In Defence of Nicola Sturgeon: Part 2 of 2 by Aladair Galloway

By Alasdair Galloway:

Previously we have worked through a good deal of the case for the “prosecution” of Nicola Sturgeon. What follows is, broadly, the case for the defence.

One of the most trenchant critics of the First Minister has been Stewart Campbell at Wings over Scotland, to the extent that when I see he is dealing with this topic I tend to stop reading. Campbell was a major asset in the 2014 campaign. I know people who still have their “Wee Blue Book” from back then. He undermined the Unionist case at every turn, even if he did have his own weaknesses (a failure to follow the rule that you don’t say anything on social media you wouldn’t say to your maiden aunt at Christmas dinner) – but then, who has no weaknesses?

In one of his critical pieces – “Weak in the Presence of Beauty” https://wingsoverscotland.com/weak-in-the-presence-of-beauty/ – he cites Sturgeon’s self-confessed “imposter syndrome”, making her, in Campbell’s words, a “disastrously weak leader”, characterised by “an absolute terror of doing anything unpopular.” Not that “doing anything unpopular” is unusual for a politician. Tony Blair was said not to even get up unless the proposal had been approved in triangulated focus groups. Perhaps he might have remembered this when getting involved in W’s attack on Iraq.

But more importantly, it is surely abnormal for any politician to knowingly, consciously and deliberately do anything unpopular, unless there were reasons to believe that down the line it would make them even more popular. Becoming unpopular is hardly the most efficient route to getting re-elected. Yet Sturgeon over the last 12 months has done many things which could be suspected of making her unpopular (and in some cases, probably has). She has dealt with the Covid pandemic in ways that are much more cautious and more draconian than has been typical of England, or most other parts of the UK. She is regularly misrepresented in the press – Brillo’s latest “inaccuracy” is just one example. Yet despite all this, and to the annoyance of her opponents, her current approval ratings verge on the unbelievable. Not only is she more popular in Scotland than the Prime Minister, but more popular than Boris Johnson in England as well. In Scotland 57% (plus 57%) approve of how she is discharging her role, while -7% (minus 7% – subtracting do not approve from approve) “approve” of Johnson’s performance.  Despite the fact that most money to support the Scottish economy comes from the UK Treasury (though funded by our taxes, and because the relevant powers have not been devolved), the Times found that 30% of Scots thought the Scottish Government had provided most funding to support business and the economy. Only 21% thought it was the UK. And so it goes on – positive rating after positive rating.

Campbell asserts however, that “When half of Scotland is constantly attacking you, the only thing that stops you being totally overwhelmed by your self-doubt is the backing of your loyal supporters.” The problem with this explanation is that it is impossible to disprove. Either she crumbles because she’s “disastrously weak”, but if she doesn’t it’s only the support of her followers that keeps her going. So, one way or the other disastrous weakness will always be there.

It was Abraham Lincoln who observed “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”. Is this an indication of a disastrously weak leader, who has fooled a lot of the people, at least, for rather a long time? And IF we are dealing with a “disastrously weak leader” where does her support come from? Why does it not evaporate? Does it not suggest she might be doing ‘something’ right? You cannot “fool all of the people all of the time” etc.

It is here that Campbell’s one-dimensional view of “imposter syndrome” is exposed. This can be defined as “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.” However, such doubts might not be well founded. For instance, does Campbell’s argument deter him from recognising, as many do (and not just her admirers) that she is first class communicator? Or that she is significantly less divisive than Alex Salmond?

As the pandemic has proceeded, support for independence has significantly increased – 21 polls (at the time of writing) with a majority for independence, though perhaps (to be “glass half empty”) it has plateaued. Even then, as John Robertson points out in his blog, the number of “don’t knows” is increasing, while the “No” vote is declining and “Yes” remaining stable – ie that the Union vote is beginning to question its loyalty to the UK. Is Sturgeon the person to get the independence proposition over the line?

