The ‘sweet spot’ of catastrophe

pw_holdThat was hard work! I just read Pete Wishart’s latest ‘contribution’ to the ongoing debate about the timing of Scotland’s new independence referendum. Actually, I’ve read it three times now. And I’m still no clearer about the reasoning behind his determination to indefinitely postpone the vote. I find lots of things in the veteran SNP MP’s most recent blog. Reasoning is conspicuous only by its absence.

I find contradiction and inconsistency. As when, towards the end of the article, he claims he wants to “rescue our nation from a disastrous Brexit and a UK determined to erode out [sic] national Parliament”, but only after “Brexit impacts and people actively want out of an isolated, desolated UK”. And only after giving the British political elite all the time it needs to pursue the ‘One Nation’ project that is already in progress.

At least he acknowledges the British Nationalist threat to the Scottish Parliament; even if only in a casual aside, complete with clumsy spelling error, which suggests he doesn’t take that threat very seriously. It is possible, I suppose, to see this as progress – given that he previously appeared totally oblivious to the jeopardy facing Scotland’s democratic institutions. But I’m still finding absolutely no sense of urgency. As with Brexit, the impression is that Pete Wishart is content to let the damage be done in the hope that this will provoke a reaction which favours the independence cause.

It seems that the ‘optimum conditions’ Pete Wishart is seeking involve Scotland suffering massive economic harm and imposed constitutional ‘reform’ that may well be irreversible. As a political strategy, this leaves something to be desired.

Some will doubtless protest my mentioning one of several spelling errors. They will say that it is petty to point out things like ‘countries’ instead of ‘country’s’. They will insist that these are trivialities. That they are meaningless. But consider the context. Pete Wishart himself acknowledges how critical the issue of timing of the new referendum is and the importance of the debate. His interventions suggest he believes he brings something significant to this debate. So you’d think he’d at least do a basic spell-check. Perhaps get somebody to take a look over his text prior to publication.

Even if you’re prepared to shrug off the spelling errors, you surely must have cringed as mightily as myself at Pete Wishart’s use of the term “sweet spot” in relation to the impact of Brexit on Scotland. Words matter! Especially in politics. We have to seriously question the political judgement of somebody who uses such inappropriate language when referring to potentially catastrophic impact of Scotland being dragged out of the EU against the wishes of the Scottish people and without even the semblance of a plan.

“Sweet spot”!? Really? Get a grip, Pete!

The failure to address criticism of his argument for indefinite postponement is, perhaps, explained by the way Pete Wishart chooses to frame the discussion. He says,

The debate seems to centre round whether we should proceed with a referendum simply because we currently posses [sic] a mandate or whether we hold one when there is good evidence it can be won.

This is one of those occasions when the word ‘disingenuous’ comes in very handy. It serves us well if the aim is to avoid the bluntness of terms such as ‘self-serving’ and ‘dishonest’. We might also reach for phrases such as ‘unfortunate misapprehension’ in euphemistic preference to ‘wilful misrepresentation’. Or ‘regrettable oversimplification’ rather than ‘deliberate distortion’.

I have been closely following the debate about timing of the new referendum. I have never seen anybody suggest that “we should proceed with a referendum simply because we currently posses a mandate”. Certainly, the fact that the Scottish Government has a mandate is among the arguments against indefinite postponement. But it is just as certainly not the sole argument.

By framing the debate as “simply” a matter of possessing a mandate, Pete Wishart obviously hopes to evade the more complex issues and the awkward questions being asked. Such as how he proposes to justify failure to act on the mandate. In future, when the SNP goes to the people of Scotland asking for a mandate, how does he suggest party campaigners and supporters respond to those who point to evidence that the SNP cannot be trusted to use that mandate?

Pete Wishart seems perfectly prepared to treat the existing mandate with a disdain barely distinguishable from that exhibited by British Nationalists. But he is evidently not prepared to deal with the consequences. For all he has to say on the topic, we could be forgiven for thinking he doesn’t even recognise that there shall surely be consequences.

