It now looks like a second referendum is set to dominate our Depute Leadership contest and I believe that is a good thing. We are at a critical juncture in how we proceed with a second referendum and it is something that we simply have to get right. The debate seems to centre round whether we should proceed with a referendum simply because we currently possess a mandate or whether we hold one when there is good evidence it can be won. 

I think everyone knows my view on this by now and it begins and ends with my firm belief that we simply can not countenance losing again. We are so close to securing our historic objective that to throw away a victory that we’ve so patiently and constructively worked for over the decades through impatience would be the worst type of defeat. I want to see evidence it can be won and I want it held at the time of our choosing when the optimum conditions are in place for success. 

People have asked what these conditions are and what evidence is required? It is a fair question which I will try and address.

Before I do I want to first go over what these ‘optimal conditions’ are not. 

Firstly, they are not when we are less than one year away from having lost over one third of our independence supporting MPs to candidates who had as their main campaigning message ‘No to a second referendum’. The SNP Government had only weeks previous to last year’s General Election placed independence centre stage by successfully securing support in Parliament to request a fresh section 30 order from the UK Government. Where there were other issues at play in last year’s General election an early referendum was by far the most dominant and we can not ignore the fact that the SNP lost half a million votes. 

‘Optimal conditions’ are not when a significant gap exists between support for independence and support for an ‘early’ independence referendum. Every test of public opinion has shown that this gap is real and we simply can not wish it away. Support for independence remains impressively at around the 45% we secured in 2014. I don’t know how we can otherwise conclude that there are a number of people who still support independence but who do not want an early referendum. Indeed, in my campaign last year I came across identified independence supporters who told me that they were voting Conservative to stop an early referendum.

‘Optimal conditions’ are also not when a majority of our fellow Scots continue to tell us they still oppose independence by a significant margin when public opinion is tested. Many have said that simply holding a new referendum will somehow secure a majority and just by initiating a renewed contest we will secure a victory. This ignores just how hard it is going to be to secure a majority. That last five precent we need to win over in a renewed referendum will be the hardest five percent we have ever had to convert. It is a five percent that is deeply dug in with over five years of intense debate about our country’s constitutional future.

That then brings me on to what we need to do to start to move towards ‘optimal conditions’. First, and most obviously, we need a new case to win over that last tough, entrenched, 5 percent. They are going to take a lot of shifting and we have to get on to their territory. Everyday issues such as currency, pensions and perceived deficits are the obvious issues we have to address but so are things that persuadable unionists care about. To win we are going to have to be creative. Things like the cultural connections and attachments that are valued across these isles and even things like British identity are going to have to be tackled and reviewed. It is also about returning to a One Scotland approach to independence. The places we lost in 2014 were in rural and affluent Scotland and we need to ask searching questions about whether appealing to one sector of our community we may be losing out to another. It means listening to persuadable unionists, understanding their agenda then winning them over. 


Then there is Brexit. We simply can not leave Yes leavers semi-detached from the Yes movement. Forget stay at home ‘over eager nationalists’ the people who stayed at home last year were Yes voters who voted to leave the European Union. Proceeding to another indyref with this unresolved will be like proceeding with one hand tied behind our back. Then there is recognising the opportunities around Brexit. Brexit will be an unmitigated disaster for our fellow Scots and when it properly hits our fellow Scots will want to review their constitutional options.  

The ‘optimum conditions’ then is when we have done all of this. When we can feel confident that we can go to the Scottish people with a new case for our country’s independence with the outstanding impediments to success addressed. It means seeing support for our country’s independence being the sustained choice when public opinion is tested. It is hitting the sweet spot when Brexit impacts and people actively want out of an isolated, desolated UK. It means seeing support for the SNP returning to the levels we achieved around the last referendum in electoral contests. It means evidence. If securing our independence was easy we would already be an independent country. This is going to be hard, hard work and no amount of just wishing it can be easily achieved because we want it is going to get us there. We owe it to future generations of Scots to win this and rescue our nation from a disastrous Brexit and a UK determined to erode our national Parliament. We simply have to have a nation of our own run by those of us who live and work here.

So, again, and again, and again – rinse and repeat, losing again is simply not an option.


  1. Monica Worley

    So how are we supposed to get a referendum once WM shuts down the Scottish Parliament? Which could be as soon as March 29, 2019. Serious question…

    1. Kangaroo

      I agree, there is an existential threat to the existence of the Scottish Parliament as is evidenced by the Supreme court challenge to the Continuity Bill and the expansion of the Scotland office. If they can accomplish the transfer of currently devolved powers back to Westminster then it would be a simple matter to nullify the other powers and retake control. Our parliamentarians must have a comprehensive plan to prevent that happening otherwise Scotland will be desertified and poverty will be further increased and effectively imposed on what are now the Tory voting middle classes who think they are impervious to the pain of right wing policies.

  2. fi

    We need to hold a convention and discuss this, the SNP and the YES movement need to come together and work out a strategy, and soon!

  3. Lizzy55

    I find it inconceivable that you would allow your fellow Scott’s to wait until they feel the hard batterings of Brexit before you act to elevate the suffering. As an Independence Party and to say you stick up for Scotland and it’s people you would then let our people continue to suffer under this Tory right wing govt simply because we have to feel their effects before the Indy vote goes up a few percentages. It’s our political representatives job to point out the problems and elevate them as quickly as possible and in Scotland case that can only be independence. Are we to watch as our Parliament is degraded, our budgets cut and our country continue to get poorer as the tories impose more austerity and Brexit bites all in the name of let’s see the suffering before we act to stop the suffering. If thats the snp policy then you will quickly loose members. Also, consider that most people learn to live with hardship, they normalise it. If the snp wait until the next Scottish Parliament election to suggest Indy and the electorate have watched the snp do nothing to stop the hardship and in fact thought a wee doze of hardship would help, that would be a grave mistake. You are likely to lose your Indy majority in a much weakened Parliament as Westminster diminishes Holyrood powers. People don’t like being played!

