Ok , so here we are again with a chance to talk to no voters with Nicola Sturgeon’s latest ” initiative” regarding independence, so let me be quite clear, the result of this “day of action”will be much the same as the rest of the “conversations” initiated by Nicola and that is confusion. Confusion among the people who are to be targeted by this “initiative” who I presume will be people who voted no in the last independence referendum. How they are going to find these people I do not know but if they are simply going to speak to SNP members, then it will be even more of a waste of time than I envisage.
The two things that mark Nicola Sturgeon’s term in office as the leader of the SNP are, conversations, and long grass. The one thing she has an abysmal record of is providing a roadmap to independence and that , as leader of the SNP should be her main purpose in life.
We had the election of Keith Brown as deputy leader of the SNP a few months ago and he was given the task of, yes ,having a conversation about independence. We had a conversation a couple of years back which was to have been concluded by St Andrews day , where upon ,it was expected an announcement of the success of the conversation would have been announced. Unfortunately the result was kept secret, presumably because the conversation did not work out as planned which is exactly what will happen to this “conversation”.
We had the growth commission report which came out more than a year late. This was widely seen as the possible long awaited beginning of a road map to independence. Unfortunately it turned out to be a dog’s breakfast and was almost immediately relegated to an other “conversation.”
So why have all these “conversations” been failures ? It is quite simple really. It is because they have been very one sided conversations and let me illustrate why.
SNP activist:- Knock knock.
No Voter :- Hello
SNP activist:- I am from the SNP and we are having a discussion about a future referendum.
No voter:- Good I have been waiting 4 years for someone to call as I have a few questions for you.
SNP activist:- Good that’s what Nicola sent me here for, fire away.
No voter:- What currency will we be using in an independent Scotland?
SNP activist:- Err, well, I can’t answer that question as this is the subject of another conversation at the moment.
No voter:- You are joking I hope, ok well do you have a definitive answer to whether we will be in the EU or possibly the EEA, or possibly, just a member of the single market, as that seems to be what Nicola decided the Scottish people voted for in the EU referendum although I can’t remember seeing that on the ballot paper?
SNP activist:- Err, well actually, Nicola hasn’t actually told us yet and we are having a conversation about that at the moment.
No Voter:- You seem to be having a lot of conversations. Ok so what will be the finances of an independent Scotland, have you produced a projected set of accounts and a balance sheet, which will show our inherited assets so that we can be confident that our finances are assured, or at the very least in good hands because that is what I do every week with my wages when making provision for the weeks ahead and I have heard Nicola speaking about the GERS figures as though the deficit contained in them will be transferred to an independent Scotland?
SNP activist:- Err ,well, actually no, we have not done that yet, and to be honest , no one in the SNP can actually understand the GERS figures anyway but I am sure we will be having a conversation about that before too long. However I think you will agree that since the SNP came to power and formed the Scottish government they have governed well. We have free bridge tolls. free further education, free bus passes at the age of sixty, free elderly care, and free baby boxes.
No voter:- Yes so in other words what the SNP have done ,is they have proven that Scotland can be governed well, within the UK and as the only thing you can offer is endless conversations then it looks like I will be voting no again, that is if you actually get around to having a conversation on when you will hold another referendum. In the meantime I have some paint to watch as it dries, bye.
SNP activist raising his voice to a closed door:- A referendum, I forgot to mention that Keith Brown is having a conversation about that.
It is almost as though Nicola is looking for the answer that will convince her that a referendum is not viable in the near future.
Quite simply , Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell ( chief executive of the SNP) are not fit for the job and should be replaced. Or perhaps it is time for a true party of independence ” The Scottish Independence Party”
This is our road, and we need a road map to independence.
I have just been made aware of the heated controversy which has been created in Dundee, by agents of the Tully( better known in the ferry and the west end as the Evening telegraph) sneaking into Mennies during my absents whilst on duties overseas. These desperados had the audacity to hold a straw poll on the proper terminology to be used when describing the local delicacy of Tattie’s N Mince trying to obscure the truth by way of fake news by eliciting the views of unsuspecting and inebriated locals and convincing them of the mistaken belief that the proper terminology should be Mince N Tattie’s.
They further had the audacity to publish highly inaccurate poll figures in a blatant attempt to obscure the truth. This is of course an attempt by DC Thomson to cause dissent and concern among the good people of Dundee.
