Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Last Friday in Scotland, the start of an unprecedented scale of public debate about a new referendum on secession of the region from the UK was announced. And this comes just two years after the previous referendum in which 55% of the population voted against the idea.
This action was declared not just by anyone, but it was personally initiated by leader of the Scottish government and the head of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Nicola Sturgeon, one of the most popular current British politicians. According to her intention, the members of the SNP must embrace with this national debate at least 2 million people across the region. As was stated by Sturgeon, each of 120,000 registered activists of the party must poll at least 5 people per month, to summarize this extraordinary poll for St. Andrews day, November 30th. For this large-scale action, a special website was created, which has started to work on the collection and processing of data for the distinctive poll.
Just imagine for a moment what it would be if the head of any region of Ukraine announced such an initiative! But do we really need to imagine it as we have already seen firsthand how the post-Maidan regime in Kiev reacted to a referendum in Donbass — ATO, war, bombing, arrests of “separatists”…
But London is clearly in no hurry to start an ATO, but reacts to the new initiative of the main Scottish “separatist” with criticism that is very difficult to call harsh. And everyone understands: if the reaction of the British government to the referendum in 2014 was similar to the reaction of Kiev, today the country would experience a series of internal conflicts more powerful than the Northern Ireland crisis of the 1970’s or Scotland would already be independent from England.
The calmness of London is largely due, in particular, to the fact that public opinion at the moment is not on the side of Sturgeon’s ideas regarding another referendum. According to a fresh survey conducted by the sociological company YouGov, 50% of the population expressed themselves against the holding of a new referendum voted, and only 37% supported the idea. And if a referendum were to take place would now, 54% of Scots would have voted against independence.
It would seem that the British pro-unity have nothing to worry about? After all, everybody is on their side! The majority do not support the idea of independence, the memory of the recent defeat of the nationalists has still not evaporated, and, more importantly, the economic situation since 2014 is clearly not in favor of supporters of independence in the first place, due to the sharp fall in oil prices, which significantly worsened the prospects for a prosperous independent Scotland. This is understood perfectly by Scottish supporters of independence. That is why they are very cautious in statements about a new referendum, while only allowing discussion on this topic.
We must not forget that a year before the referendum in 2014, the ratio of supporters and opponents of Scottish independence was about 60:40 respectively. However, just a couple of weeks prior to the poll, these numbers leveled off, which sent the British elite in panic and made them activate all the PR resources of London in order to snatch victory from pro-unity. As you can see, now the starting position of supporters of independence is certainly not worse.
Not a poll, but propaganda
“Separatists” understood that public opinion is not on their side yet, and Sturgeon repeatedly stated that a new referendum is possible only in case that is full belief in victory. That is why the action of an unprecedented “poll” is rather not a study but agitprop. 120,000 “separatists” will not only “interrogate” their friends, but rather to persuade them for independence. And, for the party, of course.
In reality, the SNP used the first referendum as a great propaganda tool for increasing their own ratings, which they fully used in the course of the elections to the British Parliament in 2015, almost completely filling the quota of Scotland in Westminster and achieving unprecedented success in their history. Once the ratings of the Scottish nationalists began to drop and in the spring of this year at elections to the local Parliament, they lost the absolute majority. They desperately needed a significant project to restore their broken image.
And the British referendum was just in time for leaving the EU. As is known, most of Scotland is in favour of the preservation of the country in the European Union. However, to many it will appear like a paradox to a large extent, but the successful vote for Brexit the British must owe to the Scots. They showed complete apathy during the campaign. SNP and Sturgeon personally officially campaigned for the preservation of EU membership, however, many pro-unity noted the weakness and insincerity of this agitprop. According to a TNS survey conducted 9 days before the June referendum this year, 51% of supporters of the SNP had intended to vote for secession from the EU.
The position of staunch Scottish nationalists was clearly explained by one of the veterans of the SNP and its former leader Gordon Wilson, who openly called to vote for Brexit and explained that this is the only chance for the Scots for another referendum on independence. This consideration was guided by the Scottish nationalists. That is why “Pro-European” Scotland recorded a lower turnout than the “anti-European” minded regions of southern and Central England, and nearly 40% of Scots voted for Brexit. In the end, it is this that brought a slight prevalence of supporters of leaving the EU.
Does the realisation of Brexit mean the independence of Scotland?
Now those Scots that became the passive sponsors of Brexit are more active than others in their demand to block Brexit and, in the event of its implementation, to start the process for secession from Britain and, consequently, preserve the now independent Scotland in the EU. The SNP after defeat in the 2014 referendum officially announced that it would not insist on a new referendum (“in this political generation”), if the political circumstances do not change significantly. This formulation was noted also in the official platform of the party during the election in 2016. Now Sturgeon tries to explain to her supporters that leaving the EU will occur “against the will of the Scots” and, accordingly, political conditions are changing dramatically.
Nationalists fervently hope that in the course of practical implementation of Brexit the mood of the Scots largely swings in the direction of independence, including among ethnic Britons living in the region and inclined to the EU. As much as it looks paradoxical, their “separatist” mood began to be clearly supported by senior officials of the European Union, who actively played up to Sturgeon after the June referendum in Britain. Thus, in the near future we will see dramatic developments associated with Brexit and with Scottish independence. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who has a more than significant influence on public opinion in Britain, said that the separation of Scotland within the next few years seems inevitable .”
And please note, nobody condemned Murdoch, didn’t hold him accountable, didn’t register him on the British version of the site “Peacemaker”. Finally, Kiev supporters of “European democracy” clearly would not understand…
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