Ok so here we are almost 5 years years since the last independence referendum. We have had the shutting up of Scotland with the EVEL ( English votes for English laws) legislation. Which means that although Scotland in effect subsidizes England and therefore every law passed in the Westminster Parliament has an impact on Scotland , Scottish MP’s cannot discuss predominantly English issues in parliament, We had the “Vow” which was actually an invention of the daily Record in the last desperate days of the referendum campaign to sweet talk the Scots into a sense of security, but it was gleefully adopted by Labour and Tory politicians as a means to an end , the end being the 55% to 45% result of the referendum.
Yes we now know it was all lies and it was followed by the Smith commission which was supposed to distribute a healthy amount of new powers to the Scottish government on the basis of Gordon Browns” virtual federalization” Well we know what happened to that don’t we , yes we were thrown a few scraps and as I and others warned at the time, all we really got was no more of our own money but lots more blame.
Then we had the ignominious Scotland act legislation acted out in a parliament that does not represent us fully and a humiliation of our representatives we sent down to West Minster full of hope, false hope as it turned out. The thing was that we shouldn’t have been sending them down to Westminster in the first place , should we? No, we should have been declaring independence on the amazing majority we had achieved in the Westminster elections. 56 out of the 59 possible seats went to the SNP. Problem was that Nicola Sturgeon did not make provision for this in the election manifesto. She either did not, or did not want to read the mood of the people in the May of 2015, eight months after the referendum, despite opinion polls consistently showing ( accurately as it turned out) a huge swing to the SNP on the back of the deep disappointment of the referendum.
It was worse than just that, because she actually discouraged any talk of independence. Independence was not to spoken off ,it was to be swept under the carpet because she knew best. In Dundee we had an incident that highlighted just how bad this was.
In the weeks leading up to the 2015 Westminster elections we , through the Yes Bus Team and Yes We Care had arranged an independence rally in Dundee City Square, for the week before the General Election. There was various acts and speakers arranged . Just over a week before the General Election I had a visit from the SNP candidate for the seat of Dundee West. The propose of the visit was to ask for the rally to be postponed until after the election. I expressed my surprise that the SNP candidate was asking for an independence rally to be put off in the run up to a general election when he was standing as an SNP candidate as the whole propose of the SNP was to gain independence for Scotland. He told me that a prominent SNP MP had said to him “we cant have saltires and Yes posters being waved around the city Square the week before a General Election” Yes you heard right, “we cant have Saltires and Yes signs being waved around the City Square the week before a General election” this from an SNP member of parliament, in other words ” we are trying to suppress any thoughts of independence in order to get ourselves elected. I expressed my amazement at this. However, at this time I was still a member of the SNP and although I personally was not the signatory on the application for the rally I agreed to speak to the person who was, to get their point of view. However, as it happened, the politician and his political manager approached the other party and persuaded her ( under protest and surprise) to allow the event to be rescheduled. Both myself and the other party had expressed concern that there was not officially enough time to apply for the event to be rescheduled to the week after the General Election and both of us were told that “it would be sorted” the local council in Dundee were SNP.
So there we were, the yes city, the Yes Bus team and Yes We Care, being hushed up from promoting the raison d’etre of the SNP, “BY” the SNP on the eave of a General election, an election they went on to win in Scotland by an almost unbelievable margin. They did not achieve this “because” of the SNP , they achieved this “despite” the SNP.
I will not go into our other attempts to hold independence rally’s in Dundee, although they are the subjects of other blogs as is my resignation letter to Peter Murrel. However I copy it below just in case you have not fallen asleep and need some assistance to do so .
Ok so, since the event of Nicola Sturgeons coronation we have had nothing but a steady down turn in the voting pattern for the SNP apart from as I explain above the 2015 General Election which, I believe was won on the back of the severe disappointment of the referendum in 2014. We had the Scottish elections in 2016 with again a notable reluctance to put forward the independence question, where there was a loss of seats for the SNP, resulting in them losing their overall majority.we had the local elections in 2017 where again the SNP lost seats and the Tories made considerable gains.
Then there was the snap general election in 2017 where the SNP lost 21 seats and half a million votes compared to the 2015 General election. All the while Nicola Sturgeon carried on as though nothing was happening, which was actually true , nothing had been happening regarding addressing the issues we lost the last referendum on since the last independence referendum. Still it never dawned on Nicola, either by design or incompetence that something was amiss.
Then we had Brexit , that vote happened in 2016 and yet even that did not trigger a reaction from Nicola, Scotland was to be dragged out of the EU even although we had voted 62% to 38% to remain. Instead Nicola produced a paper outlining the Scottish governments approach to the situation I wrote a blog the day before this report was published titled ” A road Map To Unionism” and on the day it was published I wrote another blog titled ” I Told You So” See below.
In the first blog I predicted almost exactly that Nicolas position would be to attempt to save the UK rather than take advantage of the forth coming chaos and prepare for independence. Everything that has happened since has done nothing to change my mind.
So here we are with the British government in chaos and their potential savior Nicola beavering away to save the Union. That is simply unacceptable As I explained way back in my letter of resignation to Peter Murrel and before, we should have been working to address the issues we lost the last referendum on whereas the only initiative ( if you could call it that) that Nicola has instituted was the Growth commission report under Andrew Wilson, which is a complete disaster as it more or less commits to the very flawed monetary policy that lost us the last referendum. Not only that but it gives credence to the ridiculous GERS figures which have been taken to pieces by both myself and more importantly by Professor Richard Murphy. See below a blog I wrote on September 4th 2016 almost exactly two years after the independence referendum.
Only yesterday, I think it was the last straw for me when it was reported in the National, that the motion put forward by Angus McNeil to allow a discussion of a very feasible plan B was rejected out of hand. Yes, believe it or not , a request for a path to independence to be discussed at an SNP conference was rejected out of hand, How could this happen? well to me, and taking into consideration the lack of preparation since the last referendum, the amount of times the faithful have been marched up to the top of the hill and down again , the amount of open goals the SNP have failed to take advantage of, the way the unionist machine has never stopped their campaign, there is only one answer, Nicola Sturgeon.
There comes a time when it becomes apparent that writing blogs ,debating with people who prefer to follow blindly, a leader who does not have the capacity to lead, sitting here and watching the unionist machine march on un-assailed , that one has to look for the next step. I have been blogging for some time now, I do not artificially bolster the numbers of people reading my blogs, no, they are there for a record , a record of what I thought about the political scene at any given time. I hope that perhaps some day my grandchildren will read them. They will see a constant dissatisfaction of the way the SNP and in particular Nicola Sturgeon have diverted their attentions away from independence and to, I fear some possible half way house of federalization or some other non independence option.
My great fear is this and that is that my grand children might read some or all of my blogs and say this, “Grandad , you were right, but what did you do about it”?
Ok , I am no politician but I weathered the storm of the independence referendum in 2014. I stood in the City Square with the yes bus team almost every day in the run up to the day of the vote . I was a member of the SNP for 30 years before I felt I had to leave because I believed in independence and was concerned at the rout they were taking by brushing independence under the carpet.
So I have decided to stand at the next election as an independent, independence candidate, probably a “Dundee for independence” ticket with one main manifesto commitment, independence.
I will do this for one reason and one reason only and that is when my Grandchildren say to me ” Grandad, what did you do about it”, I will be able to proudly say, “I tried my best”