Source: Tread Lightly
Well last weekend showed a definite change in the SNP’s recent attitude to independence when Nicola Sturgeon made two speeches seemingly setting out a new take on the independence issue. This was followed all week by postings and tweets on social media from Yes supporters in their new found state of euphoria. Many of them announcing Nicolas secret plan was now coming to fruition.
Well I would caution as to what was actually promised because nothing was in effect put forward as anything which could be considered as a road map to independence.
Basicly,what was stated is what is in the SNP constitution and that is that the propose of the SNP is to take the country towards independence.
Now this might very well be a change of heart, from being terrified of the dreaded word independence being mentioned anywhere near an election, to a reassessment of the wishes of the members of the party. If it is, then that in itself is to be welcomed, but that will not in itself get us any nearer independence without action to go along with the new found bravado.
Now ,there is understandably many people who are now starting to campaign through social media for the SNP to include a date for a referendum in the elections. I do not think they will and I do not think it is necessary, if they properly pave the way for another referendum at a time of our choosing. To be able to do this we must firstly have the power to call a referendum at a time of our choosing and this will require a commitment to pursue this goal the manifesto. This is something that should have been included in the manifesto for the Westminster elections, if it had been then we could very well have had this power now.
There should be a concerted effort to address the issues that lost us the last referendum, such as pensions and the currency , plan B issue. To do these things the grass roots organisations must once again be activated and campaigned on a lower level with materials supplied centrally, through the SNP.
It is only if these basic things are done that we are ever going to get near the magical 60% of comfort that the SNP see as a possible trigger point for another referendum. Another way is of course to actually set a date in the manifesto and then work towards converting the no voters to yes and I am sure there are many now who have made that change. It should be remembered that when Alex Salmon set the train in motion for a referendum the yes vote was standing at only 27% and it went up to 45% if the results were in fact accurate .
On this point ,there is something that yes campaigners can do themselves to help in this conversion and that is to treat people who voted no in the last referendum with some respect and consideration. These people were as entitled to their opinion as we were to ours and there were in fact a great many of them who voted in the way they did because of some of the mistakes that we made in properly informing them of the various issues like pensions. So there must be no more calling them Naw Bags etcetera. If you cant coherently debate with opposite views without resorting to name calling than stay out of the debate and leave it to people who can. There is also of course the ongoing problem with SNP supporters who immediately jump on people who dare constructively criticise the SNP, and the SNP should be reigning in these unpleasant people.
There will never be a better time to get the independence movement going again after this unnecessary 15 months of hibernation. The Tories are now as unpopular in Scotland as they were when Thatcher was the Prim Minister and Labour in Scotland are in self destruct mode , to the point where I feel they are now actually realising this and I have a feeling that before long there will be Labour MSP members jumping ship rather than be ignominiously given their marching orders in May. I have said it many times that the only hope for Labour in Scotland is to separate completely from London Labour and embrace independence. I would like to think that they are considering this option as only then, can they rebuild a once proud party.
So it is over to the SNP , they need to be more open with the Scottish people and they need to do more than talk about independence . The Army is ready to march , we lost a battle 15 Months ago but .there is still a War to be won.
“So open the West Port and let us gang free”
We are still on that road to independence .
I was just looking at Nicolas speech made( yesterday I believe) regarding the upcoming elections and the forthcoming year . She did actually mention independence, which was a pleasant surprise and this may well be down to the various voices advocating actions in an independence vein. However , I note that as in the past Nicola has made the point that the Scottish people will make it clear when another referendum will take place, she is now concentrating on an exceptional event having to take place and sitting the referendum on exit from Europe as the kind of exceptional event she has in mind. This or the opinion polls showing a significant increase in support for independence.
Now a couple of points here. I feel that the change of tact regarding the Scottish people telling her that they want independence might just have something to do with the fact that there has been several rally’s to tell her exactly that and have been ignored by the SNP to the point of no SNP politicians even speaking at them.
As far as the exceptional event goes , and that being the EU in/out vote , Well I have the feeling that this vote in Scotland might not be the clear cut decider that some people expect. Lets say there was a 10% difference of people who wanted to stay in as opposed to the people who wanted to come out ,in Scotland and a very small majority in England who wanted to leave the Union. Well that would be about the same percentage that we had at the referendum for staying in the union, so it would be reasonable to say that the will of the Scottish people was being ignored by leaving the EU and it would be reasonable in these circumstances to hold a referendum on independence .