His framing of the debate sets this fallaciously simplistic portrayal of the mandate issue in opposition to the very rational-sounding proposition that the referendum should be held “when there is good evidence it can be won”. Excitement mounts as we anticipate long-awaited answers to questions about how those ‘optimum conditions’ are defined and how they are to be predicted an unspecified length of time in advance.

In what appears to be a stab at a literary device to build tension, Pete then proceeds to describe, at considerable length, what does not define ‘optimum conditions’. Or is it what defines what ‘optimum conditions’ are not? It’s difficult to tell. And, frankly, by the time we’ve waded through this section it’s hard to care.

Pete Wishart devotes well over 300 words to the matter of what ‘optimum conditions’ are not. It would be interesting if we could compare this directly with the attention he gives to explaining what ‘optimum conditions’ actually are. But I’ve searched in vain for anything resembling a clear and explicit definition.

If I was asked to summarise Pete Wishart’s argument it would go something like this –

OBEY THE POLLS!

That’s it! That’s really all there is to it. Don’t do anything while the polls are saying the ‘optimum conditions’ don’t exist. Wait until the polls offer “good evidence” that those still undefined ‘optimum conditions’ are going to exist at some undefined – and almost certainly undefinable – time in the future.

To be fair, Pete does offer some advice on “what we need to do to start to move towards ‘optimal conditions’”. At which point, those conscious of the urgency of Scotland’s situation will probably be sitting with their head in their hands sobbing in frustration and despair. I know I was.

What then follows does nothing to alleviate that frustration and despair. Pete’s advice is to make a “new case” for independence. But what he goes on to describe is nothing more than a rerun of the first referendum campaign. There is absolutely nothing “new” in what he proposes. His great idea is to revisit the narrative dictated by Project Fear. He’s not talking about fighting a new referendum campaign. He’s talking about resuming the old one. Which probably stands to reason as he doesn’t want a new referendum.

If we follow Pete Wishart’s advice we will engage in a campaign for a referendum, that isn’t happening because the ‘optimum conditions’ don’t exist, using the tactics and arguments that all too evidently failed to create the ‘optimum conditions’ in 2014.

And still there is not a word about how he intends to address what the ‘One Nation’ project implies for Scotland. Not a word about how the British state is to be prevented from unilaterally ripping up the devolution settlement; emasculating the Scottish Parliament; eradicating our distinctive political culture and decimating our public services while we dither and waver at the insistence of Pete and the Postponers.

Again, and again, and again! The consequences of attempting to save Scotland from the British Nationalist ‘One Nation’ project and failing are no different from the consequences that flow from failing to try. Pete Wishart flatly refuses to address or consider or even acknowledge the consequences of indefinitely postponing our new independence referendum.

If I come across as exasperated and angry it’s because I am not deceived. I know that the British state is not benign. It is because I am not complacent. I know what the British state intends. It is because I am seriously afraid for what will happen to Scotland if we do not make a stand now!


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23 thoughts on “The ‘sweet spot’ of catastrophe

  1. The good thing about Pete Wishart’s article, and continuation of his line of “wait for it”, is that it DOES crystallise the debate. It might not be what the SNP wanted to happen, but there have been that many discussions and indeed arguments about it in the broad grassroots YES, that it is about time it percolated through to the SNP, the Ivory Tower hierarchy, the politicians and some of the membership who think it’s still about SNP the party, elections, the rulebook, patiently spending 5 years to gather support in an old guard “we’ve been members for 84 years” local branch to try to get some debate about THE major issue Independence, rather than SNP the vanguard of Independence, a subject which should always be on the Agenda for the month as a built-in discussion point.

    Now it has overtaken the depute leadership debate, which it wouldn’t have before, and it’s about time it did, in hustings and the election itself. Debate about Independence can not be ignored by the SNP, it must be front and centre. Even if there are lot of other things, hopefully, going on behind the scenes.

