Not really! It simply occurred to me when I saw yet another “SNP slams” headline in the Sunday National how weary I am of reading about the SNP/Scottish Government condemning the behaviour of the British government and how much I long to see Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper better reflect the full range of opinion across the independence movement – including the perspective of those who feel let down by not only the SNP but Scotland’s political class as a whole. There may be exceptions. But none come immediately to mind. The fact that now more than a decade on from the opening of a new chapter in the saga of Scotland’s cause with the 2011 Scottish Parliament election and almost seven years after the first referendum, precisely no progress has been made towards restoring Scotland’s independence stands as a shaming indictment of all our elected representatives and all those who seek a mandate from the sovereign people of Scotland and all whose responsibility it is to hold our elected representatives to account.
The faithful shall, of course, take deep offence at this. Another headline I’d like to see is one which proclaims that Peter A Bell doesn’t care. The faithful should always be challenged because, being the faithful, they take far too much on trust. They won’t ask the awkward questions. So we must. It is a generalised failure to ask the awkward questions and mount the considered challenges which has resulted in seven wasted years and a catalogue of missed opportunities. In this sense, the Yes movement is as culpable as the politicians who have served Scotland’s cause so poorly. We should have done a lot more ‘slamming’ a lot sooner.
When I refer to “the faithful” I don’t mean only the people who urge us to stop questioning and leave it all to Nicola Sturgeon. The individual who has been in charge for all of the seven years of inaction, inertia and ineffectual ‘slamming’ of one dire imposition by the British government after another. When I talk about the faithful let it be clear that I refer also to the shallow-minded fantasists who have become convinced that because Alba Party is not the SNP it must be an alternative to the SNP. Alba is not an alternative to the SNP. It cannot be. For the reason that becomes obvious if only the faith were susceptible to doubt. Alba Party cannot become the party of government in time to save Scotland from the British Nationalist ‘One Nation’ project. A project which is well advanced even as Alba supporters talk about the next election as a turning point. Or maybe the one after that. Or maybe….
A party which can’t provide the effective political power Scotland’s cause requires is no advance on a party that won’t use the effective political power that we have entrusted to it.
I don’t do faith. I don’t do fantasy politics. I don’t believe against reason. I don’t mistake wishful-thinking and desperate imaginings for a viable plan or a feasible reality. I find no reason to have confidence in the SNP and no reason to suppose Alba Party might function as an alternative. I ‘slam’ the lot of them as failing Scotland’s cause. But you won’t see that point of view headlined in The National.
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