Saturday, April 7, 2018

The weak enslave themselves

Yesterday was a genuinely dispiriting day for me, because for the first time I discovered I'd been blocked by an SNP parliamentarian - in spite of the fact that I hadn't said anything remotely abusive or insulting towards him.  I suppose in a way it was a useful moment of clarity, because it gave the lie to the notion that Pete Wishart has been merely trying to promote a constructive debate on the timing of an independence referendum.  Clearly the function of the rest of us was just to dutifully agree with his verdict that the SNP's mandate for a referendum should (probably) be allowed to expire.

Having been blocked by Pete, it's hard not to feel doubly cynical about Andrew Tickell's piece in The National yesterday, which lauds Pete's contribution as some kind of breakthrough in thoughtfulness and nuance.  What particularly raises a hollow laugh is when Andrew quotes one of Pete's straw men in its entirety and then says without a trace of irony: "Wishart doesn’t accept this view. Neither do I."  Let me just reiterate as the person who Pete was nominally "replying" to in his letter that the view I actually expressed is the opposite of the one he ascribed to me.  I do not believe, and have never claimed, that calling a referendum will automatically create a majority in favour of independence.  What I do believe, on a solid evidential basis, is that any significant changes in public opinion (which could be in the direction of either Yes or No) are far more likely to occur when a referendum campaign is actually underway.  That's one of the reasons why it's such a mistake to base decisions on referendum timing on minor changes (or lack of changes) in opinion poll results.

In truth, it's no surprise whatever to see Andrew backing the best available voice of caution in the SNP (or, to be blunt, the voice of indefinite inaction).  Practically the first thing Andrew did after the 2014 defeat was lecture Yes supporters on how they shouldn't even be openly referring to the possibility of a second referendum.  "Stop it" he said bluntly.  He had previously given the impression that he felt that even the 2014 referendum had been called very prematurely - which raises an intriguing question.  Are we closer to victory, or further away from it, as a result of the first indyref being held?  It may seem obvious that we're closer, because opinion polls show that most people who were won over to Yes during the 2014 campaign have remained rock-solid in their support.  But if we choose to take the view that suffering a first defeat means that the threshold for calling a second vote must be much higher, and that some kind of near-certainty of victory is now required before pulling the trigger, then it follows that we're much further away from independence simply as a result of having held a referendum in 2014.  A Yes vote of 48% in 2018 makes independence far more distant than a 33% Yes vote did in 2013.  That's perverse, upside-down logic, but it's absolutely the position unless we banish the doctrine of "a first defeat was thinkable, a second defeat is not" - which if left unchallenged will ensure that in all probability a second referendum is never held, because guarantees of victory will never be available.

I think we should come back to the light.  Calling a referendum in 2014 was not a mistake.  The converts we won over back then were not worthless.  We're closer to independence than we were five years ago, not further away.  All of those statements can be true as long as we're not hellbent on making them untrue.  There's a line from an early 1980s Doctor Who story that keeps popping into my head: "The weak enslave themselves."  We're in danger of enslaving ourselves to the fear of defeat.  The one thing that will genuinely guarantee that Scotland remains part of the UK indefinitely is an indefinite failure to hold a second independence referendum.

Of course Andrew Tickell would regard what I've just said as macho posturing.  This is the sneer with which he ends his article: "Demand as many referendums as you like. Extol courage. Blast faint-hearts. Shout and thunder at folk like Wishart raising their experiences of the communities they serve and know well."  

Well, it cuts both ways, doesn't it?  Say that the time is never right.  Suck the life out of others at every available opportunity.  Tell them to pack up and go home.  Lecture them on how they should leave the grown-up stuff to their betters.  But at least take ownership of the fact that to all intents and purposes you are arguing that Scotland should not become an independent country at any time in the foreseeable future, along with all of the consequences of that in respect of a Hard Brexit and the undermining of devolution.  Andrew and Pete Wishart both describe Scotland as "weary of big constitutional choices" - but it is a simple fact that the rejection of making a choice is a conscious rejection of independence, and an embrace of a Hard Brexit.  That is not what I joined the SNP for.

