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What elephant? – Towards Indyref2…

What elephant?

I totally cracked up at the thought of Nicola Sturgeon calling Jack McConnell for advice. It’s just such a bizarre idea.

Equally outlandish is the notion that Scotland might wait until 2022 before holding a new independence referendum. Any rational analysis tells us that #ScotRef must be no later than September 2018. Any later than that and Scotland will find itself in a situation scarily similar to that which is presently bringing out the fascist tendencies of the Spanish state as it tries to crush the democratic aspirations of Catalunya’s people.

The wonder is that this is not obvious to professional political journalists and commentators. Perhaps they are so focused on UK/EU relations that the Scottish situation totally eludes them. Which is still hard to comprehend. After all, it’s not as if British nationalist politicians have been at all coy about their urgent desire to deny Scotland’s right of self-determination. One might have thought that at least a few of those who style themselves political correspondent and the like would ask the obvious question about how far the British political elite might be prepared to go in its efforts to stem the tide of democratic dissent and lock Scotland into a political union.

Of course, it’s possible that some of them have asked this question. One can readily understand why those in the pay of the British establishment media might be reluctant to risk their careers by challenging the cosy consensus of a beneficent British state that epitomises democracy dealing with the unreasonable demands and agitations of ‘vile separatists’. Insidious self-censorship is one of established power’s most effective means of ensuring that the approved narrative is not questioned.

It is possible, too, that some journalists are so comfortably complacent that they are not prepared to believe the scenes of harsh repression currently being played out in Catalunya could happen in ‘Britain’. British patriots must possess a well-developed capacity for redacting imperialist Britannia’s appalling criminal record. And the totally unprincipled conduct of Better Together/Project Fear during – and since – the first referendum campaign tells us that British nationalists are perfectly capable of rationalising even the most clearly reprehensible acts carried out in the name of defending established structures of power, privilege and patronage.

It all goes to confirm that we cannot rely on the British media to provide the kind of honest commentary and scrupulous analysis which might facilitate the informed choice which functioning democracy requires. Any more than Nicola Sturgeon can look to Jack McConnell for sound advice.

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13 thoughts on “What elephant?

  1. Clydebuilt

    O/T. Today’s Mail on Sunday page 27 “Brexit Bonus” by Damian Green . . . Analysis https://wingsoverscotland.com/all-the-alarms-and-no-surprises/. DG, strap line makes out that Scotland will gain many new powers , but the article spells out that Westminster are going to keep controls over agriculture and fisheries, and I expect much more, Fracking, Nuclear plant new builds etc. I expect whatever is required to give Westminster the control it wants over Scotland will be Grabbed back.

    Several years back I rember reading that the EU required some powers to be devolved to Scotland. (Does anyone else )

    With the UK out of the EU, England intend to take back these powers.

    Is Westminster more benevolent than Madrid? They are certainly more sophisticated.

    1. frank hocking

      They wont get away with what madrid is allowed to get away with.
      The english government got their fingers burnt when they tried that with the ROI. They got a hard time with the IRA. And they will get the same treatment from Scotland.

  2. Helena

    Yep, and certainly WM is more malevolent than many choose to believe.

    Scotland will have it’s arse tanned if removed from EU, but still shackled to London’s/England’s government.

    Forget your free bus passes, social housing being built, new bridges, roads being upgraded, not being charged tuition fees, rewneables investment, saying no to fracking, new hospitals not built with Labours’ PFI, mitigating UKokgov austerity on the poorest and most vulnerable, a functioning, successful SNHS. I could go on.

    Family were just up from NE Eng, said homelessness there, in Gateshead is horrendous. Mostly very young people, no jobs at all. Destitution is rife! That’s after they closed libraries, swimming pools, and no doubt have removed social care for many. Just sickening, but not surprising. Brexit will mean many more job losses in that region of England. It will once again devastate lives, but people are putting their faith in J.Corbyn not realising he is just a red tory through and through.

  3. Helena

    meant renewables, and btw, you can’t get your free bus pass until you are 65 in Gateshead. By which time many will either be too knackered to venture out, or be dead!

  4. LC

    I agree with what you say, Peter A. Bell. If the next SNP Conference comes and goes without a firm commitment to independence, Scotland is in deep trouble, and I can envisage just the scenario you quote. I am for going to the UN and the international courts because I believe that we will not win a second independence referendum. The numbers against it are too high, and a second failure would be disastrous and deal the ruling elite the very hand it requires to extinguish independence for many a long year.

    I am not saying that we cannot or should have a second referendum, but that we should prepare the ground carefully now and adopt different tactics to circumvent that huge NO vote – which has not shifted towards YES except, perhaps, at the margins, and which is not going to shift. Until the majority of YESers and SNP come to terms with that very uncomfortable (and even un-pc in the present climate fact), there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of gaining a YES vote, substantial enough to withstand the backlash. Accusations of bigotry and racism will be hurled at us, but we know that we are not bigots and racists, and that the very people who claim we are, are themselves guilty of that mindset. We must adopt different tactics now, but legitimate ones.

    We will need to prepare the ground carefully, very carefully, with all the questions from 2014 answered, and what we must definitely do is hit back at all false propaganda, and call it out.

    I believe that the post-Brexit Tory world is going to be so detrimental to us as Scots, and as individuals, that it makes me shudder to contemplate it. By comparison, Brexit, absolutely horrendous as it will be, will pale into insignificance in the face of the new Tory order.

