Everybody thinks they know better

Er, when did it become likely that the Brexit negotiations would drag on beyond 2021? When did this even become possible, never mind probable? Has the Lisbon Treaty been renegotiated? Because, barring that, Article 50 of that treat continues to stipulate a strict two-year period for negotiations. A period which can only be extended with the agreement of all remaining member nations of the EU. When did it become likely that such agreement would be forthcoming?

There is absolutely no reason to suppose the Brexit negotiations might run beyond the March 2019 deadline. No reason, that is, other than that it suits Carolyn Leckie’s argument to suppose this would happen.

And what is “Nicola Sturgeon’s timetable”? It sometimes seems that everybody and their therapist is claiming the right to define this “timetable” on the First Minister’s behalf. In reality, no firm timetable has been set. Nicola Sturgeon isn’t so stupid as to narrow her options for no good reason. Her consistent position has been that it is Theresa May who is setting the timetable. The closest Nicola Sturgeon has come to pinning herself down is to tentatively link a new independence referendum to a point when the outcome of the Brexit process is sufficiently clear. Which is characteristically clever. Because it effectively leaves her “timetable” wide open. The point at which a new referendum becomes justified is so undefined that it could be any time at all between right now and the March 2019 cut-off date.

Nicola Sturgeon has been careful, and clever, enough to give herself the maximum amount of leeway in deciding on a date for #ScotRef. It’s easy to understand why her political opponents would want to limit her options. It’s not so clear why Carolyn Leckie would wish to do so. Unless, of course, there was a calculation that this might advance the agenda of the righteous radicals who are determined to push the SNP to the left regardless of the consequences for the party’s electoral prospects and, thereby, for the independence campaign.

Because, despite the incessant urging from those who would find ‘honourable defeat’ a satisfactory outcome, there is no rational reason to suppose that a lurch to the left would benefit the SNP. If there were, then surely the likes of Carolyn Leckie would be setting out that rational case rather than bending the reality of the Brexit process to suit her purpose and imagining constraints on First Minister’s options which simply don’t exist.

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The time to speak is now!

As the process which will see Scotland ripped from its favoured place within the family of European nations gathers pace, it has never been more important that we assert and defend our democratic right of self-determination.

That process, already a gross insult to Scotland’s democracy, must inevitably end with the UK being redefined. It will be redefined in a manner determined entirely by the same British political elite that has demonstrated such utter contempt for the will of Scotland’s people. It will be redefined to suit the purposes of the British ruling elites, absolutely without regard for the needs, priorities and aspirations of Scotland’s people.

If we allow it, Scotland shall be locked into a political union devised to perpetuate the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state and subjected in perpetuity to a political and economic system contrived entirely to serve the interests of the few at the expense of the many.

Should we fail to prevent it, Scotland’s distinctive political culture shall be eradicated, our democratic institutions dismantled and our public services decimated – all in the name of ‘One Nation’ British Nationalism.

We yet have a democratic escape route. We can choose that Scotland’s future be decided by those who call Scotland their home. We can choose that our society be shaped in accordance with our own needs, priorities and aspirations. We can choose to take back the power to choose.

We can bring our government home.

Our First Minister and the Scottish Government are fighting for our right to choose. They are defending, on our behalf, the most fundamental of democratic principles. In our own interests, and lest we earn the scorn of future generations, we must support Nicola Sturgeon in her determination to ensure that Scotland and democracy are preserved.

We must demand a new independence referendum to be held at such time as will allow us to avoid the disastrous consequences of placing our nation’s fate in the hands of a British political elite which has no democratic legitimacy in Scotland, having been repeatedly and emphatically rejected by Scotland’s people.

We must insist, loudly and incessantly, that the democratic right of self-determination is vested wholly in the people of Scotland, to be exercised entirely at their discretion.

We must press relentlessly and by every means at our disposal for a new independence referendum in September 2018 – on or around the fourth anniversary of the vote which precipitated our current predicament.

If you find these articles interesting, please consider a small donation.
All monies received are used in furtherance of the campaign
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Hold your nerve…

It’s taken over a week for me to come to grips with what is going on with politics in the UK as well as Scotland.  I do apologise for this, however, here goes.

Let’s get one thing straight right now; despite what many would have us believe, the SNP won the General Election in Scotland.  To win 35 seats after winning the most seats in the Holyrood elections and making gains in the council elections too, I think is an incredible achievement.  So to those who claim that indyref2 should be taken from the table, I’d simply say, “get stuffed”.  The SNP will never have a clearer mandate than they do now.

However, I am absolutely furious with the likes of Tommy Sheppard, Kenny MacAskill and the rest who are claiming that Nicola Sturgeon should withdraw indyref2.  Sheppard also makes the ridiculous claim that the Party needs to move further Left, ehm, no Tommy it doesn’t.  If he’s not happy then he can leave.  Simple as that.  I’ve never had much time for him anyway.

I have been surprised at how quiet the leadership seems to be at the moment but I trust Nicola Sturgeon’s judgement.  This is something I think the Party membership needs to do.

Hold your nerve.

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Heaven help us!

Were I given to reliance on the power of prayer, my heartfelt plea to the duty deity would be that they save us from the self-satisfied, self-regarding, self-righteous twaddle-mongers of the Scottish left. They carp and snipe and cavil and hector and generally devote themselves to hindering and impeding the SNP and then trip over one another to denounce the party’s ‘failures’.

The means to their proclaimed end is right in front of them, and all they do is sneer and spit and turn up their snooty noses. But some fluffy Corbunny catches their collective eye and they’re off, chasing after it like swooning prepubescent lassies mobbing the latest teen heart-throb to come off the media’s production line.