    When the last GE was called and the snp launched their campaign they did not make the case for independence and in doing so let the Tories have free reign to promote their one policy which was no indyref2. This was a big mistake. You did not get the Indy vote out because you did not make the case for Indy. That was a huge mistake on 2 counts. No counteraction against the one policy tories and the independence voters saw no reason to support the snp as promoting independence was banished by tory rhetoric as the snp ran scared to talk about it. You lost a huge amount of votes by being too scared to promote or even talk about Indy.

    If like the first minister promised and while the mandate for Indy from our parliament is still on the table we revit the need for independence. As suggested between autum 2018 and spring 2019. You know the mess that a hard Brexit will do to the people of Scotlandand you know it’s already started. You also know the tories are planing to take powers away from the Scottish Parliament and leave Scotland with little say in how we are governed. We will be poorer and more at the mercy of Westminster. I suggest, for the sake of the people of Scotland, you make the case for Indy quickly, by gathering all the Indy groups and start the campaigns needed to gain that extra few percentage points, well before we suffer any more than we do at the moment and certainly before brexit bites as post Brexit will be too late. I have been an snp support for decades but if my party don’t take our people out of this destructive union before Brexit bites then my party will not come close to what they purport to stand for and I won’t living in Scotland under a corrupt Westminster government.

  4. Andrew

    Waiting for a sweet spot? Maybe it has already passed? Waiting leaves you in the hands of those that are not waiting; but doing. You make your own luck. If you cannot persuade people that you are right now, what makes you think you ever will? To hope that people will suddenly decide that they don’t want to be British is a vain hope.
    Clearly the big issue is the media; but as the UK slides ever more deeply into fascism, you cannot expect any improvement there. The Tories grip on power is ever tightening and as the latest polls indicate the worse they treat people the more they vote Tory. This route always ends in war.
    The YES side does not need to wait ; it needs inspirational leadership. Independence will never be given to us: it must be taken. I do not advocate violence as the solution. Rousing speeches are what is required. Large rallies.

  5. msdidi

    The Scottish government must use the mandate we have given them and call a referendum before we are taken out of the EU. 62% of voters voted to stay in the EU and that was without EU nationals living here and 16/17 year olds being allowed to vote. Although I understand why Nicola felt she had to try to reach a compromise for the sake of those who voted for Brexit I feel it has been a compromise too far. Time to stand up for democracy in Scotland. If necessary a case can be made during the referendum campaign for the EU question to be revisited after independence but the “will of the Scottish people” was clearly expressed and as more and more are becoming aware of what a disaster Brexit will be for Scotland the desire to avoid it must surely grow.
    You say that the SNP “lost” half a million voters in the snap GE. Many of those were Indy supporting people who have been SNP voters in order to show support for Independence. They were scunnered that the SNP campaign made it clear the GE was NOT about Independence and avoided mentioning it….like the plague…..even when all the BritNats parties (and the MSM) were talking about nothing else! They did not give their vote elsewhere …..they just didn’t bother!
    There is so much happening NOW in the UK that the Independence campaign could get its teeth into……Brexit, the power grab/Supreme Court case, the illegal bombing in Syria, immigration issues, Trident, shipbuilding going abroad, Cambridge Analytica, pensions etc etc ……never mind the fact that NONE of the promises made in The Vow 2014 have been kept and the introduction of EVEL announced on the 19th September 2014!
    We need to make sure there are safeguards in place for the count and the adherence to the rules of purdah……both of which left much to be desired previously.
    There are many moving from NO to YES……why do you think the BritNats are so worried?
    All opinion polls are deceptive…..they are designed to sway opinion NOT reflect it.
    Independence supporters will never give up the cause and another defeat would be heartbreaking but to lose because we didn’t even try would be worse. 2015 showed a massive increase in support for the SNP in order to buoy the independence movement and keep the dream alive…..if they do not use our mandate there will be consequences!

  6. Joyce Fraser

    Why is there no fight for an unbiased broadcasting channel? We know information control is their weapon of choice yet there is no fight for our own channel. It’s imperative that people get the truth and not the diet of lies and smears dished up daily in the mainstream media.

  7. yesindyref2

    It means seeing support for the SNP returning to the levels we achieved around the last referendum in electoral contests.

    You want to do WHAT? You want to see support for the SNP DROP before Indy Ref 2? Eh?

    From what S******* thinks Westminster voting intentions:
    Jul 2014 to Sep 2014 – 33%, 25%, 22%, 35%.
    Now (Panelbase April) 36% – and that’s a drop in support, wonder why?

    If this attitude is standard it’s time for someont to start the Scottish Independence Party. They’ll get my vote if we’re forced to take part in any more Westminster elections.

    1. yesindyref2

      The 35% by the way was Survation, with all fieldwork done on 19th September 2014 – the day AFTER the Indy Ref. So if there’s any correlation on the basis of just 3 results between support for the SNP and support for Indy, it seems to be a negative one. On which basis a YES vote would be guaranteed if support for the SNP fell below 22%, the “optimum condition”.

      Now, that is as daft as this article. Isn’t it?

