Nicola Sturgeon is Wrong: Let Unionists Vote for Unionists 91

I am at the SNP Conference in Aberdeen and you may not be surprised to learn that I find myself in immediate and fundamental disagreement with the party leadership.

Nicola Sturgeon in her opening address, as in media interviews yesterday, made a point of stating that she did not only want Independence supporters to vote SNP in the Holyrood elections, she wanted unionists to vote SNP too, on the grounds that the SNP were the most competent Holyrood government.

I disagree fundamentally. When we have the clear mandate for Independence of overwhelming election victories at Westminster and Holyrood elections, why muddy the waters and undermine the mandate for Independence by arguing that a vote for the SNP can also be a unionist vote? It is stupid tactics.

It is also nonsense. There is no significant unionist vote for the SNP. Ever since the referendum, opinion polls have without a single exception found support for the SNP and support for Independence to be almost identical, within the margin of statistical error. There is no well of unionist SNP supporters.

Furthermore, analysis of numerous Scottish council by-elections (see Scot Goes Pop passim) shows that unionist voters will happily transfer preferences between the unionist red, blue and orange tories but not to the SNP. Unionists will not vote SNP in significant numbers.

But assuming I am wrong and unionists flock to Sturgeon’s call and start to vote SNP, that raises major questions about the whole purpose of the SNP. If the SNP is a party which unionists can support, then plainly Independence must, by definition, no longer be the defining purpose of the SNP. That is the route Sturgeon is taking.

This is the danger of managerialism, about which I have written before. The SNP becomes so convinced by our own propaganda about the unique competence of our administration and the unique beneficence of our paternalism, that we come to believe that just having the SNP in charge in Holyrood and representing Scotland in Westminster is a good in itself. The fact that this also leaves the SNP establishment in very comfy high paid jobs with their feet well and truly under the UK establishment table is no disincentive to believe this.

Thus the motion after Sturgeon’s speech was about non-delivery of The Vow and called for the Smith Commission to be fully delivered in the Scotland Bill. I do not give tuppence for whether the Smith Commission is implemented in full, in part or not at all. It still leaves Scotland subservient to Westminster, without a voice in international organisations and subject to being dragged in to illegal war, not to mention the new cold war with Russia and renewed arms race which the UK establishment is preparing.

If Sturgeon gains more unionist votes, and in consequence the SNP had 55% rather than 51% of the Holyrood vote, and thus 65% rather than 60% of the Holyrood MPs, what precisely has been gained other than more jobs for the boys and more feet under the establishment table, at the price of abandoning a clear platform of Independence. A terrible trade-off.

If we abandon the idea of a referendum within the next five years, on the stupid grounds that we might lose, then the chance of Independence may vanish. At the moment we have a hated Tory government in Westminster, a Labour Party in utter disarray and SNP dominance in Scotland. There will never be a more favourable conjunction. Why mess it up by starting to spread doubt about the SNP’s commitment to Independence – which is suddenly less important that its commitment to Having Power.

It was the realisation that Scottish Labour cared more about Having Power than principles that put paid to that party. Sturgeon seems to want to replace Scottish Labour in every sense. The SNP may be dominant now, but if we put Power before Independence – as any analysis of Sturgeon’s speech today can only conclude she does – then we should not be surprised if many for whom Independence is the primary objective start to look at other vehicles to attain it.

91 thoughts on “Nicola Sturgeon is Wrong: Let Unionists Vote for Unionists

1 2 3 4
  • john young

    We should have every reason to be wary of “political” parties any/all they have agendas to follow and in general can,t/don,t listen to those that put them in power after the “opening love in”,inmo they should be challenging Westminster on every issue involving Scotland e.g. the recent fisheries ruling,face them down and let the public in Scotland see where we/they stand.They should be brining the MSM/BBCto Holyrood to explain the lies/spin the falsities,take no fcuking crap from them and make them fight every inch of the way,show a bit of bottle ffs.

  • Robert Crawford

    When the military shoot down a passenger plane, it is obvious there will be a tit for tat response.

  • lysias

    Which is why, after Lockerbie, a lot of people suspected Iran. Was Libya eventually charged because it was really the guilty party, or because it suited someone’s agenda?

  • Resident Dissident

    Perhaps Sturgeon wants to be sure that she would win a referendum – if she loses the next one even Craig might have to acknowledge that there wouldn’t be another one for a generation and the raison d’etre for the SNP would disappear.

  • Resident Dissident

    $50 for a barrel of oil also means that the economics are shot to pieces for the moment.

