The ship has sailed to stop Scotland going independent

Pro-Europeans on a march in Scotland

Pro-Europeans on a march in Scotland - Credit: PA

There's scepticism from readers that the next leader of Scottish Labour can save the Union.

The answer to Maurice Smith’s question, in my opinion, is that the Scottish Labour leadership candidate Anas Sarwar will not.

The problem lies in the way the question is understood and answered by so many of your contributors. They seem to discuss the matter in terms of narrow party political policies: just choose the ‘right’ man or woman, adopt the ‘right’ electoral programme and the people of Scotland will somehow see ‘sense’.

I believe that particular ship sailed long ago never to return. In the last few years people in Scotland have become much more politically aware of the issues. The growing support for independence is not confined to the policy of any one particular party, although clearly the SNP remains the main driving force. It is now a social movement which is gaining ground throughout the country, throughout all sections of the people.
Richard Ross

Maurice Smith’s article, interesting though it was, nonetheless repeated uncritically a couple of Labour notions about support for Scottish independence.

He writes: “Within Labour there is a sense that the SNP’s rise simply reflects the global trend towards nationalism, illustrated by the Brexit vote and Trump victory, and the rise of anti-globalist movements worldwide.”

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If the Labour Party cannot recognise what a travesty of the facts this attitude represents, it does not begin to recognise the scale of its difficulties, not just in Scotland, but in UK also.

If it cannot recognise how insulting this analysis is to ordinary independence supporters (many of whom are former Labour voters), it is nowhere near convincing ordinary voters in Scotland to listen to its perspective, let alone vote for it. To misread support for Scottish independence as populist Trumpism on a par with the xenophobia of Brexit, is an appalling mistake by the Labour Party.
Alistair Kirkwood

What now for Scotland? It looks like we will be at an important crossroads in the May Holyrood elections. Nobody will disagree that we all want the same thing – a secure, healthy, prosperous future with opportunity for all. The political parties won’t dispute this, but will disagree on the best way to achieve this goal.

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When we come to that May crossroads the choice will be do we simply want more of the same as a junior partner in the UK or do we want to move forward as a successful independent country? It is our decision to make and spring is on the way in Dumfries and Galloway.
Bob McGoran

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