THERE has been a craze in theatre for dramas where actors play multiple parts. A production of The 39 Steps saw four actors taking on 139 roles. Sarah Snook, of Succession fame, just won an Olivier for playing 26 characters in The Picture of Dorian Grey.

The SNP seems to be following the trend. In its own sad, little succession tragedy, the party is alone on stage performing multiple parts. There’s only one scene, though: a condemned prisoner dragged to the scaffold. The SNP has assumed the role of both prisoner and executioner; both the baying mob and the grieving family.

We’re watching the final act of the current iteration of Scottish nationalism. It’s a pitiful spectacle to behold. Party plotters claim it’s just a question of "when, not if" Humza Yousaf goes. They’re preparing the ground for Kate Forbes and Stephen Flynn in charge.

In fevered nationalist minds, this power couple may seem the answer to all their woes. But they’re wrong. There’s nothing now which can save the SNP. In fact, the plotting and talk of succession only ensures the party’s demise. By plotting, they dig their grave even deeper.

The SNP will lose whatever happens. It’s a failed party filled with failed politicians. You can smell death in the air. It has governed Scotland with gross carelessness. It hasn’t tried to unite the nation, but further divide it. The only saving grace for the SNP has been the shield handed to it by the Tory Party. The Conservative Government is so chaotic and malevolent that the SNP can hide its own mountain of failures.

Labour has caught the SNP in the polls, and nationalist plotting merely ensures that Anas Sarwar will accelerate further and faster ahead. The SNP hands the whip to its enemies.


The SNP is talking to itself over indy and handing the election to Labour 

The Yes movement isn’t prepared for the crushing psychological blow ahead

Warring SNP and Greens will tear the Yes movement to pieces

Yousaf should never have run for First Minister. Nicola Sturgeon knew what was coming and allowed him to step into the bear-trap that would have finished her premiership. He has ruined himself in service to his mentor.

If the SNP does ditch him and installs some hydra-headed Forbes/Flynn leadership, then the SNP won’t just be dragging itself to its own grave, it will be pouring concrete on top. The party’s natural centre-left, socially-liberal voters will bail. Only the tartan-eyed fundamentalists will remain.

If Yousaf is given a stay of execution until after defeat in the General Election, the party would have little more than a year to recover, get rid of him, install new leaders who take the party in a completely different direction, and then fight the Holyrood election. That’s the path to certain destruction.

So here’s the deal, SNP: keep Yousaf and your party is finished. Plot against him, and you make defeat worse. Voters don’t back split parties full of vipers. Get rid of him and install new leaders and you blow your party to smithereens, ensuring it's dead for a decade at least.

The SNP has run out of road. It’s the proverbial dead man walking.

This is before we factor in the Greens either pulling out of government, or Yousaf jettisoning them in some desperate bid to save himself. The Greens create a safe majority for the SNP. At a time when every piece of government legislation is torn to ribbons by culture war and disinformation, the SNP won’t be able to survive in Holyrood without Green cover.

So, once again, here’s the deal, SNP: ditch the Greens and you step on a landmine. Keep the Greens, and you’re walking around with a bomb in your pocket.

The same goes for the Greens, evidently: stay with the SNP and you build a bonfire of your own values; leave and you consign yourself to failure on the backbenches while awaiting punishment at the ballot box from the small minority of voters who believed in you.

The SNP is tying itself into knots of absurdity over its relationship with the Greens. Joanna Cherry claimed on social media that she “voted against” the Bute House Agreement, only for members of the public to fact-check her. She had to correct herself, admitting she did, indeed, vote for the deal.

So the SNP is toast. The Greens are toast. What about independence?

The Herald: Only 2,000 people attended Saturday's rallyOnly 2,000 people attended Saturday's rally (Image: PA)

We got an answer on Saturday. Only 2,000 people turned up to a Yes rally in Glasgow. Previous independence marches saw upwards of 100,000 attend. Independence isn’t a priority for voters any more - even Yes voters. People care about the economy.

It could be argued that these marches were, indeed, what began undermining the Yes movement. Marching became an exercise in independence supporters speaking to themselves, not the undecided.

The parades instantly repelled anyone - including Yes voters - uncomfortable with flags and Scottish exceptionalism. The marches put the Yes movement and the SNP in a bubble. This is where the mentality of "Nobody would vote Red Tory" came from; a mantra we’ll still be hearing when Labour takes power, no doubt.

Ask yourself how navel-gazing and insular it looked for Yousaf to take part in Saturday’s march? His party is imploding, the cost of living crisis is eating families alive, yet here he is dreaming the dream.

In truth, the agony has only begun. Who knows how polls will deteriorate? Trade unions are warning of more strikes. Imagine this Government facing industrial action on all fronts?

We’re at the start of a huge realignment in Scottish politics. It’s going to be shattering for Yes voters. Indy is off the table for 10 years at least. This doesn’t mean independence is dead. It’s not. Support remains as strong as in 2014. But independence is going into suspended animation now, whether the Yes movement likes it or not.

Independence must be reimagined. The SNP never really explained what it meant in the first place. It may seem a cruel blessing, but the Yes movement has been gifted the luxury of time.

There’s years now to recreate a fresh prospectus for independence. When that happens, the warnings of 2024 must be heeded: don’t hitch independence to the fortunes of shallow, self-serving politicians. Unless, of course, Yes voters want to watch yet another drama which ends with their ideals marched to the scaffold once more.