Where stands the SNP?

Scotland’s people are ready to end the Union. Scotland is ready to restore its independence. But is the SNP ready to play its crucial role in all of this? Today we learn that the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSAS) indicates a ‘fundamental shift’ in support for independence. It may be of concern, at least to more thoughtful individuals, that none of this shift in attitudes is attributed to the efforts of independence campaigners. But the shift is real, nonetheless. And fundamental. People in Scotland are thinking differently about the constitutional issue. Many are only now coming to recognise that there is a constitutional issue.

The fight to restore Scotland’s independence is often described as a journey. A journey which for almost a century was led by the SNP. Now, it seems that the party has been overtaken by the populace. The people of Scotland now stand on the verge of a tipping point at which they make the dramatic shift from having to be persuaded of the need to end the Union with England-as-Britain to demanding that independence be restored forthwith. But where stands the SNP? Does the party stand ready to play its crucial role in implementing the democratic will of Scotland’s people? Or do the leaders and managers of the party have other preoccupations?

Is it really necessary to yet again explain why the SNP is crucial to the enterprise? Must we once more point out that the mood of the people and the demands they make for change amount to nothing unless there is a Scottish Government which stands ready to respect that mood and comply with those demands? How often do those who mindlessly squawk the mantra that ‘it’s not all about the SNP’ need to be told be told that it is all about the Scottish Government and that since only the SNP is in a position to form a government with a mandate to act on the constitutional issue then it bloody well IS all about the SNP!

Not that we don’t have sympathy for those who have given up on the SNP as the ‘party of independence’. Over the past five or six years the party has given them ample cause. But giving up on the SNP because it is not a very good lifeboat is a bit daft when it is the only lifeboat. Either the SNP is ready to do what the people of Scotland are ready to demand of their government or the people of Scotland must make it ready. Those are the only choices. The only other possibility being that the fight to restore Scotland’s independence be lost. Probably forever.

Just as that fight is totally dependent on the SNP because it is totally dependent on the Scottish Government, so what happens at this month’s SNP conference is crucial because the 2021 Scottish Parliament election is crucial. What happens at the conference will determine whether the party stands once again in the vanguard of Scotland’s march to independence or whether it falls even farther behind the people, becoming a drag on Scotland’s cause. At the coming conference the party must decide whether it is to be the source of effective political power that the final stage of the journey requires, or if it is to be the reason our journey falters within sight of its destination.

Scotland stands ready. Where stands the SNP?

4 thoughts on “Where stands the SNP?

  1. From the SSAS back in 2016 (Table 1 page 5):

    Click to access ssa-2016-state-of-nationalism.pdf

    Independence – Devolution – Abolish in %

    2012 – 23 – 61 – 11
    2013 – 29 – 55 – 9
    2014 – 33 – 50 – 7
    2015 – 39 – 49 – 6
    2016 – 46 – 42 – 8

    2020 – 51 – 36 – 7

    Steady increase, despite what people say about no movement, and those figures are up to March, not including recent increases. Part of that has to be the hard work of those of us who do keep trying – even if we do disagree about details. I think 2017-19 slowed down a bit, maybe with concentration on Brexit,

    Anyways, I agree with the article, particularly in the context of your conference in scant weeks. The high heidyins have to turn up this time, in spirit not just body.

    The conclusions from the SSAS are inescapable, more than any opinion polls. It is time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not that there’s been no movement but that there should have been much more. If the campaign hadn’t been parked by the SNP – for reasons which will come out over the next few weeks – then Yes could have been polling ten points higher.

      There’s also concerns that this support is not so much for independence as against Brexit, Boris and the Tories. Support in the polls is not the same as votes. We need to grow support for ending the Union, certainly. But it has to be support that we can be sure will convert to Yes votes in a referendum.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did this with some very dirty back of teabag maths:

        SSAS 2014 Independence 33% status quo 50% abolish 7%
        SSAS 2020 Independence 51% status quo 36% abolish 7%

        Comparing with the 2014 referendum we get:

        2014 YES 45% NO 55%
        2020 YES 62% NO 38%

        Yes, I know, but it kind of supports the feeling some have, that support for YES is actually higher than the polls say – and that calculation would have been up to last March – if it was tested in Indy Ref 2.

        Thing is ScotGov should have a legion of other statisticans, mathemeticians and analysts who could do a better job, and the SNP itself, so where are they?

        Other countries have managed to have elections with Covid-19, it’s getting to be no excuse at all. Unless all else has had a background plan, and all will be revealed on the 30th November, in a leader’s speech.


      2. Sorry posting again, but there’s an article in the National by Diffley who I respect, but I think he’s wrong. From the SSAS:

        Independence % from 2014 was 33 ==> 39 ==> 46 – all BEFORE the EU Ref. That’s 13 % points in 2 years = 6.5% per year.

        Since the EU Ref, from 2016 to 2020 it moved from 46 ==> 51. That’s just 5% points in 4 years = 1.25% per year.

        The good thing about that is the fastest movement was before Brexit was even a thing, before the EU Ref itself. So it was more a natural movement, possible the Indy Ref results showing up as a solidification for Independence and a decline in support for the status quo.

        And if I’m right about that, it’s not Brexit driving it now either, it’s the threat to devolution itself from the likes of the Infernal Market Bill and its power grab. Which would mean, considering the SSAS 2020 was from Sep 2019 to March 2020, that the SG is actually driving it by emphasising the power grab – and such as Kate Forbes is doing with the furlough and similar. Which would mean that the SNP might have a plan after all.

        I hope so.


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