Don’t Look Back in Anger 237


The new bid for Scottish Independence is started. It does not matter how each of us got here, who had which idea first, what might be a better plan, who stabbed who in the back. It is gone. Let it be.

Robert the Bruce murdered John Comyn before the high altar of a church during peace talks in an agreed truce. That is, to coin a phrase, the gold standard of bad political behaviour. But he remains our most revered political leader, because he won Independence. Scots did not refuse to fight at Bannockburn because Bruce was a nasty man. There is of course a real argument that the Bruce being a violent psychopath was essential to Scottish victory.

There is an argument from realpolitik here. We will only gain Independence through using mechanisms of political power, short of popular revolution which is not in play at present. The only person who can currently move those levers of political power for Independence is Nicola Sturgeon. The only practical short term option available to those of us whose hearts are set on Independence, is to get behind the plan Sturgeon has now set in motion.

Naming a date for a consultative referendum – 19 October 2023 – gets the campaign clearly underway. All referenda in the UK are consultative (including the Brexit one which you will recall had to be implemented by the Westminster parliament before it took effect) so the nomenclature is unimportant.

I suspect the Supreme Court will strike down the referendum. That really does not matter. Two things do matter.

The first is that Sturgeon has endorsed “Plan B”, which is that if a referendum is denied, the Westminster election will be fought as a plebiscite, on the grounds that every vote for the SNP is a vote for Independence. The concomitant of that, must of course be that Independence will be declared if that election is won. Anything else would be a betrayal of the Scots people.

The second and far more important point is that, now there is a date, campaigning can start in earnest. I am already looking to make plans to speak around the country again. Once people actually hear the case for Independence, they move towards supporting. Famously the last Independence campaign started with polls showing 28 to 32% in support of Independence, and finished on polling day on 45%.

I confidently expect a similar effect. We must also replicate the extent to which social media and old fashioned town meetings and street campaigning shaped that 2014 surge.

95% of the mainstream media, both state and corporate, will be resolutely, implacably biased and hostile to Independence. Our strength is with the people, not with the media bosses and the BBC. That is where the SNP need the wider Yes movement, who are the heart and soul of the street and social media effort.

If we all come together we can generate unstoppable popular momentum towards Independence, which can sweep away opposition and will itself negate both the dangers of the Supreme Court and Westminster foiling a referendum, or of certain MPs using the fallout merely to get their feet back under the table. Of course I see the potential pitfalls in the Sturgeon plan, but popular enthusiasm is the way to storm over them.

So I urge all Independence supporters, including those distrustful and bruised by factional infighting, to drop any grudges and get with the programme. Now is the time to work wholeheartedly for Independence, alongside others who believe in it, irrespective of other issues. We have a battle to win; criticism from armchair generals is not going to be helpful here.

Bluntly, if anyone has a right to feel hard done by it is me, and if I can put it aside, so can you.

Scotland can be a normal size Nordic style country, blessed with strong abundant resources and a talented, educated population. For my English friends, the loss of Scotland will hopefully give the seismic political shock that England needs to end the dominance of the Tories and bring a better choice than the anti-worker’s rights Keir Starmer. Scotland will also point the future for Welsh Independence and Irish reunification.

But Independent Scotland will not be a paradise. In every country on earth there are charlatans in politics. In every country on earth there are sociopaths attracted to wielding the power of the state. In every country on earth there are people in high positions secretly in the pay of another state.

Scotland will not be immune from those things, and perhaps since 2014 we have become less caught in the Utopian dream that seemed then almost within reach.

There will even be some Tories still in an Independent Scotland. The difference to now will be that the Tories will have no power over us.

Friends, rally round. It is time to unite.

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237 thoughts on “Don’t Look Back in Anger

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  • Goose

    Labour will never strike deal with SNP, Keir Starmer to pledge.

    That clarifies that then. Starmer is to the right of David Cameron, so no big surprise really.

    Starmer’s support base seems to consist of deluded London ‘remainer’ types, who are unable to process the fact that the guy is a political con artist. Sent in to douse the flickering flame of socialism, while offering nothing in its place.

