Is the SNP Campaigning for Independence? 302

I was watching This Week on the BBC last night, and Andrew Neil teased John Nicolson that the SNP had given up campaigning for Independence, and never mentioned it any more. I have known John since student days, and much respect him. He is a very professional man and put in a very professional performance on the show. He can be relied on, despite his arch asides, to follow a party line.

How did John reply to the charge that the SNP had stopped campaigning for Independence? Did he reply, “No Andrew, we remain fully committed to the goal of Independence and that is our number one priority.”?


He said “we have to respect the decision of the electorate”, a line taken straight from Nicola Sturgeon.

The problem with this is that it is exactly the Blairite line. Liz Kendall argued in effect that the electorate voted Tory, so Labour have to be Red Tories to respect the electorate.

It is a trite phrase. Nobody would argue you should disrespect the electorate. But it then elides into a distortion. To respect the verdict of the electorate means to accept your loss on this occasion and the processes of the state proceed on that basis, without any attempt to subvert the democratic decision. It does NOT mean the losing side had to change its beliefs, go quiet, or stop campaigning ready for the next time.

Since the referendum I have spoken on many stages in favour of Independence across Scotland, under the aegis of a whole variety of organisations only a minority of which are anathema to the SNP. Yet it occurs to me that of all the distinguished people I have shared platforms with, I have not witnessed a single one of the SNP’s MPs argue for Independence. To my certain knowledge they have declined many invitations to do so.

The SNP instead is setting out its stall as a kinder and more efficient manager of the governmental institutions of Scotland within the UK. It is elevating managerialism into a cult. Forget Independence and admire John Swinney’s figures. This is reinforced by another managerialist subtext, “the only organised opposition at Westminster.” Opposing the Tories is undoubtedly a good thing. But all this is symptomatic of the SNP becoming over-comfortable within the governmental institutions of the United Kingdom. All the energy expended pointlessly on the glorified local council powers of the Scotland Act while our country is dragged into yet another neo-con war against the will of the Scottish people.

When the media were promoting a narrative of potential ill-behaviour by new SNP MP’s, Tommy Sheppard famously declared “We have not come to act up, but to settle up!” What precisely have the SNP MP’s done that showed a scintilla of desire to “settle up” and end the Union? Where are the Parnellite tactics? A more honest declaration would be:

“We have not come to settle up, but to settle in!”

John Nicolson was led on to discussing his prospects of re-election last night, in response to a joke about Michael Portillo’s defeat. Andrew Neil gently reminded him he was not meant to want to be in Westminster long term. I am willing to bet a million pounds with anybody that the SNP structure is already giving more thought to defending its Westminster seats than to ending the union before the next Westminster election. I think deep down everybody reading this will find they believe that too.

Leadership loyalists will respond with a) more managerialism – we run the country better blah blah blah – and b), the argument that the SNP has to entrench in power before trying again for independence and win trust by – more managerialism. Oh OK, that’s actually the same argument. They don’t have another one.

The problem with this is gravity. In politics no party remains at the heights of popularity forever. Events take their toll. I suspect that what Nicola agreed with Dave this week about extending the extreme surveillance state to Scotland will be a little wave of erosion once we get told of it. The SNP will, regardless of anything I think or write, sweep the Holyrood elections. But that will likely be the high point of their absolute dominance of Scottish politics.

Let me put it this way. It is definitely a possibility that the coming real domination of both MPs and MSPs will never happen again. If the SNP do not even try to use that dominance to deliver Independence, then what is the point of the SNP?

Oh sorry, I forgot. They manage the institutions better, and are an effective opposition at Westminster. That apparently is the point. But not what I joined for.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

302 thoughts on “Is the SNP Campaigning for Independence?

1 5 6 7 8 9 11
  • RobG

    The sad thing is that only a small number of people see what’s posted on blogs like this. The vast majority buy into the total BS/propaganda pumped-out by the corporate media and the vast army of trolls who now inhabit internet comment threads.

    At the risk of sounding like the record’s stuck, we are not approaching dystopia, we are already in it.

  • Republicofscotland

    “or did you mean I am disgusted by Hilary Clinton, something that was sicked up by the cat?”


    Giyane you’re probably right on the vomiting thing, as for Hilary Clinton, I’m always disgusted at her shes already paid homage to her masters by kissing the Wailing Wall. When she becomes US president, her Zionist handlers will make her kiss it again.

    The games well and truly rigged.

