Is it a matter of principle and trust?

I have read two excellent blogs today coming from different perspectives and for me both are right if that doesn’t sound insane.

James Kelly at Abandoning the SNP and Jason McCann What does independence mean are both making valid points and asking good and fair questions. Jason last night asked if

Jason points out that in so many ways many Scots have been conditioned over 300 plus years and that true independence will take a long time to find, I’m paraphrasing so please read the article. Jason argues that part of being independent and having freedom is the right to ask difficult questions. However it appears that this has upset some within the SNP supporting camp.

James is arguing, and again please read his blog for context, that a new Independence Party runs the risk of splitting the vote and losing the SNP seats. Totally agree with that, as I do Jason asking difficult questions and putting ideas out there.

What I think, for what it’s worth, is that we have to be open to all sides of the debate as we go forward. We cannot have blind faith in any party or leader. To do so is very risky and at the end of the day all politicians careers end in failure.

Now I don’t think anyone would want to set up an alternative party but, and there is always a but, if the SNP don’t use their mandate then they will have let many people down. Now I understand they will have their strategy, have their reasons. However, we can’t lose sight of trust or of principle. Many people came over to the yes camp, and the SNP, after years of seeing Labour lie to them and betray their principles for self enrichment and the British state.

If they perceive that the SNP are doing the same to any degree, and I mean by betraying their trust, we risk them walking away altogether and that we can’t afford. By focusing on Brexit the SNP have, in my opinion, gladly put independence to one side. That is a dangerous game to play, and many in the leadership appear to have done that for the time being.

I tweeted James earlier and expressed to James

James kindly got back to me

I don’t see the potential of another avenue a sense of self harm, self harm would be the SNP betraying the trust that many people have put in them. Self harm would be turning your back on your principles because they do matter. I’m not looking for a new party but I am looking for a way forward. I’m not looking to split the vote and potentially let the unionists gain ground, but I am looking for honesty and principle.

I have often said the SNP, or many in it, look too comfortable at Westminster. Afraid to lose the gains they have made, but surely those gains mean nothing if you don’t stand up and fight for what you believe in. We can’t win if we don’t try and we won’t win if we play the British by their rules. We need boldness, leadership, trust and truth. Right now we don’t have any and I get why people feel that way, not all but many.

Blind faith in any party, as we know, is a dangerous thing. Look at Labour, the Tories have never changed and don’t care, we have to care and if that means challenging the status quo, and asking the really tough questions, then so be it.

Please check out what Jason and James are saying, they are both excellent in their analysis and both correct in their own way, what’s really important though is you make up your own mind.

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21 comments

  1. Neil Anderson

    Hold your nerve Bruce, the end game is yet to play out. Change is inevitable, but we need to be the instruments of change. I know this sounds vague but time will tell how we should judge the SNP. We do not know how they are going to play the inevitable Brexit change. You only have to wait until the end of March; if they play it wrong, then we act.

    A sell out will not go down well with half of the population (probably more in reality). The people of Scotland are yet to speak. And they are Sovereign.

    • Anonymous

      Neil
      I am not jumping ship yet. Will definitely wait and see what they do after the end of this month but if they kick the indy ref into the long grass then I think I will need to have a serious re-think on certainly my vote for Holyrood. I already feel a bit betrayed that they have allowed teachers to break collective bargaining in pay awards. They are playing a dangerous game and as I have said before I think Nicola Sturgeon is an excellent First Minister but I am not so convinced about her leadership of the SNP but I’m not a member and don’t have a say. I have had people say I should re-join the party but I don’t fit with political parties as they are too politically correct for me and too afraid to speak the truth.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  2. 100%Yes

    I no longer have confidence in Nicola Sturgeon being able to get Independence for our country she not radical enough the SNP are weak when standing up to the press and media, I have heard and spoken to Jason and I would echo his concerns about the mandate and not providing a date before we leave this EU is a huge mistake and I believe it will cost us our freedom. The SNP are like a no no when it comes to other political party supporters that would support Independence but they won’t because of their dislike for Sturgeon or the SNP. Lets go back to 2014 and we where on 45% nearly five years have gone by and yet amonst all the chaos if you believe the polls are correct we are still on 45% the problem is either the leader or the SNP. I would support another party that stood entirly for Independence and nothing more, the SNP has become a party of government and support sending MP to westminster and talks about going into coalition with unionist parties thats a no no and to advocate support for the English to have a poeples vote would destroy any chances of Indepnendence for the Scots to me this is the English mess and our opportunity and we should be getting on with it not piss arsing around with a poeples vote when Independence brings us full membership to the EU. I have decided as has my wife we can no longer after 29.03.19 support the SNP we are going to support the Patrick Harvie who has been pushing Sturgeon on a time frame regarding Independence after what is the big secret.