        • fonso

          Well yes, Guido is the only publication that saw fit to mention that outing of one of our best known journalists as an MI6 informant. Private Eye did but only to try and smear Max Blumenthal and Kit Klarenberg. Every other media outlet has remained silent, pretending Mason hasn’t been exposed. The New Statesman in fact is still publishing the rat. Mason is revelling in the media’s backing, announcing he wants to be Labour’s candidate for Camberwell and Peckham. That’s despite having informed MI6 that “the black community” is controlled by Putin and Xi !

          • Goose

            Jonathan Cook’s latest (Part 2) June 30, highlights the scale of the problem.

            https://www.mintpressnews.com/spooks-establishment-journalists-circling-wagons/281217/

            What are these people trying to achieve? Highly controlled societies that resemble those they claim they’re opposed to?

            Cook believes Mason is far from an isolated case. It’s not just small news outlets and journalist bloggers under threat from this new McCarthyism. Free speech itself is being policed by a liberal elite who think they should be the gatekeepers of all permissible views.

            It’s also pertinent to the struggle for independence, as the media’s role will likely prove pivotal. If scepticism about leading SNP figures’ true dedication to achieving independence wasn’t already enough to ponder, there’s the compliant, affiliated media to overcome.

      • Goose

        Starmer was on the Pride in London march with the deputy leader, along with other Labour MPs. You won’t see them on a picket line, or at a march for Palestinians, or at a protest in support of Assange. They stated they were there to send an important message.

        This tweet in reply by @sparklecreek, summed up these political poseurs perfectly:

        “These photos give me the creeps. We didn’t start Pride marches way back when so that straight right wing politicians could use them to posture as progressive.”

  • DiggerUK

    Like or loath the Tories, and I am taking it for granted that most here are the latter, but I gotta say, they do take the peshh in a rather polite manner.
    The deputy editor of Conservative Home, Henry Hill, makes some low key, but biting remarks, about the latest news from Murrell HQ in his column.

    First he notes that she is the longest holder of her offices… and has not achieved anything she set out to achieve; pointing out that she is also in the twilight of her career.
    He seems to think that the restive grass roots of the party are to blame for her latest wheeze…. at this moment in time I’m not so convinced, but stay tuned, I’m sure the penny will drop for me about the same time as it drops for you as to what this is really all about.

    He, quite rightly in my opinion, points out that going to the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) “…has the big upside of bypassing the Scottish courts…” thereby outmanoeuvring any attempt by Scottish Unionists to use the Scottish Courts to block the Murrell Gambit.

    He then farts in the lift, by pointing out that the UKSC cannot give a judgement on a piece of Holyrood legislation before such legislation is passed, he writes… “There are several shortcomings with this strategy, not least that they are asking the judges to rule on legislation which has not yet been enacted and could be modified in its passage through the Scottish Parliament” All I can say is … and Camp Murrell haven’t spotted that elephant in the room?

    As to the nonsense of treating the next Westminster General Election as a ‘Plebiscite’ … dream on. “Nationalists have also said that, if they don’t get a referendum, they plan to treat the next general election as an unofficial one instead”

    The final paragraph is a conclusion I have no fundamental difference with, as it’s a short piece I’ll leave you all to read it for yourselves …_

    https://conservativehome.com/2022/06/30/sturgeons-contradictory-strategy-is-strictly-constitutional-except-when-it-isnt/

    • iain

      The Tories unilaterally abandoned in plain sight an international agreement they signed just yesterday,. Only a very distinct type of person can still be impressed by them now gibbering about “proper constitutional authority” and “proper constitutional channels” …. Only the DiggerUKs of this world.

      • DiggerUK

        @iain, Not only the “DiggerUK’s of this world” it seems.

        “the idea of an indyref in 2023 is stone cold dead”

        “that’s the whole thing buggered and stabbed and dead in a ditch” (Rev.S.C.)

        Bibliography
        Catch 2022 (02/06/2022) – Rev. Stuart Campbell, Wings Over Scotland.
        Courtesy to Republicofscotland…_

    • Vivian O’Blivion

      Let’s look at Hill’s piece.

