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 7 8 9 10 11
  • fred

    “Last time he resorted to these tactics and topic, as this is definitely a repeat performance, he complained about the distance he had to travel to visit someone in hospital, it being evidently all the SNP’s fault for not wheeling the patient still in their hospital bed to his front door.”

    Prove it, you find the post where I complained that I had to travel to visit someone in hospital.

    Put up or shut up, you make accusations against me you’d best be able to back it up with evidence I don’t stand for your Natzi bullyboy intimidation.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Health is devolved, the Scottish government have the power to make prescriptions free to people on low incomes and still charge their rich fat cat mates so why blame me or Westminster for a small number of people on low incomes who probably just tick one of the boxes on the back of the prescription anyway? People who grab severance pay then keep on working being a member of parliament in two countries could pay for prescriptions but people on less than 40 hours on minimum wage could be made exempt. There are no rules say it has to be all or nothing, they can charge their fat lawyer, banker, politician mates but not the working poor if they want to.”


    You know fine well Fred that the cost administering such a prescription system for a smaller section of society is not financially prudent. The question has been asked and answered, on several occasions.

  • Alcyone

    Lysias, we cannot know what degree of comprehension/consciousness he had. But if he had even the slightest hint that he was in deep trouble, his fear and anxiety could literally have killed him. After all he was a fragile 87 not 57.

    Do you see what i’m saying, in terms of a mindbody response?

    Which is why it must be very difficult for people with guilt to live with themselves, especially when you know that the Law is on your case.

  • fred

    “You know fine well Fred that the cost administering such a prescription system for a smaller section of society is not financially prudent. The question has been asked and answered, on several occasions.”

    No I don’t.

    Don’t see how it makes any difference to cost where you draw the line.

    Just tell the fat cat rich spongers they have to pay then spend the extra money on the less privileged and more needy.

    It’s called socialism.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Don’t see how it makes any difference to cost where you draw the line.”


    Of course it does Fred, the smaller the group, the less financially viable it becomes. Employing people to adminster the correct process would leave it in the red. We don’t want to return to bad old Labour days.


    Just tell the fat cat rich spongers they have to pay then spend the extra money on the less privileged and more needy.


    I take it you’re on about Brian Souter again? Let it go Fred, it will eat you up inside.

  • fred

    “Of course it does Fred, the smaller the group, the less financially viable it becomes. Employing people to adminster the correct process would leave it in the red. We don’t want to return to bad old Labour days.”

    No, there is no of course about it, there is absolutely no logic to what you are saying at all.

    Fact is cancer patients south of the border have over a hundred more expensive treatments available to them than cancer patients in Scotland because south of the border they can afford a Cancer Drugs Fund.

    In Scotland they let cancer sufferers die so their mates on huge salaries can get free prescriptions.

  • Vronsky

    I was a member of the SNP for 25 years, over most of which we were electorally unsuccessful. Those were the good times, because useful things flowed from our failure. Internal democracy, esprit de corps, and space for oppositional opinions. I can remember a conference debate on the decriminalistion of prostitution, long before any other party could countenance such an idea. It was exciting – party members (wee punters like me) made policy in debate at conference.

    You could never get paid work by being a member of the SNP (quite the opposite – membership would cost you money, recklessly far beyond the subscription) so we had no careerists in our ranks – we were a happy army with few generals. But then we got successful and the careerists appeared.

    Still, Craig is too gloomy – not every SNP member is a careerist. And yet I could list the names of many who are, many who care about nothing beyond their public income, and whose only meaningful task is the completion of an expenses claim form. The numbers of those who are not like that are shrinking and will continue to shrink.

    I note with interest that Peter A Bell describes Craig as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ – which by definition is someone who questions the official establishment narrative. Mr Bell clearly does not – no conspiracist he.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    SumMary of acts of genocide committed by Israel on 16 December 2015:

    3 Israeli Navy attacks on Palestinian fishing boats

    5 Israeli Army attacks on Gaza farms

    11 wounded in Israeli Army attack on Tulkarem

    Settler mob beats up and hospitalises Palestinian resident in Hebron

    Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in 2 refugee camps and 13 towns and villages

    10 Israeli attacks (9 Israeli ceasefire violations + 1 Palestinian)

    25 raids including home invasions

    1 beaten – 1 dead – 16 injured

    4 abducted (aged 15 to 17)

    7 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage

    28 taken prisoner – 9 detained – 123 restrictions of movement

  • giyane


    Trump and Gaffney and Quilliam may be trolls for the neo-con war on Islam. Is exposing the trolls a useful occupation, or are they there to divert us from the the evil deeds of the neo-cons themselves. Non-Muslims might listen to Trump and Quilliam to seek clues about Muslims, but why is Nafees Ahmad who is an Asian Muslim analyst wasting his time on them?

