Friday, June 26, 2020

Plan A is dead, long live Plan B

Sir Keir Starmer may have unwittingly done the SNP a huge favour yesterday by more or less putting the luckless "Plan A" out of its misery and forcing us to look at more viable options. If there had been any realistic prospect of a future Labour government looking more favourably upon a Section 30 order than the Tory government do, the 'delay' faction within the SNP would undoubtedly have been tempted to hold on until 2024 or 2029 or however long it might have taken, and in the meantime just string the rank-and-file membership along with the illusion of activity. Of course Starmer's stance doesn't mean that the 'delay' faction will automatically embrace "Plan B", but it does massively complicate any efforts they might make to hold the line. It'll be difficult for them to credibly claim that they're still in favour of independence if they're angrily denouncing any suggestion that we should actually try to bring our objective about in any circumstances that are remotely likely to exist within the next ten or fifteen years. Back in the 1990s, we used to scoff at the London media's ignorance in referring to the "devolutionist" and "pro-independence" wings of the SNP, but we're perhaps on the verge of genuinely seeing a small, de facto devolutionist wing take shape for the first time, particularly at Westminster - and that will fundamentally change the relationship of those parliamentarians with activists and members who are for the most part deadly serious about making independence happen.

Is there no hope at all that Plan A could still work? I can only see two paths by which it might be reactivated as a viable option, and both of them are long shots -

1) Labour might do so badly in next year's Holyrood election that they embark on yet another round of soul-searching. I discuss this possibility in a forthcoming column for iScot magazine - Labour are probably nursing the hope that they're going to make some sort of recovery in the election due to Keir Starmer's encouraging Britain-wide polling numbers, but at the moment Scottish polls still put them firmly on course to lose yet more seats and slump to a new all-time low, which would be a shock to their system. It doesn't necessarily follow that Starmer will provide a boost once the campaign is actually underway, because it's Richard Leonard that will be leading the campaign and facing up to Nicola Sturgeon in the TV debates - a comparison that could look almost embarrassing. Remember that this time Ian Murray won't be able to disingenuously blame any seat losses on Corbynism - his own fingerprints will be all over the results, and his constitutional extremism may take a hefty share of the blame. From the SNP's point of view, this outcome is certainly worth pursuing, and probably the best way of maximising the chances of a Labour slump is to foreground the question of independence and coax the electorate into making a polarised choice between SNP and Tory. However, the reason it's a long-shot is that bouts of Labour soul-searching always seem to follow the same pattern - once the initial shock of an election defeat wears off, they revert to type and decide that the fault lies with the voters and not with themselves.

2) The 2024 election could result in a hung parliament, thus forcing Starmer to do a deal with the SNP if he wants to become Prime Minister. No-one can deny this is theoretically possible, but the problem is that hung parliaments happen by random chance - there's no way of campaigning for them or making them more likely to occur. There have been twenty-one general elections since 1945, and only three of them have not produced a majority for a single party - a 14% strike rate. And of course one of the three hung parliaments was in 2017, when the SNP had more than 5% of the seats in the Commons, but still didn't hold the balance of power. So you don't just need a hung parliament, you need the right sort of hung parliament. I would guess the chances of it happening in 2024 are 10% at the absolute most, and we simply can't bet the house on that kind of outside hope.

Which moves us on, if we're sensible, to "Plan B". Fortunately, the people of Scotland seem to be firmly behind both of the two main options for seeking an independence mandate in the absence of a Section 30 order...

Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, 28th-31st January 2020:

There are differing legal opinions on whether the Scottish Parliament currently has the power to hold a consultative referendum on independence without Westminster’s permission. If the UK government continues to refuse to give permission, do you think the Scottish Parliament should legislate to hold a referendum and then allow the courts to decide whether it can take place?

Yes 50%
No 39%

With Don't Knows excluded...

Yes 56%
No 44%

Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, 1st-5th June 2020:

If Boris Johnson and the UK Government manage to block an independence referendum, do you think that pro-independence parties such as the SNP and the Greens should consider including an outright promise of independence in their manifestos for a future election, to give people an opportunity to vote for or against the idea?

Yes 49%
No 29%

With Don't Knows excluded...

Yes 63%
No 37%

And the choice between those two possibilities isn't necessarily binary. I think the most logical approach is to legislate for a consultative referendum first, and if the Supreme Court blocks it (a very big "if"), use that ruling to demonstrate to voters that the referendum route has been closed off, and that an election will have to be used instead.

116 comments:

  1. If Holyrood does legislate for and independence referendum (tagging it onto the Referendum Framwork legislation already in place) then this requires only an Executive Order in HR to happen - it does not require primary legislation. As such, if WM objects then because it is an Executive Order it must first go to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to determine the legality under Scots Law. Personally, I cannot see how any Scottish Court can ever agree that it is beyond the competence of the Scottish Parliament to ask the people of Scotland a question about their own future. If ScotGov win in CoS, only then can WM refer it to SC who will have to consider the matter under Scots Law and it would be odd indeed if the SC judges knew Scots Law better than CoS judges. We'd be in with a good shout of winning the legal tussle.

    If we lose then it's on to Plan C - a straight plebiscite vote on Independence during SE2021 (or perhaps an 'engineered' SE2022 if necessary).

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  2. SNP1, ISP2

    32 years in the SNP here

    I'd take the next Westminster election as a plebiscite. Remember that the Norwegian independence referendum was a confirmatory one AFTER the Parliamentary declaration of independence.

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    1. Voting for a fringe party on the more important ballot, ie. the list ballot, risks reducing pro-indy representation at Holyrood and in the worst-case scenario could leave us without a pro-indy majority altogether.

      It's an absolutely terrible, self-destructive idea. At the very least use the list to vote for a pro-indy party that has a hope in hell of actually winning seats - ideally the SNP, although admittedly the Greens also fall into this category in at least some regions.

