The Victory Paradox 304

Just as the SNP sweeps to utter domination of the Scottish presence at Westminster, the future of Scottish nationalism must move to a rejection of Westminster rule as illegitimate. That is the victory paradox.

There is no doubt that this is the best possible election result for achieving Scottish independence in the near term. The one thing that I believe might have postponed independence for decades, was a Labour Party government of the UK with SNP support, governing as Tory Lite but making the dreadful repressive UK state that little bit less openly vicious, the abuse a little bit more disguised, the wealthy corporate elite less openly triumphalist.

I know that Tory rule is going to be dreadful for many decent people who are struggling to make ends meet, that the heartlessness of benefits sanctions will cause despair and suicide, that asylum seekers will be detained and abused. But Scotland has absolutely rejected the entire Tory system, and the scene is now set for the kind of extra-parliamentary resistance that we saw to Thatcher’s poll tax. We have to refuse to let Westminster do this to people. In this circumstance, those SNP MPs are relevant insofar as they use their platform to help build the popular resistance, not in terms of anything they do in that appalling haw-haw club.

Labour would have lost and we would have a Tory government even if Labour had won every seat in Scotland. Labour’s abject failure was in no sense caused by the SNP, whatever the appalling journalists of BBC Scotland may say or imply. And Labour is now going to underline, still more than the Tories, the urgent need for Scotland to be independent. The airwaves are already buzzing with London comment that Labour’s problem was that it was not right wing enough for English opinion. The next Labour leader must be more Blairite, they say. Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper or Chuka Umunna are touted to fit the bill, they suggest. This is completely a false analysis. If England were given a chance to vote for an SNP style, more left wing, offering then very many of the English would vote for it. But it will not happen. Labour will lurch ever further to the right and it will become undeniable that the Scottish people can only express their political aspirations through independence.

Even the best people are still human, and I have to confess that I am absolutely delighted that the SNP leadership have been neatly removed by this election result from any temptation. Exercising power within the United Kingdom state can be heady and addictive. An insidious agenda was quite blatantly propagated by Alex Bell in Bella Caledonia, a man who has been very close to the party leadership, and who actually celebrated the idea that:

The fascinating story of this election is how the SNP is ‘Britishing’ itself, gently playing down the big constitutional stuff in favour of real power over the austerity agenda.

Mr Bell goes on to make the ludicrous proposition that to support the creation of a small state is in itself a conservative agenda. He is profoundly wrong. To dismantle an aggressive imperialist state is not a remotely conservative agenda. I have frequently expressed the fear that there is a careerist core in the SNP who are more concerned with troughing in the political class and being big-wigs in the UK than with achieving independence. Bell’s insidious unionism – very lightly disguised as support for “utilitarian nationalism” – had the potential to be much more corrosive to the cause of independence than anything which the Tories can do. Fortunately Bell’s thesis is totally stuffed by the election result, and his pseudo-intellectual rationalisations of the status quo can now be safely confined to the dustbin of irrelevance. The SNP has no “real power over the austerity agenda” and has zero chance of gaining any within the United Kingdom.

There is now no course to take but root and branch opposition to the consequences of a Tory rule which Scotland has just declared anathema. The only way forward is now independence and the only route is through a mounting extra-parliamentary opposition over the next few years. I am absolutely delighted for all those SNP MPs, of whom a large number are personal friends. But if you want to remain relevant, you have to forget about Angus Robertson telling you what suits to wear or how to put an approved knot in your tie (yes, that really happened), and you have to inspire the street in the way so many of you did during the referendum campaign.

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304 thoughts on “The Victory Paradox

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  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Mr Goss

    ““Night of the Long Knives”.

    Yes I always associated it with Harold Macmillan’s dismissal of most of the cabinet.”


    Sorry to insist on historical accuracy again, Mr Goss, but MacMillan sacked 7 ministers, ie about one third of his Cabinet, and not “most of his cabinet”.

