We’re Not Worthy

I’ve just got back from Argyll and I’m catching up with my electronic mail to find I’m under attack by some Unionist nutter who calls me a tribal SNP apologist. It’s a really sneery, hysterical piece as you’d expect from an anti-SNP bam. Oh, hang on. I’m wrong. It’s actually written by the editor of Bella Catetonia, the pseudo intellectual website. So that’ll be Noam McChomsky, then.

Noam is very angry. It seems that in the highbrow world of Bella Intelligentsia nobody is allowed to disagree with Noam. If they do, it turns them into establishment trusties to be denounced. Not just me but anybody who agrees with SNP policy – and I think that’s quite a lot of people – isn’t a supporter but an apologist. We just parrot government news. That means that we all know the SNP is wrong but we haven’t the bottle to speak up. Not like Noam. He’s a supporter/apologist of a different party and will get round to telling us which one. Sometime. Soon. Just not in this sleekit whine. There are many interesting items in Bella Encyclopaedia and I always read them – as soon as I get them back from Google Translate.

Noam has many radical ideas. He wants to win back No voters – essential to winning a referendum – by spray painting Saltires on their door and when they come out shouting at them: ‘Away and live in England, ya Tory bastards.’ I think this will work, don’t you?

In Noam’s world support for the governing party is for pansies. Even if you’ve spent three years regularly challenging SNP decisions, it doesn’t count because he didn’t read them. Even when you explained how Alex Salmond was ready to settle for a deal less than independence, or told how he ignored advice from colleagues on Europe, or you opposed his policy on the pound, wrote how anti poverty plans were inadequate and criticised the glorification of Nicola, it’s not relevant because you’re objections aren’t as good as Noam’s. And he has a better route to achieve independence than the dreary SNP. (See future issues for explanation).

That’s me being unthinking and unquestioning again, stuck at the foot of the ivory tower.

Those of us proud to be foot soldiers in the march to independence and without delusions of grandeur sometimes think Noam is, like his motto, getting above himself. He doesn’t hesitate to tell other sites what they’re getting wrong and who should and shouldn’t be allowed to write for them and having meltdowns. The tortuous business of his dealings with respected James Kelly lost him kudos. (Was he a teacher in another life?)

In my apparently unchallenging way I regard independence as the single most radical idea in British politics, one that scares the establishment witless and we all know, online editors apart, that the SNP is the only way to achieve it. Everything else is distraction. I think it’s a good thing to disagree with each other on ideas and policy but I do just wonder how productive it is to denigrate folk who are on the same side using derogatory and insulting language. (As I am now. Was I to comply and shut up?)

Surely a professor will pop up on Bella to explain how this helps a) solidarity and b) our own argument just head of an election. But that’s just me being boring and conventional again. So here’s a radical idea – Noam could send back all the donations to his crowd funder that came from SNP ‘apologists’.

To sum up, and in the words of Chomsky himself (from Syntactic Structures. 1957) ‘Get tae – ya balloon’

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58 thoughts on “We’re Not Worthy

  1. Gaun’ yersel’ Derek. Never mind the anti SNP bams. If Independence is your priority there is no one else to vote for.

  2. That’s ‘Noam’ telt…I trust you weren’t trying to take the ‘Rise’ out of him Derek?

    • Yeah. Rise like a flopped Yorkshire puddin’. The meejah is using them as a stalking horse, for our 2nd vote, to let Liebore in the back door

      • Dae you no think ‘our 2nd vote’
        smacks jist a wee bit of that
        ‘entitlement’ thing that went a long way tae gettin’ SLab where they are today?

        • “Dae you no think ‘our 2nd vote’
          smacks jist a wee bit of that
          ‘entitlement’ thing that went a long way tae gettin’ SLab where they are today?”
          #jistSayin’. Neil Anderson

          I can only go by my experience as former member of the SSP, who are using Rise to revive their failing fortunes. I spent all my time there arguing against venomous anti Independence factions, who were in the majority. Like |Derek said, we can all criticise the SNP, as members do all the time, but they are the only force with a track record of credibility for Independence. The time for opposition parties will be after Independence. We have to get the country first. Labour has to much bad form in Office to ever be trusted again.

          I hope I meet Derek in a dram sometime. I’ve been posh ever since I moved to Kelvingdale.

