Why does Scotland want independence?

Written by Chris Thornton | 6th of December 2023
Why does Scotland want independence?

Scottish independence has been a contentious issue over the past 50 years in Scotland, but why does Scotland want independence? Isn't it better to be part of the United Kingdom? Would Scotland be able to survive on its own? And do Scots actually want independence?

Let's take a deep dive into this multi-faceted issue; I want to try and get both sides' points across in this article and report on how I have seen the issue from my perspective. All views are my own as I see them living in Scotland.

What is Scottish Independence?

Scotland is a country in its own right, but it is not an independent country. Scotland exists in the "United Kingdom", a political union with three other countries: England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Each country (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) has its own devolved parliament with a limited selection of powers, but the UK Government/Westminster in London, England, has overall control of the entire union.

Scottish independence would mean leaving the United Kingdom. The Scottish Parliament based in Edinburgh would take complete control of an independent Scotland and everything that comes with it, including immigration and defence (outside its current powers).

So, in a nutshell, Scottish independence is the act of Scotland leaving the UK and taking control of all government powers. The UK parliament would continue to govern the rest of the UK - England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

UK countries
The countries of the United Kingdom.

Scottish independence referendums

The people of Scotland had the chance to decide on the country's future in 2014 in a Scotland-wide referendum. The people were to be asked, "Should Scotland be an independent country?".

A campaign was launched by both sides, "Yes" and "No", in the lead-up to the big vote.

The Yes side was comprised mainly of the SNP (Scottish National Party) and Scottish Green Party, but there were many other smaller splinter groups such as "Labour for Yes". Alex Salmond (SNP) and Patrick Harvey (Scottish Greens) were the prominent political leaders for Yes, but Blair Jenkins led the grassroots Yes campaign.

The No side was led by the Scottish Conservatives (under the leadership of Ruth Davidson), who teamed up with Scottish Labour and Liberal Democrat political parties; Alastair Darling was the main political face of the No Campaign, closely followed by then Prime Minister David Cameron and Nick Clegg of the Lib Dems. The No campaign was also named "Better Together", led by Blair McDougall.

Leading up to the vote, the arguments were discussed online, on doorsteps and in live TV debates. It was an absolutely gruelling experience learning what it could mean for Scotland and keeping track of what each side of the campaign was saying (and promising) for Scotland's future. Arguments and counterarguments, scenarios, laws, borders, currency, resources, military, European Union membership - you name it all topics were vigorously discussed. It was exhausting.

Yes campaign in Buckie 2014.
Buckie mums yessing in 2014.

The Vow

In the campaign's final days, the British government held a secret poll (which still has not been revealed today), but it's presumed it was highly "pro-yes". According to Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, there was "overwhelming panic" in the ranks of Better Together.

This led to an intervention by the unionist party leaders, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, promising that if Scotland voted no, extra powers would be granted to the Scottish Government. This was known as "The Vow".

This last-minute offer flew in the face of pre-election rules or "purdah", as it was known at the time. However, there was no comeback from breaking the rules, the leaders made their offer, and the intervention is often attributed to their eventual win.

In addition, Better Together also broke the rules on campaign spending and received a fine of only £2000 for failing to provide adequate evidence for an additional spend of £57,000.

The Scottish referendum vote and result

Scotland voted on its future on the 18th of September, 2014 and voted to remain within the United Kingdom. 44.7% voted for independence, and 55.3% voted for remaining in the UK. Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland, resigns after the defeat, and Nicola Sturgeon takes on the role.

So Scotland voted No; why is independence still on the agenda?

After the "no" result, it was expected that the question of Scottish independence would be answered once and for all and that the SNP would become redundant. The opposite happened shortly after the no-vote; with a massive swell in membership and a politically awakened population, the SNP went on to win an unprecedented 56 seats in the UK government general election in 2015 - the most ever won by the SNP and an independence-focused party.

During the independence referendum campaigning, one of the big tag lines was "Scotland, don't leave, help us lead" by the No Campaign. After the mass influx of SNP MPs, English MPs enacted a new set of procedures called "English votes for English laws" (EVEL). So even though Scotland voted to remain and elected a new group of MPs to the UK government, it was ruled that Scottish MPs would not be allowed to vote on English matters, essentially creating a 2nd class of MP.

Again this gave more ammunition to the independence debate.

European Union / Brexit

The following year, 2016, a UK-wide referendum occurred to ask the public, "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?".

