A journalist at The Herald newspaper has claimed that elements of the SNP want a second independence referendum “now at any cost”.
Speaking on the BBC’s Weekend Good Morning Scotland programme, Marianne Taylor was asked about Nicola Sturgeon’s keynote conference speech.
The journalist said the SNP leader was trying to “balance up two competing sides” within her party. She said: “She’s trying to refocus the independence case and she’s trying to persuade this element of her party that wants an independence referendum now, at any cost, she’s trying to hold them off a bit.”
The journalist gave no evidence to justify her claim that there are elements within the SNP actively calling for an immediate independence referendum regardless of the cost of such a ballot.
Claims of splits between the First Minister and wider elements of the independence movement, including some party colleagues, over the timing of Indyref2 have been reported by journalists and reporters within Scotland’s pro-Union main stream media over the last few days. The claims coincided with the SNP Spring Conference being held in Aberdeen.
However actual evidence of splits amongst Yessers over the timing of a second referendum has been thin on the ground with journalists and media commentators relying on vox-pops at marches and a loose interpretation of comments from candidates at the recent SNP Deputy Leader contest.
The BBC’s Scotland Editor Sarah Smith recently claimed so-called “true believers” believed they could win a second Indyref “tomorrow” and that they want a second referendum “as early as possible”.
The claim that a significant number of the Yes movement disagree with the SNP leader and want a second referendum as soon as possible was also made by Smith’s colleague Andrew Kerr on the day the SNP conference began. Kerr told BBC Scotland colleague Gary Robertson that recent marches attended by tens of thousands of people had been set up specifically for that purpose.
The All Under One Banner marches are not, as claimed by the BBC Scotland reporter, designed to demand a second independence referendum, but are, according to the group’s own Facebook page, merely a vehicle for those supporting independence to publicly come together. The Fcebook page states the group’s aim is “To host Public Processions in support of Scotland’s Independence, Marching All Under One Banner; Open to everyone who Desires an Independent Nation.”
Despite what many in the main stream media might say, there is broad agreement within the Yes movement that Nicola Sturgeon is correct to wait until Brexit negotiations become clearer before deciding when to hold a second Indyref. There is also however a strong feeling that the mandate won by the SNP in the 2016 Holyrood election, to hold Indyref2 should Scotland be taken out of the EU against the nation’s wishes, be used within the lifetime of this parliament.
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