As I sit here and watch the SNP tear itself apart because of a leadership who, it would appear, have indulged in some very questionable and probably illegal action’s, I cant help reminiscing and realizing that this was all avoidable.
I have been in business for over half a century, during that time I have made many mistakes and also have had some pretty substantial victories.
The common denominator that courses through my business experience is that I have learned. I have learned from my clients, I have learned from my suppliers and I have learned from my employees. I have had some very intelligent employees and I have had some not so intelligent employees but I have learned something from every one of them.
One of the main things I have learned is that the most important lessons are to identify the mistakes you are making, and more important still to correct them as soon as possible.
Probably the most important benefit of being in business for so long is that you acquire the significant gift of being able to to see into the future.
I have been warning against the policies of Nicola Sturgeon for some considerable time. Although to be very honest, I initially welcomed her taking over from Alex Salmond, as when we were campaigning on the streets of Dundee during the referendum campaign, we constantly heard from people who just did not like him.
It was apparent however that when questioned ,most of them could not actually give a good reason for the dislike.
After the referendum and the coronation of Nicola, it soon became apparent to me that all was not well, as she did not seem intent on correcting the mistakes made in the referendum campaign or addressing the issues we actually lost the campaign on such as pensions and the monetary situation.
I began to get a very uneasy feeling that all was not well in the leadership of the SNP and now after 6 wasted years and a leadership who have, it seems indulged in illegal and amoral actions sending the party into a tailspin which is all but impossible to get out of before the elections planned for May, unless there is an almost immediate change of leadership.
As to the gift of seeing into the future, I copy below a Facebook posting I did on the 4th February 2015 ( less than 4 months after Nicola’s coronation) whilst I was on a trip to Asia. This was a time when most main line commentators in the movement were very busy extolling the virtues of the great savior and the faithful were in the process of embedding themselves in the cult of St Nicola.
Now we are witnessing an outcome a child could have predicted.
Well day three and in Penang , Malaysia, Came out of the terminal and there in front of me was a monument to Queen Victoria.
Another sign of the British Empire. We have one in Dundee , the stamp of the British empire that the union Flag flew over, and over which the Sun never set . The Union Flag , better known as the butchers apron , for good reason.
It got me thinking of what was left of the British empire , not a lot , the Falkland Islands , Gibraltar, a few more islands and of course Scotland.” Hold it” I hear your say ” Scotland is not part of the British empire, we are an equal partner in the United Kingdom” no we are not, and we never have been. If we had been an equal partner we would have had the rights of an equal partner and been able to have gone our own way on September 18 last year.
The big problem we had was that we have within our shores and territorial waters, the asset that underpins and stands as collateral for the massive loans that successive incompetent Westminster governments have built up and without these assets and the revenue which flows from them, together with the possibility that Scotland would not have taken on a voluntary proportion of these massive loans , the economy South of the border would have been on a fast track to collapse. Add to that the situation where we have the completes nuclear deterrent housed 20 miles from our largest center of population.
So don’t kid yourself , there was never any prospect of Scotland being handed our independence with the tactics we employed in the referendum campaign .
Our efforts , honestly but misguidedly led by the SNP were like expecting a Lion to be mauled by a sheep. We just were not up to it .The establishment closed ranks and we saw the unholy alliance of the Tories and the Labour Party as they morphed onto one grotesque monster, aided and abetted by the willing minions in the state broadcaster the BBC, together with most of the mainstream press.
On the day of the vote we were still on the streets of Dundee and it was our busiest day yet. Firstly we drove off the feeble competition of the paid hired help of bussed up from England so called ” activists” in the No camp.
We drove them off , not by force but by embarrassment, as people were walking past them to come to us. As the day went on however it became apparent that something was amiss as we were getting people who we had registered to vote ( we registered thousands of them and handed most of the registrations to the SNP hub for submission to the authorities and some we submitted ourselves) coming up to us and complaining that they had been turned away from polling stations as not being on the voters roll.
There were many more reports of irregularities and unexplained procedures ,like the postal votes being counted in the main in England, the agreement that there would be no exit polls taken, instances of politicians having been aware of the postal voting results before they were declared ( as in Ruth Davidson’s admission on the night of the polling).
Yes there was a multitude of , let’s say, abnormalities. So what happened ? What did our Scottish government do to ally fears of cheating ? They did nothing . No enquiry, no probe, nothing. So , the analogy of the Lion and the Sheep comes to mind.
So what is the situation now? Well we, through the campaign have a huge army of grassroots supporters of independence and they in their frustration and disappointment took the only road that they saw was open to them,and joined the SNP, in the hope that there would be a plan, a plan to take forward their hopes for an independent country.
What did the SNP do with this huge volunteer army? Nothing, and the worst thing you can do with an army is to let it stagnate. I approached the SNP soon after the referendum and asked what the plan was for an ongoing campaign to highlight the broken promises which would surely come to light and the silly vow which would in all probability fall to pieces. But there was no plan, instead I was told that they would wait on the outcome of the Smith commission.
Well we all now know exactly what that is worth and it is not much more then nothing. So where are we now you might ask ? Well I will tell you where we are . We are about to make the same mistakes again. There is a prospect of sending a goodly amount of SNP members of parliament down to Westminster , great, but the problem is that it would appear they are not going down there to fight for independence . They are going there to try in some way to negotiate Home Rule.
A very basic negotiating premise is to start at the top , not the bottom. We should be putting forward our strongest hand not our weakest one and our strongest hand would include UDI ( a unilateral Declaration of Independence ).
There are many reasons for this and only a few of them actually include that course of action but the threat of it has to be there.
The best chance we have of increased powers is still of course in sending as many SNP members of parliament down to Westminster as possible, but it is a waste of time sending a flock of sheep down there unless they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
As I sit here in this Coffee shop in Penang musing at what might have been, had we had an even playing field I look at the wall in front of me and by an amazing coincidence this is what I see.