Breaking News

I am issuing this joint statement with David Mundell. ‘We are both very happy to have the evident support and love of so many friends in all parties after our recent decision to come out. Living a double life has been Hell and the relief of not having to hide who we really are is immense. We would like to be allowed to carry on with our lives from now on.’

David came out as gay, giving rise to headlines declaring: Gay Man Comes Out as Gay. I have come out as an independence voter with the headline: Scottish Nationalist Admits Voting for Independence.

It’s funny how people react sometimes. Most folk I know didn’t think Mundell was a story at all and its publication betrayed backward thinking rather than liberal acceptance. If public figures were to be judged on their sexual proclivities…

Then last night on the World Tonight on august Radio Four, the BBC news bulletin led with the death of the Eagles guitarist – led the BBC news – in a funereal tone, with music clip and a statement from his family. I’d never heard of him. Honest. To treat the poor guy who wrote jaunty sub-Country songs as if he had the status of cultural ground-breaker David Bowie was ludicrous. But that’s just my reaction.

My blog pointing out that independence was my goal – almost, but not quite, regardless of what follows – brought some comments that made me wonder momentarily if my fingers had slipped on the keyboard and I’d accidentally done a Mundell. There was indeed much love for the expression that independence is the main prize and, crucial as the husbandry of a new country is, that sits secondary to the main objective, simply because there will be no new Scotland to construct otherwise.

But I sensed shock too. I was, said one, at least ‘being honest.’ There was some bewilderment at the idea, as some correspondents put it, of getting independence first and working out the next steps afterwards. Imagine! Such a person has no imagination…I was to one a flag waver ‘and they don’t care about social justice.’ To another I wasn’t to be completely written off because I was sort of interesting – a museum exhibit perhaps.

I do admit to being curious in some ways but I also firmly believe I am something rather more than that – I am in the overwhelming majority.

I know everybody claims support or a personal mandate to justify arguments, even ones they can’t otherwise sustain, but my premise is strong and simple – the Nationalists who turn out massively to vote SNP, work for the party, pay for the party and will back independence to their death, have but one principal objective. They are the believers – to the Unionists, the loons and flag wavers – but to a political movement, they are the beating heart that pumps the lifeblood and who never let you down. Such people used to inhabit the Labour Party. They were passionate too. They gave up time. Sometimes they gave up work. They travelled Britain to campaign. They were bound by shared commitment for a cause. They too were loons to their opponents. But like those of us today who retain a sense of purpose, they didn’t care what was said about them. Their devotion to Labour made them impervious. Nobody who ever truly believed in a cause wavered in the face of scorn. I used to sit in Tory conferences and watch close-up the faces that glowed and the eyes that turned spellbound when Thatcher entered the hall. Don’t talk to me about loons.

And the people I’m talking about are rarely in the news, except maybe when their town gets flooded or there’s a lottery winner nearby. They have little presence in mainstream news and neither do they figure in alternative media. They don’t have blogs, unless it’s part of a community initiative. Mostly they live away from the metropolitan centres and inhabit small-scale urban and rural Scotland. In Portsoy and Fraserburgh. In Portlethen and Johnshaven. In Arbroath and Carnoustie. They’re in the towns that litter the map and whose names we mostly see on motorway signs.

I encountered them as a BBC reporter in the days when journalists actually went somewhere instead of googling. I met Tories in Kirkcudbright, Liberals in Inverurie, Nationalists in Montrose and Shetland Movement men in Lerwick. Away from the Central Belt hothouse where the media fulcrum is, attitudes and outlook are often very different from the obsessions of the chattering classes and the bletherin’ bawbags.

This is where we still find the loyal bedrock of SNP support and they aren’t spending time planning a Workers’ Co-op after independence. I doubt if they’re thinking much beyond a country initially run by the people they already trust to do the job – the SNP. It is the very managerial ability of the party after all that has boosted its support. If they only offered ‘the dream’ but no competence, they simply couldn’t muster enough votes. It’s competence allied to the vision of independence that makes the package attractive. Why would you throw that away as soon as the goal is achieved?

