Since the founding of the SNP 87 years ago, in 1934, they have had the ambition of breaking Scotland away from the rest of the UK, even during the darkest days of the Second World War. That seems hard to believe, given that Nicola Sturgeon admitted, less than two weeks ago, that she and the SNP still have no plan for the economic consequences of what would happen after a successful vote for separation. She gave no plan or vision for how her separated Scotland would manage its affairs, other than vague and completely ludicrous statements. She has no answers on border control, currency and defence or to other quite important questions that voters might ask.
Listening to these incomprehensible ramblings I cannot help but ask myself, “what on earth have you all been doing for the past 87 years?”
87 years is a very long time. When you consider that the average life expectancy for a man in Glasgow is, thanks in no small part to the SNP, now as low as 54.6 years (considerably lower than places like Somalia or Mongolia), it’s almost TWO lifetimes! It’s multiple generations. Yet, in all that time, the SNP still hasn’t figured out what their sacred political objective will look like. They can’t even agree on basic issues that can be modelled now, such as which currency to use.
Not only have they had 87 years, but the SNP have also now had 14 years in power with access to all the organisational and forecasting institutions that come with it. But they still haven’t produced an accurate, adequate or agreed-upon prospectus (the less said about The White Paper, the better).
The reason is simple; the realities of the economic, political and social instability of separation would dissuade all but the most fanatical voter from supporting their plan. So they must evade and lie and obfuscate for their political survival. One might think that Scottish voters would be canny enough to figure out that a party that still doesn’t know what it wants or know what its major policy would look like, doesn’t deserve their support. But then again, perhaps we Scots are not as smart as we like to think we are.
The question that now haunts the SNP is: why, after Brexit, Boris Johnson, a dreaded Tory government, and the multitude of things that they told us would boost their support, are they still at the levels of support they had in 2016? We all know the answer: The SNP is not a party that likes to do things, they only like to be seen to do things. They want to be seen as great innovators, revolutionaries and radicals, but their record in government shows that they are the opposite. The SNP don’t innovate, they manage decline, they don’t revolutionise; instead, they languish, and they are reactionary rather than radical. They are contrarian only for the sake of being contrarian because it allows them to permanently occupy the moral high ground without any justification for doing so.
Seeing the SNP for what they are, as a contrarian party interested only in promising rather than delivering, it becomes obvious why the SNP has not actually put any real work into showing the electorate a clear picture of what life after secession would be like. But reality can only be hidden for so long. As it inevitably dawns, many cybernats are wising up. Last week, the Bath-based pro-Separation blogger, Stuart Campbell, closed his Wings Over Scotland blog in desperation after years of being dragged along in the vain hope of reaching Nirvana. A fantasy that has as much chance of being true as a cult using a comet to reach another dimension.
This month I sat and watched 72 ostensibly pro-indy MSPs be elected again, but this time with my heart breaking, knowing that they would achieve nothing and indeed had no real intention to even try.
And I’ve had enough of feeling that way.
I’m not going to rehash all the blindingly obvious reasons why there isn’t going to be [an] independence referendum in the life of this Parliament, because we’ve explained them a dozen times and anyone who was ever going to listen already knows. Boris Johnson – or any other Tory leader – has absolutely no reason to allow one and nothing to fear from refusing. Scotland has no influence over him whatsoever…
…We told you in May 2016 that the election result took an indyref off the table for five years and we were proved right. We’re telling you again….
…So what’s coming now is five miserable years of deja vu. A Holyrood with a pro-indy majority but no will to do anything with it, …I want no part of the lie they’re going to foist on indy supporters for the next few years. I want no responsibility for how people are going to feel as it slowly, gradually dawns on them that they’ve been conned and taken for fools in exactly the same way Tony Blair did to Labour voters 20 years ago.
Ah, well. One could almost feel sad at the loss of hope, except that the rest of us will have to suffer under this cult’s delusions, which Campbell promoted avidly, for several more years. But, this too shall pass. When the SNP is 91 years old, just four years from now, how many more will have come to realise the jig is up?
So, next time an SNP devotee angrily and desperately informs you that ‘independence’ is “just around the corner” or that it has “never been closer”, tell them that Nationalists have been yelling that into the void for the last 87 years, and still have no plan.
Because you can rest assured that if the SNP had a viable and attractive plan, they would have spent the last decades shouting it from the rooftops.
Angus Robinson is a lecturer at a UK university. Follow him on Twitter @AnguspfRobinso1