I Told you so

 

Yesterday I wrote a blog, laying out my concerns regarding the Scottish governments policy on Brexit. I said I hoped I was wrong.

https://bobsblog.scot/2016/12/19/a-road-map-to-unionism/

I wasn’t wrong. I read through the 64 page document this morning. It gives a lot of information about elements of membership and part membership of the EU. None of which the Scottish people voted for at the EU referendum.

Quite simply, the Scottish people voted for full membership with all the advantages that this brings including a strong possibility of a referendum, in the event of Scotland voting to stay in the EU, but being dragged out against its will because of a majority in other parts of the UK. That is not what the Scottish government was addressing today in this paper.

So, to save you all reading through the whole 64 pages (a lot of which were repeating earlier parts) I have condensed it to one sentence which sums it up and sums up my fears contained in the blog I did yesterday.

 

Dear Mrs May.

If you wish to keep Scotland in the union, then simply come to an arrangement with the EU for the UK or indeed Scotland to retain membership of the single market or the EEA (European Economic Area).

This should not be much of a problem as I feel you will be doing that anyway.

Best regards

Nicola.

Yes, indeed a road map at last, but unfortunately a road map to Unionism.

 

 

 

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A road map to unionism ?

OK so tomorrow the Scottish government /SNP will lay out their policy on Britex . Strange thing is that I thought they had done that some time ago when they said that a situation where Scotland voted to remain in the EU but were dragged out by a vote elsewhere in the UK would lead to a situation where we could go for independence.

This “policy” has been watered down as we have progressed through the farce that is the UK governments position (or non-position) on Britex. We have come from the initial position which should have been taken advantage of the day following the EU referendum to “Scotland should be a member of the free trade area” to “Scotland should be a member of the EU economic area”. Neither of these options are what the Scottish people voted for at the EU referendum we voted for full membership with the option of another independence referendum if we were dragged out against our will. It is as simple as that.

During, and around the time of the SNP conference I became concerned at the content of speeches from Nicola Sturgeon , Angus Robertson and John Swinney. The cause of my concern was that it could have been construed from the speeches of Nicola and Angus that the main concern of the SNP was to ,in some way assist the UK to come out of the Britex negotiations with Scotland remaining a firm member of the UK. In fact, during an interview Angus Robertson agreed that if Scotland could be kept a member of the Free trade area, or even the EU economic area then there would be no need for another independence referendum. John Swinny made a statement around the same time stating that in the event of another independence referendum we could be in exactly the situation we were in during the last one with a policy of a joint currency with England. This to me showed either that he was on a different planet from the rest of us, or because there was such a remote chance of another referendum that it really did not matter what he said as it would have no effect anyway.

So, all of this gave me cause for concern that the SNP had strayed from their remit according to the second chapter in their own constitution, which clearly makes them the party of independence.

We are more than two years from the last independence referendum and the SNP have made not a single effort to address the issues we lost the last one on.

They have not clarified the situation on pensions.

They have not clarified the situation on the monetary situation in an independent Scotland, in fact as mentioned above , John Swinny has muddied the waters regarding this.

They have missed two golden opportunities with both the Westminster elections and the recent Scottish elections to insert into either manifesto the intention to wrest control from Westminster of the ability for Scotland to call and organise any future independence referendum.

Now,because of the Brexit situation and the new “I am not voting to come out of one union just to be held in another union” attitude they have not implemented an initiative of education as to the benefits of the EU.

Probably the most important omission they have been guilty of is their failure to foster the support of the wonderful grass roots organisations that sprung up during the referendum , in a road map  to independence campaign which could have been highlighting the failures of the UK to abide by the promises made during the independence campaign and things like the silly “vow”.

So it is with that back drop that I lay out my reservations regarding the possible content of tomorrows statement of the way forward for Scotland in connection with Britex .

I have long campaigned for a proper road map to independence.

I hope I am wrong but I have a feeling that tomorrows statement from the SNP will produce a road map to unionism.

This is not our road

A letter to Donald

 

Hi Donald

I might not have been your bigest fan in the past and to be perfectly honest I probably still am not your biggest fan. However this is a time of change and if nothing else you have just confirmed that observation.

I have had many debates with some of your fellow country men and have taken exception to some of the comments you have made in the presidential campaign in connection to foreigners and women. I predicted that you would lose the election decisively.

I was wrong and I have admitted this to your supporters, much to their glee.

During the election campaign I became concerned that your main rival Hillary Clinton, was not perhaps the best alternative candidate. I had my reservations regarding her rhetoric concerning Russia and I had concerns that she was in the pocket of the Israeli government.