In speaking to those scattered Scots I tried to understand what it was that motivated them – often people don’t know themselves until it is teased out of them. It is, I think, quite simply a sense that they can do things better themselves and have lost trust in the British system. As Britain has become steadily become more unequal, the political class in London less representative – their expenses troughing a low point – and Holyrood more successful, they have seen a better way of meeting their aspirations. Their faith is in the parliament and that has swelled as the SNP has grown into the role of government. Pretty obvious, really.

And I would say they are – very broadly – dismissive of attempts to design too much the architecture for an independent country before we get there. They do need to see a coherent plan before voting Yes which makes sense of currency, the EU and how the split will be managed. But they trust the SNP to construct the framework. That’s why they vote for them. To those for whom independence is the springboard to a socialist state – or some version thereof – this is looks like a mistake because the Nats won’t be radical enough. Good argument. But does it really echo around wider Scotland? Remember we are asking people to do the most radical thing any recent generation has faced – break up the British state. No matter how you oil it, it’s still a massive spanner in the works. And after the scorched-earth business of indyref1, they are left in no doubt how big a task this is and how hard the Unionists will fight. The imperative is to win first, not get lost in debating the aftermath. Why follow the Ally Macleod doctrine? ‘What will you do after winning the World Cup?’ ‘Retain it.’ Maybe get the priorities right and win it first…

And I’m afraid the let’s-get-radical argument has a flaw too. To most Nationalists the SNP itself is radical – because of its primary aim of creating a new country. The British certainly regard it as a fairly radical plan. And within the SNP it’s clear there is a wide range of different characters with varying emphasis in policy areas, left and right. It’s precisely the combination of the two – characterised to a degree by Salmond and Sturgeon – that appeals to them. It allows them to marry what is a nominal right-wing policy of cutting corporation tax with apparently left-wing land reform. (And when they didn’t go far enough on the latter…well you know the story)

This is why the argument of the SNP monolith fails with the majority – they already see their party having different voices encompassing left and right but which are still able to combine in the national cause.

That breath of opinion suits the voters who, contrary to what most of the politically committed like to pretend, are not ideological and don’t see the need to only follow one policy line or indeed the need to follow any dogmatic policy line at all other than What’s right for Scotland. (I’m aware here I’m really just spelling out why the SNP has proved so successful)

Sneering, as some are inclined to, at the foundation of SNP support  isn’t going to win many arguments. If they (we) take any notice at all it will be to use it as a reminder to vote SNP twice.

And the bedrock, if I read it right, is also convinced of a point perhaps wilfully missed by all the media. It is that the very accomplishment of independence will provide an impetus to change. The fact of becoming a new state, of re-writing the relationship with London and the realisation of self-determination will act as an inspiration. The confidence derived from the opportunities of controlling our own country, making new friends and alliances and fine-tuning our tax system to develop the economy, will fuel the new country. At least the theory of fulfilling our true potential will be tested. For them this will be Day One of living in a better country. To the question: What kind of country do you want to live in? their answer is: an independent one.

We will not wake up the day after and ask: What do we do now?

I’m with the people who actually deliver the SNP votes regardless of the fine detail of the blueprint and in spite of the scoffing. Out there they are getting on with the real job. Objective One. And I’m proudly waving my flag.

 

Post Script. In passing can I put in a word of support for G A Ponsonby who has been traduced by some who should know better. There is much personal acrimony in this and some seem to forget he deserves respect for creating Newsnet and helping kick start new media. He scares the pants off journalists (hence the childish response of the likes of Paul Hutcheon). He has worked harder than anyone to expose the Press and, if I don’t accept all his conclusions, his detailed scrutiny of the BBC has had real impact. It chimes with opinion much more than the BBC would care to admit. The indy movement would the poorer without his contribution.

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74 thoughts on “Breaking News

  1. I was shocked and surprised to learn that the UMSM has not yet come out with a story about some raving cybernat transphobic referring to wotisname, David Mundell, as a Tory closet.

