Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Abandoning the SNP for a new pro-indy party would be a terrible idea - and here's why

Jason McCann ran a Twitter poll yesterday, asking whether a new pro-independence party should be set up if the SNP fail to use their mandate to hold an independence referendum.  Now, it's no secret that I think it would be a historic error to let the mandate expire in 2021, and that I'm deeply troubled that there seem to be a few senior people in the SNP who don't take their manifesto commitment to voters seriously.  But nevertheless, and regardless of what happens, setting up a rival party to the SNP would be a terrible idea.

First of all you'd have to be clear on what your objective is - are you trying to replace the SNP as the largest pro-independence party, or are you trying to pressure them from the outside into changing course?  If the former, it's a pipe-dream, and if the latter, it's a very, very dangerous game, because to have any chance of applying that external pressure you'd have to take significant numbers of votes away from the SNP, which could cost us the pro-independence majorities both at Holyrood and among the Scottish contingent at Westminster.

Take the example of Jimmy Goldsmith's Referendum Party, which by historic standards actually achieved relative success for a new party by securing 2.6% of the Britain-wide popular vote in its first (and only) general election in 1997.  But its aim was to either replace the Tories as the government for long enough to hold a referendum on the future terms of EU membership, or more realistically to pull the Tory government in a more Eurosceptic direction.  All it actually succeeded in doing was increasing the huge parliamentary majority of the newly-elected pro-European Labour government (indeed, if Tony Blair had got his way, that was a government that would eventually have taken the UK into the euro).

Imagine if a new pro-independence party succeeded in taking 2.6% of the vote away from the SNP at the next Westminster general election.  If everything else stayed the same from last time, the SNP would lose no fewer than TEN of their 35 seats.  That's the immense damage relatively small changes can do under the first-past-the-post system.  The SNP would win just 25 seats, the Tories would go up to 16, Labour would go up to 13, and the Liberal Democrats would go up to 5.  There would be a clear unionist majority among Scottish MPs, purely because a small number of voters had moved from one pro-independence party to another.  Similar damage would be done in the constituency section of the next Scottish Parliament election.

One or two people suggested last night that the new party could avoid this problem by sitting out Westminster elections and Scottish Parliament constituency votes altogether, and only standing on the Holyrood list.  I'm not sure it's realistic to think it would do that - more likely is that it would feel obliged to build its profile by standing in at least a few constituencies, as the Greens have done over the years.  That would mean less damage to the pro-independence cause, but still some damage.  (For example, it seems highly unlikely that Ruth Davidson would have won Edinburgh Central in 2016 if the Greens hadn't put up a candidate.)  But even in the unlikely event that the new party only stood on the list, nobody should be under any illusions that it wouldn't probably still be doing harm.  On 2.6% of the vote or lower, it wouldn't be coming close to winning any list seats, and those are wasted votes that would otherwise presumably be mostly going to pro-indy parties that do actually have a chance of winning list seats (ie. the SNP and the Greens).

I know some people have truly boundless optimism and will argue that a new party can defy historical precedent by winning a lot more than 2.6% of the vote, and will therefore be in contention for list seats.  But I would suggest that to have any chance of doing that, it will need to recruit some very well-known people from the Yes movement.  And if it succeeds in rivalling the SNP to that extent, it's very hard to imagine it being content to be a second-string party and to sit out the majority of electoral contests, which takes us back to the original problem of splitting the vote under first-past-the-post.

It's noted in some quarters that UKIP succeeded in doing what this new party would be trying to do - ie. by changing another party's stance on holding a referendum.  I'm not sure that's quite right - although in the long-run it turned out that UKIP was indeed a genuine threat to Conservative chances at the 2015 general election, it was far from clear that would be the case at the moment David Cameron actually embraced an in/out referendum on EU membership.  But even to the limited extent that UKIP did play a part, it shouldn't be forgotten just how perilously close they eventually came to defeating their own objective.  They won 12.6% of the national vote in 2015 - if they hadn't been around, and if the bulk of their votes had instead gone to the Tories, David Cameron would have won an overwhelming majority and a referendum wouldn't have been in any doubt.  As it was, he won a wafer-thin overall majority of just 12 seats.  If UKIP had deprived him of just a few more seats, a referendum would never have taken place, and Britain would not be currently leaving the European Union.  All because too many people voted for a hardline anti-European party.  Bonkers, but true.