  8. Robert T

    With a certain amount of respect Pete it is the SNP SG who are letting YES voters down , they are not nailing the constant lies and deliberate misinformation down , they are constantly on the defensive they are allowing the MSM and the broadcasters to drive the narrative , I know along with everyone else that the SNP are not allowed air time , but even on LIVE broadcasts like FMQ’s they are not highlighting the deliberate lies and misinformation being forced down Scots throats daily .
    The power grab or the continuity bill is a perfect example of this , you have unionist MP’s MSP’s and reporters commenting almost daily that the bill is not important to Scots and that Joe public is not really concerned about it , it is up to the SNP SG to highlight vociferously and at every opportunity just how damaging this power grab will be to Scotland
    This effectively will lead to the loss of the SG’s and Scotland’s ability to implement anything worthwhile , everything will be discussed and agreed by wastemonster we effectively will cease to exist as a country and a nation , this MUST be explained in the severest terms that everyone understands , it is a travesty that it is being referred to the english supreme court when all along Scots have been told that Scots law is the sole arbiter of laws in Scotland
    The SNP SG should not be cowering to wastemonster or the unionists they should again be vociferous and proud to espouse independence , they should be more forthright and open about their support of the YES movement they should be attending rallies and marches not avoiding or being ashamed of their ambitions

    You know as well as everyone else that there is an element that will NEVER vote for independence these people will never change , but that doesn’t mean that independence supporters should be ignored or placated by a sometime in the future promise , that will damage the movement and the momentum more . Even if indy2 fails ( god forbid ) then we will have indy 3 4 5 6 7 or 8 the dream will happen , If the SNP don’t want to do it then others will have to take up the mantle
    I have faith in Nicola and Scotland , wastemonster is in turmoil it has to be soooooon

  9. Derick Tulloch

    Pete. I am 100% in agreement with your position.

    The obvious compromise position to unite those who have moved from Yes to No because of Brexit, and the Yes Leavers (36% of SNP voters and 43% of 2014 Yes voters – is EFTA EEA. The Party needs to have an open and honest debate about this.

    Monica and “Kangaroo”. I hope I am not misrepresenting your views, but I get the impression that a lot of people think we must have a referendum before March 2019 because then we lose the protection of the EU. See Catalonia: the EU offers no “protection” whatsoever. It doesn’t have the power to intervene, even if it wanted to. In the Catalan case the EU has enthusiastically supported Rajoy’s thugs, not the Catalans.

    And – the answer to what we would do if Westminster did try to close Holyrood – would be a return to a direct electoral mandate via a majority of Scottish Westminster MPs elected on a manifesto committment for withdrawal and the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to draw up the constitution of an independent state. They can’t block that without banning elections!

    If we go for a referendum, based on Brexit, before December 2020 we hand a huge amount of power to our dear friends in Westminster. It would be childishly easy for them to wreck the vote by deciding to stay in the customs union and single market. We’d lose, or have to abandon the vote.

    That said, there’s merit in renewing the S30 request at the end of this year. If May (or her successor!) refuses, then an unqualified mandate should be front and centre of the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election. If support for independence is there, we’d win. Once we are past Brexit, however it turns out, that issue will be less divisive. Referendum 2024 would be on the principle of independence, not on irrelevant side issues. We’d win.

    1. Monica Worley

      ‘And – the answer to what we would do if Westminster did try to close Holyrood…’ Thanks, Derick. I honestly didn’t think of that.

      Also, I recall that the EU helped us get our parliament – without them we wouldn’t have one. Catalonia is a totally different (and very awful) situation.

      I don’t understand where the Dec 2020 date comes into it. Don’t we have to have the border settled by June, according to Ireland, and the ‘deal’ sorted this fall?

      While we might win in 2024, the damage that will be done to Scotland in the meantime is horrific! I would hope we could win without having to go through that!

      1. Derick Tulloch

        Monica – thanks for your considered response. Nice to have a debate with respect!

        There have been claims that the Council of Europe assisted in the reconvening of our Parliament. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but in any case the Council of Europe is not an EU institution. It’s a much broader body, established in 1949. Non EU states like Russia and the Ukraine are members.

        31 December 2020 is the (current) date that the proposed Transition Period expires. The EU has said – Michel Barnier a couple of weeks ago, that the UK could change its mind and stay in the customs union and single market right up to the end of Transition. Which means that if we are committed to holding a referendum before then, on th the basis of Brexit, Westminster could caa the feet from it at any time. Just an opinion, that’s no more valid than any other, but a referendum when we won’t know the final Brexit deal seems strategically unwise.

        It’s clear to me that we won’t be independent before Brexit. There just isn’t time to pass a referendum Bill, hold the campaign, win and then negotiate independence in 11 months. Therefore we will out of the EU on independence day. And the implication of that is that we then have a choice as to which route back into the single market we choose. For my money the best option is EFTA EEA, because it’s much simpler and faster. We might choose to join the EU at some point in the future, but the priority has to be getting back in the single market (EEA). Because that’s where the real advantages of Europe are.

        What’s the country in Europe that we most aspire to be like. Norway!

  10. Gordon

    Has there been any research into the so called Yes Leavers? Most of the ones I know, did so because it would lead us exactly into this situation. The ones who voted in this way can obviously now be discounted, and the ones who actually voted Leave because they wanted to leave the EU I would hazard a guess that a healthy proportion of them will now want to stay?

    1. Derick Tulloch


      Not enough research into Yes leavers. The headline numbers are pretty clear, as seen here.
      14% Yes+Leave. See the bottom right hand box in the table entitled ‘Profile: Scotland’s Indyref and EUref voters’

      And here from Wings in 2015, 11% wanted Independence but not the EU

      And again in 2016 for the Sunday Times, again reported by Wings and, again, 11%.

      So far so consistent. The polls are still around 45-46% so not much seems to have changed.

      What this doesn’t tell us is WHY people want Yes+Leave. The closest we have, at least publicly, is Lord Aschroft’s 2017 focus groups in Edinburgh South West and Aberdeen South. The views expressed pretty much entirely chime with what Pete is reporting from the doors in Perthshire. In the event Joanna Cherry hung on in ESW despite a big increase in the Tory vote, and the delightful Ross Thompson Tory Referee and Tasteless World Traveller won in AS.

      There’s definitely a need for a lot more information on why Yes Leavers feel that way. I was a Yes Remainer, but that ship has sailed, because it’s clearly not going to win us independence.

