Some of us have questions, concerns, complaints and serious doubts about what others are hailing as Nicola Sturgeon’s brilliant ‘plan’ to take forward the fight to restore Scotland’s independence. I would have hoped for better from Ruth Wishart than that she dismiss us and our misgivings with a smart-arse remark about being unable to “see any partially supped glass without loudly declaring it half empty”. (Ruth Wishart: We must work to convince the switherers – whatever their generation) It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Ruth that maybe the glass IS half empty. It appears that she is disinclined to look closely at that glass in order to ascertain the level of the content.
Ruth is not alone, of course. By far the bigger part of what used to be the Yes movement has similarly bought into the First Minister’s ‘plan’ without so much as a moment’s scrutiny. Like Ruth, none of these enthusiasts has even attempted to address the evidence and arguments that there is nothing in the glass at all. They don’t even acknowledge that there are such arguments. They certainly make no more effort to respond in a mature and reasonable manner than Ruth has.
Perhaps I’m being unfair. Maybe Ruth Wishart genuinely believes that those of us who haven’t gotten into a lather of excitement over Nicola’s inspired strategy are just pessimists. Maybe she seriously supposes that we are motivated by no more than a perverse desire to see doom and gloom everywhere. Or maybe it’s just easier to dismiss us thus than to actually listen to what is being said.
Stu Campbell (Wings Over Scotland) has written a piece arguing that the proposed referendum can’t happen. I myself have published an article explaining why the proposed referendum would be quite useless even if it did happen. Both Stu and I have presented detailed, reasoned arguments based on facts where these are known and credible assumptions where they are not. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has even attempted to refute any of this.
It’s a strange kind of debate where one side simply pretends that no opposing arguments exist. They hold their preference to be so obviously superior that there is no need to examine it at all. It has dropped out of Nicola Sturgeon’s head fully formed and perfect in every way. Let’s not spoil the celebrations by pointing out flaws. Let’s not dampen the mood by mentioning the defects. Let’s not think about it too deeply. Or at all!
Not all of us are so complacent and trusting. Some of us are firmly persuaded that no politician is above scrutiny. We prefer that everything our political leaders so and say should be minutely examined and any faults exposed. The more important the issue, the more crucial it is that we should be assured that the solutions proposed by politicians are fit for purpose. We have eschewed the dancing and cheering to take the time and trouble to analyse Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘plan’. We have found it wanting.
We could be wrong. If so, no harm is done. Speaking for myself, I am a minor player. A blogger with a readership measured in hundreds rather than thousands or tens of thousands. Nothing I write is going to have a measurable impact. Unless, of course, something I’ve written strikes a chord with enough people for it to gain currency. That’s how the alternative media works. If we are right, however, Scotland’s cause is in serious trouble. One would have thought that those who purport to be supporters of Scotland’s cause would want to be aware of any potential threat or problem. But no! They just don’t want to know. The messenger will be disparaged and abused. The message will be ignored. That too is how the new media works.
Ruth Wishart urges us all to “use this upcoming window of opportunity”. She wants us to jump through that window without looking. Some of us have looked anyway. What we see is not a window but a crude trompe l’oeil daub on the wall.
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