The Economy Of Truth

Did Nicola Sturgeon deceive the Scottish parliament when she said: “there is a ban on fracking in Scotland”? Probably, is it a resigning issue, probably not and here is my thinking on this?

When you ban something you simply stop it from happening from a position of authority. Ok, now there are two ways that can happen. A ban can be imposed by a person, organisation or government by invoking the law. The only way that can happen in the UK is by the Westminster government banning it because the law regarding Fracking is a reserved area. So could the Scottish government have banned fracking by using their legislative power? Almost certainly the answer to that is no.
OK, so the other way you can impose a ban is by making something legally impossible to happen by using a power allowed under the devolution settlement, and that is what the Scottish Government have done. Planning is a devolved power and the Scottish Government have decreed that no planning application for fracking will be allowed.

Jim Radcliff is jumping up and down because his lawyers kind of messed things up as it would appear they took the Scottish government to court on the basis that they had no legal right to ban fracking when, if anything they should have taken out the action against the Scottish government for misuse of their responsibilities under the planning act.

 

To use an analogy, suppose someone owned the land a loch sat on but not the water and they wished to stop people swimming in this loch but did not have the power to stop them. They could open a dam and allow the water to drain away thus making it impossible for anyone to swim in the Loch, for the simple fact that the Loch no longer existed,  without actually banning them. Not perhaps a perfect analogy but same principal.

I do think Nicola Sturgeon should apologise for misleading the public as the inference in what she said after the extensive consultation and investigation into the effects of fracking was that it was a legal ban. But on balance, not a resigning matter.

However, I do think she should resign for allowing the independence cause to get into the present mess that it is in.

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EU, The Parliament Of The People

Yesterday I visited the EU Parliament. It was an event to open the institutions of the parliament and celebrate the success of the largest trading block on the planet.
It was indeed an interesting day with a chance to ask a question in the debating chamber and put a question in writing. Which will be answered within two weeks.

The role of the EU parliament is widely misunderstood in the UK and to a point in Scotland, although there is a difference in the degree of misunderstanding between Scotland and the rest of the UK and this was made apparent during the campaign and vote on exit from the EU. Overall, the UK voted by a very small margin to leave the EU but in Scotland, there was a large majority of 62% who voted to remain.
The difference between the way the EU is governed and say the UK is that the EU is all about the people, the citizens of the union. Whereas, the UK is all about the vested interests of big business and the xenophobic nature of the present ruling party.

The EU seeks to control corporate pressures, as opposed to the UK parties who are in the thrall of corporate interests through the funding direct from these corporate entities to political parties. Does anyone think that this funding is other than for the benefit of these companies? No, of course, it is not. So, in the UK our governance is based on the needs of the financiers of our governments and not on the needs of the people, otherwise, we would not be requiring foodbanks to feed large sections of the people.
The EU is different in as much as the funding comes directly from the member states, therefore it bears no allegiance to outside interests and therefore concentrates on the needs of the citizens of the EU and not big business.

No more is this evident than in the EU legislation to go live in early 2019 concerning tax evasion by corporate entities by way of the transfer of profits to offshore tax havens thus depriving the country that the money was made in the benefit of the taxes due.

Starbucks is a prime example of this and this is how they do it. They set up a company in say the Cymen islands where corporation tax is either nil or perhaps half a percent as opposed to the 19% it is in the Uk. This company owns the intellectual rights of Starbucks such as the right to use the name. So, when the profit is calculated for each Starbucks outlet, this potential profit is then taken as a payment for the intellectual rights such as the use of the name, by the company in the Cayman Islands, meaning that the Starbucks outlet in the UK appears to have made nil profit. This deprives the host country of billions of pounds in tax.

So, this is what this new EU legislation is all about, it is facilitating a fair tax system for the member countries and therein lies the true reason for Brexit. It is not about immigration (or at least only in a very small amount) no it is all about the corporate interests who fund the Tory party and indeed their own MP’s who are terrified that the EU will stop their huge tax evasion practices.

So, remember this. The EU is about people and the UK is all about corporate interests.

