The Rest is Irony

Over recent months, I have become a bit of a fan of the “The Rest is Politics” podcast. Hosted by Alistair Campbell (Tony Blair’s Head of Communications) and former Tory MP and failed leadership candidate Rory Stewart. Not, I hasten to add because of their capacity to provide answers but for the unintentional irony they serve virtually every week. One of the things I like is that they aim to “disagree agreeably” and that’s a lesson many could benefit from. Just because someone doesn’t see Scotland’s future the way we do doesn’t make them a traitor or any less of a Scot. Equally, not everyone on our side is a paragon of virtue, we have our own share of numpties. 

Neither is exactly a friend of the Independence movement. Stewart calls it “insane” and claims that the SNP are bullying unionists into silence, maybe he hasn’t noticed that virtually all the mainstream media run a strong “SNPBAD” message. Although Campbell claims he can understand it he seems unable to move beyond his loyalty to the Labour. 

Yet the irony flows!

On a recent broadcast they both bemoaned the failure of democracy following the “Arab Spring”. They were dismayed that for example the recent constitutional referendum in Tunisia had a turnout of barely 30%. They noted that the young people across the Arab world were turning their backs on democracy because it was not delivering what they vote for. They seem to be entirely unaware that they are supporting, indeed part of doing exactly that for Scotland!

I’m old enough to remember when Unionists said that all we had to do to get Independence was to win a majority of seats at Westminster. The SNP has done that at each of the last 3 Westminster General Elections. It’s also worth remembering the scale of support since 2014. 

YearElection                     Seats
2016 Holyrood 63 (59 + 4)24 (3 + 21)31 (7 + 24)5 (4 + 1)6 (0 + 6) 
2017Local Council4312622766719 
2021Holyrood64 (62 +2)22 (2 + 20)31 (5+26)4 (4+0)8 (0 + 8) 

That makes 8 National Elections on the bounce where the SNP has been given the support of the Scottish people to deliver a referendum. If Blair and Thatcher can be termed “historic” for merely winning three elections on the bounce what does that make Nicola and the SNP with 8? And counting!

In all these elections, the Unionist campaigns have been around a variation of the “Send Nicola a message” theme. Well, the people have sent a message to Nicola, and every other politician; Scotland wants a referendum!

Another of the many variations on the Unionist refusal themes is that you didn’t win a majority of votes. So, let’s recall the % of votes cast since 2014 in UK Elections.

I don’t try to equate %s because of the differing voting systems between the much fairer Holyrood system and the outdated FPTP for Westminster where for example, the Tories had a majority on 36.8% in 2015 but lost it 2017 on 42.4% but FPTP would have given this result;

So, we have had the economy ruined and been taken out of the EU against our will all on a minority of votes. It really is time we started reminding people, especially the media, just how dishonest, hypocritical and inconsistent the Unionists are.

Every time we hear “Once in a generation” we should respond with “win a majority of seats”. When we are told “you need a majority of votes cast to call a referendum” we should ask “why don’t you?” When the Tories could call the Brexit referendum on just 36.8% of votes why don’t the SNP/Green Government have a mandate? 

Why is it that seasoned commentators can bemoan the “failure of democracy” around the globe when people vote for change but it doesn’t happen yet fail to see that they are aiding and abetting exactly the same failure of democracy at home? If Scotland voting time and again to give a mandate for a referendum but being denied is not a failure of democracy, what is it?

The utter corruption of the UK is laid bare.

If those tories who cheered Truss’ comment about ignoring Scotland’s democratically elected First Minister, really want to get rid of the “Scottish Question” it’s dead simple; agree the terms of the 2023 referendum as they were for 2014 and let the people settle the issue. Believe me, we don’t want to stay any more than you want us to!