The Way Forward 102

As I told The Way Forward conference in Kirkcaldy today, I am submitting my application to the SNP to join their list of approved candidates. They may not want me, and then I have to find a constituency that wishes to adopt me. So the tweets tonight that I am standing as an SNP candidate are a little optimistic. I am also very keen indeed not to come in as a carpetbagger where a hardworking local activist wishes to stand – I had (and I am being very open here) thought my natural target would be Dundee West, where I lived for seven years and was elected University Rector. But a very good man I know is going to be seeking that one, so I shall not.

Ideally I would love to take on Gordon Brown, Dougie Alexander, Jim Murphy or one of the other great dinosaurs – and war criminals – and bring some truths about them, and about what the unionist parties have done to Scotland, home to the people they “represent”. I won 5% of the vote in the 2005 election standing as an Independent candidate against Jack Straw in Blackburn, a constituency with which I had no connection at all. If I can bring a 3 or 5% personal vote to add to the soaring SNP vote, all kinds of things become possible.

I was asked if I would consider standing, after my speech at today’s conference. In replying that I was applying to be accepted as a qualified candidate I was not intending to start all the hares I have started. I must say I was really touched by the enthusiasm and applause that greeted my response. In clarifying what I am thinking, I am aware I may seem very presumptuous. I should be delighted to hear from any constituency seeking a candidate; otherwise I am going to be living in Scotland and still working flat out for independence, irrespective of whether I hold any position or not.

I expect my speech today will be online shortly. My essential argument was that we should concentrate single-mindedly on the goal of independence and not be sidetracked by the Smith Commission or any other “devo-max” initiative. These were never honest or genuine and will come to nothing worthwhile. Scotland will get nothing from Westminster: we have to take power ourselves if we are to build a more just and equal society.

All the talk of Scotland keeping and spending its own tax revenue is illusory as the unionist parties always exclude vital revenue sources including the revenues from oil and from whisky, which are somehow “UK”. Westminster will make sure that any new settlement gives Scotland less, not more, money. The mood towards Scotland in Whitehall is entirely vindictive. In addition to which, given the UK’s record on extraordinary rendition, torture and a long succession of aggressive and illegal wars, any settlement which leaves Scotland still subject to Westminster foreign and defence policy is absolutely unacceptable and immoral.

I accept that the SNP may need to appear to participate in the Devo-Max negotiations, if only ultimately to expose the total lack of seriousness and good faith on the unionist side. However the great bulk of the Yes movement should continue to spend its vast reserve of creativity and popular energy exclusively on the goal of independence, pure and simple. This may come sooner than people think.

It is more than likely that the Tories will be back in power in Westminster after May 2015, and very possible that 2016 will see a UK vote to exit the EU. National independence is not in fact a domestic concept, but rather a status in international law. The key to being a nation state is the recognition of the large majority of other nation states. A UK EU exit may be a propitious moment to declare UDI on the basis of the right of Scots to maintain their EU citizenship, and to gain the immediate support of other EU states for so doing. We should keep our options open on the future route to independence, but it is not so distant as some think.

There was a great deal more detailed discussion on other policy issues in reply to questions, and I will try to set some of that out tomorrow. I move in to my new flat at 89/14 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh on Thursday. People are always aghast that I publish my address, but I believe that a gentleman does not hide where he lives. Besides, my enemies will certainly already know, so its best my friends know too. If you were to surmise that the address shows where my long term ambitions lie, you may not be entirely wrong!!

102 thoughts on “The Way Forward

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  • Hugh Kerr

    Great Craig would make an excellent MP and could be the SNP foreign affairs spokesperson after all he knows where the bodies are buried!