It's also worth considering the varying fortunes of those who abandoned a major party when they were unhappy with the direction it was taking, and those who stayed put and fought their corner.  The MPs who broke away from Labour in 1981 to form the SDP had given up hope of pulling Labour back to the centre, and intended to replace the two traditional parties with a new centre-left party of government.  Instead they delivered an extra decade-and-a-half of hard-right rule from the Tories, and by the time that was over, Labour had grotesquely somehow ended up as a right-of-centre party as well.  Contrast that with the fate of the Corbynites, who appeared to be in a 'nuclear winter' situation during the Blair/Brown years (Tony Blair even openly joked about the idea of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader as if that was the most improbable thing he could think of).  And yet they didn't break away.  They stayed, argued for what they believed in, and eventually the pendulum swung back in their direction and they took control of the Labour party.  Corbyn even came pretty close to the keys of 10 Downing Street in 2017.

I know that some of you are not just unhappy with the SNP for its excessive caution on a second independence referendum, but also for its recent full-on embrace of identity politics - for example, the role that Fiona Robertson played in Grouse Beater's expulsion from the party after a highly dubious allegation of anti-Semitism.  Mhairi Hunter quite accurately pointed out to someone at the time that Ms Robertson had only just been elected "by your fellow SNP members" as Equalities Convener.  But the correct response to that fact is not to give up in despair and think that you have to make a straight choice between a) agreeing with everything Ms Robertson says, and b) leaving the SNP.  The best course of action is to stay in the party, fight your corner and seek a better result in future internal elections.  One thing is for sure - those internal elections will not go your way if you and enough of the people who agree with you walk away from the SNP.

*  *  *

Here's the latest in Phantom Power's acclaimed Journey to Yes series of films - this time featuring Jenny Constable, who supported the Better Together campaign in 2014 but now wants to see an independent Scotland.

86 comments:

  1. So Jenny wants an independent Scotland run from the EU with around six MEPs representing Scotland and the EU with their new army controlling Scotland and Jenny feels far away from Westminster. Jenny look at a map and you will see Brussels and Strasbourg is further away from Scotland.

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    1. Brussels isn't that much further away than London. Six of one and half a dozen of the other if all you care about is geographical distance.

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    2. You confirm my point about distance. However you Nat sis never comment on the fact that our little piece of glaciation will be under represented in the EU as compared to in the UK. And complete silence about the EU proposed army which Juncker insists will be in place by 2026.

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    3. Actually, with independence Scotland would be directly represented in the EU for thr first time. The number of MEPs we'd be entitled to would also sharply increase.

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    4. If it doubled they could still squeeze into in a phone box provided the members do not become bloated on the good life.
      It would be interesting to know how much correspondence those MEPs get especially when the majority of punters do not vote and do not have a clue who their Mep is. Just a mega useless beaurocracy James and I suspect you know it.

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    5. Scotland has never been represented in certain key EU institutions - the European Council of state governments, or the Council of Ministers of the European Union - which includes: the General Affairs Council, Foreign Affairs Council, Economic and Financial Affairs Council, Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Justice and Home Affairs Council etc etc.

      The most common misunderstanding about the EU is that is it some kind of post-state structure that runs like a combined national government. This is not the case. Many important parts of its structure are controlled by its member state governments. It is a Treaty based organisation composed of those signature state members.

      Scotland is not a state signaturee to the Treaties, and as such does not have its views or interests directly represented in the important Member State forums.

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    6. Regards your first paragraph why would you want to be represented in your own institutions when you should be administering them yourself as an independent country.

