That Nicola Sturgeon has totally failed to advance Scotland’s cause since becoming leader of the SNP, First Minister and de facto head of the independence campaign is a matter of irrefutable fact. Even the illustrious Sir John Curtice has seen fit to comment on this failure. The fight to restore Scotland’s independence flatlined the day Sturgeon stepped into Alex Salmond’s shoes. I for one thought her well capable of filling those shoes. An opinion very widely shared across the Yes movement. We were wrong. I was wrong. There is, of course, no way of knowing how Salmond would have acted over the same period had he not done the honourable thing and stood down after the referendum defeat. But it’s certain he could have done no worse. For his performance to compare badly to Sturgeon’s he would have lost some portion of the 45 percentage points that Yes seems to have banked. It’s hard to imagine that happening.
This is speculation. We can’t know what Salmond would have done differently or how effective he would be. But from what we know of the man there is no way he would have abandoned the independence campaign altogether. And when I refer to the campaign I’m not referring to the official campaign period of a referendum that has been called. A campaign for major social, political or constitutional reform such as the fight to restore Scotland’s independence never stops. Or at least it shouldn’t stop. Did the antislavery campaign take time off? Did the women’s suffrage movement work office hours? Has the battle for workers’ rights ever ceased? If you are an activist engaged in Scotland’s cause then you are ‘on duty’ 24/7. Every minute of every day you are either engaged in some activity, thinking about such activity or standing ready to be called. The fight to restore Scotland’s independence is always on. There is no standby button. Or, again, that’s as it should be.
That’s how it must be. The British Nationalist campaign has never stopped and barely subsided following the 2014 victory for No. The stream of anti-independence propaganda is incessant. Relentless. Grinding. Day in and day out we are assailed by the output of the British state’s formidable propaganda machine. How could anybody even consider letting up on the independence campaign in the face of this? Who would suppose it a good idea to park the counter-campaign for eight years? Could anybody be so stupid as to defend and applaud the politicians who so recklessly abandoned Scotland’s cause?
Yes! Step up the wee army of loyalists and apologists who cheer even Sturgeon’s worst failures and failings because they have her name on them. The failure to maintain the campaign and advance Scotland’s cause has Nicola Sturgeon’s name all over it. So her claque is orgasmic about it. And apoplectic should anybody dare to suggest that the level of support for independence having flatlined is anything other than a stupendous achievement by the greatest leader in this or any other world and in all of eternity. They have all but beatified the woman, clay feet and all.
None of this is new, of course. It just happens that the comments by John Curtice have brought to the fore the criticism of Sturgeon’s performance on the constitutional issue that has been rumbling in the background for several years. Predictably, this somewhat negative press has brought her apologists out in force. And the more irrefutable the evidence of Sturgeon’s failure is the more strident and stupid these drones get. The following is a comment which I think nicely illustrates the stupidity of Sturgeon’s faithful attendants.
This numpty had deployed the excuse that there had been no campaign and this is why the polling for independence hasn’t improved in the whole of Sturgeon’s now record tenure. When it was pointed out that there damned well should have been campaigning, the numpty came up with this classic package of lame excuses. Let’s examine this prime specimen of Sturgeon loyalist stupidity.
We are told that there was no campaigning in the two (approximately) years following the September 2014 vote “because no one in their right [mind?] will campaign 2 years after losing”. There is no further explanation. We are expected to simply accept that there was no way to utilise and maintain the phenomenal momentum the Yes campaign had in the wake of the 2014 referendum and the British state’s reaction to the No vote. It took everybody by surprise. But that is no excuse for failing to exploit the opportunity. But Sturgeon squandered that opportunity. The momentum was allowed to dissipate. This failure alone should have put a huge question mark over Sturgeon’s leadership of the independence movement.
But according to her apologists, Sturgeon had no choice. They assert without further explanation that it would have been madness to harness that momentum in the service of Scotland’s cause. No. I don’t get it either. It seems that even such a dreadful error of judgement has to be the right move for no other reason than that it was what Sturgeon did. If she does it, it’s the cleverest thing ever. That is just stupid!
Incidentally, the numpty also takes the opportunity to stick a wee knife in Alex Salmond. It’s that tribal thing. He says “”because no one in their right will campaign 2 years after losing especially when Salmond dropped that clanger ” once in a generation” [my emphasis]”. How stupid is it of a self-proclaimed independence supporter to peddle this gobbet of British Nationalist propaganda? And the fool seems oblivious to the fact that Sturgeon used the same figure of speech on a number of occasions. Note that the ‘once in a generation/lifetime’ thing is a “clanger” when it is “dropped” by Salmond but not even worthy of a mention when it’s Sturgeon in the frame.
Let’s continue. Ba’heid’s excuse for an absence of campaigning from 2016 to 2019 is – “the whole UK was caught up in Brexit and another independence campaign/referendum would have sickened most people.”. Would it though? Those of us not dazzled by the sun shining from Sturgeon’s arse were sickened by the fact that instead of campaigning to have Scotland’s choice in the EU referendum respected, Sturgeon chose to campaign to have England’s Leave vote overturned. This was yet another squandered opportunity. A campaign to keep Scotland in the EU by restoring independence would have caught the mood perfectly. Especially if it was building on a solid bedrock of momentum maintained from the post-referendum surge. A referendum in 2018 would surely have been won by Yes had there been an appropriate campaign. Sturgeon failed. But her apologists cheer her on just the same.
Then we come more or less up to date as the numpty proudly presents his excuse for the independence campaign being the subject of a cease and desist order from Sturgeon in the period since 2020. It was the Covid wot done it! No explanation as to what it was about the pandemic which made a continuation of the independence campaign impossible and unthinkable when it had only the impact of an inconvenience in relation to major events such as COP26. Nor how elections and referendums could proceed both in the UK and in many other nations but there could not possibly be any campaigning for the restoration of Scotland’s independence.
Once again, our numpty’s offering is indistinguishable from Unionist propaganda which portrays Scotland always as the exception. As in, Ukraine’s right of self-determination must be defended but Scotland is different. Different rules apply.
Less intellectually challenged individuals saw the circumstances of lockdown not as an insurmountable obstacle, but as a tremendous opportunity. We had a potentially massive ‘captive audience’ of people stuck in their homes and turning to their computers and other connected devices as never before. A well-designed and executed online campaign could have done a lot of good work on behalf of Scotland’s cause potentially reaching thousands of people left untouched by the SNP’s ‘traditional’ methods. Sturgeon didn’t only fail to exploit this opportunity she effectively forbade any exploitation of it by any part of the Yes movement.
Sturgeon’s Covid excuse was good enough for the mindless loyalists no matter how much lack of strategic thinking was evident. Sturgeon had got away with the vacuous excuses for the preceding periods of inaction She could be confident that with the help of numpty and his playmates she would get away with squandering yet another massive campaigning opportunity.
I’ll leave my readers to figure out for themselves what is so stupid about the last part of our numpty’s comment. Answers in the comments section, please.
Processing so much industrial-grade stupidity is exhausting. I have to take a break.
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