      One other straw in the wind, from Curtice. 63% of the Scottish public would accept freedom of movement for free trade. That’s basically single market membership.

  11. geacher

    Every post on here is wrong, wrongity wrong. Pistol Pete is saying that if their is a referendum anytime in the next couple of years, the result will still be *no*, and that would kill the indy movement stone dead.
    ” This is going to be hard, hard work and no amount of just wishing it can be easily achieved just because we want it is going to get us there.”
    Read that again. He is correct. A poster above advocates indyref 3 4 5 etc if 2 fails. If indyref 2 fails, there will be NO 3,4, 5 etc. Indy will be dead.

  12. Maureen

    Thanks for talking sense, Pete. There is absolutely no way we should be supporting another referendum as soon as some would like, whilst it’s obvious the majority of voters would still vote against independence – that is reckless and stupid, and wastes everyone’s time to no avail. It is completely counter-productive and I can think of nothing worse. You have addressed the question in a logical manner which is sorely needed, and I thank you for your thoughtfulness.

  13. Ian MacFadyen

    Joyce Fraser is correct “Fight for an Independent media”
    Also, you can’t gauge Independence support by the number of SNP seats, people are aware now that the Westminster and Holyrood votes are futile so they stayed at home, many just want Independence now. You politicians need to catch up as to what’s going on in the peasant world, we wish you too would recognise that the media is rigged, the voting system is rigged; parties who come third can end up running a council, getting a seat. Just do it will you!

  14. Pingback: The Urgency of the Independence Referendum – Towards Indyref2…

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  16. Daisy Walker


    To all who are concerned, and to Pete Wishart MP (who should be).

    Like a good many others, in Scotland, and around the globe, I woke up on 19/9/14, as one bereaved.

    And tragically, even a lot of those people who voted No, were also gutted. On some level they must have known the YES group were the goodies. But they had not been convinced. They admitted it, Project Fear worked on them.

    But here was the thing, before the dust settled on the day, before the next sunset, the whole country, the whole country, had a plan, a solid, clear road map to Indy, and the wind was in our sails.

    First SNP Membership rose from 15,000 – 100,000 in months. The 3rd biggest party in the UK. Wow.

    Then the GE. Lend us your vote, said Nicola, and Yes, No’s and Mibbaes Aye did, overwhelmingly – 56 out of 59. And not only that but real human beings got elected. Mharie Black, Tommy Shepherd, Pippa Whitford. Fresh voices, fresh ideas. Right in the face of WM and boy did they know it. And then adjusted… Westminster is the oldest hand at taming its subjects, practice makes perfect.

    And in spite of their best efforts, how little did their presence achieve.

    And then Brexit, no clear literature, mixed messages from HQ, poor leadership on many a level, and the Yessers divided.

    On a UK ’vote leave’ level a campaign overwhelmingly Racist, dumbed down to the most simplistic base instincts, with a big lie on a bus as a salve for their conscience – How much for the NHS a week? … aye right.

    And no-one, not even the most hopeful, devoted Yesser, could have believed the outcome. Every part of Scotland voted to stay, a 62% majority. The democratic contrast between Scotland and England could not be more clear cut.

    And Brexit, a mystery, wrapped in a soundbite, Brexit means…. blah blah.

    (Its April 2018 now, and the only clear thing about Brexit, is what a total ClusterF*ck its going to be. For the economy, for the prices of everything, for Farming and Fishing and Manufacturing, and Human Rights, the environment, employment. Nothing, nothing good is coming from Brexit.

    It’s Brexshit and Bad all the way, except for the already rich, who will carve up the NHS, and keep their Tax Havens.)

    And still we had a plan, the leadership say ‘hold, hold’ and we get that, ‘patience, there is a plan’.

    And a snap GE, snap for us, well planned in advance by the Unionist Parties. And not just one, but 2 terrorist incidents in the middle.

    And still we had a plan, a mandate, a get out of jail free card, a cast iron ‘we’ve damned well had enough’ mandate, ‘we reserve the right to call another referendum in the event of extraordinary circumstances, such as Scotland being pulled out of the EU against her will’.

    Doesn’t get much clearer than that, does it. Didn’t put it in small print, thinking no-one would read it did they. I was conscious of voting for it, with that in mind.

    3 times, 3 times they tried to scupper it, and 3 times, the people of Scotland voted for this mandate. (2 x GE,s and 1 x SE).

    And still, in the face of all that WM and its complicit whoor – the Medial, could throw at it, we won, still the biggest party in Scotland. Still the wind in our sails and the road rising up to meet us. Never losing faith, never loosing courage, never losing site of the plan, and never stopping the campaign.

    And for those of us, worried that there seemed to be a lack of urgency at SNP party level, a complacency, a quietening on the urgency for another Referendum. Well we put our concerns to one side, with their brilliant governance (and I do on the whole think it has been brilliant), and the promise of a Peoples’ Energy Company – wow, a Peoples’ Bank superb – (set up by someone from Tesco’s no less – sure to be radical yeh right, fingers crossed) We took comfort from the quiet insistence, ‘hold, hold, patience’. There is a plan, once Brexit is known.

    And we put to one side, concerns that there appears to be no plan to countenance the non stop Propaganda from the BBC – it exists, that at least is acknowledged, but nothing to hit back at it, nothing. No leaflet drops, no public meetings, no poster competitions to get the message out, no car posters for every member – with info on them, not some mindless slogan, not a bloody thing. An open goal totally ignored.

    So we take stock and re-assure ourselves with certain facts, that a party in Governance has responsibilities and has to behave in a certain manner, and we go off and use the grass roots movement to try and plug the gap.

    And still the road ahead is clear, there is a plan.

