The SNP Must Sell a Radical Vision, not just Managerial Competence 304

I have a confession to make. I kept my opinion of the SNP’s election campaign from you in order not to hurt the SNP during the campaign. I did however express it deep in James Kelly’s comments pages 12 days ago.

Yes, the SNP won the election in Scotland. 35 out of 59 seats is a clear majority. The Tories only have 13 Scottish seats. That is just 21% so there is no sense in which the Tories “won” Scotland. Do not believe the media lies.

But it remains the case that Theresa May is only able to cling on to No.10 because of the gains the Tories made from the SNP in Scotland. That is shameful and must be squarely faced.

There is a vital truth here. Support for Independence itself remains at almost exactly the same level as it was in 2015 when the SNP swept to 56 seats. Many opinion polls measured support for Independence during the campaign and their range was 42% to 54% for Independence.

So the SNP fall in MPs was not because of a drop in support for Independence. It was rather because the SNP failed the cause of Independence. Specifically they failed even to seek to present a radical and transformative view of what an Independent Scotland might look like.

In 2015 the SNP vote almost exactly equated to the level of support for Independence. Now the SNP vote underperforms Independence support by 10%.

This is not unfortunate. It is an entirely foreseeable consequence of a deliberate and wrong decision by the SNP leadership. They never once, at any time, made the case for Independence during the election campaign. Rather they fell straight into the trap laid by the unionists, of defending their government record in Holyrood.

Scotland’s lack of Independence leads to a constant drain on our resources in a massively London-centric economy. Our money is sucked down there and much of our best talent leaves to work in UK-HQ corporations and ministries based there. That is a different argument to the equally vital one that we are tied in to a neo-liberal austerity programme that prevents us from growing our economy, and to a number of completely inappropriate policies including on immigration.

Bound hand and foot by these constraints, the SNP has struggled at Holyrood – with very great skill – to manage matters as best they can to mitigate the Tory damage in Scotland, within the limited resources they are allowed. But this is utterly different to the situation if Scotland were an independent country and Holyrood a real parliament, and not what it actually is – a glorified regional council.

In this situation, where everything is stacked to ensure its failure, the SNP strategists boneheadedly accepted to fight on the enemy’s chosen ground. What the SNP offered in this election in no way stirred the blood, not even of their own supporters. The SNP did not mention the struggle for national freedom or the kind of country we will build if Independent. It rather attempts to win the support of the Scottish people by offering competent managerialism. “Don’t be scared, we are not nasty nationalists, we are harmless technocrats” is the line.

I hope the hard lesson of this election has been learned. You cannot manage Scotland with competence within the madhouse which is the Tory UK. You are on a hiding to nothing explaining that you can.

Yes it is indeed true that the media unfairly and deliberately, in every interview with Nicola Sturgeon, honed in on devolved matters irrelevant to a Westminster election. That was wrong of the media. But Sturgeon happily wandered around in their labyrinthine trap for long periods, providing lengthy and rational ripostes on educational attainment for 7 year olds. Above all, she emphasised it was not her who wanted to talk about a second referendum, it was that Ruth Davidson.

Sturgeon hotly denied she wanted to talk about Independence at all, saying only the Unionists kept bringing it up. It was a clever debating society point, but by refusing to make the case for Independence – and by appearing to concede it was a difficult area for her – Sturgeon was damaging the Independence cause and ultimately the SNP.

What Nicola Sturgeon should have done is the precise opposite of what she did do.

She should have taken every precious moment of TV time to outline the positive case for Independence, to declare her determination to achieve Independence, and to achieve it within the next Westminster parliament. She should have slammed Trident and slammed the British kowtowing to Saudi Arabia and to Donald Trump, and stated that Scotland should be an independent country with its own foreign and defence policy. She should have slammed austerity and Tory cuts and said that Scotland needs to be an independent country with its own economic policy that will look after its struggling, its disabled and its aged. She should have slammed Brexit and stated it is going to destroy the Scottish economy, and that Scotland needs to be an independent country within the EU.

Sturgeon did refer to all of these policy areas. But her entire dialogue was framed around how they should be tackled within a devolution settlement. Independence was almost entirely avoided as something that might scare the horses.

