The Course of Scottish Politics 197

The SNP triumphed in 2015 by outflanking Labour to the left. The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is now coming back by outflanking the SNP to the left. This was not hard as the SNP tends to talk left but not act it. Kezia Dugdale has resigned because she is unhappy with tacking to the left; indeed as a third rate machine politician she has never given any indication of philosophical conviction at all.

A large number of those voters returning to support Scottish Labour from the SNP have not abandoned their support for Independence, and having a significant Indy supporting section of its voter base is something which ultimately Labour will have to come to terms with. The shift of the left to support the SNP had left Scottish Labour as this strange rump of beached Blairites and Brownites, to the extent that even the (tiny number of) ordinary members were not supporters of Corbyn. That too will change. I have no doubt that Corbyn’s opposition to Independence was tactical and caused by the need to placate this Scottish Labour establishment. I can foresee Labour moving to become much more Independence friendly over the next few years – its Orangemen have already largely shifted to the Tories.

A number of people have suggested to me that I am myself moving towards joining Labour. The answer to which is, not until the last member of the GMB is led by the ears down Sauchiehall St with a Trident missile shoved up their arse. That is not as facetious as it sounds. For me the GMB characterises everything that is wrong with the entire founding principles of the Labour Party. If somebody announced a new WMD had been developed which only kills babies less than 10 months old, the GMB would say that was great, providing their members could build it. Before anybody argues, remember their members already build WMD which would inevitably incinerate millions of babies.

There is much concentration on Labour’s appalling Blairite MPs, and I could certainly never vote for a large majority of their people at Westminster. Until Corbyn manages a real purge there is no way I would even think of voting Labour. But people forget it has historically been the trades unions who have defeated all previous attempts to use the Labour Party to advance a left wing agenda, and who even now enforce support of Trident and of nuclear power. Middle class intellectuals tend to have a misty-eyed view of dignified, auto-didactic workers. I have seen too much of the world (and of the racist, xenophobic and significantly working class English Brexit voters) to harbour such fantasy, and too much contempt for political correctness to pretend that I do. It is extraordinary how many people feel the unions should be above criticism because they represent the working class. Increased union workplace power is now essential to help rebalance the economy; but they should not be fetishized.

That is more space about Labour than it currently deserves.

Meantime it is foolish to deny there is something of a crisis of confidence in the Independence movement.

Every three months or so, for almost the past three years, I have published that I am yet to hear one single post-referendum statement or speech by a senior SNP figure explaining the advantages of Independence. Well, I still haven’t. Having conclusively proven in a dismal Westminster campaign that not mentioning the benefits of Independence is a seat loser, the SNP is resolutely continuing not to mention the benefits of Independence.

There has however been a change. Before the Westminster election, the SNP would not talk about Independence but would talk about the tactics of achieving Independence, principally referendum timing. Now they have a new tactic of never mentioning Independence at all. Instead they concentrate exclusively on good governance within the Union.

Personally I have no interest at all in pretending that the glorified regional council at the bottom of Holyrood Road is a national parliament, when it is not even consulted on whether the nation goes to war, cannot stop forced deportations of valued residents from local communities, and cannot prevent extradition of citizens to face English courts (I am myself up in the English High Court on a libel charge soon). We do not really have a Scottish parliament or a Scottish government. We have a glorified council.

But there are many in the SNP who appear pretty well satisfied with the status quo, given a few extra powers handed down when we leave the EU. Brexit is being forced upon Scotland demonstrably against the will of the nation. It is an economically suicidal policy and yet the SNP appears meekly to be now discussing its implementation, rather than reaching for the national sovereignty that would prevent it.

That we are forced out of the EU against our will is the ultimate proof that the near useless institution in Holyrood is not a Parliament.

There are too many people within the SNP who are content with Scotland’s pretend national status and very real humiliating colonial status. There are too many people in the SNP who earn a fat living from being politicians within the UK system they are only pretending to oppose. The SNP is starting to look like the classical elite “native” ruling class the British ruled through in nearly all their colonies. The SNP, far too many of them, have cushy well-paid jobs within the devolution settlement and are not personally inclined to take risks.

The SNP begins to look like a controlled opposition. The unionist establishment is delighted with the SNP.

The SNP soaked up all the energy of the Yes movement, and diverted it into a cul de sac away from any agitation for Independence. Energies have been dissipated on elections within – and not challenging – the UK governance system and on a series of pointless consultation exercises. Opposition to Brexit has been corralled and dissipated. The SNP has effectively done the British Establishment’s job for it.

