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148 thoughts on “Now is the Time for All Good Men…

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  • Gillies MacBain

    As for the problems inside the SNP. Obviously I have my suspiscions about what is going on inside and with external forces but I do not see leaving the party as the answer. My guess is that the problems are far from insurmountable that is unless we thwo the towl in and leave.

  • Colin Alexander

    Craig, you have a real talent for satire. It’s very sharp but funny too.

    The final flourish would have been suggesting the SNP will use Holyrood as a plebiscite election, along with other so-called pro-indy parties, so that 50% +1 of all votes cast for pro-indy parties with that manifesto commitment means the Union will be dissolved.

    As the chances of the SNP seeking a mandate for independence are even less than the chances of the SNP accepting you as a candidate. which I’m sure you already know.

  • Robert Graham

    Ha Ha you can’t beat a trier Craig,
    I won’t say you don’t have a snowballs chance in Hell but the odds are even less than that ,especially with the current management in place , you are too much of a handful Craig and probably way smarter than the Vetting panel in short you present a threat to their cosy existence , but where there is life there is hope, all the best please keep us posted , that is without mentioning names for us to do the famous world famous jigsaw foxtrot ,
    If you ever publish your memoirs Craig can I suggest a title ” The Jigsaw Man ” and my part in his downfall I am sure the literary critics would be crawling over themselves to give it rave reviews ha ha especially garvanie or whatever her name is this week excuse the spelling but I can’t bring myself to mention her name .its said if you mention her name three times she appears , Christ that’s all we need right now, all the best with your current local difficulties .I wish you well, and I believe a lot of folk do as well.

  • Pat+M

    Still peed off that you didn’t pass vetting the last time round and run for Airdrie and Shotts. I mean, what qualifications for the role could an ex ambassador possibly have that others wouldn’t? What excuse did they give for failing you? Not attending enough conferences was one they gave to a friend of mine. Anyway, don’t hold your breath for McCann. But you knew that, of course.

  • N_

    Can someone please summarise why they believe that the opposition between Salmond and Sturgeon in the SNP aligns with a conflict between, on the Salmond side, an effort to hasten independence and, on the Sturgeon side, a collusion with British intelligence and security services to maintain the union.

    Thanks.

      • N_

        I’m not. But the British state did once try to put me in prison for several years, with more than one kind of spook playing a role, so I am aware of what the stresses can be when one is in such a situation. Thanks for the links – I will read those two articles.

        • N_

          I’ve now read those two pieces. They mainly show that Nicola Sturgeon is a right-wing arsehole who is in it with big business and who favours the iron hand of authoritarianism inside her own Partei too, not that she is a London asset who is deliberately seeking to scupper independence. It’s not as if right-wing arseholes can’t support Scottish independence. I’d be interested to read any serious work that looks at Sturgeon’s history and actions with a view to weighing up the “British asset” thesis (which in this context would surely mean that she is an MI6 asset). Admittedly the background is that the SNP itself was bigged up in the early 1970s to stop the rise of the working class left in Scotland and to help the Tory party (as became completely clear at the end of that decade when they brought down the Labour government), but for the past 20-30 years – now that the left is mostly a mere memory – the main idea has been for the Partei to be a thorn in everybody’s flesh until its leaders are in a position to thieve and skim more and more and STILL MORE from state contracts, which is an approach that in the real world one can only take so far, even if one does control certain levers in local government, the civil service, and the courts. We can call it “blowback” or “relative autonomy” or whatever. It seems to me Sturgeon is quite serious about pushing for an indyref rerun, without a care in hell for the damage it might cause in Scotland. But like any crook in the state she doesn’t put all her eggs in one basket.

