A Response to James Kelly 100

The ever excellent Scot Goes Pop blog of James Kelly has posted an article disagreeing strongly with my contention that the Alba party should fight the SNP at the next Westminster election, should the SNP renege on its commitment to a “Plebiscite election” that determines Independence.

As James is a person for whom I have great respect, I am taking the time to respond to his points.

We both agree that if the SNP declare a genuine plebiscite general election, where victory leads directly to Independence and not to just another referendum request to Westminster, then Alba should not stand candidates against the SNP (leaving aside the question of Alba’s two sitting MPs).

Where we differ is on whether Alba should stand against the SNP, in the event that the SNP resile on their promise of a plebiscite referendum, and seek to define it as just the seventh election since 2014 where they ask people to vote for them on the grounds they will then ask Westminster for a referendum.

This is not all very hypothetical – I am quite certain that will happen. I suspect James is too.

In that event, I think Alba should stand against the SNP and James believes very strongly we should not. Let me reply to his arguments.

Firstly, he sets up a straw man in knocking down an argument I have never made, that Alba might win seats or overtake the SNP at the next general election.

No, Alba will not be replacing the SNP as the largest party any time soon. We will not even be getting close to doing that.

Of course. My article clearly discusses Alba support at hopefully 4%. It makes the comparator to Sinn Fein, who like Alba had two MPs defected from Redmond’s IPP in 1906, lost them in 1908, and Sinn Fein did not go on to supplant the Redmondites until 1918, twelve years later.

That is about how long I think it would take. It took only slightly longer for the Labour Party to supplant the Liberal Party as the opposition to the Tories in the UK. Because of FPTP, when the switch comes, it comes fast. But that does not mean it comes tomorrow.

We are talking of how we get to Independence in a situation where the SNP leadership has thrown away our best chances and has every intention of continuing to do so.

Of course, I would much prefer a drastically quicker solution where the SNP leadership genuinely make a move for Independence, defy Westminster and stop thinking about their personal careers and bank balances.

Please call me when that happens.

Where I disagree most strongly with James is his notion that Alba would be “humiliated” in an election. I have stood twice as an independent, anti-war candidate in parliamentary by-elections. I gained 5% of the vote in Blackburn and 2.7% of the vote in Norwich North – the top end of the Alba range.

I was not in the least humiliated. I had the chance to express my beliefs, against all the might of the big party machines, and thousands of people listened to what I said and cared enough to go out and vote for me. Honest presentation of your beliefs, as a choice for the electorate, is never humiliating.

Every vote won against the big battalions of the state is a small victory for independent thought.

James’ great error is repeatedly throughout his article to count SNP seats as pro-Independence seats. Independence will never be achieved with Westminster agreement. It must be taken as a right asserted in international law.

Any MP not prepared to defy Westminster for Independence is a Unionist. That is every SNP MP.

My question to James is this. For how many decades is he prepared to assert that we should vote for SNP MPs, who will never make any move for Independence? Why would we vote for people for whom their career, their bank account, and their respectability within the British Establishment are all more important than Scottish Independence?

Unless the SNP are opposed at the ballot box by real Independence supporters, their false flag Independence stance will remain unchallenged. Doubtless Alba would receive fierce criticism from SNP supporters for splitting the Independence vote. Doubtless Alba could enable a few Labour gains from SNP, causing short term unpopularity.

But how else will you get a platform to point out the SNP are not a real Independence party? How else will you ever impact the troughing charlatans?

James’ argument suffers from the fundamental flaw that it treats SNP MPs as pro-Independence MPs, when every single one of them is a Westminster bootlicker, grovelling for “permission” that will never be given.

I am genuinely perplexed as to why James left the SNP at all if he wished to campaign for them. I certainly will not myself remain in the Alba party if it sees itself as not a real alternative for Independence, but simply a bolt-on to the SNP for the Holyrood list vote elections.


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100 thoughts on “A Response to James Kelly

  • Ally R

    The biggest issue with Scottish politics is the lack of diversity of thought on the indy side. There are 3 unionist parties and only 1 officially Indy party. I don’t count the greens because they look to be using it as a vehicle for other means and really should be told to shove off. It’s harder to deny an indy vote with several parties calling for it not just the SNP.

    • frankywiggles

      That’s the real reason why so many are horrified by the existence of an Indy party other than the SNP. They were confident there would be no change so long as Sturgeon and her followers monopolized independence politics.

  • Vivian O’Blivion

    ALBA poll around 4%, but the footage of Blackford and Co., walking oot when Kenny initiated a debate on fuel poverty has accrued half a million views and counting. That won’t lead automatically to an increase in polling returns for ALBA, but my guess is that there’s a lot of utterly scunnered SNP voters that are now potential ALBA voters. Scunnered SNP voters will withhold lending their votes to ALBA ‘till an electoral breakthrough seems possible. When things move, they’ll move very fast indeed (ref. Sinn Féin). Any breakthrough may depend on some as yet unknowable, disrupting event. It’s frustrating not to be in command of developments, but NuSNP have mair skeletons in their cupboards than the Natural History Museum.

