The night of the long claymores

Stephen Daisley

It was the night of the long claymores.

One after one, the frontline of Scottish nationalism fell. Alex Salmond — gone. Angus Robertson — gone. John Nicolson — gone. The terrain of the nation’s politics has been redrawn; familiar peaks have collapsed and new ascents have risen in their place. Scottish politics has changed a generation in 24 breathtaking, tumultuous hours.

Since 2007, the SNP has had the run of the joint; none of their opponents could lay a glove on them. They had momentum and then they had even more. After the 2014 referendum, they had the 45% and as long as they continued to bang the drum for separation they were guaranteed victory at Holyrood and Westminster. Political gravity would stay suspended and the Nationalists would keep riding high, all the way to independence.

On Thursday night, the SNP learned in brutal fashion that what goes up must…

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