I used to say that independence was inevitable because any constitutional settlement which succeeded terms of the aims and objectives of the British state necessarily fails in terms of the priorities and aspirations of Scotland’s people.
I used to say independence was inevitable because a political union which can only be sustained with imperious intimidation, empty promises, brazen dishonesty, vicious smears and utter contempt for democratic principles is a political union which is broken beyond repair. It is a political union which cannot be maintained.
I no longer regard independence as inevitable. I now recognise the possibility that independence might not happen. Not because my earlier arguments have become less valid. But because, for independence to happen, somebody has to make it happen.
Independence isn’t happening, because the people who should be making it happen aren’t.
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4 thoughts on “When the facts change…”
Happy New Year, and hopefully an even happier one by the end of January.
They’re on a warning … no time-wasting now.
The strategy pursued was false, depending on a powerful (non-existent) anti-Brexit lobby and a Labour win in England’s election (highly unlikely though that was). The parliamentary leadership has failed and looks like continuing to do so. That will land us with two possible roads forward – the complete abandonment of independence, or the adoption of extra-parliamentary action. These will be the result of a parliamentary leadership which has failed to take seriously the challenges of power, instead satisfying itself with behaving nicely according to the rules of colonialism.
I worry too, yet at the same time I don’t see the Yes movement going back into its box. It’s resilient. The question is if it is strong enough to overthrow the British state. I could see stalemate and a war of attrition lasting for some time.
What I worry about is that in terms of UK politics, I don’t think there will be meaningful opposition for over a decade given the collapse of the Labour party which could face extinction in England as it has in Scotland. We could have Tory governments for the next 20 years so overwhelmingly powerful that they could just ignore our clamour for independence even if polls were to show a comfortable level of support. We are reaching the limits of constitutional politics.
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The horse has bolted – Too many YES/SNP allowed Westminster to re-group and I fear the Brexit opportunity is gone. YES had to use their Brexit arguments against them live. Post Brexit is pointless and like coming up with the perfect comeback 2 days later – you just look foolish.
The risk now is that so many will want to re-litigate 2014 or 2018/19 Brexit – that is so dangerous as any mixed messages will leave the YES case open to being cut to shreds by Westminster and their media allies. (2014 currency argument sound familiar to anyone)
Now is the time to start laying out the new case (as it exists now) from first principles. This has to be done. It’s time to be brave, take a deep breath and relaunch the journey.
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