  2. Great writing Derek

  3. Gordon Bickerton

    G. A. Ponsonby is a hero to me, along with Andy Whiteman.
    I only picked up on the Beeb bias after joining the yes brigade early 2014, delayed by ticker issues.
    His meticulous record keeping of all the biased reporting is outstanding. I hope enlightened teachers draw the book to the attention of their pupils.

  4. Quinie frae Angus

    Thank you for this, Derek. Agree with all of this – especially your points about a new country providing a kick-start in and of itself.

    And also your support of GA Ponsonby. He has done an incredible job.

  5. Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling for the last year and a half.
    I am one of the faceless many who would be proud to work hard for an independent Scotland, to pay my way and take the rough with the smooth. I trust the SNP to deliver this because they want what is best for Scotland.

  6. 100% with you. It’s about having the confidence and ambition to know we can tackle the problems which come along after independence, and deal with them better than London. No brainer for me. Has been for decades.
    Well done for supporting GA too. He does a great job of calling out whatever garbage the BBC tries to scam us with.

  7. Can’t speak for anyone else but I don’t recognise your description of the differences that exist in the wider yes blogsphere. The differences as I see it is over a more serious question of whether Scotland will ever vote for independence unless there is evidence of the difference it will make to peoples lives which requires that we discuss what needs to be done now to gives a taste of what we could do if we were independent. In some ways the divisions aren’t only between the SNP and other parties but exist within parties as well. Nicola Sturgeon gives the impression that she understands that it is only through showing what can be done to improve things through the limited powers we have that a majority of people will move towards taking the momentous decision to vote for a new country. That’s why concentrating on the purpose of independence is not a distraction but a necessary part of wining independence. This isn’t just about right and left, its about whether we see independence as business as usual under but just new management or a mission for a better society. I suspect that all those passionate ex-labour campaigners that you mension are motivated by that desire to create a better society. It’s the insinuation in the get indy first argument that indy is a end in itself that creates the reaction because it suggests an acceptance of Scotland as it is rather than seeing how much Scotland has been deformed by its situation inside the union and how much work needs to be done to improve things.

  8. Your writing in this new year has been some of your best. Good Burgundy parcels at Christmas?

  9. Excellent posting Derek. I confess to irritation at the wilful stupidity of advocates of this that or the other post indy policy issue who spend their time vote splitting when they should be all out for an independent Scotland first. I’m sure I will have a view on fracking, land reform, local government finance, education, named persons, NATO, etc etc but until 50% + 1 votes for independence I find it hard to give a monkey’s. SNP x 2 May 2016 and on to Indyref#2 early 2020’s unless Brexit or some such triggers beforehand.

  10. Flower of Scotland

    I have been thinking a lot about these new wee political parties that are aggressively demanding their second vote from SNP supporters.
    Your article says everything that I would want to say. Thank you for that. I will share far and wide.

    GA Ponsonby is doing a great job. Thanks to him too.

  11. Yes, no issue at all with G.A good writer and to the point, although if you ask anybody in America who Glen Frey is they’ll know instantly and reply with reverence whereas David Bowie might only get a Who? or Some English guy response, Glen Frey was pretty big stuff worldwide as well

    Not having a go, honest

  12. Dissing th Eagles wasn’t your best argument ever. Those cheap, silly remarks about their music were really cheap jibes. The Eagles were considered right up there competing with the Beatles, one of the greatest bands ever to record. So get over yourself, Derek. What you listen to isn’t the only way of judging music and I expect better than that kind of cheap insult.

    Yes, this is from a huge fan of a band whose music was a huge influence on my life.

    • Prefer Jackson Browne, who was a big influence on The Eagles, but Frey and Henley did write some excellent stuff.

      BTW Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” A favourite of mine. Great intro.

      • Glenn wrote some excellent stuff and was a great guitarist in his own right. His influence in the US was huge as was his following. I fell in love, had a broken heart, was angry, happy and lived to Eagles music.

        Sorry for those of you who didn’t know their music and Glenn’s during the years when he was solo, I’m really sorry you missed that experience.

        • There was a time I had The Eagles’ Greatest Hits on heavy rotation. You might like Bowie, or you might like these guys, or both, or neither. You can’t deny the The Eagles’ popularity and commercial success, or the extent of their influence. Worth celebrating!

