Sunday, September 8, 2019

It's unthinkable for any progressive party not to allow its members to elect the leader

There's just been a fascinating development in the Wings party saga.  Somebody asked Stuart Campbell whether it was true that he planned to have no involvement with the party (ie. he would be merely lending the Wings 'brand' to a group of candidates), and this was his reply -

"I'd have to be the leader, it's my party. As for being a candidate, not decided."

Remember the criticisms that were made of the Brexit Party when it was set up?  That Nigel Farage 'owned' the party in the same way that he might own a business?  That he had set himself up as leader-for-life and that there were literally no democratic means by which the members could ever replace him?  And indeed that there were no members at all, merely a fan club of 'supporters'?  And that the supporters had no say over policy, which was instead solely decided by one man?

It's surely unthinkable that any progressive, left-of-centre independence supporter would intentionally want to sign up to a party organised along those lines, but that appears to be exactly what Stuart is suggesting - he clearly sees the party as his own personal possession and will appoint himself leader for an indefinite period.  It's murderously hard to imagine the party having proper members with a democratic say over policy if they are to have no democratic say over who is leader.

Many potential Wings supporters are rightly concerned about the SNP's cautious managerialism and stifling of debate at conference.  But for my money they'll rue the day they swap all of that for the Il Duce principle.

138 comments:

  1. You have officially gone mad.

    Is it your american heritage that drives you crazy when people say cnut?

    Something has to happen while we have a tyrant in Bute House who eradicates all mention of a former leader who she personally had framed by her civil servants at a current cost of £500,000 out of my taxes.

    The same tyrant who prevents any discussion of an alternative to repeatedly asking nicely if our slave owners would just possibly give us a vote on removing the shackles.

    That tyrant was democratically elected by the party and is behaving quite a lot like a dictator. So was ABDePJ. What's your point apart from getting into mikey small's coterie of wetnats and secret nawbaggers.

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    1. Crikey. That's quite a rant, but I'll respond to your points in turn.

      1) No, I have not gone mad.

      2) No, it is not my American heritage that makes me object to the word "c**t", and contrary to the silly claims that have been made, I have no problem with "swearing" in itself. The C-word in isolation is mere "swearing". But the phrase "you are a c**t" is plainly, unambiguously, irrefutably abusive.

      3) I have no idea whether your wild allegation against Nicola Sturgeon is true, but it seems phenomenally improbable.

      4) Something may well need to be done on a Plan B, but that battle can only be fought and won *inside* the SNP.

      5) It is actually rather important that the SNP leader is an elected position. Would you be any happier if it wasn't?

      6) The idea that I'm trying to get into "Mike Small's coterie" will be laughable to anyone who has read this blog for any length of time. And the irony is that it's Stuart who now agrees with Mike Small on gaming the system, although of course neither of them would ever admit to that agreement.

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    2. This is a really weird rant. How anyone can think of Nicola Sturgeon as a tyrant is beyond me. Do you know what a tyrant is? Its a cruel and oppressive ruler. Yes she really fits that bill.

      Your other claims are either the work of someone with a crazed mind, a wind-up merchant, or someone who is so much in awe of Wings over Scotland they have lost their sense of proportion. Your claims about Nicola and Alex are something you know nothing about. You are making it up - and she cannot force a civil servant to do jack shit. No one can.

      I used to support the WOS site but after the drivel and aggressive crap that emanates from it now and from its supporters (I assume you are one) I will never donate again. This crappy, ill conceived idea of a wings party (no policies by the way) has been nothing but divisive so far and I doubt there will be much improvement on this front for the immediate future.

      The WOS owner is a chap who blocks people for disagreeing with him on twitter (I mean twitter for heaven's sake) - how on earth is he going to do his constituency work when he is a politician? Too much high end politics - real politics is dealing with issues of your constituents whether you politically agree with them or not. What would be done in such a case? Block them from entering the surgery? Get real - stop the fan club mentality and get a better notion of what politics is about. Independence is part of it - run of the mill stuff makes up the majority.
      CONSTITUENCY WORK:
      "These issues can range from local environmental issues to more sensitive cases, such as people being made homeless. Environmental issues, such as bin collections, vegetation, street cleaning, and housing have been the main problems constituents have brought to my attention over the years – accounting for over one third of my cases." Derek MacKay Finance Secretary in the Scottish Government (over 10,000 cases in 7 years.) THAT is politics.

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    3. That is a mighty strange rant, Alex may well have been set up but why would Nicola do so? He stepped aside to all allow her to pick up the reins. There is no motive. There is a motive for anti independence/SNP forces.

      It might not be a conspiracy. It could be revenge for his rather brusque attitude to senior civil servants who did not deliver or perhaps he had a mad half hour in his career and did something out of character. I don't know and I suspect neither do you.

      I don't think James has gone mad but I confess I have lost interest in the SGP Wings bun fight, Hopefully when the starting gun fires these spats will be put to one side and we can roll our sleeves up for some real action. Boredom in the barracks often leads to unnecessary punch ups...and by God, we are bored.

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    4. I must admit I'm not actually bored - the events at Westminster over the last week have been alarming but never boring. There's an argument that the last seven days have been the biggest week in British politics since World War II.

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    5. For sure there is a fascination in watching the Westminster car crash turn into a full blown demolition derby. I was thinking more of those itching for a second independence referendum and with only passing interest in the Brexit mess.

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    6. Yeah coz wings should start his own political party and immediately hand it over to someone else, that makes sense, wait, what............