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    7. Dublin is much closer to Edinburgh than London. So, if we should be in union simply based on distances between capitals, then Ireland is ahead of England.

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    8. '[the EU parliament is] Just a mega useless beaurocracy'

      You'd prefer unelected bureaucrats make trade laws for trade blocks rather elected politicians?

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    9. Oh, and London is way closer to Brussels than Edinburgh is.

      So makes no sense at all to have those far off Jocks making English laws. The Brussels Bureaucrats are geographically much closer.

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    10. Elected politicians take the money earned and payed by the taxpayer I doubt there are many trade savvy Scottish MSPs, Mps and MEPs however you could maybe enlighten me if there are. And this should include the English.

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    11. There certainly doesn't seem to be any trade savvy British politicians, that's for sure.

      #Brexit

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    12. British includes the Scot Nat sis I presume. Trade should be left to traders and not the EU! You have argued against your own case to justify the EU spongers.

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    13. "Nat sis" have got a mention. Cordelia's drinking.

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    14. Bet the hangover's nipping by now.

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    15. The EU parliament isn't as big a beaurocracy as Westminster.

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    16. Hey Bill have you been checking out who's got the biggest beau again, stop it now.

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  2. I think you misunderstand the concept of a "Yes Party" (effectively an alliance of SNP, SGP, SSP & others) standing only on the List. All of the indy parties would compete for constituency seats, but there would be a united vote from all of their voters for the Yes List candidates. (naturally, there would be a need for sensible placing on the lists for candidates from each background - but that shouldn't be unachievable. In such a scenario, the Yes Party would not be affected by the number of MPs that other indy parties got in the constituencies within each region.


    Whether SiU could persuade the Yoons to behave in a similar way is an open question, but if we can't beat them on a straight vote between indy and the UK Union on the List, then we're buggered anyway.

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    1. No, there's no misunderstanding - what you're talking about is completely different from what was proposed yesterday. (Albeit a list-only "Yes party" is a non-starter for other reasons.)

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    2. Ah! So the "one or two" talking about that were talking about something totally different? I didn't see those, but fair enough.

      The idiots who are partisan supporters of particular parties may well make co-operation impossible. It's why I dislike political parties (even the one I'm a member of).

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    3. That's not what I meant, though. What you're proposing is what Michael Ancram referred to as an "alter ego party" during the passage of the Scotland Act in 1998. In other words it would be a clear attempt to cheat the system. Voters can if they wish try (and usually fail) to "hack" AMS, but parties can't.

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    4. Individual parties probably can't hack the system, but a movement could.

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    5. That's a distinction without a difference. In your first comment you clearly described an alliance of parties. And when I say parties can't hack AMS, I don't mean that it's literally impossible, I mean that attempting it would be a form of cheating. (I suspect you know all this and are just pretending to misunderstand my meaning at every step, but I'll play along with the game.)

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    6. Just don't stand SNP candidates on the list, your always moaning about the Greens standing in constituencies denying the SNP votes/seats.

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    7. "Just don't stand SNP candidates on the list" come on - that's never going to happen.

      If the SNP did this I'd have nobody to vote for on the list. I'd prefer to have a few more SNP MSPs than to make the SNP a smaller minority govt and give the Greens more leverage.

      Also it would be a huge gamble, because any surprise upsets at the constituency level could not be remedied by the SNP gaining a list MSP.

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    8. "your always moaning about the Greens standing in constituencies denying the SNP votes/seats"

      Leaving aside the obvious point that I'm not "always moaning" about the Greens standing in constituencies (although of course I do occasionally point out the effect of them doing so), you're making a schoolboy error in assuming that SNP voters would dutifully transfer to the Greens on the list if the SNP didn't stand. I suspect a lot would go to Labour.

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    9. The voting system should be changed. All list members should have to stand in the main vote first.

