Scotland in Union activist undercover again in the Herald demolished by TuS reader

From iamsoccerdoc

I have a letter in this morning’s Herald, replying to one by Senior Yoon, Alan Sutherland, bemoaning that there aren’t enough of “us” to vote out “them” and “them” keep voting for them.

Ed: Alan Sutherland is a member of the covert Scotland in Union letter-writing team exposed in this leaked email from July 2020 (top-left, second):

His letter:

The SNP is clearly failing, so why isn’t the message getting through?

I fully agree with his analysis of what the SNP should have done after the referendum – actually start the transformation of Scotland, show what can be done and explain what could be done with independence, then go back to the electorate for permission. But it didn’t and in truth the SNP lost its way shortly after the 2011 election, which it won because it appeared to have done better that the previous “B” team Labour/LibDem administration.

But then, having won the right to have a referendum, its leaders realised they wouldn’t win it unless they injected some grievance and fairy tales.

Until then I found “independence in Europe” and the concept of pragmatic interdependence with the UK, such as a shared service approach to agencies such as the DVLA and CAA as espoused by Kenny Macaskill and Mike Russell in their books quite attractive. But then newsletters started popping through my letterbox claiming families would be £5,000 better off after a Yes vote, lies were told that the NHS was about to be privatised, Alex Salmond trivialised the currency issue and people started appearing dressed up as William Wallace and Flora MacDonald. They not only lost my vote but incurred my loathing of their approach and idea of “Scottishness”.

All this begs the question of who the “we” are that Professor Tomkins refers to that are “increasingly fractious” about the SNP’s screw-ups. “We” inhabit a bubble of several hundred thousand people who read the papers and other informed publications and social media, but there’s obviously not enough of “us” to vote them out of power. In fact, judging by recent polls, some of us are jumping ship to the SNP.

It is undeniable that the SNP has failed in the tasks it was presumably voted in to execute, but the message isn’t getting through to the 1.5m of Scotland’s 4.3m voters who don’t vote for a pro-Union party or the other 1.2m who don’t vote at all.

Perhaps it’s because, in the last year, campaigns like Believe in Scotland delivered 2.7m leaflets full of pro-independence, anti-UK and anti-Tory propaganda, and the pro-UK side is not only split, its main parties are underwhelming the electorate.

And Prof Tomkins could be right: a new wave of SNP politician might just be able to discard the grievance baggage and provide an honest, realistic and optimistic vision and, the way things are going, they might even be able to avoid the obligatory spell in opposition to achieve it.

A lot will depend on how lucky Rishi Sunak is with the economic weather, how he presents his policies, and if people are willing to forgive the Tories and Labour for the Johnson-Corbyn years.
Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven

My reply below:


Fairy tales of Better Together


ALLAN Sutherland (Letters, December 15) claims that the SNP “having won the right to have a referendum, its leaders realised they wouldn’t win it unless they injected some grievance and fairy tales”.

If we are going to talk “grievance and fairy tales” it has to be recognised that Better Together ran one of the most negative campaigns in living memory. As Nicholas Watt wrote in the Guardian a few days before the vote, “Better Together has won full marks for outlining what it is opposes but no marks for outlining what it supports”.

Moreover, during campaigns commitments and promises get made. It’s in the nature of politicians. During the 2014 campaign, Scotland was regularly “love bombed”. Perhaps the best example was David Cameron’s “Don’t leave us Scotland. Lead us”, which perished early in the morning after the vote, when he announced EVEL.

Promises too can sometimes be well-intentioned. A particularly notorious one, as it turned out, was the Better Together tweet, “What is process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting yes”. This might have been perfectly sincere at the time, but it is also true that it worked out as badly as it could have done.

Like Adam Tomkins (“The time is coming for SNP’s young guns to take control”, The Herald, December 14), it would have been Mr Sutherland’s preference, after September 2014, for the SNP to “actually start the transformation of Scotland, show what can be done and explain what could be done with independence”.

He says he is against fairy tales, so how does Mr Sutherland imagine Scotland could have been transformed when the Westminster Government was set on a policy of austerity? For instance, the NHS Support Foundation recently reported that “between 2009-2019 the NHS budgets rose on average just 1.4% per year”. Given the link between funding in Scotland and England, how was a positive transformation possible during a decade of real-terms cuts?