Ironically the question of Scotland being within the EU was used as a major reason to remain in the United Kingdom during the independence campaign, and here we were just two years later, being told we should leave the EU.

Scotland voted by 62% to remain in the EU. Northern Ireland was the only other country to vote to remain, and Wales and England chose to leave; the overall UK-wide vote was 51% leave.

Despite voting to remain, Scotland had to leave the EU as it was part of the United Kingdom; many Scottish voters found this desperately unfair. The question of Scotland's Independence again came to the fore.

Indyref 2

What came next was quite a convoluted list of promises by the SNP to deliver a new independence referendum based on the fact that a "material change of circumstances" had occurred - Scotland being removed from the EU against its wishes.

2016 - The SNP win the Scottish Government election on a promise of giving the Scottish people another independence referendum.

2017 - The British government refuses a "Section 30" (the means to trigger an independence referendum). Still, the SNP promise to deliver a referendum in 2018 or before the process of Brexit has been completed. A UK general election is called, and the SNP again win a majority of Scottish seats within the UK Government upon the promise of delivering Independence before Brexit occurs.

2018 - The SNP promise a referendum in 2019 again before Brexit is completed, with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon saying that a Section 30 cannot be refused on democratic grounds; they had won elections with independence as an explicit manifesto pledge.

2019 - After winning yet another general election and gaining the majority of Scottish UK MPs - again with independence as a major manifesto point - the SNP officially requested a section 30 for a new independence referendum in 2020. Boris Johnson, the new UK Prime Minister, outright refuses the request.

2020 - Accepting defeat on the Section 30 request and cancelling the 2020 referendum, the SNP promise a referendum before Brexit occurs with the claim "it won't happen for years".

2021 - Brexit is completed, and Scotland is removed from the European Union, despite SNP claims this would not happen. 2021 is the Scottish election year, and again the SNP promise a "no ifs, no buts" referendum in 2023 if they win the Holyrood election. Yet another convincing win arrives for the SNP on the back of a new referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon again states she will request a Section 30, but the UK Government says they will refuse the request if received.

2022 - The Section 30 is not requested, as the UK Government repeatedly iterated that it would not be granted. In a change of strategy, the SNP government approach the UK Supreme Court to decide once and for all if the Scottish Government have the power to hold its own referendum without the UK Government's consent.

The Supreme Court rules against the Scottish Government - they do not have the power to hold their own referendum. The SNP accept the result and instead say they will cancel their plans for the 2023 referendum but promise to use the next UK general election in 2024 as a "de facto referendum", i.e. if SNP wins the election in Scotland, it will be on the single issue of independence and prove the Scottish peoples desire to leave the United Kingdom.

2023 - The SNP decide to hold a special conference to further discuss the issue of Independence for Scotland and strategies for a way forward. The idea of a 2024 de facto referendum is dropped. Instead, they said a win in 2024 will again trigger them to request yet another Section 30 request and again, if denied, the 2026 Scottish election will be the new de facto referendum.

One of the most controversial pieces of legislation, the "Gender Recognition Reform" bill, passed in December 2022, is blocked by the UK government via a "Section 35" order. This was the UK Government's first intervention in laws passed in Scotland. Even though not everyone in Scotland agreed with this new act, it was seen as a democratic outrage as it had passed through the Scottish Government to completion. Again this drove a spike in interest in Scottish independence in a similar way to Brexit.

Scottish Parliament interior. Scotland independence.
The amazing interior of the Scottish Parliament building.

Resignation of Nicola Sturgeon

The most recent development in this long saga was the resignation of SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. This led to the cancellation of the special independence conference while a new leader was elected.

A delay of a new referendum, or "Indyref 2" as it's known day to day, is extremely frustrating for supporters of Scottish independence. They have voted many times and won many elections and referendum mandates but keep being denied a new vote on the question of independence. Many feel that if they cannot democratically vote for a new referendum, what is the path to independence?

There is no answer to this question yet. Could Scotland unilaterally declare independence?

At the time of writing, there is an ongoing leadership campaign for the SNP. I think this is a pivotal point in Scottish history; if the wrong person is selected, it could be the end of the SNP and any hopes of an independent Scotland.

Troubling times for the SNP

Despite gaining a massive influx of new members after the 2014 referendum, the SNP have been very quiet about the current membership levels of the party. Many people seeking independence feel disillusioned with the SNP for a variety of reasons:

  • Many broken promises on delivering a Scottish independence referendum.