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    10. Hopefully the irony is not lost on everyone, but the next time you poi t things out, don't make the as you put it schoolboy error of assuming Green votes will transfer to the SNP. Particularly given Labour are economically to the left of the SNP, and the Lib Dems more socially liberal. And if independence is your primary concern the SNP is your natural home.

      Not standing on the list is not a feasible strategy for the SNP for many reasons not least of which is they would be perceived to have acted in bad faith, never a good look for a political party. But particularly given a huge amount of trust in their foresight and strategic analysis would be required to get independence over the line.

      A mature and collaborative discussion that doesn't have parochialism at its heart is needed for an effective pro independence voting on the list strategy.

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  3. To use May's parlance "now is not the time" to be moving votes away from the SNP if you want an independent Scotland.

    But ultimately in the long run they cannot expect to have a pretty much free run at being the champions of independence indefinitely. They can't expect people just to quietly keep giving them their vote for the next umpteen elections and trust that somewhere in the background the SNP are working to their secret plan to independence that they're just not sharing with anyone at the moment.

    As I said in a previous thread the real problem appears (and I stress that it just *appears* to me) not that they don't want independence, it's more that they look like they're just plain flummoxed in how to respond to the neither here nor there response from May of "now is not the time". They look too cautious to do any of the bigger steps that would be needed if there was no Section 30 order so the only real plan appears to be "keep voting SNP in subsequent elections to reinforce the mandate and hope something changes along the way".

    I'm not feeling especially disillusioned with them and I appreciate there's a long game here. But I am slightly surprised how badly they seem to have reacted post GE2017. They were massively on the front foot until then and then had a bit of a setback (albeit a very decent result by most historical parallels) and have since largely clammed up in an apparent loss of confidence (a wobble if not yet a crisis). Now they are as at the mercy of May's Brexit can-kicking as everyone else, because there's just no point doing anything till that's clear as how that turns out will affect the landscape so fundamentally.

    There's another point here, not necessarily for now but for the future, in that half the SNP's battle is that the rest of Holyrood can basically just gang upon the SNP and make them look like the outsider even if they are by far the largest party. Ultimately perhaps the more pro-Indy parties and different voices in Holyrood the better the cause for independence. Having the Greens being pro-indy helps a bit but they're still a bit too small to be taken all that seriously in that role.

    Last point in this rambling - parties eventually wane in popularity over time even if they're not doing all that much wrong as people just plain fancy seeing something different and/or the party runs out of steam in government, and the SNP have to be aware that that may happen to them too whether there's other pro-indy alternatives or not. At some point a new party may need to come along and reinvigorate the debate anyway, and bring some fresh thinking to the independence debate.

    In summary - not yet, but not forever either.

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    1. @Robert
      Most seam to have missed that Jason's post that kicked it all off started with an IF condition:
      “…In the event that the SNP doesn’t use the mandate….”

      If the fundamental SNP tenant is Scottish independence and the SNP fails to use a triple mandate given by the Scottish people at a time where the constitutional relationship is being re-written without Scottish consent….Isn't it worth asking the question - WHAT IS IT FOR?

      Sure, NS may be working behind the scenes…but YES can not sit back. YES’s job is to agitate for the action….to make the space for SNP to act. It is the SNP’s job to do the constitutional act (in time before it can be stifled from acting).

      IF SNP fails; is it not YES's role to ask questions of how to best achieve independence – not to protect any political party just because it exists or used to act for independence.

      Scotland is the home of the Enlightenment. YES should treasure that heritage and celebrate the ability to discuss and debate with respect and openness.

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    2. You jocknatsist extremists are definitely agitating.

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    3. While Cordelia is mainly gibbering.

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    4. Your second para "trust".... ! and the last sentence should be nearer each other..!

      In addition you miss out one important word "loyalty"

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  4. James I totally get the arguments you are making and I agree splitting the vote is not a good idea but I also feel a lot of good will is disappearing. We won't wait forever. I'm not asking for para military action but the SNP is far too placid. If they let this mandate pass I'll never vote for them again. Honestly if a party came into existence with 1 manifesto commitment to immediately withdraw from the UK with a majority of Scottish seats in Westminster or Holyrood then I'd vote them because I just want out pronto

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    1. Who would you ask for paramilitary action if you did want it?

