I considered a break. Scunnered after the events of Thursday, events which resulted in a far-right Tory government currently hanging on by a thread, and only being so as a result of a loose agreement with the political arm of an extremist sectarian organisation, a political party whose policies include homophobia and denial of global warming, ten politicians in Northern Ireland who now have more influence on the future of Scotland than the people of Scotland do, I considered a break.
Then I considered the events of Tuesday. On a personal level on Tuesday I received news from medical professionals of the best kind, after almost two years of treatment and uncertainty I received confirmation of good news.
I am passionate about self-determination for my homeland. I have 100% confidence in the abilities of the people of Scotland to be able to govern themselves, to make a success of it, to create a future that will benefit all Scots, a Scotland that will see my grandchildren experience opportunities that previous generations could only ever dream about.
That passion has been a great distraction for me in times of personal strife, it will remain so now in better times. I have heard several people saying since Thursday that they are giving up on politics, it’s all too hard, they are disheartened. I say to them that the picture is not that bad. The General Election of 2017 (we may yet have another ) has not changed the target. If we do not make a stand together in solidarity for our children’s futures, who will?
Consider the facts. The grassroots movement for self-government, the smaller Yes supporting political parties, and the main political party advocating change, the SNP, have been subjected to nothing short of a concerted and relentless structured campaign of bias, negativity, false allegations, personal attacks, slurs and near racism by the state owned broadcasting media, and all but one newspaper, printed and online media owned by individuals or groups with vested interests in maintaining the United Kingdom. since well before the 2014 independence Referendum.
Yet, despite this, the SNP are now in their third term of government at Holyrood, placed there democratically by the Scottish electorate, and has gone from a relative also ran to the accepted norm of the big two mainstream political parties of the UK to being the clear winners in terms of numbers of elected MP’s to Westminster in both of the last General Elections.
The phenomenal successes of the 2015 election were extraordinary, a backlash against the deception of reneged promises and sleight of hand of the Westminster power holders and their emissaries. The fantastic return of 56 independence supporting MP’s from a possible 59 Scottish MP’s was never likely to be repeated.
When you remember that at the time of the first referendum in 2014 the SNP had 6 MPs in the Westminster parliament, and that the largest ever number of SNP MP’s returned prior to 2015 was 11 in 1974, Thursday’s outcome, although a significant drop on 2015, at 35, is still significantly higher than any other party in Scotland, and more than the rest put together, even though the media are telling you that the SNP have lost.
Consider too that this time last week (depending on who tells it) up to 25,000 Scots marched through Glasgow, apparently stretching out for around three miles across the city, in support of independence, on a day when most SNP activists would have been elsewhere canvassing. The light is most definitely not going out.
Despite all efforts on Thursday, and the treacherous, and somewhat self defeating, behaviour of the New Labour Blairite Scottish version of the current Labour Party, encouraging voters to vote for the Tories in seats where combined votes would threaten SNP big players, a tactic successfully deployed but resulting in the bizarre position of Scotland being responsible for propping up May’s troubled government, the SNP still won the election in Scotland by a mile.
This General Election came at a time not of the Scottish government’s choosing. Work still continues in the background on the big issues, the answers to the questions on currency, pensions and the raising of revenue. In time, when the moment is right a plan for the future will be laid out for the people of Scotland to consider. Timing is crucial.
Who knows what’s going to happen between now and then in mainstream UK politics. I fear there are dark days ahead, even more so now, following the shambles of Thursday. The weak and unstable May very probably won’t survive the Machiavellian antics of her Brexiteering colleagues, backstabbing that will take place in whispered conversations in the corridors of the Palace of Westminster over the next few weeks. The Tories are hanging on by a thread, to the tune of Derry’s Walls, the bubble has burst, and awaiting EU Commissioners are rubbing their hands as the negotiating table beckons.
The incompetence and arrogance of the Tories, even when humiliated as they were on Thursday, will ensure that he next two years are not going to be pretty, as a consequence though there will likely be more than one opportunity for a vote of no confidence in the minority Tory government in the Commons other than just the minority government’s attempt to get their Queen’s Speech approved.
Who know’s, perhaps ‘the coalition of chaos’ as Theresa May likes to refer to it, may prevail yet. We might even find that if it does that the political climate that will exist then might result in some co-operative honest and open engagement between London and Edinburgh on the issues of social justice, progressive policy and sovereignty, which would be a refreshing change.
The likes of Angus Robertson, George Kerevan and Alex Salmond are big losses to the Westminster SNP team, but they’ll not be fading quietly into the background, and the up and comers like Miriam Brett and Mairi McAllan are impressive, full of energy and vigour, committed to social justice and serving their communities, in the manner of Mhairi Black. They’ll be back, better and stronger for their experience of 2017. Despite what you read in the paper or see on the telly, the future is bright. The future is independence, when the time is right.
It is up to us. For our children’s sakes we cannot let them win. The end game will be ours.