Well indeed an interesting week in Scottish politics ., We had the GERS figures out which is the governments way of trying to persuade the people of Scotland that this wealthy country of ours is just too wee and poor to act like a grown up country and be responsible for our own affairs and indeed our own destiny. However I have given my take of this in another blog.
The other notable event was the awakening of the guardians of our destiny, the people who the Scottish people have put their trust in to bring us independence, the SNP .
After a period of slumber it would appear that independence is once more back on the agenda with an announcement by Nicola Sturgeon ,during her speech to the SNP conference, that independence will once more be pursued…….. Err, after the Scottish elections in May!! and our opinion on what went wrong at the last referendum will be sought. Hmm , OK but how about a wee guarantee just to ensure you don’t sneak off with the deposit and forget to deliver the goods. The deposit is of course your vote in May.
Now please forgive me for being just a wee bit sceptical but we have heard that before , in fact we have heard it several times .Each time Nicola comes up with a wee carrot to keep the troops in line, its ” yes we are still interested in independence and the people will let us know when we are ready to go again”
Problem is that when we try to let Nicola know we are ready to go again or give an opinion on what went wrong at the last referendum she has a bout of selective deafness. Not only that but she is a wee bit coy in letting us know just what method she will accept in the “telling her we are ready to go” We through the grass roots organisation The Yes Bus Scotland’s Dragon for independence who had a big hand in making Dundee the largest Yes voting region in Scotland , have tried various ways to make suggestions as to setting up a proper “road map to independence”( because that is exactly what we need ) have had various problems along the way, such as having a concerted effort to sabotage an event we organised in Dundee City Square actually by the local SNP including the politicians, employees and officers. This event was on the theme of a “road map to independence ”
Apart from that ,it has always been difficult or impossible to get SNP politicians to support our efforts, with the exception of Chris Law who always seemed to try to get to our meetings.
So where are we now ? Ok ,we have had Nicola telling us that independence is on the agenda but in an interview by Gordon Brewer with Keith Brown it was like drawing teeth trying to get him to tell us how this is going to play out because it would seem that Nicola has not told him yet. Hmm OK she is busy with the conference and the May elections but lets not forget, that’s what she is there for.
Perhaps I am being unkind and I do realise that she is a busy girl so here’s a few suggestions . According to Keith Brown there will be some sort of consultation to find out what went wrong with the last referendum and why people voted no. Now remember , the referendum was 15 months ago and they still don’t know what went wrong!! well I will save them another 15 Months and suggest she looks up my time line, back to just after the last referendum and she will see that I and many other people have been telling her what went wrong and it was this ( for the hundred and fiftieth time ) It was pensions, it was the monetary situation and the perception that we didn’t have a plan B. It was the feebleness of the SNP when dealing with the press. It was in part Alex Salmond and a note here , Alex is the most able politician in the UK but he did not come over well to some people and we had people constantly coming up to us in the City Square and telling us that they would vote yes but for ” that Man Salmond”
There was other things but if these issues had been addressed during the referendum we would have won and there is no question in my mind about that.
So there you are Nicola , I have saved you another 15 Months so can we get on with it now , and when I say get on with it can I suggest how?
Well to start with we need to give the wonderful grass roots groups the kiss of life as it was them who got us to where we were at the referendum. To do this we need campaigning material on a common theme to address the issues I have mentioned earlier,or if there is a lack of funds for this at least the proofs of the literature required and we will raise the funds to get it printed.
We need a proper road map to independence and it has to be in the manifesto for the May election and more importantly there must also be a commitment to demand the right to decide for ourselves when and in what manner the next referendum will take place and this must be a rigid requirement in the manifesto ( it should have been in the manifesto for the Westminster election ) We must wrest this right from the Westminster government.
We in the Yes Bus team will be announcing a method of making it very easy for the SNP politicians to ask the people of Scotland ( or at least Dundee) what their views are as per Nicola’s announcement.
Ok that is a few things to get on with and if none of these things are in your manifesto then I for one will not be voting for you.