    • As Derek said, his Eagles comment was “just his reaction”. Have you nothing better to get worked up about??

    • “Dissing th Eagles wasn’t your best argument ever.”

      I second that emotion.

    • I’ve known the Eagles since they were eggs 🙂

  13. Great post Derek, I was so impressed with G P that I bought the book! It is so enlightened and takes the BBC to task

  14. Well said Derek. You have summed up nicely why folk support the SNP.

    IMO the ‘left’ always seem to fall out over who is more radical or who has the best working class credentials.

    PS also agree that GA Ponsonby has done a great job.

  15. I’m in total agreement with you, Derek. That is precisely how I feel. Thank you for articulating it so well in a way I couldn’t. You are right. Many ‘yes’ voters are not afraid of ‘what comes next’ – sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith when the present circumstances are more than you can bear. I sooo despair of the country under tory rule that I would face just about any problem after independence, just knowing that Scotland would be battling that issue with all of Scotland in mind and not just the richest few. And it is the safety of the poor, vulnerable and the disabled population that drives me to vote Independence first – and deal with the setting up of a political arena, whatever that will encompass, later.

    I have to admit to a sense of confusion why a certain party feels this is a suitable time to take issue with the SNP over the Land Reform bill. For a party that so earnestly declares itself to be a supporter of independence, why then are they not keen to push for independence then fight for their more radical ideas later? How is ignoring the need to actually win the election – and possibly losing (I know, that’s not likely, given the polls!) – going to fulfill their aims? If the election is not won, it won’t matter one whit what their objective was. So, as I see it, their objective is simply pushing to get MPs elected, on the backs of SNP supporters, knowing that an SNP win is ‘likely’. It seems a few have dreams about life in the Scots Parliament, courtesy of their indy stance – and thanks to SNP voters! Aspiration is fine, but it would look an awful lot better if they were honest and transparent about their aims! It doesn’t seem to matter to them that by dividing the vote, they may well let in tories/labour/lib dems who will then STILL have a say in Scotland’s governance! It seems they are okay with that. If they are a legitimate party with Scotland’s future well being at heart, surely this isn’t the way to go about it? I could have supported their efforts to get more radical land reform, and some of the other things they want… I like the idea of the SNP having some worthwhile opposition to force them to go just a little farther than their ‘ca canny’ attitude takes them. But to risk WM getting a say in the day to day running of SCOTLAND’s affairs? The price RISE are asking is much too high. And I’m not willing to pay it.

    While I don’t agree with absolutely everything GA Ponsonby writes, most of his words echo my own thoughts. And it does him credit that he was not afraid to come out and say what he felt about the present rift in the Independence parties, though I’m sure he knew that his article would be heavily criticised by a certain faction of the Indy campaign. He has done a great deal for the Scottish voters in giving their views and opinions a platform for debate, which was sorely needed. Well done him.

    Thank you Derek. More power to your pen…

  16. How quickly and easily SNP supporters forget. Whilst dissing any real or (probably) imagined tactical voting slurs by any other democratically elected party, they forget that 56 MPs were elected in May due to a large wedge of tactical votesby others, and even some unionists!. And furthermore, in spite of the trolling by certain quarters of the SNP x 2 brigade there will be much tactical voting again; SNP for the constituency vote seems to be taken for granted by all pro indy parties, but just keep up the insults and see what vote splitting really looks like.

  17. Very well said and I agree with every word. I entirely agree with Mr Church above, your writing keeps getting better.

    The sneering and superciliousness of some in recent days who should know better and who should be on the same side has been distasteful. If we truly want to create a better country a big part of that is inclusion for all views, not only within the independence movement but after independence we have to go out of our way to include those unionists we at the moment oppose. It’s their country too and we have to ensure they feel they have a valued voice in it if they’re not to become fifth columnists and a constant danger to our existence. If we win independence we have to behave better in victory than Westminster did if we’re to succeed and prosper. Going by some of the behaviour recently amongst ourselves, seems we can’t even extend that courtesy to each other far less to unionists.

