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It’s time to be Scotland – Towards Indyref2…

It’s time to be Scotland

I arrived in Glasgow on Wednesday quite determined to do a ‘Conference Diary’ with daily blogs about what was happening at #SNP16. That hasn’t happened, of course. And I would ask you to believe that not all of the reasons for this failure relate to the excellent pubs of Glasgow and their tempting array of fine ales. There are just so many things happening and so many people to talk to that it’s hard to find a moment alone with a keyboard.

But here I am, on the final day of the SNP Conference having found a little nook that affords me the opportunity to write this as I await the two main events of the day – the rally taking place outside the SECC at lunchtime; and Nicola Sturgeon’s address this afternoon.

The former may attract a considerable crowd, if recent events are any guide. It’s a chance for everybody, whether an SNP member or not, to show their support for the cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. Let’s hope the sun shines for these people. They deserve it.

I have no idea what is going to be in Nicola Sturgeon’s speech. Traditionally, it contains some headline-grabbing announcement(s) and a rousing call to action. But, given what she had to say in her opening address, it is difficult to judge what might be left. Sturgeon has already thrown down a defiant challenge to Theresa May warning her that the democratic wishes of Scotland’s people are not to be ignored. And she has promised that next week will see the start of the process that will facilitate our second independence referendum. What more can we expect at this time?

Entertaining as it may be, speculation is pointless. As with the matter of the timing of #indyref2, my attitude tends to be that, having given Nicola Sturgeon the job, we should let her get on with it. Which is not to say that we must agree with everything she says and does. But we have to accept that she is the one with the mandate from the Scottish electorate. She is the one with the responsibility. There comes a point where we simply have to trust her judgement. Because to question her judgement is to question the judgement of those who put her where she is – the people of Scotland.

Trusting politicians doesn’t come easily to most of us. The British political system has taught us to treat politicians with great suspicion. We know that British nationalists are extremely frustrated by the fact that SNP politicians seem largely immune to the stigma that taints the British parties. They put a lot of effort into an ongoing smear campaign in the hope that they might tar the SNP with the same brush that has painted them an indelicate shade of ordure. Theresa May herself ludicrously claimed that the SNP must bear some of the blame for a general disillusionment with politics. This despite the fact that political engagement in Scotland is at gratifyingly high levels. And despite the fact that both the SNP and its leadership enjoy approval ratings that British politicians can only fantasise about.

Politics is different in Scotland. We have a distinctive political culture. And I would dare to say that our politics, whilst far from the ideal that we might aspire to with independence, is better in a very meaningful way than the politics of the British state.

It is telling that the response of the British political elite is, not to match our efforts and our aspirations, but to strive to drag us down to their own mean level. This must be resisted. And part of that resistance to the grinding negativity of the British state is a clear demonstration of our support for our democratically elected representatives as they make a principled stand against repugnant brand of British nationalism espoused by repellent Tory government.

It is time for unity. It is time for solidarity. It is time to make #WeAreScotland more than just a slogan. It is time to put it into practice.

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7 thoughts on “It’s time to be Scotland

  1. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    A mystery.

    It is now 1.00 am Sunday. I have been searching for hours for a youtube of Nicola Sturgeon’s excellent closing speech, which I watched live on TV this (last) afternoon. I want to embed it in a blog.

    SNP twitter has it on ‘Periscope’ which requires an app (therefore not facilitating further embedding).

    Nicola’s twitter feed also has only the ‘Periscope’ link of her speech, but no youtube. She does have a youtube of the profoundly moving Aamer Anwar speech on behalf of the Chhokar family. But not her own speech.

    There is in fact another youtube online which claims to be the Closing Speech but turns out to be just a 1min 5sec segment.

    Meanwhile, I am aware of a version which HAS been available (for 6 hours now) uploaded by one ‘Scott Arthur’. It is accurately entitled ‘In Full: Nicola Sturgeon’s speech closing the 2016 SNP conference’. I notice that Independence folk are continuing to publicise this link.

    Problem? The clue is in Scott Arthur’s (again quick) youtube posting of Nicola’s speech on Thursday, which he entitled ‘Overwhelmingly Negative: Nicola Sturgeon’s opening speech to the SNP Conference. #SNP16’. Pro-independence people have passed on that link also, thus blazoning the message “Overwhelmingly Negative” everywhere.

    A glance at other youtube titles used by ‘Scott Arthur’ include:
    ‘Car Crash – Derek Mackay struggles…’
    ‘The SNP’s Mike “The Bully” Russell says…’
    ‘Top Nationalist Humza Yousaf dodges easy questions…’
    ‘The SNP’s Angus Robertson dodges question after question…’
    etc etc.

    Clearly ‘Scott Arthur’ is successfully pushing a negative spin on the SNP, and actually being aided by SNP supporters (who can find no other version).

    So the question is: Why is it so difficult to have SNP speeches posted promptly on youtube by the pro-independence side?

  2. David MacGille-Mhuire

    It’s on Wings. Full version unskilled Mr Arthur’s black BritNat propaganda.


    1. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

      David, could you provide a direct link then please?

      All the links I saw on Wings took people to Scott Arthur’s youtube post.

      There are currently 347 comments on the Wings thread.

      1. Corrado Mella

        If you’re stubborn enough like me, and avoid the DrScottThinks BritNazi trash like the plague, you’ll find a full HD version of most of the afternoon, including other speeches, uploaded by RT’s live streaming service RUPTLY.
        There first minutes are just some colour bars, but if you skip it till get all in full.
        I’ll dig a link and post it here.

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