    • yesindyref2

      That’s more likely to work against Alba as anyone who uses their eyes can see that about 6 SNP MPs were leaving, nearly everyone else had already left, and the 6 to 10 or so other MPs left on the benches were all fiddling with mobile phones or papers – and probably left as well soon after. Here’s about “adjournment debates” from 2020, including their misleading use to try to make a false point.


      The only people normally allowed to take part in an “adjournment debate” are the one MP who moves the “debate” and the Minister involved. Nobody likes being taken for fools, and this is what Alba and sadly AUOBNOW are trying to do in their continuing smear campaign against the SNP. While the unionists laugh laugh laugh to see such fun and take full advantage of such sheer and utter ignorant stupidity.

      • Cubby

        The usual apologist for the SNP – aye they never do anything wrong, do they, yesindyref2? The theft of Scotland’s resources is not of interest to SNP MPs as they wallow in that vice den called Westminster, claiming all their expenses and loving the bars/restaurants etc. etc.

        Every SNP MP should have been there to show they support the point being made, even if they hate MacAskill. No, the SNP MPs are hypocrites as they always moan about Tories walking out on them.

        Are you on Murrell’s pay list? Is this where the missing Indyref2 funds are going? No wonder you call yourself ‘yesindyref2’.

        • yesindyref2

          Hello Grima. How’s your tagteam pal Gogo?

          Back in Wings the pair of you used to attack anyone who made even the smallest criticism against your previously hallowed be thy name SNP, do you just like to stir up hostility between genuine Independence supporters, and bat for any side that allows you to do that?

          • Cubby

            Yesindyref2 No unlike you I woke up to the facts – facts – I gave Sturgeon long enough to show she wanted independence. She showed me the opposite. When the facts change an intelligent person adjusts their opinion. You on the other hand ignore the facts and support people who criminally tried to send Salmond to jail.

            Apart from that how many hours a day do you spend worshipping weapons of mass destruction – some hobby.

          • yesindyref2

            So you admit you obsessively stalked anyone who dared to criticise the SNP just to stir up hostility between genuine Independence supporters, like Craig and James (and me) who were always prepared to criticise the SNP when they deserved it.

            Well done Grima! Admission is the first stage towards your contrition!

        • Cubby

          Thanks Vivian but I won’t be posting on Craig’s blog again. Way far to many posts being deleted or not even getting through the moderator. Methinks there is a bias against me but I am sure the moderator will think nonsense.

        • glenn_nl

          Stop being such a freaking snowflake, Cubby.

          Everyone gets the occasional post canned, I even got banned from here myself for a while, and I didn’t go around bleating and whining and crying about it either.

          What makes you think you’re so goddamned special? With the habitually offensive tone of your posts, you should be grateful you’re not kicked right out of here.

          If you’re going, shove off. Ta ta. Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out. I’m sure the blog will somehow struggle on without you. None of this weeping long goodbye stuff, ya big girl’s blouse.

        • Cubby

          Many thanks for making my point. The fact that the moderators left up your moronic outburst proves my point. Now I really must go – spending far to much time conversing with ignorant morons like Glenn and yesindyref2 and digger and lapsed………….

        • glenn_nl

          When you get around to climbing down from the cross, Cubby, you might reflect on the fact that your sense of persecution is only matched by your ever present hostility.

          Anyway, why are you still posting? I thought you’d flounced off days ago! It’s an awfully weak show to give a tearful farewell and then continue to skulk around, you know.

        • mods-cm-org

          Glenn_nl: “Stop being such a freaking snowflake”; “Shove off … “; “ya big girl’s blouse”

          Cubby has a valid point. Kindly refrain from addressing people in such disrespectful terms – both here and in the discussion forums. From the moderation rules for commenters:

          Fair Play
          Play the ball, not the man. Address arguments, not people. … No taunting.

          As long-standing commenter, who has already been admonished and suspended, you should know better than to cast insults and try to chase other people off the blog. Cubby is as welcome to continue commenting here as you are – providing both of you can address the arguments respectfully; if not, you will be placed on pre-moderation.

          Cubby, it is possible you may not be able to see private moderator messages in the comment threads due to your browser settings. In case you missed it, your complaint was addressed earlier. Bear in mind that moderators can miss certain exchanges when busy on other projects, and different moderators are on duty at different times. (I usually do the graveyard shift.) From now on, there will be no more explanations; just don’t be surprised when your discourteous comments disappear.

          This exchange has veered off topic and will be pruned (at BrianFujisan’s comment) in due course.


        • glenn_nl

          In fairness, my intention was not to drive anyone away, but to point out that whining about having a post removed (doubtless for good reason) is hardly grounds for feeling persecuted.

          If Cubby wants to stick around, great, hopefully while dishing out fewer insults (to the “ignorant morons” as he has so many of us). Making multiple posts over several days saying how unfair it all is, from about the most consistently aggressive poster here, was a bit much.

          All the same, my comments were rather intemperate on reflection, so may I offer my apologies to the blog.

