Daily archives: July 7, 2024

Scotland and Me 173

I left Scotland during this election campaign simply because I thought I could do more good campaigning explicitly for Gaza in a seat where Starmer could be punished for his genocidal zionism.

Scottish independence and the freedom of my own country remains the cause closest to my heart. But although Scotland suffers the drain on its resources of every kind that it has suffered every day of the pestilent Union, Scotland’s little children are not currently being blown into pieces. I am therefore justified in my prioritisation of Palestine at the moment.

I formed an alliance for Palestine with my old friend George Galloway. We have had very different positions on Scottish Independence in recent years, though he used to be for it. George told me, and indeed the media, he has given up campaigning against it.

I was happy to support the Workers Party in England because I supported more of their manifesto than that of any other party there, and particularly the re-nationalisation of all natural monopolies.

It was the intention that more of the Independent pro-Palestinian candidates across the country would stand as Workers Party, though with the election being called so quickly structures and alliances for the Left had to be cobbled together.

I did not actually join the party and I did not use the party’s leaflets or its red white and blue branding (except in small imprints of the party logo). I very definitely refused to wear a red white and blue rosette! My campaign concentrated very heavily on Gaza.

It has to be said that the political situation in Scotland is a toxic mess I was glad to be out of for this election. The SNP absolutely deserved the kicking they got.

Support for Independence remains defiantly around 50% as it has done this last eight years, despite the SNP having squandered every single chance to take it forward. The key moment was when Brexit occurred against the will of a very large majority of the Scottish people, expressed in a referendum. That was the moment to declare Independence, against the hated Johnson government.

It is not that Sturgeon bottled it. It is that she had no interest in Independence. She was far more interested in building an extreme cult of personality, featuring hoardings, conferences and vehicles plastered with giant images of herself, and forming a Praetorian Guard of ultra loyal supporters fuelled by a highly charged culture wars agenda.

That included the effort to jail Alex Salmond based on false accusations, which were orchestrated from ****’s office and **** HQ. Were I to fill in the blanks they would send me back to jail.

By accident or design, those most strongly opposed to Nicola’s side of the culture wars agenda also happened to be the most radical supporters of Independence, who were driven from the party en masse, which enabled Sturgeon to continue the conversion of the SNP into a de facto devolutionist party.

Scots are not stupid people, and given the choice between two parties, Labour and SNP, neither of which appeared willing to do anything in practice about Independence, they voted in this election for the one less obsessed with weirdo culture wars, and with a leadership less under criminal investigation.

The SNP were also not helped by the fact that those who left for Alba included nearly all the actual footsoldiers. In the constituency where I live, all of the ward captains who organise the leaflets and posters in their wards left for Alba. It turned out that the SNP’s remaining culture wars enthusiasts were less big on canvassing in the rain.

However Alba itself got nowhere. The ostensibly pro-Independence space is too crowded by the SNP while the media and electoral system militate against new parties. In my view Alba is also over-obsessed, from the other side, with culture wars issues that ordinary people are much too sensible to spend much time thinking about.

One thing that saddens me about the SNP rout is that the party’s talent lay heavily at Westminster, which is where the accident of timing sent many great activists after the 2014 referendum. The SNP benches at Holyrood make me groan, being a result of Sturgeon’s outrageous selection procedures.

Nobody is more sympathetic than me to mental illness (I am bipolar myself), but a situation where a candidate wins over another who got ten times the votes, because the mentally ill get preference, strikes many people as not entirely sound.

So it is a huge mess. I am not sad I missed this election in Scotland, because nothing I could do would have helped. My hope is that this huge defeat will wake the cult up to what Sturgeon did to the party and her monumental failure.

That can lead to a reconciliation to reunite the Independence movement in an SNP which becomes again a broad church, and again focused on gaining Independence, not only at elections.

The Scottish parliamentary elections are two years away. We have that period to capture the 30-40% of Scottish Labour voters who support Independence. I have no doubt disillusion with a Starmer government, elected on 34% of the UK vote (and just 1 in 5 of eligible voters) will set in very, very quickly.

Scottish Independence is still coming within my lifetime. I shall be home soon.


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