How much longer must we endure this?


SNP MPs taking selfies after walking out of parliament.

We are told more than 5,000 people joined the SNP on the back of Westminster’s ‘power grab’. Apparently, Edinburgh MP Joanna Cherry couldn't get into Marks and Spencer for people congratulating her on the stand she and her colleagues have taken.


It seems the country was gripped by the whole saga. No, I didn’t notice either.


And this just a few weeks after the SNP’s Growth Commission, which Nicola Sturgeon insisted was winning over No voters. Those who once doubted the credibility of the independence offer were suddenly thinking again, our First Minister let slip. Here we go again.


By that reckoning, we are about to see a major shift towards independence in the next set of opinion polls. The irresistible slide to separatism we keep hearing about is surely to show up on the next snapshot of public opinion.


And yet when the latest poll was published this week, it was 56-44 for No. After the blood, sweat and tears of the last few weeks, the desperate stunts and exhausting manufactured outrage, public opinion sits exactly where it was when people voted in 2014.


Most of us felt there was little in Andrew Wilson’s report which would seriously change people’s minds. And the ‘power grab’ feels like an arcane constitutional debate with little relevance to people’s everyday lives. Yet the nationalists were so insistent they were riding the tide of a wave you would be forgiven for doubting yourself.


Well, we were right. The SNP’s case for a second referendum is built on sand. People have tuned out of the grievance machine. When Theresa May - yes, Theresa May - stood up in the House of Commons last week and told the baying hordes on the SNP benches they were out of touch with the people of Scotland, she was right.


The question is - how much longer can we go on like this? How much longer can we endure a government so utterly disconnected with the hopes, concerns and priorities of the people they are supposed to serve? How much longer can we put up with elected politicians who put desperate stunts and unfounded grievances before serious issues and matters of genuine importance?


Just recently it was announced that the SNP Government in Edinburgh has underspent its budget by almost half a billion pounds, the largest underspend by any Government in Scotland. Critics have attacked this underspend as “gross financial mismanagement” at a time when councils up and down Scotland have faced unprecedented cuts to services. A huge underspend like this, when around 5,000 families in Glasgow will be hit by increases in nursery fees over the summer, with some being forced to pay hundreds of pounds more.


How much longer must we endure this?


The SNP have had a good run. You have to admire their motivation and dedication to independence, the only thing which matters to them.


But we can be confident enough that our fellow Scots can see through the emptiness of their offer. And we must persuade more and more people that the key to a better future for Scotland is not independence but ridding ourselves of the politicians whose obsession with it only holds us back.

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