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    2. Not so sure you want to be describing the list ballot as more important James.
      There's more constituency seats than list ones.

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    3. And if James doesn't convince you otherwise Derick, I'd hope you'd keep an open mind on how to vote before knowing what and who the ISP really are. They're going to need really strong candidates to risk not putting the cause for independence in jeopardy.

      Our opponents will jump on anything to try and deride us.

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    4. "Not so sure you want to be describing the list ballot as more important James."

      I absolutely do want to be describing it in those terms, because it's a fact. The overall composition of parliament is roughly proportional to how people vote on the list ballot, not on the constituency ballot. List seats are distributed on a corrective basis to achieve that effect.

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    5. So maybe you'll appreciate a bit of honest opposition from real nationalists in various constituencies? It might even allow you to take another list seat from the Overt Unionists.

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    6. What a very odd use of the word "so". The correct conclusion is the opposite one.

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    7. ''Remember that the Norwegian independence referendum was a confirmatory one AFTER the Parliamentary declaration of independence.''

      However they already knew that they had overwhelming support to do so and on the day the referendum resulted in an overwhelming 99.95% in favor of confirming the dissolution of the union with only 184 people (men) opposing. We can take it that if we win by a small margin all hell will let loose in Scotland. In fact the BritNats will take to the streets no matter what. Comparing us with Norway isn't helpful, imo.

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    8. Independence for ScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 4:05 PM

      Anonymous - "comparing us to Norways isn't helpful, imo" - yes most Britnats don't like to mention Norway.

      "...al hell will break loose in Scotland." another classic Britnat scare comment.

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    9. AnonymousJune 26, 2020 at 6:51 PM

      "hope you'd keep an open mind on how to vote before knowing what and who the ISP really are. They're going to need really strong candidates to risk not putting the cause for independence in jeopardy"

      I try to keep an open mind, always. I know who ISP are and I know why the party was founded. Given the internal travails of my party regarding a small group vetting each other, and inappropriate use of the conduct committee, I hope ISP are a little more rigorous in their vetting.

      On the point about "putting the cause in jeapardy" I happen to agree with James that Plan A (S30) is the deadest of dead ducks. Which logically means no prospect of movement on independence until after 2026, probably late on in the 2026-2031 term. There's time and space to explore alternatives.

      I've voted SNP 1&2 since 1999. Not this time. NB this is NOT a tactical vote, it's a policy vote.

      ISP are offering policies that neither the SNP or Greens are
      EFTA (remember 36% of SNP voters voted Leave)
      Committed to move a motion for Indyref2 in the next session of Parliament, which neither the SNP nor Greens have
      Opposed to the GRA on the basis it infringes Women's Rights. Whatever one thinks of that particular issue, with the Tories abandoning self-ID the SNP and Greens are totally exposed electorally on it. I'd rather that the votes of pro-indy people went to a pro-indy party

      And a more strategic point, looking to the post independence scenario. The current Holyrood opposition is venal, incompetent, unelectable and unionist! We need pro-indy opposition parties in the long term. This one might come to nothing, it might persist and grow. We shall see

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  3. I've commented on here before about how the independence movement should spend more time on persuading people to support creating an independent Scotland than the myriad of processes that might get us there, but...

    In the general talk of Plan A, B, C-F+ there seems to be a singular thought of having to pick one way and stick to it. Are we surely not big enough and smart enough surely to take steps on more than one route at once?

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    1. "I've commented on here before about how the independence movement should spend more time on persuading people to support creating an independent Scotland than the myriad of processes that might get us there"

      And that's a misconceived point because there is quite literally nothing to be gained from persuading people to support independence if those people will never be given the opportunity to vote on the subject. "Process" is, I'm afraid, the first battle that needs to be won - and if it isn't won, everything else is moot.

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    2. I did say more time rather than no time!

      And it was meant in no disrespect to you or this blog that (if you don't mind me saying) often focuses and offers genuine insight on process.

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    3. Independence for ScotlandJune 26, 2020 at 7:10 PM

      I agree with James Kelly. If we do not have a process then it does not matter if we get to the devolution vote levels eg 74% for independence.

      The pockling of the 79 vote and the pockling of the 2014 vote by introducing the last minute infamous vow shows the Britnats do not and will not play fair. If they ever agree to another referendum they will probably insist it will need 75% to vote for it. You cannae trust a Britnat.

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    4. And if we don't have majority support the ''process' becomes ''moot''. Surely the two go hand in hand?

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    5. Independence for ScotlandJune 26, 2020 at 9:55 PM

      Anonymous - 8.35pm - sorry but the process will never be moot. If the process hadn't been changed by the SNP then we could have had a mandate for independence at a number of elections in the recent past. What bright (?) spark in the SNP first put forward the idea of changing it?

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    6. Would we have had at least 50% of the Scottish electorate supporting independence in the ''recent past?'' Without that we won't be getting our independence.

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    7. Hindsight is a marvellous thing. At the time, changing the SNP's approach from a majority of Westminster seats being the key, to winning a referendum made perfect sense. At the time of the change (promoted by Alex Salmond), the SNP held only 5 out of 59 seats in Westminster. A referendum win looked a much easier goal to achieve.

      The 2005 and 2010 elections seemed to confirm this, when the SNP won 6 seats in each election. Nobody - absolutely nobody - foresaw the 2015 election result. Folk have exceedingly short memories....



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    8. Independence for ScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 3:31 PM

      Alex Birnie - Neither Salmond nor Sturgeon are some sort of Demi God. They got it wrong by changing the approach. I thought that at the time. Why ?- because Britnats do not play fair. It is easy to pockle referendums and the Britnats have shown no reticence in doing so in the past. The SNP seem to think they are dealing with English gentlemen - they are not. Perfidious Albion has never gone away.