    In that respect Pete Wishart, with the support of Jim Sillars, have done us all a favour. They’ve put Independence and Indy Ref 2 back at the front and centre of the SNP debate, where it should always belong, rather than an inconvenient number 1 policy that nobody should talk about, shhhh, you might upset the Unionists, talk about fox hunting instead.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I’ve responded to you on this before and your reply was less than satisfactory. I have a huge admiration for what you do and were you stand. We both want the same thing and we want it sooner rather than later. But I must caution you about living in an echo chamber. You are like the queen thinking the world smells of fresh paint. Your tour of Scotland surrounded you with activists. This is not the norm.

    We need more than half the population of Scotland to want change. A lot more than half. We certainly don’t want a referendum to be won on 51% of the vote. We want a landslide. And we’re very far from that at the moment.

    I completely understand where you’re coming from with the Brit Nat machine eroding our nationhood. Perhaps that’s the catalyst we need to get the majority of the population to wake up and smell the coffee. I know it’s not ideal. I understand that the legalities of the situation might make things more difficult. But without a groundswell we have nothing. At the moment that groundswell is not quite there and I don’t think announcing another referendum will to anything but play into the hands of those who don’t really care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then the onus is on you to explain how you propose to deal with the actions that will be taken by the British government to ensure that, even if your “groundswell” ever appears, you won’t be able to do any thing with it.

      But you won’t. None of you Postponers ever have,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If we have a majority of the population who want change, we do the same as every other group who wants change. We march, we protest, we insist. That is the only way that laws are changed. That’s how the suffragettes got the vote. That’s how the LGBT community elicited change. It’s how Catalonia will move forward (if they can get a majority to agree). It’s how Quebec will move forward – if they can stomach another referendum.

        Never forget that we need that groundswell to be substantial. A 45-50% vote is worth nothing. We don’t have the tactical advantage that Bruce had at Bannockburn. We have everything against us, including a corrupt unionist media, and a Brit Nat government with no integrity.

        We CAN do it. But we must keep our powder dry and allow that same Brit Nat government to keep shooting itself in the foot. We need the unionist Brit-Nats to question the validity of their position. That’s asking a lot but it IS happening. I know first hand that some of my most ardent detractors are wavering. But the man in the street is largely ignorant of all this. Like a traditional Labour voter he will put his cross next to the status quo without questioning what that is.

        We need to continue campaigning until we have a majority that wants real change. Having less than 50% which is massively passionate is of little consequence. We don’t have that majority yet but it will come. When it does, we won’t care about the laws that have been put in place to thwart us. Indeed, those laws, like the banning of tartan and Gaelic, will only make us stronger.

        If I was a strategist, I’d suggest the BritNat government WANTS us to fire off prematurely.

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    2. But surely Chas, your groundswell will materialise as a result of the campaign once the referendum is called, starting this time from a much higher level of support than before. At some point the Scottish Government has to take a leap of faith and go for it, and it can’t delay too long or WM will likely start to close down the options.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree with you Marco and I agree, as usual, with Peter. Are the undecided and unenthused voters going to be inspired by dithering over-caution? Or are they going to be inspired by an energetic, go-for-it, aggressive attack on the sneering Britnats, refusing to take No (“thanks”) for an answer and making the case with passion and imagination! Keep trying. Keep battering on the door until it breaks down!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. @

        I concur, the “Postponers” position is problematic as it appears to indicate that the current threats are not a publicly winning case. Perhaps if they are only seeing this as a rerun of 2014 that is the case However, the new risks to Scotland’s sovereignty make that no longer true.

        ………ONLY HOLD A REFERENDUM IF WE CAN WIN – IS NOT AN ARGUMENT
        You can’t use normal factors as exceptional drivers…
        – Westminster will fight you every step of the way
        – You need to win
        – Scotland doesn’t control voting
        – …..

        If the argument is Scotland MUST WIN—or you will never get another referendum. This means Scotland’s sovereignty is being removed/ is at risk….that is the real argument…That threat is different to self-determination and that sets the timing.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. @Chas

      Even though you acknowledge ” Brit Nat machine eroding our nationhood” I think you are misreading the real nature of the risk to Scotland’s sovereignty and how such an existential threat determines the response.