Now for the benefit of the less well educated Tattie’s N Mince translates as Potatoes and Mince. Potatoes being tubers which are grown extensively in Scotland and which at one time were collected by school children (of which I was one) in forced labour during what was ( for some strange reason) called the Tattie holidays, for which we were paid a pittance and had to make the difference up by surreptitiously filling a bag with potatoes and taking it home each night. Whereby our Mothers, once we had handed over both the Tatties and the days wages would provide us with this local delicacy of Tatties N Mince. The mince being chopped beef from Aberdeen Angus cows.
Now just to clear up this miss-understanding regarding the terminology which should be used in describing this local delicacy. It is all to do with quantity and availability., Now at one time potatoes were the staple diet in Scotland ,just like Ireland. this is where we get Potato soup and potato and leek soup ( note the highest quantity comes first, you wouldn’t call it water and potato soup now would you)) or simply just potatoes with possibly some onion to give flavour ( mostly stolen from onion Jonnys bikes when they were at peoples doors up a Closie delivering onions) and that is where the Mince comes in , as the mince content was absolute luxury and normally rationed very carefully, unless ones father had heisted a bookies runner earlier in the day and found himself in funds to hand over to the boss for the weeks rations.
So there it is quite clearly an attempt by the Tully ( evening telegraph) to spread unrest in the good City of Dundee. and I have noticed a demographic forming with the lower orders of Dundee society mainly based in places like Fintry favouring the Mince first version whereas the better class version with people brought up in the classier parts of town such as Kirkton ,choosing Tatties first.
This unrest concerned me greatly and realising this could lead to trouble, I decided to resolve the matter before any civil unrest, or worse still , uncivil unrest ensued, I decided to contact my good friend Donald Trump as you know how good he is at solving problems. I have a hot line to him which he keeps next to the big red button only ever an arm length from him. I always hope he will press the right button any time I give him a bell.
This was the conversation:- Hallo Donald I hope you are well and I hope I have not disturbed your round of golf again.
Hi Bob , always good to hear from you and yes I am on the course but I have all my people with me and you know I have all the best people.
Yes Donald I do know you have all the best people, tell Sarah I was asking for her and hope she is remembering to take her medication and keep smiling, and John also and I hope he is better rested and not having to to count too many dead bodies to get to sleep at nights
Yes Bob I will pass on your regards , now what can I do for you as you know I always do what I can for my friends especially ones from my Mothers great country, England. And tell Alex I was asking for him and that I have forgiven him for stuffing me in regards to the wind farm he allowed beside my beautiful golf course at Mennie and also pass on my regards to the Royal and ancient who removed the Open from my beautiful golf course at Turnbury because I was discriminating against all these nasty terrorists.
Yes Donald I will pass on your regards and by the way your Mother came from Scotland which is not part of England. Right, well the reason I phoned you was that we here in Dundee have a problem and I hoped you could help.
Yes of course ,anything for one of my staunchest supporters Bob you know ,every body loves me and I am always glad to be of assistance.
Well Donald we have this problem in Dundee regarding the terminology of a local delicacy, Tatties N Mince as some subversives are insisting on calling it Mince and Tatties., The problem we have here is that this could be the thin end of the wedge and we could end up calling ourselves Thamson Jock’s Bairns if this is not corrected.
Ok Bob I have my people on to this and they are telling me that Australia is a big place but they have found Dundee.,
No Donald, not Dundee Australia , Dundee Scotland. They have been watching Crocodile Dundee to often. Are these the same people who told George Bush that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction., I have told you before to keep an eye on them.
Ok , they have found it Bob and I have a satellite homing in on you right now, you know I have the best people.
Yes I know Donald now what I would like you to do, is adjudicate on this matter and put these subversives right.
Ok Bob I am on it and John Bolton is here by my side.
Ok John has come up with a plan, I think we should nuke them.
Em, well perhaps we should keep that one up our sleeve Donald, in case the situation deteriorates although we might just have to take out Fintry as a warning , you guys have a track record there and we could always use the threat of course.
Ok John is looking at another plan we could get some big guys in there and the CIA have all these peoples addresses so we could give you the addresses and you guys could paint their doorposts with goats blood then we could get the yes bus and round up all their first born and take them to Broughty Castle where we could set up another Guantanamo Bay I have a few thousand orange boiler suits on the way to you.