          My own position is that the leftwingers outside the SNP and those leftwingers who are naive enough to be inside the SNP having been too intellectually lazy (and chauvinist) to try to understand the national question should come together to thrash out some kind of platform for improving conditions in Scotland. If an indyref rerun is wished for, then OK let’s have one, but for God almighty’s sake don’t make it the be-all and end-all. Envisage the platform being implemented regardless of whether Scotland stays in the union or not. But this “common sense” is basically pissing in the wind because supporters of independence are mostly xenophobic nutters who are absolutely not amenable to such reasoning. For them, achieving the destiny of national independence is a holy undebatable, and there is no reasoning with such people. They are more accepting of FASCIST ideas such as Scottish genetic superiority, denying the vote to the ethnic-English, and every goddamned last f*cking thing being about Scotland versus England, than they are of “let’s improve things rather than wave flags”.

          Some keep bringing in Russia which is probably peripheral to the question of whether or not Sturgeon is an MI6 asset. Her soundbites show she is keeping to the party line on NATO but what do we expect? I doubt she understands much about intelligence issues, foreign relations, or security, any more than the mayor of Greater Manchester does, although she will know who’s bringing the drugs in through Aberdeen and who the Mr Bigs are in the Glasgow slums, or the NHS racket, and things like that, and like any senior British state official she will enjoy rubbing shoulders with Russian mafia figures occasionally, and acting so as to win their “respect”. Same goes for when she’s allowed to meet with those who (nudge nudge wink wink) have connections “south of the river”. None of this marks her out.

          If Salmond were a Kremlin asset in the true sense of that term, a guy who when the chips were down assisted Russian state intelligence in direct opposition to the goals of British security and intelligence, goals communicated to him directly into his lughole, he would have been stopped by now. But he left office peacefully when he lost the referendum. He wasn’t a threat to anyone more recently either. It’s just when you Nazify a party as Sturgeon is doing you’ve got to dole out the chop to a at least a few figures and do it viciously. He doubtless has “friends” (други) acquired because when he was FM he could help with some big contracts, but so what? I doubt Scotland is of any great interest to Russian state intelligence, especially now that the Brexit referendum has been won by the “split Britain from the EU” side. Perhaps it was of minor interest in 2014. It is not as if the indyref was the object of the same degree of spookery (mutatis mutandis) as either the EUref or the Trump election. The BBC was biased, yes yes (seriously what do we expect?), but where were “the Turkish threat”, the “£350 million”, and “Pepe”? One has to screen out the tendency of Scottish nationalists to whinge their b*llocks off all the time and call the referer a w*nker.

          • Cubby

            N_

            “Brought down the Labour government” – stopped reading your nonsense at the point you rolled out that old British Nationalist Labour in Scotland trope.

            Note to myself: must stop wasting time reading posts by N_.

          • Tim Glover

            None of my business I know, and I have no skin in the game, but fwiw I’m guessing that calling SNP members stupid and independence-supporters xenophobic knuckle-draggers may not be the most effective way of persuading people here to listen to your point of view. Just saying ;-P

      • Eric+McCoo

        and this by Robin McAlpine

        ‘And if anyone tries to tell me the SNP is progressive, they better be ready with some examples – and if those include Universal Basic Income, a ‘Green Deal’, a National Energy Company, universal childcare, ‘affordable housing’, closing the education attainment gap, a Poverty Tsar, land reform, open government, local democracy, Council Tax reform or a ‘revolution in care’, you’ll need to find some more.

        Every single one of these (and many more) gained the Scottish Government headlines which might have given the impression it is progressive. Not a single one of the above happened; all were either fake or failed. It has been nothing more than ‘left-washing’ of the most cynical sort.

