Thursday, January 21, 2016

On the progress of "the movement"

Denise made an interesting suggestion on the previous thread.  She reckons that the recent "Scottish blog wars" (of which the total breakdown of my own relationship with a bashful RISE propagandist was but a small part) is another sign that the independence movement is working its way through the classic stages of grief after the referendum defeat, with the current stage being 'depression', which has led to us fighting with each other.  I think the true explanation for the disputes is more prosaic, and actually more encouraging.  We're fighting because for the next few months we're not actually on the same side - the SNP, Greens, RISE and Solidarity are in direct competition for votes.  "The movement" is, at the moment,  mainly just a phrase RISE supporters use to bang others over the head with as they haughtily claim an entitlement to free votes on the list.

Perhaps that's an exaggeration, but to the extent that there is still such a thing as a cross-party movement, it's actually in a much, much stronger state than it would have been if the referendum hadn't taken place.  Consider this - five years ago, the Greens professed a doctrine of complete equidistance between Labour and the SNP, and were clearly prepared to install Iain "the Snarl" Gray as First Minister without any concessions on an independence referendum, or on a push for more powers for the Scottish Parliament.  The 2011 edition of the blog wars centred around the claim of Greens such as James Mackenzie to be thoroughly amused by SNP supporters who thought there was anything surprising or reprehensible about the stance his party was taking.  Clearly the Greens were only pro-independence back then in a fairly nominal sense - it was nothing like a priority for them.  That's completely changed now, largely as a result of the post-referendum influx of members.

I don't think anyone can really doubt Tommy Sheridan's long-term commitment to independence, but it wasn't strong enough in 2011 to prevent him urging his supporters in Glasgow to elect George Galloway - a man who made no secret of his determination to use his seat at Holyrood to oppose independence tooth-and-nail.  Such an endorsement would be unthinkable now, all thanks to the referendum campaign.

I can't claim to be an authority on what the SSP were saying about independence five years ago, because they weren't really on the electoral radar.  But their successors in RISE could hardly be taking a much stronger position now - promising a referendum on independence within the next five years regardless of circumstances.

So, no, I don't think we're depressed, and there's no need to become depressed.  If the worst happens and the SNP fall slightly short of a majority in May, they won't be short of common ground with the Greens, or with Solidarity if Sheridan nicks a seat in Glasgow.  (As you know, I don't expect RISE to trouble the scorer.)

40 comments:

  1. I'm not depressed. I am resolute, watching every gyre in the opinion polls, and supremely confident that my country will soon be free. We are all on the same side, whatever differences of opinion we hold.

    Do you think Labour is happy? Are they all on the same side?

    Onwards and upwards. Alba Gu Brath!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 21, 2016 at 8:50 PM

      We are free and in a vreat Union you narrowback idiot that wants to surrender to Herman and the Fran k Furt Euro in the old tradition of Nat si ism.


      Delete
    2. Awa back ablow yer brig ya saddo troll.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 21, 2016 at 9:45 PM

      Whit dis that gay lick comment translate intae?

      Delete
    4. Rough translation: coming on here and calling us Nazis is winning back so many votes for your beloved Labour party.

      Delete
  2. The RISE people need to learn that the SNP was 30 years old before it made it's electoral breakthrough in 1974. It doesn't happen overnight or in the space of a couple of years. Time will tell if they will prosper or wither.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've hit the nail on the head. They have a strong online presence and think they can just wish support into existence. But they lack footsoldiers on the ground. I hope they thrive, but they will need to work for it like every other party has.

      Delete
  3. A thought: suppose the nightmare scenario (to indy supporters) of not just an SNP majority, but not enough other pro-indy MSPs get elected for a pro-indy majority. What happens?

    If we get an SNP minority government, then "no indyref 2" will be hammered into us by the joyous unionist parties, thinking the SNP defeated, the loss of a majority a crippling blow to the movement. Yet if the FM still proves popular (not difficult considering the opposition), we're faced with an EU out vote (possible) and more Tory disgraces (actually happening), then there is a likelihood support for independence will rise. If that's the case - that support for independence rises, but the party in government is *forbidden* from doing anything about it because of the other parties - then what do they think is going to happen by 2021? Do they think Scots will just return like little lost lambs gambolling in the Valley of Separatism? Hell, what do they think's going to happen in 2017?

