This is one of those unusual occasions, where a little while ago I intended to write a post advocating the precise opposite, but events have changed my mind.
After long and hard thought, I had come to the conclusion that pride had to be swallowed and personal animosity set aside. For the sake of Scottish independence we all had to reunite the movement and that could only be behind the SNP. I had a few attempts at starting an article on this.
My mind was changed by Humza Yousaf stating that, unequivocally, Independence can only be achieved through a referendum sanctioned by Westminster, and that could only be obtained if polling showed the majority for Independence to be significantly over 53%.
That is an entirely fair précis of Humza’s interview found here.
As I have consistently explained, Westminster will never consent to lose Scotland’s resources. Independence will have to be taken.
Anybody who believes that we need permission from London for Independence, by definition does not believe in Scotland’s right of self-determination.
Humza Yousaf plainly has no intention whatsoever of progressing Independence.
I therefore cannot possibly suggest the Independence movement unite behind the SNP, because the SNP is de facto a unionist party, interested only in governing within the devolution arrangement of the UK.
The concomitant of that is that any real Independence party must seek not to cooperate with the SNP, but to replace it entirely.
That is a long hard slog, but there is no genuine alternative that is real about Independence. The other option is to seek an accommodation with the SNP, but that can only ultimately aim at sharing some of the fruits of office obtainable within UK institutions. That is all the SNP want.
The SNP and Independence are clean different things.
I therefore cannot any more support Alba’s campaign for a Scotland United ticket, because that would involve asking Independence supporters to vote for SNP MPs who are in it entirely for personal career and are a block on Independence, not movers towards it.
Besides, with the SNP rudely rebuffing Alba at every opportunity, there is now an extrordinary irony:
Alba repeatedly asking the SNP for a “Scotland United” joint ticket is becoming as pointless and humiliating as the SNP repeatedly asking Westminster for an S30 referendum.
Alba has already decided, at conference, that it is a political party not just a popular movement, and therefore is not confined to the Salvo/Liberation route.
Well, you are not a political party if you do not fight elections, and Rutherglen is here.
Now I am not a complete idiot (although I would be grateful if nobody polled my household on that). I realise that a great many genuine Independence supporters have not yet realised they are betrayed, indeed taken for fools, by the SNP.
I understand that the “Scotland United” proposal is designed to avoid Alba being blamed for loss of seats to unionists under the First Past the Post system when the Independence vote is split.
But we have passed that now. We have offered again and again, and the SNP has said no. Scotland United is a very dead parrot.
I also no longer care if the SNP does lose seats to Labour.
We have incontrovertible proof that if the SNP holds 95% of Westminster seats, it does nothing to move for Independence.
We have incontrovertible proof that if the SNP holds a majority in the Scottish Parliament, with or without the Scottish Greens, it does nothing to move for Independence.
There is simply no connection, since Alex Salmond left, between the SNP winning seats and “mandates”, and Scottish Independence.
That is an incontrovertible fact and we need to bite the bullet and start explaining it relentlessly to the electorate.
Starting in Rutherglen.
I realise this is a hard road. I realise we may convince only hundreds this time. But a long hard road starts with the first step.
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