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A response to Alan Bissett – Towards Indyref2…

A response to Alan Bissett

This is a response to Alan Bissett’s article, No Shame, No Blame, Moving Yes Forward, on Bella Caledonia. It is being published here because that site continues to block all my comments.

Let me say first of all that I admire and respect Alan Bissett and appreciate what he is attempting to achieve with this article. Some might say that simply enunciating the issues and cataloguing the positions, is a pointless exercise. I would maintain that anything which helps clarify thinking is helpful. It can happen that a dispute becomes self-sustaining, achieving a momentum of its own independent of the underlying disagreement(s) which provoked it. A dispassionate enumerating of the pertinent points of departure can have the effect of reining in passions. A splash of cold water on the inflamed passions of the parties to the dispute. Alan is to be commended for his effort in this regard.

However… And there was always going to be a qualification here. What is important is that the attempt to fill gaps and clarify aspects is undertaken in the same spirit of analytical rationality as the original effort so that it does not, itself, become a new bone of contention. I ask that everybody reading this accepts that my response to Alan Bissett’s article is offered in this spirit.

What I find absent, wholly or in part, from the article is an acknowledgement that the parliamentary diversity which was the stated ambition of what I shall refer to only as the other pro-independence parties (OPIP) was always an effective impossibility. Whilst an entirely admirable aim in itself, it was not achievable in the election just past.

I seek this acknowledgement, not for the purpose of petty gloating, but because I see a danger of the OPIPs being perceived as slipping into the kind of habitual denial of responsibility that has come to characterise the reaction of British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) to each new ‘temporary setback’ – or catastrophe, as others would regard it. It’s not about blame. It’s about demonstrating a capacity and a willingness to ‘listen and change’ such as BLiS has so signally failed to do.

I see this explicit acceptance of reality as essential to the health of the OPIPs and their relationship with the the SNP, the wider independence movement and the electorate. I see it as more than a gesture. But, even if it were no more than that, it would be an important gesture. I’d like ‘moving on’ to be more than a trite phrase. I’d like to be sure we’re moving on in the right direction, and unencumbered by unresolved or only partially resolved issues.

I’d like to see an acceptance that the whole ‘tactical voting’ strategy was a bad idea. That it was a mistaken strategy. Or, at least, that it was a strategy which was not appropriate to the time and circumstances. My own view is that the OPIPs should not have been seriously contesting this election at all.They should have been using it as an opportunity to gain experience; develop skills; build the apparatus necessary to be an effective player in the arena of power politics. Most of all, to gain the respect of the electorate. All of which would have stood them in good stead for the council elections next year.

As I see it, this would have been best achieved by adopting a role as a discrete adjunct to the SNP’s election campaign. By plainly and openly subordinating party interests and policy agendas to a more pressing imperative, while never abandoning or diluting a distinct political identity. The OPIPs message to the voters should have been along the lines of, this is who we are; this is what we stand for; but this is what we need to happen right now. This, to my mind, would have been in keeping with the collective spirit of the Yes movement.

I offer the foregoing, not by way of an unasked and almost certainly unwelcome lecture in election strategy, but because it relates to my next point about what I feel is missing from Alan’s article. Because the approach that I have outlined is only possible if there exists an amenable attitude born of a particular understanding of the nature of the SNP and its role in the independence movement.

I recently wrote elsewhere that we’d know the Yes movement was on the right track when activists from other parties and none no longer felt obliged to start every conversation with the words, “I’m not SNP…!”

Stop apologising for the SNP!

Stop behaving as if the SNP is something to be ashamed of!

Stop buying into the British establishment’s grotesque caricature of the SNP!

It is not necessary to pepper every discussion of Scottish politics with banal observations about how the SNP is ‘not perfect’. There is no need to constantly remind everybody that the SNP is not the whole independence movement. There is no call for incessantly reasserting your non-SNP credentials. The SNP is not an aberration.

Stop treating the SNP as if it is something that is happening to Scottish politics and recognise that it is just Scottish politics happening.