  • lwtc247

    It was just the usual (wearisome) politician spiel of saying “I’m all inclusive”.
    That should have been obvious Craig.

  • Dave

    The fact is as the SNP has progressed into office it has moved away from Independence to secure office. This take the long road may eventually end in Independence, but is more likely to end in a reformed British Union outside the EU.

    This is because the NO to independence vote was far larger than the 55% shown, because Independence wasn’t even on offer, because you’re not Independent without your own currency, let alone without your own currency and a member of the EU.

    The SNP secured a bogus question from Cameron and the Yes response as the answer, but the referendum was really a choice between devolution in the UK or devolution in the EU and the voters opted for the former.

    The SNP’s success represents a success for identity politics that in England has been partly captured by UKIP and called Localism. But the SNP victory will transform British politics by forcing Labour to embrace voting reform to make a comeback in Scotland and get representation in southern England.

    It should be remembered that Blair’s electoral success was on back of a manifesto promise inherited from John Smith to hold a referendum on voting reform. This led to close cooperation between Blair and Ashdown and the resulting tactical voting to unseat the Tories led to the Labour landslide and a very big increase in Lib Dem MPs.

    This crushed the Tories because their long period of centralised government had decimated their local council base, but once in office Blair reneged on the promise and began losing votes won as part of a ‘progressive alliance’ but still elected due to the first past the post system, that has now returned the Tories on 25% of the registered vote.

  • Tony M

    I think the long dark tyranny of the BBC would have to end first, before the run into another referendum. This morally and intellectually Bankrupt Broadcasting Corporation is a financial casualty too. Licence fee ransom takings, from Scotland particularly are now just a trickle, they’re talking only to themselves now, no-one’s viewing or listening except forensically to document the screaming bias. Given that the EU say it’s a voluntary subscription, have no fear of hitting them hard in the pocket, simply don’t pay them to dissemble and lie to, to insult and denigrate us. For the rest, identify their biggest advertisers, take note and vote with your feet and with your purses and wallets. STV, Border, SKY and the other stations should be subject to crippling boycott, the rancid Murdoch empire, the barking mad Johnston group, the creepy Herald and brain-dead Record/Sunday Mail too (last I seen far and away Arnold Clark was their biggest advertiser), all the dinosaur media, already loss-making, propped up now only to carry forth and spread their toxic tittle tattle. Obligingly in digging for dirt in all the wrong places, they’ve already dug their own graves, and it’s high time they tried them for size. So long late and unlamented liars. Dead media tell no tall tales.

    This alien and incurably hostile media’s case of terminal decline is increasingly in the spotlight, pleading as they croak their last to ‘forgive them’. Pitiable, lost WE would be if we did. We never will, for the harm they have wrought, the pain they inflict, their days deservedly are numbered. There are various books and maybe a documentary or two so far, more in the pipeline, some from insiders, on their serious want of any credibility or use. Not as seen on TV. Buy them, read them absorb them, then don’t leave them to gather dust afterwards, write inside or on a sticky label, that others too must read and them, and pass on again to the next man; request them at your local library, even if you buy a copy yourself.

    Forty-five percent – when the entirety of the broadcast and print media and sundry other too powerful parts of the U-KOK mafioso bent over backwards, done lasting damage and undone themselves for their infamous one-sided union – is an absolutely smashing result. And all are wised up to their dirty tricks, their filthy rackets, have seen the ugly bedfellows they run with, the masks slipped, the iron fist caught and held in the light for all to see it, palsied, rusted and seized. Project Fear will be met with our thunderous deafening Project Jeer, they’ll never get away with anything like it again, we dare them, for we’ve not one but six million cunning plans, each of us, all of us, whatever they start next, we’ll finish it and finish them.

  • northwestcircus

    Surely the goal is to win the Scottish elections by as big a margin as possible? And to achieve that of course you need to reach out to the whole electorate, rather than alienate half of it. Besides, a thumping SNP win next year will help soft No voters come to terms with the inevitability of independence and encourage them to embrace it.

  • Clydebuilt

    Keep yer hair on Craig. And keep faith with the SNP. Independence Independence, Independence, that’s all the BBC and Channel4 want to talk about. So let’s not do what they want us to do.

  • KingOfWelshNoir

    Interesting to look at the comments section beneath that Daily Mail article on Lockerbie Lysias linked to.

    There are about 15 comments so far and none of them is buying the official narrative that it was done by Libya. Despite years of being told officially that it is so. Looks to me like the Shadowy Elite have got a big credibility problem when even Daily Mail readers stop buying their lies.