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    7. A democratic party is the property of its members, not its founder. Scoff if you like, but that's a statement of the obvious.

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  2. I might be mistaken but I don't think Sturgeon was elected.

    "That's different".

    Meanwhile I look forward to the next Calvin Klein blog article:

    "Why Stuart Campbell is WICKED to eat the blue spangle first."

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    1. If only one candidate puts themselves forward, that person is elected unopposed. Exactly the same principle applies in Westminster and local council elections. But the point is that there was a democratic process in which anyone could have stood against her. She can also be challenged for the leadership - she doesn't 'own' the party.

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    2. Unless it's changed, the party would be a single purpose party - Independence, and trying to make sure there's a pro-Indy majority in Holyrood.

      From that point of view, the word "progressive" is irrelevant, and so is what could be thought of as normal party democracy. In fact if some other leader was "elected", they might have a different agenda, and follow that rather than Indy. There's been a few of them around.

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    3. Well, it's already a matter of record that the Wings party wouldn't be single-issue, it would be at least a two-issue party. Stuart has pre-announced the stance it would take on trans rights. No need for that sort of policy to be decided in a members' vote, apparently.

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  3. Stu Campbell is definitely beating the drum for a new party. It will be interesting to see the type of question he asks in his promised polling. I suggested your question on his blog tonight, because he is quite capable of pretending that he doesn't read your blog.
    Alex B

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    1. It is perennial joy to contemplate the confluence of the three rivers at Passau.

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  4. You seem to be comparing and contrasting the potential Wings party with the others already in existence.
    You have no way of knowing yet which shape this party would take none of us do! But I would point out that Stu has as far as I can tell to date put most of his decisions to the people who post below the line on his blog and commits to follow the general consensus.
    I'd say it was a fair assumption that he would follow that model in this too.
    Obviously I don't agree that this is a bad idea.
    You said yourself before the last Holyrood election that tactical voting could backfire if done generically across the board it would need to be seat specific,and that we would need to be relatively sure the SNP would take the Constituency seat.
    As I understand it thats exactly what Wings is proposing to do.
    I have to say that I'm disappointed that you don't approve, I did think that you would have been excellent at helping in identifying the target seats and warning which ones to stay away from.
    The Unionist Party's have all the resources of the British State and we only have us so I'd thought everyone would want to use any skill they had where ever it was needed?
    As to changing position on the matter.... Well...As I understood it at the time we were all hoping for a repeat of the 2011 landslide and both votes SNP was the route to go down.
    It obviously didn't work so I'd say it was only sensible to look at doing something different this time around to keep all those Unionist list MSPs out the Parliament.
    I hope that Wings founds a party anyway because we're going to need some alternative politicians after the Yes vote anyway.
    Especially to make sure the people negotiating the details are doing so in Scotland's interests and not looking to what's best for Westminster.
    Also,it's my understanding that to set up a "new " political party in the established way and I might add the Westminster model takes time and money we don't have and ultimately it is going to have to have a leader/founder so we I'm sure you of all people could agree that was a particularly loaded leader question?

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    1. "You have no way of knowing yet which shape this party would take none of us do!"

      Well, we do know in the sense that Stuart has made certain pronouncements about the shape it would take. He might change his mind, of course, but until then his pronouncements surely have to be taken with a degree of seriousness.

      "But I would point out that Stu has as far as I can tell to date put most of his decisions to the people who post below the line on his blog and commits to follow the general consensus."

      Someone who is leader-by-right ruling by selective plebiscite? I can think of a few unfortunate precedents for that model.

      "You said yourself before the last Holyrood election that tactical voting could backfire if done generically across the board it would need to be seat specific"

      No, I didn't say that. I did say it could backfire, I didn't say it could be made to work by being 'seat-specific'. (I'm not sure what 'seat-specific' actually means, anyway, because we're talking about eight multi-member electoral regions.)

      "I did think that you would have been excellent at helping in identifying the target seats and warning which ones to stay away from."

      Again, you're making it sound like he's standing in constituencies. He's repeatedly said he won't do that, and hopefully we can take him at his word.

      "Also,it's my understanding that to set up a "new " political party in the established way and I might add the Westminster model takes time and money we don't have and ultimately it is going to have to have a leader/founder so we I'm sure you of all people could agree that was a particularly loaded leader question?"

      Honestly, I really don't think it's asking much that a party that claims to be seeking a significant number of parliamentary seats should have a democratically elected leader, just like every other parliamentary party does.

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    2. Sorry that I made it sound that he was going to go for Constituency seats .... I didn't mean too....
      Like you I understand him to be going for list seats only.
      I won't argue with exactly what you said about tactical voting,but I am pretty sure that the advice I followed not to risk the 2nd vote for the greens unless you were pretty sure that the SNP would take the first I got here.
      You may have put it across as a risk because you could never really be sure of what the electorate will do,something like that?
      I looked specifically because my kid's were wanting to vote Green on the List... and it was quite a certainty that the SNP would do very well in my area!
      I have to ask... won't you reconsider pitching in to try to make this work? No one else is stepping up except Wings and he has the reach to find really good people!

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    3. Oh and just to add...
      About a selective plebsite!
      Is that no exactly what an SNP conference is when they decide their manifesto?