It is part of what should be the normal democratic process. It is unusual only in that it doesn’t fit the mould of the British political system. We should welcome that difference! It is exceptional only in that it is a tool in the hands of the electorate, rather than in the hands of the British establishment. And in that it is an extraordinarily effective tool. Which is why the British establishment is so afraid of it. We should cherish that effectiveness! We should relish that fear!

The SNP is the de facto political arm of the independence movement. Let’s be glad of that. Because it is working. Look where we are!

Let’s not get carried away with naive notions about doing our politics differently before we’ve created the means to do so. Let’s recognise that, even if the SNP doesn’t represent the different politics that we want, it most certainly represents the only viable tool by which we might lever our way out of the old politics.

Let’s get our heads around the vital difference between being independent – with all that this implies – and becoming independent. Let’s get used to the idea that the becoming precedes the being, in every sense.

Let’s accept that, even if we totally reject everything that the SNP stands for in terms of being independent, it is absolutely crucial to becoming independent.

Let’s insist that there is only one Yes movement. And that the SNP is, at this stage in our journey, the most important part of that movement. Not because of what it is, but because of what it can do. what ONLY it can do.

Let’s not lose sight of our ideals and our aspirations and our principles. But let’s not let the shining light of our vision blind us to the practicalities.

Let’s beware lest our most powerful tool in the effort to create a better, fairer, greener society be neutralised by the folly of factionalism and dogmatism.

Let’s be mindful of the fact that this tool was created by the people of Scotland, and that its power derives from their democratic mandate. Let’s respect that.

Yes will not move forward without the SNP. There’s no need for blame or shame. But there is an urgent need for this reality to be very publicly embraced by the entire Yes movement.

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34 thoughts on “A response to Alan Bissett

  1. Lady C of Jockistan

    I too respect Alan Bissett, but I emphatically agree with you Peter. This blog entry should be read by all the OPIPs. They should put their weight behind the SNP at least in the short term. Need to get independence first then these OPIPs can join the political arena. Too many egos got in the way in the OPIPs. They are the ones that lost sight of the ultimately goal.

  2. June Maxwell

    What an excellent post. It so happens to parallel my own view – so it must be right!

    Is the writer Peter Bell? Don’t know this name but will look out for further posts.

  3. Kenneth Coutts

    The National is the herald,regardless.
    Spot on Peter.
    The factions need to get on board the political vehicle which is the SNP.
    If they cannot accept this, they have different agendas.
    How many times have we seen powerful surges of social democratic movements falter, because they didn’t have the structures to carry it forwards.
    It needs to be a collective of all the groups working with the SNP.
    However, we need to be careful that a group or groups do not undermine, my paranoia is ,a group could be in the employ of the union’s or the realm
    Dog forbid.

    1. Ian MacFadyen

      Aye, youv’e a point there, can never be too careful with these unionists around, they have been getting away with it for years, masters of their craft….spreading bile and hatred….how sad their lives must be 🙁

  4. FizzNoFuss

    The SNP is the means to a means to an end viz, independence and on to social democracy and justice. Internecine factionalism will surely result in an opportunity for the unionists to use this as a goad and for some yessers to view the new online media as vanity projects.

    Come on guys move on from the ‘I told you so’ syndrome and less of the petulance shown on some sites.

    A conversation can be had vis a vis election strategy in 2021if we’re still yolked to Westmonster or the de Hondt system.

  5. Flower of Scotland

    Thanks for this piece Peter Bell.

    Take a look at the infighting in Labour and see how that worked.

    I was very disappointed with some in the YES movement before the election but now let’s plan for the Council elections.

    Just swallow your egos and join the only party that will gain our Independence for us.

    Really we all want the same thing! Scottish Independence.

  6. yesindyref2

    I tried to make a neutral posting to that article, but it seems I too am barred from Bella.

    Ho hum!

    1. Jams O'Donnell

      Bella seems quite keen on barring people without telling them. Mike Small is living down to his name, unfortunately.

