“No-Deal” = Ideological Insanity

I spent nearly a decade as a  Director of Scotland’s leading Business Continuity Consultancy. We were working with clients from BAE, to Shell, to numerous Local Authorities, to small firms who made garden sheds, to Water Utilities, to the NHS – trusts and central, to Housing Associations, businesses across the UK and Europe. 2005 onwards was a great period to be doing this work as the Civil Contingencies Act had recently been enacted. I’m writing this as I can see *no way* at all that businesses and organisations in the UK can possibly prepare for a No-Deal Brexit. It’s just too big, too nebulous, and most importantly too permanent. Guiding an organisation to plan for disruption *always* assumes that the disruption is temporary. It may last days or even weeks but it is not a permanent change, unlike that being proposed by the UK Government under the guise of “No-Deal”.  If “No-Deal” happens it is an immediate and complete structural change to 40+ years of working.  Almost ever aspect of the way a business operates will require to be changed, quite literally  overnight.   All this is to be done while there is no knowledge whatsoever about the macro environment  the business/organisation operates in.   We ran many,  many, scenario planning exercises for our clients. We had sectors of  their workforce incapacitated by Avian Flu,  we had extended power cuts, we had armed terrorist activity and we helped clients plan how  to manage all of these disruptions. 

Here’s a few of the high level questions which are needed to plan for any  “No Deal” scenario.  Will ‘planes be able to fly?   Will imports and exports be slowed down?   What medicines will be available?   If trucks/haulage is snarled up (as seems probable)  how many extra trucks/vehicles are there to move goods (food?) around the UK?  Are there sufficient drivers?  How will fuel supplies be affected?   How long will this last?  (clue: It’s a sudden, violent and total structural change to the UK economy, so for planning purposes it’s not a disruption, it’s permanent).  How long will a stockpile last?   What’s the security risk for my business/organisation if we’re holding/stockpiling some commodity which suddenly becomes highly valuable  (food, medicine).  Will power (National Grid) still operate fully?  What risk is posed to nuclear generation?  What’s the plan for a run on a bank if the £ Sterling collapses?   Everything in this paragraph is high level, go down any of the branches in it and there’s a myriad of  sub-branches which each need careful consideration and planning. 

The only precedent type  of cross-sector all encompassing event which might be even vaguely comparable  in term of the effort and planning which was put in to mitigating it is the Y2K software events.   Y2K however had millions of  man-hours of activity spent across the globe,  years in advance, to mitigate it.  “No Deal” has few global support mechanisms.

I’m glad I’ve retired because despite having worked with the main boards of directors of many businesses and organisation I just haven’t got a clue how *anyone* could establish a decent operating plan for “No  Deal”.   It’s just not possible.   

“No-Deal” is ideological insanity.  I’ll happily talk this through with any Politician who believes it is possible for a business/organisation to a) Prepare for it and b) Survive it. 

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A lot of good writing.

In the past week or so there’s been a few articles which have caused me to stop and read them more deeply than just giving them the passing glance.  So I thought I’d share them here.  Predictably they are all blogs and online articles.  The Main Stream Media just doesn’t cover these stories.  There’s plenty of reading for you in these linked articles. 

First is this one.  And it broke my heart when I read it because I’ve met the lady at the centre of this story.  Her artwork decorated the 2014 Indy Ref Campaign.  I knew she had problems but had no idea they’d take her to the very edge. So please read on and then you’ll understand this hashtag –  #UnicornsForBrave.    Where’s the coverage of this story in the MSM?   Where’s the outrage?

https://randompublicjournal.com/2017/09/08/trolling-wee-brave-scottish-unionism-at-its-lowest/

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Second, and a logical follow on is this one :   How To Catch an Abusive Online Troll

https://thebutterflyrebellion.scot/2017/09/09/how-to-catch-an-abusive-online-troll/

 

scotland1

 

Third – an excellent piece from Grousebeater – all about democracy Bell Pottinger style…….

https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/the-monologues-of-demagogues/

 

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and Fourth, but by no means least  Craig Murray’s piece on the Appalling Pottingers

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/09/the-appalling-pottingers/

 

 

 

So. enjoy the links folks! 

A Letter Writing Campaign– Let’s do it !

