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Party loyalty, my arse! – Towards Indyref2…

Party loyalty, my arse!

Whatever credibility Cat Boyd might have had a tenuous claim to went right down the pan the moment she used the term “party loyalty” in relation to those advocating #BothVotesSNP. And not only because she calls in aid a man elevated to the status of a Hero of the British establishment by way of some highly selective quoting and distinctly partial presenting of Professor John Curtice’s recent report on the election campaign so far.

It is, regrettably, not at all uncommon to find spokespersons for and supporter of the OPIPs (other pro-independence parties) enthusiastically parroting the latest gobbet of British nationalist propaganda. While not consumed by the same resentment-fuelled hatred that drives British Labour in Scotland; or the jingoistic British nationalism that inspires British Conservatives’ fear and loathing of the SNP, the OPIPs nonetheless regard the SNP as electoral rivals. And, in some respects, the ‘false prophets’ of the ‘One True Radicalism’ to which every leftist faction assert exclusive ownership.

Cat Boyd has as much of an electoral agenda as any unionist. And, while different in many significant respects from the virulent anti-SNPism of the British parties, that agenda is every bit as prone to mindless anti-SNP sniping where there is the perceived potential for a bit of electoral advantage. One of the most disappointing things about the OPIPs is their tendency to slip into petty politicking of the kind that we would hope to leave behind with our departure from the corrupt British political system.

What really destroys Cat Boyd’s credibility is her resort to this facile pish about “party loyalty”. the insultingly shallow notion that those who advocate #BothVotesSNP do so solely out of partisan allegiance. In Boyd’s wee world, no less than in the world of the hard-line unionist, it is not possible that anybody might have arrived at the conclusion that #BothVotesSNP is the optimum strategy in this election through careful and thoughtful consideration of the situation. In Boyd’s mind,no less than in the mind of the ranting British nationalist fanatics that we are all so sadly familiar with, #BothVotesSNP can only be the reasonless incantation of unthinking SNP automatons.

Limited in her analysis by a caricature of the ordinary SNP member or supporter reminiscent of, if rather less grotesque than, that concocted in the warped minds of strident ideological unionists, Boyd cannot imagine any SNP member or supporter calmly assessing the situation and recognising that, regardless even of their personal inclinations, #BothVotesSNP is the only strategy which makes sense in terms of the priorities of securing an SNP majority; maintaining an environment in which progressive politics can flourish; and progressing the cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.

Neither is it possible that it might occur to Boyd that some, perhaps many, of those advocating #BothVotesSNP aren’t SNP members/supporters at all. The immediate, thoughtless resort to the “party loyalty” explanation precludes consideration of the possibility that people from other parties, or with no party affiliation at all, might have arrived at the #BothVotesSNP position entirely on the basis of their own rational analysis. I am personally aware of a number of such individuals.

But it is not only the dumb resort to the comfortable simplicity of the “party loyalty” explanation which limits the intellectual reach of Cat Boyd and her ilk. This vacuousness is combined with a vaunting self-righteousness which impedes any questioning of their own motives, assumptions, prejudices and conclusions. In the dogma of the left, radical is synonymous with virtuous. More radical is more virtuous. Believing themselves to be supremely radical, they get the satisfaction of automatically being supremely virtuous.

The perfectly sound reasons for #BothVotesSNP have been explained repeatedly, comprehensively and in term accessible to anyone of normal capacities possessed of only a sufficiently open mind. Given that none of this has impacted in the slightest on Cat Boyd’s inane infatuation with the idea of “party loyalty”, there seems little point in rehearsing it all again here. Suffice it to say that the rational case for #BothVotesSNP exists. Cat Boyd hasn’t even attempted to address that rational case.

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25 thoughts on “Party loyalty, my arse!

  1. Gordon Cuthbertson

    did you get out the wrong side of the bed this morning peter? I will be voting snp both votes, but find this article scarce of facts, and unpleasant in tone with too many personal attacks.

  2. Gordon walker

    Whilst I agree that SNP 1&2 is in the best interests of the SNP. It’s in the best interests of list parties to get list votes often seen as a second choice however the radical left is very divided giving independents who want to repeal gay marriage or even UKIP a chance to get elected . Holy smoke it’s common sense to appeal for votes and only a moron would see something sinister in list parties seeking votes .

