I crawled into bed at around 11 am on Friday, whereupon I passed out until 9pm and have spent the weekend ensuring that I wasn’t too far from a toilet. Mind you, being sick to my stomach is probably a fair reflection of how the wider independence movement has been feeling of late, so maybe I’m just channelling that energy.
I am, and I know I’m not alone in this, thoroughly scunnered with the entire Salmond-Sturgeon saga. I’m sick to the back teeth of those who are hell bent on adding fuel to the bonfire of the dispute without giving a moment’s consideration of the effects of their angry self-righteousness on Scotland’s prospects for independence. And most of all I’ve had enough of those who are determined to prioritise the pursuit of their own feuds and vendettas and have abandoned any meaningful efforts to make the argument for independence. There appear to be those who seem to believe that all we need to do is to replace the leadership of the SNP and Scotland will magically march towards independence. They are wrong, and we indulge them at our peril. Nicola Sturgeon has her shortcomings but The fact that they refuse to acknowledge is that it’s under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon that support for independence has become the majority opinion in Scotland.
They forget that there remains a large number of people in Scotland who are sceptical or doubtful about independence and who still need to be persuaded. It is categorically not the case that everyone in Scotland already knows how vile the Tories are. We live in a country where the media is overwhelmingly controlled outwith Scotland and which bends over backwards to excuse the behaviour of the Conservatives and to trivialise and minimise their malign effects upon Scotland and upon the devolution settlement.
Even the Conservative use of Brexit to mount an all-out assault upon the foundations of the devolution settlement has been minimised by media commentators who collude with the Conservative to present it as little more than minor wrangling about food labelling. If that wasn’t enough we have to contend with media outlets which uncritically report Alister Jack’s Orwellian contention that the recen British government power grab of devolved competencies and to arrogate to itself powers over the allocation of funding intended for capital projects as “real devolution”. This is real devolution in the same way that allowing your dog to leave a crap on Alister Jack’s constituency office doorstep is showing a real concern for organic fertilisation in the Dumfries and Galloway region. The Tories leave a turd on the Scottish body politic, and insist that it’s a union benefit, an insistence in which they are joined by large sections of the Scottish media.
In the interests of full disclosure I should point out that when down in Galloway to do a talk back in the dim and distant past when we were allowed to travel and to socialise in groups, the late lamented Ginger decided to take an enormous dump on the doorstep of the local Conservative party office. I did clean it up – because I’m not a Tory but it did prove that Ginger was a dog with an instinctive sense of what was right and proper.
WE cannot take independence support for granted. Recent polls appear to show that there has been some slippage in support for independence. A poll carried out by Survation for the Sunday Mail this weekend puts support for independence on 50%, a drop of 2% compared to the previous poll from the same company. This ought to be wake up call for a yes movement and an SNP which has in recent months devoted far more time and energy to tearing lumps out of others on the same side. The correct response to this poll is not to embark upon another round of finger pointing and banging on interminably about independence supporters with whom you disagree on issues which are not themselves directly related to independence Rather it ought to be a salutary wake up call and a reminder that we cannot take majority support for independence for granted. It means getting real for independence and recognising that the Holyrood election is looming and it’s imperative that we win it handsomely. Everything else must wait.
Putting our energies and efforts into winning that election for the SNP and for pro-independence parties with a realistic chance of taking seats ust be the overriding priority for anyone who describes themselves as an independence supporter or campaigner – not pursuing one side or another in the Salmond-Sturgeon affair or bad mouthing pro–indy people or factions with whom you disagree about something other than independence, especially when those are issues which polling tells us only a small minority of the public actively care about.
If you are one of those people who take to social media to loudly proclaim that you won’t vote SNP but you will vote yes in a referendum because of one of these other issues. you are making it less likely that there will ever be another referendum. You can vote as you please but when you try to persuade other people not to vote SNP, or when you take to social media to spout hyperbolic guff like claiming that Nicola Sturgeon has done Scotland more harm than Margaret Thatcher, you are prejudicing the chances of independence for everyone and doing the Tories’ job for them.
This poll ought to remind all of us that we cannot stop making the case for independence or talking about and explaining the damage and harm that’s being done to Scotland by the parties of British nationalism. The British nationalist parties certainly haven’t let up, and now that the Labour party in Scotland has been comprehensively captured by the uber-unionist faction which Anas Sarwar represents, we can expect a renewed assault on independence from Labour to accompany the attack from the Tories. It is crucial that we maintain our focus on what is important – making arguments for independence, and highlighting the hypocrisies and failures of the British nationalist parties – and that is precisely what this blog is going to do.
So this is a reminder to use this space as a forum for making a positive case for independence, and for attacking Scotland’s real enemies – the forces of British nationalism and a Conservative dominated British state which has no place for Scottish political distinctiveness. That is – or ought to be – the priority for anyone who seeks Scottish independence. If what you want to post here isn’t going to help to do those things, then go somewhere else, because you’re not helping the independence cause.
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