I so not exclude Nicola Sturgeon from this criticism. Indeed it is chiefly a criticism of Nicola Sturgeon.

In the course of the last referendum campaign the YES camp gained an astonishing 17%. The reason was that the actual arguments for Independence were heard. That has not happened since – those in a position to have the argument heard, have chosen in their own interest not to make it. Yet still I have no doubt that, if we only get the chance, the next campaign will see us sprint home in triumph. What the SNP are in danger of becoming is the gatekeepers who deny us that chance.

The SNP needs to recover its nerve, and needs to demonstrate it exists to achieve Independence, not to make personal careers. Another referendum needs to be called by this Holyrood parliament; it would be a brave man or woman who predicts the De Hondt system will deliver a pro-Independence majority in the next one. I urge everybody to stay with the SNP, as I see no practical alternative way forward. But we need to make plain to the leadership that we are starting to become not just disappointed by them, but angry with them.

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197 thoughts on “The Course of Scottish Politics

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  • Walter Cairns

    Indeed Craig – I have always been appalled by the trade unions’ defence of killing machines such as Trident as long as it provides jobs for their members. It was the same in Barrow.

  • David Munro

    Struggling to find much I disagree with. To me, it is vital that the next Independence referendum is held not only during this current Scottish Parliament but, crucially, before Brexit occurs. I fear neither will happen and the chance will be gone for good. I will blame those who chose not to hold it for fear of losing and then I will have nobody I can vote for.

  • Maxter

    Politics and politicians. Just proxies for the international banking cartel. Politics and its strategies keep us distracted and divided intentionally, meanwhile the legalised debt enslavement of humanity continues unabated in the background. The bought and paid for so called education system and media keeps us ignorant of the real causes of our strife!

  • My Cocaine

    Well said Mr Murray. It’s not often I agree with you, but you’re bang on with this.

    The last general election campaign was an utter disgrace. The SNP were in Basil Fawlty mode – don’t mention the referendum. I can’t imagine how dispiriting to the rank and file that must have been.

    Instead of being proactive, the SNP are being reactive and basing their whole strategy around Brexit being a failure, and the UK going down the pan, with Scotland voting for independence.

    However, there is danger in that strategy. Let us say for argument’s sake that Brexit somehow becomes a success. It’s not beyond the realms of possibilities that a deal is cobbled together that appeases the Shires, keeps Brussels happy, and Edinburgh is bought of with some new powers that are enough to convince ‘soft’ independence supporter that Scottish indy is not needed.

    Where then for the SNP? Road to nowhere.

  • Bob Costello

    I have been saying exactly this since the last referendum , blog after blog has predicted this state of affairs at This apparent malaise in the SNP is not new as even during the time we were campaigning in the centre of Dundee with the Yes Bus team It was apparent that the grass roots organisations were running the campaign and we only ever saw the SNP politicians around the Yes Bus was when the press were there and they disappeared at the same time as the press. There was an occasion when we had both the Yes Bus, the Business for Scotland battle bus and the A frame van all in the square together. We didn’t realise that both Alex Salmond and Nicola sturgeon were a matter of a few hundred yards away at the Apex hotel pouring water over themselves. No one thought to get them to the Square for probably one of the best photo opportunities of the campaign. No the SNP were very protective of their limited involvement if the campaign.
    As for them supplying campaigning material, it was like getting blood out of a stone trying to get the stuff from the hub in St Andrews street. I could go on and on but will leave it there , but one thing is sure and that is there must be a change at the top and I mean both Nicola and her husband Peter Murrel.

  • Daisy Walker

    This is clear, very hard hitting, and true. And I say this as someone loyal to Indy and – at the moment – the SNP.

    But if we think back to Indy ref 1 – the SNP were woeful. That wonderful grass route campaign – which the SNP belatedly took credit for – started when people realised the SNP weren’t / couldn’t do it. It came in no short measure from sites like Wings and Munguins Republic, and yourself. So, lets get on folks, the SNP can catch up later.

    Craig, I sent you an e-mail asking for your educated guess on what the establishments tactics are likely to be, as it seems they’ve got their act together. Can you shed some light on this. Many thanks for all your hard work.

  • Bauld Willie

    Are the SNP not just “getting on with the day job”? Are they not just waiting for the U.K’s probably spectacular, Brexit related decline? Will that not be a good time to revive and improve some of the almost persuasive arguments that almost led to Indy in 2014? The game changer is coming and are the SNP not putting themselves in the best place to take advantage?

