A noisy ‘quietism’

There is some irony in the fact that the person bleating most loudly about the need for open criticism is the same person who habitually censors responses critical of his arguments. Oh well!

This particular article is a veritable wee army of straw men, led by the following,

Are we really to agree that the independence movement is best served by adopting an unthinking unquestioning approach to our governments policies and actions?

Which immediately prompts some questions. Who is asking anybody to “agree” to any such thing? Who has suggested that the independence is “best served” by an attitude whose existence is nowhere in evidence?

Who is stopping you from questioning “our governments [sic] policies and actions”?

Is there anything more ludicrous than somebody using the loud and very public trumpet of the media – mainstream or alternative – to complain about how their voice is being suppressed?

The only people talking about “quietism” are those who really should be quiet – at least until they learn the difference between “being a tribal apologist for the SNP” and being astute enough to recognise that the SNP is the de facto political arm of the independence movement. Being sufficiently thoughtful to realise that it is perfectly possible to disagree with – or to be less than entirely satisfied with – some of the SNP’s policies and actions and yet still be aware that the party is essential to the political process of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.

Such people should be quiet at least long enough to reflect on the fact that the term “radical” is not synonymous with terms such as “right” and “righteous”. And it most certainly isn’t synonymous with political effectiveness.

They should be quiet enough to maybe discover that theirs is not the only voice in the independence movement. They do not own it.

They should be quiet until they have given at least a passing thought to what their alternative is. Before adding their voices to the raucous chorus of the British establishment’s propaganda machine and its incessant smearing of the SNP, they should maybe hush just enough to hear those who ask that they explain how they intend to reach the goal of independence once they have succeeded in bringing down the SNP.

And when they do speak, perhaps these people might afford other independence campaigners the respect of allowing that they might be perfectly rational. Rather than abusing other independence campaigners with taunts of ‘blind allegiance’ to the SNP, perhaps the shallow-thinking, self-righteous priests of ‘radicalism’ could open their eyes and their minds to the possibility that supporting the SNP is a considered, pragmatic choice by those who put the objective of independence before any personal manifesto.

If they are too dogmatic to comprehend anything else, maybe these people could at least try to grasp the fact that what distinguishes the SNP from other pro-independence parties (OPIP) is that its commitment to independence is not conditional on any political agenda. That is what makes it the ideal instrument. That is why a broad swathe of Scotland’s people have been able to see the SNP as an appropriate and acceptable tool by which to fashion a new politics.

The SNP is not the enemy. The SNP is the lever by which we will extricate ourselves from this anachronistic, dysfunctional, corrupt political union. It is the stick we wield against the might of the British state.

Criticise the SNP’s policies and actions all you like. Nobody is preventing you – or even trying to prevent you. All we ask is that, in your fervour, you don’t lose sight of the fact that the SNP is crucial, not only to the independence movement, but to maintaining the environment in which our new politics can develop.

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10 thoughts on “A noisy ‘quietism’

  1. thomaspotter2014

    Well put Peter though I’ m convinced that quiet from the afflicted won’t necessarily follow.

    Rise or Ruse?

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      It may be worth noting that this was submitted as a comment on the Bella Caledonia website. As I write, it has not been published. Earlier replies to other comments have also been censored.

  2. Gordon Bain

    An excellent piece Peter.

    I was having a discussion along the same lines just yesterday although on Twitter so nowhere near as prosaic. The antagonist was a RISE voter who seemed to think it was I who was the fool for blindly following the SNP. I pointed out much the same as you have here but to no avail. As I see it independence is the enabler and without it none of the aims of the Left will ever be achieved. The SNP is the only viable vehicle for independence. Why they don’t understand this is anyone’s guess.

    It’s not like we haven’t been here before – SSP anyone?

  3. Sharon Gathercole

    I am socialist minded and I support the SNP having given it long and considered thought. Many of the arguments you raise in this piece contributed to my decision.
    I am constantly told I am blinded or blinkered by unionists on one side and now so-called radical socialists on the other. That tells me I probably have it just about right.

  4. Mary Cuthbertson

    ‘The SNP is not the enemy. The SNP is the lever by which we will extricate ourselves from this anachronistic, dysfunctional, corrupt political union. It is the stick we wield against the might of the British state.’

    People must keep sight of that reality. We have to keep our strength together until this country belongs to us – then we can make it ours as we wish

  5. ronnie anderson

    There are those amongst us who are false flags Bella long being suspect. I do hope people wake up to the Fact only SNP are the only party who can deliver Independence.
    I will say it again I am of no Political Party Independence is my only goal.

  6. James Coleman

    Why do I get a feeling of deja vu about the activities of RISE, Bella et al? Far left factions trying to persuade (infiltrate?) a centre left party like the SNP with smooth words and claims of it is not doing enough to help the poor. It reminds me of the time the Labour Party (when it WAS a Labour Party) faced the same attacks from similar factions.

  7. Flower of Scotland

    I have always had time for Mike Small and Bella, even contributing money in their crowdfunder.
    I am very upset by Mike,s article in Bella and I too feel that after 50 years of supporting the SNP for Scottish Independence, we have been here before with a Mr Jim Sillars.

    I agree with Ronnie Anderson. It took a while but I see false flags flying here too.

    I am bitterly disappointed with this article. When all and sundry continually criticise the SNP on everything, Mike and his cronies don’t seem to think that they are criticised enough!

    They know that the only way to gain Scottish Independence is
    #BothvotesSNP. After Independence is the time to discuss smaller leftish parties getting a vote!

  8. Proud Cybernat

    Mr Small should try to see the big picture. It’s not just about him. And if he is actively having responses that are critical to his views then he is no better than the BritNat corporate media. Shame on you, Mr Small.

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