by Colin Campbell
THERE’S been little or nothing worth reading or writing about the SNP/nationalists and their stalled, derailed, crumbling hopes of another referendum leading to a vote for independence.
After a build up of months of near hysteria in anticipation of an overwhelming triumph in the Scottish Parliamentary elections, almost overnight it all fizzled out after May 6, when the supposedly all conquering SNP not only failed to win a “supermajority”, they failed to win a majority at all.
Now Kenny MacAskill, who defected to Alex Salmond’s Alba Party, which received just over one per cent of the vote, has tried to breathe some fire back into the fed-up, disillusioned and morose nats.
MacAskill said the movement risked missing out on “an historic opportunity” to achieve its goal because of “inaction” at Holyrood.
Calling for a gathering of the “Yes clans”, the former SNP Justice Secretary said he wanted “all good folk” to come together to plan the way ahead.
He said it was clear change would have to come from “outwith” Holyrood, and was “going to require extra-parliamentary action”, including demonstrations.
The “Yes clans”, whoever they may be, may see something in this.
“All good folk” – that is the vast majority of people who do not want to see demonstrations which could lead to civil disorder – will have their suspicions confirmed that MacAskill is a desperate, extremist idiot.
The “Yes” enthusiasts are good at gathering and are even better at marching. Draped in Saltires and yelling “Independence Now!” we’ve seen them plenty of times on the streets of Inverness, for all the good it’s done them.
No doubt in a few months time these marches, with plenty face painters and including a motley assortment of tartan draped, long-bearded cavemen, will be back here again. And much good that’ll do them either.
Nothing has moved on. Nothing has changed. Boris Johnson is more emphatic than ever that he will refuse a section 30 order for a legal referendum. And in the highly unlikely event that Nicola Sturgeon tries to hold an illegal one, it will be boycotted, ignored, and make her and her cronies and the entire SNP a laughing stock.
Instead of his rallying call for a a gathering of the clans MacAskill should be demanding that the SNP provide – or at least try and provide – credible answers on a host of unanswered questions relating to independence. What currency would be used, the effect on mortgages and pensions, the prospects for rejoining the EU, the inevitability of a hard, passport-controlled border with England and much else besides.
The failure of the SNP after seven years to have ready answers on any of these questions is something that he would be right to feel angry and frustrated about.
All we hear from SNP freeloaders at Westminster like Ian Blackford and Drew Hendry is how horrible the Tories are and how supposedly damaging Brexit has been. That, without deviation, is their one and only message.
No answers to difficult questions, or no attempt to even try and address them.
Many nationalists feel independence is further away than ever, and are at their lowest ebb for years, and it’ll take more than a rambling and desperate outburst from Kenny MacAskill to raise their spirits.