When I was young boy – no more than seven or eight – I was involved in a terrible family feud. The story is old but familiar – sibling rivalry. The family were at my grandparents, a second-home for me, and an argument erupted, as conflicts inevitably arise when family members coalesce. In this case of familial battle, I was the lead agitator. An event had been organised at the mythical SECC and my sister was to attend, I on the other-hand was to stay home. Being the self-centred mummy’s boy, I cried foul play and thought the apparent sibling favouritism a gross outrage. There was pleading and shouting but I could not persuade my parents to take me. Once all diplomatic efforts had failed I chose the nuclear option – “I’m going to run away” I threatened. “Run away then” they calmly replied. Noting this bluff I duly ran away. I didn’t escape far; making it only to the neighbours shed which was 10 feet from our kitchen door. The incredible feat was my stubbornness; I sat steaming in a boiling rage for hours in that shed; injustice preserving my commitment.
With time my obstinacy has waned. On reflection I noted that my stubbornness was a curios Scottish behaviour, observable in all our lives. We have all been involved in friend and family disharmony. The impossible task is re-uniting the combatants and concluding a peaceful resolution. Even opening-up a line of dialogue is a difficult to impossible process. Playing the part of negotiator you will ask “Have you called Peter yet?” They will respond in the negative and resolutely proclaim that he will not phone Peter until he phones him first. Like some embittered Stonehenge, they remain trapped, stuck in the same silent position for decades. This is not isolated to me it is a Scottish phenomenon: we possess an impenetrable stubbornness.
Nicola Sturgeon is a paragon of this cultural characteristic; should we be able to transfer stubbornness to energy the woman could power a medium-sized European country, she is resolute in her crusade. Since the last referendum she has under-took super-natural efforts to convince the Scottish people that separation of the Union is the only political option. Week-after-week, day-after-day, the Scottish people are bludgeoned mercilessly about another referendum. Riding high on the crest of a nationalist wave the SNP placed another referendum at the heart of their Scottish Election Manifesto. Should the polls convey a continued and deep desire for separation the SNP would call it; a change in material circumstances of Scotland would likewise initiate a rerun. As the passage of time has want to do, changes occurred – the Brexit bombshell profoundly altered the calculus of the referendum question.
Brexit turned the rhetoric dial to warp-speed and she has taken to wielding the sledge-hammer like an axe to the walnut. The initial reaction was forceful, another referendum will be called. When the Scottish people noticed her desperate opportunism and refusal to accept their 2014 vote she back-tracked and took the position “likely”. This has then evolved onto “highly likely”. Today the 30th of January there is another stark warning to Theresa May that time is “running out” for an acceptable deal. Sturgeon is not alone in her hard-headed approach. Possessed with the same immovable intransigence, the rank and file have followed their dear leader’s example. In the last week, Joanna Ferry and Stewert Hosie (MP) have appeared on the Andrew Neill show to parrot unoriginal intellectual excrement. Brexit is the clarion call for independence. The mantra is endless and consistent – separation is imminent. In the spirit of convenience, we should just move to a colour chart system like the ones usually reserved for terrorist attacks; green – no independence referendum possible; orange – referendum likely; red – referendum imminent.
Our reaction to Another SNP Call for a Referendum
What any perceptive human being will tell you, however, is that a stubborn child, in order to get his own way, will endlessly change their argument. The SNP is no different. In the 1970’s the SNP noticed a gap in the political landscape. Sandwiched between the predominant power of Labour and the shrinking influence of the Conservatives, the SNP electioneered as the heirs of Tories with a tartan twist, hence the haunting sobriquet “Tartan Tories”. In the 1990’s the SNP moved to the centre, embraced the Thatcherite model and positioned the party as the “Celtic Tiger”, a neoliberal model in the image of Ireland – New Labour of the North. More recently austerity provided an opportunity for an opening on the left. Ever the opportunists the Tartan Tories became born-again socialists, a remarkable revelation of biblical scale. The point is clear – the SNP employ any political head-wind to satisfy their ideological goals.
With characteristic stubbornness, the mantra has again changed. The Brexit argument has run aground, people are not willing to leave the Union for Europe, so they have updated their offer.The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the SNP is not really in love with the EU but seeks a deal akin to Norway’s relationship with Europe, an abrupt divergence from the line peddled during the referendum. The SNP embraced Brussels with all the love of a long-lost sibling re-united. In fact, immediately after the Brexit vote, Sturgeon flew to Brussels in a pathetic attempt to undermine the UK, sycophantically cuddling-up to the faceless bureaucrats in Brussels. Now the EU is out, no longer de rigeur. Scotland will now join the EEA!! Incredible!
The new position is a direct response to recent polling data from renowned polling expert, John Curtice. Unsurprisingly, many “Yes” voters find the prospect of Scotland selling itself to the EU as perfect hypocrisy. Alive to the lesser of two evils, the voters have switched from voting for separation for staying in the Union. Ever the unprincipled politicians, the SNP are now luke-warm to the EU, in the hope they can convince those voters back. Capriciousness is the tactic of the manipulator, consistently changing their argument to finally get their way and the SNP is king of the inconsistent. This is not politics but meeting political end-points at any cost.Perhaps we should expect better, for our leaders to aspire to greater things. Instead we have a shifty amoral rump that exhibit behaviour reserved for an impetuous child.