Question Time in Fort William presented a small glimpse of what may come to be the next chapter of the Scottish Independence partnering, but first we need to look back a bit.
The Scottish Greens found themselves with a lot of power without much real preparation for being saddled with it, sadly this manifested in some of the oddest and widely unpopular legislation the Scottish Parliament has enacted.
Nicola Sturgeon found herself evicted from office in the severely damaging defence and promotion of ideas that found no traction with the electorate. It’ll now come to pass that Sturgeon may also have led the most ineffective and support losing Parliament due in part to the stranglehold the Greens exerted.
However it’s largely pointless to dwell on what has gone past us and instead focus on the future.
Humza at some point will have to jettison the old guard – still battering on as though the whole saga was just a bad dream – or be jettisoned himself, there are only really two options available to the SNP just now.
However what was striking was that Mairi McAllan, who in the past has been a very effective friend and repeater of Nicola Sturgeon has decided to refocus on being more conciliatory and focussing on echoing what people actually say to her. It was amusing to see the change.
Likewise Alex Salmond, seemed to have risen above any real fight with the SNP, and instead went back to pronouncing the benefits Scotland already has. Watch closely – and if he hadn’t mentioned ALBA, you could be forgiven for thinking he was still in the SNP, the stats and arguments he was making were straight from his former playbook. Indeed they might even be.
Alex has obviously concluded Humza will sooner or later be forced to exorcise bad omens from the SNP cog-works and has moved a little ahead into the phase where we have one movement, albeit with distinct voices.
Diverse voices with varying tones and messages is what the movement needed last time round but lacked in the political arena – but enjoyed on the community level. This time round it does seem at least we will enjoy that improvement.
The standout though – is exactly what will end with the Labour Party (in disbelief), presented in a neat little package by Jackie Baillie.
You see Jackie went on the attack about how she campaigned in 2019 for remaining within the EU. However thats not Labours current position, it does not seek to solve the European problem, instead as Jackie said, much the same as currently dished up will be delivered by Labour, but with friendlier smiles.
While the independence movement bolsters on, debating the merits or demerits of full membership, EFTA and single market access – the Labour Party won’t actually have anything with any substance to add. This isn’t going to delivery any fruit to the Labour Party, in part because they can’t help secure the future of fruit workers.
The electorate will maybe vote Labour in some places as a kick to the Tories but theres no resounding message the Labour Party have found to share. Bereft of talent or substance – it’s the same old folks making the same old noise and Scotland has moved on from it.
Outrage from Ian Murray followed the day after – he was upset the SNP’s condition of support will be for a referendum on Scottish Independence.
Amusingly in being aggrieved – Ian Murray had already conceded Labour won’t win the next general election without the SNP’s help. How pathetic. They can’t even pretend they’ll succeed because it’s that unlikely.
If the only choices of Conservative Party Policy are whether you want the red or blue set – is it any wonder why Labour can’t beat the SNP when it should be at its weakest? Furthermore not expecting to beat a terribly weak Tory performance?
In the next few weeks and months, the SNP will learn some lessons, as will ALBA, they’ll tune and hone.
The SNP have worked out behind the scenes that the Greens are an anchor rather than a propeller. Despite knowing folks like Mairi and Alex share no desire to work together – they’ll find an equitable platform to stand on to push the cause – while Labour languish in the polls.