Despite all the travails of Brexit and Covid-19, just a few short weeks ago the political future of the Scottish National Party was looking bright. Riding high in the polls and with the option of independence enjoying unprecedented levels of support, it seemed that the forthcoming regional elections in May were going to give Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, a symbolically crucial factor in their potential referendum plans. Then came the much anticipated Alex Salmond inquiry at Holyrood and the sight of rival factions of the SNP washing their dirty laundry in public, gleefully assisted in that task by their unionist opponents in the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem parties.
Initial polling – some of it quite dubious in nature – seemed to indicate that Scottish nationalism was on the back-foot and that the SNP was going to pay an electoral price for both its real and perceived failures inside and outside of government. However the most recent survey of voters by YouGov has found surprisingly resilient levels of support for the party and the independence project, leading some observers to speculate that maybe the worse is over in terms of voter disgust at the disreputable personal behaviours and politics in Edinburgh.
That may be somewhat optimistic as the loose coalition for an independent Scotland remains divided over the way forward in a myriad of social, economic and constitutional matters; and perhaps unsurprisingly so for a movement that among other things must somehow make room for separatist center-right monarchists and separatist far-left republicans in its ranks. Even the world of online activism is divided with the influential – if controversial – website Wings Over Scotland turning on the Sturgeon-led SNP and practically advocating a no-show by nationalist voters at the ballot boxes in May. Which can be fairly characterised as criminally inept advice, if typical of a once worthwhile publication which seems to have lost its way over the last two years.
Meanwhile, this is an interesting description of the political turmoil in Scotland by the veteran British journalist Patrick Cockburn writing in the Independent newspaper:
Most nationalist movements wait until they have achieved independence before having a civil war over who runs the country. But Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond have jumped the gun by opening hostilities while Scottish self-determination is still well over the horizon.
Strangely enough, I’m pretty sure that I read something similar somewhere else very recently…
If I my say who is writing this absolute nonsense posing as a republican analysis of Scottish politics.
The desire for independence is in the sails of the Scottish electorate. The SNP were riding high around the mid 55% level – and has been for some considerable time now. However, in the background all was not well. The man who took Scotland in 2014 had been pursued relentlessly on unfounded charge of sexual wrong doing – of which he was acquitted.
Suffice not to go into all of the details it then emerged that Nicola Sturgeon or in fact without her having any knowledge whatsoever (??) that her coterie of special advisers, chief London appointed permanent secretary, her CEO head of the party and COO of the party had all been involved in a scheme to take Salmond down.
And so too it emerged with the help of a specially created Police Scotland ” Alex Salmond ” squad and the help of the Crown Office Prosecution Service and Crown Agent David Harvie ) a long term MI5 operator ) the state spent around many many millions of pounds fruitlessly pursuing Salmond for him – only for him to be acquitted of all thirteen charges.
To suggest that something in the State of Denmark is rotten is an understatement. But maybe you chaps over and Ireland have no knowledge of such matters. Maybe Brigadier General Sir Frank Kitson was all in the Irish imagination. Certain seems so with the nonsense commentary that you have just made.
Maybe ASF don’t know it but one of the best ways to impede independence and a successful independence party is to rot it with. Trust these comments are helpful..
All the best.
I thought the opinions in the post reflected much of mainstream non-aligned nationalist opinion in Scotland, and not necessarily just SNP opinion.
The SNP and the cause of independence was on a high, the Salmond affair – whatever the real circumstances of it – did some harm to both causes, reflected in the polls, but not as bad as unionists parties and media hoped for, at least for now.
The SNP continues to have factional problems, not as great or as deep as alleged by its rivals and foes, some recent policy decisions have alienated some members, including elected ones, and uncertainty exists over the way forward in face of contrary plans on how to achieve independence, from a Holyrood mandated referendum to plebescite-election, and so on.
Meanwhile online activists are split reflecting some of the offline tensions. Notable in the Wings Over Scotland campaign against Sturgeon.