 

If, like me,  you get wound up by the actions of our Government and feel powerless to change anything, maybe, just maybe we can.  There are many, many more of “us” and very few of “them”.  If we all start communicating with “them” then they might realise that “us” lot are not at all happy with their performances.   Yes my main main sources of irritation with the UK Government relate to their treatment of Scotland and the desire for it to be independent, but there are many other reasons for writing to your MP.  Take the whole sorry debacle which is Brexit.  What we have to do is to get smart about this, to get organised, and, just as a suggestion – lets start a massive letter writing campaign.  Let’s write a letter and an email every time there is something which is factually incorrect or is being ignored by the media.  We should write to every Tory MP and MSP and copy the letters to every newspaper editor and make it clear to the politicians that the letter has been cc’d to the media.  There are 14 MPs and 31 MSPs.  There are about 15 newspapers of note and four television broadcasters, so lets say about 60 addresses for letters.   You can make up a file for use in mailmerges for paper letters and I suggest we use the www.writetothem.com service for the emails.   We’re all sitting at keyboards so there isn’t any reason why we can’t all start writing letters. 

They say they work for us – so let’s keep them busy.  This might be a small action, but if enough of us do this and they end up receiving hundreds of letters and emails every week then we will at the very least be making them work.  We will also be creating solid facts to publicise if they fail to respond in a timely and courteous manner.   We can share template letters – although we should make an effort to alter them to make them not all the same  

Let’s make sure *we* are holding their feet to the fire.

 

Letters to the Editor

I’m grateful to a friend who wrote the guide at the end of this post on writing to the editors of the newspapers.  This is another source of pressure for us to put on Government.  I suggest you download this note and use it to guide you as you start writing. 

EMAIL TIP

If you are sending an email to a group of people and you don’t want each of them to know that it’s been sent to other recipients put their addresses in the ‘bcc’ field, not in the ‘to’ nor ‘cc’ fields. 

 

 

Let’s do it.  Let’s remind them that we expect them to be working for us every day, not just in the days before an election when they beseech us to vote for them.

 

Letter writing tips.

Dear Editor – A short guide to letter writing.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed an increase in anti-independence rhetoric from many in the mainstream media and from high profile politicians and commentators. This can take many forms, from strident Unionist MPs given ‘easy rides’ in political discussion programmes to skewed and misleading articles in newspapers. It seems every day brings with it another slew of SNP Bad stories – even more remarkable when the facts of the story are undeniably SNP Good stories! I’m sure we will all have our own examples. But there is a way we can address the more blatant scaremongering stories and badly reported stories. We can write to the Letters Page of what is left of the print industry. This is a great forum for confronting issues that get your blood boiling and putting forward a pro-independence and SNP point of view and moving the argument/discussion in a more positive direction. So with that in mind, I’ve drawn up a few pointers to help you in the art of letter writing.

Firstly, think on which paper you are going to contact. Each paper will have a different readership so tailor your letter accordingly and most importantly, don’t rant! You might feel churned up inside and really angry but a letter which comes over as rambling, angry, and ferocious will only find its way to the bin. Remember that one of the most important background players in the print industry is the lawyer. Anything remotely litigious or construed as a personal attack will not be printed. But there are ways around that. For instance, I had this printed in The Herald in 2014 “I notice that Culture Secretary Maria Miller is arguing that a Yes vote is a vote to leave the BBC. I think there are more reasons to vote Yes without the Rt Hon Member for Basingstoke offering up another one.” Just two sentences but it addresses a scare story, points out where Miller is an MP and gives the Yes movement a mention. Letters don’t necessarily have to be long and involved! In this case it addressed something that had been given plenty coverage and was written very quickly before the issue had gone away.

· You can actually start a conversation. If you have specialist knowledge or a keen interest in an issue, for instance wind farms, raptor poisoning or even what our National anthem should be, then fire in a letter to The Herald and The Scotsman. More localised issues should be directed to the Perthshire Advertiser, Blairgowrie Advertiser or your local paper.

· You can reply to a letter. Often the Letters Ed. Will ‘plant’ a letter that s/he knows will generate a lot of interest. Usually it will be a letter just on the right side of ‘a rant’ but this is ripe for replying to and getting over an SNP or Indy message. A classic of this sort would be the person who is repeating the old ‘Scotland would be lost without oil’. This is an easily destroyed argument and we should all be able to confront such nonsense!

· My favourite – address an issue a Labour or Conservative MP or MSP is stating as fact. The problem here is, of course, choosing which ill-informed MP or MSP to choose. I’d avoid choosing something Murdo Fraser has said as it is often difficult to see what you are writing through tears of laughter. Choose someone like the esteemed David Mundell who is a constant source of material. As I write (Feb 23rd) he is on record as saying Scottish tax rise will chase away immigrants. Blimey, where to start with that one. Firstly, there are no tax rises and secondly aren’t Tories clamouring FOR no immigration?

