Since the quite weak inclusion of a reference to Indyref2, in the SNP manifesto from the 2016 HR Elections, and stated as “we should have the right…..” it is interesting to look at the two versions of that manifesto served up to the public.
Here in its entirety is the “Easy Read” version that many people will have read for brevity:- SNP 2016 Holyrood Manifesto note there is no mention of anything other than there being clarity that more than half of us wanted separation.
You might recall this was to be ascertained by securing polling above a certain level over a lengthy time period. Perceived wisdom at the time was the level should be 60% and that the “polls” should demonstrate that level for a 12 month period. This hurdle was never printed yet never denied by the SNP when pressed (by me among others).
Here is the full version that requires, certainly in my case, a Google Account to access:- SNP Manifesto 2016
Note the differences and note the ‘should’ word.To me that’s very woolly, won’t be to the die hard nats, but its wooly enough to confuse the less than well politically versed and those who believed the PR spin that the 2016 election was not about independence.
Note also that they want the right even if there is no clear majority. Doublespeak.
Following the shock Brexit result the clarion call for Indyref2 has been shrill and incessant, “Scotland voted remain” “we are being dragged out of the EU against our will.”
The reality is that the SNP and their desire for separation clouded Scotlands “participation” in the UK Brexit referendum, be in no doubt that it was a UK vote and that the SNP carried out a woeful remain campaign that saw the Scotland turnout to be substantially less than the rUK. The UK and all its constituent parts voted to leave, “Scotland”did not have a separate vote and the question on the ballot paper was unequivocal, should the UK leave or remain.
Lets turn the clock back to 18/9/14 when with a vote of 55/45 we voted to remain as the UK. lets postulate what would have happened if No had lost with the vote being Brexit like at 52/48 leave, would Scotland have then been about to drag The Orkney Islands and the Borders regions (all massively No) out of the UK?
As per usual with the SNP its that damned clause 2A of their constitution, the one that is in reality their primary clause 1, that dictates what they say how they twist and how they act, it is indy at any cost. Even with the latest GERS they can admit the financial impact separation would have.
I’m delighted to see that today Indyref2 has been ruled out for 2017. In reality it would have been impossible anyway. There is no clear mandate as explained above, the UK could not cope with another one until it has cleared its decks of Brexit (say March 2019 on the upside) and even then, there needs to be a new section 30 agreement to give the Scottish Parliament the legal right to hold indyref2, which would also be subject to another Edinburgh Agreement.
Its worth pointing out that all of this takes time and has to go through all three institutional houses to get approval, time, a lot of it. In the meantime we have Brexit to deal with, the reality of GERS and the financial position of Scotland along with the snp limping along in now its ninth year of power, twelve by 2019 which is when I think the first chance of an unlikely indyref2 would be.
Judging by their performance to date and the intended use of new powers via the Scotland act 2016 I think they may well have lost the shine for many Indy supporters.Add to this the totally different dynamic the Brexit has added, with a third of SNP support apparently having voted leave, and we can see turmoil for the SNP ahead.
In closing its also worth exposing another SNP slight of hand.During the Indyref campaign there was NEVER any guarantee that a No vote would mean that Scotland remained in the EU. The proposed Brexit referendum was explicit and what was even more explicit (see my Europe blog Europe 3 ) was that if we had voted Yes we would definitely have removed ourselves from the EU, the amount of Yes SNP doublespeak is astonishing.
Lets see what happens in the May 2017 Council Elections.