Sticking with the positive orientation of this paper, it has often seemed to me that Sturgeon’s caginess about looking for another vote was based on a strategy that would allow her, when the time is right, to go to the Scottish electorate and claim that she had tried everything with regard to Brexit – made proposals to keep Scotland in the Single Market and the UK for instance – but nothing worked. Theresa May’s insistence that “we joined the EU as the entire UK, and we will leave as the entire UK” is an illustration even if it’s not what happened given the status of Northern Ireland.

Is it not a reasonable view that while Westminster is unlikely to approve another vote after the May election, it was even less likely during the shambles of the Brexit negotiations. Sturgeon’s policy might be said to be “don’t fire till you can see the whites of their eyes”. Or to paraphrase Pat Kane, “you win a referendum before the debate”. The more radical wing of the SNP may have found this unbearable, itching to get on with it. However, the problem with this, it seems to me, is that we really do have to get it right this time and win the vote, for there won’t be another any time soon if we lose next time.

Thus what would the consequences be of Sturgeon having to resign? Well, we would have lost an excellent communicator, someone who has a wide following and is not, as Alex Salmond sometimes was, divisive. The problem is whether she will follow through on her policy of seeking a S30 Order if there is a pro-independence majority elected to Holyrood in May. My own view is that she will, and that Johnson will duly say “No”. The foundations of this are already being laid by such as Alister Jack pointing to the difficulty to holding a referendum during a pandemic, as well as interspersing this with meditations on the meaning of “generation”.

The question then is what does she do next? If Westminster appears determined not to grant a S30 Order, does the First Minister sit tight and wait for them to change their mind? The problem is she could be waiting a long time as the SNP’s 11-point strategy concludes. This says that as well as seeking a S30 Order, the SNP will put forward a Bill at Holyrood allowing a referendum after the pandemic (ie 2022 most likely). This, it is claimed faces Westminster with three choices:

  1. agree that the Scottish Parliament already has the power to legislate for a referendum.
  2. agree the section 30 order – as happened ahead of the 2014 vote.
  3. take legal action to dispute the legal basis of the referendum.

Assuming that the Westminster Government maintains its negative stance, the likely outcome is number 3 (making the defenestration of Joanna Cherry even less wise, I would suggest). If this is won, then presumably a referendum could go ahead. But what if not?

Does Sturgeon have the courage to take the kinds of extra-Parliamentary action that might be necessary, for instance to change Westminster’s mind by making Scotland essentially ungovernable? Is she willing to support Craig Murray’s view that “One day, all supporters of Independence are going to be forced to get their heads round the fact that London is going for the Madrid solution, and we are not going to achieve Independence without using peaceful, non-violent routes which are nevertheless going to be deemed illegal by the Establishment.” Whether Nicola Sturgeon would embrace this view, even as a final option, is wonderfully unclear, but it is clear that, if she survives the present challenge to her leadership what happens after Westminster says “No” will be the next challenge, which will make her present problems with regard to Alex Salmond seem tiny in comparison.

Whether she lacks the qualities to address these conditions effectively is open to doubt, but what is not in doubt is that the personal qualities she has demonstrated during the course of the pandemic are much admired and would be a very considerable asset in future efforts to secure independence, making the current Alex Salmond situation even more tragic.

On a personal note, I remember, aged 13 listening to a radio commentary of Scotland playing Poland at Hampden in a qualifying match for the World Cup in England in 1966. Like most such games, it was important to win, and with five minutes to go, we were by 1-0. But in those last five minutes two goals were lost and success snatched from the jaws of victory. I worry that in the political sphere, history might be repeating itself – that with the job nearer done than at any time before, we screw up. On the other hand, it appears that the night before Bannockburn, Bruce and his Generals spent the night arguing about tactics. Maybe, this is just “the Scottish way”?