  3. How to win hearts and minds the Bella way.

    Unfortunately for us, when RISE gets crushed at election time, and it is a question of when, not if, expect to see articles lamenting the defeat of RISE and how the Scottish people were to stupid to know what was good for them.

  4. Good post Derek. Before reading it I had just posted on Bella disagreeing with yet another nonsense article about the merits of not voting SNP in order to advance the cause of independence. I wonder what recreational substances they are on.

  5. Hmm. I contribute cash to Bella from time to time. I like a lot of Mike’s writing but heartily disagree with his viewpoint on this matter. I’ll still send him cash from time to time though.

  6. Bella slid off my most visited sites list quite a while back, pre ref brilliant. What’s changed, no idea, but SNP not so good seems to be a repeating theme.
    The Independence/Yes movement wears a coat of many colours, diverse, opinionated, enthusiastic and till recently emphatically recognised that the SNP were the only party that could realistically achieve our aim in the near or even foreseeable future.
    For a few, sadly, party and personal agenda have taken precedence.

  7. I thought it was one of the most nauseating, condescending, patronising, self-righteous and egotistical rants I’d read on Bella in quite some time, and completely mis-represented the position he was supposedly attacking. Bella is an odd mixture of the banal and the well-argued. It could do with some editing.

    Some on the Left, like Labour, have learned nothing from their continual failure. I will never find any common ground with Tories like Cameron & Osborne, as long as they promote inequality through attacks on the poor and rewards for the rich and will always despise them for that, but surely those of us who want Independence can find a lot of common ground in that great enterprise, even if we sometimes disagree on how to achieve it. But those on the left who simply resort to insulting and denigrating those with whom they disagree on tactics will achieve nothing other than handing the Unionists an open goal.

  8. As with others I stopped reading Bella a long time ago because of these kind of “articles”. It’s a pity because there are lots of good articles on Bella but something has definitely changed – and it’s not for the better.

    The SNP is not perfect – I know that and I am prepared to say so when I disagree with them. But is there seriously any other way to get us independence? If so why doesn’t Bella spell it out because I would love to hear it?

    What is that they say? Put up or shut up?

    Anyway plenty to read elsewhere…

    • Yes. I stopped reading poor Bella after the nauseating neo-con propaganda article on Syria. Mr Small decidedto start living down to his name.

  9. Divide and rule…..ladies and gentlemen I give you Rise! Can they not see that splitting the vehicle to independence, is exactly what the establishment dreams of.

    That’s why anti Europe anti Snp Sillars is never out of the Yoon press. They use people for their own sinister ends.

    Wake up waverers, we are on the brink of independence and you want to gamble!

  10. Haha, great writing, made me chuckle. Perfect timing, as this week I posted that ‘calling people loons makes you look really sour. You are really putting people off this forum’.

    I’m sure it’s water off a ducks back. He really gets out of his pram when folk disagree with any piece, and name calling often features in a tirade.

    Don’t think he is very well.

  11. Derek? An apologist? Oh Jeez! 😀 LOL

    Gotta say, I haven’t been to Bella in a while (too many big words and folk being labelled ists from isms for my low brow).

    Keep beating the tambourine Derek.

  12. Excellent and the final paragraph priceless . Over the past few weeks some subtle devious and sometimes downright vicious attacks meant to divide the electorate and deny the SNP workable majority in Holyrood have surfaced on a lot of websites ,These fools are being used in some cases unwittingly others by design to derail the only vehicle to a second referendum the SNP , No other party can make this happen , When all other efforts fail get the “yes” supporting element in this country to fight amongst themselves , job done with little effort expended , The website mentioned in this article is not the only one running with this particular line masquerading as comment or opinion , Unionist dirty tricks ? they wouldn’t would they ?.

  13. I remember well the Radical Left groups from Uni.

    The Radical Left are always fighting the perfect future war in which they will not only triumph, but do so with total intellectual purity.

    In the meantime, rather than focus on winning the war for independence, the priority is firstly to connive and backstab your way to the top of the Party, secondly to eradicate all those who might compromise or threaten the Party internally (and your place in the hierarchy), thirdly, to eradicate other parties who provide a competitive narrative that is closer to the Party than the real enemy, for only the Party can be allowed to inherit the future..

    Hence Rise has crushed other Left groups. Hence the internecine strife. Hence the defining of the SNP as the “immediate” enemy, rather than Tories, Blairites. Lieberals, the Establishment that are the future enemy for another time.