OK, so to the questions I asked. The session was hosted by the speaker and the speech was by Marie Arena who is one of the Socialist members of the parliament. She gave a very good speech, the gist of which was that the heart of the EU was the people. I asked her, “as the UK has voted by a small margin to, lemming-like, throw itself over the cliff edge and into oblivion, but the people of Scotland voted by a large margin to remain and taking into account that the people of Scotland are EU citizens, what is the EU position on this”?

Her answer was that this was a very good and difficult question. It was apparent that the UK had been forced to make a decision under false pretences by receiving unreliable information from people like Nigel Farage, and they were very aware of the difference in the Scottish vote. The member state is the UK and although they do not intend making it particularly easy for the UK to leave without penalty they have a duty to be less severe as they realise that many of the EU citizens do not want to leave, especially now that many of them realise they were deceived.

So there you have it, an honest answer from a member of the EU parliament.
The other question I was able to ask in writing, aided by one of the researchers was, “As Scotland voted to remain and the people of Scotland are by choice European citizens and taking it that there might very well be another referendum where Scotland will almost certainly vote to be independent. Should there be a fast track mechanism in place to facilitate immediate entry to the EU? The researcher said that this was a very good question and she would personally see to it that it was answered. I will have the answer to this within two weeks so watch this space.

So remember this, the EU is all about the people as opposed to the UK which is all about corporate interests.

The Rip Van Winkle of Scottish politics

OK so we have the unedifying sight of several SNP politicians squabbling over what should be the main purpose of the SNP, independence. We have Pete Wishart saying that there should not, be a referendum in the foreseeable future. Obviously with one eye on his chances of re-election ( in the event of an other snap election) and the other eye on the deputy leadership contest. He is apparently still in denial regarding why the SNP lost half a million votes at the last GE, erroneously under the impression that all that nonsense in the unionist press about the SNP talking too much about another referendum was true. No Pete , it was not true but it conveniently fell into the SNP psyche mode, of “don’t talk about independence” very prevalent since the election to the leadership of the SNP of Nicola Sturgeon.

This brings me on to the next deluded player on the deputy leadership contest Keith brown who has just came up with the gem of “we need to be prepared for another referendum campaign ” now I will say this again for any one who missed it “we need to be prepared for another referendum campaign” This guy has to be a candidate for mastermind or has just awoke from a Rip Van Winkle-esk slumber.

Of COURSE, WE HAVE TO BE PREPAIRED FOR A FUTURE REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN That is stating the bloody obvious and what also is bloody obvious, is that the SNP have wasted three and a half years in criminally neglecting their main function in life which should have been preparing for a future referendum by utilising the wonderful grass roots groups and SNP activists which are more than willing, and are based all over the country. Keith Brown is one of these very people who have wasted this three and a half years.

These latest confused messages are a symptom of the malaise prevalent throughout the SNP. There seems to be no hard and fast policy direction, and this is becoming clear, in fact I have been saying this ever since the last referendum and only now are mainstream commentators catching up with this regrettable fact of life.

Nicola Sturgeon is responsible for the policy vacuum within the SNP with regards to independence and the absence of a proper road map to independence. When Alex Salmond was the leader he had independence as the driving force behind the SNP with administering the Scottish Government (which he did very well) being in tune with the mandate he had which was to govern Scotland as the SNP, voted in to power in the full knowledge that they were the party of independence. Whereas Nicola seems to be in power predominantly to retain power at all costs, even to the cost of independence

To this day I still cannot get over a Dundee politician saying to me (when he was trying to persuade me to postpone an independence rally in Dundee City square scheduled for the week before the 2015 general election) WE CANT HAVE SALTIRES AND YES SIGNS BEING WAVED ARROUND THE CITY SQUARE ,THE WEEK BEFORE A GENERAL ELECTION. Well we all know now, just how wrong he was as we returned 56 independence MP’s to Westminster. This is just how out of touch the SNP have been since the last independence referendum and now we get this genius, Keith Brown, after three and a half years, coming away with the Jem,  “we need to be prepared for a future referendum”

The sad fact is that prepared or not the SNP have painted themselves into an ever-decreasing corner and it would appear we will have to go for another referendum within the next twelve months or so, probably in the spring of next year or even September this year. There are many factors in this, the main one is the Brexit negotiations which will in the main be agreed by then, although there is absolutely no need to use these negotiations as an excuse for delaying another referendum. There will never be another more advantages time to hold a referendum than now, but because of the SNP’s state of unpreparedness, that is just not practical unless we very urgently start a program of adressing the issues we lost the last one on , a policy on entry into the EU ot EEA and facing up to the press.

