Tether’s end

Nicola Sturgeon makes an important point. As she didn’t quite say, you can be pro-independence and non-SNP; but you can’t be pro-independence and anti-SNP. If you want independence then you have to support the SNP at least to the extent of keeping them in office until independence is restored. The party is one of the four critical components which must work together for the independence project to succeed. It is the lever by which we will prise Scotland out of the Union.

Scottish National Party (SNP) = Lever
Scottish Government (SG) = Fulcrum
Scottish Parliament (SP) = Base
Yes Movement (YM) = Force
snp + sg + sp + ym = i

This is well understood across the independence movement. Even among the myriad factions of the radical left, there is grudging acknowledgement that the SNP, being the only available source of effective political power, is essential to the process of restoring Scotland’s independence.

The question now tends to be whether the SNP has fully taken on board that the Yes movement is important for more than just providing campaign foot-soldiers and photo-op extras. There seems little to indicate that the party leadership realises what a valuable resource the Yes movement is. Even at this late stage, there is only tentative and overly cautious reaching-out to the wider independence movement. The SNP appears intent on keeping Yessers at arms length, only prepared to interact via some intermediary organisation. This is not an effective way of providing the leadership that the independence cause requires. Hopefully, the relationship between party and movement will change. But that needs to happen in a hurry.

Reading what the First Minister’s said in the interview with LBC broadcaster Iain Dale, we at last see some indication that she recognises the urgency of Scotland’s predicament.

“I think there is growing support for independence in Scotland and I think there is, accompanying that, a growing sense of urgency that if we don’t want to get dragged down a path, and I’m not just talking about Brexit here although largely that’s what I mean, but dragged down a sort of political path that we don’t want to go down, then we need to consider becoming independent sooner rather than later.”

Two phrases stand out in the above. The remark about a “growing sense of urgency” will be welcomed by the increasing number of people across the Yes movement who have been expressing concerns about the lack of of any sense of urgency on the part of the Scottish Government. Many people will also be heartened by Nicola Sturgeon’s assurance that she’s “not just talking about Brexit”. There is a widespread view that, both as a party and as an administration, the SNP has been entirely too focused on England’s self-inflicted Brexit problems – to the extent that it has somewhat lost sight of the independence cause.

These comments seem to give renewed hope and encouragement to those of us who feel the hot, stinking breath of rabid British Nationalism on our necks. But we’ve been here so often before. All too often we’ve seized on something Nicola Sturgeon has said desperate to believe that it portends bold and decisive action to save Scotland from the looming ‘One Nation’ project. All too often we have been disappointed.

There is a limit to how long this can go on. We may be reaching that limit now.

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12 thoughts on “Tether’s end

  1. We are not reaching a point of urgency though. We are in fact well past that. We are at the flabbergasted stage.

    It’s now or never.

    Recall parliament Nicola. Sod the recess!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think it is Mr Hosie in today’s National who says that we have to see what Brexit will look like. So, that’s it. We do nothing until we know what Brexit is going to be for…whom? It has always been patently obvious what Brexit was going to look like for us – more of the same with bells on. When is the SNP leadership going to get it into their skulls that Brexit is no different from a hundred other calculated insults, no different from finding the truth of the extent of our oil and gas reserves from us, for example; no different to stealing over 6000 squ. miles of our territorial waters without a by-your-leave, and also hidden until the dirty deed was accomplished? Just what is it going to take to make the Scots and the SNP angry enough to actually do something concrete about our situation? We have had ‘kick me hard’ pinned to our backs for 312 years and still we refuse to remove it.

    I am beginning to believe that there is a psychological disconnect between the reality of Scotland’s situation and the pretence of the Union. When I first joined the SNP, I was barely into my teens and it was a wholly emotional journey; it was from the heart rather than the head. As I grew into my middle teens and began studying history seriously, under a Tory of the old school, who was both strict and very open to stretching young minds with historical fact rather than imperialist nonsense, I began to search for the facts that would back my emotional response to Scottish independence, even then, at that tender age, being aware that I might, in the light of those facts, be catapulted into the realization that Scottish Nationalism and independence were not really necessary to Scotland’s well-being and future.

