You’ve got to love the SNP. And I actually do, even if they annoy the hell out of me most of the time.
I have my passions in life. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that Strictly, F1 and Doctor Who occupy a significant proportion of my waking thoughts. On things that actually matter, children, housing, poverty, freedom, equal marriage and LGBT equality drive my political thinking.
Now, I know that an overwhelming support for independence is hardwired into the DNA of every SNP supporter. That’s what you would expect. I do find it just faintly ridiculous, though, when they bring it into completely unrelated issues.
Take yesterday, for example, and the arrival of the pandas from China.Most of us went “awwww”, some of us grumbled about human rights and pandering to the Chinese, but Angus MacNeil, SNP MP for the Western Isles, took it just a step further.
From what I gather about these cute and cuddly creatures, they can’t even find the enthusiasm to procreate. As long as they have bamboo, they don’t much care where they are. In fact, if they actually cared much about independence, they might have started with campaigning for a free Tibet. Seriously, though, Mr MacNeil’s tweet wasn’t just a one off. When challenged, he just kept digging.
Well, apart from anything else, the irony of this is that there’s been a lot of leg work by the UK Government to get them here in the first place. I’m not sure whether an independent Scotland would quite figure at the same level within the international community as the UK of which it is currently a part, shall we say.
And so the #pandasforindependence banter continued.
If that had been an isolated incident of SNP people dragging unrelated things into independence, I might have let it pass, but there was the curious tale of Mo Bros for Independence in November. Now, I really hope they did well and raised bucketloads of cash for Prostate Cancer research and support but what on earth had their efforts to do with independence?
We all know that the SNP are trying to paint a picture of an independent Scotland where nothing bad ever happens just cos we’re independent. Bunnikins will be fluffity, the sun will shine and chocolate will be plentiful, if you listen to them. The realities of day to day life are never discussed. Frankly, I prefer to have a bit of detail with my optimism. And detail is not the SNP’s strong point.
So it made me wonder, what else could they link to independence? Might they say that the soil would be more fertile in an independent Scotland so potatoes would grow better? Have a “Let’s drink beer (at the minimum unit price) for independence?” campaign? When you decorate your home with fairy lights this Christmas, do it for independence, why not? The possibilities are endless.
Sometimes, the SNP just tries too hard to manoeuvre independence into every conversation. And before you all you lovely cybernats come back at me with the “£500 will secure an independence vote”, just remember that the SNP is a million miles from proving that independence will make us better off. That poll shows primarily that people are concerned with the realities of their everyday life, not some mystical constitutional state.