    What else did your ToyTown history teacher teach you, Big Ears?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)


    “Check my post re GG Mr Troll. It was copied from Medialens and that was made clear.2

    So what? You shared its sentiments, didn’t you? And anyway, I do want you to look on the bright side of life. Don’t you?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Surely the time and place for all those demonstrators to register their protest against the govts’s policies was at the ballot box, wasn’t it?

  • John Goss

    “Now run along and come back when you have learnt to accept correction gratefully and graciously.”

    Hitler had his opponents killed, many of them brownshirt leaders. Technically what you say has an element of truth. Hitler had abolished all other parties than Nazis in 1932 so anyone in Germany at that time was by definition a Nazi. It is what dictators do – eliminate the opposition and opposition parties. But there were Jews and Communists who were murdered too in this long knives event, which spread over much more than one night, and had been going on for some time before. No doubt you can understand why I liken it to what is happening with Bandera’s followers in Kiev, backed by US bandits in Washington.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Can anyone tell me – Mr Goss? Lysias, even? – how many Left Unity candidates stood at the general election and what was the total number of votes cast for them?

  • Mary
    ‘Some police officers were in riot gear’
    ‘The protesters gathered in Whitehall, in what police described as an “unplanned” demonstration’
    ‘The protest began outside Conservative headquarters and moved to outside Downing Street’

  • Mary

    It was pleasant on here yesterday, it being a troll free zone with one or two minor exceptions, and without disruption today until this afternoon at 1.50pm.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Mr Goss

    Tonight is almost as bad a night for you in the historical accuracy stakes as Thursday was for the anti-Conservatives.

    “Hitler had abolished all other parties than Nazis in 1932”

    Wrong again – all political parties other than the NSDAP were banned in July 1933.

    Was that your ToyTown history teacher again?

  • Anon1

    “Can anyone tell me – Mr Goss? Lysias, even? – how many Left Unity candidates stood at the general election and what was the total number of votes cast for them?”

    All I know is that they’re recording 1.2% in their target seat as a good result.

  • technicolour

    Dreoilin: thanks for those twitter links to the protest (and others subsequently)

    John Spencer Davies: could you provide links for the following:

    “Having had occasion to look into this matter in detail, I know that Craig’s comments (and therefore Nafeez Ahmed’s reporting) are not accurate. The “French Embassy” did NOT assert that everything that was quoted in the Telegraph was completely false. The French Consul General stated that one part of what was reported was not accurate and refused to comment on whether or not a second part was accurate.”

  • Tim

    The night of the long knives was clearly one single night, whatever night was being referred to. Mr Goss might be thinking of “bei Nacht und Nebel” which is closer to what he describes and what a lot of those who ended up in Latin America carried on with.

  • John Goss

    Noddy, stop changing the subject when we are comparing what Hitler did to what the Ukrainian Nazis are doing today. There were no other parties at the time of what has been called the “Night of the Long Knives”.

    So if you are capable can you tell me what the differences are.

    By the way 3 into 20 is not a third. When I said half it was a ‘finger in the air’ half, that is one half contained 7 cabinet members, the other half 13. You never thanked me for changing “co’e” to “come” for you. Ungrateful ingrate! So that ‘finger in the air’ is the middle one. 🙂

  • technicolour

    Does anyone know how many people voted for the Conservatives, and how many people voted for Labour, as opposed to the percentages/seats won?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Mr Goss

    From Wikipedia:

    “In British politics, the Night of the Long Knives was a major Cabinet reshuffle that took place on 13 July 1962. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dismissed seven members of his Cabinet, one-third of the total. The speed and scale of the reshuffle caused it to be associated by its critics with the 1934 Night of the Long Knives in Nazi Germany”


    So, you see, 7 minsters., roughly one third of his cabinet.

    Perhaps you got mixed up because you do not have 21 fingers?


    ” stop changing the subject when we are comparing what Hitler did to what the Ukrainian Nazis are doing today.”

    You may have been comparing that, Mr Goss, but no one else was.


    “There were no other parties at the time of what has been called the “Night of the Long Knives”.”

