I have just been rejected at vetting (again) by the SNP and therefore cannot put myself forward to fellow members as a potential parliamentary candidate. This time they added the somewhat gratuitous comment that I would not only be “unbecoming” as a parliamentary candidate, but as a member. They also suggested, in writing, that I owe a public apology to senior figures in the party. I have written back to ask to whom and why (I really have no idea). I have not received any reply to that yet. I have received a reply to a second query, and am told that the “unbecoming” comment does not indicate any desire or expectation that I should resign membership. Indeed they say they hope my contribution will continue, but as my sole contribution appears to be as a whipping-boy I can’t quite see why I should share that hope.
You will forgive my posting some videos which I think explain the case for my defence:
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Obviously this all causes me to think long and hard about my future political effort. My key focus is ensuring that neither excessive caution nor that most insidious temptation, managerialism and the comfort of power and office, prevents an early second referendum. It is very easy to convince yourself that you are doing good in your taxpayer-paid job. Status is seductive. The SNP is full of siren voices arguing that they should enjoy their spoils for a decade or two while maintaining a steady trudge towards independence. They whisper that we have to await a 60% Yes lead in the opinion polls before we try again as another defeat would be disastrous.
But the greater danger is that the momentum fades. You would have to be the greatest optimist in the World to imagine a more favourable conjunction of circumstances for Independence than an extremist Tory government at Westminster, a Labour Party in meltdown, the Liberals almost eliminated and the SNP supreme in Scotland. Plus the residue of the huge momentum of the IndyI campaign, which put on 14 points in 12 months.
This dream conjunction will not last forever. The great danger is letting the moment slip through our fingers. If pro-Indy candidates sweep Holyrood, having already swept Westminster, we would be quite entitled to declare independence without a referendum. As I repeat till I am blue in the face, the majority of countries in the world have become independent states in my own lifetime, and the vast majority of those without a referendum. There is no legal requirement for one, and it is essential that we retain the threat of UDI in case Cameron tries to refuse a referendum; otherwise we are accepting a Westminster veto on the will of the Scottish people.
A referendum in 2018 must be the goal, with the threat of UDI should Cameron refuse. That is what I want to work for. I am only an individual, actively disowned by the party of Scottish government. But nonetheless I shall dedicate my energies to this goal.