  • Fazal Majid

    Another good example would be how in Northern Ireland the DUP overtook the UUP, although you may find the comparison invidious (it’s not meant as such, just an illustration of the mechanics).

    It might make more sense to focus on countermeasures for when (not if) the English parliament does to Scotland what Madrid did to Catalonia.

    • IrishU

      Not sure that comparison does work. The DUP stood in 1998, 2001 and 2003 as anti Good Friday / Belfast Agreement and the concessions made to Sinn Fein. They then did an about-turn at St Andrews in 2006 before embracing the GFA institutions and implementing devolution in a duopoly with Sinn Fein. This largely remained the situation until earlier this year and the supposed effects of the NI Protocol / rise of Sinn Fein to the First Minister’s post, even though it shares exactly the same power as the Deputy First Minister.

      Also as I shared on the blog post from yesterday – Craig’s comparison with the IPP / SF and SNP / Alba doesn’t hold water either. ‘Sinn Fein, who like Alba had two MPs defected from Redmond’s IPP in 1906, lost them in 1908, and Sinn Fein did not go on to supplant the Redmondites until 1918, twelve years later.’ There is the small issue of the Easter Rising and British response, something unlikely to be repeated in Scotland, which was the reason for the supplanting of the IPP by SF. Secondly, the IPP were never pro-independence, they wanted Home Rule within the British Empire. Sinn Fein by 1916 were for total independence, at the point of the gun if necessary. (Quite a change from their position in 1904 when they wanted a dual monarchy akin to Austria-Hungary.)

  • Colin Alexander

    Let’s not beat about the bush: the SNP are traitors to the cause of Scottish sovereignty and the campaign for Scottish independence.

    They play the role of subservient colonial administrators who want Scots to believe Scotland is powerless and can only gain independence when Westminster MPs give them permission. It is the Unionist’s argument. We even had Sturgeon’s lawyer arguing to the Supreme Court that Scotland no longer exists since the Union.

    The SNP deserve to be be destroyed as a political force. Yellow is the right colour for these charlatans and cowards who don’t have the backbone to come out the closet as pro-devolution unionists.

    My advice: do not vote SNP under any circumstances.

      • Jams O'Donnell

        @ yesindyref2

        Your reply is not an argument, merely a deflection. Try again. (That is if you do in fact have an argument).

        • yesindyref2

          If you are rushing to the defence of a Unionist who is advising people to vote against the main Independence party in a plebiscite election whose specific purpose is to be a “de facto referendum” on Independence, then you are clearly not batting for Scotland either.

          There are a fair few people on these forums trying to take advantage of those who have genuine reasons to be anti-SNP, hoping to defeat Independence by stealth.

          Pointing that out is not a deflection: it is an unmasking of sneaks and a condemnation of them

          • Colin Alexander

            You have the effrontery to call me a Unionist? It was the SNP/ Green Scot Govt’s own solicitor, appointed on the recommendation of Sturgeon, who argued to the Supreme Court that Scotland does not exist.

            It’s Sturgeon who insisted for YEARS Indyref is the gold standard and there can be no Plan B. But then sought a UKSC legal ruling because it turns out she does no’t believe the Scottish Parliament can hold an indyref without a S30.

            As for plebiscite election, Sturgeon is now asserting a policy she rejected for years. But, crucially, there has been no clear statement that a vote for independence would result in a declaration of independence.

            So, without it, it would be a referendum like the one argued for at the UKSC: a referendum to no legal or practical effect. An opinion poll. A repeat of the SNP fantasy that the UK will magically bow to moral pressure to do the right thing by Scotland.

          • yesindyref2

            Cutting to the chase Colin, you said:

            My advice: do not vote SNP under any circumstances.

            Which means you totally disagree with the premise of this article by Craig, and the one by James Kelly, both of whom are actual Independence supporters unlike you, who would prefer to see a plebiscite election, fail, and Independence, fail.

            There now, that wasn’t hard, was it? Pamela would be so pleased with you.

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    Thank you Craig. A key discussion and I take basically your view on it, though there are so many ineffectual SNP MPs and MSPs now that I can’t see any circumstances whereby Alba should stand down wholesale in any kind of election. At most it would need to be a constituency by constituency decision. The essential problematic of course is that any SNP policy promise now begins and ends with Nicola Sturgeon herself. And it has already been amply demonstrated that in her obsessive malice towards Alex Salmond she will most certainly make destroying the Alba Party her prime focus in any election regardless of implications for independence. And even if she does promise a “plebiscite election”, who could trust her to not have arranged for it to fail down the road? In fact she shows no fire or belligerence about independence. Only passivity to the increasingly smug hauteur of London. Sturgeon seems to reserve her venom for pro-independence supporters who cross her. You well know this ongoing Scottish crisis goes far deeper than my few restrained words here convey. Nicola Sturgeon’s failure over Brexit alone shows what she is not made of. Yet she frustratingly still seems able to whistle up SNP voters like a somnambulant army of Scottish occupation that the rest of us can’t get past. Sturgeon is clearly able to work on multiple levels, most out of view, but at least increasing numbers of us are persuaded that if any of her subterfuges lead to independence it will only be as an unintended consequence.