    • Anonymous

      100%Yes
      I share many of your concerns as I have expressed in this blog. I have confidence in Nicola as First Minister but I am not so convinced as leader of the SNP. I do think they are afraid of the media and some at Westminster look far too comfortable at Westminster. Joanna Cherry and Angus MacNeil are excellent but my own MP Chris Law a major disappointment. Mhari Black excellent also but you do have to ask why we are not above 45% given the worst government in the history of the UK, the pain that many are suffering at the hands of the Conservatives, and the total uselessness of Labour and the Liberals. I would like to see a far harder line with the media and at Westminster, I would like to see disruption to be honest. Backing the so called peoples vote feels like an opportunity to kick indy down the road, and it appears like that is the preferred choice of the SNP, that will be a huge mistake.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  3. billy

    maybe after march things will start to move and become clearer hopefully trigger the starting gun for indie ref

    • Anonymous

      Billy
      It needs to get a lot clearer in my opinion or the SNP risk losing a lot of faith from many in the yes camp. I know members and non members of the SNP who are getting more and more angry every day. They see the state of this country, they see the Tories wasting billions while attacking the poorest and they see an SNP sitting on its hands pretty much, there will be a tipping point.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  4. smac1314

    Hi Bruce,
    My feeling is that something will have to give as the SNP leadership seems to be out of step with the majority of those seeking independence. Whether that’s a challenge to the leadership or a new party I don’t know. It’s not just Scotland’s economic future that is at stake, it’s the very existence of our country. The SNP leadership seem to think that they are dealing with reasonable politicians at Westminster but that could not be further from the truth. Personally I would vote for any party that stood on a manifesto that simply said a majority for us is a vote for independence.

    • Anonymous

      smac1314
      I can’t disagree with anything you have said. The leadership of the SNP do feel out of step with many of their members and definitely the yes voting public. They are playing for fire in so many ways and you’re correct the very future of Scotland is in the balance. if they don’t act very soon then indy if off the table for my lifetime that’s for sure. The SNP will keep my vote for now but I could shift to Green or a new party if I feel that the SNP have betrayed us all and if they are not listening to the voices like those on this blog then are stupid because most of the yes camp are not SNP members and only lend their vote to the party on the basis of independence only.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  5. Marconatrix

    Another view is that the SNP are quietly putting everything in place ready to go straight to independence once the time is right, although I admit that choosing that time is a very difficult call. But the significance of Brexit is that it has brought much of the EU in behind Scotland, whereas before they would have naturally supported the UK and opposed a breakup of a member state as they saw it.
    Anyway listen to Gordon Ross here :

    • Anonymous

      Marconatrix

      They may well be, and I hope they are, but they are going to have to give a skiffy to people wither they like it or not no matter how difficult a call it is. People won’t wait forever. I’ll check out the link thanks.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  6. Anonymous

    It’s kind of frustrating watching the most zealous of the pro-independence supporters act like the SNP is betraying them. It might be technically accurate, especially if one ascribes to a First Past the Post mentality(the irony of how British that is…!), but it completely overlooks the bigger picture and requirements of consensual democracy.

    Which is that Yes needs to win over No voters. We can argue about the best way to do that, but IMO, a hardline Yes party won’t win No voters over. It can only take Yes voters away from the SNP.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Someone
      It’s not that the SNP is betraying them per say but it’s getting close to it if the mandate is allowed to run out. I’m not advocating a new party but I have no issue with people discussing it and expressing themselves, that is healthy, I am more concerned about the people who take an SNP can’t do any wrong approach. That is dangerous and will harm the yes side.

      Thanks me for commenting.
      Bruce

      • Alan

        The SNP is a genuine democratic party, is the point I’m trying to make. That for them means the population of Scotland is supreme, not their voters nor even their party membership.

