It was nice meeting you again today at the remembrance to Jeff Duncan. Your eulogy was first class. I had prepared a few words to say but decided it might be too political, considering Jeff’s family were there.
It was good chatting about your latest ventures in connection to your chat show on RT and your possible chairmanship of Johnstone News. This will give you access to a huge amount of readership and viewers hopefully leading to a more balanced coverage of independence related matters.
I feel that the comments made yesterday by the first minister in connection with your forthcoming chat show on RT were ill-advised and was pleased to hear that RT are to offer no form of show editing whatsoever, I look forward to seeing the show. It was also interesting to have you point out that there has been over 100 UK politicians interviewed on RT and not a word of criticism from the BBC ITV or any of the UK newspapers.
I first got to know Jeff during the marches he and others organised during 2012 and 2013 I run a family bus and Coach Company and we laid on coaches to take people from Dundee and other towns to both rallies, both for Jeff and the SNP.
Jeff was an articulate and staunch supporter of independence for Scotland and we talked often, both brought up in the Kirkton area of Dundee we had seen first-hand the results of successive Tory and Labour governments and it was not a pretty sight.
We kept in touch throughout the referendum campaign and were both devastated when the results came out on the 19th September. It broke my heart and I am sure it had the same effect on Jeff.
We both felt however that it was only a battle lost and not the war. Both having been soldiers our natural instinct in the event of a setback in battle was to withdraw to a defensive position, set up all round defence, issue ammunition and consider a counter attack.
None of this happened, I, myself went to the SNP in Dundee, two days after the result and asked “what is the plan “My question was met with a blank look, that blank look is still there more than three years after the referendum and instead of withdrawing to a defensive position, the SNP retreated to a bunker and they are still in it. On the anniversary of Armistice day it might be worthwhile remembering the Maginot line where the French thought they were impregnable inside a line of bunkers that stretched all along the border between France and Germany . All the Germans did was to go through Belgium and come around the back of the bunkers.
Wars are never won in bunkers. It is quite simple, you bring your enemy out onto a field of your choosing and utterly destroy them and that is what we must do to get out of this awful rut the independence movement is in at the moment.
The SNP have allowed themselves to be convinced that they lost seats in every election since the 2015 general election because they have been speaking about independence too much, when in fact it is because they have not been speaking about it enough. We had the situation in 2015 where we were prevailed upon by the Dundee SNP to postpone a rally in Dundee City Square, because, in the words of a prominent Dundee politician, “we can’t have Saltires and yes signs being waved in the City Square the week before an election”
If you want to find out where your enemy is weakest and fears an Attack ,look at where their defences are the strongest and that is the independence question, they never stopped speaking about it during the last election campaign because they realise they would probably lose another referendum.
To make matters worse the SNP are back on the old tired theme of “ people want to see the SNP are able to govern then they will be more prepared to vote for independence. Well they have been governing well since the referendum and they have just lost 21 seats and half a million votes at the general election.
Their supposition is wrong on two counts , firstly, because of the fact that through the Smith commission giving the SNP just enough rope to hang themselves with, it will become very much more difficult to be seen to govern well and this will become apparent very shortly with the impending tax raises that seem to be in the pipeline.
Secondly, just supposing things do actually start getting better under the SNP then this will be perceived to be because we are still part of the Union.
I honestly feel that it is this muddled thinking that has got us where we are on the road to independence and that is at the side of the road with a flat tyre.
Both Jeff and I became disillusioned with the way the SNP seemed to have withdrawn from the fight and both of us found it necessary to resign our membership.
That was where our politics diverged, Jeff joined Solidarity and I remained party less but we both always had independence indelibly stamped on our hearts.
Through the independence rallies we in the yes bus team organised, I continually came up against the local SNP cabal mixture of politicians and sycophantic activists who made their feelings known through social media. Rallies were almost impossible to organise, through the efforts of SNP politicians. I coined a phrase at the time, I called them “the Sheeple” They couldn’t see the criticisms I made as being constructive and could only repeat ad nausium , “Nicola Has a cleaver plan”. Throughout this period Jeff continually supported my position and it would appear now that there was never any credible plan and that is why we find ourselves in the position we have at present.
Ok so what would we have done, well actually it is quite simple. We hand out the ammunition make sure the troops are well trained and prepare to attack at the most opportune moment. The troops are the wonderful grass roots groups together with the many SNP activists.
What is the ammunition, well that is answers to the issues we lost the last referendum on such as the monetary situation in an independent Scotland pensions, borders etc .
We need a projected set of profit and loss accounts including a balance sheet which will show the assets that we will inherit. This instead of the silly GERS figures which show absolutely nothing. A promise to, not only set up an oil fund but one which is partly connected to every working persons bank account as a trust fund which can be accessed on say a ten yearly basis. A promise of a Universal wage and an intention to double pensions within 10 years. Give the grass roots groups these answers, give them campaigning material on a common theme. Do this and watch the independence argument grow from a hope, to an unanswerable inevitability.
The next step is easy, wait for the opportunity then strike. If we had done this from just after the referendum we would have been more than ready at any time.
Oh and one more thing, we need a change at the top to facilitate any of this. Both Nicola and her husband should go.
Alex , I remember when you resigned after the referendum , you quoted a line from “ The bonnets of Bonnie Dundee” you said “ you have not seen the last of my bonnets and me” well I would like to finish up with a few more lines to you from the same song.
Come saddle your horses and call out your men.
Come doon the West Port and let us gang free.
For your bonnets of Dundee are ready to go once again.