  • giyane

    Craig pointed out ages ago that Cameron’s EU discussion is tripe. Like all good politicians he has to be seen doing anything but what he is actually doing, which is installing a terrorist puppet in Syria who will continue the flow of smuggled flow of oil.

    Cameron is a war criminal, old=style colonising, bastard who doesn’t give a shit about Muslims. By their works ye shall know them – 14 million people homeless , 2 countries wrecked.

  • Pan

    O/T (Mods please read)

    Sometimes one needs to take time to reflect on one’s words or actions (especially those spoken or made in haste) in order to understand what was going on in one’s mind at the time. (“Chewing the cud” in crude, troll-lingo).

    I confess to having been somewhat emotionally affected by Mary’s departure. Something she once said during a brief exchange we had, resonated rather strongly with me. The combination of this ‘resonance’ and the circumstances of her decision to depart the blog led, in a round about sort of way, to my getting a bit ‘hot under the collar’ and directing immoderate and ill-judged words at the moderators. For that, I humbly apologise.

    Someone quite helpfully directed my attention to Craig’s post of June 16, 2015 entitled “Some Rules For Comment Moderation” ( ). I read the first page.

    First of all, I came to a much better understanding of just what a difficult and thankless job it must be to try to moderate a forum such as this one. So “Thanks!” to the mods – I am sure the difference you make here is invariably a positive one.

    Secondly, I took particular note of Giyane’s comment (I hope he does not object to me repeating it here):

    “Craig, sometimes you are ahead of our curve and sometimes we are ahead of your curve. If any of your critics are dragging behind not just the curve but the thirst for truth and the love of puncturing lies, take absolutely no notice of them. This forum is amazing, like a sonic boom smashing the glass of those whose glass=houses needed smashing and getting up the noses of those whose glasses are too thick to see anything. Your competitors either deny truthspeaking outright, like the Guardian, or are themselves off far from the logic base of your opinions. No-one would want to sully their own reputations by commenting on the blogs of loonies. The fact that you allow us to push the limit of acceptable thought on your space is generous of you in the extreme.”

    Well said indeed, Giyane – and hereby, rather belatedly, seconded!


    I am always glad of some amusement, so thanks to the following:

    John Goss – who responded to Craig’s statement that “only 1% of his blog readers are commenters” by expressing some apparent discomfort with the idea of he himself being a member of “The 1%”.

    Ba’al – who’s response to the stated moderation policy was (in a style reminiscent of the well-known estate agents’ mantra) “Aspirations, aspirations, aspirations…”.

    All of which prompts me to end this comment with a quote:

    “The same weakness of mind that indulges absurd expectations, produces petulance in disappointment.”

    (W. Irving, 1820)

    (Guilty, M’lud)


    P.S. Due to time restraints I am taking the rather rash step of submitting this comment without having read any of what’s been going on here the last few days. So as I write, I do not know whether or not Mary has returned.

    I am in two minds about this fact – if Mary has indeed left for good, then that is sad. On the other hand, if she HAS returned, then I will find myself in the most unfortunate position of having to acknowledge to Fred that he was correct in using the word “flounced”.

    ¡Hasta luego, amigos! (el igual a los otros, tambien)

  • giyane

    I went to the wailing wall as a guest of an Israeli. I can’t remember if I touched it.
    It is supposed to be the last remaining fragment of the temple of Solomon that was destroyed by Allah at the hands of the ? ancestors of the Kurdish? for their adoption of magic and shirk. If it was feeling tired, it could have gained a bit of a boost by touching Hillary Clinton, a rightful heiress to that curse.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Regarding Greville Janner.

    Alzheimer’s Society Factsheet 417: The later stages of dementia

    “What is likely to cause the person’s eventual death?

    “The life expectancy of a person with dementia is unpredictable, and the disease can progress for up to around 10 years. It is estimated that a third of people with dementia at any one time will be in the later stages of the disease. Although dementia is a life-shortening illness, another condition or illness (such as pneumonia – an infection in the lung) may actually cause a person’s death. This other condition or illness will most likely be listed as the cause on the person’s death certificate. Pneumonia is listed as the ultimate cause of death in up to two-thirds of people with dementia.

    “The person’s ability to cope with infections and other physical problems will be impaired due to the progression of the disease, and the person may die because of a clot on the lung or a heart attack. However, in some people no specific cause of death is found, other than dementia. If the person is over 70, ageing may also be given as a contributing factor. Alternatively, the death of a person with dementia could be caused by a condition that is completely unrelated to their dementia.

