Remember when

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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2 thoughts on “Remember when

  1. The Narrative:
    1. SNP up to 37.9% from 29.0% (previous maximum was 29.1%).
    2. SNP up to 3 MEPs from 2 (previous maximum was 2).
    3. Party of Independence have landslide victory.
    4. Party of Independence win umpteenth election since 2007.
    5. Popular endorsement of ‘Stop Brexit’, ‘Scotland in Europe’ & ‘Independence in Europe’.
    6. Turnout was 39.7%, up from 33.5% (which was the previous maximum ever).
    7. The voting proportion legitimises the results.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know what’s going on, but I must admit that something is not right here. Every time we seem to get anywhere, even those who purportedly support independence seem to want to sideline it again or will not face facts – that we are not going to get a S30 Order. All this that has played out has been evident since 2016 to those with eyes to see. Some kind of narrative about how we are to achieve independence (yes, I know, joke) has been absorbed into the national folklore and nothing, but nothing, will persuade otherwise. It must be democratic, they shriek, when they didn’t even as much as ask themselves why almost 75% of rUK voters voted NO in 2014.

    That was the most fundamental question that required to be answered then. Not because it was picking on rUK voters who would always be most likely to vote for the Union and Britishness (and we know that many Scots voted for Britishness, too, so no anti Englishness at all) but because we had to work out a strategy that did not alienate them while it delivered independence. It has always been obvious, but even more so since 2014, that the only way to achieve independence without alienating anybody unduly and with even a modicum of sense, would be to go back to basics, i.e. to where it all began – The Treaty of Union, 1707. It is our absolute right to resile this Treaty on the grounds that its Articles, its intention, its spirit have not been adhered to by the other signatory to it – England/rUK.

    No one in their right mind can argue against a ruling that shows that we have been treated in bad faith since that date; no one in their right mind would argue against a nation’s right to assert its own constitutional future separate and distinct from another’s because that is normal; and no one in their right mind would try to insist that we stay in a Union that has never worked for us, against all reality and which could yet lead to a NI standoff. Except that is what Unionists of all shades and hues do: they do really expect us to act against our own interests in favour of theirs; they do actually believe that, despite the fact that we have a SNP government pledged to deliver independence if elected, and have had since 2007, they have the right to demand we ditch independence; and they really do believe that they are in the right, insane and anti intellectual as that sounds. They are quite out of their tree, quite ruthlessly mad because they see their own interests threatened. Not once have I heard anyone from the Unionist side, either in Scotland or in England, state that Scotland has an unqualified right to decide on its own future.

    They, as foolish reactionaries, are not only trying to fight against the tide of history, but they, like all foolish reactionaries throughout history, cannot admit they are wrong. They know they are wrong; they know it could end very badly (and we have NI and the Balkans, Rwanda and other conflicts to show just how wrong it can go, if tensions are not diffused) but they do not care. They would sacrifice all of us to keep a status quo that is profoundly corrupt and unworkable. Do they seriously believe that independence will melt away like snow in summer if they keep on denying it? Foolishness just does not cover it.


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