1 June 2010

Scottish independence "Tomorrow & tomorrow & tomorrow..."

Gradualist? Fundamentalist? Idealist? Pragmatist? Today? Tomorrow? Its a familiar saw of Scots political analysis that the SNP is lifted by the collective motion of two wings. While memories of the '79 Group have not been entirely displaced, it should be striking that no political correspondent refers to right-wing SNP MSPs. In my experience, all such analysis is undertaken on a case-by-case basis. I've heard Fergus Ewing, for example, being referred to as "basically a Tartan Tory", while a muted but detectable strain of commentary seems to think that Nicola Sturgeon tacks more to the left. The French Revolutionary categories of right and left aren't the wings I have in mind. Rather, I'm talking about the opposition drawn between so-called gradualists and fundamentalists in the nationalist cause. 


The first, ideologically dominant, pinion in the party posits that soft degrees and incremental development is the best way to make mild the prospect of final independence. Unionism is here taken not to be an incorrigible matter of principle and solidarity. Rather, it regards the present dispensation as only held up by its own dead weight, by inertia, fear, a sense of dependency. The clear and present purpose of nationalist politics, then, is demonstrating broad shoulders and the potential robustness of an independent nationalist alternative. Like besuited Stoic sages, a gradualist position does not invite the people to take Scottish independence as an article of faith, but seeks to erect props and foundations - a Scottish structure within the British structure - which seems mountingly robust on its own. Rather than ramshackle promises, gradualism wants to point to existing bricks and mortar, settled associations of laws, powers and competencies - making cutting the final threads of dependency an easier snip. It takes the electorate to be cautious - but potentially coaxed into more radical constitutional moves, if perceptions of risk are clearly minimised.


An alternative argument might be that such gradualist degrees of development are a primose path, leading nowhere. Frustrated with the persistent deferring of full independence till an unspecified tomorrow, a fundamentalist might well suggest that contra gradualist imaginings - lapping up small concessions and superficial empowerment of Scottish institutions make independence less not more likely. Distracting the people from arguments about their own nationalist self-interest, such distractions play into the hands of more Machiavellian Unionists, who in tight spots may well concede an alleviating sop or two, better to shore up the stability of the pernicious system and infinitely defer the "moment" of independence.  Gradualist promises of tomorrow are, in actuality, a thistle-jagged way to nowhere and their apparently canny increments are merely the lulling crotchets and quavers of a self-deluded Pied Piper, lulled by his own music. Make the argument, convince the people, seize the day! If the public are not convinced, it is because of the vacuity of your arguments, the want of articulate spokespersons, a failure of advocacy. The answer is not minimising the apparent risks associated with independence, rather it is explaining the position better.

Beyond "gradualism & fundamentalism"

Such old binaries are rather too precise for my liking, and in particular, conceal an important third group in the SNP who do not, per se, share the central premise of either group, but who will undoubtedly have more significant sympathy with their fellow-travellers resorting to gradualist expedients. Are you in favour of independence, most folk will ask you if they detect your SNP affiliations? A surprising number of people give you equivocal answers to this question or ask - what do you mean by independence? In particular, if there is a sensitivity to what independence might mean in the "interconnected world", the response may be radically different. 

SNP not a "Nationalist"

As the Sunday Herald once put it "people join the SNP because of a belief in independence, rather than because of a shared set of values about how society should be governed. Most parties are a coalition of kindred spirits; the SNP is a loose grouping of diverse ideologies." I disagree and have seen plenty of evidence that many, many people in their party who have their doubts about "full independence" and who might well rest easily enough with a structure of significant federalised power within a transformed United Kingdom. Don't let's forget, after all, that the present Cabinet Secretary for Education, Michael Russell, advocated just such a "New Union" in 2006 in Grasping the Thistle. While the alea iacta est of an independence referendum forces one to take a position - yea or nay - for the sympathetic but fundamentally undecided, the accretion of new powers, new competencies, new possibilities - they are far more readily supportable. Some may well want to excoriate these souls for their want of commitment and thumb accusingly at their weak nationalist nerves and hie them to the Liberal Democrats. For myself, I find this position perfectly understandable. Notice that we could also rearticulate a more cynical version of the same position, which is not simply indecisive on independence - but is even hostile to it. On this account, the SNP could be seen as the best instrument for realising further devolution of power from the centralised institutions of UK politics. Those poised nationalists of this mould, having secured the desired concessions, might well flee the coop - or make a bid to fundamentally shift the Scottish National Party's central mission and central account of its purpose. I see no reason to insist that these folk are not 'real' nationalists or that they do not belong in the party.

