Cautiously, and admittedly guardedly, is there a very faint hint of something potentially seismic taking place in the land to the north of Carlisle at the moment?
Would it be fair to say there is a bit of a word, just a determined defiant whisper, going round the doors, that perhaps, just perhaps, there is a shift in mood and change is a’comin in Scotland? Not in a rambunctious way, just a quiet, typically understated, unfussy and slow shuffle in the direction of a tipping point towards self-determination?
Social media seems awash with statements from formerly firmly convinced Better The Githerites, gnashing, boaking and squirming , as most fair minded folks would, at the vision of Theresa May’s sycophantic love-in with extremist right wing nationalist Steve Bannon’s front-man over the weekend, suggesting that enough is now most definitely enough, let us be off. It’s Yes from now on right down the line.
I myself have had conversations over the last few days with two friends who voted No in 2014, both of whom who previously held the belief that those of us committed to Scottish independence were all just fanatical about flags, oil, kilts and the dreaded B word (Braveheart). Both have now been either worn down, or wised up, to the extent that come Indy 2 they too will vote Yes to the question of their country being governed by its own people rather than continuing to be ruled undemocratically, from a distance, by a government the people of Scotland do not vote for.
I laughed at the Hootsmon’s spinning headlines yesterday. “Scottish independence poll: Majority oppose second referendum. More than half of Scots do not want another vote on independence to be held in the next few years, according to a poll.” The Panelbase survey last week of 1,020 voters for the Sunday Times found 51% are not supportive of a second referendum within the next year or two. Yes, you read that right, 51%.
The great bastion of unionism in Scotland then goes on to tell us that the poll found that overall support for independence is slightly up, at 46%, with the no vote at 54%. Aren’t polls great? Especially these days, when we’ve recently seen wildly inaccurate forecasts for the results of the Brexit referendum and the contest which heralded the arrival on to the world leader stage of the Twit(terer) of the Free World, putting the polling business into the category of comedy light relief.
This report is the nearest the Hootsmon will ever get, through clenched teeth, to saying ‘We, the Union, are in trouble, the natives are not taking the bait anymore, they are ignoring the propaganda, recognising it for what it is, and if we are not careful the gemme’s a boagey.’
The unionist media have been falling over themselves for months to tell us that nobody wants independence, that support is falling, it’s not. Without any official campaigning across the board support has maintained steady around 45% of the Scottish electorate. Bearing in mind that before the 2014 referendum the starting percentage of Scottish voters who intended to vote Yes before the campaign began was around 30% I think we’ve a lot to be positive about.
As their longstanding Project Fear campaign strategy attests, reheating unsubstantiated negative stories about how life would be in an independent Scotland, it’s almost like the media thinks that if they keep telling us nobody wants a referendum it will become fact. A well-established strategy. As a minister for propaganda in a 1930’s far right wing state once said “ If you tell a lie long enough, loud enough and often enough, the people will believe it.” In these days of ‘alternative facts’ that statement is as relevant today, if not more so, than at any other time since it was first stated.
Meanwhile the Scottish government continue to strive to have the democratic will of the people of Scotland respected by the UK government, with due consideration taken of the alternative negotiation proposals to protect Scotland’s place in the European Union, and potentially 80,000 jobs, that have been made by Nicola Sturgeon’s Brexit advisory team. Wales now too have published their views for inclusion.
However neither of these proposal submissions are going to go anywhere fast. Theresa May can bob, weave and procrastinate as much as she likes, but sometime soon she’s going to need to make it formal, she near enough has already, that she has no intention of taking any notice of devolved governments when it comes to Brexit. The Supreme Court decision of last week trashing the Sewel Convention helps her to do so. We are a region in her eyes, no more, no less. The independence movement needs to ensure that when this happens we make sure the Reporting Scotland version of events is not the only show in town. The people of Scotland need to have it put in front of them in clear terms the practical consequences for them, and their families, and their standard of living, employment rights, and limitations that a “hard” Brexit will bring.
Clearly now is not the time for Indy 2 to take place. However as we move ahead over the coming months the actions of the UK government, and the consequences of appeasement, giving tacit agreement to a racist narcissist hell bent on the destruction and dismantling of hard won freedoms and human rights, and the persecution of minority groups, all in the hope of a favourable trading agreement, might do what the independence movement has so far failed to do, create a firm majority of Scots in favour of independence. That’s when the date will be set.
It is coming.