It is extremely unlikely that Westminster will permit another referendum on Scottish independence. The September 2014 referendum was granted to Scotland simply because David Cameron and the British establishment were too arrogant to believe that there was a sincere desire in our country for a break from the United Kingdom. By the start of last September the polls were too close to call, and by the middle of the month a Yes vote was looking to be a distinct possibility. Westminster, after pulling out all the stops to avert disaster, will not soon make that mistake again. London’s complete failure to act fairly towards Scotland has resulted in a landslide for the SNP at the general election, but now, mired in the diseased politics of the Commons, movement on the constitutional question – with a Tory majority in the House – gives every indication of being at an impasse. We should take heart that this is a mere impression, as democratic politics does not long tolerate stagnation. Something has to give. What we must consider then is the evolving road map to Scottish independence – as this is the logical end of all movement from here, even that of Home Rule.
Our road map is, however, more complicated than the London Underground – perhaps a fitting metaphor considering London’s desire to bury our national aspiration. Sturgeon and Salmond are quite right in their assertion that the Scottish government, mandated by the will of the people of Scotland, can call another referendum when it so determines. The problem with this is that it will lack the legality of that held in September. If anything it will be a straw poll like that of Catalonia presently being ignored by Madrid. It should be clear that now is not the time for hasty action as the future of Scotland is quite actually hanging in the balance. Division in the independence movement has the power to set us back decades, and, as evidenced in Westminster’s continual stalling, division does seem to hope of the British government. As we have taken the scenic route to independence we have to be prepared to seek pro-independence unity in Scotland at all costs, and this may be the testing of a great many folk. Certainly, as we chart out this new course, we have to make reflection and patience the watchwords of our movement. Soon the barriers will be lifted, and what we want is to make sure that all the traffic lights are in our favour.