Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The dream has died. Time to face facts - the SNP must now disband.

Until quite recently there was a feeling among many nationalists that this really was their moment. The Scottish government appeared to be very popular, Alex Salmond in particular being massively preferred as First Minister to all the varied potential alternatives. And, while it was far from clear whether an independence referendum bill could pass through parliament in this session, the SNP's seemingly commanding position made a second term in office all but inevitable, offering them another bite at the referendum cherry. By which time, the conventional wisdom went, the SNP would have built up their credibility still further, thus increasing the likelihood of a 'Yes' vote.

A cruel illusion.

On Sunday 15th March, a YouGov poll in the Sunday Times put an end to these childish fantasies forever. The numbers for the SNP were utterly devastating, leaving no realistic chance whatsoever of recovery even in the distant future. The collapse had occurred in every single aspect of voting preference - for the Scottish Parliament constituency ballot, support for the party had slumped from 33% at the 2007 Holyrood election to a dismal 35% today. On the list vote, support had similarly fallen from 31% to 32%. On the Westminster vote, support for the SNP had nosedived from 18% at the last election to a pathetic 27%. While for the European Parliament vote, support had plummeted from 20% in the last election to a frankly laughable 29% now.

Of course, there seems to be something in the nationalist mindset that leads us to clutch at straws, even in the face of such overwhelming evidence that the party is facing certain meltdown. A few misguided people pointed to the irrelevant detail that the SNP are still ahead on the constituency ballot, and only two points behind on the list. Some weirdly tried to suggest that the above figures showed an increase rather than a decrease in the SNP's support (shows you the desperate state of education in an SNP-run Scotland). Some resorted to the tired old argument that you can't draw too many conclusions from a single poll, especially not one that is - due to the standard margin of error of 3% - what the Americans would call a statistical tie on both ballots.

But thankfully we have Scotland's second most virile Alpha Male (affectionately known throughout the land as AM2 to distinguish him from the nation's undisputed leading Alpha Male Frank McAvennie) to force us to confront the cold, hard truth. This opinion poll is quite simply game over. In our heart of hearts, we all know it. Alex Salmond might as well just enjoy the dregs of his fleeting spell in office, for the return to power of the dream team of Iain Gray and Tavish Scott on a wave of public euphoria is now, quite simply, a scientifically proven certainty.

Facing such a hopeless future, Alex Salmond would be well-advised to take a leaf out of David Owen's book - and in so doing show some maturity by finally acknowledging the glorious unionist future Scotland is about to embark on - by simply proposing the party's immediate dissolution. What is there to gain by fighting on?

13 comments:

subrosa said...

James are you expecting Alex Salmond to fall on his curry? Don't think that'll happen in my lifetime :-)

scunnert said...

I am distraught. The dream is over.

Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame,
Fareweel our ancient glory!
Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name.
Sae famed in martial story!
Now Sark rins over Salway sands,
An' Tweed rins to the ocean,
To mark where England's province stands --
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Goodbye - goodbye ...

Aye We Can ! said...

Wow, Scot goes pop - one opinion poll an "the dream is over" - forever, you tell us.

Id agree with you in only one sense - between now and the next Scottish elections in 2011 is not a good time to hold a referndum. The essential idea, that now - a mega recession - is a time to pull together not divide the ocuntry with an inevitably divisive indpendence refendum is a sound one. And, from an SNP/pro indpependence perspective, sound tactically too, as we'd near inevitably end up as the samller half, way smaller half in present circumstances. Defeated. in Eck's words, "the issue settled for a generation"

But forever? Mince.

But without a referendum now ( ans arithmetically it seem now un deliverable via Holyrood) I'd say until 2014, co-incidentally Bannockburn 700 !

Why then? - mid way through the SNPs 2nd term I'd hope, when the SNP in Government had well and truly proven itself - and i'd hope a genuinely autonomous and large non SNP indpependence "movement" had emerged.

And the recession would either be by then on the mend or so fundamental that we provably needed radical chamge - independence, and a social and economic revolution with it

And perhaps even more significanly still - especially if the SNP had had the strategic foresignt to supsend it demand for a referendum in 2011, becuse had been seen to do this, it would be regared as as a truly national party. One that had worked with others to fight and hopefully defeat the worst aspects of recession that threatened the people of Scotland.

