Our Road

Please read the attachment below by Kevin Mc Kenna. He expresses exactly what I have been saying for a long time . Some of it since just after the referendum.

If anyone has a spare half hour on their hands and does not have a propensity to fall asleep when reading boring diatribes, then if you look at the blogs I have been writing and possibly my timeline on Facebook you will find that Kevin could have taken his piece direct form these pages and you will find there, all the warnings, that to me were apparent and indeed ,to my mind manifested themselves in the results of the recent Scottish elections.

I have, ad nauseam been warning against following blindly an SNP policy of basically doing nothing to further the cause of independence., Yes they have been pretty efficient in running the Scottish government , but that is after all exactly what we pay them a lot of money for, and along the way they have strayed off the road to independence, which is their reison d’ etat. This is why they exist, it says so quite clearly in their constitution.

There is no doubt, that there has been a wasted 20 Months in educating, persuading and talking to the people who ,for their own reasons voted no. They voted no for a multitude of reason but mainly ,I would suggest because they simply did not feel secure with the arguments we were putting forward for an independent Scotland.

Ok we are now speaking about a new “initiative ” coming up in the Summer . Now a lot has been made of this “initiative” and many ardent supporters of independence have taken this to be a new campaign for independence. Well if you look at what the SNP have said about it ( which is not much) you will find that there is nothing about a new campaign. So I would caution against building up false hopes.

As I have been saying, and this is the point that Kevin is also putting over in his article, I do not honestly believe that even the SNP have much of an idea of what is to be contained in this “new Summer initiative”. I believe ,in fact that this policy was made up on the back of a fag packet when the SNP saw the disquiet engendered by their, once again, omission of any road map to independence in the manifesto for the Scottish elections . They got away with it once during the Westminster elections but this time the people were not to be fobbed of by the proposal that “we will win  over more no voters if we can show that the SNP are good at government” .

Now the Stewart Hosie conundrum. As Kevin points out in his article , Stewart has never really been seen as the sharpest tool in the box ,in some quarters, although I must admit that he does cone over well in interviews and as finance spokesman he seems to do a decent job. However he is seen by some to display an attitude bordering on arrogance at times .

I remember an incident during a rally  in Dundee City Square the week end after the Westminster general election. Now there is a long story behind this rally which I will not bore you with ( at this point) but to make a long story short , we had been intending having this rally the week before but were persuaded to change it to after the  General election for the reason that ,in the words of a Dundee politician ” we cant have saltires and Yes posters being displayed in the city Square the week before the general election”. Now the Dundee politician who said this to me was not Stewart Hosie, but I have reason to believe that it came from him. Now as the results of that election showed , this was totally the wrong attitude to take. So a complete misreading of the situation could be the only interpretation of this flawed policy.

We of course always had a major problem getting SNP politicians to appear at any of our rallies and in deed at the yes bus presence we had constantly in the City Square during the referendum campaign, but we thought that as we had cooperated with the SNP and reluctantly moved the rally  to the weekend after the general election then this might have been reflected in a willingness to put forward at least one speaker at our event. Well we were sadly ,once again disappointed because no one turned up .

On the day, however Stewart Hosie happened to be passing and he was prevailed upon to say a few words to the large amount of people who had came from around the country to attend the independence rally. The people were delighted when Stewart took the stage to say a few words. So what do you think he did , ? do you think he made out as though he was supposed to be there in the first place and was there representing the SNP ,of which there was a very large proportion of the people there members ? No , he told every one that he shouldn’t actually be there and just happened to be passing on his way to buy a “pair of trousers” and he had been prevailed upon to say a few words. So that gives you an idea of the strategic abilities of the man who was chosen to be  the figure head in the “Summer initiative” .

Now lets look at Nicolas abilities as far as forming forward thinking strategy. OK so if I am correct , there was an element of panic when the SNP realised that people were not happy that the manifesto excluded  of any form of a road map to independence, and it was that concern that precipitated this on the back of a fag packet policy of tossing the people a carrot in the form of an unspecified initiative surrounding the independence issue in the Summer ( after the election). This was when Stewart was wheeled out to lead whatever Nicola had in mind . Now there are a couple of reasons that this was an unwise move , one of which I have alluded to earlier and the other is this.