    • emmylgant

      I don’t think so. There is no Brexit strategy other than selling out as many assets as possible (including Scotland’s) to big finance. The EU is frustrated by the UK’s lack of preparedness and clarity. Time is running out and there will be no deal, just a very Hard Brexit, very destructive, and stunning. Then what? Does the SNP think that somehow Scotland will be spared? Why?
      I see a train wreck coming and the opportunity to jump off it by seizing Independence is fast disappearing. The stronger Scotland becomes economically, the harder England will deny its right to self-determination. The waiting game, when you have to ask permission for emancipation, is a losing hand.

  • MBC

    Can’t agree with you on Corbyn’s opposition to independence being tactical! He may be to the left of the SNP but he is as right wing as it comes in respect of the Union. His opposition to Scottish independence stems from two beliefs, one conscious, one not. The conscious one is an ideological opposition to ‘nationalism’ as opposed to internationalism, even though his pro-Brexit views stand oddly with that. His other opposition stems from him simply being an Englishman ignorant of Scotland and caring even less, and the unexamined assumption that Scotland is part of England’s conquest of these islands. What on earth was he doing in Scotland at the weekend but trying to cement the Union?

    • philw

      Ideologically one’s position on independence is orthogonal to one’s position on the left/right spectrum. There have been extreme right-wing supporters of independence as well as extreme left-wingers, and everything in between.

      I would think Corbyn is being tactical as Scotland is more left-wing than the rest of the UK

      • MBC

        No, he is acting out of unexamined English imperial assumptions about Scotland. He is as guilty of that as any other Englishman who has not stopped to think about it or has lived in Scotland and gathered some better information. The fact that he didn’t know we had our own legal system, the one we developed as an independent nation, and have held onto since 1707, as before 1707, shows the depth of his ignorance of Scotland and his assumption that we are not a nation. It is totally inconsistent that his left wing politics would allow him to support self determination for every other suppressed nation on earth – except the Scots. This is because he has not actually thought about it and is just going on unexamined assumptions that he has inherited as an Englishman that we are part of Greater England, like Cornwall or Yorkshire.

        • Ian Foulds

          I believe he confirmed your assessment of him when he was quoted as having referred to the ‘…nations and regions of England…’ in one of his speeches

  • BrianPowell

    In reality, so what if Labour moves left and who outflanks who, as long as we are part of the UK there will be Tories in charge of Westminster most of the time, deciding policies for Scotland and undoing whatever it wants of any Labour decisions. Labour decisions are often in-line with Tory when it wants to ‘win’ the SE of England, and the SE of England is a population of over 20 million.
    Dilettante voting in Scotland is stupidity in the extreme.

  • Scott McCafferty

    Not sure it’s fair to criticise the SNP for focusing on management within the Union after the referendum. They’d have been condemned if they kept pumping the Independence line so shortly after the No vote. I share the frustration, but I reckon their politicking is understandable, certainly then, maybe not so much now.

  • Republicofscotland

    I agree much with you on the failings of the SNP, I feel they are not pro-active enough in pushing the indy cause. I’m hoping the dialogue that the SNP/Scottish government, has with the RIC, will expose a few home truths, one being that the SNP are not the independence movement, but just the vessel towards independence.

    However, holding the next indyref, must surely be all about timing.

  • MBC

    I do however completely agree with you about the SNP and the Scottish Government. I think they made a big mistake a few years ago by calling the Scottish Executive the Scottish Government, as if a name change, not hard argument, would transform the one into the other. They were letting aspiraration get ahead of reality. As a result of this name change, folk are apt to think we have Scottish Government and are very disappointed when they find it does not seem to be able to do very much. They are apt to blame the SNP for not meeting their expectations of what a government can do. To the extent that some are even voting Tory in the mistaken belief that this will somehow improve the performance of the Scottish Government. As a glorified regional council, the Scottish Parliament and Government has in fact done remarkably well. But until the SNP explain the difference between devolution and independence, and campaign vociferously for the latter, I’m afraid you are right that we are stuck where we are.

  • ben

    imo it’s still worth voting labour in scotland now, regardless of the GMB etc, a red scotland would go a long way to dethroning the tories and that has to be the number one priority, everything else will fall into place under a corbyn lead westminster; i double promise 🙂

    • JOML

      Ben, we had a ‘red’ Scotland for decades. Are you saying, ‘but it will be different next time’?
      Bottom line, within the U.K., Scotland has no self determination – and most certainly Trident.

