There it is again! The faclie nonsense about refusal of a Section 30 order being unsustainable absent any account of what makes it so. The complacent assumption that there will be a new referendum in 2020 absent any consideration of what the British political elite will be doing over the year until then. The glittering generalities about burgeoning support for Yes absent any explanation as to why the polls persistently fail to reflect this.
I suppose we can expect at least one of these every day in The National. A steady drip-feed of messages meant to assure us that all will be well if we just have faith in the judgement of the SNP leadership. And that is precisely what is being asked of us – that we have faith. That we believe against the evidence of our senses and the reasoning of our intellects. That we set aside all doubt. That we neither question nor challenge.
I don’t do faith. I cannot switch off that part of my mind that wants to question everything. I will not meekly accept vapid assurances. I require to be persuaded. And what might persuade me is, not vacuous platitudes wrapped in rousing rhetoric, but evidence and rational argument. Wrap that in rousing rhetoric and you’re at least treating me with that minimum of respect due to any citizen of Scotland. Or, for that matter, any person of normal intelligence.
Don’t just tell me it is not sustainable for either the Tories or Labour to continue blocking a new referendum. Tell me what makes it unsustainable. Tell me what it costs the British Prime Minister to say “Now is not the time!”. And you’d better make it convincing. Because I know how much of an imperative it is for the British establishment to prevent the people of Scotland exercising our right of self-determination.
Don’t just tell me there will be a referendum in the second half of 2020. Describe to me the process by which that referendum comes about. And your description better not assume that the British government will be idle in the meantime. Don’t try to sell me the notion that delay is a consequence-free option. Don’t assume I’m too stupid to have realised that the British state has the power to arbitrarily denude the Scottish Parliament of its powers, or to ‘suspend’ it indefinitely.
Don’t imagine I’m unaware that the British political elite will shortly be in a position to unilaterally redefine the Union and Scotland’s status within a ‘One Nation’ British state. Don’t dare suppose I am naive enough to think they wouldn’t do it. That they might be restrained by some sense of honour or respect for democratic principles.
Tell me how you propose to deal with eventualities such as these and I might start to find some credibility in tales of a 2020 referendum.
Don’t just offer me bland assurances about growing support for independence. Show me the evidence of it. Don’t just tell me you’ve got it covered and expect me to applaud like an old-time circus seal. Give me at least the bare bones of your strategy for a campaign that I can have confidence will be effective in persuading people of the urgent need to end the Union.
If I want to be treated like a credulous fool I’ll turn to one or other of the British parties. I expect better from the SNP. I demand better from the SNP.
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