmond stitch up.. When Alex won that first round & the proof was there that he had tried to HELP her not destroy her or the party by them having to pay a huge sum of money out for nothing.

    I knew then she was out to destroy him, because she NEVER intended to go for Indy, so she had to destroy the only leader that took & would take again a chance, even putting his job on the line to offer this country a choice when polls were just around 30% . YE, She was out to destroy him. And destroy him she did and still does at every opportunity..And who helps her these days? the UNIONIST media, if that can’t open the eyes of the CULT followers then nothing ever will.
    She has destroyed OUR party (Not bloody hers) she has split OUR movement, & she has split this country right down the middle. She has done a better job of destroying Scotland than even Thatcher could have dreamed of doing.

    I do not expect at 72ys of age to ever see Indy in my lifetime, but like you I will not give up hoping or trying especially now that there are MORE Indy parties than there are UNIONIST parties now in Scotland, & especially as ALBA is led by a man we know could run this country, did give the people a chance to take their country back..

    If every YESSER were just to get behind ALBA & the ISP we could have a very powerful HR. And the CULT now known as the Sturgeon Nasty Party.. Will be no more..

    Liked by 20 people

  16. Since money / power probably are the root of all evil and if the current SNP has been neutered to such an extent that change from within isn’t possible for the foreseeable future, then addressing their source of money seems to be the only way to deal with what has happened to them. Ironically by being a member of the SNP, people are actually financially supporting an organisation that has clearly become a major block to independence. If the SNP is to change back to what it was up to 2014, it will need to be forced to change. If there isn’t a way to do this within the party’s constitution, it will need to be forced to change. It seems obvious that a key way to do this is by reducing their funding.

    Maybe the police investigation into the SNP accounts will be the final straw for those members still clinging on with hope rather than support of SNP actions. Maybe not, but financially supporting the post 2014 SNP when all benefit of the doubt for them has surely been lost seems like a good definition of futility, especially since it’s maybe the only thing that is keeping the Nicola Sturgeon SNP afloat. A vote is one thing but paying membership fees is much more. This begs the question – what exactly do SNP members think they are financially supporting?

    Liked by 15 people

  17. Firstly we will never win support for independence by going on about the security services controlling the SNP or taking away votes from English people that have settled here (just as lot’s of us have settled in England). We will win support when we show that we can govern well for the majority of Scottish population of whatever persuasion/heritage they are. Sadly we have never really shown that and the last few years have highlighted one screw up after another. However largely as a support until very recently the majority of SNP supporters where happy to believe the spin which would have made Mandelson proud. We thought getting to 45% that the job was done ignoring the fact that too many hard questions remained unanswered and still do. We where controlled like puppets with “this is the most important election”, “Westminster bad” etc and happily cheered when that buffoon Blackford stood up to make yet another pointless speech. Personally i never voted for the SNP the last election for the first time since i could vote about 25 years ago. I would not vote for Independence now anytime soon as despite the mantra “a vote for independence is not a vote for the SNP” they would control the setting up of the new political structure. If you believe that they would happily relinquish power having got the job done you would sadly be mistaken.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “We will win support when we show that we can govern well for the majority of Scottish population of whatever persuasion/heritage they are. Sadly we have never really shown that and the last few years have highlighted one screw up after another.”

      Well I agree with you that the governance has been poor. So why does Sturgeon continue to reward failure? Is there really no talent within the SNP elected ranks or those within the party who could be selected and elected? Should we just sit back and watch her ruin Scotland’s chances? The reality is whether this is sad state of affairs is a result of her being compromised or just being shite, standing back and doing nothing isn’t really an option. Even if the only thing left is not vote for them.

      “I would not vote for Independence now anytime soon as despite the mantra “a vote for independence is not a vote for the SNP”

      Which is why it’s really important to get the SNP back on track and/or develop new independence parties to ensure that the mantra is correct.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I think we are/where a victim of our own success with having so many new MPs/MSPs elected at a similar time so a lot of inexperienced people where elected. She also brought in a whip and although I remember George Adam arguing that it was something every political party had I cannot remember a time when anyone has argued against the stance or view of Sturgeon. We have went the way of other establishment parties where the main way to become an MSP is to go to uni, potentially have a job for a while before becoming an aide to an MSP/MP. Even the council selection favours people that deliver leaflets for years rather than having a mixture of people with life skills gained through employment/business.