I see that Jason Michael of Random Public Journal is saying that if the SNP allow their mandate for a referendum to expire, he will look away from the SNP and find another vehicle for independence.  I don't take that view, because I don't think there will be another credible vehicle.  But being blocked by Wishart simply because I refuse to abandon my support for an independence referendum is perhaps my lowest point since joining the SNP, and I'm beginning to understand how people's enthusiasm is going to just wither and die almost overnight if the party leadership allow fear to win the day and let the hard-won mandate expire.  I'm still hoping and praying that doesn't happen.  Over to you, Nicola.

61 comments:

  1. As someone who has also been blocked by Pete Wishart I have to say I agree entirely with James Kelly's sentiments.

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    1. as someone who's been blocked by Peter Bell, I also agree with James, but think ppl should understand blocking cos of a slight disagreement is not helpful

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    2. As someone who doesn't tend to express any political views on social media and has thus remained unblocked by all relevant players, I find myself in agreement with James' sentiments also.

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    3. I've always thought that Pete Wishart was a Tory wolf in sheep's clothing. If we don't have another Independence Referendum before the English Dictator sets the seal on Brexit and takes all powers back from the Scottish Parliament, then we will never be able to have one.

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  2. What the hell is going on?
    I can't understand why Pete Wishart, or any pro independence supporter for that matter, would NOT want another referendum. Especially by using the 'argument' that we should wait until the time is right!
    That's like being manager of the smaller league football team that reaches the Cup Final, and on the day of the final he tells the bus driver to turn back to their 'wee' town.
    "We're not playing today lads. I think we should wait until I have better players than the opposition..."
    Total crap attitude. I say bring it on. NOW ;)

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  3. These doom merchants should resign from the S. N. P. The only reason the S. N. P. is in politics is to gain independence for our country.

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    1. Aye right Nat si the salaries are not the incentive! Just fanatical loyalty. Whit a mug ye are.

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    2. State of this.

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  4. Personally, I favour a referendum in the next 12 months and I was dismayed to read Pete's original article as I always previously looked forward to his views. That's fine though, differences of opinion are healthy.

    He announced his intention to run for deputy leader of the SNP alongside the publication of his original article which he subsequently withdrew seemingly as a result of the majority reaction which was negative to his views. He has continued to push his hold hold ideas despite this and has now been lampooned by unionists for it.

    Lost a lot of my former respect for Pete and had considered muting him which I never thought I would ever do with any SNP member.... Now he has started to block those who disagree with his viewpoint I've made my mind up to unfollow him. This makes me sad. I have been reading your blog and tweets for years, James although I rarely comment here and you've always been completely civil, tolerant and respectful even when disagreeing with whoever you're debating with. Pete seems to have lost the plot here.

    I do hope Pete Wisharts views are of a very small minority in the party otherwise we are screwed.

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  5. As someone said elsewhere


    When the horse is thirsty you let it drink

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  6. Excellent summary of what's been going on, James.

    The thing about Wishart and Tickell's defeatist admonitions is that they are not merely illogical and contrary to the evidence - they are dangerous and give great succour to the BritNat state whose sole aim right now is to convince enough gullible Scots that they can safely put off an IndyRef until some mythical perfectly aligned point perhaps years after Brexit. Let me tell them that the BritNat state already has the plans in place to cut the democratic legs off beneath Scotland simultaneous with signing off Brexit. How could it be otherwise - the BritNat need for what Scotland has is increased tenfold after Brexit.

    Pete Wishart says we can't risk an IndyRef until the the UK poling companies, commissioned by God-knows-who, tell us it's a cert we'll win it by a large margin. Those of us in the real world, on the other hand, know the nature of the BritNat State when it perceives a threat and know the existential threat to Scotland's structures of democracy make going all out for independence while we still can the *only* option on offer. Better to try and lose again than have the option of trying removed by Westminster legislation which Scotland can never outvote. But here's the thing - Scotland in reality has almost certainly been over the 50% threshold for YES since the Brexit vote. The Scottish parliament has voted to give Scots a choice through an IndyRef before Brexit is ratified. Does Pete Wishart really imagine the SNP would survive not using that and seeing Westminster legislate away our powers to do so again? You can just see Pete Wishart jumping up and down with indignation in Commons as they do it. But he and Scotland would be impotent to prevent it. The numbers make it an English parliament. As was shown when Cameron announced EVEL the morning after Scots voted away their self determination in 2014, and Scotland's paltry number of MPs were powerless to prevent or amend it. Or to get through a single amendment to the Scotland Bill.