  • The needle has moved very little towards independence since 2014, even though Scotland has suffered greatly under the Conservative government. Polls can range from the mid to high 40s and mid-50s for independence, but never consecutively high for long periods of time.

  • Brexit was seen as an "open goal" to increase support for independence, but many felt this opportunity was not seized fully.

  • Endless requests for a Section 30 are leading nowhere.

  • Some feel independence is no longer the main focus of the SNP, superseded by identity politics.

  • The Gender Recognition Bill was highly divisive, and many supporters feel it has lessened support for independence, particularly amongst female voters and would rather it had been debated post-independence.

  • Scottish MPs are accused of being too "cosy" in their high-paid posts in Westminster and are too embroiled in UK politics instead of extricating Scotland from them. SNP Westminster ex-leader Iain Blackford would endlessly stand up with his regular exclamation, "The people of Scotland will not stand for this!" and then promptly do nothing.

  • A "ring-fenced" referendum fund of £600,000 that independence supporters raised in 2017 has gone missing. No valid explanation has yet been given as to where this money has gone.

  • Under Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP went from a member-driven party to a party led from the top.

  • MPs who did not tow the party line were almost excommunicated from the party, for example, Joanna Cherry and Angus MacNeil, who regularly have spats with Pete Wishart on Twitter.

To give the SNP their due, they have tried to get a new independence referendum on the table but continually met dead ends (many times of their own creation). It was assumed Nicola Sturgeon had a master plan that would all make sense eventually, but she just seemed to lead herself to political dead-ends and resigned as a consequence (in my opinion).

The Alba Party

The Alba Party (pronounced "Alipa") are the newest independence party on the block, led by former first minister Alex Salmond who resigned upon losing the 2014 referendum.

Alba is controversial amongst Independence supporters due to accusations made against Mr Salmond in 2017, which included attempted rape. Salmond cleared his name and was found not guilty, but many will not even consider Alba a possible choice due to a "where there's smoke, there's fire" type attitude.

Some people believe that it was a coordinated attack by the SNP to eliminate Alex Salmond's chances of ever being elected again.

Alba and SNP supporters clash aggressively on social media, and a wedge has been driven in the yes movement due to this rift between the political heavyweights, Salmond and Sturgeon. Both sides' members are guilty of vocal aggression against the other.

Currently, Alba is no real threat to the SNP; they poll quite low and often lose local elections. They do have two MPs at Westminster, but they were originally elected as SNP MPs and left the party for Alba without seeking re-election. It remains to be seen if these MPs will survive the next UK General Election.

I personally feel Alba has no chance of making any headway, purely due to the damage to Alex Salmond's reputation. He cleared his name, but mud sticks and every time I've heard Alba discussed in person, it always comes back to the accusations against him. A sad political end to the man who nearly led us to independence. If the SNP engineered this, it's even sadder.

The Alba party has many great people, including many from the SNP, who feel they can no longer be a member. Alba also seems much more focused on independence than the SNP.

2023 leadership election

Due to the shock resignation of Nicola Sturgeon, a leadership election was launched in March 2023. Three candidates put their names forward to be leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland: Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan.

Humza Yousaf was seen as the continuity candidate, basically continuing with Nicola Sturgeon's policies and route to independence.

Kate Forbes was already a serving minister within the Scottish Government (Secretary for Finance) and, despite being very young, had a great deal of experience within the government.

Ash Regan was a relatively unknown MSP (to me, anyway) and had gained notoriety for voting against the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. She came across as the candidate for Scottish independence.

Sadly, the election was mired in scandal:

  • Humza Yousaf was given a prior warning of the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon.

  • An MSP used the SNP's email membership list to mass-email many members to vote for Humza. This was against party rules.

  • In the SNP's own rules, four months was to be the time required to elect a new party leader. This was reduced to only four weeks giving the female candidates very little time to formulate a campaign.

  • The candidates were not allowed to know how many members would be voting in the election. Peter Murrel (CEO of the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon's husband) resigned after an ultimatum from the SNP's National Executive Committee after providing the incorrect membership number.

  • Both Kate Forbes and Ash Regan raised concerns about the validity of the election process.

  • Over the course of the campaign, many members had voted at the beginning; Ash Regan suggested that the voting system could be changed so voters could change their vote any time up until the final day. Mike Russell, the president of the SNP, refused on the grounds it would be too confusing to members, despite this occurring in previous elections.