        I do not think we need to develop new independence parties as we have the risk that we go down the route of the socialists in Scotland where there are several different parties as people cannot agree on everything. .

        Sadly until we have some senior MSP’s growing a backbone, a serious lose of votes or some actual opposition we are in for years of inertia with the current leadership who are becoming joined with the greens. As least we will be the first country in the world to jail someone for not using the correct pronouns.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. “We will win support when we show that we can govern well for the majority of Scottish population of whatever persuasion/heritage they are. Sadly we have never really shown that and the last few years have highlighted one screw up after another.”

        I am not convinced that the Independence movement needs to show it can “govern well”. Why should it have to?
        Historically speaking countries won their independence from the British Empire because the Empire governed so badly people just couldn’t take any more of it.

        AFAIK no country that gained its independence and/or proclaimed it was a republic had to produce a priori evidence that the leaders could “govern well” .

        All today’s Empire-free, independent countries have made mistakes since their inception and tried to correct them – see the USA, slavery and Emancipation, Jim Crow laws and their abolition etc as they proceed in the task of evolving a democratic state from a former colony

        Liked by 4 people

  18. Very sad indeed, but all very true I’m afraid. Unless by some miracle something occurs to make me question what you and many others now believe Iain, I’m sure everything you say here is spot on. You’re not the only one to have trusted the SNP. In fact it’s only in the last 6 months that the truth has dawned for me, but unless one is “so blind that one refuses to see”, then the evidence is starkly overwhelming.

    Liked by 7 people

  19. Not having been an SNP member for many years at the time of the 2014 referendum (but a life-long, determined independence campaigner, nonetheless), I suppose I was in a favourable position to point-out to the “starry-eyed” that the only role of a nationalist political leader can be to lead their country to independence.

    Predictably, when ‘wait-and-see’ became the seeming policy position of the leader along with her love of metropolitan media exposure and her embarrassing attempts to save England from itself, my criticism was amplified. What I couldn’t possibly see, though, was the independence party’s degeneration into its current state decadence. Who, in any case, would’ve given me credence had I even suggested such a scenario?

    Liked by 15 people

  20. it is so depressing to read this very accurate submission.

    It seems the only ‘advances’ are being made in education with LGBT lessons being taught in primary school but not maths , literacy or indeed biology, despite the total disruption to the kids education caused by covid 19.

    I am so enraged by the pushed agenda hidden from parents , so enraged by the inactivity on independence and so disgusted with the current SNP MSP’s and their so called indy supporters in the Green party.

    I have never felt so depressed , enraged and despairing all at the same time.

    Liked by 14 people

  21. I concur entirely, i was one of those at the Hydro cheering Sturgeon to the Rafters, at the time I did question why the SNP had arranged the event on the same day as a large RISE Conference across the Road, How I wisH I had stayed for the Afternoon of the excellent RISE Conference. Looking back it was deliberately planned to take away publicity for RISE. We are seeing the same this year with the Arranging Of their virtual Autumn Conference for the same weekend of the physical ALBA Autumn Conference.
    Regarding Jack McConnells handing back of money, I always thought that was planned.
    Brown announced to great fanfare huge spending increases to the Scots Parliament, with the sleekit understanding of his poodle Jack that the so called increase would quietly would be returned to London. (Wee Jack got a bit of Ermine
    For screwing over the Scots so thats all right then)
    I dont know what the Short to medium future holds for the Independence movement, too many sheeple in the Sturgeon Cult, Its not gonna be easy to “Take back control” an internal coup is I think our only chance to get Indy in my lifetime.
    I know there are plenty of good folk still in the SNP working to that end, lets hope they are succesfull.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Rotten to the core, McConnell, Beattie Media, Lobbygate, missing constituency funds, that was the way of Labour entering the 21st century in Motherwell / Wishaw Constituency.