    No, ignore the siren voices of Wishart & Tickell and get on with pushing hard for the only option open to us in a rapidly closing window of opportunity - an IndyRef this autumn.

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    1. Agree 100% with your comment. If the thinking of Wishart in any way reflects the views of Nicola then we may as well pack it in now.

      Or at least they can. I have no intention of letting my family, in particular my daughter down by giving up.

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    2. Spot on Quarmby. I'M 100% with you on this. I've been wondering why the SNP having been running an on going indie campaign since the need it vote. Why so aquiescent? Where is the steel, the determination?

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    3. I agree Quarmby I am disappointed in both Pete and Andrew, time grows short. We on the ground can feel the groundswell of support... if we don’t have our referendum soon, it won’t happen at all.

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  7. I must say I’m very disappointed in Pete Wishart. Not because has a different opinion on indy2 timing from me but because of the decidedly precious attitude he has shown towards folk who dont agree with him. I suspect he got a real fright, nearly losing his seat at the last election and that has absolutely coloured his view. I’m in Mundell’s constituency, but still think there could be enough really disillusioned folk now willing to give Indy a go, if the chance comes up.

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  8. Well said, James. Tickell and Wishart are allowed their views but, as far as I'm concerned, their negativity hinders the independence movement.

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  9. James don't worry yourself. If Pete now thinks he is the great Brahm Seer and we are all deluded. Then it's time Nicola put him in a dark room for a while.

    I said this on another site. How in God's name is this anything other than the best time for a referendum. This is the weakest government in British history. If we can't beat this lot then we truly are beaten.

    Pete Wishart is just one person, he knows as much about the future as any of us!

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    1. God is not real or Scottish and is unable to vote as it does not exist.

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    2. Don't say that in front of your Tory overlords' masters. Strict adherence to literal readings of the Bible there.

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    3. I reckon you will find the bible thumpers amongst the donators to the Nat si party and West of Scotland Catholic former Labour men who joined the Nat si party. Old Labour!

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    4. State of this.

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  10. the problem is nobody really has a clue as to the best strategy - we are after all in uncharted territory. Having a debate helps but blocking on the basis of a disagreement is juvenile and disrupts debate.
    FWIW, it seems like the activists NEED some action and that is an asset that our opponents don't have - ie a large group of highly motivated activists. We need to exploit every advantage so we need to go soon(ish) ;)

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    1. The strategy is to have a legal referendum not bummin oan aboot wan.
      Kim Yung Eck had a general agreement with the UK Gov that the referendum result would be honoured for a generation. Four years is not a generation unless you are Irish.

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    2. State of this.

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  11. James Kelly: "I see that Jason Michael of Random Public Journal is saying that if the SNP allow their mandate for a referendum to expire, he will look away from the SNP and find another vehicle for independence. I don't take that view, because I don't think there will be another credible vehicle."

    Problem is, if the SNP allow the mandate to expire, the credibility of the leadership will be shot, they will no longer be able to maintain internal cohesion, and the Party will split.

    SNP nomenklatura (to include Pete Wishart) should be under no illusion that this is anything other than an existential issue for the Party. They have as I see it *no choice* but to action indyref2 before Brexit.

    If they do so, the possibilities are:

    1. A YES vote and the Party survives in govt to negotiate the end of colonial rule
    2. A NO vote and the Party survives in govt to 2021 and intact thereafter to fight another day

    If they allow the mandate to expire:

    1. There will be no possibility of independence
    2. They will have violated their 2016 covenant with the People
    3. The Party will most likely split
    4. They will be unelectable (should it somehow hold together it will be held in contempt by sufficient numbers of voters to make it unelectable).