    • John O'Dowd

      “Sturgeon is clearly able to work on multiple levels, most out of view,”

      Absolutely correct Fearghas. For example, she has her own page as a partner in the sinister Globalist World Economic Forum, whose role is to keep world political ‘leaders’ under the control of the Neoliberal Globalists and their corporate masters:


      Let’s hope that her relentless networking in the ‘right’ places finally pays off and she gets that even bigger job that she craves.

  • Republicofscotland

    Pity there isn’t a way to compel Sturgeon to use the next GE as a plebiscite, that would certainly save a lot of trouble and speculation, even the nasty Tories know when to get rid of a not fit for purpose leader, what does that say about the SNPs MSPs and MPs. Also, I wonder if the recent rebellion against Sturgeon on her GRR bill by nine SNP MSPs could be sort of built upon, not to remove her, but to coax or cajoule her into really using the next GE as a plebiscite, though in reality the SNP MSPs and MPs have shown no real movement on the indyfront for years, even though Westminster has stumbled from one scandal to another.

    I think the UK security service have far too much on Sturgeon for her to use the next GE as a plebiscitary one.

    • Mist001

      I don’t know about Nicola Sturgeon but I bet the security services have a sack full on her husband. I suspect he’s been a very bad boy in his day. Only my personal opinion though.

  • Hughie Gallacher

    Well done Craig, I was thinking the same thing. Reading James Kelly’s explanation, I wondered why he had left the SNP. If I had his views, I would never have left. If ALBA is a Holyrood List pop-up party, as explained to me by a ALBA NEC member, I have little use for it.

  • BrianFujisan

    My Heart is all but Brocken… Fucking SNP>>
    Why do they call themselves Scocottish ..I’m A Proud Scot But..But what you Cnt@s

  • yesindyref2

    I actually just read SGP, and as someone who’d almost certainly never vote for Alba, I think SGP has this wrong.

    Sturgeon said that if the UKSC found against the ability of Holyrood to hold a referendum, THEN the next General Election would be a “de facto referendum”. IF she does not do this, then she will have lied and betrayed the Independence Movement of whom she is the political head, being the leader of by far the largest party.

    Why on earth would anyone want to vote SNP ever again if its Leader and the current FM, had lied so blatantly? The SNP would in that case be totallly finished as a political force in the pursuit of Independence; the Unionists would be laugh laugh laugh all the way to another 315 years of abject Union.

    • Mist001

      That’s why she and others were calling for an early general election. That would be their escape clause. As it stands, they’ve committed to holding a referendum on 19th October 2023 which is a year before the next general election is due, so I would expect plenty more shrilling for any excuse to avoid 19th October next year.

      • yesindyref2

        It’s what they always do, call for a GE, even if they don’t actually want to spend money and fight an election. It’s political chicanery all parties sadly indulge in.

        • Ian C

          Labour thinks it will become the party of Government.

          Lib Dems thinks it will get many more MPs.

          The SNP knows that it will get neither therefore the only rational option for its leadership is to hope for an early GE and thus release them from what is clearly an extremely risky strategy. I believe that the current SNP leadership are staring into an abyss.

          This makes me sad but if it gets independence back on track then sobeit.

          • yesindyref2

            SGP has an article about a poll showing the TGories catching up. He thinks it’s an outlier but I think it’s just the start and that this big lead for Labour was just an anti-Truss blip, considering that she cost many of us money in terms of interest rates, bills and the pound rate against the dollar for those of us small businesses that buy supplies priced in dollars.

            But the markets prefer the Gories, and Starmer has as much character and presence as a Dudelsack with no chanter. There’ll be no GE untill 2024, and the Tories will win yet again.

      • yesindyref2

        I think this is the Last Chance Saloon for many of us. Either we get IR2 on 19th October 2023, or we get the 2024 GE as, indeed, a de facto referendum. I’m not alone in this amongst the patient ones.

        I don’t agree with any of this stuff about the SNP being traitors, but I do keep careful watch.

        • Karl

          You do see the fatal flaws in your argument don’t you?

          We are facing Last Chance Saloon because of delays introduced by the SNP yet IR2 on 19th October 2023, or 2024 GE as a de facto referendum are only promises by the SNP not as you state actual events. Those promises are put in doubt by many similar promises previously made by the SNP that introduced delays resulting in us now being at the Last Chance Saloon. Am surprised you missed all that being someone who keeps careful watch.

          • yesindyref2

            “actual events”

            Did you not understand the meaning of my post in the context of my opening post, where I used the word “IF” – in block capitals to emphasise it?

            So no, I didn’t state “actual events”, I’m not actually Doctor Who in my Tardis!

        • Jeff

          It took me well over a year to come round to the truth, at first I said “naw, that cannae be true!” But it turns out that aye, it IS true (I’m referring mainly to the Salmond fit-up perjurers, the “missing” £600,000, and also, of course, our host who was jailed for reporting the defence case).