Much of The SNP campaign echoed the Tories in spin doctored meaninglessness. The pictures of activists holding up placards saying “Stronger for Scotland”, and repetition of the constant mantra about strengthening Nicola Sturgeon’s hand in talks, was just a mirror image of Theresa May. I find it worrying in principle and it was as electorally counterproductive as I knew it would be.

Nicola Sturgeon adopted a deliberate policy of being all things to all men. She ran a campaign designed to say the SNP can attract the votes of unionists and the votes of Brexiteers. She attempted a “mother of the whole country” routine. Putting out the message that anybody can vote SNP because it doesn’t believe in anything much, it is just competent. This was incredibly stupid. It did not work and it did not deserve to.

Anyone can see that there is a worldwide mood of insurgency against the neo-liberal establishment. The fantastic Yes street campaign was absolutely a part of that. Corbyn has grabbed that mood and ran an inspired insurgency campaign. A great many Independence supporters – including some of my family – voted Labour yesterday to support the Corbyn insurgency, after being active members of the Yes insurgency. They still support Independence.

But in an age of insurgency politics, for the SNP to choose to run its entire election campaign on the basis of being a safe managerial political establishment for Scotland, was such a crass decision that it beggars belief. Many radicals went to Labour, while many of those who do like a comfortable political establishment decided they would rather have the real Tory version.

I greatly fear that the SNP will now compound the error by backing away from the second referendum and pushing Independence even further to the back-burner. The SNP needs to do the opposite. It needs to rediscover the Spirit of Independence and reconnect to the Scottish people. And it needs to sack the great raft of highly paid, besuited, professional spin doctors and political advisers I see going in and out of SNP HQ every day (I live next door). They look indistinguishable from their New Labour and Tory cousins and are a class of people the Independence movement really does not need.

One little anecdote. I have a large balcony overlooking Dynamic Earth, in a very prominent position and busy area. I wandered in to SNP HQ to see if they could give me a really big banner or poster to put up. The place was absolutely crammed with besuited spin doctors talking earnestly to each other and very much looking down their noses at me, resenting my intrusion into their space. They had hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of spin doctors, but no poster bigger than a tiny A3. That says it all for me.

I voted for Tommy Sheppard. I did so with pride and I am delighted he is back in. After a period of semi-detachment from the SNP, I am going to be more active inside it to argue for a much more radical and definite attachment to Independence upfront and at all times. And to make sure that the SNP is a quick route to Independence, and not just a quick route to a political class career path. In practice, building any other vehicle than the SNP to carry forward the Yes movement would be almost impossible.

As an institution in itself, the SNP is a very successful institution. There is no denying it. But as a vehicle for actual Independence, it is stationary with the handbrake on, and as a vehicle for radicalism its battery is flat and it has become positively inert. But let’s not abandon it, let’s try a push start.

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304 thoughts on “The SNP Must Sell a Radical Vision, not just Managerial Competence

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  • Alcyone

    “The SNP Must Sell a Radical Vision”

    Do they have one? How’s Nicola’s committee which is supposed to be working on the currency issue coming along?

    All that you propose seems so forced and contrived, despite all your supportive comments here. Shouldn’t independent movements be more spontaneous and organic, than requiring the hard-sell that you wish?

    • Adam Burgess

      It’s over for the nats. All we have in England now is Tory rule imposed by Scottish Tories against our will.

      • keaton

        Whit? England elected a Tory majority. The UK would have one now if it wasn’t for Scotland.

      • shona long

        There is a certain Irony in that, lots of funny moments in this election (yes, I know it is all really bad ). It put paid to the suggestion that Scotlands votes don’t matter, that has been a lesson for me.

        I disagree it is all over for the SNP though but then I would.

  • Kempe

    Let’s see if I’ve got this right. Scottish Tories win 13 seats out 59 = Losers.

    Labour win 30 seats out of 650 = Historic Victory!

        • keaton

          The Scottish Tories won 12 more seats, not 13.

          Labour got 40% of the vote, 2.4 points behind the largest party and 32.6 ahead of the third-largest. The Scottish Tories got 28.6%, 8.3 points behind the largest party and 1.5 ahead of the third-largest.