Perhaps the best possibility is that court reporter, James Doleman is right that ““As I’ve said before, I don’t think that, outside the Edinburgh ring road, anyone cares if Nicola Sturgeon heard about the Alec Salmond case on Tuesday or Wednesday, it just doesn’t matter to most people.” In this he is supported by the “What Scotland Thinks”, website which has found that trust in Nicola Sturgeon (up to 09/02) has hardly changed at all.

39 thoughts on “In Defence of Nicola Sturgeon: Part 2 of 2 by Aladair Galloway

  1. Stephen Covey summed it up best.

    In the words of both Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis,
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
    ”Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. .

    Nicola is a Manager…not a Leader

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Scots have a long history of this–standing firm in the face of a formidable enemy. To win all, or to lose all.
    It seems only a wee while ago we were on the up. Now divided and fractious, we, ourselves, have become the biggest danger to independence.
    We must hope Sturgeon does well in May, because a good majority has become essential to the cause.
    If she/us wins, what comes next?
    Boris has nothing to lose by denying a referendum: his power base is England. Nor, if he any sense, would he challenge a Holyrood authorised in the courts. All he needs to is get his party to ignore it at the polls. If Monica Lennon wins her party leadership, then Labour could Commit to a referendum, and legitimise the outcome.
    Otherwise, whoever leads us next, must make Westminster pay a price for holding us down. I would make a start at COP 26– flood the streets, the venues and embarrass Boris. Embaras Boris at every turn–ego maniacs hate being made a fool of. And so on…………..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “divided and fractious”

      Think hard about that. Who divided US? Who put the Transcult ahead of Independence?

      This was not a disagreement of policy. It was the denial of involvement.

      WE did nothing except object to a politician telling us what direction OUR Party was going in and that we can’t have any say in it.

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      1. Julia, I dont disagree with you, but we cannot change horses now (unless our horse gets shot from under us) just before a major election. There is no “able” Deputy waiting to take over.

        I have already stated that Sturgeon should go when the election is done –whatever else, she is capable, and there will be plenty of offers for her(perhaps a tv series with trains-just joking), to get a party reboot and unite round a new leader.
        The cause is more important than personalities, and there is talent waiting in the wings—perhaps skip a generation?

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      2. Julia I find myself torn between your view and Gavin’s. On the one hand, I think, putting it kindly, the current leadership have questions to answer and fences to mend. On the other hand, with the FM having the sort of approval ratings that she does, getting rid of her cannot avoid political damage. Folk who read this blog will be very much better informed – and potentially much more concerned with developments in and around the SNP. It’s a hard one.

