Last chance?

I guess it’s official, then. The new independence referendum postponed from autumn 2018 or spring 2019 but promised for some time in the second half or towards the end of 2020, will not happen. We have the word from Angus Robertson – hardly one of those anonymous party spokespersons. I think it’s safe to say that Angus qualifies as a ‘senior SNP source’.

He is not at all ambiguous about it either. When he eventually gets to the point after enough waffle about how the British Tory government can’t possibly keep doing for much longer what it has effortlessly kept doing for as long as anyone can remember to deter the casual reader, Angus casually states what others have been hinting at almost since a 2020 referendum was not quite promised by the First Minister but dangled in such a way as to have people think that is what they were voting for in last month’s UK general election.

That not-quite-a-promise can be quietly shelved now that the SNP have those votes banked. We’re back to where the SNP leadership always wanted to be.

Hard as it is to endure given the repeated electoral mandates for an independence referendum, the reality is that the issue of indyref2 will be decided in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections. With a majority of pro-independence MSPs, it will be impossible to oppose Scottish democracy.

Hang on a moment! Wasn’t a massive preponderance of SNP MPs supposed to make it “impossible to oppose Scottish democracy”? In the same way that Brexit was supposed to be the tipping point for a swing in favour of independence.

Angus Robertson goes on to inform us that “a pro-independence majority of MSPs is the key to Scotland’s future”. Well, duh! Does he seriously think we need to be reminded of this? Does he imagine we are unaware of the critical importance of continuing to vote SNP? Does he suppose we can’t figure out for ourselves how it would be if we allowed our Parliament to fall into the hands of the British parties?

We know what the “key” is. We’ve been handing that key to the SNP for thirteen years. We know we will have to hand them that key again in 2021. What we need to know is when are they going to use that key.

As if to conclusively make the case that the British government’s anti-democratic opposition to a referendum must imminently crumble under the onslaught of various people saying it is “unsustainable” – including a few surprising sources – Angus Robertson quotes the former head of communications for the Scottish Conservatives, Andy Maciver.

If the SNP wins the election with a clear manifesto commitment for a second independence referendum, a full two parliamentary terms after their first win, there can be no serious grounds to oppose it. You can’t be a fair-weather democrat. You can’t demand to get Brexit done because voters asked for it whilst demanding that Indyref2 is continually rejected despite voters asking for it.

But the SNP has already won several elections with a clear manifesto commitment. The referendum hasn’t happened. There are no serious grounds to oppose a referendum and never have been. The referendum hasn’t happened. You can’t be a fair-weather democrat. Yet that is as much as the British political elite has ever been. You can’t be hypocritical. Yet the British political elite has never been anything else.

The British establishment’s position is not going to change. If they can discount four or five mandates, they can discount forty or fifty. If they can disregard one expression of the democratic will of Scotland’s people, they can ignore all such expressions. If democratic principles were a consideration for the British state they would not have blocked a referendum in the first place. If they were going to relent, they would have done so long before now.

The SNP will be forgiven for sort of breaking its not-quite-a-promise of a referendum in 2020. But resentment grows exponentially. They will be given yet another mandate in 2021. But, one way or another, that will surely be the last.

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28 thoughts on “Last chance?

  1. “There are only 67 weeks until polling day on May 6 2021. There is no time to waste.”
    2020 written off for indyref2 now as voters must roll up their sleeves to build huge majority for SNP glory in Holyrood next May ?
    Rally round ! Lets build that quintuple locked mandate and melt the hearts of the British as English parliament in May 2021..


  2. Robertson could not have been clearer. Yet another mandate required. Scottish Mandates – uniquely? – have no value. They are completely useless.

    So Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘next steps’ announcement at the end of the month will be delaying waffle. Well, Pete ‘Hold’ Wishart will be happy with that and no doubt a few other SNP grandees will be too.

    Age old story of politicians promising the earth until an election is over. We’ve been had – again.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Again the question for every YES:

      If the SNP can’t/won’t deliver INDY – Is it still the party of INDY?


      1. It won’t be in my eyes, I think it is time a new INDEPENDENCE party came along, INFACT the more the merrier, SNP are now behaving like LABOUR, they KNOW those of us who want INDEPENDENCE will keep voting for them, SO yes we are being used again But only because we have no other choice.. I have never voted for any other party than the SNP in over 50yrs of voting. If the vote comes along in 2021, I shall be voting for them again, but doing so holding my nose. UNLESS of course another INDEPENDENCE party comes to the fore. They lost my membership & respect, Soon I am sure going as they are, they will lose my vote & many many more, I personally know of HUNDREDS who feel the same way.. You can only fool the people so many times, before YOU are left looking the fool.


      2. As others have said, it is in fact time for another Part of Independence. And one that won’t accept London impositions upon Scotland.
        It is quite unfortunate the present SNP leadership, has taken caution on this matter to extreme levels!
        We wait to see what comes of the First Minister’s response at end of month. If it ain’t something truly radical,and something that lays down the gauntlet to London, then we have to force them, and new political group is what we need.


  3. “There are only 67 weeks until polling day on May 6 2021. There is no time to waste.”

    There have been 278 since 18th September 2014 during which time the SNP have won 6 out of 6 UK, Scottish, European and Local Council elections (by both popular vote and elected representatives). Angus Robertson and leading SNP spokespersons appear to have wasted all of them.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. There is a common theme. The unionists move the goalposts every time the SNP win.

