At the end of a week which saw the Prime Minister and the UK Labour leader stage disastrous visits to Scotland it’s safe to say the prospect of independence has never shone brighter.
Just imagine how much more Scotland could achieve without being held back by politicians who simply dismiss our ambitions for the country’s future.
In a democracy there is no better way to judge the will of the people than to look at the way they vote. Given that the Scottish elections were held just three months ago it’s safe to assume they provide an accurate representation of what voters are thinking.
In a democracy there is no better way to judge the will of the people than to look at the way they vote. On that basis there is no denying the substantial support for a second independence referendum
On that basis there is no denying the substantial support for a second independence referendum and for independence itself.
It’s worth remembering how the vote broke down at the first Scottish elections after devolution in 1999.
Then Labour was the leading party, winning 56 seats. It won 38.8% (908,346 votes) of the constituency vote and 33.6% (786,818) of the regional vote.
The SNP won 35 seats, 28.7% (672,768) of the constituency vote and 27.3% (638,644) of the regional vote.
And the Conservatives won 18 seats, 15.6% (364,425) of the constituency vote and 15.4% (359,109) of the regional vote.
Compare that with the result on May 6 this year. The SNP won 64 seats, 47.7% (1,291,204) of the constituency seats and 40.3% (1,094,374) of the regional vote.
Labour won 22 seats, 21.6% (584,392) of the constituency vote and 17.9% (485,819) of the regional vote.
And the Tories won 31 seats with 21.9% (592,526) of the constituency vote and 23.5% (637,131) of the regional vote.
That’s a truly remarkable rise for the pro-independence vote, which was bolstered by the Scottish Greens winning a record eight seats in May. Both the SNP and the Greens made a commitment in their manifestos to holding a second independence referendum during the lifetime of the current parliament.
Yet another affront to Scotland from a Prime Minister who thinks it acceptable to make jokes about Margaret Thatcher’s decimation of Scotland’s mining communities
It’s impossible to interpret those results as anything other than backing for indyref2. Yet this week we have seen Boris Johnson say the independence question is the furthest thing from his mind.
It was yet another affront to Scotland from a Prime Minister who thinks it acceptable to make jokes about Margaret Thatcher’s decimation of Scotland’s mining communities.
It wasn’t just Boris Johnson. The UK Labour leader Keir Starmer also visited Scotland this week to tell us his party would not back a referendum until at least the next Scottish parliamentary term.
Such an arrogant dismissal of democracy cannot and will not be accepted by Scots. It is simply inconceivable that it will withstand opposition.
It may be true that the campaign for independence has been overshadowed recently by the fight against the pandemic but the easing of restrictions is now being accompanied by a renewed focus on the benefits independence will bring.
For evidence look no further than a significant interview this week with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on a major American current affairs programme. Talking on NPR’s flagship programme All Things Considered she reaffirmed her commitment to holding indyref2 in the first half of the current parliamentary term. She said: “When we’re in the recovery, in order to equip ourselves best to recover economically and socially, Scotland should have that choice of becoming an independent country.
“And I would like to offer that choice in the first half of this term of our parliament, which is, you know, by the end of 2023.’’
But it’s not just the SNP which will pick up the campaign for independence as the pandemic recedes.
The Yes family has been eager to show that the case has never been stronger. Believe in Scotland has already announced that we will hold a day of action involving pro-indy organisations all over the country when it is considered safe to do so.
Now that we are emerging from most of the Covid restrictions we plan to announce more details of the day of action soon.