    And then one day, one week, one month, 3 things happen, and all is changed. April 2018:

    War – war is waged, on the thinnest and most dodgie of evidence. And the clear siren voice of decency, of common sense and common reason, that voice that rung out in protest over Iraq, that voted in unison against the vote to bomb Syria the first time, that voice, this time became the muted, muffled, so, so, politicians double speak of a bland bank manager.

    And next up, Pete Wishart goes to press, ‘Now is not the time’ Maybeas later if yir all good boys and girls, after another GE, if you stop being naughty and vote for us again. And the song being sung, has backing singers, Jim Sillars and Robin McAlpine, even the Tory party like it.

    And the third blow, Wings Over Scotland publish the article ‘Elephant in the Courtroom’ – that even if we want to use our mandate, WM could stop us, unless we win the right in court, or at any rate exhaust that avenue.

    And devastatingly, on this issue, the SNP are deathly silent. Is there a plan, have they considered this, are they even aware of it and just have their heads in the sand. Questions, questions, and of answers there are none. The silence is deafening.

    And this is truly devastating – the grass roots can’t fill this gap. Only the SNP, in government can implement this. On this issue we fall.

    3 things, 3 things together, have brought me to my knees in a way the IndyRef1 vote never did. The wind is out of my sails, I’m bailing out water, and days ago I was sailing on at a good steady pace, plotting a course and making good progress. The shore has never seemed so close, and at the same time so far away.

    On 21/4/18 Pete Wishart reiterated his argument, and I welcome the fact he did so in a more reasoned tone. And I am more certain now than ever, this is Policy, policy being finessed and sold to us, whether we like it or not.

    And so the purpose of this essay, is to address his arguments, in a polite manner. There are some who say any disagreement should be done at branch level, behind closed doors. Pete’s article was public, therefore the arguments against should be public also.

    PW ‘debate seems to centre round whether we should proceed with a referendum simply because we currently posses a mandate or whether we hold one when there is good evidence it can be won.’

    There was nothing simple about obtaining that Mandate, that 3 times won Mandate. If we lose it by waiting for another GE, we lose it forever.

    PW’ ‘I want to see evidence it can be won, and I want to see it held at the time of our choosing, when optimum conditions are in place for success’.

    Well, I want to win the lottery, I want the full boona, and I’d like it to happen pretty much now, or at a time when it would suit me best.

    Dear Pete, you will NEVER see evidence it can be won, WM Establishment will burn any such evidence, destroy any person who can present such evidence, and take the country to War to distract from any hint of evidence of this kind.

    ‘At a time of our choosing’ – what fantasy planet do you live on? When ‘Optimum Conditions are in place for success’ – there’s no such bloody thing, optimum conditions my arse, what a fair wind, sunny weather, Scotland winning the football?

    PW, ‘go over what these ‘optimal conditions’ are not’

    ‘Less than a year from having lost one third of our indy supporting MP’s’

    Dear Pete – remember Nicola’s phrase, ‘lend us your vote’. Well they did, and they were disappointed. To go from 6 MP’s to 56 in one vote and then think that’s your new normal is incredibly foolish and presumptuous.

    ‘we cannot ignore the fact the SNP lost half a million votes’

    No you can’t, but where’s your analysis, your evidence, your polls and your research to identify the whys of the loss. Hmmm, pretty big on insisting others show you evidence, you show yours, and do so as a matter of urgency. You have people campaigning on the doors, this evidence, would be bread and butter to assist them.

    ‘Optimal Conditions are not when a significant gap exists between support for indy and support for an early indy ref’.

    Really, you whit!!!! Imagine for a second, that for the second time in Scotland’s history, we get a second chance to vote for Independence for Scotland, and on voting day, do you really think someone is going to go,

    ‘that’s it, I’m voting No – told them to hold it a week on Tuesday, but would they listen, no, well this’ll teach them’.

    And that Tory voter you met, who previously voted for Indy, bet they voted for Brexit, Hmm, bet they did. And like a lot of them at the time, never gave it much thought beyond the simplistic message about immigration!

    Speak to Brexiteers now and a significant number of them, now know its a damned site more complicated than that, with zero good news coming through. Immigration has been knocked off the poster board as an issued when it comes to Brexit.

    Immigration, for those who have that fear, is going to get an awful lot bigger under a Tory Government desperate to strike any kind of deal with India, for which ‘free movement of people’ will be an absolute condition. Fancy that do you, with workers rights Binned under Brexit.

    If you want to win back the Yes/Leave voters I ‘d strongly suggest the above hard fact might be one to start shouting from the rooftops.

    Pete, you say that support for Independence is holding strong at 45%, and then in the next sentence talk about it being opposed by a ‘significant margin’ – that margin is 5%.

    You identify this 5% as the hardest group to convert. You say we ‘need a new case’ and we ‘have to get on their territory’, every day issues such as ‘pensions, currency, perceived deficits’ are to be addressed and to win, ‘we are going to have to be creative’.

    On this I agree, and am pulling my hair out at your almost complete lack of ambition. You are aiming for 5%, 5%! Aim for 30%, aim for 40%. Damn well aim to win.

    And where, where, where is your new case for pensions, your new case for currency, for perceived deficits. Anyone following the issues will know, Prof Richard Murphy has done more work on ‘perceived deficits’ than you – did you print it off, did you do a leaflet drop – did you hell.

    Currency – look to the the Common Green, they’ve done all the heavy lifting there. Did you print it off, did you get billboards commissioned with the info. Did you hell.

    Last time round the SNP produced a 500 page white paper, grass roots Wings Over Scotland produced The Wee Blue Book, thank god they did.

    You ‘get creative’ if you want to, the rest of us would be better off putting a big simple message on the side of a bus.

    You talk about returning to a ‘One Scotland’ approach to independence. I do hope you didn’t pay anyone money for that slogan. Money down the drain if you did.

