The latest in a series of posts published many weeks ago but still relevant today. We are now actively discouraging cross border travel but we still lack the full powers we need to make it truly effective.
ITS NOT DIFFICULT
To find everyday examples of what we would do differently if we were Independent. Restrictions on the border would have been in place months ago and checks at all points into Scotland would have been in operation.
There certainly would not have been the free for all during the English holiday season. I am not suggesting the rise in the number of infections in Scotland during this period was entirely down to this but there is no doubt it made a significant contribution.
Do you see what I did there? I made a statement we all know to be true but in our cowering devolved State did you hear a single word about that from the Scottish Government or any senior Scottish politicians? No you didn’t because there was not a whisper.
With good reason they would argue, what’s to be gained by doing so? We would just cause more problems with Westminster who still control the purse strings. I believe there is a second unspoken problem, it would highlight just how powerless Nicola Sturgeon and her Government are when it comes to dealing with a deadly death inducing pandemic in their own country. Not the image they want to portray, they want to show they are in total control of the crisis.
The problem of course is they are not. Now I want to be fair to .Nicola and the Scottish Government and in the areas they do control they have done an excellent job, much better than Westminster but they would have done so much better again, if they held the powers of a normal Independent country.
This is the quandary Scotland regularly faces. If we tell the people the truth about our lack of powers during this pandemic we leave ourselves open to being accused of introducing politics into the crisis. Or using it as an excuse for any failures.
I can well understand that but, and I think it is a huge but, how do the Scottish people recognise the overwhelming need and benefits of Independence for Scotland if nobody tells them about it at the crucial times? Remember, at least officially, we are planning for a referendum very soon.
Now I have recognised the problem but I think part of the problem could be easily solved. Nicola is an exceptional communicator but this ability has a downside, because she is so able this has led to a situation where she has become the only voice, everything goes through Nicola. Tactically and from a strategic point of view this is a bad thing. It removes the ability of Government to run two strategies on the same issue. How much more effective if one voice was being hugely constructive and doing a great job controlling the pandemic while other voices were highlighting the problems she was facing due to the lack of powers at her disposal?
Such a strategy would help people understand and appreciate the need for Independence while not leaving Nicola open to accusations of being political or anything other than constructive. Labour are running on that model down South at the moment. Starmer is constructive and supportive, others point out the Tory failings.
This is not revolutionary, it is what would happen in all other countries that did not run on a Presidential type basis.
Yes supporters are wanting to see Scotland gearing up, they want to see evidence that the ground is being prepared for the final battle. Both the Scottish Government and the SNP must develop some new strategy to enthuse the Scottish electorate, gradually educating them on the reasons Independence is needed and urgent.
When they start doing so a lot of today’s problems will disappear, the Yes movement will discern progress and the Yes side will unite behind that progress and start driving forward again.
Good intentions and safety first are all very well and necessary but so to is determination and vigour, sensible strategy and good tactics that involve the widest team and all the talents.
Now when that all comes together, we will be weeks away from Independence.
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland
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