  • Gordon Mackie

    Gordon Brown is a well established figure in his constituency and people still vote for the man simply on the fact that he was once prime minister without taking the time to look at the overall picture of his or his failing Labour Party !! Despite the fact that the Labour Party is self destructing itself there is the issue of a 23,000 majority in this seat so the SNP needs to fight this seat with someone who is charismatic clever honest highly respected and understands the wishes of the Scottish people ! I didn’t think the SNP had such a high profile candidate ruling out Alex Salmond of course who has stated his thoughts on standing ! I believe without hesitation that the SNP may just have found the very man that can overturn this large majority !! I hope to hear in the coming weeks that the SNP will be putting yourself forward for this seat ! I for one like so many others I’m sure would canvas vigorously for you !! The Mackie family (4 votes)

  • Damian John Brown

    as someone who tried to help Craig in Blackburn in 2005 I know that he will try his very very best to gain Independence for Scotland…

    as an Englishman born in Darwen and a new member of The Green Party I have always thought that Scotland should be Independent of England, I am against the Union but believe in the Commonwealth, especially a Commonwealth originated by the Duchy of Lancaster once such Duchy is released from the Crown, where it has belonged since Henry IV’s day, and taken up by someone born in the County Palatine of Lancaster…

    Perhaps England & Scotland could play a 3-legged football tie for the sake of Independence or not…

  • Je

    “It is more than likely that the Tories will be back in power in Westminster after May 2015”

    A hung parliament with the SNP holding the balance of power is quite possible.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig, Sure I love you too..but is your most Beautiful Wife..moving to Edinburgh..too..

    Personally I couldn’t do what you do..

    Even when we were Young and We Moved Down From Lancashire to London…I just kind of said..well Made it Completely Absolutely Clear..Sure I will Go anywhere..You Want to send Me..But Every Night..I Sleep With My Wife..I do not do Hotels any more..

    At Night I Sleep with My Wife..Is That O.K.??

    That was some kind of awesome, and I cannot write to adequately describe it…So after a completely brilliant night..despite the rain..the fireworks were the best ever..the band came on..

    As we were about to leave…he was just sitting there (yes he can)…I asked is it you Phil..He said Yes Tony…

    I said wow wasn’t that absolutely the most exciting times…and you guys were just so nice to me…

    The band were packing up their gear..and we all laughed and smiled..I said even he was impressed…thinking it was about 10..I said – we used to work together…Are you still a Magistrate??? But I said to the young band…even he is Really Impressed..We used to work together 20 years ago..well 19 actually..but I wasn’t that far out..

    He Looked Great..well just the same really….

    Notice any Racism There..well Yes..Most of the Girls who I got a cuddle with (not all) were…well I actually Prefer Blondes ..but I ain’t that fussed.

    She looks at me.. and thinks …Tony..Behave..I did..well sort of.


  • CanSpeccy

    A UK EU exit may be a propitious moment to declare UDI on the basis of the right of Scots to maintain their EU citizenship…

    So the SNP is opposed to UK independence, but insists on Scotch subordination to laws made by the unelected EU council.


    The SNP should change its name to STE, Scots for a Totalitarian Europe.

  • Robert Swan

    I agree Craig, the path to Independence is forward and no side tracking. There is more to this than just being a sovereign nation. Its all for nothing if we just parallel Westminster’s mistakes. The SNP needs a man of your experience to avoid the pitfalls of history.

  • Brendan

    I’d like to add my good wishes. I’m actually from Edinburgh, and think an Edinburgh constituency would be well served with Craig as MP. For one thing, and it’s important, he’s had a life. I’d much rather an adult as an MP, than these shiny adolescents who so infest the various parties. They know nothing much about anything, but dare to condescend to us. They can fuck off.

    I may be back in Edinburgh this xmas, for a few weeks. And If Craig is making any speeches, I may well turn up. Politics in Australia is the same barren wilderness alas, but as they say, these things too shall pass.

  • CanSpeccy

    A British exit from the EU would be not so much a propitious time for Scottish exit from the UK, as the last chance for the opportunists running on the SNP ticket to create their own satrapy within the EU, since the constitutional re-arrangements that would take place in Britain after an EU exit, including the creation of a properly devolved Federal system, would reveal for all to see the absurdity seeking greater independence through EU membership.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    I mean well in what I am about to say – so take it in the best way possible.

    Some of us have a highly developed sense of service for humanity; others have the reverse and an almost exclusive sense of service for self. Most likely the majority of us fall somewhere between one extreme and the other. I believe that you fall mainly in the category of the former. Yet, even recognising and/or accepting what makes you tick (even if you do not accept my dichotomy of human moral choices) you might then construct another self-analysis paradigm for yourself.

