Putting Independence in the first line of their Party manifesto’s surely indicative of the problem faced by Humza Yousaf’s continuity SNP. Over decades many candidates stood simply to keep the eternal flame burning, with no prospect of electoral success. That the Party was for independence was blindingly obvious, it was where it stood on other issues that was too often unknown.
Now the situation’s reversed, as shown by support for independence running significantly higher than for the SNP. A gap that’s only going to widen. Their position on GRR, DRS and HPMA’s, forged on the anvil of their alliance with the Greens, all too obvious to members of the public, and increasingly unpalatable for them. But the SNP stance on independence increasingly obscured amongst supporters of the cause.
It’s one thing to simply mouth word salad at a Party conference. There’s enough of that vacuous nonsense in every party, and to be fair it’s a major part of the event in rallying the faithful. But this was the Party Leader and more importantly at a Convention specifically held to discuss strategy. Focus and direction was required and understanding of the strategy essential. But when your spin doctor requires to explain what you’ve said to the waiting press corps and even before the meeting’s over other senior members have re-interpreted it, then you’ve a problem.
Yousaf’s putting forward a false prospectus. A vote for SNP isn’t a vote for independence. It can’t be, as he’s failed to lay out how it’ll be delivered, other than repeating the vacuous “Boris will blink” strategy or more simply “pigs might fly”. Hearing Ministers talk of “the settled will” and “60% thresholds” as empty as the Great Leaders speech.
It’s a strategy to try and rally the Independence support that’s deserting them partly on the failures of the administration but equally because they no longer pursue what was the Party’s north star. As they’ve gone off track, core support has deserted them.
In 2017 they suffered badly when Sturgeon marched them down the hill having teed them up for a referendum. Now as we run into a 2024 election the “no if’s no but’s” referendum of 2023 has similarly been abandoned, with a “Please Sir” attitude to Westminster now the vogue. A rout’s coming. They’ve been warned, hell mend them if they ignore it.
But they’re not the only opposition Party that’ll be running on a false prospectus. Labour’s calling for an election with the leadership demanding change and activists promising a radical agenda. In their dreams for where’s the change and what’s radical. A strategy of crippling interest rates endorsed, wage claims, significantly below inflation rates, denounced, Brexit defended, and even modest changes such as abolition of the House of Lords on hold.
The Labour Left are now the endangered species in Westminster, when once it was “Tory Wets” or “Remainers”. Not just Corbyn but others either denied the right to stand or unceremoniously dumped. Those that remain know their “jaikets on a shoogly peg”. No wonder at a recent Trade Union meeting when a veteran Labour MP said Starmer had committed to reform, it was met by chuckles and guffaws.
These aren’t false prospectuses but downright lies. It’s about saving some careers and allowing others a shot of power. Little else is to change.