Podcast: December Deliberations

December Deliberations 

On this ViveEcosse podcast we have a chat about some of the big issues in Scottish Politics this December;

  • Gender Recognition Reform 
  • Harry & Megan
  • Strikes and the economy 
  • Independence and the £20m budget item

Available on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon via:


Starmer concedes election to SNP

In a stunning expose of how Labour UK believe Scottish Labour will perform at the next Westminster General Election, Keir Rodney Starmer has conceded it to the SNP already.

As you can see reported by Theo Usherwood, Political Editor of LBC – that Starmer is already saying he won’t do a deal with the SNP, predicting an SNP win rather than his own branch office.

It further reveals how little Starmer has his finger on the pulse, as following a pro-Indy win at the next election, Scotland will be transitioning to independence, due to the Supreme Court ruling UK Parliamentary sovereignty is unbreakable and Scotland would have just won the vote that powers that particular engine.

In this example let’s say Nicola Sturgeon is the negotiator, she would be effectively playing both parties off against each other anyway, to get the best deal for Scotland. I don’t see why Scottish voters would care what rump UK gets left with once the deal is done. If they get left with another Tory Government, that’s what they voted for. Scotland is not responsible for poor decision-making south of the border.

Likewise, outside the Scottish Labour member & supporter voting pool – no one actually thinks Scottish Labour are ready to do anything useful. 72% of people disagree that Scottish Labour is ready to form the government. Will we cope without that lot in charge?

If we squint through and get beyond the fact Starmer forgot Scotland just became independent and is negotiating and transitioning due to the defacto-ref. Keir shows his naivety about how the UK Government and election system work.

You see in the event of a hung parliament, without a deal being done to have a workable majority, you enter confidence and supply. There are only a few outcomes here.

  1. The Prime Minister only resigns when a successor is apparent, otherwise, the UK Government largely trundles on as it was. It can’t pass new legislation but the old stuff just runs. Scotland can keep negotiating with whoever the UK Government of the day is. You see the King needs to change the PM, and can only do so if they know someone will command the support of the house. Paralysis in the UK Parliament is only a help to us.
  2. Keir Starmer would be the one gifting his ‘victory’ to the Tories because the SNP or pro-Indy party would have won the Scottish Mandate on solely INDEPENDENCE. Therefore of course there would only be one condition, it would have been the only party in the UK to have won the mandate it put forward – it would be an assault on democracy and the fabric of the unwritten constitution if it was ignored. If he can’t form government alone and needs help – he knows the price, up to him to walk away from it.

Let’s take that last example for a moment, if I don’t buy a donut at the stipulated price, I don’t get to complain when the next person in line buys the last one on some sort of ‘I deserve it more’ rampage.

Pay the price, get the goods. Rodney gets his donut if he pays the Scottish donut stall.

You will notice, Starmer has conceded the Scottish Election to the SNP, he’s conceded the UK election to a stalemate, he’s forgotten how we form the government, all while demanding the only party to have won anything – denies the only winning mandate – because otherwise, we would need to explain to voters why a party, that few of them voted for, isn’t getting to do the job, few of them had confidence it could even do.

Strategist Starmer or Ridiculous Rodney?


Perhaps one day…

You know when you go abroad on holiday, especially to somewhere you haven’t visited before, you get that momentary sense of unease? Things are different from what we know and experience at home. We can, if we’re not careful, fall into the trap of unfamiliarity breeding contempt. If only everything were the same, because naturally ours is better.

For those of us though who taken the next step and moved abroad, this initial response diminishes over time. Once we get a handle on how to carry out the basic tasks required to survive, it’s as if the scales fall from our eyes and we see things as they truly are.

Last week The Common Weal published its book Sorted: a handbook for a better Scotland. I haven’t read it yet, nor am I likely to do so until I visit home again and purchase a copy. Thanks to Brexit the import duties and taxes levied on everything entering the EU from the UK, mean that the costs are prohibitive. Well done Farage and Co.

The publication of Sorted got me thinking though. Based on my experience, which is far from unique, what are the things that I would like to see working differently in an independent Scotland. By that I don’t mean the highbrow, intellectually challenging issues, but those things which have a direct impact on our everyday lives.

I live in a country of 5,500,000 people, the vast majority of whom live in the south. Sound familiar? Well Finland is a bit like Scotland, only much much bigger, and of course colder. This weekend Scotland has been blanketed in snow. Where I live we have had over 40cms in two days but it’s as if it doesn’t exist. Everything runs as normal, there is very little, if any, disruption. Of course the Finns are experts in dealing with snow, everybody knows that. But they are also quite good at other things as well, things which could be equally successful in an independent Scotland. 

Let’s take public transport as an example. Here we actually have an integrated transport system. How novel is that? Okay, but what does that actually mean? Let me tell you.

I live in a commuter town about 23 kilometres North of Helsinki, just on the edge of the Capital Region. A ticket to travel into Helsinki on public transport costs me €5.70. Next month the cost of the ticket will decrease to €4.50. When was the last time you heard of a price decrease on public transport in Scotland?