All of which plays into London’s hands, aided by a press that sees all bad in anything the SNP does and very little good.
It’s not as bad as the Spectator and Express types make out, by any stretch of the imagination. But there is no use denying the elephant in the room either. Even just a baby one.
Thanks for the comment, though. All opinions are welcome!
An excellent summary, ASF. Far more benign, in fact, than I would have put it in respect of Salmond (former close friend of Ian Paisley Snr. and employee of Russia Today). So much for Salmond’s support for an independent Scotland. He comes across as an arch-narcissist intent on destroying the SNP (i.e. the independence project in Scotland) because he can no longer be in control of it. And as for all those terrible women who made accusations against him as part of some giant conspiracy. Now where have I heard that before?
Without wishing to be rude Taman methinks you are writing a pile of tosh.
Alex Salmond was and still is one of the outstanding politicians of his generation. After forming a minority government in 2007 he steered the Independence movement in the 2014 referendum to within an ace of winning the referendum. As a man utterly committed to independence he was feared by the British Establishment. And it is for that reason, that attempts to take him, and other like him down.
The prosecution of pro independence supporters like Cardigans Murray or Mark Hirst, the attempt to deselect Joanna Cherry QC MP who took the UK government to both the Court of Session ( in Scotland ) and to the Supreme Court ( in England ) to win and to cause the Queen to repeal a bill given Royal Assent, the jailing of Independence march organisers Manny Singh, the selective disregard by Police Scotland in the prosecution of other MPs, the utter bias of the BBC and other mainstream British media, are all indications of what is going on in Scotland.
But instead of running off at the mouth like some western British establishment supporter, why don’t you look a bit closer at exactly what is going on in Scotland. Surely, and I know little about the hell hole that must have been Northern Ireland during the troubles, but surely there was a large mix of infiltration and manipulation by dark forces of the UK establishment. I find it difficult to believe otherwise believe, but maybe Tamam there wasn’t, and your apparent assessment is that there isn’t any interference in the Scottish independence is similarly correct.
Me I think there is major interference with our senior executives of Police Scotland filled with ex MI5, ex military intelligence, current reserve military and even a chief constable with 27 years under his belt with the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
Democracy, like peace, prosperity, fellowship and mutual respect is a fragile and elusive thing. Something be treasured and protected we disregard that at our peril.,
Thanks, Willie. No offence taken. We all get angry at times.
Oh, and congrats, by the way. I note a coherence in your writing this time – if not any more sense – that was sadly lacking in your first post. I have no wish to join you in the dark world of conspiracy theories, so I’ll just put it down to you having taken a little more care with this one.
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Julie Burchill being held to account is a wonderful thing.
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An utterly odious individual. And a personification of the socially incestuous nature of the London media, whether on the supposed left or right. Simply different sides of the same coin.
Absolutely. And they bounce between hard-right, left, and centralist platforms at will, wherever the money is greater.
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Have you ever heard her speak she sounds like Minnie Mouse.
What curious bedfellows, Alex Salmond and David Davis, doing all they can to undermine SNP support ahead of the Scottish parliamentary elections. Davis using “parliamentary privilege” to make accusations in support of Salmond is so blatant that hopefully the Scottish electorate will see it for what it is.
I understand that Salmond wants to expose/embarrass his enemies (further obfuscating some of his dubious past behaviours in the process), but at the expense of wrecking the possibility of an independent Scotland? Very difficult to comprehend.
Apologies for wandering off track (again) but watching a programme the other night I learned that inter-racial marriage was illegal in Texas during the 1940s. I decided to check this out, and it seems that inter-racial marriage in the US was only made fully legal across the entire nation in 1967 (thanks to a US Supreme Court ruling). Alabama (where else?) only repealed its legislation in 2000, thanks to a narrow plebiscite margin.
Incidentally, the programme concerned a US African-American soldier from Texas just returned from the Second World War. So, as a Black person in the US you could fight and die for their country, but don’t dare try to marry a White person.
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