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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  • DoNNyDarKo

    Good luck Craig. I would love to see you unseat Gordon Brown.

    Fred: With Sturgeon now as leader,the SNP have swung a bit more to the left.
    The reason that the SNP have been stealing traditional labour votes is that their policies have been socialist.Scottish Labour have lost because of their stance against SNP policies which would have been cheered on by Labour 30 years ago.

    Catalonia are voting today.Unfortunately it won’t give them the independence they want yet.The enthusiasm and colour of the Catalan is a joy to behold.
    It also shows the faux democratic ideals of the bigger State.They don’t want people power.

  • fred

    “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.”

    The membership of all the political parties seems to have risen since the referendum was announced.

  • Juteman

    “The membership of all the political parties seems to have risen since the referendum was announced.”

    Labour refuse to publish their Scottish membership figures.

  • fred

    “Fred: With Sturgeon now as leader,the SNP have swung a bit more to the left.
    The reason that the SNP have been stealing traditional labour votes is that their policies have been socialist.Scottish Labour have lost because of their stance against SNP policies which would have been cheered on by Labour 30 years ago.”

    I was talking about card carriers not voters. They are the ones who will steer the party in the future. The numbers are large, too large to be accounted for by defection from other parties. It’s looking more like an organised takeover.

    The SNP hasn’t always been left wing, up until the 1980s they were very much right wing when it was decided to adopt a left wing stance to gain popularity and utilise the power of the unions. Things can easily swing back the other way.

  • Johnny

    Craig, I wish you all the best. I mentioned you last night to a friend who lives in Douglas Alexander’s territory and he said he’d vote for you if you stood there, no worries. Then again, he’ll be voting against him regardless. The point is that not everyone is hung up on candidates having previous links to the constituency (though I accept that some people are). You have something to offer, lots to say, and the passion and belief to say it. So more fool the electorate if you do get to stand and they pass up the chance to be represented by you. I myself live one constituency over from Alexander and would also vote for you, but I don’t suppose Jim Sheridan is much of a ‘big beast’ and therefore not a juicy an opponent for you!

  • craig Post author

    Johnny,

    Well, frankly I should be honoured to stand anywhere a local party wants me. But I have to get through the central panel approval system first. I presume the SNP will be putting some resources into processing these quickly.

  • Robert Crawford

    Craig.

    One of our planes was missing. Now it has safely landed back home.

    Welcome home Craig.

    Now you can really get stuck in.

    I have a convicted person in my constituency. Red Rotten Labour it is. They voted NO. I asked Eric Joyce to vote for Recall. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.
    Falkir needs to be renewed, it is dilapidated.
    Then again I would love to see Gordon Brown kicked out. He would not be able to stand the rejection. It would blow his mind to the shit house. Do it.

    We need to put our YES stickers back up to show our DEFIANCE.

    If this government wants out of the E.U. it will brainwash the public to vote OUT, just as they did with NO.

    So, is it YES IN, or NO OUT? Bring it on because they can’t make up their minds how to wriggle out of their “VOW”

    The sea of red I told you about is going on tour (poppies).

    I hope the ARCHDUKE FERDINAND is pleased with this tribute.

  • Pam McMahon

    I hope you will be accepted as a candidate for GE 2015 and, while I think many Westminster seats will fall to the SNP next year, the party’s election management team needs to target the profile of the candidates to the profile of the seat to be challenged. Any of the Edinburgh seats would be a walkover for you, especially Alasdair Darling’s. Someone with your professional background should be in a right-wing, “celebrity”-voting constituency like Edinburgh South West, Falkirk or Dumfriesshire.
    People like Darren Carnegie of the Glasgow’s Needy campaign, who has said he will stand for Glasgow East, is exactly the candidate for this seat. Any candidate can unseat MPs like Danny Alexander, John Thurso or Alistair Carmichael (probably UKIP in the latter case) The Lib Dems have destroyed themselves up here in the Highlands, with their self-seeking, pocket-lining coalition at Westminster – even their ex-Tory feudal vote appears to be disappearing up their sorry arses.

  • Mark Golding

    Craig – Maybe a fire in the belly to devolve the responsibility for the coastguards to Scotland so this treasured land gets the protection it needs?

  • nevermind, there's a future, still

    Congratulations to your move to Scotland and the SNP, the eagle has landed, although you would have been electable as a Green Party candidate. Parties are not that important anymore, but they help to get you elected, what really matters in your case, you have so much to give.

    Should a constituency offer to help you getting elected, to be their local candidate, please let us know, I for one can spare a week or two to help and have the use of a bed space in Edinburgh.

    good luck with the selection

  • chic kirk

    I was at the way forward meeting where craig announced his intention to stand for selection and must say the audience was overjoyed at the idea as was I and I would be proud to help with his campaign in any way I could if he stood against the arrogant self obsessed Gordon brown who pretends to be my mp . chic kirk beath branch snp .

  • doug scorgie

    How about Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire Craig?

    It’s a Conservative marginal and, interestingly, the SNP candidate was Paul Wheelhouse – an ex Tory!

    Perhaps you could persuade the SNP to select you instead to stand here in the next election?

