Nicola Sturgeon makes an important point. As she didn’t quite say, you can be pro-independence and non-SNP; but you can’t be pro-independence and anti-SNP. If you want independence then you have to support the SNP at least to the extent of keeping them in office until independence is restored. The party is one of the four critical components which must work together for the independence project to succeed. It is the lever by which we will prise Scotland out of the Union.
Scottish National Party (SNP) = Lever
Scottish Government (SG) = Fulcrum
Scottish Parliament (SP) = Base
Yes Movement (YM) = Force
snp + sg + sp + ym = i
This is well understood across the independence movement. Even among the myriad factions of the radical left, there is grudging acknowledgement that the SNP, being the only available source of effective political power, is essential to the process of restoring Scotland’s independence.
The question now tends to be whether the SNP has fully taken on board that the Yes movement is important for more than just providing campaign foot-soldiers and photo-op extras. There seems little to indicate that the party leadership realises what a valuable resource the Yes movement is. Even at this late stage, there is only tentative and overly cautious reaching-out to the wider independence movement. The SNP appears intent on keeping Yessers at arms length, only prepared to interact via some intermediary organisation. This is not an effective way of providing the leadership that the independence cause requires. Hopefully, the relationship between party and movement will change. But that needs to happen in a hurry.
Reading what the First Minister’s said in the interview with LBC broadcaster Iain Dale, we at last see some indication that she recognises the urgency of Scotland’s predicament.
“I think there is growing support for independence in Scotland and I think there is, accompanying that, a growing sense of urgency that if we don’t want to get dragged down a path, and I’m not just talking about Brexit here although largely that’s what I mean, but dragged down a sort of political path that we don’t want to go down, then we need to consider becoming independent sooner rather than later.”
Two phrases stand out in the above. The remark about a “growing sense of urgency” will be welcomed by the increasing number of people across the Yes movement who have been expressing concerns about the lack of of any sense of urgency on the part of the Scottish Government. Many people will also be heartened by Nicola Sturgeon’s assurance that she’s “not just talking about Brexit”. There is a widespread view that, both as a party and as an administration, the SNP has been entirely too focused on England’s self-inflicted Brexit problems – to the extent that it has somewhat lost sight of the independence cause.
These comments seem to give renewed hope and encouragement to those of us who feel the hot, stinking breath of rabid British Nationalism on our necks. But we’ve been here so often before. All too often we’ve seized on something Nicola Sturgeon has said desperate to believe that it portends bold and decisive action to save Scotland from the looming ‘One Nation’ project. All too often we have been disappointed.
There is a limit to how long this can go on. We may be reaching that limit now.
If you find these articles interesting please consider a small donation to help support this site and my other activities on behalf of Scotland’s independence movement.