Just for old times’ sake, during last night’s attempted coup in America we took a little dip back into the Yoonstream, the special place on social media where all the most deranged of Scotland’s Unionists hang out.
It didn’t disappoint.
You couldn’t move for frothing lunatics trying to draw parallels between the events in Washington and a series of wholly peaceful, wholly lawful independence marches and demonstrations, at which nobody got arrested and nobody got hurt despite some of them involving crowds of tens of thousands.
(And they all of course got VERY huffy and prickly when anyone pointed out to them that the only remotely significant scenes of violent political disorder in Scotland in the last 50 years were the gangs of Loyalist “Better Together” thugs rampaging in George Square the night after the indyref.)
Some particularly brainless Labour politicians even tried to use the disturbances to try to score points against the SNP by tweeting old pictures of Donald Trump with Alex Salmond – who isn’t in the SNP and who Trump famously loathes – while somehow not realising that people would remind them of this:
(McConnell being the man who as First Minister gave Trump a position as a business ambassador for Scotland in a specially-created organisation and wanted to dub him a “platinum Scot”, while it was the SNP who removed Trump from the position.)
And there was a constantly recurring theme that somehow the SNP and the Yes movement had somehow refused to accept the result of the 2014 referendum:
Yet the SNP could not possibly have respected the result of the 2014 referendum more if they’d tried. There was no legal challenge to the outcome, let alone a violent storming of Parliament. Like all good democrats who lose a vote, the Yes movement has regrouped after its defeat and continued to seek its goals by lawful, peaceful and democratic means.
The Labour Party hasn’t dissolved itself and abandoned socialism forever just because it’s been thrashed in a whole series of elections in both the UK and Scotland. The Scottish Tories haven’t disbanded after being rejected in Scotland for 60 solid years.
Nicola Sturgeon has in fact grovelled endlessly at the feet of the 2014 result, insisting repeatedly that she’ll only attempt to seek independence for Scotland again if the UK government explicitly gives her permission and doggedly refusing to act on a long list of democratic mandates to take some sort of firmer (but still lawful) action.
But in amongst the parade of demented roasters making idiots of themselves, there was one dig that did have a little sting of truth to it.
Because the SNP did spend most of the last four years trying to overturn the result of a democratic vote without any legitimate mandate to do so. It just wasn’t the indyref.
This site’s opinion is that Brexit is probably the stupidest thing the UK has ever done, but it was nevertheless the UK’s democratic will. It was voted for in a free and fair ballot, and there have been numerous elections since at which the people could have expressed the will to change their mind. But they didn’t.
At not one but two general elections they voted overwhelmingly for parties pledged to enact Brexit. At the European election of 2019, the Brexit Party, which wasn’t even really a party, actually came first, beating both all the mainstream parties out of sight.
The Lib Dems, despite having the unambiguously-Remain vote all to themselves, got less than 20% in that election, and less than 12% in both the 2017 and 2019 general elections. The UK electorate could not possibly have made it clearer that it wanted the result of the Brexit vote to be carried out, for good or ill, and eventually in its frustration it delivered Boris Johnson a large majority to get that job done, something that’s going to have disastrous consequences for everyone for years to come.
This site warned throughout 2019 that the SNP were making a foolish mistake in trying to override the democratic wishes of the UK as a whole (and primarily of England and Wales) – in other words, doing exactly what we all complain about and use as one of the primary justifications for independence when English votes foist Tory governments on Scotland – rather than focusing their energies on respecting Scotland’s vote to remain by getting Scotland out of the UK.
They had, and still have, a clear democratic mandate to seek independence. They had none whatsoever to block the UK’s exit from the EU, and the amount of time and effort they wasted on the attempt may yet prove to be fatal to the independence cause.
And as catastrophically dim as they certainly are, even the knuckle-dragging droolers of the Yoonstream know an open goal when they see one.