History Turns 179

Unexpectedly, the election for leader of the SNP has become a true hinge moment in the entire history of the Scottish nation.

Sure of their control of the party, the devolutionists in the SNP have openly come out with the proposal that Independence is merely an “aspiration” – Humza Yousaf’s exact word.

Stewart McDonald and Alyn Smith have set 2050 as a possible Independence date. Humza has poured scorn on the idea that 50% + 1 of votes would be sufficient for Independence, thus conceding the Tory proposals for a qualified majority and abandoning the principle of the 2014 referendum.

This puzzles me entirely. If 50% + 1 for the Union is enough to decide for the Union, why is 50% + 1 against the Union not enough to decide against the Union?

Why can I have my will thwarted by losing by one vote, but Gordon Brown not have his will thwarted by losing by one vote?

Above all, Yousaf, Smith, McDonald and a large number of SNP elected parliamentarians have stated explicitly that Independence can only come with Westminster’s agreement.

They have conceded that London has a permanent veto over Scottish Independence.

Even Nicola Sturgeon never explicitly came out and said that, though her insistence that Independence must be legal in terms of UK domestic law had the same effect.

The problem is that, if you believe that London has a right of veto over Scottish Independence, you cannot actually believe that Scotland is a nation with the right of self-determination.

A vote for Humza Yousaf is a vote for decades more of devolution. Which is why a majority of the SNP MPs and MSPs, collecting huge salaries from the UK devolution settlement, have come out in support of him.

Humza is the trougher’s trougher.

Not only is the “official” Sturgeon continuity SNP solely devolutionist, its primary interest in devolution is to pursue identity politics, rather than general wealth equality.

Hence we have had radical reform on Gender Recognition, but timid and tiny efforts at Land Reform, which have paid tens of millions of public money to the Duke of Buccleuch and others for small parcels of marginal land they did not want to keep.

Hence the attempt to move the conversation on to whether candidates will, within the devolution settlement, carry on a hopeless legal battle with London over gender reform, whereas the solution which the SNP is supposed by its constitution to advocate is the opposite: obtaining Independence for Scotland so Scotland can settle these matters for itself.

Ash Regan offers the opposite view. She espouses precisely what I have advocated on this website for a decade – that Scotland’s elected representatives should declare Independence, as has been the normal and accepted route to Independence, in a world where over half the states have become Independent during my lifetime.

So SNP members have the clearest choice. If they vote for Humza they are voting for devolution and no action on Independence apart from “aspiration” and “conversation”.

If they vote for Ash they are voting for confrontation with London and eventual UDI. As the SNP continues its electoral dominance, this is a major turning point.

It is not entirely plain which side of this divide stands Kate Forbes, but I believe she is closer to Ash’s position than to Humza’s.

The key point is that nobody knows what the SNP members actually think about all this. The choice will get clearer to them as hustings go on these next few weeks.

The SNP leadership have spent eight years dismantling the democratic mechanisms of the party. Conferences have been cancelled or reduced. The last one was about a fifth the size they were from 2014 to 18, and heavily influenced by the payroll vote.

The National Executive is dominated by representatives of affiliated groups, who are massively over-represented compared to those elected by the party conference.

There has been no election by the entire party membership for twenty years, nor I believe any other kind of whole membership vote.

The SNP staff and SNP elected representatives are very heavily behind the Sturgeon agenda. Because of Sturgeon’s personal crusades they are far more interested in identity politics than in Independence.

The presumption has been that this is representative of the SNP’s current membership.

Certainly it is true that over 10,000 members left the party, dissatisfied with Sturgeon’s commitment to Independence. 6,000 of them formed the Alba party.

It is also true that many young members have joined who are much more interested (as is their right) in gay and trans issues than in Independence.

But I suspect that the SNP elected members and staff, and those wannabe careerists  dominating their youth groups, are less representative than people realise. On Twitter, the SNP appears almost exclusively a matter of pronouns and rainbow flags, cf. the much lauded Mhairi Black intervention to attack Kate Forbes.

Yet I believe there are tens of thousands of ordinary members whose primary interest is still Independence – and Independence quickly, not in 2050.

I meet these people at Yes group, AUOB and similar events. They have remained loyal to the SNP in the patient belief that things will come right and action on Independence is pending.

