Surname Surname and the Costa Rican toad

11 Jul

Wee Ginger Dug

There’s one thing that you can always rely on the Scottish Tories for, and that’s giving toadies a bad name. Somewhere deep in a rain forest in Costa Rica there’s a poisonous species of toad which is threatened with extinction, hiding under the leaf litter in deep shame and embarrassment because people might confuse it with Jackson Carlaw. Scottish Tory party spokesapologist Surname Surname on the other hand knows no shame or embarrassment. They are qualities which are alien to his party.

Whatever piece of dreck flies past from the British Government of boorish Johnson, Surname Surname shoots out that long and sticky amphibian tongue and swallows it whole. Then he insists to the rest of Scotland that it’s a juicy and filling meal. There is nothing from the British Government, no matter how poisonous, no matter how damaging, no matter how unpalatable, that Surname Surname and the Scottish Tories…

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Dynamic Struggle

11 Jul

Random Public Journal

By Jason Michael

TIMES CHANGE and with them political parties change. There is no argument the Scottish National Party of 2020 is not the same party that was led by Alex Salmond into the 2014 independence referendum. Change happens, and in itself this is no bad thing. Salmond’s party, the party responsible for awakening a passion for independence in so many Scots, was a party in full campaign mode. It was a well-oiled political machine, a feisty beast, prepared to show its teeth and trusting of the activism of ordinary Scots under the auspices of Yes Scotland – activists who, for the most part, were not members of the SNP or any other political party. The movement for independence of 2014, as it remains still, was predominantly a left-leaning movement led from below by individuals and local groups which were socialist almost by default.

Yet, the SNP campaign of…

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The confusion and incoherence of British nationalism

9 Jul

Wee Ginger Dug

The British nationalist metrocommentariat have clearly been spooked by the recent run of opinion polls showing majority support for independence beyond the normal margin of error in opinion polling. There has been a wee spate of articles warning of the ‘threat to the union’, all of which have one significant and interesting feature in common. None of them have the foggiest idea of what to do about it. There’s more woe woe and thrice woe than there is amongst certain independence supporters bewailing the apparent lack of a plan from the Scottish Government to challenge the refusal of a Section 30 order.

Writing in the Guardian on Wednesday, Rafael Behr indulged in the usual Londoncentric opinionating about Scottish affairs, claiming that Nicola Sturgeon’s strategy for dismantling the UK has been to blur the line between party and state and entrench SNP control of devolved institutions – an echo of…

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Talk to the hand?

8 Jul

Peter A Bell

On Chris McEleny’s point regarding a manifesto commitment – a Manifesto for Independence – to which all pro-democracy parties might subscribe, I am in total agreement. I started a Facebook group called White Rose Rising as an experiment to look into the feasibility of uniting the Yes movement in a project to formulate just such a Manifesto for Independence. The results have not been promising. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. It speaks more to the factors at play within the Yes movement which militate against unity. The Yes movement has been infected by factionalism. Factionalism kills movements.

Worse! It kills movements whilst leaving untouched the cause which inspired it. The cause remains in the hearts and minds of people. But it is tinged with bitter hopelessness because the movement which gives the cause effect is absent.

If we could create this ‘independent’ Manifesto for Independence it…

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The train now standing…

8 Jul

Peter A Bell

The guy who only a few months ago said “We’ve never been closer to independence!” has a hard neck talking about “showboating chaff” from others. And why does Alyn Smith devote so much space to publishing his CV? Is that supposed to impress us? There are, in the Yes movement, many people who could produce an even more impressive account of the effort they have devoted to Scotland’s cause over far more decades than Alyn Smith can claim. And, unlike Mr Smith, doing so unpaid.

He dismisses talk of process. He insists we concentrate on policy. After 20 years in politics you’d think he’d have learned that without process policy goes nowhere. Without process there is no movement. To be so disdainful of process is like saying you don’t care if a vehicle actually runs so long as it is fitted with all the latest technology.

