"There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their lives is bound in shallows and in miseries."
2014 was the tide, it was missed and now Scotland is bound in the shallows of despair.
Scotland suffers from learned helplessness. The feeling that nothing we do makes any difference, decades of voting Labour and getting Tory governments, the poll tax, de-industrialisation, illegal wars. We voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union but were dragged out, with no special deal or any consideration. Watching the ‘Stronger for Scotland’ team meekly capitulate. Helpless at Westminster.
For a short time, Scotland was something, we threw away our doubts about our own abilities and we believed. We believed change could happen, we saw the possibilities of building a new and better nation. This was the flood, we needed to take the chance, and between 7 am and 10 pm on that September day, we held the future in our hands.
Now 9 years later we have run aground.
Sturgeon took over and took control of the timing and means to achieve independence. The people of Scotland were reduced to helpless bystanders. No matter the multiple mandates Sturgeon ensured neither an independence referendum nor independence was delivered. The people learned independence is outwith their control.
Helplessness occurs when we see our highly desired outcomes as improbable and since the Supreme Court judgment, the Sturgeon resignation, and the total lack of any coherent plan from Yousaf, the independence dream is no longer real. People have given up; they have moved passed depression to acceptance; ‘I know I’ll never see independence’.
The SNP has had twenty years of good times and success, this has made for weak politicians. Politicians who are not used to losing. And worse, politicians, who don’t know what losing looks like, so they do not see the tsunami that is about to hit.
The SNP now ex-SNP voters are tired of it all, and disillusioned. Many SNP voters have moved to 'undecided', but they won’t stay there unless ALBA can step up, they may well go back to Labour.
"Things are going to slide, slide in all directions."
Unless the SNP grabs the Scotland United plan, as a drowning man grabs a lifebelt, the SNP seat count will be in single figures at the General Election, but Yousaf will remain leader.
Yousaf is only interested in his status and power; independence is not real to him. Had it been real when at transport he would have made sure we had ferry links to Europe. But I am sure Yousaf will be SNP leader in 2026.
The SNP, unlike the Tories, does not have an easy means of removing unpopular leaders. They have one chance a year and the contest is heavily controlled by the National Executive Committee (NEC). The June NEC meeting agreed on updated rules for leadership elections. As yet the rules have not been published but it is unlikely they have made a leadership challenge easier.
Yousaf is insecure, he is shoring up his power base and marginalising his opponent's supporters, failing them at vetting, the usual tactics. The only comfort is all those careerists that jumped on the SNP gravy bus, will find out the bus isn’t roadworthy after all.
After the General Election predicted to be in late 2024 or January 2025, we are less than 18 months from the Holyrood election.
The SNP will be demoralised and lose their short money. The SNP finances are shall we say weak and this will cripple them financially. There will be vicious infighting as the MPs that have stood down and the deposed MPs will come looking for a safe constituency and to be placed high on the list.
If Douglas Alexander has won in Lothian East, I predict that Anas Sarwar will be persuaded to stand aside and Douglas Alexander will be Labour leader for the Holyrood 2026 campaign.
The Holyrood campaign will see the SNP shorn of their usual haul of constituency seats and they will genuinely need list votes. However, their partners The Greens who have been given every promotion and advantage by the SNP are in competition for those list votes.
In Holyrood 2026, Labour will likely emerge as the largest party and the Greens with their haul of list seats will be happy to support Labour, they might even negotiate a couple of cabinet seats for themselves.
The first unionist FM in almost 20 years takes control at Holyrood.
Now, we are in the period of re-presenting history, the Salmond years already airbrushed out by the SNP, never happened. But the Sturgeon-Humza period? Well, that was a disaster, ferries, hospital infections and waiting lists, drugs, tax rises, poor public services, a bitterly divided society. Financial chaos and corruption. The COVID inquiry puts paid to the only current SNP positive.
Every election from 2026 on, is on the theme of; 'remember the horrors of the nationalist government'.
2044 and the unionists still control Holyrood,
And where is the supporter of Scottish Independence now on their personal journey of helplessness?
Some will still be fighting, but most have had to minimise their desire for independence to get by, there is no point in longing for what you have no control over or what is not achievable.
North Britain is fully under Westminster control.
“Your servant here, she has been told, to say it clear, to say it cold, it’s over, it isn’t going any further”
Or you could always join ALBA .... Become a Member - ALBA (albaparty.org)