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    9. ''The SNP seem to think they are dealing with English gentlemen.''

      Are you telling us that people like Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond aren't as smart as you?

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    10. Independence for ScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 5:38 PM

      Anonymous - away an bile yer heid. No - but pretty sure I am smarter than you.

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  4. What is plan A. Weseem to get umteen answers.

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    1. Eh? Everyone knows what Plan A is - it's to keep asking Westminster for a Section 30 order and accept their right to make the decision.

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    2. Don't you think that too many people reckon that they are mind readers? We don't know what Nicola Sturgeon was planning to do next. She has for example mentioned considering a consultative referendum. Saying that she is going to ''keep asking'' Westminster for a Section 30 order is a statement that was first mooted on sites like Wings to discredit her. Does anyone really think that's she's that daft? Do you really think that she's going to let Westminster know that if plan A is not going to work she'll move onto plan B, C or D?

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    3. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 3:36 PM

      Anonymous - you clearly did not listen to her speech in January.

      She first raised getting a sect 30 with Theresa May - I'll let you work out how many years/months ago that was.

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    4. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 5:41 PM

      Anonymous - still working your calculator to add up the years/months.

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  5. Independence for ScotlandJune 26, 2020 at 6:59 PM

    British Labour in Scotland are a BRITISH political party. They will never come over to any policy that may facilitate Scottish independence. They have for a long time now dispensed with any cover that they care about the interests of Scotland and believe in Scottish democracy. Scottish interests and Scottish democracy must always be secondary to England in Labours world. They will not change even if they drop to 3% in Scotland in elections.

    Too many people clinging to the fantasy that these Britnat organisations (like the Daily Redcoat) will suddenly see the light.

    The SNP should never have changed from having a mandate for independence in elections as Plan A to having a referendum as Plan A. Plan B should be what Plan A used to be. The SNP have been taking the independence movement down a dead end. Time for change.

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    1. Hmmm. Don't forget that it was Alex Salmond that led us down the "dead end". Is Alex Salmond now to be included among the SNP leaders who are working against independence"?

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    2. Independence for ScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 3:46 PM

      Alex Birnie - Alex Salmond is not even a member of the SNP. He is not mentioned anywhere on the SNP website. Never said Salmond was working against independence.

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    3. IFS, Perhaps not, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and you are criticising one of the most important changes of direction that the SNP have ever made, which, at the time it was made, seemed the sensible thing to do. Did you criticise it at the time it was made?

      It might still be the most sensible way to go.

      I sometimes wish that I was as certain about the route to independence as some others are. The problem is that I've been around for too long, and have seen too many ebbs and flows to be certain.

      After the last election, when Solidarity amassed 0.6% of the list vote, and RISE got an equally paltry 0.5%, I thought "Right! That's sorted THAT nonsense out! We won't be hearing from THEM again!".

      I've stopped listening to folk who "know" that "The SNP have been taking the independence movement down a dead end".

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    4. Independence for ScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 1:15 PM

      Alex Birnie, sorry to hear you have stopped listening to other independence supporters.

      "Seemed the sensible thing to do" - care to tell me why. Yes I thought it was wrong at the time.

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  6. Remember that this time Ian Murray won't be able to disingenuously blame any seat losses on Corbynism - his own fingerprints will be all over the results, and his constitutional extremism may take a hefty share of the blame.

    If the catastrophe which Jim Murphy brought upon them didn't make the Blairites question the continued electoral currency of their faction, I don't see why they'd do it when the latest disaster is fronted by a Corbynite.

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    1. That's EXACTLY what I said to Phyllis and Wattie at Winnie's wedding in Melrose. Great minds think alike. (The wedding was super. I was sitting next to a lady who was the district nurse in Auchenblae!)

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    2. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 26, 2020 at 10:24 PM

      Jim Murphy, the Celtic supporting Britnat. Strange he has never followed his colleague in the British Labour Party in Scotland, Ian Murray, and bought himself a Union Jack suit and worn it during a visit to Parkhead. That would be interesting to watch.

      One of oldest running myths is that Celtic football club is anti the union.

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  7. Are we actually definitely sure that the SNP leadership see it as a choice of Plan A, Plan B etc.?

    Sometimes I think the reality is more mundane and it's just that they have no plan at all and the only default position they have is to keep winning elections and asking for a Section 30 order until they either get one, or the country stops voting for the SNP in enough numbers to ask for one.

    I fear they've been in (devolved) government so long that all the energy has become about staying in government.

    If they win big in 2021 and do nothing with it, it will be time to give someone else a shot.

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  8. Why is everyone so sure that the SNP leadership does not have a plan B. I am prepared to believe that they do have and are waiting very sensibly for the right time to announce it. Certainly not now when proper campaigning not possible but to do so would give Unionists opportunity to start attacking wherever possible particularly at FMQ when they would forget to ever mention the Corona virus. Timing is everything.

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    1. We Unionists do not need to attack we leave it to the Nat si factions.

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    2. Thanks. It's 54% Yes now and rising.

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  9. There are always plenty of so called Independence supporters willing the end but not supplying the means

    The SNP are the only game in town,and will be the only game in town for the near or distant future, if you want to dilute the vote for Independence go right ahead and vote for the Judea Popular front or the Popular front of Judea because what have the SNP ever done for us, well I'll tell you they've created a Scotland that's neither right nor left, they've created a Scotland exactly where the majority of voters want to be, in the middle of a democratic choice, not one single other party in the British Isles let alone Scotland has ever achieved that

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    1. So they are fascists. I support the Judean Peoples Front the rest are splitters.

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    2. Independence for ScotlandJune 26, 2020 at 10:06 PM

      Anonymous - 9.08 pm you make a good case for the Scotgov being a good devolved government. You are hardly the first to do so. However, Scottish independence is supposed to be the raison de'tre of the SNP not a good devolved government. If the SNP have changed their mission statement then they are obtaining votes on a fraudulent basis. If not, then they are not doing that well - are they.