It seems to me that the SNP leadership have miscalculated their membership – because the leadership has been in a small cocoon of staff and troughing MPs and MSPs not too bothered about Independence.

I think the members are about to let the leadership know what they really think, in the first opportunity for decades.

While I would love to see Ash in charge, I suspect the ultimate beneficiary may be Kate Forbes.

It is an STV election. I suspect that followers of Ash and Kate will largely transfer between each other. To be plain, to win Humza needs to be far ahead on first preferences.

That is looking highly improbable. The devolutionists have badly miscalculated.

A final thought. I do not trust Peter Murrell at all to run the election. Voting is electronic.

Candidates have no method to tally those issued with voting logins against the party membership, and to do sampling to check that all those electronic votes are from real, existing members. Or indeed from real people at all rather than just batches of fake names to support batches of logins.

That is just one weak point in the system. There are many others. It would be much better if a respected organisation were brought in that oversees the whole process including verification sampling of voters.

The SNP uses MiVoice, which does not do this. The Electoral Reform Society would do it.

Do not hold your breath for a fair voting process. At the very least, the person in charge should not be under police investigation for fraud.




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179 thoughts on “History Turns

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  • Roger

    I think the “qualified majority” proposal is not only against all precedent (Northern Ireland will be able to leave the UK and merge with the Republic of Ireland when a simple majority votes for that) but is doubly undemocratic.

    By that, I mean that not only does it purport to trump the wishes of a majority of Scots, I think it also does not reflect the views of non-Scots in the UK. I believe that most Brits everywhere think that if a simple majority of Scottish voters want independence, then of course they should become independent. I don’t have poll data, but everyone I’ve ever talked with about it regards this as obvious.

  • Dawg

    Similar misgivings about Peter Murrell counting the votes were expressed in today’s Sunday Mail article “Cops quizzed senior SNP members over fraud allegations days before Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation“:

    “Former SNP health secretary Alex Neil has demanded independent adjudicators are brought in to oversee the leadership battle between Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan. He said:

    “I think we need to have independent oversight of this election process. We aren’t just electing a party leader here. The winner will immediately also become Scotland’s first minister – so there needs to be absolute confidence in the process. Ideally it would be the Electoral Commission which would take on this job or a body like that. We need to be sure, for example, that the electronic process through which SNP members will be voting is secure and not open to abuse by foreign powers. It is not really acceptable that the SNP chief executive should be playing such a central role. I am not accusing anyone of anything but it is clear the party hierarchy have a preferred candidate.”

    It is understood that Murrell will have access in real time to how members are voting from the moment the polls open at midday on March 13 and close at midday on March 27. The SNP has said its national secretary will make the results of the contest public as soon as the result has been determined and after the candidates have been advised. A source said:

    “It is clear the party’s hierarchy favour Humza Yousaf. As chief executive, Peter Murrell will have real time access to voting. It is information that would be extremely useful to any one candidate. Everyone should have this information or nobody should have it, that is why independent adjudication is essential.””

    • Bayard

      “Everyone should have this information or nobody should have it, that is why independent adjudication is essential.”

      It is amazing that, in politics, a business that has been renowned from ancient times as attracting the unscrupulous and excluding the scrupulous, we are supposed to take anything on trust of good behaviour by the people involved.

    • Stevie Boy

      “We aren’t just electing a party leader here. The winner will immediately also become Scotland’s first minister”.

      There you go: that, along with FPTP, is one of the major issues with our corrupt version of democracy.
      IMO, when the PM/FM resigns, is replaced, or dies then this should immediately trigger a general election.

      • Jimmeh

        > IMO, when the PM/FM resigns, is replaced, or dies then this should immediately trigger a general election.

        Well, of course it should. That of course applies to Westminster too. The Truss debacle is an obvious example – she claimed to have a mandate, despite never having put her crackpot ideas to the electorate. Sunak inherited a “mandate” from a predecessor whose only “mandate” was from 200,000 blue-rinse tories in the home counties.

        Starmer is now substituting the word “mission” for the word “pledge”. A pledge is a promise; his speech-writers have now deleted the word “pledge” from their lexicon, for obvious reasons. A “mission”, on the other hand, isn’t a promise, it’s a vague, mumbled expression of sentiment, with no measurable milestones or anything.

        Google had a “mission”: Don’t Be Evil. So much for mission statements.