We need a road map to independence and to achieve that we need a new leader of the SNP.

Questions for Theresa and Nicola

Here is a list of questions the British government should be answering regarding the Skripal “Novachok” case. I did not compile this list myself but have been asking many of these questions since the poisoning took place.
There could possibly be feasible answers to these questions but I doubt it. This whole case has had a very unpleasant smell from day one. Not only does the Government have many questions to answer but every single politician who parroted the government position of “Russia guilty”, also have questions to answer including Scotlands first minister. I personally found it incredible and embarrassing, that Nicola Sturgeon, a lawyer, could have issued such a condemning diatribe, without sufficient evidence.
Meanwhile, negotiations on our exit from the EU were entering an extremely sensitive phase and we woke up yesterday to find that once again, Scottish fishing had been sacrificed on the altar of expediency. Mind you, because the Scottish government’s position on exit from the EU was to, in effect change the Scottish people’s will from full membership to attachment to the single market. Something, not a single person in Scotland voted for, this UK position was not unexpected.
Although this deal to sacrifice our fishing rights is part of the transitional arrangements, it shows just how important the EU look upon this Scottish asset and it can be well imagined that this will be a very important bargaining tool in the actual single market negotiations.
So, if the fishing community thinks they have missed out by two years as far as their fishing grounds go then they are in for a very big shock when the real negotiating gets started.
I wrote a blog some time ago concerning the SNP’s attitude to Brexit. I called it “A Road Map To Unionism”.I have seen nothing in the attitude or actions of the SNP since then, to change my mind. Including the attitude of the first minister to the Skripal case.
So here is the list of questions the British government should be answering.
1. Why have there been no updates on the condition of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the public domain since the first week of the investigation?
2. Are they still alive?
3. If so, what is their current condition and what symptoms are they displaying?
4. In a recent letter to The Times, Stephen Davies, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, wrote the following:
“Sir, Further to your report (“Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment”, Mar 14) may I clarify that no patients have experienced nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning.”
His claim that “no patients have experienced nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury” is remarkably odd, as it appears to flatly contradict the official narrative. Was this a slip of the pen, or was it his intention to communicate precisely this — that no patients have been poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury?
5. It has been said that the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey were poisoned by “a military grade nerve agent”. According to some claims, the type referred to could be anywhere between five and eight times more toxic than VX nerve agent. Given that just 10mg of VX is reckoned to be the median lethal dose, it seems likely that the particular type mentioned in the Skripal case should have killed them instantly. Is there an explanation as to how or why this did not happen?
6. Although reports suggested the involvement of some sort of nerve agent fairly soon after the incident, it was almost a week before Public Health England issued advice to those who had visited The Mill pub or the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury on the day that the Skripals fell ill. Why the delay and did this pose a danger to the public?
7. In their advice, Public Health England stated that people who had visited those places, where traces of a military grade nerve agent had apparently been found, should wash their clothes and:
“Wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with cleansing or baby wipes and dispose of the wipes in the bin (ordinary domestic waste disposal).”
Are baby wipes acknowledged to be an effective and safe method of dealing with objects that may potentially have been contaminated with “military grade nerve agent”, especially of a type 5-8 times more deadly than VX?
8. Initial reports suggested that Detective Sergeant Bailey became ill after coming into contact with the substance after attending the Skripals on the bench they were seated on in The Maltings in Salisbury. Subsequent claims, however, first aired by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Lord Ian Blair on 9th March, said that he came into contact with the substance at Sergei Skripal’s house in Christie Miller Road. Reports since then have been highly ambiguous about what should be an easily verifiable fact. Which is the correct account?
9. The government has claimed that the poison used was “a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia”. The phrase “of a type developed by Russia” says nothing whatsoever about whether the substance used in the Salisbury case was produced or manufactured in Russia. Can the government confirm that its scientists at Porton Down have established that the substance that poisoned the Skripals and DS Bailey was actually produced or manufactured in Russia?
10. The former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has claimed that sources within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have told him that scientists at Porton Down would not agree to a statement about the place of origin of the substance because they were not able to establish this. According to Mr Murray, only under much pressure from the Government did they end up agreeing to the compromise wording, “of a type developed by Russia”, which has subsequently been used in all official statements on the matter. Can the FCO, in plain and unambiguous English, categorically refute Mr Murray’s claims that pressure was put on Porton Down scientists to agree to a form of words and that in the end a much-diluted version was agreed?
