I noticed earlier this afternoon that Stuart Campbell has removed Scot Goes Pop from the links list on Wings. It doesn't take a genius to work out that this is an act of symbolic retaliation for the scepticism I've shown towards the idea of a Wings political party. For obvious reasons, I've now removed Wings from the link list on the desktop version of this site, after what I think must be around seven years or so. I'm sure that won't make a huge amount of difference to Stuart, but as a matter of principle I obviously don't want traffic to flow in one direction if a conscious decision has been taken to stop it flowing in the other direction.
I want to make clear that - at least as far as I'm concerned - this doesn't need to be, and shouldn't be, a new Berlin Wall in the Yes blogosphere. There's always been a large amount of overlap between the readerships of the two sites, and I see no reason why that shouldn't continue to be the case. Long-term readers will know that I've always been extremely supportive of Stuart, even when the self-appointed Yes establishment has been ranged against him. I have a particularly vivid memory of vociferously defending him in a tense face-to-face meeting with Mike Small and Angela Haggerty in early 2017. From Angela's reaction, I got the distinct impression that was the first time anyone had ever been brave enough to express some of those views to her in person, rather than on social media. So it will hopefully be plain to any fair-minded reader that there is no personal agenda of any type behind the criticisms I've made of the Wings party proposal. I've said that it's a foolish idea which risks costing us pro-indy seats at Holyrood for the simple reason that I genuinely believe that to be true. I've been absolutely consistent on this issue over the years, and it's Stuart that has done the 180 degree turn. I defy anyone to read his blogpost in 2016 stating that attempts to game the Holyrood voting system were a "mug's game", and then conclude that the views he expressed in it are remotely reconcilable with what he is saying now. The impossibility of gaming the system hasn't changed over the last three years - all that's changed is that he now sees his own beliefs on the trans issue, rather than radical left people in RISE and the Greens, as being the beneficiary of any 'tactical voting'.
I think there ought to be room for honest disagreement between people who are basically allies. Stuart appears to take a different view, and that's disappointing, but he'll have to make his own choices. In the meantime, Scot Goes Pop will be going nowhere, and you can always rely on me to independently call things the way I see them, without fear or favour.