We are not robots!

Now may well be “the time for us here in Scotland to start getting mobilised for an independence referendum“, as Mhairi Black says. Some might say this mobilisation is long overdue. Nonetheless, it would be great if we were at last gearing up for an independence referendum. It would be great if there was an independence referendum in prospect. Of course, there is not. We are being urged to mobilise for what is no more than a glorified public attitude survey. An exercise which will have no more effect than an opinion poll.

This is not to say that we should decline this call to action. So precarious is our situation that we cannot afford to ‘lose’ even a mock referendum. We must strive for a massive Yes vote even knowing that this will do nothing for Scotland’s cause. We strive for a Yes vote not because it will help Scotland’s cause but because failure to secure a Yes vote would be a significant setback in the fight to restore Scotland’s independence.

Nicola Sturgeon’s mock referendum is a gamble in which we stand to win nothing while risking much more than we can afford.

If the mock referendum happens and there is a Yes vote – even a huge Yes majority – the result will be deemed meaningless. Sturgeon’s own words will be bawled at us by the British media – “consultative and non-self-executing”! If on the other hand, the Yes vote falls so much as a fraction of a percentage point below 50%, that will be declared a death blow to the independence movement. So we have to mobilise. We have to win.

I wonder what the effect will be when all those who mobilise for what they believe to be an independence referendum discover that their efforts have been for nothing. How will all those Yes activists feel when they put in a massive effort only to find themselves back where they started? Angry? Perhaps. Disheartened? Probably. Despondent? You would suppose so. How might they then respond the next time Nicola Sturgeon gives the order to charge? How many of those activists will be reluctant to rouse themselves? How many will have opted out in despair? We have no way of knowing. It could be no more than a handful. It could be more. How many activists can Scotland’s cause afford to lose?

Nicola Sturgeon regards the Yes movement as a resource. Which it is, of course. That huge pool of potential activists is meant to be the army that does the slog-work in the fight to restore Scotland’s independence. But Nicola Sturgeon appears to see it as reinforcements for the SNP’s election machine. It is inevitable that the Yes movement will aid the SNP in this way. We are well aware that we have to keep the SNP in government if there is to be even the prospect of action to restore Scotland’s independence. Only the Scottish Government can initiate the process in the Scottish Parliament. The SNP is the only pro-independence party that is placed to form a (nominally) pro-independence government.

We have to help the SNP even if we are among those who have given up hope of them ever taking the necessary action because failing to keep them in power risks handing the reins to the British parties. Which would be catastrophic.

Yes activists can’t sensibly complain about being used by the SNP as there really isn’t anything else we can do. What we are fully justified in objecting to is the way we are taken for granted by the SNP leadership. Nicola Sturgeon seems to have taken too literally the metaphor describing the Yes movement as a campaigning machine. She seems to suppose that the machine can be activated with the flick of a switch when it is needed and left powered down the rest of the time. But while the Yes movement as a whole may resemble a machine its components are people. And people do not respond well to being used.

Sturgeon has left the Yes movement idle for eight years. She has called on the Yes movement only for the purpose of keeping her and her party in power. There has been no meaningful independence campaign during Sturgeon’s time in charge. She seems oblivious to the harm this inaction has wrought. The Yes movement was held together by a common purpose. Without that purpose, it has fallen apart. It’s far from certain it can ever be united again.

Now, we are being called upon again. We are being presented with that unifying purpose once again. But it is false. The referendum being proposed by Nicola Sturgeon will not advance Scotland’s cause by so much as a millimetre but will risk setting back that cause by a significant distance. How will people react when they discover they’ve been marched up the hill only to find that there’s nothing there? I suspect they will not be pleased.

That is why it is necessary to lower expectations now. The difficulty lies in finding a way to lower expectations while maintaining the required enthusiasm. I take the view that it is better to be honest with people. I reckon folk in the Yes movement are perfectly capable of understanding that the referendum that the proposed referendum will have no effect but must be won regardless. If they are left to find for themselves that they’ve been conscripted under false pretences then they are bound to be angry. If that anger is turned against the SNP then Scotland’s cause is bound to suffer collateral damage.



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6 thoughts on “We are not robots!

  1. “If that anger is turned against the SNP then Scotland’s cause is bound to suffer collateral damage.”

    This is indeed a really dangerous situation for Scotland’s Cause. Defeat in battle and you might lose the war. Win and there are many more battles to be fought … and won.

    Judging by the SNP Scottish Government’s missed opportunities, abandoned mandates and strategic errors of the last 8 years it is difficult to conclude that the British state have utterly infiltrated and compromised in one way or another the upper echelons of that political party.

    We need a Margo MacDonald, or a Margaret Bain or a Winnie Ewing. Instead we have Nicola Sturgeon.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. “We have to help the SNP even if we are among those who have given up hope of them ever taking the necessary action because failing to keep them in power risks handing the reins to the British parties. Which would be catastrophic.”

    The SNP are a “British party” and have already proved to be catastrophic

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I very much doubt they’ll even be a mock indyref next year not enough time to fully prepare for one, and even by some miracle there is one, it will be so ill thought out so ill prepared by Sturgeon and her spineless and gutless MSPs/ Union loving Civil Service that it will be a complete waste of time.

    Of course the UKSC will probably come down on the side of Sturgeon, knowing fine well a half arsed indyref will be on the cards and yes is bound to lose it, if that’s not the plan already, and in any case, why are we jumping through hoops for a mock indyref, this isn’t the Chase where we need to beat the Chaser twice to take home the prize.

    A wee reminder here.

    “In a 51-page filing, the Lord Advocate argued the bill would not be “self-executing” and would have no real effect on the Union – which is reserved to Westminster – but would simply be to “ascertain the wishes of the people of Scotland on their future”.”

    Our gutless, spineless and Sturgeon compliant LA, is too afraid to even attempt to legalise our position on an indyref without first going cap-in-hand to an English court created in 2009 by Gordon Brown to bypass the HoC. We’re being set up to fail, I know it, you know it, and so do many of the indy masses.

    Like I keep saying we’re going nowhere except backwards on the indyfront as long as Sturgeon’s at the helm.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. “Sturgeon has called on the Yes movement only for the purpose of keeping her and her party in power”… and we are being called upon again; however, Scotland regaining its independence is infinitely more important than any politician or political party! I was an active member of the original SNP – however, when its well-earned merit began diminishing and was likely to disappear; many, many of us ended our memberships!

    N. Sturgeon inherited a very positive legacy from A. Salmond… However, Scotland’s electorate witnessed Sturgeon’s attitude and saw that her behaviour was at least extremely out of order! Yet, while no one is without fault, politicians certainly must meet with the approval of their voters! Otherwise, another politician will be more successful; naturally, this is the nature of politics!

    Presently, we have an almost irresistible option with the growing appeal of ‘SSRG’ – see the link: https://scottishsovereigntyresearchgroup.org/ Naturally, many/most of us have become accustomed to how politics have been engaged in this archipelago. After all, if our ‘scottishsovereigntyresearchgroup.org’ cannot determine how Scotland’s Political System might evolve over time? We would NOT be truly exercising our sovereignty!

    Thanks for your time,

    Ewen

    Liked by 5 people

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