  • Humza Yousaf flip-flopped on his position of challenging the UK government's intervention in the GRR Bill. Initially, he was only in favour if the legal advice was in favour of a challenge; towards the end of his campaign, he said he would challenge the intervention. Voters could not alter their vote.

  • The Green Party intervened in the election by saying they would basically only support Humza Yousaf as he was the only candidate willing to fight the GRR Bill.

  • Nearly every MSP and MP within the SNP backed Humza Yousaf; it was felt the outgoing SNP leadership commanded from on high that he was the favoured candidate.

Humza Yousaf won the vote.

Is Scottish Independence anti-English?

No, during all my experiences over the last 10 years, I have never seen any anti-English sentiment. This includes Yes meetings, independence marches, talks by politicians, and even at SNP member meetings. In fact, much of the time, English people were pushing for independence as much as Scottish people.

Independence supporters want the country to be fully governed by its own government, not to break ties with England. "We want neighbours, not masters" is a common phrase.

Independence March. Scottish government published details on the referendum.
The "All Under One Banner" independence march in May 2018.

10 Reasons why Scotland wants independence:

  1. Political autonomy: The desire to have greater control over their own political decisions, including taxation, social welfare, and international relations.

  2. Cultural identity: The belief that Scotland has a distinct cultural identity, which is not fully represented within the UK, and that independence would help preserve and promote Scottish culture.

  3. Economic reasons: Scotland would have greater control over its economy and resources if it were an independent nation, including oil, gas, and renewable energy resources.

  4. Disagreement with UK policies: Disagreement with UK policies such as Brexit, austerity measures, bedroom tax and immigration policies have led some to believe that Scotland would be better off governing itself.

  5. Historical grievances: Some Scots feel that they have been oppressed by England for centuries and see independence as a way to right historical wrongs.

  6. Democratic deficit: Some believe that the UK government is too focused on the needs of England and that Scotland's needs and desires are often ignored, leading to a democratic deficit. Scotland has a much smaller population than England; our votes have very little effect on enacting change within the UK.

  7. Better representation: Independence would allow Scotland to have greater representation in international organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union, and better represent its interests on the world stage.

  8. The desire for a fairer society: Some argue that independence would enable Scotland to build a fairer, more egalitarian society, with policies such as free education, universal healthcare, and maybe even Universal Basic Income.

  9. Consequences of Brexit: Scottish citizens can no longer live and work in the European Union, at least not as easily as they could before. The price of living in Scotland has also skyrocketed since Brexit, with food and utility bills now higher than they have ever been.

  10. Saviour of the SNHS: The Scottish National Health Service and the wider UK NHS have been chronically underfunded for years; many believe purposely to pave the way for its privatisation in favour of an American-style insurance system. Independence would keep the Scottish NHS free for all to use.

10 Reasons why Scotland does not want independence:

  1. Economic uncertainty: Some argue that independence could lead to economic instability, as Scotland would need to establish its own Scottish currency and may face difficulty negotiating trade deals with other countries.

  2. Loss of UK benefits: Being part of the UK provides Scotland with a range of benefits, including defence capabilities and shared resources which may be lost if Scotland were to become independent.

  3. Increased bureaucracy: An independent Scotland would need to establish its own fully independent government and bureaucracy, which could be costly and time-consuming.

  4. Difficulty with borders: With Scotland leaving the UK, a hard border would be established with England, which could lead to issues around trade, travel, and immigration, particularly if Scotland rejoined the European Union.

  5. England is Scotland's largest trading partner: Scotland exports 60% of its goods to UK countries. There is a fear that trade would be affected if independence occurred.

  6. International recognition: Depending on how Scotland achieves independence, it may face difficulty gaining recognition from other countries as an independent nation, which could lead to difficulties with trade and other international relations.

  7. Potential division within Scotland: The issue of independence is divisive within Scotland itself, and independence could lead to further division within the country.

  8. National security concerns: Scotland's Independence could have implications for national security, including the sharing of intelligence and defence capabilities. The UK's only base for nuclear submarines exists in Scotland at Faslane.

  9. UK debt: Scotland may potentially be responsible for repaying part of the huge debt created by successive poorly run UK Governments. This debt is now in excess of two trillion pounds. "No" voters believe that an independent Scotland would be hindered from day one by debt repayments.

