After being thoroughly drubbed in the Glasgow NE by-election the SNP need to dust themselves down and jump into positive mode. All I will say about the by-election was I hope the SNP now realise a strong local candidate must be the choice in these constituencies. The English unionist approach of parachuting in 'favourites' doesn't go down well here in Scotland.
Jeff is suggesting they now drop their Independence Bill (to be launched on St Andrew's Day), because of the £12m price tag and it's a lose-lose situation anyway.
I completely disagree. This may be a central belt opinion but it's certainly not one I can find here further north. The majority in this area think the SNP would be foolish not to pursue their raison d'etre (the majority being people from all political persuasions) and many say if the Bill was dropped, it would show the SNP is not a party to be taken seriously. Having said that, the consensus here appears to be that the SNP are considered a strong, principled political force in Scotland and Scots do want to chance to choose in a referendum.
The cost is a drop in the ocean when we consider the billions ploughed into the banks, promised to the climate change lobby, given to corrupt governments and spent on the present war in Afghanistan which nobody can justify.
There couldn't be a more perfect time for this Bill to be launched. The UK is still in recession while other Europeans countries are out of it, Gordon Brown is very obviously not in charge of our armed forces - Barack Obama is, David Cameron has promised referenda on any EU changes. The list is endless.
The SNP is strong enough to absorb the media and unionist comments which will pour forth when the Bill is voted down, because we all know it will be voted down this time round. After all, for many years the SNP has had constant negative criticism from the press but they've held firmly to their fundamental beliefs and this is what people quietly admire.
Alex Salmond has promised to work with the unionist parties on the referendum questions. The problem with the unionists is that they don't want any discussion of independence. The very word scares many of them, (not all of them because I know some unionists who may vote for independence) and surely it has been noted the only time a unionist MSP/MP mentions the independence referendum is from a position of fear, not optimism in the Union.
I've just come across Joan McAlpine's post on this issue. In a far more eloquent manner she reiterates what I've written. Attack should be the SNP's plan. Let the people know they're a party which sticks to their promises and holds fast to their principles, but please, oh please, bring forward a firm policy on Local Income Tax because that's certainly one promise they must keep if they want to survive in government. Saying there will be another council tax freeze next year is not enough, not nearly enough.