I’m a bit of an old cynic when it comes to politics. I’m not easily impressed. But the sheer magnitude of Saturday’s event left me stunned. It was huge!
But it’s not all about numbers. Mood matters just as much. Gatherings like this have character. They have something akin to a personality. If Saturday’s gathering was a person, they would be cheerful, amiable, enthusiastic and determined.
They might also be described as a bit impatient. Perhaps even a little angry.
This is, of course, a personal impression. But what I sensed from that crowd on Saturday very much accords with the mood I have been finding as I speak with individuals and groups around Scotland. There is a palpable sense of a tipping point having been reached. A growing sense of urgency. The impression is of people having decided that the time is right. Of people resolved to act.
Unlike some commentators, I do not see this as a problem for the SNP. On the contrary, I reckon it is precisely what Nicola Sturgeon has been hoping for and planning on.
No doubt the size of the turnout on Saturday does put pressure on the Scottish Government to use its mandate for a new referendum.
No doubt that pressure is the greater for the mood of impatience and urgency. But such pressure is discomfiting for politicians only when they have no plan.
Stress can be harmful where there is pressure without control. Nicola Sturgeon is in control. She has a plan.
Being in control, Nicola Sturgeon can harness the energy of those thousands who marched on Saturday – as well as the thousands more who were there in spirit – and use it to power Scotland’s final drive to independence.
First published as a letter in The National
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