The reality, I…

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The EU’s open arms

8 Jul

Wee Ginger Dug

Scotland’s best chance of getting back into the EU is through independence. Kirsty Hughes, the director of the Scottish Centre for European Relations and an expert on EU matters, has said that the EU would welcome the membership of an independent Scotland but would be far more wary should the UK attempt to rejoin. In other words, if Scotland wants a closer relationship with the EU, as consistent majorities of the Scottish electorate say they would like to see, the quickest and easiest way of achieving it will be as an independent nation.

There is broad sympathy for Scotland throughout the EU. The mood music from Europe is now very different to what it was in 2014 when the EU saw itself as a representative of the interests of one of its most important and largest member states, the UK. In 2014 we saw a succession of EU figures lining…

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Problem of Perception

8 Jul

Random Public Journal

By Jason Michael

AN ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED on this website yesterday describing the profoundly negative reaction of the top tier of the Scottish National Party to a small and otherwise unremarkable protest which took place on the Scottish border on Saturday. This non-violent direct action, after it was brought to the nation’s attention by unionist activists keen to advance the argument of the British Prime Minister that there is no border between Scotland and England, was quickly denounced by the so-called political leadership of the independence movement. Responding to the unionist press, Pete Wishart described the event as ‘counter productive and ill-conceived [sic],’ Joanna Cherry labelled it ‘abhorrent,’ and the Scottish Justice Minister, Humza Yousaf blasted it as ‘racist.’ Later in the day, responding to questions at a press conference, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – the leader of the SNP – said she agreed with Yousaf’s…

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Give cancer a chance?

7 Jul

Peter A Bell

Less than a year ago if you’d uttered the term “UDI” in conversation with a group of SNP members there would have been at least one pant-wetting incident and quite possible a hospitalisation. Or at least the attendance of paramedics. Talking about Scotland following any route to independence other than the ‘gold standard’ cul-de-sac chosen by our First Minister was generally regarded as heresy. Those guilty of pointing out the all too evident flaws in what was proclaimed to be the only true path to independence might well anticipate being introduced to exceptionally well heated accommodations in the belly of a giant male effigy wrought in wicker. How times have changed!

It seems like only yesterday that Nicola Sturgeon thought it appropriate to entertain a Women for Independence gathering with a wee routine roundly mocking the idea of dissolving the Union. Would she give that same performance now? Certainly not…

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The Tory threat to devolution

7 Jul

Wee Ginger Dug

To be a Conservative means never accepting that you’re to blame for anything, ever. Today our part time Prime Minister has provoked anger and upset by claiming that the high death rate in care homes was due to care staff not following procedures. So it wasn’t anything to do with British Government policy which shunted elderly people out of hospitals and into care homes as quickly as possible without testing them for the virus, spreading the infection amongst the most vulnerable elderly people. Except in Scotland of course, where according to the Conservatives the exact same policy is indeed the government’s fault, because that would be the government led by Nicola Sturgeon.

It’s the same with the increasing support that we’ve seen recently for independence. Anyone who has been paying the slightest attention to Scottish politics over the past few years understands that the primary driver of increasing support for…

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Humiliating Our Activists

7 Jul

Random Public Journal

By Jason Michael

IN CASE YOU HAVE BEEN somewhere else these past few months, somewhere else like Mars, allow me to fill you in on what has been happening here on planet Earth. Owing to some of the sketchiest food hygiene regulations in the world – or lack thereof, a new kind of killer virus spawned on the blood-soaked floors of a Wuhan wet market and went on a globetrotting adventure, hopping from one human host to another, infecting well in excess of eleven million people. With a terrifying rate of infection and a death rate reaching as hight as eight and nine percent in the worst prepared countries, this microscopic master of mayhem has claimed the lives of some half a million people. Over the past four months, in a fire-break strategy of containing it, about four billion people have been put in lockdown by their governments and…

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