        https://sourcenews.scot/robin-mcalpine-unite-behind-what-exactly/

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Also consider. Stephen Gethins, MP for North East Fife was the first SNP MP to be “allowed” a post on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. That is to say, the Party put him forward to represent the collective. Gethins was a first time MP with a majority of TWO! The Leader of the SNP in the HoC at the time was Angus Robertson. Robertson is a close ally of Sturgeon (and if you’ve been paying attention, there’s more to that). Gethins used his time on the Green benches to launch a withering assault on all opponents of the Empire as opportunity arose. Gethins waltzed straight into a post at the Atlanticist, School of International Relations at St Andrews Uni. after loosing his constituency in 2019. It’s no coincidence that the “auld haunted barn” that housed the Integrity Initiative was just down the road. The SoIR was BBC Scotland’s go to source for Russia BAD commentary before they discovered swivel eyed, Prof. Anthony Glees at Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham (Britain’s only private University). The SoIR is a den of junior spooks.
      From Gethins Wiki – “He worked with NGO Links in Tbilisi focusing on the conflicts surrounding the breakaway entities in the South Caucasus such as South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”
      NGO Links is a specific thing. Based out of The University of Arizona, exclusively “interested” in matters on Russia’s Southern borders and almost certainly a front for the CIA / State Department / National Endowment for Democracy. NGO Links’ major funder is the US, National Science Foundation (perhaps the NED is a little too obvious these days).
      How you may ask did such an obvious Security Service plant pass candidate vetting?
      Gethins’ own brother has denounced him on this very blog as being saft on independence.

      • SF

        Slight correction –
        Gethins was first elected in 2015 with a majority of 4,344. This was reduced to 2 in 2017. He then lost the seat in 2019.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Thanks and apologies.
          Should read: “Gethins was a FIRST time MP! Gethins continued to be the Parties sole representative on the Committee despite having his majority reduced to TWO in the 2017 GE. Gethins eschewed the necessity to concentrate on constituency issues and as a result lost his seat in the crash, 2019 GE.”
          Further thoughts on funding of NGO Links. Trump was reported to be trying to defund the NED (sound thinking). The Borg in Washington are not easily thwarted.

        • Cubby

          Tactical voting by the Britnats was eventually successful. Labour/Tories/ Lib Dems/UKIP all just Britnat parties masquerading as something different.

  • 6033624

    You’d be an excellent politician. Better again in Scotland for the SNP as you know the machinery of government from the inside. The only fly in the ointment is your past. I appreciate that you have only ever acted honourably but the government, towards you, have not. I fear they will resurrect forgotten smears to try and reuse and recycle them. Getting them in print for a splashy headline and a tiny withdrawal a few weeks later, the usual. In that respect only you COULD be a problem and leave a seat open for a VERY close call with Labour, for example. I remember how Ian Murray got his seat. Regardless of that candidates guilt or innocence the idea of smearing DOES work. I think the government (Westminster) would especially relish the task. But good luck, I hope you get though the process and at least get to stand. Hopefully it’ll be a lucky constituency who gets you as an elected representative bringing all your experience to bear on the job.

  • Willie

    Absolutely wonderful enquiry Mr Murray.

    I think you would be a very fine candidate to stand for the SNP. You most certainly have the attributes and then some for a candidacy. You say in your email to Ian McCann that the SNP is the essential vehicle for independence that at the moment needs a bit of a push.

    That I think is something all too well understood by many of the members. A change in leadership direction, the removal of some non players, the introduction of some real committed players, that is what we want – and with an alternative list party to pare off the second votes a Hollyrood super majority pushing independence could be a reality.

    I trustvthat Ian McCann will come back to you quickly providing clear, positive and impartial assistance to your request.

    Good stuff again Mr Murray. I would certainly be delighted to have you on my candidates list to vote for. So would many others.

  • Nickle101

    I am very sympathetic to the right to self determination. I am also very skeptical of one party systems. Scotland seems to have opted for the worst of both worlds: a single party that will not take them over the line to independence. And no, I do not accept the sentiment that at least SNP rule is better that Tory rule; this is setting the bar too low for any civilized society. The people of Scotland need wake up and hold the SNP’s feet to the fire.

