Sunday, October 29, 2023

Greater Alba: Angus MacNeil squares the circle of being aligned while remaining independent

In his warm-up for Alex Salmond's speech yesterday, Kenny MacAskill said that it was taking place early because there were more highlights than usual to come later on in the conference.  Within 30 or 40 minutes it became clear that one of those highlights was the dramatic announcement of Ash Regan's defection, but I did wonder if his use of the plural meant there might be more of the same to come on Day 2.  And in a sense there was - although Angus MacNeil didn't join Alba, it was announced that he and Alba would be cooperating under a joint banner.

One of my concerns about Mr MacNeil's departure from the SNP was that even if he held his seat at the next election, it would be an ephemeral achievement without any wider national legacy because of his decision to run as an independent and not join Alba.  This new arrangement may be a neat way of squaring the circle because he'll still have the local advantages of independent status, while any win will now be seen as a victory for a "Greater Alba" electoral alliance and may contribute to a snowball effect in Alba's favour.  It also helpfully creates a bigger tent that other SNP parliamentarians might consider joining even if they have reservations about defecting direct to Alba.

The media reporting of this development was strangely vague, and I couldn't work out whether Alba and Mr MacNeil were setting up a formal joint parliamentary group at Westminster, or whether the arrangement is looser than that.  On the face of it a joint group would make perfect sense, because I seem to vaguely recall three MPs is the minimum threshold to form an official group in the Commons.


  1. I think that's called keeping his options open until he sees which way the wind blows

  2. What does a joint banner mean? Is that actually allowed under Electoral law?

    1. Strange question, but the answer is yes.

    2. Isn't that the nominal arrangement of Labour and the Co-op parties?

      BTW, who is the leader of the Co-op party?

  3. Feeling sorry for yesindyref2. Some of his fellow WGD numpties would prefer the Admiral to just go away as he has promised to do on multiple previous occasions. I've told you before Admiral they do not accept any criticism of Sturgeon's gang and Yousaf is a fully paid up member. Numpties believe Sturgeon's gang are perfect human beings - beyond any criticism. The Admiral is a unique form of WGD numpty - a type of shape shifter. One minute he is a fully paid up WGD numpty, next minute he is trying to convince the numpties their great leader is not infallible. What a silly numpty.

    After singing the praises of Yousaf the Admiral is now attacking him:- " ....Yousaf is still compounding his idiocy ...... says the Admiral. How long before the usual incoming pathetic " Out of context " jibe comes along.

    1. Give it a rest Dr Jim. As you know I first posted:

      One step forward with his international statesmanship over Israel and Gaza, one step back for Yousaf, as instead of thinking first he rushes to his twitter in a petulant and undignified fashion as Regan defects to Alba. All he had to say was: “Good luck and thanks for your work”."

      Regan was much more graceful - she just said about that: "Well, I'm sure we can all see Humza's under a particular amount of strain at the moment, I'm sure everyone's sending their sympathies to him for the, you know, the personal family situation he's got facing him right now". She did the right thing.

    2. Please please stay on WGD - your natural home. Don't let them chase you away. Yousaf is an idiot - so you got that right. And yes you did post " Yousaf is compounding his idiocy" and only an idiot would think that would be well received by your fellow WGD numpties.

    3. Bless!

      My "natural home" is the one here in Ayrshire I'm in with my wife and our cat and where we brought home our babies, weaned and brought up our kids - and have our first grandchild to visit and stay at times. Whose future I hope will be in an Independent Scotland, preferably in my lifetime.

      But my natural home as far as forums are concerned is ones where I can do valiant and usually mutually respectful battle with those who want to stay in the Union rather than see a Scotland where we make all our own decisions and spend our own budgets.

      Sadly there is no campaign at the moment, and the general populace have no interest either way; too busy living their normal lives as best they can with the disasters coming from Westminster, or still there like Truss.

      And the likes of the Herald make you pay to post. No chance. That's like charging people for every word we speak. People also don't read btl like they used to, and no wonder.

      Meanwhile I try to fact check the extremes of the splintered Indy factions, while criticising or offering opinions that hopefully are of some little use to the pro-indy parties and advocates - and the non-party initiatives like Salvo and the Stirling Directive. From that point of view though, the SNP, still by far the largest party at this point, walk with earplugs, blinkers, thick gloves and nose plugs. They seem to be incapable of upping their act. Probably because they have too many people who can see no wrong in anything they say or do and drown out criticism with personal invective.

      Ho hum. Such a parcel of rogues in a nation indeed.

      Happy Hallowe'en!

    4. Yesindyref2/Admiral or pa Walton may be more accurate. See in that homely description that sounded like the Waltons strangely enough you make no mention of how you developed your unnatural love for weapons of war. I'm guessing you have been avidly watching that Britnat TV programme about the aircraft carrier that the Britnats laughingly call a defence weapon.