by Colin Campbell
INDEPENDENCE supporters were back on the streets of Inverness at the weekend for the first time in 18 months, not in disruptive marching numbers, but with a High Street stall, as part of a nationwide “Yes Day of Action”.
Their intention was to seek to engage passers-by and convert them, or at least steer them, into supporting independence.
How successful their efforts were in that extremely challenging undertaking only they know. But they are trying, and they won’t give up trying.
At the same time the British Army is springing into action of a very kind in assisting what, tragically for some people and alarming for many more, is our partly broken down ambulance service.
Nicola Sturgeon has apologised profusely for long delays in calls being answered, which has caused the death of at least one elderly person. Under her watch, the ambulance service can’t cope.
There are different reasons for this but stricken people needing urgent help will not be interested in them. And that could happen to any of us.
But as a last resort when called upon the Army is always there. It was ready to step in a few months ago and deliver vaccine supplies to remote parts of the Highlands and it is ready to step in now.
In an independent Scotland would we even have an Army? Who knows. That never seems to be discussed, trailing well behind the multitude of other unanswered questions about independence.
Given the dearth of money to pay for a fighting force, it probably wouldn’t have the greatest priority. Defence Secretary Patrick Harvie? That doesn’t have a very fearsome ring to it.
And it would of course have to be gender inclusive, fulfil all the requirements of diversity, be multi-cultural and above all contain an officer class of transgender people. All that would have to worked out as a priority in advance of a single bayonet being fixed.
A fighting force? The enemy wherever it appeared would have to brace themselves for the Charge of the LBQTI Brigade.
Hopefully the day will never come when some kind of ramshackle Scots Army carrying all the threat of Captain Mainwairing and the Warmington-on-Sea Home Guard falls within the remit of Sturgeon, Blackford, and Harvie in military mode.
We could end up being invaded and overrun by The Faroes.
But for now The British Army is coming to the rescue and getting Sturgeon, and rather more importantly the people she represents, out of another SNP Government NHS-related mess.
Those involved in their “Action Day” of leafletting and chatter want the inadequate characters responsible for one foul-up after another entrusted with creating an entirely new country. Were they asked about the urgency of the actions of the Army and why are they so necessary? And to explain what has gone so terribly wrong under Sturgeon and co?
They would be unable to do so, in the same way as they’d be unable to give any remotely credible answers as to what currency an independent Scotland would use, where the money would come from to compensate for the extra £2,000 per head in public spending we get compared with people in England, the massive, record breaking-deficit, the prospects of gaining re-entry to the EU, the inevitability of a hard, passport controlled border with England and the rest of the UK, and so much else besides.
The dynamic sounding “Day of Action” was a chance to meet up for chat with like-minded people again and reunite as a minor presence on the street. And to encourage each other that they were actually doing something to bring independence that bit closer.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. We’ll stop short of saying good luck to them. But as of now with the way things are going, they certainly need all the encouragement they can get.