Neverendum – Scotsman Article – 2 December 2021


Well blow me down with a feather, Nicola Sturgeon says that the omicron variant may impact on a referendum. Of course, it will but it’s the world in which we live. Delta, Omicron and whatever else still to come are with us and here to stay for a while anyway.

So long as 4.7 billion people remain unvaccinated in the developing world it’s the risk we face. But life goes on and democracy must. That’s why elections took place whether Holyrood or the US Presidency.

Maintaining democracy’s essential. Indeed, control of your own borders becomes essential, especially when Boris Johnson treats four nations approaches on travel restrictions with the same contempt that he has for a S30 order for Scottish democracy.

Who could possibly have thought that she might yet again find a reason to kick the can down the road? Certainly not I or even growing numbers of people who still remain in the SNP but are now doubting her word. My former parliamentary colleague Angus Brendan McNeill says he wouldn’t bet on it. I’m not a betting man but if I was, I’d positively bet against it being held and certainly not in the timescales she’s bandied about.

Alex Neil who served in her cabinet made it clear that there was “no sign of any necessary” work being done. It’s not just the preparatory work that’s not been done but the basic essentials. By this time out from the 2014 referendum the Edinburgh Agreement had been signed and a date was soon be announced.

This time there’s, no agreement and the legislation hasn’t even been laid. Even when it is dutifully rolled out to the exuberant applause of her docile MSPs, it means absolutely nothing. She’s already agreed that it requires Westminster consent, and the legal position of the Supreme Court’s pretty well set.

Dates are already slipping once again and will soon join the abject promises of later this year, or definitely next year that have rolled out by the Leadership stooges, happy to take the fall for her. The hapless Ian Blackford’s now spouting that one being held by the end of 2023 depends on “an ideal set of circumstances”.

When you don’t control any of the critical factors that’s not fumbling it’s a fraud. A “neverendum” was meant to be a pejorative word bandied about unionists not become the settled policy of an SNP First Minister.

It’s doomed and she knows it is. That’s why her trusty stooges have been rolled out to reduce expectations and prepare the excuses – we would if we could, but we can’t. But give us another mandate and that’ll definitely swing it for us.

But it’s falling on stonier and stonier ground. Groundswell’s growing in the Yes Movement for action. Scotland cannot wait for coronavirus recovery. Our people’s health and well-being are threatened, as much as our society and economy are being traduced. Moving now’s essential. Further false promises and platitudes no longer wash. If Sturgeons SNP won’t lead, others will.