Friday 14 November 2014


The SNP Conference this year might have been a huge celebration of a Yes vote, or it might have been a gathering of a few down and despondent souls, who having booked their hotel rooms early, felt they had to turn up.

It is neither of these things. Instead it's a great big celebration of our future. 
The Perth Concert Hall, an excellent venue with, a friend who has played there tells me, excellent acoustics, was packed to the rafters with enthusiastic members old and new, and old and young, and the SNP party management were forewarning members that there wasn't an empty seat in the house, and begging them to please not turn up on spec! 

(It's an interesting side note from the BBC, that the conference is set to give the Perth economy a boost of £1.75 million over the weekend.)

So the SNP is a party renewed by not winning the referendum. As we all know, on the day of the referendum the membership was around 25,000. Now, around 8 weeks later it stands at 84,000...and it's still growing!

Alex Salmond has stood down...something that some people agreed with and others did not. And today the SNP has a new leader, Nicola Sturgeon,who stood unopposed, and a deputy leader, Stewart Hosie, who, stood against two first rate colleagues, Keith Brown and Angela Constance, for the post.
Munguin's Republic congratulates them both and wishes them every success in taking the party, and the country, forward.

Both have made it clear that they accept that the referendum was lost. The Scottish people spoke, and what they said was that they wished, by a majority of 55% to 45%, to remain part of the UK. 

Having accepted that, it has to be recognised that that vote was made days after senior Westminster politicians offered a form of devo max, or as an ex prime minister (ex-politician) described it, as near federalism as is possible in a state where one country (England) comprises 85% of the population. 

Given that in the early days of the referendum campaign, before the UK prime minister ruled out a third option, Devo Max was what the polls showed as runaway favourite option, it isn't unreasonable to assume that this promise, or "vow" as the Record called it, held some sway.

Both new leaders have said that they intend to hold the UK to the promises it made in and around that vow, and surely no one, not even independence's fiercest critics, could possibly call that anything but completely reasonable.
Of course that means that, bowing out with his speech later today will be our current First Minister, Alex Salmond. 

Love him or hate him; agree with independence or not, any serious thinking person would say that he was a giant of a politician. His Scottish or British opponents pale by comparison. I believe that the reason that the prime minister of the UK wouldn't debate with him on the referendum was that he believed that he would surely have lost, as would Miliband or Clegg, neither of whom seemed in a rush to put themselves forward.

Alex Salmond has seen off four Labour leaders, the official opposition, not to mention two Liberal leaders and one Tory (Nicol Stephen/Tavish Scott and Annabel Goldie). 
He had to retire. He'd run out of wall space.
Jack McConnell stood down after losing the election in 2007.

Wendy Alexander followed him but stood down after only 9 months in the job, after allegations of accepting foreign donations to her leadership campaign and some alleged back stabbing at the London head office by her brother, Douglas.

Iain Gray followed, lasting 3 years as leader, until his party was defeated heavily by the SNP in the 2011 general election. 

Finally Alex outlasted, although only just, Johann Lamont, who came to power on Iain's resignation. Ironically, just a few weeks before her resignation Ms Lamont is reported to have forecast that Mr Salmond would have to resign on defeat in the referendum, but that she would "still be here working for Scotland". 

However, that's not quite the way it worked out and in the end it was Johann's detractor, Jackie Baillie, who had the honour of making a complete idiot of herself in Alex's final FMQ, as James points out here with his customary panache.

Alex Salmond changed the SNP. And he changed Scotland. 

He persuaded many people who were 'UK' through and through, that Scotland could be an independent country, and he did so by running a sound and efficient government on an ever decreasing budget. 
In the end, surely that is what we elected politicians to do for us. And surely there isn't higher praise for a retiring First Minister, than that he did just that, and indeed was criticised by his opponents for doing it, (see above) which kinda showed just how poor THEY were, eh George, you nobleness?!!

So thank you Alex for 7 years of sound government; seven years of proving to Scottish people that not only we can do it, but that we can do it better, more fairly, with compassion and some foresight. 

Thanks for helping people that the UK government cast adrift, the poor, the sick. 

Thanks for leading us to a point where we nearly made it. 

Thanks for bringing us closer to independence than we have been in 300 years. 

Thanks for helping to relight an interest in politics.

Thanks for actually doing the job you were paid to do.

Munguin wishes you good luck in whatever you decide to do in the future.


  1. I think you missed one "thank you" off at the end there Tris.

    Thank you for now putting the fear of gawd right up the BLUE Tories, RED Tories, Yellow Tories and Purple Tories. Every one of them are now quaking in their boots at the prospect of seeing oor Alex sitting on the Green benches of the House of Commons once again cause they know that means only one thing ... THEY were all gubbed in Scotland and the SNP rools the roost in Scotland! LOL

    1. Yes... thanks for that too Eck... Now it's your round!!!

  2. Congratulations to both. I can't wait till Alex, rips Westminster a new one.
    As for Lord Boozed-up fae Cumnock, what the f..., surely good governance; is the least we should expect.

    1. Bless him, Lord George was maybe a little under the weather when he did that interview. It's like that when you are in the Lords. Nothing much to do but partake of the subsidised booze.

  3. Congratulations to all, and to a new deputy FM as well. I will also say thank you Alex without you, would we be as far. I think he will win Gordon, I certainly want to see the fear in those cheating lying swine's in Westminster when he is back.
    Surely George Foulkes liver will give up shortly, I mean would you like to live inside him.

    1. Ye gads... what an unutterably ghastly though.

      I need to take a small lie down now...

      Yes, I wonder who will be deputy first minister. And if there will be any changes in the Cabinet/ministers...

    2. 85,101 members as of today.

    3. Excellent...

      How's Labour doing?