    Why would those betrayed by an SNP that allowed the mandate to expire, believe any promise the party leadership might make with respect to independence at the next election? Again, by that point it would not be a "credible vehicle". The SNP as constituted would cease to be an effective force in Scottish politics.

    The injustices of exploitative colonialism and the sore need for independence would remain of course, but the SNP will have been judged not fit for purpose.

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    1. "Problem is, if the SNP allow the mandate to expire, the credibility of the leadership will be shot"

      Agreed. There would be little point in being part of a supposedly credible vehicle for independence if that vehicle doesn't appear to have a credible plan or obvious desire for independence any longer.

      That's not to say there would automatically be a more credible alternative, of course, but it would be fair to review allegiances at that point should it come to pass.

      Just sitting back hoping the results of Brexit will be the thing that convinces people of Yes isn't sufficient - the case for independence itself has to be made.

      Delaying and hanging on for a referendum at a better time is more understandable if you spend the interim working out answers to the questions where you were found wanting the first time. Then you have the answers ready for when you need them. As an additional benefit if you're open with this process then you can engage the public and influence opinion on the way.

      But I've not seen much evidence of that since 2014. Has the discussion actually moved on that far? That to me is the disappointing thing, progress in the discussion only really feels like it was made during the referendum campaign itself.

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  12. Nicola Sturgeon blocked me for posting peer-reviewed published science (I still thinks she's great though)
    Tommy Barlow --> https://www.facebook.com/indyref2/posts/877611115743116?comment_id=877678409069720

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  13. As a Welsh person, who follows events in Scotland closely, I hope you don't mind me expressing an opinion from Wales here!

    It's easy for me to say of course, but to my mind, it's a bit of a no brainer as they say!

    This mandate to call a second independent referendum surely has to happen BEFORE Brexit happens, i.e March 29 2019, because after that date would be too problematic, and the British state's hold on Scotland would be even stronger in its post-Brexit flush.

    It would seem to me that the Independence Referendum would therefore need to be called in the Autumn, once the Brexit deal is announced, with perhaps a quick month long campaign.

    As far as I see it- you will never have a more opportune time. The weakest, most divided Conservative Government for years, and a PM who would be an automatic vote winner for the Independent cause. Cameron in 2014 at least had some human qualities and could convey his cause with a modicum of plausability. Maybot only conveys ruthless English arrogance and superciliousness- guaranteed to wind up you Scots like never before. With your enemy fighting what seems to be a hopeless cause against the EU, the SNP need to show no mercy and go for the kill NOW.

    Mind you, the ideal scenario would be to avoid the vagaries of another referendum by just declaring in Westminster that the Act of Union is over.With Westminster likely to refuse Holyrood's Continuity Bill to guarantee the fl retrn of EU powers to Scotland, this will surely prove to the Scottish public that this is no union at all, it's just a state of English colonialism pure and simple.

    Ewch amdani! Go for it!

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    1. Why would you want Scotland to be independent and controlled by the EU?
      If Wales got independence then you would be a welfare basket case and your people would vacate Wales for England.

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    2. Anonymous from Wales,

      Thanks for the support pal.

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    3. Yes, thanks Wales. Oh, and just ignore the house troll! He, she or they are a permanent feature. Like that annoying cough or that unnoticed dog poo which you just can't get rid of.

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  14. I don't agree with Pete Wishart or Andrew Tickell. The very idea of letting the mandate for a referendum simply expire appals me. I'm disappointed that some people feel it's better to simply wait and see what comes to us rather than take a positive approach. It reeks of a feeling that we should wait till those in power at Westminster decide it's the right time for us to hold a referendum.
    There will almost certainly never come a point when we can be absolutely certain of securing a Yes vote before we decide the date and terms for the referendum itself. We have greater certainty about the future within the UK now than we did about our future either as a new/old independent nation or as still part of the UK in 2014. It's not likely to look much rosier any time soon, given the dismal projections for the aftermath of Brexit. I think we already know enough to make a decision about whether and when to hold the referendum. We can be certain that the circumstances we will face if we hold the referendum after March 2019 will be more challenging, given the certainty that all of the British Nationalist parties will conspire to thwart us by any and every possible means. We should be looking at a short campaign ahead of a referendum in late September or early October this year at latest. I emailed my SNP MSP today urging her to press for a decision soon and for a referendum this year. I think we should all be letting our MSPs know our views. Yes the SNP as Scottish Government are critical to this, but they don't control the independence movement. They're just as dependent on us to achieve independence. They seriously need to get off the fence and soon.