11. On the occasion that the FCO did attempt to refute Mr Murray’s claims, the wording they used included a straightforward repetition of the same phrase – “of a type developed by Russia”. Is the FCO willing and able to go beyond this and confirm that the substance was not only “of a type developed by Russia”, but that it was “produced” or “manufactured” in Russia?
12. Why did the British Government issue a 36-hour ultimatum to the Russian Government to come up with an explanation, but then refuse their request to share the evidence that allegedly pointed to their culpability (there could have been no danger of their tampering with it, since Porton Down would have retained their own sample)?
13. How is it possible for a state (or indeed any person or entity) that has been accused of something, to defend themselves against an accusation if they are refused access to evidence that apparently points to their guilt?
14. Is this not a clear case of the reversal of the presumption of innocence and of due process?
15. Furthermore, why did the British Government issue an ultimatum to the Russian Government, in contravention of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) rules governing such matters, to which both Britain and Russia are signatories, and which are clearly set out in Article 9, Paragraph ii of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)?
16. Given that the investigation, which has been described by the man leading it as being “an extremely challenging investigation” and as having “a number of unique and complex issues”, and given that many of the facts of the case are not yet known, such as when, where and how the substance was administered, how is it possible for the British Government to point the finger of blame with such certainty?
17. Furthermore, by doing so, haven’t they both politicised and prejudiced the investigation?
18. Why did the British Government feel the need to come forward with an accusation little more than a week into the investigation, rather than waiting for its completion?
19. On the Andrew Marr Show on 18th March, the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, stated the following:
“And I might just say in response to Mr Chizhov’s point about Russian stockpiles of chemical weapons. We actually had evidence within the last ten years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but it has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok.”
Where has this intelligence come from and has it been properly verified?
20. If this intelligence was known before 27th September 2017 – the date that the OPCW issued a statement declaring the completion of the destruction of all 39,967 metric tons of chemical weapons possessed by the Russian Federation – why did Britain not inform the OPCW of its own intelligence which apparently contradicts this claim, which they would have had a legal obligation to do?
21. If this intelligence was known after 27th September 2017, why did Britain not inform the OPCW of this “new” information, which it was legally obliged to do since it allegedly shows that Russia had been lying to the OPCW and had been carrying out a clandestine chemical weapons programme?
22. Also on the Andrew Marr show, Mr Johnson made the following claim after a question of whether he was “absolutely sure” that the substance used to poison the Skripals was a “Novichok”:
“Obviously to the best of our knowledge this is a Russian-made nerve agent that falls within the category Novichok made only by Russia, and just to get back to the point about the international reaction which is so fascinating.”
Is the phrase “to the best of our knowledge” an adequate response to Mr Marr’s request of him being “absolutely sure”?
23. Is this a good enough legal basis from which to accuse another state and to impose punitive measures on it, or is more certainty needed before such an accusation can be made?
24. After hedging his words with the phrase, “to the best of our knowledge”, Mr Johnson then went beyond previous Government claims that the substance was “of a type developed in Russia”, saying that it was “Russian-made”. Have the scientists at Porton Down been able to establish that it was indeed “Russian-made”, or was this a case of Mr Johnson straying off-message?
25. He also went beyond the previous claim that the substance was “of a type developed in Russia” by saying that the substance involved in the Skripal case “falls within the category Novichok made only by Russia”? Firstly, is Mr Johnson able to provide evidence that this category of chemical weapons was ever successfully synthesized in Russia, especially in the light of the OPCW’s Scientific Advisory Board stating as recently as 2013, that it has “insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of ‘Novichoks‘“?
26. As Craig Murray has again pointed out, since its 2013 statement, the OPCW has worked (legally) with Iranian scientists who have successfully synthesized these chemical weapons. Was Mr Johnson aware that the category of “Novichok” chemical weapons had been synthesized elsewhere when he stated that this category of chemical weapons is “made only by Russia”?
27. Does the fact that Iranian scientists were able to synthesize this class of chemical weapons suggest that other states have the capabilities to do likewise?
28. Is the British Government aware that the main plant involved in attempts to synthesize Novichoks in the 1970s and 1980s was based not in Russia, but in Nukus in Uzbekistan?
29. Does the fact that the US Department of Defence decontaminated and dismantled the Nukus site, under an agreement with the Government of Uzbekistan, make it at least theoretically possible that substances or secrets held within that plant could have been carried out of the country and even back to the United States?
30. The connection between Sergei Skripal’s MI6 recruiter, Pablo Miller, who also happens to live in Salisbury, and Christopher Steele, the author of the so-called “Trump Dossier”, has been well established, as has the fact that Mr Skripal and Mr Miller regularly met together in the City. Is this connection of any interest to the investigation into the incident in Salisbury?

