Are we determined to lose?

by | 9 Feb 2022

Why on earth are we committing to fighting Yes from 2014 and Remain from 2016 at the same time? Does anyone think we can win this? Because we can't.

Sometimes I wake up at night in a panic thinking ‘oh dear god, what happens if the Tory Government call’s Sturgeon’s bluff and gives her a referendum?’. She seems determined to lose it.

Because we don’t even live in an autocracy but a new form of politics which might best be called a ‘whimocracy’ – government based on the whim of one person who doesn’t even bother to think through the implications of her whims.

I think I am fairly confident in saying that Nicola Sturgeon stands virtually alone in her view that there is neither strategic nor democratic sense in separating the issues of Scottish independence and the decision on whether to rejoin the EU. (I obviously don’t count the sycophants who agree with anything she says seconds after she said it no matter what it is she says.)

I know plenty Europhiles in the independence movement and in the SNP. Many see the issue of rejoining the EU as pretty non-negotiable for them personally. And yet even they realise that it is foolhardy and patently undemocratic to make the issues of independence and the EU indivisible.

Everyone knows this will shed votes from people who really are hostile to the EU and those of them who are in the independence movement must be furious today – but it most certainly won’t only be them out the door. The vast majority who are in the middle will soon realise what fast EU reentry means and realise they’d be mad to vote for it.

Let me state this as clearly as I can since Kirsty Hughes has already stated it in her analysis in today’s Herald – Scotland would need to bring its deficit down to three per cent and commit to joining the Euro.

I won’t do that former calculation for you here because it is so scary, involves such incredibly brutal spending cuts that I am not going to be held responsible for putting those numbers into the public domain. But you can away, grab a calculator, look at GERS and do it in two ticks. You’ll need to sit down when you do though.

And the Euro remains a currency which I suspect barely an economist in the world would propose you commit to right now. The Eurozone is still a mess. This is only a modest vote loser in comparison to the scale of the votes we’ll lose over committing to enormous budget cuts, but every little counts, eh?

There doesn’t seem much more humiliation that can be heaped on the independence movement by those who are meant to be at is pinnacle – or at least I tell myself that to get through the day

If this madness were to persist we might as well resign ourselves to a referendum campaign in which we will do nothing except explain how we’re going to cut public services, set up a currency and a central bank we intend to get rid of quick-sharp in favour of the European Central Bank (such a great friend to small nations in deficit, like it was to Greece), set up ‘hard borders’ and – oh look, this goes on and on.

Mark my words, there is zero chance of winning a referendum where we’re fighting for both Yes from 2014 and Remain from 2016 at the same time and the other side can fight No when they fancy and Leave when they fancy.

It’s not just that this is suicide, it is the degree of contempt for the independence movement and for the membership of the SNP involved which is really startling. If Nicola Sturgeon wanted to send more of a message to the rank-and-file of the movement that she really does not have the slightest interest in what they think or feel, she’d probably have to get a t-shirt printed.

As I write I’ve just been forwarded an article in which Sturgeon tries to pretend that last week’s pension fiasco didn’t happen. It turns out they’re not going to saw three inches off the bottom of pensions to increase ventilation. Or am I mixing up my gaslighting?

Democracy in Scotland is turning into a sad joke. There doesn’t seem much more humiliation that can be heaped on the independence movement by those who are meant to be at is pinnacle. Or at least I tell myself that to get through the day.

Can you begin to imagine a new, independent nation being started like this? One woman would be writing the constitution she fancied, designing the banknotes, setting interest rates, picking out her preferred military aircraft, negotiating the debt, commissioning her own statues. It is one of my few consolations that it isn’t going to happen while she has that power.

So independence movement, so SNP membership – do you really want independence? Do you really believe this is the way to go about getting it? Have you given up on democracy? Will you accept every humiliation without question?

Or is there some point at which you’re ready to say ‘enough now’ and do something about it?

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