Lastly, in his customary cri de cœur, Mr Sutherland laments that the electorate keep voting for the SNP, and that “there’s obviously not enough of ‘us’ to vote them out of power”. But rather than express regrets about this, I suggest he would do better to try to understand this.
Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton

More fundamentally than anything in the letter, I found his claim that he ever found independence “attractive”, just a wee bit hard to swallow. Whole at least. But what the claim does do in the context of the letter is to set the disenchantment that we should all be feeling with the SNP – in his view – into a context.

This is then rammed home with varying degrees of unsubtlety. The key one is this “It is undeniable that the SNP has failed in the tasks it was presumably voted in to execute, but the message isn’t getting through to the 1.5m of Scotland’s 4.3m voters who don’t vote for a pro-Union party or the other 1.2m who don’t vote at all.” That is core message. They are making a Horlicks of it, but the electorate done care.

So, who’s to blame – step forward “Believe in Scotland [who] delivered 2.7m leaflets full of pro-independence, anti-UK and anti-Tory propaganda”. How bloody dare they!

So, what’s to do “the pro-UK side is not only split, its main parties are underwhelming the electorate” – ergo, a Unionist coalition.

One of the things with Sutherland is that nothing is impossible to save the Union. There will be more letters like the above coming along – probably in the New Year. New Year – New Union? This is an example. Who is going to ‘step back’? DRoss, Sunak (we’ll ignore ACH except for comedy purposes). I can’t see it, can you?

But let’s suppose they go for a more simple system of everyone stands, but on an individual constituency basis the electorate are told a “recommended for the Union” candidate who would be Labour in some places but Tory in others, with perhaps the odd Lib Dem thrown in for togetherness. Even if they could do this, even in most constituencies, would the law of unintended consequences not kick in?

How many of the electorate would take the advice? Would the died in the wool Tory voter, really vote Labour? Would the staunch Labour voter really vote Tory without his/her right arm dropping off? And once they are elected what are the implications. Let’s say they have seen off the SNP, what are the possibilities of this bunch of political carpet baggers ever forming anything like coherent government. All they have in common is their hatred of the SNP! Would it not be easier Alan, just to set out to win the argument – positively this time, please – to rebut independence, to have more of his “us” than our “them”, and to move the polls in that way?

One last point. Sutherland, as I say believes all is possible to save the Union. But that last paragraph in his letter

A lot will depend on how lucky Rishi Sunak is with the economic weather, how he presents his policies, and if people are willing to forgive the Tories and Labour for the Johnson-Corbyn years.

has three of the biggest “ifs” in it that I have seen in a long time.

Ed again: I wrote to BBC Scotland in 2020 regarding Sutherland with Kaye Adams. See: https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/07/10/scotland-in-union-letter-to-kaye-adams/

Advertisement

6 thoughts on “Scotland in Union activist undercover again in the Herald demolished by TuS reader

  1. Very well said. I did read Allan Sutherlands letter in the Herald and his hopes for the Union and the demise of the SNP.

    I suspect it would have had more impact if he had addressed his letter to Santa and sent it up the lum.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sutherland falls into the category of ”A patriotic Scot – but …”
    There appear to be a rather large number of them in the Unionist media .
    Is it catching , like Covid ?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Scott for the SNP and Independence increasing. The largest party pro rata. The biggest vote pro rata.

    People who support Independence need to get out and vote (SNP) at every election. Not sit on their hands to vote out the opposition. If people turnout to vot3 for it was higher. Even more of the opposition would be demolished. If people want Independence they need to go out and vote for it at every election. . To get rid of even more of the opposition. Without opposition Scotland would be in a stronger place for Independence. They would be no stopping it. Especially with D’Hondt and STV. Not democratic. Introduced by unionist without a mandate. To get 3rd unionist list in a lower vote ratio.
    The SNP is the largest an£ most successful Party there has ever been in British political history. Since 1928. More people who support Indepence need to get out and vote at every election. (SNP) and take some like person with them as well.

    The power is in the people hands. Use it or lose it. Then blaming everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The turnout is different for every election in Scotland, The facts and figures of every election has to be considered before generalising. Local council elections. 40%. Holyrood election 50%+. GE 50/60% . Referendum 85%. For unionists to generalise is just ignorance. More ignorance and arrogance in the Herald. Not accurate facts and figure, per usual. Blaming the SNP for this or that. The most successful political Party there has ever been in British political history. Since 1928 and before. Unionist ignorance and arrogance. They cannot count, read a balance sheet or understand statistics. The power is the people’s hands to get out and vote ever election. Unionists clutching at straws, does not cut the mustard.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.