Just listen!

Here’s a radical suggestion. How about if we all just paid heed to what the First Minister actually said rather than ‘interpreting’ her words? The radio interview which prompted all this speculation would have had to be about six hours long for Nicola Sturgeon to have said half the things that people imagine they heard.

Much, perhaps most, of the commentary misses the crucial point as folk flail around frantically trying to find some shift in the Scottish Government’s position on Brexit and/or #indyref2. There has been no shift. Nothing has changed.

The next independence referendum has not been ‘parked’. Independence itself is not ‘off the table’. The aims of the SNP have not been ‘put aside’. The situation now is no different from what it was before that radio interview. The Scottish Government has been totally consistent. And remains so.

One suspects that it is this very consistency which is both confusing unionists and frustrating political journalists. One can understand British nationalist fanatics listening to that interview – although few seem to have actually done so – and hearing Nicola Sturgeon say that she has totally abandoned the project to rectify the anomaly of the union and restore Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. It’s easy to see why ideological unionists, who abhor the very idea of Scotland’s right of self-determination, would hear Sturgeon say that she was giving up on a fresh independence referendum. This is, after all, precisely what such people want to hear. It is what they are desperate to hear. Scotland is going back in its box. The threat to their beloved British state is receding. Things are getting back to normal. There is great comfort in the delusion that the tide of democratic dissent risen in Scotland has abated.

Likewise, it is understandable that political journalists raised on the faux rivalries, sound-bite simplisms and diversionary dramatics of British politics would want to find in Nicola Sturgeon’s statements something of what they are familiar and comfortable with. Somehow, her words have to shoe-horned into the model of political discourse that they are accustomed to dealing with. After all, if politicians start saying just what they mean then the mediating role of the journalist becomes redundant. It’s only to be expected that these journalists will want to pretend there’s more going on than is apparent. It’s in their interests to maintain the pretence that there’s some subtle sub-text that only they can discern.

But sometimes things are just precisely as they appear. There’s no evasion. No deviousness. No political double-talk. Sometimes you only have to listen to the words to know what is being said.

The constitutional question is central to Scottish politics and will remain so until it is satisfactorily resolved. It is not going away. It is not being taken of the table. It is not being parked or set aside or shelved. The independence campaign is ongoing. It is the constant underlying theme. Brexit is merely the current context superimposed on that underlying theme. Bear this in mind when you listen to Nicola Sturgeon and maybe you’ll be able to hear what she’s actually saying.

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9 thoughts on “Just listen!

  1. seanair

    I was disappointed that NS gave these idiots any chance of misinterpreting the SNP position, perhaps even if she made a joke about them doing just that.
    In general I think the SNP should give more attention to the lies that are printed every day, and have an answer ready for publication. We are losing the plot.

    1. Edward Freeman

      The lies infuriate me too, Seanair, but how can we respond to them in any way that will produce any real and positive change? I mean, we can deny, rebut and refute to our hearts’ content, but until we have some “mainstream” media on our side, nobody’s going to hear us. The National is Not Enough.

    2. Graeme Dingwall

      Unfortunately that is right wing media and lets face it a right wing government will never curtail a press they own and control.

  2. bringiton

    I remember all this rubbish from the English press prior to indyref1.
    Alex Salmond is bluffing blah blah blah.
    Just more blah blah blah from the usual suspects.

  3. Bob Smith

    How many Indy refs do you need to have? Do you need to continually ask the question in the hope that people now think what you want them to think? Your complaining about people not listening or interpreting things but you, yourselves do not listen to the result of the democratic vote! Let’s look at some facts:
    1) the people were given their choice and the voted no…
    2) the polls show that people do not want indyref2 or that they would now vote for independence.
    3) NC is causing division and corrupting an already difficult task of Brexit
    4) Scotland voted to stay in the U.K. – the UK voted to leave Europe – its democracy and get used to it.
    5) don’t forget that the act of union came into place at Scotlands request!

  4. Andy McKirdy

    Bob smith, political commentator in his Union Jack underpants!!!
    Act of union was a fraud on the Scottish people by a group of self interest unionists like yourself.
    I suspect that you come into the bracket of people that would accept abject poverty as long as you could keep the picture of Liz on the wall and fly her flag from your roof.
    While the media continue to be allowed their unfettered carpet bombing of made up pish on the “please don’t make me learn stuff” brigade, it will always be a difficult fight.

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