A rant’s a rant for a’ that…

I want to start with an apology for my absence and lack of contributing here but at the tail-end of last October my mum passed away rather unexpectedly.  She suffered a stroke and then five days later died from bleeding on the brain.  As you can imagine, it’s not been easy.  However, here I am, and I have a few things to say.

OBFA or Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act to give it it’s full name.  I cannot express how furious I am with the Scottish Greens right now.  If they thought that the Act wasn’t good enough then why didn’t they work to make it better?  Since when was just getting rid of it the answer?  I…really am furious with this Party of shysters and opportunistic chancers.  I once expressed that I didn’t trust them, and they have proven me to be correct to feel that way about them.

If you want Scotland to be independent then may I please make this recommendation to you?  In elections vote SNP/SNP.  The SNP are the only Party that can deliver it for you.  If you are traditionally a: Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat voter/supporter but want independence, you’re going to have to vote for the SNP, then, in an independent Scotland, you can vote for your Party again (if you feel the need to).

Brexit is looming and it is a total car-crash of a process from the incompetents at Westminster.  Make no mistake about it, Brexit is all about little-Englanders projecting a greatness that never ever existed and it will bring Scotland down with it.  However, I believe that there are enough decent-minded people out there, and they can be won over to Yes.

Mundell and Ruth Jong-un with their little bunch of less-than-useless MP’s really are offering nothing to or for Scotland.  Recent polling projections see them losing 7 to 8 seats, personally I hope they all go.  Strangely, I believe that it will take an independent Scotland for the Conservatives or Labour in Scotland to find their purpose again.

I never used to believe that indyref2 was winnable, now I do.  I hope you do too.

Rant over!



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Scotland’s paper

Peter A Bell

the_nationalThere is an increasing sense that The National is, not just the only newspaper in Scotland to reflect that half of the population which aspires to independence, but also that it is the only part of the media which is actively engaging with Scotland’s politics.

I have long maintained that The National’s real value lay, not in its support for independence, but in the way it demonstrates that a different perspective is possible. There is an alternative to the cosy consensus of the British establishment media. The National has proved that. The National provides it.

The launch of YES DIY is a further step in this process. With its Roadshow events, The National has already established a reputation for reaching out to the public in a manner and to an extent which is, I think, unique in our time. The paper has also gone further than most to allow access…

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Petulant children and mindless vandals

Peter A Bell

James Kelly MSP James Kelly MSP – Petulant child? Or mindless vandal?

When Alex Salmond talks about the way the British parties at Holyrood are behaving in relation to the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act (OBFA) his anger is genuine, palpable and fully justified. He allows his emotions to show to an extent which is rare in politicians. I think that is very much to his credit.

We should all be angry about this. Regardless of what interest we have in football; or our political or religious affiliation; or even any informed and considered opinion of the legislation, we should all be outraged by the way British Labour in Scotland (BLiS), in particular, has sought to exploit the issue solely to satisfy a base and vulgar urge to land some sort of blow on the SNP.

This has nothing whatever to do with whether or not OBFA is effective as a weapon in…

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Wake up and smell the petrol!

Peter A Bell

Craig Dalzell and Common Weal do excellent work. I have no doubt that their paper on a Scottish Statistics Agency (SSA) is a worthwhile addition to an impressive and valuable body of work. But I am focused on the fight to restore Scotland’s independence. And this sort of thing is, at best, no more than tangentially related to that fight.

Would Scotland benefit from better collection, collation and analysis of a wide range of statistical information relating to all aspect of our economy and society? Of course!

Would such an agency be absolutely required after independence? Of course!

We already knew these things. Craig Dalzell’s paper fleshes out the detail. But it asks no new questions and provides no new answers. It adds nothing whatever to the constitutional debate.

It may well be argued that this was not the intention. But, because Common Weal is closely associated with the Yes…

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Sword at the throat

Peter A Bell

The SNP Depute Leader election is showing signs of being sucked into the unseemly sink of media hype, ill-informed speculation and malicious rumour-mongering that commonly characterises such contests in the cesspit of British party politics. Which would be a great pity.

One of the strategies adopted by the British state’s propaganda machine is to portray the SNP as no better than the rest. This is perfectly understandable. When it is all but impossible to find anything positive to say about any of the British parties, it becomes necessary to blur the distinction between them and the SNP. It fits perfectly with the ‘no other way’ narrative which discourages the idea that there’s an alternative to the status quo. And, of course, it is a fundamental tenet of ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist ideology that difference must be strenuously denied.

It would be surprising if the Depute Leader election wasn’t subjected to…

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Highlands & Islands Tour

Peter A Bell

Referendum 2018 – This time it’s urgent!

As some of my readers may be aware I do occasional personal appearances speaking to  Yes groups, SNP branches, public meetings or empty rooms about the independence campaign and issues pertaining thereto. Mostly, I’ll be making the case for a new independence referendum in September 2018. But I’ll be eager to hear the views of others.

At present, I’m working on putting together a wee tour taking in as much of the Highlands & Islands as possible in the space of a couple of weeks in March and on a budget of three shillings and eleven pence.

This post is intended to provide updates on my itinerary. Partly because one or two people may be interested. Mainly because writing it all down helps me keep track of whatever it is I have instead of a plan.

It all kicks off in Inverness on…

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The media filter

Peter A Bell

What a killjoy Ian Blackford is! The British media went to all the trouble of concocting a controversy around his ‘coronation’ as SNP Depute Leader, and he goes and spoils it all by announcing that he won’t be attending the ceremony. Almost from the moment Angus Robertson resigned, the story was of a party in turmoil with anonymous ‘sources’ telling tales of intrigue at the top and revolt everywhere else. Plots were supposedly afoot to usher Blackford into the post without the tedious formality of a democratic process as set out in the party’s rules.

Quite how this was to be contrived was, like the identity of those allegedly ‘voicing concerns’, never revealed. It always seemed odd to me that these ‘sources’ could be both close enough to the inner circles of the SNP to be regarded as reliable informants yet be totally unaware of the party’s constitution and…

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