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  5. Stuart Campbell has gone missing since the law and Kezia Dugdale disagreed with him and he feels the SNP or its members owe him something which they don't, now this pretendy nonsense of a so called Wings party that he wishes to dominate in exactly the same fashion as Nigel Farage by even using the same tactics on his blog now to attract the impatient disaffected or just plain hard line lefties who love an anarchist
    The problem with all this complaining about the SNP by Campbell is he has no answers no solutions, his only thrust is the exact same as Farage *The SNP are rubbish I'll do it better* that's how Farage invented himself the Brexit party, by threatening the Tories that if they didn't do what he wanted he'd replace them and he'd do it knowing perfectly well he really couldn't, but it's about ego and an ego maniac, exactly what Stuart Campbell has turned into, a populist ego maniac and the real supporters of Independence have vaninshed from his website only to be replaced by the hard line argumentative name calling hooligans who shout down all decent debate and if you're a SNP supporter it's not the place for you anymore

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    1. If anybody wanted to go into politics why would they choose to join this Wings party that doesn't exist to be run by a guy that the media will destroy in print and on TV and show what a foul mouthed git on twitter he is, they'll be tarred with the same brush

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    2. They haven't managed it yet and by Lucifer they've tried!

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    3. In case the rest of this reply doesn't make it obvious, I am a different Anon from the OP of this thread.

      I agree that this all started with Kezia Dugdale. I don't know how or why she got under his skin so much, but she did. Instead of recognising that her political career was a string of humiliations and that she stood down as SLab leader a completeley defeated woman without a single achievement to her name, he decided to start a legal fight with her that has, so far, backfired.

      As for the Wings party, when the idea was first floated, I thought for sure that he was trolling, especially after seeing everyone else take it so seriously. I'm still not convinced that my first impression was wrong. For a guy who prides himself on his astute political foresight, I have trouble believing that he can't see the problem inherent in starting and fronting a pro-independence party to run in a place that he hasn't lived in for two (almost three) decades. It's not that there's anything legally or morally wrong with it, but the optics of it are really bad and it's going to be off-putting to people who don't already know and like him. I also don't think the political landscape in Scotland has much room for another left/centre-left pro-independence party, and I don't think his "gender critical" views are going to be a great vote-getter within that space. And I have trouble believing that any of this has escaped him either.

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  6. Rev Stu is a daft wee man out of his depth. Nat si with little to offer.

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  7. Rev Stu is a self appointed toilet brush. Filthy git.

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    1. Fortunately I have never been caught up in an earthquake.

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  8. James

    You are getting trolled.

    Get a grip please

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    1. What's the nature of the trolling? Maybe the troll (whoever he or she is) should be the one to get a grip?

      Just a thought.

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  9. For the benefit of the record the anonymous comment above at 06:42 was me.
    Bugger the Panda

    Judging by the comments above it is working.

    Deary me

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    1. My sister wants to name her baby daughter Solange. I adore the name and salute her sophistication.

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    2. Solange -- and thanks for all the *ish.

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  10. I'd personally only vote for a party with an open leadership election system. Otherwise, it's not a democratic political party, but vehicle for the self-appointed 'dear leader'. Which is obviously very creepy.

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    1. I wouldn't vote for a 'blog' or 'personal' party either; certainly not a pressure group one anyway.

      As I've said before, I need a full manifesto. For Holyrood, any e.g. Scindy party MSP would be in the chamber for up to 5 years. I need to know how they'll vote generally, not just on indy. Are they right/left, authoritarian/liberal? Low tax? Higher tax? What about the NHS and education? I need all this before I cast my vote for them.

      I think most people are like that, certainly for national elections.

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    2. Only a complete idiot gives a party a blank cheque in government. If they don't have a manifesto that the voters agreed to in principle, then they can claim voters gave them the right to privatise the NHS etc. 'The voters trust us to decide these things!'. It's a dictator's dream, and why the Tories, Brexit, UKIP etc have always tended to be light on policy detail.

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  11. There is hope, there is light, there is Rev Stuart Campbell!

    (Adapted from chant about Bosnian Croat militia leader in 1990s.)

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  12. I will seek a mandate to become First Minister and leader of Wings over Tampon party

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    1. A sublime afternoon would be a recital by a serene (yet challenging) string quartet. A lordly repast of smoked trout with a potato salad à la césar. Rich, allusive conversation with like-minded friends. Bliss

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  13. The Campbells Are Gaming!

    Ochone, ochone and [Ed: Hail Caesar]!

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  14. You seem to be getting over obsessed with a party that doesn't actually exist and is two years away at least. I would contemplate an alternative list party to the Greens who I will never vote for. I know you don't like gaming the system but it happens all the time, that's effectively what tactical voting is, even in WM seats.

    It's not the Kezia Dugdale case that I believed irked Stuart Campbell but the fact so many pro indy MSP's came in support of her against him, with loads of congratulatory comments. It's a sign of hubris but no more than many bloggers have.

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    1. It is possible to 'game' the Holyrood system just as you can for Westminster.

      It's just you can't do that on the regional vote which is party list PR. Here, the result is proportional. Every vote counts equally, with no wasted votes (if the party gets >5% in a region, which is pretty easy).

      You can only really vote 'tactically' on the constituency FPTP 1st vote, which works the same way as Westminster elections. This isn't PR, so even if a pro-indy party doesn't get a majority of votes, it can still win as long as its candidate gets the most (a plurality). Here it pays for voters of little parties who have no chance to vote for a larger party so their vote isn't wasted. It also means you can get more seats than votes, so maximising your seat to vote ratio.