It seemed to me a reasonable assumption that there was a distinct possibility that a conflict with Russia was on the cards. My main concern was that because you use Scotland as a car park for your trident nuclear weapons that the British government hire from you then it would be Scotland that would be the first casualty in any conflict with Russia. Therefore ,despite my initial concerns at your possible election , I must admit to a somewhat relief at your victory.

At present, you seem to be having a problem with your (for lack of a better description) intelligence department the CIA regarding certain emails sent by Hillary. The accusation being that this was through hacking carried out by Russia.

I have been watching the BBC World service and have been disgusted at the way they have been reporting this. The BBC have a track record  in this biased reporting going back to the Scottish independence referendum and here is a link to a documentary called “London Calling”  which you can have a look at in your spare time .

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjl3KXL8e_QAhUP62MKHR-kALYQFggaMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.indiegogo.com%2Fprojects%2Fhow-the-bbc-stole-the-referendum-the-documentary&usg=AFQjCNFKNC1oHZK6IbqlO9L00QqBPNI2eA

Now the main reason I am writing to you is this. Russia had nothing to do with the release of these emails, in fact it was one of your very own intelligence operatives who ,it would seem had concerns regarding the contents of them. So they were not hacked but released by a whistle blower.

Now I attach below a link to a blog by Craig Murry, a former British ambassador and well known supporter of Scottish independence. He is also a personal friend of Julian Assange the promoter of Wikileaks who your intelligence services are at present trying to extricate from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. I would trust Craig way over your, err, intelligence services who, as you yourself say were responsible for the misleading information on weapons of mass destruction that allowed Bush and Blair to take our young soldiers to war in Iraq , killing many of them together with several hundred thousand innocent Iraqis.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/11/

So there is some bedtime reading for you Donald and while I am at it could you please stop your nonsense regarding Scottish renewable energy, particularly in the form of wind farms. They will do your golf course at Mennie no harm and are far enough from there not to blow your wig of when you are visiting Scotland .

Regards

Bob

Another letter to Nicola

 

Dear Nicola

It is some time since I wrote to you . The last time was a couple of days before the Scottish elections when I took issue with you for failing to include in the manifesto for that election, the very basic building blocks for a future possible referendum.

Well ,it would appear that I was not the only one who had concerns about your approach to independence because the results of that election were very poor indeed for the SNP  with the loss of 6 seats and a meager increase on numbers support of something like 1.2% compared to an  increase in the 2011 election of something like 12%. There was much more but I do not intend going over old ground . The point I am making is that you do not seem to have the capacity to understand the feelings of the people . The people who you were fond of telling everyone, would let you know when the time was right for another referendum an apparent soliloquy I have not heard for some time now.

Ok ,so where are we now? Well no where really, in fact we are in exactly the same place we were on the 19th September 2014 ,

neither are we any more prepared for another referendum than we were then.

You have went through the motions of the very basic arrangements for bringing an act before the Scottish parliament to facilitate a possible future referendum but you are obviously aware that it has no legal standing as a referendum is a devolved matter. So at this point in my letter to you can I take you back to the point of my last letter which was to warn that to miss the opportunity to include in the manifesto of one election( the Westminster one ) the intention to wrest control of the ability to hold and organise a referendum was unwise, but to then proceed to once again fail to take the opportunity in the Scottish elections to do this, was an act of unbelievable incompetence, and should you be progressing these arrangements to legalise a future referendum you will be finding this out very shortly.

We are in the position of Scotland having voted to stay in the EU and England voting to come out by a margine that will see us taken out of the EU against our will. Now you will recall that in the run up to the EU referendum you made great play out of  the ” fact” that should this situation arise, it would be seen as a material change which could very well trigger a referendum. Now the question on the ballot paper was to ascertain whether the UK would say as a member of the EU or leave. You will note that there was no other question. For instance there was no option to leave the EU but retain membership of the single market or even retaining membership of the European economic Area. Therefore the people of Scotland voted to remain in the full EU, together with all the advantages such as the European Human rights act, etc.

Therefore ,let me ask you this . Where do you think you get the authority to decide that ,firstly the fact that we are now in the process of leaving the EU does not constitute a material change, therefore triggering an intention to hold a referendum, which in effect could be held that this is what the people of Scotland voted for ( in the EU with the added bonus of a referendum on independence) and secondly where do you think you get the authority from to change the goal posts from a material change being out of the EU to being a minor partner ( without all of the EU advantages) with some sort of piggy back to the single market. Now both these scenarios are bad enough but to make matters worse there has been suggestions of late that a mere access to the European Economic area will suffice and your deputy leader of the party has stated that if any of these scenarios are achieved then there would be no need for a referendum.