Ok Donald perhaps you could just issue a presidential proclamation, and if these people see boiler suits arriving they will think someone has a job for them , I think that will do the trick , these Fintryites will agree to anything other than work, brilliant, I knew I could depend on you, as you say, you have all the best people. Next time you are over here I will treat you to a plate of Tatties n Mince and take you to Mennies for a pint.
So problem solved and henceforth the proper term under presidential proclamation will be TATTIE’S N MINCE, you got that?
Ok, as we look forward to Trumps visit to Scotland with plans to show our disapproval of his term of office to date, I think its is worth looking at where we are now compared to where we could have been had the US election went another way.
Now there is only one other way the election could have gone, and that was that Hillary Clinton would have been chosen as president of the most powerful country on the planet. Granted , the best possible candidate, in my opinion would have been Bernie Saunders, but the reason he was not chosen to stand was more to do with the Democratic Party than the opposition.
Had Hillary been voted in then almost certainly the World would have been different place today. Almost certainly we would have been in conflict with Russia, probably through a proxy war based mainly In Syria and indeed Iran. Clinton was very firmly in the pocket of Israel and as is widely known , American foreign policy in the Middle East is based of the whims of the Zionist government of Israel.
Now Trump has not actually started any wars. No, but he did inherit four of them., Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya ,although Libya was by the time of his election relegated to the aftermath of unwise intervention without any end plan, leaving a once thriving country in an absolute unlawful mess.
Now, the Afganistan and Iraq debacles were started by Republican administrations under the Bush family. The Libyan and Syrian illegal interventions were embarked upon under Democratic administrations with Clinton very much to the fore in these adventures.
So regardless of prevailing thoughts on Donald Trump, we are probably actually in a better place that we would have been had Clinton been in the White House. Regardless of a couple of silly attacks on Syria using false accusations of the Syrian forces using chemical weapons, there has not really been any escalation in US efforts at regime change and Russia has made a real difference to upholding Democracy in Syria. Ok you might not totally agree with the use of the word democracy in relation to Assad but it is a hell of a lot better than other western allies like Saudi Arabia where there is not a single vestige of democracy.
Trump has actually made conciliatory noises towards Russia which is a refreshing difference from Britain with their unbelievably stupid, and obviously set up novachock incidents, designed to demonise Russia. It might be of interest that last night I was in a local hostelry watching Russia play Croatia in the World Cup. Every single person in the bar was cheering on Russia, a mark of how the Scottish people see the very transparent attempts of the British government to falsly blame Russia for something that had nothing to do with.
On Iran, yes ,Trump has taken the US out of the agreement made with Iran concerning their ability to produce nuclear weapons, but we are not at war with them, which ,I am sure would not have been the situation had Clinton been in power.
So step back and look at where we are on a wider world picture. We are probably further from Armageddon than we would have been had Clinton been pulling the strings, and as for Armageddon, look it up on the map and you might be surprise to realise just where its is. It is right bang in the middle of where a greater Israel would be if they get their way in the middle east.
Trump must be under huge pressures from ultra right warmongers like Pompeo and John Bolton but he hasn’t actually started a war yet and his rather unorthodox approach to Kim Jung of North Korea has actually produced a result, of sorts ,however I do feel that this could be under threat because of negotiations carried out by US officials.
Look, Trump has problems, no question about it but what World leader doesn’t. His communication skills leave a lot to be desired but I do think the wider picture has to be taken into account.
History will judge him, as it will, those who have judged him. Perhaps Daft Donald is not quite as daft as we think.
Good turnout at the march at Bannockburn yesterday and yet another expression by the Scottish people of their thirst for independence. However, I feel it , like other marches organised but OUOB was marred by the unnecessary expression of opinion by the large banner stating “Tory scum out”and I feel it says more about the people carrying it, together with the march organisers who I have seen on various threads defending it, than it said about the vast majority of people on the march.
Look, we could be on the cusp of another referendum campaign ( if the SNP ever get around to it) and we should be speaking to, and discussing with, people of all shades of the political spectrum, how we move towards another vote on our future and all posters like this do is alienate potential converts to independence.
There are many Tories, Labour and lib Deb supporters who also support independence and many who could be persuaded to vote that way but calling them “scum” will not advance our cause one iota.
Just look at the way Scottish voters have been voting in recent elections. Both the Scottish Tory party and the Scottish Labour Party have had a resurgence of support. This has, to my mind been facilitated by the perception that the SNP have lost the way on the road to in dependence so these people who have in recent times been voting SNP have gone back to their natural allegiances. Does anyone actually think that calling someone “scum” will engender any respect.