    Alternatively, if the number of anti-independence MSPs outnumbers the pro-independence MSPs, then can we really rule out a "Grand Alliance" a la Ramsay MacDonald? The other parties fought tooth and nail to stop the referendum during the minority administration, and they won't stop now, Wendy Alexander's easily-slapped-down "bring it on" grandstanding aside. The establishment came far too close to defeat last time around: they will do everything to stop indyref2 before it begins. If not a formal alliance, then a confidence-supply arrangement with Kezia Dugdale as FM... *shudder*

    Some say the prospect of anyone other than the SNP in power will kill independence. While I will absolutely campaign with all my heart to make sure the SNP gain a majority, I won't give up if that doesn't happen, and I doubt any independence supporter will. We will take the hand fate deals us, and decide what we do with the cards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If such an unlikely scenario were to occur Taranaich (it is far more likely for 2021 than for this election), then it wont be the unionist parties 'forbidding' a referendum, as you say - it will have been the choice of the Scottish public to 'forbid' it.

      Aldo

      Delete
    2. I suppose that the 2021 Holyrood election could effectively become an independence referendum by default if the SNP made it the main plank of their campaign.
      A Labour-Tory coalition wouldn't be popular if SNP were the largest party, so I think another SNP minority Gov would be far more likely, but who knows the Labour mindset..
      Main danger without an SNP majority is the impetus could be lost. With a mandate and even the possibility of a referendum, the constitution remains in the spotlight.

      Delete
  4. The SSP have supported independence since they were formed in the late 1990s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. What I don't know is whether it was a fairly low priority for them in 2011, as it was for the Greens.

      Delete
    2. @James

      They emphasised it quite heavily if my memory serves me right. They support an independent socialist republic, so I suppose their priorities would be socialism, self determination and republicanism, probably in that order. If anything the SSP are more pro-independence than the Scottish Greens imo.

      Delete
    3. I think socialism and self determination are somewhat mutually exclusive.

      Aldo

      Delete
  5. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 21, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    The only party the Working Class should consider on 5th May is the SNP. If you want a majority government then it is simply both votes SNP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 21, 2016 at 9:55 PM

      Do the Nat sis have working class friendly policies and will they end food banks!

      Delete
    2. Do Labour have policies? Spending the non-existent APD monies doesn't count, Labour have already earmarked that for five different priorities. ..

      Delete
  6. All seems rather healthy to me. Scotland increasingly behaving politically like an independent country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 21, 2016 at 10:51 PM

      A poltically independent country needs to have responsible politicians and not a bunch of opportunists.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 21, 2016 at 11:48 PM

      That is why 40 Labour MP's were ejected at the last General Election.

      Delete
    3. You think so SS?? What I saw was a bunch of bullies trying to silence a democratic movement, and bludgeon AN EDITOR, who should never have capitulated, into doing something that he did not want to, and was at liberty not to do. Inevitably the MSM picked up on it fairly quickly. So it's healthy when (we) indy supporters fall out but it's laughable carnage when the labour party disagree? Get real. So how are we supposed to work together as a YES movement again? and, much, much more importantly, how are we supposed to put the country together again after so many more years of Tory rule and centre ground, over cautious SNP government, now that we've all but capitulated to the shoosht for indy brigade? Now some disclaimers, to save some of you from screaming "yoon! troll! wastemonster lover!" and all the other sad cliches that the MSM love so much; 'I'd need to have a gun pointed at my head before I'd ever vote for a unionist party. I saw through Tony Blair way before he was elected. I'm disappointed by the perpetual fragmentation of the left, but I do consider myself to be way to the left of the SNP, whom I do have a fair bit of respect for, and who will have my first vote. I don't necessarily consider James to be a bully, but rather akin to the angst ridden kid who did their homework for them to stay alive. Sorry james, but you've lost it with your continual scab picking, much as you were my go to blog previous to the referendum and the GE. BTW love GWC2. Nice to at least see a sense of humour :)

      Delete
    4. Anon : That comment is very hard work. I feel sure I should be offended by it, but I'll probably have to decipher what it means first.

      Delete
    5. Why be offended James? In the first instance that's not my intention, you're a survivor, but if you can't take a bit of criticism don't dish it out.

