What goes up…?






On this site we have argued on a number of occasions that the last refuge of a weak political argument is the argument according to inevitability. In the case of Irish nationalism it is often the first refuge because there is little else to say.

The same trait has informed much of the superficial self-confidence Scottish nationalists, proudly proclaiming the inevitable end of the United Kingdom since Tom Nairn’s Break-up of Britain published 40 years ago. However, on the subject of inevitability consider the result of the recent Survation poll for the Scottish Daily Mail published recently.

It notes that support for the SNP has fallen since 2016 by 4.5 per cent on the constituency and 11 per cent on the regional list. The projection is that the SNP will lose nine seats at the next Holyrood election. Since the Greens are also thought likely to win eight seats the present pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament would be lost.

Stephen Daisley for The Spectator notes that it is with an SNP Government at Holyrood that:

“Devoscepticism is more than partisan reaction or alienation. There is a feeling abroad, extending beyond the 19 per cent of abolitionists, that devolution has been something of a disappointment.”

Though he goes on to say:

“Scotland has not yet had the coincidence of a separatist majority at Holyrood and a sustained separatist majority in the country. It is optimistic indeed to think such an alignment will never come about.”

Change happens, of course. If nationalist victory is not inevitable, neither is continuity of the Union. The message to be absorbed is that there is no onward march of nationalism as if logic, nature and politics are one and the same. The ‘tides of history’ ebb and flow.

And the message for Unionists is that they should never despair when confronted with nationalist historical certainties – but argue intelligently and organise effectively.