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      Sinister was your word. Not mine. And I made no objection to list parties seeking votes. Did you even read the article? It is about…

      Fuck it! If you can’t figure out for yourself from the actual words written, there’s little I can do to help you.

  3. Dave Rennie

    There’s nothing wrong with John Curtice. Just because you don’t like what he says doesn’t make him an establishement lackey.

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      Where did I say Curtice was an establishment lackey. I said he’d been a victim of misrepresentation by the British establishment. Read more slowly.

  4. Edward Aitcheson

    Unfortunately , we are not all brain dead.Most of us have the ability to make our own decisions based on the information provided and from personal studying of the actual facts of the matter. BOTH VOTES SNP, THE ONLY SENSIBLE CHOICE , AT THIS POINT IN TIME. NOTHING HAS BEEN SAID OR DONE TO MAKE ME THINK OTHERWISE.

  5. Frank Anderson

    Yes but the difference here is that Rise are targeting the SNP vote, not widening the appeal of the YES movement. They have the opportunity to target the Labour Left, who would never contemplate voting SNP, and taking seats from Labour. They are in danger of letting unionist parties in by the back door. Even this twisted article, which they laud, doesn’t project a single seat for Rise!

    1. Jack

      They “are targeting the SNP vote”? It doesn’t belong to the SNP, anymore than it did Labour before them. That sort of entitled approach to Scottish votes is what killed Scottish Labour, don’t think the SNP (and by association, the independence movement) is immune.

      1. Andy Patterson

        I don’t believe Frank said that the votes “belong” to the SNP”. Nor has anyone else.
        The fact that the article is aimed at the “BothVotesSNP” crowd, shows that it IS targeting the SNP vote (or voter).
        It is also fair to question why RISE and all of these parties (or “OPIPs” as in Peter’s article) aren’t as active in asking for the 2nd vote from Labour (surely their natural “left” partners), Tory or LibDem voters.
        I naturally leaned towards giving both my votes to the SNP as the only party which delivers good government, and the only one which has always fought for Independence.
        Then the Party asked for both votes – supplying good reasons.
        Then i did a bit of looking into the matter.
        Then, after THINKING about it, I decided that I was definitely gioving both my votes to the SNP.

  6. Noel Darlow

    It’s odd to hear the author praising progressive politics one minute – apparently enabled by the SNP – and then in the next sneering at a party for being “radical”.

    At a time of high inequality the left will always have a lot of important things to say about that. Judge RISE on what they have to say about government, society & the economy not on whether they might take seats off the SNP. The next step for Scotland is to build on the increased political engagement from the referendum developing its own vibrant, political culture and a range of home-grown parties. A broader coalition will only make a stronger case for independence. The SNP can’t do it all on its own. If it tries I’m afraid the result will be stagnation and the hollowing out of the party from within as the inevitable result of the compromises and lies required of trying to be all things to all people.

  7. Duncan McFarlane

    What a tirade of a blog post. “#BothVotesSNP is the only strategy which makes sense in terms of the priorities of securing an SNP majority; maintaining an environment in which progressive politics can flourish; and progressing the cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.” –

    Really? The SNP is the ONLY progressive party in Scotland? No – it’s not. Or is it the only one that can win seats on the second vote under PR? No, it’s not. Your blog post seems to fit Cat Boyd’s criticism of party loyalty pretty accurately to me.

    John Curtice is a psephologist – i.e he analyses elections and polls – and he does it pretty well. In what way did he influence the referendum result? Or try to? Not quite sure what he’s done to anger you. He doesn’t just say “vote SNP” maybe?

  8. Megan Cowie


  9. Jamie McMahon

    Agree with almost everything you have said in this article and will be giving both my votes to the SNP, not through “party loyalty” (because I’m not a member of any political party) but because they have been a competent government and will deliver independence when enough Scots see the light.

  10. Iain MacLaren

    An entertaining 2nd paragraph caricature of his adversaries’ arguments is closely followed by an ironic accusation that someone else’s analysis is limited by ….. caricature. Marvellous.

