Tha sgeulachdan ùr poileataigeach a dhìth, le Murray MacLeòid

Bhiodh e inntinneach faighinn a-mach dè dha-rìribh an dùil a bh’aig Nicola Sturgeon agus an sgioba aice a-thaobh ciamar a ghabhadh an t-sluagh ris an oidhirp as ùra aca air argumaidean a chur air adhart airson neo-eisimleachd dha Alba.

Nicola Sturgeon a’ foillseachadh na h-aithisg Diluain, ach tha e duilich fhaicinn gun toir e buaidh sam bith air taic dha neo-eisimeileachd.  (Dealbh: David Cheskin/pool/Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon a’ foillseachadh na h-aithisg Diluain, ach tha e duilich fhaicinn gun toir e buaidh sam bith air taic dha neo-eisimeileachd. (Dealbh: David Cheskin/pool/Getty Images)

[English-language version below]

Leis gun robh buaidh na h-eaconamaigh cho mòr na phàirt den deasbad ann an 2014, shaoileadh tu gu dèanadh iad an uile oidhirp na h-argumaidean air dè an airgead a thig chleachdadh agus malairt a dhèanamh cho làidir sa ghabhas.

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Tha ochd bliadhna air a bhith aca a thighinn an airde le freagairt cheart, ach tha a h-uile coltas gur e an rud as fheàrr a th’aca ‘s e gun tig a not Shasannach a chleachdadh son ùine nach urrainn a bhith cinnteach mu dheidhinn agus gun atharraich an suidheachadh eaconamaigeach, ach dè an atharrachadh, chan urrainn a bhith soilleir.

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A thilleadh air sin, bidh crìoch chruaidh eadar Alba is Sasainn, sin ma gheibhear air ballrachd fhaighinn dhan Aonadh Eorpach, agus le sin feumar deuchainnean malairt air a’ chrìoch.

Cha dèan sin dragh sam bith dhaibh-san a tha toirt an làn thaic dha neo-eisimleachd, ach tha e duilich smaoineachadh gu bheil iadsan a tha aig àrd ire a’ putadh a’ chùis dha-rìribh a’ creid ‘s gun còrd e ris a’ mhor-shluaigh.

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Chanadh thu gum bidh e gu math duilich toirt air barrachd dhaoine gabhail ri suidheachadh far a bheil poileasaidh an airgid ga stèidheachadh le daoine a bhios ag obrachadh taobh a-muigh crìochan na dùthcha, agus trioblaidean malairt a thoirt a-steach far nach eil iad idir ann an drasta.

‘S dòcha g’ eil iad smaoineachadh nach bidh seo cudromach. ‘S dòcha g’eil iad dìreach an dùil gun cum na Tòraidhean orra a’ dèanamh butarrais dhan a h-uile càil a th’ann agus gun toir sin air cùisean gluasad a dh’ionnsaigh neo-eisimleachd.

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Ach, bhiodh sin na mhearachd, dìreach mar a bhiodh e na mhearachd dha na Làbaraich smaoineachadh gum bi gràinn air na Tòraidhean gu leòr son iad fhèin a chur ann an cumhachd.

‘S dòcha nach bidh taobh seach taobh aca airson seo aideachadh, ach tha an aon chnap-stàrradh ma choinneimh an SNP agus a tha aig a’ Phàrtadh Làbarach. ‘S e sin: ma tha iad idir gu bhith soirbheachail, feumaidh iad beachdan-smuain ùr le creideas a chur air beulaibh dhaoine agus ris an urrainn mòr-chuid gabhail. ‘S e seasamh ro fhrionasach a th’ann fuireachd gu fàs daoine ro shearbh dha na Tòraidhean, agus e leisg cuideachd.

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Tha fios againn gu bheil iomadach caibigeil fhathast ri thighinn ann an stòraidh neo-eisimleachd dha Alba, ach, mar a dhearbh Diluain, ‘s e glè bheag de mhac-meamna ùr a tha sinn a’ faicinn tighinn am bàrr, agus coltas ann gun robh Sturgeon caran lag, le barrachd is barrachd a’ ceisneachadh an dùil eil i fhèin dha-rìribh ag iarraidh na tha i cur air adhart.

Le gach seachdain a tha dol seachad, tha e fàs nas follaisiche nach bidh reifreann ann an ath bhliadhna, ach chan eil sin idir ag ràdh nach bidh fear ann uaireigin agus a’ mhòr chuid ann an Alba dha iarraidh “aig àm a choireigin”.

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Dh’fhaodadh na Tòraidhean fhathast a thighinn air ais agus cumhachd a ghlèidheadh – dò-chreidsinneach ‘s gu bheil sin a’ coimhead an dràsta - agus ma thachras sin bidh an èigheachd ann an Alba son ruideigin diofraichte a’ fàs nas airde.

Ach, ma tha saoghal ùr idir ri thighinn, feumar sgeulachdan poileataigeach ùra a thighinn am follais agus ris as fhiach èisteachd. Tha sin gu cinnteach fìor mu neo-eisimleachd dha Alba, ach air an laimh eile, tha e a’ cheart cho fìor a-thaobh a bhith dìon an aonaidh.

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English-language version:

It would have been interesting to know what Nicola Sturgeon and her inner circle thought the public reaction would be to their latest epistle in the on-going story of ‘The Case for Scottish Independence’.

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With the economy having played such a key part in the last referendum debate in 2014, you would have thought considerable importance would have been attached to getting the arguments over currency and trading arrangements with the rest of the UK as robust as possible.

The best brains of the nationalist movement have had eight years to come up with a decent solution, but it seems the best they can offer is that Sterling will be used until unspecified economic conditions are met, and there will be checks on goods and services crossing the border between Scotland and its largest trading partner, if the stated aim of EU membership is achieved.

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That, of course, remains enough to satisfy the already convinced, but it’s hard to imagine that the senior strategists of the independence movement really believe this will be enough to sway the undecided, or the “soft” unionists.

A hard border with a monetary policy dictated by those on the other side of that border until goodness knows when is going to be a pretty hard sell to those still in retention of their critical faculties.

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But maybe they’re banking on it not being important. Maybe they’re simply hoping that the Tories will keep on being the gift that keeps on giving to the nationalist movement, enough to tip the balance in their favour.

If so, it would be a mistake, just like it would be a mistake for Labour to think that an anti-Tory sentiment will be enough to propel them into government in Westminster.

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They might not like to admit it, but Labour and the SNP face the same challenge in this respect. That is: in order to achieve their ultimate goal, they need to put forward more credible ideas for change that a sizeable percentage of the electorate will be able to get behind. Sitting back and relying on anti-Tory feeling is a strategy fraught with failure and it’s also politically lazy.

We know there are many more epistles to come on the case for independence, but so far, as Monday demonstrated, the story has lacked any kind of new imagination and credibility and, somewhat strangely, been delivered by a rather subdued Sturgeon, creating a growing impression that she herself may not even be that convinced.

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With each passing week, the prospects of a referendum any time soon look increasingly weak, but that’s not to say that it’s off the table for good, with polls in Scotland demonstrating a clear majority in favour of one “at some point”.

Should the Tories recover their reputation over the next 18 months down south, and that’s not beyond the realms of possibility, even with the shambles currently unfolding, the clamour in Scotland for another plebiscite will grow ever louder.

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But if a new political reality is ever to dawn, a narrative needs to emerge that can capture the imagination of the electorate. It is absolutely true in the case for independence, but equally so, it remains just as pertinent for supporters of the Union.

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