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  3. Interesting synopsis and I applaud your Devil’s Advocacy. Firstly I must declare my own allegiances as one who in the past has supported/contributed to both AS fight for justice and WOS so I have no particular axe to grind here. I must also emphasise these are my own personal views I am expressing here for what there worth.
    Could I begin by adding a slightly historical dimension to this which may have been overlooked and which I feel is pertinent to the actions of our FM. Campaigning in 2014 I was struck by the reluctance of many women to vote ‘Yes’ due to their dislike of AS which ultimately was borne out by the statistical evidence later.
    My guess is faced with a hostile media and as perhaps increasing ‘whispers’ of Salmond’s ‘alleged brushes with women’ began to emerge she may have felt it was bound to come to light at some point. Faced with accusations of a very damaging ‘Cover up’ ‘Rock and a hard place’ spring to mind which may have influenced any decision to proceed with investigations of his behaviour. The caveat to that would be in Criminal law at least as we know ‘corroboration’ in these instances is fundamental and difficult to establish. With that in mind I can see why rightly or wrongly she may have felt it the best/only course to take. That of course does not diminish the shambles of what followed but again Sturgeon was quite explicit in that she did not wish to intercede or interfere with due process. Moreover and as we know from bitter experience in 2014 the usual ‘impartiality’ of the UK Civil service has its limitations and loyalties which certainly do not extend to the cause of ‘Self Determination’ for Scots.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with a lot of this. Salmond was certainly divisive (though I prefer “Marmite”) and I think there was a problem with women voters (though it shouldnt be overstated).
      Where I have a serious divergence with you is when you write ” perhaps increasing ‘whispers’ of Salmond’s ‘alleged brushes with women’ began to emerge she may have felt it was bound to come to light at some point.” What whispers? Think back to 2014, when it was “open season” on Alex Salmond (and to a lesser extent Nicola Sturgeon). Did these “whispers” only emerge post 2016 or even 2017? If there was even the whiff, or the slightest suggestion of a “whisper” about Salmond’s “alleged brushes with women”, that we wouldnt have been told at that time? Remember we are talking about at least 14 different events and at least 8 different women? All of these happened while he was FM – or before 19 September 2014.
      That said, if there were allegations made, then I am pretty sure that Sturgeon as Feminist, but also Lawyer, would want to see process unwind on them. so I understand they had to be examined. But THAT process? The one that got laughed out of the Court of Session and which even their own brief threatened to walk out on them if they made him go into Court and defend it?
      You are right too about sexual offences being difficult to prove one way or the other (though there is the Moorov Doctrine, which allows someone to be convicted on the basis of similarity of pattern of offending – but he first has to be found guilty of actually doing something), but in at least one case, there is very strong doubt whether the complainant was in Bute House the night Salmond is supposed to have tried to rape her.
      Thus not only are there doubts about the procedure but also the standard of investigation (the difficulties of proving sexual assault notwithstanding).

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  4. Substantive politics that support international human rights law are what is needed to defend Scotland from English Torydum. Not ideologically laden policy that denies natal women currently posses a legally defensible identity. Which will have the effect of disabling Scots law’s capacity to serve the interests of justice. Neither do I see how a ‘progressive’ commentariat that doesn’t know up from down, is anything other than a hindrance.

    Policy Guidance on Environment, Human Rights and Addressing Inequality
    https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/28398/PolicyEnv.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

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  5. P.S. A true child of Thatcher is one who’s perception of reality is so deeply colonised, that they aren’t even aware their outlook support neo-liberal political economy (see English Torydum).

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  6. At the end of the day a referendum WILL end up in court
    Nicola knows this,after all she is a Lawyer
    Therefore Boris the Terrible has no alternative
    If we call his bluff
    And as the saying goes when it goes to court
    Then the ball is well and truly up in the air
    However and please believe me the British
    Establishment have form in arranging suitable verdicts
    But in this case the verdict that suits them
    Is one that is fudged with weasel words
    Wide open to differing opinions
    But the argument still rages,but more importantly Westminster will have its bare
    Bottom exposed

    If you read the legislation that set up the Devolution settlement then this very question of all this is very deliberately not dealt with,in fact worded so that indeed only a court can sort out
    However one thing Westminster must and always take into account is this
    How on earth do you govern without consent
    Now that one does force your fingers to adjust and focus the knob of your microscope
    In order to bring what lies below the lens into
    The clearest possible crystal clear focus
    No more muddling through,keep calm and carry on
    All this shall keep Westminster awake at night at no chance of finding a sleeping pill
    All due to the cacophony of noise from their Northern subjects
    For them this is a puzzle within a enigma
    Get it wrong they lose
    But how on earth do they get this right,because a draw is the equally as bad
    After all what is at the absolute crux of this fundamental matter is Quite simply
    Yes
    Or
    No
    And that Question has to be answered sooner than later
    On that basis Nicola has played a absolute blinder

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry, but they don’t have to go to court, or recognise indyref2.
      Just ignore it, say it’s not authorised and they won’t participate.
      Then they don’t recognise the result.
      We have to make them pay a price for keeping us down.