  7. David Eyre

    I don’t agree. Bothvotessnp has given us a minority SNP government, a slim Indy majority and 31 Tories. SNP + OPIP would have given us a minority SNP government, a big Indy majority and a rump of Tories – possibly as few as 16. I know which scenario I think is best for the people of Scotland, and for the prospects of independence.

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      There’s the fantasy politics again. The pick ‘n’ mix parliament thing was never going to work. It was always as close to an electoral impossibility as made no difference. The outcome has amply proved that to everyone other than true believers in the religion of tactical voting.

  8. John Gourlay

    Well Peter, does the SNP accept that asking Yes supporters to give both votes to the SNP was a mistake.
    If not I will remind you of a quote from a John F Kennedy speech, “A mistake only becomes an error when it is not corrected.”
    Personally I disagreed with the SNP strategy of asking for both votes except in the Highlands and Islands and South Scotland. However the SNP’s election strategist proceeded with this policy. If the SNP now do not realise this mistake the may very well be the main vehicle toward Independence but as they show no sign of learning and adopting different strategies to cope with different eventualities the Independence movement may as well be dead.
    Why was it obvious that the Tories would win 3 seats in the Northeast one because they were only 0.08 of a % behind the SNP in the 2011 count and secondly they were shown to be gaining support last years general election.
    Sure they were strange events, I mean I was totally shocked by Willie Rennie performances in the TV debates he held his own but in general the last list seat here was going to the Tories unless the Greens got sensible support.
    The Tories completely surprised me by more than doubling the vote to the extent of winning 4 list seats.
    So back to the arithmetic the last list seat was won with over 17,000 votes.
    The greens got 15,000 votes
    The SNP needed over 170,000 to get into the running for the last list seat. They got 137,000. There 33,000 plus behind.
    A mistake only becomes an error when you repeat it.
    The other major point I have not seen mentioned on this issue, is that had the SNP not stood in these 6 list districts these so called ineffective OPIP would have come out voted SNP with their first vote thus giving the SNP a much bigger vote. And they would most certainly have won a lot more than 6 list seats.
    however this is only my point of view.

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      The argument that the SNP didn’t have enough votes, so we should give them less was silly before the election. Now, it looks quite mad.

  9. Steve

    Completely agree but would add just one other point…..
    If this election has proved just one thing let it be that D’Hondt is NOT designed to allow you to spread your bets and all the tosh put about by various interest groups suggesting that 2 votes represented an opportunity to do just that was either ill informed or malicious or both.

    1. Valerie

      Completely agree, but all we are getting is belligerent denial by the vote gamers. Their narrative is changing to – we have a minority gov’t due to SNPx2.

  10. Duncan McCormick

    For anyone questioning #bothvotessnp strategy, ask yourself why the UK press were so keen to split the ‘Yes’ vote.

  11. Shirley Wishart

    Absolutely spot on Peter. What I’ve been thinking for some time but only managed to clumsily try and express on different mediums.

  12. Alan Ritchie

    And by extension the Labour party and Lib Dems should shut up shop, and the 55% should all back Ruth Davidson and George Osborne to protect the union. Who cares about the rest of the Tory policies, because nothing else matters.

    On the other hand, we can use the proportional parliament we have, to try and elect the people closest to our own ideas, and do something constructive to make things better now.

  13. FionaMacInnes

    The remaining yes groups have been linking up. There is still a shaddow yes movement out there mainly from the peripheral areas. Non-aligned and inclusive. Check the nearest to you and make conact. We didn’t all stop when YesScotland stopped.

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      I am involve with Common Weal. I would commend that organisation to anybody who shares the aspirations of the Yes movement but doesn’t want to get mired in the divisive factionalism of the OPIPs.

  14. James

    Peter Bell sums up all that is wrong with our social media and its spectacular failure at this election. The sense of complete entitlement his kind have to pro Indy votes is not only born out of a complete denial of our electoral system and a complete denial of this election in particular but is very damaging to the yes movement as a whole.