  • Contrary

    I kind of feel the same way as you Craig, but thought the SNP would have a clever grand Plan,,, but, if what you say is correct about spin people and suits, well, that makes me despair. I was sick to the back teeth of hearing about devolved issues, with the media misrepresenting them each time, and no real comeback from SNP. If that was the spin advice, they should be ejected.

    Nicola Sturgeon was being interviewed on the basis of being party leader, not as first minister, and she could have made that distinction clear. It is bad enough that we have all unionist parties and the media muddying the waters, could the SNP not at least tried to keep the distinction (between devolved & reserved matters & roles in different parliaments) clear for us? That is besides the point of independence, which I agree should be more central to campaigning.

  • Ball

    Here’s a thought; Why don’t the SNP stop taking their seats at Westminster?

    A powerful symbol of rejection toward Westminster.

    The SNP achieve absolutely nothing from being present there other than asking a few questions at PMQ’s that are never covered by any media outlets.

    There attendance is pointless for Scotland and Scottish Independence other than legitimizing this illusion/charade that the Scottish people are somehow properly represented and have a say in matters.

    Also, in future, by holding this position it completely eliminates any chance for Westminster governments (Con/Lab/Lib) to place blame at their door for the shit shoveled on Scotland from London.

    I read on the guardian comments (peoples ignorance) people pleading for Sinn Féin to start attending to counter the DUP with the nonsensical reasoning that somehow they are letting their constituents/voters down.

    Their abstention stance is exactly why they are voted for and supported by so many. This is why there vote is always so solid.

    They do not recognize Westminster as a legitimate house of government for any part of Ireland. Scottish independence supports need to come to the exact same conclusion. And quick.

  • Mark Golding

    Craig has written Specifically they [SNP] failed even to seek to present a radical and transformative view of what an Independent Scotland might look like.

    Sturgeon and others knew very well that the engineered Scottish independence referendum would ‘curtain down’ as a ‘no’ vote implementing blackmail devolution commitments or the fixed ‘Vow’ known to Baron Smith of Kelvin, KT CH a British businessman and former Governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation now Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde who Cameron appointed to chair the Scotland devolution commission.

    That is why Sturgeon has failed to examine the consequences which flow from the Scotland Act 2012 and the current Scotland Bill based on the Smith Commission despite low pay and dreadful poverty that the common man/woman in Scotland endures.

    No – Sturgeon and her cronies cannot be trusted to maintain public services, their funding, taxation amendments and combat Tory austerity.

  • Chris Hanlon

    Fancy standing for SOAC this year?

    The more radicals on there the more chance we have of voting on radical policies at conference.

    I’ve stood twice now but lack any sort if real support, although we did help Rosemary Hunter of WFI get elected last year. Progress is being made but the pressure to be more responsive to the membership needs to be stepped up.

  • Andrew murray

    I am with you craig
    We also need to manage the narrative better
    We agree with may now is not the time we will let you know when it is

  • Taranaich

    As an SNP member & office bearer in my local branch, I greatly appreciate this: not just your criticism, which I feel HQ desperately needs to consider, but that you didn’t express it during the campaign, where your comments would no doubt have been distorted and misrepresented by the opposition.

    This, in particular, is something which I couldn’t understand throughout the campaign:

    “Sturgeon hotly denied she wanted to talk about Independence at all, saying only the Unionists kept bringing it up. It was a clever debating society point, but by refusing to make the case for Independence – and by appearing to concede it was a difficult area for her – Sturgeon was damaging the Independence cause and ultimately the SNP.”

    It’s honestly worse than that for me. Think of all the hotheaded, enthusiastic indy supporters who want to get on the road. The SNP just announced indyref2 conditional on Brexit: the road is all mapped out. Yet this stupid, stupid line of “it’s the other parties, not the SNP, who are obsessed with independence” is a slap in the face to all the people who remember – if the SNP don’t – that the *entire reason for the party’s existence* is independence. If a political party is based around any issue, then absolutely I DO want them to be “obsessed” with it. Isn’t that the entire point of a political party? Isn’t that the entire point of a cause?

