Sunday, March 24, 2019

I can see where Sturgeon's priorities lie: she is primarily concerned about the devastating effect Brexit will have on Scottish jobs and the economy. That's perfectly understandable for any responsible politician.
It also fits in with her managerial outlook on government which is to her almost all-consuming. She is a manager by nature, not someone with a vision to campaign for independence as did Alex Salmond.

Her whole style of governance points to where the technocrats are given preference over the old-style politics which Salmond was brought up on. And that is where there is the disconnect between her and many of us in the Indy Movement.
I believe that is a major reason behind the way she keeps our movement at arm's length. She needs us because, without us, she has no real power-base to be getting on with. But her instincts are to woo her fellow technocrats and the privileged classes of Scotland because that's where home is to her.
As for the rest of us, she's taking us for granted; a great mistake which could well be fatal for her at the next Holyrood elections.
Where independence is concerned, she is taking a slow, gradualist approach, anticipating that a GE is in the offing, hoping to form an alliance with Corbyn to obtain the granting of an S30 from him instead.

In that scenario she will lay herself open to the 'federalist' moves currently being promoted through WM. She would be much more at home with federalist 'home-rule' than leaving the union

Thursday, March 14, 2019


On Tuesday night last, having just done a show on The Last Jacobite/Rebel Radio show I checked on FB to see what comments were coming in. And I found this:

G.H: We don't even control or have a country of our own... But fuckwits like you, are determined to make sure that never happens... People like you are total TRAITORS... If you dont want to be Scottish get to fuck out of my Country!!!

This was on my own Timeline where I had posted a meme which read:

I will never vote for the SNP again while the Murrells are controlling it

 for this  G.H. called me a traitor, of being un-Scottish and advised me to 'get the fuck' out of 'his' country!

Now, while I know nothing about G.H. he will know very little about me. I can hear the desperation behind his impatience and anger. But the judgmentalism and condemnation smacks of unreformed Calvinism.

G.H. won't know that I have lived in Scotland for 33 years, he won't know that for some of those years I served as a regional councillor in the Highlands, during which time I did everything I could to serve and honour my promises to the electorate of Nairn Alltan.

He won't know that I used to keep a list of those promises in front of my office desk and ticked them off, one by one,  as the promises were kept. He won't know that in November 1991 I led the blockade of a nuclear waste convoy heading to cross the Kessock Bridge in Inverness on its way from Germany to be stored at Dounreay.

And he won't know about the pensioner who promised to vote for me if I banged the drum for him if elected. Something that I promised him I would certainly do. And on being elected that the Daily Record carried a picture of me on the swings near the Nairn Swimming Pool describing me as The Green Jacobite!

And he certainly wouldn't know that on my return to council business after the nuclear blockade I found a vile racist note in my councillor's pigeon-hole whose sentiments were not very different to his described above. And of the constant use of racist language aimed at me, behind my back, by certain councillors. So bad that I had to report the Highlands only declared Tory, a Mr Graham, to the council Convener who gave that 'highland gentleman' a warning about his obnoxious behaviour.

The interesting thing was this: until the time of that blockade most of the other 50 or so councillors treated me as a clown or, being a Eurasian, as a bit of an olive-skinned curiousity. And being a Highland Green they never failed to make parochial comments to me about the Green Welly-Boot brigade 'incomersh' amongst whom I clearly was not one!

In the 'nineties the Greens were responsible for conducting a mini-uprising of the people of Nairn. Local folk were concerned about things like the pollution of the River Nairn, the filthy state of a sewage-covered Nairn beach, the illegal burning of highly toxic chemicals by Nontox and the secret dumping of poison by the same company into the local burns not far from that factory. People were getting ill with headaches.

These and the wider problem at Inverness' dumping raw sewage into the Meikle Firth and the iniquitous Poll Tax were some of the issues I promised to address and did.
Nine Greens stood for election, all through the Great Glen. But only I managed to break the Highland establishment and get elected. Much of that success I attribute to the kids at Nairn Academy who, on discovering that a Green was standing for the council, pestered their parents to vote for me. We adults should never underestimate our children. For it is the same planetary awareness that is now driving the Extinction Rebellion movement, also started by young people. Many young folk are tuned into the needs of the Planet and its biosystem. And they are aware of the world around them in a way that, sadly, only a few adults are. And I see that dearth of awareness on the nationalist Yes pages where Greens are, only too often, mocked and treated with derision.