    I am really not sure that you are the politico in the sense of electoral politics. Over the years I have come to believe that success in politics involves – funding, cunning, political craft and even sad to say ( dependent on the importance of the office sought) a degree of ruthlessness.

    I like you and what you stand for and have a high degree of respect for your work and sacrifices over the years. But, I just don’t see you as the politician. You could be a great political asset as an advisor or someone placed to assist a politician and/or political party in many a useful position. But – not a politician.

    In closing – George Galloway – love him or hate him – has the traits I referred to. I see you as very, very different than George Galloway.

    I wish you well – regardless your final decision.


  • Sandra

    Thank you Craig! Loved your blog. I believe in you and know you have Scotland at heart just like me. Alba gu brath x

  • Marjorie

    Wonderful news Craig, Scotland will indeed benefit from your wisdom, experience and passion.

  • ElaineS

    Gordon, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath voted Yes and it was a resounding Yes at Templehall where Gordon really thought he had the working class/poor vote. That’s where he did all his private No events but Labour folk are sickened of him because of his inertia to vote or speak for us. The fact he is rarely in town but has made the most money in speeches proves he is more out of town than in. I wrote him to vote on specific things that matter to our folk and he writes back and its all just bullshit rhetoric, he then doesn’t bother voting at all. He has well and truly been pushed of the pedestal we put him on for years. We are very loyal folk in Fife but if someone craps on us from a great height then they will be punished, all Labour MSPs/MPs have let us down in Fife and not just Labour. I hope Fife votes in payback against the careerists that have let Fife rot for their own selfserving needs.

  • CanSpeccy

    Oops! I seem to have spoken out of turn, offering a negative appraisal before all the yessers have yessed and the nodders have nodded.

    But having stepped in it, I might as well continue. The proposal for Scottish UDI, aka submission to the undemocratic EU superstate, is now the only possibility for the SNP pirates, since the Scottish Parliament cannot approve a new binding referendum and, obviously, Westminster will not approve one for decades to come, if ever.

    That is why the only way forward for the Scotch independence crowd is, indeed, an illegal and unconstitutional act; namely, UDI. It will be interesting to see whether the UK Government takes steps, including prosecution for sedition or treason, against any who plot a Scottish UDI.

  • CanSpeccy

    But keeping alive the failed and futile Scotch independence movement may prove an effective way to keep Scots from thinking about UK independence during the run-up to next year’s national election in which UKIP could gain the balance of power, and thus the means to force a referendum on an EU exit.

    In fact, viewed as a way of distracting independence-minded Scots from thinking of voting for UKIP, seems the only way to make sense of the SNP’s refusal to accept the Scottish people’s clear “no” to Scottish independence.

  • guano

    I agree with Courtenay Bennett that politicians need constituency support. Even Islamic State has the BBC world service softening its global audience to the head-chopping Israeli murderers by proferring a jihadist cook-book for lady jihadis.
    ‘ I heard on the radio the other day that Israel jihadists enjoy a nice stolen sheep stew after a hard day sawing through the necks of innocent 7 year olds. I might consider voting for them next May’.

    Does Habba work for the BBC?

    As for seizing power, ISIS and its ilk merely proffer the Zionists a better return on the local oil revenue than the incumbent bent politicians of the Middle East who give very little to their constituents and give a lot to their own Swiss bank accounts.

    Seize power from who? The slobs of Westminster or the power brokers of corporate Zionism who actually hold sway???
    You tried to seize power by the ballot box and it mysteriously eluded you like a cartoon, stretchy line-drawing.

    From one of your great admirers and therefore critical observers, I think you have a very naive view of politics, but very good luck to you.
    Not hard to do

  • guano

    Sorry. ‘Not hard to do’ belonged with the sentence about proffering a greater share of the oil revenues than the incumbent criminals in power in the Middle East, not you. But you could do it too…

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    Good luck with the move, Craig, and as a principled political servant of independent Scotland. You’re right, I think: it’s coming sooner than many of us imagine. And it can’t happen too soon.