    If you said to a Green “You’re just obsessed with the environment,” I would expect them to say “yeah, duh, I’m a Green.” If someone accused a Corbynite “You’re just obsessed with worker’s rights and socialism,” I would expect them to agree. So, everyone accusing the SNP of being “obsessed with independence” should be met with a frank, blank stare, as if you don’t understand what the problem is.

    Corbyn’s success was borne on a wave of enthusiasm, not the dull pseudo-centrism of Milliband. The media & opposition all called him unelectable, and convinced themselves it was true. And look what happened! But what everyone forgets about Corbyn is that *we did it first in Scotland* – with the Yes movement.

    The SNP need to sack their well-heeled advisors. Get good, successful people like Kevin Pringle and Eric Geddes back. And stop letting their own opposition dictate the narrative.

    • ET

      Agreed. The reluctance to acknowledge the Yes movement, which is still there, is also a huge mistake. Grassroots provided the successes of the increase in support for independence during the indyref campaign and the resultant 56 MPs in the GE 2015. The lack of a manifesto prior to this election was disheartening and made campaigning difficult, but, if nothing else, the party should always promote their raison d’être.

      It is time (and it is long overdue) to take off the kid gloves.

    • Alin Scot

      Also an SNP member and at a recent SNP meeting, questions from the floor were not answered by those invited along to speak; well in truth they were but it was meaningless waffle which was useless on the doorstep. Also told we were not in indyref2 campaign mode, yet indyref2 section 30 had been announced. Crazy!

      The leadership is no longer listening to their members who in turn are more reluctant to turn out. Tommy Shepherd had the right idea of rejuvenating and using SNP branches much more effectively. Where is the SNP members forum lo let members let off steam and perhaps indicate a direction of travel?

      I believe if nothing major is done, it will be further losses at the next GE and to be honest, deservedly so.

  • N_

    Look at this shitty Tory article by the BBC on the Tories’ supply and confidence deal with the DUP. They write

    trickier will be any demands (the DUP) have about the implementation of Brexit in Northern Ireland – in particular the DUP’s determination to maintain a soft border with the south.

    That’s a mealy-mouthed avoidance of saying that the DUP supports Britain remaining in the single market and customs union, or a soft Brexit as it’s also known. Rather than explicitly saying so in their manifesto, they say they favour a “(c)omprehensive free trade and customs agreement with the European Union”, but you obviously cannot have free trade with a free trade zone without being part of it, or in other words part of the single market and customs union. Assuming they haven’t been bought off, the Tory manifesto promise of a hard Brexit will have to be chucked. But don’t expect the Tory BBC to notice until they get the OK from CCHQ.

    In short, the Tories are sticking two fingers up at the electorate by staying in office, because out of the three main parties the only one that favours a soft Brexit is Labour. If all they can do in office – on the very issue on which they supposedly called the election – is to implement Labour policy rather than their own, they ought either to hand over to Labour.

    Has the Tory Broadcasting Corporation been told to “forget” that the Tories are for hard Brexit and the DUP are for soft Brexit?

  • Republicofscotland

    With the Tories/Labour/Libdems in Scotland run from Westminster, and the fact that they all club together to vote tactically to thwart the SNP and Scottish independence, thus holding back social progression in Scotland, we need Brexit to be far reaching and hard hitting, and it will, Tory attitudes will see to that.

    Brexit now appears to be our next best chance of gaining independence. It seems social conditions need to deteriorate to a even greater lever across Scotland before the penny finally drops for a percentage of the Scottish electorate.

    The Tory hard Brexit, combined with a low wage economy, higher prices, greater attacks on the disabled and poor, mass job losses, and considerable EU restrictions, might be the impetus required.

    The independence movement needs to be ready near the closing stages of the Brexit negotiations. Holyrood already has the mandate, we must set the date not Westminster, Westminster won’t let us leave easily, we’ll need to fight hard for a better future.

  • ben

    ok, why TF are you not the SNP leader already?! jesus!

    one might be tempted to think it would have been better to get all this out of your system immediately, in order to try and instigate an awakening amongst progressives, so that they shift back to labour, where it occurred, would have been pronounced enough to actually gain labour seats, rather than let Tories in…. but then as far reaching as this blog is, i wonder how quickly that awakening could have spread to all the SNP voters.. hmm… dont look back in anger.. or regret.. or something..
    anyway, great post, i hadn’t even realised just how badly Sturgeon had abandoned independence! i mean she’s got to be crazy! it was so obvious that their uprising was entirely down to that issue! i wonder what May said to her in that meeting..

