Angus MacNeil, the MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, argues that there are a number of problems with the current Scottish Government plan to make the next General Election a de-facto referendum on independence should the Supreme Court rule out a legal path to indyref2. This a bit of a follow on from my last blog about what will Nicola Sturgeon do going forward now and for myself, as things stand, it is all about losing isn’t it. I appreciate that this is a discussion that many of us have been having for a while now. There was a good discussion on the Through a Scottish Prism last weekend about where we are at right now and to be honest, I have been finding the debate all a bit depressing in the main as it is Groundhog Day every day now.
Angus MacNeil asks, “If the Supreme Court confirms the referendum route never actually existed, and a UK General Election is not happening, will Scotland’s politicians and parliament complain for two years about Westminster choices … or make an opportunity for the Scottish people and hold a Holyrood Election under the 1998 Scotland Act?”
Yes, they will complain and play the platitudes game for the next two years, they will dish out the magic carrots for all they are worth is the fear that I have. The result will be people like me will either keep blogging about the same problems that we face every day, Groundhog Day, about the lack of strategy, and some of us will walk away. I commented on Munquin’s New Republic and found many of the other responses just depressing and which all but confirmed for myself why we will lose.
The response to my comment was sadly predictable in some ways but very understandable as well, and while factually correct around the voting numbers as they were at the last election, the comments just highlight for myself why we lose any future vote. The SNP are no longer the solution to the problem, Sturgeon needs to go, and we need an alternative, but when some yessers out there won’t even consider an alternative, for whatever reasons, ignorance, hate, bitterness, colonisation, then we lose, and we lose badly.
Alba members are often accused of hate, however Pete Wishart SNP has led a hate campaign against Alba from day one, so there are issues on both sides I suppose but can someone tell me what the alternative is anymore to this constitutional standoff. WE can’t go on the way we are going much longer; Scotland is stuck in a Groundhog Day of poor governance and incompetence. The SNP have a different agenda from many of us it would appear, the agenda certainly isn’t the urgent need for independence.
I certainly feel like I am in a rut right now, repeating the same concerns about the lack of strategy, the shit show that is the UK, how undemocratic the UK is, how Scotland is laughed at, the ineptitude of Sturgeon and Blackford and yet the main political alternative vehicle we have, which is the Alba Party, is derided by people who have in some ways the same concerns as myself but are all too willing to bury their heads in the sand.
Angus MacNeil goes on to say: “A UK election will only see Scottish independence as a footnote. The narrative will concentrate on the majority in the sinking ship of the UK and not the 8.4% of the UK population, Scotland, who have a lifeboat. “A Westminster election is never on Scotland’s terms and certainly won’t be in a now panicked UK.”
The Scottish Government showing its commitment to independence with a definite ballot box date and a “broad-based, inclusive campaign” is more likely to succeed than using a General Election on a path to independence, MacNeil added.
Failing to act will lead to “anxiety of missed opportunity” and “passive coping strategies”.
He is correct, the movement needs to find a way to come together but I suspect that it is just not going to happen, and I have no idea where we go from here. The SNP, and Nicola Sturgeon, could put aside the magic carrots and re-focus on independence but will it happen when the suspicion is the party now has barely 25,000 members allegedly, down from 104,000 in 2021, and is facing the same apathy that many of us feel. They have brought this about themselves but the damage to Scotland is maybe getting beyond repair while the SNP rely on Westminster short money for their very survival, it needn’t be that way and is self-inflicted due to the huge increase in SNP staffing costs and the loss of members due to inaction on independence and obsession with issues that many don’t agree with.
Maybe now is the time for the wider yes community to take a serious look at Alba, something has to give as I keep banging on about. I do think Alba have done well to get through their first year as a new party, most new parties don’t. Much is made of Alba not getting an elected representative at recent elections, to be fair it took the SNP 11 years to get their first MP in 1945.
‘Old SNP’ bit their tongues as ‘New SNP’ played down their dreams but they have finally had enough – Kenny MacAskill MP
Many of those old SNP, who took us to within reach of independence in 2014, have moved over to Alba. If they were so right in 2014 surely, they can’t be wrong in 2022. So, while I can’t be accused of being an optimist, and I do think we are losing, we need to break out of our Groundhog Day, we need to look at the alternatives.
Sturgeon has to go for starters. If by some miracle there was to be a referendum next year then you can bet that everything will come out about the Alex Salmond stuff in the run-up, injunctions or not.
In fact, all the BBC need to do is set up a debate and invite 2 prominent unionists plus her and Alex Salmond and then sit back and laugh while she goes into screeching harridan mode and refuses to take part.
This boil should’ve been lanced long ago. While getting shot of Sturgeon is essential, would you really trust what’s left in that rotten, stinking edifice? Leave the fight for independence in the hands of those that stage an orchestrated walkout when another pro-indy MP gets up to speak? The total destruction of the SNP is necessary before we can move forward and it’d be nice if it happened in one fell swoop like Labour up here in 2015.
Certainly, the current leadership of the SNP are a major problem but maybe the end is in sight now. Sturgeon has been a disaster, but she still has a hold over many but maybe not for much longer as some are seeing the light. I don’t get the Alba thing with some of them, Alba are pretty much the foot soldiers from 2014 but suddenly they are in the wrong. Alba might actually be the last hope we have going forward. The truth might come out some day about the court case, but it will be overseas and not in Scotland because false accusers are protected in Scotland, wrongly. I am all for protecting people, but I am also for men to have the same rights until proven guilty and those false accused should get some justice too.
Thanks for commenting.