So, don’t let the stupidity of commentators who have little or no understanding of Scotland in general and the inability to look beyond their Better Together mentality get in the way of your well crafted letter.

The big problem might be that, like me, you refuse to buy a copy of any paper (except the National, of course) and you are wondering how to reply to something in the paper. I find Social Media is the place to go. You don’t have to have a Twitter account – you can follow certain ‘alternative media’ voices and rest assured if an article is causing outrage or wider discussion it will be there for all to read. All you do is write your letter as if you had bought an issue, just start ‘I see in your paper yesterday (date, headline or theme) that Joe Bloggs said..’ . I noticed on a Twitter feed that Patrick Harness had been granted a Thunderer column in The Times. What the paper and/or Harkness had left out from the CV was the fact he is a Director of Scotland in Union, a particularly nasty (but well financed) group of pro-UK voices. So I sent in a letter which started discussing his tone, which was bitter and divisive, before slipping in that such language ‘fits with his agenda as a Director of Scotland in Union’ before finishing off with a more positive view of Scotland. The Times had to mention this omission in the Clarification & Issues section the next day.

Don’t be put off. It is very easy and also helps with forming an argument which can be used when out canvassing. On a very positive note, I’ve noticed that there are more letters of a pro-independence tone leading the Letters Pages than ever before. I’d argue that this momentum has to continue as the anti-independence voices will only be getting louder. We have to counter all their arguments with facts, good sense and a little bit of humour. They know the tide of history is against them. The anger in their voices is there for all to hear. Let’s counter all the nay-sayers every way we can. So when you are next having a coffee break and are skimming the newspapers why not give letter writing a try?

Enjoy your letter writing.

Manchester

I can’t begin to imagine the pain and suffering that parents and children who were at the concert in Manchester this week must be going through. That pain is with them now and for ever.  As a parent, it’s not supposed to be this way.  We’re not supposed to outlive our children.  We’re not supposed to have to arrange their funerals.  Of course accidents happen and some parents have to deal with this, but I don’t know how I would.  Especially if it was as a result of a mindless act of terrorism.  So my heart goes out to all those who have lost a child, and to any children who have lost a mum or a dad.  So, so sad.    We need to remember them not just today, and not just next week and next month.  But for the rest of their lives they’ll bear these scars and some will need our help and support for a long time to come.

 

But what’s happening now?  Two days afterwards.  We’ve got the UK in a state of fear with the alert level being at “Critical”.  We’ve changed our lives and our society away from what is normal.  Who benefits?   You can make a case for this being exactly what the longer aims of the terrorist are.  To cow and induce fear and division in our society.  This is surely the whole point of such attacks.  While we (sweeping generality here) in the West use our laser guided weapons and drones to destroy whole cities in the Far East, they can only retaliate with bombs in rucksacks.  And we’re (rightly) outraged when they do.  I’m not justifying terrorism in any way but maybe, just maybe, if our country wasn’t engaged in perma-war in countries so far away that few of us could reliably show where they are on a globe, there would be less incentive for anyone to attack our children.

 

I read many other bloggers writings and here’s a couple that have struck me as having made fair and valid points –

Policing – Mewsing Out Loud 

Why self-imposed political silence is a misguided reaction to terrorism

 

Politically we’re two weeks away form a General Election in the UK. Yet all campaigning has been suspended.  Parties have their (prospective) MPs and their activists on hold.  My favoured party – The Scottish National Party has been unable to publish their manifesto.  That’s a problem, a real problem for anyone who believes in Democracy.  A party being unable to launch it’s manifesto as the polling day gets closer is just wrong. 

Our Tory Prime Minister – who on Monday lunchtime was on the ropes and being exposed as “weak and wobbly” over her U-Turns on policies in her party’s manifesto has been given breathing space, if not thrown a lifeline.  And did anyone tell the media to suspend campaigning?  They’ve been in full-on attack mode on Jeremy Corbyn over his discussions with the IRA donkeys years ago.   Whatever way you look at it, this bomb has blown a great big hole in the UK’s democracy.  Respect for those who have suffered  (and are still suffering) has to be, and has been shown, but life – including campaigning – has to go on.  Otherwise the terrorist is winning.  Or one side of a democracy is taking advantage.  

 

 

 

 

 

Did “Peak-Tory” happen yesterday? 

It is not what the news headlines this morning in Scotland are describing. Here’s what the numbers say.  