    No-one disputes the SNP are the driving force behind Independence. No -one disputes that in terms of the Constitution, the SNP need that priority vote to continue to drive independence forward. But here’s the thing. …

    The SNP did not campaign on the Constitution at this election. In fact they did their best to keep the focus on their domestic policies and away from the constitution- and with good reason.

    It was the same campaign as they ran in the General election- an all inclusive domestic campaign to maximise both pro Indy votes and Unionist votes under a Scottish Government to serve everyone in Scotland- Unionist and Pro Indy alike – that is their job and they do it very well in very harsh economic circumstances.

    In a first past the post ( FTPT) election the SNP are prioritised. In a PR election the SNP are prioritised. In an AMS election as we just had, with both FPTP and a PR section that is so heavily influenced by the D’Hondt divisor, it is not only dangerous to give the SNP the second vote, it is suicidal as 750,000 voters and 6 regions out of 8 without SNP list representation proves.

    The largest Pro Indy party, if any at all, get to use the derogatory term OPIP (Other Pro Indy Party) and the fact that Bell refuses to acknowledge that the special circumstances of the AMS system made the Green party the largest Pro Indy party in the regional section, leaving the SNP as a member of the group of OPIP’s is testament to the fact that he is an SNP party member posing as a self appointed pro Indy spokesperson – no more than a spin doctor and a bad one at that.

    So lets examine what we knew about this election 6 months ago.

    The SNP have the pro Indy support in this country. 45% of people supported Independence and in a 73 seat FPTP election , as our electoral system dictates, the SNP are guaranteed the vast majority of seats in that section.

    This means the SNP will be the Scottish Government until Independence – whether majority or minority- and there is nothing either the Labour or Tory parties can do about this. Labour in particular have become acutely aware of this, now that they have no place in politics either at a Scottish Level or at a UK level, where the Tories will be in power for years to come.

    So we already knew the SNP would be the next Scottish Government and Nicola Sturgeon would be our First Minister and we knew in a PR electoral system the Unionist seat numbers were fixed with only the different colours of Unionism changing within that total seat number.

    The only function of the Tory party in Scotland is to campaign against independence and the SNP . These are distinct entities. The SNP are the driving force behind Independence, but Independence itself is a single policy position carried by more than one party. And the number of seats the Tory party got was entirely down to the number of seats the pro ndy electorate allowed them to have.

    We knew the SNP Constituency results would make their regional vote next to worthless except in 2 regions, South and H and I , which are LibDem and Conservative strongholds respectively.

    We knew that if the SNP withdrew from the regional section , the Unionist seat count would collapse, taking away their media platform with it at Holyrood.

    We knew that if the SNP stood , but that pro Indy vote went to a pro Indy party instead- and despite what Bell tries to imply, there was only one other pro Indy Party we are talking about here who were the largest pro Indy party on the list, the Unionist seat count would collapse.

    We knew that the more of that pro Indy vote that went to the SNP , the larger the Unionist representation would be , and this is the guarantee we get with the SNP regional vote- That is just how the system works.

    We knew the Unionist support would be split four ways between Labour Tory and LibDem and UKIP, which is normally the curse of the Left in Politics , but happens to be the curse of Unionism in todays Scotland.

    We knew we had 2 pro Indy parties who already had core supporters that had increased in size since the referendum, one of whom would dominate the constituency list as we saw just 12 months ago, and the other being the largest pro Indy Party in the regional section due to the electoral system we have.

    And we knew we had a social media network to support the yes movement – albeit it untried thus far.

    With all this being undisputed , we were expected to give the SNP our second votes as well as our constitutional votes out of blind loyalty to a political party who were specifically NOT campaigning for the Constitution or the Pro Indy policy they carry.

    That guaranteed Unionists would dominate every single region in Scotland, even on the SNP’s best day, giving them the media platform they now enjoy today to argue for the Union, and all in the name of a SNP majority that not one single person , Bell included, can give us one example of what that majority can do that a strong SNP led Pro Indy Parliament couldn’t do better.

