The more I think about it, the less I like the term ‘nationalist’. This is as much for the negative connotations attached to it, as for the presumed support for, or affiliation with, the SNP, that it often, wrongly suggests. Nor for that matter, am I particularly fond of the term ‘independence’, as it rather perversely, gives credence to the lie, that Scotland is somehow dependent upon England, for her very survival.
I prefer to think, and say, that I support self-determination for Scotland. Where self-determination is taken to mean "the process by which a group of people, usually possessing a certain degree of national consciousness, form their own state and choose their own government", and "the state of being free from the control or power of another".
You might believe, that words are unimportant, that it all amounts to the same thing. And you would be at once, right and wrong. Right in so far as, Scottish Nationalists, believe in self-determination for Scotland, expressed through independence from England. You would also be wrong, because words, and wording, can be critical, when framing a question, for say, a poll, or indeed, a referendum. This is beyond dispute.
Would the idea, of self-determination, be more or less appealing, to someone who voted no in 2014, than independence? Who knows? But there are, undoubtedly many in Scotland, for whom their aversion to Scottish nationalism, and therefore independence, is best explained by their irrational hatred of the SNP. This is a serious problem for the Yes campaign. I myself, had to set aside the fact, that Alex Salmond has an effect on me, not unlike that of nails running down a blackboard. It’s probably unintentional, but he always looks, and sounds, so damned pleased with himself. Self-determination for Scotland, is not about, nor does it belong to the SNP. That they are currently it’s driving force, is something of an issue, nevertheless.
If only, one or more of the other main parties, in Scotland, could bring themselves to shake off the shackles of Unionism. Then we’d really be getting somewhere. Sadly, despite being in favour of self-determination for Scotland, as thing stand, the Greens, don’t command sufficient support, to make a significant difference to the cause. We can of course, discount the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, the name, after all, says it all. It is however, interesting, that Scots Tory toffs, like Burnett of Leys, who would once have given the Scottish Parliament a wide berth, seeing it as decidedly second class, are now infiltrating it’s ranks. Could it be, that they are starting to accept, that the writing is on the wall?
There is, I would suggest, perhaps a little more hope, for Scottish Labour. Despite being saddled, with a third rate leader, who might have passed muster in Holyrood’s infancy, but who is most definitely now, out of her depth, never mind, stuck in the mud, there are promising omens, Perhaps, the only hope Kezia Dugdale’s branch office has, of escaping the mire it has haplessly landed itself in, is to recognize, as Alex Rowley does, that the status quo, just won’t do, any longer.
As for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, what are they for anyway? Does anyone know anymore? Could they themselves, even answer that question? Once upon a time, they were a breath of fresh air, looking to bring about change. They were a modern alternative to the creaking dinosaurs that are the two main UK parties. Now, they are just the same. Just this weekend, they rather pathetically, passed up the opportunity to reinvent themselves. By embracing a conference motion to support independence, they might have once again, stood apart, by standing for something. Something that isn’t broken, Brexit-Britannia. Instead, they opted for business as usual. More of the same. The same as Scottish Labour, and the Tories.
I believe I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I could understand attachment to the UK, if it were great, but it isn’t. Far from it. What will it take, I wonder, for enough of the fifty-five (or is it fifty-two now?), to believe Scotland can succeed, where the UK has failed? The rest of the UK, specifically England, has charted a course, that is arguably further from Scotland’s desired destination, than ever before. It beggars belief, that three parties who claim to want what’s best for Scotland, continue to unthinkingly place their faith in a Union that clearly, does not.