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    2. Cordelia's letting its bloodlust show again.

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  5. Good article James.
    Can I just say that GWC should either be asked to change his language, or be barred from commenting on this site.
    I take great exception to his use of the term Nat sis. It is rude and offensive. No need for it. He can make his points without insulting 50% of people in Scotland. Thank you.

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    1. The real people of Scotland do not get offended only Nat sis and their fellow travelers. Up yer kilt Nancy boy.

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    2. Snivelling colonial homophobe.

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    3. Whilst I agree with you James has responded to requests like this in the past.... It's a 'tech' answer if my memory serves &, in reality, there would be no barrier to a re-registration under another false name.... "Better the de'il ye ken"

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    4. Agreed. Cordelia uses a different handle for each of its personalities. It's much more fun to laugh at it for its booze-fuelled ravings.

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    5. Aristophanes Mung-BeanMarch 6, 2019 at 5:12 PM

      Her best post was a couple of weeks ago in which she claimed to be a lesbian married to a Remain-voting woman. I enjoyed that one, but she dropped that persona shortly afterwards.

      The name can indicate how drunk she is and whether she's claiming to be a working-class Socilaist from Glasgow, a working-class Tory or a Paddy-hating Orange Lodger. It's like a game of Spot The Psycho.

      How she manages to carry out her MSP duties is a mystery.

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    6. Cordelia out with the bufallis and the doctors sin pretending to be upper class. Pile of crap. Everyone knows they're nothing special. Like that fat bag in the big dresses likebDemis Russia's and the wired hair. Pretniciiys twats.

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    7. In English?

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  6. GWC is a woman. The pronoun is "she".

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    1. Juicy Lucy likes a surprise when washin the dishes.

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    2. Cordelia weeps itself to sleep dreaming of its beloved Yaxley-Lennon pounding on its windows

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    3. Another non de plume for Cordilia?

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    4. Yep. One for every personality.

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  7. If the SNP let this mandate slip by unused I will certainly resign from the party, giving this as the reason. In subsequent elections I will vote in a way I consider is the best route to independence. This might still be the SNP but if this mandate is not used I will lose a serious amount of trust in them.

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  8. Like the legend that is Phil the hammer said , this can flush out the extremists and begin the process of removing extremist natsi rule from Scotland.

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    1. Cordelia there, reminding us all how much it loathes democracy.

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  9. As the legend that is Phil the hammer said this can flush out the extremists and begin the process of removing extremist natsi rule from the outlying regions.

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  10. Hopefully this will be on BBC jockshite and some nobody jockmuppet like Neil Findlay can comment in primitive jockgrunting. Nobody will be watching of course.

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    1. Cordelia wouldn't miss it, especially if Flute Band Boy is involved.

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    2. Cordelia likes a man in uniform but prefers a woman out of one.

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    3. Let's give this one another run out, just for Cordelia as it anticipates "marital law": https://g.co/kgs/HKNb7d

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  11. I see the Tories / UK government are admitting they are institutionally racist / xenophobic extremists.

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/tory-peer-baroness-warsi-blasts-institutional-islamophobia-in-party-as-14-members-are-suspended-a4083626.html

    Tory peer Baroness Warsi blasts 'institutional' Islamophobia in party as 14 members are suspended

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    1. Cordelia the snivelling bigot there, waiting for a biscuit from Yaxley-Lennon.

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    2. No surprise that you're an admirer. Short guys who are angry at the world need to stick together for safety :(

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    3. Anonymous, you are a Jew hater.

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    4. Cordelia there, screaming its impotent rage again.
      How dare we insult its beloved Yaxley-Lennon.

