No wildcat referendum in 2023: honesty shock from leading light in the SNP

by Colin Campbell

MICHELLE Thomson secured her place in history this week when she became the first SNP politician ever publicly to say something that Nicola Sturgeon has strongly, or even mildly disapproved of.

Given the North Korean standards of discipline and threatened punishment applied by the SNP, it was a bold move indeed,

Michelle Thomson.

MSP Thomson said that Boris Johnson would not grant permission for another independence referendum, and it would be irresponsible to hold a wildcat poll in 2023, with so many questions remaining unanswered as to what an independent Scotland would look like. There would be no indryref2 in 2023 she stated.

This has been blindingly obvious to those who are not indoctrinated members of the cult. But it was an incendiary assertion from a leading light in the SNP.

If Queen Nicola had a sabre….

Johnson will not give Sturgeon section 30 permission for a legal referendum under all and any circumstances. This we know. Nationalist claims that his opposition would be “untenable” and “unsustainable” are obviously worthless.

But Sturgeon has persistently tried to buy time in the face of rapidly growing agitation from her discontented followers by saying that the Scottish Parliament, with a pro-independence SNP/Green majority, would legislate for indyref2 in the first half of the parliamentary term, regardless of Westminster’s view, with 2023 being the cut off point.

Michelle Thomson says that’s not going to happen. Why she veered wildly out of line with the marching ranks of the SNP at Holyrood and Westminster is unclear.

A near suicidal urge to be candid and honest perhaps?

Sturgeon cannot hold a wildcat referendum without Westminster permission. Councils, like Highland Council, would come under pressure to participate, but whatever their views or inclinations, they couldn’t risk it. Councillors could end up being personally liable for the tens of thousands of pounds it would cost.

So there will no 2023 referendum. And if it somehow did take place, it would be boycotted by at least half the population. Sturgeon would look squirmingly stupid and the SNP would be an international laughing stock.

So Michelle Thomson was only stating an obvious truth. She said the SNP should pin their hopes instead on the possibility of a different government emerging in the 2024 general election.

As fading hopes go, that’s just about better than nothing.

Many nationalists believe Sturgeon’s heart is no longer in it and she will not hang around long enough to lead them to the promised land. Who could argue with that?

If she was fully committed to the cause, after seven years she would at least have conjured some kind of answers on questions of currency, pensions, mortgages, the deficit, the prospects of rejoining the EU, the inevitability of a hard, passport controlled border with England, and much else besides.

Instead, seven years on from her last bash at it, she has told civil servants to start work – just to start work – on a “prospectus for independence”.

Last weekend a few nationalists here and there mustered for a so called independence Day of Action. According to the National, this will be followed by an “Autumn of Action”. It’s not my favourite publication, but I have to reluctantly sympathise with the handful of journalists working on the thing who must, day in, day out, dredge up some kind of controversy to feed to their readers.

A couple of days ago its main headline story was about “research” which had supposedly found out, yet again, that the BBC is biased against the SNP. Where had this “research” come from? The rather pitiful answer to that was from a reporter on the paper who had been given the task of watching a few news bulletins and taking a few notes. Eventually, you run out of barrels to scrape.

So the “Autumn of Action” will pass by as the same stalwarts turn out in thin numbers and do what they do. Not that anyone will notice.

And then we’ll arrive in 2022 with the wildcat referendum year of 2023 only 12 months away. Except, as Michelle Thomson let the wildcat out of the bag, there will be no referendum in 2023.

The fervour is draining away from the nationalist diehards as that yearned for indyref2 day becomes ever more distant. Michelle Thomson’s truthful version of events must have hit them hard.

Because without their blind fervour, what else have they got?

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