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A Party in Turmoil

Only more pragmatic leadership can renew the SNP and help repair Scotland.

· 8 min read
A Party in Turmoil
Humza Yousaf at the SNP leadership contest result announcement at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Scotland, UK 27 March 2023. Alamy 

What will the 40 percent (and falling) of Scots separatists do now that their vehicle for independence is spluttering to a halt? Like a clapped-out old car, rust is creeping up its innards, parts of it are falling off, and an incompetent driver is at the wheel who seems to have neither a map nor a clear sense of direction.

For a short time, the Scottish National Party (SNP) led the most vibrant movement of its kind in the modern world, secure in its moral and civic purpose and outperforming all other campaigns for secession. Catalonian separatists are disheartened and disunited while the campaign for the Bavarian independence in Germany was only able to muster 1.7 percent of the vote in the last general election. The SNP’s authoritarian leadership, on the other hand, has managed to keep splits and factionalism to a minimum—until recently, at least.

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