    The mainstream UK imams from the Deobandi, Muslim Brotherhood and Ahle Hadith mosques are running with the neo-cons, with their fanytasy of jihad, fantasy of Daesh. It is a political collection of wars in several countries in which the participance of the imams is also political. Either they want power in the neo-con future ( which will not happen ) or they want weapons to conceal from the neo=cons to fight the neo-cons with ( which will not happen )

    The trolls are 100% irrelevant. They distract from a sinister alliance between neo-cons and imams where there ought to be opposition and defiance. Muslims should not be assisting the neo-cons in building the NWO on a wink and a nod from the imams that this is jihad. This is the exact opposite to jihad.

    After nearly being defeated by Hitler in WW2 the UK government decided to stop persecuting other countries and stealing from them, and to stop persecuting their own people through the class divide. The imams aligning themselves with post=Thatcher neo-colonialism and neo=victorianism is exactly the wrong course of action for men and women of Islamic knowledge.

    I therefore conclude that there is an underlying, intense dislike and artificially prolonged racism against the UK people, that informs the imams participating in the destruction of the UK populations best interests. That’s what the trolls trumps Gaffs and spooky ex-jihads don’t want you to talk about: the fact that the neo=cons are being assisted by the elite of the Muslim core of knowledge against truth, justice and equality.

    Nafees Ahmad always has been on the side of this crazy political alliance, a shill for the NWO in which he sees a role for the imams in the NWO Ministry of Truth. Not going to happen. Neither are the neo-cons going to achieve their swivel-eyed dreams of world hegemony , Nor are the perverted imams going to be given power to control us. Come on boys, zombies don’t exist. human kind is not going to submit to Zionist loonies, nor are we going to need to be guided by zionist Muslim sympathists.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Friends of Israel – or, indeed, those on here who do not harbour an uncontrollable hatred of Israel – will be pleased to hear that Israel has its own equivalent of BBC World, France 24, RT, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera, etc.

    It is called i24NEWS and can been watched free on satellite (and internet).

    Highly recommended!


    Incidentally, I understand that new Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev has settled in quickly and well in London and is already a respected member of the Corps diplomatique in that fair city.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Re Janner

    a certain pugnacious Irish-American who occasionally posts on here might do well to go bck a couple of threads and read carefully John Spencer-Davis’s post on death and dementia.

    Rather than harking back indirectly to his ludicrous claim,made all the way back in April, that Janner was likely to soon meet with an “unfortunate accident”.

    (Cue for the said Pugnacious One to tell us he has a “higher degree” in medicine 🙂 )

  • glenn_uk

    How could a channel be less critical of Israel’s war crimes, flagrant breaches of International Law, and on-going atrocities than the BBC? Why the need for their own propaganda outlet, when their stooges (such as yourself) are already doing such a good job, selling their lies and misinformation?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)


    I think my last comment to you must have vexed. 🙂

    But you guys need to get your act together – according to some, the BBC is an evil stooge for the UK and Mr Cameron, for others such as yourself it’s an evil stooge for Israel.

    You should make your minds up, surely?

  • Mark Golding

    Why Be Ordinary?
    20 Dec, 2015 – 7:14 pm

    The situation in the world is not easy. There is a growing tension in the Middle East and in other regions of the world; Terrorists openly declare war on civilization, the world community – and their action plans are a direct threat to our own country. Now the Russian Armed Forces are fighting against these bandits on the front lines, destroying their infrastructure and their camp bases in Syria.

    Vladimir Putin, has honoured members and veterans of the Russian security services on their annual professional holiday.

  • glenn_uk

    You should make your minds up, surely?

    Why can it not be both? But you forget that – unlike your “side” – we’re not all obliged to think in lockstep.

  • lysias

    Whatever may have caused Janner’s death, it certainly prevented a trial on the facts as effectively as a suicide would have done. (Which does not mean I rule out suicide in the absence of an autopsy.)

  • punklin

    …”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?”…

    Thank you Habbabkuk (La vita e bella).

    Capitalism has now reached an advanced stage with production, distribution and exchange (i.e. power and its concomitant wealth etc) concentrated into ever bigger blocks controlled by ever fewer people/entities.

    At the same time the UK has continued its post-imperial story to the extent that the union, as well as a socially cohesive society, is inevitably cracking up.

    The combination of these two elements has made the UK an extreme capitalist state where the government is secondary to the power of capital. Just look at how decisions are made with revolving doors between big business, govt and lobbying etc.

    Another vital feature of where we’re at, it seems to me, is the hegemonic control over how people think, behave and accept (even defend) the status quo (“things have always been like this/it’s common sense/you can’t change the system…” etc), even when it is patently not in their objective interests to do so. And who controls information/the media? A frighteningly small number of unrepresentative non-doms.

    Things cannot go on like this. They are bound to change, but paradoxically only with human intervention. That’s where the independence movement comes in – a conscious attempt to recognise this situation and to struggle against the tide to change it. And I am glad, if not always comfortable, to be a tiny particle doing my bit within that scenario.

    Does that answer the question?

