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.