This one is for all the “rogue” MSPs at the SNP desks in Holyrood.
Because it’s almost time for you to choose whether you want to fight or die meekly.
we don’t mean literally die of course. We are not threatening anyone. But the 316-year campaign for Scottish independence is tied to a stake in a pile of brush and there is someone in a black hood walking towards it with a burning torch. If someone is going to save him, there is very little time left to act.
And the only people in a position to do so are you.
“The wind blows hot and cold
Who I am? I don’t know”
We are not going to name you in this article. But you know who you are, and so do we, and almost everyone else, too. Many, though not all, bravely rebelled against the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, or other things. You can be absolutely sure that your cards are marked in the match as a result. You’ve seen what happens to those who dissent: the Cherrys, the Macneils, the McAlpines, and the rest. Their careers in politics are going nowhere. The SNP doesn’t want you anymore.
“Do I still belong to you?
Or am I just yearning?
Those of you who don’t retire in the next election, and who barely make it to re-election, might survive. But on current polling trajectories, that’s a 50/50 chance at best, and one way or another, most of you will probably be out by 2026, replaced by some mindless, obedient drone that hopped to the top of the selection list by identifying as “queer” and/or claiming to be disabled because of lactose intolerance or lazy eye.
So it can’t be personal ambition that keeps you in the game.
Of course, maybe you are waiting for a change. You might think that Humza Yousaf is going to collapse and burn and that there will be a chance under a new leader, possibly even you, to rebuild the SNP back to being a true pro-independence party with serious policies.
But really, what are the chances? What will bring it down between now and 2026? A poor performance in next year’s elections? That’s already discounted at this point, and if Nicola Sturgeon didn’t retire for losing 21 MP in 2017, what the hell makes you think he’d quit for a similar performance under far more difficult circumstances? The SNP holding on to half its seats the way things are going would be seen as something of a triumph.
(The only conceivable thing that could do it is a complete 2015 Scottish Labor takedown. But realistically there are too many brainwashed cultists stubbornly refusing to accept that the SNP is no longer interested in independence, and Scottish Labor is still embarrassingly hopeless, for that to happen).
So barring some kind of scandal, Yousaf is in office until the next Holyrood election, and that means there will be no chance to START bailing out the SNP or independence movement until 2031, raising any kind of hope of success. at least. ten years down the road.
(OBVIOUSLY you’re not in the SNP yet because you think there’s a hope that it will win independence anytime in the next decade. It has no significant intention of even trying. You just watched a “conference” where the only credible strategy it wasn’t even discussed, and in which their leader tried to pretend that next year he will somehow get Westminster to concede a second referendum by taking FEWER seats than he already has. As, oh really? Even Yousaf himself knows that this is not happening.)
So here’s the big question: What do you plan to do in the next three years? Sitting there silently grumbling to each other and sulking as you are corralled into supporting ever more terrible policies that repel voters, and groveling at being whipped to publicly express your undying faith and trust in wildly incompetent foolish ministers who aren’t even in business. your party?
If so, you are very useful to anyone. But there is an alternative.
You have to go, Rebel Yellows, and you have to go now. It only takes five of you and you will be recognized as a party in Parliament, with regular standing questions on FMQ and the like. And if he gets just eight, the SNP and Greens will lose their majority and he will be able to exert some influence over legislation.
The SNP is not listening to you inside the party. The only way to have a chance to influence them is from the outside.
If he goes now, he’ll have almost three years to build a profile and earn the trust of the voters and maybe he really has a decent chance of getting back in. Holyrood’s electoral system is kind to small parties, and voters are often kind to people, like Margo McDonald and Dennis Canavan, who perceive they have acted with integrity and honour, rather than just being stuck with pants checks for support policies in which they do not believe.
More importantly, the faster you go, the better chance you have of not getting swept down with the SNP when you go under. And you know it’s sinking, but it hasn’t hit the bottom yet. Obviously, there is Operation Branchform and, let’s say it very carefully, the possibility of the charges coming out of it, but there’s also a live criminal perjury investigation and a live criminal leak investigation, and he can’t have failed to notice the growing rumors of another.
(And that’s just the offender stuff. If we start talking about the course and the impending policy disasters we will be here all day.)
slipping around me
and my heart is pounding
the curtains are on fire
all I am is tired”
You might want to stop until October. Perhaps you are pinning your hopes on a group of ad-hoc “regional assemblies” that will turn around Yousaf’s surrender policy and prevent the party from becoming the decentralizer it is clearly triangulating towards.
But you must know in your heart that that would never be allowed to happen even if the membership grew a backbone that you hadn’t noticed before, and waiting four months in the hope of an impossible miracle is like taking a walk through a safari park in a suit made of sausages and hoping to get out safely on the other side. Your only chance is to run, not ride.
Because the SNP is finished. Very leaky but still almost floating, everything is going to suddenly go south in spectacular fashion at any moment and without warning. There is no “if”, only a “when”.
And the more distance there is between you and him when he does it, the better it is for you. Soon it will be less damaging to tell people you were in the National Front than in the Scottish National Party. The clock is ticking hard and you can’t turn back.
“and the photos of you
will also burn
as they slip out of sight
They don’t look like they used to be at all.”
As for WHERE you would go, that’s up to you. There is one obvious choice: a party led by the most successful Scottish politician of all time, now back to fame after a botched assassination, and also including people you know of proven experience, courage and integrity like Kenny McAskill, who launched the so-called Lockerbie bomber amid a torrent of criticism, and Neale Hanvey, who has already shown the ability to win a seat as an independent after being stabbed in the back by his own party.
But if for one reason or another you didn’t want to join Alba, maybe you think Nicola Sturgeon and her cabal did too good a job of intoxicating her, or maybe some of you just don’t want to play second fiddle, nothing stops. you are forming a new party on your own. The arithmetic stays the same either way. Be the new generation.
“Oh, but it’s nothing to be sad about
It’s nothing to be sad about.”
Because whatever happens you don’t end up worse. You are guaranteed your jobs for the next three years, whether you are in the SNP or not. Some of you have already said that you have no intention of getting back on your feet, so you literally have nothing to lose and a chance to go out dancing.
Some of you don’t need the money, pain, or embarrassment of being an SNP MSP in 2023. The rest of you almost certainly have better prospects outside the SNP than inside it. But more than that, you can say that You did what you could To save the cause you’re supposed to dedicate yourself to.
We know that many of you are Wings readers. Some of you are people who worked hard for us at indyref. Some of you are people we stood up for when no one else would. You all know that we have been looking at Scottish politics for almost 12 years. And if you are reading this article, ask yourself a simple question: How many times have we been wrong?
So get together and give each other a push. Scotland needs you. Independence needs you. You need hope. You need people to stand up and count yourself, you need them now, and you are the only ones on the stage.
It’s your choice. You can act now and avoid a lifetime of regret, or you can sit on your couch until it’s too late, relaxing, while everything burns around you.