Crann Tara, Born of Exaspiration

Crann Tara, is the organisation that has formed with the intention to gather together the disparate grass roots groups in order to make them a force for good in the fight for independence.

In principal, it is a good idea but one, which in my opinion will not work and here is why.

It has been formed by people of good intention, people who have themselves been involved in the independence movement for some time. It has been initiated because of a widespread feeling of frustration at the inability or unwillingness of the SNP to engage in their function in life, which is the attainment of independence.

At present there is a void in leadership of forming a proper road map to independence and this is, to my mind, the reason for this emergence of Crann Tara. It seems that there is many well minded people in this organisation with the very best of intentions but it is not going to work as a cohesive force to replace in any way the function of the SNP. I sincerely wish it could.
Ok so firstly the name Crann Tara ( the fiery cross) which many people believe was sent around the country with the intention of raising the Clans. Well that is the first mistake, no. it was sent around within a clan land or lands (if the clan was split into different locales) So it was a device for raising a Clan not many Clans. Now even when the Clans were gathered and fought under a central command (which was always a pretty loose command structure) they always fought as a Clan and were never split up, that was how they were most effective and that is my point. The grass roots groups were individual, they were spontaneous and natural they were local, they had their own politics and they knew the opposition. These were their strengths and that was why they were so effective. If you merge them into the one body you will dilute them.

One more thing about the grass roots groups and the clans is that they will never get on with one another if you try to bring them under a single command structure, and I can see this emerging now with cracks forming by the day.

You will never substitute the political strength and abilities of the SNP unless a new party is formed, or the leadership is changed.

By all means, maintain contact in connection with rallies and marches but leave the grass roots groups to get on with doing what they know best.

As far as independence goes , what is needed is a proper road map and I am tired of going over exactly what that involves but it is pretty simple. The SNP must address the issues we lost the last referendum on such as what the monitory position will be in an independent Scotland, what the pension position will be. We need a projected set of profit and loss accounts instead of these silly and discredited GERS figures. We need ambitious plans for our oil wealth and how this will affect the working population, not only by an oil fund but by a direct benefit such as a trust fund set up for every person over 18 which can be accessed say at 10-year intervals. That is the policies we need to be going out on the streets again with,because at present there is nothing to go out with, absolutely nothing.
Now before anyone starts jumping up and down and saying that the Fiscal Commission report will be releised shortly , I would like to say firstly ,that this is now well over a year late, it has been complete since October, so why waste critical time in delying it?
One thing, both the grass roots groups and the SNP can do, is stop the online abuse and foul language used to both suppress constructive criticism of the SNP and attack people who for their own reasons voted no in the referendum.

It was interesting that at the very first meeting of this group one of the main topics and in deed the subject of some sort of motion was to censure me for criticising the SNP. Although it was flattering that this august body from all over the country thought that my insignificant blogging merited discussion time at the meeting, I thought it rather humorous that they thought they could discipline someone who was not even a member of the organisation. A motion , you will understand that I have absolutely no intention of taking any notice off. It was obvious that the group had been populated by members of the site “We Are the 45” of which there are a disproportionate number of these vicious, foul mouthed, less than able to think SNP members and this is the section of the independence movement that have to be weeded out before there is any further progress on the road to independence.

That particular site has also some good and fair-minded members but even they are put of contributing, and you have to wade through the swamp of knuckle draggers to get a fair point over to them.

So, there it is for what it is worth, my opinion.
I was messaged by a couple of people I have known since the days of the referendum campaign after this first meeting and I made my views known, then and they will have noticed that my predictions of discord have been proven.
Leave the grass roots to get on with what they do best and by all means, meet up at rally’s and get togethers. If anything good is to come out of this “alliance” it has to be a policy of discouraging abuse on line,and a willingness to hold the SNP to conform to their constitution which is eat, sleep and breath ,independence.


Pete’s Conundrum

I refer to the article in the National on the 15th February by Pete Wishart.  Pete appears to be one of the hopefuls in the contest for the deputy leadership of the SNP. Now, for the benefit of those who have forgotten. SNP stands for Scottish National Party and their second paragraph in their constitution states: Aims 2. The aims of the Party shall be: (a) Independence for Scotland; that is the restoration of Scottish national sovereignty by restoration of full powers to the Scottish Parliament, so that its authority is limited only by the sovereign power of the Scottish People to bind it with a written constitution and by such agreements as it may freely enter into with other nations or states or international organisations for the purpose of furthering international cooperation, world peace and the protection of the environment.

