Just as I did when I was 10, I went on to walk the coastal path to see the Duncansby Stacks. I thought it might not be as impressive as I remembered from childhood, but quite the reverse. Why that walk isn't better known, better advertised, better signposted is beyond me. You often hear of people going to John O'Groats and being underwhelmed by what they find there, but most of them are probably oblivious to the fact that Scotland's equivalent of the Cliffs of Moher is just a stone's throw away.
Anyway, as you'll have gathered from the last few posts, I've been away for a little while, and one consequence of that is there's been a backlog of emails I haven't got round to responding to. A couple of people asked about the possibility of making recurring (monthly or quarterly) donations to help support the blog. I don't have any facility set up for that, but the good thing about the GoFundMe crowdfunders is that they remain open for donations indefinitely, so if you have a sudden random urge to make a contribution you can do so at any time HERE. However, bear in mind that I'll probably run a proper 2020 fundraiser at some point over the coming months. (I know I've run two crowdfunders this year, but those were specifically to pay for our exclusive opinion polls.)
There was also a well-meaning email trying to organise a reconciliation between myself and Stuart Campbell, on the basis that we're all on the same side and we need to be pulling together. What I would say to that is there wouldn't have been any dispute in the first place if we really felt that we're still on the same side. Stuart's attitude to independence seems much more ambivalent now - it might be useful to ask him whether he'd still want independence if, for example, it meant not getting his way on self-ID and other related issues. He'd probably evade the question by saying the cause of independence is doomed anyway unless the SNP drop self-ID - but I suspect if he was being honest, his answer would be "no". (And, by the same token, there are now prominent figures in the SNP who regard their support for self-ID as far more important than independence - it's a really unfortunate situation on both sides.)
Stuart also has an unrealistically hostile attitude to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, which can only be harmful in the long run. And yes, I know the SNP is not the independence movement, but that's really not the point. Look at it this way - even if a credible new pro-indy party is set up, and even if it's successful (two very big "ifs"), the most it will be able to do is gain leverage over the SNP by holding the balance of power at Holyrood. That will still leave the SNP as by far the predominant pro-indy party, which means that whoever is SNP leader will effectively lead the Yes campaign in any referendum that occurs over the next couple of years - and that probably means Nicola Sturgeon, unless she voluntarily opts to stand aside. If we get to that point, Wings will self-evidently be damaging the cause unless he at least massively tones down his antipathy towards the First Minister. Is he capable of doing that, or has it all gone too far? Again, he would probably argue that it's not a valid question because there isn't going to be a referendum if Nicola Sturgeon remains leader. But that kind of black-and-white thinking is somewhat divorced from the nuances and complexities of the real world.
* * *
Re-trial TV : Interesting that with 60 minutes to fill, Kirsty didn’t have time to interview just one defence witness. Perhaps one day a @BBCScotland spokesperson will finally admit to the people of Scotland “that I wish on my life the BBC had been a better broadcaster”.— Douglas Chapman MP 🏴 (@DougChapmanSNP) August 17, 2020
Just watched the Salmond trial prog. Clearly commissioned before the trial, all set up and shot for a guilty verdict which didn’t happen. Screeching brakes and desperate attempts to redirect to fit a changed narrative. Tone supportive of complainants despite the verdicts.— Derek Bateman (@DerekBateman2) August 17, 2020
Hi @KirstyWark , when is part 2 of your documentary airing, you know, the part that shows the actual defence evidence by 7 women that resulted in a jury of his peers (majority of which were women) acquitting Alex Salmond of all charges in “ The Trial of Alex Salmond” ?— Christopher McEleny (@ChrisMcEleny) August 17, 2020
I'm not for or against Salmond, I'm glad NS is leading the SNP , but by god that BBC documentary was trying its hardest to convince people the Salmond was guilty of something a court of law said he was innocent of.— G man (@gdog2010_john) August 17, 2020
I can't get over what I just watched.