Wee Wullie Rennie is desperate to be noticed. When you’re the leader of a moribund party which came in fifth behind the Greens, and you only managed to get your seat at the expense of 40 odd lost deposits you must feel the need to justify your existence. There’s only so much mileage in bus timetables in Kelty after all. Now he’s upset because his role in the Remain campaign is being eclipsed by Alex Salmond, although to be honest the moon like face of Wullie could be eclipsed by a party balloon. But that’s not a nice thing to say about Tavish Scott.
Last night the Eck was speaking at a BBC debate, a debate that most people ignored because a) it’s about the whole EU referendum thang and no one in Scotland is really that interested in a Tory beauty contest when they’re all just different shades of ugly, and b) because it was a debate held by the BBC which is guaranteed to be more shouty than Ruth Davidson at Furst Meenister’s Questions. When Scotland wasn’t being patronised by the corporation, Alex Salmond stated that if the UK voted to leave the EU but Scotland voted to remain, there would be a clear justification for another independence referendum and that referendum would be held within two years. This is what got Wullie more upset than discovering that his favourite bus is to be replaced by a Lib Dem tandem, and they’d still struggle to fill the seats.
Speaking through the medium of a press release to a Scottish media that’s so desperate for some SNPbaddery that it even pays attention to Wee Wullie, the driver of Lib Dem fortunes and the number 17 bus from Cowdenbeath has demanded that Alex Salmond ought to withdraw from the Remain campaign. Not that Wullie is in a position to demand anything mind, except possibly demanding that passengers move down the bus to make room for people wanting to get on at the stop in the High Street, but that rarely stops him. Wee Wullie’s afraid that because his Eckness is warning that Scotland will hold another independence referendum if the UK votes to leave, he makes it more likely that the UK will in fact leave. Let’s explore the logic of that, because clearly in his haste to indulge himself in some SNPbadding Wee Wullie hisnae.
Scotland is the most pro-EU part of the UK according to opinion polls, by quite a considerable margin. Anyone who disputes that Scotland and England don’t have different political cultures only needs to look at the respective public attitudes in the two countries to our European neighbours. Scots are constantly decried by yoonatics for being parochial, insular, and xenophobic, but we’re far more likely to embrace the whole continental croissant café culture shtick, even though our weather is mingin.
Wullie claims to be afraid that independence supporters who otherwise want to remain in the EU would vote to leave as part of a cunning ruse to get Scotland to vote to leave too. It’s hard to see what he’s getting at there, but then this is Wee Wullie we’re talking about and any illogical and contradictory proposition will do as long as it enables a Unionist politician to score an SNPbad point. It doesn’t take a mental giant to work out that if Scots vote to leave the EU along with the rest of the UK then there wouldn’t be any justification for another independence referendum. So he’s clearly not thought that one through, which wouldn’t be the first time that Wullie hasn’t thought something through. No one has ever accused Wullie of mental gigantism, and it’s press releases like this one which are the reason why.
Alternatively, Wee Wullie is feart that Alex Salmond’s presence in the Remain campaign and his reminding voters that Scotland has a right to act in its own self-interest every bit as much as England does, will lead people in the rest of the UK to vote to leave in order to provoke another independence referendum and get rid of Scotland. Which means that Wullie wants Scotland to remain a part of a UK in which he thinks that there’s a very good chance that most people hate us. Wullie wants Scotland to play gooseberry and sit between Middle England and Nigel Farage when they want to go out on a date together to watch a movie about how horrible foreigners and Scottish people are. That might be good for Wee Wullie, as it means that the Unionist media will still pick up on his asinine press releases, but it’s pretty crappy for the rest of us because there’s no way that Nige is going to pass us the popcorn. Mind you, Wee Wullie has built an entire career on not thinking things through.
The remnants of Better Together want Scotland to forget all the promises and commitments that they made during the independence referendum. They want us to forget that they swore blind that they only way that Scotland could remain in the EU was to vote against independence, they only want us to remember the personal opinion of Alex Salmond and make it binding on an entire nation. They have no intention of making their own promises binding upon themselves. Alex Salmond reminded them of their promises on Thursday evening, and that’s what’s got Wullie’s goat.
The Unionists demand to control the narrative. They want the story to be that there’s no appetite for Scottish independence, and no obligation on the Unionists to fulfil their own commitments. They want to pretend that they won the Holyrood elections even though there is still a majority for independence in the parliament. They want to frame the EU debate as a one in which Scotland will do what Westminster tells it. They don’t want us to realise that Scotland’s hands do not have to be tied by decisions made elsewhere.
Alex Salmond has reminded them that there are other stories to tell, other paths to tread, and that what the independence referendum of 2014 really established wasn’t that Scotland has a burning desire to remain a part of the UK. What it really established is that Scotland is now the master of its own destiny. We put the Union on notice that September, no longer will Scotland passively sit in silence while Westminster makes decisions that are contrary to our interests. That’s what’s really upsetting Wee Wullie Rennie. The 17 bus to Kelty could turn out to be a bus to independence, and there’s bugger all he can do about it. He doesn’t get to determine the route.
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