  10. They like to be British: Some Scots love being part of the union, love the royal family, and feel that the World wars of 100 years ago built a special bond throughout the UK that should not be broken.

Would Scotland be able to survive as an independent country?

Personally, I think it's more than possible for Scotland to be a successful independent country. As a country of only 5 million people, we are small enough to join the many wildly successful countries of the world with similar populations.

Look at Ireland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden for examples of highly successful countries with populations of around 5 million. These countries have cash surpluses instead of national debts and have some of the highest happiness levels in the world.

People always fire back, "but it's much more expensive to live in those countries!", very true, but they also get paid much more than us and have a higher quality of life.

The scandal of Scotland's oil

Norway, just across the North Sea from us, has been in full control of its resources, and when North Sea Oil was discovered in the 1960s, they made sure that the people of Norway received their fair share. A sovereign wealth fund was established and is now valued at over $1.3 trillion.

In stark contrast, Scotland has no wealth fund and very little to show for the obscene wealth generated from North Sea Oil over 40 years. In fact, the value of Scotland's oil was hidden from the Scottish people by the UK Government for fear it would drive Scotland to become independent.

Only in 2005 did it come to light via the Freedom of Information Act 2000 that a report had been written in 1974 named the Mcrone Report. A quote from one section reads:

The country (Scotland) would tend to be in chronic surplus to a quite embarrassing degree and its currency would become the hardest in Europe.

One famous quote from a little old lady on why she was voting for independence during the 2014 campaign:

I see oil rigs everywhere in Scottish North Sea, yet foodbanks everywhere on the land.

By this, she means there is a huge offshore industry extracting oil and gas but mass poverty in Scotland, where people cannot even afford food. Why is such a resource-rich country in such a poor state?

So Scotland can only survive with offshore oil and gas?

It's not all about the oil. Successful countries like Denmark and Ireland have very little offshore oil but somehow thrive as independent countries. Oil for Scotland would have been a massive bonus, but sadly squandered by the Westminster government. Ireland has twice the economic output of the Scottish economy; how can they do this outside of the United Kingdom? Shouldn't Scotland at least be on par with Ireland, considering we are part of a family of nations? Food for thought.

An oil rig in the North Sea.
An oil rig in the North Sea, would England be richer without Scotland?

Renewable energy is Scotland's future

Renewable energy is emerging to be a massive new industry, and Scotland is ideally positioned to take full advantage of our vast coastline and regular gusty winds.

While offshore wind turbines seem to be the current focus of the renewable industry, I think the real future value is in tidal wave power. The wind can wane, but the tide is always there like clockwork. Scotland is perfectly suited for tidal power, and thankfully Scottish engineering companies are pioneers in developing this technology. Scotland has an enormous 10% of the wave power potential for all of Europe.

So far, Scotland's renewable wealth has again been squandered, but this time by the Scottish government after they undersold leasing rights to a value of £60 billion. Particularly in this cost of living crisis where electricity is the most expensive in the UK, it's unforgivable that these rights were given away for peanuts.

Additional boons for an independent Scotland

  • 25% of Europe's offshore wind and tidal power and 40% of the UK's (this figure is hotly debated though).

  • 62% of fish landings in the UK.

  • 90% of the UK hydropower generation.

  • 96% of the UK's crude oil production.

  • 63% of the UK's natural gas production.

  • 60% of the UK's timber production.

  • A whisky industry that is worth billions each year to the UK economy.

  • A highly educated population and many fantastic universities.

Scotland would have more than enough resources to become a successful independent country. If other countries of 5 million people can thrive without all of the bonuses Scotland enjoys, why would we uniquely fail to run our own country? It's often said that Scotland invented the modern world with its amazing contribution to science.

Key information on Scottish independence

  • Scotland is a country but part of a union of countries - the United Kingdom.

  • Scotland had an independence referendum in 2014 but voted to remain in the United Kingdom.

  • The SNP received a mass influx of membership following its defeat on the issue of independence and won many new seats within the British government.

  • Scotland was removed from the European Union despite voting to remain within it.

  • The Scottish Government argues that a second independence referendum should be granted due to a material change in circumstances since the last referendum (Brexit).

  • Attempts to secure another independence referendum continue between 2017 and 2022.

  • The supreme court rules that the Scottish government cannot hold its own referendum without a Section 30.

  • A stalemate now exists. What is the path to independence if multiple democratic mandates are denied?