      Fast forward, SNP now in Government, lobbying, missing ring fenced funds not much has changed when power comes your way!

      Taking back control of the party by its members must entail total accountability of the elected MPs and MSPs to their respective constituency management committees in respect of the lack of planning and engagement with the Independence project in which clear mandates had been delivered. With the exception of two elected to Westminster all others have shown themselves to be woefully spineless or perhaps comfortable in the role of genuflection at the altar of the unblessed Sturgeon.

      It may come to pass that Sturgeon’s first weapon of choice ( the Courts and the Judiciary) are the petard on which she will be hoisted by members of her own sex in their fight to protect hard fought rights which this Scottish Government under her leadership has sought to dissolve.

      Hopefully events this coming week will demonstrate that Sturgeon holds no monopoly on feminism and speaks not for the Weemin o’ Scotia. Women Wont Wheesht nor have they ony intention! Support Marion Miller!

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Lenny you and others including Iain always say there are good people still within the SNP, without animosity to you , wtf are they , what are they waiting for ,why are they NOT coming forward, why are they allowing this perverted lunatic to keep going and sabotaging Scotland and indy

      Iain has done great things to expose the corruption and I am grateful for his and other bloggers work BUT I don’t understand how people can say there are still good people in the SNP when ALL I see is COWARDICE , SELF PRESERVATION and BETRAYAL of the people of Scotland when they FAIL to expose this charlatan and her minions

      Liked by 7 people

  22. Iain, Everything you have stated in this article is the embodiment of thousands of us. I am in tears reading this. I have dreamed of independence for our country that dream is now shattered, We have lost all the determination and belief in ourselves, taken away by one self serving person and her clique. Like you I doubt I will die a free Scot. . Enjoy your break come back to us refreshed and ready to fight the good fight. Saor Alba.

    Liked by 14 people

  23. I am so sick with frustration at seemingly no progress towards our Indyref2. I am also frustrated at being denied the opportunity to march on Holyrood and demand action. HOWEVER, no matter how you spin it, we are in the middle of a pandemic! I am disgusted at BJ using the people of England as an experiment and telling us it is inevitable that there will be more deaths but if Nicola Sturgeon did the same thing and announced Indyref2 she would be crucified – not only by the media but by her own people. There is a balancing act here and in my opinion, the only solution is full vaccination which is expected to be completed by end September. THEN the starting gun can be fired. Restrictions can be lifted to a great extent and we can get back out there campaigning, marching etc. If the target is reached then there is no reason for prevarication – the world doesn’t grind to a halt because there is a campaign being waged. The SNP conference I think will be a pivotal moment and I pray that she gives us a date and we can stop all this in fighting and get on with the task at hand

    Liked by 3 people

  24. ‘For Scotland’. No, you’re not, you’re for a minority of the population. And that’s all you’ll be until a proper plan for ‘indy’, complete with facts, figures and costs, is put together for the rest of us to scrutinise. There will be no leaps of faith, for we have none in the Nationalists.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Why did it happen, Iain? Because the party was captured by a certain group that had to have independence off the agenda in order to advance its own agenda. It really is as simple as that. Go back to early 2015 and see how it happened. See how we hesitated and did nothing until it was too late, even when we saw the direction NS and her coterie were taking. The SNP became a vehicle for these people. We were suckered. Anyone who still believes that independence must not be sullied by other issues, bust stand alone, is naive, at best. We need independence. It has become so much more than an aspiration; it is now a necessity for our survival as a people and as a nation capable of becoming a state again. Unless we are willing to tackle the rotten core of the pseudo ‘woke’ movement that has captured the party, we can kiss goodbye to independence. NS, I think, has been played like a violin by these people, but that does not exonerate her at all because she has betrayed the very purpose of the party in favour of pseudo ‘woke’ policies and virtue-signalling. She, and they, all need to be dragged out and the party cleansed of their malign influence. We have just had another range of supposed steps towards independence announced recently. Like the umpteen mandates and all the other promises, they will disappear into the ether just as soon as she, and they, get their way. If they do, there will not be independence this side of the millennium because independence (nationalism) would hinder a project which is global and which aims to turn Western society on its head before it makes its moves into the rest of the world. It is neoliberal capitalist and predatory at its core, using paraphiliacs and fetishists as foot soldiers. Their reward? Access to all women’s spaces and rights, of course. Anyone naive enough to believe that the lack of independence and the Stonewall project are two separate issues is living in cloud cuckoo land. The SNP was just a handy vehicle because it was in power and proved far more accessible and gullible than the Tories south of the border.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. ‘Cloud cuckoo land ‘ unfortunately is the default position for too many within the SNP and others who might know better.

