There is an important part of the Brexit saga (so far) which Mike Russell has omitted from his column in The National. It is easy to understand why. The SNP/Scottish government’s abject failure to defend and protect Scotland against the insanity of Brexit is something those culpable would prefer to airbrush from history. That the British state showed total disdain for Scotland’s democratic choices is entirely unsurprising. It’s what they do. It’s what they have been doing for as long as there has been the means to make democratic choices. That our own government was so inadequate in its response is shocking.
Missing from Mr Russell’s account is any mention far less explanation of the SNP leadership’s decision to campaign against the implementation of Brexit in England & Wales – where people had voted for it – rather than fight the imposition of Brexit on Scotland – where people had voted decisively to remain in the EU. I think at the very least we are due an apology. But I don’t see that in Mike Russell’s column either.
The effort to keep England & Wales in the EU despite them voting to leave was doomed from the outset. It was nought but futile posturing. It’s difficult to believe that an able and experienced politician such as Mike Russell could fail to understand this. So it was hard to understand why this course was taken in preference to launching an all out effort to ensure that the democratically expressed will of Scotland’s people was honoured. Which could only happen if Scotland’s independence was restored. It’s not so hard to understand now.
What we have learned in the five years since the EU referendum is that while the SNP is still the party of independence in terms of wanting independence and in terms of being the only party position to end the Union, the leadership was – and remains – unwilling to confront the British state on the issue. So averse is the party’s leadership to the kind of aggressive politics that the restoration of Scotland’s independence demands that even the majestically unavailing attempt to halt the entire Brexit project seemed a better option.
That’s how I explain the matter. If Mike Russell has a better explanation then you’d think he’d have offered it up before now. Either that or an apology.
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