    They will move them in 2021. Jack already stated even an SNP majority in 2021 is meaningless. So this is just absolute crap.

    We need our referendum now. As soon as we leave the EU. The date for Indy ref 2 must be announced.

    Failure to use the mandates we have will just allow the yoons to keep moving the terms of democracy.

    It’s Scotland’s decision not Westminsters.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. SNP moving goal posts surely Jock ? Lets stop blaming English Tories for the sleekit ulterior plans of our SNP.


  5. What has gone wrong with Nicola and the SNP mandarins? They have adopted a British ( =English) notion of Westminster Parliamentary Sovereignty. In theory the hold to the sovereignty of the People of Scotland in Scotland, but in practise they attribute suzerainty to the English Parliament of the UK.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Is anyone else struck by the similarities between the Tories and the SNP hierarchy, as evidenced by Alister (Union) Jack’s mutterings about none of our mandates leading to an Indyref2?

    None of them think the mandates are enough.


  7. I have said before if the snp go all new labour then they will die an agonising death. I’m not a member but I vote snp but if they don’t get finger out then I will be hoping for another party that just says majority for us = end of Union. I know we hear another party will split the vote but that assumes yes voters will stick with the snp if yes voters move en mass then the vote holds up. I wasn’t keen on a wings party but I got where he was coming from. I like a lot of green policies but I don’t think they have cross over appeal. If Scotland was independent I’d maybe vote green but right now we need to stop arsing about with mandates and get on with it. The gloves should have came off ages ago. 2021 won’t deliver a snp administration at holyrood because if they continue on this path meekly accepting this shite I won’t be voting for them and I’m sure I won’t be alone. I like Nicola and she’s the best hope we have, now at least but she is going to have to up the anti, pronto

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We are in a very bad place. The British establishment will soon sow confusion among the waverers by throwing Scotland a few bones paid for with our own money . They are laughing at us.

    Legal advice to SNP is that Westminster is paramount and Scottish sovereign rights are a historical curiousity.

    In passing we are being ripped out of EU against our will and there’s F all we can do about it.
    “Unsustainable ? ” . Just watch them.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. ‘Legal advice to SNP is that Westminster is paramount and Scottish sovereign rights are a historical curiousity.’

    Maybe, but the former Welsh FM & lawyer, qualified in the E&W legal system says parliamentary sovereignty is a convention, a precedent. Westminster is now trying to codify it. Thats significant if they think that is required to do. Either way, if its a convention then perhaps they do not even have the sovereign right to enshrine it in law.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Further to Jock McDonnells point:

    You can watch the somewhat long but very interesting discussion here:

    “Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee
    13 January 2020”

    Or fast forward to the last item – a discussion of “Clause38”
    is the last item at ~5 minutes from the end of the commitee session. @1:21:07

    p.s. If you do want to watch it all I would suggest to download the video by using a browser plugin, then watch the local copy at a speed of x1.4 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Peter Bell wrote: “The SNP will be forgiven for sort of breaking its not-quite-a-promise of a referendum in 2020.”

    Neither SNP nor Sturgeon and her cabal will be forgiven for failing to honour the 2016 mandate to deliver a referendum on independence in the event of substantive material change, within the life of this parliament, Peter.

    That is the rub.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Agreed on that point.
      SNP should have acted last year at ;latest, but they chose to focus everything on Brexit.
      When we had 56 out of 59 MPs in London, that was time to strike, after the 2016 Brexit vote.
      SNP got the votes last month, because, we really didn’t have much an option at that time. But they can’t keep relying on those votes forever.
      Scotland doesn’t have another 60 or 70 odd weeks.
      We hardly have a month, and yet SNP talked of near end of 2020.
      That is not good enough.
      In fact, The Union should be declared over here, and now.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder if Angus Robertson might not be so laid back, if he was still in Westminster Parliament.
      One of the things about some of those former MPs (and good few present ones) is that they have a certain luxury, in being able to take a long term view of things. Something most of us don’t have.Something Scotland no longer has.
      But too many.senior figures in politics, also have a tendency to be somewhat detached form things, in general.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. “The SNP .. will be given yet another mandate in 2021.”

    I don’t think they will. I think it would be another 2017, but a whole lot worse. They won’t even be a minority government, and a lot of people will give up or look for another proper independence party.

    The only way the YES movement will stick with the SNP is if they fight tooth and nail to get Indy Ref 2 in 2020, and there aren’t too many wets like Angus Robertson, who perhaps really are in it for the long term, living off donations for a lack of progress.

    “Oh, we need to start canvassing, leafleting and campaigning now, so we all keep our cosy little jobs at your expense. Give generously I like a nice lifestyle you gullible plebs,”.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It concerns me that we’re talking about the Holyrood elections in 2021 as the next plebiscite. It’s all over the media at the moment talking about an ‘illegal’ referendum and how the brit-nat parties (and their followers) will react. In other words the message from Westminster is; do-what-you-like-scotland we’ll not recognise it. In 18 months time when the Holyrood elections come around I suspect Britain will have returned to some kind of settled reality (see.. the sky didn’t fall in) and the urgency of independence will have dissipated among the general population. With Westminster’s anticipated financial love-bombing of Scotland, and the subtle side-lining of Holyrood, many of the soft nos’ will be thinking it’s probably better to stay part of the UK. Well that’s one scenario of course but it might not play out like that. The Tory government’s arrogance and insensitivity to Scotland (quite likely) could filter through to the wavering undecided. Now where will I place that second vote?

    Liked by 1 person

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