Another letter to Nicola


Dear Nicola

It is some time since I wrote to you . The last time was a couple of days before the Scottish elections when I took issue with you for failing to include in the manifesto for that election, the very basic building blocks for a future possible referendum.

Well ,it would appear that I was not the only one who had concerns about your approach to independence because the results of that election were very poor indeed for the SNP  with the loss of 6 seats and a meager increase on numbers support of something like 1.2% compared to an  increase in the 2011 election of something like 12%. There was much more but I do not intend going over old ground . The point I am making is that you do not seem to have the capacity to understand the feelings of the people . The people who you were fond of telling everyone, would let you know when the time was right for another referendum an apparent soliloquy I have not heard for some time now.

Ok ,so where are we now? Well no where really, in fact we are in exactly the same place we were on the 19th September 2014 ,

neither are we any more prepared for another referendum than we were then.

You have went through the motions of the very basic arrangements for bringing an act before the Scottish parliament to facilitate a possible future referendum but you are obviously aware that it has no legal standing as a referendum is a devolved matter. So at this point in my letter to you can I take you back to the point of my last letter which was to warn that to miss the opportunity to include in the manifesto of one election( the Westminster one ) the intention to wrest control of the ability to hold and organise a referendum was unwise, but to then proceed to once again fail to take the opportunity in the Scottish elections to do this, was an act of unbelievable incompetence, and should you be progressing these arrangements to legalise a future referendum you will be finding this out very shortly.

We are in the position of Scotland having voted to stay in the EU and England voting to come out by a margine that will see us taken out of the EU against our will. Now you will recall that in the run up to the EU referendum you made great play out of  the ” fact” that should this situation arise, it would be seen as a material change which could very well trigger a referendum. Now the question on the ballot paper was to ascertain whether the UK would say as a member of the EU or leave. You will note that there was no other question. For instance there was no option to leave the EU but retain membership of the single market or even retaining membership of the European economic Area. Therefore the people of Scotland voted to remain in the full EU, together with all the advantages such as the European Human rights act, etc.

Therefore ,let me ask you this . Where do you think you get the authority to decide that ,firstly the fact that we are now in the process of leaving the EU does not constitute a material change, therefore triggering an intention to hold a referendum, which in effect could be held that this is what the people of Scotland voted for ( in the EU with the added bonus of a referendum on independence) and secondly where do you think you get the authority from to change the goal posts from a material change being out of the EU to being a minor partner ( without all of the EU advantages) with some sort of piggy back to the single market. Now both these scenarios are bad enough but to make matters worse there has been suggestions of late that a mere access to the European Economic area will suffice and your deputy leader of the party has stated that if any of these scenarios are achieved then there would be no need for a referendum.

Let me be quite clear Nicola , when the people of Scotland voted in the EU referendum they voted for full membership of the EU and not any half hearted fudge. It is very clear that your place in history is assured as the leader of a party who deliberately missed the best political opportunity to fulfill their reason to exist when you decided not to declare a future referendum on independence the day after the UK voted to leave the EU. The way things are going , you will also go down in history as the leader who painted herself into the most obvious political corner , ever as there are several likely scenarios which will be played out .

When the supreme court adjudicates on the parliamentary shambles called Brexit , a general election will be called and another EU referendum will be called which will be a resounding yes.

The tory government will continue with Brexit but negotiate associated status with the EU single market.

The Tory government will continue with Brexit with an attachment to the European Economic area.

With any of these scenarios the SNP will be left waiting in the corner for the paint to dry and the Scottish people will be let down once more but the SNP for some inexplicable reason will still be in power , at least until the next election.

When Alex Salmond left the leadership he wrote a book titled “The Dream Will Never Die” I wonder if his tongue was firmly in his cheek when he chose that title.

I dont want a dream that will never die , I want a dream that will be realised, please get on with it.



I have been in business for well over half a century but I learn something new every day. My politics are the middle of the road. I believe that the far-right and far-left are equally harmful. Jim Murphy ( at that time, leader of the Scottish Labour party) asked me if I called myself a socialist. I said, "no Jim, I am not a socialist, I am a capitalist, but a capitalist with a social conscience.

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