My column suggesting that Scottish Independence hopes now have as much life as the deceased parrot in the famous Monty Python sketch has rattled a few cages.
Suggesting a true Scotsman should wear Calvin Kleins under his kilt rather than go commando couldn’t have stirred the porridge with more gusto than my view that indy, like the black gold in the Cambo oilfield, seems buried never to see the light of day under the SNP.
The responses on my Twitter account to the column proved that seven years on from the referendum, the country’s still split down the middle and everyone has an opinion.
@whosaghirlie (on Twitter): “The party’s just starting. We’re getting prepared to get our food and drinks orders in so that the party can start next year.”
Jim Spence: Sadly the minimum pricing on alcohol that the SNP brought in will put a wee damper on the festivities.
It’ll be less Whosa ghirlie than Whosa very unhappy bunny when you see the cost of the bevvy.
And with the Brexit that you failed to stop, despite telling the nation that Scotland wouldn’t be taken out of Europe against its will, you’d better order Somerset Brie and English wine, because the French variety might struggle to get through customs.
That party you’ve planned might turn into a wake.
@DickWinchester: “I have no idea who Jim is but he is completely and utterly wrong.”
JS: Dick obviously doesn’t frequent the bars of Lochee or attend Dens Park or Tannadice.
And I have no idea who you are either, Dick.
Maybe it was fate that we should live our lives in joyful ignorance of each others existence, but given your certainty that I’m completely and utterly wrong maybe you’ll let me in on the exact date that Nicola Sturgeon plans for the next referendum and when Boris is giving her permission for it.
That way at least I can bung a few quid on in the bookies with a guaranteed return.
Sorry Dick, is that faint whisper that I can hear the sound of silence playing on your Simon and Garfunkel vinyl, or just you whistling in the wind?
Maybe you’ve been led up the hill and down again so often with referendum promises that you’re dizzy with the excitement.
I’d recommend a brief lie down until it actually happens, by which time you’ll be sporting a beard ten times the length of ZZ Top’s.
@_Scheissesturm pointed out that a new poll showed support at 55% for independence and asked me to “hit refresh”.
JS: Well folks the only refreshing needing done is by the independence movement and the SNP, whose arguments are now more stale than a two-week-old loaf and smelling even fustier.
@AndyMurrayScott (a veteran SNP campaigner in Dundee): “Indy support 55% today, how can @JimSpenceDundee have got it so wrong in his @thecourieruk column yesterday? ‘The most recent polls show support slipping away…’ Not so, James!”
JS: Here’s a thing about polls – like United and Dundee they’re up one week, down the next.
The only poll that counts is the one on referendum day, and since I and many others think the First Minister is leading us up the garden path with her promises of one.
All the polls in the world don’t amount to a hill of beans.
@Airthreycastle3: “You’re right Jim. The SNP seem to have zero interest in independence. Don’t think I’m the only one who’s given up on the entire political classes.”
JS: That’s a tad harsh Roy. Just because the SNP seem to have given up on independence is no reason to give up on the rest of the political classes. After all they don’t want independence.
@SobukweScozia: “If Independence is your thing it needs to be sold as a means to a better end rather than an end in itself. How will it be better, not just feel better?”
JS: I’ve been asking myself how it’ll be better for long time now. A blind belief that it’ll be alright on the night won’t cut it.
If it’s right for a country to put its economic interests first, it’s equally right for individuals and families to do the same.
Flags and fairytales about the Bruce and Wallace and the Wembley Wizards won’t put bread on the table or pay the mortgage or the rent.
We might well be richer as an independent nation we might also be poorer, there’s no guarantee.
@dealatrip: “What do the SNP stand for is a good question! Beyond ‘Separatism for its own sake’ #scexit does anyone really know? Ideas or ideals have to join up with what the majority want and both the current/future economic reality. Under [Nicola] Sturgeon the SNP are an unpalatable wayward outfit.”
JS: So what does the SNP stand for? Well the chickens are coming home to roost on that question.
They should only have one aim; independence: but it’s a broad church containing left wingers, right wingers, and centrists.
I bought the idea that we’d be a more socially just nation if we left the UK. The lack of radical policies under the SNP though has made me reconsider that view.
Granted devolution ties our hands somewhat, but we still have the freedom to be much more radical than we have been as nation.
Dundee has the two safest SNP seats at Holyrood. It also has the worst drug deaths crisis in Europe. Today’s leader:
COURIER OPINION: Tackling drugs deaths must be the new government's top priority – their loyal Dundee voters deserve nothing less… https://t.co/IYwAx9kEQw
— David Clegg (@davieclegg) May 10, 2021
They might well be in power if they ever work up the courage to call a second referendum, but since they’ve been Fainthearts so far why would they suddenly become Bravehearts in an independent country.
The truth is they’re the new establishment party: a confirmed middle of the road centrist party who are unlikely to make Scotland a fairer nation.
They’ve been a massive let down to thinking independence supporters who are interested in serious change rather than flags and fanfare.
@VezzaVince: “A fairer country? Really? Not if you’re trans or a supporter of trans rights. Jim doesn’t think ‘fair’ should apply to that particular section of the Scottish population.”
Not even close and certainly no cigar Vincent.
A classic display of deflection, for which too many of us in the independence movement have fallen.
Like Van Gogh you are only using the one ear and it’s hearing only what you want it to hear.
The fact that the SNP have been side-tracked away from issues affecting the vast bulk of the population by issues affecting a very small number of folk doesn’t indicate that anyone including me lacks sympathy or doesn’t want a fairer society.