It seems we all got it wrong. There’s been endless interpretation and reinterpretation of the outcome of the recent Holyrood elections. But it looks like everybody was missing something. SNP supporters naively assumed that their party had won. They can be forgiven for this as a number of factors conspired to give precisely this impression. Things like, winning the most seats; winning more seats than the next two parties combined; winning more seats that all the British parties combined; winning more than one million votes for the first time; breaking various records in the process. On superficial scrutiny, it all looks like a persuasive case that the SNP had won the election.
This impression was further reinforced by Nicola Sturgeon claiming victory and declaring her intention to form a minority government – and the fact that nobody seriously questioned her right to do so on the basis of what her supporters had taken to be a clear election victory.
This British media were not long in putting SNP supporters and voters right on this matter. The real victors in the election, they announced, were the Tories. Full-time professional straddler of large objects and part-time Tory leaderette, Ruth Davidson, was pictured at the head of her triumphant “army” as the British media proclaimed a Tory revival in Scotland that made Frankenstein’s work look like a classroom experiment with a dead frog.
All of this was a little perplexing for those who made the mistake of analysing the results using old-fashioned arithmetic. An error which led them inexorably to the conclusion that the Tories had been soundly trounced as they turned in a historically poor performance. The more nuanced analysis offered by the British media illuminated the reality that the Tories had been considerably less soundly trounced than either of the other parties which are part of “normal” politics. The Tories were the British party least decisively rejected by the Scottish electorate. For British nationalists, that’s a win.
But it seems that even the British media’s nuanced (not to say artful) analysis failed to get to the underlying truth of the election result. It seems that the actual genuine for real honest winners were the OPIPs – the other pro-independence parties. A form of analysis so arcane and complex as to make energy tariffs look like plain English reveals that the election was won by an assortment of left-wing factions and self-proclaimed “radicals” including a clique calling itself RISE – which evidently stands for Righteous Intolerant Supercilious Elitists.
When the figures are adjusted to compensate for inconvenient mathematical anomalies – such as a negligible percentage of the total votes – what we find is that the people of Scotland have elected a diverse pro-independence parliament in which the OPIPs (actually, only the Greens, but the algorithm can probably be tweaked to deal with that) have total parity with the SNP.
By virtue of their virtue, the OPIPs bypass the hindrance of the democratic electoral process to take a seat at the top table alongside the SNP. Flourishing a mandate derived entirely from a self-righteous sense of entitlement, the OPIPs insist that they have been appointed as a corrective to the obviously misguided choices of the electorate. By some extra-democratic process incomprehensible to anyone outside the closed circle of Scotland’s left-wing elite, the Greens are elevated to the status of a shadow government, assigned the task of ensuring that the SNP administration implements a policy agenda that pretty much nobody voted for but which deserves to be implemented regardless because… well… because they’ve wrapped that policy agenda in a Yes banner left lying about by the SNP.
Scotland’s left-wing elite are not happy. (“What’s new?”, I hear you ask.) They’re not happy that their electoral ploy to exploit pro-independence sentiment didn’t work out as they’d persuaded themselves it might. They’re not happy that they didn’t take enough SNP list votes to make any kind of impression on the outcome, other than contribute to the loss of the SNP majority.
They’re especially not happy that, having declared themselves winners despite the verdict of the voters, some have had the temerity to remind them that the SNP is the de facto political arm of the independence movement. They are apoplectic at being told that, if there is to be a revival of the broad-based Yes movement, this will require recognition and acceptance of the crucial role that only the SNP is in a position to fulfil.
This fundamental reality is so distasteful to some sections of Scotland’s left-wing elite that they simply won’t – or can’t – address it. Instead, they march out a veritable army of straw men, bawling about this exposition of realpolitik being a declaration that the SNP is the entire independence movement, and other such nonsense.
There is a total failure to understand – or accept – that, no matter how huge and broad-based a political movement may be, it can only succeed by bringing its power to bear through an effective agent within the machinery of politics. The left-wing elite’s projects fail largely because they equate effective political power with “the enemy”. The “purity” of the cause is more important than success.
What they fail to understand is that It is precisely because the Yes movement is so diverse that it needs the SNP as a point around which to coalesce and as its tool. The SNP qualifies for this role, in part on account of its unequivocal and unconditional commitment to independence, but mostly because it has been chosen by the people of Scotland. That choice needs to be respected.
And this has nothing whatever to do with “party allegiance”. It is perfectly possible to imagine a scenario in which a genuine Scottish Labour Party was forging the path to independence. In which case, I would now be writing about the need for SNP people to recognise and accept the role of this imagined Scottish Labour Party in spearheading the Yes campaign.
Despite all the havering from the unionist media and left-wing factions, there is absolutely no doubt about the outcome of the election. The SNP won. The SNP has a clear and indisputable mandate from the people of Scotland. Not the Tories. Not the Greens/OPIPs.
That is the starting point for the coming independence drive this summer. It will be led by the SNP. There will be no new Yes Scotland. Every single person who genuinely believes that independence is the best way forward for Scotland will have to decide whether they are prepared to set aside party loyalties and personal prejudices and policy agendas in order to put their weight behind this next phase of the fight to bring Scotland’s government home.Views: 3578
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