  • lysias

    Maybe the reason they blamed Libya is that, if they had gone ahead with blaming Iran, they would have had to remind people of how the U.S. Navy had shot down the Iranian Airbus, and they might not have wanted to do that.

    I remember wondering to myself, when I saw the article on Lockerbie in The New Yorker a couple of weeks ago, why they would be running that story now.

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabis Bigotry

    Credibility is a high-priced commodity due to the dearth of product available. It serves the Big Picture dudes who hover over the chaos they create and enjoy the fruits of their labors. The BPD’s as I call them, create diversions as though the locus of that media hive violence which they’ve been dutifully fed, is the focus. It’s not. It’s elsewhere. Legerdemain is just fooling people with misdirection, and as any amateur magician will tell you…that’s not very difficult.

  • Hieroglyph

    Being candid, I personally have never quite got the Sturgeon love. She looks like a typical insider to me, and I’m not convinced that the left-wing policies of the SNP – on Trident say – will ever come to much. Oh, Sturgeon is smart and very able, and seems a basically good person, her leadership style is managerial though, and I would expect solid competence from her, rather than anything too radical. So the caution being shown here doesn’t surprise me. I’d guess they are worried that if they lose the next one in 5 years time, they don’t get another chance until long after they are all dead. Of course, cushy jobs, and the threat of Corbyn, are no doubt also a factor, in some minds. That’s the thing with politicians – so many of them don’t have a career outside of politics, they are terrified of having to get a real job when they get the boot. I think this genuinely is an issue, though not much can be done about it.

  • Mary

    QT tonight BBC1 10.35

    Tonight’s QT panel….racists a-go-go…
    Bullingdon Boy Dimbleby’s panel:

    UKIP Roger Helmer…nasty racist
    Rod Liddle…nasty racist
    Simon Schama…nasty Zionist racist
    Tory Amber Rudd
    Labour Louise Haigh

    Poor Louise with that lot in the bear pit.

    She was one of the MPs who nominated Jeremy. She also supports Palestine.

    See for her speech on the ‘budget’ and then for her maiden speech. She comes across as very truthful, is articulate and speaks well and is a force to be reckoned with.

  • DomesticExtremist

    Your refutation rests on the fact that the SNP vote and unionist vote are synonymous.

    However, as little as 15 years ago the unionist vote (i.e. those voting for unionist parties) massively overwhelmed both the SNP vote and the independence vote.

    Clearly, the SNP has managed to tap a well of unionist support and convert them along the way to the independence cause.

  • Resident Dissident


    Admit it you are getting good value from the BBC tonight – all those people on the Apprentice and then Question Time that you can enjoy loathing. Far more fun than just turning the box off and doing something else?

  • Heidstaethefire

    It’s about building momentum, Craig. If we can persuade present time unionists to vote for us, that’s the first step to detaching them. I would argue that Scotland is already a separate country, it’s just that the constitutional politics haven’t caught up. We need the Scottish government to continue to behave like they are in charge of a self governing country, Things are moving our way. we’ll get there.

  • lysias

    The only television stations I now watch are the ones that are on in the gym in my office building when I exercise there.

    (I do watch DVD’s of movies and old TV shows.)

  • Habbabkuk (eradicate sly rumour-moungers)

    “Being candid, I personally have never quite got the Sturgeon love. She looks like a typical insider to me, and I’m not convinced that the left-wing policies of the SNP – on Trident say – will ever come to much….etc”


    I would tend to agree with the thrust of Hieroglyph’s post and therefore feel justified in repeating my warning:

    Do not go a-whorin’ after false gods.

  • Habbabkuk (eradicate sly rumour-moungers)

    The appearance of two more Lockerbie suspects must have come as a Godsend to our resident Conspiraloon.

  • CanSpeccy

    “Let Unionists vote for Unionists”


    Such a democratic sentiment.

    But do you really think Unionists would, of their own volition, vote Separatist? Obviously they won’t.

    That Sturgeon says she would let them do so, simply confirms that she is a totalitarian freak, who wants to allow the Scotch to vote only for her own party.

  • John Goss

    Sorry this is off topic, but of absolute importance. Through Facebook and other means of communication I have known Stephen Frost for three years. He is one of the doctors who challenged the official state version regarding the death of Dr. David Kelly.

    Stephen worked for the MOD until he was sacked by email whilst on holiday for pointing out inaccuracies in the monitoring of how certain Class A drugs appear to have gone missing before he was employed on the job (if my memory serves). This is the Daily Mail take on the case.

    There is a campaign under way to help fund Dr. Frost to which I have just made a small donation. I hope others will do the same. Thanks.

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.