I AM not a big fan of Wikipedia – the editing process is far from transparent and some of the information is over-reliant on dubious sources.

However, Wikipedia is to research what supermarkets are to shopping – everyone moans about them, but everyone uses them.

And thus, the Wikipedia piece on “Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland” is an informative place to begin this article contrasting the preparedness of the Scottish Government, elected in 2011, to move forward on independence with the dereliction of duty of the Scottish Government elected this year.

Wikipedia reads “Scotland’s Future is a government white paper published on November 26, 2013 by the Scottish Government under First Minister Alex Salmond.

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“It lays out the case for Scottish independence and the means through which Scotland would become an independent country in personal union with the United Kingdom.

“Salmond described it as the ‘most comprehensive blueprint for an independent country ever published’, and argued it shows his government seeks independence not ‘as an end in itself, but rather as a means to changing Scotland for the better’.”

The publication of the White Paper of 2013 was phase two of the implementation of the independence mandate. Phase one was the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement in October 2012, by which the Westminster Government ceded control of the referendum process to Scotland. Thus, the groundwork was ever so carefully laid for the main event.

Of course, phase three of the Salmond plan was unsuccessful. Scotland did not vote for independence on September 18, 2014, but the support for freedom did soar from 30% to 45% and Scottish attitudes were transformed in the process, perhaps forever. And at least there was a plan.

Contrast that degree of preparation with today’s inactivity.

The task right now for the Scottish Government is to force Westminster’s hand to establish Scotland’s right of self determination – not to resort to endless prevarication.

President Russell can prepare as many leaflets as he likes on his 11-point plan, but without a political strategy for bending Westminster to Scotland’s electoral will, it means nothing – absolutely nothing at all.

Consider this. A Freedom of Information request responded to on July 23 established that “as of July 3, 2021, no Ministers or civil servants in the Scottish Government were working on updating the Scottish Government’s plan for an independent Scotland from 2014”.


It is difficult to know what is more breathtaking. The effrontery of the barefaced admission before the Scottish people, or the stupidity of revealing to our opponents that the Scottish Government isn’t even going through the motions of preparing for a new constitutional showdown.

To paraphrase the Duke of Wellington, “I don’t know what they do to the enemy, but by God, they would not frighten me.”

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Progress in politics, as in life, is 90% preparation and 10% inspiration.

Of course, if success is measured by bums on seats in parliaments, the ever-accumulating number of special advisers on the payroll, or the size (undisclosed) of the chief executive’s salary, then the SNP is doing fabulously well.

But if it is measured on progress towards national independence – which is the party and movement’s essential aim – then they are not just a failure but a complete embarrassment. Even the most genuine of people can sometimes confuse the achievement of office with progress towards the fundamental objective.

It is the lack of preparation as much as the vacuum of inspiration that condemns the current SNP government.

They are failures not because they have fought and lost, but because they are not prepared to fight at all.