A wee fisk

scottish independence march photo
Photo by goforchris
There was an article by Dani Garavelli in The Scotsman on Sunday today. It was interesting in its own right, but I found it even more fascinating when I imagined that it might be close to what Nicola Sturgeon is thinking and saying to people close to her. Perhaps that’s barking mad, but bear with me. If I’m wrong, and I’m attributing ideas to Sturgeon and her inner circle that they aren’t thinking at all, I hope they’ll soon make that clear.

“Divisions between the left and right wings, the gradualists and the revolutionaries, […], which were kept in check by the party machine […] in 2014”. I know the party machines tried, but it didn’t succeed. The 2014 campaign was chaotic, but in a good way.

Basically all the different wings and factions campaigned on their own, with their own voices. And in general, it worked. When the party machine tried to assert control, it mostly had no effect, like when Yes Scotland ordered Yes East Renfrewshire to destroy some leaflets.

Does this matter now? Yes, if party HQ people don’t understand how we nearly won five years ago, and if they overestimate their own importance, they’ll try to recreate something that never existed.

“One of the most volatile […] faultlines has been the reform of the Gender Recognition Act. […] Less than a year ago, this was regarded as an easy win – a human rights issue that would consolidate the party’s reputation as a progressive force.” Worrying.

It’s worrying because it would only have been regarded as an easy win by young bright things who aren’t properly in touch with the membership at large. Otherwise, alarm bells should have been ringing. Loudly.

“So problematic has it proved that the reforms have been put on hold. However, instead of providing a cooling-off period, the delay appears to have created space for acrimony to fester and grow.” Of course. How naïve are they?

“Further divisions are being caused by a perceived inertia at the top of the party.” I’m curious about the ‘perceived’ bit – do the top of the party believe they’re really busy and that it just looks from the outside like they’re doing nothing?

“With no obvious mechanism to achieve a second referendum, some on the fringes are demanding a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).” That’s quite a oversimplification. First of all, lots of people are unhappy with the lack of action – not just on the fringes.

Second, lots of us aren’t demanding a UDI at all, but that other alternatives should be explored, such as court action or civil disobedience. Third, it seems to be categorising anybody opposed to the status quo as ‘fringe’, which is wrong and dangerous.

“Throw into this melee, the implosion of All Under One Banner (AOUB) – the flag-fixated organisation beloved of the Trumpian tendency, […]” If this is how the people close to Nicola Sturgeon see the AUOB marches, it explains a lot.

It explains why they avoid the marches themselves, and why prominent SNP members criticised them in The Herald the day after the largest one. But it also shows that they’ve completely misunderstood who’s taking part in the marches. (I’ve been to lots of them.)

Most of the people taking part are normal pro-independence activists. Most of them voted Remain, and the vast majority hate Trump and other fascists with a passion. Yes, they tend to embrace the Saltire, but is that now supposed to be a bad thing?

It’s extremely offensive to call us Trumpian just because we’re marching for Scottish independence while waving the Scottish national flag! How can anybody misunderstand their own movement so badly?!?

“Though, for some, the divisions are the product of sincerely held beliefs, for others they are proxies for a power struggle between those who continue to support Sturgeon and those who support Salmond.” This is just wrong again.

I don’t know anybody whose positions on trans rights, AUOB marches and/or UDI are just tactical ploys to get rid of Sturgeon. If we criticise her, it’s because we actually think she’s wrong, not because we’re angry at her because of the Salmond case.

Of course many people think she handled the Salmond case badly, but that’s not why they go on AUOB marches. If she thinks that, it smacks of a paranoia that will cause her to make more bad decisions.

“A large rise in support for the SNP would be interpreted as a mandate for a second referendum”. That’s really not what the Tories are saying. Why do we keep getting told this as if was an indisputable fact?

“In order to capitalise on this opportunity, however, the SNP would have to mobilise speedily and effectively.” So basically, we have to agree with any bit of nonsense uttered by Sturgeon just because she believes the Tories will give in if she wins an even bigger mandate.

Perhaps she should start listening to the movement a bit more… Just demanding that we should support her in the way we supported Salmond because she’s the leader now seems to be rather bad leadership.

She should watch more Star Trek, methinks. It can teach you a lot about leadership.

Bloggified from a Twitter thread.

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