      Anyone who has done project scheduling will tell you…what ever is the critical factor will determine everything else.

      This is easy to see by looking at the extremes.
      – If you had to organize Independence TOMORROW. The timeframe limits how.
      – If you have to get a SUPERMAJORITY—it determines the process.

      But…

      If you have to get both: SUPERMAJORITY + TOMORROW
      …time remains the lead issue.

      In relation to the extent of risk Scotland now faces and how it informs any campaign and they way Scotland thanks about the essential issues: There is a saying that the ground is as comfortable as you are tired…the level of threat to Scotland determines the level to which all the subsequent questions need to be answered (or if they are even asked).

      Just as an example, If I told you that within 6 months Scotland would cease to be a country, have any parliament, and be assimilated permanently within England as a region…

      – What would you do?
      – Would you vote for independence?
      – How many details of the future independent Scotland’s arrangement would you need fully answered?
      – Would you wait until you had a poll showing a supermajority before beginning campaigning?

      OH…and to end…

      Remember that once the Brexit Bill is signed (before 29 March 2019), the UK will no longer resemble the UK you have now. The ramifications of Henry VIII powers and Ministers unfettered ability to make law without parliament changes it.

      So there potentially really is only 6 – 12 months until Scotland faces the danger of no longer being a sovereign country….Less if Westminster crashes out of Brexit earlier.

      Like

  3. THE WIND OOT MA SAILS

    To all who are concerned, and to Pete Wishart MP (who should be).

    Like a good many others, in Scotland, and around the globe, I woke up on 19/9/14, as one bereaved.

    And tragically, even a lot of those people who voted No, were also gutted. On some level they must have known the YES group were the goodies. But they had not been convinced. They admitted it, Project Fear worked on them.

    But here was the thing, before the dust settled on the day, before the next sunset, the whole country, the whole country, had a plan, a solid, clear road map to Indy, and the wind was in our sails.

    First SNP Membership rose from 15,000 – 100,000 in months. The 3rd biggest party in the UK. Wow.

    Then the GE. Lend us your vote, said Nicola, and Yes, No’s and Mibbaes Aye did, overwhelmingly – 56 out of 59. And not only that but real human beings got elected. Mharie Black, Tommy Shepherd, Pippa Whitford. Fresh voices, fresh ideas. Right in the face of WM and boy did they know it. And then adjusted… Westminster is the oldest hand at taming its subjects, practice makes perfect.

    And in spite of their best efforts, how little did their presence achieve.

    And then Brexit, no clear literature, mixed messages from HQ, poor leadership on many a level, and the Yessers divided.

    On a UK l’vote leave’ level a campaign overwhelmingly Racist, dumbed down to the most simplistic base instincts, with a big lie on a bus as a salve for their conscience – How much for the NHS a week? … aye right.

    And no-one, not even the most hopeful, devoted Yesser, could have believed the outcome. Every part of Scotland voted to stay, a 62% majority. The democratic contrast between Scotland and England could not be more clear cut.

    And Brexit, a mystery, wrapped in a soundbite, Brexit means…. blah blah.

    (Its April 2018 now, and the only clear thing about Brexit, is what a total ClusterF*ck its going to be. For the economy, for the prices of everything, for Farming and Fishing and Manufacturing, and Human Rights, the environment, employment. Nothing, nothing good is coming from Brexit.

    It’s Brexshit and Bad all the way, except for the already rich, who will carve up the NHS, and keep their Tax Havens.)

    And still we had a plan, the leadership say ‘hold, hold’ and we get that, ‘patience, there is a plan’.

    And a snap GE, snap for us, well planned in advance by the Unionist Parties. And not just one, but 2 terrorist incidents in the middle.

    And still we had a plan, a mandate, a get out of jail free card, a cast iron ‘we’ve damned well had enough’ mandate, ‘we reserve the right to call another referendum in the event of extraordinary circumstances, such as Scotland being pulled out of the EU against her will’.

    Doesn’t get much clearer than that, does it. Didn’t put it in small print, thinking no-one would read it did they. I was conscious of voting for it, with that in mind.

