Count Me Out

Another dissatisfied customer decides hope is not on sale in his local SNP store. Colin Dunn was a regular tweeter on the subject of Scotland’s rightful place in the legion of nations, a fashioner of pithy posters on independence. Most of his well-conceived illustrations were memorable, posters worth collecting, and can still pack a punch – like the one above. A man cannot exist on airy promises alone, and like so many, he has decided to withdraw from the clamour for greater political rights, at least for a time.

His voice echoes that of many others who are, or who have, lost faith in the SNP’s determination to fulfil the promise it once made to the electorate. When the Torty party can get elected by fewer than 35 percent of the votes in England and yet move ahead on its manifesto, people are understandably bemused by the SNP’s reluctance to capitalise on its popularity. Repetition of promises only add cynicism to doubt.

An absence of any sales pitch on the obvious benefits of self-reliance confounds voters. Falsely castigated by opponents for ‘forever talking about independence’, the SNP must be the only independence party in history to deny that they discuss it, and they did that because it is true. If the SNP is not listening to the likes of Colin, it ignores the mounting voices at its peril, and is deaf to the footfalls walking away from support.

Recently, Posterboy disappeared off the Twitter and Facebook map. He explains why.

Still Here, Just Not Cheering

by Colin Dunn

A series of email messages from concerned independence campaigners ask why I have closed my Twitter and Facebook accounts and appear to have stopped campaigning. Thank you for the concern. I am well, but am taking a break. Here are my thoughts on where we are, and why I have decided to step back from the independence campaign.

In 1951 two million Scots, out of a population of five million, signed the Scottish Covenant supporting the formation of a devolved Scottish Government.

Today, it’s very easy to set up and sign a petition online – and just as easy for the result to be dismissed and ignored – but in 1951 the petition was two million actual physical signatures laboriously gathered on doorsteps, streets, pubs and village halls. This impressive achievement expressed the will of a very significant proportion of the adult population of Scotland.

The result? Zero. There was no powerful elected party with the legal or political power to legitimately implement it or force Westminster to agree to it. History is repeating itself

The greatest advantage of the Scottish independence movement over its opponents is the diversity and energy of its grassroots – individuals, groups and organisations. Tens of thousands of people spending all their spare hours working for the cause, disseminating information, educating, persuading. The pro-Union side, built from a few very rich donors and some small but very well-funded ‘astroturf’ organisations, has nothing like it. That energy and dedication is being squandered

Without a powerful political or elected organisation with the desire and legitimacy to press for an independence referendum, there is no end in sight nor a target to work towards achieving independence. 

There can be no real progress without there being an actual, real and genuine formal independence campaign sanctioned by the SNP, as only they have the legal and political power and legitimacy to trigger a second referendum. And despite repeated assurances and many false dawns, they are doing nothing about it.

Until that changes the rest of us are all just pissing in the wind, and the risk is that the valuable grassroots enthusiasm, with nowhere to go, will simply evaporate.

After 9 years of spending all of my spare time – and much of my non-spare time too – working on materials and designs for a ‘campaign’ that seems to have no end, I am tired. I have decided to take a break, perhaps a permanent one.

I’m a tiny cog in the indy machine, but I get the sense that many, many others, some of them very significant figures in the movement, share my feeling of frustration and weariness. Clearly an independence vote cannot take place until Covid-19 circumstances improve, but a real and legitimate campaign, with a clear timeline and destination, could be triggered by the SNP now, and should have been a long time ago.

Though I voted for it in 1997, for many years I was highly sceptical of the value of a devolved Scottish Parliament, but recognised over the next 10 years that it was really making a genuine difference in improving the lives of the people of Scotland.

Similarly for many years I was uninterested in independence, supporting electoral reform for the UK as a whole instead, and voting LibDem for 30 years to try to achieve it. In 2010 we all saw how that turned out when the LibDems compromised all of their principles in exchange for power sharing with the Conservatives.

My hopes for a fairer, more representational UK were dead.