          It seems to be a mixture of real incompetence and some real hatred and malice at the top of the party. There continues to be many good, decent members of the SNP who want independence but they are being betrayed by the leadership. An awful lot of them just don’t know what went on/is going on, or don’t want to see it…..yet.

    • Cubby

      Sturgeon said – aye she has said a lot in her time – pity you cannae remember her broken promises. I guess it allows you to continue to believe her current promises.

      Aide memoir for yesindyref2 – she promised before the UK GE in Dec 2019 – which she and Blackford agitated for, and which created an 80 seat Tory majority which is still creating havoc to this day – that an SNP vote is a vote for a referendum in 2020. A month later, in Jan 2020, she says her boss (Johnston) says “no”, and there will be no illegal referendum. So just why would anyone want to vote SNP when its leader had lied so blatantly?

      Aide memoir for yesindyref2 – in May 2021 Sturgeon once again said vote SNP for a mandate for a referendum. She asked for the people of Scotland to authorise a referendum. In June 2022 Sturgeon says she has to ask a UK court for permission for a referendum, the people of Scotland’s authority now being insufficient. So why would anyone want to vote SNP when its leader had lied so blatantly?

      So answer your own question yesindyref2 or are you just another Murrell mouthpiece?

        • Cubby

          See when Indyref2 doesn’t happen will you get rid of your moniker.

          The back up of a UK GE de facto referendum is the worst franchise to achieve a greater than 50% yes vote for independence. No 16/17 year olds voting and no EU citizens voting. Well done Sturgeon again.
          Sturgeon is a liar and a fraud. Kavanagh knows fine well what she did to Salmond but pretends otherwise. Both are charlatans.

          • yesindyref2

            According to that argument your host Craig is a charlatan as well – and SGP, both of whom actually support the plebiscite “de facto referendum” election, albeit with reservations.

            No, Grima, THEY are the genuine articles, they just have different opinions as to the best for Indy, as do all genuine Indy supporters.

  • GM

    I am on your side of this one Craig. The sooner we get our heads around it the better. The SNP need to be replaced not placated albeit I understand that people might want to wait and see before relieving the SNP of the benefit of the doubt. Reneging on promises of a referendum then the promised plebiscite election as described by you yesterday will probably be part of the process by which we Independence supporters get oor heids roond it.

  • FranzB

    For what it’s worth – couldn’t Alba stand in (say) ten constituencies against the ten worst SNP MPs. This wouldn’t stretch their resources too thin, and would allow activists to concentrate on a smaller number of seats, rather than run themselves ragged over all seats. Would Alba want to run against SNP MPs like Joanna Cherry?

  • Alastair

    [ MOD: Caught in spam-filter ]

    If we are to gain independence it will not come from the Nu SNP. 46 years I have voted SNP only to betrayed by Sturgeons Nu SNP in her compliance and acquiescence to the Union. Instead of fighting for our independence she has sold out in her acknowledgment of our colonial masters superiority denying our sovereignty. The vichy quisling colonial administration of Scotland have a lot to answer for.
    Dissolve the Union.

  • Andrew H

    Nicola is smart. She understands that a referendum that does not have the backing of Westminster could lead to the break up of Scotland. If the previous referendum is anything to go by then Dumfries and Galloway + Borders and even Shetland/Orkney will vote to remain in UK. There is no rational argument that says that Scotland as a whole should be given a voice but not individual counties – and this is especially true if the referendum is conducted in a dubious manner without approval from UK. It is not in the interests of the UK to create another NI. The previous referendum was meant to be a once in a generation decision and unionist sentiment cannot simply be bulldozered.

    • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

      Can we just remind you that in the Brexit referendum Scotland voted 62 per cent to stay in Europe. We were nonetheless dragged out by the English vote. Westminster has therefore set a precedent for not allowing individual “countries” (never mind “counties”) within the UK to be “given a voice”, as you put it. The only reason Westminster got away with that in regards to Scotland is that Sturgeon shamefully and cravenly failed to assert the historic – and still live – Scottish constitutional principle of the ‘Sovereignty of the Scottish people’ (the Claim of Right). Scotland is not a possession of England, let it be known, but an equal partner with England in the Union. It is only British State and Media “gaslighting” which dupes so many Scots into deference. Partition has of course always been one of England’s reflex solutions. The Scots have known for decades that Whitehall has plans to annex Orkney and Shetland for obvious oil and military reasons. Please see the following linked post:

      ‘CARVING UP THE NORTH SEA: Map of 1976 UK Whitehall plan to slash Scotland’s maritime assets’


    • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

      And related to the above, anyone who still doesn’t know about the The McCRONE REPORT should certainly put that right immediately —

      In 1974 the UK Tory Government under Edward Heath commissioned a report by Treasury department civil servant Gavin McCrone, asking him to look into the economic viability of an independent Scotland. His findings were incendiary, and after Heath left office the McCrone Report was classified as secret by the incoming Labour government under James Callaghan. The report’s conclusions were so problematic for England that it was designated secret and hidden for thirty years before a Freedom of Information request forced the UK Government to reveal its contents.

