Friday 10 February 2017

Is Scottish IndyRef 2 inevitable?

A look at the facts makes the case for a second Scottish independence referendum seem irrefutable. The only debate being over what form this second referendum will take.

During the 2014 referendum debate the Unionist No campaign fearmongered that voting Yes would cause Scotland to lose their place in the European Union. 

"What is the process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting yes" the Tory funded unionist campaign shrieked, yet now Scotland is being dragged out of the European Union against the will of their electorate who voted 62% - 38% in favour of Remain.

Nobody can argue that there hasn't been a dramatic change in material conditions since the last referendum, and nobody can argue that the unionist campaign fearmongering was justifiable given that the consequence of Scotland voting No delivered the exact consequence they attributed to a Yes vote.

Anyone arguing that there shouldn't be a second referendum in light of the dramatically changed circumstances and the outrageous campaign lies last time around, is basically saying that they don't want another referendum because this time they know full well their side is going to lose.

The Tory perspective

The Tories know that they lied through their teeth in order to secure victory in the 2014 independence referendum, and that it doesn't matter how much the biased mainstream media media back them in a second referendum, only the most fanatical of unionists and fearty of pensioners would believe their propaganda second time around.

The open contempt of the Tories towards Scotland couldn't be clearer. They voted down all the Article 50 amendments, including the one to ensure that the Scottish parliament is consulted on Brexit

Theresa May wants the Brexit process to be conducted solely by English Tories, and the English right-wing press are baying with delight at the total sidelining of Scotland and Scottish interests.

It's such an ugly and shambolic mess that they know they can't possibly win second time around, which is why Theresa May and the Tories will likely do everything in their power to try to stop a second independence referendum from actually happening.

The SNP perspective

The SNP and the pro-independence Scottish Greens have a majority in the Scottish parliament. Together they could pass legislation for a second referendum and force the Westminster Tories into a lose-lose situation.

Either the Tories would allow another official independence referendum, which they'd likely lose given their open contempt towards Scotland and the ongoing Brexit shambles they created, or they try to deny the Scottish public a second referendum which would be a total PR disaster for them. The Scottish government could simply run their own referendum as an "advisory referendum" (like the Brexit vote) and then endlessly claim "will of the people" when they win.

If the Tories try to stop the Scottish government from holding an advisory referendum they'd definitely lose it. English Tories are trying to silence Scotland - Vote Yes. There's absolutely no way the even the Tory propaganda machine could compete with that, especially since all of their efforts to delegitimise the unofficial referendum would end up significantly lowering the turnout amongst Tory/UKIP voters and the rest of the unionists.

The Labour/Lib-Dem perspective

Labour are dying in Scotland. The 2015 wipeout where they lost 40 of their 41 Scottish seats in the Westminster parliament was the most comprehensive and most humiliating electoral capitulation I've ever seen in my life.

From being the most powerful party in Scotland for generations Labour have slumped to third behind the Tories! If there were an election tomorrow 15% of the vote would be a miracle for Scottish Labour, and the downwards trajectory doesn't even seem to be slowing down.

The Lib-Dems are dying in Scotland too. Propping up David Cameron's government for five years and then french kissing the Tories during the Independence referendum was plenty enough to chase well over half of their voters away. They lost 10 of their 11 Scottish seats at Westminster and they're now the 5th party in the Scottish parliament behind the Greens.

In my view there's only one way Labour and the Lib-Dems can save themselves now. They have to push as hard as they can for a third "Devo Max" option on the ballot to make it a three way choice to be ranked in order of preference.
  • Full Independence (supported by SNP and the Scottish Greens)
  • Devo Max (supported by Labour, Lib-Dem)
  • Do what you're told by England (supported by Tory, UKIP)
Even if the final result is full independence rather than Devo Max, Labour and the Lib-Dems could avoid the severe reputation damage of associating themselves with English Westminster Tories, UKIP, Unionist sectarians, Britain First and the like.

Even this strategy is fraught with risks, but one thing's for sure; if Labour and the Lib-Dems display the same abject strategic ineptitude of passionately embracing full-on Tory unionism again, they'll be well and truly finished, so Devo Max (enough freedom from Westminster for Scotland to stay in the Single Market while England leaves perhaps?) is just about the best hope they've got.

The Yorkshireman's perspective

I supported Scottish independence the last time around, and I'll likely support it again, although if Labour and the Lib-Dems get Devo Max onto the ballot paper I'd certainly give it fair consideration before making up my mind completely.

As far as I'm concerned Scotland are getting totally shafted by a corrupt, self-serving and astoundingly dishonest bunch of right-wing Westminster elitists, and it's sickening the way the right-wing little Englander propaganda rags are actually gloating and sneering about it.

If the Scottish people stand up and say "we're not taking this any more" I'll support them because it's better to at least see some of us set free from the suffocating Tory stranglehold than none of us at all.

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