Is It Over?

It’s over but who won? Not Theresa and the Tories – they had the setback of all time. Not Labour, they can’t form a government. Not the still-born Liberal comeback. Nor the SNP who dropped dramatically. Even UKIP lost their most important seat – on Question Time…

The UK sure didn’t win –we are now a weakened nation days from begining talks that will define our world and economic role for generations to come.

So can I first say thanks a lot to Theresa for screwing up so spectacularly and, of course, to Dave for getting so horribly wrong before her. And, yet again, thanks a million to the Scots who voted against their own independence when the chance arose, consigning us to a footnote in the decline of Great Britain as a serious western country.

We have now given support to parties who would deny us the basic democratic right of deciding our own national destiny, enshrined in the UN Convention. Courageous, adventurous Scots, turning away from the one way of extricating ourselves from looming disaster. And, by voting for Conservatives, some have approved a brutalised, cut-down, punitive state telling foreigners they’re not wanted. No wonder they were punching the air in Aberdeen, Moray and the Borders. That’ll show the world…

I suspect what it will show to Brussels is that Scots aren’t really much bothered by EU membership after all and certainly not worthy of making a special case of, unlike Northern Ireland where the prominence of the DUP in Westminster will ensure, along with the EU’s own negotiating stance, that the interests of Ulster will be key to the Brexit process to safeguard its interests. Scotland is now slipping off that radar.

The only chance we might have to celebrate is a change of Tory leader and a much more emollient and intelligent approach to an EU deal, involving full access to the market and the customs area.

I’m not holding my breath because she hasn’t resigned and if she did we might be faced with Boris Johnson – it’s a procession of Tory clowns. But there’s no doubt it’s a chance to rethink this whole Screw Europe strategy. As one writer put it – if Remain had won by four per cent and immediately joined the Euro and Schengen, what would Leavers have said then? That’s the equivalent of where May’s ruthless strategy has led us.

I am pleased the Tories got stung and pleased that Corbyn was able to blast back at the discrimination he’s faced and the disgraceful media onslaught he’s suffered. How revealing that, when guaranteed consistent coverage by broadcast election rules, he was able to emerge as a likeable and credible character. Mind you, only a fool would believe his offer. Corbyn is not reversing the Tory benefit cuts and his party voted for the rapacious Tory spending reductions. Funding for renationalisation of rail and paying off student debt look very shaky.

Today’s delicious irony is Kezia claiming credit for seats won on the back of the man she publicly despised. Shameless hypocrisy – she’ll make a politician yet.

The theme I think is a backlash against complacency. Voters will not be taken for granted and Theresa May did that by blatant opportunism in calling an election assuming she would win – and with transparent slogans – after saying she wouldn’t go to the country. In Scotland the SNP jumped too soon into indyref2 mode assuming too much about Brexit. It was wishful thinking and looked opportunistic, giving not only a Unionist stick to beat them with but weaponising a widespread sense that they were getting above themselves. There were just too many of them in too many places. It didn’t seem right and frankly 95 per cent of seats on 50 per cent of the vote is obscene, albeit part of the system. Under PR this configuration with all main parties represented would be close to what we could expect.

Don’t take us for granted is the message, we’ll decide who we want to vote for. And I think it is an anti-SNP vote because the seats lost went to the most likely to defeat the Nat. It isn’t a pro-Tory vote or pro-Labour but anti-Nat. So drop the referendum idea? I don’t think so.

The SNP won the Scottish election asking for a mandate. It was approved in parliament. It has been endorsed again last night by the majority. More fundamentally, Brexit means our future is up for grabs and a hard Brexit could cripple Scotland. It is suicidal and irresponsible to remove the option of escaping Brexit by leaving the UK. And if, at this time of maximum national peril, the SNP puts short-term gain ahead of Scotland’s interest, then what is it for as a party?

Look out for EVEL being cynically repealed by the way. If the Tories can only govern by votes in Scotland and Northern Ireland, they can’t win votes on key areas of policy from which we are excluded. Imagine if they got rid of it now there are a handful of Tory MPs in Scotland…

Time for a post mortem and for reflection – as well as thanks to those who lost their seats. But not time for dejection. This looks like a rebalancing after the tsunami and the SNP remains the biggest party, the government in Scotland and the national leaders. (Labour are celebrating coming third !) Labour indy supporters returned to their party because of Corbyn and aided inadvertently the Tories but they are still indy supporters. Kezia misreads the result. We remain on track.

