A Guest Post from Barrhead Boy
Back in September I wrote a blog explaining in great detail why I personally would be giving my second vote to the ISP in May. It was a blog that invoked a lot of discussion as well as the usual bile from the usual suspects. Nobody, of course, challenged the mathematics or logic of my decision. The ones against it were the SNP fanatical loyalists and as expected The Greens who stand to lose support to a genuine independence party. The GRA fanatics that put gender politics before everything else. The Unionists who stand to lose the most, all those List Seats that SNP 1 2 gives them.If it didn’t give the game away, the Unionists would be promoting SNP 1 2 in their election material. It is the only reason they win seats at all! The amount of Yoons and paid trolls that objected was at times overwhelming. That convinced me more than anything that my decision was not only correct mathematically it was also politically the right course of action. I readily accept not everybody agrees. Most of SNP that do disagree fall into several categories Totally loyal, would not ever vote anything else unless the party said to do it. I was that soldier! Tribalists that only want SNP election victories, more than even independence. The lazy that don’t bother researching or availing themselves of all the facts, the Sheeple for short. None of these are bad people. It is up to me and others like me to show and convince those people that there is a better way to achieve what we all want, Independence!
As the blog says these are some of my reasons for my proposed actions. I do not tell anyone what they should do. I merely lay out my reasons the rest is up to you. Today is no different.
At present I will without doubt, while holding my nose tightly still vote SNP in the Constituency. My local candidate had a weird and wild outburst over the weekend and while it disturbed me it won’t prevent me giving him my vote. Though I would politely counsel him and other SNP members to stop attacking YES Supporters because they have a different viewpoint on the best route to independence.
What the last few weeks and months has highlighted to me is the vice like grip the supporters of Independence find themselves in, both in Scotland and inside the union. We are not in charge, not even close.We are beholden to the politicians of the SNP and Tories.
We have a single independence party in both the Constituency and list. As the SNP stumble from one self inflicted crisis to the next the frustrations grow. The loyalists and nervous deploy the usual tropes. ‘Wheesht For Indy,’ ‘Just get Independence first then we can find new parties.’ ‘We are so close!’ ‘Look at the polls!’ ‘Nicola would never do anything like that to Alec!’
It just highlights our lack of alternatives. The SNP leadership is more than aware of that too. They have used and abused the privilege we bestow upon them with our loyalty, votes and donations. Our leadership sat silently by while a group of single issue biology deniers took control of our NEC. That the entire Alec Salmond trumped up charges and court case ever came to fruition is a disgrace. That a Party that had over 125,000 members is now reduced to 84,000, no questions asked is indicative of how badly run the party has become. Whatever you say do not ask anything about ring fenced money or WhatsApp groups! That is just a few reminders of how our party of choice abuses its position.
In my working life I was in the Telecommunications and Data Communications industry. When we built networks that companies totally relied upon, we always looked to ensure there was no single point of failure. We always encouraged our clients to have diverse routing in the event of a catastrophic failure. When providing Internet connect to companies all it took to grind their business to a halt would be a JCB digging up the road for say, the Water Company to sever the Internet pipe and business is over until a team can repair the single link. That could result in massive losses and time delays.All our data centres were connected globally in the event of a single failure in one location. Back up servers and systems abound diverse routing and every precaution taken to ensure no failure. Never forget, Independence is our business we have no back up in the event of failure to deliver!
The Unionists have options, albeit pretty bad ones. We in the YES Movement have a single point of failure and now more than ever it is showing. The vast majority of SNP members and their voters are opposed to GRA and the HCB. Most of those, same supporters have expressed a desire for a Plebiscite Election in May. In all of these, a tiny coterie surrounding the Party Leader opposes the majority view. They win out because what are we going to do, vote unionist? At worst the leadership knows it will be like the 2017 UK General Election when 500,000+ Yes Supporters just stayed, at home because the SNP campaign was so bereft of any strategy or imagination. They still won the election. The leadership knows enough will turnout to let them ‘win.’ For them that is all that really matters.
That same leadership and all the SNP MSPs we elect in May will be cushioned from the effects of Brexit and IMB. Unlike the Scottish unemployed, low paid, pensioners, self-employed, those furloughed. That is just a fact. It is terribly easy to be all in favour of a gradualist policy if you do not need to worry about paying the rent or feeding and clothing your kids. It is easy to say now is not the time when the sufferings of the majority are not going to affect you and yours.