      Liked by 5 people

  26. Spot on, lorncal. Was this her intention all along? I don’t know but it is difficult to see her as a master manipulator. I don’t think he has the strategic capability or the intellectual ability to think so long term and plan so carefully. She may have been helped with this by Stonewall, considered by the American Foundations as a ‘good’ campaigning group on which to hitch their gender ideology wagons. The background to it all will help to explain how a social engineering experiment managed to get off the ground in the UK. Whether it was a result of her being compromised or gullible is anyone’s guess but it has brought upset and grief to our small nation and has robbed us of the very prize millions of Scots have worked hard to achieve, Independence.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. I tend to agree that it was not her master plan, rew1008, and we need to look at Canada and America to see how their politicians, too, have been captured. It is a global movement in its essence, and I think Scotland was a very handy starting point for the UK. We should’ve been far more discriminating in just who we were opening the SNP up to, because a good number of the Labour deserters were old Marxists in new clothes and ultra left ‘progressives’ whose totalitarian instincts had been sharpened by the lurch of the Labour Party to the right, and who had already brought grief to Labour with their ‘progressive’ policies that were really regressive and ridiculous, allowing the right to push back. Neither Marxists nor the ultra left are, in any way, nationalists or independistas, and we should have sussed them out. They are internationalists – political globalists – and not like the nationalist left at all.

      Liked by 4 people

  27. JaniceDonaldson writes (8:27am)

    “We have a story of handouts. Necessary though these are I would like positive markers for health, education and the vision for eradicating poverty. I see no plans for these.”

    It’s even worse than that Janice. The worst leader the SNP has ever had (and I too cheered her to the rafters at the Hydro) has surrounded herself with numpties in the Parliament and the party bureaucracy) but more tellingly, with a bunch of landowners, bankers and extremely right-wing unionist economists and academics in her advisory circles. These are people who really do know what they want and how to get it – and it aint justice for the ordinary folk of Scotland.

    Does anyone seriously suppose that these people have any interest in health, education and the eradication of poverty? Does anyone think that the banker who now acts as factor for the Duke of Buccleugh, and who is also one of treacherous Nic’s principal advisors, has any interest whatsoever in these matters – never mind much needed land reform?

    There has been a coup by stealth in the SNP. We have all been duped, and too many independence-minded folks have yet to see it.

    Many thanks to Iain for this fine piece!

    Liked by 12 people

  28. This current dark period is doing us a service. If we thought Scotland would automatically be better governed when independent, that we would be less corrupt, we know now that is not the case. We have to put in place measures to specifically prevent a tyrant taking complete control, like the American founding fathers did.

    They based their reasoning on Scottish philosophers like Hume, who believed that only by separating and balancing powers could a state avoid tyranny. (When the French had their revolution they went the other way, and ended up with the Terror and Napoleon.)

    One person in charge of all justice, one police force, emasculated local authorities, these are the things we now know have to be reversed and their powers protected into any new constitution. Especially as in Scotland all the movers and shakers know each other, so the urge to avoid rocking the boat must be hard to resist.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Very true, Craig. Let’s hope the lessons we have learned in this generation can be applied in this generation – because sure as anything, no one seems to be able to take lessons from history!

      Liked by 4 people

  29. The police investigation into the missing 600K indyref2 fund is extremely important and we can only hope the police vigourously serve the interests of the public here.