    3 times, 3 times they tried to scupper it, and 3 times, the people of Scotland voted for this mandate. (2 x GE,s and 1 x SE).

    And still, in the face of all that WM and its complicit whoor – the Medial, could throw at it, we won, still the biggest party in Scotland. Still the wind in our sails and the road rising up to meet us. Never losing faith, never loosing courage, never losing site of the plan, and never stopping the campaign.

    And for those of us, worried that there seemed to be a lack of urgency at SNP party level, a complacency, a quietening on the urgency for another Referendum. Well we put our concerns to one side, with their brilliant governance (and I do on the whole think it has been brilliant), and the promise of a Peoples’ Energy Company – wow, a Peoples’ Bank superb – (set up by someone from Tesco’s no less – sure to be radical yeh right, fingers crossed) We took comfort from the quiet insistence, ‘hold, hold, patience’. There is a plan, once Brexit is known.

    And we put to one side, concerns that there appears to be no plan to countenance the non stop Propaganda from the BBC – it exists, that at least is acknowledged, but nothing to hit back at it, nothing. No leaflet drops, no public meetings, no poster competitions to get the message out, no car posters for every member – with info on them, not some mindless slogan, not a bloody thing. An open goal totally ignored.

    So we take stock and re-assure ourselves with certain facts, that a party in Governance has responsibilities and has to behave in a certain manner, and we go off and use the grass roots movement to try and plug the gap.

    And still the road ahead is clear, there is a plan.

    And then one day, one week, one month, 3 things happen, and all is changed. April 2018:

    War – war is waged, on the thinnest and most dodgie of evidence. And the clear siren voice of decency, of common sense and common reason, that voice that rung out in protest over Iraq, that voted in unison against the vote to bomb Syria the first time, that voice, this time became the muted, muffled, so, so, politicians double speak of a bland bank manager.

    And next up, Pete Wishart goes to press, ‘Now is not the time’ Maybeas later if yir all good boys and girls, after another GE, if you stop being naughty and vote for us again. And the song being sung, has backing singers, Jim Sillars and Robin McAlpine, even the Tory party like it.

    And the third blow, Wings Over Scotland publish the article ‘Elephant in the Courtroom’ – that even if we want to use our mandate, WM could stop us, unless we win the right in court, or at any rate exhaust that avenue.

    And devastatingly, on this issue, the SNP are deathly silent. Is there a plan, have they considered this, are they even aware of it and just have their heads in the sand. Questions, questions, and of answers there are none. The silence is deafening.

    And this is truly devastating – the grass roots can’t fill this gap. Only the SNP, in government can implement this. On this issue we fall.

    3 things, 3 things together, have brought me to my knees in a way the IndyRef1 vote never did. The wind is out of my sails, I’m bailing out water, and days ago I was sailing on at a good steady pace, plotting a course and making good progress. The shore has never seemed so close, and at the same time so far away.

    On 21/4/18 Pete Wishart reiterated his argument, and I welcome the fact he did so in a more reasoned tone. And I am more certain now than ever, this is Policy, policy being finessed and sold to us, whether we like it or not.

    And so the purpose of this essay, is to address his arguments, in a polite manner. There are some who say any disagreement should be done at branch level, behind closed doors. Pete’s article was public, therefore the arguments against should be public also.

    PW ‘debate seems to centre round whether we should proceed with a referendum simply because we currently posses a mandate or whether we hold one when there is good evidence it can be won.’

    There was nothing simple about obtaining that Mandate, that 3 times won Mandate. If we lose it by waiting for another GE, we lose it forever.

    PW’ ‘I want to see evidence it can be won, and I want to see it held at the time of our choosing, when optimum conditions are in place for success’.

    Well, I want to win the lottery, I want the full boona, and I’d like it to happen pretty much now, or at a time when it would suit me best.

    Dear Pete, you will NEVER see evidence it can be won, WM Establishment will burn any such evidence, destroy any person who can present such evidence, and take the country to War to distract from any hint of evidence of this kind.

