‘If the 2021 Holyrood election is remembered as a turning point it will be because it was the catalyst for a referendum. The manifesto and style of politics adopted by the SNP do not suggest that Scotland is about to be transformed in any way comparable to critical elections of the past in terms of public policy.’
‘What we are witnessing is the kind of internal bloodletting normally associated with the aftermath of a major defeat. Much is a function of frustration and an inability to manage internal debate. The SNP needs a period in opposition to sort itself out. It has no credible roadmap to anywhere other than victory at the next Holyrood elections. It hopes that a big win will restore Nicola Sturgeon’s authority. If that happens, it is likely to be short lived.’
“To chart a path to recovery Scottish Labour needs to elect a new opponent,” argues Chris Silver. “If the party found a way to trace a route back to its origins – seeking in the first instance to represent the interests of those who live by selling their labour – there could be a path back from the brink…”
As Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP see increasingly solid pro-independence majorities in successive polls, their case for an independent Scotland has gone missing: a book review.
‘There was a day when anyone associated with the Duke of Buccleuch would have been anathema to the SNP but in its desperation not to frighten the horses, the current SNP leadership is willing to abandon what its membership in its heart knows is required. The SNP is simply letting a good crisis go to waste.’
“Nicola Sturgeon and the other no longer young SNP nationalists are in a hurry. They need Johnson to confirm that his English Europe-hating Tories will indeed deny Scotland its centuries-old place as a small but distinct European nation that has contributed much to European science, philosophy, and culture.”
‘.Like the Bourbons, the Conservatives have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing. But Labour are in danger of the same. Time is running out for a reasonably well developed alternative option that might be included in a future referendum. Not only would this enrich a stale debate but would allow Labour to escape the potentially lethal embrace of working with the Tories again.’
‘To say that the SNP should now revisit its economic plan for independence is therefore in keeping with the times we are in. My call for a radical rethink is not a challenge for the leadership, nor is it a challenge to the leadership. This new situation is a challenge for all of us and a challenge for our party as a whole.’
A contrarian view from Glasgow-born MacShane: “It will be hard for Labour or the Lib Dems to get back into the game, which suggests that the SNP is likely to win a clear majority and a large majority of Holyrood seats.”
The 2014 indy proposals stressed close integration, maintenance of the currency union, close economic and social ties, and open borders, a model facilitated by membership of both countries in the EU. Back to the drawing board?