Inadequate!

If indeed Liz Truss “knows indyref2 will happen”, as Lesley Riddoch insists, then she knows more than we do. Assuming that by “indyref2” is meant a referendum that serves as a formal exercise of Scotland’s right of self-determination, there are neither plans nor proposals for such an event.

But it is likely that Lesley was referring to the referendum not-quite-promised for 2023. The one that both the First Minister and the Lord Advocate have assured the British government and the UK Supreme Court will have no direct legal or constitutional consequences. That’s right folks! Our own First Minister casually abandons the principle of popular sovereignty so as to let the Brits know her referendum is no threat to their ‘precious’ Union.

So, no “indyref2” in prospect – despite anything Truss might “know”. Just a (not very) glorified opinion poll. And even that pathetic sop to the Yes masses is far from being as certain as Lesley thinks Truss thinks. It might happen. It might not. Even Nicola Sturgeon isn’t sure, so it’s difficult to see how Liz Truss can be. The UKSC hasn’t sanctioned the mock referendum yet and might not do so despite all the assurances that it is a totally meaningless affair.

Nicola Sturgeon has acknowledged that the mock referendum might not happen. That’s why she has also announced her ‘Plan B’. Which looks remarkably similar to the ‘Plan B’ proposed about three years ago by Angus MacNeil MP and Chris McEleny. The ‘Plan B’ which at that time was roundly rejected by the SNP leadership. I refer, of course, to the notion that the SNP will declare the next UK general election a plebiscite on something that might be mistaken for independence just as the proposed 2023 referendum might be – is being! – mistaken for a real independence referendum.

What we haven’t had is any explanation as to how this plebiscitary election might work. Bear in mind that we’re talking about a UK general election. A UK-wide vote. Hands up anyone who knows how much Scotland’s choices count for in such votes. That’s right! Absolutely nothing! Those who recall the EU referendum will know only too well how much respect Scotland’s democratic will is afforded in this blighted kingdom.

So, the idea is that the SNP will say the election is all about something that might be mistaken for independence. Or maybe about a second go at the thing that only looks like a referendum on something that might be mistaken for independence such as must have been disallowed by the UKSC for ‘Plan B’ to be invoked. Whatever! The SNP says the election is about one thing. The SNP alone. OK! There’s the Scottish Greens and Alba and a couple of others who might join in. But given that the British state has proved so adept at ignoring the biggest party in Scotland even when it was the party of government having swept the boards at every election for the past fifteen years, how difficult might it be for them to disregard the likes of Alba – which seems designed to be disregarded?

Effectively, it’s just the SNP saying this is a plebiscitary election. The British parties treat it as a normal UK general election paying not the slightest attention to the SNP when the insist it is actually a plebiscite. The whole plebiscite thing is just ignored by the British parties, the British media and the vast majority of the people participating in this UK-wide vote. Hands up anybody who imagines this will be a decisive plebiscite.

As for the stuff about Truss being a gift for Yes, I have totally lost patience with this nonsense – as anybody who read my response to Alyn Smith’s latest drivelling will know. The whole thing about Yes being boosted by what the British state does is a myth. It isn’t happening. It has never happened in anything other than a fleeting manner. There is absolutely no rational reason to suppose it is going to happen now. Polling indicates that support for Yes is at the same level now as it was eight years ago. Which tells the realists among us that Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘strategy’ has failed, is failing and will all but certainly continue to fail. The myth (pack of lies) about successive boosts courtesy of the Brits has been concocted to conceal this failure – at least from those who are disinclined to look.

So, the new British Prime Minister is a ‘human hand grenade’! So what? What is she going to blow up? Not the British state, that’s for certain. It survived Boris. It’ll surely survive whatever Truss might do. Which makes a mockery of that other myth about the UK being on the verge of collapse.

Nobody in their right mind doubts that Nicola Sturgeon is superior to Liz Truss in all the ways that matter but one – Truss is the British Prime Minister and wields the power afforded that office by the Union, by the Scotland Act, and by the No vote in 2014. That Sturgeon is the better debater and communicator is beyond question. Personally, I continue to be persuaded – despite the failures mentioned earlier – that Nicola Sturgeon has the requisite skills and character to be an effective leader of Scotland’s independence movement. What she lacks is the will.

Which is unfortunate. Because she is the First Minister at a critical time for Scotland’s cause. That cause absolutely relies on her. Truss has declared her intentions towards Scotland. Those intentions are malign. They will only get more so as we get to and through the coming UK general election campaign. Despite people like Lesley Riddoch trying very hard to polish the turd of the SNP+SGP/Scottish Government’s response to the British Nationalist threat those not lost in the myths peddled by the likes of Alyn Smith know full well that this response has been, is and promises to continue to be totally inadequate. And that is me being polite about it.



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9 thoughts on “Inadequate!

