It's not often that one of the unionist usual suspects on Twitter makes me grudgingly say "good point", but that happened a week or two back when it was pointed out that Humza Yousaf was using coded language to shield anti-nuclear Yes supporters from the fact that the SNP government do not intend that an independent Scotland should sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. He apparently said that Scotland would join NATO on the same basis that Finland recently joined - which is indirectly getting at the fact that Finland started opposing the treaty in line with NATO wishes, having previously abstained in the relevant UN votes.
It was also suggested (and I don't know whether this is true or not) that Alyn Smith attacked the treaty more directly, saying "a piece of paper isnae going to keep us safe". If so, and just as an aside, could I appeal to all politicians and political activists to stop abusing our wonderfully expressive Scots language by only switching to it when they want to make a particularly stupid point that they know they can't justify through rational argument. It's like: "How do we bypass the voters' adult intelligence to win us a hearing on this one? I know, let's switch to Scots, and then they'll all revert to childhood."
My own view is that the existence of the relatively new treaty is a golden opportunity for the SNP to get out of the mess of trying to oppose nuclear weapons and support NATO membership simultaneously, which is practically a contradiction in terms given that NATO largely exists to extend the so-called American nuclear "deterrent" to European countries who join up. The SNP was traditionally anti-NATO to maintain consistency with the anti-nuclear policy, but got cold feet in the run-up to the 2014 referendum due to polls showing overwhelming support for NATO membership. But here's the thing - polls also now show substantial support for the nuclear ban treaty. I asked that question myself in one of the polls I commissioned for Scot Goes Pop -
Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, 21st-26th April 2021:
If the public start to understand that there's an either/or choice here, and that they can't have both the things they want (ie. NATO membership and signing the treaty) they might start to be a bit more forgiving towards a political party or government that rejects NATO membership for the specific reason that it wants to join the treaty. It would be interesting to see a poll in which a straight choice is presented to respondents to see what they regard as more important. If I ever commission another poll in the future, I might ask that question (assuming no-one does it before me).