It is sad to watch the ‘yes movement’ destroy itself. When I think back to where we all were on the 19th of September 2014, I never thought I would see a time when we would ever be this divided. Despair propelled us forward, determination made us rise from the ashes of our shattered dreams. With hope in our eyes and pride in our hearts we poured into George Square Glasgow on a cold grey October day to show the powers that be that we weren’t going anywhere. An event that lasted well into the early evening as the crowd dwindled and all that was left were a few hardy souls to happy to go home. I remember as I rested on one of the many wooden benches dotted around the square, a woman sat next to me, sisters in hope, we got chatting – well you did back then. We were all one big ‘yes’ family. We spoke of the campaign, of the many people we had met, the songs we had sung, speeches that had inspired us. And of course, we spoke of ‘Robert the Bruce’ and ‘William Wallace’ and wondered what they would make of Scotland handing back power. What stood out that day was the fighting spirit in those who had attended, the sense that nothing could defeat us if we stood together. But it was the words of a song I had only heard once that was to become one of the many anthems of the ‘yes’ movement Gerry Cinnamon’s Hope Over Fear:
“Will you stand and be counted or shut up and do what you’re told?”
For me that is one of the most important lyrics in the song, for it asks what you will do, will you stand up for the country or shut up and do what you’re told. For many I fear, the latter part of the lyric is what has been happening. Those in the yes movement have given the Scottish National Party too much power, for now they are dictating the narrative and people dedicated to Sturgeon and her cabal have gone right along with it. I have given Sturgeonites the benefit of the doubt so many times. When I asked where plan B was, I was told there was one, but the Scottish National Party were keeping it close to their chest for fear of the enemy getting a hold of it. Fair enough, that’s plausible but there didn’t seem to be a plan let alone a plan b. When we were being taken out of the European Union against the will of the Scots who had voted to remain. There was no referendum on that 2016 mandate which states:
“We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people or there is a significant and material change in circumstances that prevailed in 2014 such as Scotland being taking out of the EU against our will”
In June 2016 when it became clear that Scotland faced being taken out of the European Union that was the time in my opinion for leaders in the party to stand up for the people of Scotland. Instead, Nicola Sturgeon embarked on a never-ending campaign of keeping the whole of the United Kingdom in the EU. Speech after speech had Sturgeon tell the public who were desperate to know where she stood on the independence question that we deserved better and that Scotland would not be dragged out of the EU against our will. Not only Sturgeon but Blackford also. Dig after dig had the SNP Leader in Westminster state that the people were watching – yes, we were and still are.
Now almost seven years on from the referendum we are no closer to gaining independence than we were back then. With a half-baked plan A in which Johnson or whoever may lead the United Kingdom can refused point blank and with no plan b or c or d. the people of Scotland face a very bleak future. Sturgeon and her cohorts can dangle the carrot or hide behind the pandemic but there will come a day in the not-too-distant future where she will have to answer for her inactivity towards independence. And that day may come sooner than she believes. The Scottish National Party, the party for independence is no more for independence than say the Conservative and Unionist Party, or New Labour or the Liberal Democrats, who are neither liberal nor democratic. The sooner politicians realise they do not hold power over the public the better we will be. The sooner the SNP stop being far too fond of the lifestyle they have build on the back of the yes movement the better. The sooner their diehard supporters realise just how played they have been by these dictators, the better. Scotland deserves better, yes it does, better than Sturgeon, better than Blackford, better than the SNP.
Time to put up or shut up.