    The missing 600K crystallises the whole issue of Sturgeon’s leadership. A leader who believed in independence, a leader of integrity, would have zealously guarded that money, money given to finance the indyref2 campaign, and fended off anybody who had their eye on it. Instead, the SNP on her watch has behaved like Robert Maxwell or Phillip Green and effectively stolen SNP members’ money.

    On our part, I very much agree with Scott Egner. The SNP needs to feel our pressure every bit as much as the UK government. The cart-before-the-horse logic of ‘once the COVID crisis is over’ must be challenged and the need to have a plebiscite election in 2024 must be the goal. It will fall on Alba’s shoulders to try to bring this to the top of the agenda. No easy task, but anybody expecting the SNP to deliver – there is as much chance of that as there is of finding the missing 600K.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. It is not missing. If you look at the accounts it was spent. Not on a referendum but on running the SNP. Aside from elections the SNP has high running costs. Staff costs are over £1m That is why the Short money and MP levy are important.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Jim… I have been thinking that the worst bit about the spending of the ring-fenced money is most likely that it wasn’t on any indy-related events or SNP party events, but most likely on spads for the alternative interests of the new SNP and lawyers to protect them all from scrutiny.

      They started living beyond their remit and beyond their means and then plundered the cookie jar to keep the show on the road and nobody gets to see the receipts who can put two and two together. This investigation is no small potato matter.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Hello Iain,

        As noted by many other commenters, you wrote a brilliant analysis of recent SNP history.

        My almost 40 years in the SNP – as activist, councillor and MSP – just confirms the validity of what you say … very depressing with the sum result being a fraudulent and corrupt party at the top, with a few notable exceptions such as Douglas Chapman. Many publicly elected representatives are just t-me-serving careerists, feathering their own nests. Where is the real talent?

        I cannot see how the SNP can be reformed, short of a complete gutting out from head (The Murrells) to toe. The Leadership “reforms” over the last 4 years have simply been a power grab. Sadly, it will take more of the ordinary membership, still holding on to their Independence dreams, to realise this.

        It will take bit more work by your, and other blogsites, to make the final pennies drop – plus possibly a certain Police investigation now in progress but I’m not holding my breath over the latter.

        Best wishes in all your work.

        Liked by 8 people

      2. Indeed. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that money was also used to help pay the court costs accrued by various MSPs (Smith being one) & other SNP legal fees.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. For what purpose was the money actually raised in the first place? A timeline of events around the dates of the two fundraisers might be interesting.

        Like

  30. I cannot disagree with a single word Iain has said.

    Little did I realise in my 30’s, while campaigning for Billy Wolfe in West Lothian, that I would see the SNP transform from being a party of independence to a party that has an independence unit. Withholding cash and donations but paying the minimum to retain membership will get attention. Large protests at Holyrood or SNP HQ will too.

    It became clear at post Salmond branch meetings during branch visits, the SNP hierarchy had a very good conceit of themselves and searching questions from members were readily dismissed with comments like “we know what we are doing – they saw themselves as “experienced professionals”. There were symptoms of this in the Wedneday prism show with Gil Paterson. This is not to diminish what they have achieved but everyone should recognise when their time is up. I venture to suggest the anyone serving as a minister for over 10 years is well beyond their “use by date” – probably mouldy verging on Gorgonzola.

    Independence is in jeopardy and branches cannot speak to each other through the SNP. It is vital that some means should be created for SNP branches to have some recognised form of inter-branch communication. It is futile to think the cohesion we so desperately need will come from the current SNP who are more than happy with the current process. Unfortunately I do not have the answer on how that can be done.

    Liked by 8 people

  31. I’ve been thinking along those lines over the past few days too Iain, at one time so much hope and optimism, then next crushing despair, and you’ve expressed it here so clearly.

    The hope for land reform, the hope for there being a government on our side that wants the best for us. I don’t think we’ve heard the full enormity of how badly we’ve been betrayed, even yet. Just read some tweets the other day about how nearly all SNHS supply contracts are outsourced to American companies – procurement management etc. None of this is getting done in Scotland, providing jobs for Scottish people or taxes getting paid in Scotland – only the ‘service’ part of the NHS is still in Scotland (that is, anything that makes profit goes whoosh overseas).