      The short video linked below (2 mins 42 secs) – narrated by actor David Hayman – summarises the report’s conclusions:

      “It must be concluded therefore that large revenues and balance of payments gains would indeed accrue to a Scottish Government in the event of independence…Undoubtedly this would banish any anxieties the Government might have had about its budgetary position or its balance of payments. The country would tend to be in chronic surplus to a quite embarrassing degree and its currency would become the hardest in Europe, with the exception perhaps of the Norwegian kroner.” (The McCrone Report, 1975)


    • Cubby

      Andrew h

      ” …was meant to be a once in a generation decision ….” wrong – there is no evidence for this conclusion. Just wishful thinking by Britnats and only proves that Britnats lie and do not respect democracy.

      • Andrew H

        Don’t know, don’t really care : https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/17/scottish-independence-referendum-yes-no-agree-once-in-lifetime-vote

        This doesn’t seem to be central to the question of whether the unionists hold the top cards. What I think Nicola has done is to carefully establish that Scotland does not have the constitutional authority to unilaterally cede from the UK. Why has she done this? If you are objective and accept that the SNP really does want independence, then the rationale becomes clear.

        Some nationalists want to go ahead with a referendum regardless, but it is clear that the UK will then be left to interpret the results – and that will put the UK in the difficult position of having to either respect the will of individual counties or that of Scotland as a whole. In the previous referendum the interpretation was decided upfront by the UK so there was never an ambiguity. This time the unionists will cry foul that the referendum is illegal and disrespects their wishes. [If Scotland doesn’t have the constitutional power to remove itself from the UK then it certainly doesn’t have the power to take counties whose majority voted against with it]

        Regardless of how the UK will actually interpret the results (we don’t know), we can be assured that the unionists and “gaslighters” will play this fear card and it is a winner. There are certainly nationalists that want independence at any cost, but there are also moderates (like Nicola) that will not risk a break up of Scotland, preferring to wait until the UK organises the next referendum. Without the moderates, the hardliners will lose and that is why the unionists today hold the top cards. Where does that leave the independence movement? Perhaps when Starmer gets into power there is an opportunity to persuade Westminster the time has come, otherwise how long is a generation? If 20 yrs then 2034 is the next earliest date.

        • U Watt

          Perhaps when Starmer gets into power there is an opportunity to persuade Westminster the time has come”

          Starmer has said that in the event of a border poll on Irish unity he will campaign along with the Orange Order and co to keep Northern Ireland British.

          That overturned the Labour party’s long official neutrality on Northern Ireland and the commitment in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that the UK government must observe “rigorous impartiality” in Northern Ireland. (We are still constantly informed by Starmer supporters that the GFA is one of New Labour’s proudest achievements/ legacies).

          • Stevie Boy

            Why would the member for tel aviv be interested in Scottish independence ? Surely, Israel follows the USA line – gotta keep them nukes somewhere.

        • Jeff

          “….and that will put the UK in the difficult position of having to either respect the will of individual counties or that of Scotland as a whole.”

          I’ve rarely read such bollocks. I take it you are one of the ‘Better Together’ ‘English Scots for No’ crowd in Dumfries and Galloway who begged Cameron to “make Dumfries and Galloway part of England” before the indyref in 2014?

    • yesindyref2

      Interesting to see that Guy Stenhouse in the Herald this morning is pushing the same nonsense about splitting up the country of Scotland.

      I guess this is the latest old wheeze of desperate Unionists who see the end is nigh for the Disunited Kingdom. According to your and Stenhouse’s logic of course, Scotland should have been able to remain in the EU when England and Wales voted to Leave the EU, but Scotland voted 62% to Remain.

      • Andrew H

        No. In the case of Brexit, it was the UK that had the constitutional authority to take the UK out of the EU. This is different – since it is the UK that has the constitutional authority to break up the UK. Scotland does not have any constitutional power on its own to cede from the UK and this makes the two cases very different.

        • Republicofscotland

          Andrew H @15.32pm.

          Andrew The UK government doesn’t have constitutional authority over Scotland, we are meant to be in an equal union otherwise Scotland is a colony of England’s which it isn’t, even though it’s treated as one. Of late this was pointed out when King Charles had to swear to uphold the Scottish Claim of Right which he did on live tv.

          I should also like to add that by denying Scots the right to choose their own destiny whether to leave or stay in the union, the Westminster government is denying Scots their democratic right of choice.

          Yes, we had an independence referendum in 2014, but even you will agree a lot has changed since then, notably Brexit: the No Campaign ran explicitly on remaining in the EU, and that if Yes had won we’d be out of the EU.

          I’m pretty sure Northern Ireland has the right to a reunification referendum every seven years.

          Finally, Westminster has cut across the sovereignty of Scots on multiple occasions which has the broken Treaties of Union; Scots are well within their rights to terminate this union with immediate effect. Unfortunately, we currently have an FM in office, and she isn’t fit for purpose. If she was, Scotland would’ve exited the union on Brexit.

