Wincing and recoiling

snp_conferenceDo you ever read something that makes you physically wince? I flinched twice reading George Kerevan’s article. I cringed when i read this “the Scots electorate (mercifully) is having a year off”. Aye, George! Because voting is such an onerous task we should be glad of anti-democratic British Nationalists like Ruth Davidson who want to relieve us of the chore. Participating in the democratic process is such a burden we should happily do the bidding of those who advise us to sit down, shut up and eat our cereal.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was some way we could all just disengage from politics altogether? Wouldn’t it be great if there was some elite prepared to relieve us of the need to think about all that politics stuff? Wouldn’t it be a mercy if we were given two years off from the grind of democracy? Or five? Or fifty?

That five minute walk to the polling place is hellish enough. But then they make you pick up a pencil and make a mark on a bit of paper! Sometimes, you even have to think about where you’re putting that cross! (Yes! A cross! That’s two – count them! – TWO pencil strokes!) And you might be asked to do this TWICE in the one year! It’s inhuman!

Of course, it’s not just the voting that’s a massive imposition. All that politics nonsense takes up so much space in the newspapers and so much airtime on TV and radio. Think how much more sport there could be in the papers if it weren’t for all those column inches being devoted to stuff about health and education and welfare. Think how many more soaps could be crammed into a day if they would just stop putting politicians on. Who needs it? We pay those politicians to run the country. Can they not just get on with it? Do they have to be pestering us all the time?

I’d barely recovered from the physical impact of that little gobbet of thoughtlessness when I was made to recoil again; this time at the suggestion that,

This upcoming spring conference will be the last at which the SNP top brass can remain silent on the referendum question.

What!? The SNP leadership can remain silent about the new referendum at next month’s conference!? They can get through the whole two days without so much as mentioning it!? As they say on Twitter, WTF!?

I know George noticed the All Under One Banner march in Glasgow on Saturday 5 May. I know he’s aware of it, because he mentions it in the very next sentence. What does he think those 50,000 people were marching for? Longer tea-breaks!?

In theory, I suppose it’s possible that there were people on that march whose enthusiasm for independence wasn’t matched by a sense of urgency. It was a very large gathering. Perhaps I missed the banners saying ‘POSTPONE THE REFERENDUM’. Maybe I failed to hear the chants of, ‘what do we want? Independence! When do we want it? When Pete Wishart is satisfied that we can’t possibly lose!’.

Or perhaps I read the mood correctly. Perhaps there was a feeling of urgency in the air. Perhaps there is an expectation that the SNP will respond to that sense of urgency. Perhaps a large proportion of those people are anticipation something more than silence on the referendum question when the party meets in Aberdeen next month. Perhaps a significant number of those people will be bloody annoyed if all they get is silence from the “SNP top brass”.

One thing I can say for certain about the people on that march – they know the value of participative democracy. They don’t think of participation in the democratic process as a chore to be avoided if at all possible. They aren’t content to sit down, shut up and eat their cereal. That march was democracy in action. Those people, and the thousands more who were with them in spirit, were insisting on having their say.

The SNP leadership better be listening. And they damn well better have a good response. Silence will not satisfy those people. Silence is not an option.


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7 thoughts on “Wincing and recoiling

  1. Well said again Peter. The SNP is going to have to leave off playing the conventional political party for a good while. We are literally defending Scotland from a malevolent takeover by authoritarians and fascists.

    We’ve got to stop being reactive and worrying about what the public will think. We’ve got to be proactive and change what members of the public think if they aren’t already Yes and already aware of the implications of what Westminster plans

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, Peter. You misunderstood my point. When I say the SNP Spring Conference is “the last”at which the SNP top brass can be silelent on a date for the next indyref, I WAS NOT AGREEING WITH THEM or endorsing that silence. I thought that was clear in the context of calling (in the article) on the Party to create the government institutions NOW that we need to run a separate currency. The thrust of the piece in The National (as in a string of earlier articles) was that the membership wants a referendum and is already on the streets demanding one. The FM’s position, as I understand it, is to wait till the Brexit negotiations are finished before deciding on any referendum. I respect that but I don’t agree with it and have said so repeatedly. In fact the very end of my article makes it plain the SNP grassroots are taking matters into their own hands: hence the massive support for the Glasgow demo. The article was designed to put. A little pressure on the leadership and elected members to seize the moment. Quite the reverse of what you seem to impute to me. In comradeship – George Kerevan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peter I loved your response to George , that is respect , thanks George for clearing the misinterpretation , as you say Peter the march which my wife and I took part WAS to indicate to the SNP SG and to the unionists that NOW IS MOST DEFINITELY THE TIME

    Like

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