The SNP increased its number of councillors

The Tories increased their number of councillors. 

Labour lost almost half its councillors. 

The gap between the party with most councillors and the second place party got much bigger. 

(Numbers below) 


What to make of the headlines then?  Far from having reached “Peak-Nat” it looks more like we’ve reached “Peak-Tory”.   Even with all the hype and support in the media, the Tories success looks like it has been built on the continuing collapse of the Labour vote.  Unionist supporters have transferred their allegiance to the only other unionist party.  That has to be a cause for concern inside Labour ranks.  But should it be a reason for cause for concern in SNP and Indy supporting ranks?  Less so.  The SNP vote more than held up. It increased.   Certainly the Tory vote increased too – but it is easier to create a massive gain when you start from a low position. Doubling from 12% to 24% is good, but where’s the next growth going to come from?  Consider also the fantastic growth for the Green Party.  They’ve gone from 8 councillors to 19.  Statistically that’s an even better growth and result than the Tories.  
If the results are considered in terms of unionist and indy then it most certainly isn’t the newspaper headlines that are being accurate.  Accuracy is that the Indy support has increased.  And that the Tories have nowhere left to gain ‘soft’ votes.  “Peak-Tory” looks like a realistic and rational analysis.   But you won’t hear that on the TV or radio and certainly won’t read it in a mainstream newspaper.  

Scotland is still walking towards an independent future.  Despite the hype and claims in the media.  

Halt!! Who Goes There?

We’ve got elections coming up in about 5 weeks time.  These are for our Local Authority Councillors.  I’ve never been really sure that politics with a capital “P” should play a big part in these elections, but hey, it does. Especially this time.  No less a figure than the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has decreed that it should be so.  “Send a message to the SNP. Tell them in these local authority elections that you don’t want another Independence Referendum” she said.   Well then, who am I to argue with the Prime Minister?  Clearly the local council elections really are all about politics with a capital “P“.   So if that is the case then maybe we should all look very closely at the parties who are putting forward candidates seeking our votes.   I know, these elections really ought to be about the best people for the jobs, people who really do understand our local issues, people who can deal with the dogsh*t problems and the housing development issues.  But they’re not. The Prime Minister says so.  So they can’t be.  (Well, not this time anyway). So lets look at the parties.

This then gets us to something which isn’t mentioned or reported on the BBC News nor in any newspapers.  It’s an uncomfortable truth, for the media,  that Scotland only has a handful of political parties.  (Assuming you accept the definition of being a Scottish Political Party as being a political party registered with the Electoral Commision as being Scottish.) The table below is an extract from the electoral Commision’s list of registered parties.

parties

(You can click here  to find the full list if you like)

So what of the Scottish Labout Party?  The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party?  The Scottish Liberal-Democrat Party?   Well, according to the Electoral Commision  (and they are the only source of facts) these parties do not exist.

Although the Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Conservative and Unionist parties might stick Scottish before their name, they in fact do not exist by those names on the role of registered parties. How Scottish are they then?  Where do they get their money from?  Where do they get their instructions from? Who actually controls these “Scottish” parties if they’re not on the Electoral Commision’s register?  ( Johann Lamont once famously said the Scottish Labour Party was a branch-office.)

The questions I’ve posed are good and fair questions as these parties are asking us for our votes. It seems to me the “big three” parties are as Scottish as Yorkshire Pudding, the Blackpool Tower and the white cliffs of Dover.

So, when you come to choose where to put your 1 and 2 (and 3 and 4 if you wish) on your ballot paper on the 4th May in the Scottish Local Authority elections – just remember what country you are voting in, and which parties are as Scottish as David Beckham’s right foot…….. (and David Beckham’s left foot actually….)

It’s about time…….

Maybe I should start this as “Once upon a time”…. exceptbroken-time I’d rather not draw parallels, however tempting it might be, with Wicked Queens in the South and heroic champions in the North.   (Pause for thought – it’s funny to think that it’s always the North that’s the desolate, often frozen, wasteland.  Think of the wall in Game of Thrones, it’s in the north too)

Anyway, it’s about time…. and a whole lot more.   Let’s have a look at what’s possibly going to happen in the UK over the next few years against a timeline.  It’s the way I think about big events and hopefully it might enlighten a few thoughts, or spark questions, from other people who read this. (assuming anyone does!!).  I’m happy to add lines to this from anyone who reads it and then in a years time we can all look back on it and see how accurate we were.

