Together with other results from the latest Wings Over Scotland/Panelbase survey, the widespread and significant agreement that the decision on whether and when Scotland will vote on independence again should be a matter for Holyrood and not Westminster for things it tells us besides the obvious.
It tells us that, in continuing to disrespect the mandate granted by the people of Scotland to the Scottish Government and deny the authority of the Scottish Parliament, the the British parties are ignoring large parts of their own support. Which, in turn, tells us that their position is not informed by any political or electoral calculation. It tends strongly to confirm the conclusion long since reached by many in Scotland that the position taken by the British parties reflects an ideological imperative which outweighs party political priorities and democratic considerations.
If, as the survey results seem to indicate, there is little or no party advantage – and potentially significant disadvantage – in denying the democratic will of Scotland’s people and treating the Scottish Parliament with open contempt, then the reasons for doing so must be overwhelming. And those reasons cannot have anything to do with serving the interests of Scotland and its people.
The survey also explains why the British establishment’s propaganda machine is working so hard to destroy public confidence in the Scottish Government and undermine the authority – and even the legitimacy – of the Scottish Parliament. Both have become what they were never meant to be. The Scottish Government has become much more than the glorified parish council that was intended. The Scottish Parliament has become the locus of Scotland’s politics. The Scottish Government now represents a serious challenge to the absolute authority of the Downing Street/Whitehall nexus. The Scottish Parliament now matters more to the people of Scotland than Westminster.
More importantly, Scotland’s democratic institutions reflect and represent an increasingly distinctive political culture. And this was anathema to the British state even before it came to be dominated by the fervent ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist ideology which grips the entire British political elite.
Be sure of one thing! However you and I may react to the results of this survey, the British establishment will see in it only cause to redouble its efforts to eradicate a political culture in Scotland which is a daily rebuke to their austerity fetishism, neoliberal orthodoxy and dire administrative incompetence.
The survey suggests the will exists to resist this onslaught. The task for the Yes movement in 2018 is to motivate and mobilise the people in defence of Scotland’s democratic institutions. In defence of Scotland’s political culture. In defence of Scotland’s right of self-determination. In defence of Scotland’s hope for a future shaped according to the needs, priorities and aspirations of Scotland’s people.
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