by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Mastodon: @RabBrucesSpider1@Mastodon.Scot

Twitter: @RabBrucesSpider

I’m glad I wasn’t the only person who was a bit confused by Humza Yousaf’s speech about the way forward for turning Scotland into a normal, self-governing country. Although there is some debate over his plan, it seems that the bar he is setting is quite low, simply requiring a majority of Westminster seats at the next UK General election. Now, I’ve been an advocate of this approach for a long time because it uses Westminster’s own archaic electoral system against the UK Parliament. However, I’m honestly not sure it will work now. I fear we have missed our chance for using this measure as evidence that the people of Scotland want to live in a normal country. It should have been done back in 2015, and I’m afraid that, with polls looking the way they are, the chances of winning a significant majority of seats are slim. That would give Westminster the ideal chance to portray any claims of wanting independence as ridiculous.

The really big problem, though, arises whichever measure of electoral success is used. It is that, quite simply, Westminster will say "No" whether the Government is formed by corrupt Tories or promise-breaking Labour. And what does Humza Yousaf intend to do then? There doesn’t seem to be a plan for dealing with that inevitable situation.

But what choice do Scots have? If we want to become a normal country, the SNP is still the only viable political party we can look to. That may change, of course, but I don’t think it will be happening any time soon.

So I’m not overly impressed with this latest iteration of the SNP plan, although I must give credit to Humza Yousaf for raising the issue of independence so frequently. If nothing else, he is gradually bringing it back to the forefront of politics. In itself, this may seem no big deal, but it may be the first step in his strategy of building up support. I wish him luck in that, and I welcome his announcement that he’ll be at the pro-Indy rally in September. I also like the way he is politely correcting English interviewers and pointing out the democratic deficit we are faced with. On that front, he needs to keep going. Whether it will change minds, we can only wait and see, but at least he is actively raising the profile of the Yes cause.

Unfortunately, unless there is some seismic shift in Scottish politics, I don’t think we are very much closer to independence than we were in 2015. Let’s hope that changes soon, although it is difficult to see how that’s going to happen. I fear we need some more radical plans than the one Humza Yousaf has put forward.