Last Saturday I sat down and put my concerns regarding independence in a blog titled “Scotland’s Armageddon” where I put forward the suggestions as to how we could achieve independence and how I had concerns that the SNP leadership had not seemed to have considered them , although to me they seemed very valid and logical moves especially in light of the UK government’s point blank refusal to allow a section 30 .
To be clear, a section 30 temporarily modifies schedule 5 of the Scotland act which deals with reserved matters and in particular the reserved matter of the Union of The Kingdoms of Scotland and England and has the effect of recognizing the result of a referendum on independence which would nullify that Union.
It is worth noting that the Scotland act is quite clear that there is two separate Kingdoms brought together in a Union and at no time was either Kingdom subsumed into or by the other.
Ok, so my blog was expressing concerns that the leadership of the SNP seemed content to go down that one very narrow road of seeking a Section 30 derogation and I laid out alternatives, one of which was to use an election ( either Scottish or Westminster) to gain a mandate for a move to independence which would encompass the need to assess the will of the people. That would satisfy the UN charter on self determination.
Well, Monday Morning and I opened my twitter feed to discover that Angus McNeil ( MP for the Western Isles) was about to start a process which would encompass just that., He was to submit a motion to be debated at the SNP Autumn Conference which would make the next election ( Scottish or Westminster) a vehicle for independence gained through the election being fought on the basis of a manifesto of independence.
Because of my concerns ( expressed in my blog of last Saturday ) as to the commitment to independence being displayed by Nicola Sturgeon, I thought , brilliant Angus, go for it. I saw this as a way of marginalizing a leader who had lost the will to achieve what she was supposed to be there for in the first place .
Unfortunately just today it would appear that the leadership have blocked the motion. So in other wards the leadership of the SNP are to block a legitimate move towards independence . Absolutely incredible, Nicola Sturgeon is now seen for what she is and that is more intent on saving the Union than providing a road map to Scotland’s independence.
This is nothing new, but it is stark, and giving the unavoidable conclusion that all is not well at the top of the SNP . I personally have had grave concerns regarding Nicola Sturgeons commitment to an independent Scotland for some considerable time and as an example I cast my mind back to an incident a few days before the Scottish elections in 2016.
I together with a few of the yes bus Team went to what was supposed to be a public meeting in the Queens Hotel Dundee, where Nicola Sturgeon was to be speaking. It turned out that it was “public meeting” in name only and only SNP members had been invited. I was one of the first there and was greeted by a look of panic by the few political staff and activists setting up the hall. I had had recent issues with the SNP regarding various “independence” rallies which had resulted in my resignation from the SNP after 30 years of membership. Originally it had been planed that the meeting would consist of a speech from Nicola followed by a few soft questions by the faithful. This was hurriedly changed to a system where any one who wished to ask a question was to write the question on a piece of paper along with their name and give it to the political manager who had shown surprise at me being there .
The question I wished to ask was concerning the omission from the election manifesto of either a commitment to independence based on the result or at least an intention to wrest control from Westminster, of the ability to hold a meaningful referendum without recourse to the Section 30 clause in the Scotland Act. When it became clear that Joe Fitzpatrick ( who was choosing the questioners) was not to give me the chance to speak, I walked out of the meeting , which because the meeting had been held in a rather small room ( about 80 present as apposed to several hundred in her previous meeting in Dundee) meant I had to walk right in front of Nicola causing somewhat of an intake of breath by some present.
I wrote a blog after that titled “A letter To Nicola” link below .
Now, the reason for this lengthy explanation is to make the case that this recent behavior from the leadership is nothing new and in fact has been this way ever since Nicola became leader, and in this respect I would ask you to think back and suggest any thing or any credible initiative Nicola has instituted that would bring independence any nearer? I cant think of one.
I would suggest that this latest deliberate block on a very credible strategy by Angus McNeil has made Nicola Sturgeons position untenable. I think she should step down and make way for someone with independence as their main driving force.
If this does not happen then we , in the independence movement should seriously consider starting a new party. “The Scottish independence party”
The problem with following blindly is that one day you might wake up blind.
God forbid, but I feel that day is not far off