Politics in the Heraclitan fire

The thing which strikes me about all three groupings whose arguments I've tried to present is that they are all of them making some calculation or assessment about causality. For example, the SNP non-Nats are making a strategic use of the party to secure a different Union. They guess that in doing so, there is nothing inevitable about independence. The gradualists, with whom the SNP non-Nats may well largely agree - up to a point  - alternatively tend to suggest one or two things about the strategy of degrees. The first, more confident group of gradualists are likely to claim that they can see a logic of necessity underpinning the devolution of power. The final step is the logical conclusion of the first. Devolution begets independence, simpliciter. Alternatively, other gradualists may be suspicious of such claims about iron laws of history. Instead of independence being necessitated in any simply way by more and more powers, their eye is on the strength of the case. Their argument is that it will be easier to convince people of independence, once fiscal autonomy is in place, once we know we can pay our own way and have the institutional props of a contemporary nation state. Its important to recognise that this remains a conditional result, no inevitability of outcome here. The only unavoidable claim this second category of gradualists make about independence is that it will be inevitably easier to convince the people of the virtues of independence, by demonstrating its plausibility in a concrete, stable, competent fashion.

Fundamentalists are likely to dispute this, arguing that the consolidation affected by gradualists does not have this unavoidable effect. These critics are likely to be sensitive to the "problem" of SNP-not-Nats and the attenuation of support that, they suggest, may well bedevil nationalists if devolution is done properly. In an exquisite historical irony, this perspective basically reiterates George Robertson's much-quoted dictum - proper and more substantive "devolution will kill nationalism stone dead". The moment when independence might have been possible was not seized - impetuses behind self-determination falling behind more anaemic schedules of proposals - with the result that all political will is spent and Scotland will remain bound-in with the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future. Fundamentalist Macbeths wring their hands and cry ~

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing."

~ Shakespeare's Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5)

Good luck to all prophets and seekers after certainties and inevitabilities in this mutable world of ours, that's my motto. For myself, I think it is crucial that we pay attention to what is possible. Actually, I think there may well be something in the fundamentalist argument I've presented above. All talk of inevitabilities and iron laws are suspect and I see absolutely no reason to presume that gradualist gains unavoidably advance towards independence. Rather, I'm much more in sympathy with the second version of gradualism which I formulated - clear structures give confidence, make the case easier to make, make the leap smaller. That, and far more importantly, they give you the basis of doing a good deal of political good in the mean time. I'm no fan of rhetorical resorts to fatuous sunlit uplands of independence. We'll still be crowded around with the naked rock, sheer slopes, the remorseless sleet and the tripping heather underboot. Inertia doesn't keep us upright. Every day we choose to adhere to old ways, existing structures - we collectively revivify our structures. History doesn't keep ancient monuments standing. They keep their straight backs because of the polishings and mendings of the present. The best of Scottish nationalism, in its best moments, is to remind us always and imminently of our ongoing responsibility for the polity we choose to live in. It faces Scotland with the challenges of consciousness and the chastening of responsibilities.

How to understand the independence referendum?

So what does this mean for the referendum on independence? Yesterday, in anticipation of this more lengthy treatment, I linked to a Telegraph story suggesting that the Maximum Eck is deliberately letting it be known (or alternatively, Reform Scotland's Ben Thomson is astoundingly indiscreet) that he intends to focus on the promise, the possibilities, presented by the new Con-Dem government and their apparent willingness to concede Calman powers - and beyond - to the Scottish Parliament and Government. In the comments left below (for which I'm grateful - they assisted significantly in the formulation of the foregoing) Dubbieside suggests that we shouldn't be surprised by the anti-Eck anti-Nat tenor of the story - a great and shameful revelation serving to agitate the troops and depress the nationalist activist base. The rest of this post should be taken as a riposte to simplified accounts of nationalist politics - and SNP supporters - on the question of independence. 