OK so what if the majority for staying in was much lower, say two or three percent? that would quite possibly present a problem.
So given the two scenarios that Nicola has presented for a move towards independence of the possible EU exit or the support for independence rising sufficiently to warrant another referendum and I have good reason to believe that the trigger point being put about SNP circles is 60%, there are several things that have to be in place before either of these scenarios would be successful and they all need the same actions to take place and the same time-scale.
This is what they are , and some of you will have heard me saying this before , many times .
We need the mistakes made in the referendum campaign of 2014 to be corrected ,such as the confusion on pensions and monitory union and in this respect this needs to be addressed as soon as possible. This to my mind will require the restarting up of the fantastic grass roots groups that were so effective during the referendum campaign. This would have again to be done in conjunction with the SNP as was the case with the Yes set up. I am sure the grass roots groups could manage to self finance as there would be literature etc which could be produced and coordinated through the SNP. That way every household in the country could be in position of all the relevant information concerning the unanswered questions of the last referendum.
Perhaps Wings over Scotland could be persuaded to produce the “Wee Blue Book” mark two . That was a fantastic publication and would be the very thing we are needing.
OK so that takes care of the unanswered questions and now to the actual referendum . Well we need to have in place , the right to hold one and this needs a commitment in the manifesto to be produced for the forthcoming election in May to demand that right be passed from the Westminster government to the Scottish government. Now this should be in every independence minded party’s manifesto.
Now we need , not only the right to hold a referendum at a time of our choosing but we have to be able to regulate it as well and that means stopping the automatic right to a postal vote with special exceptions. We must ensure that there is proper international scrutiny and of course , this time there must be exit polls allowed. I cannot for the life of me understand why the Scottish government agreed to no exit polls in the last referendum as the only people that ,that could assist was people who intended cheating.
So that is my take on where we are on the road to independence, in other words we need a proper road map to independence . We need to energise the grass roots groups once more. We have an army out there ,willing to do what they can to move towards our common goal and the worst thing you can do with an Army is to let it idle.
We need to be on the streets once more with hope ,hope for the future of our children and our Grandchildren and indeed our country.
This is our road to a better future and we must grasp it with both hands .
So we say goodbye to 2015, an eventful year by any standards. A year in which we sent 56 out of a possible 59 MP’s down to London under the SNP banner. A year also in which we yet again sent our military to war.
Our 56 MP’s although with good intentions have not been able to make much of a difference because the forces of the establishment, Tory, Labour and the lib Dems have been collectively stacked against them.
I feel it could have been made easier for them with some forethought, in as much as the manifesto for that election could have been structured in a manner which could have made it very difficult for the Westminster cabal to have resisted many of the policies which in effect the Scottish people would have voted for.
In particular there could have been a commitment to pursue the right to determine exactly when and in what manner another referendum could have been held. If this had been a manifesto commitment then the British Government would have had difficulty in refusing this and if they did then there would have been a strong case for taking the matter to the United Nations.
Instead, we had the half-hearted and late in the day attempt to have this debated during the farce that was the Scotland Bill. It was of course dismissed during that very comical event.
Following on from that we had the debate to decide whether we went to war in Syria. Labour were as usual ,all over the place in this and their loyalties were divided between voting as their constituents would have wished them to vote and attempting to defeat their own leader and it was sad to see one of their number, Hillary Benn receiving an ovation from the Tories after delivering the longest suicide note in Labour history.
Now these two issues I am highlighting here are very much connected, because if we had a manifesto and therefore a mandate which insisted on wresting the right to hold a referendum from Westminster and had that issue been diligently pursued as soon as the 56 SNP PM’s had went down to London, then this could very well have had an impact on the vote of whether or not to go to go to war in Syria. The reason being that it could very well have been seen as one of these illusive trigger points that Nicola Sturgeon has mentioned in connection with setting off another referendum.
I still feel that we have lost a prime opportunity to simply go for the election in May on the basis of every independence minded party presenting a manifesto of independence. It is too late now because we would have had to have prepared the ground by addressing the mistakes we made during the referendum campaign, such as the pensions issue and the monitory union or plan B and since the referendum there has been no attempt by the SNP to address any of these issues. It is also difficult to imagine Labour being in a worse position to again be the front for the Tories in the NO campaign as they are virtually an irrelevance in Scotland now. It would also have put them on the spot as to whether they again opposed independence or did what any right thinking person would advise them to do and that would be to separate completely from London Labour and go wholeheartedly for independence.