    • Cedders

      As they say in Ireland “vote early and vote often”. 14 days should be long enough for Murrell’s favourite IT consultants to ensure that 99.9999% of electors (apparently) voted for Yousaf.

  • Stewart Cazier

    I suggest the most effective way of gaining Scottish independence rapidly would be to give the English a vote. No one has made any serious attempt to explain the benefits of the Union to the English other than vague appeals to sentimentality. On the other hand, the last decade has seen many of the English grow heartily sick of the clear message that they and their money aren’t wanted, so I expect that the only question would be whether Wales and NI are included too.

    • Ian English

      Totally agree Stewart. When the Tories get smashed at the next general election I hope an English National Group (ENG) emerges from the wreckage. It is the Extreme Centre (eg. Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and SNP) that are taking us into pointless wars.

      • Roger

        No hope of that, Ian. Tories and Labour have both suffered landslide defeats before, and come back from them. FPTP makes the two-party system almost indestructible.

        FPTP bears little relationship to democracy: 45% of the votes cast is usually enough to deliver a huge majority in the House of Commons, which the winning party then uses to trample on the wishes of the 55% of the voters who didn’t vote for them (in the last 50 years, Thatcher got a 144-seat majority with 43% of the votes; Blair got a 179-seat majority with 43% of the votes; the only government since WW2 to get more than 50% of the votes was the Con-Libdem coalition). Why people call this “democracy” is beyond me. It’s better than a dictatorship because it provides a peaceful way to transfer power to a different party, but there’s not much else one can say for it.

        • Ian English

          True, but that assumes that the two main political parties in England remain viable entities. The Tories should get smashed at the next election and Labour will face an economic crisis that will make 2008 seem like a breeze. “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”

        • Bayard

          “Why people call this “democracy” is beyond me. ”

          Probably because “democracy” sounds better than the system’s correct name, which is “oligarchy”. All governments are oligarchies: the modern state is too unwieldy for either one man or the mass of people to govern. Government has to be by the few. The only difference between a “democracy” and an “autocracy” is that, in the former, the oligarchs are hidden behind a screen of carefully chosen elected representatives.

          • David

            Forget about the obsession term of “oligarchy”, the word is an overused brainwashing mass media diversion term.

            Oligarchs are part of the plutocracy, the plutocracy have been around since the mediaeval period, they really took off with the industrial and slave trade era. Wherever there is large wealth, there is criminality.

            No peasant gets wealthy from honest hard work, it is rigged to stay that way.
            Laws only apply to the lower classes, not to massa in their high castle.

        • Dave

          There currently seems to be a large Uniparty featuring what I’d call globalist authoritarians who are happy with a UN/WEF takeover of national governments … it’s well underway. Typical members Mr J *unt, K Starmer.

          Plus there’s what remains of the Labour old left (tiny) plus libertarians and constitutionalists on the Tory right (small). The last two groups are unlikely to number 120 combined. Clearly most MPs value power above all else and many are part of ‘the payroll vote’, i.e. even the most junior appointments bar you from voting against the executive or against what the opposition whips order you to do.

          Lord Hailsham asked if it was an ‘elected dictatorship’ ~50 years ago. It’s definitely that now.

    • dgp

      You are getting to the nub of the problem- which is that the quality of democracy delivered by the current ‘two’ party system (fptp) is very flawed and antiquated. The route to Scottish independence may expose the deficiencies in relation to the overwhelming majority of the UK – those who identify as English.

      • Doug

        I think the English washed their hands of the north of Ireland decades ago. Which makes the frothiness of unionists there all the more bemusing.

    • Republicofscotland

      “I suggest the most effective way of gaining Scottish independence rapidly would be to give the English a vote. No one has made any serious attempt to explain the benefits of the Union to the English other than vague appeals to sentimentality. ”

      Stewart Cazier.

      Absolutely mental idea, if the English folk every cottoned on to how much they need Scotland, Scotland would never get out of this onesided prison of a union, why do you think Westminster is desperate to hold onto Scotland? Its not because they like Scots that’s for sure.

        • Greg Park

          Because if even Scotland abandons them they will no longer be able to give it the big un on the global stage, hold onto a seat on the Security Council etc. The rUK will be seen as an even more ludicrous paper tiger than the UK already is. That may not matter to you but it does to all the people who count and they it is who decide.

