Joanna Cherry MP has an article in the National today and I really welcome what she is saying as many of us have been banging on about this for ages.
Joanna is arguing that it is now time to move on from the Brexit debate and I could not agree more. The SNP have spent the last 3 years fighting Brexit and while I totally understood this 2 years ago it became clear very quickly that the Tories were determined it was Brexit at all costs and Labour had no idea where they stood on the issue, and still don’t now. Joanna is correct, with the majority that the Tories now have they can pretty much do what they want and they will either way.
Now is the time for the independence debate to be ramped up, there are still many people out there who claim to not have enough information. The SNP need to be focussing on building that information clearly and showing what an independent Scotland will look like. What will the various departments of government look like, how many embassy’s will we aim to have, how much will it cost to set up. What does a Scotland Defence Force look like, what will their remit be. How will we pay pensions, how much can we expect to receive as our population share of UK assets, what will a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation look like. These are the type of questions that people have and say they need answers to.
Many will say that we now have the numbers for a yes vote, that the direction of travel is upwards on onwards, I agree it is starting to look that way. I have had SNP members say to me that the party should not give out too much detail as it will arm the unionists, my point is that without that detail we can’t win. Independence is becoming the express will of many, the final push is answering the difficult questions not shying away from them and not answering that elephant in the room question, what happens when the English Government continues to say NO.
It is all good and well keeping your powder dry and your strategy close to your chest but you can only do that for so long. Information is only useful if you share it and it’s time the SNP leadership showed a little of their hand because by not doing so raises the question of do they even have an idea of what happens after constant Noes from Westminster. The answer cannot be to keep asking, the answer cannot be hoping for the best, now I don’t assume that is the case but perception is everything sometimes.
We cannot be afraid of what the unionists know or what they can do any longer, we are now at the stage where we need to trust ourselves, trust the yes movement. Yes we might still lose, but we can’t win without having that next push, by trusting the people, by sharing the information and being honest and clear. Independence will not be won by being secretive and afraid anymore, it won’t be won by taking the Pete Wishart approach of either not discussing the issues or blocking people who ask difficult questions. We have given the SNP mandate after mandate, it’s now time that the party act on it . The next 6 months are crucial, Brexit is going to be a disaster because the English Government have made it that way, we can’t sit back and just hope the disaster is enough the convince people, we need to set out the alternative in detail now.
We can take back our independence if we act now, or we can forever be trapped in the UK because we were too afraid to act when we had the chance.