Nicola Sturgeon’s list of demands is, of course, premised on a minority British Labour government which, as things stand, looks like a very remote possibility indeed. The Tories have a 10+ point lead in the polls, and that doesn’t look like changing. Boris Johnson appears to be bullet-proof. It doesn’t seem to matter what he does, so long as he’s a Brexiteer, England-as-Britain wants him as its Prime Minister. Which means he and all his idiocy also gets foisted on Scotland.
Nor is Corbyn looking like someone who can transform things. Whatever lights of charismatic radicalism he may be hiding under the bushel of his unremitting dullness, he is obliged by the British political system to chase the same voters as have apparently pledged unquestioning fealty to Boris Johnson and the freak-show which is the British Conservative Party.
Nicola Sturgeon is certainly aware of this. She knows that she can demand this and that for no other reason than to highlight the fact that British Labour is not going to stop Brexit; or scrap Trident; or do any of the things their faithful followers have convinced themselves their party would do if only it could steal enough of Boris Johnson’s clothes to fool those critical voters without actually becoming indistinguishable from the malignant child-clown. Or, alternatively, if Jeremy Corbyn could stir the apathetic masses to action in a way that one wouldn’t really expect of someone who has the compelling presence and personal magnetism of a substitute geography teacher.
What Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t seem to be aware of is that British Labour is no more likely to accede to her demand for a Section 30 order than it is to revoke Article 50 or dismantle the British state’s nuclear deterrent. All of these belong on the same list as Nigel Farage’s image appearing on a commemorative €100 note – the list of things that just aren’t going to happen.
It’s easy to understand why she demands things like an end to the Brexit insanity. Forcing your opponents to reject policies which are popular with voters can be a very effective campaigning tactic. But that’s not what is happening with the attempt to make Jeremy Corbyn signal his readiness to immediately grant a Section 30 order in exchange for SNP MPs serving as a crutch for a minority British Labour administration. Albeit a rather wobbly crutch. Nicola Sturgeon genuinely seems to suppose that this is a realistic possibility.
Why anyone might believe something so far-fetched is a mystery. To give credence to the notion that any British Prime Minister might facilitate or cooperate with a process which jeopardised the ‘precious’ Union flies in the face of the stark political reality of British Nationalist ideology and England-as-Britain’s need to maintain its grip on Scotland.
There’s lots of truly weird stuff going on in politics right now. But all of that weirdness would be as nothing compared to the British state sacrificing its interests in the name of democracy and decency. That stands on its own right at the top of the list of things that just aren’t going to happen.
If you find these articles interesting please consider a small donation to help support this site and my other activities on behalf of Scotland’s independence movement.