    1. Simon

      If I could ever make sense of anything I write here, it would be your reply! Reality must be faced and accepted first before continuing. Yes, answer the questions now, before they are asked again. The false propaganda needs to be addressed as the foundation and now! Bring up all possible negatives too! Use the bastard media, make them work for you. Keep the reverse propaganda coming, don’t stop, flood, then start again. If the questions aren’t answered, they will be answered by the wrong people. There really needs to be a shift in media operations, if there is any? If there is, their way of working isn’t effective and will lose Scotland it’s Independence! If the media presence can’t be bettered, I fear the worst. What goes in, comes out and manifests as a NO vote. The masses have been fed the wrong diet, there will be no change until the independence media machine accepts it’s failings and becomes a little cheeky even. Calling people and organisations out for being what they are helps very little and only feeds the people who already buy into that view. No change, no independent Scotland. I hope I’ve not come across as negative, I’m a little tired of the same old, he said, she said, they’re bias etc, it’s going nowhere ans wasted energy. We need to spend that very same energy and passion in a different way. Anyway, I’ve rambled on way to much already. Again, great post, thanks!!!

    2. frank hocking

      You can’t shift a no vote when the biggest percentage of that is English staying in Scotland,
      A lot of the english people voted for independence. but you have the scroungers who moved here just to get the freebies. Their is a half a million english living up here. they should not be allowed to vote in the referendum. I have said it before. there will be nothing but trouble the english should not get to vote. If they are allowed to vote then all foreign people living in Scotland has the right to vote. The english are still foreigners in our country.

  5. William Ross

    I know I will not be popular with Peter but I do not rate his post.

    It is odd indeed that Nicola would ever seek advice from Jack McConnell but it is interesting that Holyrood has not denied it.

    The real elephant however has nothing to do with Mr McConnell. Instead it can be found in Chris Deerin’s interview of last week with Nicola. You can find it in the New Statesman website.

    In the interview, Nicola states that she does not know when Indyref 2 will be held and Deerin interpreted her to suggest that she did not know if there would EVEN be one. Bute House contacted him to correct this. Her position is that she intends to call one but merely has no idea when it will be. On the other hand, she finds a second referendum on Brexit to be almost “irresistible” Peter, you should read the article and write a post on it.

    So now Nicola’s position is very close to that of Willie Rennie. She wants a second EU referendum but is agnostic about Indyref 2. As for Indyref 2 in Autumn 2018, only a fantasist could believe in it. But maybe Sturgeon and Salmond are both wrong?


    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      There will be a new independence referendum in Scotland. The date on which that referendum is to be held has not been decided. What is so difficult to understand?

      Speaking of bizarre, you’ll not get much more outlandish than the daft notion that Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to be drawn on her intentions regarding the new referendum implies that she is “agnostic” about it. What a totally ludicrous suggestion!

      Almost as risible is the idea that “Holyrood” should respond to every bit of drivel spouted by some British nationalist journalist. For a start, “Holyrood” refers to the Scottish Parliament. What the hell would the Parliament be doing responding to a newspaper column? How would that even work?

      Assuming that you meant the SNP administration hardly makes you look any less ridiculous. The Scottish Government has better things to do than deny silly bloody rumours.

      It is perfectly possible that “Sturgeon and Salmond are both wrong”. Although it seems extremely improbable. It is much more likely that they simply aren’t giving away all of their thinking on the matter. It is entirely believable that they are aiming to keep open as many options as possible. Because that’s what smart politicians do. What they don’t do is make public things that would give their opponents some kind of advantage.

      The fantasists are those who imagine the British political elite are not planning on using every means available to them, regardless of any ethical or moral considerations, to lock Scotland into the Union on terms imposed by the British state and informed by ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist ideology.

      If you are still unaware of what ‘means’ I am referring to, then you haven’t been paying attention.

      1. frank hocking

        Nicola is keeping everything very close to her chest.
        And quite rightly so. That is better than shouting about indyref
        She will go for another referendum when she is ready. May has already said foreigners living in the UK will have the right to vote. a lot of those foreigners
        are going to be got at. by the Tories. they will be threatened with all sorts of shit.
        Vote for SNP you will not be allowed to stay in the UK. things like that.
        You can understand where they are coming from. But i believe in our first minister.
        And am prepared to give her the room she needs., The people we need to get onto our side are the foreigners. and the 16 and 17 year olds. if we get them on the side for independence. it will happen.

  6. William Ross


    As I understood it you are proposing that Indy ref 2 will definitely happen in late 2018. ( maybe I got that wrong) Nicola originally proposed the same thing in March this year but now has no idea when it will happen. It is very doubtful that she currently means Autumn 2018. Read the Deerin interview.

    Ok, so I said Holyrood rather than Bute House! Is that such a big deal? If McConnell was fibbing she might have corrected him. He would be a nice Labour nose to tweak.

    The point about Salmond, Sheppard and now Wishart is that they are all talking about Indyref 2 being after the next Scottish elections. The original idea of having a Pre-Brexit Indy Ref 2 was that if the answer was “Yes” we could “Remain” in the EU. Now no-one talks about that anymore. That dream is dead.

    After Brexit, the Scottish Parliament will be more, not less, powerful than before. This is obvious.


  7. frank hocking

    The dream of staying in the EU. I wouldn’t say it is dead. shelved for the moment. Because it put a lot of people off voting for independence. The membership of the EU. is something that will be given a lot of consideration, and could be introduced after our government explain all the benefits and the jobs that membership can create. The conservative government have shot themselves in the foot once again. if they keep this up then people will soon tire of this and decide to move on.Its then that we need to keep pushing the benefits of coming over to the SNP.

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