        A lot of this stressing about Sturgeon is coming from those who perhaps feel she should be acting as party leader first and First Minister second. To that, I say it’s that exact sort of prioritisation from Cameron which got us into the Brexit mess.

        Don’t be like the Tories. Don’t be like UKIP. Don’t go anywhere near the mentality of the Leave voter, because their response to winning was so toxic that they’ve continually driven support for Brexit down over the last two years.

        Be better than that. Please, for all our sakes.

        And don’t tell me there aren’t zealous Yes supporters in danger of going too far. There was some guy on this blog a few weeks ago talking about needing martyrs to achieve independence. In four years, nothing else has shaken my committment to Yes as much as that, I’ll tell you that. I don’t want any of that in my Scotland.

        • grumpyscottishman

          Alan
          I think the frustration that many feel is the perceived lack of action given the mandate the party has. Certainly it looks like the conference is a huge step in the right direction and that is to be welcomed. I don’t have an issue with the questions being asked as a lot of people are putting a lot of trust into the SNP. I accept that they may be in a no win situation and I don’t really envy them but there needs to be at least a hint of the direction of travel. Brexit has also been a focus of attention for two years, that may well be understandable but there is a view that a delayed or overturned Brexit kills Indy stone dead for a long time, i sympathise with that view and agree. It has looked like the SNP by focussing on Brexit has kicked indy down the road, that may well not be true but the impression is there and that is a dangerous path when a party relies on most of its votes coming from the yes camp.

          I totally sympathise with your opinion and I think I understand where you are coming from. I also know there are strong opinions on either side that each side won’t agree with but I welcome the debate. Debate is important to the yes camp and listening equally important. I think the last couple of days has seen movement and I hope that is the case but time will tell.

          Thanks for commenting and expressing your opinion. It’s incite full and gives food for thought.

          Bruce

  7. David Cameron and Thersea May's Love Child

    They tried this before. RISE. Complete lot of crap and radicals that LOSE votes. Although I remember you dead excited about them thinking they actually meant something.

    The time is not now for indryref 2, we need to wait until the time is right and that is when we will win.

    • grumpyscottishman

      DC
      I was never a fan of rise and don’t recall ever saying I was. The time for I indy2 is now because it will take two years for it happen at least so we might as well get started.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  8. Alan Morrison

    I am a kick in the arse away from fifty and have never voted for anyone except the SNP. However if they allow the mandiate to pass unused my faith and trust in them will be shaken. James says that voting for another party is an act of self harm (presumably to the Independence movement) but continuing to vote for a party that will not use a mandate when they have it is another act of self harm. Building up another party may take years and several elections, but I’d rather start that soon than be typing on here in 5 years time that my trust in the SNP to deliver independence remains shaken and we are no further forward. If the SNP feel they cannot deliver independence given the betrayal of ‘the vow’, EVEL, austerity, a massive increase in their membership and MPs since 2014 and more than anything else, Brexit, then when can they? Five years of new 16 years olds and a change of heart by EU nationals resident here (both groups unlikely to be represented by polling companies) means it is well worth the attempt at another referendum. Once it starts we will win the arguments, and win over the doubters. If at first you don’t succeed………..

    • grumpyscottishman

      Alan M
      I think there are many who agree with you. I have said on this blog a few times that the lack of action on indy2 and the lack of impact at Westminster are a concern. I don’t criticise the SNP lightly, I think they have done a lot of good in 12 years and the thought of the unionists getting into power is truly frighting in Scotland. I also don’t really want to see an alternative party but completely understand the discussion about one. We are all trusting the SNP and they have to be different from Labour. Any hint of betrayal or taking advantage of their voters would be catastrophic for the SNP in the short term and could kill off the Indy movement for years. I also don’t envy them as they are in a difficult position but I would rather fight a referendum and lose than not fight one for years and definitely lose in my opinion. We are at a crossroads in Scotland, we are living under the worst government in my lifetime, Brexit has been handled in the worst possible way, the country is broke and our resources are the only thing keeping it afloat and while you would think they would trying to appease us, they laugh at us and sneer at is while giving a billion pounds to the bigots of the DUP. It really is if not now then never, we need to move now or we lose not only a vote but our dignity and self respect and that might be even worse.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

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