    ‘At a time of our choosing’ – what fantasy planet do you live on? When ‘Optimum Conditions are in place for success’ – there’s no such bloody thing, optimum conditions my arse, what a fair wind, sunny weather, Scotland winning the football?

    PW, ‘go over what these ‘optimal conditions’ are not’

    ‘Less than a year from having lost one third of our indy supporting MP’s’

    Dear Pete – remember Nicola’s phrase, ‘lend us your vote’. Well they did, and they were disappointed. To go from 6 MP’s to 56 in one vote and then think that’s your new normal is incredibly foolish and presumptuous.

    ‘we cannot ignore the fact the SNP lost half a million votes’

    No you can’t, but where’s your analysis, your evidence, your polls and your research to identify the whys of the loss. Hmmm, pretty big on insisting others show you evidence, you show yours, and do so as a matter of urgency. You have people campaigning on the doors, this evidence, would be bread and butter to assist them.

    ‘Optimal Conditions are not when a significant gap exists between support for indy and support for an early indy ref’.

    Really, you whit!!!! Imagine for a second, that for the second time in Scotland’s history, we get a second chance to vote for Independence for Scotland, and on voting day, do you really think someone is going to go,

    ‘that’s it, I’m voting No – told them to hold it a week on Tuesday, but would they listen, no, well this’ll teach them’.

    And that Tory voter you met, who previously voted for Indy, bet they voted for Brexit, Hmm, bet they did. And like a lot of them at the time, never gave it much thought beyond the simplistic message about immigration!

    Speak to Brexiteers now and a significant number of them, now know its a damned site more complicated than that, with zero good news coming through. Immigration has been knocked off the poster board as an issued when it comes to Brexit.

    Immigration, for those who have that fear, is going to get an awful lot bigger under a Tory Government desperate to strike any kind of deal with India, for which ‘free movement of people’ will be an absolute condition. Fancy that do you, with workers rights Binned under Brexit.

    If you want to win back the Yes/Leave voters I ‘d strongly suggest the above hard fact might be one to start shouting from the rooftops.

    Pete, you say that support for Independence is holding strong at 45%, and then in the next sentence talk about it being opposed by a ‘significant margin’ – that margin is 5%.

    You identify this 5% as the hardest group to convert. You say we ‘need a new case’ and we ‘have to get on their territory’, every day issues such as ‘pensions, currency, perceived deficits’ are to be addressed and to win, ‘we are going to have to be creative’.

    On this I agree, and am pulling my hair out at your almost complete lack of ambition. You are aiming for 5%, 5%! Aim for 30%, aim for 40%. Damn well aim to win.

    And where, where, where is your new case for pensions, your new case for currency, for perceived deficits. Anyone following the issues will know, Prof Richard Murphy has done more work on ‘perceived deficits’ than you – did you print it off, did you do a leaflet drop – did you hell.

    Currency – look to the the Common Green, they’ve done all the heavy lifting there. Did you print it off, did you get billboards commissioned with the info. Did you hell.

    Last time round the SNP produced a 500 page white paper, grass roots Wings Over Scotland produced The Wee Blue Book, thank god they did.

    You ‘get creative’ if you want to, the rest of us would be better off putting a big simple message on the side of a bus.

    You talk about returning to a ‘One Scotland’ approach to independence. I do hope you didn’t pay anyone money for that slogan. Money down the drain if you did.

    You talk of Brexit, of not leaving those who voted Leave – Semi Detached from the Yes Movement, proceeding to another indyref with this unresolved will be like having one hand tied behind our backs.

    Well Pete, lets hear you ‘get creative’ about sorting this one out eh. Suggestions, ideas, policies. Where are they. It’s been over a year since the Brexit vote, where are they? what are they? EFTA, EEA, what about it, argue the case.

    You say,

    ’ Brexit will be an Unmitigated Disaster for our fellow Scots and when it properly hits our fellow Scots will want to review their constitutional options. It (optimum conditions) is hitting the sweet spot when Brexit Impacts and people actively want out of an isolated, desolated UK.