2017

  • The Scottish Parliament calls for #scotref, a further referendum for the Scottish people to vote on independence to happen between Aug ’18 and April ’19
  • The Tory UK Goverment enacts Article 50, with no ammendments and no protections for anyone.
  • The Tory Goverment hands itself  unimaginable power through the Great Repeal Bill.
  • The Tory UK Government enacts the Investigatory Powers Bill and the Digital Economy Bill.
  • The Tory UK Government offers no solace to EU nationals living and working in the UK while it is negotiating it’s Brexit “deal” with the EU.
  • Inflation in the UK continues to rise, caused by the long term devaluation in the £ Sterling and wages continue to stagnate, leading to a lowering of disposable income for many in society.
  • Businesses for whom it is (comparitively) easy to relocate head office and similar functions activate their Brext plans.  ie they start moving jobs to EU countries.
  • Northern Ireland holds a 3rd snap election in a 6 week period and Sinn Feinn wins outright control leading to them to seek re-unification with the South.
  • Donald Trump resigns from the Presidency citing stress and wanting to spend more time with his family…….  (impeachment hearings were being scheduled)

2018

  • UK Inflation is now running at between 4% and 5% and wages are, at best, rising at 1%
  • Consumer confidence in the economy is falling, leading to overall confidence in the economy weakening.
  • Wailing and gnashing of teeth, lurid media headlines abound.

The difficulty the media will have is knowing what story to headline with.  As the Brexit bites start to mount up to being far more than just the little nibbles of voracious midges, what do they say about it all?  Do they continue to attack Scotland for seeking to mitigate and minimise the unfolding disasters?  Do they instead attack those who took the UK into this swamp?  Who could they find – Nigel Farage has emmigrated to America  (oh the irony of him becoming an immigrant, David Cameron has just gone into hiding and BoJo and Gove are protected from criticsm because thy’re part of “The Government”.

  • Scottish people continue to reflect on the scenes before them.
  • People from the EU are leaving the UK and this causes the predicted near collapse of NHS England.
  • The Electoral Commission implements the electoral boundary changes, which most commentators/analysts forecast will benefit only the Tory party.
  • The Labour party implodes and splits into smaller factions.
  • N.Ireland launches a formal process/referendum  to rejoin the South of Ireland.  The EU supports this move and says the precendent for N.Ireland staying in the EU when reunified exists.  See German reunification for details.
  • Belfast starts to suffer from a property bubble as people flock there from England.
  • The Tory budget lowers Corporation Tax to 12.5% and moves the pension age to 70.
  • Spain makes overtures to Gibraltar about becoming a “Spanish Protectorate”

2019

  • The UK Formally leaves the EU, without a negotiated settlement. The UK falls back on WTO trading terms.
  • The Tory UK Government calls a snap election as it becomes clear that the WTO rules are damaging to the UK economy.
  • The Tory party is returned to Westminster as a majority government, despite receiving less than 30% of the popular vote.   (Remember that bit about changing the electoral boundaries…. it pays back in spades for the Tories as they achieve a historic third succesive term in Government)
  • The UK is now set for a Tory Government until 2024 and all bets are off about them losing those elections thus raising speculation that the UK could have two decades of uniterrupted right wing Government.
  • Scotland holds #scotref with another astonishingly high turnout and independence is backed by 58% to 42%
  • N.Ireland and Scotland both start the formal processes of leaving the United Kingdom.

 

What can we add to this story?   Who wants to contribute to it?

Changing Times,

Changing minds……………..

Just a short update,  we had friends staying with us over the weekend.  English friends from England.  It might surprise some people to know that Scottish people and English people can be friends.  (yes Sadiq Kahn, I’m looking at you….)   Indeed we’ve been friends for about 30 years now.  Even friends however can have arguments and disagreements and I had one with my friend back in 2014. We were on completely opposite sides of the Independence referendum.  We even parted from a joint weekend holiday with harsh words ringing in my ears.  My words mainly, and I was sad and ashamed that I said them.  However, the cross-border friendship endured.  This weekend, as I said, they were up staying with us.  And there were no cross words.  Just agreement that Scotland would be mad to stay within the omnishambles that is Brexit Britain.  Changing times. changing minds.

 

 

Power for the People

A Sunday morning idea. 

Looking around my house at the things which we use which use electricity and I got to thinking. Bear with me on my flight of fantasy here.  

Global warming is happening, man made or otherwise.  I believe we’re contributing to it and ought to be thinking of ways to reduce the electricity we use. As we depend on more computers, tablets phones, routers, monitors it seems unlikely that we’ll actually reduce the electricity we use.  So how about changing, drastically, how we made, distribute and use it?   What if we really, as a mass society, could make a step change in how we do this?  

