A Busy Weekend

It’s been a very busy weekend in politics in Scotland.

Saturday saw thousands gather at George Square, and across the country, to protest against austerity.  The SNP Trade Union Group held its first National Conference in Stirling with over 250 delegates and I understand fantastic presentations from Christina McKelvie MSP and Marion Fellows MP.

And on Sunday, the first National Council for the SNP following our historic victory in the Westminster elections took place. SNP delegates were treated to a number of fantastic contributions from MPs old and newly elected. There were speakers making their first contributions; notably Heather Anderson who argued for more reflection on the Zero waste motion speaking passionately and knowledgably about her own co-operative on Whitmore Farm, the Organic Place and winning the vote for the remit back.  It was an absolute joy to hear the First Minister and party leader Nicola speak of her experiences in the US, recognise the rise stratospheric rise in membership with a little tease at prospective Labour Leadership candidate, Kezia Dugdale, who seemed a little vague as to whether Scottish Labour membership lay at 13 or 15 thousand at the moment. The killer comment being that either of these claims still leaves them below the 16 thousand plus that make up the SNP Trade Union Group!

On the other hand, Labour have spent the weekend pretending that they understand why, in Jim Murphy’s words, “The party that has traditionally been the tireless champion of the underdog now finds itself in the position of being the underdog.”  The answer is in this quote for all to see. They still believe that they have been the “tireless champion” when the experience of the Scottish people and the Scottish Trades Union movement has been far from having a champion. They have been ignored, patronised and taken for granted for too long.

The weekend saw a strange juxtaposition of two parties.  While Nicola galvanised the whole of National Council with a positive vision of the future where the SNP’s work is far from done and the height of our achievements is yet to come; Labour gave us, in Ken Mackintosh, a politician so determined to distance himself from politics and politicians that he espouses some bizarre parody of Lady Macbeth in an “un-politics me here” rant or Kezia’s ironic whinge about Scotland being a “one party state.”  Ms Dugdale, the Scottish people exercised their democratic choice in a free and fair election. Just about as far from a ‘one party state’ as it is possible to be.

I am content to let Labour continue to navel gaze and angst about what they did wrong, while the SNP get on with doing what they do right; representing the interests of the people of Scotland.


  1. Will crowds, however large, coming out onto the street move anyone in a unionist Westminster to listen to the people of Scotland, how many Stop the War and Ban the Bomb marches have we been on? No matter how many SNP MPs we send down to the haloed halls, no matter how many committees they invite us to sit on, no matter how many debates or questions they allow, the third biggest party in the Commons to ask the Prime Minister at PMQ the answer will always be the same, “the people of Scotland voted to stay in the union so sit down and shut up”. Is it not time to send a letter, along with a postage paid envelope to every person eligible to vote in Scotland (this could be funded by crowed funding, I would be one of the first to contribute) in order to establish whether there is an apatite for another referendum on Scottish independence. If more than 60% of the total returns favour independence, then we could ask for it to be put into the SNP’s manifesto for the 2016 Scottish elections. I believe that only the people of Scotland hold the key to independence and somehow we need to ask them how they want to move forward on this. Cameron has always said he will block any attempt at a new referendum if he is foolish enough to go against the wishes of the Scottish people then UDI is the only way forward.

    1. crowd funding may solve the problem of paying for it but doubt if it would provide the manpower for such a logistical exercise, not unless it was taken on by a group who already have the envelope stuffing volunteers

  2. O’ ye of little faith, remember the nameless thousands that flocked to the banner of the ‘Yes’ campaign, ‘from zero to heroes’ the number of papers and leaflets delivered. You supply the letters and envelopes for NEF and I will lick stick and post them all, and deliver them too if needs must and I’m sure there are as many willing to do likewise in their area.

    1. Of course I do. As one of the local organisers I also know the size of the background team that made all this available for the foot soldiers. Do you know the percentage of people who reply to what is effectively junk/phishing mail?

  3. Sorry Margaret but that’s the point, if they do not reply most likely they are a no! you can remove all the SNP members from the list, someone somewhere will have an e-mail address for them simply send them an e-mail and ask them to reply, that’s over 100 thousand fewer stamps. Tie up with the Greens, SSP and others could save you many more. We need to know if the country is with us and the only way to do so it to ask, what’s the alternative, wait five years and hope of a hung parliament, or a Labour government is returned too power, they will be just as obstructive. As for logistics, “There is no problems in this world only solutions” John Lennon.

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