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Nearly There

If people didn’t understand the EU referendum, is there a chance they compound the problem by misunderstanding this election?

We never got near the real issues in the referendum because the Leavers were determined we shouldn’t and the Remainers, led by that clown Cameron, were too complacent to bother.

It’s worth noting that we only really got down to real politics when it became apparent that Theresa May wasn’t a leader at all, that it stretched credulity to call her a politician. We were being led by a scarecrow that was afraid of crows, that couldn’t talk to anyone without patronising them and whose career had been a procession of mini catastrophes – failing to curb immigration, antagonising the police, undermining national security and having nothing new to say on terrorism despite six years at the Home Office.

That was when leadership emerged as a key question for voters, not, as she planned, the big choice from the outset of the campaign when she arrogantly believed she could mince Corbyn in the media machine. As Roy Greenslade has been pointing out in the Guardian, even her staunchest boot-licking media supporters have stopped lauding her as the tough leader the country needs and instead fallen back on childish and often inaccurate depictions of Corbyn. The irony is that leadership is now the key question because he clearly has something a growing number prefer that her brittle, overbearing persona doesn’t. It’s probably honesty. A sad man in an allotment he may be but, compared to her, he’s authentic. He’s a mealy-mouthed dreamer offering stuff a broke Britain can barely afford. He relished his notoriety as an acquaintance of the terrorists back in the day because he is fundamentally a rebel. But then British governments privately spoke to and negotiated with the bombers even as their terror continued to take lives. Britain has armed those who would later become our terrorist enemies and, when it comes to the Libyan-affiliated bomber of Manchester, it seems we facilitated his journeys from North Africa to England and back. Corbyn may be a soul brother of men of violence but he’s never actually aided them directly, unlike successive governments.

So May is now exposed as a hollow drum, echoing sound bites and insulting what the Tories think of as little people – like the nurse looking for a pay rise. That silly woman was treated like the six-year-old she clearly is and reminded that there’s no magic money tree. In that television moment Theresa May summed up the history of her entire party. Tories believe they are superior and the only differences between them is the degree to which they patronise everybody else. If you’re a patrician Tory you accept that with your privileged position goes a responsibility to give a bit to the less well-off. If you’re a hard right Tory, like those who have captured the current leadership, you are a social hyena scavenging off the misfortune of others. (It’s hard to think of an intelligent way to justify the cruelty deliberately inflicted on the disabled and the vulnerable by Tory cuts and policies so brutal they are condemned by the UN).

But, across Scotland, backed by the Labour Party, that is what we are being urged to vote for. We are to endorse an authoritarian hard right party in power which is still working its way through George Osborne’s cold-blooded spending cuts (another £9bn to go) 10 years after the financial crash. Voting for Conservatives means endorsing what is on track to be a 20 year generational decimation of the welfare state – not harming a handful of scroungers but crushing the life styles of those who can’t walk unaided or whose learning disability restricts them to long term unemployment or low-paid menial work. Their policy is for low wages and long hours which kill family life for hundreds of thousands who work round the clock. Working conditions can be brutal but the unfair dismissal process has been closed to most applicants allowing unscrupulous employers to get away with it. In-work pensions have disappeared. The real magic money tree is the Bank of England which printed hundreds of billions to shore up the banks who caused the financial crisis in the first place. Theresa didn’t patronise the bankers. She wouldn’t dare. She’ll fall over herself again when they bleat about the difficulties of making massive profits after Brexit. She will find a way to ease the troubles of big business because history shows the Tories always do. But nurses? Police? Nah…you’re two a penny and you’re not One of Us.

This is the Britain the Tories have created and which we are now asked to endorse. In Scotland we do so, not by voting Tory but by voting for Ruth Davidson’s candidate (fill in the blank).

Under Davidson, Scottish Tories have gone from ineffectual social climbers in club ties and sensible shoes, to a jeering mob. They have infantilised the electorate by pretending there are no issues except denying Scots a vote on independence. They have taken simplistic messages from focus groups and, presumably with their tongue out, carefully copied them out as policy. This way they have harnessed the anti-SNP lobby and blinded them to what they are actually voting FOR. I’m sure it’s true that many don’t want a referendum but at least you can vote No if there is one. How will you stop Brexit without a referendum? As groups like the farmers and fishermen slowly see evaporate the chimera of taking back control, as firms in chemicals or aviation or food supply see sales processing clogged with compliance, admin and delay, will it seem foolish to have cast aside the idea of a Scotland-only way out of the mess?