I do think there is such a thing as reward in politics.

Scotland's day wil come - and much sooner than you thing, if less rapidly than the SNP's unthinking ( an tiny) card carrying fan base might think, dream.

But. A second SNP term , a defeated near bankrupt labour party, a Tory party intereted in consolidating its english base, its own second term, an Obama admistration sorting out the worlds hot spost inculuing delivering a independent Palestine, Some sort of united Ireland moving ever closer. Today's 14 year olds 18

Our day is coming

Dead forever? - dream on, Scott goes pop.

You will never kill us - surely you should have learned that centuries ago?

And, Tavish - ta!!

Advanced Media Watch said...

Your right James, This poll does indeed show the SNP have made progress since the last General election, Scottish and European.

Not bad considering the SNP are half way through the term in gov and had to make some forced u turns and unpopular decisions.

Good post and i think its AMP that has gone pop.

Advanced Media Watch said...

Aye we can, Read what James has written again please, in fact all of you read the article again, or is it just me that cant see the emphasis of this article ?

Montague Burton said...

Round of applause for the best blog post I've read since dipping my toe in this mentalist pot of bloggers. Well done James.

Now about this Eurovison-Curling obsession....

Aye We Can, ffs man lighten up.

wv plongo

Key bored warrior. said...

Your expose of the AM2 thing is welcome as I will not go near his blog for fear of contamination with his negative bile soaked view of Scotland.

He is quite notorious for getting things spectacularly wrong. When he first appeared on the Scotsman as AM he would take the anti-Scottish line on every thing he could spin.

The most incredible piece of spinning he did was when he spent nearly 72 hours continuously posting on the merits of the scrapping of the 10p tax band by Gordon Brown. He quoted reams and reams of figures which were plainly mince in his efforts to get people to accept it was the best thing ever. He is quite plainly insane.

On the up side of that is the fact that he is also completely wrong on the SNP. The trend line for the SNP has been on the up for the past 30 years, and we are now seeing it breaking through to score magnificent victories across Scotland. I say trend line because I study the financial markets and do some spread betting, very successfully I may add. And the trend line is there for all to see.

This AM thing arrive announcing his credential as being from Northern Ireland. So that in itself is enough to explain it's dogmatic, blinkered, negative, and fanatical loyalist sympathies.

He is nothing more than an apparatchik, seeded into The Scotsman to agitate and disrupt debate which he still does with his many many other monikers. More shame on the Scotsman for condoning his presence.

I have tested this theory many times and may do so again today, by placing certain comments on the forum which get immediately taken down and the moniker banned. These are not comments that breach the conditions of the site but specific comments that I know gets up his nose and he takes them out, proof that he is part of the Scotsman.

Anonymous said...

"Wow, Scot goes pop - one opinion poll an "the dream is over" - forever, you tell us....But forever? Mince."

Errrr, I think that's his point.

Anonymous said...

Aye We Can ! is Alan Smart - Labour tankey who has been pretending to be a nat since Labour people started ignoring him in the hope he'd go away.

Seems like that was quite successfal strategy.

Good post bytheway

Mike Small said...

Alan, James was taking the pish. Poor Jason Allardyce - he must really think his readership is stupid.

Key bored warrior. said...

As I predicted. On the Cameron HBOS thread today I planted some comments which resulted in a rash of deletions for no other reason than they offended the insane paranoid pail of vomit that is AM2 who is the 24hr censor.

NO SURRENDER.

Saor Alba gu brath.

Aye We Can ! said...

James, Sorry for misreading the heavy irony in your post - but it would have fooled more than me - we dont all still bother about AM2 or Jason alardce.

Re a peronal comment abour myslef by one of your correspondants:

"Anonymous said...
Aye We Can ! is Alan Smart - Labour tankey who has been pretending to be a nat since Labour people started ignoring him in the hope he'd go away."

There is no secret of my identity, it on my blog! - and a former "tankie", I think even the trots would take issue.

But "anonymous" - why anonymous?
Ashammed of your own name? Or just your stupidity.

I dont pretend to be anything, unlike you

subrosa said...

AWC, even I saw the irony in James' post and thought it very worthy of promoting on Subrosa's Super Seven this week.