  • RobG

    I’m dead on my feet with flu at the moment. So, briefly, Bush senior’s lie that kicked off his war with Iraq…

    And we all know about Bush junior’s lie with regard to his war with Iraq; but often forgotten – and for legal reasons I have to be careful what I say here – is some of the background to Bush junior whilst his Iraq war was in full swing. This being, Bush junior’s close ‘friendship’ with a gay male prostitute who was allowed free access to the Whitehouse, and often stayed overnight there, and was given accredited status at Whitehouse press conferences, where he asked softball questions…

    This was all a decade ago now, but it does give some insight into just how corrupt and rotten the body politic is, and remains.

    And by the way, the Revolution is next Thursday. I’ll try to be on the barricades, if my flu improves.

  • BrianFujisan


    Thanks for keeping up the Updates.

    bbC Bias re Palestine Protest in Glasgow –


    Breaking the Silence with israeli Hero’s Speaking out –

    ” Breaking the Silence has collected a formidable oral history of Israeli soldiers’ highly critical assessments of the world of conflict and occupation. The stories may be specific to Israel and its occupation of the Palestinian territories but they have a wider meaning, providing an invaluable resource that describes not just the nature of Israel’s occupation but of how occupying soldiers behave more generally. They describe how abuses come from boredom; from the orders of ambitious officers keen to advance in their careers; or from the institutional demands of occupation itself, which desensitises and dehumanises as it creates a distance from the “other”.

    In granular detail, the tens of thousands of words narrated on Friday told of the humdrum and the terrible: the humiliating treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, shootings and random assaults. Over the years the Israeli military’s response has been that these stories are the exceptions, not the rule, accounts of a few bad apples’ actions. _

    The Fuckers tried to Kill one of my new Heros – Ken O keefe..And Craig felt Compelled to take to the streets in London over that Crime –

    Craig –

    Always loved this one…From a world leading expert in Maritime Maters

  • MerkinScot

    Monty :
    “He may of left us but his unstinting work for Israeli schoolchildren will always be remembered and honoured .”
    Don’t go that way, Monty.
    That is the BBC spin which allows for the most interesting ‘his family deny all the allegations’ defence.
    No one has suggested any of his family were there when he did it (even though he was also linked to ‘his special children’ over there as well).
    I remember my boss being the only person ever to recover from Alzheimers disease.
    Nothing changes.

  • glenn_uk

    I think my last comment to you must have vexed. 🙂

    Took a while to process this. After all, we’ve known each other for a number of years, in the limited fashion that this forum allows.

    You have – for no apparent gain – lost a fairly sympathetic correspondent’s respect, despite being on the opposite side of most of the issues under discussion.

    I’ll leave it at that.

  • Jives


    At least be consistent in your randomness else spell out the exact terms of engagement else youre gonna lose alotta posters and regulars on this blog.

    Maybe this was always the plan,the long game?

    Ho hum.

    This post will self-destruct or be deleted in 10 seconds…

    You betcha!


  • punklin

    Craig and others – have you read the piece by Jason Cowley (editor) in current Christmas issue of New Statesman? Drawing heavily on George Osborne’s foreign policy stance, it is riddled with baseless assertions that the alternative to UK style intervention is “hermit” inaction.

    There is loads a peaceful progressive foreign policy can do to defeat IS without resorting to Blairite liberal intervention (usually ends up as bombing.)

    It’s disappointing when once radical sources lose their powers of analysis. The Webbs must be birling…

  • Alcyone

    Habby, I think you have been a little unfair with Glenn, who remains one of the few objective, balanced and serious commenters here. Unless there is something in particular you were alluding to earlier?

  • Alcyone

    Labour will now hold it’s Shadow Cabinet meetings in public!

    “In a slight aimed at some of his colleagues in shadow cabinet, he suggested: “We should hold shadow cabinet meetings in public. I think I’m the only one who doesn’t leak.”

    I think Corbyn has done well in his first 100 days and is clearly contributing to a more vigorous debate within UK politics. We sometimes forget to acknowledge the positives.

    He remains, in my mind, a rather unusual kind of politician: more human being and less political inanities. More original in style too.

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

    Giyanne. I happen to read Nafeez Ahmed’s books and I cannot identify him as a stooge for anyone, you have to work on your own education there.

    As for the importance to inform the push pulled public as to what is likely going to happen regards Trump and what unsavoury, but very loud, neocon connections he keeps here, hallo Douglas Murray (he should be thrown out of the clan for his fascist belligerence), thats up to debate

    The rewriting of history, not wanting to acknowledge one’s guilt for past ills, not wanting to say how sad and bad one acted against slaves, how one handled colonialism, the diplomatic appeasements one attached to sheer brutality and racism should not be washed out of history.
    Humans deserve to be reminded of their primitive past, because they do not/have not learned from any of their primitive unintelligent behaviour of the past.

1 7 8 9 10 11

Comments are closed.