Part One – SNP’s Apparent Self Sabotage
An editorial position of Salvo is not to engage in gratuitous “SNP-bad” journalism. And I support it. We welcome honest SNP voters. Salvo belongs to you too. This is not an attack on anybody’s good character. Let’s assume they want the best for Independence. I still lament that whatever their intentions, however nice they might be as people, they are in a horrible, self-inflicted mess. The Supreme Court case scored an own-goal : It is now official that turning electoral mandates into a second Independence referendum was never viable. Voters who unified behind Nicola Sturgeon, have wasted eight years supporting a losing plan. They need a new plan. Let’s hope it’s a good one this time.
But another, spectacular own-goal is the revised Gender Recognition Act, making it really easy for men to self-identify as women (or vice versa). Right or wrong, fair or unfair, the more people understand what Self-ID involves, the less they like it. The survey stats read like doom prophecies. And various, bizarre developments keep confirming they are right to be worried. People with traditional family values don’t like it. Many gay people also have real concerns. Enough transgender people are themselves deeply against Self-ID.
I am confused. Let’s step back, shall we? Nicola began her administration as a Joan of Arc for Independence. Good. And as something of a feminist. Good. In the controversy of the Salmond trials, that seemed to go too far. Hmm. And it was rather divisive. Hmm. She recovered her credibility during Covid, by championing health and safety. Good. Throughout all this, she won vote after vote, victory after victory. Hurrah. She had a decent chance of being remembered, if not for Independence, at least for ‘Fairness’ and ‘Equality’. Public safety. Baby boxes. Now it’s very likely to be big bearded men in women’s toilets and serial rapists doing time in women’s prisons.
So why are they doing this to themselves? I don’t get it. I don’t. Do they just not want people to vote for them? Suggestions in the comments below are very welcome. I am genuinely mystified. The predominant argument from supporters of the law is, if you don’t recognize that this is all social progress… you’re a right wing bigot. Now maybe it’s just me. But I suspect that calling people hate-filled bigots isn’t going to win many votes or unify the Movement. Whether they’re hate-filled bigots or not. So. I think they need a new plan for that too.
Some readers especially, younger readers, support the reforms as essential: They believe that trans-rights are human rights, that trans-women are women, that history will prove them right. There are a raft of arguments I haven’t touched upon. We love you. We respect your concerns for trans-people. Right or wrong. We welcome you. I respect your right to think what you want about this. You might be right. I might be wrong. I will personally start wearing a dress if I’m wrong about this. But I warn you that when Westminster block the reforms, you will see that without Scottish Sovereignty, it doesn’t matter what you think. It doesn’t matter what I think. It only matters what Westminster thinks. SNP has to sort one identity out before it will be allowed to sort any other : Scotland’s identity as a nation.
But what are SNP saying for themselves? Well I’m seeing constant cries for “unity”. I have to say, the more I consider what that means, the less I understand it. Who do SNP hope to unify with? Alba? IFS? No. Are they taking suggestions from the wider Yes Movement? No. Are they even listening to their own membership? No. It seems to be a very one-directional unity. What is Nicola Sturgeon actually doing to encourage unity? I don’t know. Turn that around: If SNP was trying to create disunity in the Movement, could they be dis-unifying any better?
And finally, until we see a credible plan route to Independence, and having destroyed their credibility as the makers of plans, tell me this:
Unity behind WHAT?
If this is “unity”, I get the feeling that the Independence Movement has had about as much unity as it can actually take.
NB – This article will have several parts, examining “Unity” as a theme in the wider Independence Movement.