Well there we have it, the SNP conference is at an end for another year.
Unless you were actually there,which I wasn’t, (not being a member) , then you would have been very lucky to actually know much of what was being debated. Unlike the Labour and Tory conferences which got extensive coverage by the BBC on a daily basis, the SNP were restricted to the news bulletins and a tiny 2 hour slot on the last day.
Therefore the main talking points by the media focussed on Nicola Sturgeons opening and closing speeches, and a couple of speeches in between.
It is easy therefore for the public at large to think that all the SNP talked about was Brexit and the next Independence referendum.
So much for being the 3rd largest party at Westminster. Even so, the content of Nicola Sturgeons speeches were quite enough by themselves to create a mini uproar among the British state media and the Union supporters.
The mere thought of Scotland having another Independence referendum is enough to get them coming out in cold sweats and minor panic attacks.
Although Nicola Sturgeon didn’t come out and definitely say that there would be another Independence referendum, the implication of one, born out by the statement that a referendum bill was being immediately progressed with in the Scottish parliament was quite enough to set the alarm bells ringing. It was the very last thing that they wanted to hear.
From the perspective of those that do want another Independence referendum, this was good news.
However certain things have to be noted. No guarantee of another referendum has been made, merely that one is being prepared for.
At present Nicola is giving Westminster a warning shot across the Britannia bows,either properly engage and include us, listen to the voice of the Scottish people to remain in the EU and act accordingly to enable us, or suffer the consequences!
Given that all the language and signals coming from the Tory government suggests that such demands will be ignored, and given that they seem hell bent on taking us out of the single market, an Independence referendum is almost a stick on certainty.
The only real question is When?
This seems to be a question which is exercising a lot of Independence supporters.
Within the SNP there is differing opinions, as Nicola Sturgeon alluded to. Some are pressing for one as soon as possible, some are pressing her to hold off. As she said, she hears the arguments and understands them, but she will be the one who decides when.
In the wider YES community opinions are even more diverse. Some want it now, some are more content to wait and see what develops, and a minority of vocal voices are shouting for UDI.
One thing I have noticed in recent times is the upsurge in Unionist supporting presence on social media, and since the brexit vote and now after the SNP conference with Nicola Sturgeons announcement, it is going into meltdown. Some groups have been preparing for this for quite some time, the Broken Record billboard from Scotland In Union was very noticeable at the SNP conference, and they have some serious financial backing behind them. Interestingly enough they established themselves with Company House back as far as November 2014.
If Better Together named themselves project fear, you can bet that lessons have been learned on their side too from the last referendum, and the New Project Fear will be a lot more organised on the internet than the last time. I note that Scotland In Union are using Nation Builder softwear similar to the SNP now.
Given also that the Fear and Negativity factor has proved to be successful for them and the biased media in winning 2 referendums now, it is entirely evident that this will be their modus operandi this time too, only ramped up to Fear Factor 10 because they will be fighting for their lives!
To date they have been using the same old arguments that they used last time but with minor alterations and I anticipate that they will continue in such a vein.
First off they will challenge the legitimacy of the Scottish government to even call a referendum.
They will suggest that doing trade with the EU prevents trade with the rUK.
They will continually disrespectfully name call.
They will bring up borders and access.
They will call the Scottish economy a basket case
They will get on the currency bandwagon
They will point to oils poor recent performance
And of course they will jump on anything that the Independence side may do which they can attack.
Expect it all in spades!
Whilst the polls may suggest that the Independence side is now starting off at around 48% ,you may notice some very odd figures punted by the media. Currently the media is saying that support for Independence has slipped to 39% with 47% against. Instead of quoting with the Dont Knows taken out, they are leaving them in, giving this lower figure they are punting. I don’t trust polls and treat them with a pile of salt,they are a tool nothing more. With different polling figures from using different methods from different organisations, often it is a case of comparing apples with oranges.
While the Bookies on the other hand currently have independence at odds on favourite, the last thing we can expect is a rerun of the last campaign. This time will be shorter but much more brutal!
We cannot allow for uncertainty among us nor division. This time we have to take the fight to them If we want to win this.
Independence wont just fall into our laps, we will have to give it all we have to make it happen!