        • Alf Baird

          “Why does England need Scotland ?”

          In a colonial territory “the country’s resources are earmarked for colonialist appropriation” (Jean-Paul Sartre).

          • Stewart

            Is it just economic, or is it because of all the grouse moors and ancestral piles? Or are there other reasons as well, like the military/nuclear infrastructure?
            What even are the “economics”? Is Scotland a net contributor to or beneficiary of the union? Genuinely asking.

          • Alf Baird

            “Is it just economic”

            Resources include lands, seas, people, utilities, commerce, even culture and language, history, heritage, all of which and more may be ‘appropriated’, leaving a people alienated and ‘out of the game’, ‘no longer part of history’, an ‘observer rather than a participant’, resulting in an under-developed people and nation.

        • R.McGeddon

          Trident for the Thames

          The non-audited GERS figures continually show a skewed picture of the Scottish economy. The last bona fide accounts for Scotland’s GDP appeared in 1922 – just when Ireland gained independence.

          They make interesting reading

        • Philip Maughan

          A few simple facts might answer your query. Scotland has 1/3rd of the UK landmass and 2/3rds of its maritime zone. Two thirds. Think about that for a moment and the enormous assets that contains – wind, tidal, oil, gas, fishing.

          • IMcK

            ‘Scotland has 1/3rd of the UK landmass and 2/3rds of its maritime zone.’

            Perhaps more comprehensivley expressed as ‘Of the UK, 1/3rd of its landmass and 2/3rds of its maritime zone lie within Scotland, yet only 5% of its population’.

            Whilst I agree this is good reason why the UK would want to hang on to Scotland it is also fair to say a proportion of that 5% wish to acquire those assets. C’est la vie.

        • Cedders

          Economically, Scotland is a massive net beneficiary of being part of the union and a substantial drain on English resources. Something like 40 per cent of the Scottish government’s income originates south of the border, a combination of direct grants (the likes of which are not sent to England) and council taxes re-directed under the Barnett formula.
          In the interests of balance, the UK chose to make itself economically weaker by leaving the EU. No-one should criticise the Scottish people for making the same choice, if they are ever offered the chance. As Sir Michael Caine put it, “I would rather be a poor master of my fate than a rich servant of somebody else”.

      • Roger

        why do you think Westminster is desperate to hold onto Scotland?

        Because politicians like power: that’s why they’re politicians. Running a bigger country = more power than running a smaller country. More “clout” on the “world stage”. Membership of the G8 or G17 or whatever. Photo opportunities standing among “world leaders”, feeding their self-importance.

        Most of them don’t give a toss about the peons they lord it over.

    • Tom74

      I suspect that’s just a myth peddled by a media whose only sponsorship these days is from American spies trying to divide our country and stop a national left torpedo their client Tory party (hence the CIA’s meddling in the 2019 election). Most English people wish the Scottish people well and don’t particularly want independence, in my experience.

  • Greg Park

    How can Sturgeons husband be left in a position to nobble the vote for leader when both are under investigation for corruption? Makes Scotland look like a banana republic.

  • pete

    Craig, you are perfectly correct, you cannot change the voting rules because you might be in danger of loosing your place at the trough.

  • fonso

    Humza’s ethnicity, attachment to ID politics and unpopularity with Rangers fans are meant to suggest Progress, and deflect from his satisfaction with the constitutional status quo. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Kate Forbes had been told by the Murrells to foreground her Presbyterian intolerance in order to make Humza look even more Hope and Changey. Then Mhari instructed to pile in on the issue with full force. As insurance, in case something goes wrong on election day, Peter will be there to put things right with a few minor electronic tweaks.
    There are just too many troughers and too much left in the trough for anything to be left to chance, and the troughers know they have the full weight of the British government and media behind them – never more vividly demonstrated than during the Salmond affair. By hook or by crook, the SNP will be kept fit for purpose.

    • nevermind

      I so hope you are wrong and that all those who really want Independence will lobby their respective MSP to vote for Ash Regan, who looks like she has a plan for governing Scotland, all others are just slinging mud.

      • fonso

        I hope the same but I don’t think they are willing to take risks with these leadership elections any longer after what happened with Corbyn in 2015. There is just too much at stake for them.