In 2011 I consciously voted SNP for the first time, hoping that Scottish independence would then lead to a more liberal and democratic England too. Though I am not a member of the SNP (I was briefly in 2015 to push the SNP MP campaign in Westminster, though that sadly achieved nothing), I have continued to vote SNP to further the push for independence, though I have become more and more disappointed in the SNP’s lacklustre efforts to advance this aim. Whilst I believe that they are still a pro-indy party, my confidence that indy is their main priority has been shaken, and should there be no pro-indy progress before the UK general election in 2024 my vote may very well be going to a different party.

Should that inaction continue I doubt very much indeed that I will be voting SNP in the next Scottish general election in 2026.

The indy grassroots is a hugely valuable resource. It’s down to you, SNP. Use it, or lose it.

Colin Dunn – aka indyposterboy


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14 Responses to Count Me Out

  1. Mary Mortimer says:

    Found my book of passwords. What a bore.😊. This lad speakers for many.

  2. duncanstrachan says:

    My feelings expressed exactly. Voted snp all my life. 66years old. 48 years ive been voting. Im afraid im done with the snp. Ns is a bad joke.

  3. lorncal says:

    Colin articulates what so many feel. If and when the GRA Reform legislation appears, I’m not sure what I’ll do – blow a gasket, probably. As I said in another blog, we have been here before. The same arguments for movement and independence, the same people (some of them, anyway) telling us to hold…hold…hold… That is why Alec Salmond stepped into the leadership role in 2007. John Swinney, although I liked him as a person, was not a leader, but a manager, as is Nicola Sturgeon. Managers are necessary, too, but not when you are trying to gain or regain independence. I just wish that these people – the managers, the cosy slippers and foot-draggers – would just accept that they need to get out of the way and allow the inertia to end.

    Then there are the pseudo ‘wokerati’, the virtue signallers, the handmaidens: they, too form a massive obstacle to independence; and they will just demand more if GRA Reform and the Hate Crime pass, believe me. It won’t stop and they have no intention of allowing us to get on with independence because it is not part of their agenda (same with the Greens) and never was. The SNP was a vehicle, nothing else. They’re the equivalent of a hostile takeover.

    Together, these two groups are having their strings pulled by Westminster and Whitehall, but the British establishment did not create the problem, although they undoubtedly make hay with it. The sadistic way that the SNP support has been manipulated by the pathetically maundering Ian Blackford at Westminster, and the even-more-pathetic cosy slippers and trans bullies and their handmaidens, at Holyrood is nothing short of a crime. They should be in court – all of the b******s who have brought us to this end.

    If there are reasons why we can’t have independence, then the very least that these people should do, is tell us why, and stop treating us like fools. We see through them and still they think they can get away with it for another five years while they worship at the feet of white, middle-class, middle-aged well-heeled (for the most part) paraphiliac and fetishistic men who are conning us all and driving policy. They have destroyed the SNP.

  4. Dougie Blackwood says:

    I would write to my SNP MSP and encourage them to goad the leadership into action. Believe it or not I have no SNP MSP to accept my representations in Holyrood. My Constituency MSP is Jackie Baillie and as part of the West of Scotland regional list we have neither an SNP nor an Alba MSP. I wonder why that is?

    At the last electiont he SNP trumpeted “Both Votes SNP” in the sure and certain knowledge that over a million votes would mostly be wasted. Why did the do that? Are they afraid that a cohort of Indy supporting MSPs led, either inside or outside Holyrood, by Alex Salmond woud show them up? What is the point of fighting among ourselves when we have almost all of the media and Westminsters cat’s paws in the Labour and Tory party sit back and laugh at us.

    I resigned from the SNP recently as a result of two important milestones. Firstly Nicola Sturgeon outlined the plans for the future in a speech in Holyrood; she list a number of good things that would be done or started “within 100 days” at the end of her speech she hinted that the people might get a referendum sometime after the pandemic; no promise of preparatory legislation to enable it whenever it might be. Secondly the man Keatings went to the court of session to seek clarification that there was no need for the permission of Westminster to hold a second referendum; that case was opposed at every turn by the SNP government and when the case was rejected, not because it was wrong but because it was not supported by the Scottish government the Scottish government’s Lord Advocate presses for punitive costs.