      So, if the idea of 'gaming' the Holyrood system is to get more seats than votes, you can't do this via PR (V2 regional), only via non-PR FPTP (V1 constituency).

      This is what the whole Green and Wings 'gaming' proposal relies on; the SNP sweeping the constituency seats due to FPTP tactical voting. You can't do this with your regional vote.

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    2. "I know you don't like gaming the system but it happens all the time, that's effectively what tactical voting is, even in WM seats."

      No, no, no, you're conflating two entirely different things. Tactical voting in first-past-the-post elections actually works. Tactical voting on the list under AMS doesn't work - at best you're taking a punt without really having a clue whether you're going to be rewarded or punished. I don't dislike the idea of gaming the system, I would be in favour of that idea if it was workable. But it isn't. Simple as that.

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  15. IMO, the key will be the question that Stu asks in his polling of yessers.

    If he asks an "Archie Stirling" question, then he is on an ego trip, and every SNP voter should turn on him and give him the same message that we gave the grifters from RISE and Solidarity in 2016. I used to believe that the Solidarity supporters and RISE supporters were just illiterate about the D'Hondt system, but, having entered into detailed debate with many of them, I now regard them as chancers and grifters.

    On the other hand, if he asks the question that James has suggested, and the resulting figures exceed the "seat-winning threshold", then nothing else matters - Stu's arrogance, his weird obsession with gender politics, the organisation of his party, whether he stands himself (it would have a better chance if he didn't, IMO), whether he is elected president of the party, or assumes the "Dear Leader for Life" role - none of that matters a jot. Stu is a weapon in our armoury, and a well-researched Wings party would be a weapon to oust the followers of Leonard, Rennie, and the followers of whoever takes over the leadership of the "Vote Ruth Davidson for even more Ruth Davidson" party.

    Unionists have the media, and they use it ruthlessly. We need to become a little bit less squeamish about picking up our own weapons. Let's wait until we see the question Stu asks. If it's the right question, and it looks like it will work, let's use it.
    Alex B

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  16. Personally, I would be interested to support an alternatiev Independence Party on the second vote, but not one that has the word "Wings" in its name or is too blatantly linked to Rev Campbell. Subtle, arms length management, yes, but make it too obvious and the MSM would have a field day. They are still pretty effective at neutering big names. Think Alex Salmond, think Tommy Sheridan. Could Rev Campbell handle the same attacks that these two big hitters have suffered?

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    1. Personally, I have always thought Prince Rainier of the Grimaldi dynasty a vulgar man, better suited to managing an hotel than reigning over a principality.

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    2. We need only compare his conduct with the quietly dignified mien of Prince Hans Adam of Liechtenstein.

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    3. And what of Hans Thomson of Aberdeen South?

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  17. A Pop Party? But that might antagonise those without Eurovision.

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  18. The reason why I am open to a Wings over Scotland party is because I want to see independence. I believe it is fundamentally wrong to try to force the people of England and Wales to do something that they don't want to do, and that successfully stopping Brexit would effectively end the campaign for Scottish independence for 10 or 20 years.

    There are things that could have been done since the last referendum. Why hasn't the Scottish Government put forward a legal challenge to the notion that a section 30 from Westminster is required to host a referendum? Why hasn't a plan B of treating a general election as the referendum in the case of a s30 being denied been discussed at a party conference?

    I believe the biggest mistake from Yes Scotland in 2014 was trying to be reasonable when dealing with unreasonable people, and I would suggest that a more determined approach that Rev Stu could offer to be a good option. Currency is an example of this. Sharing the Bank of England was as much to help the people of rUK as to make the initial set-up easier, but as soon as politicians down south said that they wouldn’t allow it, the strategy became ‘well, they’ll become reasonable eventually’.

    Rev Stu’s focus on the central goal of independence, and his campaigning on the principle that nations should govern themselves, is the best way to achieve independence. In 2014 he and his team increased support for Yes. And I’m certain that most of the policies for a Wings party would be based on using polling data to see what voters actually want. An example would be the protection of women’s safe spaces and of female convicts, which is something that resonates with me and I’m sure others feel the same way.

    If a Wings party would stand by good candidates against media harassment (the poor treatment of Michelle Thomson who didn't do anything wrong comes to mind) and if they don't waste time on trying to subvert the democratic process in rUK, then I would be happy.

    To respond to the point of this article, I'm sure Rev Stu would be the initial leader, since he would be the founder. If there was to never be a mechanism for any other leader then I would share the concerns expressed here, but I find it difficult to believe that would be the case.

    Much of the media is not going to give a positive response to any pro-independence candidate or party when it comes election time, so having a group that don't make bad decisions based on this premise could be a positive. For example, I believe the SNP voted against a general election last week solely because they didn't want to be seen as supporting something that PM Johnson wanted. It will make the opposition parties look scared (like Gordon Brown appeared when he didn’t call for an election) and is likely to hurt the SNP more since they are doing well in the polls. The idea that an extension request to the EU has to be put into law before a vote is strange to me, as the law could be changed immediately following an election. If Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP believe that the people of Britain do not want a no deal Brexit, then they will vote that way.

    The fact is, I want independence. I don’t care who delivers it or what happens to the various political parties before or afterwards. I want independence and if a referendum doesn’t take place before 2021, I would vote Wings, because such a lack of progress would show that a different approach is needed. There isn’t much value in a pro-independence majority at Holyrood using the same weak approach if Westminster can just ignore us.

