I have written to you twice, never received a reply , but didn’t really expect to, so was therefore not disappointed I wrote you just before the Scottish elections last May and again last December when you were attempting to offer the Westminster Government advice on how to keep the union together and indeed deciding that although the Scottish people had voted to retain full membership of the EU , you had decided that you would negotiate with the Westminster government on the basis of membership of the single market or attachment to the European Economic Area, None of these options were included in the ballot paper ,therefore not a single person in Scotland voted for any of these options.
You decided to write a paper giving your (not Scotland’s) opinion of how to keep the UK together in a 64-page jumble of subservient meaningless rhetoric most of which was repeated several times in the paper. The point of it all seemed to be that if the UK retained a position of inclusion in the single market or the EEA this would be jolly good and Scotland would happily forget all these nasty ideas of self-determination and just get back in our box, both you and Angus Robertson did allude to this position in speeches made around the time of the party conference and that was what made me initially suspicious that all was not well with your intentions.
So, in the event of Theresa May just declaring a general election, how did all that go for you? Not very well, I would suggest. No, the Tories have simply done what they have done all through this parliament and that is ignored Scotland and its elected government.
Now during the two years and seven months since the last referendum I and others have offered constructive criticism regarding your lack of preparation for any future referendum, and any circumstances which could present themselves. You have not listened and instead ploughed on with your own narrow agenda which has gotten us nowhere on the road to independence. You have led your men up to the top of the hill and down again so many times that they are becoming dizzy. Constantly I and others have been abused by uncontrolled acolytes whose only argument (if you could call it that) was that Nicola has a cleaver plan. Well we now know that there has never been any cleaver plans and there certainly is not one now, because it would appear your response to Theresa May announcing a general election is to vote SNP to get a mandate for the mandate which already exists. That is plain silly.
The only way you can continue, (with any credibility) to seek to lead the party of independence, is to produce a one issue manifesto and that must be independence. In other words, if a majority of pro-independence MP’s are returned to the Westminster parliament then a Scottish general election will be called and the elected government will conduct separation negotiations with the rump UK government.
During the 31 Months since the last independence referendum the SNP have done not one single thing to further the cause of independence and although their popularity has increased, it has done so because the SNP have been the beneficiaries of circumstance. In other words, it has been the Tories and Labour with their ineptitude who have helped the SNP up on to the pedestal they at present occupy. I approached the SNP a couple of days after the independence referendum and asked what the plan was. I was met with “what plan” and a blank look. Well that blank look is still there.
I like this situation to the situation where two armies go into battle and one comes off badly. A good commander withdraws to a safe place, sets up all round defence and most importantly, distributes ammunition. He then assesses his weaknesses (why he lost the battle) and he immediately addresses them, followed by considering a counter attack. The SNP have done none of that, instead they have ridden the wave of popularity brought on by the disappointment of the last referendum. We still do not have proper answers to the questions of pensions and the monetary situation. These are the munitions we need to carry on the fight. There was an SNP survey of intentions done which led people to believe was to be announced last St Andrews day. It wasn’t announced and I suspect the reason it was not announced was because it had not come out well and the reason was that none of the issues we lost the last referendum on had been addressed, therefore it was a stupid exercise in the first place.
I could go on all day enumerating the strategic failures of your administration and I am sure I will get the usual “Nicola has a plan” tirade and abuse from people who have hopes, but are frightened to think that we are being led by someone who does not have a credible plan. So, it is now time to nail your colours to the mast and grasp the nettle. We have at present 56 pro-independence MP’s. The absolute best we can hope for is 59. We have been ignored with 56 and another 3 will make, not one iota of difference. The chances are that we will probably come out with even less than the 56 and this will of course be seen as a diminution of your mandate, so we will be in a worse position than we are now, which with your lack of strategy is not a good place to be in.
I am fed up with people saying “Nicola is playing a blinder” when in fact (and although I detest the woman) Theresa May is running circles around you and it started the day after the EU referendum, when she hot footed it up to Scotland and made you feel important by allowing you to believe that you were to have a veto over exit negotiations , thereby removing the best opportunity ever to call an independence referendum.
It is time for realism to set in and although, as I say we are not perhaps best placed to fight for independence at this point in time, it is only going to get worse if we wait.
I honestly hope I am wrong in all of this but I somehow don’t think so.
Although I did not vote in the last Scottish elections, for the reasons I made clear in my letter to you, I will be voting for the SNP this time around as at present the SNP present the only slim hope for independence and the prospect of a strong Tory government is terrifying
For our children and their Children’s sake,this is the time for true leadership, or stand aside and let someone else do it.