Tory voters are being taken for fools, treated like Theresa’s nurse who thought a pay rise seemed reasonable without realising she just doesn’t count in the Tory worldview. If May wins on Thursday we will also have to deduce that her incompetence that helped the terror attacks – especially getting rid of police in England and firearms officers – simply didn’t bother the voters enough. Other than the murderers themselves, no one in the UK is more culpable than Theresa May.

If Davidson takes seats it will be because she played a nationalist card, narrowed the choices down to British Tories or Scottish Nationalists and across our country it will be clearer than ever who wins that argument. I prefer it when they fight on our ground.

So we need to remember that in Scotland, the forces of progressive politics run strong. If as happens, some seats are lost, that doesn’t make a victory. You know that’s true because it’s the opposite of what Paul Sinclair said in the Mail, he the latest in a line of Labour types whose sectarianism is visceral and in proportion to their need to make money from the Unionist press. The SNP will win this election in Scotland. They will remain the government in Scotland. A referendum is government policy. May is weakened in Brussels and the truth of Brexit is yet to dawn. We take the long view and the day gets ever closer.

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Theresa Terror

It’s a week since the slaughter of the innocents at the Manchester Arena and the single image I can’t get out of my mind is the face of Eilidh MacLeod of Barra. She looks into the lens and right through us with the defiant beauty of youth, a look that both asserts her arrival at the door of adulthood and challenges us, as if asking what kind of world we have created for her generation.

Not that she knew that. To her this was just being, a wild creature engaging in the ever-changing excitement of growing up – the thrill that led her to a pop concert in the city. It’s the contrast between the empty slopes of pastoral Barra and its misty air of the ethereal with the sickening brutality of jihadist murder that is most poignant. The surreal disjunction contrasts the unchanging stability of one world with the shrieking madness of the other.

The insane serendipity of it all shocked my ten-year-old. ‘She left home to have fun at a party and didn’t know it was the last time’, she said, articulating one of the great unknowns for all of us. Accident, heart attack, random violence all stalk us every day. On leaving home and saying goodbye, none of us knows if it’s for the last time. A recently retired neighbour ended a disagreement with the words: ‘Never mind. Life’s too short.’ Four days later he was found dead. ‘I never saw him again’, said the other arguer, pondering the ironies of existence.

And you just know that out there in the Western Isles, Eilidh’s family will question themselves, silently doubt their decision-making with the ache that if only they could go back in time…But life is a procession of If Only. And it will always be true that no one is burdened with blame but the perpetrator(s). Those who planned, organised and committed this act are solely to blame. There is no mealy-mouthed excuses for cold-blooded mass murder.

But that cannot be used as a reason to quietly close the door on examining why it happened. However nihilistic, jihadism does not exist in isolation from the world it attacks. Every day in some part of the globe a family suffers like the MacLeods…in untold numbers in shattered Syria, across destabilised Libya, endlessly in Afghanistan, or, with UK cluster bombs, in Yemen…and so it goes on, countries conflicted among themselves but often the recipients of western foreign policy decisions. Interventions through invasion, insertion of advisers, support back-up for one side or another and, of course the relentless re-armament of militias through profit-seeking arms sales – in which we and the Americans specialise – destroy lives and communities.

Add in the vicious on-going Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the hangover of the US-UK invasion of Iraq, and you can see how millions of people feel little sympathy for a handful of deaths in the rich, seemingly inoculated western nations. Compared to a mother in Aleppo, a British woman has no actual knowledge of what it is to live every day in fear, where children are at literally risk, hunger and disease constant, home is bombarded and death close by. Even people who wish no harm to anyone in the west will console themselves with the unspoken satisfaction that a sporadic bombing here is a taste of what life is like for them. We tend not to engage too deeply with the world’s on-going wars of tribalism and religious sectarianism because they are mostly unfathomable, convoluted affairs and because it’s simply unbearable to share the daily sense of grief and loss involved. We shake our heads and move on. In my case, to help assuage guilt and offer solidarity, I give to Unicef and Medical Aid to Palestine.

