Those of us in the ‘yes’ family know exactly where we were on the 19th September 2014. Some were in bed, some were at home, some were in George Square. That Friday will live in our memories for the rest of our lives – yet something about that day sparked the flame of independence once again, it may have dimmed but it did not extinguish. It has only gotten stronger, the more we see of the corruption of Westminster the more determined we are to achieve that one goal – independence for Scotland.
Once hope springs there is no diminishing it, once a vision is born, there is no going back. We did not turn back, we continued moving forward. October of that year I found myself in ‘Freedom Square’ for the Hope over fear rally. The sun shone down on the crowd, draped in saltires, in good spirits, down but not out. The campaign, and defeat, a memory. One phrase kept surfacing, ‘we may have lost the battle but we can win the war’ I thought at the time if we keep hope alive, then that’s what we needed, that and send a whole heap of SNP-MP’s to Westminster, to settle up, not settle in. And for the first few years, they did just that. Were defiant, clapping, taking selfies and challenging the archaic realm.
SNP-MP’s got far too comfortable, they knuckled down and settled in, however there was that spark, especially when Blackford led the whole lot of them out of parliament after he’d been told off by the Speaker. That day those in Scotland not familiar with the ways in which their representatives and indeed the Scottish public were held – in contempt. We had our referendum, now we could sod off. Only we did nothing of the sort. The right to self determination only grew, first one or two no voters joined and even more in 2016 when Scotland voted to remain in the European Union but were to be taken out because our bigger cousins voted for it. That was the time Nicola Sturgeon should have used the mandate given to her by the people of Scotland.
“We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of the majority of Scottish people – or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014 such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will”
SNP Manifesto 2016
What more change do we need? There has been a shift in the polls, and we are now out of the European Union. Yet, Nicola Sturgeon seems even more reluctant now than she was back then. While the people marched in their tens of thousands up and down the country. Sturgeon spent the last years campaigning to keep the whole of the United Kingdom in a union only two parts wanted to be in and in doing so has pushed independence so far into the long grass it is hardly visible. Is it any wonder those in the ‘yes’ family are worried? It is Sturgeon and her cohorts that have gotten us into this mess – Johnson is coming for the powers of the Scottish Parliament and will undoubtedly see the dismantling of Holyrood – all under Sturgeon’s watch. The First Minister far too busy playing the big ‘I am’ to see the danger Scotland was in.
And now according to The Guardian Newspaper. she is to “Give evidence by parliamentary investigation into a botched Scottish Government inquiry into misconduct claims against Alex Salmond. The cross-party inquiry is due to call Salmond this autumn when it starts oral hearings, which will investigate his allegations that senior figures in the Scottish government and Scottish National Party orchestrated claims that he was guilty of sexual offences…The Holyrood committee…confirmed that it would call Peter Murrell, Sturgeon’s husband and SNP chief executive, to answer Salmond’s claims that SNP officials helped concoct the charges against him.”
Alex Salmond was cleared of all charges earlier this year.
Sturgeon has not taken the country one step closer to independence. If anything, she has moved the country back. In fact, the only time she seemed concerned was in the run up to the 2019 General Election when people were starting to ask serious questions on her intensions. So much so that she appeared at a rally in George Square. Granted, Sturgeon did write to Johnson who refused her request for a section 30 order. And that was it, she sent a letter, it was rejected, and thus, independence was pushed onto the backburner once again. That said, 2020 has saw Sturgeon busy with other things, like a massive pandemic and giving credit where credit is due, she has steered the country in the right direction. However, now we are almost through the storm, independence must be uppermost in the minds of every single SNP – MP – MSP and Counsellor. No more brushing it aside, no more insulting the public on twitter and certainly no more blocking when legitimate questions get too difficult.
The people of Scotland gave their trust to the SNP, we do not give our trust lightly, if they do not start a campaign this year, then why the hell would anyone vote for them next year? They have had umpteen mandates; how many more do they need. Act on the mandates already given, no more carrot dangling. Time for the Scottish National Party to do what they were formed to do – give the people what they want. A referendum on independence, they give the referendum and let the public do the rest.