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    1. Beira, I too, am open to the idea of a Wings party, but only if it is reasonably certain to increase the number of pro Indy seats, and thus decrease the number of pro unionist seats in Holyrood. Launching such a party on the basis of dodgy polling evidence, puts Stu in exactly the same position as the Solidarity and RISE grifters, who tried to ride into Holyrood on the coat tails of the SNP. If there is ANY chance that Wings would fail, then I and others will attack him in the same way as we attacked the con-men from RISE and Solidarity in 2016. If, however he asks a "real" question such as the one suggested by James Kelly, AND the results indicate that such a party would win seats from unionists, then, of course we should all back such a venture.
      Alex B

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  19. I seem to recall an ex leader off the Nat si party telling the lefties to hold their fire and forget about socialism unti we get independence. Just carry on with Tory policies until that day. SICK BAG PLEASE.

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    1. So it's better to vote for independence asap then? If you want socialism that is?

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    2. Yammer away my friend. Independence will be here soon, in spite of the best efforts of trolls like you. I will then be able to resign from the SNP, and vote for whatever democratic socialist party suits my political beliefs. One thing I am sure of though, is that he'll will freeze over before I vote Labour while a single member of the Blairite cabal remains. If the likes of Jackie Baillie and Anus Sarwar have been defenestrated, then I might "come home", but you and your ilk, trying to keep Scotland under permanent Tory rule, will be exposed for what you are - tories. You're a Tory, GWC, and that's been apparent to all of us who have been reading "Scot Goes Pop!" for years, reading the pish that you post.
      Alex B

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    3. 'All OF US', guppy - fish - bite Tartan Tories. I am the only socialist on here who supports the result of referendums.

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    4. You are about as socialist as Maggie Thatcher. You want Scotland to be under the heel of Tory rule, which is what will happen, and continue to happen, while we are tied to the people of England, who, like you, are still infected with the disease of "toryitis". Scots have been immune to that particular disease since 1955 - the last occasion on which Scotland voted Tory. If you WERE a socialist, you would, like me, stop supporting the red tories who have annexed Labour in Scotland, throw in your lot with the SNP, get independence, and live in a Norway-style social democracy, but you're not going to do that, are you Tory-boy?
      Alex B

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  20. Indy is near and a pillar of the movement seems to be going off the rails... could a sleeper have been triggered?

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    1. If stressed and agitated, and someone suggests I go to my "Happy Place" I strike back with rapier-like wit and retort, "Are you offering to pay for a week at the Hôtel de France in Vienna?" (On the Ringstraße). The soon stops the interference.

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  21. When great leaders such as Martin Luther-King, Nelson Mandela or Ghandi come along they are natural leaders of their cause and I would very much put Wings in that category. He's a true leader and inspiration and will deliver independence if everybody just gets behind him.

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    1. Just like Julius Ceaser.

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    2. I must admit that reply made me laugh...lol

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    3. Well done on misspelling two out of the three names you cited.

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    4. I think you'd better check your spelling anon.

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    5. Smerral. A name redolent with history and a yearning to return to the splendour of the Hittite Empire.

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  22. Socialism is every bit as bad as Toryism and when you consider the attacks the SNP have fended off from both sides of those politics then they must be doing what the majority of people seem to want, no ideology, just democracy for the people by the people, but definitely not for the ideologues

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  23. I'm stopping contributing to Wings due to the recent changes there so I'll post here instead.

    Off topic, but important. I've just heard Michael Kelly on BBC Scotland suggesting all marches should be banned. This is on the back of the recent sectarian confrontations. When the first disturbances happened last week someone quickly pointed out that the disturbance may have been deliberately set up as a precursor to moves to clamp down on all forms of public marches. One could see this as tinfoil hattery but given today's proclamation by Mr. Kelly, I think we all need to keep a close eye on this sort of thing. We live in strange times where things that were once unthinkable are now daily occurrences.

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  24. One variation on the Wings party proposal I haven't seen discussed - What would happen if their (only) regional candidate guaranteed to stand only as insurance against the SNP not getting a list seat?

    If it was shown after the election that the Wings candidate deprived the SNP of a seat and, after being sworn in, they would resign? As there would be no alternative Wings candidate to replace them a by-election would have to be held, which with the SNP's healthy voter advantage in almost every region they would very likely win.

    Is this a) legal and b) feasible?

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    1. No. There are no by elections for list seats

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  25. All that we know about where Stuart Campbell might differ from the SNP is that he a) takes a strong line on transsexuals self-identifying, a complex issue and b) is resolutely and obnoxiously sceptical of attempts to keep Gaelic alive for future generations, a simple question on which he is 100% wrong. Personally, I could never vote for a Wings party, as the languages of Scotland are important to me. Campbell's Jeremy Clarkson version of the SNP would actually introduce a left-right split into the independence movement, as anyone tempted to give their list vote to a smaller party would be faced with a choice between him and the Greens, making success even less likely.

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    Replies
    1. Are you seriously here just to lie and defame with no name attached?

      Unbelievable

      Delete
    2. Sorry, where was the lie or the defamation in Anon's comment? It's a matter of record that Stuart takes a strong line on self-ID and that he's opposed to efforts to conserve Gaelic. He's made no secret of that whatsoever.

      Delete
    3. A transsexual (i.e., someone who has had surgery) and a self-IDing person are not the same thing, just for the sake of clarity.

