Well that was conference. Not one but two independence campaigns are off and running this week. The SNP’s Yes.Scot and the Scottish Independence Convention’s Voices for Scotland.
The big bang of the Scottish Growth Commission report proved to be less disruptive and more constructive; when all sides claim everything is hunky-dory in going forward now, then you know the art of compromise is alive and kicking.
Whilst it was a fascinating pre-debate exchange of views over the past year or so, there’s nothing like an impending election to remind you just how far this is from voters’ minds. Somehow, the minutiae of when an independent Scotland creates its own currency and under what conditions has never been a doorstep challenge but signalling a direction of challenge that we accept the pound will have to do until a new currency is up and running, will more than suffice.
More important frankly, than the currency, is the matter of pensions. Andrew Wilson was clear when setting out his review of macro-economics that the detail of social policies such as pensions was not within his scope. All the more reason to welcome Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of a social justice commission for the party. It is this body that needs to address the insecurities of our older age groups (and many of us who are rapidly approaching the bus pass milestone). They are a bigger group of voters than those concerned about what the coin in our pocket looks like – and the least likely to welcome a shift from the pound.
There has definitely been a sense of momentum building of late and the recent opinion polls have borne that out. Combined with the two recent local government by-election wins, the SNP’s pro-EU stance has cut through the Unionist ‘stop a 2nd indyref at any cost’ as their Brexit disaster has alienated its core and tactical vote in Scotland.
As Ruth returns, it’s her turn to face the music and explain why Scottish Tories support May’s Deal when no one else does. No amount of baby pictures will soften the fall that awaits Ms Davidson’s return to the frontline.
Theresa May will face the music this week when the Tory party is decimated in local elections in England. What may be even more of interest is how the DUP fares in Northern Ireland’s council vote. Meanwhile, we march on to the European elections where the prize of taking potentially 4 of the 6 seats is within our grasp.
As much as the respected Labour MEP, David Martin will stand as a Remain supporter, sadly his pitch will never feature in Scottish minds as Labour’s message is framed by its London bosses. More and more, it looks like Labour are merely offering a lighter version of Theresa May’s disaster recipe. That may appeal to Labour voters down South but is unlikely to appeal up here.
One more thing that must be pointed out: European elections usually have the lowest of turnouts. In Scotland, this must change this year. Pro-independence parties have to wipe out the Unionists wherever possible. To do that, those pro-independence voters who might not see a European election as important, need to be recruited for a postal vote and ensure they vote. To this end, the mighty Gerry Mclaughlan and Greg Drysdale from Yes Stirling have created a video which challenges the myths surrounding postal voting which have reached hyperbolic stratosphere since the last referendum and is costing the independence movement vital support. If there is one thing you in the European campaign: it’s vote by post and show people they have nothing to fear!
You can view Gerry and Greg’s video here: https://youtu.be/OnYbT7661MQ