But, like Britain’s – and Barra’s – grieving families, every one we see wailing in despair over a small broken body in a dusty village is going through the same human hell. The bewilderment, disbelief, the anger and despair are the same, be it Castlebay or Kabul. Manchester didn’t scare us into surrendering to jihad or opening a door to the stone-age death cult of IS as was intended, but it did act as an excoriating reminder of how millions of fellow humans are forced to survive, rarely far from death. Some of that violence is either the indirect consequence of actions taken by our government and allies or it is perpetrated by us or our agents. That’s why we cannot allow the semi secret military apparatus to sneak arms into war zones without democratic scrutiny. If the public are told the truth about war in Yemen and it becomes a national issue of importance, would they accept it? Or might they see how Britain’s involvement in attacking a muslim country might lead to retaliation?

The UK gives £100m to aid Yemen. But it receives £3.3 billion from selling arms to Saudi Arabia which uses them to attack Yemen. More than 5000 civilians have been killed mostly by the bombing raids with British-made weapons. Those are families. Children are blown up, some left with terrible shrapnel injuries and the war is leading to large scale famine and a humanitarian crisis. We are a key part of that crisis.

SAS troops are thought to be there (as in Syria, Iraq and Libya without parliament being told). In Libya it gets even darker as it isn’t clear who our personnel are fighting on behalf of – there isn’t a government as such. And it’s clear there’s been an unspoken policy of encouraging fighters to go to Libya from the UK and to return unchecked, the route taken by Salman Abedi. This murky soup is deliberately kept secret from the public who are deemed unworthy of having the information. That of course also means we were unaware that our own security forces had been warned by Abedi’s own family and friends that he was dangerous. They were also told by American security about him well in advance.

This of course is dereliction of duty. The first responsibility of government is defence of the realm and there can be no doubt that in failing to run a suitably efficient security and intelligence service able to respond to repeated and timeous warnings, this government has let down the country. They unnecessarily exposed to lethal threat citizens who could reasonably expect protection. It will always be true that an unknown individual or even one on a list but not regarded as active, can strike at will and wrong-foot the police. There is no known defence to this. But when the government’s policy allows for unofficial fighters to pass in and out of the country unchecked and when a named individual is identified by several sources as of imminent danger, there can be no excuse when lives are lost through inaction.

I find it extraordinary that the link between Theresa May’s tenure at the Home Office – running immigration control, anti terrorism and security – and this disaster is not a key part of the election. The Tories are proven to be weak on security and defence. The former commander of armed forces told MPs the UK couldn’t withstand an attack by the Russians, our forces are so depleted. Now we find that even with clear advance warnings, our intelligence and security cannot respond in time to save lives.

Saying you’re good at something doesn’t make it so and we’ve heard enough about strong leadership lately to make us laugh and enough about running the economy to make us cry.

The crumbling of the Tory image edifice into a pile of rubble is the story of the campaign, embodied by twitchy Theresa who sounds panicked, unsure and incompetent. Not being Jeremy isn’t nearly enough and, even if she does pull off a nervous victory as expected, her perception with the public is fatally wounded. And to the EU negotiators she will be more rag doll than iron lady, a pitiable figure with but a squeak of an argument rather than Gloriana summoning her archers.

May has done the impossible – she has made Corbyn electable. What a country. Please can we leave soon?

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The Belgrano Moment

She was called Diana Gould and came from Cirencester in Gloucestershire, a middle aged, middle class lady from the shires. She appeared on Nationwide in 1983 and was invited by Sue Lawley to put a question to the Falklands victor Margaret Thatcher. ‘Why’, she asked calmly, ‘when the Belgrano was outside the Total Exclusion Zone and sailing away from the Falklands, did you give the order to sink her?’

After Thatcher’s first attempt at answering – claiming it was NOT sailing away – Ms Gould persisted with a measured, informed and detailed interrogation that had the Iron Lady melting in the studio cauldron. ‘No, Mrs Thatcher’, she interrupted and the hesitations and emergency re-phrasings of the previously untouchable PM gave the game away. She was struggling in the face of the politician’s nemesis – the informed punter. The indomitable Mrs T was squirming and it became uncomfortable viewing. Ms Gould, sounding like Miss Marple gravely informing the police inspector where he was going wrong, was having none of it. Lawley, sensing the temperature rising as Mrs T rotated on the roasting spit, intervened to help out.

