Lost comment

I posted a comment yesterday on a thread started by one of those cunning plan cult people in which I pointed out a few things that needed to be pointed out despite being perfectly obvious to anybody who care to think about things. As far as I can determine, that thread has now been deleted. In anticipation of this very thing, I kept a copy of the comment. It saves me having to do it all again.

A perfect example of thinking only as far as leaves your preferred conclusion intact. You don’t even address the ‘gamble’ aspects of the issue. Which is understandable given that you want everybody else to ignore that gamble. It hardly suits your purposes to draw further attention to it by addressing concerns about it. You disregard the problematic bits of the arithmetic. And you disregard the fact that politics is about more than just arithmetic. There’s the people stuff!

There is no evidence that the [SNP] parliamentary party is “losing us support”. And I never said or implied that it was. That’s because, unlike you, I am honest. I’m not pretending you said stuff that you didn’t. You’d do well to lose that habit. It makes you look very like the kind of sleekit politician you claim you don’t want to be.

In the reality which causes you such inconvenience, support for the SNP is currently at extraordinary levels. And if it’s not rising that’s probably because it has no further to go.

But let’s get back to that constrained thinking. The thinking which doesn’t include questioning your own prejudices, preconceptions and assumptions. Take this comment for example.

The parliament is largely useless as a means to gain independence, unless enough independence MSPS are elected, to push the SNP into more urgent action.

Again, we have a politician’s trick. State something that is true then associate with it something that is at best highly dubious or unproved and at worst a deception or a lie. The first part of the above statement is totally true. In terms of the constitutional issue – which MUST be separated from matters of policy – the Scottish Parliament is useless without a majority committed to a process that will lead to the restoration of Scotland’s independence.

But then you try to piggy-back on this statement of evident truth the highly contentious – but for you very convenient – notion that the desirable outcome suggested in the first part of the statement is achievable by doing precisely what it is that you want to do. Sensible persons should be immediately suspicious. It’s just too convenient – for you!

In order to dissect the dubious claim we must make some very bold assumptions. And that is an understatement. We must assume that it is actually possible to game the electoral system in such a way as to get elected the “independence MSPS” that just happen to be the ones you are promoting. This involves ignoring realpolitik. Which I’m never comfortable doing. But needs must.

Forcing ourselves to remain blind to all the difficulties involved, we assume you have been successful in getting those non-SNP MSPs into the Scottish Parliament. You now expect us to just accept that this is the only or best way to “push the SNP into more urgent action”. You hijack the truth of the first part of the statement and use it to give a lick of truthiness to the thing you want others to believe.

But what if we don’t just give up thinking at this point. What if we choose to scrape off the varnish of truthiness to examine what lies beneath. (Pun unapologetically intended.)

The fact that the SNP needs to be pushed necessarily implies that they have won the election with enough seats to form the administration. It also necessarily implies that they are in a sufficiently strong position to take that “more urgent action”. But if the SNP is in such a strong position, how might they be pushed? You seem to be suggesting that those cunning plan party (CPP) MSP’s would hold some sort of parliamentary threat over the head of the SNP administration. A threat which could only be to withhold support for all or part of the program on which the SNP was elected.

You are asking voters, having voted for a party on the basis of its manifesto, to then vote for a ‘party’ which intends to block – or threaten to block – the very program for which they are voting. How stupid do you think voters are?

Think it through and what you find is that these CPP MSPs can only be either redundant or irrelevant. If there is an SNP administration committed to a Manifesto for Independence, they are redundant. Because there is already the commitment and the numbers needed to act on that commitment. If there is an SNP administration still committed to the Section 30 process or, nightmare scenario, no SNP administration at all, then the CCP MSPs can’t put any pressure on that administration without behaving in a way that will outrage the voters and delight the British Nationalists.

Let’s finish by taking the true part of your comment and thinking it through rather more thoroughly than you find ‘helpful’. Clearly, we do need an SNP administration. And we need that administration to have renounced the Section 30 process. But is it not obvious when you actually THINK about it that the SNP has to renounce the Section 30 process BEFORE the election. The party can’t go into the election talking about the Section 30 process only to drop it after having been elected on that basis.

Additionally, the more effective political power the SNP has the better it will be able to implement an alternative process. So, those of us who are thinking in terms of Scotland’s cause rather than our own political careers ask what best achieves this. What best enhances the effective political power of the SNP administration?

The answer is obvious. Mandate! The bigger the mandate, the better equipped the Scottish Government is to confront the British state – as it must. The mandate is measured in votes. So it follows that the more votes the SNP gets, the more powerfully armed it is for the fight. You want to take votes away from the SNP. You want to weaken that mandate. (And FFS! don’t start going on about unused mandates. That’s the past. We’re discussing a totally different situation.)

I want the SNP to have that huge mandate. That big stick to wave at the British political elite. You want to siphon off some of that power for yourself. Fuck you!

Thinking rationally about the best imaginable outcome of the election in terms of Scotland’s cause that would be an SNP majority government, committed to a Manifesto for Independence and armed with over 50% of the vote on both ballots. THAT would be the lever we need. THAT is what we should be aiming for.

THAT is where you get to when you think it through with Scotland’s cause at the forefront of your mind.

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One thought on “Lost comment

  1. Here we go again. Section 30 is the gold standard, but it is not the only way.

    The problem in discussing all of this arises when people start getting too prescriptive with each other. That means that your facebook pals were to prescriptive when they said that it had to be done with a Cunning Plan Party and you are too prescriptive when you demand that the SNP rule out the Section 30.

    And now I am going to be prescriptive and say that what is required is a manifesto commitment – to be turned into a mandate by the electorate, hopefully – to achieve Independence by any and all available means. So that would allow for one more time of asking. And then we go with a referendum or a plebiscite election or we just do it. Whatever.

    The important thing is to detach ourselves from how we do it and get a mandate for what we want to do. These arguments about HOW are destructive and wasteful of our energies.


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