It’s a tough gig being the branch officer manager of the Labour party in Scotland. Poor Rumbold Leakbladder, there he goes penning an article in the Record insisting that there’s no appetite in Scotland for independence because he’s got Ian Murray breathing down his neck in thon union jack jaiket, and an opinion poll comes out later the very same day that shows there’s majority support for independence – again.
There have been six reputable opinion polls this year asking about the independence question, and only one of them has shown majority support against independence – and that by the tiniest of margins. There was a seventh poll, but it was carried out by the frothers of Scotland in Union and asked a non-standard question, so it doesn’t count. It cannot be meaningfully compared with the others and in any case the question asked was deliberately designed to be misleading. Which is entirely appropriate for Scotland in Union as it’s very much in line with all their arguments for opposing independence.
Back in the real world, support for independence is continuing to grow slowly. You can tell that the Labour party in Scotland’s heart just isn’t in it any more. Rudolf Lipsmacker’s piece in the Record couldn’t even be bothered to waffle on about federalism. Even the people trying to big it up know that it’s a non-starter. Federalism was always about saving the collective arses of the non-Tory proponents of British nationalism in Scotland, and no one in England is motivated enough by the political travails of Rancid Lunchlauncher to upend British constitutional arrangements which already work well enough for most people in England thank you very much. The British state is structured so that politically England’s elite always gets it they wants, and those who benefit from that power in England aren’t about to indulge themselves in an unprecedented bout of self-sacrifice just in order to boost the electoral chances of the Labour party’s Scottish branch office. The problem for the Labour party’s branch office in Scotland is that everyone in Scotland knows that too. The chances of federalism ever actually happening are zero, whether Rumplestiltskin Loinburger mentions it or not.
That just leaves Rintintin Lowloader with nothing in his political armoury except to go around insisting that there’s no appetite for independence. In the process he shows himself to be a man who would struggle to identify a lack of appetite even when he’s just after his dinner. Never before has a politician so badly misread the mood in the room since King Herod announced his new childcare plans. Some while ago the Scottish political analyst Gerry Hassan wrote a book called The Strange Death of Scottish Labour. He’s going to need a new chapter, Even Deader- the Zombie Years. There is indeed no appetite, there’s no appetite for the Labour party in Scotland.
Opposing independence at all costs is all that matters, and to hell with the 35% of Labour voters in Scotland who would vote yes in another referendum. There’s to be none of that recognising democracy nonsense. There’s to be none of that nonsense that Ian Murray asserted when he said “A democracy fails to be a democracy if the public are not allowed to change their mind. That is exactly what people have been doing.” Indeed, Ian, indeed. However in Britnatland that only applies to patriotic British changes of mind, and how dare those vile separatists throw it back in the face of the Labour party in Scotland after an opinion poll proving there’s majority support for independence. People in Scotland don’t really know what their minds are, which is why they need the British state to look after them and make all their decisions for them. Quod erat demonstrandum rule Britannia. Labour have gone from offering the fantasy of federalism to an outright denial of reality.
What you can be sure of is that despite the fact that there have now been six opinion polls this year only one of which gave opposition to independence a narrow lead, the British nationalist parties in Scotland will continue to insist that there’s no demand for independence in Scotland. Gaslighting the public is all that they’ve got left, a task which is made easier for them because the media in Scotland is overwhelmingly opposed to independence too. Both of them are increasingly out of step with public opinion.
It is a remarkable finding that even though we are in the midst of the greatest international crisis since WW2 support for independence continues to solidify and grow. This is despite being deluged in We’re All in This Together propaganda, despite the fact that the Scottish Government treats campaigning for independence like an embarrassing elderly relative that they’re doing their utmost to socially distance from, and despite the fact that the grassroots independence movement is currently unable to do the kind of personalised face to face local town hall kind of campaigning which it excels at.
We are now at over 50% support for independence, and the true impact of the British Government’s mishandling of the current crisis has yet to be understood. Meanwhile the hardest Brexit possible is barrelling down the road towards us, but it hasn’t hit us yet. All these factors will only increase support for independence in the months to come.
However what we’re not going to get is a sort of national A-Ha! moment when the entire nation will collectively and suddenly realise that they’ve been living in a dystopian British cartoon. There’s a 1980’s Norwegian pop band reference for you. There will not be a sudden and spectacular breakthrough in the polls when they suddenly start to show 60% plus majorities for independence. It doesn’t matter how god-awful Johnson and the British Government are. People don’t change their minds that way, and if they did then their change of mind would be likely to be short lived.
Instead what we will see are slow and incremental changes, a gradual growing in independence support. That’s a good thing, because it means that support for independence is solid and firm and isn’t an ephemeral shift which could just as easily shift back again. We’re going to have to campaign, persuade, and work for every percentage point increase in support. This poll shows that our hard work is paying off.
But Ringwort Labruiner is correct about one thing. There’s not an appetite in Scotland for independence, there is a ravenous hunger and longing for change for a better and fairer country, a country where the wishes of the Scottish people are the sole priority of the government, a Scotland that we can only ever find through independence. More and more people in Scotland are coming around to that understanding. They’re not going to rest until we achieve it.
And finally, because we could all do with a laugh during these difficult times …
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