  1. Around 4 years ago I attended one of Lesley Riddoch’s well informed talks on the Scandinavian countries and how they manage themselves as small independent Northern European countries. It was insightful and fascinating as well as being scathing about why the Scottish had failed to grasp the opportunity in 2014 and how we must leave no stone unturned, post-Brexit, to restore our full self-government at the absolute earliest opportunity.

    I spoke to her at the book signing after the event. At the time I was a member of the SNP and she encouraged me to “radicalise” and make the party more forthright in advocating for Independence and all the benefits that would bring, citing the examples from the Nordic countries.

    However, she seems now to have bought in mostly to the SNP & FM’s approach that support for Scotland’s Cause will, as if by magic, happen by default due to whoever is incumbent in 10 Downing Street. The evidence is overwhelming that this will not happen and that the prospects for Independence have NOT “got a whole lot stronger” due to Liz Truss being installed as the latest Prime Monster.

    Lesley Riddoch means well, I have no doubt. She is not, I believe, intentionally deceitful as are those politicians at or near the top of the SNP.

    However, this latest article – and in general her recent output over the last 2-3 years as well as that of most other commentators in The National – simply won’t do.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Given the general state of economic peril, I expect people to cling to their comforting lies with even more determination rather than face these uncomfortable truths.

    In any case the plebiscite thing is dead in the water. The noise of the infighting in the Conservative Party over the next leader will drown out anything and everything north of the border. Sky News (I know) is quoting tweets describing Truss as an imbecile and last night during a segment posted the current exchange rate with the US Dollar in a caption in the top left of the screen with the label “Truss Day 1”. I wonder what the figure will be on “Truss Day 100”? It seems a large part of the establishment is having buyer’s remorse now that she filled the Cabinet with loyal supporters instead of a cross-section of the party.

    Whatever Plan A or Plan B are, they’d better be radically different from what we’ve seen so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d imagine the indyref will pan out in two ways, one the UKSC will say no and that will be the end of it, or, two, the UKSC knows that it cannot say no due to some Scots right that I’m not qualified to delve into, and that the 2014 indyref also set a precendent.

    Before we all begin to rejoice that it might be the latter of the two, it has been pointed out (also by Peter) that if the indyref goes ahead next year, that it will be nothing more than a consultative one and have no authority to remove Scotland from this union if yes wins.

    Again as Peter points out, our beloved FM appears to be okay with this, just as she was okay with the Gold Standard and the Sixty-Percent threshold for an indyref to be held.

    Supposing that in October the UKSC gives the indyref the nod, what then, what kind of indyref would Sturgeon hold, I mean what do we know so far on the planning of the indyref. Has Sturgeon ironed out questions that soft noes might want answers to, and will she publish these answers prior to the indyref.

    Looking back at Sturgeon’s abysmal record on moving Scottish independence forward since she became FM, infact it’s gone backwards if you ask me, it doesn’t fill me with hope that she will, if the UKSC gives her the nod, hold a competent and fully thought through indyref as Salmond did in 2014.

    Let’s face it, it will be in the SNP’s and Westminster’s best interests for yes to lose a 2023 indyref, and keep the status quo in place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But losing the 2023 referendum would NOT “keep the status quo in place”. The proposed referendum may be meaningless if the result is Yes. But if the vote is No then the British get to say that we’ve had our second referendum and that should be the matter settled. In fact, they could well take a no vote as a mandate to legislate so as to make a further referendum impossible.

      It’s a horrible gamble. If we win, we win nothing. If we lose, we lose everything. We have to win that referendum. And handsomely!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. “But losing the 2023 referendum would NOT “keep the status quo in place””

    I don’t know so much, I doubt that Westminster would abolish Holyrood, the people might be apathetic, but that might be a step to far for them, mind you the Westminster government are slowly Stormont-ising Holyrood tuning it into nothing more than a talking shop, however the Murdo Frasers and the Anas Sarwar’s of this world would probably unite as usual to save their own places at the Scottish taxpayer’s trough along with Sturgeon.

    In anycase I can’t see how in a legal sense that Westminster could stop us from holding an indyref on a regular basis, with what would be two under our belts, apparently Northern Ireland can hold an indyref every seven years, however I refer back to Stormont now being nothing more than a talking shop.

    Which brings us back to “Sturgeon and the wasted years” (Good name for a book I think).

    The crux of the matter is Peter, will Westminster do enough damage to our parliament and reduce its powers to such a level that its ineffectual before we achieve independence, and we won’t achieve independence whilst Sturgeon heads up the SNP, the race is on, and sadly I think we’re losing, but all is not lost yet

    Like

    1. I don’t think I ever said the British would abolish Holyrood. I know many Unionists would like to. I know circumstances are being created which make it a real possibility. But my thinking now is that they’ll want to keep Holyrood as a scapegoat for all their cock-ups.

      As things stand, the Unionists look like winning. Winning be default. Because we are just not doing enough to stop them.

      Liked by 3 people

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