    That is correct,, but that is not what I picked you up for. I picked you up for saying that other political parties were banned in 1932, whereas they were banned in July 1933.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)


    “Mr Goss might be thinking of “bei Nacht und Nebel””


    I don’t think so. He was just being cavalier with the facts again.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    09/05/2015 10:57pm

    I’ll do my best. It was a while back but I’ll check it out again.

    Kind regards,


  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Mr Goss

    ““You may have been comparing that, Mr Goss, but no one else was.”

    Well they should be”


    That may be so, Mr Goss, but the fact remains that you were the only person making the comparison. Therefore your claim that I was attempting to change the subject is inaccurate because your comparison was not the subject people were discussing.

  • John Goss

    “You never thanked me for changing “co’e” to “come” for you.”

    Now the difference between 1932 and 1933 is one key. With your mistake can you answer me please how far the apostrophe is from the letter m?

  • enda clarke

    Fred: “As far as independence is concerned nothing has changed. Yes got 1,617,989 votes in the referendum, SNP got 1,454,436 votes in the election. There was no promise of another referendum in the SNP manifesto and if there was one the results would probably be the same.”

    Only about one-third of Scotland’s voters made a positive (referendum) or, on the most generous interpretation, implied (GE) declaration for ‘independence’. Worse, it was for the SNP’s highly diluted and dumbed-down definition of independence: same head of state and currency as YonEngland, small outlying province of EU panhandling at Brussels, skulking under NATO’s defence umbrella, sucking up to Trump and all that. Not exactly Scots wha hae.

    Yet the beneficiaries of a freak protest vote against a corrupt SLab establishment– their results magnified by a constituency-based, winner-takes-all electoral system– are bloviating about how ‘the nation’ is declaring with one voice, apart from a few fainthearts and ‘quislings’, for Sort-of-independent Alba. The hell they are.

    Sturgeon, Salmond and co are proving themselves just as presumptuous and unresponsive to the mixed messages from polling places as any other lifetime professional politician, be he Jim Murphy or David Cameron.

    Whenever the question is posed directly to Scottish voters in opinion polls, an equally decisive or a larger anti-secession majority is obtained as on September 18. I suspect SNP Central knows fine well what would befall if it succeeded in setting up another neverendum any time soon… and lost again. It would have blown it for keeps.

    The only time Sturgeon got the bird during the general election campaign was in that leaders’ debate– when she refused to rule out a second Indyref, after saying the question had been settled for a generation pnly a few months earlier.

    No, the SNP is too sleekit to risk it. Instead we will have pantomime brinkmanship and Braveheart balderdash by the ton. The contingent of mainly new MPs will spend five years bellyaching on the backbenches and trying to shake more fruit off the UK magic money tree.

    Some of them, especially those who did not expect to win seats, will turn out to be clowns or crooks. There will be gaffes and splits. Meanwhile the voting system at Holyrood will produce a result next year that will take some of the aura of irresistibility off the Nats.

    I think they may have peaked.

  • lysias

    Non-Nazis killed in the Night of the Long Knives:

    General Kurt von Schleicher, Hitler’s predecessor as Chancellor, and his wife Elisabeth; Gustav Ritter von Kahr, the former head of the Bavarian government, who resisted Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch; General Ferdinand von Bredow; Erich Klausener, chairman of Catholic Action in the Diocese of Berlin; Herbert von Bose und Edgar Julius Jung, the (non-Nazi) immediate assistants of Vice Chancellor von Papen in his office; Wilhelm Eduard Schmid, music critic; Julius Adler, Jewish lawyer; Otto Ballerstedt, engineer; Fritz Beck, head of Catholic Student Aid in Munich; Kurt Charig. Jewish businessman; Walter Foerster, lawyer; Erich Gans, Communist; Fritz Gerlich, Catholic publicist; Walter Häbich, Communist editor; Adam Hereth, Socialist; Kuno Kamphausen, architect; Eugen von Kessel, head of news agency; Ewald Köppel, Communist miner;Erich Lindemann, doctor and head of Reich Association of Jewish Frontline Soldiers; Ernst Ewald Martin, head of news agency; Moritz Oppenheimer, Jewish businessman;Adalbert Probst, head of Catholic sporting association; Robert Reh, alleged Communist; Father Bernhard Stempfle, editor and critic of Mein Kampf; Karl Zehnter, innkeeper; Karl Zehnter, housewife; Alexander Zweig, Jewish doctor, and his wife Jeannette.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    09/05/2015 10:57pm

