Party like it’s 2018!

Is there anybody who still doesn’t understand why it was essential to have a new referendum no later than September 2018? Apologists for the SNP will respond to this by asserting that we could not possibly have won a referendum in September 2018. This is certainly true if you don’t actually hold the referendum. If you are a slave to the polls and will only act when they move rather than acting to move them. If you believe Pete Wishart’s pish about an ‘optimum time’. And, of course, the same could be said by anyone of any time. Anybody can claim to know for a certainty that a referendum couldn’t be won on any date – past or future – picked at random from the calendar. Which is just another way of saying that the Sturgeon/SNP apologists’ response is facile, vacuous drivel.

There is not, never was and never will be an ‘optimum time’ for a new referendum. And even if such a thing could exist, it could not possibly be predicted sufficiently in advance to allow for planning of a referendum. If somebody were to insist that the most auspicious date for a fresh vote is {enter date} then you’d be perfectly justified in calling them a foolish astrologist – or something similar. You’d be bound to wonder what alignment of the stars led them to this conclusion. You might worry that goats and/or chickens had been sacrificed as part of the process of determining what we might memorialise as the ‘Wishart Moment’. The moment when all conditions are ideal for Yes success.

As less shallow-minded individuals will quickly realise, it is only possible to identify such a moment once it has past. Once you can know what the conditions were. Even then, it is massively improbably that all or even most of the countless variables would favour success for the Yes campaign. There is no way to objectively determine which combination or permutation of variables represents the ‘Wishart Moment’ even with the advantage of hindsight. How then might it be possible to foretell that particular combination or permutation months or even years in advance.

When Alex Salmond set 18 September 2014 as the date of the first independence referendum it was not because this was the date identified as ideal by his team of prognosticators. No runes were cast. No goats were disembowelled. No celestial patterns were consulted. The date was chosen on the basis of factors which were known or could be safely assumed. It was chosen more because other dates were excluded than for any inherent qualities or characteristics. It couldn’t clash with some other scheduled event; or be during either deep winter or high summer.

Salmond didn’t look to find a date on which victory was assured. Salmond realised that victory was not assured by the date but by the effort put into campaigning. He didn’t try to find a date when the referendum would be won. He picked a date and then set out to win!

Foresight may be useless in the quest for the mythical ‘Wishart Moment’, but it can be of some utility in relation to more general trends. We could always be certain, for example, that the British Nationalist attitude to a new referendum and to independence would change over time only to harden and grow more fervent. We could safely assume that the Yes movement would fragment – because that’s what invariably happens in the absence of strong, effective leadership.

In 2015 it was not possible to discover a ‘Wishart Moment’ sitting in our future waiting for us to arrive. It was, however, perfectly possible to predict with a very high degree of confidence that because the British were prepared to throw everything into the effort to preserve the Union, some of what they did was bound to be effective. It was also possible to foresee that the Yes movement, lacking the required leadership, would become less and less capable of putting up a united front in the face of the British Nationalist onslaught.

In 2015 it was unquestionably possible to make a highly educated guess as to the approximate time when we would reach a tipping point where the momentum that Scotland’s cause then enjoyed would fall off sharply unless something quite extraordinary happened to prevent it. Relying on something so unlikely was just as daft as waiting for a ‘Wishart Moment’ to appear over the horizon like some cargo cult awaiting the return of the big iron bird filled with all the riches of the world.

That educated and informed guess put the tipping point in mid to late 2018. The strategically sensible move would have been to plan for a new referendum no later than the latest suitable date in 2018. which would be in September.

I invite you to reflect on the way the British political elite has snared the Scottish Government over ‘green freeports’ and consider all the other tricks and ploys they have pulled in an effort to derail the fight to restore Scotland’s independence. I invite you to consider also how the Yes movement has succumbed to factionalism in the last four years or so. You’ll see just how accurate that educated guess was.

Nobody can say for certain that we would have won a referendum in September 2018. By the same token, nobody can say for certain that we would have lost. What we can say with all the certainty afforded by direct observation is that delay would result in loss of momentum while the British Nationalist effort ramped up and our ability to counter that effort would deteriorate.



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5 thoughts on “Party like it’s 2018!

  1. Passing thought – not mine – but seems appropriate?

    “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

    Vaclav Havel

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Many have hypothesised as to why Nicola Sturgeon has singularly failed to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to ram home Scotland’s opportunity since the UK general election of 2015 when the SNP took 95% of Scotland’s Wesminster representatives and 50.2% of the popular vote.

    These basically boil down to 3 theories:

    1. Sturgeon and/or her team are 5th columnists/British agents – least likely
    2. Sturgeon and/or her team are compromised by the British state – more possible
    3. Sturgeon and/or her team don’t have the stomach to confront the British state – most probable

    Whatever way you look at it, however, Nicola Sturgeon and her “leadership team” comprising (probably and in no particular order of importance) John Swinney, Peter Murrell, Alyn Smith, Stuart MacDonald, Shona Robison and Ian Blackford are in no way suited to take forward Scotland’s Cause.

    At best they lack substance, guile and courage in equal measure.

    “Standing Up for Scotland”?
    “Standing Strong for Scotland”?

    “Standing in the Way of Scotland” more like.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I despair at the state of our Scottish Gov reps these days. I CANNOT se any of them able to debate & dismiss Project Fear part 2. They have already started & the SNP are making one bad ‘defence’ after the other. Poorly worded responses, if any response at all. I think SNP leadership know they are not competent to lead us forward & do not have a ‘tam’ with the skills, experience or desire to do so!
    The old adage keep coming to mind. ‘Piss or get off the pot’

    Best wishes to us all,
    wee me x

    P.S Typo @ Date? September 14 2014?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bad typo! That date should be branded on my brain. Thanks for the heads-up, Valerie.

      I know what you mean about the SNP’s messaging. It’s lack of confidence, I suspect. An absolute terror of saying the wrong thing. It sometimes seems that half the Yes movement does nothing else but pounce on comments and remarks shrilly insisting that the individual uttering them is single-handedly destroying our chances of ever seeing independence.

      I expect it’s just as bad – or worse – within the senior ranks of the SNP. Nobody wants to incur the wrath of ‘she who must be obeyed’ or her palace guard. Nobody will risk being off-message. With the result that there is no effective messaging at all. Unless you count stupid skitter-stains like Alyn Smith and his ‘never closer’ drivel. Or Pete ‘The Postponer’ Wishart and his ‘optimum time’ idiocy. Which is messaging we could well do without.

      Liked by 1 person

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