It made the news…How Thatcher was skewered by a little old lady. The tape was re- played at that year’s Edinburgh Television Festival in front of an audience of journalists. (The correct collective being A Sewer). We laughed in recognition and enjoyed again how a member of the public had done what we all wanted to do and pin her down on her wilful destruction of human life. That was our narrative as a media and it was accepted wisdom in our circle – the Belgrano was running and Thatcher knew it when the order was given.

Just as we gorged ourselves on the memory, that old hand Roy Hattersley, who was on the guest panel, spoke up. ‘And if you think that went down well with the British public, you don’t know them’, he said. He censured us for being out of touch because most people really didn’t like to hear a leader being humbled that way, not when the country had been at war and life-and-death decisions had to be made – and made in favour of our sailors and soldiers. Many remembered Hitler’s war and understood the needs of the time both in lethal decisions and leadership. With our own prejudices and outlook as a media, we lacked real understanding of voters. He left us chastened.

I don’t know if Roy was completely correct in his assessment but it came to mind during the television debate when another punter – a nurse – complained to Nicola Sturgeon about her wages. She couldn’t manage on them and used food banks, she claimed. Cue uncomfortable questions for the FM and, of course, a media establishment loving it. Over in the Spin Room – God, but it’s tiresome and derivative, isn’t it? – The Daily Labour’s David Clegg couldn’t hide his delight. ‘The nurse is the story’, he announced proudly. I immediately recognised the syndrome – the hound chases the rabbit without noticing the juicy steak in his bowl. The story is whatever hurts the Nats and nurses confronting the leader is it and…and…foodbanks! Jings! Even the spoon-fed hacks couldn’t miss this. It fitted their narrative, the one they’ve pursued for a decade and more now – the SNP gloss is losing its sheen.

But what stood out for me from the exchanges was something entirely different. It was the message that nurses in Scotland are paid more than nurses in any other part of the UK. It was a chance to point out that when put on the spot with a tough choice in difficult circumstances, the SNP deliver. An independent review body decides how much nurses should be paid and the Scottish government didn’t hesitate. It paid up. There was no doctors’ strike in Scotland for the same reason. In what they call Band 5 a nurse can be £300 better off than in England. The latest deal gives anyone below £22,000 a minimum rise of £400 and entry level pay for staff is £880 higher than England.

Now it ain’t easy and Sturgeon wasn’t hiding from the effect on budgets of austerity, quoting her own sister’s views as a nurse. But, ask a non-aligned member of the public if they recognise the dilemma for a government of reducing budgets which have to be balanced. Ask if they think it reasonable to allow independent analysis to suggest an appropriate level of pay. Ask if it seems reasonable that Scots nurses get a better deal. Ask who you imagine would pay more if it were possible – Sturgeon or Theresa May.

See? People whose eyes remain open, understand the complexities beyond the anger. Sure, they’d like nurses to be paid more. But what about teachers and police? Care home assistants? Social workers? If health budgets increased in the UK, they would rise here too. Sturgeon expressed the frustration that lies at the heart of the independence debate – we don’t control our own resources. Those same people will see Sturgeon challenged directly, like old Ms Gould did 34 years ago, and ask themselves if our nurse was being entirely reasonable given the national finances. After all, we are told they are still in a dire state UK-wide as Osborne’s deeper benefit cuts are only beginning and the Tories are waiting in England to take your house if you need old age nursing.

The media pros will imagine that this was a straight hit on the SNP but when the blinkers are removed, I’m not so sure. Canny Scots will note that no party is promising higher pay rises for nurses and Labour would take 1p in the pound away from them. Does anyone imagine nurses will fare better under the Tories?

No, I think Nicola may have had her Belgrano moment and, like the journalists of the 1980’s the media is reading it wrong.

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Who Needs Friends…

Something strange has happened in Scotland. A transformation of sorts has overturned completely the accepted basis of our politics. Broadly, it went like this.

Whatever the deep and abiding mutual mistrust between Labour and the SNP, and notwithstanding disagreements over the constitution with the Liberals, nevertheless all three parties had a shared policy platform on the centre left. It was variegated of course according to the times, but when there was a showdown over Scotland’s national interest they grudgingly stood together – as in the 1997 referendum. They jointly adopted a default position that was anti-Tory, mirroring the perceived attitudes of the voters. When it came to the preparation for devolution, the SNP did stand outside the constitutional convention (against Alex Salmond’s wishes, I believe) but only because they wanted to go further, not because they were opposed. All the main parties accepted as an article of faith that the Tories did not represent Scotland, were undemocratic in opposing subsidiarity and self-determination and were political lepers to be avoided for fear of ridicule and contamination.