    You talk of Brexit, of not leaving those who voted Leave – Semi Detached from the Yes Movement, proceeding to another indyref with this unresolved will be like having one hand tied behind our backs.

    Well Pete, lets hear you ‘get creative’ about sorting this one out eh. Suggestions, ideas, policies. Where are they. It’s been over a year since the Brexit vote, where are they? what are they? EFTA, EEA, what about it, argue the case.

    You say,

    ’ Brexit will be an Unmitigated Disaster for our fellow Scots and when it properly hits our fellow Scots will want to review their constitutional options. It (optimum conditions) is hitting the sweet spot when Brexit Impacts and people actively want out of an isolated, desolated UK.

    It means support for the SNP returning to the levels we achieved around the last referendum in electoral contests.’

    So your going to let an unmitigated disaster befall us, a Brexit impact that will isolate and desolate us, and if we’re good boys and girls and vote SNP in enough numbers you might, mibees just honour the mandate we voted for the first time. Stronger for Scotland my arse.

    Please, please listen, when I say this. If we do not hold another Indy Ref before the next General Election and before we lose our mandate. No-one, No-one, No-one is Ever, Ever, Ever going to Vote for you Again.

    The mandate will be squandered, our single market membership to the EU will be lost, our economy, our businesses, universities, environment, NHS Scotland, our Parliament, ruined, and gone, gone, gone.

    These are Desperate times, not chosen times, not optimum times, Desperate times.

    Last time we had a choice, a choice for change or no change.

    This time out we have a Fight for Survival and only a short window of opportunity to achieve it.

    Your current stance has done, what the BBC, the Tories, the Labour Party and the No Voters could never do. You’ve taken the wind from my sails.

    That’s me for now.

    Now, where did I leave that pair of oars.

    Yours in kindness and in commitment.

    Daisy Walker

    1. geacher

      And this is the kind of comment which shows how divided the SNP and its supporters are, how there is no clear vision, no strategy, no chance. Trying to tell the more intelligent of Scotland’s voters that somehow leaving the EU is a bad thing- and it almost certainly will be- but leaving the Union will somehow be a good thing is an impossible, illogical sell, when you consider that from day one of independence we will lose our £10b fiscal transfer, we will have take care of the huge deficit ourselves and we will be leaving a single market which imports almost five more from us than the EU does. It beggars all common sense, all measures of economic propriety.
      Why do you think that the Common Weal/Common Green/Common Weal prospectus on currency and economy has not been embraced by the SNP hierarchy, why no “billboards were commissioned”? Because it is a fantasy project which has no grounding on reality and it has been thoroughly discredited by REAL economist….. can you show me ONE that has said “that’ll work”? No you can’t. The currency “research” had -amongst other silly mistakes- rUK still paying pensions to an IScotland, and us trying to borrow a “couple of tens of £billions to set up a new currency” The stupidity of this is incredible.
      Professor Murphy? Well I suggest you go and watch his “briefing” to the “Economy, Fair Works And Jobs Committee” on September 19th last year, in which SNP supporting *economists* (Murphy is NOT an economist!) Margaret Cuthbert and John McLaren completely rubbished his ideas on GERS.
      He has been completely silent on GERS since his car crash performance.
      Finally on the loss of 480,000 votes last year… “No you can’t, but where’s your analysis, your evidence, your polls and your research to identify the whys of the loss. Hmmm, pretty big on insisting others show you evidence, you show yours, and do so as a matter of urgency.”
      The evidence is crystal clear…. Sturgeon gambled on their being a Brexit bounce and it did not happen and is not happening. THAT cost her the votes and 21 MPs.

    2. Robert T

      Daisy a wonderful illuminating and rallying dissertation of the past and current situation the hierarchy of the SNP have bequeathed their voters and supporters , I to a certain extent understand the cautious approach but the SNP as you say are the ones who are failing the YES movement , they are allowing situations which should be vociferiousy exposed and ridiculed relentlessly to pass unchallenged . To stand any chance of independence Nicola and the SNP MUST resolve by any means the openly bias lies and misinformation being spouted on a daily basis by the state broadcaster , FFS we are paying these shysters to lie to us , we are supposed to be a country and a nation , what other country allows a neighbouring country to engage it’s state broadcaster in political subvertion
      And as for the commenter geacher below , away and peddle your subversive unionist twaddle elsewhere , there is a village somewhere missing an idiot get your application in

  17. Daisy Walker

    @ Geacheer

    This is where were are now, here’s how it is. Not how I would like it.

    ‘So your going to let an unmitigated disaster befall us, a Brexit impact that will isolate and desolate us, and if we’re good boys and girls and vote SNP in enough numbers you might, mibees just honour the mandate we voted for the first time. Stronger for Scotland my arse.

    Please, please listen, when I say this. If we do not hold another Indy Ref before the next General Election and before we lose our mandate. No-one, No-one, No-one is Ever, Ever, Ever going to Vote for you Again.

    The mandate will be squandered, our single market membership to the EU will be lost, our economy, our businesses, universities, environment, NHS Scotland, our Parliament, ruined, and gone, gone, gone.

    These are Desperate times, not chosen times, not optimum times, Desperate times.

    Last time we had a choice, a choice for change or no change.

    This time out we have a Fight for Survival and only a short window of opportunity to achieve it.’

    1. geacher

      Two questions Daisy:
      What if you get your referendum, say next September, and you lose, as EVERY poll suggests you will. What will that do to the independence movement in Scotland, which has a broad political church, with one glue. the glue of independence holding all together?
      You talk about the harm that brexit may do to our “….. universities, environment, NHS Scotland….” What damage will be done to these institutions when we lose our £10b fiscal transfer from the UK? (I’ll remind you that the transfer is larger than our entire education budget.)

      1. Daisy Walker

        I’m going to try and answer this, or at least clarify the ground we are on.

