The Scottish independence rhetoric has substantially increased of late and I’ve decided to come early to this ‘party’ on social media and the like.
I have a lot to write on what is happening, as well as what has happened, and what may happen, so it seems prudent to break it up into two parts.
Frankly, I was little late properly engaging last time. Now that thought reminds me of what we used to say about the “Yanks” turning up late for two world wars and then making up for it by being early ever since. This line of thought I realise came from a certain BritNat whose blogs are full of World War and British empire and British history references, for The Land of Hope and Glory brigade, that I had been checking out earlier. As I suspect this BritNat would observe, you should keep an eye on what the ‘enemy’ is up to. They certainly do.
Taking the war theme further, we seem to be in a Phoney War period. The Scottish Government has declared that it wants another independence referendum. The British Government has not formally replied as of yet, but has said, “Now is not the time”.
With Easter approaching, the politicians are taking a holiday from Parliamentary business, so we don’t know if there are going to be any more ‘shots fired’ (there probably will), so ‘skirmishes’ are taking place on social media – where some such were already taking place thanks to upcoming Council elections in May.
Some background to where we are
Following the ‘No’ vote to Scottish Independence in September 2014, Cameron had taken immediate advantage of the situation to bring about English Votes for English Laws (EVEL). This whilst claiming that there would be a greater devolution settlement, which would come from The Smith Commission, as promised by “The Vow”.
Both turned out to be damp squibs. EVEL seems to have had little effect on the workings of Parliament due to being quite tame in nature (at least tame compared to expectations), although affected MPs made it clear that they were not amused at the principle of there being some MPs excluded from some Parliamentary business at a certain point.
The Smith Commission seems to have come up with the very least that they could agree upon devolving to the Scottish Parliament without anyone walking away from the table. Unionists point to “The Vow” and say it has been delivered. Technically, they are correct, but the rhetoric surrounding it has left a foul taste in the mouth, particularly with those who feel that they voted ‘No’ instead of ‘Yes’ because of it. Expectations were much greater and some feel they have been short-changed, if not outright conned. In a subsequent poll only 9% of Scots felt that “The Vow” had been kept.
Since then, campaign rhetoric from the “Better Together” campaign has gradually turned to dust.
There is a list of ‘broken promises’. On shipyards, Better Together claimed that a ‘No’ vote would ensure their future. Subsequently, funding was slashed, an order from The MOD was cut and the work was then delayed.
The UK Government and Scottish Labour made noises about how 3,200 UK civil service jobs in Scotland were a “dividend” of being in the UK. Now, 2000 of those jobs are under threat.
Claims were made about the potential affects of independence on social security. Again, these claims rang hollow as The Chancellor slashed and froze social security benefits.
You can add in claims about renewables and carbon capture, but you can also throw in concerns about how the UK was behaving over Human Rights, the treatment of immigrants and refugees, as well as electoral fraud by The Tories.
Not all of these matters were yet apparent when, in May 2015, The SNP took 56 of the 59 Westminster Parliamentary Seats at the General Election.
Many Labour voters were already sickened by their party sharing platforms with Tories during the Indyref campaign, as well as with some of their rhetoric. The national Labour campaign wasn’t exactly helpful to them either, with its ‘auserity-lite’ position and with their campaign effectively capitulating to Tory rhetoric about Labour being in the SNP’s pocket in the event of a hung Parliament, where the two parties might join forces in order to govern. The Labour party pandered to this line and ruled out a coalition with the SNP. In doing so, not only did it shoot itself in the head in terms of its chances of being a party that formed The Government, albeit in coalition, but it told Scots that The UK Labour Party didn’t want to be associated with who/what they were about to vote for and, effectively, would rather not be in Government at all. The country duly obliged The Labour Party its electoral suicidal at the ballot box.
The Liberal Democrats also hemorrhaged Scottish support, although that was probably down to their enabling role in the coalition UK Government up to then, and was reflected in England. In Scotland, all three of the main UK parties were brought down to one MP each. Despite this, and despite most polling, The Tories won an overall UK majority.
Come 2016 and we had Scottish Parliament elections and a referendum on the EU. With ‘Brexit’ rhetoric hysterical and polls showing a close vote between ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’, concerns rose over Scotland being taken out of the EU – another campaign issue from Indyref.
Better Together had raised concerns over the EU status for Scotland with a ‘Yes’ vote and this clearly had an effect on the outcome. Once again, Better Together rhetoric was sounding hollow. Scots confirmed their feelings as being more or less the same as at the General Election as they voted primarily for the SNP at Holyrood, and also in sufficient numbers for the Scottish Greens, so that there was a majority of independence supporting MSPs.
At the EU referendum, Scots voted ‘Remain’ but as has happened on so many prior occasions in a UK vote, how Scots voted was over-ridden by how England voted – and England voted to ‘Leave’. David Cameron resigned as PM as a consequence of the result.
The SNP 2016 manifesto had stated that should a “material change” occur, outlining this exact scenario as an example of such, then the Scottish Government could seek another independence referendum.
After months of the Scottish Government attempting to obtain a Brexit deal for Scotland that might actually avoid another referendum, the process of the UK leaving the EU was started by Theresa May, now the UK PM. This led to the Scottish Government voting to have another Scottish independence referendum and seeking permission to do so from the UK Government.
In Part 2 of this blog, I will write about the Phoney War on social media, what the Unionist strategy seems to be so far, what I predict will happen with Brexit negotiations and what I would like to see occur in terms of what must surely be an inevitable Scottish independence referendum campaign.