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  15. Well said James. Excellent article. Like you, I have always voted SNP and will continue to do so, because I don't think any other viable vehicle for independence exists.

    At the same time, I find what Pete Wishart is saying and doing very disturbing. It seems to me that his position is clearly opposed to what has been, and remains official SNP policy. Namely, that we have the mandate for a referendum, and we do intend to use it if we are heaved out of Europe (or, at least, out of the Single Market and the Customs Union) against our will.

    Yet despite his position being against official Party policy, no one in the SNP leadership seems to reprimand or even contradict him ... Why is that?

    To be honest - although I hope very much that I am mistaken - it reminds me of what happened with Alex Neil, another senior SNP insider. Alex was allowed to openly contradict the SNP's long-standing commitment to 'independence in Europe', which always meant as a full member state of the European Union. And no one in the leadership of the SNP reprimanded or contradicted him either.

    Full EU membership had been clearly stated SNP policy for about 40 years, and it was what a clear majority of Scots voted for in the Brexit referendum (62%). Yet, without it ever being debated or changed at a Party conference, or by any other normal means, the SNP leadership has allowed the matter to drift. By not contradicting Alex Neil, another long-standing SNP insider, they made it seem as if the Party's policy on Europe was now an open question.

    Very occasionally someone at the top says something to the effect that 'we still prefer full membership of the EU, but ...' and it is the 'but', which sticks in the mind. Even if that 'but' is only implicit, and not openly stated.

    Effectively, the official policy is being watered down to the notion that 'membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union' will do instead, and it will be quite enough. Now that is a very different kettle of fish from full membership. Most people now have the impression that the SNP would finally be satisfied, and seems even to prefer non-membership solutions like that enjoyed by Norway.

    Con/d...

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    1. My point here does not concern the EU (though personally I am in favour of retaining or achieving full membership). Whatever you think about that question, my point here is the way SNP policy is being allowed to drift, and is no longer clear. It used to be that with the SNP, alone of all major political parties, what was written on the can was what you got. They had clearly stated policies and they stuck to them. On the very few occasions when a major policy was changed, it was done openly and publicly, with nothing hidden. The one example that comes to mind was in regard to NATO membership.

      My feeling is that this is no longer the case. Policy is being changed not by open debate and Party Conference, all the correct means for changing it, but by 'drift' ... And I find that very disconcerting, if not calamitous.

      And - again, I hope very much I am wrong - but I think I perceive a pattern here. Alex Neil, as an insider in the SNP leadership, was allowed to openly contradict official Party policy. The leadership did not oppose him. Basically, they just kept quiet. The only reason for that that I can think of is that, fundamentally, they agreed with him. Or, at least, were not opposed to him. They were quite happy that the membership would begin to wobble on the issue of EU membership.

      And that must mean that the leadership itself was no longer as committed to that policy (full EU membership) as, officially, it was still claiming to be. Instead of having open debate on the issue, which they foresaw might be divisive (and might not end up where they wanted it to end up) the leadership used a tactic of 'drift'.

      Con/d...

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    2. I hope I am wrong, but I think I see the same pattern with Pete Wishart, another long-standing SNP insider. The question that comes to mind is this: why is he being allowed to make statements which undermine the official SNP position (basically, that the mandate for an independence referendum is there, and we will use it)? And why does the SNP leadership not contradict him? Is it because, fundamentally, they agree with Pete?