  • Angela

    I was at your talk yesterday and it was inspirational. I think it’s safe to say, your presence as the SNP candidate in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath would be warmly welcomed by the Yes Alliance as well as party members. I think your straight-talking and warm delivery would be enough to tip the vote our way. I’d add to that, the fact that those habitual Brown voters need something to believe in to restore hope to a hopeless section of Scottish society.

  • doug scorgie

    Fred
    9 Nov, 2014 – 9:39 am

    “The referendum was not an election, it was a poll to determine the wishes of the people of Scotland…”
    ……………

    That’s not what you said before the referendum was it Fred?

    I had to repeatedly remind you that the referendum was not about the SNP but about a vote for or against independence but you continued to witter on about Alex Salmond and the SNP.
    ……………

    “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.”
    ……………

    Fred, you are a UK nationalist are you not?
    ……………

    “My worry is that those joining the SNP since the referendum are the more fanatical in society…”
    ……………

    Wrong again Fred; the more fanatical are the right-wing unionists – mainly Protestant Orange Order types.
    ……………

    “…those with those qualities usually associated with Nationalist parties and that they will move the party much further in that direction.”
    ……………

    Considering that the SNP policies are to the left of New Labour that statement is laughable sheep-droppings.

  • Ann

    Fred.
    Well, I joined the SNP on the 20th September. It is something that I would ever had conteplated in my life.

    I am not a rabid Nationalist or fananctical or anything to that effect. Just a 50+ year old mum who was totally disgusted in the way that the Westminster Goverment, the Press and the BBC acted throughout the referendum and also in their contiuning disregard to Scotland and her people.

    I will continue to support any party and any person who still hopes and dreams that our country takes it’s rightful place in th world as a free and independant country, and this will happen sooner than later no matter what Westminster politicians and the media may think.

    The future is not for me, but for my children, their children and their childrens children and for ALL future generations.

  • Ann

    Fred.
    Well, I joined the SNP on the 20th September. It is something that I would ever had conteplated in my life.

    I am not a rabid Nationalist or fananctical or anything to that effect. Just a 50+ year old mum who was totally disgusted in the way that the Westminster Goverment, the Press and the BBC acted throughout the referendum and also in their continuing disregard to Scotland and her people.

    I will continue to support any party and any person who still hopes and dreams that our country takes it’s rightful place in th world as a free and independant country, and this will happen sooner than later no matter what Westminster politicians and the media may think.

    The future is not for me, but for my children, their children and their childrens children and for ALL future generations.

  • fred

    “Fred, you are a UK nationalist are you not?”

    No I am not.

    I have made my case without referring to any other member of this blog why can you not do the same? Why do you seem incapable of any discussion of the subject without making ad hominem attacks?

    I will not be side tracked into defending myself against Nationalist thugs. Any more personal remarks about me and I start flaming.

  • fred

    “I will continue to support any party and any person who still hopes and dreams that our country takes it’s rightful place in th world as a free and independant country, and this will happen sooner than later no matter what Westminster politicians and the media may think.”

    Scotland already is free. We were free to hold a referendum weren’t we?

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    “Scotland already is free. We were free to hold a referendum weren’t we?”

    Voting is a concession prize for the herd. That sticker they give you (I voted) shows proud participation in the race without reminding you how you placed at the finish.

  • Mary

    Meant to add my best wishes Craig. If you can unseat any of the NuLiebour hierarchy, good on you.

  • Republicofscotland

    Good for you Craig, I’m sure there’s a constituency somewhere in Scotland with your name on it, I’d love you too get elected to Browns seat, or that sniveling wee naff Alexander’s seat, and in my opinion its well within the realms of possibility, go for it.

  • doug scorgie

    Fred
    9 Nov, 2014 – 2:28 pm

    “Fred, you are a UK nationalist are you not?”

    “No I’m not.”

    “Why do you seem incapable of any discussion of the subject…”
    ……………

    Fred in my post I said:

    That’s not what you said before the referendum was it Fred?
    I had to repeatedly remind you that the referendum was not about the SNP but about a vote for or against independence but you continued to witter on about Alex Salmond and the SNP.

    Why have you not dealt with that point?

    I also said…the more fanatical are the right-wing unionists – mainly Protestant Orange Order types.

    Why have you not dealt with that point?

    I also said: Considering that the SNP policies are to the left of New Labour that statement is laughable sheep-droppings.

    Sheep droppings apart, why have you not dealt with that point?

    It seems that it is you that is incapable of discussion on the subject.

  • fred

    @doug scorgie

    Either discuss the issues not me or fuck off and die.

    I hope I have made myself clear.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Scotland already is free. We were free to hold a referendum weren’t we?”
    ________________________________

    Well Fred, Craig’s intention, to stand as an SNP or potential SNP candidate, must stick deep in your craw. Be careful you don’t choke on your evening meal tonight.

  • Vronsky

    Craig, I could have a constituency for you. If you still have my personal email, contact me. If not let me know and I’ll contact you. We might give you more excitement than you expected (or wanted). You probably won’t win here, but in other ways an important blow could be struck – I hope you find that intriguing.

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