    Haha, I bitterly laugh now at how a few years ago I hoped the Scottish government would start a state-owned pharmaceutical company – it’s a huge business, we could have a big profit making arm of the NHS, I was stupidly and idly musing to myself, selling abroad, and so supporting our own NHS supplies. Luckily I didn’t get round to writing to my MSP and make myself look like a complete twat.

    Where did that level of hope come from? As Iain says – Alex Salmond put forward some really good policies and started the ball rolling on many more, and it was that, I reckon, that started folk imagining many more possibilities – and brought about real hope.

    I really can’t bear to read or hear anything about the SNP any more – it’s always to find out one more thing that they’ve done under Sturgeon that contradicts what she claims to be doing or have done and always seems to be to my country’s detriment – it makes me want to cry if I pay too much attention. I suppose that’s just for the loss though, the loss of an imagined hope.

    BUT – now that many people have realised there is no action from the SNP, MUCH more planning is being done – ordinary people are putting in time and effort and we are actually formulating – or will do – practical plans for an independent future (instead of relying on party political ideologies). Even if it doesn’t happen in our lifetimes, we can leave a legacy of creating the bedrock for when it does happen. And it makes us much better prepared if politics does suddenly give us the opportunity.

    First step is to make politics give us the opportunity. A vain hope to sweep up the control of councils into the hands of Alba & the ISP (and others)? – the SNP is now in the same category as the tories in my book; ‘anyone but’. I’ve got links to some good wee videos explaining STV voting, and I was experimenting with working out hypothetical voting tactics (unfinished) – I’m against the ‘vote til you boke’ methodology now, but I’ll comment on all that once interest starts up for it.

    Yep, got to keep trying – but losing that hope (and pride) is a real downer. It must be 50x worse for you Iain, and other people that had the SNP as such a major part of their lives for so long. Well, fck ’em, give no quarter.

    Liked by 9 people

  32. Excellent piece ,Iain. Agree with you entirely and 99.9% of the responses. Like some others I started campaigning for Billy Wolfe. Heartening to see so much intelligent support and comment. What we now need is the right catalyst to take us forward. Presumably the new Lord Advocate will give appropriate direction to Police Scotland regarding the common law crimes of fraud and embezzlement.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. As a student in Glasgow in the mid 1990s i finally decided to step up and actually joined the SNP after having always supported independence. This was just after trainspotting, Braveheart and the Blair government being elected.

    I attended at my local branch to help out with the election , cant remember which one, but was struck by the general apathy towards independence.

    I thought I had joined a revolutionary movement seething at the bit for change but discovered on my first day that the party members were not revolutionaries but apparatchiks who couldn’t wait for the excitement of the next party conference. Deflated I didn’t return.

    Post degree I quietly settled into my pre revolutionary life to reside amongst the non threatening, Anglo Scot genteel constituency of Pension Pete where every day as Morrisey would say is like Sunday.

    Nothing changes.

    Liked by 7 people

  34. This week’s expose in The Herald of the SNP’s links to big business and lobbyists just confirms the congealment of the SNP into another establishment autocracy. What bothers me the most is that their vision of independence, if they even have such a thing, appears to be business as usual. Otherwise where are the ongoing policy papers on independence and how that would be managed? What kind of constitution would we have, what kind of parliament? Legal and policy system? Would a progressive tax system be implemented? Land reform, rewilding, ecology etc?

    You get the strong idea that these parochial MSP’s and their leaders never really give these things a moment’s thought, but assume things would roll along much as they do now, with of course them ruling the roost. Independence would be the one and only opportunity to start from a blank sheet of paper, and adopt the best practices and examples of countries around the world. Many people would favour a Scandinavian kind of society, in terms of tax and spend – where is the research and the options? Of course Sturgeon and her cronies cosying up to neoliberals gives the lie to any idea of a reallly progressive Scotland emerging. The only interest she has shown in progressive policy is in much criticised gender reform – while ignoring the much more core, essential issues.