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    3. John Swinney says that the Scottish Gov would treat refugees better than the UK Gov. Once again the Nat sis playing politics. The Park Inn was not good enough for refugees while Scots are on the streets begging.

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    4. Welfare benefits are a UK government reserved matter.

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    5. That is correct so what would the Nat si Swinney do better? Give the refugees more money and put them up in the Hilton. You are the main man Skier you must know Nat si policy.

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    6. @Independence for Scotland

      Until the people of Scotland are convinced in sufficient numbers to vote YES to Independence the SNP are a devolved government and there's nothing they can do about that

      The leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon isn't Alex Salmond, she actually wants to win a referendum not just hold one and lose for temporary glory like Alex did

      Alex is and was a great man but you have to get real, he lost because he intended to lose plus the women of Scotland never liked him anyway, take a look at the voting patterns

      When it's time Nicola Sturgeon will win a referendum and she'll do it right by not allowing the UK government to set the agenda with the assistance of the bought and paid for BBC

      Look up the UN regulations on referendums, Alex Salmond allowed the UK government to break every one of them and still he offered no objection or legal complaint, he lost because he intended to lose, don't listen to these fakes Campbell or Murray they're liars and fraudsters and their intentions are not what folk think they are, and you should check out who they're connected with and who's paying them for it, or the real reason for the famous blocklist invented by Campbell, you might have a job now though because his website's been taken down, you can't go around accusing the FM of being a liar and being responsible for rapists and get away with it for long

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    7. "Until the people of Scotland are convinced in sufficient numbers to vote YES to Independence the SNP are a devolved government and there's nothing they can do about that"

      That implies No are in the lead in the polls. But, as you know, Yes are in the lead. Or to put it another way, "the people of Scotland have been convinced to vote for independence in sufficient numbers".

      So what are we going to do about it, and when?

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    8. Independence for ScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 11:47 AM

      Anonymous -11.29pm - I am truly sick of people like you who instead of discussing the points at hand - namely no plan for independence - you turn back to slagging off Campbell and others. Not everyone follows like sheep.

      All you have got is faith - blind faith - like a quasi religion - "our Great !eader will deliver for us sometime in the future". Others who deal in reality want a proper plan for independence. This Sturgeon cult like approach is not healthy for any society.

      As the site owner above says above independence is in the majority. No more excuses for no action.

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    9. Independence for ScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 11:58 AM

      Anonymous -11.29pm - after reading your post I checked your comment about Wings site being taken down and it is still there. So much for the accuracy of your post. I have to ask - why post inaccurate crap?

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    10. Him and his pal's sites were both taken down for over three hours and he managed to appeal against it, won't be long though following his permanent removal from Twitter and all appeals denied on the basis of hate speech

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    11. ''As the site owner above says above independence is in the majority. No more excuses for no action.''

      Don't you think this coronavirus crisis IS an ''excuse'' for no action? Nicola Sturgeon didn't conjure that up out of thin air to prevent plans for independence going ahead and if she'd to start bleating on about independence right now she'd go right down in the estimation of the Scots that we're trying to get onside. And we'd no doubt find ourselves with under 50% support once again. She's doing a great job right now and when this crisis abates will no doubt get on with fighting for our independence. Time for some people to start supporting her instead of undermining her. There's also loads of BritNats out there for the Nicola moaners to be projecting their wrath onto instead of her.

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    12. Independence for ScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 2:29 PM

      Anonymous - you are pretty strong on the hate speech yourself.

      What fighting for independence did Nicola Sturgeon do prior to the virus. Go on tell me exactly. What fighting for example was there in her speech at the end of January 2020.

      Your words "bleating about independence" tell me you are a phoney - just a shit stirring Britnat. Take your shit stirring back to the sewer where you can stir it to your hearts content with your fellow Britnat turd GWC. Just taking the advice from your last sentence.

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    13. Supporting Nicola Sturgeon now makes me a BritNat? She's considered to be the greatest threat to the union ... by the BritNats. So where does that leave you?

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    14. Independence for ScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 3:16 PM

      Anonymous - that leaves me thinking that anyone who refers to Nicola Sturgeon
      " bleating about independence" is a phoney independence supporter.

      I also see you could not answer my questions. Go on tell me all the things she did in the many years before the virus. What was her master plan outlined in her Jan speech. Oh that's right she tried to save England from leaving the EU. Campaigned for a second EU referendum.

      Multiple mandates for an independence referendum cast aside. No campaigning for a second Scot independence referendum. No wonder Britnats like you want to keep her in place.

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    15. She's worked her socks off for independence since she was a teenager. Where were you? She fought on behalf of the 62% of Scots who voted to remain in the EU. She could also see that England leaving would be detrimental to Scotland. What multiple mandates are you talking about? And even so where would we be when over the last few years under 50% of Scots were supporting independence? There's no campaigning going on right now due to this coronavirus crisis. Or has she got it wrong with that too? The forthcoming independence prospectus won't be going out to every household either as it will no doubt have to be updated due to the changing economic situation.

      I see that you mentioned Mr Campbell earlier. What's happened to the Wee Blue Book that people donated to? His campaigning for an independent Scotland? Going out to a million households in Scotland? Mine still hasn't arrived. ''Obtaining donations on a fraudulent basis?''

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    16. Independence for ScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 6:11 PM

      Anonymous - .45pm - so once again you switch to Campbell. I don't care about him. You are the person who keeps bringing it back to him not me. Why? He is not leader of the SNP. It is clear what you are and what your motivation is and it aint Scottish independence.

      "What multiple mandates are you talking about" - you really are a joker.

