A guest article from Bill Clark from Fort William.  History shows time and time again that independence and the right to self-determination has to be taken and not begged as a favour.  There comes a time when deeds, not words, are called for.  The Alba Party’s Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill obviously agree and made their protestContinue reading "THE LESSON THAT NEEDS LEARNED."


A guest article from Bill Clark from Fort William.

 History shows time and time again that independence and the right to self-determination has to be taken and not begged as a favour.  There comes a time when deeds, not words, are called for.  The Alba Party’s Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill obviously agree and made their protest against Westminster’s treatment of Scotland while SNP MPs sat on their hands.  It has still not got through to the ruling class in the new SNP that we must do more than fight to return the same MPs who are continually  ignored in Westminster Sturgeon’s response has been another call to political arms to fight a referendum in 2023.  In reality, it is for yet another Westminster election whenever it is called.    The First Minister knows that there will be no Section 30 referendum in 2023. 

 That means we will be expected to prepare and work, yet again, to return our SNP candidates to Westminster for a further five years.   The SNP will claim that the election will also act as an independence plebiscite.   Irrespective of that claim, without an alliance of “YES” supporters the SNP political plebiscite/election to return SNP candidates will not get over 50% of the vote.    It would appear our SNP MPs have not finished asking the same questions at Westminster which they have been asking over and over again for many years now.   Same questions, same responses.  It feels like it could all go on for infinity.  The same SNP MPs obviously are of a mind that they can convince SNP activists that they can wear the next Prime Minister down playing by Westminster rules.    

I don’t think they will convince all independence voters that they are all worthy of another five years.  They certainly have not convinced me.  We are no closer to independence than we were in 2014.  Far too many careerists in the new SNP are now more interested in paying homage to FM than they are in achieving independence.   They know full well that without a united independence movement we are kicking independence into the long grass.

The years before the 2014 referendum there was a togetherness under Alex Salmond which brought the “Yes” movement a strength that was palpable.  However, since then there has been some grubby politics within the SNP which would have made even unionist politician’s blush.  Politics is a dirty business and the SNP leadership have been no angels in that regard particularly against those who threaten their positions of power.  This should not be about how many SNP candidates are elected to sit in Westminster.  This is about achieving Scottish independence and the fact that we are no further forward than we were in 2014 says it all.  There was never going to be a Section 30 referendum in 2023.  It was always about a Westminster election.   It is all about holding on to power.  That is why the SNP will never agree to an alliance with, in particular, the Alba Party.  Those elected SNP members who have a particular taste for attacking Alba Party members, and I don’t need to name them, will not give up their well-paid jobs willingly.  To quote Edmund Burke in the second half of the 18th century “Those who have once been intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, can never willingly abandon it”.

I have never voted for any other political party other than the SNP, but they will be forgoing my vote next time around if they continue to accept disunity.  I will not give my vote in a standstill election for those MPs within the SNP who put self-interest and disunity before independence.    

The unionist parties have made it quite clear that they do not accept that we have a union of equals.  We are in effect in a captive political arrangement with Westminster unionist politicians with no way out.  Therefore, we have to accept that we have to consider an alternative way forward.  Independence is not the preserve of the SNP.  Some years ago, at an SNP conference Chris McEleny faced abuse from SNP career-minded supporters of Nicola Sturgeon because he was proposing a way forward that Nicola and those around her did not approve of.  Notwithstanding, she has now seen fit to plagiarise that proposal as her own.  That lack of class still prevails in the new SNP.

All political parties are made up of people with various shades of opinion but for parties to be successful there has to be a common purpose that brings them all together without, as in this case, taking the self-interest of our present SNP MPs into account.   Independence should be enough to bring everyone together as one.   The SNP have made it quite clear that is never going to happen.   They are more interested in another five years of more of the same.   Five more years of the most egotistical person on the planet being photographed sipping a cup of tea or swinging a golf club is not going to bring independence any closer.   Neither is the SNPs refusal to fight a referendum in an alliance with all those who believe in Scottish independence. 


Bill’s article reflects the concern many feel that recent announcements, which initially created new hope have very quickly degenerated into feelings of deja vu, as new qualifications introduced by the First Minister created an obvious view that the first announcement had been made off the cuff and even the Deputy First Minister was unaware of the detail. It raises the question of exactly who, if anybody, was consulted over the initial announcement? I remember when the SNP was democratic and an announcement as important as this would have been discussed at the NEC, certainly all senior office bearers would have been consulted and clear messaging established for maximum impact. Instead it seems confusion and dilution of the message is now the favoured route. Not good.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland


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