    So, far from and indy referendum, tbey seem even further and utterly disinterested in what kind of Scotland they propose. They are frightened of the difficult questions. And that kills the whole thing. They have grown fat and stale on their big salaries and power trips. Imagine a young firebrand party who would really oppose and obstruct Boris, while galvanising us with a real vision of the future we can get behind. Impossible to imagine with this comfy cosy nostra.

    Liked by 9 people

  35. I’m afraid the latter part of your post is pure mince.

    The majority of electors voted No in 2014. What possible change was there in 2015 or16 which would have made them vote YES?

    How would a Scottish Parliament with no YES majority vote for a referendum?

    Then Covid: look at the opinion polls: even a third of YES voters are so uncertain that they say now is not the time for a referendum.

    We all want a referendum but the more politically mature want to win it by taking the people with not indulging in fantasies of glorious defeat!

    Like

    1. Radical suggestion argue the case for Independence don’t bury it, use examples of what could be different. Highlight the moves to strangle Scotland that are accelerating every week, not hide away and hope they go away. Give people reasons and examples of why they need to change their minds.Campaign Graeme, go on the attack. Every day we wait for one of the imaginary soft no’s to come across we lose more and more yes supporters. You don’t get people to change their minds with wishy, washy vague soundbites. They change their minds when you challenge head on the false narrative they have followed until now.

      Liked by 11 people

      1. Exactly, Iain. Many were frustrated by the 2014 referendum campaign with its ‘softly, softly, don’t startle the horses’ approach and once the referendum was lost, many SNPs continued with that bland, non-combative demeanour in interviews. It was supposed (officially) by the leadership that most voters were put off by ‘confrontation.’ Therefore, any strong argument was eschewed in favour of being ineffectual in interviews.

        Often, I thought angrily, some of them would have been better not turning up at all, so feeble were they in argument. ( I read many ordinary members being far more effective in combating the favourite unionist tropes.) Later, it became obvious that this was what Sturgeon and her ilk wanted, precisely because it had a chilling effect on the expectations of independence supporters and meant that they did not have to put forward robust plans for an independent country. It is also being revealed that Sturgeon is neoliberal in conviction and had no plans for the kind of Scotland many of us imagined. Scotland is instead to be part of the NATO Atlanticist nexus. Hence the hostility that she and her right wing cabal display towards much of the independence movement.

        Splitting the SNP movement is part of the plan because any concerted move towards independence has to be thwarted. There will be no move towards independence as long as she and her close collaborators are in charge. They are careerists who have no ambitions for Scotland. Sturgeon will keep up the pretence as long as possible to keep the faithful and unaware on board until she is able to depart for the bigger international stage. ( She has Brown and Blair as models. When she receives her reward for handing over Scotland, tame and denatured, we might be able to work out who the puppet masters were.)

        Liked by 5 people

    2. Keep making feeble excuses, Graeme. That will really inspire and persuade people. Self-defeating, timid verbiage, I have heard many times now. The blame is on the electorate for not being ready, never anything to do with the poor performance of the SNP and their lack of any real drive or vision for Scotland. Yes, it’s the Scottish people’s fault for not divining the Will of the Leader and her Glorious Somewhere Over the Rainbow Party.

      Liked by 8 people

  36. It takes a brass neck to dupe the Yes Movement and kid on Indy is one of her objectives but she clearly has a brass neck. Shame on her for acting in the manner she has. She has acted in a disingenuous manner on her way to becoming First Minister. She is no match compared to her predecessor and never will be. She is bad news for the cause. She has no support from the people she governs over. It is all false. What else can you conclude other than that she’s a fraud. The hopes of the Scottish people she has cruelly dashed. Her departure can’t come soon enough.

