This is a difficult piece to write but write it we must because Scotland is approaching the crossroads when we need a clear path towards independence. It seems to us that that it is no longer a simple choice for the electorate of remaining in the UK or becoming an independent country with complete democratic control over our future.
Lots of tracks look to be opening up with the danger they lead only into a wilderness of wasted opportunity or simply peter out as all direction is lost.
The independence movement is made up of political parties, two of which have a record in achieving representation at Holyrood, and the wider Yes movement that in 2014 brought everyone together to celebrate the drive towards independence. Marches and gatherings did so much to shape campaigning in a creative celebration of the common goal and took us so close in 2014. These were joyous occasions with differences acknowledged and respected.
With the current Covid crisis these mass gatherings are not currently possible and the consequence is we have lost something of great value – that openness to each other that transcends mere sectional political opinion. For the Independence movement to chart its way out of this muddy landscape will take goodwill on all sides.
Divide and conquer
That is the strategy of the British establishment one it has used throughout the history of its lost Empire but still alive and well in Westminster’s corridors of power and influence. Westminster may have squandered power and significant influence on the global scene but divide and conquer remains the establishment’s strategy to keep Scotland in its place.
What are we united on?
Total unanimity across an entire population is never possible and Scotland still has a sizeable part of the population thirled to the Union, totally embedded with that distant establishment or employed to further their cause.
We can clearly see where the vast majority of opinion lies in seeking to overturn the pervasiveness of Westminster culture and UK governments we did not vote for. There is overwhelming support for the Scottish Parliament and how it has been able to deliver well supported policies of benefit to the people of Scotland. It requires more powers rather than less which is an immediate threat with more and more being handled and financed directly by the UK government’s expanded Scottish Office.
Scotland did not want to be taken out of the EU. Support for rejoining remains the dominant view in the population. As Brexit unravels more have become aware of the negative impacts on our lives. It has been a hard lesson for many in the minority who voted Leave and now find Brexit is taking their business and livelihoods away.
Scotland’s political values today are well established in moderate left of centre ground and that is where the majority of independence supporters are most comfortable, whilst recognising there are more leftward groups and minor parties and those more right of centre who see independence as a desirable goal. These different strands form our movement where common cause can coalesce in clarity of purpose.
With no marches and gatherings to bring us together, the solitude, isolation, and many difficulties Covid, Brexit and lockdown have brought about has encouraged some to lash out on social media against the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon and the Greens. Nothing plays into the hands of Unionists more than dissension in the Independence camp. In there stirring the pot are unionist trolls and UK security infiltrators latching on to dissent wherever they come across it. That is how the British state operates. It always has, and like the leopard cannot change it imperial spots.
For many months the sniping at Nicola Sturgeon has grown, fostered by some independence supporting sites. The SNP has conferences where posts can be challenged. The SNP last conference was just 10 weeks ago. Nobody put their hat in the ring to challenge Nicola Sturgeon so to keep the cacophony up now is destructive. The logic for the oppositionists is to wait for a more appropriate time to argue for policy and governance changes or to form a party where the structures and policies are more to their liking. SNP branches recently had the opportunity to contribute to a governance review and members can find reports on the SNP website
How are we going to solve this?
The one thing that seems to unite the opposition to Nicola Surgeon and the SNP is that there are those who just want Independence and they want it Now. The new Now Scotland website may be a means of bringing disparate opinion and opposition together. Nicola Sturgeon has incredibly high poll ratings and is highly regarded throughout the whole UK and abroad. Leaders come under pressure when the polls are bad. That is a long established political tradition but some want to throw that aside instead of looking for resolution over concerns.
No previous SNP leader has achieved what Nicola Sturgeon has – international respect, trust and confidence. Moves to replace her will damage and push back the opportunity for indyref2. Rather than NOW it could take to at least 2026 to prepare the ground again with the danger it is permanently lost.
It is just 12 weeks to the Holyrood elections and we need to get our act together. Any challenge for the SNP leadership is political suicide for the Independence movement and there is not a means or timescale for a challenge this side of May 6.
Those suffering bruised egos need to take a deep breath and decide where next. Stay inside the party in a united front or leave and join or form a new party with others of similar mind. Newsnet would strongly recommend staying and joining a coherent and united front in the face of the powers behind the Union.
Yet that may not be possible in the current mood among the dissenters and a new party entity might be the only place they can find a means of moving on. Support in the polls for independence may already be falling back and should that be the case unity is crucial ahead of May. Only a party of government can put in place the mechanisms to bring about the referendum we all so desperately want. Only a party in government can institute the legislation to enable a referendum.
Within our grasp
In 2014 the process was driven by the SNP and the result delivered by political parties working within a magnificent grassroots movement. Regrettably we failed then despite remarkable progress towards our goal. We cannot fail again when our desire to become a sovereign European nation is within our grasp.
Newsnet has two overriding editorial objectives: for Scotland to become an independent country and for Scotland to rejoin the EU. In pursuit of those objectives we support our First Minister as the person most likely and most able to bring that about. We know Nicola Sturgeon is determined to achieve independence and that her longer term goal is to bring about a socially just and prosperous Independent Scotland as a sovereign EU member state.
This is not a column we wanted to write but felt it necessary at this crucial time. Whatever the polls are indicating now it is the result on May 6 that matters and assumptions of the SNP sweeping up nearly all constituency seats are not guaranteed in the current wintery political conditions.
Snowdrops and a Scottish Spring
The fire and brimstone circulating on social media is deeply damaging to the Independence cause. We have even seen a suggestion that Nicola Sturgeon will be brought down as the result of a Tory motion of No Confidence. The independence movement would never forgive those who would even think of employing the Tories as their vehicle to bring down the First Minister.
The snowdrops are emerging from their blanket of snow and by getting our act together we can look forward to a Scottish spring that will be the beginning of our road to an independent sovereign nation in Europe. Our big obstacle is the British Imperial State with its agent provocateurs and infiltrators determined to disrupt Scotland’s drive for a future of our own. That is the challenge we need to face with determination, cohesion and unity. There is no other more likely means of achieving independence and our re-entry to the EU.
Viva la difference mais marché en même page
Celebrate difference but march on the same page