The results are in and the big hope for Scottish Independence, the Alba Party, got no seats.
Before the election, there was much optimism, but if the result went to prove anything, it showed that a six week old party, with no exposure to anyone not on social media, constantly being smeared by members of the ruling party in the press and on television, while hardly being given the opportunity to state their case was really struggling to achieve anything.
You couldn’t say it was a surprise that the SNP was really pissed off with the appearance of another independence party, especially one led by someone Nicola Sturgeon is absolutely terrified of, someone whom she’s been trying to discredit for several years. I would like to say unsuccessfully, but I think the result shows the opposite to be true. We’ve been denied the excitement of FM questions with Nicola Sturgeon vs Alex Salmond. However, I suspect Nicola may have been less excited by the prospect than we were.
But why? Why does she hate Alex Salmond? Did it all start when Alex told her to get a move on with independence preparations and that her husband shouldn’t be CEO of the party. Or was it when she thought he might try to re-enter politics and the support he would certainly get might impact on her own popularity. Or was it because he might disagree with some of her policies and, as we all know, Nicola doesn’t handle disagreement very well, as the number of ex-members of the party will demonstrate.
Was Alex Salmond the sole reason she hated the Alba Party? Or was it because so many of its members were ex-SNP and that so many of them had left the SNP of their own accord. Perhaps Nicola can’t take people making their own decisions? Nobody should be able to leave the party without being sacked by Nicola as it reflects badly on her if members are seen to leave because they disagree with her policies.
Whatever the reason, every interview Nicola Sturgeon gave contained at least one smear of Alex Salmond and describing Alba as “gaming the system” As if using the rules to stand candidates only on the list, just as several other parties were doing and have done ever since the start of the Scottish Parliament. All the Nicola fanboys and fangirls also pitched in, happy to describe members of the Alba Party as transphobes, misogynists, racists, misandrists, and any other big words they could think of. SNP members who were accepted while in the party instantly became the embodiment of evil after they left.
So what comes now. Will everyone become besties after the election. Certainly doesn’t look likely. The initial reaction of many SNP members was to rejoice at Alba’s lack of success. Ignoring the fact that over a million SNP list votes achieved only 2 MSPs and once again, in 6 of the 8 regions, more than three quarters of a million votes achieved absolutely nothing. Well, absolutely nothing but shutting out Alba and leaving the SNP as the only allegedly independence supporting party.
Another reaction by several SNP members was much more interesting. The famously looney Kirsty Blackman tweeted
To translate, ‘they stood on a transphobic platform’ means they stood for women’s rights. But she was not alone. For many SNP members, people voting for the SNP were not voting for independence, but were voting for GRA reform. Who knew? Well, I did and I wasn’t going to have anything to do with what the SNP will do now to reduce women to a sub-class.
Certainly, if there were voters who wanted GRA reform, they are much more likely to be pleased than those voting for independence, as GRA reform is pretty certain to be enacted before the SNP ever get around to thinking about independence. I hope those who voted for the SNP to get independence are not too upset that their vote is taken as support for GRA reform. You may have voted for the biggest change in social engineering in any country in the world (maybe except Canada). Nearly another world first for the Scottish Government?
What could change things? Well, the SNP could drop this GRA reform nonsense, but I don’t see that happening. But even better would be some action being taken on independence. By action, I mean actually doing stuff, not just talking about doing stuff.
Stuff like having a clear plan on what their negotiating position with London is going to be.
Stuff like having a constitution for an independent Scotland.
Stuff like developing the infrastructure to allow Scotland to operate as an independent country, not dependent (eg) on English port facilities for Scottish exports.
Stuff like developing a Scottish central bank.
Stuff like a plan to develop and introduce Scotland’s own currency.
The problem is that, with practically the same SNP/Green majority in the last Scottish Parliament, absolutely nothing was done to advance the cause of independence, so what hopes can we have for this parliament. We can’t wait until IndyRef2 before thinking about this. We need to have our plans in place before it happens.
If the Scottish Government were seen to be making moves to address these and other issues, the mood in the country would change. But only action will drive the change.
Up to you SNP. Are you willing to try?