If Ross and Davidson turn the 2021 Scottish election into a plebiscite on the Union and indyref2, they stand to lose badly. Which will make it very difficult for Boris and Co to refuse a referendum.This is how we know the Tories are about to play dirty
In the midst of George Kerevan’s otherwise excellent analysis we find the above unsupported assertion. George is far from alone in making this unsupported assertion. It has become a widely accepted, and hence seldom questioned, assumption that a decisive victory for the SNP in the next Holyrood election is essential because this “will make it very difficult for Boris and Co to refuse a referendum”. But I question it!
That a decisive victory for the SNP is absolutely essential is certainly true. And the notion that this will make it difficult – or even impossible – for Boris Johnson to refuse a Section 30 request is a very convenient explanation for those who consider that decisive victory for the SNP an end in itself and those who are strongly committed to the Section 30 process. It will not have escaped your notice that both these categories are populated almost entirely by the SNP leadership and its most loyal servants.
There is another way of explaining why that decisive SNP victory is essential. A way which finds considerably less favour with the party leadership and those most loyal to it. But we’ll come back to that.
First we must examine the claim that the Tories and other British parties losing badly enough in the Scottish Parliament elections might be enough to force Johnson to change his stance on refusing a Section 30 order. We start that examination by asking why. Why would it have this effect? Regardless of what he claims – and what others claim on his behalf – is the reason Boris adamantly refuses permission for a second referendum that there is no demand for it? Because only if that is genuinely the reason might a massive win for the SNP cause him to change his mind.
Who actually believes that British Nationalists are determined to block a second referendum because they feel bound by what they choose to believe is the will of the people? Who actually believes that British Nationalists would not continue to be determined to block a new referendum even if it was demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that the will of the people was to have such a referendum?
Whatever the reason(s) for the British political elite seeking to deny the people of Scotland the exercise of our fundamental and inalienable right of self-determination we can be absolutely certain it has nothing at all to do with what the people of Scotland want. When was that ever a consideration?
So why believe that even the clearest and most undeniable demonstration of popular demand for a new referendum would change anything? It wouldn’t! So that cannot be the reason for a decisive SNP victory being so crucial.
To understand the real reason we need the SNP to win and win big I want to refer you to something said in a comment on my blog and my response. The comment was as follows.
Politicians may delude themselves that they have the power to change history. They don’t. Only the people can do that.
To which I responded –
Sentimental drivel! The people have no power. The people have strength. It is the political class which translates that strength into effective political power. Commonly, they will seek to persuade the people that it was popular power wot won it. All too many will be taken in by the stirring rhetoric. Strip away the deceptive varnish, however, and what you find is that as an all but invariable rule revolutions are initiated by the middle classes – academics, artists, professionals, civil servants and minor politicians – who then enlist the strength of the people.
Were you to find any exception to this rule – a true popular revolution which was successful – then what you would also and absolutely without exception find is that the success of that ‘people’s revolution’ came only after it engaged the same middle classes.
The reason a massive SNP victory in the next Holyrood election is important to us – the people – rather than to the SNP hierarchy is not because it changes anything about Boris Johnson or the British political elite or British Nationalist ideology and the determination to preserve the Union at any cost, but because it changes the SNP. More precisely, it changes the relationship between the party and the people.
We, the people, want and need an unprecedented SNP landslide not because it will stop Boris Johnson denying our right of self-determination but because it will stop the SNP denying it. We want and need that political and constitutional game-changer not because it will force Boris Johnson to grant a Section 30 order but because it will force Nicola Sturgeon to stop asking for it.
We want and need that SNP victory not because it will somehow cause the British political elite to respect Scotland’s people but because it will oblige Nicola Sturgeon to respect us. Not because it will require the British establishment to facilitate the end of the Union but because it will force the SNP to be the lever which prises Scotland from the Union despite the continuing and intensifying anti-democratic efforts of the British state.
We want and need that SNP win because it would represent Scotland’s popular independence movement engaging Scotland’s political class for our purposes as opposed to the political class laying claim to the strength of the popular movement in pursuit of its own agenda.
Neither the British political elite nor the SNP leadership want you to recognise this political reality. Not because they are in league, as I see some fools suggesting, but because there is a coincidence of interests such as happens in the real world. Otherwise we wouldn’t have so many dumb conspiracy theories.
In my response mentioned earlier I went on to observe that,
Perhaps more than anything else what Scotland’s cause needs right now is several heavy doses of hard-headed political realism. Fuck knows we’re not wanting for sentimental drivel.
Here is your first dose of hard-headed political realism. The British state will do whatever it reckons is necessary to preserve the Union. The British political elite will continue to deny the sovereignty of Scotland’s people and subvert Scotland’s democracy regardless of what happens in any election or referendum. That is why Douglas Ross and Ruth Davidson are being placed in the vanguard of the British state’s efforts to quell democratic dissent in its annexed territory.
Ross and Davidson are being put in place precisely and solely because they can be relied upon to follow orders without hesitation, absent any reflection, unimpeded by scruples and unhindered by principles.
There is no route to the restoration of Scotland’s independence which does not require that this aggressive obduracy is confronted with assertive determination.
There is currently no way to channel the strength of Scotland’s popular independence movement and translate that strength into effective political power other than through the SNP. And no time to find or create an alternative way.
There is every reason to assume that the coming Scottish Parliament elections represent our last chance to rescue Scotland from the forces of anti-democratic British Nationalism.
I urge and implore everyone who aspires to more for Scotland than an increasingly subordinate status with a ‘reformed’ Union to heed these words.
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