    It should be just a simple step , with this information, to co-ordinate a campaign over 6 months on our pro Indy social media and through the Yes movement to ensure that the pro Indy vote went to the largest pro Indy party in the list, thereby dominating both sections of the election.. allowing the pro Indy parties , for the first time , to play on a level playing field at Holyrood when it comes to questions on the constitution.

    What transpired was an unmasking of the pro Indy social media as no more than an SNP run propaganda platform . Articles appearing from James kelly and the Rev Stu , that under the basic scrutiny were shockingly biased in their portrayal of the reality of this election. CyberNats , alive and kicking, but this time attacking their own for merely explaining the AMS system we have.

    Those people like Bell himself who have been saying for 9 months that no-one would vote for any other pro Indy party, when the fact is that the Social media network had been set to MAKE SURE no-one would vote for any other pro Indy party by SNP party members themselves- and resources in an election is paramount. We thought we at least had that social media resource, but it was not to be.

    Ruth Davidson would argue that a constitutional vote certainly can be achieved with the Tories best result in years- Which makes a mockery of Bells assumptions that it could not be done – A self fulfilling prophecy if ever there was one.

    So instead of getting a Parliament for the next five years that could work effectively towards independence with the media platform at Holyrood to do just that, we have a small pro Indy Parliament thanks to those who put the policy of Independence before party loyalty and voted for the largest pro indy party on the list and the ONLY party who could have taken seats from the unionist parties, thereby reducing their media platform they will now enjoy for the next 5 years, thank to the likes of Bell and the spectacular fail of the social media network

    There are 750,000 reasons why this lesson needs to be learnt and 750,000 reasons why Bell should not be gloating about anything..

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      I need pick up only a couple of points to illustrate the more general misguided fallaciousness of this comment. Firstly, the remark about “the Tories best result in years”. The Tory vote went down. Under any circumstances other than the catastrophic collapse of British Labour in Scotland, the result for the Tories would be just humiliating. But the media went on a frenzy of proclaimer her a winner. And their lying propaganda appears to have had the desired effect on some.

      Secondly, the woeful failure to recognise that we have a parliament that will continue to “work effectively towards independence”. No thanks to the efforts of the tactical voting snake-oil sellers, we have an SNP administration that is committed to a massive new independence campaign this summer. And a government which has kept open the possibility of a second referendum in this parliament.

      What we don’t have, is a pro-independence administration with the kind of clout that the Westminster elites respect. While this is not entirely attributable to the efforts of those who put their favoured factions before the interests of the wider independence movement, they played a part.

      Looking back over the comments here, they seem to fall into two clear categories. There are comments from those who recognise the reality of our current political situation and understand the nature and role of the SNP. And there are comments from fantasists whose reaction to the election outcome is to deny the abject failure of their impossible pick ‘n’ mix parliament scheme, and to wrap themselves in a comfort blanket of contrived victimhood at the hands of the evil SNP.

      Never has the phrase, “Get real!”, been more appropriate.

      1. James

        Completely dillusional response by Peter Bell , as expected from a very poor propaganda artist.

        He claims the Tories were saved from humiliation becasue of the Labour vote collapse. Then highlights the medai coverage the Tories are given becasue of REALITY of the election results putting them in the position of Official Opposition- a position they have entirely due to the SNP 2 vote. i.e The position Bell and his SNP cronies have campaigned for over the last 9 months.

        He acts surprised that people are having their opinions shaped by a pro Unionist media , the most powerful opinion shaper in the world – who have been given this opportunity thanks to the blind idiocy and arrogance of the SNP 2 campaign.

        Moreoever, the naivety of thinking that we wouldn’t have a strong SNP Government regardless of the Regional vote but unable to see the bigger picture of the media platform given to the Unonist parties which he himself has described perfectly as a media frenzy around a party put in to that position by the SNP 2 vote itself.. – a position that was guaranteed before the election if there was a strong SNP 2 regional vote – and the stronger that vote was, the greater the Unioist representation there would be, the more powerful the media presence would be for the Unionist argument.