          • Andrew H

            The UK isn’t England. Why are Scots blind to the difference? England and Scotland are equal partners in the UK – neither England nor Scotland has the power to unilaterally cede from the UK (legally). That is an equal union. The power to break up the union lies in the federal power (the UK).

      • Andrew H

        And the fact that you are not willing to say “great, we will let the Borders go because they are full of English-simps”, says it all.

        • yesindyref2

          Unlike some of you Unionists, I’m not anti-English at all.

          Scotland is Scotland with very clearly defined historical borders, and our own legal system, Church, education system and cultural heritage.

          As for your first reply – about the constitutional authority – an increasing number of people are putting their heads above the parapet to defend the “Rule of Law” which has been under escalating attack by your precious UK Tory Government for a number of years and it’s getting worse.

          In the words of Professor Douglas-Scott who “joined Queen Mary in September 2015 as Anniversary Chair in Law. Previously she was Professor of European and Human Rights law at the University of Oxford, and before that Professor of Law at King’s College London. She retains a link with Oxford as honorary research fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.”:

          By ignoring the mandate of a lawful government, the UK Government’s conduct in this context also undermines the rule of law.


    • Alec Lomax

      Once a generation; A shibboleth which occasionally arises whenever English commentariat reveal their ignorance of Scottish politics..

    • Republicofscotland

      “The previous referendum was meant to be a once in a generation decision and unionist sentiment cannot simply be bulldozered.”

      Andrew H.

      The above is nonsense try doing a wee bit of research first.

      Just incase you are too lazy to do the research I’ll help you out, Salmond and Sturgeon did say it and mention it in their White Paper, but it wasn’t in the Edinburgh Agreement two different documents.


  • Mr Lee

    Pushing for some type of independence vote is fine, IF you are sure that the vote will be true and valid.

    Maybe a leaf out of the communists book: step 1 is to ensure there are sufficient secessionists responsible for counting (and controlling) the vote.

  • Sarge

    It’s grimly amusing to know Blackford is still being roared on north of the border as a dauntless freedom fighter “tekin at tae d’English”. What he is in fact taking is a full-fat expense account to every resterauntaur in Mayfair and his rich Scottish brogue to Penny Mordaunt at every opportunity. Like Oswald and the rest of the clan, the right hon gentleman is living his best life in the capital and has absolutely no intention of constraining it to match the imaginings of Mr Kelly or SNP members. The clan’s motto is you have one life .. live it well.

    • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

      A philological aside, (“tongue in cheek”, as it were) —



      BROGUE (noun)
      1. A strong dialectal accent, especially a strong Irish or Scottish accent when speaking English.
      2. A heavy shoe of untanned leather, formerly worn in Scotland and Ireland.
      3. A strong oxford shoe, usually with ornamental perforations or wingtips.

      BARRÓG f. (gs. -óige, npl. ~a, gpl. ~).
      1. Hug. ~ a bhreith ar dhuine, to hug s.o.
      2. Wrestling grip. D’fháisc siad ~ ar a chéile, they got to grips with each other.
      3. Brogue, impediment of speech.

  • Cubby

    Note to moderator I see you have deleted a large number of my posts but have left up a post from yesindyref2 stating that I admit to stalking people.

    Pointless wasting my time posting on this site if such blatant bias exists.


    [ Mod: Thanks for expressing your view on the moderation in this thread, Cubby. I didn’t moderate that debate today, so I can observe the interactions from an objective position. From what I saw earlier, the moderator interventions seemed reasonable and justified. However, I’ll review your contributions later to see whether your claim about bias is valid.

    Kindly note that the people you were interacting with today were also moderated, mostly for excessively personal remarks – but you don’t witness those deletions, nor our advice to the commenters. Accordingly, if they are attacking you – as indeed happened today, leading to that person being suspended via premoderation – you’re none the wiser, because the moderators are protecting you from that kind of abuse. Unfortunately the fact you only know about moderation when it’s happening to you can lead to a perception of bias. The people you’re arguing with could come to a similar conclusion – and in fact a complaint was made earlier by your main opposition. Being accused of bias from both directions suggests a good balance is being struck, though perhaps we should intervene earlier to stop the tone of debate becoming so heated.

    There’s quite a steady stream of comments, on a number of active threads as well as in the discussion forum, and we do occasionally miss comments that should be removed under the moderation guidelines. In such cases, it helps if people point them out to us so we can take appropriate action. However, people who make unjustified allegations about the blog team are less likely to be treated with such courtesy.

    Your contributions are still welcome, Cubby, provided you can self-moderate your language and refrain from personal remarks, to prevent the debate degenerating into futile squabbling. If the passionate nature of the discussion makes that difficult for you, be assured the moderators will step in to help out.

    Kind regards.
    * * * *
    Your complaint has been investigated and found to be unsubstantiated. All four comments that were deleted merited suspension for making insulting personal remarks or denigrating your opponent. One was quite dubious, but warranted removal in the context of your ongoing dispute.