The split between Stewart Hosie and his Wife  Shona was on the cards for some time before the election and this fact  was  widely known in political circles both in Holyrood and Westminster. If Nicola did not know this then she was probably the only one in the hierarchy of the SNP who didn’t. I personally was aware of this some six weeks before the election and I am of the belief that it was suppressed until after the election, for obvious reasons. So to make Stewart a figure head in a summer ( all be it unspecified)  initiative to forward the cause of independence , was to say the very least totally and utterly unwise .

So there we have it and I am glad someone like Kevin Mc Kenna is now saying the things that many of us have been saying for some time. As far as I am concerned I have been trying to encourage the SNP to continue ,on a lesser level , the campaign using the grass roots groups, to educate and inform on the issues we lost the referendum on, since two days after the referendum. This is now what needs to be addressed . I wouldn’t agree with Kevin that it is a 5 year project  but at the very least we must be pressurising the British government to relinquish control of the right for Scotland to decide on when and how we have another referendum and this single issue will go down in history as the worst omission of any political party in an election manifesto, and they have failed in this simple requirement twice.

Ok ,so what should happen from where we are now and again Kevin has touched on this ?

Well there must be a task force set up to include ,not only politicians but people from the various grass roots campaigns and more especially people from the business community . This should include Gordon McIntire Kemp the chairman of Business For Scotland . It cant be left solely to the SNP because up to now ,to be perfectly honest , they have not really made a good job of it.

We do now desperately need a road map to independence , a property thought out one which has the input of the wider spectrum of the independence movement.

The SNP need to reign in the mindless hate mongers who immediately pounce on any one who attempts to put forward constructive criticism and also verbally abuse people who ,for their own reasons voted no. This should be what the Summer” initiative” is all about. A road map we can all use to guide us to our ultimate goal.

As far as someone to lead this Summer foray into the mind of the no voters I suggest a good candidate for this position would be Chris Law. I know Chris, he conducted one of the more unusual campaigns of the referendum in the spirit of independence , a 50 year old army fire engine which we renovated in our workshops. He traveled all over Scotland getting out the independence argument. I remember after we finished the renovation on his vehicle and we were sitting in my office discussing his upcoming venture. He asked me what I honestly thought . My words were ” I think you are f*****g crazy”. He did it and that is the attitude we now need if we are to get anywhere.

We need to cast our fears to the wind and just go for it. for we are still on the road to independence. This is our road .

http://www.thenational.scot/comment/kevin-mckenna-hosie-loss-leaves-sturgeon-stronger-but-what-about-indy-drive.17958

 

blown in the wind

I attach a link to a recent blog by Gerry Hassan. Please read this. This is what I and many others have been saying, during and  since the recent election.

Gerry puts this in far better and more eloquent  a manner than I could ever hope to.

Since the election the SNP have tried to spin the results in a manner that is unbecoming of a mature political party, instead of facing up to the reality that was the Scottish elections. Elections that like the Westminster General election will be remembered for the lost opportunity’s  that the  vacuous manifestos made plain. The Scottish people swallowed it in the Westminster election but they were not to be mislead in the Scottish election.  The absence in the manifestos of any attempt at a road map to independence by way of an intention to wrest control of the ability to hold and organise a referendum at a time of our choosing from Westminster was ,in my mind one of the main reasons for the fall in popularity of the party. That combined with a growing disillusionment and a rather unwise and disrespectful appearance on the front of the Sun , a mere two days after the Hillsborough verdict by Nicola Sturgeon was more than  lot of people could stomach.

Yes I suppose it could be said ( as is being said by many of the less able to think  ) that the SNP numbers were up in simple terms but when you take the fact that in the last Scottish elections there was a 12.45% increase in vote but in this one there was a pitiful 1.1% increase and that on the back of the referendum , an almost 100.000 increase in SNP membership and a 56 out of 59 majority in the Westminster elections. This election  resulted in the loss of a majority, and 6 seats, it also resulted in the Tories more than doubling their seats, in part due to the silly vote twice for the SNP policy This was a classic Pyrrhic victory and the SNP are the poorer for it today

Yes as Gerry Hasan says, and I and others have said many, many  times, We have not even had an official  post mortem on the mistakes of the referendum and after nineteen months it is well overdue. Otherwise how can we begin to convince the people who voted no that perhaps they were wrong. He is  also correct in respect of the tight control that the SNP exercise over their members and employees and their acquiescence in the verbal abuse given out by their supporters to any one who dares question any of the SNP actions ,or inactions as the case may be , which also expresses itself in the derogatory terms given freely to people who ,for their own reasons voted no in the referendum.

So please read the attachment of Gerry Hasan’s Blog. It might not go down to well and it might be difficult for some people to swallow, but he is right and only when we can be our own honest critics can we learn from our mistakes , roll our sleeves up and get on with the job in hand  will we ever get back on that road to independence.

As Bob Dylan said way back in the Sixties ” and how many years can a people exist before their allowed to go free? the answer my friend is blown in the wind , the answer is blown in the wind.

http://www.gerryhassan.com/blog/an-open-letter-to-the-snp/

The problem with having blind faith is that some day you might wake up blind

I offer a posting I did on the 10 th April and on the 6th of May it happened.

A wee bit of advice to the sheeple.

“The problem with having blind faith is that some day you might wake up blind.”

Bob Costello's photo.
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Gordon Bain

Gordon Bain Who are the “sheeple”?

Bob Costello

Bob Costello Sheeple ,Gordon , are people who have a propensity to act in a flock and follow blindly never looking at the road ahead, but being happy ,in place of having to think , to follow on . They are fine as long as they have someone in front of them to do the thinking , but when it gets dark they have a habit of walking into things they hadn’t though, might be in front of them. That is why a road map is so important.

Gordon Bain

Gordon Bain But Bob, who ARE the sheeple?

Bob Costello

Bob Costello The sheeple, Gordon , in this context are the self appointed guardians of the soul of the SNP . The ones ( mostly new members ) that offer abuse instead of reasoned argument . They have a standard position of, the SNP can do no wrong and they have a master plan that they are not telling anyone about . They ignore the fact that after 18 months we are still in the same position as we were the day after the referendum as far as addressing the issues we lost the referendum on . Their answer to convincing people who voted no ( for many reasons) is to insult them. They are not capable of forming an independent thought process and therefore follow the flock. They are amongst the people who think they are campaigning at the moment but as the manifesto has not been released then I cannot understand what policies they think they are campaigning on. They add absolutely zero to the ongoing independence debate, in fact they stifle debate and this might very well be the reason the SNP do not reign them in .

Road to nowhere instead of a road map to independence

Ok so here we are two days after the worst result the SNP have had in an election for many years and here is a few uncomfortable facts to chew over .

SNP 6 seats less than the last Scottish elections

Three weeks ago SNP predicted to get all 73 constituency seats

The SNP got 59 Constituency seats

Therefore in effect SNP lost 14 seats they were strongly predicted to get

The SNP did not ask for a mandate to hold a referendum in their manifesto and so they don’t have one

The SNP did not ask for a mandate to gain the power to even call a referendum in their manifesto

The SNP mislead the people of Scotland into believing that both votes for them would further the cause of independence

People were disillusioned because there was nothing in the manifesto regarding independence

The SNP panicked when they realised this and hauled out Stewart Hosie with a promise of unspecified further moves on independence AFTER the election

People were disgusted with Nicola Sturgeon for posing on the front page of the Sun two days after the verdict in Hillsborough came out and prancing around in her Margaret Thatcher Jacket was not exactly the brightest thing to do either.

The SNP will go down in history as the party that allowed the conservative party in scotland to become a credible party once more and unfortunately they are in a state of cognitive dissonance and are trying to put a positive spin on the election. They really need to accept the fact that the disquiet that they have been turning a deaf ear to for quite some time now was real and the people have made that very plain in this election.

This in my opinion sums up why today we have an SNP Scottish government who as far as independence goes , are somewhat up the creek and only a strong will and the application of deft policies and a proper strategy will take us to another referendum in a few years, but I for one am not holding my breath .

There is however a glimmer of light on the horizon I would suggest and here is my offering for what it is worth. Some time ago ,in fact in the run up to the Westminster elections I was speaking to one of Labour’s political managers about the prospects of Labour’s efforts in that election . I told him that the only hope for Labour was to break away from the UK Labour party in London form a truly Scottish Labour party and embrace independence.

Well you know what happened to Labour in that election and much the same has happened here in the Scottish elections. Labour can’t go much lower and they must look at a new and very radical strategy . They must now consider the road to independence, as that is the only road that will take them anywhere and they must shake of the toxic ties to Blairism.

I was in Menies last night for a pint with some other Yes supporters , members of the Yes bus team and in one of the rooms there was a large group of labour activists and politicians. People whose politics  I don’t agree with but have remained friends through the referendum campaign and the westminster one also. There has been many a heated discussion between us throughout this time. Jenny Marra was there and I went through to offer my commiserations and at the same time congratulate her on keeping her seat at Holyrood. I said to her that I looked forward to seeing how they intend building that once proud party back again. She assured me that they would saying ” we are not going anywhere ” I gave her a wee hug and told her “I hope not ”

So there is the future for both the SNP and Scottish labour and I have actually spoken of this before . Labour to change and embrace independence and the SNP to welcome them to the fold , then we would be back on the road to independence . No recriminations no hate comments or animosity just a common love for this great country we have here and the wonderful people we have in it.

All political parties in Scotland have made mistakes but it is now time to leave them in the past , get our sleeves rolled up and get stuck in.

We can still be on the road to independence.

Our Journey

 

Letter of resignation SNP

Peter Murrell

Dear Peter

It is with much regret and very much soul searching that I must cancel my membership of the SNP. A party that I have supported for many years both financially and indeed a vast amount of my time.

To give you an idea of my commitment to the party and indeed the fight for independence which is what, up to recently I have always thought that the SNP were all about, I list below some of the input I have had to the independence cause and therefore the party.

Going back to 2013 and the wonderful march and rally in Edinburgh I supplied two coaches free of charge at a worth of £***

I also supplied a mini bus for disabled people free of charge at a worth of £***

Over the years I have allowed free storage and parking at our depot for SNP vehicles

In the run up to the referendum I took in Chris Law’s 50 year old fire engine and turned it into The Spirit of Independence, in our workshops this involved completely stripping the paint by hand and repainting it , refurbishing the brass work and completely overhauling the mechanical elements of it . The value of this was £*,***

I made available the Yes Bus Scotland’s dragon for independence to any grass roots organisation to campaign in their own particular manner. A 20 year old double decker bus with a history of service in two countries which had gained their independence from the UK. The value of this could be conservatively assessed at £**,***

This bus then went on to actively campaign throughout Dundee Angus and fife with the Yes bus team, a group of committed volunteers from all parties and none. This yes bus has continued to promote independence mainly in the City square both during and since the referendum.

The value of this could conservatively be put at £**,***

During the campaign I supplied vans and minibuses to collect yes materials from Edinburgh and distribute these materials throughout the area and convey SNP campaigners throughout Dundee.  A conservative estimation of a worth of £*,***

During the referendum campaign I supplied for a whole 2 months, a coach and driver for Business for Scotland who worked very closely with the SNP, **********************************************************************************the worth of this is £**,*** with a contribution from business for Scotland of £*,***

There have been many other areas of assistance which I have given.

So the forgoing plus the direct donations that I have made to the party I feel shows that I have had unstinting commitment both to the party and to the cause of independence.

I have since the referendum mainly through social media and discussions with SNP politicians sought to offer suggestions regarding the ongoing fight for independence. Sometimes this has been taken as being anti SNP by some of the less able to think members of the party instead of constructive criticism.

A couple of days after the referendum I approached a local SNP politician and said “well we have lost a battle but not the war so what is the plan. The response I got was “what plan”. I said that we had made mistakes during the campaign such as muddle on plan B and we failed to convince pensioners that their pensions were not at risk in an independent Scotland and before any further referendum we must at the very least answer these questions and we should continue at a lower level the grass roots campaign to make people aware of these and many other issues that they were obviously uncomfortable with. Again the equivalent of a blank look. In short we have not made any preparation for a future referendum and it is still that situation today.

During the referendum campaign   we, the yes Bus team were on the streets of Dundee almost every day talking to thousands of undecided and hard no voters explaining the positive side of independence. We had a fantastic mix of people from all walks of life and political persuasions including people from business for Scotland of which I am a member. We had people out on the periphery and the streets surrounding the city square handing out merchandise and leaflets (when we could prise the material from the SNP run Yes Hub in St Andrews Street. And most important was that all these people sometimes 20 to 30 (far more than the SNP could muster to deliver leaflets and 10 times more than the amount of people who manned the occasional SNP stall including the politicians who huddled ineffectually around their stall in the Nethergate.

Now I should have realised at the time but this reluctance to have much to do with the grass roots groups was actually apparent even then, because the only time we saw the politicians at the Yes Bus was when the press were there and they disappeared along with the press, so they did absolutely no campaigning in Dundee with the grass roots groups that I was associated with.

After the referendum the yes organisation was disbanded and I can only wonder at the wisdom of this as it was a catalyst for the grass roots groups and to my mind would have been a logical way of keeping the independence movement alive.

We sent 56 MP’s down to London out of a possible 59. A massive majority and I cannot for the life of me understand why they were not tasked with attempting to wrest the power to hold a referendum at a time of our choosing from Westminster to Holyrood. You will be aware that with a majority of one in Holyrood we managed to persuade the British Government to grant temporary power to hold a referendum after the last Scottish elections.

So I have over the last few months began to have an uneasy feeling regarding the actual commitment of the SNP to actually commit themselves wholeheartedly to the cause of independence .

I keep receiving messages and postings from unthinking people with the well-worn message of “ the SNP knows what they are doing they have a plan “ well with half a century of business behind me I have found that blind allegiance and faith generally leads to disaster.

So I have had misgivings as to the commitment or lack of strategic planning exhibited by the SNP with regards to a future referendum for some time, but what has brought this to a head is recent events in connection with a rally  myself and others organised in Dundee on Sunday 4th October.

This rally was a “road map to independence” misconstrued by some of the mindless SNP trolls to be pressure for an imminent referendum. I realised for the reasons previously mentioned that we are not ready for a referendum should the opportunity present itself and taking into consideration the remarks from Nicola Sturgeon that “the Scottish people will decide  when we are ready for another referendum” and also realising that many people in Scotland , a great many SNP members among them are becoming restless because of the inability or reluctance of the SNP to present a reasonable way forward (a road map) I reasoned that a sensible approach and opportunity for the SNP would be to present a road map , not necessarily with a date but showing that proper preparations had been put in place . I feel that this would have been a good compromise and would have placated the unrest which is brewing.

Now we had asked Tommy Sheridan   (being a prominent pro-independence campaigner) to talk together with several other speakers. We had a great line up of top class bands to entertain the crowds. The problem was that we could not get any SNP speakers. Eventually the top brass put forward Jimmy Black who is not a parliamentarian but a councillor, who made it clear that he had been “put forward.” Now he promptly   did a posting on Facebook asking all and sundry (not necessarily his constituents) if he should appear at the same event as Tommy Sheridan. I have never in my life seen anything so transparent, immature and incompetent being initiated by anyone let alone a politician. As if that was not bad enough he actually made reference to why he thought he should not appear siting Sheridan’s conviction for perjury ( which he has served his punishment for ) and inexplicably reference to a book about Sheridan which made unsubstantiated allegations about his past. So we had an SNP politician “on Facebook” indicating that a punishment handed down in court was not sufficient and the person should continue to be ostracised presumably for the rest of his life and more incredibly acting as judge and jury on unsubstantiated allegations that for some reason have never come to court.

Now this started a torrent of abuse, mainly from insiders within the close confines of the SNP in Dundee, mainly Dundee West, both to me and another person (a woman) who was involved in the organisation of this event.

Now we had properly applied within the time constraints for permission to hold the rally but because of a misunderstanding concerning the parade element of the day we had not applied separately (despite the staff in the council offices stating that only the one form was needed) for the parade and therefore we applied as soon as we realised this. Now late applications are very common place and happen all the time and the Convener of the Licencing committee has discretion in this. This man is Stewart Hunter an SNP councillor. Now despite all the necessary departments being happy with the parade including the police who I had detailed discussions with and in an apparent attempt to harm the rally he decided not to use his disctecionaly power to allow the parade to go ahead. He used the excuse that the last time I organised a rally in May it was chaotic and he only gave permission on the morning of that rally.

So I will go on now to explain what actually happened to the last rally, again a grass roots rally organised by Yes We Care and not me .I was in fact nothing to do with the application.

This rally was to take place on the weekend before the general election. Several days before the rally was to take place I had a visit from Chris Law (now Chris Law MP) at my office. He asked me if I could use my influence to stop the rally (a yes rally) and have it postponed to the week end after the general election as he did not want people filling up the City Square waving saltires and having yes signs all over the place. Yes, incredibly the SNP did not want any mention or sign of independence before a general election. I at first expressed my disbelief at this and found it difficult to comprehend what he had just said. I firstly explained that I had not applied for the permission so he was speaking to the wrong person, although I had agreed to put the Yes Bus there on the day as a focal point and to use as a changing room for the Highland dancers. I however agreed to have a word with the organisers to see what could be done however I did mention that as the event had been booked for that particular weekend, there was no permission in place for the following weekend. He assured me that this would be sorted!   Now apparently and before I had had the chance to speak to the organisers he had asked them to go to the Dundee west office and again asked them to postpone the event until after the General election and again I believe stated both by him and another person employed by the SNP that the short notice application would be sorted. In the event the rally went ahead without, as far as I can ascertain even an application being submitted and was only passed by Councillor (SNP) Stewart Hunter on the very Morning of the Rally.

So for this councillor to try to use my late application for an event that I had nothing to do with and was in fact the internal machinations and political manoeuvring of local politicians (which in itself throws up questions of probity) that caused the late (if any) application to prevent a yes parade going ahead is nothing short of a disgrace.

The event on 4th October minus the walk around the town went ahead and was a huge success with over a thousand yes supporters present. This engendered extreme sour grapes on the part of the SNP and Stewart Hunter through the Dundee Courier (a staunchly unionist paper) tried to put a negative spin on the event calling it a shambles and stating the there was only 300 at the event. Negativity I have not witnessed since the referendum and all by unionist papers and project fear. It would seem that the Dundee SNP have taken that mantle for themselves.

Because of the success of the event, there appeared on Facebook yesterday a posting by Tom Thompson (a parliamentary assistant to both Joe Fitzpatrick and Chris Law, showing the front page of the unionist paper the Courier with a totally false impression of how the event had gone and a very negative slant on it.  This was closely followed by negative comments by several people who are either employees of the SNP or in a close cabal that can be seen regularly inhabiting the Dundee West offices, in a blatant attempt at character assassination of which I was the subject. I never thought that I would see the day when the SNP used a unionist paper to attack one of their own.

One of these people I mention is already the subject of a complaint to you in regards to libellous statements in reference to me on social media and of which I took great exception to especially as he was an officer of the SNP . A complaint by the way that you yourself have for some two months failed to address.

Well Peter I have had enough, I have supported the SNP through thick and thin for many years I have walked the streets of Dundee for months during the referendum I have engaged with people from all walks of life and convinced them to vote for independence or in the case of the General election, to vote for Chris Law .I have offered honest constructive criticism when I thought that they were straying off the road to independence. I have lived and breathed independence for the last two years and more during the campaign and after it.

During this last two weeks I have been sickened by the vile comments posted about myself and the other organiser of this Yes event by members of the SNP including staff members and I will say it again in case you missed it A YES EVENT.

I feel the SNP have indeed strayed of the road we are all going down I feel they are side-lining the grass roots organisations that did so much good work. I feel that the SNP are more interested in retaining power , power they see diminishing after a yes vote when we will have in Scotland a Labour part of Scotland , Conservative party of Scotland , a Lib Dem party of Scotland and all the smaller parties ,all off Scotland.

It is with a heavy heart that I must leave the SNP but my loyalty is to Scotland above any political party. Scotland, the place that gets me excited every time I come home to it. Scotland, the only place on the World I would ever live in and lastly Scotland, the country that belongs to the Scots

Regards

Bob Costello

 

A letter to Nicola

A letter to Nicola

 

Dear Nicola.

I was at your “public “ meeting last night in the Queens Hotel in Dundee and you might have noticed that I walked out of the meeting at the point where Joe Fitzpatrick who was “choosing “ the questions to be asked decided that I was not to be chosen to ask my question.

You will also no doubt have noticed that the questions you were asked were very “soft” questions and very easily answered and mostly from the usual group of SNP acolytes and general hanger-on’s and failed potential candidates for one thing or another.

Now you might be asking yourself why I think that I should have been able to put my question. Well I will tell you and to do so I will have to go back to when we started the campaigning for a Yes vote in the referendum.

I was at the inaugural meeting  of the Yes movement where you gave a speech to get the organisation off the ground .I am a fairly perceptive person probably brought about with my half century in business. It was the first time I had heard you speak live, and I remember thinking that I detected a hard side to you and mentioned to another SNP supporter at the meeting that we were looking at the next First Minister.

Ok so the campaign took off from there, the Yes movement was a great idea as it acted as a catalyst for the various grassroots organisations that spontaneously came into being as a consequence of the whole Yes movement.

At this stage I append my resignation letter to your husband Peter Murrell who is the Chief Executive of the SNP as this probably explains why I arrived at where I am today and why I was disappointed that my chance to question you last night was deliberately thwarted by the very politicians that I had done so much to assist, mistakenly believing that I was doing so as part of the ongoing fight for independence. It should be noted that I never received a reply to this letter of resignation, neither did I get the courtesy of an acknowledgment.

https://bobcosblog.wordpress.com/…/letter-of-resignation-snp

So back to last night. It is because of the foregoing that I thought I should have been given the courtesy of a chance to put my question and not been thwarted by your overzealous acolytes in hurriedly rearranging for the questions to be put on paper with the name of the questioner as opposed to the open question and answer session which I believe had been planned until I showed up.

 

So Nicola, here is the question which you will see accords to the case I have been making for the last 19 Months, since we lost the referendum.

 

You are an advocate of the Scottish people expressing themselves in a democratic manner and although you have said many times that they will let you Know when they are ready for another referendum, you have never actually let them know how you will accept this. You have of course stated, and I heard you doing it the other night on television at the leader’s debate that the no one should stand in the way of the democratic will of the Scottish people.

Now as you know, the most accurate way that the democratic will of the people can be expressed is through the ballot box and when people cast their vote they should be aware that this potentially gives the party voted for, a mandate to achieve whatever is contained in the manifesto that they have presented before the election. In this context you will note that in the 2011 election where you gained only 1 of an overall majority this was enough to force the British government to concede to the demand to “allow “a referendum to take place.

Now you have been making sounds about the possibility of addressing the concerns that lost us the referendum in 2014, AFTER the election but I am of the opinion that you are once again wasting an opportunity to get a mandate from the people to wrest the power to hold a referendum from Westminster to Holyrood where this power belongs( not necessarily to set a date for a referendum) If you had put this requirement into the manifesto for last year’s Westminster elections then things would have been different today and your MP’s in Westminster would have had some teeth to fight with instead of being humiliated time after time in parliament and in all probability had we been in the position of  power to call a referendum then in all probability we would not have been bombing Syria today.

 

So here we are one year on and again you have failed to put the very basic building blocks for a future referendum into place, as yet again you have shied away from asking the people of Scotland for a mandate through the ballot box, to force the British government to relinquish control of our right to hold a referendum, and quite simply that is the question I wished to put to you last night and was prevented for doing so by your self-serving acolytes.

You would I am sure note ,last night the contrast between then and the last time you came to dundee . The last time you filled the Marriott hall with many hundreds of supporters and several hundred who could not get entry , whereas last night you could not fill one of the small meeting rooms in the Queens hotel and if it had not been for the usual SNP acolytes and politicians it would have been a bare room indeed. I wonder if there is others who are similarly disillusioned by your lack of drive for independence.

 

So Nicola I won’t be voting for you on Thursday and I have looked at alternatives and haven’t been impressed by any of them. I could never in my lifetime vote for either the red or blue Tories or the Lib Dems because of the dishonest way they conducted the referendum campaign through project fear. The left wing parties are too left wing with  uncosted promises and the Greens who I had considered blew it when I heard Patrick Harvey saying that they would dismantle the oil industry.

 

So for the first time in my adult life I will not be voting for anyone. I will in all probability have a pint in Menies and watch the start of the results come in together with the exit polls, which for some inexplicable reason (which you might care to elucidate on) was not done at the referendum, but I will be doing that with a heavy heart.

 

You are the reason I will not be voting on Thursday Nicola as I really have come to realise that through either design or simply incompetence you have strayed from the road to independence.

 

Scotland will be independent eventually, with or without you, the choice is yours.

Bob Costello