Conclusion

I hope this article, with my perspective on Scottish independence, has given some insight into the recent history of Scotland's strive for self-determination. Remember, this is just my take on the situation; you will likely receive a different account from both independence and union supporters. Some independence supporters cannot take any criticism against the Scottish parliament or the SNP, and some unionists scoff entirely that Scotland could be a successful independent nation.

Personally, I am a supporter of Scottish independence but feel let down by the current SNP/Green administration. I left the SNP as I felt they had changed too much from the party of 2014. The SNP need to return to their roots, member-driven and fully transparent, with independence as its primary focus.

I genuinely believe that all Scots would love to be independent, but around half still need to be fully convinced of its benefits, but around 10% would probably tip the balance to win independence if a referendum is granted.

Until the Scottish and UK governments can agree on a new referendum date, it seems like the stalemate will continue. New approaches to achieving independence will need to be discovered as democratically voting for a party of independence multiple times is just ignored by the British government.

I'll leave you with this anthem from 2014:

All information was correct at the time of writing, please check things like entry costs and opening times before you arrive.

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Comments:


Ian Adams
20th of July 2023 @ 09:22:20

Regarding the “ financial benefits “ received from Westminster “ ,the truth is that Westminster are not in a financial position to subsidise Scotland or any other country for that matter and hasn’t had the finances since the Tories took office. The National debt has risen from £950 billion to an estimated £2.7 trillion today. Ironically Norway has accrued an estimated £2.3 trillion sovereign fund !! If this isn’t ironic I don’t know what is ??

Gav
30th of June 2023 @ 17:30:39

Hi, this was a really illuminating and well-balanced explanation. I really appreciated that rather than the "hardline" stuff from either the Yes or No side. I am English, but consider myself as British, and I would be very sad were Scotland to vote to leave (if given another chance). I can't explain why, but I see my "country" as being the UK rather than "England". Nevertheless, and of course, the decision would be out of my hands. What I find interesting having read your site is that I struggled to argue against much of what was stated and - if the shoe were on the other foot - I would probably be leaning towards independence myself. But then, I'm not an expert, so can't be sure if leaving the UK solely to join the EU would simply be swapping one union for another. If it's an interesting insight, the one thing I cannot personally abide is those Pro-independence simply looking for any reason to demand another referendum. I fully appreciate and respect their opinion and, for want of a better word, desire, but the argument seems cheapened when it's just repeated endlessly. If democracy were respected as much as it should be then the whole planet would be holding referendums and votes every hour of the day! I'd rather that they focused on proving what a sterling job (excuse the pun) they can do with devolution and "imagine what we could do if we had independence", as well as more facts and figures. Ultimately, and it may sound incredibly glib, I just hope things work out for the best for everyone. Truly. Life's too short. I hope this comment is taking in the positive and honest spirit intended. Best wishes to all.

Richard Tait
27th of February 2023 @ 12:05:23

I have always been of the belief that the Scottish National Party was going to stick together until such time as Scotland became an Independent Nation. The SNP could then dissolve and other smaller parties could be formed to fulfill the wishes of the electorate. One of the old truisms about the Scots was that if they don't have an enemy to fight, they'll fight amongst themselves. All these squabbles in Holyrood seem to bear that out. Perhaps when Scotland does become Independent, one of the first Acts which should be promulgated should be that Members of the Scottish Parliament could not serve more than two terms and not have a cosy job for life. This might see Scotland further invigorated, especially if the Parliament for an Independent Scotland were Listless.

ChrisLBS
26th of February 2023 @ 20:25:14

I haven't given up! You're right; the SNP did fantastically well to get to where they are now, but since 2014 there has been no progress towards independence. Some amazing policies delivered like kid's meals and baby boxes etc. but independence? nah. Disenchanted, yes, but I will be back out there when/if the Yes Campaign gets off the ground again.

John Sharp
26th of February 2023 @ 03:35:06

I see this as simply documenting what has happened, not a reason to give up on Independence. Over 80 years the campaign has gone from a few people to a pressure group, to a government in power. I campaigned when the SNP were the only way to express that wish. Discipline was observed. We didn't let our enemies get past our armour. But if all of us had voted for Independence without anyone else, we would have lost. Too few. We had to take everyone with us. That is the current argument. And it's succeeding. If you're disenchanted don't disbelieve, just put your vote in the right place when it comes.