by Colin Campbell
FOR many people any prattle about the need for another independence referendum amid the current worsening coronavirus crisis surely seems irrelevant, to say the least.
But the more extreme nationalists never stop. It’s what they live and breathe and is their reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
The May elections for the Scottish Parliament will, they insist, be an “independence election”. Or so they seem to think.
Inverness MSP Fergus Ewing, bidding to be re-elected to Holyrood after being there 20 years already, doesn’t seem to have got the “indy” message.
In his election pamphlet which came through my door last week the “I” word didn’t get a mention.
The issues he referred to were the virus, transformation plans for Inverness Castle, the re-opening of the Cairngorm Furnicular Railway, a new medical centre at Inverness and the need for better accessibility for the disabled at Nairn Railway Station.
Instead of binning it as throwaway junk as I suspect most people do when they receive election material on their doormats I read it all.
Fergus Ewing’s offering was a round-up of progress on a range of local issues. What it definitely was not was a demand for independence, red in tooth and claw.
I’ve little doubt that this is the approach that’ll be adopted by SNP candidates across the country, a focus on local stuff that they think matters most to people. The “indyref2” issue will barely be mentioned, if it’s mentioned at all.
It was completely excluded from Drew Hendry’s general election campaign material last December, with not a word about it to be seen.
And yet when the results are declared in May and the SNP come out on top, the party’s talking heads will immediately pounce on the outcome as irrefutable proof that “the Scottish people” have clearly voted for another independence referendum.
Even though their candidates, like Fergus Ewing, haven’t even mentioned the issue during their campaigns.
Basically, it’ll be yet another con job by the SNP, and thanks to a compliant and too often subservient mainstream media they get away with it.
Many people in the Inverness constituency will vote for Fergus Ewing because he’s helped them out in different ways during the past two decades. It’ll be a personal vote, not a vote for independence.
The SNP should be called out on this outright perversion of the facts and the realities every time they try and perpetrate their “independence election” lies.