As I say, it is too late to consider this scenario and I again have to wonder at the thinking of the SNP as far as the road to independence is concerned. They are at present riding a wave of popularity, brought about by the perception that they are the best conduit to independence. I keep hearing that they have achieved this residency of the ivory tower they, at present inhabit through what they have done, but to be very honest I cannot find one single thing that they as a party have done since the referendum to be where they are except for replacing Alex Salmond by Nicola Sturgeon. The rest was done by Labour, the Tories and media outlets like the BBC, all of whom acted abominably.
I have had people giving me lists of achievements of the Scottish Government who have administered Scotland very well in comparison to the clownish attempts at administrations in the past by Labour and the Lib Dems but these achievements have in the main been carried out or planned before the referendum so have nothing to do with the present SNP’s ( as opposed to the Scottish Government) rise in popularity which is almost exclusively a reaction to how the other parties conducted themselves during the referendum campaign.
I would add a note of caution here to anyone looking to use the Scottish government’s achievements, as a reason for the SNP’s popularity, because it could be said that all these achievements have been made under the Union and not with independence.
So as we go into another year what should we be looking for from the SNP? Well we should be looking for a road map to independence, not necessarily a date for a referendum but at the very least a rout laid out with all the potential obstacles on the way, mapped out and addressed. Now that would give the people something to attach themselves to and it might somewhat allay the unease that is surfacing in loyal campaigners who are beginning to have misgivings. The grass roots organisations should again be encouraged to campaign at a much lower level than in the referendum but to get the messages out on the issues that I have discussed such as pensions and what the monitory system will be in an independent country and whether for instance we should consider taking on a voluntary share of the UK debt.
The other thing which has to happen is that the SNP must get a grip of their supporters who immediately jump on anyone who comes forward with constructive criticism as there are actually many commentators who actually shy away from offering alternatives because they know that they will immediately be descended on by people who will accuse them of SNP hating or attempting to split the vote etc. etc. Now these people are generally un- thinking people whose only answer is that the SNP know what they are doing and have a master plan. Now if they had a master plan that they were not telling anyone about, then it would not be very cleaver to tell everyone, as Nicola Sturgeon has that “the people will decide when the time is right for another referendum” That is a contradiction in terms.
There also needs to be a change of attitude to the people who voted no because if we cannot convert them we are not going to win the next time so stop calling them silly names like Naw bags etc.
Let’s hope that 2016 will be a year of clarity and the SNP will once again work with the people of Scotland to attain the goal that is written very clearly in their own constitution and that is the attainment of independence. Because if there is not that clarity then people will start to suspect that the main focus of the SNP is power as opposed to independence and if that was to be the opinion of the people of Scotland then it would be time for a party of independence to emerge.
I feel we are still on that road to independence but we have stalled somewhat unnecessarily.
Fifteen Months ago we were on the streets of our Cities full of hope and we made a distinct difference to the politics of Scotland which has changed for the good. We need to be back on these same streets once more.
A happy new year to every one.
We are still on the road to independence
On the 5th October we through the Yes Bus team held a rally in Dundee city Square which was a great success and involved some great speakers and a great line up of entertainment .
Unfortunately because we chose to name the event “A Road Map To Independence “, the implication being that we were of the opinion that the SNP should produce such a road map, instead of the muddle we seem to be in regarding the future of Scotland, the Dundee SNP decided to attempt to spoil the day and indeed put several obstacles in the way of it.
Now the reason they chose to use to attempt to sabotage the Road Map To Independence “was that we had asked Tommy Sheridan to speak. I do not believe for a moment that this was the real reason and they saw the rally as an obstacle to their policy of doing absolutely nothing about putting in place the mechanism for another referendum.
It is too long a story to go into exactly what happened at this moment but very briefly it consisted of , firstly an SNP politician , comically going on to face book and asking all an sundry, whether he should speak on the event followed by the usual group of SNP sycophants posting that he shouldn’t. There then followed an unsavoury incident where the SNP chairman of the licencing board refused a late application to hold a parade around our town , even although all the necessary permissions including the police had been granted, siting erroneously, that I had personally made a late application for a previous event. An event which had hilariously in fact been applied for by the SNP themselves. Then presumably realising that he had made an ass of himself he then attempted to use the local unionist rag (the Courier) to disparage the event, calling it a shambles and stating (although he was not there) that there was only three hundred people at the event. Well I was there and counted in the region of one thousand there over the course of the day.
