For the Sturgeon/SNP loyalists there is no possibility of bad news concerning their hero as they simply will not hear it. I am a realist. I have not the slightest interest in Panglossian fantasy politics. Or mindless faith positions. I have wits enough to know that one cannot chart a course without precise knowledge of the departure point. Sturgeon’s apologists refuse to even think about where we are and they fume with shrill, vitriolic denunciations against any who attempt to approach the question in a mature, rational manner.
Clearly, charting a course to the restoration of Scotland’s independence is not their principal concern. Or any concern at all. Their singullar obsession is with protecting the one they have put on a pedestal regardless of what she says or does. They put party and personality before country and cause.
The questions and concerns remain. The #WheeshtForIndy mob will not make them go away by railing like religious zealots against those who ask the questions and express the concerns. A few may retreat in disgust out of range of their spume and spittle. But as time goes on, they are inevitably replaced by ever-increasing numbers of others who are bound to arrive at those same questions and concerns because they have not been addressed.
By any rational assessment, where Scotland’s cause is now is at best where it was a decade ago. No progress has been made. We are certainly no closer to independence now that we were when Sturgeon took over. By some accounts, we have gone backwards. Her devotees would rather deny the obvious truth of this than seek explanations. Polling for Yes has flatlined since late 2014 early 2015. They don’t want to know why. They don’t even want the question asked.
After eight years with Sturgeon as the de facto leader of the independence campaign, there is still no charted route to the restoration of Scotland’s independence. Were it otherwise, one of the brighter Sturgeon/SNP loyalists might have been expected to lay out that route as a way of silencing those who ask the questions and express the concerns. None ever has. Not one of them has explained how we get from where Sturgeon has brought us to the restoration of Scotland’s independence.
For most of my life, independence for my country has been no more than an aspiration. Only in the last couple of decades has it become a tantalisingly real possibility. We are long past the stage where to be an activist for Scotland’s cause it was sufficient merely to voice that aspiration loudly and with full fervour. When aspiration comes within reach of realisation, hard-headed political pragmatism becomes the order of the day. Passion, while never abandoned, must give way to cold calculation. Crossing that final space between aspiration and realisation requires a plan. It demands a known and credible process. We need a charted course.
The Sturgeon/SNP loyalists are like refugees from the 1970s. They behave as if we were still at that stage where the restoration of Scotland’s independence was such a remote prospect that thinking in terms of a precise route-map was pointless. Back then, all that mattered – all that was possible – was to keep driving in the general direction of our goal. The detail of the final process was for a later time.
We have arrived at that later time. Those truly committed to Scotland’s cause urgently need to catch up.
Those of us who are already there want to see the charted course. We want to be assured that there is one. We will not be fobbed off with appeals to faith. We are not children. Nor will we be satisfied with hollow promises. Or deceived by plainly fraudulent schemes such as Nicola Sturgeon’s mock referendum. We are not fools. Sturgeon has run out of space and time. She must now deliver the process that will take us that final step from aspiration to realisation. Or be cursed by future generations for her failure.
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