    The worst election results for Rise would be the SNP bringing about independence, opening the possibilities of change which Rise would not control.

    Far better a weak SNP that could do nothing effective, and to hope the baton might pass to them. Even a total defeat for the SNP would be acceptable, so long as Rise appeared stronger after.

    I have plenty of interest in Left or Green policies. I have no interest in Rise or Green politics at present.


  14. So sad to read this. I want to call it drivel but whatever, no wonder so many folk who were turned on by the indy debate are switching off again, disillusioned. Politics hasn’t changed and here comes the new media, just like the old media. So disappointing Derek.

  15. It would be great to read something online that said vote green because this is what they will do for Scotland. All I ever seem to read is those list vote plot bollocks theories probably written originally onbiodegradable parchment. Does anybody out there have a good reason for voting Green as opposed to the vote Green because they are not the SNP argument ?

    • Fraid not. I looked at their policies and their voting record. I suggest you do the same.

      Ask yourself if their actions are those of people who would make a competent government.

      • I might vote Green2
        They have some policies I like & some I don’t
        Same goes for every other pro Indy party including SNP
        (I don’t agree with either side in the 1+2 debate – there is some truth on both sides)
        There is polling data – possibly dodgy, but since I don’t have all the facts about what pollsters might be up to, that ‘dodginess’ also applies equally to each option.
        I at least have the benefit of my own local knowledge
        It’ll be a gamble I am often told, but I reckon it may be as much of a gamble to vote SNP2
        I will vote SNP1 because they are the only pro-Indy party that can win it
        After that it’s between SNP & Green on the list
        I’ll then have to see which of party has most chance of taking out a unionist from last elected seat on the list.
        If I was in Central, I’d expect SNP to already have that seat, so I’d go SNP to keep it that way
        Here in H+I, they might be so handicapped by D’Hondt divisor that the Green candidate has a far better chance of stopping a unionist
        None of the other Pro Indy parties is anywhere near. I like some of their policies a lot, but that would be a wasted vote.
        I’ve seen the voting patterns of the greens & listened to their reasons for what they did. I don’t always agree with them but can see they have a logical position. I do believe they’ll stick to their pro-Indy policy
        I can say all the same things about the SNP
        It will take ALL of us to win Indyref2
        So I might vote Green
        IF they look more likely to win
        All of you who disagree please carry in & vote & campaign as you see fit, but please don’t send me all the same arguments again. I’ve already decided which I accept & which are just BS. You’re also on both sides BTW. I suggest you chase votes where you think you’ll succeed. I’ve made up my mind that I’ll trust my own judgement.
        I might get it wrong.
        A yoon might get in by one vote.
        I’d have to suck that up.
        I might get it wrong the other way
        Same difference
        Or I might get it right
        A pro Indy party gets the seat
        Happy days
        In any case I think I can live with my conscience more than if I just went 1 way or the other based on what the parties want
        They have a vested interest in the details of which party the winner is from
        Not being in a party, I just care that pro Indy vanfidates win, & i can find my own way

        • Your problem is that in order to game the list vote you would have to know up front how many votes each party will gain in the constiuency vote. Since you can’t know this, voting tactically is a big gamble.

        • I agree. It should be “both votes for Scotland” not “both votes for SNP”. The SNP are not the only independence party.

          The referendum brought an increase in political engagement and an opportunity to create a our own, unique, political culture with new, home-grown parties.

          The SNP will obviously have an important role to play but it can’t do it all on its own. Trying to kill off the other parties would be an incredibly dumb thing to do. More voices united in a broad coalition will only make us stronger.

          There’s also the problem that life must go on in the absence of independence. A single, monolithic party creates a policy vacuum which must be filled by someone. If there are no other Scottish parties to fill the hole, then there will inevitably be a resurgence in one or more of the old unionist parties.

          Both votes SNP looks like a recipe for stagnation and ultimate failure to me.

          • No one is arguing for a “single monolith party”. Just to stick with the SNP till after we have achieved Independence. We will never achieve it by splitting the vote. Independence for sure is the priority and driving force for the SNP, long before the multi issued parties. The difference is, Independence may be an issue for these parties, but it is a cause for the SNP.

          • @donald

            “No-one is arguing for a single monolithic party..”