Nationalism seems to be almost a religious thing among many, whereas green and 'environmental' issues are almost the politics of fancifulness and even of English 'incomers' dancing to the tune set them by an English headquarters somewhere in the home counties! Well, I can only put that down to the sheer, pig ignorance of some who, while turning their nationalism into a quasi-religious thing headed by an imagined Saviour who will take us all into the Promised Land, but where the land and seas and all the life that lives in and around us is a thing of little or no concern to them.

I believe it is that same insensitive, unaware attitude that leads our 90-minute patriots to a frenzy of anger and hate against their fellow Scots, calling them 'traitors' and telling them to get out of the country. Their inability to understand anything more than a cult of follow-my-leader boils down to a basic political illiteracy fuelled by an ill-concealed attitude of racism between their 'purity' and the barely-tolerated 'incomers' who they see are here on sufferance!

That is where fanaticism leads you to: an intolerance of others who you see as less-deserving of being Scots. And every time I receive abuse on the Yes pages on social media it is that fanaticism I see lurking behind the words. Fanaticism of the kind that leads to fascism.

Many of us see ourselves as socialists. I see myself as a Green Socialist. And there are many in the SNP who consider themselves to be socialist or socialistic in outlook. Very few, surely, who would go anywhere near the fanatics. Not consciously or deliberately anyway. Fanaticism and fascism is a thing we all find repugnant and not to be made welcome in our New Scotland.

And yet, and yet.

Look at the intolerance and abuse on the social media. And the anger and self-righteousness in some of us as being either 'true' Scots or traitors who need to go back to where they came from? I'm not talking here of something that goes on between nationalists and unionists; it's about what's passing between people on the same side: people who all want independence in order to make our country into a far better place than it could possibly be while being in its present neo-colonial state.

But there is this thing: political illiteracy, which requires us all to have a monolithic view, of toeing party lines and dishing out abuse at those who deviate from our imagined norms of acceptability. And that's where you find the poison of exceptionalism and race hatred; all the things that most normal humans will hold their nose and turn away from. Not among Jock Tamson's bairns are such to be found.

And yet, and yet.

Here they come in their almost goose-stepping arrogance, anger and intolerance.

Here they come, following their Saviour and boasting nationalistic purity, ready for another kind of cleansing; if yer no wi' us, yer agin us and I judge yer ter be agin us for not following our Leader! Oh boy! What are the rest of us letting ourselves in for??

Is this the New Scotland we wish to see come about? Where there is one view and only one, where those of a different view (however slight it may be) are simply not to be tolerated, to be made into non-persons? And how do we deal with this home-grown fascism that thrives all around us among the fanatics?

Monday, March 11, 2019

I probably sound old saying it but this New SNP is very different to the old one I remember 30 years ago. As it has grown larger it has taken on folk from Blair's Labour and they have succeeded in leaving their Blairite mark on the party.
There is a lot of intolerance amongst what I suspect is predominantly the new membership. That's very different to the old SNP which was full of folk with different and often very radical, opposing views.
During that time I have seen the SNP leadership taking the SNP evermore to the Right, no doubt to get support from the 'great and the good'. But the price it has had to pay for this is the loss of its erstwhile radicalism. And that's a sad thing to see.
I can understand how support for YeSNP has become a quasi-religious thing. We are all desperate to exit the rUK. But when a political party begins to resemble a cult then we should all be worried. That is not the purpose of political parties. And that is why more and more of us are beginning to speak out against what we see is happening.
It's not because we are yoons or Tories or quislings &c but because we believe deeply in the basic freedoms that we see disappearing around us. Some will read this and understand. Sadly others won't bother to read it but will use my reply as just another opportunity for name-calling and putting people down 

Friday, March 08, 2019

Yessers like to believe that they are the most politically educated people in the world. Apart from being wishful thinking anyone looking from the outside in would question that.
FB's Yes pages are mostly full of servility and self-congratulation with the leadership of the SNP elevated to the position of being demi-gods who are going to lead us all to freedom. And even while the demi-gods hand over all the responsibility to a suddenly beneficent WM Tory government the adulation at home remains unquelled.
They forget that it's perfectly possible to desire independence without either belonging to the SNP or having to support leaders who treat us all as if they ruled Animal Farm.
This isn't about the SNP or even its leaders. It's about the sheer stupidity of those who follow political parties unquestioningly without ever stopping to think for themselves. And worse than that, about the same idiots who don't understand the meaning of tolerance.
There is something deeply wrong in the Yes Movement but who has the courage to risk attracting hostility by speaking openly about it? How has it come to pass that collectively we have become like Pavlov's Dogs, salivating at the very mention of a second referendum which The Great Leader tells us we cannot have because some would-be fascists in London say No?
Independence was never going to be easy; the UK will not willingly sign its own death warrant. So how does our Great Leader propose to honour the mandate that we, the sovereign people, have given her?
It's no good asking the YeSNP Hallelujah Chorus because they can't tell you, apart from loosing off another stream of desperate invective. That's what they reduce it all into.
And if that's the best they can offer Scotland just what kind of society is it that they are creating? Beyond the invective, the tribalism and the bigotry they will have no answers.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019