Let me be quite clear Nicola , when the people of Scotland voted in the EU referendum they voted for full membership of the EU and not any half hearted fudge. It is very clear that your place in history is assured as the leader of a party who deliberately missed the best political opportunity to fulfill their reason to exist when you decided not to declare a future referendum on independence the day after the UK voted to leave the EU. The way things are going , you will also go down in history as the leader who painted herself into the most obvious political corner , ever as there are several likely scenarios which will be played out .

When the supreme court adjudicates on the parliamentary shambles called Brexit , a general election will be called and another EU referendum will be called which will be a resounding yes.

The tory government will continue with Brexit but negotiate associated status with the EU single market.

The Tory government will continue with Brexit with an attachment to the European Economic area.

With any of these scenarios the SNP will be left waiting in the corner for the paint to dry and the Scottish people will be let down once more but the SNP for some inexplicable reason will still be in power , at least until the next election.

When Alex Salmond left the leadership he wrote a book titled “The Dream Will Never Die” I wonder if his tongue was firmly in his cheek when he chose that title.

I dont want a dream that will never die , I want a dream that will be realised, please get on with it.

Nicola and Trump

It saddened me to read the very long trail of condemnation of a piece in the Times regarding Nicola Sturgeon’s response to the election of Donald Trump as the president of the USA in Wings Over Scotland

Now let me be plain that most of the comments regarding the hypocrisy of the paper involved and the hypocrisy of both the opposition in Holyrood and indeed the British government are in the main well deserved. However the one thing missing from all this vehement condemnation (and I admit I haven’t read all of it) is actual comment on the substance of the piece, which was critical on the advisability of a head of state making the comments that Nicola made.


Now let me be very clear that at no time during the American election process did I support Donald Trump and anyone who had read my blogs on the subject will have seen that and I in fact said much the same as Nicola did. (and probably a lot more)The difference is off course, that I am a private individual and Nicola is the elected leader of the Scottish people.

I have a great many American friends including some who are very close to the American political scene and indeed many who are republicans. I have had many debates with them regarding the suitability of Donald Trump as a candidate to the most powerful position on the planet. I predicted that if Trump became the candidate he would be humiliated and the republican movement would be virtually destroyed as a consequence.

Well I was wrong, I was 100% wrong and I have admitted it to the people I debated this with.

So what, you may ask does all of this have to do with Nicola Sturgeon? Well I will tell you, and it is very simple I am a nobody as far as politics go and she is the leader of the Scottish people and as such she has to look to the future when she speaks. Now her first mistake was in her endorsement of Hillary Clinton a few days before the election .In effect she made that unwise endorsement on behalf of the Scottish people. Well I for one was absolutely terrified of the prospect of Clinton ending up in the Whitehouse as there is nothing surer that before long we would have been dragged even further into the US/Israeli morass that is the Middle East and more than likely to war with Russia.

OK apart from that, Nicola backed a looser and instead of showing some diplomatic probity, she acted like a petulant child at first minister’s questions. This is not what I expect from a leader of Scotland.

Politics and diplomacy should go hand in hand and one of the tenets of good diplomacy I would suggest is that although it is sometimes right for a politician to speak well, there are times when a silence says even more.

Trump, to all intents and propose is an unknown entity. Yes he has made some awful comments regarding race and gender but he is a new kid on the block. How many presidents have there been who did not make these terrible statements before they were elected, but then went on to drag us into horrible wars , killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and many thousands of our young soldiers.

How many young men have you known who have been wild in their youth but changed when they had a family?

Well this guy has just been given one hell of a family, so give him the benefit of the doubt. There is absolutely nothing we can do  anyway.

 

Stifle debate !

Bob CostelloI post here firstly a Facebook thread concerning a comment I made in relation to  the announcement of an order to build warships on the Clyde. The reason I include this as a blog is when I went to post the reply below, I could not do it as presumably I had been blocked. I feel that in the week that the british establishment turned against three juges for simply doing their jobs is probably not the best time for members of the SNP to be attempting to stifle honest debate. Especially when it contains disquiet in how the independence issue is being handled.
This week I have been accused of being a traitor together with a few expletives and now as you can see below carrying on a vendetta against the Dundee SNP,
I think it is sad when honest constructive criticism is seen as a threat to a political party and debate is shut down, and I really believe the SNP should at least attempt to reign in some of their more vociferous supporters.
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Bob Costello Yes they have now built in a project fear move. Independence and the contract is moved. There is one side in this battle that is not letting the grass grow under its feet and it isn’t the SNP

 

Tony McCandless
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Tony McCandless Bob is there anything anybody can post without you turning into a criticism of the SNP ? What exactly is your agenda ? A revival of Labour in our home town or just constantly criticising the party of government in Scotland ? Let’s be clear – no SNP = no independence. Your personal vendetta is becoming an impediment to rational discussion.

