Leah Gunn Barrett is a dual US-UK citizen. She worked for several years in the US Data Resources (DRI), and in London for The Economist Group and Tetra Pak UK. In the US, she led gun control organisations in the states of Maryland and New York after her older brother, Greg, was murdered in 1997. She holds a degree in economics from Carleton College, a Master’s in International Affairs and Russian from Columbia University and a Master’s in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. Leah lives in Edinburgh.


  1. Hi Iain

    You’ve already ‘revealed’ me. 



    Sent from my iPhone


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    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought you been revealed already too. Obviously so good they named you twice…

      I hope we don’t need a violent revolution either. I can’t see Scots throwing good and increasingly expensive tea in the harbour. We’d rather drink it 🙂

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  2. A deep dive into that Redfield & Wilton poll that McPrävda are heralding as a game changer. Stepping up to the oche as apparently SCOT goes POP! cannie be ersed (just kiddin’ James).
    Field work 26th – 27th November.
    Headline: 52% Yes (excluding don’t knows).
    Firstly and most glaringly, 16 and 17 year olds are included. It’s the Holyrood franchise stoopid. Sturgeon is hell bent on using Westminster as the vehicle for the plebiscite (or so she claims).
    All figures excluding don’t knows.

    Net favourability for plebiscite next year +3%.
    Net favourability for plebiscite in five years +7%.
    There’s little to be gained from waiting.
    🎶It’s now or never🎶
    Carpe diem!

    52.5% of folk would expect Yes to win a plebiscite in 2023. Expectations can skew outcomes. Suppression of turnout for No, going with the popular flow and other factors.
    This wasn’t the case with Brexit, but Brexit was an insurrection campaign, as Yes will be with overwhelming State and msm propaganda bias.

    Personal approval.
    Sturgeon net +16%
    Sunak net -4%
    Starmer net +11%
    Sarwar net -12%
    Ross net -44%
    Sturgeon would clearly be better facing off against Sarwar and Ross than Starmer.

    Probability of a Labour government fractionally increases tendency to vote No (23% to 20% with 57% no difference). A Labour government resulting from the next Westminster GE is a racing certainty, so small margins matter.

    Approval of Scottish Government’s performance on Independence is net -4%. Well duh, this is an amalgam of Unionists and an increasing cohort of frustrated Nationalists.

    Some contradictory results. 59.5% of respondents agreed with Alister Jack’s statement that a 60% approval for Yes in the polls should be a required threshold to trigger a referendum. This seemingly contradicts the 51.5% that would be happy to see a plebiscite next year. These long winded questions tend to be leading and give odd results.

    Alex Salmond and ALBA have dreadful approval ratings. Net, -62% and -68% respectively. This is hardly surprising as they are the subject of relentless State propaganda, both the UK and Sturgeon’s jumped up Toon Cooncil.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Nicola Sturgeon gains a mention in the last sentence on vivianoblivian7’s final sentence above in his helpful polls analysis. There is a reference to the First Personage also today in the second installment of Robin McAlpine’s insightful sweep through devolution history. Some paragraphs to give context —


    “[…] Horrible things were said about us. The personal attacks I faced (for seeking to set up a kind of constitutional convention) were unpleasant to say the least. It all meant we had no chance of pursuing that path. No collective or collegiate approach to developing the case for independence was possible. But there was still one window – we also needed an effective communication body.

    “If political parties are bad for talking to civic organisations, they’re terrible for having conversations with people who need to be gently won over to a cause. We did manage (just) to get enough support to create a vehicle for engaging constructively with our target voters. That was a mountainous amount of work and it nearly burned me out for good, but we got it done.

    “We did lots of proper professional research and got a branding agency to design and advise us on how to approach voters based on that research. We really had a body which could have done the biggest task that needed done. So we prepared for launch.

    “Still we were trying to keep everyone together and be open about things. So we arranged for someone to meet Nicola Sturgeon two weeks before the launch to tell her all about it and to ask for her support. She said nice words. Then the night before the launch date that we told her about she launched, a shoddy, half-baked spoiler.

    “It was no more and no less than that. The National turned on us at the same time… and so we were finished. That body, Voices for Scotland, was all but destroyed.[…]”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The CLAIM OF RIGHT is a central feature:


      “From the early 1980s the CSA [Campaign for a Scottish Assembly] view was that a constitutional convention would be the best route forward. It had been adopted as policy by the SNP in 1983 on the second attempt but there was no prospect of Labour accepting it at that stage. But after the Tories won yet another election in 1987 despite Labour winning 50 Scottish seats, the CSA decided it was now or never.

      “They did not feel they had the credibility to initiate it so they tried to establish that credibility by setting up a committee of respected individuals with a wide range of experience to prepare the case for a convention to work out the principled reasons why there should be a Scottish legislature and how it should be constituted – the Claim of Right group.

      “It is instructive to look at who was on that – because it wasn’t political parties. It was chaired by a retired senior civil servant called Sir Robert Grieve (first chair of the Highlands and Islands Development Board) and the secretary was another retired civil servant called Jim Ross. They were appointed not because ‘they were popular with the base’ or because they had promoted themselves for the post but because they had the track record in managing negotiations.

      “They led what was a lot of the careful wheeling-and-dealing that creates support for new ideas. The other members of the group included an Assistant Secretary of the STUC, a retired Diplomat, and some academics like Neil McCormack and Isobel Lindsay (my mum) among others. The point was that everyone was 100 per cent committed, no one was there to grandstand and everyone was selected because they were capable of doing the job that needed to be done.

      “[…] But the CSP stalwarts were still worried that this wasn’t enough, that Labour in particular wasn’t bound in enough and could be flakey (there were very vocal rebels like Tam Dalyell voicing strong opposition). So the CSP [Campaign for a Scottish Parliament] took a gamble. They organised a mass signing of the Claim of Right (as it was now known) and almost dared individual backbenchers not to sign. By the time over 50 per cent of MPs had signed up the gig was over – even Dalyell read the weather and signed.

      “This might seem like an easy, consensual step looking back on it from now but this history shows it was no such thing. In reality it was clever brinksmanship. That’s part of the point – everything looks easy after you’ve done all the work.”

      Robin’s third installment is tomorrow Friday 2 Dec.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Robin McAlpine’s third installment now posted —

      “In Part One I looked at the history of how Scotland won its Parliament. In Part Two I argued that the post-2014 independence movement went in a very different direction and ended up a blind alley. I want to finish by trying to reset, have a look at where we are now and work out what the work remains to be done. This is absolutely not comprehensive for loads of reasons. […] But also because I’m tired of this movement trying gainfully to discuss and come up with ideas and strategies only to see them deliberately derailed or woefully misappropriated by the SNP leadership.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Any student of postcolonial theory knows that a dominant national party elite seek instead a compromise with the colonial power, from whom it has taken great care never to break contact with. The objective of the national party is no longer the radical overthrowing of an oppressive system, but rather in coming to an agreement with it, much as we see. Those who never get as far as postcolonial theory, nor undertake a reasoned analysis of the colonial situation, are unlikely to be able to shape a strategy for independence/decolonization.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Being done jointly by Sara and myself. We were looking in the main for people with international experience and contacts as our tactics are to build support internationally for our later appeal to the UN. Please note members are not members of the Scottish National Congress merely the organising committee. Members of Liberation.Scot will be balloted for membership of the SNC in good time.

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