During the run up to the event and the orchestrated campaign to discredit myself and the organisers, things became so childish that I, tongue in cheek posted at one point that we were to be providing a Bouncy Castle for the local SNP politicians to encourage them to attend the event.
Of course it became obvious, even to the limited group mentality of the Dundee SNP that the event had, despite their best endeavours, been a success. So undaunted in their stupidity they then through employees of the SNP stupidly posted the front page of the Courier in all of its unreliable and misleading glory with the headlines “Rally A Shambles” and the discredited and ridicules assertion by the SNP head of the licencing board that there had been only 300 at the event . This posting was intended to personally discredit me and the people who had been involved in the organisation of the event. This posting was transparently and quickly followed by adverse comments by, again the usual suspects of Dundee West SNP Sycophants, unsuccessful candidate applicants and failed event organisers. Who piled in with adverse and very obviously, pre-discussed, comments and therefore encouraged many of the mindless SNP morons that I had been dealing with all week to put their insipid contribution to the debate.
Well you might well wonder why I am mentioning all this now, some two Months after the event. Well I will tell you why. It is firstly because I felt that because of all the vile disparaging comments aimed at me by what I came to describe as the flock, and because of the collusion of the Dundee SNP in all of this and also because of my disillusionment at the SNP as far as a cohesive policy towards independence (which is after all their sole purpose in life ) I felt obliged to resign my membership in the party I had supported for 30 years.
Secondly, the reason this has come up at this time, is that last week, this party, the SNP tried to organise an event themselves. It was to be a ceilidh to celebrate St Andrews day. This event was to have all the ingredients of SNP speakers, entertainment and food (well, actually, soup and a roll) and all of this was for the princely sum of £10. (Our event was free). Now in case there are any of the SNP flock reading this, St Andrews day is the celebration of the patron saint of Scotland (neither the Scottish Government nor the SNP have to my knowledge made any move to make it a national holiday probably because people might start thinking about independence).
So what happened at the SNP St Andrews day extravaganza? Well nothing actually in fact it was so badly organised by the SNP that it had to be cancelled. Not only that but they were in such a state of Cognitive Dissidence that they did not realise that it was not a goer until the last minute and there were cases of people checking their emails in between getting their kilts on and checking that the baby sitters were coming only to discover that the event HAD BEEN CANCLED.
So a tale of two events. There is something amiss within the SNP in Dundee and my mind was even further troubled when ,the other day I read that and SNP councillor was being investigated in connection with assault of a colleague ( presumably and SNP colleague) at the Dundee SNP headquarters in Old Glamis Rd.
I have been putting my mind to how the SNP could have done things better in order to have made sure their little event had been viable and have come to the conclusion that what they lacked was a BOUNCY CASTLE.
This photo is of three of the most precious people in my life , they are my Grandchildren.
I will be able to enjoy their company and watch them grow up hopefully to be good people.
Tomorrow the government of the UK will more than likely vote to go to war in Syria.
Today in Syria there will be Fathers, Mothers and Grandparents, who will be enjoying their children and Grandchildren for the last time, because bombers from the UK will be killing them before the end of this week.…
There is at present twelve countries who are carrying out bombing missions in Syria. The British government say that the planes they will send can pinpoint terrorists more accurately than the planes which are bombing right now. The implication is that they will be able to avoided civilian causalities. This is the most ludicrous suggestion that I have ever heard. It is impossible to avoid civilian casualties when bombs are dropped in built up areas, such as there is in Raqqa,
Mark my words , before the end of this week the British Air force will be killing innocent women and children.
They will be doing this because of our MP’s will have voted to instruct them to do this.
The Tories will do what Tories do , but Labour , supposedly the party of the working man are split on this. Now the reason they are split is not because some of them actually believe that it will make any difference to the course of the War in Syria, in fact they couldn’t care less. No, the reason that a number of Labour MP;s will vote for the slaughter to commence , is because they see this as a way of attacking Jeremy Corbyn, the very man who was chosen as the leader of the party by the largest majority ever in the history of the party.
Well I have this to say to these Labour politicians who will cast their vote to start the killing.