We don't all share the same goals - the same stratagems - the same confidence in how best to pursue the end that (most of us) share. There may be some, for example, who argue for a referendum based on a sort of expressivist moment for Scottish nationalism, charging down the barrels of a hostile Unionist press, the people having their say, probably resulting in a plucky defeat but a sense of compensating emotional vindication. I'm certainly not of that understanding. It is worth admitting then that the referendum, from the very beginning, is a potentially divisive instrument. From a fundamentalist, instantist position, it seems an obvious course of action. For those with more inclination to persuade by soft degrees, support for a referendum is more poised, more concerned with the outcomes, the consequences - rather than a futile but compensating nationalist politics of protest. In particular, it is worth noting that Salmond and Shoal's declared approach of demonstrating competence to give confidence to the Scottish people, if the polls are anything to go on, has not worked. Political opponents, Unionist jobgobbers and mauling fundamentalists are content to give a lazy account of this phenomenon, denying the complexity underlining pollster's questions about support for independence, yea or nay. From a gradualist angle, this is perfectly understandable. Any enthusiastic nationalist will regularly be assailed by doubters, particularly on matters fiscal and financial. Can Scotland pay for itself? How would it work? Douce Dame Caution's dainty slippers continue to warm the voter's toes. All of this is absolutely not to say that the first SNP Government has had no consequences for the nationalist project. Fundamentally, I'd argue that it has realigned the sense of the possible, as it ought to. However, at present, the Parliament and Ministers' economic dependency is such that it represents a substantial stumbling block, not only to adopting economic policies in the interests of Scotland, but also for the gradualist nationalist case.

There is absolutely no prospect at present of a declaration of Scottish independence. For those of us who want to empower Scottish institutions now, emotivist fundamentalism is a wholly arid prospect. Let's be frank about that. And franker too about the different perspectives we can find within the party and among those Scots people who support us. Don't let's make the mistake of making the perfect the enemy of the good.


  1. This is quite possibly the finest blog post I've read all year. An excellent explanation of the differing camps in the SNP. For what it's worth, I wholeheartedly agree about independence being a non-starter at present, and it actually baffles me why the Unionist parties have blocked the referendum, because there is no way it would have returned a "yes" vote, and it would have potentially castrated the SNP overnight. People are scared of changes - just look at the difference between how many people were saying they would vote Lib Dem before the general election, and then look at how many actually went through with it. If people are scared to do something as minor as voting for a different party for once, there is no way they will vote for independence.

    Quite simply, the case hasn't been argued sufficiently - as you mention, when people find out you're an SNP supporter, they demand to know how independence would be economically viable. We're conditioned by the media to assume that this is the sole premise on which independence can be argued, and yet people are encouraged to seek individual independence even if they would be financially better off living with their parents their whole lives. People can't be expected to vote for such a massive change without being given enough information to base their decision on. We can blame the MSM for drowning out the message, but the truth is the hard facts are not easy to come by. This is why the first referendum must be looked at more as a way of finally getting a realistic debate happening - the Labour lifetime voters will ensure independence is rejected, but the next generation will grow up with the facts out in the open, and the second referendum will succeed. That could be decades away, though.

    The fundamentalist approach is romantic, but ultimately unrealistic. Ireland needed war to get independence, and even then they have still not achieved it in full. Decades/centuries of being told Scotland is too poor to stand on its own two feet mean this country lacks confidence in itself, and people of low self-confidence need to be coaxed into taking small steps - big changes have a detrimental effect and serve only to keep them in their shell forever. I'd love Scotland to collectively stand up and say "wait, why would Scotland be the only country in the world not to benefit from independence?", but I know it won't happen.

    Mind you, I also know I'm a pessimist.

  2. That should really have read: "there is no way they will vote for independence yet."

  3. Hi Lallands,

    I think it was Shaw who posited that a reasonable man will adapt to his environment but an unreasonable man will attempt to alter it, concluding that all change is due to unreasonable men - or something to that effect.

    I would propose that it is the Independenistas who have been the driving force that has brought about the constitutional changes we have seen to date, that Calman was nothing but a further smoke and mirrors attempt to stop Nationalist progress, and that had the SNP only ever campaigned for Devolution, we would never have seen the establishment of a Scottish parliament.

    It is the fear of Independence that drives the Unionists to make concessions. Nothing else, and they will renege on any promises made in the interim if they think they can get away with it, from introducing a rigged referendum (1979) to making promises that they manifestly hope they will not have to fulfil after the next election (Labour 2010), or periods of just sitting tight in the hope that SNP electoral fortunes wane rather than wax (a la Thatcher).