            “Just to stick with the SNP till after we have achieved Independence.”


          • The SNP is the only party with form and credibility for Independence. Why take the Brits advice to splinter it?

  16. Bella C editorial and anyone else has every right to disagree with the.SNP and to support other parties.

    But why are they so dismissive of other points of view?

    Independence before intolerance. Both votes SNP.

    • I just wrote this on Bella –

      So if I vote SNP on list I’m spooling that paper?

      There are a large number of tactical list vote theories and ideas, written on non biodegradable stone, that demand that the stupid people get as super clever as the writers of these theories.

      Bella seems to be the favoured hospitable host for this indisputable science and must be the reason why I have hardly read any of the recent posts.

      This fleeting visit has been a mistake. Time to go and try and stay away at least until after May 5. At least by then all this science will have been tested out in the public domain and replaced by the facts.

      See you later.

    • Bella was started off by my good friend, Kevin Williamson. He left and I don’t know who is running it now I have never read it, but judging by previous entrist attempts it sound like SSP/Rise.

  17. Unionist dirty tricks?
    Our 2nd vote? (Kings, how’s that for ‘entitlement’)
    What substances they might be on?
    & more – find your own insult & see how you’d feel if I said the same about you
    Derek has every right to open a can of verbal whoop ass on Mike. He makes his points well & with some style considering what got chucked his way & there are some great rational comments from others too, but FFS some of us need to get a grip.
    Here’s a clue….
    It’s jist a wee joke is it?
    We all do that – don’t we?
    Well I usually aim mine at Cameron, Kezia, Alistair Carmichael, Fluffy Mundell or yon pratt Coburn
    I don’t attack my allies
    Do where’s the harm
    You are risking SNP1 votes by having a rammy about the list votes
    & You could be putting the folk we need to persuade to change before Indyref2 right off

    & as for all the ‘splitting’ jibes & the divide & rule theme
    Refuse to be divided
    Stick together or we’ll fall apart
    During Indyref 1 I often said …
    This is not about the SNP
    (It’s not even actually about Derek & Mike
    They will resolve their dispute or not – but it will soon be a wee detail of history)
    This is about Scotland
    About all of us & our lives & our freedom

    So this is an election & not a referendum, the parties want to go their own way.
    They have that right
    All of them equally.
    (Personally bid have liked the Alliance to be quietly helping each other out where they could but that’s not up to me)
    But remember there’s Indyref 2 to come
    We all need each other
    So only the SNP can deliver it?
    Not on their own they can’t
    It’s up yo the people of Scotland
    We won’t persuade the people we need to make the difference this time with petty sterr-heid rammy insults between ourselves
    (& BTW neither they or I are unionist plants. You trust me & I’ll trust that you’re not a Police Undercover spy. I know they’re here, as they have to be, but I’ll take your word it isnae you)
    Keep it rational
    We’re better than this.
    We’ve got a Nation to build
    Tea break is OVER

  18. Loved the “google translate” quip. Perhaps they’re using “Bing”? We all know how that works well on facebook right… lol. 😉

  19. It’s strangely schizophrenic . The articles promoted in Bella Caledonia on Syria are so rife with UK establishment propaganda they could, as commentators point out, have come straight from Chatham House. It’s Citizen Smith here… Colonel Blimp over there.

  20. I think he doth protest too much. Mr. Small forgets only a short 10 months ago his crowdfunder had stalled and a certain rev. asked a few indy supporters to help him reach his target. Quite soon thereafter Bella takes on new heirs and graces his throne. I wonder if his target will be reached next time he puts his hand out

    • Wings supported his Crowd Funder. Stu didn’t buy the right to control Mike’s output, amnd he’d be appalled at the suggestion either would act in a corrupt manner

  21. Scott Borthwick

    Well said Derek. I gave up on Bella some time ago after Ewan Morrison was attacked by commenters there for switching to Yes late in the campaign. It seems his pro-business (possibly right-leaning) agenda did not sit well with the “intellectual” left on that site. His Yes vote was not good enough for some on there, who seemed to expect him to change his entire political outlook to prove he was really one of them.

    I was deeply saddened by this approach, particularly given that we learned a harsh and obvious lesson: that the entire political spectrum must be on board for Yes to succeed.