    From the blog of Paul Hutcheon, Investigations Editor of the Sunday Herald:


    Sunday, 5 April 2015

    French connections

    THE general election in Scotland has become dominated by a bizarre row over what First Minister Nicola Sturgeon allegedly said to a French diplomat.

    According to a leaked memo obtained by the Daily Telegraph, Sturgeon told France’s UK Ambassador Sylvie Bermann that “she’d rather see David Cameron remain as PM”.

    If true, this would have been hugely embarrassing: the First Minister has said publicly she wants Cameron out of Downing Street and Ed Miliband in.

    The story unraveled after Pierre-Alain Coffinier, France’s consul general in Edinburgh, as well as Bermann’s spokesperson, both denied the Cameron claim.

    The original newspaper report wasn’t helped by the fact that the memo was written by an official in the Scotland Office who wasn’t even at the Sturgeon meeting.

    However, the memo also noted the First Minister saying she “didn’t see Ed Miliband as PM material”.

    So, are the French diplomats also denying this part of this document?

    When the Sunday Herald spoke to Coffinier yesterday, he repeated his denial about the Cameron claim, but was far more uncomfortable being quizzed on the Miliband section.

    Here is the exchange with Monsieur Coffinier:

    Shown the section of the leaked memo regarding Sturgeon’s views on David Cameron and Ed Miliband, he said: “Well, yes, that is not accurate.”

    Asked if any of it was accurate, he said: “I’m not going to disclose that. My comment is very clear. There has been no preference expressed regarding the outcome of the elections.”

    Pressed on whether Sturgeon said Ed Miliband was not Prime Ministerial material, he said: “No, I’m not going to answer. No comment… I don’t want to answer that. I don’t want to answer that.”


    Hutcheon also reported on this in HeraldScotland, but was not as specific as he was on his blog.

    Kind regards,


  • lysias

    Sorry, the housewife in that list was Ernestine Zoref. Oh for an edit function!

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)


    Don’t be cute, it doesn’t suit you.

    You give 30 names. Would you now like to tell us how many Nazis, including SA members, were killed?

  • John Goss

    lysias 9 May, 2015 – 11:36 pm

    Nice piece of research. You hurt Noddy with it. He came back at you.

    “You give 30 names. Would you now like to tell us how many Nazis, including SA members, were killed?”

    He could well look it up himself. It is a matter of taking 30 from the number killed. Off the top of my head I would say half, perhaps the lesser half. 🙂

  • Phil

    S Paterson

    I draw a very different conclusion than you from your small sample of the new SNP MP’s previous occupations: Queens Council advisor, journalists, tv presenters, lawyers, bankers, financial advisors, NHS consultant, charity boss, business boss.

    You consider that something different? Bloody hell. To me it looks exactly like the normal shower of establishment loving managerial shite that run the other parties.

    Having seen this small sample I would love the complete list. Any chance of a link to the full breakdown?

  • Phil

    “My point being that once protestors start getting violent it gives the authorities the excuse they’re looking for.”

    My point being it is the authorities who start the violence. The state has a monopoly on violence. You have clearly never been on a demo that turned violent. You are parroting state propaganda.

  • Phil

    The cops start the violence and the bbc reverse the events. I first saw that happen during the miners strike and I have seen it umpteen times since. I have seen many coppers assaulting people with no provocation. I have never seen anyone fight coppers unprovoked. Do you think these protesters are nuts? Post Thatcher the cops rule. The idea that a few kids in hoodies can fight the met is just hilarious. A ridiculous idea peddled by the same people who bring you terrorism.

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