So what do I get for my €5.70? Well, first off the ticket has a “lifespan” of 80 minutes. It is deliberately designed to allow customers to get to their destination within the Capital Region without having to buy a second ticket. The train journey into Helsinki central station takes 18 minutes and from there I can use the same ticket to take a bus, take a tram, take the metro or even take the ferry to Soumenlinna, the island fortress at the outer approaches to Helsinki harbour (a “must see” if you every come here). Imagine that, a system which actually puts the needs of the paying customer first.

If such a system can operate successfully in Finland, why couldn’t a similar system operate successfully in Scotland. What it needs is the vision, the determination and the political will to make it happen. Perhaps one day…


7 steps to great communications

Today we got called out for sensationalist opinion pieces, which is partially true, we’re excitable creatures here at ViveEcosse. Where we aim to platform as many diverse voices across the independence movement as we can. 

However, it’s a good point, we’ve been a little mental recently due to the carnage in the news. So tonight, it’s a little bit softer, we’re going to do a piece on something we’ve discussed endlessly – how to make good campaigning messages. It’s not thrilling but we’re going to make the guide. 

First up, you need to have a rather good policy or campaign in mind, running absolute drivel, or copying a national campaign and adding your local area name doesn’t generally work. This needs to be an important topic for your locale. 

Secondly, write it up in full, have a full explanation and briefing document for the whole plan, exhaustively written out to its full extent. Share this with your campaign team and ask them specifically, poke holes, find questions, play dumb and work out the oddities. 

Thirdly, take your massive campaign document and summarise it, as 100 words, then as 50 words, then as one sentence, and finally as a three/four word ‘sting’. This is where we take a policy and make it a soundbite. The closer to natural language or common phrases it is, the better it will do. 

Fourthly, it’s time to format that large document, give it a nice set of headings, give it a front cover, including an upfront summary, and your three short versions of it, on the first page. 

Fifthly, create a video – around 2 minutes, explaining what this campaign is, what it aims to do, and what the ‘call to action’ is – such as what you want the viewer to do. 

Sixthly, you need to make some square images for social media, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You use these as your promotional tools. 

Lastly, you need to find some ‘first followers’, these people will like/share/support your work. They will comment and break the initial ice that stops others from interacting with it. 

You may notice something, at ViveEcosse we try to follow this format with almost every post! 

First, we write our draft, then we cross-check each other’s work, we then format it properly, we take that article and add a short title, plus add some tags as our short sting on topic, we jazz it up for social media with a link and an image for every article in our house style (you’ll have seen our images on social media – vibrant purple). We then talk about the articles we cover on our podcast to ensure we have a full circle of content. We post the images to social media with links back, before posting to our Signal group of supporters to ask them to assist with the sharing (there’s a link at the bottom of the page to join). 

While we do this for our blog, we wanted to share the 7 key steps to making a successful campaign or shareable item. This piece needs your critical opinions as it will feature in a nicer format in our upcoming book and magazine. 


Who’s in who’s out

Stephen Flynn takes over as SNP Westminster Group leader and all of sudden it’s been a little bit of hype for some under-hyped and overly cosy now backbenchers.

It will be of no surprise to ViveEcosse readers who the latest resignations from the SNP front bench are, as they’ve featured in our coverage last week.

First up is Pete Wishart, who holds the title of longest SNP MP at Westminster, something that he seems remarkably proud of while arguing there was no need for a leadership change.

We understand that the change was demanded by SNP MPs who felt the leadership of Angus Robertson, and then through Ian Blackford, seemed to be less about settling up, and rather more about how to settle down.

The comfort and lofty titles of Westminster had an appeal to many MPs and they felt that they could be ‘Stronger for Scotland’ while in effect having no real output. Sure the UK Government has never been called out in so many words, or in so many vivid depictions of evil, however, the only time they were beaten – was when Joanna Cherry decided to go off-piste and take them to court.

Pete Wishart has served SNP well and is a loyal supporter of whatever the party decides each week, however, he is not, someone who will rock the boat. I can understand why he felt the change was not required in the world in which he inhabits – it seems all that can be done is being done.

The backbenchers however mostly disagreed. The Tuesday club decided the time had come. Amusingly choosing the Westminster leader is a very quick affair, the old kicked out, and the new one installed without bothering to ask anyone outside the group. Perhaps expediency is better – i.e Liz Truss, given the mess we see when the whole party gets a say.

Secondly, not to be outdone, certain to be ousted ‘Defence Chief Spokesperson’ Stewart McDonald chucked out his resignation before Flynn even had to ask. Stewart’s largest contribution was a sort of whinge letter to NATO, who had no idea he was, and those who do know who he is – largely thought it nonsense.

Joanna Cherry who would have actually been an asset to the front bench has decided to remain focussed in the Joint Human Rights Committee as chair, showing considerable skill in getting every opposition party to support her in the role. A loss for the SNP but a smart move for Cherry, who can keep tabs on progress from the side.

Nothing of value has actually been lost, as these two enjoyed the comfort of the green bench a bit much. We still await the actual output of the shake-up from Stephen Flynn, which is sure to be some excitement.