    As for the socialist utopia some claim to be fighting for, though on the left right axis chart for political persuasion I’m way down bottom left hand corner, I believe the indyref proved to us that we need successful Scottish businesses, and some folk seem to me to still have the ‘up the bosses’ attitude. We need a strong business and economy culture as well as a strong social support network, both equally important, and as you just stated, the SNP encompasses that range of views. The thought of them being ditched once we have independence in favour of RISE or the Greens running our country scares the hell out of me, or would do if I believed most Scots would not be pragmatic enough to feel as I do, that the clear heads and experienced hands within the SNP will be needed for a good while after independence to still steer the ship of state. Trouble is since they’ve had two terms already and are expected (fingers crossed) to get a third, by the time independence comes, voters might be sick of the same faces and not give them enough time to establish a fully viable working state. Even with independence there’s enough in the future to be worried about.

    • I don’t think you’ve much to worry about as the likes of RISE will only ever be on the periphery of politics in Scotland. The majority of Scots are far too pragmatic to vote for this type of party to have any power.

      We do, as you point out, need strong businesses and a parliament that recognises this and supports them. Citizen Smith won’t hack it.

      • The SSP came bottom of the last few elections: beneath the BNP, UKIP and the Cannabis Party They boycott Solidarity, Resistance and goodness knows who else on the left and spend all their time attacking the SNP and Tommy Sheridan

        Sack and ferrets come to mind.

  18. Superb article, Derek.

    First things first: independence. I know, I’ve said it before, but rest assured I’ll be saying it over and over till polling day – and after.
    Independence will mean a fresh start for ALL parties.

    G A P is brilliant. Got the book – got the knowledge – got the ammunition.

  19. Ross Shivas McKenzie

    “Remember we are asking people to do the most radical thing any recent generation has faced – break up the British state. No matter how you oil it, it’s still a massive spanner in the works”.

    That point is likely to hold far more sway with the Radical Left than the “destiny” and “pride” we read about on Sunday.

  20. Those who say a thing cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

  21. My centre-right leanings are something I’ve mentioned before on various pro-indy blogs, including this one, so believe me when I say that come independence, I won’t touch the SNP with a barge poll.

    But Derek’s point is spot on, there is a broad church within the independence movement, and achieving independence, then going our separate ways, is the best strategy IMO, which is why I’ll be voting SNP x2 come May.

  22. Ross Shivas McKenzie

    “As Britain has become steadily become more unequal, the political class in London less representative – their expenses troughing a low point – and Holyrood more successful, they have seen a better way of meeting their aspirations”.

    And this is a fine summary of the mainstream position – exactly the kind of talk you hear from folk who moved to Yes during the campaign. It’s the position that allowed Nationalists, Socialists and Greens to share a platform and the position the Nicola Sturgeon articulates so well.

    “Independence (almost) no matter what kind of country results” is a giant leap from there.

  23. Very good piece Derek. You do seem to have crossed a Rubicon in your Indy thinking.

    Re GA Ponsonby. I didn’t realise he started up Newsnet. When I first read his stuff I realised he is a very good writer and was amazed that he wasn’t employed by an MSM paper. Mind you, then I didn’t know just how anti-Scottish the MSM were, and still are.

  24. I know it’s only Tuesday, but this has to be the blog of the week.

  25. Derek, you just keep getting better and better! You are speaking for me and (I’m sure) a huge majority of the yes movement. Don’t ever stop! Same goes for Mr Ponsonby. His book “London Calling….” Should be required reading for every Scot.

  26. Excellent – just the wee boost thisweary foot soldier needed. Not that I am about to give up….ever.

  27. Glad you mentioned fluffy I bet he is pissing himself and laughing at all the snipers who have been working hard on his behalf , and progressing his mission to disrupt , split , distract the SNP from the job in hand , it has always been the case the left wing ,true to form ,as sure as night follows day ,they fall out ,cause splits and devisions ,they never seem to get it that’s why they are not in any kind of position of influence anywhere , now without thinking without any regard about the disruption they are causing they have to start up on most social media sites recently it’s like a bloody plague of locusts what’s more alarming they are assisting the unionists , friends like this as the saying goes who needs them ?