  • boindub

    “Buck brakers” were employed in the Americas by slave owners to pacify rebellious slaves. These people reduced spirited people to an obedient fearful state with no pride or self confidence

    Out of approx. 50 areas in the World who got independence only two voted to stay in service.
    Northern Ireland And Scotland.
    Unlike Ireland, Kenya, India, Israel, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Pakistan, Malaysia, Tanzania, Jordan, Cyprus, Jamaica, Iraq, Canada, Australia, USA, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Libya, Etc, etc, etc, .
    Over 300 years England has colonized and integrated Scotland. Why should colonizers have a say in whether Scotland goes its own way. There is no such thing as Scottish Unionists. You are a guest. Behave or leave quietly.
    Have the Buck brakers succeeded in internalizing feelings of fear and inferiority and some Scots are mentally castrated. Some have been bought, some praised, some insecure. How many remain.?
    Or is Scotland no longer a separate national identity?. Is that what they want ?.
    There will never be a right time for Scottish independence. Is it just the long dead dream of madmen and English pacification and domestication has succeeded in integrating and colonizing Scotland.
    How much stronger are neighbors Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England standing shoulder to shoulder instead of the old subservience.
    If Scotland votes to remain in any guise under England they should have the decency never to sing Scotland the Brave, or the flower of Scotland or similar again. Or to play as a separate State in the 6 NATIONS or any other event. One has the right to choose subservience. Call it what it is.
    If Scots independence is buried it is buried alive and will be resurrected without a referendum by angry people who cannot take more shame. Freedom “granted” is not as sweet as just “taken.” Violence is unnecessary.. PRIDE IS.
    Be very aware we are dealing with the sacred soul of a nation.
    A National Flag or a tourist tea towel.
    What an opportunity awaits.

    • IMcK

      ‘There is no such thing as Scottish Unionists. You are a guest. Behave or leave quietly.’

      Surely a unionist masquerading as a seperatist and with an intention to scare off genuine, ‘right thinking’ seperatists.

        • IMcK

          I cannot see how Scotland can be claimed to be a colony. There are both advantages and disadvantages of living in any region of the UK, and all its citizens are able to choose their preference without (as far as I am aware) any discrimination. That, for instance, it now turns out that Scotland is energy rich (especially per head of population) and which society treats as a UK asset, does not make Scotland exploited. It’s the way most societies (in theory) work.

  • Jolly Jumper

    Hi Craig! Did you read this? Brian Kemp: The Scottish National Party and the American State

    [ Mod: From the moderation rules for commenters:

    Contributions which are primarily just a link to somewhere else will be deleted. You can post links, but give us the benefit of your thoughts upon them.

    It would be very helpful if you could outline the position taken in the article. ]

    • Jolly Jumper

      Brian Kemp summarizes his findings at the beginning of the article:

      There are two main schools of thought regarding Sturgeon’s inaction in progressing independence.
      – The payroll SNP (elected and staff) are incompetent careerists, comfortable in their existing state sinecures. Independence comes with |risk and responsibility they would rather avoid.
      – A tight managerial group around Sturgeon have been captured by the US State Department.
      I tend towards the latter explanation. There is evidence to support both hypotheses and the precise position may lie somewhere in between. <<<

      For me, this brings back memories of the movie "Ghost Writer," in which Pierce Brosnan plays a disgraced Tony Blair as a puppet of American interests, directed by the disgraced Woody Allen Roman Polanski….

  • terence callachan

    Good points , I agree ,it’s time for someone to take leadership and bring all those ALBA members back to the SNP we need togetherness with control held by a firm group pushing Scottish independence forward as the only main policy , all other discussion should be secondary , everything should be considered in a Scottish independence vein , anything controversial such as gender recognition , currency , etc etc should be set aside until we are independent with a promise that it will be discussed once we are free of Westminster and England and British media interference .

    • Cedders

      One of the reasons that Sturgeon is so unpopular in so many parts of Scotland is that she neglected everything that she was responsible for in order to concentrate on independence. Most ordinary people place far more importance on education and the NHS than indyref2.

  • nevermind

    who, in this leadership campaign or by means of informing the public, is mentioning what Scotland has lost under the colonial rulers in Westminster, how they were manipulated having their goalposts/borders moved for more theft of resources to disappear into English coffers?
    This account from Leah Gunn Barrett shows the inconsistencies and the manipulations that occurred and it is astonishing that these facts are not mentioned. Who has conspired to keep the McCrone report a secret from the public?
    What does the public know about Donald Dewars and Tony Blairs redrawing of boundaries in 1999, just as Holyrood Parliament opened, a dastardly move to acquiesce ever more oil and gas revenues?


