By Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector (i.e. president) of the University of Dundee. Craigmurray.org.uk.
I find some social media comment unduly pessimistic on the prospects for Independence, which have never been brighter. We have almost all Scottish Westminster MPs. We have a pro-Independence majority in Holyrood (the other Green MSPs are much better than Patrick Harvie) for another four years. The SNP is back for a historic third term, having polled more than twice the votes of anybody else. We can neutralise a Scottish Lib Dem as Presiding Officer – they will do anything for a title and a cushy job. It is not a question of whether the glass is half full. It is full. The head on the beer may be a wee bit deeper than we wanted, but the glass is full.
The percentage supporting Independence has risen fairly consistently and it is now around 50/50, as reflected in this election result. Support will continue to grow.
But the most helpful development of all is that it is now absolutely plain to everybody that the choice is between Independence and the Conservative Party. The falling in of the unionists behind the Tories is the greatest boost we could have – the media promotion of the Gordon Brown social compact lie is now finished for good. In a straight choice between Independence and Tories, Scots would only go one way. Only one in nine of eligible Scottish voters, voted Tory. If that is the unionist base, good. You will also find that the age profile of that 1 in 9 is going to be highly problematic to the unionists.
It is perfectly legitimate for Independence voters to have different tactical views in the election, but now we have to come together again. I am willing to put myself at the disposal full time of the SNP’s pro-Independence campaign this summer. They have expressed an intent that this will not be a purely Party campaign. As we all gear up for it, please remember me as a potential speaker in your area.
I have no doubt something will crop up to justify a new Indyref within the next four years. Brexit. Another illegal war by Westminster. A firm opinion poll lead for Indy. Some nutty right wing Tory policy proposal. Do not worry. It will come.
A brief note on Labour. A quietly spoken truth is that I do not know any Scottish nationalist who would not like to see Jeremy Corbyn in power in England (with all due respect to Caroline Lucas, for whom I have great respect). The Labour Party has no role to play in Scotland before Independence. It is just getting in the way, and humiliating itself. Post Independence, I suspect quite a lot of Nationalists would join a genuine Scottish Labour Party. In the meantime, the unionists should just off and join the Tories.