Observing the recent scenes from Catalonia and the appalling treatment of free citizens being treated as criminals in a way that would not be tolerated under any criminal justice law, I was disappointed at how mealy mouthed the European Union treated this disgrace.
The Spanish Government made great play as to how the Catalaonians were behaving unconstitutionally; it seems that anything the Catalans want is unconstitutional.
Now here’s a thought – the UK does not have a constitution, a factor the Unionists seem quite proud of, so why cannot Scotland just declare UDI? Also in that context, they seem to like to refer to the Henry VIII option in what they do. Henry VIII was an English King before the Union of the Crowns never mind the Union of the Parliaments, so why should they keep quoting him. He was noted for having six wives, having had at least one of them beheaded, cheaper than a divorce.
He was awarded the title “Fidei Defensor” by the Pope which he passed on to his heirs, and pillaged the monasteries while on his merry way. No conscience.
We should be quoting The Bruce, who saved us from being subjugated by the English Crown, time for a re-run…
Our Man in Surrey
Every day I am in touch with Andrew J.T. Kerr who now lives with his mother in Farnham in Surrey; he has done this since his father Anthony J C Kerr died suddenly, at National Council in Stirling. Anthony was an Elected Member of National Council, an inveterate letter writer and travelled from his home in Jedburgh to virtually every by election in Scotland, by scooter mostly.
Andrew scans the English papers but devil the attention is paid to Scotland, so he phones a few people in Scotland.
His latest comment to me today was that while Scotland was looking for Renewable Energy, Westminster was pushing Renewable Trident, coincidentally he had a letter published in The National on 17 Oct.
He also compared the political situation of the Labour Party between the 2014 Referendum and the present. At the Referendum Labour were in bed with the Tories, hellbent on saying what disasters would arise, particularly with regard to the EU. At present, Labour is trying not to be too much in bed with the Tories, but are crying woe, woe and three times woe at the absolute mess being made of leaving the EU.
This in a short three years, but what events had occurred! Scotland did not win the Referendum, the Unionists with lies and evasions, scare stories, saw to that. Promises were made the “Vow”, apparently approved by Cameron, Clegg and Brown turned out to be non- existent, a fabrication of the Daily Record. On the morning after the vote Cameron stood outside Downing Street and announced plans to make every MP for a Scottish seat second class, quite a lot of them were, but this made it official.
The aftermath of that Referendum was the General Election of 2015, when the SNP won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats, to the utter astonishment of many SNP members, including myself.
Mr Cameron then fulfilled his promise for a referendum on the EU, fully confident he would walk it! So in 2016 we had the Scottish Parliament election where the SNP lost its overall majority, and then a European Referendum. In this Scotland voted 62%Remain and 38% Leave. However the overall figures for the UK were narrowly in favour of Leave, so Leave we must! Cameron resigned, and eventually Theresa May was the sole nominee. She then went for a walk in the Welsh hills and decided to have another General Election as she was concerned at the narrowness of her majority; this resulted in her losing her majority, and having to go cap in hand to the DUP in Northern Ireland for their support. This then jeopardised the Irish Peace Process and also used up a lot of public money, ie ours, to give a bung for the Conservative Party. Funny old World, as someone once said.
At the time of writing the roadblock to the Irish peace process has not been removed.
I list all these facts, dear reader not to inform you of what you already know but to refresh my own recollections; all these events were running together in my mind, and if I, who involves myself in politics had to check dates, what chance the casual observer? I know I am not as sharp as I was before my illness.
I watched Jim Sillars on the BBC Politics Show last Sunday and I was not impressed. Interviewers have a habit of referring to him as a former Deputy Leader of the SNP, but to my recollection he only served one term. I remember one National Council Meeting at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh when he was severely criticised for mis-spending the Party’s money, but I cannot remember what on. His derogatory comments on Nicola Sturgeon were to my mind unacceptable. His remark that she was only in place because there was no suitable replacement available was insulting, dismissive and ignorant.
Up to Alex Salmond’s resignation the SNP Government was run by a trio, Alex, Nicola and John Swinney. Alex and Nicola were the public face, and John Swinney the engine.
During John Swinney’s reign as SNP Leader he disciplined Margo MacDonald, Mrs Sillars – perhaps why Mr Sillars ignores him?
In any event looking at the history of the past three years it is difficult to see what course could have been followed.
Speaking for myself I am delighted with Nicola’s leadership, and there is no demand for her replacement!
Scottish Independence Convention
I am very pleased to see there will be a meeting of the Convention in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh 4th November.
It is not an SNP meeting, but a Convention one, or re-starting the Yes Campaign. There is no doubt in my mind that we need the re-start, and I anticipate they will be planning for the Referendum. The SNP is doing what it has to – the day job.
My belief is that we plan and lay out the campaign over the Winter and activate the members in the Spring. Nobody wants to be knocking on doors or running street stalls in Winter so we wait until spring. Over the Winter we run events to make money to spend on campaigning.
I am too old to take any part in the forthcoming campaign. I felt that the last time too; I retired on my 78th Birthday after polling day in the Dunfermline by election of 2012. Six months later I walked past a Yes street stall in Corstorphine, my local area, when I had been sent out to get bread. I walked on a bit and then stopped” You are an idiot” I said to myself “This Yes campaign is for Independence and you have just walked past!” So I went back, got a bunch of leaflets and started handing them out. I was hooked! When I returned home an hour after I should have been my wife’s only question was “Did you get the bread!” Which I had.
I took part in some canvassing, street stalls, and occasional meetings – no leafletting as I no longer moved fast enough. I found the work exhilarating and moving. It was incredible to me that we had all these people bursting with energy and enthusiasm. I loved it. Generally the workers were not SNP, although after the Referendum most of them joined.