Retrospective: ‘Commonweal will always look to where they can find fault with the SNP’

That magpie in the wee stone house, Clachangowk, was responding to my rebuttal of Common Weal‘s claim that, on virus control, Scotland was ‘falling behind.’

As often before, a Common Weal claim was ill-founded.

The report is here:

I know that Common Weal does produce some good stuff but they often seem more concerned with tribal attacks on the left-of-centre SNP, like a Monty Python Palestinian group, rather than get on with undermining those on the right:

Links at:

15 thoughts on “Retrospective: ‘Commonweal will always look to where they can find fault with the SNP’”

  1. I tend to agree with Clachangowk. I usually download and read closely Commonweal publications because they are usually fairly well-founded. However, the public posturing of some – who are often published in the Herod and who provide soundbites for the BBC et al – wrankles. Having been a lielong trade unionist, who has been on strike on several occasions I have seen the same behaviour in the various ‘activist’ factions over the past 50 years – always demanding more and more ‘action’ on the part of the rest of us, but sometimes backing off when action is actually taken and then shouting ‘sell-out!’ when a settlement is reached.

    Personally, I would like an independent Scotland to introduce socialist, communitarian, locally empowering, egalitarian, rights based, checks and balances policies, but I do NOT want a ‘socialist constitution’. We have to have a pluralist society and accept the risk that the successors of The Colonel and Wee Wuggie, might one day exert some power.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Activists of all kinds do, say and write things they know to be false—to encourage a response/a change of direction.
    We all do this to some extent. Giving the best side of things, or the worst.

    Is this the case with Commonweal?

    In one of the worst cases, we read today that Trump knew in early February that Coronavirus was both deadly and airborne–“This is deadly stuff”— “You just breath the air”.
    Despite this knowledge, he played the virus down and carried on campaigning in filled stadia until recently. This man should be indicted for a crime.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The SNP have been the governing party in Scotland since 2007, it is the job of a think tank & campaigning org like Commonweal to hold the current gov to account & suggest where they are falling short & could do better.

    Having such a body in a democracy is healthy. That you and others in the SNP are now aiming friendly fire at them means you are not in favour of independent civil society voices. We saw that when with GRA women’s groups were told they would not be allowed to comment because they are not in receipt of govt funding.

    The SNP want a client state where nobody dares voice criticism for fear of losing their funding. Is this the sort of country you want to live in? because it is NOT one I want to live in.

    We have the prosecution of Alex Salmond, Mark Hirst & Craig Murray, now Commnweal is another manifestation of the wider Yes movement to be targeted. I’m in Dundee RIC after 2014 when the SNP wrote the history of the indyref they airbrushed RIC’s contribution. We did things like deliver voter reg forms for them since they didn’t have as many activists as we did. RIC delivered Dundee & Glasgow to Yes. Alex Salmond called Dundee his secret weapon. Sturgeon ignored us.

    And what do you do? You join the witch hunt. I am VERY disappointed in you. The SNP is NOT the only Yes party and next May we will prove it.



    1. They may or may not be the “only Yes party” (I see AfI fell foul of electoral rules), but they are the only one that can deliver independence. The most the ISP can hope for is to be a vocal fringe party strugģling to remain relevant. That’s if their ill conceived “cunning plan” doesn’t deliver a unionist majority at Holyrood next year. Then they’ll just be the pariahs of the Yes movement.

      Common Weal put its weight behind RISE last time. It gained them squat. Perhaps if they took a more realistic stance on achieving independence and stopped attacking those Indies who take broadly similar, but slightly different, views they would gain more relevance. Their ideas deserve it. Their whinieness does not.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “We saw that when with GRA women’s groups were told they would not be allowed to comment because they are not in receipt of govt funding.”

      There have been two PUBLIC consultations undertaken by the Scottish Government recently on the GRA issue. The first in 2017/18 had 15,500 responses – yes that’s 15 thousand five hundred.

      There is a very long list of organisations who responded to this at

      I wonder which organisations sought to provide a response to this PUBLIC consultation – and/or to the more recent PUBLIC consultation – and had their submission/s rejected, i.e. were ‘not allowed’ to comment?

      It’s worth recalling that all five major parties at the 2016 Holyrood election appear to have argued for review and reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. See:

      More generally, for anyone doubting the degree to which public consultation – essentially invitations to disagree with Government policy and to have the nature of any disagreement made public – is a feature of the Scottish Government’s process of legislative development, take a look here:

      By all means let’s have robust debate about government policies and practices but really: “The SNP want a client state …. ‘!!! Apart from being doubtful if the term ‘client state’ is even remotely relevant in this context (is ‘clientelist’ meant?) such charges based on assertion rather than evidence come too close IMHO to the preferred ‘tone’ of certain newspaper columnists who are no friends of Scotland’s independence.


    3. Do not assume that because we post on this site and support independence that we are members f the SNP. I am not and never have been. However, for some time I have voted SNP in FPTP elections and Green and SNP in multiple vote elections such as Holyrood and Council elections.

      Usually, in Council elections I rank ‘radical’ socialist parties after Green/SNP, candidates, but ahead of Labour (unless I actually know the Labour candidate).

      Of course, the SNP should be criticised when appropriate, because it is good for democracy, but, sadly, the history of a fair number in the far left, is that they migrate towards the far right. Claire Fox and her cronies in the Revolutionary Communist Party are examples and such as “Lord” Darling and several of Mrs Thatcher’s main advisers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Although they have their own political opinions I think that Common Weal is just frustrated that it appears that the SNP/Scotgov have done nothing to prepare for independence. No detailed plans.
    Last year the SNP promised to send to every home in Scotland details for the economic case for independence. They never did.

    If you have spoken to SNP branch members you will realise how little they are prepared for a campaign.

    I believe it is frustration causing Common Weal to have a go.

    I am not an SNP nor a Common Weal member.


    1. As Napoleon said “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” or mistakes in the case of the current Tory regime; and this is precisely the strategy of the SNP leadership.
      Why come out with a detailed game plan in the middle of a pandemic when it would be attacked for months on a daily basis by the press and media especially the BBC with no way to respond – no leafleting, no door knocking, no marches. The cause would be lost before we properly got started.
      With regard to Commonweal I have been at many of their meetings and I agree they prepare good papers. My disagreement with them is that their papers and arguments are about how Scotland should be after independence but not about how to win independence. This to my mind is a serious failing.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. I may be incorrect here, but I believe the Commonweal have had some good ideas in the past, and all governments come in for criticism rightly or wrongly ,I’ve also read a few of Robin MacAlpine’s articles and he sounded pretty peeved at the lack lustre movement on the indyfront, among other things, and I tend to agree with him on that point.

    However in my opinion the power grab by Westminster should see Sturgeon move more quickly towards the independence door.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RoS The FM will be moving on Independence before long. Once we’ve got a big majority from May 2021 and good majority support for Indy things will happen.

      Don’t fall for the “Plan B ” merchants.. . . . The FM would need to be an idiot to let the yoons know our next move months in advance.

      Liked by 2 people

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