So the General Election turned out nice for the SNP then?
They have more MPs; can, just about, if you squint, claim a renewed mandate for another referendum; have Tories in Downing Street to rail at; and, best of all, everyone seems to have forgotten this election, which has pretty much guaranteed Brexit, was pretty much their idea.
It is easy to understand why Nicola Sturgeon was so keen to drive Britain to the polls before Christmas. It would have suited her whoever rolled into Downing Street on Friday morning so of course she was happy to join the hapless, witless Lib Dems in agitating to go to the mattresses. Only Boris Johnson might have wanted this election more than the First Minister.
Ms Swinson is likely regretting her hubris now but as the dust settles and before we plunge on to the next crisis, the next controversy, the SNP’s decisive role in sending Mr Johnson back to Downing Street to get Brexit done, should not be forgotten.
It might have suited the SNP’s aspirations for tomorrow’s Scotland, but, in the here and now, as the economic impacts of our departure from the EU become clearer, it is yet to be seen if their push for a poll was in our country’s interests today.
In this column six weeks ago, at the start of this enervating campaign, we predicted the only question in Scotland in this election – and every election since 2014 – was how big the SNP would win. With 40% or so of the vote more or less bagged before the first ballot paper is crossed, there is, to be honest, no longer any great suspense in first past the post elections north of the border.
But, even with that, the Nationalists still won big on Thursday night, although, as ever, the significance of that victory depends on who you talk to, who they voted for and why?
Will the First Minister really claim to speak for Scotland when most Scots voted for parties at the very best ambivalent about the prospect of another independence referendum? Well, yes, she will.
Does she really want one next year when so many Scots – probably most – are not that keen and when Brexit will continue to inflict uncertainty and nervous exhaustion in equal measure? Well, no, she doesn’t.
Of course, the FM will bang at Number 10’s door demanding the right to call a referendum – and be refused. She might even go to court – and probably be defeated.
And, by then, we will be hurtling towards the Holyrood poll in 2021, another election about another referendum, the chance for another mandate – probably one even Boris Johnson cannot dismiss – and, after all that, we might be asked to decide again.
So another two years of huff and puff. Two more years to add to the five already spent spinning our wheels, stuck in interminable debate about our constitutional future.
That would be fine if we lived in some rarefied chamber of chin-stroking constitutional debate. Sadly, however, we live in the real world, where we are hoping our money lasts till the end of the month and for no unexpected bills; for our kids and grandkids to get a good education and a better job, and for the NHS to be there if we need it.
Of course, we will think about our country’s future and, when asked, vote to decide it, but until then, can we talk a little less about tomorrow and a little more about today?
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe