Nicola and Trump

It saddened me to read the very long trail of condemnation of a piece in the Times regarding Nicola Sturgeon’s response to the election of Donald Trump as the president of the USA in Wings Over Scotland

Now let me be plain that most of the comments regarding the hypocrisy of the paper involved and the hypocrisy of both the opposition in Holyrood and indeed the British government are in the main well deserved. However the one thing missing from all this vehement condemnation (and I admit I haven’t read all of it) is actual comment on the substance of the piece, which was critical on the advisability of a head of state making the comments that Nicola made.

Now let me be very clear that at no time during the American election process did I support Donald Trump and anyone who had read my blogs on the subject will have seen that and I in fact said much the same as Nicola did. (and probably a lot more)The difference is off course, that I am a private individual and Nicola is the elected leader of the Scottish people.

I have a great many American friends including some who are very close to the American political scene and indeed many who are republicans. I have had many debates with them regarding the suitability of Donald Trump as a candidate to the most powerful position on the planet. I predicted that if Trump became the candidate he would be humiliated and the republican movement would be virtually destroyed as a consequence.

Well I was wrong, I was 100% wrong and I have admitted it to the people I debated this with.

So what, you may ask does all of this have to do with Nicola Sturgeon? Well I will tell you, and it is very simple I am a nobody as far as politics go and she is the leader of the Scottish people and as such she has to look to the future when she speaks. Now her first mistake was in her endorsement of Hillary Clinton a few days before the election .In effect she made that unwise endorsement on behalf of the Scottish people. Well I for one was absolutely terrified of the prospect of Clinton ending up in the Whitehouse as there is nothing surer that before long we would have been dragged even further into the US/Israeli morass that is the Middle East and more than likely to war with Russia.

OK apart from that, Nicola backed a looser and instead of showing some diplomatic probity, she acted like a petulant child at first minister’s questions. This is not what I expect from a leader of Scotland.

Politics and diplomacy should go hand in hand and one of the tenets of good diplomacy I would suggest is that although it is sometimes right for a politician to speak well, there are times when a silence says even more.

Trump, to all intents and propose is an unknown entity. Yes he has made some awful comments regarding race and gender but he is a new kid on the block. How many presidents have there been who did not make these terrible statements before they were elected, but then went on to drag us into horrible wars , killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and many thousands of our young soldiers.

How many young men have you known who have been wild in their youth but changed when they had a family?

Well this guy has just been given one hell of a family, so give him the benefit of the doubt. There is absolutely nothing we can do  anyway.



Stifle debate !

Bob CostelloI post here firstly a Facebook thread concerning a comment I made in relation to  the announcement of an order to build warships on the Clyde. The reason I include this as a blog is when I went to post the reply below, I could not do it as presumably I had been blocked. I feel that in the week that the british establishment turned against three juges for simply doing their jobs is probably not the best time for members of the SNP to be attempting to stifle honest debate. Especially when it contains disquiet in how the independence issue is being handled.
This week I have been accused of being a traitor together with a few expletives and now as you can see below carrying on a vendetta against the Dundee SNP,
I think it is sad when honest constructive criticism is seen as a threat to a political party and debate is shut down, and I really believe the SNP should at least attempt to reign in some of their more vociferous supporters.
Bob Costello Yes they have now built in a project fear move. Independence and the contract is moved. There is one side in this battle that is not letting the grass grow under its feet and it isn’t the SNP


Tony McCandless
Tony McCandless Bob is there anything anybody can post without you turning into a criticism of the SNP ? What exactly is your agenda ? A revival of Labour in our home town or just constantly criticising the party of government in Scotland ? Let’s be clear – no SNP = no independence. Your personal vendetta is becoming an impediment to rational discussion.


Bob Costello
Bob Costello So tony even you cannot accept constructive criticism. There is no vendetta and I tire when in place of counter arguments I keep getting this nonsense about SNP vendettas.So , criticism of the SNP is now officially a vendetta. This is the kind in nonsense i would expect from the Mail or the Express in their toadying to the establishment when they vilified these three judges for doing their job For goodness sake Tony, wake up or we will never achieve independence and at the end of the day , was i wrong ? These contracts have been placed with an open clause for removal in the event of Scotland’s independence. So project fear is getting their act together in good time for another referendum campaign. Whereas the SNP have not even addressed the very basic issues we lost the last referendum on. Their position is actually laughable , honestly , you could not make it up. So please have a think about what you say when it concerns real independence campaigners. And kindly stop using these emotive terms like vendetta because this is the kind of language I expect from the sheeple and I would hope you are not in that category.


Tony McCandless
Tony McCandless Predictable response Bob “no criticism is allowed therfore person opposing me is a mindless sheep following SNP dogma”. So let me clarify for you ; Criticism of any party in govt or not is always valid as and when there is something valid to criticise E.g. Not yet completely reforming council tax or going far enough yet in land reform. The issue is that you rarely, if ever, have something positive to say. Your personal issues with SNP council in Dundee seem to colour your contribution which is a shame. And as for your line about “real campaigners” do feel free to share your definition and also answer my questions; what is your agenda and if not the SNP then what are you advocating ? My personal perspective is that we need SNP, LabourforIndy, Greens and moderate Lib Dems etc all coming to the indy cause. UK and current Scottish Labour is a fish rotting from the head which is a travesty given its origins. There is absolutely zero hope of Kezia changing her mind given she has dug herself such a deep hole and just keeps reinforcing her Unionist stance. Also re the contracts ; I presume from your statement you have seen them. If so can you share link as given there are no signed documents it would be pertinent to publish via social media, the National, Herald etc to make sure people are aware of the game being played and that the 2 contracting parties are BAE systems and the MOD neither of which have anything to do with the Scottish Govt or the SNP.

A predictable response Tony, but that does not make it wrong.

You confuse my criticism of the SNP with the Scottish government. In the main my issue is with the SNP as a party, a party whose reason for existence is to gain independence. I feel they conflate this reason to exist with an idea that a government can govern for everyone. That is an intrinsic impossibility.
A government must take into consideration all areas of the society they have been given the remit to govern but always accounting for the mandate they have been given by the electorate.
I feel that as the SNP have been known as the party of independence for many years then it is reasonable to assume that an overwhelming majority of the people who voted for them, did so in the full knowledge that the SNP would pursue a policy that would lead to independence.
I feel that they (the SNP) have been seduced by the power they have been given by the electorate and have, instead of putting their efforts into planning for independence, have settled into being part of the establishment. They have been riding on the crest of a wave, powered initially by the surge in support, engendered by the widespread disappointment which followed the result of the independence referendum.

From the referendum they have been the beneficiaries of circumstance and I feel that much of this mana from heaven has been wasted.
In two elections , Westminster and the recent Scottish elections, they have singularly failed to put the very basic road map to independence in place by failing to declare the intention to wrest control of the ability to hold and organize referendums from Westminster to Holyrood into either manifesto and you can now see the wasted opportunity with this latest action to proceed with a “draft piece of legislation” to allow a referendum to be passed through the “Scottish parliament” on purely the basis of a pro-independence mixed party majority in Holyrood and a mere mention of a possible move towards a referendum in the manifesto of the Scottish elections.

They have been dangling carrots for the last two years which is to say the least demeaning to the electorate and their party members. They have wasted two years in failing to adress the issues we lost the last referendum on. In fact I have it on good authority that they don’t even know what the reasons were.
The Scottish elections were a disaster for their own making, for many reasons among which was the two votes for the SNP instead of an organized first vote for SNP and a second vote for a “suggested” alternative pro-independence party. This resulted in the Tories gaining more than double their representation in the parliament and the SNP losing 6 seats along with a derisory increase in voter representation of something like 1.2% compared to 12.75% in the previous elections in 2011 and this without the upsurge in popularity as previously described.

OK that was in the past but to me the thing that capped it all was the commitment to hold a referendum if Scotland was to be torn out of the EU when we voted to remain but the rest of the UK voted to leave.
The day after the EU referendum will go down as the worst lost opportunity ever in politics when Theresa May hotfooted it up to Scotland and mugged Nicola into believing that she would have a veto over negotiations regarding pursuing exit from the EU. Well we all know what happened to that now do we?
The “ going for a referendum if Scotland voted remain “ to a possible referendum if we couldn’t by some means be part of the “single market” was a subtlety that quite a lot of people missed but it was a landmark change in what had been offered previously

Then there was the party conference where Nicola gave a speech which could have been seen as the SNP making their remit to keep us in both the EU and the UK, followed by Angus Robertson making it abundantly clear that as long as we could in some way still be part of “the single market “there would be no need for a referendum. At a stroke he took away the reason for the SNP’s existence. This was followed by John Swinney making it clear that if a referendum was to happen then we could conceivably be campaigning for a common currency. This made plain that he was on a completely different planet from the rest of us.

The SNP are in the process of the largest, painting one’s self into a corner exercise in the history of the planet. They have, either by incompetence or design hung the jacket of independence on a very shaky hook. They have corralled the hopes of the “faithful” into a very narrow channel, that of non-admittance to the single market, which is not going to happen.

So for the avoidance of doubt here is what in all probability will happen? The government will appeal the recent judgement against them and will fail. There will be a general election. A new Tory government will be formed and they will take the question of whether the EU referendum should be recognized to parliament. There will be an amendment proposing another referendum which will be passed. There will be a referendum at which the British people, realizing that they had been mugged the first time will vote to remain. Parliament will recognize the decision.


I could go on for hours enumerating the reasons I have extreme concerns as to the commitment and abilities of the SNP . You rightly say that I have had issues with the Dundee SNP. I will not go into that here as there is a possibility that issues surrounding this could be brought to court which will, if found necessary will be done at a time of my choosing. You will note that there has been dissatisfaction throughout the Dundee SNP leading to three councilors deciding not to put themselves up for re-election next May and one of the parliamentary political managers being sacked. A person who had a hand in the vilification I was subject to whilst organizing a road map to independence rally.

You rightly highlight that I do not have access to the contracts signed in connection with the shipping to be built on the Clyde, I am however not stupid and I fully realize that anyone who does not realize that this latest announcement is a built in threat of withdrawal of these contracts to be used in the event of another referendum, IS stupid, and that was the subject of my comment. Which was if you remember that of the two parties’ one of them is not letting the grass grow under their feet and it is not the SNP.

As for my definition of campaigning I attach a blog I did a couple of days before the election in May, the day after I walked out of a meeting that Nicola was addressing after the schedule regarding the asking of questions was hastily rearranged by the previously mentioned political manager who has been sacked from his position, in order that I could not ask the question that I had intended asking. There is an attachment in this blog to my letter of resignation which covers the campaigning aspect of your comment and as it so happens the blog covers the question I wished to ask, which very pertinent to what I have said previously in this answer.

As for your comment that the SNP are at the moment the best bet we have for independence, I would agree and in any of my blogs or postings you will not find one contradiction of that. In assessing the abilities of the SNP , people continually confuse them with the Scottish Government. However the difference is this. The SNP as the largest part of the Scottish government do a good job and that is what we pay them for but they have at their disposal an army of advisors, Lawyers, engineers, planners etc,etc. Whereas the SNP as a political party have only the politicians, the majority of whom have never even ran a business let alone a country, in their life’s and therein lies the problem. The SNP party’s strategic abilities leave a hell of a lot to be desired.

My commitment to independence is unquestionable, my opinion of the road we are at present taking is that, that is questionable. I hear time and time again that there is a plan, this from people who have no way of knowing whether there is a plan or not. They have been saying this for over two years. One thing is sure and that is that over these two years there has not been a plan. I keep getting this “Nicola is keeping her cards close to her chest and not telling anyone of them “ Is this the same Nicola who has said at least 50 times that the British government should be telling everyone their plans for Brexit? Is it a case then of one rule for the SNP and another for everyone else

As I said in one of my blogs “The problem with having blind faith is that one day you might wake up blind”

A letter to Nicola