      • Republicofscotland


        Indeed did SLAB not oppose the new bridge, they all built only six houses in Scotland, during their last tenure.

    • Republicofscotland


      Very seldom has the voting intention in Scotland had a impact on the national vote.

      As for everything else falling into place in Scotland under Labour, I admire your misplaced optimism. I may not agree with the SNP on a whole range of matters, but they are head and shoulders above Labour.

      • JOML

        Yes, RoS, if Labour’s 18 year rule in Wales is anything to go by, everything will fall out of place. Corbyn asking the SNP to take action in areas where Labour is doing nothing in Wales, highlights Corbyn’s ignorance on matters other than Scots’ Law, despite ultimately being in charge of Labour’s Welsh branch.

    • Clydebuilt

      Aye go on then and vote Labour, then assuming they actually get a majority so Scotland would have a government that wants to keep the Clyde full of nuclear submarines, + Trident. And wants to implement a load of policies that the SNP have already implemented.
      Then finally when the Tories get back in Scotland will be under the yoke of Tory brutality again and again

      Party before people that’s what voting Labour in Scotland is all about

  • MBC

    I totally agree with your analysis. But to be fair to the SNP, the verdict in 2014 and the expectations of the Vow and events since, left them in a weird place. To have totally ignored the 55%, when so many only made their minds up in the last week and it was evident there was a high degree of fluidity and volatility, would have been counter productive. They had to go along with the Smith Commission process and see if a via media could be tried. But Smith has turned out to be a useless exercise; the one proposal that the SNP wanted out of it, the recognition of the permanence of the Scottish Parliament, was swept away by the judgement in the Supreme Court about the Sewel convention simply being a ‘self-denying ordnance’ and the Scottish Parliament being essentially a grace and favour court. Nobody saw Brexit coming, and Brexit is a total shambles.

    But that’s all so much water under the bridge. Things are clearer now. It’s clear that the UK is a basket case and that the British government does not view the Scottish parliament as an equal but a subordinate, and in a lesser status than the six counties of Northern Ireland.

  • Allan Dixon

    There’s a definite disconnect between the SNP and the YES movement as a whole. They’re trying to address it by speaking to one section- rather half-heartedly I suspect – of the movement about how to move forward with Independence, and they did have a wee and not very well advertised survey about “taking independence forward” I have to agree with a lot if your analysis Craig. But a move towards Labour in future elections in Scotland- in spite of it’s pro indy members – will be detrimental for independence as a whole.

  • One_Scot

    A good piece, but I am not sure I agree with some of it in terms of SNP MPs/MSPs being comfortable, but if it was intended to provoke, it certainly does that.

    For my money, I cannot tell you how frustrated I am with the current situation, but I have to accept that where we we are, is where we are. In reality there can be no movement on the Independence front until Brexit is concluded. It will be only at that point Nicola can turn to the people of Scotland and say, ‘Well, is this what you want, I will let you decide.’ I would hope at that point She/theSNP would outline the advantages and benefits of Independence.

    For me personally, I am more worried about the corrupt and biased UK and Scottish media, that will collude and lie to prevent Scotland from winning the next referendum.

  • Soothmoother

    There are too many people in the European parliament who earn a fat living from being politicians within the EU system.

    I’m for Independence and Brexit.

    For me the SNP are handling this correctly. The time will come for another Independence vote. Patience is required.

  • J

    Good stuff. The best thing Scots can do in the meantime is help each other wean themselves off the Murdoch empire,* the tabloids and the BBC, all of whom are partners in crime.

    *Particularly the stranglehold Sky have over sports broadcasting, a long term strategic pillar of Murdoch’s dominance in other fields.

  • Tony_0pmoc


    Are you sure you spelt the second word of your headline correctly?

    I voted in The General election, for the first time in a very long time. I also voted Labour for the first time in a very much longer time, purely because of Jeremy Corbyn.

    “The SNP begins to look like a controlled opposition.” I suspect that this has been true of its leadership, throughout its rise in popularity, over the last 20 years, and I suspect the same is true of UKIP.

    I found myself, humbled, when both my kids pleaded with me not to vote, when they both were eligible to vote for the first time, and I argued with them for 2 hours about democracy. They defeated every argument I came up with. Jeremy Corbyn, may have changed some of the youth view of politics, but I find the Soros funded control of the supposed political left even more disturbing, because they are even more Fascist, than the supposed antifa, they are attacking.