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      1. Gavinochiltree
        Then at their peril
        As they shall become a pariah state one they are already in the way to becoming
        Defiance of democracy ALL WAYS ends up
        In grief for the deniers
        And never so for its advocates

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  7. One of the best leaders Scotland has ever had. Caring, efficient. Loyal and true. Bright as a button and full of compassion. Never putting a foot wrong. Steadfast and approachable throughout. Scotland is lucky to have such a wonderful person. Well may it continue on to Independence.

    The best time to have an Independence Ref is when it can be won.

    Other Leaders have been wronged beyond belief. That will sorted out, Hopefully with an apology and compensation. They did so much for Scotland and the world, Immeasurable.

    Alex Salmond who still has much support should, either rejoin the SNP. Or start up another political Party. The more the merrier. In co operation. The band could get back together again. Interesting times to look forward, once the pandemic is over.

    Some unelected civil servants should be reprimanded, have their pensions docked and the funds returned to the public purse. To big for their boots. Promoted above their capabilities. Some of the most dislike people in the land. In the court of public opinion. Liars always get found out.

    Some bloggers went out on a limb.Totally irrational. Out of the loop. They became obsessed with personality.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mr Galloway , you are wrong on so many points , im baffled why Mr Robertson put this here.
    You guess Nicola Sturgeon might be this pr might be that you guess what she might do in future but confine your thoughts to three choices all of which are unlikely .
    You Mr Galloway , are just another amateur journalist like the many who are trying to predict the future and predict what Nicola Sturgeon will do only youre not brave enough to say these are your guesses in case you are wrong so frame your guesses in heresay and other nonsense taken from the gutter press and WOS.
    Gee im so looking forward to NS giving her report to the committee

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mr Callachan, has Mr Campbell set up a School of Journalism to train individuals in his own MO and are you a graduate? I think only your second paragraph has anything to say that is remotely substantive, and even then not very substantive and not that understandable either, for the three options are Westminster’s – give us a referendum, refuse, or go to Court over one organized by Holyrood. These are the alternatives THEY face. If you think there are others I would be pleased to hear from you.

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  9. If Nicola Sturgeon is guilty of some wrongdoing
    Is she sadistic ?
    Does she enjoy self inflicted pain?
    No i dont think so

    Because she keeps saying she is looking forward to giving evidence to the committee

    You only look forward to giving evidence to an investigation if it is favourable

    Liked by 2 people

      1. We have some who say yes AS was found not guilty by a court but he is still guilty
        We have some say NS has not been found guilty by a committee but she is guilty

        I say AS found not guilty by a court means not guilty end of

        I also say NS is not guilty innocent till proven guilty
        wait til committee make their final decision
        and i get accused of predicting the future

        Liked by 1 person

    1. So do I look forward to hearing her evidence, in particular, why she proceeded on the basis of the procedure used, which was quite laughable (I have been through this elsewhere and dont propose to repeat myself); was she satisfied with the standard of investigation, because the jury hearing Salmond’s case weren’t. There are others, but I will settle for these. If you read part 1, all I have done is make the case for these questions – not attempt to answer them

      Like

  10. It really is a strange World. I was happily working hard (once again) for Independence and suddenly I discover that the key objective had changed into creating a TransUtopia.

    I then discover that all my Parties procedures and rules had been gradually altered over the last few years to ensure that I no longer have a voice or any right to challenge the leadership.

    Now I’m one side of the problem causing division???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Julia. Under Nicola’s leadership we, the grassroots of the party have had our rights in relation to policy making removed. The only aim of the party, Scottish independence, has been rapidly relegated to “any other business”. After the 2014 referendum a huge number of former labour voters came over to the SNP because they wanted to be part of the drive to independence. The huge SNP vote in 2015 was followed by a frightened response at the next election, when independence was hardly mentioned resulting in 500 000 voters staying at home. Since then a number of diversionary policies have been pursued, economic reports that talked Scotland down have been produced, and the pursuit of Alex Salmond, Mark Hirst, and Craig Murray has served to divert us from independence. I joined the party in 1964, my aunt was one of the founder members, as a lifelong social democrat I have nowhere else to go. I despair.