    Despite the ConDems apparently being on the brink of conceding powers beyond those envisaged by Calman, without the SNP constantly putting the case for Independence I am sure that these will drain away like water into the desert sand, just as they have done before.

    What has surprised me is how little the current concessions seem to have diluted the desire for more, however I would not minimise the difficulties in putting the case for Independence successfully in a referendum. But then, I never considered myself to be a reasonable man.


  4. An excellent summary but from a helicopter a bit too high.

    Left and right, libertarian and authoritarian, are all good and well in categorising the vectors in peoples' political motivation but, the SNP cannot be all things to all men.

    As a focused but inclusive church the SNP has independence as an ultimate goal but after that I am not at all sure after that, where it goes.

    The elephant in the room, or the troglodyte with the club if you like, is the West of Central Scotland and its siamese-twin like bonding with Labour. All Murphy and Co need do is mention Thatcher, Tory and Westminster Government to have the W of S scuttling for shelter under Labour's protective wing. The last time during Thatcher it made sweet FA whatever party was in the majority in Scotland she controlled England.

    This time it was different, we had a Scottih Parliament and SNP Government in place at Holyrood and a chance to offer these poor souls a real alternative to big bad, indolent, corrupt, white nosed, expense troughing Labour and it was soundly rejected at the ballot box.

    I cannot speak for how the SNP is perceived in Milton, Maryhill, Castlemilk, Drumchapel and on for, I no longer live in the UK far less my native city but I would wager that "Tartan Tories" and "kilted LibDumthingies" would go some way to start.

    Johm Mason, Bellgrove Belle and a small army are beavering away raising the profile of the SNP as a true people's party appropriate to the West of Scotland's needs but the MSM does everything in its considerable Machiavellian powers to suppress news of that and instead pumps out Labour propaganda, however absurd, as THE news. The SNP are converting voters but, only one at a time, unfortunately.

    The SNP cannot espouse a socialist agenda, that would gather votes by the tonne in the West without setting up an internicine war within its own ranks, The Peoples' Front of Judaea and The Judaean Peoples's Front springs to mind.

    No the problem and the solution lies not outside the Wet of Scotland and certainly not within the SNP, as it stands. Short of blowing up all the MSM nests (note to Strathclyde's Finest, I am only speaking metaphorically and in no way advocating violence against the 5th estate)and imposing a nationalist propaganda machine mirroring the Labour one, we have to look elsewhere, to the source.

    No, if we want to see a truly in my tapering lifetime the political mould there has to be an independence minded "socialist" West of Scotland alternative, shorn of slease and corruption led by someone charismatic enough to take the West but not divide the SNP vote elsewhere.

    Sillars could have done it but, at his age, cannot take that one to the big vote. He could however set up and prime the pump for others to follow.

    Then and only then, in my opinion, this side of 2030 could Scotland be independent?

    On another matter does anyone else thank the Elmer Fudd is being fed duff information so that he look even ore inept at FMQs? Now, who could and would do that.

    Give me an M

    Give me a ? etc

  5. I wonder to what extent this kind of first-principles type of reflection is unique to the independence movement.

    It may be representative of the incremental mainstreaming of post-westphalian sovereignty, what Salmond referred to a long time ago when he called himself a postnationalist. (Also it strikes me that gradualism is none too accurate a concept if it presupposes a stable context over which it encroaches by degrees, when realistically is in the context of mutability, contingency, time, and events). And its worth remembering one historical constant - UK constitutional change has always happened as the absolute minimum concession, given far too late, requiring further protracted & disproportionately laborious effort over generations to move on to the next minuscule modification. The inertia of the system is unfailingly deployed against its members and their lifetimes. A referendum may conceivably be wise if for example it has FFA/Devomax on it instead of the various stalling tactics that are now being seriously footled with, such as Calman, Calman-plus, Assigned Revenues, etc etc. which at best will release 9% of the oil revenues (i.e. a percentage based on population).

    That aside, it's worth noting another context of reflection - the utter loss of purpose, direction & function of labour; the epiphenomenal newlabourist simulacrum of Tory-LibDem, including all the left/right 'wings' of these parties; and besides that, the seemingly near-fatal crisis of European-Unionism.

    Those kinds of issue suggest that there is another major shift in the overall political scenery, not only among independentistas.