    Meanwhile most of the real “Left”, what is left of them, are being marginalised, and censored from the internet, whilst the mainstream media is just as controlled as all the main political parties.

    None of this bodes well, and I have no solutions. I think things are likely to get very much more ugly. The political world is beginning to resemble the early 1930’s, and we may soon be entering the equivalent of The Spanish Civil War.

    I think Scottish Independence is largely an irrelevance, though I could in fact support it on the basis, that the only real Democracy is local democracy.

    I still fail to understand your political belief in Globailsm and central control by unelected Dictatorships such as the American controlled EU.


    • Republicofscotland

      “I think Scottish Independence is largely an irrelevance,”


      It might seem irrelevant to you but not to many, many Scots, who see it as the way forward, it’s a necessity. Scottish decisions are best made by the people of Scotland.

      • Republicofscotland

        Meanwhile according to the media, neither Alex Rowley or Neil Findlay (Corbyn’s right hand man in Scotland) will contest the leadership, of SLAB.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I can forgive much, Craig, but this continual smearing of Leave-voters as racist is getting on my tits.

    Kenneth Surin explains for me –

    Brexit, however inchoate in its implementation and diverse in its underlying motivations, represents a repudiation of neoliberalism.

    Culturally, Brexit seems to involve the rejection of a more cosmopolitan outlook, an endorsement of an insular Little Englanderism, but this is hardly the case– the people who voted for Brexit may have opted for Little Englanderism on the surface, but this is because they have been royally screwed in large numbers by neoliberalism, of which the EU, and the Tory party, have been unremitting proponents.*

    As have the Scots, of course. You think ‘independence’ will change that?


    (which postulates the success of a Blairite trimming centrist party in achieving the status quo ante with respect to the EU. Some parallels with what you complain of with the SNP re the UK)

    • MBC

      Lots of them were. Not all. But hostility towards foreigners, particularly those of colour, is what gave the Leave movement its momentum.

      • Soothmoother

        And the Remainers were affluent types worried about long queues on the way to their holidays in France and Spain.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          hostility towards foreigners, particularly those of colour, is what gave the Leave movement its momentum.

          In the same way. it might be argued, as resentment of the English added momentum to the independence campaign. But isn’t it strange how (pre-Corbyn) Scottish Labour defected in droves to the SNP, although traditionally Labour has opposed independence? You might almost think that the indy vote was only peripherally due to a desire for independence as such, and at least as much down to complete disillusionment with ‘austerity’ aka neothatcherism. I think it was a ‘fuck that’ vote the SNP attracted, just as Brexit did, and for exactly the same reasons.

          BTW, couple of updates: Poles, Ports and Baltics are white. And of course we should be really happy that during a time of chronic housing shortage and collapsing infrastructure, we should welcome all equally, regardless of colour. As I do. Not.

          • MBC

            You’re a bit wrong and a bit right. Labour in Scotland were traditionally for Home Rule going back to the days of Keir Hardie and the Independent Labour Party. He was a Scot after all. That changed in the 1950s but then they flip flopped on it during the 1970s. It was Callaghan who introduced the first Scottish referendum bill on a Scottish parliament. Labour voters in Scotland have therefore tended to think of Labour as Scotland’s party, and voted for it rather than the SNP on that basis. During the last Scottish referendum many traditional Labour voters were looking for Labour for Yes and were dismayed to find that the official Labour policy was to oppose independence for Scotland and it shocked many and they’ve never gone back. It shocked them to see Labour share platforms with Tories to talk Scotland down; in the 1979 referendum there was a Labour ‘for’ group, and a Labour ‘against’ group and that was what independence supporting Labour voters expected in 2014.

            Resentment is not against ‘the English’ but against the dominance of England in the British constitution and the lazy cultural assumptions that tend to go with it. Fair do’s as far as I’m concerned but I take each individual as I find them. Many English people in Scotland supported independence and more have come round since. It’s not an ethnic thing. It’s a civic thing.

          • Duncan McFarlane

            There are some idiots who resent all English people, but they are a very small minority, And i met several people born in England, with English accents , who were campaigning for a Yes vote. The resentment of all English people is confined to a small minority of very hardline Scottish nationalists.

            Prejudice against all immigrants and refugees is considerably more widespread, especially in England, and there are more politicians in senior ranks of political parties in England willing to pander to it than there are among Scottish politicians.

            On some of the SNP vote being disillusion with neothatcherism – certainly some truth in that.