    “Depending on the circumstances and the practices of the doctor, dementia may be entered on the death certificate as the sole or main cause of death, or as a contributing factor. If it has not been mentioned, you can ask the doctor to include it if you wish.”

    My italics.

    Wikipedia (sorry) gives the cause of death as “complications of Alzheimer’s disease”. I have been unable to find other sources for cause of death.

    Curiously enough, Fedup, it is very common for people with dementia to die of some kind of respiratory failure. Obviously they do not “forget” to breathe, but it may well be that the parts of the brain controlling breathing reflexes cease to work in the advanced stages of dementia.

    Kind regards,


  • YouKnowMyName

    The “trial of the facts” scheduled for April 2016 will now not take place.

    Trebles all round?

  • giyane


    I know a Pan who lives near Tunbridge Wells. People who have stayed with this blog have used metaphor, hyperbole, riddles and insults to camouflage their serious but unpopular comments. Many have left because their truth was just too in your face and bitingingly close to the knuckle. Mary was unflinchingly accurate, but facts are sometimes a weakness on a blog like this because it is always the messenger who is attacked.

    Craig recently referred me to piece in the Guardian about what the FCO did to him when he spilled the beans about torture. They would have liked him just to it was horrid. So he turned that round by saying his speech impediment prevented him saying it was howwid.

    Look above at RoS:

    “Erdogan claims that the oil that reaches Turkey is then destroyed, if you believe that, then you’ll also believe, that Santa comes down your chimney.”

    The juxtaposition of cuddly images and an evil megalomaniac, ruthless dictator protects the writer, the mods, Craig and the blog. We know from Snowden that MI5 operatives try to disrupt the blog, but MI5 has to eat poo when its efforts are dismissed as brainfarts with plastic bodies and luminous hair.

  • Tony M

    “We haven’t time to be bothering with middle eastern families with nowhere to stay for the night it’s Christmas.”

    Credit where it’s due, you might happily retire for the night on that one.

  • John Spencer-Davis


    There has been some talk about Freemasonry on the forum recently. I wanted to offer this for the forum’s consideration.

    Just as a matter of interest, I am a Freemason, and I am under no obligation to conceal that fact from anyone, not am I obliged to reveal it. If you wish to know whether or not someone is a Freemason, I suggest you ask them, and they will tell you.

    Every person who becomes a Freemason affirms that he or she will not use that qualification for material gain. Every person who becomes a Freemason affirms that he or she will act as a decent member of civil society, obeying its laws, and neither engaging in nor countenancing any act which will contradict that affirmation.

    If I found that a Freemason known to me was engaging in any kind of corrupt or criminal activity, I would feel under no obligation to protect him or her from the consequences. Freemasons who are in personal difficulties are certainly entitled to the support and assistance of other Freemasons. That does not extend to corrupt practices, such as giving another Freemason a job just because they are a Freemason and so is the employer, for example. I am sure that Freemasons do get to know and trust other Freemasons, but generally in the sense that, for example, persons who attend the same church, or sports club, or any other association, get to know and trust each other and therefore have a better sense of each other’s capabilities. That is quite human and understandable. However, I would certainly not prefer another Freemason over someone who was better qualified for a post. The idea’s ridiculous.

    If I were in a situation where another Freemason who wanted something gave me a nod and a wink, expecting me to make any kind of unwarranted concession just because we shared a common interest, I would be deeply irritated. As a matter of fact I would probably be a lot harder in such circumstances than a person who was not a Freemason would be, because I know what every Freemason has agreed to do, and that is not a part of it.

    I am quite sure that corruption has occurred in Freemasonry. I cannot presume to speak for all Freemasons nor even all English Freemasons. I have no knowledge of what may have gone on in Scottish Freemasonry. However, to the extent that it has, and does, that is a caricature of Freemasonry, not an affirmation of it. If the corruption is as extensive as has been suggested, I can only conclude that there is a closed circle of exceedingly corrupt people who deliberately engage in the precise opposite of what everybody else in the world of Freemasonry is supposed to do, and that this is such a closely guarded secret that no ordinary Freemasons are aware of it. How likely is that? And where are these corrupt and close-mouthed elite Freemasons recruited from? We are quite generally an opinionated bunch of mavericks. Anyone attempting to recruit me into corrupt practices would be shown the door in short order.