      “No country on Earth gives a constituent part a completely free hand on whether they secede or not.”

      Well quite, but any country that outright denies a constituent part the right to even ask the question is a colonial construct.

      “But of course, there is no such thing as a referendum by proxy. No sensible British Government would accept it as a basis for independence, nor would the international community on anything so close to a unilateral declaration of independence.”

      Clearly the UN and the international community wouldn’t accept a plebiscite election as final proof of a democratic demand for independence. The plebiscite election is a means of demonstrating that with all other routes of expression denied to them the Scottish people have used an imperfect vehicle to convey their demands. At this point the UN would intervene. There’s an established precedent.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Committee_on_Decolonization

      It won’t have escaped the attention of the international community that the once independent, Electoral Commission has been subsumed by the Government.

      https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/the-electoral-commission-is-now-under-government-control-fear-for-uk-democracy-john-pullinger-interview-elections-act

      “When I asked the chair of the Commission, John Pullinger, if the Elections Act is incompatible with the body’s independence, he was direct: “Yes.””

      “So it looks again like just an effort to shore up the SNP base vote at the ballot box.”

      That much we can agree on. A plebiscite election could be made to work by a Scottish Government acting in good faith. In this case, it looks very like another exercise in can kicking.

      • DiggerUK

        @Vivian O’Blivion,

        “but any country that outright denies a constituent part the right to even ask the question is a colonial construct”

        The nonsense of Scotland being a colony seems to be a repetitive meme for some.
        It is the oddest colony in history if true, all the citizens in this state have identical rights as all other citizens in each country that constitute this colonial power. Hardly the Belgian Congo is it.

        As politics it’s poppycock, as modern history it’s gibberish…_

        • Vivian O’Blivion

          The mental gymnastics of an English Brexiteer.
          England is crushed under the jackboot of Brussels ‘cause ….
          Er, that bit’s never quite explained.
          Meanwhile, the threshold of colonial status Scotland has to pass is the Belgian Congo.

      • Drew Anderson

        “…So it looks again like just an effort to shore up the SNP base vote at the ballot box…”

        Which presumes it will be the SNP, exclusively, who’ll be fielding candidates on the issue; in which case there may be merit in that argument.

        However, if the candidates are drawn from across the pro independence parties, on a single issue ticket, the argument doesn’t stand.

        My preference is for the latter; I’d be very disappointed if the SNP stood and expected the Greens, Alba and others to stand aside. A selection of candidates from all parties and none would have a better chance, in my view.

        • Vivian O’Blivion

          Spoiler alert. You’ll be very disappointed.
          According to Neale Hanvey the Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath branch of the SNP has been put into special measures and wee nippy has personally selected a candidate to run against Hanvey.
          The control freak, failed solicitor is even running candidates against sitting Alba MPs (running the risk of handling the constituencies to unionist parties).

    • yesindyref2

      This is actually an old myth, surprised it’s still going around. The Rev didn’t realise it can be treated as an emergency bill:

      https://webarchive.nrscotland.gov.uk/20220527112206/https://www.parliament.scot/bills-and-laws/about-bills/bills-and-laws/types-of-bill

      Stages 1 to 3 of an Emergency Bill are all taken on the same day unless the Parliament agrees to an alternative timescale.

      as was the EU continuity bill:

      https://www.parliament.scot/bills-and-laws/bills/uk-withdrawal-from-the-european-union-legal-continuity-scotland-bill

      Introduced (27 February 2018)
      Stage 1 (7 March 2018)
      Stage 2 (14 March 2018)
      Stage 3 (21 March 2018)

      So, within just over 3 weeks, a Bill was introduced, debated through all 3 stages, and passed. And could have received an accelerated Royal Assent (normally 28 days), except it got referred by UK Gov.

      • Republicofscotland

        yesindyref2

        I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way out of this union for Scotland is to declare UDI, for independence will never be willingly given, it will have to be taken. Why would Westminster give up the Scottish land mass and all the benefits that goes with it by letting us leave the union.

        No we’ll need to take our independence via UDI, all other routes will be hampered and blocked with laws and red tape.

