Divide and Rule

I just had my 86th Birthday, Fri 23 Oct, so I am waxing philosophical:

“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day until the last syllable of  recorded time.
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.
Out out brief candle, life is but a poor player , who 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.”

I used to think this was from Hamlet, who seems to soliloquise a lot, but it is from MacBeth;  I think it comes to mind more as I grow older.  Cheery! However I am not anxious to snuff it ?

Just last week, I discovered something astounding by way of statements and attitudes – I was thinking of differences between the SNP and the Yes Campaign – this has come about because of the vast amounts of pressure from new Apostles, all critical of the SNP, which is either not listening to them, not going fast enough, or frightened to rock the boat.

The Unionists just love these developments

Fact 1: The day job is the need to tackle Coronavirus, which is running out of control;  this creates death, and the virus changes and shifts about. We see Bollocks Johnson taking a haphazard approach to this and England being hit harder under his chaotic attitude but the virus is moving in Scotland.  We do not know when, if ever, we will be able to control it.  In my day we had Asian Flu which I got but this was more than 60 years ago and the symptoms did not last long – I think I was off work for a few days.

Fact 2: Nicola Sturgeon is doing a first class job on the pandemic;  while this is being admitted it will only transfer into votes at an election, or a referendum.

The SNP is higher in the Opinion Polls than it has ever been

Fact 3:  I only managed 2 Yes Marches prior to 2014, also some canvassing, getting out two or three times a day; in April 2016 I had a ruptured aneurism, so after 6 weeks in hospital and a major operation my canvassing days were over. (The survival rate for that was 20%)

Fact 4:  While Yes Marches are great for morale, they do not generate votes.  Votes are gained by knocking doors, delivering leaflets and holding meetings.

Fact 5:  In the 2014 Campaign I found canvassing more fruitful than ever before; people actually had questions, displayed interest and were looking for answers.

I particularly remember one incident in Carricknowe in  Edinburgh. When they opened the door we had forms – “On a scale of from 1 to 10, where would you say your intention is?”  1 was no interest at all and 10 was Yes.   This chap had tattoos all over both arms, was wearing a bunnet, and smoking – his mangy dog was with him – we expected abuse.  He looked at the paper and said 20!  He was very enthusiastic, the last person one would expect to be a Yes voter – just shows how appearances can be deceptive.

Another day, another area, I was with another canvasser, do not think he was in any Party;  the resident came to the door and we had a fairly neutral reception, but pleasant.  The he said to us “Did you see Galloway?”  George Galloway had been on TV the night before, speaking to young people.  We said “Yes”, and he gave a considered response “F*****g A***hole”.  All part of life’s rich tapestry.

The point – we need to know where our voters are, and get them out.

Fact 6:  I was on two different polling stations on the day.  You could tell by the cautious approach of voters that we were not doing very well – and so it came to pass.

The latest kid on the block is Scotia Future;  This is set up by Chick Brodie and Andy Doig, Chick was elected as a List MSP in 2011, but lost his seat in 2016 by attempts by other SNP members to game the list vote, and use their List Vote to boost the Greens. Chick was a former Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and I think abandoned them after Devolution – he is from Dundee, as am I.  Andy Kerr was an SNP Councillor, but I do not remember when or why he left the SNP – he always struck as quite a decent cove.

The basis for their new party is that they are appealing to the 38% of voters who voted to leave the EU; how many of them were SNP voters I do not know , but 62% in Scotland voted to Remain.

From a personal point of view I attempted to get the SNP to leave Europe at the Conference in Edinburgh in 1978, but failed.  My reasoning, like many others. was I did not see why Scotland should leave one remote Government, and then join one even more remote government.  We lost the vote and I was asked to appear on TV with George Reid, who opposed my motion.  In the TV Studio I asked him to give me a few tips as I did not want to see two SNP members hacking lumps out of each other.  George said to look at the camera, and do not use a list.  We sat down, the camera rolled, and George produced a list, and I said to myself “Here endeth the First Lesson!”

Much later when in discussion with Jimmy Halliday, a former SNP Chairman, he told me that the SNP had always been in favour of the EU.  When I attempted to argue with him he said “Scotland will have exactly the same amount of Independence as every other country in that Union.“ Jimmy Halliday was a fount of wisdom and knowledge, I changed my mind.

So I have been around the block on the European issue, and cannot stand to see another vote splitting party on the List.

Every vote for every other Party is a vote against the SNP; other Parties can make their own ways, as the SNP has done, but not at our expense.  The idea of a host of other parties with a few seats wheeling and dealing with the SNP is daft.  Party discipline has to be adhered to.  The state of Edinburgh Western where a cabal set out to dump the MSP with the biggest SNP majority in history managed to lose this seat – and the SNP’s majority in Holyrood by dubious means has never been investigated by the National Executive.

Tail piece from a light hearted point of view; away back in time I was the Chairman of Corstorphine Branch of the SNP – early Seventies, I think, and we were holding a meeting in the Dower House in Corstorphine. In the course of the meeting I had to chide Mrs Gibson, mother of Lt  Col Muriel Gibson for talking.

(Real live Lt Col in the British Army – not your paper Ruth Davidson). 

After the meeting ended Mrs Gibson came up to me and said “Why did you pick on me and no Mrs Unnamed?”  I replied, “Because you were sober and she wasn’t.”

She muttered and grumbled, but went off only mildly satisfied.

A few months later we had to hold the meeting in the Gibson house; we sat at a table in her kitchen, and I sorted out the paperwork, and produced my pipe.  Mrs Gibson stated “You’re no’ smoking that thing in here!”.

Touche – her house her rules?

Muriel was the Party’s National Secretary, following on from Gordon Wilson.

I am  presently  reading “A Year at the Circus” – Inside Trump’s White  House, by Jon Sopel BBC’s North American Editor.  It is a very detailed tale of how Donald  Trump is trashing the American constitution and running amok with his own rules.  As America decides on the next President, it is frightening.


  1. The key words are ‘Divide and Rule’ – Wastemonster’s most powerful weapon. I am constantly amazed by how few people understand its implications. The internal fractious fools apparently cannot contain their selfish agendas and just wait until we have won independence. After all, it wont be long!

  2. Thanks David, my fear is that these ambitious members will turn the Saltire into the White Flag.

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