      England and Wales both voted to leave the EU - that is democracy. Scotland voted convincingly to remain therefore the mandate to have a Scottish independence referendum should have been actioned.

      "She worked her socks off for independence since she was a teenager". Not interested in her socks. I asked what has she done in recent years and what was the plan in her speech. Your reply - a pair of socks.

      "There's no campaigning going on right now due to this coronavirus crisis." Well there was none prior to it and Sturgeons speech in January did nothing to kick things off.

      Somehow I doubt you gave a penny towards any wee books. So you ain't been defrauded.

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    17. Aye, apart from fighting for it all her life, and getting a majority to back independence consistently for the first time in history, and winning election after election, helping the population to warm to indy party governance and so independence, what has Sturgeon ever done for independence?

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    18. Independence for ScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 7:23 PM

      Scottish Skier - did she keep her socks on when doing all that?

      "All her life" - naw sorry - the last few years she fought for a second EU ref even though she had mandates for an independence referendum.

      So what is the great plan to achieve Scottish independence that she unveiled in her speech in January 2020? I certainly don't remember it including giving money to the mainstream Britnat media (owned by billionaires) to continue to attack Scottish independence. Care to explain that away? I am sure you will be able to come up with something.

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    19. "Don't you think this coronavirus crisis IS an ''excuse'' for no action?"

      Och, away with your straw men. No-one is talking about doing anything right now. (Well, maybe someone like Peter A Bell is, but virtually no-one.)

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  10. Declaring an election win for SNP/Greens as an independence mandate would likely bring London to the view that a S30 would give them some leverage in the negotiations that would follow a YES vote.
    From your polling figures James it would seem most Scots would go down the election route.
    Those who insist on referenda can have one to confirm the final settlement.

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  11. The Byzantine Emperor used to blind the barbarians with elaborate stage tricks to keep them loyal. All it seems to take for some is an expenses account and access to the amusements of central London. Peons.

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  12. Or maybe the real barbarians are the LondonUK/Home Office who evicted desperate asylum seekers from their homes.

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    1. Have you got a spare room in your Giffnock mansion? Seems you Nat sis are happy to to have refugees but not on your doorsteps. Just throw them into the Knickerless Govanhill.

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  13. Hi James
    On speaking to some friends and reading comments in social media there still seems to be a lot of confusion as to the type of PR system we have at HR and how it works. As you mentioned in an earlier comment voting for fringe parties purporting to be pro indy could leave us without a pro indy majority in HR. I am reminded of the tactic of "DIVIDE AND CONQUER"which without doubt will be used, and is being used by those opposed to Indy by encouraging and facilitating confusion on this matter. Voting 1 SNP 2 SNP on the ballot paper or greens depending on region needs to be constantly made .

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    1. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 27, 2020 at 2:36 PM

      Ally - you undermine your logic by saying. "or greens". It is a logical position to argue SNP 1 and SNP 2 but to then argue against voting for another independence supporting party but say vote greens for regional list makes no sense.

      After their approach to OFB the greens will not get my vote.

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    2. Point taken. But i was assuming that the greens would have independence in their manifesto. So yes SNP 1 SNP 2

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  14. Greens will be open to offers.can see them not having independence as a high priority this coming election.once covid past.more exposure will make the isp more viable.all true independence followers should vote snp 1 isp 2.then watch the unionist melt down.

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    1. In what way would a non-democratic outcome to a Scottish election aid in gaining independence?

      If pro-indy parties did manage to achieve an overly disproportionate number of MSPs relative to vote share by 'gaming the list', all that would do is undermine any mandate and the potential for international recognition.

      Vote for the party you truly support on the PR list, then maybe tactically on the FPTP constituency if your first choice isn't likely to win.

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    2. what would be undemocratic about the result of an election held fairly under the rules.

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    3. It is always undemocratic for the Scottish Nat sis when they lose under the rules. 2014 & 2016 are examples. They go into deep shock when they lose and emerge as habitual moaners. They would still moan if they won as it is in their DNA.

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    4. If the result doesn't (reasonably) proportionally represent the will of the people, it's not democratic. It's like saying 40% Yes is the majority will for independence.

      If we want a government with a huge majority on a minority of the vote, then we can just stick with the UK.

      Anyway, pro-Yes parties are already winning elections without anyone 'gaming the system', broadly reflecting the will of the people.

      If an ISP party wants my vote, they can win it on merit/manifesto policies, not by asking me to try and cheat the system to give them a blank cheque for 5 years.

      Delete
    5. The Scottish Nat sis said a one vote majority would be enough for them to win the 2014 referendum. The Unionists won by half a million yet the Nat sis did not recognise this.

      Delete
    6. What voters wanted 6 years ago is irrelevant. Democracy is based on what voters want right now.

      Delete
    7. What Scottish voters wanted six years ago was irrelevant to you Nat Zis. Why would another vote be relevant if you do not accept a previous vote.

      Delete
    8. 'If we want a government with a huge majority on a minority of the vote, then we can just stick with the UK.' - We are already stuck with the UK because the UK refuses to acknowledge a proportional system. They have undemocratic majority governments and it is the only thing they find legitimate... We are being forced to work within the limitations of the undemocratic UK.

      'Anyway, pro-Yes parties are already winning elections without anyone 'gaming the system', broadly reflecting the will of the people' - and being completely ignored by Westminster who consider vast majorities on 40% or less of the vote the only true mandate for power.

      Holyrood was designated a proportional system by British Nationalists precisely to make 'vast majorities' (almost) impossible, because 'vast majorities' are the only thing that the British/English population understand in their electoral system as a legit mandate for change. Democracy does not come into that perception - only the election result.