      Delete
  26. Why can't they just speak English? Are they unable to express themselves properly without using some French?

    https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/evolutionofparliament/parliamentwork/offices-and-ceremonies/overview/prorogation1/prorogation/

    ...The official command of the Queen appointing her Royal Commission is read by the Reading Clerk from a piece of parchment. The Clerk of the Crown then announces from the Opposition side of the table the name of each Act that is to be passed.

    As each Act is announced, the Clerk of the Parliament turns to face MPs, declaring 'La Reyne le veult'...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Why can't they just speak English?"

      Are you Stu Pot in disguise?

      Delete
    2. Ah dinnae ken whit yer oan aboot mun.

      Les anglais utilisent beaucoup le français!

      A good example of that in parliament today. Some unionist blog readers are infuriated by such bilingualism.

      Delete
    3. Skier, Glesga East End should be the official language in Sconie Boatland. Mawgonnygeezeaapennyfuradainty. Awaanfuckyerselfahneeditfurthemeeter.

      Delete
    4. Is it ever acceptable to serve rosé (even dry) along with comté at a cheese and wine party?

      Delete
  27. Seems to me that there would be something intrinsically wrong in a party purporting to be fighting for an independent Scotland, while choosing to be based in England.

    (And that's aside from the fact that he cannot control his nastiness when anyone has the temerity to disagree with him on anything at all.)

    ReplyDelete
  28. A Wings party would split the independence vote in Edinburgh. Surely the wee guy at Wings must know this and stop his self indulgent vandalism. Get over Kez mate.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Please note that I'm deleting abusive comments, and I'm mostly deleting any comments that don't actually say anything apart from "give it a rest James" or whatever. If you've actually got a point to make, then make it, but don't try to shut me up, because a) it won't work, and b) your comment will probably be deleted.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Young James it's apparent the Rev Stu pot geezer is chucking a tantrum and hiding behind several monikers. The guy has lost it and going crazy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've always been very upfront about that sort of thing.

      Delete
    2. Hi GWC-yerheidsupyerarse. Why don't you reply to Anonymous above who accuses you rightly of being a gullible tory tool. Have a look at yer false consciousness.

      Delete
    3. Wiznae me that commented it was an impersonator.

      Delete
    4. Well, that doesn't make you any less of a gullible tory tool. Your sort of Unionist tory naff wants a good kicking' up a close.

      Delete
  31. Comments made by Campbell on his personal blog Wings Over Sealand in 2012 relating to the Hillsborough disaster caused controversy by suggesting that "[Liverpool] fans were to blame because they, alone, were the ones who pushed and thereby caused the crush". Later Campbell said: "I stand absolutely by the stuff that I've written about Hillsborough".

    How can anyone put a X next to this rat at an election? PIG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think he might have used the "tragedy of the commons" argument rather than calling people c***s. Rather more intellectually elegant.

      Delete
    2. Wings over Sealand? That's a new one. His outburst over Hillsborough is what one would expect from a scruffy journalist.

      Delete
    3. Liverpool Fan, I walked along Leppings Lane regularly in the early 1990's. Having done so, I think Stuart Campbell holds an honest and reasonable view. One does not necessarily have to agree with him, though.

      Delete
  32. During the latter stages of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Campbell described Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone as a liar and "fat troughing scum", causing Johnstone to complain: "If describing an MSP as a 'fat, troughing scum' is your idea of a well-made argument or a clever way to debunk myths, then the standard of our national debate really has fallen into disrepair

    Stu you sir are a nasty wee trollop

    ReplyDelete
  33. Daily Record editor Murray Foote called the site "A world of conspiracy theories, hatred and paranoia", representing "a brand of nationalism that seeks to peddle falsehoods and unfounded allegations against anyone who isn’t a believer. It is nasty, sewage politics that debases public life

    Gutter stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Gutter stuff"

      Yep, you've got the Daily Wrecker sussed.

      Delete
  34. The trouble with the Wings Party episode is that it is all in an echo chamber of the Wings blog and a few other blogs that pick up on it a bit. No one outside has ever heard of it and even with some sort of campaign there would still not be many more than a few hundred who might vote for it. A complete waste of time and effort.
    As James has often pointed out with the d'Hondt system you need to give both votes to the Party you support. In Germany where there is a similar system though split 50/50 for List and Constituency the List is considered the first and important vote since the percentage of votes obtained ensures the percentage of seats won.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The Wings Party, like the Brexit Party, is a Party In Name Only. PINOs - however well they are rated in opinion polls, will surely struggle in real elections unless the leader is as gifted -- in his own appalling way -- as Nigel Farage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank Waring. I remember you from your days on Are You Being Served. We enjoyed your portrayal of Captain Peacock very much.

      Delete
  36. This obsession is getting quite deranged. Nice collection of frothing Yoons and anonymous nobodies you've assembled here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it was a "Yoon" who spent the afternoon posting "James Kelly is a c**t" on this thread more than one hundred times (literally). I rather think that was one of your own supporters. Yes, we all know your repertoire backwards, your first recourse is always to call into question the mental stability of those who criticise you, in the hope that will somehow discredit the criticisms without you having to answer them directly. But you and I both know that the criticisms in this post are valid. Treating a political party as a personal possession is nuts, but do you have an answer to that point? It appears not.

      Odd, isn't it, that we never seem to hear words like "deranged" from you on the subject of the abusive fanatics who idolise you. But, then, you're abusive yourself, so maybe it all seems like totally normal behaviour to you.