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  12. I would assume the objective of a new party would be to pressure the SNP into changing course.
    A very, very dangerous game it might be, but what traditionally happens to parties that don't take their manifesto commitments seriously?
    If Theresa May can out-smart NS simply by dithering, then losing both pro-independence majorities seems almost certain.

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  13. Jason is correct we need a party that's only goal and nothing else is Independence.

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  14. Another excellent article James, I agree with your observations and view of what could happen.One I read said "we need a party whose aim is only independence" the aim of the SNP is independence and as was said by many unionists " how will we know you can run a country?" so the SNP had to show we can run our country ourselves before a lot of them would vote for independence or even think about it. So here we are proving we can run our country we have the talent and now more people know and have started thinking about independence.

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  15. So Scots are no longer living in a democracy, but an English fascist state.

    Elections/referendums are effectively cancelled. If the SNP..Greens win an election (2016), the English government simply overrules the democratic result and hands victory to the unionists by saying 'No, no, no. Now is not the time - it is illegal for you to implement your core policies'.

    https://twitter.com/BBCandrewkerr/status/1103605447586705408

    BBC Andrew Kerr
    @BBCandrewkerr
    .@Jeremy_Hunt says on a visit to Glasgow University that if @NicolaSturgeon asked for 2nd independence referendum the “answer, of course, would be no.” Says there shouldn’t be another divisive referendum and the SNP should focus on health and education.


    Fascist scum.

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    1. it is illegal for you to implement your core policies

      Nope the SNP can intact its core policy any time it likes. They are choosing not to.

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    2. I seem to recall an intial request was made for a Section 30 in 2017. The answer was no.

      Are you saying a Section 30 (core policy) will be granted automatically now and the British are just lying bastards that can't be trusted to tell the truth?

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    3. I see the Na sis do not want to manage severe disablement allowance. They are leaving it to Westminster.
      I note skier your Irish pals are sending jiffy bags to the mainland. Up to their old tricks again targeting the working class.

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    4. No I am saying the Scot Gov have the powers to hold a referendum but are choosing not to use them.

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    5. They have the power to legally compel England to recognise the result, making independence smooth?*

      Wow, this has never, ever been the case in the history of the world. This would be the first time a country has ever had the power to compel another in this way.

      We truly do have a powerful devolved parliament.

      ---

      *This is what a Section 30 is; it is England passing a bill to say it will legally recognise the an iref result. It isn't permission as such, but agreement to recognise.

      What the English government is currently doing is saying it would not recognise the free democratic will of the people of Scotland, and would instead potentially try to overule any iref result, arguing to the world / courts that it owned Scotland and the latter had no right to independence. That is what 'no Section 30' means; if you vote, we will try to crush it Franco style.

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    6. Thats a different conversation. But still does not change the fact that the Scot Gov could hold an referendum tomorrow if it wishes , but is not choosing to do so.

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    7. Well, aside from the Nazi-type threats from England that it will not recognise such a referendum, and will instead take the Spanish jackboot type approach (refusing a Section 30 is...and declaring any iref as illegal would be...an attempt at imposition of direct English rule)...

      ...I imagine the ScotGov is choosing not to go ahead right now because, well, the moment the UK leaves the EU is actually the best time. Then the EU/EEA can offer Scotland straightforward membership. The UK is no longer a member, so the EU/EEA club can openly negotiate with Scotland.

      If there's a transition period, then Scotland could even stay in the single market throughout.

      Obviously, an advisory referendum (which would carry the same democratic weight as the EU one), could be organised in a very short space of time. A few months would be sufficient (quite different to a Section 30 one). That, and the fact you are hardly going to announce the date to your 'enemy' ages in advance (the EU 27 have probably told Scotland to sit tight), might explain the current circumstances.

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  16. I see Brexit voters are now intentionally depriving the sick, including epilepsy sufferers, of their medicine.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47471813

    A top neurologist has warned patients are being "left in the dark" about access to medicines after Brexit.

    Prof John Paul Leach says patients are already reporting shortages in some vital epilepsy drugs.

