Earlier this year, given a platform by the Daily Mail, Brillo pontificated “[Nicola] Sturgeon is on the ropes and her natural instinct is to strike out at all who assail her. It is not a pretty sight … She is determined to lead the SNP into the crucial Holyrood elections in May … some of those pro-Union politicians publicly calling for her to resign hope privately that she stays in situ”. Whyever would they do that? Ah, but The Great Man knows.
“They think the fallout from the Salmond-Sturgeon civil war has turned her into a liability who could scupper the SNP’s hopes of an overall majority … a politician who has always been head and shoulders above all her rivals - inside and outside the SNP - and widely regarded as the party’s biggest asset could now be the politician that stops the SNP from fulfilling its dreams … [the] Salmond affair … has taken its toll on Sturgeon and the SNP”.
And his conclusion? “I would not be surprised if Sturgeon decided sometime in the next parliament to pack it in and go off to a more pleasant life managing some global quango. If May’s elections produce a result which secures the Union for the foreseeable future … what would be the point in hanging around?” And then came the elections.
While the SNP did not (quite) achieve an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, it won 64 of the 129 seats. Moreover, the Greens, who are also pro-independence, won eight seats. There is a clear pro-Independence majority. So back came Brillo and the Mail.
“Following the failure of Nicola Sturgeon’s pro-independence SNP to win an overall majority in last week’s elections to the Scottish parliament, the 314-year-old Union between England and Scotland lives to fight another day … Of course, it is by no means certain that the British Government would have bowed to Sturgeon’s demands for a second independence referendum even if she had won an overall majority”. Do go on.
“Only last month the First Minister told ITV that a vote for the SNP was ‘not voting for independence’ … Yet even before the final votes had been counted over the weekend, she was out in front of the TV cameras insisting she now had a mandate for a second referendum”. The Great Man complains that Ms Sturgeon is performing a bait and switch.
This, he asserts, makes her an Arthur Daley figure, which will make no impact with anyone under 55 (Daily Mail target audience giveaway there). This is total crap: one look at the SNP’s Wikipedia entry is all you need. “The SNP supports and campaigns for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom and for membership of the European Union”.
You vote SNP (or, indeed, Scottish Green) and you know what you’re voting for, Brillo sophistry or no. And as David Allen Green has put it, “Every time an opponent of Scottish independence resorts to 'no SNP majority' or 'the last referendum was supposed to be once in a generation/lifetime' that is a lost opportunity to make a case on its merits”.
Unless that case has no merits, O Sage Of Grasse. Wind your neck in, Brillo.
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