        And that has now been put in place for the next 5 years because of that SNP 2 vote going to the SNP ( one of the OPIP’s) instead of the largest Pro Indy party on the list.

        This sort of delusional , narrow minded party tribalism , igoring any sort of reality coming from this election is why we need an overhaul of the pro yes social media network that roots out tribal propaganda merchants like Bell and Kelly .. and allows an impartial voice on Independence for the good of ALL yes voters…

        Again, no mention of 750,000 pro Indy votes wasted, 6 regions out of 8 without any SNP representaion and a Tory Opposition with a strong media backing for the next 5 years in support of the Union from Bell ..

        Just wondering why these truths are not even acknowledged.

        These people have every right to campaing for thier party and to ask for both votes. But to do that with the intention of duping as many people as they can into believing it was a vote for the policy of Independence is why people like Bell and Kelly are so detrimental to the progress of the yes movement.

  15. Mike Fenwick

    Two quick thoughts – may appear o/t, but I suggest they have an importance.

    1) 4th May 2017 – 32 local authorities – STV system.

    How will those who are YES express their preference, and potentially further change Scotland’s political landscape?

    2) Currently a number of MPs are under police investigation for potential electoral fraud.

    How might that play out and perhaps somewhat ironically duplicate being a Government just short of a majority?

    We live in interesting times – do we not?

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      The local authority elections next year are going to be hugely important. As I say in the article above, the smaller left-wing parties missed a trick in this election just past. They should have had their eyes on the 2021 Holyrood elections and, working back from there, they should have been treating the 2017 council contest as their first foray into the electoral arena. This year, they should have been focused on getting themselves established in the public conscious and building a base of support.

      But they were too impatient. They convinced themselves that, simply by wrapping themselves in a Yes banner, they could leap from nowhere straight to a parliamentary presence. They made the mistake that is made by many new businesses of imagining that their own enthusiasm for their “product” was shared by the public.

      Whether they will recoup enough to be a factor next year remains to be seen. But, people will remember how they were misled about the potential of the OPIPs this year. And they will be very wary about taking a chance on them again.

      Council politics is very different from national politics, and we should be wary about applying the political logic of one to the other. But one thing seems absolutely clear. The SNP, as the de facto political arm of the independence movement, really has to make some fairly dramatic gains in order to keep up the momentum towards another referendum. For this reason, and for reasons of good governance that are arguably even more pressing, I’d be hoping to see the SNP take control of Glasgow.

      As to the electoral fraud scandal breaking around the Tories; I reckon we’ll see the exact opposite of what happened to Michelle Thomson MP. There is absolutely no evidence that she did anything wrong, far less illegal. And yet she was subject to the most obscene vilification by the British media. Months later, the matter is still unresolved.

      In the case of the Tories’ alleged misdeeds, the media will work tirelessly to minimise the impact and the authorities will be put under pressure to ensure that the matter is either buried or dealt with hastily – one or two “sacrificial lambs” thrown to the media wolf-pack with the promise of a very rewarding “rehabilitation” after the dust settles – at which point we will be urged to “draw a line” under the affair and “move on” so as to allow the Tories to “get on with the business of…” blah! blah! blah! You get the picture.

      And, of course, there will be the diversionary tactic of new and rehashed anti-SNP smears to keep the public entertained and off the scent of the real miscreants. It’s all very practised and predictable.

  16. Rev Stu

    The wonderful irony of Alan’s piece being published on Bella is that it’s Bella that’s responsible for most of the warring.

    Bella’s published numerous attacks on me personally and others in the Yes movement recently. Its editor has refused point-blank to let Alan correct a blatant factual inaccuracy in the piece, claiming that Wings advocated “both votes SNP”. We never told anyone how to cast either of their votes, and said that if people wanted Green or RISE MSPs they should vote Green or RISE.

