As confusing a time as it may be for Scottish Independence supporters, it’s even more confusing for the British Nationalists who make up their opposite number. The meme right now is that even with the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union, the people of Scotland don’t want to “compound” that by breaking up the UK – even if leaving the UK means preventing Scotland’s separation from the EU, which the people of Scotland voted against in the first place.
Right now, the British Nationalist parties are adamant that the SNP (for as ever, there is never the acknowledgement that the independence movement reaches beyond one political party) just put aside all this silly constitutional nonsense and “stick to the day job” – after all, even unnamed “senior SNP figures” don’t want Indyref2 just yet:
SNP insiders urge Nicola Sturgeon to put brakes on second independence referendum
NICOLA Sturgeon is being urged by senior SNP figures to wait until after the 2020 General Election and another expected Conservative victory before calling a second independence referendum.
Influential party insiders are cautioning their leader against a rush to the polls again as an opinion snapshot suggested the highest number of respondents, 46 per cent, said there should not be another referendum in the next few years. It found 33 per cent who want one by 2019.
– “Senior SNP Figures,” 19th September 2016
And former SNP advisers:
Indyref2 is years away. Nicola’s too smart to rush it.
In the febrile hours after the EU referendum vote, she famously said under questioning that she thought another referendum on independence was “highly likely”. I suspect she now regrets those words, as they have created a rod for her own back and a stick for her opponents to beat her with.
The unexpected Brexit result has placed her between the hammer and the anvil. If she delays or kicks the idea of another independence vote into the long grass, she will risk alienating the party, and most particularly the 100,000 or so who have joined since 2014. Independence is the SNP’s whole reason for existence; rejecting any opportunity to seize it would be a risky and precarious move for her.
So, though, is the alternative of seizing the moment and calling a referendum. With the polls apparently not having shifted much since the first indyref, this would be an even more risky win-or-die strategy. Score a victory, and she will become a politician of truly global stature, writing herself forever into Scottish history. Lose again, and she will be gone by the next morning, her political career a shredded carcass for the vultures to feed on.
Nicola Sturgeon is not a gambler. The serious, scholarly 21-year-old I met all that time ago has grown in political skill, respect and stature. But she is still a cautious, quiet thinker who relies on instinct and common sense rather than on impetuous bravery.
– Andrew Collier, 23rd August 2016
Perplexingly, these conveniently unnamed & unverifiable “senior SNP figures” (and Andrew Collier) appear to be in tune with none other than the leader of Better Together:
Darling: ‘No indyref2 any time soon’
Nicola Sturgeon will not call another independence referendum any time soon because she fears defeat, the man who led the pro-UK campaign ahead of the last vote has predicted.
Alistair Darling said Ms Sturgeon had to regularly “throw red meat” to her supporters by hinting at a second vote.
But he said she “knows she will be finished” if she loses again.
– Alistair Darling, 19th September 2016
And one of the chief architects of the Other Party’s downfall:
Scotland won’t get its second independence referendum – that suits Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP just fine
How’s that second Scottish independence referendum looking?
Not all that good, actually.
– John McTernan, 6th May 2016
So, according to – apparently – everyone, if there’s a second Independence Referendum soon, and it’s a No vote, then that really will end it for a generation. It will “finish” Nicola Sturgeon; it will devastate the SNP; it will set the cause back years, if not decades.