    There will have to be a big change in policy before the SNP get my vote in future.

  5. A DON says:

    This blog speaks for me. I too closed my twitter account down after the Holyrood elections.

    The crowing of SNP loyalists at the defeat of Alba – another independence party – left me more depressed than I was on 19th September 2014. And further away from independence.

    My hope is in Now Scotland and a grassroots campaign pressuring the SNP leadership. I have no faith in Sturgeon or Blackford. “Our” MPs are far too comfortable in Westminster, and have forgotten why they are there. “Our” MSPs are a bunch of careerist benchwarmers. They don’t care about independence. All we can do is make them afraid of losing their seats if they don’t take action.

    I voted SNP for the last time in May. Nicola Sturgeon has destroyed the Yes movement. That will be her political epitaph.

  6. Yes indeed. I have tried to understand, to hope for the best but- for whatever reason- the SNP seem now like a dead weight on the independence movement. We have to press on without them.

  7. Alex Montrose says:

    I think the mess that the Tories are going to make of the UK is not clear enough yet to hold a referendum, all will be revealed over the next few years, it’ll be worth the wait.
    In the meantime pissing and moaning is not going to attract any soft No’s to the Indy cause, so why are you all at it?
    PM May said ” now is not the time ” she was right, polls are only at 50% for Indy, they need to be considerably higher to carry the Indy Campaign to victory.

  8. duncfmac says:

    A big part of the problem is that so many ordinary folk have so much faith and loyalty invested in what the SNP was and are quite simply too afraid to reappraise the situation for fear of looking stupid or gullible.

    Do it quietly if it helps but it’s time to look at what is going on rationally and do some soul searching. If it’s really about gaining a progressive, independent country where social justice, fairness and transparency are to be pivotal, then changes there must surely be.

    Hard as it is to take, the current SNP direction of travel is destroying any notion of being morally superior/ less corrupt than the cesspit of Westminster. Time for many to swallow their pride and look to be part of the change before there is nothing left to hang on to.

    Those of us who have already made the journey must show tolerance and acceptance to those embarking on it or considering it. This is the case even for those of us who have been abused for sticking our heads above the parapet earlier. It’s truly time to wake up!

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    “I think the mess that the Tories are going to make of the UK is not clear enough yet to hold a referendum,”

    “Not clear enough.” Are you ‘avin’ a larf?

    Your first statement doesn’t encourage me to read further but I did, and it only gets worse. Conjecture is not fact, and to belittle those who can see and hear better than you – “all at it” – doesn’t endear you to indy supporters or inspire anybody to follow your defeatism. The polls were at 58% when our FM was indulging in an orgy of selfies and London rallies. Instead, the SNP donkeys asked us to secure 60% and one eccentric suggested 70%. You sound as if living in the crippled world of Theresa May. Where did you pick up such a bizarre blindness?

  10. Kyle More says:

    “Pissing and moaning is not going to attract any soft no’s to the Indy cause”

    Not looking at hard facts and peddling the usual Panglossian “just over the horizon” garbage won’t help either

    Alf Baird is right, the “demographic” is increasingly against us – 50,000 or so new NOs arriving every year – and as social conditions worsen the numbers of those down south who can afford to escape will grow and grow.

    As the Dordogne and Andalusia look increasingly less ideal due to Brexit and semi-permanent covid travel restrictions then Scotland with it’s bargain basement property prices compared to the “Home Counties” will look increasingly beguiling – in 10 years we could be in the same situation as the Welsh – a minority in our own country.

    If not now then never.

  11. diabloandco says:

    I voted SNP and ALBA in the last election – I only voted SNP because Alex Salmond encouraged that action – given the opportunity again I will not be voting SNP . A monster raving loony party would be my choice.

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    Kyle More: I am afraid Montrose dishes out another version of ‘Wheest for Indy”. Though our elected representatives seem happy enough to do that, to the extent they stopped educating the public to the benefits of restoring nationhood, those who elect them are not in the least content.

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