  • Callum

    ‘Many opinion polls measured support for Independence during the campaign and their range was 42% to 54% for Independence.’

    Which poll showed support for indy at 54%?

    • fred

      It was an Ipsos MORI poll in Feb 2016. The question was actually if someone would vote Yes if Scotland was forced out of Europe against their will. The same poll showed 53% saying they would vote SNP in the 2016 election but only 46% did.

        • fred

          Sorry, I thought you were talking about an actual poll with a published result and data sets.That one was just a rumour.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    “One little anecdote. I have a large balcony overlooking Dynamic Earth, in a very prominent position and busy area. I wandered in to SNP HQ to see if they could give me a really big banner or poster to put up. The place was absolutely crammed with besuited spin doctors talking earnestly to each other and very much looking down their noses at me, resenting my intrusion into their space. They had hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of spin doctors, but no poster bigger than a tiny A3. That says it all for me.”

    Craig, come back home to England with your Family and Friends.

    We actually like you here in England and are doing a tour of Norfolk very soon.

    You are a nice man. Us English like you. I have even bought your book…though it hasn’t turned up yet – but it will.

    Chill, and write more books.

    We had a Brilliant Day today completely unplanned

    People just turned up Family and Friends – so we had a party in our back garden. I was Grandad with the young Children playing together…and i can’t ask for more than that.


    • Ishmael

      I don’t really think of myself as english. Dunno what it means.

      But I do think Craig could be far more effective as an activist here in a way. Or just not wedded to what he is that imo undermines greater goals. Smaller seeming perhaps, but greater.

      This was farage’s issue, Like I want to be the big man making a “new” (old) country. He’s clearly bit power mad imo. And these people do the greatest damage.

  • Ishmael

    I used to ideologically support “independence” ..But now I don’t, and I STILL don’t hear one bit of concrete proposal from someone supporting it, nothing of substance considering the realities of what it would mean in martial terms, or given the world as is.

    My feeling is it will continue to divide those up north. Your helping are driving a permeant wedge in Scottish society Craig, and this help feeds the bad reactions (voting Tory).

    And I totally reject that I’m in any way a “unionist” because I don’t support Scottish “independence” …Your living in a very distant past…

    “building any other vehicle than the SNP to carry forward the Yes movement would be almost impossible.”

    So no vision other than what splits the people down the middle. There is no reason the SNP can’t carry forward something that doesn’t do this. But I your so wedded to this idea (no matter what it really means) you’ll not listen to anyone. Am a shocked? NO. Just like the rest of the “TORY RULE FORVER” pundits.

    You’d think you’d be a bit more humble, but no, far from it. Double down.

  • allymax bruce

    Basically Mr Murray, your advice mirrors your criticism; instead of extortionate sums of Public taxes, siphoned off to Sturgeon’s private army of political sophists,valiantly looking brilliant ,while completely getting the campaign strategies wrong, you think you would’ve got it right doing the reverse.Youre still wrong Mr Murray!
    Politics, like a biological disease, will keep finding a way to overrun the well used antibiotic.
    Old dinosaurs and diseases.

  • Alf Baird

    35 SNP MP’s is still a Scotland majority, and sufficient to end the union of parliaments in the same constitutional way it began. The main problem with the SNP is it has too many recent unionists as elected people. They don’t understand that Scotland’s nationhood comes first above all else, including managerial competence of the unionist controlled puppet construct that is Holyrood. They don’t appreciate that independence has to be taken, it will never be given. They give Westminster far too much respect. They are quite content to take Westminster’s money, its oath, and join its privy council. They are not nationalists. If they were nationalists they would have taken our independence in May 2015. If they were nationalists they would take our independence now with their 35 seat Scottish majority representing the sovereign will of the Scottish people and assume power on our behalf. The SNP hierarchy are merely despicable career politicians and spinners. Another feeble 56, now 35, and next time even less. Thay’ve aw bin fund oot! Best of luck Craig, in changing that swamp.

