Wings over A Very Pure Scotland

Stuart Campbell, lost his recent case for defamation against Kasia Dugdale earlier in the Week and I have never been so embarrassed by the nonsense that has been written regarding this case by people who should know better. The people I speak of are not the usual cabal of gleeful unionists that one would expect to react in support of one of their own , no the people I am talking about are supposed supporters of independence and indeed some politicians in the Scottish government. The comments made by Fiona Robertson were disgraceful.

Now ,let me be clear, using intemperate language to make points on public social media platforms is not something I would necessarily condone and I ,in my attempts to constructively criticize the SNP and in Particular ,Nicola Sturgeon for their ineffectual handling of the independence cause have received plenty of it from mostly SNP members. The politicians know it goes on but deliberately do nothing about it as they probably see it as a way of undermining descension.

Stuart Campbell has a very direct manner and is known for his forthright dialogue. Not everyone’s cup of tea but really, when you see the forces arranged against the independence cause do we really need people in responsible positions like Robertson acting in that grovelingly suppliant manner. Offering support to the opposition.

Let me tell you a story about the SNP and Wings Over Scotland. During the Referendum Campaign in 2014 I and others ran the Yes Bus Dragon For independence Team in Dundee. A loose group of politicaly diverse supporters of independence . We campaigned hard throughout the campaign in and around Dundee. We were never short of volunteers and we had a very effective system which consisted of a hub of better versed activists based around the bus and people out on the streets handing our leaflets ( when we could prize them from the SNP) they would bring people over to the bus where they could speak to someone who had in depth knowledge about their particular concern.

Now at that time the SNP had a problem ( one of many) with Wings over Scotland because he had called an a**e hole, an a**e hole and they were in one of their holier than thou modes. At that time Wings brought out The Wee Blue Book. It was a god send to us on the streets and we did everything to get our hands on copies and it so happened one of our team, Brian Doonthetoon was a wings member and managed to get his hands on a goodly amount of them , but we just couldn’t get enough. Now to start with the Dundee SNP shunned this publication because of the aforesaid holier than thou attitude, although under pressure from myself and others they eventually relented and brought in stocks of them, getting them to actually give us any was another matter as was any campaigning material especially the stock that was held in the Hub in St Andrews street, it was really awful.

Any way about this time it became apparent that we had several problems in getting certain massages out and explained, and one of the main problems was the monetary situation and the reluctance of Alex Salmond to put forward a plan B, although we had plan B,C and D . Now it would take me 20 minutes standing in the square to explain properly why we firstly had several alterative plans but wouldn’t need them any way as the UK government would have to accept monitory union as without it the UK economy would be at risk. This was very time consuming to explain the range of justifiable concerns that people had . Then came along a lifeline, the wee blue book, it was a God Send.

I had the idea to get a copy of this publication to every household in Dundee and I spoke , initially to John Gibson, a fellow member of Business For Scotland and asked if he would be interested in helping finance the postage. He immediately agreed, There were others in the team that I could have counted on to chip in as well. So the next problem was how to actually do it and I knew the SNP ( I was still a member at that time) had the facilities to produce the addressed and stamped envelopes. I had had loose estimated of up to £14,000 for the operation.

So I went up to the SNP headquarters at the top of Old Glamis Rd and fortunately ( as I thought at the time) there was a fair selection of the elected representatives there , so I put the proposal to them. I would arrange the finance and the people to stuff the Wee Blue Book into the envelopes and get them to the post office. They got together in a huddle and it took them all of two minutes to tell me they were not interested.

I walked out of their offices in a state of shock and frustration at their utter and sheer incompetence. That started me looking more closely at how they actually conducted the referendum campaign in Dundee and I will be writing about the whole campaign experience before long.

So, at the end of the day although I have been very disappointed with the general SNP reaction to the recent verdict Concerning Stuart Campbell, I am not that surprised and I feel the SNP must up their game in connection with what is after all their function in life ,independence. I await with interest the announcement Nicola Sturgeon is the make by Wednesday regarding the next independence campaign. I do not have much hopes that there will be an announcement of another campaign and firmly believe that any campaign in the near or distant future will be without the present first minister and Chief Executive. I also look forward to Stuart Campbell either appealing the judgement or suing the Daily record , as I cannot see any Sheriff holding that they defamed him, but were to stupid to understand the implications.


A Nautical Nomad

Bob Costello

17 April 2018 at 16:26 ·

A blast from the past, some of my wee travel blogs were done on Facebook so I decided to put them here on WordPress, as it is easier to look them up.

Day 5 of my trip (if I include the first night in Edinburgh) and getting into the complete difference from being back home with the hustle and bustle of business, (which Jamie is taking care of back home) to the comparative sedentary existence on board.
This bobbing up and down on the high seas can become addictive and relaxing at the same time. The NCL staff are nice and pretty helpful but the range of activities on board are not exactly mind-stretching and there is a lack any lectures or academic talks you get on other cruise lines such as Cunard, Holland America and Princess. These lines generally have good speakers on long-haul trips like transatlantic voyages, where there are multiple days at sea. There is only a certain amount of flower arranging, quizzes and tossing the bean bag that one can do without wanting to throw one’s self over-board.
However last night there was an interesting interlude in the banality of multiple days at sea cruising, as one of the entertainment activities was the 50s and 60s rock and Roll party and so I went to watch. The band was good and there were plenty of entertainments staff getting people on to the floor, all resplendent in their 50s/ 60s attire.
One of the young ladies came over and grabbed me and took me on to the floor at a pretty lively compilation of Rock around the clock, blue suede shoes, in the mood and more. The upshot was that I got the prize for the best rock and roll dancer AND, wait for it, “the most authentic 50s outfit”!!! The problem was that I did not realise I was wearing a bloody 50s outfit. So that’s it, soon as I get back home I am right down to Primark to get myself some decent designer gear.
Spent a wee while at the disco and had a late night snack of Nachos, the cheese topping of which looked as though it could have been made out of recycled carrier bags.
So, I think a walk on the deck is in order, clear the cobwebs. The decks were all sealed off yesterday because of the high winds. Let’s hope it is a bit better today.
So, have a good day folks
Captain Pugwash, somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean

One last letter to Nicola

Nicola, I have written to you several times without answer, but don’t worry I did not expect an answer as you are, I am sure, a very busy lady and don’t have time for a wee insignificant independence campaigner like me.

The thing is though Nicola, the reason I had cause to write to you was because of concerns I had regarding your performance in connection with what should have been your main purpose in life as leader of the party of independence, and actually most of what I said in my letters turned out to be more or less right on the button.

Quite honestly your performance in providing a road map to independence has been abysmal, and since you took over from your predecessor, the SNP have actively shunned the independence cause along with the wonderful grass roots groups who carried the last referendum campaign from 27% at the start to at least 45%. Latterly it has seemed as though your main purpose in life has been to save the UK.

But then, you know all of this stuff as it happened on your watch under your direction. I am sure you sit up all night anyway reading my blogs assiduously so you will be well aware of many of your shortcomings in regard to a move towards independence. You know, I have been in business for over half a century and if I had approached my businesses in the way you have approached independence, quite honestly, I would not be in business today.

We have had one excuse after the other, and missed one opportunity after the other, and the thing is that at no time during these missed opportunities have we been prepared for another referendum, because at no time have you as much as initiated a proper program of addressing the issues which we lost the last referendum on. I think the only action you have taken in this respect was to establish the Growth Commission report. A report that poses more problems than it solves and as far as currency goes actually suggests much the same as the policies we lost the last referendum on.

I have looked at your performance over the years and been mystified as to the ‘reasons’ you have not seized upon multiple God given opportunities, such as the pre election polling, indicating that we, independence supporters, were in for a massive landslide at the 2015 General election-spectacularly missing a golden opportunity, to use this result as a mandate for independence by making it clear that a majority for the SNP would be a majority for independence. If you had taken this route we would have been independent today. Margaret Thatcher ( you know , that lady whose dress style you seem to copy rather too well) made it very clear that if Scotland wished to be independent then all we had to do was deliver a majority of MP’s, mandated for Scottish independence, to Westminster.

The last straw was today when you made this much awaited statement on a possible future of the independence question. Here we are in the best possible position to take advantage of our adversaries utter confusion and you have handed them the get out of jail card, by firstly telling them that (according to you ) they have at all times, the upper hand, as all they have to do is say no to a section 30 agreement, something that not a single country on this planet has ever needed on their road to independence. A section 30 is an artificial construct to subdue the gullible and is absolutely unnecessary for a country to obtain in order to be independent. The other thing you have done, is to ensure that our adversaries have plenty of time to recover from this Brexit mess get themselves in good order and in plenty of time to set up a strong case to prevent Scotland becoming independent. This has to be deliberate because no one in their right mind would willingly assist their opponents in this way.

I would liken your speech today to Eisenhower sending a letter to the German High command, assuring them that we would put off D Day until he gave his permission and had all his forces suitably refreshed and in good order. Also enclosing a map of all the beaches to be assaulted in Normandy.

This brings me to the propose of this letter. After applying common logic to your pattern of behavior in connection with independence, it led me to the conclusion that something was not right, something was going on behind the scenes. Recently, the Alex Salmond case came into the public domain and indeed the court victory concerning the Judicial Review which was won by Salmond, and the resulting remarks made by the judge which showed that the witnesses could have been actually encouraged to pursue the complaints against the former first minister . It also would appear that this whole affair went back to before you became leader of the party and first minister and therefore all that went on in connection with this case happened before or during your time as leader and time when you had within your power the ability to pursue independence but did not. So I looked further into it, more so during the present chaos surrounding Brexit as I realised that with our adversities weakened and at such a disadvantage, that this was the right time to go for independence like no other….but it wasn’t happening.

The other concern I had, was that the controversy surrounding this case effectively takes the former first minister ( the only person I could see who would take advantage of the present chaos occasioned by the Brexit mess we are in) out of the equation.

So here is my question. Taking it that you have made several statements in connection with your contacts with the previous first minister and indeed to the content of these discussions, which may or may not have taken place in private and concerns being expresed regarding the identity of several of the complainants ( three in particular) who could have been politically close to both you and your husband, and could perhaps have been present at some of these meetings. Is there perhaps further information which could eventually come into the public domain and could possibly be very embarrassing, showing a certain lack of probity which could impact on your tenure as first minister and in so doing, affect the independence movement as far as a referendum campaign goes, quite possibly at a most inopportune moment.

I make no accusations and realise that these concerns could be unfounded, so all I am doing is giving you the opportunity to refute this, and perhaps explain why there is this continual procrastination in connection with the road to independence. If by some chance, this information is correct and could have implications concerning a referendum campaign, don’t you think you would do the independence cause a service by removing yourself from your positions and allowing the independence movement to continue on our road to independence. A road which could be made much shorter if a referendum was held before we leave the EU.