Yet today, this entire construct has been overturned to the extent that Labour and the Liberals are actively encouraging people to vote Conservative rather than SNP. It seems true that Willie Rennie has instructed Liberal councillors not to form working arrangements with Nationalists, preferring Tories instead. Kezia Dugdale sought an artifice to cover her embarrassment by saying no deals should be struck with parties of austerity – define – yet in Aberdeen today it appears her group is going into coalition with Conservatives whom I presume we all agree tend to favour austerity.

The SNP has become the unwanted cur of politics, loathed by all as if it were an infection. Vote for anybody opposed to another referendum is the cry from them all. At all costs we must not give in to democracy and allow the Scots another vote. Nothing else matters. Vote No to the SNP. Vote in a Tory if necessary. They are better than the Nationalists because they will ensure you are denied another shot at deciding your future. Any future is better than independence. Any future.

Yet that future is almost certain to be anything up to 20 years of hard-right, selfish austerity-driven, anti European Britnat ideology, removing powers from Holyrood, shoe-horning Scottish interests into a Little Britain policy portfolio designed to solve the problems of Brexit. And wherever you look those problems are building. Scotland will be disproportionately hit compared to England. Professor Michael Keating warns that what the Liberals and Labour spent decades building, aided by a generation of campaigners for devolution, is now under clear and present threat.

Why can’t they see where this is heading? What is blinding the parties of devolution to the obvious? The Supreme Court ruling made clear how flimsy is the underlying power of Holyrood. What will constrain an all-powerful Theresa May who can claim some sort of Scottish mandate to add to her towering Westminster majority?

I read commentators whose declared preference is devolution/ federalism gloating at the slippage they perceive in SNP support and delighting in signs that a referendum policy isn’t obviously popular. I get it that this is a ‘story’ and it cuts against the grain of the ever rising SNP but they are adding to an exaggerated sense that we don’t need an SNP power base. Who, I ask, is going to protect Scots from what is coming?

For a short-term anti-SNP gain, they are abandoning a consensus that seeks to ameliorate the excesses of Tory policy. But what happens if those powers are simply removed because Brexit has created a national UK emergency in which all decisions and all fund raising has to be centralised?

There is I think a glib discounting of the generational harm Brexit could do to our country. It’s as if people have stopped thinking beyond four weeks hence, as if, after a massive Tory win, we can regroup and think again. Liberals and Labour are playing the Tories’ game, doing their job for them and turning the election into an anti-SNP crusade.

The Liberals position in Scotland is a betrayal of all those people who worked for federalism and made the constitutional convention work. I knew many of them who were ready to countenance independence if London couldn’t deliver meaningful devolution. I fear Wee Willie is made of weaker stuff, desperately touting for Tory Unionist support as the only means of staying in the game but sacrificing Scotland’s national interest to do so.

The truth is they need an SNP to scare London. Nobody in Whitehall is frightened of Willie and his honours-seeking cohorts. But they fear Sturgeon and what she might do. It was London’s fear of the Nationalists – and the Liberals’ and Labour’s fear of their rising support – that drove devolution in the first place. If the day comes when the SNP is neutered, the game is up, not just for Nationalists and independence, but for those who boast of being proud Scots whose aspirations are met by devolved self-government. That is likely to become a shell after a right-wing victory and a hard Brexit.

This is one of those times when certainty disappears and the stars realign. After this election and after say a year of Brexit talks when reality bites, then we might perceive just what a mess we have talked ourselves into. No doubt it will be spun as the SNP’s fault, again. Yet they offer the one escape route which we could be begging for before long. It’s clear though, that, with Labour ruling out a referendum in favour of a Tory Britain (with nuclear weapons) that we Yessers stand alone. There is to be no support of any kind from our former centre-left friends for anything other than Tory-led hard-right politics.

The history has been forgotten. The consensus abandoned. Labour and the Liberals who once engaged in coalition politics, have now positioned themselves as the enemy, siding with Britnat politics at any cost. It makes voting SNP even more imperative after losing one-time friends

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