    I do not believe that Freemasons generally are the elite monsters of evil and corruption that they are continually alleged to be. I know many Freemasons, naturally, and I have found them to be decent and honest people. Gossipy, bitchy, backbiting, maybe, sometimes, although hardly more so than in any other walk of life. But not corrupt and wicked. It simply has not been my experience.

    Kind regards,


  • nevermind, Lord Feldmann keeps the nasty party in the news.

    Jim will fix it was also regarded as a ‘rather nice bloke’, all the good he did…. and all the support he had from lodges up and down the country, they would not have wanted to stand outside this cult person who was regarded by the establishment and met once a week, at least, with South Yorkshire police.

    One must feel sorry for all of Janners victims who did/will not get their justice, a man of great standing protected by his community, even after his hasty demise.

    The gates of Shamayim will be closed to him and the darkness of Sheol will engulf his retched soul.

  • Tom Platt

    As I see it there is no need for the SNP to keep harping on about IndyRef2. By boringly managing the institutions better at Holyrood, and by boringly being an effective opposition at Westminster the apparent strategy is to make a further SNP Holyrood Government inevitable after May 2016 and make large local government gains in May 2017 as Westminster based parties cease to be a significant force in Scotland. IMO the manifesto for May 2016 should contain a carefully worded assertion of Scottish right of self determination and intention to test opinion in the event of one or more of Nicola’s “significant changes”. By this slow grinding process Independence surely becomes inevitable if the local authorities become largely SNP controlled after May 2017 and testing it in a Scottish controlled ballot seems sensible. Holyrood needs to claim the power to hold such a ballot by inclusion in the SNP manifesto for May 2016.

  • glenn_uk

    H: “To be fair to RoS, I must say that you can on occasion rival him for sheer lunacy in your pronouncements.


  • Richard Blee

    M. S-D, anent Freemasonry: CIA and its subordinate agencies like GCHQ spread those notions like chaff. It’s Freemasons what did it, or Bilderbergers, or extraterrestrial lizard people, the more outlandish the better. They are trying to breathe some life into their Memo 1035-960 ‘conspiracy theorist’ propaganda, which is dissipating as more people come to see CIA as a criminal enterprise. When you have impunity, you don’t need to conspire. And CIA has had impunity from inception.

    CIA works to synthesize a stereotyped nut and tar inquiring minds with that association. So it’s nothing personal when a monomaniacal persona impugns your civic association. You’re a target precisely because you’re so comically innocuous.

  • punklin

    To Habbabkuk Combat Cant:

    “The implication of this is that an independent Scotland would not be an “extreme capitalist state” – or perhaps (this might be Punklin’s wish) not a capitalist state at all.

    It would be interesting to hear Punklin’s reasons for thinking so (1) and the word(s) he would use to describe the kind of state he desires (2).”

    1 Most of Scotland’s people reject Tory idealogy – red or blue.

    2 I’d favour democratic socialism, but will settle for genuine social democracy.

  • giyane

    Good old Edward Stourton, reliable BBC plum with his Sunday programme. This morning it tries to beef the legitimacy of Tony Blair’s quasi religious foundation by starting with an analysis of the Terrrrrists.

    As Macky’s link above illustrates well, George Freedman admits that all terrrrrists are created by the neo-cons, as part of US hegemony aspirations. Blair states that this ideology must be defeated and I agree with him.

    I think it is reasonable to say that the Syrian people have defeated the neo-con idealogues roundly and squarely. When the neo-cons of the world gathered yesterday to solve the problems of Syria, none of he attendees were Syrians.

    Unlike the old aristocratic, Roman Catholic Stourtons, there are no priestholes in Syria for the neo-cons’ disgusting Muslim Brotherhood/Al CIAda or Al Queenida/Taliban imams to hide in. If it looks like a US neo-con Terrrrrist, talks + walks like a neo=con Terrrrrrist then it is one, and it will be eventually thrown out of Syrian land.

    ( Stourton by his Catholicness is a living reminder that in the case of atavistic civil wars, it’s God who gets to choose the outcomes. )

  • fred

    “Most of Scotland’s people reject Tory idealogy – red or blue.”

    We do here in the Highlands which is why they are talking about taking the Scottish government to court over their Tory policies. Openly bragging about how much their council tax freeze will save someone in Band D while people in Band A who will be hit hardest by the cuts in services to pay for it.

    How does Swinney delivers the most blatantly tory pro austerity budget, have the most blatant pro upper class voter policies yet still convince the nat numpties they are socialist?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)


    Thank you for yours at 05h00.