    • Cubby

      Nickle101

      “One party systems”

      I refer you to China – that is a one party system. In Scotland where multiple new independence parties are starting up along with the Scottish Greens, other existing small independence parties and 4 British parties you say Scotland is a one party state. I think you have been reading the Daily Telegraph too much.

      • Nickle101

        Don’t live in Britain. Don’t read the Telegraph, or any other British newspapers regularly. I am not aware of any British MSM that has ever been ‘sympathetic to self-determination’.

        The SNP rules in Scotland with an absolute majority and is de facto a one party system as long as that is will of the Scottish electorate.

        • DaveyTee

          The SNP do not have an absolute majority. Out of the 129 seats at Holyrood they hold 61. Every now and again they are outvoted and usually they have to do deals to progress important legislation, eg the budget. Contrast that with Westminster where the Tory governemnt, with 43% of the vote, have 56% of the seats and an absolute majority.

          • Nickle101

            I stand corrected on the absolute numbers. Thank you.

            But perhaps the principle of ear absolute power leading to corruption holds.

            Again, I would emphasize that comparisons with the British parliament is setting the bar low in terms of democratic aspirations.

          • Nickle101

            First past the post electoral system.
            Essentially a 2 party system where a single party can have an absolute majority with a minority vote.
            Un-elected upper chamber for life time ‘peers’.
            A monarchy.
            An extremely powerful internal and external state security system that holds strong sway over the judicial system.
            A rabid populist press that serves this power. and seems to be instrumental in which party rules.
            A jingoistic electorate that believes its country is Great and reserves the right to impose its rule on others.
            A long history of domination and exploitation.

            The British parliamentary system is not one any peace loving civilized nation would want to emulate (in my view). I wish Scotland better.

          • Cubby

            Nickle101

            My comment – Your last sentence is wrong was referring to your comment – “The SNP rules in Scotland with an absolute majority………….”

            So I agree with what you posted @19.20 but it is not what I was referring to at 15.49.

            Perhaps more careful viewing of the indentation of the posts is required.

      • Goose

        On the subject of one party systems, read the guardian’s “Five Eyes alliance could expand in scope to counteract China.” article on their website today.

        The article mentions “growing interest among conservative democratic lawmakers to form a cohesive political and economic alliance to compete with China.”, Australia’s chair of the Australian parliament’s joint committee on intelligence, Andrew Hastie, recently talked about ‘the potential to build a free trading bloc”, on the foundations of top secret intelligence sharing relationship.

        Surely this would be a further threat to democracy and to any political party or leadership pushing a different economic model and/or foreign policy to that of the other members of the grouping?

    • Republicofscotland

      Nickle101.

      I don’t think the whole party is bogged down with careerists, such as Sturgeon and her clique, I’m sure there are many within the party who want to push for independence but are being held back by Sturgeon, and Murrell.

      • Nickle101

        It is rarely the case that a ‘whole party’ is careerist. However, dominant single parties will become corrupted in time. The SNP with its absolute majority will be no different. Recent developments highlighted by Craig and others do not bode well…

      • Goose

        They should definitely look at changing key SNP personnel.

        Look at what that doyen of the right , Andrew Neil, has tweeted today, Quote :

        “So we now know, via FBI, that Christopher Steele’s primary source for his infamous dossier on Trump’s supposed Russia connections was one Igor Danchenko, law student in Russia and US, sometime analyst at Brookings. No significant connections to the Kremlin or Russian intelligence.”

        and ….

        “Concedes that what he told Steele was just recycled gossip — retold for a fee. Was aghast at the use Steele made of it in his dossier. Nope, I’ve not seen this widely reported either.”

        ————-
        This is the same Christopher Steele who the SNP’s Stewart Hosie was all too happy to reference and call for action, as Starmer did , based on the ISC report into Russian interference. Steele is totally discredited.

  • iain

    I fear you would need a lobotomy to stand any chance of fitting the bill. They are looking for centrist mediocrities, passionate about whatever the ideology of Nicola-ism means this week.