    4. No body really knows the answer to that question unfortunately Tris. No one can stop Labour chasing it's own tail long enough to get an accurate count done! LOL

    5. Surely they can count up to 17 even while chasing their own tail...

      How Duncan Hother whatsit getting on with his support for the Brits saving money by having their warships built en France?

      I see even that Tory bloke that's the minister for illegal wars has denied it...

      What does that say about the thicko who's supposedly in charge of the Navy?

  4. Both have made it clear that they accept that the referendum was lost. The Scottish people spoke, and what they said was that they wished, by a majority of 55% to 45%, to remain part of the UK

    That will do and will never ever change.And Alex is off to make his fortune in London
    they will lavish him with English gold for single handedly cocking up the once in a
    generation referendum.

    1. Gordon Brown sold the gold off, so the vault is bare of shiny stuff only IOUs lots of them.

      The referendum was lost so why aren't you celebrating by having days off partying or maybe it was just the first skirmish to test the strength of forces against us to show your many weaknesses.

    2. I see you quote selectively.

      The opinion polls showed the two sides neck and neck... some showed yes winning, some no.

      It was an acknowledged fact in the days before the Brit first minister ruled out the 3rd option, that that was the preference of the Scottish people.

      When it looked like they would lose, the prime minister backed down; he got Miliband and the Liberal blokey to go along with him. Then he used Brown , as opposed to Darling (who had made a mess of it all, because he looked and sounded like a Tory) to put the message over to the jocks.

      Federal was the word Brown used, saying that he had the backing of the prime minister.

      Needless to say Cameron is a liar, Miliband is a liar and Brown is a liar...

      I've yet to see it confirmed that Alex will go to London, or rather stand for London.

      Perhaps you could elaborate on how he "single handedly" cocked up the process?

      Perhaps you know something about the handing out of English gold in London. I know that if you are a banker, a lord or an MP or a member of the royal family, you can get your hands on vast amounts of taxpayers money... but there are soem members of the parliament who don;t cheat... Dennis Skinner for example, comes to mind.

      In the expenses scandal unearthed by the SNP hating Telegraph, it was noted that Salmond had on two occasions taken his food payments for weeks when he was not in London. He repaid the money. I think it was £200.

      Hardy lavishing him with English gold.

    3. I've been looking to see if Labour were celebrating winning the referendum with their Tory mates CH.

      I noticed that Allan Grogan and Len McCluskey are saying that if Westminster forces Murphy on Scotland, then... and I quote... they are f*****

      They are sure that it is Westminster that is behind the Murphy thing. Otherwise Sarwar, who had just said that he would not be leaving his post, suddenly announced that he would stand down... so that at least one of them would actually be in Scotland.

      Apparently (according to Grogan) Sarwar has been rewarded with a seat on the shadow cabinet. (How easily these people are bought.)

      The real threat to the SNP comes, however, from someone who is left wing. Findlay.

      However, if he does win, Labour in London will strange him at birth.

      Miliband can;t have dangerous socialist ideas ruining his chances in the Home Counties.

    4. English Bob, for a group of people who "lost" the referendum we are remarkably cheerful unlike the 55% who supposedly won. Actually the 45 are reasonably sure they are now the 51 but well the next time and there will be, we want a better majority. Any way why should be accept a verdict reached through cheating and actually the one and only thing that the SNP and Alex did wrong,was not to call a halt to the referendum when Devo Max was raised. I seem to remember being on the comments pages of the Independent when Mr Cameron was supposedly to have dished the SNP by removing it from the ballot paper.
      I would not crow too much Bob, the English will actually win their independence from Europe in 2017 will win the skirmish and with the law of unintended consequences lose the war.

    5. Excellent interview CH... Worth a post on its own I think...

      I've always thought the BBC couldn't be trusted, mainly because of its relationship to the the organisation which decides how much money it gets.... and of course the fact that the people at the top are always "establishment" figures.

      I hadn't realised Thatcher's involvement.

    6. Just look at the smiling Alex Salmond.

      Then look at Maggie Curran's face... or Jackie B's ... or Jola's

      Who's happy?

      Oh and which party is about to commit suicide by inviting a right wing, warmongering, Palestine hating, money grubbing friend of Beelzebub Blair to lead it down the Thatcherite path...?

      And which party has just elected two first rate well respected centrists to lead it?

  5. I have to agree there's an air of optimism around the SNP and YES voters, did we really lose the referendum, because it certainly doesn't feel like it. Its as though a weight has been lifted from our shoulders, and we're not frightened of Westminster anymore, because we have faith in ourselves.

    People are still talking politics all the pro-indy sites still exist, infact they're thriving, the old unsure Scotland has gone, albeit Labour/Tories/Lib/Dem are still here but they have no power to weild.

    Its difficult to explain, but I feel optimistic for the future, an independent future, and whats more surprising that future isn't that far away.

    1. Absolutely.

      The hall was alive with it last Friday when I saw Nicola. The place was crowded; old and young; it was Friday night... in Dundee...

      The roof was nearly blown off with the cheers...


      Nope...what looks like defeat is Slab!

  6. Ah, good auld Geordie and his brain, Fifi le Bonbon. Can you remember just who coined the phrase 'Skiing on the slopes of Glenfiddich' to commemerate his brush with the law (and the pavement, and a little old lady) Tris?

    1. It's a corker of a phrase Conan... but I don;t remember who came up with it. It might have been you!

      If not, it sounds like John or Omar!

      Bless George. He's an endless source of joy to us...

      His nobleness got a step closer to her majesty on that occasion by spending the night at her pleasure. On this occasion it wasn't the Louis XXII suite at Windsor Castle, but Cell 15 at Bow Street Polis station!