Call me nostalgic, but I rather miss the days when an emphatic vote for the SNP would be hailed by the party leadership as a victory for the independence movement.
Formal declaration to come, but clear now that @theSNP has won the Euro election emphatically – we are on course to take 3 out of 6 seats. A historic victory. And Scotland has rejected Brexit again. 🏴🇪🇺🏴— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 26, 2019
None can claim that the vote for the SNP in the European Parliament elections is not emphatic. Not quite, it seems, the 40+% I personally had hoped for. That would have required that a few more independence supporters get off their arses and make the tiny effort required to register their vote. And/or that a few more Green voters put the increasingly urgent need to save Scotland from rampant ‘One Nation’ British Nationalism before loyalty to their party.
I guess we have to remind ourselves that neither of these things is likely to happen. Just suppose a scenario in which a 40+% vote share for the SNP was required in order to maintain a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament. Being realistic, does anyone genuinely suppose that, even then, people would not find excuses for not going to the polling place? Does anyone seriously imagine that, even in circumstances of such pressing need, those die-hard Green voters might be persuaded to vote tactically for the SNP?
There will always be people who find it easy to forgive themselves for failure to do what is required. For failure to do what they know to be right. Frustrating as it undoubtedly is, campaigners must accept that, however successful they may be in impressing on voters the need to act, there will always be some who simply won’t convert awareness at an intellectual level into appropriate action. People die in house fires because they are compelled, even in the face of horrific death, to rescue some trinket.
It always helps if you can blame someone else for your failure to take appropriate action. British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) might be in a slightly less parlous condition had it not developed a capacity for blaming voters and/or the SNP which is now instinctual.
Nicola Sturgeon – Scotland’s First Minister – has nobody else to blame. The entire Yes movement looks to her for leadership. When, at a moment of triumph for the SNP, independence doesn’t even warrant a mention, Yes activists are entitled to feel aggrieved. And all who recognise the need for bold, decisive action to end the Union are entitled to feel deeply concerned.
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