Monday 21 December 2015

The transition

English: Logo of the Scottish National Party (SNP)
One might reasonably expect that the British establishment's cheerleaders in Scotland would learn something from this poll. But that fails to take account of the British nationalist mindset. The notion of British exceptionalism precludes them accepting that anything they do might be wrong. The closest they get to a reflective assessment of their performance is the thought that they aren't doing enough of whatever it is that failing.

And it is glaringly obvious to sane, sober and sensible observers that the anti-independence / anti-SNP propaganda campaign is failing catastrophically. Voters in Scotland are simply too engaged and aware to be swayed by what is essentially just a crude extension of Project Fear. Lessons were learned on the Yes side, even if none were learned by unionists.

Reading the below-the-line comments here and elsewhere, as well as articles by some journalists, is revelatory. A common theme is that the British parties might as well resign themselves to another humiliating electoral slapping next year, but that's OK because come the next election - or, maybe, the one after that - the SNP support will collapse.

Interestingly, this doesn't involve the British parties actually doing anything to win the trust of voters. The "theory" relies entirely on the SNP losing support, rather than the others winning it. It assumes that the electorate are getting it wrong and that all it will take to set us straight is another few years of the same grindingly negative tactics which have thus far only succeeded in bringing the British parties into ever greater disrepute.

Some fantasise about a "Grand Alliance" of unionists that will sweep the SNP from the electoral map. More acute intellects will reflect that this would hardly be much different from what we have now. There is no doubt that the three main British Parties in Scotland - aided and abetted by the media - are already coordinating those "attacks" on the SNP, and on institutions such as NHS Scotland, Police Scotland etc. This is part of the reason people have stopped believing any of it.

The possibility of this cooperation developing into a formal electoral pact is vanishingly small. And, even if it did happen, it would only confirm the collusion that voters already disapprove of. We can also pretty much discount informal tactical voting. Experience tells us that few participate. And those taht do tend to cancel out each others' efforts resulting in a negligible overall effect.

So, all we can expect from the British parties is a ramping up of the SNP BAD! rhetoric and ever more contrived and blatant anti-SNP propaganda in the media. With a heavy dose of British nationalist jingoism thrown in.

As an SNP member, I am delighted. Why should I be anything less than gleeful if the British parties choose to commit electoral suicide?

As a lifelong advocate of the restoration of Scotland's rightful constitutional status, I should be ecstatic. Because the SNP is the essential political arm of the independence movement. At this juncture, what is good for the party is good for the independence campaign.

As a democrat who aspires to a better politics for both Scotland and the rest of the UK, however, my elation must be tempered with regret at the path down which the British establishment is taking us. Their idea of politics is an astronomical distance from what I hope for.

Neither is it healthy, in the longer term, for politics to be dominated by one party. This is not ideal. But it is necessary. And we have cause to be grateful that the dominant party is the SNP. We have to go through a transition to the new politics and independence - not necessarily in that order. To make any kind of accommodation with the British parties, who flatly refuse to adapt to the new reality, would be to turn away from that transition and take our politics backwards.

The polls indicate that we have the momentum. We have an opportunity to transform our politics. The SNP is our big stick. It is the lever by which we will move our nation. All that is required is that we put our weight behind that lever.

Both votes SNP!


  1. Another excellent piece Peter you are indeed a great asset to the movement

  2. Rarely disagree with your point of view Peter, and I'm not an SNP member. Thanks.

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