      If the SNP want to pressure Westminster into a S30, then removal of most unionist representation from Scotland and a 'vast majority' in Holyrood for Independence (to match the 'vast majority' for independence in Westminster) is the only thing that has a hope of achieving it. If it doesn't it will still show to the Scots electorate (and the world) that S30 options for leaving the UK do not, in reality, exist and alternative democratic routes must be used urgently.

      braco

      Delete
    9. Sorry, I don't believe in the 'well they are fascists, so it's ok for us to be too' principle.

      One of the reasons I want independence is so I can live in a country where the parliament represents the people.

      The ISPers seem to be proposing that pro-indy parties become just like pro-union parties gaming the system under FPTP so they can enjoy fat salaries while never actually changing anything for the better.

      I'm a democratic, not a brit nat. Don't ask me to try to cheat the democratic process like a good unionist.

      I'm not prepared to become my enemy. Certainly not when Yes parties are already winning majorities fairly anyway.

      Delete
    10. And it's not the English/British we need to convince to become independent. It's the rest of the world, particularly Europe.

      They all use forms of voting which are fully or close to PR.

      Maybe this ISP should stop being (it seems) lazy as fuck unionist and actually propose some policies which would help win over current lib-lab-con voters, so delivering more pro-UK MSPs democratically? I've said enough times there is space for a pro-indy centre right party to win over some libs, con and blairites.

      Delete
    11. Pressure must come from the outside world. That's how belligerent nations are forced to give up other people's lands.

      It's that or you have to actually fight your way out.

      Becoming the most undemocratic country in Europe (if the listers achieved max disproportion) is not going to help the cause.

      Delete
  15. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-53192024

    Coronavirus: Expert says Scotland 'could be Covid-free by end of summer'

    ..."If Scotland was an island - like New Zealand - I would say going for zero cases would be completely feasible," she [Prof Devi Sridhar, of Edinburgh University] said.

    However, an open border with England - where hundreds of cases are still being reported daily - is a concern, as is enforcing the 14-day quarantine of people flying into Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 'Sorry, I don't believe in the 'well they are fascists, so it's ok for us to be too' principle.' - Naive bullshit! Fascists are defeated by the same tools that fascists use. Fascists declare war and bomb civilians - to defeat fascism the allies went to war and bombed civilians. It is what you do once the war is over that dictates whither you are a democrat or a fascist. To win, you must be as ruthless or more ruthless than your worst enemy. Any person who has ever been in a real fight understands that basic principle of natural law.

    Ok, so now show me how you intend to get Indy under the current circumstances playing by the rules that the British state created for us never to win from.

    'One of the reasons I want independence is so I can live in a country where the parliament represents the people.' - Statement of the bleeding obvious Skier! BUT we are NOT independent yet are we, and never likely to be if all we do is follow the unionist's devolved electoral system we have been designated, without usurping it.

    braco

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    1. I should defeat fascists by gassing the jews and intentionally slaughtering civilians?

      No thanks.

      'An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind' is what a wise man once said and is what I believe in.

      I thought the idea was for a 'Scotland governed by a government that represents the Scottish people'. Instead, what seems to be proposed is a Scotland governed by a small minority which doesn't represent the population. We have that right now.

      My own opinion is that we should look to convince enough people to support pro-indy parties, which delivers a pro-indy majority representing the people. We've managed that twice now, so can do it again.

      If another pro-indy party produces a manifesto for my consideration, I will consider it fairly. I won't vote to cheat the system and risk all the gains made in my lifetime.

      I await this ISP manifesto and candidate list to see what they are offering on both indy and domestic policy.

      Delete
    2. After the last two Holyrood elections, indy-supporting MSPs constituted more than 50% of parliament with less than 50% of the vote. You reckon that system is rigged against independence?

      Delete
    3. Have any of the gamers considered the consequences if they did manage to somehow tweak the system to deliver a continuing pro-indy majority in Holyrood on the basis of less than 50% support of the voting public?

      And on what basis would we be likely to succeed in an ensuing referendum if we still couldn't command a >50% majority when the crunch came?

      This whole business isn't merely about tweaking a few numbers of votes here and there. It's fundamentally about hearts and minds. There isn't any easy way out of that need in a democracy, however imperfect.

      Delete
    4. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 12:42 AM

      Grizebard - " in an ensuing referendum" - pray tell when and how this is going to happen.

      When a Britnat in Westminster believes in democracy for Scotland and agrees a sect 30?

      Delete
  17. Independence for ScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 12:53 PM

    Scottish Skier wants to stick to democracy in a "faux" democracy environment called the UK. The UK was set up as an English dictatorship in 1707 and Westminster has shown no desire to change that over 313 years but Skier wants to kid on he lives in a democracy.

    Has nobody noticed how the English dictatorship have been saying recently Scottish votes do not count when it threatens the status quo - the status quo being the English dictatorship. The Scotland secretary (colonial governor) gave the game away recently when he said the UK is NOT a voluntary union.

    Skier we live in a dictatorship dressed up to look like a democracy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I don't want Scotland to become that, which is what some seem to be proposing.

      Do we really want an indy Scotland born from cheating the democratic system?

      If there is a sneaky way to make the number of Yes votes in iref2 far exceed the number of Yes voters, should we do that too?

      That's what gaming the list system amounts too.

      Delete
    2. You mean we're in a FAKE UNION.
      The next time anybody defends the status quo ask them how it works for us to be in Union with England and its crowded population. It's a Fake.
      Imagine floating the idea of Denmark which shares a border with Germany going into union with them and Berlin as the capital. What's THIS IS A JOKE, RIGHT in Danish?

      Delete
    3. Independence for ScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 4:31 PM

      Ramstan - I agree it is a fake union with fake democracy. It is a 313 year old English dictatorship.

      Scottish Skier - " born from cheating the democratic system" - Skier you just don't get it do you - you can't cheat a democratic system if it is NOT a democratic system and has never been democratic since 1707. This to me is a fundamental reason for independence. There is no democracy in Scotland at present to cheat.