    Quite the opposite occurred and I found myself astounded by what I discovered about the Union, its aftermath and the lead-up to it. The reasons, from England’s point of view, for the Union, remain precisely the same as they have always done for trying to corral Scotland. This is where, I think, the SNP falls down: it seems unable to marry the past to the present and the future in a long continuum of always having to fend off England’s aspirations which were never ours; it seems to be incapable of comprehending what our future is going to be in that One Nation State, waiting always to see what England will do. This has been our bane for as long as we have existed alongside our larger neighbour, and always, it is our ‘betters’/elected representatives who have let us down on that score. They always take the pragmatic view once England has decided something: oh, well, no point in annoying them…let’s just do it their way…” They never, or very rarely, take the pragmatic view of our Scottish situation and make a decision for themselves. It makes me wonder whether the SNP is really ready to lead us out of the Union?

    The only other reason I can see for the dilly-dallying and putting our withdrawal in time, in jeopardy is that the party itself has been infiltrated by elements whose task it is to ensure that we remain within the Union, no matter how costly that might be to us. Remember that the reasons for the Union from the English ruling elite’s (not necessarily the English people’s) viewpoint remains exactly the same as in 1707, and before then. Even now, I feel a lump in my throat when I contemplate the long years of Union that our nations have shared, but not once have I heard one voice down south speak up for us, for our position. I very much doubt that the ordinary person in the street in England even understands why we feel the way we do. If they think of us at all, many of them, they see us as traitors at a time of crisis – just as they have always done, too, even when we were a sovereign, independent nation state. Despair just does not cover it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Scotland will have to see what the Brexit they didn’t vote for looks like. We didn’t want to leave the EU at all. How are the SNP representing 62% of Scots?

    They have forgotten why they were elected.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “whereupon the arm went down and Johnson awkwardly followed her in”

      It would hardly be possible for John Harris to get it more embarrassingly wrong.


      1. Aye. This is the bit that stuck out for me

        So what happens when the Westminster government says she can’t have one? “Well, look, if we get to that bridge, I will set out how I intend to cross it … We’ve got legislation going through the Scottish parliament that is necessary for a referendum on that timescale. When we get to the endpoint of that legislation, we’ll then have that discussion with the UK government about the transfer of power.”

        Will it be a discussion? Or a historic clash? “Let’s wait and see, OK? And then I’ll set out how we intend to deal with that.”

        I think that’s the first time I’ve heard Sturgeon hint she has a plan? I was always fairly confident she did have but nice to read it from the horses mouth.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeh … I think it’s “that discussion” with the UK govt surrounding the section 30 that we’ll see the smoke begin to clear?
    And “that Discussion” isn’t too far off I don’t think?


    1. What if they try for yet another extension to the timescale? The EU says now that it won’t be granted, but I think it might. Boris Johnson has said we’ll be out on Hallowe’en, but he’s pushing it. We could be no further forward on 31 October, so what then? Meanwhile, the process of regionalization continues unabated. Even if we leave on 31 October, there are around two years of haggling to go after that before we actually see what Brexit will be – the real Brexit, not the pretendy wee battle we have fought thus far. That could take us beyond 2021 and the next Scottish elections. Do we campaign for independence or do we wait to see whether Westminster can secure a deal of sorts because we’ll still need one – of sorts. Then, will we be waiting to see how the Americans intend to play the game? Which national treasures they will insist on hiving off at minimum cost and maximum profit? Ours will be there with the rest of the UK’s once these frameworks are all in place. By then, of course, the Brexit fear factor will have abated to give way to the ice-cold reality of the new world created by the money men.

      My take on all of this is that, if people are just too stupid, too venal and/or too frightened to even try to save themselves, I don’t see why they should be allowed to drag the rest of us with them. Anyone who believes that the post Brexit neoliberal utopia will be of any benefit to him/her, must be terminally in need of a brain (it would appear that many are born that way and still manage to function – a mystery of infinite proportions) or he/she is already one of the gilded ones who want to paint on an extra layer of the gold plate because what we are going to have is brutal right-wing excess that sees a sleeping bag as namby-pamby self-indulgence by the homeless, doorway dozers married to the always fully-deserved (but only for them) infinite greed and unenlightened self-interest of the Troglodytes, the blotters-out-of-the-sun, who infest the nether regions of Hades – Tories on steroids, and that’s just the Lib Dems and Labour. We owe them nothing.


  5. The way I read it is that as soon as the process going through the Scottish Parliament is completed, the section 30 will be requested. Things should move very quickly after that.


  6. I think they must? The uk govt will need to respond and then the Scottish Govt will need to act.


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