Now many people wonder why the SNP are not officially represented at these marches. Do you actually think government ministers should march behind large banners, saying ‘Tory scum out”? No of course they shouldn’t.
If we hope to turn that 45% into over 50% we need a campaign based on mutual respect and this campaign has no place for infantile expressions of immaturity like those displayed at recent marches
There is to be a march in Dundee later in the Summer. I personally will not be attending it because of various issues I have had with the organisers regarding the organisation of this march. I wish the people who will be taking part in this march a great day but I do hope the organisers will reconsider allowing that unnecessary banner to be displayed as I feel it would degrade all the hard work the yes movement in Dundee put in day after day during the referendum campaign to return the largest percentage of yes votes in the country.
A bit of common sense please.
Think about it, if you were a decent tory voter ( there must be some) and wished to see a Buisness based economy and presumably one that was still part of the largest market on the planet but were totally alienated by the farce that is the tory government in London , don’t you think you might consider a modern forward thinking Tory government in an independent Scotland, perhaps one with a social conscience, would perhaps be the way to go? Time we started thinking out off the box and get away from this narrow vindictive campaigning. We will probably get one more chance at this in a lot of our lifetimes and we must get it right this time. There is one thing I am sure of and that is that in Scotland politics are about to be upended and change is on the way, we need to be able to adapt to suit circumstances.
There is no doubt about it that the independence movement under the auspices of the SNP is in a mess. After 3 years and 9 Months we are marginally over where we were at the last referendum. We are sitting somewhere 48% as apposed to the 45% we achieved during the referendum campaign, and the main group of people responsible for the 3% increase is not the SNP but the Tory party. Who have been responsible for alienating large swathes of the people of Scotland because of their ani Scottish actions from the introduction of English votes for English Laws to disregard for Scottish feelings on the bombing campaign in Syria, Brexit, and lately the ignoring of the Scottish Parliament’s vote on repatriation of devolve powers to Scotland, in the process, virtually degrading the Scottish parliament to a local authority within the UK.
Ok, so how did we get to where we are? Well, it goes back to the referendum. We made mistakes during the campaign, the main one being the currency problem. At that time the best option would have been to have a currency union. It was the best option for both the UK and Scotland and we had alternatives in the white paper. The problem was that when the gang of three ,Osborn, Alexander and Darling came out and said we could not use the pound and “what was plan B,” people actually believed them and to make matters worse, Alex Salmond said, we don’t need plan B, although we had plan B,C and D. It made no difference when we explained to people that the pound is an internationally traded currency and the UK can stop no one from using it and various other options had been laid out in the white paper.
Now , of course we had virtually the whole of the British press and the BBC against us and to make matters worse the SNP cowered way from them at every turn hoping that they would go away. Well, unfortunately they didn’t go away and many of the Scottish people believed them and voted no.
Ok, so that is all in the past but how did we get to this pass, where independence seems to be further away than ever? We fought a good campaign through the Yes Bus team and I went to the SNP two days after the referendum and said,”ok we have lost a battle but not the war, so whats the plan”? ( I was still a member at that point) I was met with a blank look and “what plan”. That blank look has remained with the SNP for three years and nine Months. We have had constant obfuscation by Nicola Sturgeon on the subject of another referendum. The troops have been marched up to the top of the hill and down again that often it would make the Grand Old duke Of York dizzy. Most of this occurred in the run up to an election. We have constantly had the subject of another referendum swept under the carpet. All of this because of a simple misreading of the Scottish people by Nicola Sturgeon and too much notice being paid to the press and the opposition as they constantly fed the lie that the Scottish people were fed up hearing about independence , when in fact it was the very opposite.
Lets go back to just after the independence campaign. What should have happened was that the SNP should have initiated a lower level campaign of information to put forward the true case for independence including explaining things like the currency option’s ,pensions, borders the EU. If that had been done, then by this time there would have been an unarguable case for independence and we would have been ready to go at any time when one off the many trigger points presented themselves, but unfortunately we have never been ready for a short referendum campaign. An obvious action they could have taken would have been to have included in any election manifesto , the intention to wrest control of the right to hold and organise a recognised referendum without recourse to Westminster
The SNP, ever since the referendum, have constantly and deliberately refused to keep independence as their main function in life. We here in Dundee had a rally arranged in the City Square for the week before the 2015 general election. We were implored by the SNP to postpone this until after the General Election. It was put to us that a prominent Dundee politician had made plain the SNP position, by saying,”we can’t have saltires and yes signs being paraded around the square ,the week before the general election.” Absolutely incredible, and given the result of that election, an indication of just how much out of touch the SNP were.