The Dundee West fest Puzzle

 

I saw a petition on Facebook recently concerning the Westfest event which takes place on Magdalen Green in the west end on Dundee. It was concerning the apparent exclusion of a local band called The Graham Brown Band from performing at the event. This caught my interest as I know Graham, and have heard the band play many times. They are a hugely talented band, all the members of which play multiple instruments and regularly perform their own material.

 

They play to a variety of audiences all over the country, in fact appearing at a function where the first minister of Scotland was the main guest. They have a wonderful repertoire which they adapt to the type of audience they are playing to. From Weddings to large concerts. I suppose I would put their genre in the mode of Runrig giving a hugely entertaining experience.

 

They are, also like Runrig, well-known supporters of independence for Scotland, although the individual members of the band have a variety of political views.
Now the point of the petition was that although they have offered their services to the committee set up to run the Westfest event for several years, they have never been chosen, which to me seemed strange as most venues would jump at the chance to feature such a talented band and the petition was to allow local people to express their disappointment. Although the petition has not been going long it had received several hundred votes for the band to be included.
Last night whilst in my local Mennies which is in the Westend of Dundee, I had occasion to be in a company which included people involved in the organization of the Westfest event and in fact Alan Wilson who is a journalist with the DC Thompson publication, The Dundee Courier a well-known unionist organ. I enquired as to why the Graham Brown Band had never been successful in being allowed to perform at the Westfest event in front of the people of their home city when other bands based elsewhere were in fact regularly billed
I was told quite clearly that it was “because of their politics “I was dumbfounded, that because a bands perceived politics did not accord with the politics of the organisers they were being prevented from playing to their home audience at an event which as far as I Know has a financial input from Dundee Council and is held on public land.
The decision, it would seem, mainly centres around one person and that is Alan Wilson and I would not like to think that his allegiance to the unionist views of the courier is being transmitted to a public event to the detriment of a local group of entertainers and indeed to the detriment of the Dundee public who are being deprived of seeing this extremely popular band.

Crann Tara, Born of Exaspiration

Crann Tara, is the organisation that has formed with the intention to gather together the disparate grass roots groups in order to make them a force for good in the fight for independence.

In principal, it is a good idea but one, which in my opinion will not work and here is why.

It has been formed by people of good intention, people who have themselves been involved in the independence movement for some time. It has been initiated because of a widespread feeling of frustration at the inability or unwillingness of the SNP to engage in their function in life, which is the attainment of independence.