      Of course, they can't say openly that they agree with Pete, because that would be to contradict explicitly Party policy. By not opposing him they don't contradict themselves but they do, perhaps, hope that there will be sufficient 'drift' (towards Pete's view) so that they can find an excuse for not implementing Party policy. Because, secretly, they agree with, though they can't say so publicly.

      That's what happened with Alex Neil's opposition to EU membership.

      Now maybe - indeed I am sure - there were what the SNP leadership must have considered good pragmatic reasons for allowing the drift that that created. And I am not saying that their calculations were necessarily mistaken, even if I personally am not convinced of them. (No doubt, they did not want to lose the 30% of its membership that they know is anti-European. Though if they had come out openly in favour of the clearly pro-European standpoint that accorded with their official policy, they might have gained new members from among the 62% that voted against Brexit. I acknowledge that they would also have been afraid of a hard border between England and Scotland arising from Scotland being in the EU and England out of it.)

      What I am saying is that ultimately this way of changing Party policy will do harm to the SNP. There will be too big a gap between what they say policy is and what they actually end up doing. In the end it will be very difficult for voters to trust them. They are not fools: they want to know what they are voting for, and they need to believe that what the Party says it will do, it will indeed do.

      If my analysis of what happened with Alex Neil is correct, and if what is happening with Pete Wishart is the same kind of thing, then where are we?

      I try not to believe this, but I can't help thinking that Alex Neil wasn't just acting as a maverick: there must have been, surely, some kind of a tie-up between him and the leadership. Some kind of collusion ... In the end, what he did does seem to have served the current leadership's purpose ...

      Con/d...

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    3. The hope seems to be that we will all quietly forget about EU membership, and the SNP's previous (and still official) commitment to obtaining that. Instead, it seems, we are supposed to get used to the idea of settling for less ... even though the SNP always said it wanted full membership. And that's what is still written on the SNP can, though it's fading fast.

      And if that is the case, isn't it likely that there is some kind of tie-up - some kind of collusion - between Pete Wishart and the SNP leadership today, as well? After all, Pete is very much an insider within that leadership circle. I can easily imagine that when he put out his views about kicking the referendum into the long grass he knew the leadership would not reprimand him for it, or contradict him. They wouldn't come out in his favour, but they wouldn't say 'no' either.

      Yet, I think they should have done.

      I also agree with James Kelly that you have to win a referendum by having one: you can't win it in advance. I think someone in the SNP - it might even have been Nicola Sturgeon, though I may be wrong there - once mentioned that they wanted 60% polling in favour of independence before they would hold another one. That is just crazy ... and it guarantees nothing. I suspect there may have been polls giving the Remain side exactly that kind of margin before the Brexit referendum was called. But the Remain people fought such a pathetic and complacent campaign, at least in England, that they lost the whole thing.

      As James said, over to you Nicola ...

      You can't delay for ever on calling the referendum that we all so much need and look forward to. I hope the campaign material is ready, or just about - it should be by now. Fear won't win it, nor false security ...

      Show some confidence ...

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  16. I just found myself forced to unfollow Pete Wishart which was not a happy moment, but he was so unpleasant to people disagreeing with him, I felt it had to be done. Both he and Andrew need to come to the realisation that their opinion is not the only 'reasonable' opinion out there.

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  17. I completely agree with you, James, especially your last two paragraphs.

    Firstly, I think that we're being persuaded to over-estimate the opposition.

    Back in 2010 Len Deighton wrote this: "Anyone who spent much time in Berlin's eastern sector could not fail to see that Germany's communist regime was shaky, although shaky regimes repressive enough sometimes continue for a long time.

    While people in the West were talking about - - - the stability of the so called German Democratic Republic, its rotten fabric was there for anyone who wasn't wearing pink-coloured glasses - - - but little did I guess that the Wall would come down with such a spectacular crash".

    I've thought for a while now that this is also a pretty good description of the UK and the current Westminster Parliament/Establishment. They make a lot of noise but they're no longer confident or properly in control and I don't think that they have the resources, energy or will to resist a really strong push.

    Secondly, there is always a danger that "playing a long game" becomes a risk-averse excuse for doing nothing. If the Wishart/Tickell tendency gains ground, I think that we'll be in serious danger of running out of time.