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    2. Aye, aye. Yes, yes yes and on to Independence. A massive vote for the SNP in May, An all out victory. Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence. Vote SNP/Independence in May. Scotland will be a better place.

      Get the band back together in harmony. On to victory. It has never been so close. As close as it can be. Since 1928. Universal Suffrage. Over the pandemic and on to victory. Join the SNP. Try and help. Join, donate and help out as much as possible. To make Scotland a better place to be. More equal and prosperous for all to be.

      The ConDems cut Education funding £6Billion a year. From 2015 to 2020. Labour agreed. Austerity. The Scottish Gov had to mitigate the cuts. Now Cons/Lib/Labour/Greens are complaining, They have convenient short memories. Westminster cuts. Total hypocrites.

      Clegg after all the education promises to get elected. Cut the funding. LibDem/unionist party liars. Spending £Billions on Hinkley Point. HS2 and Trident. A total waste of monies. The essential services funding were cut. Education/NHS and welfare £13Billion a year. The pandemic effects are worse because of all the cuts to the essential services. People have died because of it. A higher death rate in the south.

      Scotland has one of the best education systems in the world. It could be even better without Westminster colossal interference, The unionist+ deniers for cheap publicity.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. You have a right to challenge the leadership at the appointed time for leadership challenge
      Thats the way its always been
      We cant have challenges by individuals every day of the week of the year
      You know that
      Unless the leader has broken the rules ? So far she has not
      If that changes then leadership challenge is brought forward

      You choose to be on a side of a divide
      Im not on any side of division
      In my view AS was found not guilty by a court and like any other citizen should be treated as not guilty some still call him guilty
      In my view NS has not been found guilty of anything and should be treated as such but a committee has not made a decision yet and some say she is guilty before she has even given evidence that too is unjust

      There is no need for a divide
      Who created the divide ?
      Answer. The british media

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Many of the comments above are far more knowledgeable and in depth than I can hope for so this is from someone who has followed Craig Murray and Mark Hirst’s trials and seen the Fabiani enquiry slide into uselessness and disrepute. I read part 1, the case for, which seemed a reasonable summary of the extremely poor handling of this affair by the Civil Service and Nicola Sturgeons office. I’m struggling to find any ‘defence’ in this second article other than WOS bad and ‘Sturgeon is a politician who by nature does these this sort of things’, but she is a good ‘manager’. This is a very dubious statement given her handling of this debacle even with the active assistance of the COPFS and all the civil servants at her disposal. The premise that she would never do anything to jeopardise her career or we shouldn’t hold her to account is not really a defence.

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  12. im not as educated as everybody else here some of the words you write i have never read before lol but nicola sturgeon and the snp are angels compared to the tories i dont care about alex salmond vs nicola sturgeon i find it very hard to believe she orchestrated a stitch up against alex got him investigated for sexual offences which lead to 13 charges one of them rape and if found guilty years in jail he was her friend for god sake.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s amazing to see some commenters appear here all of a sudden..where are they when discussing education, or health, of managing Covid, etc etc. Weird.
    I’m voting Tory in May, might as well by the look of it, Scotland’s royally screwed, Indy folk doing the Brit states’ work for them. Fantastic.

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    1. For the life of me I can’t figure it out, WoS has gone clean mad, SGP is endlessly moaning about the minutia of the SNP, and the GB is at it an a’.

      I just don’t see how these endless attacks on NS and the SNP promotes the Indy cause at all, it makes me doubt their claims to support an Indy Scotland.

      Like

    2. I hope you won’t do that, Hetty.

      I know our candidate, former councillor. I will vote for him, SNP. On the list, if there is an ISP vote possible, I will vote for ISP.

      The party is deeply divided. The inquiry into the harassment procedure is hobbled. The person at the centre of the inquiry is Linda Evans. She, presumably with the approval of the FM, managed the botched procedure and the exercise of it – unlawful, unfair and tainted with bias according to the Judicial Review findings.