    It means support for the SNP returning to the levels we achieved around the last referendum in electoral contests.’

    So your going to let an unmitigated disaster befall us, a Brexit impact that will isolate and desolate us, and if we’re good boys and girls and vote SNP in enough numbers you might, mibees just honour the mandate we voted for the first time. Stronger for Scotland my arse.

    Please, please listen, when I say this. If we do not hold another Indy Ref before the next General Election and before we lose our mandate. No-one, No-one, No-one is Ever, Ever, Ever going to Vote for you Again.

    The mandate will be squandered, our single market membership to the EU will be lost, our economy, our businesses, universities, environment, NHS Scotland, our Parliament, ruined, and gone, gone, gone.

    These are Desperate times, not chosen times, not optimum times, Desperate times.

    Last time we had a choice, a choice for change or no change.

    This time out we have a Fight for Survival and only a short window of opportunity to achieve it.

    Your current stance has done, what the BBC, the Tories, the Labour Party and the No Voters could never do. You’ve taken the wind from my sails.

    That’s me for now.

    Now, where did I leave that pair of oars.

    Yours in kindness and in commitment.

    Daisy Walker

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The first third or so of this needs to be widely disseminated, and quickly. But I wouldn’t bother with the detailed refutation of PW, events have passed all that by. The point is, I think, the Good Ship UK is about to set out into mid-Atlantic, at which point it will be too late to swim back to European shores. We need to get off now, before the Titanic Disaster called Brexit even leaves the quayside.

      Like

    2. Dear Daisy Walker,

      I love your brain and I love the way you bring emotion to such a logical position.

      Sing it loud…and I hope Scotland joins in!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If we postpone this fundamental issue much longer, and I am sympathetic to the argument that we ca canny lest we be drawn into the trap of a battleground of WM’s choosing there to be annihilated, I fear we might also be annihilated if we postpone too long and be forced, in the face of direct rule re-imposed by by Westminster but in a more robust form, to counteract their assault in a more robust if asymmetrical form, too.

    The window of opportunity is closing fast and we need to be ready to move asap – very much asap – or we shall be extinguished along the lines of the British establishment’s attempts at extinguishing Kenya’s, India’s, Ireland’s, and numerous other former AngloBritNat colonies’ peaceful attempts to assert their rights to peaceful, democratic self-determination. And that will not be a pretty sight despite the Britishers’s attempts to airbrush/spin the historical record to this date, and beard their criminality with the pubic political wig that is the “Commonwealth” (and which the House of Windsor is presently trying to re-fashion into a hereditary fiefdom that they should lead).

    I suspect Catalunyan repression so open, visible, and violent by the current Spanish establishment heirs to the fascist Caudillo, Franco, will prove to be but a picnic when the UK, off the EU hook, let loose their real Dogs of War and not the comprador Lord and Lady Haw Haws who seem to comprise the mainstream print and broadcast co-opted JockBrit establishment – these frontmen and women shall be further demoted and patently whored for all to see when the AngloBritNat troops move in with their JockBrit batmen faffing about to ease their ethnic superiors’s passage to in-one’s-face Angloista, bare-knuckle re-conquest of the JockBrit debatable lands de-capitalized linguistically, politically, constitutionally, summarily, and – Windrush style – cleared again.

    The Three Unionist Stooges at Holyrood to be given the privilege of wearing the the Mosleyite uniform with the Saltire badge and logo “Proud Scottish Britisher” abune it as they strut their stuff on behalf of their AngloBritNat masters and mistresses.

    Think this scenario unlikely? Re-consult your primary historical sources and chat to an Irishman or woman and the poor Windrush deportees et al.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. @Peter

    Discussions of the SNP mandate in isolation of the trigger conditions in the SNP manifesto is as useless as discussing a doctor’s prescription without understanding the seriousness of the illness.

    The condition necessary for a referendum trigger were so serious that the SNP explicitly included it in their 2016 manifesto. It looks like many “Postponers” are missing this, and confusing the current mandate explicit with that of the general position that the SNP is for Scottish independence.