      If you think there is democracy in the UK Union then that means you think the Union is fine. I would respectfully suggest you think again.

      Delete
    4. The MSPs we elect to Holyrood broadly reflect how people voted. It's very close to PR as it's intended to be, ergo democratic.

      It's London that isn't democratic, but I can't see how trying to cheat our own system fixes that. All London would do is say 'Look, Holyrood doesn't represent the people any more so we don't think an iref is justified'. The international community would think the same.

      What's been achieved then? Some unionists out of a job and independence put back years.

      Forgive me, but I'll vote for the party offering policies I want.

      I await the ISP manifesto detailing these.

      Delete
    5. Independence for ScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 9:27 PM

      Scottish Skier - "Its London that isn't democratic." - well no shit - that's what I have been saying. London controls everything in the UK including Holyrood - therefore Holyrood is not part of a democratic system. It is simply nonsense to take Holyrood as if it stands as a parliament of an INDEPENDENT nation. It does not therefore matter what type of method it uses to elect MSPs it is not part of a democratic system ergo not democratic and you are wrong.

      All your other concerns are pointless - Westminster will NEVER agree to another referendum unless it has safeguards that make independence impossible - therefore a waste of time and undemocratic.

      "Cheat our own system" - our own system - it has never been our own system. It is London controlled.

      PS so why do the Scotgov give money to the billionaire press that is anti independence - part of a master plan that only some can understand is it.

      Delete
  18. How can you possibly game a system that gives you 2 votes and leaves it up to the individual to use said votes anyway they want that's democracy. It's also the voting system the UK parliment wholeheartedly gave to us to use in 1999.iv never heard anyone tell labour.tory or lib dem voters who they cant give there 2nd vote to as its cheating. Let's be honest here this is all about the panic in the unionist faction on these blogs as they see a very big portion of there msp s being ejected from hollyrood if about 1 in 4 who voted snp 1&2 then vote snp 1 isp 2.im hoping the more we bang on about snp1 isp2 the more independence minded will consider it.theres an indicator on barrheadboy Twitter gives a great presentation on how many seats unionist would lose on the % of the snp 953.000 2nd votes that were wasted last time then go to isp this time.

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    1. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 4:34 PM

      Barrhead boy a genuine indepence supporter.

      Delete
    2. Ds2 at 4:00,

      Absolutely, but every time I say something on here, along those lines, Scott goes Pop and my post disappears.

      Could you post Barrheadboy's presentation on here? ta.





      Delete
    3. Exactly Ds2!

      braco

      Delete
    4. Though I am not sure about ISP and their offering - just the principle...

      braco

      Delete
  19. Independence for ScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 5:27 PM

    The Democratic Deficit.

    The Scotgov/Ian Blackford and others all hold on to the view that Westminster (Johnston) will eventually recognise the democratic deficit in not agreeing a sect 30 and grant one. Now apart from that approach showing high levels of the Cringe the fact is that there has always been a democratic deficit in the UK for Scotland. Westminster has NEVER shown any desire to rectify this and turn the UK into a modern democratic union over the last 313 years. So we are now expected to believe that any UK PM or UK parliament will recognise a democratic deficit for Scotland.

    Sorry the same goes for those who say once Johnston is history it will be different with a new PM - you just have to listen to Starmer's recent undemocratic comments on the matter.
    The British parties do not see any need for democracy for Scotland, never have and never will.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 'I should defeat fascists by gassing the jews and intentionally slaughtering civilians?

    No thanks.'

    Allies did not help the Jews when they knew about what was happening and they fire bombed and Nuclear bombed their way through the enemy civilian populations through out the war. This IS reprehensible in any normal situation but during an all out war that MUST be won to allow a world where such atrocities are not allowed, then leadership sold their souls and prioritised victory by being more savage and more determined to win than their most savage opponents. Should they have kept the moral high ground and lost the war?

    A fight will always deteriorate into as vicious a situation as your opponent is willing to take it. You either out vicious them to win or you accept their viciousness from that point onward and get used to it as the new default for you. This is just fact Skier. Horrible but true.

    This is the democratic scenario we are in when it comes to British 'democracy'. We either fight for independence with EVERY legal means available to us or we cling to an imaginary democratic high ground and get ourselves used to defeat, because our opponent will always rig their 'democracy' against us. How many mandates can be denied before you see that there is no UK democracy that allows for constitutional change for Scotland?

    'An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind' is what a wise man once said and is what I believe in.' - I am sure that makes you feel morally superior and warm inside, but of course it is glib nonsense that changes none of the actual realities of politics and power faced in the real world.

    braco

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    1. Yes, I've often complained how Britain glorifies the war when it was a bloodthirsty empire which had much of the world under its own jackboot at the time. I don't see your point. Mine was clear enough.

      You can win a war by taking the moral high ground. It is possible to win without becoming the evil that is your enemy.

      I understand the man who said the quote I used was instrumental in winning independence for his country from the British empire by peaceful means.

      And legal does not equal correct. It was legal to gas the Jews in WW2 Germany.

      But I still fail to see how making Scotland an undemocratic country with a government which doesn't represent its people is something we should be striving for.

      I know people who support the union (and some might yet be persuaded to yes). Should I try to sneakily deny them representation in parliament? That's hardly going to win hearts and minds. Is that who I want to be? Who would I be hurting exactly? My own countryfolk...friends and colleagues. Not London anyway.

      Is the brave new Scotland one where its government will represent its people or not? I thought that was the idea of independence.

      I don't mind using devious means to disrupt Westminster and try to block it like it blocks a Section 30. After all, it isn't democratic. So I smile when the SNP kick out unionist after unionist under FPTP by the unionists own system. But our own PR parliament?

      Remember, while Westminster created the buildings and the powers it has, the parliament is ultimately the people we elect and they do represent Scots very fairly.

