I was just looking at Nicolas speech made( yesterday I believe) regarding the upcoming elections and the forthcoming year . She did actually mention independence, which was a pleasant surprise and this may well be down to the various voices advocating actions in an independence vein. However , I note that as in the past Nicola has made the point that the Scottish people will make it clear when another referendum will take place, she is now concentrating on an exceptional event having to take place and sitting the referendum on exit from Europe as the kind of exceptional event she has in mind. This or the opinion polls showing a significant increase in support for independence.
Now a couple of points here. I feel that the change of tact regarding the Scottish people telling her that they want independence might just have something to do with the fact that there has been several rally’s to tell her exactly that and have been ignored by the SNP to the point of no SNP politicians even speaking at them.
As far as the exceptional event goes , and that being the EU in/out vote , Well I have the feeling that this vote in Scotland might not be the clear cut decider that some people expect. Lets say there was a 10% difference of people who wanted to stay in as opposed to the people who wanted to come out ,in Scotland and a very small majority in England who wanted to leave the Union. Well that would be about the same percentage that we had at the referendum for staying in the union, so it would be reasonable to say that the will of the Scottish people was being ignored by leaving the EU and it would be reasonable in these circumstances to hold a referendum on independence .
OK so what if the majority for staying in was much lower, say two or three percent? that would quite possibly present a problem.
So given the two scenarios that Nicola has presented for a move towards independence of the possible EU exit or the support for independence rising sufficiently to warrant another referendum and I have good reason to believe that the trigger point being put about SNP circles is 60%, there are several things that have to be in place before either of these scenarios would be successful and they all need the same actions to take place and the same time-scale.
This is what they are , and some of you will have heard me saying this before , many times .
We need the mistakes made in the referendum campaign of 2014 to be corrected ,such as the confusion on pensions and monitory union and in this respect this needs to be addressed as soon as possible. This to my mind will require the restarting up of the fantastic grass roots groups that were so effective during the referendum campaign. This would have again to be done in conjunction with the SNP as was the case with the Yes set up. I am sure the grass roots groups could manage to self finance as there would be literature etc which could be produced and coordinated through the SNP. That way every household in the country could be in position of all the relevant information concerning the unanswered questions of the last referendum.
Perhaps Wings over Scotland could be persuaded to produce the “Wee Blue Book” mark two . That was a fantastic publication and would be the very thing we are needing.
OK so that takes care of the unanswered questions and now to the actual referendum . Well we need to have in place , the right to hold one and this needs a commitment in the manifesto to be produced for the forthcoming election in May to demand that right be passed from the Westminster government to the Scottish government. Now this should be in every independence minded party’s manifesto.
Now we need , not only the right to hold a referendum at a time of our choosing but we have to be able to regulate it as well and that means stopping the automatic right to a postal vote with special exceptions. We must ensure that there is proper international scrutiny and of course , this time there must be exit polls allowed. I cannot for the life of me understand why the Scottish government agreed to no exit polls in the last referendum as the only people that ,that could assist was people who intended cheating.
So that is my take on where we are on the road to independence, in other words we need a proper road map to independence . We need to energise the grass roots groups once more. We have an army out there ,willing to do what they can to move towards our common goal and the worst thing you can do with an Army is to let it idle.
We need to be on the streets once more with hope ,hope for the future of our children and our Grandchildren and indeed our country.
This is our road to a better future and we must grasp it with both hands .