  • Scozzie

    They’d rather have Ruth Davidson as an SNP candidate than you …but I love your letter to McCann (smiley face).

  • Scozzie

    I hope you can convince Alex Salmond to set up a list party and do a leader / deputy leader ticket. That would be a real political force of intellectual minds. We need radicals that are not afraid to take on the Establishment and I can’t think of two more equipped people.

  • bevin

    The problem here is related to the process of ‘candidate vetting’ itself.
    It is doubtful that the party ‘centre’ should play any part in the approval of candidates running for constituency positions. But that the candidates for candidacy-to be chosen by the local membership, should have to be pre-approved seems ridiculous, a parody of Leninism, with none of the excuses that existed in the Russian empire.
    The current process, clearly adopted from the worst practices of the Labour Party, is designed to ensure that the party centre becomes self perpetuating.
    On occasion it can happen that a local party will nominate a candidate unacceptable to the party as a whole – a racist for example – but such occasions are rare. Democracy ought to mean that the local membership play the leading role in candidate selection, which will generally lead to the adoption of a local figure to represent the community of which she is a part.

  • Alf Baird

    Get yersel on the List pairty Craig, with Alex, Tommy, Mark and anyone else persecuted by our enemies. You are the only people Scotland can truly rely on.

  • Willie

    Bevin @ 19.45

    You hit the mark precisely Bevin in your comments about vetting.

    The current leadership in the SNP have corrupted vetting. No longer a local affair vetting is run in the interests of the ruling clique. In the current situation it is without doubt that the current leadership would instruct vetting to reject Alex Salmond.

    That Craig Murray previously failed to ‘ pass ‘ vetting you get the drift of how the ordinary rank and file get their candidate choices restricted. Candidate vetting is now a thoroughly rotten affair, as is the timing and notification of the candidate nomination process.

    Suspended conferences, suspended vetting, deliberately difficult nomination processes and with an election on the near horizon, it typifies precisely the way the SNP is now run. New Labour on steroids might be an apt description of what the SNP have become. In fact, suspended independence even!

    But one way or another change is coming. The star chamber has had its day and folks want change from within and without. And change will come. About that there is no doubt. Our movement will get back on track, the SNP will get back on track. There are good people working on it.

    And importantly now is the time.

    • J Galt

      And if your last paragraph is realised then I shall re-apply for membership if they’ll have me!

      At the moment however I am unlikely to vote for a Sturgeon led SNP next year unless she declares the election to be a plebiscite election on independence with a majority of seats and votes giving her the authority to commence independence negotiations immediately – no referendum required.

      That however is wishful thinking.

      I understand it is permitted on the ballot not to vote for a constituency member but go straight to the list box and vote for your list preference – that’s what I’m likely to do, voting for any viable Independence list party that is on the ballot.

      I hope the comments on here are monitored by the “Star Chamber” because far from rolling towards an electoral triumph next year they may well be sleep walking to a disaster.

  • Contrary

    My previous comment seems to still be in moderation, but here is more on the economic realities of an independent Scotland: it’s debt.
    ————

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NoOfXUZj4gM&feature=emb_logo&time_continue=19

    This you tube video addresses the issue of how much debt would Scotland owe on becoming independent. Some people prefer an audio-visual format, and this is just 10minutes long.

    The short answer is: none. IF there was some insistence that Scotland should pay its ‘fair share’, then England would owe us. In the highly unlikely situation that it was agreed to pay compensation to England for its debt, it would only be the interest payments that would ever be owed, and they would be tiny.

    We all need to know this, and use this as open source material, for any time you see someone throw in the argument of Scotland being ‘too poor’ and start bandying about random made up numbers at you. You should become aware of when someone is just quoting random numbers at you, and be able to respond with enough information tackling the main thrust of their ‘argument’.