We need hard-headed, grown-up politics. We need solidarity and focus and discipline. Instead, we’ve got a bunch of professional complainers who will never be satisfied because their pathological aversion to effective political power will always trump their commitment to any principle or objective.

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All monies received are used in furtherance of the campaign
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Let’s get serious

The phrase “Labour independence supporters” is an oxymoron. What will it take for people to learn that British Labour is a unionist party. Its position on the constitutional issue is precisely the same as the Tories’. It subscribes to exactly the same brand of jingoistic British nationalism.

Voting for British Labour is as totally inconsistent with the aims of he Yes movement as voting Conservative is with the principles of socialism. When you vote for British Labour, just as when you vote for any of the British parties, you are not only voting AGAINST independence, you are voting to ensure that independence cannot possibly ever happen.

At the very time when the forces of British nationalism are rallying, it is depressing to find so many friends of the Yes movement still insisting that we should be accepting of people who talk the talk of the independence campaign while walking with those who are fanatically opposed to that movement. We certainly should never point out the glaring contradiction for fear of upsetting these delicate hot-house flowers.

Quite why we should be concerned about upsetting them is not clear. I’m told we might deter them from supporting the cause. But they’re not supporting the cause! So what exactly do we stand to lose? And if they’re that easily put off then they were never real supporters of the cause anyway. More likely, they’d latched onto the word ‘independence’ as a fashion statement. Or as a marketing device for their own little faction.

At the very time when the forces of British nationalism are rallying, it is distressing to find so many friends of he Yes movement still obsessing about ‘diversity’ and insisting that we spread our effort and fight on a multitude of fronts. The strength of the anti-independence campaign lies in the simplicity of its message and in its solidarity, focus and discipline. Until the Yes movement commits to a single common message and learns to match and surpass that solidarity, focus and discipline, it will never succeed.

If you find these articles interesting, please consider a small donation.
All monies received are used in furtherance of the campaign
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Still marching!

Now that I’ve had some sleep I feel a little less down about the outcome of that utterly pointless election. Even though the SNP were expecting substantial losses in terms of seats, it’s hard to take when it comes to actual people, such as Angus Robertson and Alex Salmond. But, with my mind refreshed, I realise that the SNP has strength in depth. I recall the contest for Depute Leader and how we had four candidates for that role who could barely be separated in terms of their qualities and abilities. And I recognise that a similar situation arises as we are forced to think about who will replace Angus. I can easily think of two candidates right away. And there’s probably more.

I am also eager to stress that, while we lost some seats and some stars, we won the election. We won! Keep telling yourself that. More importantly, keep telling everyone else. Because the British establishment’s narrative will be that the SNP was trounced. They’re already busy crowning Ruth Davidson – again! – despite the fact that the British Conservative & Unionist Party in Scotland (BCUPS) came a very distant second. They don’t care how ridiculous they look. And Ruth Davidson certainly doesn’t mind playing the clown for the British ruling elites. She gets the attention she craves and the media have to make like they take her seriously so as to maintain the whole pretence.

It’s all about undermining the legitimacy of Scotland’s democratic institutions. That is their purpose. Only if we recognise that can we defend against it.

We won! And, in doing so, we incidentally affirmed the Scottish Government’s mandate for a new independence referendum. Not because the SNP was looking for such affirmation. The SNP has always respected the will of the Scottish people and the Scottish Parliament. The mandate was affirmed because the British parties insisted that the result of the election would be a verdict on their policy of denying the democratic right of self-determination that is wholly vested in the people of Scotland. Those people have, quite rightly and totally unsurprisingly, rejected that policy.

The result of the election was a decisive win for the SNP, with almost 50% more seats than all the anti-democratic British nationalist parties combined. #ScotRef is on!

As for our depleted representation at Westminster, well, they may be diminished in numbers, but not in quality. I have total confidence that the 35 will continue to be Scotland’s bulwark against the depredations of a vicious Tory British state to the fullest extent that they are able given the fact that the British state treats them as second-class MPs – also part of the effort to delegitimise Scotland’s democratic institutions. We have very capable people among that 35. They will do their job.

The others won’t. One of the positive things about the British nationalists winning more seats is that it will now become even more evident how the British political elite discriminates against the Scottish (SNP) MPs who are there to represent their constituents and country as opposed to the British MPs who are there to represent their party and a political system which favours the few at the expense of the many.

We won. This is just one more stage in the process of bringing Scotland’s government home. We’re still marching!

If you find these articles interesting, please consider a small donation.
All monies received are used in furtherance of the campaign
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Divisive, divisive and thrice divisive…

If ever there was an emptier soundbite than ‘strong and stable leadership’ it has to be ‘divisive referendum’.  It has been repeated so many times by Unionist Party leaders and their lackeys that I’m beginning to think that they genuinely are frightened of something. Perhaps they fear that the next time the result will be a victory for Yes.  After all, if they are willing to commit the biggest act of economic suicide on a 52% – 48% vote carried out by 67% of the electorate, then any margin of a Yes win is acceptable.  The great thing is…no one could contest it.

Supports for teams, countries, cakes, etc, everything can be divisive.  Are elections not divisive?  Of course they are, but that’s alright though, just don’t let Scotland have a referendum.

If you are a Green voter, I have one very simple plea…please, this time, vote SNP.  We have seen a surge in Tory support at the expense of Labour and LibDems.  If you truly are progressive then in this General Election, especially this one, let go of partisan politics and ensure a strong, Scottish voice is present at Westminster.  That voice is not going to come from LiS, Tories or LibDems.  It will be the SNP, support them and give them your vote.

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