    As for Rise, it would be no hardship for Jean Urquhart to return to Holyrood under their banner. I would also be happy enough to see Andy Wightman get in for the Greens in the Lothians. However, I see little value in voting for your own opposition. Ultimately, Rise and the Greens are helping no-one by attempting to split the SNP list vote and as yourself, James Kelly, Rev Stu and many others have rightly pointed out, the risk is too great at this moment.

  22. Hi Derek,

    Great post put very eloquently.

    Like you, independence is also on the top of my list of political priorities, and is the main reason that I joined the SNP.

    I think this illustrates the transformation is Scottish politics, and until the next referendum, every single political discussion has the constitution underlying it.

  23. Anyone who advocates splitting the vote is disingenuous. if the members of Rise actually wanted Independence and in the shortest time possible they would have joined the SNP.

    As the man at Bella says; he’s only been into politics for a few months, and boy does it show.

    SNP x 2

  24. The actual Noam Chomsky is still brilliant though 😐

  25. Jeeze. Now I’ve got to find out if Bella is one where I’m donating monthly. More bloody left wing elitists telling me what is and isn’t good for me.

  26. help i can’t find the article anyone know what heading it’s under ? for obvious reasons I dont want to spend too much time on the site .

  27. I don’t understand how supporters of the smaller parties are upset that SNP supporters may be unwilling to lend them votes for a more ‘diverse’ Holyrood. Especially when don’t have a single YES party on the list.

    1. We have existing proof that both votes SNP can deliver a majority and a referendum. Dividing the vote is a gamble that could backfire.

    2. Taking SNP seats for granted in the constituency would be seen as total arrogance, with the potential for a huge public backlash against the party. They have to be seen working for every vote.

    3. Why vote for potential opposition where a minor party can hold your preferred party to ransom at budget times ? Perhaps resulting in policies that make independence less likely.

    Let each party campaign for support on its own merit.
    Not take the huff because it thinks it is somehow owed votes.

    • Onwards, do not listen to anyone who says the SNP are assured of winning all the constituency seats. Even last year they were beaten in three seats, and there are some SNP candidates who had comparatively small majorities in 2011, and that was on a pretty poor national turnout of around 50 per cent. Holyrood obviously uses PR unlike FPTP for Westminster as well, so the results are not going to be nearly as good, even if the SNP get over 50 per cent.

  28. The loss of rationality in your article is a bit disappointing. Your inference that Noam Chomsky is a pseudo intellectual (and possibly the suggestion that you need Google Translate to read him) is one indicator of this. If we have to talk about intellectuals (and ones that can communicate their ideas clearly), then Chomsky – whether you agree with him or not – falls into that category.

    Your anger I can understand. But it does the independence movement no good when high profile supporters like yourself and Mike Small start to publicly criticise each other. Resist the temptation to pour more petrol on the flames. You have acquired a certain degree of influence and with that influence – whether you want it or not – comes a degree of responsibility (even if just to the dictates of your own conscience).

    You’ve had your rant. Now get back to enlightening and inspiring us.

  29. I’ve given up on Bellacaledonia since they started their attacks on SNP and their very obvious bias towards Rise. What they are doing is counter productive to say the least and will only let unionists in by the back door by splitting the vote! As the Wee Ginger Dug lso eloquently put it in his last blog,
    ” We could discover that instead of producing a parliament with a strong and diverse pro-independence majority, that we’ve just allowed the Anas Sarwars and the David Coburns to crawl in through the cracks in the independence front. And if that happened we’d only have ourselves to blame for it.”
    There are a lot of pro Indy “personalities” who in my view are little more than opportunists, who are seeking election and a brand new career in politics, on the back of the recent referendum, and whose only policies seem to be ‘ providing a pro Indy alternative which will hold SNPs feet to the fire’ .
    In the words of Shania Twain ” that don’t impress me much”!
    The only way to be sure that independence is ever on the table again is Both Votes SNP!

  30. “Divide and rule…..ladies and gentlemen I give you Rise! Can they not see that splitting the vehicle to independence, is exactly what the establishment dreams of.”

    Well said Big Jock (and David Robb) in particular: so true about the intrinsic, self-defeating fragmentation of the Left.

    Heartened by the comments on here.

    This year, increase the majority. Next year, finish the job by removing Slab from local authorities, and getting the dead hand off the tiller. Result: progress.

  31. wooooooooooooooch

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