  28. “It is that the very accomplishment of independence will provide an impetus to change.”

    My belief too.

    Good to see you putting in a very deserved good word for GA Ponsonby. He has been a stalwart of the cause. I’ve been following his writing since the blether wi Brian days and been a supporter of Newsnet from the beginning. Some of those who have levelled criticism are wet behind the ears johnny come lately’s compared to GA. He has earned my respect.

  29. Leave Glenn Frey alone- personally they ran parallel paths in the 70’s as musical insprations and whilst the Eagles never moved on, a lot of Bowie’s post 70 work wasn’t great IMO. However I would agree that independence first, how to then use it second seems perfectly reasonable, as a nation that has disproportionally shaped the world with our views and attitudes (not always right) , the idea that we couldn’t look after what comes next is ludicrous.

  30. Dammit Derek, I agree with your every word here!

  31. Let’s be honest here. The Eagles were every bit as good as Bowie. To say otherwise is silly.

  32. Spot on Derek. A truly fantastic post. You certainly nailed the reason for the huge support the SNP currently enjoys: Increasing numbers of people are realising that a party, a national party can have both left and right wing politicians and left and right wing policies – its called hovering around the centre! The great thing is that the Scottish electorate clearly know this and are very comfortable with it. The corporate media just cannot get to grips with this, to them it is a completely impossible, alien concept. The political fault line in Scotland is no longer left v right, it is one of identity: Scottish v British. The election of 56 SNP MPs last year was a clear statement of intent by the Scottsh people: “We are not letting this go and one day we will be independent!”.

  33. As Peter Bell stated above – “blog of the week”, indeed. Congratulations.

    Superb analysis grounded in a superb grasp of the realpolitik.

    As to GA Ponsonby being under attack? Missed that. But a damned disgrace if so (and I have no reason to doubt you).

    You are on a roll. Please keep ’em coming. Thank you.

  34. Alastair Naughton the

    Not the cleverest comments about Glenn Frey. As has already been stated here, The Eagles are up there with The Beatles in terms of their influence on rock music, and IMO vastly superior. To lose the guitarist, who also had a solo career, was a tragedy on massive scale. So these comments really were not cool.

    HOWEVER

    That said, the rest of it is a brilliant article. Just what I expect of you sir!

  35. As one of those voters you are referring to I agree completely with you.

    A “tongue in cheek” though – why only examples of east coast communities (and Shetland)? Don’t forget us Westies.

    And personally I’d listen to The Eagles before David Bowie every time!

  36. Again, who knew?

    I’m part of a majority these days. 🙂

    Informed principle and conscience. Folk vote by that, then whoever they vote for, their vote won’t be wasted. So long as they vote. So long as they engage with the process. So long as they monitor their politics and politicians, then as many are fond of saying… ‘tick tock’, for the establishment and old politics.

  37. Hammer / Nail / Head.

    Bang on Derek.

    SNP x 2 in May. Let’s secure the freedom from Westminster first, if we fail to return as big a majority number of SNP MSP’s, we let the Unionists have a gap to keep open the door and drive in a wedge.

    Followed by the usual MSM drivel about the tide turning against Nicola and the SNP.

    Let’s send them a second tsunami along the lines of last May.

    Remember the GOAL is Independence first and foremost.

    Slightly O/T
    Loved the painful Ally McLeod reference. So true, we were all believing the MSM manufactured GUFF!

    All because the BBC / ITV and MSM puffed it all up out of all proportion.

    Why?

    Only because the REAL team failed to qualify and they had to hang their coat somewhere, all these London elite sports journos having to ask directions to Scotlandshire

    Then the sneering began. Nothing much has changed from the S.E. England / London centric perspective.

    Also always remember on this the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the World Cup being stolen twice in 2 months, (Pickles got it back the first time.) to remind them that they only managed the second theft thanks to us Scots.

    We were responsible for inventing and using the worlds first crossbar!!!

    ps I like all music, it has been a thought provoking few days, at the passing of so many well known musicians.

