We were assured that support for Yes would get a massive boost from Brexit. Six years on from the EU referendum, three years after the UK was originally supposed to leave the EU, more than 15 months on from the UK actually quitting the EU, we are still waiting to see that boost.
We are still being assured that Yes will get a massive boost from Brexit. When confronted with the fact that support for Yes as indicated by polling has not risen by so much as a single percentage point since the referendum in September 2014, SNP/Sturgeon loyalists tell us we need to be patient. Just wait until Brexit starts to bite, they say. Just wait until people start to feel the impact, they tell us. You must wait, they insist – ignoring the fact that waiting is all we’ve done since 2014. We don’t need to be told to wait. We are given no choice in the matter.
When we were told that once it was realised, the reality of Brexit would give a massive boost to support for Yes, I and others pointed out that it is not the reality that matters but the perception. And who controls or can be assured of the cooperation of the main tools by which public perceptions are manipulated? The British state, of course!
Do an internet search for “Brexit not as bad as expected” and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not only the BBC that’s playing down the consequences of this folly, the propaganda is everywhere.
The SNP/Scottish Government chose to rely on what the British political elite was doing instead of taking action. Even before Nicola Sturgeon formally cancelled the independence campaign at the start of the public health emergency, her ‘strategy’ was to let the British do unto Scotland what England-as-Britain has always done unto Scotland in the hope and expectation that this would drive support for Scotland’s cause. She could then take credit for this surge. There has been no surge.
Is Sturgeon taking responsibility for this failure? Of course not! While the British state’s propaganda machine is working to have Brexit perceived as “not as bad as expected”, the SNP/Scottish Government’s propaganda apparatus – including this newspaper – has been deployed to convince the gullible that support for independence has been rising, when clearly it hasn’t. The nadir of this clumsy deception being the inane assertion that “we’ve never been closer to independence”, closely followed by constant repetition of the claim that “independence is inevitable”.
The product of this combined effort by the British and Scottish establishments is a pervasive complacency that lies over the Yes movement like a wet blanket, stifling all attempts to rouse the movement to collective action.
This would be bad enough if it was just the ‘usual’ suspects of the #WheeshtForIndy mob and the Panglossian believers in ‘Nicola’s Great Secret Plan’. But the insidious effects of this damping reach even to those parts of the Yes movement that are prepared to express their discontent. Typically, demands for action are accompanied by references to future elections and/or timescales stretching far into the future. The notion that “time is on our side” has very effectively augmented the complacency-inducing mantra of ‘never closer/inevitable’.
There needs to be a mass awakening. And it needs to be soon.
If you find these articles interesting please consider a small donation to help support this site and my other activities on behalf of Scotland’s independence movement.