    I read your reply (1) as meaning that you believe that “Tory ideology” (whether blue or red) has led the UK to become “an extreme capitalist state”.

    I should like to think about that, of course, but to assist me could you perhaps share your thoughts about what makes up an “extreme capitalist” state? What are its essential characteristics as far as the UK is concerned?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    It seems to me that the post from Richard Blee (BTW, hello, good evening and welcome, Richard!) bears out amply what George Orwell wrote about the peculiar way in which conspiracy theorists, obsessives and political extremists use the English language.

  • Mark Golding

    The Ugliest, vile and rotten report in 2015 that agent David Cameron plagiarised in October.

    So, if we look at the issue of extremism on university campuses, it’s really been part of the public debate since the 7/7 attacks and comes under new scrutiny every time an individual involved in violent extremism is found to have studied at a UK university.

  • giyane

    Mark Golding

    thanks for your link. From the link: ” Speakers who’ve expressed views, including that there is a Western war against Islam, …”

    I don’t know any Muslim who doesn’t believe that. But I do know some imams who participate in the Western war on Islam and send young men to fight because they want to curry political power in the UK. They are not Muslim imams. Maybe after living in the UK for a few thousand years they will come to Islam and realise that it is haram to fight against Muslims and haram to adopt the false ideologies of the non-believers.

    In my view, Islam requires us to patiently show a good example of Islam to the people of the book, who include the Christians of the UK who offer peace and a welfare state support to Muslims. There is only one source of radicalisation in the UK, the imams.
    Ordinary men and women from the Muslim community see the goodwill and patience of the UK people. The imams see Western neo-colonialism; they know it is unchanged from the old colonialism, but they want to be on the winning side, the side of the colonisers.

    Then there are also Muslims who dare to talk about the scourge of neo-colonisation by the likes of Cameron. We are classed as extremists. I suspect that most drones in Pakistan are targeted at moderate Muslims. The extremists are suckled by USUKIS for spreading terror through Muslim lands.

  • Pan

    Giyane –

    “I know a Pan who lives near Tunbridge Wells.”

    That’s a bit spooky.

    “People who have stayed with this blog have used metaphor, hyperbole, riddles and insults to camouflage their serious but unpopular comments. Many have left because their truth was just too in your face and bitingingly close to the knuckle. Mary was unflinchingly accurate, but facts are sometimes a weakness on a blog like this because it is always the messenger who is attacked.”

    Thinking about that is making my brain hurt.

    Just tell me… (of course you won’t, why should you?)

    “Craig recently referred me to piece in the Guardian about what the FCO did to him when he spilled the beans about torture. They would have liked him just to [say?] it was horrid. So he turned that round by saying his speech impediment prevented him saying it was howwid.”

    Craig is clever.

    “Look above at RoS:

    “Erdogan claims that the oil that reaches Turkey is then destroyed, if you believe that, then you’ll also believe, that Santa comes down your chimney.”

    The juxtaposition of cuddly images and an evil megalomaniac, ruthless dictator protects the writer, the mods, Craig and the blog. We know from Snowden that MI5 operatives try to disrupt the blog, but MI5 has to eat poo when its efforts are dismissed as brainfarts with plastic bodies and luminous hair.”

    Ok, I can just about get my less-than-perky Sunday morning head round that one.

    A life without challenge is a life unlead. I’ll keep bashing away at it, even if it kills me (you’ve got to die of SOMETHING, right?). At least I am never bored (especially when I read this blog).

  • Pan

    19 Dec, 2015 – 10:08 pm

    “Yes I know Hilary Clinton is theoretically female, but something isn’t, pedant.”

    I thought I was reasonably familiar with the meaning of the word “pedantic”.

    However, as is my wont, I consulted the OED regarding “pedant”…

    “A person who overrates book-learning or technical knowledge, or displays it unduly or unseasonably; one who has mere learning untempered by practical judgement and knowledge of affairs; one who lays excessive stress upon trifling details of knowledge or upon strict adherence to formal rules;” … then, last of all, the meaning I was already aware of… “sometimes, one who is possessed by a theory and insists on applying it in all cases without discrimination, a doctrinaire.”

    So I have learned something else new today – to call someone a pedant is, in fact, extremely cutting.

  • MerkinScot

    “Now that Lord Janner has sadly passed away I think certain people who were so insistent that his dementia diagnosis wasn’t genuine have apologies to make.”
    Not at all.
    After April the game would have been up.
    Better Altogether for the Establishment.

1 5 6 7 8 9 11

Comments are closed.