      Delete
    2. Rev Stu,

      Ho hum.

      You, Sir, have had your one minute of fame. It is very hard to see a future for you. Quite why you went utterly off the rails is between you and your maker.

      You, sir, absent independence have a politics that is right wing,for example, Liverpool supporters deaths, an extreme view on trans gender folk and a 'my way or the highway' view on discussion and debate.

      It is genuinely sad that you have become this creature, you could have had a voice but you blew it.

      Delete
    3. James, I wrote the above post! Could you fix this new anonymous / unknown thing. My name is douglas clark and this is very very recent.

      It makes me look like a coward.

      Delete
  37. I have a really simple question in response: what the fuck's it got to do with you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there, ladies and gentlemen, we've been treated to a sneak preview of Wings party leader Stuart Campbell's reply to impertinent questions from voters.

      "What the f**k's it got to do with you?"

      This party is clearly a surefire winner.

      Delete
    2. The Rev Stu could be taking a British salary from MI6. He does live in Engerland in a safe house. An if I get a haud of you GWC impersonators it will be the malky for you.

      Delete
    3. No, but really. It's not your party, you're not going to be a member of it, you're not going to vote for it. So what the fuck's it got to do with you?

      See if you can answer the question just for once, rather than whining like a baby that everyone's not addressing you with the proper tone required for the King Of Wankertown.

      Delete
    4. Don't worry, I've always been considerably calmer and more courteous than you, in spite of your endless abusive provocations. That won't be changing now.

      In a democratic society, the policies and fitness for office of political parties and political leaders are subject to discussion and debate by *every* voter. *Every* voter. Because, ultimately, the question of who governs us is a matter for *everyone* in a democracy. If that's too uncomfortable for you, don't stand for election.

      I think you may be just too sensitive for this game, flower. Maybe stick to Twitter?

      Delete
    5. I think Stuart Campbell started the damage by accusing the First Minister of lying when she clearly wasn't.... electioneering by Wingsy or just grudge? pick one

      Delete
  38. Wings has gone completely tonto now with his behaviour, who on earth is going to stand as a candidate for a party such as his let alone vote for it

    ReplyDelete
  39. Progressive party?
    Some mistake surely.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Help ma Bob yikes!! The Rev Stu has gone ape.Vile trollop

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When my sister in law was in Oslo she walked over the roof of the opera house. Later she was inside the building listening to a performance of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet!!

      Delete
  41. The comments by Rev Stu above demonstrate precisely why I would never vote for him or his party, but I'm not sure he has the self-awareness to figure that out.

    Stu, there are many things you are really good at, and I'm sure many more that you would be really good at, but being a politician is not one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Would people kindly refrain from posting repeated complaints about having their comments deleted. I made abundantly clear earlier in this thread which comments were likely to be deleted. If you have a legitimate point to make then make it, but "give it a rest James" and "James Kelly is a lying c**t" are contributing literally nothing to the discussion. One person is even complaining that I'm showing bias by deleting some of his comments but not all - well, I'm perfectly willing to delete all his comments if he prefers.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Young James the Rev Stu could be encouraged to go for a walk in the Highlands with or without his high heels. Doubt he could hack it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My boyfriend drizzles balsamic vinegar over his salad leaves.

      Delete
  44. Stu Campbell: ''No, but really. It's not your party, you're not going to be a member of it, you're not going to vote for it. So what the fuck's it got to do with you? See if you can answer the question just for once, rather than whining like a baby that everyone's not addressing you with the proper tone required for the King Of Wankertown.''

    Have you forgotten that people visit this site (and elsewhere) who may have supported your ''big idea''? Your ''big idea'' with you at the helm is clearly going to ruin the independence movement altogether. Meanwhile your Wings site is going down the drain due to genuine independence supporters being banned or being chased off by the preponderance of anti-SNP supporters, more so unionists, that infest your site now. The whole situation manipulated by you of course.

    GWC at 6:46pm could be making a valid point. A bung or a threat hanging over your head? If someone else isn't pulling your strings you've completely lost the plot.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Now this is some quality trolling.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/brexit/france-to-insist-on-a-two-year-extension-to-allow-brexit-re-evaluation/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    France to insist on a ‘two-year’ extension to allow Brexit re-evaluation

    MP from President Macron's party says UK cannot have another three month delay

    Vive la France!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anyhoo, on BBC radio coming home the talk was all about how the backstop can likely be 're-negotiated to just cover N. Ireland'.

    Now that Boris doesn't need the DUP as he has no majority anyway, the English nats can just dump N. Ireland like I said they will. It's not as if the opposition can vote them out of government now! Even when given the opportunity this is turned down. So see ya Arlene!

    Plans for reinforcing the existing hard border at Cairnryan (and Gretna in turn...) are now well underway. It's not a breach of the GFA as there's no infrastructure in N. Ireland and the English/Brits can do what they want on the mainland. N. Ireland can leave the UK if it's unhappy with things. England can even dump it if needed. No peace deal can force the English to be in union with N. Ireland.

    It's the only way Brexit can happen. Nobody will do a deal with the UK unless N. Ireland effectively stays in the EU. Of course if that domino falls, the tartan one will swiftly follow, and even the dragon one after it.

    The English nats will betray the British unionists in the celtic fringe and that will break the union. Expect this to happen over the next few weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  47. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49639294

    Brexit: Johnson's plan for a deal? Amend the backstop

    ...The Tories familiar with Boris Johnson's thinking say he is now willing to contemplate a version of the so-called "Northern Ireland only backstop". Under this plan Northern Ireland would be closely bound to the EU on areas where there are already elements of an all Ireland economy - agriculture and electricity.