Bruce out of curiosity I went over to Munguin’s to have a look at her response to you , I can say that I am unsurprised at her response , I previously have submitted scathing comments about sturgeon and her Sick Nonce Party and was railed upon by her coterie , I believe tris is an apologist for sturgeon who refuses to open her eyes to the realisation that sturgeon has no intention of delivering indy , she appeared to have a fellow apologist named terry entoure who was telling the congregation that Scots would just have to accept sturgeon’s reviled policies as they were in the manifesto that the Sick Nonce Party were elected on , Panda paws pointed out the truth to terry who btw resides in Switzerland but is accepting sturgeons reviled policies on our behalf
I am afraid that Tris and many of her contributors are a lost cause as they refuse to investigate the truth
Tris has decided to stay out of the Sturgeon / Alba / Salmond debate to focus on what he feels is important. I don’t mind to be honest, I don’t agree per say, but everyone has to do what they feel is right. Terry is very knowledgeable about the EU and how it works, and I have learned a few things from him, but he is a bit rose coloured when it comes to the EU for myself. I accept that we are better in the EU economically than we are not but the EU for myself is far from perfect and it has drifted more to the neo-liberal role when it could do more to challenge the status quo and how things are done. It does some really good things, especially around workers’ rights, environment, but it is all things that the corporations are willing to accept and not a real challenge to things like tax and financial corruption. What we need to be doing is looking at alternatives now and we have 2 years to work to replace the SNP as the lead for the indy movement, they may well remain the largest political vehicle, but we need other voices elected as soon as possible or we can forget it as the SNP and Sturgeon are no longer the answer and haven’t been for a long time.
Thanks for commenting.
excellent post… honest and realistic
Thanks for that, you are very kind.
I’d not seen the replies to that article as I’ve been unwell. The person you quote won’t be voting at all as they live in Switzerland. I’ve had my run ins with them and indeed have now left a response to their post on GRA reform which will likely lead to another!
I understand Tris’ desire to be a neutral zone and it’s nice to have place to “chill”. So I post elsewhere now on certain issues and I’d offer you any SNP critical posts rather than send to him because I respect but do not share his stance.
It’s hard to see people still believing in the nuSNP. I spent decades watching people vote Labour for Home Rule and abolition of the HoLs and never getting it. I vowed I’d never put party before country and I won’t vote SNP because I do not believe the leadership and many of the elected care about indy. There are too many careerists and entrists now.
I’ll still vote Yes in any indy ref but don’t imagine I’ll have the opportunity to do so any time soon.,
Sorry you are not feeling well, it is not good when things are not right. I don’t expect to see indy at all anymore and it really is about trying to open some minds for me and holding the SNP to account in my own small way. I know what you mean about Terry, I respect his opinion, but he has rose coloured EU eyes and his views on Alba border on ignorance it seems. Tris’s blog is excellent, but I don’t agree with his sitting on the fence as far as the SNP goes, they need to be called out. We can’t move forward if people wheesht for indy as it just won’t happen in those circumstances as the damage will be too late to fix. Alba is our last political hope, Alba don’t even look to hold power just influence the debate, and they have done that but it so hard for them to get past the hatred they face every day. I am member of the party, not active as I chose to focus on my blog and would not want to embarrass them with some of my opinions so keep my membership a low profile. I think they will continue to grow though, getting through the first year was so important and they have done that.
Hope you are feeling better soon.
Reblogged this on Ramblings of a now 60+ Female.
Angus has got to know that Sturgeon is stealing people votes just to remain as an MSP and FM. Why would you take a case to the Supreme Court for the court to rule wither or not the Scottish parliament has competence when you can just simply hold a Holyrood election in which the SG has full control.
The reason why Sturgeon will never hold a Holyrood election as a de-facto Referendum is because it doesn’t suite her interests for Scotland to be Independent. Just take a look at the UK from a nationalist point, there couldn’t be a greater time in our history to gain Independence than now. But sturgeon isn’t bothered about Independence, she’s more interested in her own position and salary and securing that within the UK. She also knows her government’s track record while she’s been FM and it’s been abysmal, and her government have failed, failed and failed at everything the NUSNP has done. She can’t handle the powers she does have now, all she does is blame WM and the Tories for all the problems in Scotland. She’s also worried if Scotland does become Independent will people want to continue voting for the NUSNP in an Independent Scotland, I don’t think voters will, and this is a chance Sturgeon is prepared to take. Let’s not forget, if Sturgeon loses her job so does Mr Murrell.
If we are to have a Holyrood election as a De-facto referendum, we are going to have to make Sturgeon do it. What doesn’t Sturgeon like, bad press. She wants to keep the image of her being Scotland’s defender alive, although we know she Scotland executioner. If the National was truly an Indy paper they would be pushing (as would Dug or Riddock) for a Holyrood election to secure our Independence, but these people are making a living out of shouting Independence for Scotland, but just not now. I see that these individuals could still make a living even when we are Independent, because Scotland will always need someone to fight her cause.
Let’s be honest for Scotland to achieve Independence we are going to have to challenge the UK parliament, and Sturgeon isn’t the person who will do that, ever, we need a government and FM who will defy, not comply.
Couldn’t agree more, you have captured it all better than I ever could. Sturgeon and her mostly incompetent leadership have been a disaster for Scotland, and she is doing the unionists job for them in my opinion. Alba for me is the way ahead politically, they are not looking to hold power just influence the debate, they have done that but a few in the parliament would make a real difference and the SNP would find a proper opposition to their poor governance and pressure to at least do something practical about independence rather than the do-nothing stance they have for now. I don’t put much stock in what Angus says anymore to be fair, Cheery and Whitford are another two I don’t really bother about now, but the article was something that at least was a little interesting.
Thanks for commenting.