I posted on Wee Ginger Dug yesterday that I would set out my reasons for thinking that SNP opposes independence. Here they are:
- There will not be a Section 30 order. Scotland has one-third of the UK’s land mass, three-quarters of its sea area, nine-tenths of its oil, most of its renewable energy, a noticeable chunk of its fish, animal produce, soft fruit and whisky, intellectual capital in the shape of four world-class universities, and the base for the UK’s nuclear deterrent (from which follows its seat at the UN Security Council). The UK will never consent to a referendum that puts that at risk. This is standard British UK thinking, and the SNP leadership must know that.
- The UK government has no motive for granting a Section 30 order anyway. It has a cast-iron majority, overwhelming media support, and no identifiable benefit from allowing an indy ref. The SNP leadership must know that too.
- The SNP won elections, and gained mandates, in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019, and in every one of those elections its manifesto said it would look for an indy ref. None of these commitments has been followed up. Until Covid the polls barely moved, and the SPN error-rebuttal unit was non-existent.
- The SNP leadership stitched up Salmond: all the complainants were from the inner Scottish Government circle, they conspired, and none of them told the truth in the witness box. The SNP leadership did this in order to remove Salmond from the independence debate.
- The SNP leadership actively opposed Martin Keating’s court case to clarify Scotland’s right to a referendum without consent.
- As things are, the SNP gets £1.5m Short money for being an opposition party at Westminster, and only trivial discussion of its governmental policies. Independence would change that: it would lose the funding, and it would have to negotiate its legislation with an informed local Scottish opposition.
- The SNP leadership’s position is coherent: Nicola Sturgeon’s plan, surely, was to sit tight until 2021, put in place the GRA (which will give her high international brownie points), and then move out into international politics. The failure to convict Salmond has made that plan more difficult, but still not impossible.