        • yesindyref2

          UDI is the last resort, and has to be seen to be the last resort if it’s used, to increase its chances of being accepted internationally: “The Scots tried everything else but were kept imprisoned”.

          I still think IR2 will happen, with or without an S30, but if it doesn’t, then the GE of 2024 with a single small page manifesto from the SNP only about Independence so we know they’re not can-kicking. If it gets less than the requirement, whether that’s decided to be seats or votes, then there’s no mandate for Independence, and it fails. UDI would not be appropriate anyway.

          But if it is over the threshold (seats or votes), then the first step is negotiations with the rUK, then if they refuse, perhaps an over 2 million signature petition and mass campaigns for membership of the parties – perhaps with a rule change by the likes of the SNP so people can have multiple party memberships so as to allow a massive SNP membership – 500,000, a million, the more the better.SNP just because they’re the main party.

          There are other options including some I researched I’m not giving up to the enemy short of ripping my fingerrnails out, except perhaps they should look up “Bodleian Interlocutor”, though the spooks will need to spend time to find it.

          And if it comes down to UDI – who? The Scottish Government which could be removed via Westminster, either repeal of the Scotland Act or direct rule on account of misbehaviour? Should it include the Unionist parties on the basis that opinion polls show them vanishing completely and them being gone if they don’t join in? Should it be the 50+, preferably 59 Indy MPs of whatever party composition happens? Both or all of them?

          UDI is the nuclear option, political destructon for the UK which could take decades to recover from, though Scotland would probably recover a lot quicker – months even 🙂

          • Republicofscotland

            yesindyref2.

            You cannot win a boxing match with one hand tied behind your back, that’s what happened in 2014 and is happening now.

            Its not just that, tactical voting aside by the unionists, there’s also the councils some would do their best to undermine any attempt to leave this union.

            Then there’s the Civil Service of which recently many of them came out and said they actively worked against the indy vote in 2014 as did Sir Nicholas McPherson who also admitted it, then there’s the entire weight of the unionist media machine, that will once again use fear, lies and deceit whilst giving the yes side minimal airtime, or use the three against one tactic, of gish galloping which we saw in 2014, and still do regularly on Question Time.

            As Craig Murray said there simply does not exist, the conditions within the UK for a fair and honest indyref. You cannot get your message across in a low tone when the other side have a gigantic bullhorn (the media) and the Civil Service both working against you, one to shout you down the other to undermine you.

            No UDI is the way for me.

          • Republicofscotland

            yesindyref2.

            On declaring UDI.

            I’m pretty confident many countries would recognise the elder of the two countries in this rancid union, Westminster has many enemies, and many countries would be pleased to see the break up of the UK, but putting that aside, a clever and courageous FM would put the feelers out to the EU and other countries leaders to gauge opinions, sure some allies of England’s would not recognise an indy Scotland so what that’s to be expected.

            As for Westminster rolling up its tanks in George Square once more, a couple of things would happen, one occupation only increases the populations desire to rid themselves of the occupying force, two many countries (not allies of England) would I suppose report the oppressive occupation of one of the oldest countries in Europe as a invasion of a sovereign peoples country, and I’ also expect the UN to speak out against it.

            Catalonia has never been a sovereign country if I recall correctly, its people may have at one point been, as Scotland was forced into an illegal union with England, maybe it was also forced into one with Spain, I can’t say for sure, but Scotland is a country in its own right, and is as I’ve said the elder of the two countries in this God awful union.

            I’d also like to add that prior to declaring UDI a shrewd FM would’ve agreed deals with other nations on access to say fishing ground and other assets on the pretext that those countries would recognise an indy Scotland after UDI.

          • yesindyref2

            RoS – there’s no mandate for UDI, nor is there a provable majority for it.

            In the absence of that, I don’t support UDI either, and the International community would be all against it. If a poll was taken, I doubt you’d find as many as 5% in favour of UDI without that provable majority for Indy, and it being denied by normal negotiation channels.

            Unlike dictatorships, Scotland should not be led by the nose by a minority.

          • Republicofscotland

            yesindyref.

