SNP – still the party of independence?

Independence has always been my thing. I remember my first foray into Scottish politics when, at the age of twelve, I represented the SNP in our school mock election. I came third (out of three), with the Tories edging out Labour for the top spot. One of the last Tory wins in Scotland, perhaps?

That was my first and, for a long time, last involvement in politics, short of voting. Early on, I tended to be a tactical voter, at first anyone to keep out the Tories, then anyone to keep out Labour and then SNP to keep out the unionists.

It wasn’t until 2011 that I really got involved. Following the SNP majority in the Holyrood election and the certainty of a referendum, I knew I had to do my bit. I joined the SNP because I thought that, under Alex Salmond, this could be our first real chance, and possibly our best chance, of independence and the SNP were the right party to make it happen.

In common with lots of others, I worked hard during the campaign, often seven days a week, talking to folk, delivering leaflets, helping to organise activities, just keeping going.

On the day of the referendum, going round the polling places, chatting to voters, I was convinced we had won. The result was the biggest disappointment of my life. I couldn’t understand how the vast majority of people telling me they voted Yes turned into the answer we got. I was devastated.

So why am I telling you all this? It’s not to get brownie points for effort, too late for that now, and it’s certainly not to bring back memories, there’s too many memories (about the result) I want to forget. No, it’s just to explain the disappointment I feel about the way things are now with the SNP. The disappointment I feel that the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon has become a totally different party from the one I joined in 2011.

It all started just after the referendum, pretty much from the moment Nicola Sturgeon took charge. With hindsight, there were so many clues, but, like many other SNP members, I was able to find excuses because I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that she wouldn’t be just as supportive of independence as Alex Salmond had been (and still is). So it took me three or four years before I lost all confidence in the SNP as a vehicle to deliver independence.

Of course, at first there was no real alternative. No other party existed that could take the SNP’s place, so they could pretty much continue with their strategy of pre-election independence carrots followed by post-election failure to deliver.

The arrival of ISP and Alba changed the political situation enormously. Now there was an alternative and thousands of disaffected SNP members flocked to join them. With that came a change in SNP tactics. No longer just the carrot party, they became the carrot and stick party, carrots for the electorate and big sticks for any person or group who dared to challenge them. Of course, no political party likes a newcomer coming in and ‘stealing’ their support, but few others have been able to involve the police, the law officers and the judiciary in their attempts to get rid of their opponents. How this happened is a discussion for another day, but suffice to say that political control of the main arms of justice in the country is not a good thing.

Now the SNP spend so much time trying to get rid of all opposition, trying to get rid of women only spaces and trying to make it a hate crime to disagree with government policy that they don’t really have enough time left to think about how to bring independence closer, to talk about how to bring independence closer, and, above all, to do something to bring independence closer.

The last eight years of SNP inaction must have nearly decimated the Scottish carrot crop, but now, as the carrots grow mouldy because they don’t have the wherewithal to come up with fresh ones, they’ve been pressured (by Alba and ISP perhaps) into replacing their meaningless talk about independence with equally meaningless papers describing the sunny uplands of independence with no mention about how we’re going to get there and no indication that they’re up for the challenge.

So how do I feel today. My feelings about independence haven’t changed. After being an independence supporter for over seventy years, nothing’s going to change that now. I’ll die being an independence supporter, but, increasingly, I worry that independence, for me, will be an unrealised dream. In 2014, I thought nothing could stop us. In the following three or four years, I thought nothing could stop us. But now I see that there is something that could stop us, but who would have thought that the something would be the SNP.

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17 thoughts on “SNP – still the party of independence?

  1. Angry
    I left the SNP within a few weeks of Sturgeon taking over and as the Executive started to take power away from the members within the party. It was clear to me that things were about to change for the worst, I never imagined after I left just how worse that would be but we are where we are now. Sturgeon has been a disaster for the SNP, and for Scotland in the main, especially the last few years. Most of the achievements that the faithful spout happened under Salmond or before she could make the kind of decisions she does now. She has failed to come up with any decent policy ideas, she as you noted, has politicised the judiciary to the extent that people with a dissenting voice like Craig Murray go to jail. She has cost Scotland close to a billion pounds in failed projects managed by incompetents put in place by her and costly court cases that have done nothing but turn Scotland into a banana republic, the final cost will be that independence will not happen in my lifetime and the unionists need not worry at all, I am not a conspiracy theorist but her incompetence is up there with the worst of the Tories the last 12 years, maybe even worse. Where we go from here is that we don’t give up, without Alba we wouldn’t even be having a debate right now but Alba if it can get a foot hold need to take a harder line also as it is all too British rules for me. I am a member of Alba but not active as I decided I wanted to use my blog in stead even though my reach is maybe small it is how I contribute. All we can do is not give up the fight as best we can.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. You’ve obviously got more sense than me. It took me till 2016 before I started having real concerns and, even then, I still thought it could be fixed.

      Why is she like this? Is it incompetence, is it the power and money, or, as I now believe, is it deliberate for whatever reason. The auction of the offshore wind resource tipped me over the edge. I can see no reason for selling Scotland short except as a deliberate act of sabotage, damaging the future of our country and the future of our children.

      I agree with you about Alba. They’re too soft. There seems to be no evidence of them taking the Claim of Right on board. They still want a referendum with no mention of a change in the franchise, which, as I’ve said before, is a recipe for losing. Is it softly, softly? The SNP tried that (while they were still trying) and it got them nowhere. Playing by Westminster’s rules will never work. We need to take things into our own hands.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. We can only hope, for the good of our country and its people that more and more people are seeing through the criminals and deceivers running the SNP.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Political parties will not be our saviour. I believe the route to follow is the claim of right and most importantly our Scottish CONSTITUTION which has been hidden from us for decades. Sara Salyers of has brought this to our attention and we cannot thank her enough for explaining what our forebears laid down in law to protect us from the very hell we find our country in today. From our constitution we can dissolve the union. No s30 No referendum. The union is and always has been illegal.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Spot on. The SNP will never take the Claim of Right on board and Alba hardly seem much better. Alba are too much like the SNP or, at least, too much like what the SNP were a few years ago. Too worried about upsetting Westminster and not worried enough about pissing off Scotland.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for you writings Angry Weegie. i share your anger and the fact that no-one is challenging this situation in any meaning ful way. i am intending to take my placard calling for the end of the union to theUK Government office in Edinburgh as a one woman protest at the current situation. it may not do any good but might make me feel better, if anyone would like to join me, that would be brilliant. Monday 8th 11 am is the first one planned.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Not sure how to do thAhat AW. Another woman joined me and those in the buiding apparently felt so threatened that they called up a couple of policement ! they were very friendly and polite and one even took a picture of us at my request , which my companion will post on Twitter. no immediate plans for a repeat but if anyone would like to suggest anything similar eg at Bute House, though i dont think the First mininster will be in residence as holyrood is currently on holiday. I woudl certainly try to come along.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. His contact details on Twitter are

        #TweetStreet (occupied) Scotland
        Satire Unit: Oliver Lewis Scottish Independence Suite #ClaimOfRight

        Let be know if you need other contact info.


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