            The chronic housing shortage and collapsing infrastructure have a lot to do with Thatcherism and very little to do with immigration. The UK’s population has always been rising – long before Freedom of Movement for EU citizens was agreed, and long before it was mostly rising due to immigration rather than due to births by people born here. We didn’t have a housing shortage though because we hadn’t sold off almost all our public housing (council houses) in the 50s or 60s or 70s, followed by not bothering to provide funding to build or buy replacements.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I was careful to say, ‘might be argued’, as I am well aware that as a generalisation it fails. As an Englishman who lived in Scotland (Highlands and Lowlands, urban and (extremely) rural) and adopted the essential principle of ‘when in Rome’, I rarely experienced adverse reactions due to my country of birth. The prejudice against any incomer to a community considerably exceeds any nationalist hostility, in my experience.

            And I believe this to be a parallel to the situation wrt foreigners in England, hence my raising it. As a generalisation, the English racist xenophobe Leaver fails. The speed with which support for UKIP dissipated after agreement was achieved on its primary, stated aim – Brexit – with its voters returning to their previous mainstream allegiances, tells me that the practical consequences of massive immigration – of all colours and creeds – coupled with multiculturalism – were the issues at stake, rather than generalised xenophobia.

            And I note that the surge in SNP support, like that for UKIP, and later for a renewal of a socialist Labour party, comes at a time of declining personal income and massively increasing debt. The system’s gone to hell all over the UK, not just Scotland.

    • fred

      In 2014 the Scots Nationalists all voted to leave the EU, they were all leave voters.

      “The Commission’s position on the issue that you raise has been stated on a number of occasions since 2004. The Treaties apply to the Member States. When part of the territory of a Member State ceases to be a part of that State, e.g., because that territory becomes an independent state, the Treaties will no longer apply to that territory. In other words, a new independent region would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the Union and the Treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply anymore on its territory.”

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Returning to their pre-1980’s position…

        Through the analysis of the different political contexts in which the party acts, the paper concludes that the SNP’s previous and present European policy and perspective can be understood more in relation to the “structure of political opportunities” existent in the past in the UK and presently in Scotland, rather than in relation to opportunities offered at the European level.

        Or, less kindly, political opportunism.

    • nevermind

      yesterdays response by the Japanese industry spokesperson was clear. Britain sold itself by providing a jump off point for their companies products into Europe, so what really lies behind this Leave campaign, which muscle will finally make it move of the cold slab of British politics, Ba’al.

      The words uttered by D.Davies mean very little, no substance to Leave whatsoever and the more they realise that being outside a customs union will seriously hamper their buy now get it tomorrow economy and they don’t like it.

      fact is that nobody has planned for longer supply lines, more self sufficient production or self reliance. Adding value, for example pork exports to EU countries of some 100.000tons which will return as pork products sausages,bacon and other food stuff, is not envisaged to happen here, no plans all round for leaving.

      Craigs point about Labour loving Independent, eventually, is far fetched, his words about the unions is crystal clear and there is a lot of truth to it. Unions are not forward looking, they are without imagination when it comes to hatching a plan to re employ those who might loose their jobs in deep water Faslane and ‘next door’.

      Why not? Is their ability to project their future limited to thinking about the union functionaries and their continuity within the union?
      All those who voted to leave, faced with platitudes and lies, under the false pretence that this would be a fast painless affair, without regarding EU citizens or any idea of the consequences are seeing the value of the pound dropping and their ranks dwindling.
      As for the Indyref 2, I’d like to suggest the application the same rules the Remain/Leave campaign adopted, it should only concern Scottish born people, not those who are part and parcel of the union elsewhere.
      You might get England and NI out of Europe, but can you get Europe out of England and NI?
      Does the average voter have any clue as to the input the EU has on our infrastructure? or what we as British voters support in other EU countries, long term commitments made on both sides?
      I doubt it!

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I can’t say I’m delighted by the way Brexit is going, either. The picture is as usual of a government in complete disarray, spinning like an orbital electron and as usual under the complete control of the City, and chanting ‘globalisation’ as its holy mantra. Not what I voted for at all.

  • BrianPowell

    A rare old collection of fake and prancing ninnies come out to comment on this one.

  • Dave S

    I agree with much of this. I’m also doubtful that the longer we wait the more people will turn to independence. Even if Brexit is a disaster that may just make people more wary of further change. It also makes a Labour government more likely, which will diminish support for independence. I doubt we will get a much better chance than in the next 2-3 years.

