Playing the Scottish independence card
I was thinking yesterday about how little I have written about Scottish independence recently.
Sure enough, when I look at the last few months of blog content, there are only a couple of articles that promote independence. There are articles on tax, gender, the right to roam, the Labour Party, WASPI, the media, the Queensferry Crossing and the NHS. By far the most covered topic is Brexit.
It’s probably not surprising as, like most supporters of Scottish independence, I am primarily interested in politics and improving society in general. I care about a lot of issues and my support for independence is a result of wanting to create a system that will enable us to tackle those issues in the most effective way possible.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that the majority of those who don’t support independence, believe that we can do better on key issues like pensions, the NHS and tax if we choose to remain in the UK.
That’s fine, I welcome having that debate again and resolving it once and for all at some point in the future. There is a time and a place for these arguments. However, the reason I have not been making pro-indy arguments as often recently is that there is a much bigger, more prescient issue, looming down on us. It is going to hit us like a truck in a few months if we don’t take it seriously.
Yesterday, I wrote about the abysmal response from Labour and the Tories to the Scottish Government’s Brexit impact papers.
At the point of publication, I hadn’t read what Ruth Davidson had said, but her response is thoroughly depressing.
NICOLA Sturgeon’s high-profile push to keep the UK in the single market after Brexit has been dismissed by the Tories as a sham to whip up support for independence.
“When she says Brexit, people hear the word independence,” Ms Davidson said.
Now, I watched Sturgeon give her press conference yesterday. We posted the video on a blog we wrote about it.
She talked for over half an hour, bringing together lots of Scottish Government and independent research about the damage that is going to be caused by all Brexit scenarios. When journalists tried to get her to talk about independence, she refused.
Now, like me, there is no doubt that Sturgeon wants Scotland to be independent. However, the idea that she and other independence supporters are so single-minded that this is the only thing they think about is disingenuous. As our recent blogging output shows, we may well want independence but we want it because we care about lots of other issues. Brexit being the most important one at the moment as it has the potential to have the biggest impact on our lives.
The Scottish Government is not mitigating Tory austerity, building infrastructure, reforming tax laws, amending land ownership and trying to stave off the worst damage from Brexit, because they want independence. They actually care about these policies. They want independence because they think independence will allow them to do those things better.
Regardless of what you think about Scottish independence, there is no doubt that the Scottish Government, unlike the UK Government has done some serious work on the impact of Brexit. They have offered several compromise solutions to the problem that don’t involve the break up of the UK.
I can understand that some people may be tired of constantly hearing about another referendum.
However, it should be dawning on them that they are constantly hearing about it from people like Ruth Davidson. The reason for this is that Ruth Davidson has no solution to the economic problems Brexit is going to inflict on Scotland. This despite the fact that Ruth Davidson fought tooth and claw to prevent Brexit exactly because she knew how much of a disaster it would be.
I’m not trying to convince anyone independence is the best way forward in this blog. I look forward to that debate in the future. I would argue though, that everyone should be growing weary of Ruth Davidson constantly hiding behind the independence card.
We should be forcing her to engage with the Scottish Government research into the impact of Brexit. I want to know what research she is aware of that has led to her change her mind on the dangers she fought to avoid? What can she say to put our minds at ease, to demonstrate to us that all of the experts have gotten it wrong?
I respect many people who think Scotland would better off staying in the UK as I know, like most independence supporters, they think that is the best thing for Scotland. That said, I don’t respect anyone who will continue to let Ruth Davidson and her ilk hide behind whataboutery when such massive issues are at stake.
It is possible to be against Scottish independence but still demand better from Davidson on the damaging Brexit that is going to be inflicted on Scotland by her own party. It’s time people stopped letting her off the hook so easily everytime she swots away major issues by playing the independence card.
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