      Delete
    6. And if you want to be understood, try to say something that makes sense. As I said, I'd really like to be offended, but I can't oblige because I genuinely don't have a sodding clue what you're talking about. Feel free to have another try if you like.

      Delete
    7. The comment was in response to Scottish Skiers assertion that "it all seems rather healthy"

      Delete
    8. If I had asked what the comment was in response to, that would have been a really helpful piece of information. As it is, not so much.

      Delete
  7. A poltically independent country needs to have responsible politicians and not a bunch of opportunists.

    You refer, of course to the Labour Party?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I see James that you're trying to move on from the blog war.

    But best way might be to change the subject? More please on the unionists' divisions and failings and the potential for all of us pro indies.


    In other words back to business as usual. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is business as usual - I'm writing about what seems most interesting at any given moment. I'm not trying to move on from the blog war - it seems to have eased off for the moment, but if there are any more propaganda pieces on certain websites about "tactical voting", I may well respond to them.

      Delete
    2. In terms of 'moving on'. Just for a bit of fun

      Here's a technical question for James, and indeed anywone else that's interested (Scottish Skier I mostly mean you), but anybody else that has polling expertise.

      Preamble: Current opinion polls on the Yes/No question are weighted by recalled referendum vote, yes? On the basis of 45% Yes / 55% No

      Question: What would be the effect on current opinion polls if they were weighed to a referendum result that had been 52% Yes / 48% No?

      Would that make current Yes support higher, or lower?

      Would that affect where the parties are polling?

      Delete
  9. SNP cooperation with Greens and Socialists (the extremists of politics - one wants you living in a cave, the other a hippie commune), in order to cobble together a majority, is the second preference of Scottish Unionists after an outright Unionist majority. It would be a mess and quickly put lib/lab/con back in contention. No use pretending it wouldn't.

    However, neither scenario is likely. The SNP will get their overall majority - and own all the screw ups of the next 5 years, including no second indyref.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a risk that a fringe party implodes in government. Although if the SNP vote does decline I'd prefer it to go to a pro-indy party than to the Yoons.

      Delete
    2. Vladimir Putin friend of Kim Jung EckJanuary 22, 2016 at 12:28 AM

      The Nat si vote will decline once the Tartan Tories are exposed for the shysters they are. History is kind.

      Delete
    3. There are different types of pro indy. Do you want the pound or a separate currency, for example? The SNP want the pound. The Greens want a separate currency. No small matter when it comes to another independence push, assuming both parties wish to pursue indy and the UK government allows them to plan and hold a referendum. What if timing were an issue - you find yourself relying on Scotland's comedy socialists who demand a referendum next Tuesday as a "red line" issue? The wrong mix of pro indy politicians could f*ck indy for good far more effectively than anything the unionists may do or achieve.

      Delete
    4. All this coming from you Aldo, confirms that the best outcome for Indy would definitely be an SNP left/green coalition govt. You're not exactly wise are you now?

      Delete
    5. Wise enough to see through the Yes charade. What's the price of oil again?

      Aldo

      Delete
    6. I rest my case.... Tory gloats as oil workers lose jobs.

      Delete
  10. Taking Lallands Peat Worrier off the blog roll because of a Dawson's Creek meme?

    Really??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a bit meaningless to block him on Twitter, and then leave him on the link list. So yes, really. It was a pathetic playground taunt, and I'd have expected far, far better than that from Andrew. I don't know if he was drunk or something - that might be one reasonable explanation, although there was no obvious sign of that.

      By the way, why are you posting anonymously? Is this Gordon "James Kelly is an unhinged lunatic" Clark I'm speaking to AGAIN?

      Delete
  11. Aldo Anonymous(e)
    Unlike GLASGOW WORKING CLASS whose Anglo-Brit, neo-Mosleyite, uber Fascist inclinations seem clear to the point of making UKIP come over all coy and tremulously petulant, are you, may I ask you, one of the Mussolini related Aldos via the Brit's Group 77 Brigade's subsequent coupling with The Mad Dug McTernan?

    A simple FOI request as I suggest you and we should be told for the sake of getting thangs out in to the licht (GWC gets a free pass on this given his evolutionary status approximating the common or garden worm).

    ReplyDelete