  11. Taranaich

    I think Cat has a point in regards to “party loyalty,” but perhaps she misunderstands the reasons SNP supporters have that loyalty. It is because reasoned appraisal of the facts and probabilities brought so many to the SNP, and why they continue to have such high support where other parties have gradually ebbed: witness how the Scottish Executive’s parties lost votes over their administration.

    Consider: if the SNP felt that splitting the vote in this way would help the cause of independence, then I am certain they would promote it too. When the SNP launched the Yes Campaign, you could find “Green Yes,” “SSP Yes,” “Labour for Indy,” “Lib Dems for Indy,” and RIC everywhere. Yet there were no “SNP for Independence” flyers: no promotional material for the SNP. Why? Because the SNP felt that the Yes Campaign being all-party and non-party, rather than a purely SNP-led vehicle, would help the cause of independence. I’d say they were right.

    In 2015, they believed that voting in SNP MPs would be the best way to bring forward the case for more powers for Scotland, as well as ensure that a future referendum would never be forced off the agenda. The other pro-independence parties agreed then, even if a few really wanted a “Yes Alliance” of multiple parties and none. The result was a paradigm shift in UK electoral history unseen since the Home Rule revolution in Ireland.

    Yet we know the SNP would be willing to do things that they believed in even if they would be detrimental to the party’s electoral success: hence how they continue to support proportional representation at Westminster, even if it would significantly cut the number of MPs they have just now.

    Analysis by the likes of Scot Goes Pop and Wings Over Scotland provides evidence that Both Votes SNP is a perfectly credible drive to increase the pro-independence vote at Holyrood. Other parties are free to disagree – but the SNP have a proven track record. I think they were right to make Yes Scotland all-party and non-party and leave the clootie out; I think they were right to concentrate on standing SNP candidates rather than the proposed Yes Alliance; I think they are right on Both Votes SNP too.

    1. Jim

      Spot on.

      Peter – the ‘progressive politics’ we all hope for now and in the future is about how we conduct debates, as well as the policies put forward. Let’s express our differences amicably.

  12. Peter A Bell Post author

    I’m not going to respond to any more comments. I get seriously pissed off with people who fire off some crap without taking the trouble to read and understand what has been written.

  13. Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

    Brainwashed offensive rubbish from Peter A Bell. Full of big, important sounding words (I think proletariat might have been missed), Mr Bell appears to be in danger of disappearing up his own arse. The only thing missing from this diatribe was the sound of his foot stamping angrily…

  14. fermerfaefife

    Think about things logically. Independence is everybody’s main goal. After indy all bets off on how we vote.
    However to get to indy it is ESSENTIAL that that SNP get a majority govt or Yoon would have a field day and cameron could refuse a referendum.
    In order to win a referendum YES need to expand their vote. Again I agree with another poster that RISE should be targeting the labour voters that would never vote SNP and construct their own following on their policies whilst helping the indy cause.
    It is this wasted vote pish that is pissing people off. Get the votes off your own policies.
    people are both votes SNP because they realise that they MUST get an snp majority not because they are party clones.

  15. John McCall

    Let’s face it. Greens will tend to vote SNP + Green because there are no Green constituency candidates.

    RISE etc will vote SNP + RISE etc. because there are no constituency RISE candidates.
    40-odd percent plus of the population will vote SNP x 2 because it is a strong consensus choice.

    CON /LAB supporters will support CON/LAB x2. These are now diehards only.
    The most likely to split will be LIB voters because LIB is completely disintegrating.

    There is a lot of heat being generated over this issue simply because there is nothing else to talk about. The traditional MSM are still driving the agenda because they have the numbers of paid journalists and they have the airwaves.

    We need the alternative media to develop a completely different agenda on a cause which unites. (In the absence of indyref2, it is not easy to see exactly what that will be though.)

    I applaud Peter and all alternative media folks (including Cat Boyd!) for being out there for us.

  16. Michael MacGregor

    As we have been saying, we are running out of web breath in countering your pro – SNP arguments. So let’s keep it simples for yese: we’ll arrange a meeting atween the SNP lovers and the hundreds of working class women workers who are taking a hit of £1,500 – £2,000 a year off of this SNP council in Dundee. You explain to them why anyone should vote SNP, or any other cuts party like Labour. A vote for the SNP is unacceptable!

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