You might note that there is no mention of governing Scotland under a devolved administration. Therefore, it is reasonable to extrapolate from this that the day job of the SNP is the attainment of independence for Scotland and any other activities embarked upon are incidental and by their nature must have a direct consequence of achieving the main aim of the party, which is independence.
Now, Pete is obviously trying to prepare the ground for a go at the deputy party leader and therefore has tried to walk a fine line between encouraging the party faithful by invoking the Braveheart factor and at the same time cautioning along party lines that we should not necessarily rush into another referendum. It is what is called keeping your options open, or another way of putting it is, being a politician by trying to get your own way without actually saying anything of consequence.

So let’s analyze what Pete has been saying and this is his own words.

“My favorite part is when the Scots are assembled at Stirling Bridge itching to get into battle, and William ‘Mel’ Wallace instructs them to “hold … hold … hold …” before unleashing the weaponry that would lead to victory”

Right, so this is Pete invoking William Wallace for the faithful. The only problem is that the analogy does not quite match the situation for the simple reason that the Scottish army who flocked to the SNP after the 2014 referendum have not been issued with any “weaponry that would lead to victory” So if they were led to battle, at the moment, by Pete or anyone else they would be slaughtered. The fact is that since the last referendum the SNP have done not a thing by way of addressing the issues we lost that referendum on. Therefore we are in no way prepared for another referendum.

He kind of hits on it when he says:- “Most importantly it needs to be sufficiently persuasive to win over that section of our population that have hitherto been unconvinced” Yes Pete and we will never do that unless the SNP answer the questions left over from the last referendum. It is not rocket science

Another Jem from Pete:- “How do we then get over the line and win? Well, I don’t believe that it is in simply offering the same perspective that lost us the last referendum.”

Errr, that is exactly what some of us have been saying since the last referendum and you have almost answered that question in your last statement but not quite.

He then goes on to say:-  Three and a half years on from the last referendum support for independence remains defiantly at 45 percent for with 55 percent against.” Hmm, that is why you should have been telling the no voters the reasons they should be voting yes such as the what the monetary situation will be in an independent Scotland and perhaps that 45% would be going up.

Possibly the classic display of Pete’s muddled thinking is:- NICOLA Sturgeon has been urged not to rush into holding a new independence referendum – and only to hold it when she is “certain of victory”.The intervention has come from SNP MP Pete Wishart.

Well “just what do you do to make sure of victory. I would suggest that is impossible, but what you don’t do is refuse to prepare your troops for battle. You do not retreat to a bunker as the SNP have done since the last independence referendum. You do not run away from the press at every opportunity. You do not march your troops up to the top of the hill and back again that many times that it would make the Grand old Duke of York dizzy. You don’t wait, in the hope that the enemy will destroy themselves, that is plain stupidity.

No, if you are serious about independence and if you wish to have a reasonable chance to achieve your stated goal, you prepare your troops, you make sure they have the ammunition to fight with, you carry out foraging missions picking at the enemies strength and confidence and whittling down their numbers. Then you bring the enemy on to the field of battle, a field of your choice and you destroy them,

The ammunition you give your troops is the policy on currency, the policy on pensions, the policy on whether we take on responsibility for part of the UK debt and what we expect in return. You produce a set of projected profit and loss figures for an independent Scotland instead of these discredited GERS figures. You define the extent of our oil fields and the potential of the West coast of Scotland once trident is removed. You give people something to campaign with, and you produce printed material on a common theme to allow campaigning to proceed. You then hand this to the many individual grassroots organizations and SNP activists, to allow them to go out on the campaign trail and take on the misinformation of the unionist politicians and the misreporting of the media. You give them a credible Road Map to Independence.

Oh, and another thing, you stop the online abuse from some of the less able to think SNP members who immediately attack anyone who dares to offer constructive criticism of the SNP and this stupid name calling of people, who for their own reasons voted no in the referendum., They voted no because we failed to convince them if the advantages of an independent Scotland and they are the people we need to get our numbers from 45% to over 50%.
So, Pete, this article had told us three things about you. As far as a Roadmap to Independence goes, you do not have a plan, you do not want to rock Nicola’s boat, and you like watching Braveheart.

One more thing Pete, if fear of defeat stops you trying, then you have already lost.