    History must turn.

  • terence callachan

    To Republic of Scotland, I agree with what you say, you include a link to Ashley Regan’s speech in which she says as first minister she will give priority to independence but then goes on to say Scotland will declare independence if they have a vote and win “a majority of seats AND votes“.

    In my opinion we do not need to win a majority of seats and votes one or other is enough, as it is in all elections and referendums in U.K.

    • Alf Baird

      Yes, if a majority of seats has been sufficient for any Westminster party to do as it pleases with Scotland these past 300+ years, then a majority of seats should also be sufficient for Scots to decide on withdrawal from the union alliance, which is also the way it began, aside from the bribes and threats of course.

      Another factor here is that Holyrood uses a ‘local government franchise’ based on residence, which is clearly not a ‘national franchise’, and this should be rectified for any Scottish ‘national’ election/referendum. Unfortunately, few SNP MSP’s seem conscious of this anomaly either.

      We are making unnecessarily high hurdles for ourselves….

  • Goose

    Anyone watch Rishi Sunak hailing the incredible opportunities having access the single market offers Northern Ireland; with him calling it the ‘world’s most exciting economic zone’ and realise how useless the SNP have been defending ‘remain voting’ Scotland’s economic interests? Sunak’s promotion of Northern Ireland’s EU market access today, has rightly infuriated many English voters, who were conned by the same party into not only voting themselves out of the EU, but rejecting the single market and customs union. With sensible EEA | EFTA type arrangements completely rejected too, despite the closeness of the 52-48 result in the referendum, demanding such a compromise.

    Surely, Sturgeon’s near silence on a range of ‘open goal’ issues must have been the result some secret ‘non-aggression,’ or to put it better, ‘non-confrontation’ pact with London? What’s her deal? The ‘designed to fail’ UK supreme court challenge and the nature of her pathetic resignation – in the year supposedly of her greatest triumph – just further cement this view.

    • nevermind

      Don’t count your geese yet, Goose, it looks more like he is giving us the hard sale, aimed at the Tory right wing and the DUP.
      If the DUP wants to stop cooperating with the elected Sinn Fein leader of a reopened Stormont, they can look into the ‘fine detail’ with a fine comb for some weeks, frustrating NI traders and investers until the bowler hats march past republican quarters. Give it a week and lets listen to what spanners they could throw at it.
      I agree with you on the rising anger people will feel over the whole Brexshit saga, and it will be measurable in the u turn outpourings of Starmer, who is fishing for popular angles every day.

      • Goose

        The DUP are something else, aren’t they.

        I don’t know how they get away with holding everyone to ransom like they do. If they are rewarded in next elections, for these obstructionist antics, it’ll be disgraceful. There was nothing wrong with the agreement as it was. Most businesses in N.Ireland: nationalist and unionist, like their unique arrangement. This bizarrely named ‘Windsor Agreement’ – with the King meeting Ursula von der Leyen ? (King Charles already meddling?) just reduces trade friction further.

        The DUP’s real problem, as you imply, was clearly with Sinn Féin; specifically, accepting Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill as First minister of Northern Ireland. Isn’t the truth that Sinn Féin’ simply wouldn’t have been allowed to do something similar. The way the power-sharing system operates there allowing one party to ‘take their ball away’ if losing, is pathetic. If a single party is refusing to cooperate, then surely that party alone, should get no salaries.

    • fonso

      You were conned even more brazenly by the People’s vote/ 2nd ref brigade and all their anti-Brexit maximalism. A cruel hoax, only ever intended to destroy Corbyn and the prospect of a fairer, more equal Britain.

      Just yesterday on the Today programme erstwhile arch-Remainer Rachel Reeves claimed that integral to the Brexit vote was leaving the single market, leaving the customs union and ending free movement!

      Everybody was in on the con. Gina Miller quite openly admits it was about stopping Corbyn not the single market or customs union. The wildest FBPE fanatics are all now Sir Keir Ultras, loudest champions of his Union Jack-waving 180 on Brexit.

