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.
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.