A curious paradox is occurring within the SNP and the broader Separation movement. The more secession becomes impractical, and even prohibitively so, the more they are determined to talk about it.
The SNP have failed to stop Brexit. Their alternative offers even more disruption. Their vaccination policy is lagging behind other parts of the UK, even though they claim the opposite. The COVID payouts they are responsible for have failed to materialise; the E.U. has rebutted their advances and their prized First Minister, their only person of note, is facing a civil war and a fight for her political existence.
The SNP are at a crossroads. They are turning on one another as they face the genuine possibility that they might have to face an election on the record of what little they have achieved compared with so much they have promised. It makes for grim reading.
The growing SNP civil war is now open for all to see. It is being played out daily on social media and in the press, as the respective camps draw the battle lines in a situation which can only be described as “The People’s Front of Judea” vs “The Judean People’s Front”. As more mainstream news outlets, both within and outside of Scotland take notice, it erodes their credibility and people start to question what else they have been lying about.
Remember, this is the same party that hounded ministers out of the office for minor infractions that wouldn’t make the back page of the national news. For the SNP, life after Brexit seems likely to include life after Nicola.
The SNP vultures are circling. Nationalists the world over aren’t well known for their loyalty, but out of all possible candidates, none could even hold a candle to the reputation of the “current”, as Alex Salmond puts it, FM.
Who could replace her? The insurance-less driving transport minister now responsible for enforcing the law? The woefully under qualified finance minister brought in after the last one developed a scandalous and predatory texting habit? The Westminster Braveheart, a perpetual bore and despised for his role in the untimely passing of one of Scotland’s most popular politicians? The education minister who bungled the exams, had two votes of no-confidence chaired against him and oversaw laptops that could not run the correct software? The health minister who insists the “facts are the facts are the facts” despite not knowing them herself? The same one who oversaw the pointless deaths of thousands of the most vulnerable in our society and still fails to get them vaccinated now? Or any other of the assorted fanatics, dreamers, wanderers and charlatans? It’s rapidly dawning on many that life without Nicola means life without the SNP.
Add this political cluster bomb to the countless other social, economic, political and medical failures and one rapidly sees that the SNP are petrified of fighting an election on actual results.
No wonder the SNP have started to reach out frantically to every newspaper, online blog, rogue politician, and “expert” they can lay their hands on, because without their only policy, without Separation, they are truly dead in the water.
Brexit has caused some difficulties, but nothing like the calamity the SNP hoped for. The vaccine, our best chance at ending this horrifying pandemic, is being rolled out in the UK in a manner that shames the EU and its red tape. EU nations are in open revolt, having to fend for themselves.
The Conservatives can now point to the vaccine and “getting on with our future” to justify themselves, just as Labour can point south to its dull, but increasingly popular and competent new leader to show they are in fact “under new leadership”.
In Scotland, the Lib-dems can point to some of their standout figures, such as Alex Cole-Hamilton who has made a name for himself in the Salmond debacle.
But what can the SNP point to? They can’t say “judge us on our record”, and soon they may not be able to say “judge us on our leader”, but only “judge us on our ideology”, which seems more fantastical and outlandish with every day that passes.
The SNP are in trouble, and they know it. The more this open wound of an inquiry goes on, the deeper the erosion of public trust will be. With Sturgeon gone, they have nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.
But, remember: a wounded animal is at its most dangerous as it acts out of desperation, and this animal will not go down without a fight. Still, with each passing day, the party’s wounds fester, its strength is sapped and it loses discipline, and the ability to rally support.
Don’t expect a big bang finale, but rather a slow and pitiful demise.
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