    The SNP needs to be much more proactive now in promoting independence and a post-UK vision for Scotland. There is still no answer on the currency. Personally I’m very likely to cancel my membership, partly for reasons you mention and also because I think they have been far too timid on land reform.

  • james Coleman

    They say power corrupts; and it can also diminish principles. And maybe the SNP has realised just how difficult it will be to win Independence in the near future. Perhaps it has become very comfortable with the status quo and plenty of “jobs for the boys,” and would like to kick Independence into the long grass, because the loud Independence rhetoric is certainly detrimental to the continuance of the SNP as the devolved Scottish Government.

    The SNP is running Scotland with plenty of money available as part of the UK, so it can do and is doing many things to improve the lot of Scots and the country’s standing without Independence. Thus the SNP and SG get all the kudos of being in power and being a successful Government without the real hassle of governing Scotland as an Independent country and of it having to fend for itself in the wider world. The weak Opposition and poor quality Scottish media can be shrugged off as more or less irrelevant; just an irritant to be put up with but with little real effect on how SG wants to govern.

    Just one point I disagree with: Holyrood is NOT a glorified county council. Such an entity would not have been able to promote and build the magnificent New Forth Road Crossing, The SNP Viaduct.

  • Sharp Ears

    I hope Corbyn has sight of this article.

    btw where is Murphy these days and what is he up to?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    You said:-
    “The SNP triumphed in 2015 by outflanking Labour to the left. The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is now coming back by outflanking the SNP to the left. This was not hard as the SNP tends to talk left but not act it.”
    To lighten things up I shall share the best political joke I know.
    – There was an international conference and then Kennedy, Khrushchev and Tito were in a limousine being chauffer driven. The limousine came to a junction, but there was no signpost. The chauffer sought the assistance of his passengers regarding the way to go.
    Kennedy: Go right.
    Khrushchev: No – go left.
    Tito: No – indicate left and go right.

  • reel guid

    Corbyn has no interest in Scottish independence and has no intention of doing anything to further it.

    As for the scenario of Corbynites successfully deselecting most right wing Labour MPs and then winning a meaningful majority in the Commons on a ticket of radical socialism. It’s all just a dream. There are many people who dislike the hardline market approach of the Tories, but are nevertheless quite happy with a pro-business mass consumer society. Such people might vote Labour, but not a purely Dave Spart version of the party.

    Why should all Labour right wingers be so glibly dismissed as Blairite trash. Some of them now have little or no connection to Blair. Some of them don’t seem entirely unreasonable on many issues. The Corbynites need them but seem to think they’re on a winning ticket if they go it alone. The Labour Left are currently like a gambler who has unexpectedly won big at the table but who has become dazzled by a bit of success and greedily thinks the winning streak will continue. Corbyn doesn’t have the sense to get up from the table and make some peace with the party’s right wing. It’s the only way he could be Prime Minister and effect some of the changes he wants. He won’t be that shrewd though because he isn’t that shrewd and still believes in the triumph of international socialism.

    As for the SNP, they’re giving out some confusing signals. So they’d better not become completely absorbed by the day job and get back to the historic mission. Making it totally clear about opposing Scotland being undemocratically and criminally taken out the EU would be a good start.

  • Sharp Ears

    The Murray brigade seem to be well in with the SNP.

    ‘The Scottish Government intend to approve Judy Murray’s plan to build a state-of-the-art tennis centre at Park of Keir in Dunblane. Ms Murray, the mother of world singles No 1 Andy Murray and doubles champion Jamie Murray, wants to build a tennis academy that will provide affordable courts and a centre of excellence that will train up an army of coaches to ensure a tangible Scottish legacy of her sons’ remarkable feats.

    The development will feature 12 tennis courts and a golf academy. It also includes the creation of a hotel, multi-user sports pitch, museum, visitor centre and 19 houses.’

    Should make them even richer.

    • reel guid

      So what if it makes them even richer? It’ll create jobs. It’s doing something worthwhile for Scotland too.

      • Stu

        It’s a disgraceful destruction of a green space to put up 20 luxury homes for extremely rich and a glorified country club.

        • reel guid

          I don’t suppose construction workers care whether the homes they’re building are luxury or non-luxury. It’s keeping them in work.

  • Loony

    Once again we learn that the English working class Brexit voters are racist and xenophobic.

    No doubt those who grovel at the alter of power see this as a useful diversion away from the sheer horror that is the emerging Fourth Reich. Take a look at the destruction visited on Greece. Look how Italy has been abandoned to its fate. Look at the Poles and see how once again they prepare to fight to fend off the swarms of anti racists and anti xenophobes determined to lay waste to Poland.