YOUR ARE DESPICIBLE EXCUSES FOR HUMAN BEINGS AND I DETEST THE GROUND YOU WALK UPON.
YOU ARE NOT FIT TO HOLD OFFICE AND REPRESENT ORDINARY WORKING PEOPLE AND YOU SHOULD CRAWL BACK INTO THE HOLES YOU CAME FROM.
Yes this is the Blairites I am speaking about, you are already up to your elbows in innocent blood, so why change the habits of a lifetime.
Never in my name
Here we go again . The government is determined to take this country into yet another idiotic war and this will be the granddaddy of them all. It has all the ingredients of a huge disaster waiting to happen, and mark my words , if the vote on Wednesday in the Westminster parliament is for the bombing within Syria to go ahead then every one of us will henceforth carry the vicarious responsibility for the deaths of innocent civilians.
I was listening to a government Minister on the Andrew Mar show today telling every one that this bombing will be precision bombing and implying that only the bad guys will be killed. Well he was lying through his teeth and he knew it. Bombs are area armaments and a standard bomb destroys everything and everyone within 500 metres as in the photo attached.
ISIS control an area of Syria and Iraq with is larger than great Britain. Their main headquarters seems to be in the Syrian City of Raqqa, a city which has a population of not far short of one million people. ISIS have spread their forces around the City for obvious reasons, therefore it will be virtually impossible to bomb ISIS in Raqqa without killing many thousands of innocent civilians.
So on Wednesday this is what your local MP will be voting ,either for or against. It looks now very much like the SNP will be voting against this motion, after a bit of a waver two weeks ago. Jeremy Corbyn has his work cut out trying to get his red Tories to vote against it in a free vote and I only hope he had the balls to put a whip on his party to ensure the maximum amount of pressure against the government motion. If he does then we have to hope for a few Tories with the sense to vote against their own party .
If the SNP had acted in the manner they should have, since the referendum and put in motion the means to address the mistakes made in the referendum and also , place a basic requirement of wresting the power to hold a referendum from Westminster in their GE manifesto and then after taking 56 out of the possible 59 MP’s down to Westminster had the sense to immediately demand that very basic right, then the government would have had to have treaded very carefully with this Bill in case it triggered another referendum. But unfortunately the SNP did not do any of these things so that is not an option.
Bombing is on its own never going to defeat ISIS, that is a fact . All bombing will do is kill a few ISIS members and build up resentment for the many civilian casualties that the bombing will produce and that will produce more terrorists and will make the likelihood of terrorist attacks in this country a very real possibility.
The British government seem to be willing to make us believe that there is an army of about 70,000″ good” rebels who are at present fighting the Syrian government and some of the time some of them are fighting ISIS. Firstly the figure of 70,000 is nonsense and here is the reason I have for saying this . Firstly the “good “rebels ( apart from the Kurdish fighters) are Al Qaida ! remember them ? and guess where ISIS came from ? yes you got it Al Qaida . Now recently an American general who was tasked by his country to train the “good” rebels ( Al Qaida) to fight the government of Syria was questioned by a Senate committee regarding where the half a billion dollars that he had been allocated for this training had gone and how this training and arming of the “good” rebels was going. He had to admit that it was not really going that well and when pressed on the subject he had to admit that after training had been completed ,most of the “good” rebels had simply joined their buddies in ISIS and at present there was only four , yes I will say that again only FOUR on the training program. So in effect the half a billion dollars spent on training had been spent on training ISIS. So as far as the British Governments 70,000 “good “rebels waiting with bated breath to throw them selves at ISIS is concerned , this is fantasy pure and simple.
There are many ,many other factors in this questionable equation such as the multitude of countries who are already bombing in Syria, a government in Turkey, a member of NATO who have just tried to start World War three by shooting down a Russian Jet for having the audacity to bomb ISIS convoys of oil heading for Turkey. There is Israel’s shady hand in this because of their illegal oil wells in the Golan heights belonging to Syria and there is Saudi Arabia whose Wahhabi government are supporting ISIS who are also Wahhabi Sunni .
So all in all quite a minefield to be going in to. We must not once again make this mistake and we must learn by history., We have invaded and intervened in Afghanistan, Iraq , Libya and these countries are now back to the stone age and as a result we have a terrorist problem and an acute refugee problem.
The people of the UK and indeed more especially the people of Scotland must once again say ” NOT IN MY NAME ” and the government must listen. It is just a pity that we are not in a position to walk away.