Scottish Election 2021: Alba Party's 'super-majority' for independence would mean Scots get to decide their own destiny – Kenny MacAskill MP

“I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in,” said Big Bad Wolf, though it didn’t work against the third Little Piggy safely in his brick house.

It may be a nursery tale, but the wolf’s line has as much validity as the First Minister’s claim that an SNP victory will see Boris Johnson consent to Indyref2 when he’s securely ensconced in the Palace of Westminster, buttressed by not just a Tory but a Union majority.

For sure, the Alba Party’s entrance into the fray has made independence the topic of the campaign. But it’s galvanised Nicola Sturgeon more than changing the Prime Minister’s mind on a section 30 order which he refuses, yet she still insists a prerequisite.

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Her comments have no basis in fact or even in the most minor of hints from the Prime Minister. To be fair, Boris Johnson has stayed out of the campaign to date, largely leaving it to the altogether rather hapless Douglas Ross.

But the message has remained the same and it’s as intransigent as ever, even if delivered by the monkey rather than the organ grinder.

Rhetoric and fantasy

The Tories remain implacably opposed, with claims that they’re wilting not just wishful thinking but more like a fairytale being spun. They’ve as much validity as her Westminster leader Ian Blackford's past pledge that “Scotland wouldn’t stand for being pulled out of the EU against its will”. For of course, we have been and no amount of foot-stamping by him can change that.

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Independence supporters, like these seen at a pre-Covid rally, are getting impatient with Nicola Sturgeon, says Kenny MacAskill (Picture: John Devlin)

Previous promises of a referendum in autumn 2020 were never on the cards given a woeful lack of preparation but, perhaps luckily for Mr Blackford, coronavirus intervened.

Yet still the rhetoric and fantasy continued with suggestions that it could be this autumn – 2021. Again, despite no groundwork being laid although opportunities were offered by lockdown.

More importantly, the United Nation Cop26 climate summit remains a political and practical impediment which’s no doubt why the SNP group in Westminster have made more preparations for that than the mythical referendum.

It’s why more and more in the Yes Movement and even within the SNP see the need to make this coming Holyrood election a form of plebiscite.

Sick and tired of Westminster

If Boris won't budge, then use this democratic opportunity to deliver Scotland's message. Unionist parties cannot boycott this as they’ve said they would a consultative referendum conducted without a section 30 order.

If Alba Party representatives are returned and an independence super-majority delivered, then it's not a First Minister saying, “Please Sir can I have another referendum?”

It’s the Scottish people saying they’re sick and tired of Westminster rule and demanding the right to decide their own destiny.

In an election many years ago now, a party colleague quipped “Free by ’93”. It didn’t come to pass but at least efforts were made, and groundwork laid. Now it doesn’t even seem to be “Free by 2023” that’s being promoted by the First Minister.

No wonder many independence supporters are demanding more than a mythical section 30 order and that independence be accelerated.

Kenny MacAskill is the Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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