            Tell me this is independence a good step for Scotland, will it benefit Scots, even Scots who don’t believe in it, and those that are unsure of it because they’ve been saturated in unionist media lies and will continue to be saturated in it via its bullhorn media which can shout down any indy voice by giving it minimal airtime.

            Now tell me there’s a viable and fair route to Scottish independence under these circumstances, if you believe Scottish independence will benefit Scots and no other route is viable without unionist dominance then what’s wrong with using UDI.

            We can’t win an indyref its not a level playing field, as for the international community I explained in my previous comments what might happen, lets no be so negative about UDI, other countries have used it to achieve independence.

          • yesindyref2

            RoS. Wings article doesn’t take into account Emergency Bills being able to have Stage 1, 2 and 3 all in the same day, and the EU Continuity Bill going through from the 27th Feb 2018 introduction to passed on the 21st March (a leisurely emergency, could have been done all in 1 week). But he’s completely correct on this and understands democracy.

            In reply to “if she declared UDI and fought it out in the courts she would be amazed by the levels of public and international support she will get.

            he says:

            If she declared UDI without a clear legitimate majority in a democratic vote of some kind the amount of international support she’d get would be precisely this much: none.

            and this is absolutely correct.

            https://wingsoverscotland.com/catch-2022/#comment-2696877

            In a democracy, the few do NOT dictate to the majority. Scotland is not a dictatorship, nor will it ever be on my watch 🙂

            As I said, UDI is the last resort, and must at the very least represent a majority on favour of Indy, and perhaps also, in favour of UDI after al other avenues failed.

          • Republicofscotland

            yesindyref2

            So when Westminster postpones democracy or breaks international law nothing much happens, is this it, are we to aspire to achieve Westminster’s consent via its laws, and in the process be stumped at every turn on independence by its laws and red tape. Against this backdrop we are desperately trying to prove that we are a fairer and democratic society and that we’ll do nothing without the 51% threshold and this can’t even be achieved because of the obstacles put down before us by Westminster. We’ll never win playing fair against an unfair system controlled by Westminster.

          • yesindyref2

            RoS – 50% + 1 vote. Whether referendum or “De facto referendum” in a GE.

            That’s democracy, warts and all.

          • Republicofscotland

            yesindyref2.

            In our desperate attempts to prove just how democratic we are by not even contemplating leaving this union without Westminster’s consent or the 51% threshold, we’ve forgotten that under Westminster’s thin veneer it’s anything but democratic: Brexit, Scotland got dragged out of Europe and all that went with it, even though we voted to stay.

            Scots haven’t voted Tories into power since the 1950’s yet here we are at the whim of a Tory government, who like previous Westminster governments just appoints people to the Lords to parachute them into the Scotland office to do their bidding, allowing unelected people to have a say on Scottish affairs.

            We’ve been lied to the McCrone report, we’ve been cheated the stolen 6,000 miles of seas, and still we feel the need prove that we’re so democratic that we won’t attempt to leave this union unless it through the route that Westminster prefers, a route that goes nowhere.

            If Westminster hasn’t turned Holyrood into nothing more than a talking shop in the next decade, (it’s already acting in devolved areas and the staging post known as Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh will continue to help Westminster become a player in devolved areas) maybe by then UDI will come onto the radar; if not I fear the game will be over for Scottish independence.

            No, scrub that last paragraph: we don’t have anywhere near a decade left.

          • yesindyref2

            RoS

            In our desperate attempts to prove just how democratic we are by not even contemplating leaving this union without Westminster’s consent or the 51% threshold

            Nobody said that about Westminster’s consent, though that is by far the best and fastest way to international acceptance, and it’s 50% + 1 vote, NOT 51%. 50% + 1 vote.

          • yesindyref2

            RoS
            Anyways, the SNP leadership can’t talk about UDI, not until almost all avenues have been explored. But nothing to stop reasonable discussion amongst us plebs.

            The trick would be to make it so UDI showed up Westminster in the eyes of the world to be an absolute undemocratic autocratic hypocritical weak-kneed dictatorial desperate colonial empire-mad self-seeking sleazy cesspit, which is, of course, an almost impossible task.

          • Ebenezer Scroggie

            UDI worked out so well for Rhodesia, didn’t it?