  • alasdair galloway

    Craig when you write “I greatly fear that the SNP will now compound the error by backing away from the second referendum and pushing Independence even further to the back-burner.” it seems to there is an implication there that the SNP cannot talk about independence without mentioning a referendum. Is that right?
    If so, I disagree with you somewhat. I wonder if folk are fed up with voting and with politics? We face getting dragged out the EU to goodness knows what. We live in interesting times, as the Chinese say. There is a short piece of film that was shown on HIGNFY last night (it was on after QT) where the street interviewer on the day May called the election, asks a woman (in Bristol I think it is) what does she think about a General Election, and she goes off on one – “Oh God, not again. You’re kidding ……” Since the first referendum we have voted every year – and in the last two twice.
    Does talking about another independence really imply a referendum. I agree very much with your paragraph beginning “She should have taken every precious moment of TV time to outline the positive case for Independence …”. I agree too that the SNP need to start making a strong case for independence (for God’s sake, why no sensible position on currency yet?), need to start to develop an alternative, independence narrative that if we were independent things would be different (in a good way) – there would be no rape clause, we wouldnt be targeting the disabled, we could actually fund the NHS better than we do now. There are of course problems – the EU is less popular in the North East (where much of the Tory damage was done), and no doubt the Unionists would play on that. But they can hardly have their cake (go on about EU fishing policies) and eat it too (tell us we will never be members).
    But you know that, yet it seems to me that setting out a positive vision of an independent Scotland – with the incumbent lunatics in the WM govt, it doesnt even need to be “milk and honey”, just better than now, which as Brexit unwinds will become all the more true – does not require putting a number on indyref2. Indeed – and this is a purely rhetorical point – it sometimes seems to me that what Sturgeon ought to be waiting for are riots outside Bute House demanding a referendum. Make the vision and the referendum date follows?

    • Alf Baird

      “demanding a referendum” is actually not a good idea, because:
      a) in order to become independent, a referendum is not essential; as Craig himself has argued, few other states have needed a referendum to become independent. Scotland has de facto independence now today with a majority of MP’s and MSP’s democratically elected and supporting indy. Once notice is given by these elected members to end the union of parliaments, the UN GA may request a referendum to ratify that decision and that referendum can then be managed by Holyrood, including franchise restrictions etc on eligbility.
      b) Scotland’s population is/has been changing very fast indeed, with census indicating over one million people coming from rest-UK to live in Scotland over the past 20 years, and another 600,000+ in next decade, with half that number of Scots leaving – according to voting intention surveys this rest-UK immigrant ‘group’ has a very high 80%+ likelihood to vote No. So another referendum with poorly thought out franchise conditions is very risky.
      c) Allowing Westminster to control a referendum is doubtful constitutionally in any case as sovereign will of Scotland’s people is ignored in sense that: 1) 600 MP’s of other nations can refuse to allow a ref, or refuse to accept result, or accept result but ‘shape’ any ‘Independence Scotland Act’ in their favour, most probably making Scotland more of a basket case than it is now.

  • ruagaire

    could this be why I wished there was a party other than the SNP proposing Independence that I would have voted for?
    no Greens here – SNP and the 3 British parties (Lab/Con/LibDem) stood in Argyll&Bute – I voted SNP, no-one else offering Independence

  • Karen Thornton

    More insightful analysis, but with a couple of oversights, if I may say so:
    1 – The SNP will not present a ‘radical vision’ as they are a centrist party, not the ‘centre-left’ of their Twitter bio and certainly not the ‘socialist’ that I’ve heard many Scots proclaim them to be.
    2 – Labour orphans, such as myself, were always going to back a genuine socialist Labour leader like Corbyn, despite supporting Indy, and despite having previously voted SNP, and we will do this again.
    3 – Independence does not need to be won through the Westminster ballot box-so long as Holyrood is kept full of SNP MSPs then we can still send the political class a clear sign that this is our will.
    4 – Independence does not belong to the SNP, and I believe that we run a great risk by using them as our only vehicle to achieve Indy, for if the SNP become discredited, and they are facing some challenging scrutiny at the minute (the education situation is going to get much worse), then this may indelibly stain the Independence movement.

