It is with great sadness …

… that I record this is the 100th post on the No Thanks! blog.

These sorts of things are usually the cause of celebration, albeit often spurious. A round number like ‘100’ rarely has any true meaning in relation to the thing it records. Nevertheless it is a sort of milestone.

I can’t pretend it isn’t satisfying to see the number of people who view what I’ve written or comment favourably on it. My thanks to all of you. I’ve even found some stimulus in the occasional disagreement. It’s occasional because separatists rarely wander this way. Perhaps because as one SNP cabinet secretary, ‘Red’ Rose Cunningham, warned a bemused reader – ‘Clickbait. Ignore it.’ Wouldn’t want the minds of the faithful contaminated by heresy, I guess.

No, my sadness comes from the fact that I even feel it necessary to set down my thoughts on, as the header to this page now says, politics in a post-independence referendum Scotland. The clue is in my blog’s title – No Thanks! I’d originally hoped I could draw a line under my ramblings once a decision on separation had been made (sorry, I know the word ‘separation’ offends some, but then the concept of ‘independence’ for part of my country, Britain, offends me).

My hope wasn’t unreasonable. After all, one of Alex Salmond’s most-repeated mantras during the referendum campaign was that this was

A once in a generation opportunity.

You don’t have to rely on my word for it. The BBC filmed him saying it on the Andrew Marr show only four days before the vote. Incidentally he says much else there that is conducive of what Scots memorably call a dry boak (look it up if you don’t know).

His other mantra was of course

The sovereign will of the Scottish people

a phrase I made some sport with and which the excellent Tom Morton converted into a little ditty.

The majority for ‘No’ on 14 September seemed to me a clear expression of a ‘sovereign will,’ much as I’m uneasy at the implications of the phrase.

Of course it all turned out to be lies. I was going to use a blunter word but in truth you can’t get much blunter than calling someone a liar.

The argument made in favour of a second referendum is that the will of the people cannot be denied. That ‘will’ of course is a movable target. It was what the electorate were going to say on 14 September. It’s now what the 100,000+ members of the SNP want and some of the 50% of the voters who voted for the SNP in the general election may want. All it shows to me is that the SNP don’t have a leadership. They have a followship. I don’t mean the ‘sheep’ the 100,000 are sometimes unfairly characterised as. I mean the Sturgeons, the Robertsons, the Salmonds, the Hosies et al who follow the flock and don’t have the guts to stand by what they promised a few months ago and just get on and govern Scotland with the powers they already have and the substantially greater powers they will shortly get.

Like many who believe we’re ‘better together’ in the UK I’m sometimes accused on social media that I must hate Scotland/the SNP/Alex Salmond. Of course not. All I have is a profound disagreement with the one thing the SNP really want. Everything else flows from that.

Tellingly perhaps, most of the popular posts on this blog are the ones that directly address the many shortcomings and failings of the SNP and what I must now think of as their followship. I won’t plod through them here but you’ll see ‘SNP’ prominent in the tag cloud on the right hand side of this page if you want to check them. The most read post is slightly different – Lewes and the Alex Salmond bonfire controversy. It’s not so much about Salmond directly but it tells you a lot about nationalism and nationalists.

The only other posts I’d draw attention to are the two I feel most deeply about. First my notes on Why I’m going to vote no. Some of the day to day facts I mention there have changed. My reasoning and sentiments have not. The other was much less read and bears the title that will be awkward for some of F*** Tory scum

Circles within circles and connections everywhere … No, I don’t like nationalism and I don’t like words that drive us apart.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you don’t have to read my 200th post.

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