        What do you mean by £10 b Fiscal Transfer? By this do you mean the Barnet Formula, the means by which the English Parliament in Westminster takes all of Scotland’s Revenues and Taxes and returns a% for which our parliament gets to pay for everything.

        Or perhaps you are referring to the alleged £10 b – £14 b Black hole that was much bandied about during Indy Ref 1.

        The oil and gas revenue figures were amended in 2017 – to take into account the oil and gas that left the country and never came ashore, before being sold. What was it now, a revenue of £10 or was it £15 b, extra that had never been attributed before. With 93% of the oil and gas being in Scotland’s Territorial Waters, that’s quite a resource we don’t get to see, ever. Fine and handy for building the M25 thought, or a Channel Tunnel though isn’t it.

        Currently, as has been the recorded case since the early 1900’s Scotland is the only bit of the UK exporting more than it imports. It more than pays its way.

        With regards Brexit, every analysis shows, detriment to the UK economy as a whole, with areas of Scotland particularly badly hit.

        Conservative estimates are for close to a million jobs being lost, and a tax revenue loss (to all of UK) of around £40b. Do you know where the cuts will fall in Scotland – £4b of them, cause I work in the public services and things are already down to the bone.

        But you know, maybe the Scottish Government can continue to keep unemployment down with high profile public projects, like house building, or building fantastic new bridges…. oh wait, didn’t they get European Finance for those projects. Hmmm yes they did. Something else they won’t get anymore once out of the EU.

        It will be the difference between exorbitant tolls on the Skye Bridge and the free tolls on the South Queensferry Crossing. Or the extortionate amount of taxpayers money that still has to be paid on the hospitals and schools Labour built on PFI.

        Its enough to turn ye tae drink so it is, but don’t turn to Whisky, already Peru, America and India have dibs on who can steal the brand name quick enough with cheep ripoffs, once the EU brand protection goes. Still thats only 12,000 jobs in Scotland and a £4.9 b export revenue (that goes to Westminster) down the tubes, hey.

        But lets not talk of all this old stuff, what about renewables, god bless engineers, do you know they’ve actually gone to the bother of measuring tide and current rates, wind maps, water flow, average sun rates per annum. It means they can accurately measure the energy potential Scotland could harvest. And its Huge, 4 Times that of our existing oil and gas reserves.

        Meanwhile poor old England has to import energy, (mostly from Scotland) and do really financially dodgy deals with the Chinese over new Nuclear Power Stations.

        Environmental protections. The EU insist – the company must prove their product cause no harm. BEFORE they are allowed to sell it in the EU. In America (and much supported by the Tories) they have an act now, and if you don’t like it you have to take us to court and prove the damage attitude. Big difference. And just one example to swallow with your chlorinated chicken.

        I’ll sum up, I grew up with Thatcher and I saw what 3M unemployed did, and how she screwed over Scotland first, second and third, and England and London always came first.

        Brexit is going to make the Thatcher years look mild in comparison.

        If we wait until after the next general election – no-one will vote SNP, they will have lost Scotland a hard fought for, 3 times verified Mandate.

        The Scottish Parliament will be dissolved in all but name. Scotland’s assets and her people will be stripped.

        This is a Guaranteed loss from which we will not recover.

        If we go for Indy Ref 2 before the next GE – we might lose, but we have a fighting chance. A guaranteed fighting chance. That’s the only guarantee.

        This time its not a choice. This time we must, and we are running out of time.

      2. Robert T

        Daisy and Yesindref2 geacher is a brainwashed dedicated unionist troller who frequents independence supporting sites , he is STRONG with the cringe , one of the too wee , too poor , too stupid contingent , geacher is happy to have his country ( if he is indeed Scottish ) ruled by a shower of incompetent greedy self serving racist xenophobic overlords , because you know we Scots are not genetically capable of running Scotland

  18. yesindyref2

    Something that people seem to miss is Smith, the Smith report, implementing the Smith Report, getting Smith through Westminster as intact as possible in the Scotland Act.

    The SNP were rightly sloganwise in that 2015 Westminster election: “Stronger for Scotland”, with a campaign based on devolution, not independence, a campaign that appealed to many “devo-maxers”, even if they voted NO in the Indy Ref. They wanted to see Smith implemented, and the 56 SNP MPs did their best, including trying to get FFA..

    That was a one-off, Smith is long gone, 2017 was NOT about Smith,so a big drop from 50% was inevitable, and a drop in actual numbers who turned out to vote YES. So much for the hairshirt and ashes, and the whinging and moaning and self-recriminations. It was inevitable, and in the event the 35 MPs elected without devo-maxers was a massive achievement.

    1. geacher

      The 56 SNP MPs tried to get FFA? Jeezo, no they didn’t… the ScotGov delayed some of the welfare powers for two years because they couldn’t handle them, and STILL want others delayed for a further year.
      As for the drop in votes from 50% to 37% being “inevitable”, I challenge to show me one political commentator who predicted this prior to polling day.

      1. yesindyref2

        Yes they did trey to get FFA in the Scotland Act, twice at least. They were voted down.

        Irony is – Pete’s only supporter on this blog being an extreme Unionist activist.

        Something perhaps he should think about.

  19. J R Tomlin

    Pete Wishart points out some issues that do indeed need addressing with new solutions (not the same answers from 2014) but gives not even a hint why this should take years or decades rather than months. And apparently his idea of ‘optimum conditions’ are when there is no chance of losing. There will never be any such time because there is ALWAYS a chance of losing.

    1. Derick Tulloch


      I think you misrepresent Mr Wishart. Nowhere has he said when there is “no chance of losing”. What he’s said is when we have the best chance of winning, which is rather different.

      Time does clarify things, in some instances. When we get to 00:01hrs on 01/01/2019 even a certain Mr Bell will have to accept that ‘Referendum2018’ isn’t going to happen. I intend to contact him to point that out. A fellow has to have some fun.

