Does Craig Murray seriously imagine he is advancing the cause of independence by this kind of pointless, petulant sniping at the SNP? How is that cause served by being no more than an echo-chamber for some of the more puerile unionist propaganda?
Our opponents know full well that, as the de facto political arm of Scotland’s independence movement, the SNP is absolutely crucial to the process of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. Naturally, they seek to damage the SNP at every opportunity and in diverse ways. Not the least of these is the tactic of presenting the party as having ‘gone cold’ on the idea of independence. As having ‘betrayed the cause’. As having let down the independence campaign. It’s the age-old strategy of divide and rule that the British state has been perfecting for centuries. And all to many people are falling for it. Even normally intelligent people are allowing their buttons to be pressed.
It has become almost fashionable, in certain circles, to prove one’s credentials as a ‘true believer’ in independence by attacking the SNP. It matters little whether there are any rational grounds for such attacks. The unionist media have defined two camps. You’re either an independent-minded individual; or you’re an unthinking party loyalist. There’s nothing in between. There’s no nuance. There’s no spectrum. There’s just this rigid dichotomy. If you’re daft enough to accept these media-defined labels, you’re obviously going to want to avoid the one that reads “Mindless Party Loyalist”. So you have to be critical of the SNP.
But it doesn’t end there. In order to avoid being assigned to the “Mindless Party Loyalist” category, not just any criticism will do. In fact, constructive, reasoned criticism will be rejected every bit as vehemently as any expression of support for the party or rebuttal of criticisms. In order to avoid categorisation as a “Mindless Party Loyalist” your criticism of the SNP must be selected from the list provided by the party’s unionists opponents. The fact that these also happen to be opponents of the independence movement evidently eludes those who fall for this manipulative ruse.
It’s time for a bit of realpolitik. The independence movement long since passed the stage of being carried forward solely on a wave of enthusiastic commitment. We are now into the end moves. And those have to be clever moves. Getting it wrong at this stage would surely cost us dear. We are talking about setting back the cause, not by years, but by decades.
We have to recognise the crucial role of the SNP administration. We also have to recognise that independence must be won from within the British political system. A system that cares little for popular opinion. A system that respects only brute political power. A system that has evolved to marginalise and/or neutralise any threat to the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. The SNP, both as a party and as an administration, has to be effective within this system.It has to play the game by the rules of British political system in order that Scotland might break free from that system.
Nicola Sturgeon’s strategy at the moment is to build a level of public support which gives her administration the “brute political power” that it needs in order to move forward with the independence project. Needless to say, the British political establishment is bent on preventing the SNP administration securing even a mandate for another referendum. They will do absolutely anything to deter and weaken support for the SNP because they know that is the most effective way to block the independence movement.
Nothing suits the anti-independence better than the kind of knee-jerk reaction to the SNP’s tactics that we see here. Nothing serves their purpose better than the kind of shallow analysis that presents these tactics as some kind of failure rather than recognising the cleverness. Look at how the British parties in Scotland and the unionist media have reacted to the SNP’s survey! If that doesn’t tell you it’s got them worried then you’re really not paying attention.
Craig Murray and his wee clique might want to reflect on the fact that, even if they are unable to recognise the cleverness of Nicola Sturgeon’s tactics, our opponents certainly aren’t oblivious to the threat.