  6. Just a very brief response for the moment, but you all raise interesting points which I will return to in due course. For now, I just wanted to single out Bugger's contribution - which makes a very fair point on an important issue, totally neglected in the foregoing argument.

    The West of Scotland Labour mindset is largely an abstract concept as far as I'm concerned. It undeniably appears whenever votes from Glasgow are tallied. It seems an almost incorrigible tendency, changing stubborn minds a wearying futility, vain and tiring. The struggle seems naught to availeth. Equally, in my family, I've no close kin who subscribe to (or are inscribed with) such a mentality. None yet living, anyway, with whom I could have or have had a constructive discussion. Indeed, quite the opposite. At least on my father's side, the family politics have been nationalist (I believe) since the SNP emerged in the 1930s.

    For those, like me, disposed to find this mindset intensely frustrating - all the more so for its incomprehensibility - might I recommend this post by Power and Its Minions, which deploys personal biography and political reflection to excellent effect.

  7. I think these camps are cliches. Many so-called 'fundies' are happy with gradual changes and see them as encouraging signs.. In 2007 the momentum was with the SNP and they've lost it because they have tried to pretend not to be a nationalist party. Minds were open to arguments and that was the time to lay out the independence case. Pushing the indepenendence case will achieve more devolution if not independence. So, no complaints. Pretending not to be nationalist party has seen the loss of political capital on a monumental scale.

    There will never be a good time for an independence referendum for the nationalists if they don't talk about independence. The election was lost because of this strategy - the soft SNP vote needed to be hardened, instead the SNP was just like everybody else and the vote melted away. Those who advocate the softly softly strategy must answer for their failure. They simply can't go on assuming the high ground and never realising that reality has proved them wrong.

    This is more to do with strategy than camps. By creating the psychology of an SNP being split into camps the plan was to make those who say it like it is to seem extreme. That was the biggest success of the unionist media. They shut us up and they got us to do it for them.

    The cencorship must end. We must not treat Scots like fools any longer. They know what we want but they'll never trust us unless we say it.

  8. These camps indeed are cliches. I have long since acknowledged that our progress to indpendence will be gradual.
    That does not in any sense mean that I accept a gradualist strategy.
    A gradualist strategy takes us nowhere and, I would suggest, provides no more than a stall which is where we may be at the moment.
    The obligation of the SNP is to push the boat out as far as it can go at all times. It is really very simple. Had our gradualists won the day and had us campaiging for devolution we would have been offered something a lot less. We got devolution ceded to us because we campaigned strongly for independence.
    That's the way you play the cards you are dealt.
    There is a lot of dangerous stuff disguised as deep thought in the fine words in the article above.
    We have just finished an underwhelming campaign which played to none of our strengths, did not address our central aim, didn't enthuse our activists who only actually come out on an independence campaign and in which we adopted as a theme a slogan which could have been just as happily been used by any of our opponents.
    We got exactly what we deserved. A stall.

  9. Plenty of interesting material here. Its much appreciated. Where to begin?

    To reiterate a point made by both Alex and Snecked - I agree that thinking in terms of "camps" isn't helpful, except in the manner in which I've used them here - loose labels of a sort. Rather, it seems to me, it is fundamentally a question of strategy and argument.

    In the first part of what I wrote above, I tried to capture, as fairly as possible, the sorts of arguments which folk make, one way or the other. Perhaps it would have been better to drop both terms altogether. The arguments stand alone, without being categorised as "gradualist" or "fundamentalist". Basically, we could reorientate it another way - "what is the best way to achieve independence"? Rather than labels being significant, reaching a consensus on this question is obviously the heart of the matter.

    All of this should be seen, too, I think in terms of a point Ratzo makes: "gradualism is none too accurate a concept if it presupposes a stable context over which it encroaches by degrees, when realistically is in the context of mutability, contingency, time, and events".

    In particular, I agree the contributors who argued that it has been nationalism that has been the spur to further devolution and that we wouldn't be inching towards any more progress, if matters had been left to cosy tribes of London Unionists.

    Then there is, perhaps, the most difficult sticking point in the foregoing - the point made by ratzo about some version of "post-Westphalian sovereignty" and how that might alter some nationalists' attitudes towards the goal of all of this or where some might step off the Scottish independence chariot. What to make of these SNP-not-Nats? Try to "harden" their position and win them over to full nationalism? I cheekily, perhaps presumptuously, suggested that an incremental gradualism may be a way of keeping such people on our side. That needs to be demonstrated, can reasonably be doubted, and needs to be seen in the context of my own slight equivocations about whether I might be convinced to rest easily enough, in a radically reorientated United Kingdom. I confess!

