“Here is what we know. A majority SNP government will hold a referendum within the term of the next parliament.”Richard Walker: This is why Both Votes SNP is best way to ensure independence
But we don’t know this, Richard. That is a very large part of the problem. In your very next sentence you refer to a caveat which makes a total mockery of the notion that there is a firm commitment to a referendum at any time in the next parliament… or the one after that. To say that there will be a referendum “when circumstances and the pandemic allow” renders the assurance meaningless.
Then there’s the business of a Section 30 request. You’d think enough had been said in condemnation of this aspect of the SNP’s approach to the constitutional issue that candidates would be embarrassed to mention it. The fact that it is still being talked about tells us only that the party isn’t listening.
There’s talk of holding a referendum despite the anticipated rejection of Nicola Sturgeon’s demeaning plea for Boris Johnson’s gracious permission to exercise our inalienable right of self-determination. I won’t get into the matter of how a Section 30 request compromises the sovereignty of the people of Scotland. What would be the point given that the SNP doesn’t listen? And evidently doesn’t have any any respect for the principle of popular sovereignty. I’ll just say that when the SNP tells me in one breath that a Section 30 order is required and in the next breath that it isn’t then I start to think they’re taking the pish. And when they say they’ll hold a referendum absent empty promises of cooperation from the British political elite but fail to explain how then my suspicions about being taken for a fool are confirmed.
Up until a day or two ago I was in full agreement with the strategy of voting for the SNP on both the constituency and the regional ballot. This was, as I had previously stated, both the best default strategy for voters unsure of which way to go and the optimum strategy for most voters looking to achieve the election outcome which best serves Scotland’s cause. But ‘both votes SNP’ could only be a viable strategy if the party had adopted the Manifesto for Independence. It only militates for that ideal election outcome to the extent that the SNP has given a solemn, irrevocable and unconditional undertaking to take the action necessary if Scotland’s independence is to be restored in timely fashion.
Both votes SNP only works if the party repudiates the Section 30 process and commits to asserting the primacy of the Scottish Parliament upon taking office. Giving an SNP Scottish Government a ‘supermandate’ is a good strategy only if the manifesto being mandated justifies it. The SNP manifesto may not have been published yet, but nothing anyone in the SNP is saying gives me cause to expect or even hope that it will contain the kind of commitment that is required.
For this reason, I can no longer contemplate voting SNP on both ballots. Nor can I in good conscience commend this strategy to others.
I am well aware of the issues with a supermajority. I have been one of regrettably few pro-independence bloggers who have questioned the claims being made for the efficacy of a supermajority. But much – perhaps most – of my criticism was relative to the prospect of a ‘supermandate’ for an SNP manifesto which provided the undertaking outlined above. Since that seems no longer to be an option then we must salvage what we can from yet another opportunity missed by the SNP.
I would like to have closed by wishing all the SNP’s list candidates well. But I can’t even do that given some of the names on those lists and being aware of how those names got there.
What a bloody mess Nicola Sturgeon has made of things.