    A review of your interactions with moderators shows that you have been cautioned for insulting other commenters numerous times, with final warnings of a ban being issued. You’ve also accused moderators of bias before, complaining that other people’s comments (which were considerably less offensive than yours) were not similarly deleted, so you were shown comments from your opponents that used equally strong language against you, which you hadn’t seen because moderators had deleted them. And now you’re bringing up the same type of complaint. That appears to be your modus operandi: post insulting and personal remarks, provoke a slanging match, inevitably get some comments suspended, and then complain about moderation bias because other people’s comments that you don’t like hadn’t also been deleted (despite the fact that you obviously don’t get to see deleted comments). There’s no point explaining it all again.

    Your views are welcome here, but not when you express them in such a discourteous manner. If you can’t debate respectfully, then you’d be better off posting your arguments on a different blog with less effective moderation, where you might feel more at home. ]

  • SleepingDog

    What is the key ingredient of Alba’s Magic Sauce that preserves it from getting corrupted like the SNP? I remember saying to unionists in discussions that even though I voted SNP before they came to power, I expected them to become extensively corrupted in government within a few years of taking office. The problem is not with the SNP specifically, the problem is with our political systems, including party politics. And parties get corrupted without ever gaining power (though generally more slowly).

    I suggest that what is more significant for politics is patterns of interaction. Therefore it was disappointing to see Alba trying to undemocratically ‘maximise’ the Independence vote on the coat-tails of the SNP, which pattern was copied by Unionists to ‘maximise’ the Unionist vote. It doesn’t help your credibility if you attack FPTP for its poor proportionality, then try to subvert the corrective List element in Scottish elections.

    • Skip_NC

      There is no key ingredient, nor does there need to be. Once we get independence, Scottish politics fundamentally changes. Constitutional issues will take a back seat and parties can stand on everyday policies that matter to the people of Scotland.

      In an independent Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon would have been unceremoniously booted from office ages ago.

    • Stevie Boy

      Why corruption ? Simple, money.
      Once a party gets into power its members receive huge payments directly and indirectly, not to mention their self assumed importance. Salary, attendance, pensions, talking engagements, overseas trips, etc. The gravy train. Once onboard who is going to jeopardise their position and associated riches ?
      To prevent corruption this gravy train must be derailed.
      All parties are susceptible to this, Alba will be no different.
      The system is essentially corrupt, you are rewarded for membership, not for achievements.

      • Geoff Anderson

        Westminster was designed to do exactly what you outline. Your new “buddies” are the fellow private club members you dine with. Those who sent you there become an irritant to your new lifestyle.

    • Antiwar7

      Once one ostensibly pro-independence party gets kicked out, publicly, for not being such, it’s gets a bit harder for the next party to pull the same grift. The pattern will be out there in the public consciousness. (Or at least, so I’d hope!)

  • Mist001

    Is it just me or does anyone else think there’s something suspicious about Scotland having an ALBA party which is gaining a bit more traction in the media and the media being full of stories about Albanian immigrants? I can see ALBA members being referred to as Albanians in the near future, just to muddy the waters and demonise the ALBA party.

  • Vivian O’Blivion

    The front page of McPrävda this morning reports that, the “Commons back pro-independence motion”.
    A historic victory then. Freedom must be imminent.
    Blackford states; “ This House has voted in favour of a motion on Scottish independence, the first time that has happened, with a clear majority of those that were elected from Scottish constituencies voting for that proposition.”

    The debate went to a vote where it passed 39 to zero.
    Wait a minute, I’m confused. The SNP has 45 MPs. Whit’s happening?
    Why didn’t all the SNP MPs vote? Why didn’t the unionist parties show up at all and wipe the SNP vote out in a tsunami?
    Oh, wait. For a vote to be binding, 40 MPs must be present and vote.
    The whole exercise was the very definition of political theatre.
    The SNP agreed in advance to keep their vote below the threshold of 40 and the unionist parties agreed to stay away.
    A cheap stunt designed to fail while generating a disingenuous headline to fool the pathologically gullible Nicophants.
    The only priority for these carpetbagging charlatans is protecting their comfy seats on the big, yellow, gravy bus.

  • Robert

    Tbh I think the FPTP system is a mug’s game that is about as anti-democratic as they come. As a minority party, there is very little point in wasting resources and goodwill in contesting an election under such a system. In non-marginal seats where there is no chance of shooting yourself in the foot, or (obviously) where there is a sitting Alba candidate, it’s worth it, but certainly not across the board.

  • Antiwar7

    For the same reason a pro-independence voter in Scotland should not vote for the SNP (who at the leadership level are effectively unionists), a progressive voter in the US should not vote for the Democratic Party (who at the leadership level are effectively owned by corporate interests).

  • Geoff Anderson

    Why did James lose his NEC seat?
    In my view it was his direct active push in supporting the SNP. His skill in polling has led to him considering himself a political expert. A bit like a HALO gamer thinking he is a military expert.

    If Alba do not stand as a Party in the next GE then I will cancel my membership. I still regret following the advice to vote SNP previously.

    I am now convinced that we need an umbrella organisation such as Salvo to push a real Independence drive. The Politicians are becoming more and more disconnected from the grassroots regarding the need to act.