 

Bob Costello
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Bob Costello So tony even you cannot accept constructive criticism. There is no vendetta and I tire when in place of counter arguments I keep getting this nonsense about SNP vendettas.So , criticism of the SNP is now officially a vendetta. This is the kind in nonsense i would expect from the Mail or the Express in their toadying to the establishment when they vilified these three judges for doing their job For goodness sake Tony, wake up or we will never achieve independence and at the end of the day , was i wrong ? These contracts have been placed with an open clause for removal in the event of Scotland’s independence. So project fear is getting their act together in good time for another referendum campaign. Whereas the SNP have not even addressed the very basic issues we lost the last referendum on. Their position is actually laughable , honestly , you could not make it up. So please have a think about what you say when it concerns real independence campaigners. And kindly stop using these emotive terms like vendetta because this is the kind of language I expect from the sheeple and I would hope you are not in that category.

 

Tony McCandless
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Tony McCandless Predictable response Bob “no criticism is allowed therfore person opposing me is a mindless sheep following SNP dogma”. So let me clarify for you ; Criticism of any party in govt or not is always valid as and when there is something valid to criticise E.g. Not yet completely reforming council tax or going far enough yet in land reform. The issue is that you rarely, if ever, have something positive to say. Your personal issues with SNP council in Dundee seem to colour your contribution which is a shame. And as for your line about “real campaigners” do feel free to share your definition and also answer my questions; what is your agenda and if not the SNP then what are you advocating ? My personal perspective is that we need SNP, LabourforIndy, Greens and moderate Lib Dems etc all coming to the indy cause. UK and current Scottish Labour is a fish rotting from the head which is a travesty given its origins. There is absolutely zero hope of Kezia changing her mind given she has dug herself such a deep hole and just keeps reinforcing her Unionist stance. Also re the contracts ; I presume from your statement you have seen them. If so can you share link as given there are no signed documents it would be pertinent to publish via social media, the National, Herald etc to make sure people are aware of the game being played and that the 2 contracting parties are BAE systems and the MOD neither of which have anything to do with the Scottish Govt or the SNP.

A predictable response Tony, but that does not make it wrong.

You confuse my criticism of the SNP with the Scottish government. In the main my issue is with the SNP as a party, a party whose reason for existence is to gain independence. I feel they conflate this reason to exist with an idea that a government can govern for everyone. That is an intrinsic impossibility.
A government must take into consideration all areas of the society they have been given the remit to govern but always accounting for the mandate they have been given by the electorate.
I feel that as the SNP have been known as the party of independence for many years then it is reasonable to assume that an overwhelming majority of the people who voted for them, did so in the full knowledge that the SNP would pursue a policy that would lead to independence.
I feel that they (the SNP) have been seduced by the power they have been given by the electorate and have, instead of putting their efforts into planning for independence, have settled into being part of the establishment. They have been riding on the crest of a wave, powered initially by the surge in support, engendered by the widespread disappointment which followed the result of the independence referendum.

From the referendum they have been the beneficiaries of circumstance and I feel that much of this mana from heaven has been wasted.
In two elections , Westminster and the recent Scottish elections, they have singularly failed to put the very basic road map to independence in place by failing to declare the intention to wrest control of the ability to hold and organize referendums from Westminster to Holyrood into either manifesto and you can now see the wasted opportunity with this latest action to proceed with a “draft piece of legislation” to allow a referendum to be passed through the “Scottish parliament” on purely the basis of a pro-independence mixed party majority in Holyrood and a mere mention of a possible move towards a referendum in the manifesto of the Scottish elections.

They have been dangling carrots for the last two years which is to say the least demeaning to the electorate and their party members. They have wasted two years in failing to adress the issues we lost the last referendum on. In fact I have it on good authority that they don’t even know what the reasons were.
The Scottish elections were a disaster for their own making, for many reasons among which was the two votes for the SNP instead of an organized first vote for SNP and a second vote for a “suggested” alternative pro-independence party. This resulted in the Tories gaining more than double their representation in the parliament and the SNP losing 6 seats along with a derisory increase in voter representation of something like 1.2% compared to 12.75% in the previous elections in 2011 and this without the upsurge in popularity as previously described.