    I told you so.

    #unionistbetrayal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Skier you are obsessed with the paddy backstop. We can talk now as the impersonators are in their scratchers now sucking on the Buckie.

      Delete
    2. The BBC remain channel have just Dug up Mandelson from his grave.

      Delete
  48. Young James did you listen to that Labour leftie middle class remainer lot just now on the BBC news Well fuck me they never ran around with the erses oot their shorts. Ponfiticating well dressed rich pish they are. They are just like the Scottish Nat si elites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here GWC, dae ye think Inglish Boris is breaking the GFA wi his border doon the Irish sea?

      Delete
    2. The Belfast Agreement is a seperate agreement which the former ROI now EU will break and a good thing too. Time the ROI Irish woke up as they were once an independent nation.

      Delete
  49. The Wings Party hasn't even been formed yet. It might never be if the SNP keep their promise to give us indyref2. So why are you starting a fight in an empty house?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it really was an empty house, I wouldn't have had to spend hours this afternoon deleting comments from a Wings supporter who posted the words "James Kelly is a lying c**t" more than one hundred times on this very thread.

      I doubt if you're genuinely unclear about my reasons for concern about the proposal for a Wings party, but if you are, I can only suggest that you read the blogpost you are replying to, and indeed previous blogposts.

      Delete
    2. I've read your blogspots and understand your concerns. I'm also sorry about the abuse (I assume it wasn't from Rev Stu��). But trolling attracts trolls. The SNP leadership need a good kick up the backside just now and Stu may be just the man to do it. Hearing about all these good EU people being forced to leave has got me raging. We need more than just warm words.

      Delete
    3. "I assume it wasn't from Rev Stu"

      It makes previous little difference whether it was him on this particular occasion, given that he said pretty much exactly the same thing on social media only two or three days ago. I'm guessing that must have been what you meant by "trolls attract trolls"?

      This kick up the backside you're talking about looks set to more closely resemble a shooting of the foot. Let's try and avoid that.

      Delete
  50. This seems like a lot of concern for an idea that's been mooted but not solidified. Regardless of the facts the concept of breaking the list system seems intuitively viable. In order convince people that their gut is wrong strong arguments are needed, and as seen when RISE was being pushed that process causes schisms within the yes movement. I expect WoS to publish the proposed polling to gauge plausibility, as this would match WoS' previous approach. I further expect said polling to stop the idea then and there, however IF Stuart decides to go ahead forming a party AND you think there's a flaw in the polling method/reading the results, that seems like the time to put the argumemts. Until then it's mainly a division of the yes movement between two of the most significant sites, and that's a gift to the Union.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh come on, not again. Can any sympathiser of this proposal actually make the case without saying "shut up for now"?

      Do you know what this reminds me of? Tony Blair's tactics.

      "We don't need to discuss military action against Iraq now, it's not remotely imminent and may never happen at all, there'll be plenty of time for debate later."

      "The time for debating this was long ago, it's far too late to pull out of military action now."

      Delete
    2. I'm not a sympathiser, but you may think I'm overly optimistic in thinking WoS will drop it after the poll results come in.

      Delete
  51. Wings over Scotland have my support including wee eck and Winston Churchill as well as many other dead former politicians including Fred Dibnah and Ted Heath also Arthur Wellesley.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was sorry to hear that Peggy Mount had died before getting a chance to join the troops at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

      Delete
  52. Anybody can set up a political party if they want to, it's not against the law, but when you use your own political blog to insult the party you say you intend to support by accusing the FM of lying and take every opportunity to sacastically belittle that very party in order to garner support form a section of disaffected angry far left socialists, you're using the exact same tactics as Nigel Farage is using on the Tories, and nobody trusts him so why would they trust Stuart Campbell, a man who appears to have a grudge against the SNP for not publicly supporting him over the Dugdale affair, which to be fair to Mr Campbell I thought he was harshly treated but it was the result I expected, but he did go very thin skinned over it, so what kind of politician would that make him, would he just foul mouth other politicians who dodn't agree with him like he does with everyone else , I just cannot see this thing getting off the ground at all, and truthfully i don't believe he does either, so more than likely a fishing wind up expedition for his own ego

    ReplyDelete
  53. It has to do with me! I like others just contributed to the WOS fundraiser - there was no mention of a new party then. How many others thought we were contributing under the terms he set out? I was in support of his website and the raise he said he was giving to himself and I think to his cartoonist as I recall, more polling, sending the wee blue book through people's letter boxes and I contributed to his possible appeal against the Kezia findings. There was no talk of a rival party to the SNP or the Greens.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Two can play at gaming the list, for example a regional pact between the unionist parties e.g. In NE Tories contest constituencies and LD/Lab the list, in Highlands LD the constituencies and Con/Lab list, ...etc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Several of my friends maintain that Stravinsky was a charlatan, a damned charlatan. I am less hasty in my condemnation.

      Delete
  55. And not only is my name deleted, my comment is too. James, this is wierd!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Douglas, I haven't deleted any of your comments and I don't have any control over the Blogger commenting system. If all else fails, try the Name/URL option and type in your name manually.

      Delete
  56. Dear commentators, you have to go though loops to recover your identity. Dunno what is happening here.

    ReplyDelete