No sooner had I published my previous post, The Politics of the Echo Chamber, someone reported it to Facebook who blocked it automatically.

This is the second blog of mine to have been blocked in the last week. To add insult to injury my posts had been made to my own FB Timeline and to two other pages that I administrate. At that moment my blog had not been posted to any other FB page. The censorship was effected in under five minutes!

Clearly someone is watching all my posts and whenever they see one from my blog concerning their intolerance they have it shut down. It's easy enough to do. You report a blog as, say, being abusive and FB shuts it down automatically. Trying to appeal to have it reinstated is hopeless. Once FB shuts something down, it remains shut down. So what these people are doing is to knowingly take advantage of the FB dictatorship.

Nothing gets done, there is no real outcry by others. One or two maybe but otherwise apathy rules and the SNP Stasi will know that too. So, in this way the Stasi succeed in controlling discussion on FB's indy pages and effectively making dissenters like me into non-persons.

Welcome to the New SNP, where debate is strictly controlled despite outward appearances. This censorship on social media is, I am convinced, being coordinated with a nod and a wink from Hope Street. And it gives a good pointer to the direction the technocrats wish us to take in a post-independent Scotland. A new Scotland which will play an active part in the US-led NATO and Atlantic Alliance, a land already becoming a playground for neoliberalism and the privatisation of public land and a laboratory for corporate lobbyist, Andrew Wilson's, lunatic 'Growth' Reported when adopted.

The sacrilege taking place at Culloden, the Flamingoland scandal at Loch Lomond, the despoliation given planning permission at Glen Etive. Neoliberalism already in action under the auspices of the Scottish Government and the New SNP.

Though this Report is only up for discussion at the SNP's April Conference I am not at all starry-eyed about their leadership's intentions which I firmly believe is to push it through to make it the modus operandi for the Scottish Government.

But leaving concerns about that aside for now, my focus remains on what the SNP Stasi are up to, turning the social media into nothing more than a platform for propaganda where all dissent is to be crushed at source. It's not just happening to a few of us. It happens every time someone speaks out of turn on the Yes pages. It mostly doesn't get reported because the victims usually just leave in disillusion and disgust.

The Stasi's attitude is vengeful and nasty, but who cares?, it works for them. The principle is the old Leninist one of political expediency where the means suit the ends and the 'greater good' is served by the stifling of free expression and dissent. Welcome to the New Scotland!

This concerns all of us, not just the victims. If they can do this and get away with it today you could be next. Unless, of course, you are happy to remain one of their sheeple and keep your opinions to yourself. In which case I have to ask you: is this the kind of New Scotland you wish to see and help create?

Is this what the struggle for our freedom is really all about? And if so, what kind of 'freedom' is that?


If the day ever dawns during my lifetime I will vote for Scotland's independence as I did in September 2014. 

There is no question of it, despite all the accusations, mud-slinging and constant demonization I receive from those on the social media who think that everyone in the Yes Movement should meekly obey-the-leader and keep eating their cereal without having the temerity (how dare they?) of questioning quite what those leaders are up to in their positions of untrammeled power.

They accuse me of being consistently anti-SNP, no matter how many times I point out to them that it's that party's leaders I throw eggs at and never the membership. Apparently they don't understand the difference! That worries me. And when I suggest they check my FB Timeline before slating me they just ignore my invitations and continue with the cheap jibes.

So let me put the record straight: anyone who goes back to 2014 will see three years of consistently pro-SNP articles which could be said to be bordering on adulation. In those days I admit to having been a pretty unquestioning fan of Nicola Sturgeon and part of the Yes Movement's SNP-Right-or-Wrong bandwagon politics of the echo chamber.

With the rest of us I voted for and watched the SNP sweep the board in the 2015 General Election and accepted Sturgeon's decision not to fight that election on a plebiscite for independence. Clearly this was all part of her 'cunning plan' to achieve independence.