At present there is a void in leadership of forming a proper road map to independence and this is, to my mind, the reason for this emergence of Crann Tara. It seems that there is many well minded people in this organisation with the very best of intentions but it is not going to work as a cohesive force to replace in any way the function of the SNP. I sincerely wish it could.
Ok so firstly the name Crann Tara ( the fiery cross) which many people believe was sent around the country with the intention of raising the Clans. Well that is the first mistake, no. it was sent around within a clan land or lands (if the clan was split into different locales) So it was a device for raising a Clan not many Clans. Now even when the Clans were gathered and fought under a central command (which was always a pretty loose command structure) they always fought as a Clan and were never split up, that was how they were most effective and that is my point. The grass roots groups were individual, they were spontaneous and natural they were local, they had their own politics and they knew the opposition. These were their strengths and that was why they were so effective. If you merge them into the one body you will dilute them.

One more thing about the grass roots groups and the clans is that they will never get on with one another if you try to bring them under a single command structure, and I can see this emerging now with cracks forming by the day.

You will never substitute the political strength and abilities of the SNP unless a new party is formed, or the leadership is changed.

By all means, maintain contact in connection with rallies and marches but leave the grass roots groups to get on with doing what they know best.

As far as independence goes , what is needed is a proper road map and I am tired of going over exactly what that involves but it is pretty simple. The SNP must address the issues we lost the last referendum on such as what the monitory position will be in an independent Scotland, what the pension position will be. We need a projected set of profit and loss accounts instead of these silly and discredited GERS figures. We need ambitious plans for our oil wealth and how this will affect the working population, not only by an oil fund but by a direct benefit such as a trust fund set up for every person over 18 which can be accessed say at 10-year intervals. That is the policies we need to be going out on the streets again with,because at present there is nothing to go out with, absolutely nothing.
Now before anyone starts jumping up and down and saying that the Fiscal Commission report will be releised shortly , I would like to say firstly ,that this is now well over a year late, it has been complete since October, so why waste critical time in delying it?
One thing, both the grass roots groups and the SNP can do, is stop the online abuse and foul language used to both suppress constructive criticism of the SNP and attack people who for their own reasons voted no in the referendum.

It was interesting that at the very first meeting of this group one of the main topics and in deed the subject of some sort of motion was to censure me for criticising the SNP. Although it was flattering that this august body from all over the country thought that my insignificant blogging merited discussion time at the meeting, I thought it rather humorous that they thought they could discipline someone who was not even a member of the organisation. A motion , you will understand that I have absolutely no intention of taking any notice off. It was obvious that the group had been populated by members of the site “We Are the 45” of which there are a disproportionate number of these vicious, foul mouthed, less than able to think SNP members and this is the section of the independence movement that have to be weeded out before there is any further progress on the road to independence.

That particular site has also some good and fair-minded members but even they are put of contributing, and you have to wade through the swamp of knuckle draggers to get a fair point over to them.

So, there it is for what it is worth, my opinion.
I was messaged by a couple of people I have known since the days of the referendum campaign after this first meeting and I made my views known, then and they will have noticed that my predictions of discord have been proven.
Leave the grass roots to get on with what they do best and by all means, meet up at rally’s and get togethers. If anything good is to come out of this “alliance” it has to be a policy of discouraging abuse on line,and a willingness to hold the SNP to conform to their constitution which is eat, sleep and breath ,independence.

Pete’s Conundrum

I refer to the article in the National on the 15th February by Pete Wishart.  Pete appears to be one of the hopefuls in the contest for the deputy leadership of the SNP. Now, for the benefit of those who have forgotten. SNP stands for Scottish National Party and their second paragraph in their constitution states: Aims 2. The aims of the Party shall be: (a) Independence for Scotland; that is the restoration of Scottish national sovereignty by restoration of full powers to the Scottish Parliament, so that its authority is limited only by the sovereign power of the Scottish People to bind it with a written constitution and by such agreements as it may freely enter into with other nations or states or international organisations for the purpose of furthering international cooperation, world peace and the protection of the environment.


