JULIA Pannell (Letters, June 7) felt my suggestions for SNP tactics for next May’s Holyrood election amounted to nothing much more than dreamy idealism. It’s a strange criticism given that my suggestions are practical and aimed at stimulating debate on precisely how we move forward.
Nicola Sturgeon simply must try something new for the next parliament, both to wrong-foot the Unionists and to advance our movement. What about UDI? Every successful revolution eventually begets its own legality so, while the path would be fraught and chances of success slim, we may have to traverse that rocky route eventually.
READ MORE: Sunday National Letters, June 7
My preference this time is to pursue option A, indyref2, through the usual Scotland Act Section 30 application. But as this will probably be rejected we must include an option B in May’s manifesto.
I prefer a consultative referendum, arranged without Westminster’s approval. How do you stop that failing? You attach to the hoped-for solid Yes vote some solemnly promised consequences which must be implemented with urgency. A written constitution, a firm date for independence and a commitment to negotiate with Westminster over full secession from the Union are my suggestions.
The world would take note, the EU and its millions of citizens would be following closely and, I believe, firmly rooting for the part of the UK which hated Brexit. Maybe, just maybe, England’s opposition and opposition from further afield would crumble for reasons I’ll now try to outline.
READ MORE: Make next May’s Holyrood election a vote for independence
Julia thinks that England won’t let Scotland go because we, in a way, keep the UK solvent. Though she is right that we punch above our weight, we simply cannot, given our size, balance the UK books to any meaningful extent.
Two world wars and countless crashes show that our economy, often depressed due to Westminster’s lack of knowledge and inbuilt indifference, cannot stop astronomic levels of debt mounting up. It has happened again and again yet the majority opinion down south is that we are the subsidised ones. Many already want us to leave and I believe the more we push at that door, the more help from England we’ll get.
Julia is also pessimistic about international support if we make a break for independence. She cites lack of EU support during indyref1. However, there was massive interest and quite a lot of support for us from within the EU then, and I would argue that has significantly expanded following Brexit.
Brexit represents a reputational, economic and even existential risk to the whole EU project generally and the single market in particular. Ever wondered why Trump and Putin strongly supported Brexit? Wonder no more. They hate the EU, and so the EU needs to strongly retrench to survive.
The EU has stood unanimous and strong in support of Ireland and in keeping Northern Ireland in the single market. They just might be as well disposed to us, so long as we continue to strongly favour membership. The EU would be massively enhanced if Scotland regained its place at the table. It makes complete sense to isolate and reduce economically and politically the only UK nation that wants to strike out on its own.
We are swirling in a maelstrom of gross incompetence emanating from our UK parliament. The “government” there is in truth a pathetic bunch of amateurs led by two liars bunkered together in 10 Downing Street. Never again shall Scotland have such an opportunity to seize our independence. Nicola Sturgeon’s comparative expertise and competence shines through, but she needs to suppress her natural caution and simply go for it once the current health crisis is over. My comments are only only suggestions but I hope they can be seen as concrete ones given the urgency of our plight.