    Specialists in palliative care also say they have concerns about the impact of Brexit.

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  17. They took control of the Labour party,............

    the Labour party is on the verge of a meltdown that could keep it out of power for who knows how long. That being said nothing's predictable these days

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  18. https://archive.fo/S71qp

    English Government to Overrule 2016 Scottish Election Result, Handing Victory to Unionists Parties, Confirms Foreign Secretary

    The Foreign Secretary used a visit to Glasgow to make clear the Prime Minister would overturn the Scottish election result, making core SNP policies illegal, and so handing victory to the losing unionists.

    Asked what Mrs May’s response would be if the First Minister tried to carry out manifesto policy commitments, Mr Hunt said: “The answer from the English government would of course would be no.”


    #Fascistscum

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    1. Again an non section 30 ref WOULD NOT BE ILLEGAL. They could hold one tomorrow if they wanted. It is the SNP who are saying they don't want to hold one (see today FMQ for clarification)

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    2. Are you saying a referendum held by the Scottish government without a Section 30 would be deemed legal and binding by the Westminster government? Or would they deem it illegal and therefore invalid as per my post?

      I'm afraid there's no way out of this Fascist hole the UK government is creating for itself. Scots thought they lived in a democracy. England is saying 'No, no, no'.

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    3. It would be upto the SC not UK Goverment to decide if its legal. Most opinion seem to think that they would find it legal.

      But it is the SNP who are stopping us finding out but ruling out a non section 30 ref.

      "I'm afraid there's no way out of this Fascist hole the UK government is creating for itself. Scots thought they lived in a democracy. England is saying 'No, no, no'."

      But there is, just say no, as the Scot Gov will not do anything about it, ergo Scotland stays in UK. Sorry but if you support the SNP policy of ONLY having a section 30 ref then you support the UK Government deciding when and if there is a referendum.

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    4. Actually, I support not telling the anti-democratic English government what the Scottish government's plan is.

      I believe any iref should ideally be announced with just the shortest possible notice.

      I also think it extremely wise to pursue a Section 30 relentlessly while planning do go ahead without one if needed. I also think it vital that it be stated an iref won't go ahead without a Section 30 until all preparations are in place to go ahead without one.

      Finally, the best time for one is post-brexit, ideally in a transition. Now isn't the right time. Only if it was a Section 30 one would it make some sense to start preparing because our opponent would be doing that.

      In the meantime, I will rightly state, as per the BBC, that England is trying the end democracy by attempting to overturn the result of the 2016 election.

      I just get a feeling that will chime with voters. After all, people don't like having their vote removed from them, which is what the English government is saying it will do.

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    5. Good for you and I will rightly criticize the Scottish Government for ruling out any second ref unless backed by a section 30 [as stated by the FM] order, therefore taking away peoples vote.

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    6. John Wayne - ManMarch 8, 2019 at 7:05 AM

      2 great films from the ups. Chesty Morgan and Clockwork Banana.

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    7. Cordelia and its bizarre lusts, everyone.

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  19. I agree with the article about splitting the vote - very dangerous and there is another indy party if we want to go Green. However, I am very disappointed with the latest information coming from Nicola (who I do like) that if there is a 'no' from the Westminster government that basically that's us had it for now. The other Anoymous contributor is correct in that this seems to be a way out for the SNP so that they can blame the Conservatives for denying us the right. So many of us who want independence are already champing at the bit for the chance to get out of the UK and to find at the closing hour that like sheep we will fall into the fold if told to is disappointing at best and outrageous at worst. One is reminded of the Grand Old Duke of York. If the SNP do acquiesce to this so easily one has to ask 'What is the point in voting for them?' I hate to say that, but its true. There are other issues I find important but give my vote to SNP for independence, but if they don't go for it when we are in such an unusual political setting then perhaps I should return to voting for other parties until they decide to go for it without hesitation. Its time for them to get some bottle and go for it or at least stop pretending to us that they are.

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