Life after No

Unless the SNP intends to dissolve itself in the event of a No vote in September’s referendum, it must have some sort of strategy for the future.

It was interesting to hear from one of its former front-benchers, Andrew Wilson, that it does in fact intend to have one (your report, 7 April). It will of necessity have to look at next year’s general election and the Holyrood elections the year after.

But it would also need to look at how to pressure the unionist parties to bring about an enhanced form of devolution. For a period of 19 months until the spring of 2016 it will need to show the face of both a competent governing party and a vigorous pressure group.

For the sake of the health of Scottish politics it needs to get that balance right. I do not find that the bitter feuding over independence among sections of the political class is reflected in the attitude of ordinary people.

They are getting on with things in a courteous, indifferent way, no doubt reflecting an approach that says life will go on the day after the poll, whatever happens.


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The idea that the campaign is creating divisions that might take decades to heal is overstated. There was a great deal of disillusionment among Labour and SNP followers after the shock Conservative victory in the 1992 general election.

Both parties eventually recovered, and renewed themselves in their own different ways.

Thus we now have a meaningful, vigorous debate about the merits of devolution against independence, whereas 20 years ago both socialism and nationalism were crying out for a new voice.

Bob Taylor


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