We’ve seen it written and heard it asked. Mostly it’s directed at Labour supporters: what would make them change their mind and vote for independence?
It’s actually a reasonable question to ask someone involved, or interested, in politics: in what circumstance would you change your stance on a particular issue?
But perhaps it’s not the Unionists who should be the ones being asked for a response.
For example, is failing to adequately manage a public service in the eyes of an independent auditor a good enough reason? After nine years of SNP governance the NHS hasn’t been given a clean bill of health by Audit Scotland. In fact they said that “NHS Scotland failed to meet seven out of eight key performance targets“.
Or take Brexit. Around 64%, or £48.5bn, of our exports go to rUK compared with £11.6bn to the EU and £15.2bn to the rest of the world. But still, some Yes voters think that we should extricate ourselves from the former Union which some might argue as economically illiterate.
How about our civic nationalism that we’re so proud of? It can sometimes appear that this applies to anyone and everyone apart from our neighbours on this island. It’s like we have a quota of friends and before we can make a new one we have to shed an old one.
Our point is that maybe the case for independence just isn’t that strong. Perhaps a better tact would be to drop independence and push for a more formal federation of states in the UK. Devolution isn’t a dirty word and should not be looked upon as a lesser existence.
Of course this isn’t going to happen. We think that, slowly, gradualism is giving way to fundamentalism once more among the SNP rank and file.
Unfortunately this will likely take them down a path where it’s enough for people to have absolute belief that they are right, that their belief is true, righteous even. Winning a referendums isn’t the ends, perpetual campaigning is and full responsibility is never taken because it’s never really sought. And, in the long run, the result is a hollowed out SNP.
So to pose the question we’ve heard put to Unionists, if you voted Yes in 2014, what would make you change your mind?