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A slick SNP show in Glasgow can’t hide pressure for independence vote

8 13 103

As the SNP’s annual conferences have become bigger and brasher and bolder, so too has the opprobrium and disdain they attract. Once, politicians were accustomed to promenading around these venues exchanging greetings with a small and cosy band of political obsessives like themselves and well-behaved party hacks. Now, the unseen tentacles of social media have made them more recognisable. As the crowds have become bigger and a little… shall we say, more irascible, the greetings have become somewhat more colourful.

Some of the assembled commentators now retaliate by dismissing them as a rabble and likening the conference to a rally, a term they deploy to imply that the gathering lacks political judgment and is guided merely by the emotion of the mob. It is a slur that each of the other parties in Scotland would dearly love to have cast upon them. When you observe all the empty seats at a Lib-Dem or Tory or even Labour conference, you wonder if they ought to be agitating for a returns agreement on empty seats with the venue owners.

Another reason why Glasgow now figures large on the party’s list is that Scotland’s biggest and most important city is where the Yes movement has derived its biggest source of comfort in recent years. Glasgow and neighbouring North Lanarkshire were among the four Scottish regions that voted for independence. To say that Glasgow, once regarded as an eternal stronghold for Labour, has merely fallen to the SNP, is to understate the scale of the party’s annexation of the city.

Most of Glasgow’s MPs and MSPs are Scottish nationalists and their team now administers Glasgow city council, a........

© The Guardian