On the anniversary of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath I will set out Alba’s Declaration for Scotland and the clear route to independence – a strategy for immediate action by the Scots Parliament following the achievement of an independence supermajority.
The momentum in this election is with Alba as people warm to our message that only a list vote for Alba can deliver the independence supermajority that will deliver independence for Scotland.The National – Alex Salmond to set out ‘route to indy’ at Alba’s campaign launch
You need to be the government with a majority of MSPs to do what Alba is claiming it will do. A ‘supermajority’ is just political rhetoric. It sounds great. But if you aren’t immediately taken in by the superficial and think to examine the rhetoric you find that it’s empty. There is nothing that can be done with a supermajority unless the governing party (or formal coalition) has been elected on a manifesto committing to doing what the other part(s) of the supermajority want done. Even if all 32 Alba candidates are returned, there is nothing they can do but hope to piggyback on the effective political power of the party that has a mandate to govern.
Alex Salmond may well have “a strategy for immediate action by the Scots Parliament following the achievement of an independence supermajority”. That strategy may be exactly what’s required. It will be in Alba’s manifesto. But as things stand there is no possibility of such a “strategy” being included in the SNP manifesto. Nicola Sturgeon has already intimated the substanceless waffle which will form her party’s appeal to those who want Scotland’s independence restored.
Unless that changes; unless Nicola Sturgeon comes out with a strategy at least as bold as is to be offered by Alba, any supermajority would be a supermajority for two different things. So, not a supermajority at all. The larger part of the supermajority would be for Sturgeon’s ‘strategy’. The smaller part would be for Salmond’s ‘strategy’. Do the math.
There is a huge difference between a supermajority and a supermajority that is effective. A supermajority can only be effective if it is entirely focused on a single shared objective. AND a common strategy for achieving that objective. Does anybody looking at the Salmond/Sturgeon situation see potential partners in any cause?
I have high hopes of Salmond’s strategy. Those hopes cannot be matched by expectations, however, given what Alex Salmond has already said about his thinking on strategy – which is pretty much the same as Sturgeon’s. Nonetheless, I am hopeful that he will at least put the Manifesto for Independence on the table even if I know it will make no practical difference to Scotland’s situation unless Alba’s offer is at least matched by the SNP.
This may be the last time Alba will have any leverage with the SNP. If Alex Salmond announces a genuine Manifesto for Independence proposing “immediate action by the Scots Parliament” this puts pressure on the SNP to match that offer. It’s not irresistible pressure, by any means. But it’s the type of pressure which should have been applied to the SNP by the entire independence movement for at least the last year. It’s all come a bit late in the day. Probably too late.
But all of politics is in turmoil at the moment. It’s a fool who rules anything in or out. Even now, there is the faintest glimmer of hope that this can be turned around. Right now, whoever wins the election, Scotland’s cause loses. This afternoon could change that. Just don’t bet your pension on it.
Which reminds me. I’m meeting – virtually, of course – with my old friends at Edinburgh Pensioners for Independence at 14:00 today. So I’ll miss Alex Salmond’s statement. But you may be sure I’ll have something to say about it tomorrow.