The SNP have not ruled out calling another independence referendum if there is a material change in circumstances. The Tories, and Ruth Davidson in particular, are really upset by this, since they’re fighting their entire Holyrood campaign on the platform of blocking another referendum. It’s the political version of comfort food for them, a nice bowl of cereal, because it means that they can avoid any focus on the spectacularly unpleasant policies of the Conservative government in Westminster.
Ruth Davidson thinks that calling another independence referendum would be beneath Nicola Sturgeon. It seems that the only thing that’s beneath Ruthie is a tank, because she’s certainly not above firing a shell into the Scottish electorate if it suits her purpose. Ruth is fighting this campaign by firing off a fusilade of demands that the No voting majority of the last referendum be respected. The reason that Ruth is so vehement in her insistance that this majority be respected is because deep down in her blaggard Tory soul she knows that it’s a majority which is evaporating. The vehemence of the Unionist insistence that there must never be another independence referendum is a form of over-compensation. They’re on the wrong side of history, and they know it.
Since Ruthie struggles with difficult concepts like democracy, let’s try to explain it in simple terms that even the inhabitants of a fish tank, never mind the mobile armoured gun kind, could grasp.
Nicola Sturgeon isn’t going to call another independence referendum until such time that there’s a material change of circumstances. We can debate until the tanks run out of diesel what a material change of circumstances would consist of. There are any number of potenital scenarios. There’s a Brexit against the will of the Scottish people, dragged out of the EU even though we vote to remain because voters in the rest of the UK want to leave. There’s the renewal of Trident even though Scotland’s representatives are almost universally opposed and we get a fresh batch of nuclear obscenities on the Clyde, just down the road from Scotland’s largest population centre. There’s the complete and utter failure of the Unionist parties to deliver on all the devo-goodness which they swore blind they were going to deliver the last time their collective arses were on the referendum line. There’s the complete and utter annihilation of the Labour party, there’s Wullie Rennie saying something dumb, or there’s Ruthie’s tank stalling. Mind you all those things happen pretty much on a daily basis in Scottish politics. The truth is it doesn’t really matter. There’s only one trigger that really counts.
Ruthie’s position is similar to arguing that when an election is held we must respect the outcome of the previous election. No doubt come 2020, if (gods forbid) Scotland is still a part of the UK, Ruthie will be arguing that the result of the 2015 election must be respected so Scotland should only have the one Tory MP. She can waffle on about the once in a generation stuff all she likes, but that’s not a promise that I signed up to. Dunno about Ruthie, who allegedly was privy to all those ballots before they were counted, but I don’t recall voting Yes in the referendum to the question, “Should Scotland become an independent country and should this question not be asked again in your lifetime?”
Ruth and the Tories, as I’ve pointed out before, demand that Alicsammin’s personal opinion be treated like a guarantee engraved in stone and handed down by God on Mount Sinai, whereas the promises of the Unionist parties are mere serving suggestions that they can interpret to suit themselves. If the Tories are demanding that the Yes campaign is held to the Conservatives’ interpretation of Alicsammin’s comments, then it’s only fair that the Unionists are held to the Yes campaign’s interpretation of Gordie Broon’s vow. That even came with faux parchment, which is more than can be said of Alicsammin’s remarks. Ruth doesn’t even think it matters if a key guarantee of the Better Together campaign, that Scotland’s EU membership would only be safe if we voted against independence, is left smashed and broken in the dust of a Brexit. It’s only Yes campaign serving suggestions that are the word of God.
This is a democracy, or at least it claims to be, and that means people are allowed to change their minds. The only change of circumstances that’s important is the change of circumstances that means there will only be another independence referendum when the guys with the white hats, that’s the Yes side in case you were wondering, are going to win it. When enough people have changed their minds, in other words. And that in turn means that there will only be another independence referendum when there’s a majority of Scottish voters supporting independence. Now, if there is a majority of Scottish voters who support independence, as there will be when another independence referendum is called, then there is no No voting majority left to respect. Got it Ruthie? Probably not.
Ruthie insists that this policy is cynical. Coming from a Tory that’s high praise as cynicism is what passes for ideology if you’re a Tory. Admittedly Tory cynicism is of the self-aggrandising variety, the kind that pisses all over the weak and the marginalised and the poor in order to benefit the rich and well connected. However it would appear that Ruthie is a bit miffed that the Scottish electorate might take a leaf out of the Tory playbook and indulge in a spot of cynicism of our own. The only meaningful response that we can give to Ruthie in this instance is “suck it up Tank girl.”
Scotland is going to have another independence referendum, sooner or later. And there’s not a tank girl in the world who’s going to be able to prevent it. Scotland is going to become an independent nation, and it will do so thanks to the inadequacies of the Unionist establishment. Their cereal bowl is almost empty.
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