      When we get to 01/04/2019 and we are formally out of the EU even the most enthusiastic will finally have to accept that we can’t just magically ‘stay’ in the EU. Well, probably.

      A little later in the summer, when May’s Stormtroopers haven’t in fact marched on Holyrood, and our Parliament hasn’t been closed, all the people who are currently convinced that is going to happen will have to recalibrate.

      When we get to 31/12/2020 we might actually know what the final terms of Brexit are! I disagree with Pete that they will be ‘catastrophic’. More likely the retreats by Westminster will continue until Brexit is so soft, and delayed, that it’s barely perceptible. The old metaphor of boiling a frog seems applicable. We will see, eventually.

      I don’t know if the First Minister will renew the call for a S30, or when. I don’t know if May or her successors will grant it (why would they?). It’s not likely there will be a referendum without one, as everyone has seen how that went in Catalonia, with a boycott by No and a botched attempt at UDI which has sent them backwards, sadly.

      The SNP conditional mandate is weak because it is dependent on the conditions being fulfilled and we are not much nearer that as yet. The Green mandate to bring a referendum out is non existent (read the 2016 Manifest). Therefore we may have to seek an unconditional mandate in 2021. No ifs, no buts, no if that happens or this happens. We WILL hold a referendum. We’d win on that, and then have and win a referendum on a realistic deliverable prospectus, unencumbered by irrelevant side issues.

      A referendum on the principle of Independence, which is based on the fact of Scottish nationhood, nothing more, nothing less.

  20. geacher

    @yesindyref2 They did have a vote on FFA in June 2015 on FFA powers to be granted to Holyrood, but for these powers to be “delayed” until a suitable time.
    “an extreme Unionist activist”… should I be honoured or insulted?
    No, I am a unionist I admit but I have been a keen and avid political person since I was 15 or 16…almost 50 years ago now… and I cannot for the life of me understand why so many separatists are so keen to see a referendum which would kill stone dead their political party and their aims.

    1. yesindyref2

      I don’t have a problem at all with people being genuine Unionists geacher, and you are what you are and don’t pretend to be anything else, your views are your own. I enjoy debating with the likes of you. It’s the likes of those who pretend to support Indy, and hence use deceit to pursue their fell purpose.

      Probably see you in a forum elsewhere – if I haven’t already 🙂

      1. geacher

        Thank you for that, and likewise to you. Sadly there are not many indy sites that haven’t blocked me as I NEVER abuse anyone, but there we go.

      2. yesindyref2

        I wouldn’t worry about it, I’m barred it seems from one Indy site because I disagreed with the “second vote for the SNP is wasted” for Holyrood, albeit it strongly disagreed (not quite abuse). Manys of us go close to the edge at times, a reason I don’t do Twitter – it’s too hasty.

  21. geacher

    @ Daisy…
    Where to start with your post… I may take several rep[lies to answer all your points.
    A)What do you mean by £10 b Fiscal Transfer? By this do you mean the Barnet Formula, the means by which the English Parliament in Westminster takes all of Scotland’s Revenues and Taxes and returns a% for which our parliament gets to pay for everything.”
    Well, WM does not take all of Scotland’s revenues… it takes some for payment of non devolved issues. ScotGov spends the rest, and last year we received £10b MORE than we raised in taxes from WM.
    B) “Or perhaps you are referring to the alleged £10 b – £14 b Black hole that was much bandied about during Indy Ref 1.”
    The *black hole* is the difference between UK’s deficit per capita and Scotlands… that is money that we would have to find if we were independent. As part of the UK, we don’t….UK take care of it for us.
    C) “The oil and gas revenue figures were amended in 2017…………… Fine and handy for building the M25 thought, or a Channel Tunnel though isn’t it.”
    Sorry, never happened. That is why ScotGov aren’t shouting about it.
    D) “Currently, as has been the recorded case since the early 1900’s Scotland is the only bit of the UK exporting more than it imports. It more than pays its way”
    Well sadly not true. What IS true is that our exports to the rest of the world ARE in surplus, but only when you discount rUK. rUK exports MUCH more to us than we do to them, and that gives us a trade deficit.
    E) Well I give up now… the rest of your post is mainly gibberish, but I will leave you with this one: ” oh wait, didn’t they get European Finance for those projects. ”
    Yes we did in some cases, but it was nowhere near, not even in the same postcode as the £10b we received from WM.
    Finally….”If we wait until after the next general election – no-one will vote SNP, they will have lost Scotland a hard fought for, 3 times verified Mandate.”
    Why will no one vote SNP after the next GE? Are you saying that indy is indeed, dead?
    You NO yet?

    ps you don’t have a mandate for indy2…. just sayin’.

    1. Daisy Walker


      I think this post was intended for those interested in the When of an IndyRef 2.

      Even Pete is not debating the mandate currently held to have the IndyRef2.

      It is clear from your comments there is nothing I can say and no amount of evidence which will change your opinion, and that your main motive here, is not the exchange of information, or the exchange of heart felt ideas, but more to take things off at a tangent.

      Best wishes to you. I won’t be engaging with you further.

      1. geacher

        Fair enough Daisy.but we both know that you have presented not one scintilla of evidence about anything, only separatist rhetoric.
        It’s been a pleasure…

      2. Cathy McNamara

        I’d like to book a place on yer boat..will bring own oars.
        As for Geacher..remember the tiger in jungle book?..he slapped down the sleekit Kaa the snake with his paw saying in an erudite voice…”I’ve no time for that sort of nonsense.”
        It’s been a pleasure… to read your postings.

  22. Pingback: Pete Wishart: The Worst Type of Defeat | Butterfly Rebellion

  23. Simon de Lancey

    And what if IndyRef 2 fails? Will there be an IndyRef 3? And 4? And IndyRefs until independence is achieved?

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