      For Remainers only minor questions still remain at this point. Such as, was Nicola well aware Alastair was not genuine on Brexit but decided to snuggle him anyway for Iraq? You decide.

      • Goose

        Well yes.

        That was obvious when Starmer demanded his MPs support Johnson’s hard Brexit deal, this despite Johnson’s Tories having an 80 seat majority and no opposition among their own ranks.

        Starmer, being a true establishment lackey, wanted the Labour party to share the blame for Brexit economic failings. Similarly, with the LabCon pro-war consensus that’s now back; last seen during the Iraq war, standing ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with awards and praise, in Washington for UK leaders, for services to the special ‘non-reciprocal'(US citizens have constitutional rights) relationship- the UK elite basically making UK citizens, second-class US citizens i.e., sans constitutional rights.

        • fonso

          It was obvious long before then Goose. Anybody with eyes could see the antidemocratic 2nd referendum policy was forced upon Corbyn deliberately to deliver the Tories a large majority and destroy the left. That was the key turning point that has brought us to where we are now.

          The People’s Vote/2nd Ref movement was all just an establishment psyop. A big anti-socialist scam.

          • Goose

            The most infuriating thing, was in how, in late 2019, Johnson was cornered. The EU’s final extension was running down (risking a no-deal), his own divided party were at near revolt, and close to removing him. There was a majority in the HoC for a softer EEA/EFTA type Brexit and senior Conservatives were making quite clear a ‘no deal’ was unacceptable..

            And then, lo and behold, like a knight on a white charger, the SNP and the gormless Swinson-led Lib Dems, announced they would vote for Johnson’s early election, the one that saved his bacon. Labour had no choice but to agree too at that point, or look like they were being dragged to the polls. The SNP won a Pyrrhic victory, the price was inflicting a hard Brexit on Scotland. Even Change UK (the Independent Group) wanted Johnson’s December election, playing into Johnson’s hands.

            No party was willing to let Corbyn lead a government of national unity (GNU), presumably because they feared the public might like having him as PM a little bit too much?

    • Julian Evans

      Spot on.
      I’d happily remain in the UK if a left-wing party was in charge of it.
      No chance of that happening now, so the best (only) chance I have of an even faintly left-of-centre government is independence.
      Once we got independence, we’d have to move against the likes of the current SNP leadership.

    • Dawg

      That’s a fascinating talk by Craig Murray on the horrors of war and the culpability of NATO and Russia. It’s direct, concise and challenging.

      The main takeaways I picked up are: that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was illegal under international law (regardless of being understandable, provoked or obliged); that NATO is part of the “machinery of destruction and death”, primarily serving the interests of the Military Industrial Complex which foments and fosters conflicts to nourish itself; that NATO has a corrupt self-interest in bigging up the enemy; that the very existence of NATO unbalances global geopolitics; that war is devastating and never justified (even to tackle systemic discrimination and corruption), and is not the answer to people’s problems; and that Crimea doesn’t belong to Ukraine or Russia, but to the native Crim Tatars who were deported in the 1950s.

      YouTube then autoplayed Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! interview with president Lula’s foreign affairs adviser. It seems Brazil is taking a similar view to Craig – criticising the invasion, but trying to avoid inflaming the conflict.

    • nevermind

      I was at one of the three meetings, as was my wife, the importance of talking about truth of NATOS actions in thrall with the MIC was well understood, as was the support for Julian Assange’s truth and reality in the face of lies.
      Its time to confront the purveyors of lies and point to the 1% that is trying to use chaos ,violence, secrecy and divisiveness to make massive profits on our backs, with lies on both sides casting shadows on the multiple issues involved to acieve peace.
      For us to talk about human rights is a cover for our attrocities and ignorance of peoples discomfort about fake news and misinformation, we are being let by the nose, big time, and we should rip that ring right out.
      The US wants to conduct its desperate wars here in Europe and in East Asia, hoping that they are not in the cross hair? a disastrous idea.
      Any number of excuses will be enough for these corpo rats to increase tension violence and arrests to suit their profit margin and we are playing their game, waving the flag of fascism from every County/City Hall spending 60bn on NATO and arms whilst we are suffering the from the panoptikum of Brexit.

  • Julian Evans

    I have the feeling that the membership will be as clueless as the public generally, and will vote how they have been told to vote in the media.

    Humza means no independence.