    PS: Do us all a favour and get rid of the toxic fool Can Speccy.

  • CanSpeccy

    @ Bird Droppings, aka Guano

    Go back to sleep C**tSpeak. nobody’s listening to you.

    There you are. Speaking out of turn, we’ve upset one of the nodders.

    It’s like when chickens are going into the barn and one goes out of turn, it sets off some clucks.

  • JonL

    Craig – just do it! Just be aware, (which I am sure you are), that if you even look remotely like threatening the status quo, the long knives will be out for you. We need people of integrity like you, unfortunately, in every western country.

  • Muscleguy


    I wonder what all the people who have joined the various Yes parties in the wake of the referendum, in particular the SNP should do by your rubric? The parties they have joined have independence as part of their political dna. In the SNPs case, its founding reason. Are they now illegitimate democratically? Or maybe Independence is like other issues and in this democracy we are free to campaign for them even after losing democratic votes. Parties espouse policies through electorate defeat by electorate defeat. Yet we do not insist parties disband after losing an election so why the FUCK should those in favour of Independence?

    What makes Independence so different an issue that it must now become the desire that dare not speak its name in your hearing? Because that is what your specious argument that we must shut up or are establishment dupes to keep UKIP, a very establishment party out. You also seem strangely unaware that UKIP stands candidates in Scotland. I have seen them on ballot papers, the BNP too. The election of a UKIP MEP for Scotland obviously also passed you by. So it cannot be that us silly Scottish people don’t or cannot vote for Farage’s band of swivel eyed loons. They are simply less popular here in Scotland.

    Suck it up.

  • Mary

    More of the NuLabour stench.

    ‘Blair’s secret cash-for-contacts deal with Saudis
    Jon Ungoed-Thomas
    9 November 2014

    The latest disclosure will provoke fresh criticism of Tony Blair’s role as a Middle East envoy and his private and undisclosed business interests

    TONY BLAIR secured a secret contract with an oil company founded by a senior member of the Saudi royal family for a fee of £41,000 a month and a 2% commission on any of the multimillion-pound deals he helped broker, a leaked document reveals.

    The contract agreed in November 2010 between Tony Blair Associates (TBA) and the oil firm PetroSaudi involved the former premier arranging introductions to his contacts in China, including senior political figures. The firm was told it could not divulge Blair’s role to anyone without permission.

    It is the first time any detailed contract negotiated on behalf of Blair has been revealed. It is also the first evidence of his work for a Middle Eastern oil firm. The disclosure will provoke fresh criticism of Blair’s role as a Middle East envoy and his private and undisclosed business interests.

    ……….. paywall

  • Fraser


    You’re wrong. Scotland can have another referendum when the people of Scotland choose to have another referendum. Westminster denying us that right would be undemocratic and could result in civil war. Polls are already showing that a majority of Scotland want another referendum within the next 5 year.

    You’re also wrong about UDI. It’s perfectly legal under international law.

  • fred

    “I wonder what all the people who have joined the various Yes parties in the wake of the referendum, in particular the SNP should do by your rubric? The parties they have joined have independence as part of their political dna. In the SNPs case, its founding reason. Are they now illegitimate democratically? Or maybe Independence is like other issues and in this democracy we are free to campaign for them even after losing democratic votes. Parties espouse policies through electorate defeat by electorate defeat. Yet we do not insist parties disband after losing an election so why the FUCK should those in favour of Independence? ”

    The referendum was not an election, it was a poll to determine the wishes of the people of Scotland and to decide to ignore the result is to ignore those wishes.

    Those people you talk about joining the SNP concern me too. As I have always said my reasons for not supporting the SNP is my aversion to Nationalism of all kinds. My worry is that those joining the SNP since the referendum are the more fanatical in society, those with those qualities usually associated with Nationalist parties and that they will move the party much further in that direction.

  • Juteman

    I would think that the majority of folk joining the SNP are ex Labour supporters, Fred.
    You go on thinking that they are some kind of goose stepping mob, if it makes you happy.

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