The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey published at the weekend shows growing support for independence.
Two particular items must make the unionist political blood run cold. The findings of the survey found that 61% of Scots said they trusted Holyrood to act in Scotland’s best interests always or most of the time, compared with 22% who said they trusted Westminster to do so. 74% of people thought the Holyrood Government ought to have most influence over how Scotland is run compared with 16% for Westminster.
Until recently I could never have envisaged the Scottish people voting for independence, independence ‘lite’ even, in a referendum. However the facts are that in poll after poll, the satisfaction ratings of the SNP continue to climb.
Part of this is due to the fact that the party doesn’t seem to act for one particular socio-economic group at the exclusion of others. That’s a neat trick. When you get top business people, trade unionists and the politically non committed on board, then it really is a formidable task to mount an opposition.
And really, there IS no opposition to speak of. The best Labour can come up with is a Westminster based hotch -potch of no talent. Their lame duck Scottish leader continues on his weary way sometimes getting into the press with rebarbative jibes at Salmond and Co. He’s like a footballer who’s been sent off, refusing to leave the field and mouthing at the opposition. He’d be as well shouting at the fish counter in Sainsbury’s – although in such an event he’d probably have a bigger audience.
The Tories continue to fight amongst themselves, with one of the leadership candidates standing on a ticket to abolish the party in Scotland!
And the Liberal Democrats know that their involvement in the UK coalition government and subsequent annihilation at the Scottish polls last year, has put them in a position from which it will be very difficult to return to their previous influential position in the short to medium term.
It is a sobering thought that if all Scotland’s opposition parties combined to fight a united ‘no’ campaign in a referendum, there is no candidate even remotely capable of leading such a campaign.
Having voted SNP in recent times, I remain to be wholly convinced on the issue of independence. However, were there to be a poll now, it is by no means certain how it would go. The Nats, and ergo independence, seem to have the X factor at the moment.
And therein lies the dilemma for the SNP who have declared that the referendum will take place in the second half of the parliament. They risk going the way of all elected governments anywhere and being less popular than a fart in a spacesuit by that time.
Or maybe the opposition will continue to present as pisspoor to the power of ten and will carry on assisting in paving the way for the biggest constitutional change here in over 300 years?
All bets are off but a well known smug, portly punter has already been down to the bookies and he gives the impression of knowing what he’s doing.
Inexperienced gamblers look on nervously.