    Forbes is a religious extremist.

    Regan is the only one worth voting for.

    • Goose

      Forbes would be pulled apart over her views in any election or referendum campaign.

      Look how Lib Dem leader Tim Farron ended up spending most of his time defending his religious views in interviews during the 2017 general election, a GE they went on to get 7% in, barely moving things on from Clegg’s coalition disaster.

      Her comments that children born out of wedlock are somehow “wrong,” or sinful is an absolute liability. The Free Church of Scotland is very big on calling out ‘sin’ and sinners. Some may say Scotland has a history of social conservatism, but it’s the BritNat media that will do the destroying in interviews.

      • Goose

        Humza Yousaf : I’m thrilled to have earned the support of @MhairiBlack

        Mhairi Black channeling Anakin Skywalker – her transition to the ‘trougher’ ‘dark side’ of politics now complete. Remember when she burst onto the political scene, like a breath of fresh air in the HoC – the youngest MP at 20 years of age, at 2015’s GE. That’s what the money and a potential long career in politics does to once radical individuals.

        Free by 2050! Does anyone seriously think the party won’t crash and burn electorally under Humza?

        The SNP will probably end up throwing him out a year or two hence, from a needlessly weakened position. With Craig, Ash et al , sayin’ toldya so.

  • Republicofscotland

    Last night’s interview.

    Ash Regan gave an interview last night on STV, she ran rings around the mediocre news reporter John Mackay, the highlight was when she said that on Murrell counting the votes of the leadership contest, that it would be like Boris Johnson’s partner Carrie, counting the votes for Johnson’s replacement, Mackay was gobsmacked and quickly moved on to another probing question.

    Here it is.

    STV News: In full: Ash Reagan on her bid to become leader of the SNP (28 Feb 2023) – YouTube, 12m 38s

    • Goose

      They’ll surely make a film one day about the Sturrells and this shady time in the SNP’s history : The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & His Lover

    • Goose

      Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell haven’t been interviewed by Police Scotland in the ongoing fraud probe, sources revealed yesterday.

      Quite frankly, it’s bizarre that he hasn’t stood down or completely recused himself from the process of selecting a successor. It screams of a potential conflict of interest / lack of impartiality. How can anyone be confident the front-runner hasn’t been chosen as part of some ‘cover-up’ quid pro quo? Even if he’s done nothing wrong, it looks sketchy.
      Reported today, that the party wanted no media cameras at the hustings; no doubt to spare Humza’s blushes over a certain missed vote and his rapidly unravelling excuses.

      There are banana republics that expect higher standards of probity in public life than this lot offer. Scotland deserves better.

      • David

        Stand down ?
        They should be immediately removed by force if necessary, and then fully investigated by independent means.
        The police, like the goverernment are corrupt to the core so they will only help cover it up.
        The fact they operate behind closed doors and shady curtains tells us all we need to know about our rancid State systems.

  • David

    I’m pro inde but anti SNP, here’s why (in part).

    The SNP only have one mission, to sabotage Scotland. If it was a 50%+1 for pro Union they are ok with that undemocratic “majority”. Whatever happened to the democratic 2/3 majority ‘safety rule’ ?

    Why did they let EU foreigners vote in Scottish affairs?
    Why did they do nothing about ballot tampering or the fire alarms set off in polling stations to disrupt the vote ?
    Why did they gas light the public in the run up to the vote ?

    The SNP are nothing more than shills for the same nefarious groups that control the other parties in Westminster.

    We have seen this dubious “54%” is a majority nonsense becoming quite popular in recent ballot box games, Brexit was the same. That is a very dangerous thing to do.

    Whatever happened to the democratic process for a hung vote ?

    This is hardcore proof that we don’t have democracy or politicians supporting the public interests. The SNP are just as much traitors to the people as are the Tories, Labour, the Greens and Lib Dems. How many big pharma corporate shares did they get “gifted” for their public controll during the “pandemic” ?
    How many of us did they kill off ?
    Now they have got away with yet another international crime, what are they planning for the next one ?

    We are screwed. For those that study history, it only leaves two possible outcomes… neither are pretty but they are inevitable at this juncture. By then it will be too late and that is their plan. We don’t need permission to leave this abusive undemocratic union. We also have to get rid of the undemocratic unicameral system Blair installed under the lie if Scottish “devolution”.

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