OK that was in the past but to me the thing that capped it all was the commitment to hold a referendum if Scotland was to be torn out of the EU when we voted to remain but the rest of the UK voted to leave.
The day after the EU referendum will go down as the worst lost opportunity ever in politics when Theresa May hotfooted it up to Scotland and mugged Nicola into believing that she would have a veto over negotiations regarding pursuing exit from the EU. Well we all know what happened to that now do we?
The “ going for a referendum if Scotland voted remain “ to a possible referendum if we couldn’t by some means be part of the “single market” was a subtlety that quite a lot of people missed but it was a landmark change in what had been offered previously

Then there was the party conference where Nicola gave a speech which could have been seen as the SNP making their remit to keep us in both the EU and the UK, followed by Angus Robertson making it abundantly clear that as long as we could in some way still be part of “the single market “there would be no need for a referendum. At a stroke he took away the reason for the SNP’s existence. This was followed by John Swinney making it clear that if a referendum was to happen then we could conceivably be campaigning for a common currency. This made plain that he was on a completely different planet from the rest of us.

The SNP are in the process of the largest, painting one’s self into a corner exercise in the history of the planet. They have, either by incompetence or design hung the jacket of independence on a very shaky hook. They have corralled the hopes of the “faithful” into a very narrow channel, that of non-admittance to the single market, which is not going to happen.

So for the avoidance of doubt here is what in all probability will happen? The government will appeal the recent judgement against them and will fail. There will be a general election. A new Tory government will be formed and they will take the question of whether the EU referendum should be recognized to parliament. There will be an amendment proposing another referendum which will be passed. There will be a referendum at which the British people, realizing that they had been mugged the first time will vote to remain. Parliament will recognize the decision.

THEREFORE AS PER THE SNP’S STRATAGY AND ANGUS ROBERTSONS PRONOUNCEMENT THERE WILL NOT BE ANOTHER INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM AND WE ARE STUFFED

I could go on for hours enumerating the reasons I have extreme concerns as to the commitment and abilities of the SNP . You rightly say that I have had issues with the Dundee SNP. I will not go into that here as there is a possibility that issues surrounding this could be brought to court which will, if found necessary will be done at a time of my choosing. You will note that there has been dissatisfaction throughout the Dundee SNP leading to three councilors deciding not to put themselves up for re-election next May and one of the parliamentary political managers being sacked. A person who had a hand in the vilification I was subject to whilst organizing a road map to independence rally.

You rightly highlight that I do not have access to the contracts signed in connection with the shipping to be built on the Clyde, I am however not stupid and I fully realize that anyone who does not realize that this latest announcement is a built in threat of withdrawal of these contracts to be used in the event of another referendum, IS stupid, and that was the subject of my comment. Which was if you remember that of the two parties’ one of them is not letting the grass grow under their feet and it is not the SNP.

As for my definition of campaigning I attach a blog I did a couple of days before the election in May, the day after I walked out of a meeting that Nicola was addressing after the schedule regarding the asking of questions was hastily rearranged by the previously mentioned political manager who has been sacked from his position, in order that I could not ask the question that I had intended asking. There is an attachment in this blog to my letter of resignation which covers the campaigning aspect of your comment and as it so happens the blog covers the question I wished to ask, which very pertinent to what I have said previously in this answer.

As for your comment that the SNP are at the moment the best bet we have for independence, I would agree and in any of my blogs or postings you will not find one contradiction of that. In assessing the abilities of the SNP , people continually confuse them with the Scottish Government. However the difference is this. The SNP as the largest part of the Scottish government do a good job and that is what we pay them for but they have at their disposal an army of advisors, Lawyers, engineers, planners etc,etc. Whereas the SNP as a political party have only the politicians, the majority of whom have never even ran a business let alone a country, in their life’s and therein lies the problem. The SNP party’s strategic abilities leave a hell of a lot to be desired.

My commitment to independence is unquestionable, my opinion of the road we are at present taking is that, that is questionable. I hear time and time again that there is a plan, this from people who have no way of knowing whether there is a plan or not. They have been saying this for over two years. One thing is sure and that is that over these two years there has not been a plan. I keep getting this “Nicola is keeping her cards close to her chest and not telling anyone of them “ Is this the same Nicola who has said at least 50 times that the British government should be telling everyone their plans for Brexit? Is it a case then of one rule for the SNP and another for everyone else

As I said in one of my blogs “The problem with having blind faith is that one day you might wake up blind”

A letter to Nicola