Many devices are essentially battery powered so only need to be recharged, so we have wall-wart transformers to the 5v DC these devices need.  Others are 12v DC. The latest adverts for vacuum cleaners ‘break the cord’ so that’s another device which runs on batteries. 

But what if…….we built houses with DC ring mains?  Not instead of 240v AC but as well as.  What if every house, factory, office had to be built with photovoltaic cells feeding into a DC ring?  All lighting, LED of course, would run from this DC ring, as would as many devices as we can make which will do away with the need for a transformer.   What things do we have which really need 240v?  Washing machines?  Almost everything else has transformers and power supplies which take three mains down to a DC level. 

So why not do away with all the transformers and have DC rings? Is this what Tesla is doing with their battery walls and solar tiles? If so, more power (pun intended) to them.  Wouldn’t such a house (or office) really be a worthy “Grand Design”,  just as Armstrong’s Cragside House was back in the days.  

A Light In the Darkness

3d-wallpapers-light-dark-wallpaper-35822

They say that the darkest part of the night comes just before the dawn.  Politically, in the UK and the USA we seem to be at that stage.  In the UK we’ve got an out of control unrestrained right wing faction of the Conservative Party who seem to be making the rules and behavioural norms up as they go along.  And in the USA today they’re about to anoint the most unlikely President ever, who gives every indication of being just as out of control and of making up the norms of behaviour as he goes along as the right wing in the UK is doing.   Only the very fortunate and very few on this planet can see either of these “leaders” as portents of the breaking dawn.  To the remaining 99% of us it’s dark, and getting darker.

How long this night will last we don’t know.  For the UK it could be a very long time.  The USA will have an election in another 4 years in which they can undo the mistakes they’ve made (assuming that President Trump remains in office for a full term).  But for the poor UK the calamity of Brexit will still be in full flow at the time of the next election.  There’s also every sign that the Conservatives will be returned to power in that 2020 election, although I’d bet on a far lower turnout than at any election.  So the night in the UK could be another decade long.   A darkness in which it is forgotten that we are all humans, that we all need shelter, warmth, food, health and society.   I can’t help but feel the leaders we have currently got seem to have lost sight of this, as they luxuriate in the rarified atmosphere of their riches.

And yet, there’s  a spark of light in Scotland.  The Scottish National Party has it’s core the belief that Scotland can be a successful independent nation state once again.  The SNP is fortunate to have the most capable leader and gifted politician in Nicola Sturgeon leading them at this time.   The SNP is a broad church with over 120,000 members.  As a share of the population, this is truly remarkable, I doubt if many other political parties anywhere in the world can match that.  Certainly, none in the UK can.   The problem the Unionists have with the SNP is that it is that at the moment the SNP is the party of hope.  While it’s easy to snipe and argue that hope doesn’t pay the bills, it’s not something that can ever be taken away from people.  You can’t kill an idea.  As the UK is accelerating towards societal upheaval and the economic calamity of Brexit,  taking back control of our own destiny looks ever more attractive.  (irony alert – yes I know….. I’m using the slogans of the Brexiteers. Double irony is that they used those words and didn’t see that they could just as easily be applied to another situation within the UK)

One by one, the ‘promises’ and ‘vows’ made in 2014 by the Unionists in the “Better Together” campaign have been dropped, forgotten or just ignored.   The men who made those promises are now, a mere two and a bit years on, either sidelined by their parties or have left the field of politics.  Yet, the new leaders of the parties continue to make more ‘promises’ and ‘vows’ to Scotland.  Ask yourself – what credibility do those leading the UK parties have?   When will they be gone and will their repacement(s) set any store by what was ‘promised’?

So,  Scottish friends, what can you do to help keep the light burning in the darkness?   For sure, regaining independence for the people of this wonderful country will not be easy.  It will not be an immediate land of milk-and-honey. There will be economic problems to overcome.  What currency?  What tax?  How will we be organised?   But these are short term problems and are being worked on and tought through.  The light in the darkness is to build an undeniably fairer and more equitable country.   That desire runs through the SNP like the lettering in a stick of seaside rock.  That’s what the 120,000 members signed up to.  One of the USA’s most charismatic President’s asked at his inauguration  :  “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”

Scotland can show the way.  The Scottish Enlightenment did exactly that back in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  So what are  you going to do to keep a light shining in the darkness?