  • Ishmael

    The lines are being drawn. And they are not between land masses or “separate” systems, they are between the very rich and rest.

    These divides play just as bad a role in Scotland, who ARE just the same. Yet you speak as if their is some fundament difference with “The Scottish”

    It’s utter nonsense, not that I’m sure a lot don’t think themselves other but it doesn’t make it so. And you can bet those at the bottom know dam well there is no such thing as “home bias”

    Try a few weeks working in a factory up north run by “Scottish” people. Then see how you feel about how different they are.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I suspect one of the problems are that Craig thinks he speaks English Really Posh…but he grew up, was born and bred in Norfolk.

    Whereas in Scotland there are some people who come from The Borders, there are some people who come for the Islands and the Highlands of Bonnie Scotland..and there are some people who were born in Edinburgh and Educated in Edinburgh – and not only are they just so Intelligent that they blow us English away – they actually speak the Queen’s English more perfectly and eloquently than The Queen. They don’t make a big fuss of it..They just make stuff work (usually in England).

    My Mum was born in London (Scottish clan)


  • john Gerard

    I felt that the SNP became afraid to mention independence and retreated to the position of we will wait to see after Brexit. Like Corbyn you have to set your stall out clearly for the voter and some will hate it and others love it.

  • James

    Speaking as a supporter of Scotland remaining in the UK, I would encourage you to please go enthusiastically ahead with this strategy, C.

  • Col

    Totally agree, the gloves are hardly ever off and I know I’m not the only one who is sick and tired of certain media showings where they are walked all over and fail to knock back false claims including blatant bias.
    I would love it if tomorrow Nicola would come out fighting full on and get the bastards on the back foot for a change.
    Yes they will howl loudly relentlessly but you just have to howl back and show some fucking passion for Fuck sake. Westminster power has rarely been weaker and nothing is stable at the moment. We have to hammer home that we are in a period of major instability but we must decide for ourselves how we wish to move forward. How dare the the unionist parties try to take away our democratic voice in such turbulent times. They should be called out on this every day. I fear the game is up if we don’t come out fighting now.

  • David Penn

    The SNP should ask its supporters to fight with Labour to get rid of this evil Tory party ASAP. As soon as Labour is in power, the SNP should have a referendum, which I am sure the Labour Government would support. They would win that, re-enter the EU

  • manandboy

    I am reluctant to say it, but Craig Murray’s case is compelling. But then, we’ve known for some time that things at the top of the SNP have not been right. Gender equality in the Cabinet has overtaken raw talent and ability. Most of all, Ruth Davidson dominates NIcola, in both Holyrood and on television.

    • Jo

      “Ruth Davidson dominates Nicola…….”

      That is just a ridiculous notion! Davidson is a mouth and nothing more. Very little of substance ever comes out of it however.

  • shona long

    I have to disagree. Nicola Sturgeon is the First Minister of Scotland, her duty is to Scotland and not Independence. I am a member of the SNP, we have to take people with us. This was a Westminster GE, there was already too much about Indy in it- that is why we now have 13 Tory MPs.

      • Alf Baird

        “we have to take people with us”

        No. We have already achieved sufficient electoral success to secure our nation’s independence. But you also have to make the effort to take your nation back, by giving notice of the end of the union of parliaments, insofar as Scotland is concerned. The Yes movement has secured a democratically elected majority of Scotland’s MP’s, via the SNP now at the last two UK General Elections, and in addition a majority of MSP’s support independence for that matter. Scotland has already democratically won de facto independence; the SNP just need the backbone to make it de jure. What are they afraid of? If our political leaders are afraid of independence, they will be unlikely to secure it. The SNP’s political leadership needs to have a word with itself. They seem afraid to even mention the word – independence – their supposed raison detre!

        • fred

          So don’t just talk about it do it. Fire off an email to Westminster and tell them Scotland is now independent then send one to Donald Trump saying how sorry we are we wanted to ban him from our shores but would he please consider turning his back on his British allies and recognise us anyway.

          Without the consent of the British government and the Scottish people what you get isn’t independence, what you get is partitioning.

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