Why we need another pro-independence party to challenge SNP – Kevan Christie

‘Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?’ Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols once famously proclaimed. 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon looks on as Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney speaks on SQA exam results. Picture: Fraser Bremner - Pool/Getty Images

Well, like a lot of people this week I’ve been doing that one where you walk about shaking your heid asking yourself ‘how can this be?’.

The reason for my sense of not quite ire more bewilderment is the new poll that showed despite John Swinney pulling yet another massive U-ey over the exam results fiasco, support for independence has shot up. And as they say in Scooby-Doo, he’d have gotten away with the SQA debacle that penalised those from the most-deprived areas “if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids.”.

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Surprise, surprise Swinney survived the vote of no confidence on Thursday and now has the swagger of a man who can deliver never-ending incompetency with an air of authority. On top of this Oor Nicola, looking more regal by the minute has seen her own personal approval rating jump 45 points from when YouGov asked the same question a year ago. No less a figure than trusted STV journalist Bernard Ponsonbytheway remarked on the education secretary and I’m paraphrasing slightly: ‘How the f*** can that happen – what would it take to make him resign, if he’s no getting his jotters for this?’Sturgeon has now realised this apologising lark, normally avoid at all costs for any other politician, is a surefire vote winner in Scotland as sorry seems the easiest word to say. 

Thank you Elton. In the last few months our Glorious Leader has ‘almost’ felt like crying when the lockdown flouters stormed the beaches of Porty, then it was the packed pubs that made her want to cry – what did you think was going to happen? – on the back of a warped logic that dictates you keep your masks on in enclosed spaces unless you’re in a boozer. Of course the real thing that got Oor Nicola greetin’ and reaching for the Kleenex was the furore around the exam results from angry parents and their soon to be voting offspring amid the wall-to-wall negative press her government received on the back of it.

On this, like in the case of defending Dr Catherine ‘two homes’ Calderwood the First Minister like the good populist she is quickly backtracked after a quick deek to see which way the winds of public opinion were blowing. 

Despite all of this politics taking me away from my usual go to topics of walking round Crossgates and buying tray bakes from Dobbies at the Fife Retail Park I don’t blame Sturgeon and the SNP a jot dear readers. They’ve played an absolute blinder in capitalising on the monopoly they have over independence and now preside over a kind of inverse politics, a tartan version of The Producers if you like – where the more you mess up the more your cult like followers love you for it. 

Third worst country in Europe for excess deaths during the pandemic – that’ll be spun as a success story then because England are the worst.

Nope, it’s the rest of us I blame, we merry band of gullible fools who’ve provided this lot with a permanent ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card at least until we reach the Promised Land of an independent Scotland. Children of the enlightenment indeed.

Now before you all start rattling your cages crying “Yoon, Yoon, off with his head” there’s a couple of points I’d like to make for the Record, sorry the Scotsman your honour.

I’m one of those who have travelled the road from voting No to Indy in 2014 – an economic masterplan written on the back of a fag packet with free lemonade coming oot the taps as one of the key policies didn’t appeal to me at the time.

Sorry.

And I doubled down as they say in politics by voting Remain in 2016 as I come from the beautiful European city of Edinburgh.

A traditional Labour voter, Hibs sympathiser and former pupil of the Academy – Leith not Edinburgh I strongly object to being lumped in with the Land of Dope and Tories brigade. However, like a lot of Labour supporters the Iraq War lies left a bad taste in my mouth and that ‘piegate’ carry on with Frank McAveety put the icing on the cake for me. So, I’ve recently moved towards independence and was thinking it might be worth a shot but not as things stand where the majority are on board with this ‘at any cost’ policy that is leaving the poorest in society behind with absolutely nobody being held accountable.

That’s not a healthy democracy.

Scottish Labour have to come up with some kind of compromise on independence with a commitment to allow a second referendum a possible solution in the hope Sir Keir Starmer takes over as Prime Minister from Dominic Cummings in four years’ time.

The status quo can’t continue and for the sake of democracy another pro-independence party has to emerge to challenge the SNP dominance and their appalling track record on issues like education and health in particular. 

I’m bemused as to why Scottish Labour are allowing Richard Leonard to preside over the absolute electoral carnage that will come in the shape of the elections to the Scottish Parliament in May. 

If the plan is to sack him in nine months’ time after the inevitable dreadful showing at the polls which we can all see a mile off why not just do it now?

To be fair to Leonard he seems a decent guy with the right principles but if as reported 53 per cent of voters ‘dinnae ken him fi Adam’ then sadly it’s time to go.

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