    Because, even if the Westminster establishment really is as shaky as I think, this state of affairs won't last for ever. Either they'll recover (unlikely) or they'll become more repressive. If Spain gets no comeback for using fascist police tactics and gaoling independence politicians, how long before we have the Nicola Sturgeon Suite in HMP Downview? And even if they don't go that far, the Tories clearly intend to dismantle/damage the devolution settlement as much as possible. There won't be some big, cataclysmic moment - powers will be reduced or removed over a couple of years, growing Westminster control will become normalised and suddenly we'll realise that we don't have the power to hold another referendum.

    And then what?

    A week or so back, Craig Murray commented that "The continued failure - - - of the SNP to argue to the public the case for Independence, - - - leaves me to feel that the SNP leadership have got their feet under the table within the UK. - - - (They) are far happier talking about which powers devolve to Holyrood from Brussels, and which stay at Westminster, than they are talking about Independence."

    While I'm not sure that I would go quite that far, I think that there is more than a grain of truth in his comment. Which is worrying because, if ever there was a time to strike while the iron was hot, this is it.


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  18. Long winded comments from the Nat sis which suggest their desperation although Tomlin was short with his guff.
    All and all we Unionists are in the ascendency. Gets boring without opposition. Yawn.

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    1. State of this.

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    2. WeSaidNoToYesMenApril 9, 2018 at 2:18 PM

      Hallelujah, GWC

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    3. State of this.

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  19. I think the SNP want a third party to call for the next referendum. They are scared to push the button themselves.

    Pete might actually be testing the water for the SNP . Depending on the reaction they proceed as necessary.

    However many people are now questioning Nicola. We are losing the faith because she is not communicating with us anymore. We don't have a clue what she wants but we hope it's the same as us.

    A leader who ignores the people who elected them is on a shoogly peg. It seems that strategy has completely smothered principals. The SNP need to do what is right not what causes least mock outrage.

    If they are scared of the media then the fight is,lost

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  20. I think we are now seeing a split opening up between the elected SNP politicians and the membership. The membership wants an immediate referendum, the elected politicians don't.

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    1. Nonsense, The members/yessers are not calling for an immediate referendum.
      We just need to be reassured that when the time comes we'll sieze the moment.
      Nicola has our support.
      She's following her stated timetable, which looks right to me as every day passes.
      Beware trolls trying to divide us.

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  21. the time is right when you make it so.

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  22. We will have a 2nd Referendum. Pete is one voice and entitled to it, there are 120,000 voices in the SNP. They want Scotland to decide its own future.
    The reverse of devolution is coming, Pete should be out showing why Independence trumps devolution every time. He doesn't need to win over everybody in his constituency, just more. It's not a GE vote.
    I watched the Mhairi Black speech from the other day. If you feel jaded watch it, it's why we want Independence, warts and all, it's why we want out of the Tory Westminster club where Scotland plays the lackey.
    Highlighting the Councils debacle where Labour is going into coalition with the Tories. 8 Councils have coalitions to 'stop the SNP', 4 of these Lab/Con. More voters need to be made to think about that.
    If voters are weary of constitutional issues, constitutional issues haven't forgotten about them and Brexit, devolution stripping, increased colonial rule is coming and complaining too late won't help, nobody will be listening. Not even me.

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  23. Latest independence referendum poll from this morning:

    Scottish public preference for second independence referendum:

    Not in the next few years: 58%
    While Brexit is being negotiated: 17%
    Following the negotiation of Brexit: 25%

    &

    Scottish independence voting intention:

    Yes: 43%
    No: 57%

    via @Panelbase

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    1. Didn't Panelbase also predict the UK would vote Remain in 2016?

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  24. I have written to Pete and asked him to reconsider his block on James.

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  25. The Yes movement in the lead up to 2014 did the oppposite of enslaving the weak. It inspired those rendered powerless to instead realise we hold the power if we don’t give it away.

    A second movement for Yes, starting from this much stronger base (a base that has held despite the seemingly overwhelming attempts to wear it down) can do so much better.