    I know that I am being demanding on this – but it is important. It doesn’t suit everyone to know about the economy, but we need a large enough proportion of our populace – of us – to understand some hard facts on WHY Scotland would not be poor or burdened by debt. If you believe that’s ‘someone else’s job’, then whose? Who is going to do it, and why should they? You can only convince someone else to do by knowing enough yourself to convince them.

    IF you are serious about wanting to realise an independent Scotland, you need a solid understanding of why and how it CAN be a reality, we are our own advocates. Everyone can and should play a part. Many people commenting on here visit other blogs and are fairly active online – and you could be using this information to beat back the naysayers.

    This is just one question answered – but as usual it’s not a simple answer – there are many arguments about this that will veer off in different confounding directions that they don’t understand – make sure you know when they don’t understand, and know how to respond or where to go for the information you need.

    The anti-independence hype is going to ramp up to screeching levels pretty soon now – be absolutely certain that your desire for independence is not a pipe dream, and know why.

    Debt is just one facet. Another, still oft-quoted, to try and end a discussion is ‘yeah but what currency will you use’ – the answer is ‘our own, of course’ : do not be put off by that question, and don’t be scared to answer in that way, in fact please do even even if you don’t yet understand why it’s the right answer.

    To quote Richard Murphy:

    “Scotland won’t be BURDENED by debt by becoming independent, Scotland will be LIBERATED FROM debt by becoming independent”

    • Cubby

      Contrary

      Why do so many people focus on what share of UK debt Scotland would have to accept to gain independence. What about Scotlands share of UK assets. Funny how so few ever discuss this.

      • Contrary

        It’s just trolling Cubby, to try and confuse and obfuscate the issue – hopefully Richard Murphy has cleared this up – the fact is, if anything, the U.K. would owe us a fair amount, but in reality – and what the agreed legal position was in 2014 despite what everyone said – England will want be the successor state, so will own the ‘uk’ title with all its benefits, it would be mad for it to demand a divvy of assets and debts because international law says the successor state takes on all liabilities. So if you don’t, you aren’t the successor state!

        The assets aren’t worth the liabilities apparently (but obviously if they demand one, we can demand the other).

        • Kempe

          If the successor state takes on all the liabilities it’s entitled to take all the assets too which how Russia came to walk away with everything after the break up of the USSR. This included membership of the UN and all treaty obligations agreed by the old state. Scotland would have to start from scratch.

          It doesn’t have to be that way though, when Czechoslovakia split neither new state wanted to be successor state so a negotiated settlement was worked out.

          One complication is that what would usually be state owned assets, power generation and transmission networks, pipelines, railway rolling stock etc are now privately owned either by British or foreign companies so Scotland would have to continue to pay to use them or buy them back.

          • Contrary

            Well, not quite – the assets in Scottish territory are Scotland’s (a bit of a problem with trident mind you). It’s not quite starting from scratch – just things like the central bank and treasury and tax collectors, and other services, need set up mostly from scratch. So all those private companies start paying rates direct to the Scottish government. It’s probably easier that none of our services are state owned any more, possibly. By becoming the successor state, England doesn’t get to asset strip us – not any more anyway – we keep all our stuff, they keep all their stuff: a fairly easy divvying up I’d say.

  • Nickle101

    Craig states: “the SNP remains the essential vehicle to take us to independence”.

    As an outsider following this from a distance, I would question this position. As long as people believe this, the SNP is in a position of power, that allows it to get self absorbed in internal party politics, but also to kick the independence can down the road indefinitely, because there is always something more pressing. For example, it seems huge amounts of energy were invested in the Salmond case. Aside from serious ethical, even legal questions, the opportunity costs must have been huge.

    This narrative of ‘being essential’ is the key to its grip on power. Questioning this narrative is essential to forwarding the independence cause, be it through shaking up the SNP or building an alternative viable and vibrant movement.

    The question is whether there is the will on the ground for Scotland to move its own way?

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