      If people succeeded in cheating the system, it would no longer represent us. It would just become another Westminster.

      An ISP could have merit for various reasons, including challenging the SNP and trying to win over more No voters, e.g. from the centre right. But to simply cheat the system? No thanks.

      I await a manifesto from the ISP, to which I will give due consideration.

      Delete
    2. Still do not get why an Irishman like you Skier are so pedantic about Brit Scot affairs. I note your Sinn Fein IRA criminal friends have been kicked into touch in the Republic.

      Delete
    3. 'You can win a war by taking the moral high ground. It is possible to win without becoming the evil that is your enemy.'
      - I never said you BECOME the evil that is your enemy! But you must be willing to fight, and fight fire with fire if necessary, to overcome the evil you face. Only then, after victory, can you develop a society free of that constant threat from the aggressor.
      Ask the Irish what atrocities were really required to counter the British atrocities perpetrated.

      'I understand the man who said the quote I used was instrumental in winning independence for his country from the British empire by peaceful means.' - Indian independence was NOT won by peaceful means alone and you are a dangerous naive if you choose to believe it was.

      Scotland has no democratic system, when parliamentary majority mandates can be simply ignored by the legislature of another country's electorate. That is exactly what you happily bang on about over and over in the most pathetic manner, calling Westminster racist against the Scots... It's NOT racism, it's imperialism, and imperialism for those outside the 'mother country' means Zero Democracy.

      Kid on you live in a Scottish democracy if you like, but only GWC and his like will recognise the kind of democracy you are talking about. The kind of British democracy where Scots get to vote for whatever they like in Scotland, because the Westminster power will just ignore it and do exactly what their real, English=British 40% 'democratic' mandate dictates they must do.

      That's the reality Skier and your glib, turn the other cheek, moral high ground bull won't butter any nips. We are asking for a realistic way forward - and answers, so far, there are none... :(

      braco

      Delete
    4. If majority mandates reflecting the will of the people can simply be ignored by Westminster, how will zero mandate because the parliament doesn't democratically represent the will of the people be any better? Do you think they'll go 'Well, you cheated the system very much like we do! Good on you old chap, here's your Section 30'.

      If they won't give one on a fair result, they're hardly going to give on an unfair outcome.

      You think it's naive to believe this?

      Delete
  21. Independence for ScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 9:10 PM

    Scottish Skier - "But our own PR Parliament? ". - now I can see you have truly taken in by the Britnat con trick that somehow we have democracy in Scotland.

    It is a devolved Britnat parliament to try and maintain the illusion of democracy in the UK.

    1. There are more London controlled parties in the Scottish parliament than Scottish parties but you say it is our own Parliament.

    2. Westminster removes powers from Holyrood when it wants to but you say it is our own Parliament.

    Power devolved is power retained.

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    1. Absolutely! (Independence for Scotland @ 9:10)

      braco

      Delete
    2. GWC could get a part in a Lloyds TSB ad.

      Delete
    3. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 9:37 PM

      Hairy Mary - there is no bank called Lloyds TSB and hasn't been for years but there are plenty of Britnat turds like GWC in stinking sewers.

      Delete
    4. I'm quite aware that the UK isn't democratic.

      However, our MSPs do reflect the will of the people. Holyrood elections are democratic.

      The fact the powers of Holyrood are constrained and Westminster can overrule it doesn't detract from the fairness of the electoral mechanism.

      Let's say we all cheat the system and get like 75% pro-indy party MSPs on ~50% of the vote. Indy is achieved. Do all the ISP MSPs step down immediately? Scotland has got independence. Holyrood is now democratic, and being a 'cheat' MSP is not justified any more based on your logic.

      So will all ISP MSPs step down immediately upon indy? Otherwise Scotland will be reborn as a British-esque electoral dictatorship.

      Delete
    5. We Unionists will have your head in the sewer soon enough Scottyersegob along with your IRA mob.

      Delete
    6. Skier, if the UK is not democratic then you have no alternative but to turn to armed struggle against the UK fascists.

      Delete
    7. Independence for ScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 10:06 PM

      Scottish Skier - "Westminster can overrule it doesn't detract from the fairness of the electoral mechanism" - now these types of statements really are getting ridiculous.

      So the Britnat parties, voted in as a minority in Holyrood, can get their Britnat colleagues in Westminster to overrule and you don't see anything wrong with the "mechanism". Truly head in the sand nonsense you are posting.

      This is my last comment on the matter. With independence supporters like you we will still be waiting for Nicola Sturgeon to tell us when the time is right when mankind is on planet Mars.

      Delete
    8. There are no Britnat parties in Holyrood. You have still to arrive on Earth

      Delete
  22. Re list votes..sadly I'm not IT literate enough to bring files from one blog to another.however hopefully some clever clog can go to barrhead boys twitter and retrieve it..I'm sure he wont mind.you cant miss it it's called hollyrood 2021 the list vote.be good if others could pass it around.think the more people see it the more they will realise what can be done using the voting tools given to us by westminster.not cheating gaming or abusing the system but using the legal parliamentary voting system given to the scottish parliment to elect the msps democratically I would recommend barrheadboy blog it's really good for independence stuff.

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    1. The best thing aboot borrheid is the last train fae Glesga Central.

      Delete
    2. Ds2, ok thanks, and I agree we should use every lever we have to get rid of as many British MSPs as possible.

      Delete
  23. Independence for ScotlandJune 28, 2020 at 9:51 PM

    Some of the commentators on here remind me of the Matrix film franchise.

    They think they are living in a democracy but of course it is only an illusion created by their masters in Westminster and it has been running for 313 years maintained by propaganda, collaborators, money and, failing the above, violence. If they do not wake up it will run for a lot longer.

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    1. Violence is not required on you just sympathy and a wee holiday in Clacton on Sea.

      Delete