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  26. Knickerless and Co know that it is the prosperity of Scots that is more important than poverty and flag waving nat sis.
    On leaving the EU Scotland will be dependent on the UK internal market and trade deals struck by the UK. An amicable deal with the EU would be helpful but not necessary.

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    1. After Brexit England will be dependent on striking a good trading deal with Scotland. England will, after all, have to remove its nuclear subs and nukes from Scottish soil, and her rusting subs, too, currently berthed (9 hulks) in Rosyth docks. England will also lose it's main source of wealth (North Sea oil & Gas and I am sure the new independent state of Scotland will be claiming bank the North Sea section under International sea law which Blair annexed to England in 1999, without a cheep from the 40 odd Scots Labour MPs. No England will not have its troubles to seek, once it loses it's richest region of its natural wealth. However I have every faith that England will be able to stand on its own two feet, impoverished though it will be. It would not be in Scotland's economic interests to make England's woes greater than they will undoubtedly be, once England is forced to stand on its own two feet. After Scotland goes, they will undoubtedly lose N Ireland and Gibraltar too. And would a non nuclear England be able to cling onto a seat on the UN security council, especially as Boris Johnson has turned England into the world's jester?

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  27. Wishart was elected in 2017 by only 21 votes. He has been in Parliament since 2001. In any constitutional crisis the likelihood of yet another General Election is increased 10 fold. Perhaps Wishart's caution stems more from his own precarious future, than any fears of Indyref2. Perhaps he also fears that if we win Independence, his day job will be over. It is curiouser and curiouser. I have no idea his actual motives but, as the old saying goes, 'faint heart never won fair maiden', that goes for everything worth fighting for, including our country's independence and no matter when it is called, there will still be the same tsunami of shite used by the dependency side to win, as there was in 2014.

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  28. I agree completely with James's main point. The purpose of this comment is to suggest that it might be wise not to claim
    that Brexit will inevitably be 'Hard'. The great sigh of relief that went up from Westinster and Brussels just before Christmas arose because the committment over the NI border means that, whatever the huffing and puffing, when it comes to the point, the actual Brexit will be 'Soft'. Of course, Mrs May may still not swing it or fudge it, or whatever; but to say that Hard Brexit is inevitable is just to give a hostage to fortune unnecessarily.

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  29. This isn't a matter of *wanting* another referendum. I don't *want* another referendum. I'm not looking forward to aching bones, sleepless nights, chafed fingers, raw soles, and ceaseless anti-indy propaganda. But "want" doesn't enter into it.

    The SNP went to the people of Scotland with a manifesto explicitly saying the people of Scotland have the right to another referendum in exactly these circumstances, just like they went to the people in 2011. And guess what? Despite the d'Hont system returning fewer SNP MSPs overall, the popular vote for the 2016 election - in terms of number, percentage, and turnout - was GREATER than in 2011. More people voted for a manifesto with indyref2 in it than voted for indyref1. A greater proportion of people voted for that manifesto. And a greater number and proportion of people voted for that party with that manifesto than for any party since the Scottish Parliament was reconvened. This, all without considering the clear nightmare that leaving the EU under a Tory banner will entail. When practically everyone with any sense is screaming what a disaster the Tories' catastrophic mismanagement of leaving the EU will be (which is a separate issue from leaving the EU in and of itself), why on earth *wouldn't* you take steps to extricate yourself?

    I fear that some fellow pro-independence supporters may be confusing "want" with "need." I don't want another independence referendum, but by God do I think we need one, and we need it as soon as possible.

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    1. You do not have a clue what the final agreement with the EU cabal will be. There is hardly much point in speculating until the matter is resolved.
      Hopefully a sensible arrangement will be agreed on however the EU cabal may be stupid enough to frustrate an amicable agreement and a hard brexit is then inevitable. I note the EU are now threatening Hungary with sanctions or expulsion for not obeying orders. The EU will implode if it does not respect democracy.

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    2. State of this.

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  30. There is only democracy for England in the UK. Stuff your empire where the sun does not shine GWC2.

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