Scotland is a rich nation; we have an abundance of natural resources oil and gas; wind and wave; we have fertile land and waters; food and drink; whisky; tourism; golf; an educated population; good climate; little risk of natural disaster; and geographically we are in a politically stable part of the world. We have every condition for success.
Why then do we let our children live in poverty; why do we let our men and women die long before their time; generations live lives blighted by lack of opportunity; why did we allow the economic devastation of Thatcherism and the destruction of our manufacturing industries. We were guinea pigs for the poll tax; we let Blair steal our waters; we fought in illegal wars; we still allow nuclear weapons on the Clyde; we voted to stay in the EU but were dragged out and lost our EU citizenship. We haven’t voted Tory for 60 years but time and time again we accept Tory governments. Why? What is wrong with us?
We haven’t yet won against the British State because they know exactly how to keep us where they want us. They have their propaganda machine, their state broadcaster, their friends in the mainstream media, they have their civil service watching and reporting, their security service with little books of secrets and whenever they need to, they can find Scots willing to lie to us.
In 2014 the British State came too close for its comfort to losing Scotland. During the final weeks as Yes went into the lead, Westminster woke up and fully deployed their propaganda arm on the one hand threatening to ruin us if we left, on the other love bombing us and promising us the most powerful parliament in the world. Scots did not trust the Tories, so Westminster had Labour lie to us; telling pensioners they’d lose their pensions; telling EU nationals they’d be deported; telling voters to stock up on food as the supermarkets would empty if we voted Yes. In the final days we lost our nerve and fear conquered hope.
In 2014 the British Civil Service (Scotland) won an award for their role in the independence referendum. In recent years their Scotland branch has subjected the former first minister and leader of the independence movement, Alex Salmond, to an unlawful and tainted with apparent bias process; reported him to the COPFS and kicked off a trial on trumped up charges which ended with Alex Salmond acquitted on all counts. Set aside the involvement of the present First Minister at heart this was the British Civil Service stitching up a perceived danger to the British State.
It is very clear that Nicola Sturgeon is protected by the British State. Reporting of her evidence to the Holyrood inquiry was framed so that news items did not focus on the answers she couldn’t recall. Instead, they featured the emotional sections of her testimony, in order to elicit sympathy for her and anger against Alex Salmond. The Sunday Post, owned by D.C Thomson - unionist to its core – less than two weeks before an election headlined this picture
This is not a woman the British State fear. This is a woman kept in place to provide a bulwark against independence. Because they fear someone worse. They nearly lost to Alex Salmond before and they do not want a rematch.
Just six weeks before the Scottish Parliament elections Alex Salmond launched a new party - Alba. Within days of the launch, and mid pandemic, he had thirty-two candidates signed-up to stand for the election. For everyone standing it’s an act of absolute bravery. The dream of independence was dying and faced with the prospect of another five years of stagnation while Westminster destroys our parliament and our country, the rebels stepped up. They would not let the dream die without a fight.
The British Broadcasting Corporation have reacted by enforcing a virtual news blackout on Alba and are currently the subject of an OFCOM complaint. All TV companies are hiding behind OFCOM using them as an excuse not to allow Alex Salmond in the debate. However, OFCOM rules allow a participant if they have a significantly different views than other participants. It would be relatively easy for the companies to make the case that Alba’s views on women’s rights, EFTA membership and immediately negotiating independence are significantly different positions and so Salmond should be included. The biggest question is why the TV companies are turning down such a massive ratings opportunity?
Interviews of Salmond conducted by the BBC and most of the mainstream news media are unremittently hostile. The interviewers repeat smears from the trial at which he was found innocent, question his suitability for office and why he is even standing as a candidate. Not a single interviewer has asked him about his ordeal as a victim of a biased process and false accusations.
Scottish journalists while still holding fast to project fear on independence will spring to the SNP’s defence when required. Immediately after Alex Salmond was acquitted mainstream journalist shut down all talk of a plot calling those with questions ‘tin foil hat conspiracy theorists’. More recently when the pro-independence alternative media reported a police investigation into ring fenced referendum cash, Scottish mainstream journalists took to social media to rubbish the reports. The journalists instead of finding out if there is any truth in accusations will instead spring to the SNP’s defence. In fact Scottish mainstream journalists are an incurious bunch, perhaps why they all missed the Alba launch preparations.
Alba candidates are not reported in the press unless it is a smear story, in which case it makes front page headlines.
In the same way the Tories had Labour do the dirty work during the independence referendum. The unionists are leaving attacks on Alba to the SNP. The SNP establishment on a page straight out of the Better Together playbook, are lying to us; telling us a vote on the regional list is a vote to elect Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister. The parliament elects the First Minister and, in every region other than Glasgow no one can vote for Nicola Sturgeon. They insist on both votes SNP despite knowing this will lead to more unionist MSPs. They repeat mainstream media slurs against a man they were happy to serve under and to whom they owe their careers. They are protecting their party’s power and doing the British State’s work.
This massive wall of British power is faced by every Alba candidate, activist and member. They feel the might of the British state, its forces ranged against us. It’s hard and it’s frightening and sometimes it feels hopeless but we have to do it because; in our hearts we know this SNP will never lead us to independence and in your heart, you know it too.