    He won’t let you comment. He’s screamed at Bella’s own writers for praising other pro-indy blogs. Bella’s co-founder has been ranting on Twitter for days about how I’m a rabid right-wing Tory now.

    Alan’s intentions are honourable, but running his plea in Bella is a bit like Der Sturmer running an editorial going “Hey, come on, us Nazis and Jews – those subhuman vermin – are all Germans together, right? Let’s let bygones be bygones.”

    1. James

      Your articles were heavily biased in favour of the SNP 2 votes campaign.. your stats were presented in a way to enusure people did not vote for the largest pro Indy party in the regional section ( whichj you never even mentioned) and many people have now seen them for what they were … a deliberate misrepresentation.

      It was always a case of “I am not telling you how to vote , but …. ” before another very misleading article on the system we have and the real effects of the SNP vote that have now been exposed for all to look at .

      The only upside to this election is that despite the fact that your articles contibuted so much to the Tory ( and therefore Unionist ) success as it was portrayed in the media – as we knew it would be – you are the best in the business for putting it right .

      Glad to have you back in pro Indy mode.. you have a lot of work to do.

      1. Rev Stu

        “another very misleading article”

        Except, y’know, for the inconvenient fact that everything we said was true. The SNP did lose their majority, as we warned. RISE didn’t get any seats, as we said they wouldn’t. The Greens did get far fewer MSPs than all the “seat forecasters” said they would.

        We didn’t tell anyone how to vote. That’s just a plain fact. We said “If you want Green MSPs, vote for them”. If you bizarrely interpreted that as saying something completely different, that’s your problem.

      2. yesindyref2

        There was no heavy bias, it wasn’t misleading it was factual, it wasn’t exposed, people posted back on Bella arguing against that, unless they were banned from Bella.

        There was no deliberate misrepresentation, and having read the articles Rev Stu never advised anyone how to use their vote.

        The articles were in response to constant articles on Bella “The SNP are certain to gain a majority on the constituency vote” and “A vote for the SNP on the list is wasted”.

        Well clearly that was 100% false, as in the event the SNPdidn’t win a majority on the constituency vote alone, and did win 4 seats on the list.

        So if there’s any “misrepresentation” it was on Bella, and if there’s been any “exposed”, it’s the Holyrood Election itself that did it.

        I suggest anyone who wants to argue any more about it changes the election results Holyrood 2016 themselves to give an overall SNP majority on the constituency vote, zero MSPs on the list, and pretends the changed ones are real. Who knows, some people might believe that.

    2. Peter A Bell

      That irony was not lost on me. and I agree that Bella Caledonia has been something of a disappointment – if you’ll forgive the facetious understatement.

      I sense that the site’s administrators have succumbed to the lure of manipulative power that is both the prize and the price of having access to a large and generally respectful audience. My concern is that this has taken relations with the wider Yes movement that should be constructively adversarial to a condition of corrosive combativeness from which there is no recovery.

      Maybe we need a “Code of Conduct”? 😉

      1. yesindyref2

        Ultimately, what harm is there in having different Indy blogs giving different views? Indy isn’t about left, right or centre, it’s about all of them, and the full powers to properly manifesto for them. The key rule though should be – attack the point of view, not the person.

        so “Code of Conduct”

        1). State, make, argue or oppose any point of view, don’t make it personal against other pro-Indy people, or other pro-Indy blogs or bloggers.

  17. Jacquie Johnstone

    I agree with Peter Bell’s ‘blog’ I have noticed over preceding months how people who asked for donations for their ‘pro Indy Blogs(to keep us going) and had it have turned on the majority of people who subscribed to support them that is SNP members and supporters. I am sorry will not go to lengths some have in reply, just to point out, that certain people did so well in curtailing deliberately the SNP support, we have all seen headlines of unionist Ruth being the winner that is what has been achieved. Do the bloggers Bella included whom I have stopped sending me their biased blogs daily understand what they have achieved ? fallen into the unionist trap of Divide & Rule. Naivety or self importance? or is it something else?

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