The unionists should stop talking about independence & get on with the day job

Earlier we published a guide to the local council elections.

In it we stated the obvious by saying that as these are local elections, they are not about independence and people should vote based on policies and not the constitution. Councils can’t call independence referendums so it is the height of stupidity to base your vote on that one issue.

The pro independence parties seem to understand this.

Here is a copy of a typical SNP election leaflet which is all about local issues.

SNP Local Council Leaflet

The Green party have released a manifesto which is crammed full of ideas about local government and no mention of independence. Their leaflets look a bit like this.

Green Local Council Leaflet

The union backing parties though have leaflets that make the referendum the prominent issue. Their leaflets are basically saying, vote for us to stop this nasty divisive referendum happening. There are literally hundreds of examples of this.

Here is a Tory example

Tory Council Election Leaflet

Here is a Labour one.

Labour Council Election Leaflet

Every leaflet I have seen from those two parties focuses heavily on the threat of indyref2 and not local issues.

These leaflets are coming from parties that spend half of their time telling the pro independence parties to get on with the day job. Yet the unionist parties who are sending them seem more obsessed about indyref2 than the nationalists.

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They are using this tactic as they know that they are not popular in Scotland and that they don’t have policies that local people find inspiring.

By turning the local council election into a proxy independence referendum they can deflect from the fact that they have nothing to offer.

Yet in doing so they are also alienating those who are pro independence while insulting the intelligence of all but the most die-hard unionists.

No matter how they try to spin things there is nothing a local council can do to stop indyref2, so voting based on that issue is only something that will appeal to the most ideological or gullible. In 2014 we did see some unionist run local councils brief against independence but basing your council vote on that potential future occurrence would be bonkers.

That said, now that the unionists are campaigning on this basis, if they do well, some sections of the mainstream media will spin it as a blow for independence.

We can only hope that the No voting public are able to see that the union back politicians are taking them for mugs.

Regardless of your constitutional leanings, no sane person should base their local election choice on independence. Everyone should rank the parties in the order they think will be best for the local area. Parties that are sending leaflets about national issues are not going to do a good job in local positions of power in my opinion.

They need to stop talking about independence and get on with the day job.

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Bobby Hainey

Joint founder of Autonomyscotland. In my spare time I enjoy Road Cycling, Munro bagging and beer.

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