            Let’s copy their mistake. NOT!!!

          • yesindyref2

            Normally I’d be against UDI, but it seems to have worked out OK for Albania, Egypt, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Belgium. Ireland and of course, the USA.

        • Terry callachan

          Have you and the others here forgotten the fifty countries who have declared independence from U.K. since WW2 , most of these countries were smaller than Scotland in size , wealth and population , Malta one of the most recent to leave and it does just fine, let those who support England and want England to continue controlling Scotland cry in their warm english beer served in many places across Scotland now too.

  • DiggerUK

    Over to you Mr. Murray…_

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    2 July, 2022 at 9:56 am

    “So tell me Rev, why do you think Alex Salmond and Craig Murray are right behind it? surely they too must be aware of the very high hurdle and impossible timescale.”

    “I’ve spoken to both of them in the last few days and yes, they are aware of those things. Let’s leave it at that.”

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    She was a crap solicitor in the rather few days when she was employed as such and before she went on to be a minor functionary in the Youth Wing of der Partei. Nowadays she has private legal advice, behind closed doors of course.

    She knows that any opinion poll on separatism, for that is all it would ever be in actuality, would go against her.

    She remembers the tear-streaked face of Attila the Hen in the back of the limo leaving Downing Street.
    She remembers that picture of Eck slumped in the back of the limo leaving Bute House when he’d learned the lesson of IndyRef.
    She remembers the tearful gush of Saint Theresa at the podium in front of Number Ten before that bint went to supervise Pickford’s removal van boys.

    She knows what the picture would look like if she tried to replicate IndyRef.

    For her, Brussels beckons.

  • Ewen A Morrison

    “The new bid for Scottish Independence is started”…

    I like what you’ve written here and this IS a real opportunity to correct the biggest mistake in Scotland’s history! You certainly have been “hard done by” as you say, but you’re still determined to set that aside and focus on what’s most important for the populations on this archipelago! Scotland is a small nation with an embarrassment of natural resources and one that is much richer than most of us fully understand – a case that isn’t acknowledged by this London government, of course!

    Some Politicians rarely concern themselves with ‘realpolitik’ matters, yet a Human Rights Activist is in a very different class entirely… after all, good politicians tend to earn the votes that they deserve in a healthy political system – but Human Rights immeasurably embraces much, much more than normal day to day politics; Scotland’s current political situation is – for the first time ever – going to be decided by the ‘Sovereign Scottish Population’! These are easy words to write but are almost incredibly powerful facts about today’s political standing in this day and age! Please keep calm and use a good sharp pencil when casting your votes!

    Thanks for your time,

    Ewen

  • yesindyref2

    Much as I’d like to think the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties could apply, specially since it was both signed and ratified by the UK back in 1970 and 1971, article 4 quite realistically excludes treaties entered into BEFORE the Convention entered into force.

    Non-retroactivity of the present Convention
    Without prejudice to the application of any rules set forth in the present Convention to which treaties would be subject under international law independently of the Convention, the Convention applies only to treaties which are concluded by States after the entry into force of the present Convention with regard to such States.

    YES needs to get this basic stuff right.

  • DiggerUK

    I think it is now clear that Clan Murrell is firing blanks.

    It is beyond doubt, that with current constitutional arrangements as they are, another indyreferendum is not likely to happen.
    In my opinion it was always doubtful that 50+% of voters would support independence anyway. There is no substantive majority in Holyrood and all opinion polls show none outside of that parliament.
    This has all the smell of a Gettysburg moment for Generalissimo Murrell.

    Supporters of Scotindependence believed what they wanted to hear, instead of what they should have been made to understand. My conclusion is that independence has been put back in the box for more than a generation…_

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    The way she going about it, Wee Nippy’s strategy seems doomed to produce an infinite series of Neverendums.

    Her Plan A failed. Plan B is doomed. Plan C is most likely to flop because it’s so profoundly anti-democratic.

    On a lighter note:
    Daily Telegraph cartoon (3 Jul 2022) – Scotch Whisky tour: “And it will be ready to drink about the time Nicola Sturgeon calls for a fifth referendum”

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