Without a process, nothing happens. It is process which connects intention to achievement. Anybody can say they want something. But until they can set out the process by which they will get what they want their words are empty. A purpose without a process is just wishful thinking. It is wooly-minded daydreaming. It is fantasy politics. It is worthless.
It’s not difficult to see why Blackford and his colleagues so desperately want to avoid any discussion of the process which connects their rhetoric to the restoration of Scotland’s independence. It’s because any discussion will inevitably lead to growing awareness that there is no process.
A process is the set of linked steps that take you from wherever you are to wherever you want to be. It is different from a plan. A plan can sound credible without actually being so. A plan doesn’t become credible until it is tested against process. A plan can include steps that aren’t actually feasible in the real world. Like Alba’s plan for a supermajority in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. As a plan, it sounded great. It sounded so good that a lot of people just accepted it. They latched onto it as if it could actually work. But it couldn’t work. Because there was no process by which it could work.
A plan may disregard obstacles. Process overcomes them. Or it doesn’t. If it can’t; if there is no viable process, the plan is useless.
Nicola Sturgeon has a plan. The plan is for a referendum in 2023 or a ‘de facto‘ referendum fashioned by some wholly unexplained process out of the next UK general election. Unless that election happens at an inconvenient time – say, September 2023. Who knows what happens then?
The referendum and the ‘de facto‘ referendum (We must call it that despite the fact that there is no such thing.) have one thing in common. There is no process which links either to the restoration of independence. If there were such a process, Ian Blackford would be more than happy to have it discussed.
The customary interjection from shallow-minded SNP/Sturgeon loyalists at this point is that it would be daft to talk about the process because that would give it away to our opponents. Less intellectually stunted individuals will immediately realise that this assumes there must be a process that our opponents are totally unaware of. A process known only to Nicola Sturgeon and a select few in her inner circle. This is utter drivel, of course. Any process that Nicola Sturgeon can figure out the Brits will also be fully aware of. That’s because there are a limited number of options. The process has to navigate a course constrained by time and the law and parliamentary procedures and court calendars and innumerable other factors.
If I was to say I had a plan for a referendum before Christmas this year I would be immediately mocked by those SNP/Sturgeon loyalists who would be falling over each other to point out that there is no process by which this can possibly happen. These are the same people who suddenly lose interest in the matter of process as soon as it’s the SNP and Sturgeon announcing grand-sounding plans. Ian Blackford says don’t talk about process and these numpties all start chanting in chorus “No talk of process! No talk of process!”.
Even to ask about the process by which Sturgeon’s plan-like thing connects to the dissolution of the Union and restoration of independence is to be instantly and vitriolically denounced as a traitor to the cause by these mindless drones. And when/if the referendum happens and there’s a Yes majority and absolutely nothing happens because nothing can happen because there is no process, what will the SNP/Sturgeon loyalist bollards do then? Will they rise up in anger at being so horribly deceived by the party they imagine is theirs and the person they imagine is leading their cause? Will they hell! They’ll blame those who tried to warn about the deception.
Which makes no sense, obviously. But neither does embarking on a course of action without even considering whether and how it might succeed. And the SNP/Sturgeon loyalists are perfectly happy to do that. What is truly offensive, however, is that they demand the rest of us pitch in on what we know to be a doomed adventure. Or that we at least stop pointing to the nakedness of Empress Nicola.
In more than 60 years of supporting Scotland’s cause I have never been so profoundly bereft of conviction that it will succeed. Unlike those mindless SNP/Sturgeon loyalists, I know exactly who to blame.
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