It is hardly uncommon these days to encounter SNP apologists on social media and in the below-the-line comments facility on The National’s website. For the most part, these are evidently rather unintelligent individuals capable only of the standard #WheeshtForIndy drivel calling critics of their party liars, traitors, closet Unionists, MI5 agents or whatever. Occasionally, however, you may encounter a more practised and slick deceiver. I came across one of those today and thought it might be useful to illustrate my point.
A particular focus of the SNP loyalists has been an effort to convince people that the SNP really does intend to deliver a proper, meaningful, decisive constitutional referendum next year. Many doubt that the SNP+SGP/Scottish Government will deliver a referendum at all. Understandably given Nicola Sturgeon’s record, they reckon she’ll find a way to wriggle out of it. If it’s not Covid it’ll be Ukraine and if it’s not Ukraine it’ll be something else. She has form
I don’t agree with this perspective. I no longer doubt that Sturgeon intends to hold a referendum. My very, very strong suspicion is that she will get around the problem of both keeping her promise to the people of Scotland and avoiding confrontation with the British state by holding a referendum that is so meaningless that not even the British can object to it.
The SNP loyalists, meanwhile, are also aware of the growing antipathy to the Section 30 process. So they have set about trying to convince people that Sturgeon has no intention of requestion a Section 30 order. They claim that she plans on “bypassing” the Section 30 process. These people are what I feel obliged to call lying bastards. Allow me to demonstrate. One of these lying bastard SNP loyalists posted the following as part of a longer comment on George Kerevan’s article in The National today.
For example, the ‘new idea’ of a Constitutional Convention (currently emerging from Alba, and touted as a new alternate route to indy?), is already an option embedded in SNP policy back in 2019 (probably earlier, but it was just a quick search on that occasion). The SNP put it aside in favour of using a referendum, for a time favouring the S30. But more recently (January 2021), policy has shifted to favour using an S30-bypassing consultative referendum run entirely by Holyrood. Funny how some seem to get stuck quoting the late 2019 position of favouring the S30, but didn’t notice the more recent change? Are they trying to mislead everyone? If so, why?
The emphasis is mine. The first thing to note is the use of the term “consultative referendum” by someone who presents themself as some kind of expert on SNP policy – if not an actual spokesbladder for the party. This is the first time I have seen it openly admitted that the intention is to offer a totally unsatisfactory consultation exercise instead of an opportunity to exercise our right of self-determination. I doubt if Nicola Sturgeon will be pleased to have this cat out of the bag.
The following is from the SNP’s 2021 election manifesto.
The SNP is clear the referendum must be capable of bringing about independence and therefore it must be accepted as legitimate and constitutional at home and abroad.
As the Scottish Government, we will discuss with the UK Government the necessary transfer of power to put a referendum beyond legal challenge and in the hands of the Scottish Parliament. For the UK government to refuse to do so would be both undemocratic and unsustainable.
Let’s pick this apart and compare it with the claims of the lying bastard.
The first thing we note is that the manifesto is promising a referendum that is “capable of bringing about independence”. A consultative referendum as stated by the lying SNP loyalist is not “capable of bringing about independence”. It is little better than an attitude survey and will carry no weight whatsoever. Who can imagine the international community accepting as “legitimate and constitutional” an exercise that is but a glorified opinion poll?
Then we get the really devious bit. The manifesto assures us the Scottish Government will “discuss with the UK Government the necessary transfer of power to put a referendum beyond legal challenge”. In other, more honest words, they will request a Section 30 order. This is just a sleekit way of avoiding explicit mention of something that is increasingly unpopular. IIt allows lying bastard SNP loyalists to pretend that the Section 30 process has been dropped. It hasn’t! On the contrary, the manifesto implies as strongly as ever that only the Section 30 process can allow a referendum that is “legitimate and constitutional”. The commitment to the Section 30 process is as strong as ever.
Do not be deceived by these lying bastards!
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