Despite their virtual rejection of independence as their sole purpose in life ( there is no mention in the SNP constitution of governing Scotland) the SNP returned 56 MP’s to Westminster on a Tsunami of disappointment occasioned by the defeat in the referendum. This was where the big mistake was made. They convinced themselves that their policy of keeping quiet about independence and governing Scotland well, would curry favour with the electorate. They were wrong, they were 100% wrong., At every election since the 2015 General Election they have lost ground, culminating in the last snap General Election in which the lost over half a million voters, They lost them, not because they were talking too much about independence, but because they were seen to have lost the way to independence. Not only that but the referendum on the EU which returned a 62% vote in favour of full membership in Scotland was conveniently converted to a will of the Scottish people to be attached in some way, to the single market by Nicola Sturgeon. Something, not a single person in Scotland voted for. To make matters worse the Scottish government brought out a paper which contained their slant on how Brexit should be progressed, which sounded like a road map to Unionism.
As time has gone on, two things seem to have occurred. The SNP majority in the Scottish parliament has been drastically cut and in Westminster the 56 MP total has been cut to 35. Which on the surface shows that the SNP mandate for independence has been diluted, at the same time, Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity has been greatly reduced. This could be construed as the independence cause has reduced,. I do not in the least believe this to be the case. Instead I believe that what has happened is that because of the SNP distancing itself from independence under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership. People have gone back to their natural allegiances and as there did not seem to be independence on the horizon, they voted as they would have under normal circumstances.
So, the problem for the SNP is that they have been painting themselves into a corner as far as options for another referendum go.
They have not in any way prepared the ground for another referendum.
They have thrown their lot in with the tories and Labour as far as Brexit goes.
They have lost credibility and greatly reduced their representation in both the Scottish parliament and Westminster.
They have a leader who has lost respect.
In order to reverse this position they could wait until the next Scottish election in 2021 or a snap General election and hope for an increased majority on the back of a tory government that are in melt down.
They could take a chance and go for one of these options on a single manifesto item, that of independence ( which is what they should have done in the case of the 2015 general election and we would have been independent now)
So in short the SNP have been painting themselves into a corner ever since the Nicola Sturgeon became leader of the party in 2014 and their options to fulfil their commitment contained in their constitution are reducing by the day.
So what can they do? Well, ever since the referendum in 2014 they have been the beneficiaries of circumstance and it has been other factors ( mainly the tory party) which have allowed independence to rise from 45% to the apparent 48% that it seems to be sitting at now. They have yet again been presented with a trigger point in connection with the removal of powers to the Scottish government and this time they must act on it. This was the debacle in Westminster last Wednesday at prim-minister’s questions when Ian Blackford was instructed to leave the chamber and all the SNP MP’S walked out with him. This was followed by membership of the SNP increasing by over 7,000 new and lapsed members. To be fair most of them probably did not expect the MNP’s to return to Westminster the very next day.
So although I have made my feelings clear regarding the awful lack of preparation for a new referendum and I have severe reservations regarding the monetary option in the economic commission report, I feel that the best option would be to bring back all our MP’s from Westminster and call an election for September this year. This is the first time since the last referendum that I have advocated a short lead in referendum.
The SNP make the case that any decision on a future referendum should wait until the outcome on the Brexit negotiations are clear. Why? You do not allow your enemy to regroup and rearm, before you attack him you push your advantage when he is weak any other position is plain stupid. Unfortunately we are also not truly prepared but what are the options if we wait for Brexit to unfold? Either we will get a hard Brexit which once again, could be a trigger for a referendum, but by that time the Tory government will have more time and resources to fight the referendum. Or we will have entry to the single market which is what the SNP have been campaigning for and say ( wrongly) is the preference of the Scottish people. So if that is the final scenario, the SNP preference, what will be the case for another referendum? Absolutely, none.
I still believe we are on the road to independence but the SNP have to get out of the corner they have painted themselves into , they are still the only party who can front another campaign but they must get on with it now.