You might note that there is no mention of governing Scotland under a devolved administration. Therefore, it is reasonable to extrapolate from this that the day job of the SNP is the attainment of independence for Scotland and any other activities embarked upon are incidental and by their nature must have a direct consequence of achieving the main aim of the party, which is independence.
Now, Pete is obviously trying to prepare the ground for a go at the deputy party leader and therefore has tried to walk a fine line between encouraging the party faithful by invoking the Braveheart factor and at the same time cautioning along party lines that we should not necessarily rush into another referendum. It is what is called keeping your options open, or another way of putting it is, being a politician by trying to get your own way without actually saying anything of consequence.

So let’s analyze what Pete has been saying and this is his own words.

“My favorite part is when the Scots are assembled at Stirling Bridge itching to get into battle, and William ‘Mel’ Wallace instructs them to “hold … hold … hold …” before unleashing the weaponry that would lead to victory”

Right, so this is Pete invoking William Wallace for the faithful. The only problem is that the analogy does not quite match the situation for the simple reason that the Scottish army who flocked to the SNP after the 2014 referendum have not been issued with any “weaponry that would lead to victory” So if they were led to battle, at the moment, by Pete or anyone else they would be slaughtered. The fact is that since the last referendum the SNP have done not a thing by way of addressing the issues we lost that referendum on. Therefore we are in no way prepared for another referendum.

He kind of hits on it when he says:- “Most importantly it needs to be sufficiently persuasive to win over that section of our population that have hitherto been unconvinced” Yes Pete and we will never do that unless the SNP answer the questions left over from the last referendum. It is not rocket science

Another Jem from Pete:- “How do we then get over the line and win? Well, I don’t believe that it is in simply offering the same perspective that lost us the last referendum.”

Errr, that is exactly what some of us have been saying since the last referendum and you have almost answered that question in your last statement but not quite.

He then goes on to say:-  Three and a half years on from the last referendum support for independence remains defiantly at 45 percent for with 55 percent against.” Hmm, that is why you should have been telling the no voters the reasons they should be voting yes such as the what the monetary situation will be in an independent Scotland and perhaps that 45% would be going up.

Possibly the classic display of Pete’s muddled thinking is:- NICOLA Sturgeon has been urged not to rush into holding a new independence referendum – and only to hold it when she is “certain of victory”.The intervention has come from SNP MP Pete Wishart.

Well “just what do you do to make sure of victory. I would suggest that is impossible, but what you don’t do is refuse to prepare your troops for battle. You do not retreat to a bunker as the SNP have done since the last independence referendum. You do not run away from the press at every opportunity. You do not march your troops up to the top of the hill and back again that many times that it would make the Grand old Duke of York dizzy. You don’t wait, in the hope that the enemy will destroy themselves, that is plain stupidity.

No, if you are serious about independence and if you wish to have a reasonable chance to achieve your stated goal, you prepare your troops, you make sure they have the ammunition to fight with, you carry out foraging missions picking at the enemies strength and confidence and whittling down their numbers. Then you bring the enemy on to the field of battle, a field of your choice and you destroy them,

The ammunition you give your troops is the policy on currency, the policy on pensions, the policy on whether we take on responsibility for part of the UK debt and what we expect in return. You produce a set of projected profit and loss figures for an independent Scotland instead of these discredited GERS figures. You define the extent of our oil fields and the potential of the West coast of Scotland once trident is removed. You give people something to campaign with, and you produce printed material on a common theme to allow campaigning to proceed. You then hand this to the many individual grassroots organizations and SNP activists, to allow them to go out on the campaign trail and take on the misinformation of the unionist politicians and the misreporting of the media. You give them a credible Road Map to Independence.

Oh, and another thing, you stop the online abuse from some of the less able to think SNP members who immediately attack anyone who dares to offer constructive criticism of the SNP and this stupid name calling of people, who for their own reasons voted no in the referendum., They voted no because we failed to convince them if the advantages of an independent Scotland and they are the people we need to get our numbers from 45% to over 50%.
So, Pete, this article had told us three things about you. As far as a Roadmap to Independence goes, you do not have a plan, you do not want to rock Nicola’s boat, and you like watching Braveheart.

One more thing Pete, if fear of defeat stops you trying, then you have already lost.