The SNP's lacklustre - "we really don't want to be doing this" - performance in the 2017 snap election has brought up a lot of soul-searching from independence supporters. The party we put our faith into to deliver independence decided (wrongly) to try and mention the issue as little as possible. On the day of the result, the SNP even said they'd review the result and making noises that the second referendum may be parked indefinitely.
Now, whether that happens or not - and I don't think it will, Brexit means Brexit, the terrifying reality is we are STILL coming out of the EU with the worst possible terms - it does mean those of us who support the SNP have to think hard about if we continue to do that in the future if they aren't willing to stick up for their beliefs.
Perhaps in Scotland it is time to look into the creation of a new Scottish Independence Party - a party that will fight for independence in every election. Instead of producing a manifesto such as the SNP do which suggests they still really like to be an independent country, but then produces tens of pages of policies for remaining in the UK, the Scottish Independence Party would produce a costed manifesto (as costed as we can do with constraints we have) of policies they'd have in an independent Scotland. As a starting point, it could use the excellent work provided by the Common Weal and their White Paper Project. It could be fully funded and updated constantly.
Each vote for that party becomes a vote to implement that manifesto and declaring UDI. Yes, it sounds insanely radical and people could scoff at it, but if we in the Yes movement are getting restless, if we're begging for change and the only party capable of doing it up here suddenly turns cold on another referendum because they only won THREE TIMES as many seats as the Tories did, we need to look at radical alternatives.
What happens during campaigning in future elections? Other parties will clearly laugh at the "SIP" proposals, but they'd be costed. The other parties will be told to cost a manifesto for an independent Scotland that shows how bad things would be. If they don't do it, they have no argument against it. And if they DID do it - surely that's an indication that in an independent Scotland, we shouldn't have those parties in power anyway?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this by leaving comments below.
In the meantime, remember that although support for the SNP wen't down, support for independence remains roughly as it always has done - and gives further proof that it's not just those in the SNP that want independence. We need to keep making that persuading argument that the future is better when we are in control of it.
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