      It is the case that Linda Evans decides what papers are produced to the inquiry and what redactions are necessary for those papers. Ms Evans denies a fair and impartial scrutiny of events for Committee members have not been provided with all the information sought. In particular, the legal advice given to the SG about the harassment procedure and its application.

      Entryism, uncontrolled, has allowed into the party people who should not be there. Some are place seekers. Some are virulently anti-women while holding positions concerned with “equality”.

      Bad judgement is at the root of the problems in the SNP. I am not a party member. I will vote for SNP. I suggest you take a close look at the SNP constituency candidate. You may or not wish to vote for that candidate. I hope you use the list vote. “Gradualists” are in charge of the party now.The people who frequent this blog are not “gradualist” but “fundamentalists” like AS, in my opinion.

      Like

  14. Looking in from the outside it seems to me that once you get independence by voting SNP, in future elections you can vote for who you want, even Alex or Stuart Campbell if they stand. You must have independence first

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  15. “a failure to follow the rule that you don’t say anything on social media you wouldn’t say to your maiden aunt at Christmas dinner”

    There is no such “rule”. The notion is peddled by those who seek to dictate the terms of debate, if not to close it down completely. The whole point of social media is that it isn’t real life. It is the most democratic platform ever. Some, apparently, wish it was less so. Personally, I prefer to keep the web as a space where all can express themselves freely.

    I do not fear robust debate. Those who do deploy your “rule” as a device which allows them to condemn and dismiss others’ arguments without actually addressing far less attempting to counter those arguments. If an individual is making a point I will try to find it even if it is expressed in language your maiden aunt might disapprove of.

    Alasdair Galloway is evidently guilty of precisely what I describe. Getting the man’s name wrong – which really is very bad manners – he describes Rev Stu Campbell (Wings Over Scotland) as “one of the most trenchant critics of the First Minister” before boasting that he doesn’t actually read the criticism he’s supposedly responding to. What value should I then put on his views? How much credibility should I afford someone who not only chooses ignorance but wears it as if a badge of honour?

    Should I even bother reading his article?

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    1. I dont agree. When two people are together, and one says something unpleasant, it wont go much further. Not on Twitter. The view originally was put to me by a well -known Journalist (who lives by it btw). Stewart has, until recently, had little bother with his blog – except people disagree with him – but enormous problems with his Twitter account. Sometimes I think its two different people.
      Would it not be better if the argument were put in language that is as non-confrontational as the argument allows for. Anything more than that is surely just a diversion?
      I am sorry for getting Stuart’s given name wrong, though being Alasdair I am accustomed to that, and dont treat it as a terrible offence. Life is too short Peter.
      However, one thing for which I will not stand is misrepresent me Mr Bell. I did not say I dont “actually read the criticism [I am] supposedly responding to”. What I DID say was “when I see he [Campbell] is dealing with this topic (the FM) I tend to stop reading. ” – not that I always stop reading, or never read what he says, but that, having established the topic of the day, I pretty much know what he is going to write. But you can be sure I read the article in question “Weak in the Presence of Beauty” from beginning to end, word for word.
      As for your last sentence, that’s up to you. Frankly, not bothered.

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  16. TC

    “There is no need for a divide
    Who created the divide ?
    Answer. The british media”

    Before pointing at the British Media , you should look to The Grand Mufti of Bathistan, and the state actors who post on that site, stirring division, tearing up their SNP membership, labelling the leadership as corrupt, blowing up the importance of the trans/ gender issue, knowing there is an election coming up.

    David Pratt wrote recently ” once independence movements split their cause is lost” or words to that effect.

    The enemies of Scotland gaining her Independence know this well.

    Like

    1. The trans issue is certainly not a minor concern for those who support the biopsychosocial model of health, which is pretty much an essential component of open democracy. Non-cognitive law supports authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

      Like

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