Saturday, 26 September 2009

SNP: The Turbulent Years by Gordon Wilson.

I have recently obtained a copy of Gordon Wilson’s new book: SNP The Turbulent Years 1960-1990. It certainly looks very good and I suspect it will be a must for those of you interested in this subject. (Published by Scots Independent (Newspapers) Ltd.)

Particularly the thorny issue of how the SNP supposedly brought down the Callaghan Government and allowed Thatcher in and of course 18 years of Conservative rule. Never mind the fact that in all the elections since 1979 people must have voted for someone. Clearly the majority of Scots voted Labour, but how effective where Labour as an opposition from 1979-1990 and who threw away the 1992 General election? Also who stymied the 1978 devolution referendum with an unworkable 40% minimum? Who sat on the McCrone Report?

Gordon’s book reveals that in voting patterns for the period of 1977/78 the SNP voted with the Government 63.2% of the time. That is despite the fact that the Labour Government were busy shafting the Scots behind the SNP’s back, looking at frankly ridiculous ways of stealing Scotland's oil by continuing the diagonal SW-NE border through Berwick, thus putting a large proportion of the oil on the English side and by encouraging the Orkney and Shetland Isles to ceded from Scotland (and become English I suppose???) thus losing us a whole pile more oil. So thanks very much Jim Callaghan (not so Sunny Jim if you lived in Scotland clearly) and Harold Wilson.

If you want to read the book you can get it here:
I am a very slow reader so it will take me a bit of time to do a full critique, so if anyone has already read it I would love to hear what you think of it. If not you can watch this space.

The photograph shows from left to right: Ian MacCormick; George Reid; Gordon Wilson; Winnie Ewing; Donald Stewart; Hamish Watt and Douglas Henderson (and if you don't know who these people are well go look them up on Wikipedia).


  1. Seems like a really good read. Yeh its books like this that will Myth bust the unionists quislings <<< My new best word.

    It is intresting though that Labour keep brining this old hoodoo up nd the SNP brining down the Callaghan gov. Its not as clear cut as they make out.

    This does look like a really good book.

  2. I feel a bit cheap by not reviewing the book here but as I say I read slowly and what with all this blogging and my staff problems at the castle. I promise I will get round to it.

    In the meantime I like Gordon Wilson so I thought I would shamelessly plug his book on here on this Saturday morning while nobody has anything else to do.( AMW a mention on your blog might do wonders for sales lol)

  3. Well, I'm broke, but if I pop round to Munguin Towers and sort out the staff problems for you, will you let me borrow it.

    It does look a good read, if a little on the "academic" side, but with Gordon's incredible knowledge and the fact that this is not just history to him... he was actually living it, and in the middle of it, I think it's worth reading.

    You're right my furry friend, a plug on Spook's blog will undoubtedly have it in the best sellers' list within days.... LOL

  4. Tris, of course you can borrow it. How long would it take you to read it do you think? If you want you could write a review.

    I've been toying with the idea of going through my blog list, going to each of them and mentioning the book, you know in an off hand fashion.

  5. How much is Wilson paying you for this?

  6. It might be a good read, but personally, I think the story is really of setting a stage. The SNP's story really began withe 79 Group. The first time Nationalists really looked at the Scottish Nation, realised that the mass of Scots were voting Labour, not because Scots were expressing Labour values, but because Labour were expressing Scots values. Over the years, as Labour has changed its values, becoming more metropolitan, the SNP have spoken to more and more Labour voters, who wish to continue expressing Scottish values. Alex, through the years, has successfully led this change of focus.
    Interestingly, in doing this he has cemented the SNP in the ex-Tory strongholds won in the 74 and 87 elections, indicating that it is the expression of a Scots polity and people, rather than a Labourite-left, that will draw the Central belt next year...

    Wilson did his bit, he was a good leader for his time, but time moves only one way...

  7. That's a pretty good summary Sophia.

  8. Sophia thats a good summary. The 79 Group was a move to the left. But Gordon did continue to lead the party until 1990. I agree time moves on.

  9. Munguin. From what I saw at the book signing it would take me no more than 5 years to read it... If you want to wait that long for a review I'll gladly undertake it (for a small consideration of course).