We all like to think we’re unique. Unfortunately, I now realise I’m not. I mirror the politics of thousands of Scots. My journey has been the same, and my dilemma at this current general election is the same.

I’m a moderate independence supporter who no longer trusts the SNP, but is far from wooed by Labour. What do I do? Who do I back?

For me - and again, I reckon the same holds true for many Scots - there’s no alternative to these two parties. The Tories simply disgust me; Reform is dangerous; Alba is a coterie of oddball nats and weird obsessives; the LibDems are pointless; and the Greens too small to bother with at Westminster.

So I have the Devil or the Deep Blue Sea (because Keir Starmer certainly isn’t red).

It’s worth explaining how I got here; again it’s a similar story to thousands of Scots. I was a straight-up-and-down Labour voter all my life. I grew up under Margaret Thatcher, and detested what her party did to Britain’s working class.

I never fully trusted Tony Blair: too oleaginous, too phoney, too much the private-schoolboy-turned-used-car-salesman. But when he got elected, I was ecstatic. Change at last! I was nine when the Tories took power. I really did think for a while that "things can only get better". How much I hate that song today, it stinks of lost hope and lies.

Labour and I parted company over Iraq, a war based on a deliberate deception of historic enormity. To me, it remains an unforgivable crime. I see Iraq as the beginning of Britain’s unravelling. It shattered trust in government and began the deadly fraying of democracy. Blair and his sidekicks lied to get us into a brutal conflict which left the Middle East soaked in blood. No Iraq, no Islamic State. It brought terrorism to Britain.


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Labour still hasn’t apologised for Iraq, and so still doesn’t deserve my vote on that point alone.

After Iraq, I was simply politically homeless. In Scotland, I saw friends, and folk of similar political positions to me, drift to the SNP, lured by its veneer of social democracy. The Nats weren’t for me, though, at this point. I detest nationalism, I hate flags, I can’t tolerate patriotic exceptionalism.

However, I slowly came around to them. Where else was I to go, after all? There was no alternative, and the SNP had taken a courageous stand opposing Iraq.

By now - like nearly half of Scotland - I’d come to feel that Westminster was simply unfixable. To achieve the sort of socially democratic society I wanted, perhaps independence could provide the roadmap?

I still loathed and detested the SNP’s base - it’s vile cyber battalions of trolls and its cultish behaviour - but the likes of Nicola Sturgeon (of whom more later) persuaded me that the party’s nationalism wasn’t the sort I feared and hated.

And then came Brexit. Another sin, stemming from Westminster, and the SNP seemed the only party ready to express my outrage.

Soon, though, it became apparent that Sturgeon was manipulating supporters. Every week, she seemed to announce that "indy was coming". As the former First Minister was fond of saying: “Do you think I button up the back?”

The SNP used independence as a shield to deflect all criticism of its woeful attempts at government. The party continually blamed Westminster for its failings. While it was clear that Westminster was indeed the cause of most of Scotland’s problems, it was also evident that the SNP wasn’t using all the powers available to make Scotland a better place. This angered me.

The collapse of Scotland’s public services mirrored the collapse of public services across the UK. In January 2022, I fully turned away from the SNP after the ScotWind deal, which auctioned off the nation’s seabed for a pocketful of change to foreign and private investors. An act of Thatcherite idiocy from Sturgeon.

So if this indy supporter is basically done with the SNP, can I vote Labour? Starmer is my stumbling block. Uninspiring, Tory-lite, he doesn’t offer the change this country needs. I’ve been bitten before. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me, right?

The Herald: 'I never fully trusted Tony Blair''I never fully trusted Tony Blair' (Image: PA)

But I desperately want the Tories out. They’ve destroyed Britain, disgraced us, taken us out of Europe and trashed our children’s future. I despise the party for what it’s done. And Labour will destroy the Tories this election.

So should I hold my nose and help Starmer destroy them? Or should I hold my nose and give one last vote to the SNP in the hope that … in the hope that what? That the SNP pulls Labour left? But the SNP isn’t left. The leadership contest showed me that.

Like thousands of other moderate, left-of-centre indy supporters, I was shocked by the support within the SNP for the social and economic conservatism of Kate Forbes. It was a mask-off moment, one more proof that the SNP is fake.

Yet, if I vote Labour, I know that in five years, I’ll feel that same sense of betrayal I felt with Blair. It happened before, why not again?

For the first time in my life, I truly don’t know who to support. I’ll pore over my local candidates’ positions. It’s that which will shape my vote. If Labour’s candidate shows me that they truly believe in social democracy, and that they respect the large minority of us in Scotland who voted for independence, then they just might get my support.

If my SNP candidate proves to me that they have some contrition over the party’s endless failures in government, if they prove they care about governing not division, then they may get my vote.

Nearly everyone I know - friends and family - feel politically adrift like me. Again, I’m not unique. We’re all lost. This sense of loss matters.

Nobody should feel lost in a democracy. We should all feel that there’s a party out there which represents our worldview, to some extent at least. That’s my greatest fear about this election: that it will be remembered as the moment when we began to lose faith in the precious belief that democracy can improve our lives.