The biggest annoyance in the entire movement is the Party Leader’s obsession with asking Boris Johnson for permission to hold a referendum via a Section 30 order. Many alternatives have been offered up for at least a discussion on alternative strategies. Every time those discussions are sought, the leadership refuses to listen.The leadership had made up its mind and just doesn’t want to hear what the members want, apparently they know best! Besides what are the rank and file going to do, Vote Tory or Labour instead? No, of course, they won’t and Nicola Sturgeon and all her sycophants know you won’t, because you have no other choice! They can, and do treat you any way that they want. We need leverage to make them sit up and listen to our concerns.
There was an outcry at SNP Annual Conference when the leadership engineered it so that no Plan B could even be discussed by the members. The anger was such that the leadership decided they better offer up a sop to pretend they actually cared about the opinions of the masses. They would bring back the National Assembly in January, and the ordinary members could discuss alternative routes to independence then.
However, just to be sure nothing happened that would dare challenge or embarrass the leaders singular point of view they sabotaged the National Assembly.
Less than 24 hours before the event the Party launched an 11 point plan, which is just the same old Plan A Section 30 nonsense. They got The National to put a big splash on its front page, and they wrote an article that this was some new super-duper road to independence. To give it even more credibility Mike Russell put his name to it, that for me was my biggest disappointment. I have always up till now admired that man so much. To put it crudely this ‘Plan’ put forward on Saturday elicits the phrase,’YOU CANNOT POLISH A TURD.’ Not even the Blessed Leader can achieve that, no matter how much she and her sycophants try to dupe the voters.
The reason we know a Section 30 will not work is simple.We have no leverage at Westminster. There is nothing we can say, do or use to make England’s Prime Minister agree to the wishes of the Scottish colony.The worst that can happen to the Tories is they lose six MPs at the next UK General Election. They have an 80 seat majority, six losses is nothing. No leverage there then! We will get very angry and complain at PMQs. Anyone for weeks ‘we will not be dragged out of the EU Part II? No leverage in that either. We will get a huge majority at Holyrood in May, and your Party will lose, seats! So what? The Tories will still refuse and keep stealing our resources, collecting our taxes and using the River, Clyde for their Weapons of Mass Destruction. No leverage there!
I have asked many of those that attack me for my views to tell me what will force Boris Johnson to ever change his mind.To date of course nobody has ever managed to answer that.
Which brings me to the vital part of this blog. What do we the majority of Independence voters do to get the SNP to listen and change their mind about this idiotic section 30? Actually there is absolutely nothing we can do, because we have no leverage either. We trusted the SNP so much we put all our eggs in one basket. Sadly for us that basket has a few rotten eggs in it now. While on the subject of eggs when it comes to anything remotely strategic our SNP leadership run around like headless chickens! (Did you see what I did there?)So in the short term we cannot effect any change. Unless the threat of another independence party getting traction is the spur theSNP need to start listening. What we can for certain do though is ensure it never happens again. We can give ourselves in future elections a choice and some leverage!
We need to get ourselves some influence, and the only way to do that is to create a choice. Take all my other reasons for voting ISP on the List in May and add this one, leverage. If the SNP in Holyrood has an independence supporting party as the opposition every day they will be getting asked, ‘First Minster what have you done in the past week to advance the cause of Independence?’ The next time the SNP goes to the polls the voters will then have a choice of Independence Parties. They will almost certainly both be on the same side, Scotland, every time. Both will always listen to you because now they both know we have a choice, the power has shifted back to the people. We also get the added bonus of removing unionist seat warmers. We may even get a 2/3rds majority at Holyrood that would allow us to call a Plebiscite Election any time we like.Now that is leverage! Nothing Boris or his crime syndicate can do either
The choice though is yours, continue as we are and nothing will change. Alternatively elect ISP MSPs in numbers via, the List and help build a second independence Party and more importantly build ourselves some Leverage! It puts the YES Movement in charge of the narrative, not the party loyalists! ‘What Cesar gives Cesar can take away again’ That is the only thing politicians understand. Your vote is more powerful than you imagine, use it wisely! Let leverage become the new key word.