The SNP. The party of independence. The party that will lead us into the promised land of an independent future; independent from England; independent from what must be the most corrupt government ever in the history of the UK. Or, at least, the UK government least concerned about hiding their corruption.
Is that still the SNP? Does today’s SNP still have a laser-like focus on independence, where every action is judged on whether it takes Scotland closer to independence, or, at least, no further away. Or has today’s SNP simply settled for being the party of devolution, waiting to see how things work out, only doing what they have to do to keep enough independence supporters onside, happy to accept whatever crumbs are thrown at it by Westminster, even when the crumbs seem to get fewer and fewer every year.
Or is it even worse? Are the leadership of the SNP actively trying to prevent independence ever happening? Are they so comfortable with the situation as it is now that they have abandoned independence as it constitutes a threat to their current status and their current incomes? Is independence just a carrot to keep voters onside when elections loom?
Well, there must be an election coming because the SNP are talking about independence. Note the key word “talking”, because you can be sure, just like in the run-up to all elections since 2015, there may be talking, but there will be very little doing, and what little doing happens between now and May will be stopped immediately after the announcement of the results.
So what do their recent actions tell us about the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon?
The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to accept the changes to the devolution settlement being made by Westminster without consultation or agreement, but with no more than a whimper of opposition from the Scottish Government. We can do no more they say, or at least, they would say if they didn’t just keep their collective mouths shut in the hope that no one will notice. But is there a way which allows them to do better? To have more control over all aspects of policy? I wonder if there is one.
The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to transfer our natural resources to England only to have them sold back to us at an exorbitant markup. We know it happened to the revenue from Scottish oil, which Thatcher, and those who came after, used to fund London improvements. We know it’s happening to low cost Scottish renewable energy, transferred via the National Grid to England, with Scottish consumers then facing huge increases in energy costs to pay for the increased cost of fossil fuel generation, increased cost meaning increased profits for the energy multi-nationals. We know that plans are in place for it to happen with water.
The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have millions of Scots living in poverty while Westminster arranges for the very rich to become very richer. Now, the top 1% of households own 23% of the UK’s wealth, a figure that has increased by around 20% during the pandemic, while the rest of us have suffered.
The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to sell off-shore wind resources on the cheap, doing a deal that means all future profits go to multi-nationals and none comes to the people of Scotland. A deal which impacts on the viability of an independent Scotland.
The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have our government concentrating on policies that very few like or want, policies that restrict freedom of speech, policies that benefit a tiny number of people while disadvantaging over 50% of the population.
The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have people who disagree with any of the government’s policies, many of them independence supporters, arrested, charged and sometimes jailed on spurious grounds.
The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have the SNP, the self-described party of independence, refuse to work with any other independence supporting parties (please don’t tell me the Greens are an independence supporting party), allow some of their members to conduct a campaign of abuse directed at other independence parties, but instead say openly that they want to ally themselves to The Labour Party, a Unionist party.
The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland.
“By their deeds shall you know them”.
And by these deeds, can the SNP under Sturgeon’s leadership still be considered the party of independence?
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