    Liked by 10 people

  37. If there is one thing that gets the attention of any organisations leaders, it’s a problem with cash flow. It was the root cause of the failure of the investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008 which then sparked the 2008 global financial crisis. So cash flow is a really big deal and one that tends to cut through the BS since the consequences are likely to be extremely serious if it isn’t addressed seriously. Often a change of leadership is needed since having the people that caused the problem try to sort it out would almost certainly be pointless. Now I don’t know if the current SNP as an organisation can be changed back to being a party whose primary goal is independence, but if it can then it seems that a change of leadership would be mandatory and the one thing that would force that to happen would be a serious cash flow issue, one that threatened the continued existence of the SNP. The SNP’s finances already look to be on thin ice, so this may already be happening. The SNP have certainly become very quiet about how many members they have and it’s likely to be a lot less than the peak of around 125,000.

    It seems that support from SNP members is a critical part of the current SNP’s source of money and the SNP leadership is largely relying on the perception that there isn’t any alternative to the current SNP to maintain this funding. That would explain the vitriol against ALBA (and Alex Salmond). But there are options, ALBA being one, but a reformed SNP is another. Bear in mind that the leaders don’t own the SNP, they effectively are just managers, who will be replaced one day anyway. As I see it, the only way the SNP can be reformed is by threatening the continued existence of it through a lack of funding and the SNP members & those who contribute to them can play a major part in doing just that. The basic question seems to be – are SNP members satisfied with how the SNP is being managed and if not, do they want the SNP to change back to seriously concentrating on independence as their primary objective. If so, they need to send them the strongest possible message and one that they can’t ignore or respond to with with empty rhetoric. Stop supporting the current SNP financially and give the SNP as an organisation a cash flow crisis to help them focus on what they should be doing to be worthy of financial support. If the SNP prove to be one of those organisations that are so arrogant that they refuse to change and are therefore destined to decline into irrelevance, then it’s better to find that out sooner than later because with such massive support for independence, there there will always be alternatives to a failed SNP. It’s time members of the current SNP had a good hard look at whether financially supporting the current SNP is in their or Scotland’s best interests.

    Liked by 8 people

  38. And Ian at 7.46am has hit the nail on the head , there are very many people on here moaning and complaining about the Sturgeon SNP , my question how many of you complaining are still members and how many are paying dues , again my question WHY
    You have people like Graeme punting no ref due to covid excuses , what happened to the other 6 years and the other 6 mandates , excuses , excuses
    NOTHING wakens people up apart from NOT having the ability to pay their bills , STOP FUNDING THEM and tell ALL the MP’S and MSP’S that you will resign your membership and NOT rejoin until Sturgeon , husband and woke cabal are removed
    What is equally depressing is that polis Scotland says there were ONLY 7 complaints really the missing money , WHY , all the people who donated MUST complain and FORCE Sturgeon to answer

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Bruce wrote
    16th Jul 2021 at 3:39 pm
    “It ( the Referendum fund) is not missing. If you look at the accounts it was spent. Not on a referendum but on running the SNP. Aside from elections the SNP has high running costs. Staff costs are over £1m That is why the Short money and MP levy are important.”

    The Referendum donations are most certainly missing, having been diverted to pay for things other than the stated purpose upon which they were solicited. That’s fraud in most people’s language, although not yours apparently. You are however correct in that they have been spent, mostly on inflated salaries for Pete Murrell and pals.

    PM’s salary and allowances is apparently a secret from a everybody including the Party Treasurer and the office-bearers in the NEC. This is equivalent to the Board of Directors and Chief Financial Officer of any listed public company being told they have no right to know the Managing Director’s salary package. That would be unacceptable in a company and it is unacceptable in a political party. Who exactly DOES set PM’s salary – himself? Or is it his wife?

    Then there is the parade of NS’s pals who are sucking on the SNP teat. Take Shirley Anne Sommerville – a woman with no discernible talents other than a dog-like devotion to Nicola Sturgeon. SAS loses her seat at Holyrood so they create the highly-paid non-position of Chief Operations Officer for her. COO’s exist in multi-billion $ corporations to oversee current operations so the CEO can focus on the future of the company. If PM can’t manage a Party Head Office of 20 employees and spending of 5.6 million Pounds he should quit and make way for someone who can. The real reason for putting SAS on the payroll is she’s a Sturgeon loyalist.

    Liked by 1 person

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