    There is also the question raised by Doug Daniel about the effect any proposed referendum on Scottish Independence would have. Castrating or galvanising? I don't know if my questions are "dangerous" - and I don't mean to disguise anything. I'm merely attempting to be open-minded as I'm able about the sorts of arguments folk are making - working to see things from another man's shoes. You are all helping splendidly, it must be said.

  10. Lallands et al,

    Please let me come back to the fundament of my post.

    We can analyse, pontificate, philosophise and bump our gums till the coos come home and we will not advance the cause of independence a whit, if the West of Scotland does not come with the SNP.

    It is how that can be effected which should be the focus and by extension retain the seats and votes that is the existing platform.

    Everything else is just an essay.

    Has anyone got a few bob and I can recommend a damn good marketing / branding / analytical / and focussing organisation to help hone the SNP's message.

    We need to use the gamut of modern tmarketing techniques from solipitical studies to subliminal communication and any other legitimate to get the independence message over to the various target voting groups.

    I have blocked the West of Scotland in one lot but within it there are many sub groups that would be more amenable than others. There will always be the dyed in the wool Labour voter but remove address their fears and give the hope and independence will advance.

    It is not putting the cart before the horse to suggest that the political foundations for post independence Scotland might be what is needed to achieve that goal?

    After independence what would happen to the SNP?

    Would it fracture or try to rest the same as it was for all?

    I still maintain that it may be necessary to have a West Coast parallel socialist agenda within an independence group or party that do the job.

    It will, I think not be within the SNP but a parallel to it.

  11. To expand sideways from your central point, Bugger, it is worth thinking about how nationalists responded to or optimistically understood (or misunderstood) a few recent significant events in Scottish politics.

    Firstly, the 2007 Holyrood Election. It was tempting, sorely tempting, to see that as a moment to set in motion a political sea-change, a significant and complete break in voter behaviour. In its extremely optimistic version, its reasoning goes something like this. If we could just coax these Labour voters into supporting us - only once - and not screw up in office, all of their unreasoned and unreasonable fears will have been dispelled. Having had the courage to kick their Labour dependency once, everything is changed, changed utterly. With one bound - liberty from old bonds.

    Proponents of this view and its less optimistic alternatives could take heart from Nicola Sturgeon's success in Govan. The Glasgow East bye-election seemed to cement the sense of pregnant possibility.

    The stunning extent of the reversal in Glasgow East in the General Election, perhaps unsurprisingly, demonstrated the extent to which matters are not so straightforward - and the West is not so easily won that way.

  12. I think the real question is not which strategy the SNP should adopt but why have the nationalists not succeeded? My own thoughts on the subject can be found at

    I would be interested to read everyones' opinion on the post.

  13. We get these arguments after every election when the SNP doesn't do well - someone always pops up and says the party doesn't talk about independence enough and so on. It's just a mantra.

    There is very little the SNP could have done in the Westminster campaign to increase the vote. Possibly a different campaign would have put a few percentage points on nationally - or lost a few - but it wouldn't have made much difference.

    The point is that every door chapped, every voter identified, every independence supporter - or possible supporter - identified will make a difference this year, next year and the year after provided we maintain contact and keep on working to idetify more. People who didn't vote for us at Westminster will vote for us at the Scottish Parliament. And at the council elections.

    Westminster is far less important than either the Scottish or local elections. That's why the party spent very little money on it. If they had done, it would have been a waste because it's just not an SNP election and we need to recognise that. Independence won't be won at Westminster. It will be won here.


    BNP (Black National Party)

    The BNP (Black National Party) has been created to expedite the work of the Race Equality Secret Service (RESS).

    The BNP (Black National Party) gets stronger as "STORMFRONT" gets weaker.


  15. Beg pardon Indy,

    I didn't notice you'd left a comment till now. Generally speaking, I agree with your analysis. The phenomenon reminds me somewhat of Alex Massie's entertaining analysis of those Tories like Simon Heffer and Tebbit who argued that Cameron didn't win a majority in GE2010 because he was insufficiently right wing. Of course, the parallels are not exact. After all, it is easier to win an election than to fundamentally reorientate the constitutional life of a polity.