It was only in June 2017 that my eyes were opened when I saw that Sturgeon was going to fight a general election with the slogan 'Stronger for Scotland'. Stronger, but not on independence! So I organized a petition which subsequently was signed by over 1000 people before it was presented to Sturgeon. Basically the petition asked that she and the SNP should actively fight the 2017 GE on the issue of independence so that, on achieving a majority of seats in Scotland, she could use that electoral victory as yet more proof that the majority of the electorate supported independence.

There was nothing controversial about such a suggestion as until about 2010 that position was clearly in every SNP election manifesto. And an electoral victory founded on such a manifesto is the most powerful mandate recognizable amongst international bodies such as the UN and the Council of Europe.

Of course, that petition was ignored by the party hierarchy. In 2017 the SNP leadership were running scared having fallen for Tory Ruth Davidson's Goebbelesque 'Do the Day Job' attacks which Scotland's unionist media were only too happy to parrot. Instead of taking the Tories head-on and justifying the case for independence they ran away from the playground bully. And lost heavily as a result.

Nearly two years on SNP leaders admit they made a mistake and should have addressed themselves 'to the 45%' who they had abandoned in their rush to the lifeboats. So it took nearly two years, for them to acknowledge this elementary tactic which others could see, for them to leave aside their hubris and eat humble pie. And these are the clever politicians leading us to the promised land?!

And for daring to make such suggestions I was banned from SNP-controlled FB pages and roundly abused by a lot of the party faithful, many of whose company I would not personally choose. For me the phrase 'mob rule' took on a new meaning. I had criticized their leaders and become fair game from that very moment.

Until then I had dismissed accusations made by the unionist media that the SNP's cybernats were hounding politicians and abusing them. I simply didn't believe a word of it, knowing all too well how the UK establishment use this scare-tactic as a weapon against a party or leader they wish to defeat.

So imagine my sense of shock when in June 2017 those very same guns were pointed and fired at me by certain cybernats. Until that June I had unquestioningly followed the line that the SNP would liberate us all and that it was a traitorous thing to hold them in a negative light. Although, to be honest, while all the time playing the part of being one of Nicola's adoring fans, deep down another voice was cautioning me not to get too overly idealistic about this or any other political party's promises. Bob Marley's words 'Never trust a Politician' kept ringing inside.

But leaving politicians well aside (a place which they should mostly be relegated to!) my concern was with certain Yessers and their fury and intolerance of a fellow Yesser. Was this the kind of reaction to be expected for questioning the leadership of a political party? Well, having been brought up to treat all politicians with scepticism (both my parents used to read and comment on the papers last thing every night) I was now having to deal with people who treated them like demi-gods among humanity.

Perhaps it's old age but I swear I can remember a time when folk in the British Isles mostly all held politicians in a sceptical light and treated them with a healthy disrespect. I can remember, as well the history of two countries, Germany and the Soviet Union, where the endless adulation afforded political leaders was the norm in totalitarian societies. Never for a moment did I expect that slavishness ever to find a home in dear, brave, individualist Scotland.

And yet the truth is that it has and I and several others have experienced its sharp end. And it's not coming from a person or two but in a flood of hate and vitriol. And that, taken with the banning for no reason (a reason is never given) makes me feel that someone is coordinating many of these attacks. I understand that the SNP has had several requests to rein-in its supporters but no such thing has happened.

I can see that such an attempt to control would not be very successful. I couldn't see how it could work. Such a diktat from on high would never be received too well! But as well as that others have asked if their involvement in the witch-hunts on the social media might go deeper still. It hasn't gone amiss that it's invariably the SNP-controlled FB pages with a large readership whose admins are the most intolerant and the first to ban people for no obvious reason.

No matter how much you explain your position when they attack you, they dismiss you, you become a non-person. Very rarely do they attempt reasoned arguments, mostly what you get are assumptions and when they pretend niceness they quickly follow pretence with a condescending lecture or two. And basically behind all that is Big Brother's veiled threat that we must all toe the line.

That's what I'm sensing and hearing in all this from the party faithful. And I ask myself what kind of a New Scotland will it be if we are prepared to accept such levels of bigotry and intolerance? Where even fellow Yessers can be disposed of and made into non-persons for speaking their truth? Other countries have descended into one or another form of totalitarianism: Germany, the Soviet Union, and now England. Like many I pray that a New Scotland might provide a beacon of light in the surrounding darkness. I still do, despite these ominous experiences. I still believe in this country's values of inclusivity and basic decency. 

And despite all I remain an optimist that goodness will prevail.