  38. Your best yet, Derek. Independence first, everything else to follow.

  39. Excellent post Derek. Independence …nothing less. I too am tired of all the Judean Peoples Front / Peoples Front for Judea arguments (pace Life of Brian) proposed by the radical left or whatever.

    You have summed up how I feel about Scotland and the Independence movement to a T and quite simply I will be AYE ’til I die. SNPx2

  40. Excellent, Derek. Although it sounds offhand to many, working for Independence and sorting the details later seems perfectly fine to me, a non-SNP member. When Mart Laar, the first Prime Minister of an independent Estonia around 1993/4 (at the tender age of 34) was interviewed during 2014 by someone commenting on the White Paper who asked whether his government had a business plan at that time, he replied something along the lines of, “No; we just did what we thought was right.”. Well, that’s good enough for me…..

  41. Scotland needs unity in the face of British aggression. Britain still has a hold of a big chunk of Ireland, 95-odd years later. How much of The Borders does any Scot feel like giving up?

    As I’ve said to people before, if you don’t like the SNP, work for independence, because fulfilling its purpose is the surest way to force it to evolve. One has to guess that an independent Scotland will end up with its own party or parties of left and right. Looking around at other small European nations, we can expect the centre to much further to the left than the British one.

    World perception of the British state? See how this edition of Newsweek illustrates its “62 people hold half the world’s wealth” story:

    http://www.newsweekjapan.jp/stories/business/2016/01/62_1.php

  42. Steve Asaneilean

    🙂

  43. Alasdair Macdonald

    As I read the various blogs involved in the stushie to which Mr Bateman refers, the phrase, “the vanity of small differences” comes to mind.

  44. Completely agree with you, Derek. My objective has always been independence for its own sake because I believe that being in charge of our own destiny will transform Scotland after years of being told what to do by our “betters” in Westminster and the spending emphasis on London and the South East at the expense of the rest of the UK.

    The SNP are the only party that can bring independence, so, to me, it seems like a no brainer for supporters of independence to vote SNP. For those who see independence as simply a means to an end, my concern is that if they can be persuaded that there is a better, faster means to the end, they’ll drop support for independence in a flash.

  45. finger on the pulse, Derek, an excellent article …… and for the record, I’m a Buddy Holly man myself !!

  46. Agree with almost every word you write
    BUT you know of the major problem we older nationalists face – but do not seem to comment on it directly.

    I have come to the point where I can no longer accept the joint demand for Independence and membership of an
    EU which would constrain that sovereignty to a very considerable degree. If I believe in the good sense of the Scots, cannot think that they would not make the right decisions for themselves where the EU demands change:
    and would not give another body the right to decide for us where we believe another way, or none, is called for.
    I am told that we can change our minds when we have the sovereign right to so decide, but fear that we will have sold the pass before that happens.
    What do you think?

  47. Yes!
    Falling out about whether we should be a monarchy or republic, in or out of NATO, a workers paradise or a Scandinavia-style social democracy is all nonsense and a distraction. Until we’re independent, we do as we’re damned well told!
    RISE etc need to ask themselves whether they have a better chance of achieving the type of society they want in an independent Scotland, or do they really think they can sway the Tory south to their way of thinking?
    Having said that, the Left, unfortunately, always given the impression that the fight is more important than the result, and fine shades of opinion outweigh core principles. The Right seems to understand “divide and rule”, while the Left practices “debate and split”.

  48. SNP x2. Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

  49. The mention of Kirkcudbright in your post caught my eye Derek. As a 15 year old school boy at Kirkcudbright Academy in 1974 I worked for George Thompson’s campaign. George was my French teacher and a family friend. He was elected as Galloway’s first SNP MP in the second/ October election that year and I cast my first vote for him in 1979. Sadly George lost to Conservative Ian Lang. Alasdair Morgan won the seat back in 1997, but lost to Peter Duncan in 2001. Richard Arkless is our current SNP MP….

    Thinking about the ups downs of politics and your blog post I have written this http://greengalloway.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/is-another-scotland-still-possible.html

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