    Look at the destruction of Spain with some 800,000 people ripped out of their homeland and forced to serve the liberal elite endless cafes con leche.

    Ask why the Austrians have reinforced their border with Italy with armored forces.

    Still so much easier to ignore all of these problems and instead smear the English with unwarranted and unsubstantiated claims. If you are looking for substantiation you would be forced to admit that the only “right wing” terrorism to occur in England has been perpetrated by a Ukrainian, a Scotsman and a Welshman. There are a lot more English people in England than there are Ukrainians, Scots or Welsh.

    No normal person could possibly believe the garbage hurled at the English and no sentient person is ever going to vote for Scottish independence based on an avalanche of intellectual excrement tipped over the heads of the mass of poor English people.

    • Tony_0pmoc


      I have no real problem, with Craig Murray labelling me (and much of the rest of the English working class) “racist and xenophobic” even though it is quite demonstrable true, that the English are one of the most tolerant, welcoming and least racist countries in the world.

      However, I do have an American advert for Craig Murray, which may illustrate some of his (and many other’s) “Denial”


      • Peter Beswick

        If it weren’t for folk they’d be n’ wars

        Before our time, Tony, Shaw put up a Church in the misguided hope that there might be some that could benefit.

        True to type they built a tower and placed only three clocks on it. The blank facet towards Royton. (The pious brethren of Royton had not contributed to the project and so they would not benefit).

        When Royton (the Heart and Glory of the Industrial Revolution) had the resources to build a Town Hall they were not so mean spirited. They built a clock tower, the forth clock face that pointed towards Crompton and Shaw was (is) half the size of the other three that serviced Royton.

        And this is why Scotland will try and break free of themselves if they are ever given the opportunity.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Peter, Relaying stories such as that, causes me to do a google search, and find a large number of comments, with some very familiar names and places from 50 years ago.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Tony and Loony,

        Isn’t the real point:-

        A. The average person is too busy trying to maintain house and family.

        B. The blame might be placed initially on government or the plutocrats at the top.

        C. Connecting the global dots at the top is a job the average Joe or Jane simply might not have time for while simultaneously trying to earn a living.

        • Tony_0pmoc


          Yes of course, it is not a job the average “Joe or Jane” which is why I do not normally even discus politics with my friends Joe (who is a really good musician) nor Jane (who is an excellent artist and photographer)

          They exhibit their art and soul through their work.

          I have no idea who if anyone they vote for..but I do occasionally see their work, and I am inspired, because they are gifted in the things they do.

          I am not an artist and I am not a musician. I can’t do that. But I really appreciate artists and musicians expressing themselves in the way they do. Some of their stuff, I don’t like, but they know when I do…cos I make it obvious, I thank them and loudly applaud.

          If I think its crap, I walk out.

          Other people might like it.

          We all have different tastes.

          We are not all the same.


    • Anon1

      I think Craig is just deeply dismayed that Britain as a whole had the balls to vote for its independence. For some bizarre reason that is yet to be explained, the only way he seems able to come to terms with it is by smearing 17 million people as “racist”. Which itself is plainly idiotic as immigration from the EU is predominantly white.

      • Jeremy

        Very much seconded.

        The underlying theme of this post of Craig’s, and of his previous one, is “the SNP is not listening to me “. That must be deeply frustrating given that the SNP is his adopted party. Repetition of the “Brexiteers are racists” meme probably is just Craig lashing out, spiced with a large dash of arrogance.

  • Muscleguy

    The SNP has yet to achieve a majority of the votes under d’Hondt so why should they expect a majority from a proportional system unless and until they do?

    I was frankly astonished after the last Holyrood election to learn Nicola Sturgeon didn’t so much as pick up the phone to Patrick Harvie and even float the idea of even a confidence and supply agreement. Too much confidence in and appetite for budget deals with the Unionists. There was also too much pique that the SNP had not kept their sweet spot majority.

    Those of us in advance of the vote looking at polls who warned of the looming problem, taking more constituencies would make List seats very costly in vote terms because of the rising divisors were pilloried online by SNP acolytes. As it turned out in many regions electing a Green List MSP took 1/10th of the votes needed to elect an SNP List Member.

    Enough people listened and there was and is a Yes majority in the parliament to pass referendum bills. But the SNP still have the pique over the loss of their sweet spot majority. They should have thrown a few constituencies.

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