Or actions speak louder than words, Nicola Sturgeon.
On this day (as I write), the 7th anniversary of the day when Scotland was prevented from gaining its independence, I remember the days in the run up to the 2014 referendum, when the hope of many, including myself, was the creation of an independent Scotland which would become a model of democracy and citizen participation: a country which would provide an example to the rest of the world: a country Scots would be proud to call home. We had a government focussed on independence, led by a First Minister who was driving Scotland in the direction most Scots wanted to go, towards an independent future where we would be in control of our own destiny, not depending on our neighbour to make almost all the decisions about how our country is run.
I remember those days and I remember how wonderful it felt believing I was part of the generation that would finally bring us independence after over 300 years of colonial status, subject to the whims of an English parliament more concerned about the prosperity of Southern England and about making the well-off even better off. I remember those days and I also remember the following day when everything took on the dull, grey hue of disappointment.
Of course, in just a few weeks, despite the disappointment of Alex Salmond’s resignation, most independence supporters thought the appointment (or should I say coronation) of Alex Salmond’s deputy and arguably the voice of independence throughout the referendum campaign, Nicola Sturgeon, as First Minister and leader of the SNP would only continue the drive towards independence. What could go wrong?
Well, let’s look at what happened, or what didn’t happen, to take the independence project forward, during Nicola Sturgeon’s seven year tenure.
During the referendum campaign and in its aftermath, several issues arose which would have to be addressed prior to a second referendum or (preferably) another, better process to deliver independence. They included:
- What currency would Scotland use?
- How to set up a Scottish Central Bank, essential for a fully functioning economy?
- The status of the border(s) between Scotland and the rest of the UK?
- The volume of Scottish exports being shipped via the rest of the UK?
- The development of port facilities to allow a greater proportion of Scottish exports to be shipped directly from Scotland
- The development of road and rail infrastructure to support the enhanced port facilities
- How to introduce a Scottish retirement pension and what level will it be set at?
- The size and scope of Scottish armed forces?
- Scottish shipbuilding without orders from the Royal Navy?
- Scottish Energy Company, announced amid great fanfare at the 2017 SNP conference and promised for the last parliament?
How much time has Nicola Sturgeon’s government spent on addressing, never mind resolving these issues? If your answer is none, then you’ll be pretty close to being correct. Perhaps the biggest fiasco is the Scottish Energy Company, promising cheap energy for all, not delivered in the last parliament as promised, and now not even included in the latest Government plans. Was it always just a wee sop to the masses and never a real intention?
If not the above issues, what have the SNP and the Scottish Government been spending their time on. Well, not surprisingly, I have a list of some of these as well. They include:
- Brexit. How much time did Nicola Sturgeon spend trying to prevent the English voters getting what the voted for? Imagine the reaction if the English Government spent as much time trying to prevent something the Scots wanted. Oh, of course, they did, didn’t they, in 2014. Who remembers Nicola Sturgeon saying “Scotland will not be dragged out of the EU against our will”. Who remembers “Scotland could hold another independence referendum if forced to leave the EU”. Note the difference in emphasis between the two sentences, “will not” and “could“. As it happens, both promises were ignored,
- GRA reform, or as it is more commonly known, The Exclusion of Women bill or The Disapperance of the Two Sexes bill, is the Scottish Government plan to invent women with willies,
- the Hate Crime Act, introduced to prevent any opposition to GRA reform, by making opposition illegal, subject to jail time,
- the Alex Salmond trials, the SNP’s attempt to exclude any competition for the independence vote by smearing Salmond to prevent him from re-entering politics,
- the jailing of Craig Murray for having the cheek to report both the prosecution case and the defence case in the Alex Salmond criminal trial, making clear that the prosecution case was so flimsy, you could look through it to see what the Government’s real intention was,
- the so-called 4 Nations plans, a 4 Nations Covid response which resulted in Scotland having one of the worst records in the world, a 4 Nations Oil plan which would give Westminster even more control over Scottish resources, were Nicola Sturgeon’s ideas for developing the Scottish nation by asking Westminster to make even more decisions for us
- and the latest fiasco, restrictions on protesting against Government policies close to Holyrood, making use of a Westminster law, presumably to mop up any not caught by the Hate Crime Act.
So, in summary, no time has been spent on updating the indy prospectus, that’s no Scottish Government time in 5 years, no time spent by the NEC, the supposed controlling body of the SNP, though I think everyone knows that the real controlling body of the SNP is the one inhabited by Nicola Stiugeon.
Instead, the majority of Government and Party time was spent doing stuff which brought independence no closer. Just look at the list above. Nothing on that list will help bring about Scottish independence. In fact, arguably, the opposite is true, as all the actions are so devisive, they’re likely the have set independence back for years, perhaps even for generations.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about why independence is important and what independence really means. For me, independence means the confidence to make your own choices, both as an individual and collectively, as a country, knowing what you do matters, knowing that it won’t simply be overturned or ignored by those in another country who really call the shots. I personally think that, in just a few years, Scotland would be unrecognisably better compared to the country it is now. The difference between today’s colonialisation and tomorrow’s independence is vast and is something worth fighting for.
I hope you agree.