    As each month goes by, the risks to Scotland become ever more serious and it is possible to layout the case that Westminster now represents an existential risk to Scotland’s Sovereignty. The urgency needed is being driven by the increasing threat. No one would have foreseen the immense powers that Westminster would marshal as part of its Brexit response.

    Many “postponers” appear to be either:

    ** Misreading the SNP manifestoe’s “OR” statement where either condition can trigger a referendum as an “AND” conditional statement. Or;
    ** Misinterpreting the trigger of a material change in the circumstances for the full negative impact of such a change.

    The latter is a massive mistake. It moves the Referendum from where Scotland can peacefully exert its sovereignty while it retains some degree and political machinery to a point where it may be politically neutered and in the middle of a massive colonization push. It is asking Scotland to only fight back once it has been fully immersed in a war against it.

    Once Westminster has those new Henry VIII powers, do you trust Westminster to treat your sovereignty rights with respect? Does Westminster have a history of that behaviour?

    …………………SNP MANIFESTOE 2016…………………

    “We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right
    to hold another referendum

    If there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people –

    or

    if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will. “

    https://www.snp.org/manifesto_2016

    Liked by 2 people

  6. @chas: Alas and alack you are a lone voice of common sense afloat in a see of daftness. You say: “If I was a strategist, I’d suggest the BritNat government WANTS us to fire off prematurely.” Almost correct I would say, but I and many many other unionists would grant you indyref2 tomorrow in the full knowledge that you would lose, and that would kill the independence movement -and ergo the SNP- for ever and ever. As long as people hang on to the nonsense words of Peter A Bell (“doesn’t matter what currency we use”/ “the fall in the price of oil is good for the Scottish economy”) and Gordon Ross (“There are 280,000 foreign immigrants in Scotland who all voted No last time who will change their vote to Yes”) then the blind will carry on leading the blind. Mr Bell writes above: “I have never seen anybody suggest that “we should proceed with a referendum simply because we currently posses a mandate”. ” erm, that is EXACTLY the stance that Mr Bell himself has taken… he also writes: “Actually, I’ve read it three times now. And I’m still no clearer about the reasoning behind his determination to indefinitely postpone the vote.” Really? What part does he not understand? Some of it? All of it?
    Pete Wishart writes “So, again, and again, and again – rinse and repeat, losing again is simply not an option.” Why does Mr Bell not grasp this I wonder?
    Perhaps Mr Bell, instead of re-hashing and re-heating the same old argument time and time again, how about if he write an article about what would happen to the indy movement should it earn, then lose indyref2 in the near future… he has uttered nary a word on this.

    Like

    1. One has to appreciate the planet-weight irony of our pet British Nationalist monomaniac talking about anybody else “re-hashing and re-heating the same old argument time and time again”.

      Like

  7. The fight for independence and the fight to prevent Westminster grabbing power from our national parliament are mutually reinforcing. Wishart’s poor excuse of a strategy completely fails to see that if activists are stood down for years from the independence fight then it seriously weakens Scotland’s resolve in the immediate battle to see off the Tory challenge for Holyrood’s institutional rights.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pete and the Postponers are the generals fighting the last war instead of the next one. They are so desperate to get “yes-leavers” back that they will do anything to appease them. The only thing they are keen on is getting Brexit past and done so it won’t be an issue with those folk any more. They hope (with no evidence). If I were a “yes-leaver” who truly cared about independence as much as ever, I would tell his band of procrastinators to take their patronising mistrust in my loyalty and put it where the sun don’t shine. (Electorally-speaking, that is.)

    Meanwhile, as we all hang about waiting for the sky to fall in, every Remain voter will be so deflated from such a blatant betrayal of the SNP’s triple mandate that they will abandon the party, and we’ll have casually kissed-off the hundreds of thousands of potential EU-citizen “yes” voters into the bargain. A truly inspirational strategy: doing nothing with knobs on.

    To be so cavalier about support they must already feel in their bones that “the conditions are right”…

    Like

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