THE elections in the UK are over.

Despite the strong headwind, Boris Johnson is not only standing, but he is also strengthening his position.

But the elections clearly show that, just like Flanders and Wallonia, Scotland and England are two different countries.  While in England the Conservatives are clearly in favour, the SNP jumped from 35 to 48 seats, a big step forward for the pro-independence party.

And yet ... why does SNP not reach 50 seats? Why are they still well below the 56 seats they achieved in 2015?  And then I come to Europe. The European community, which the SNP strongly supports and for which 62% Scots voted to remain a part of.  Europe could be the reason why the SNP does not reach those 50 seats.

Why? It starts with the ordinary man/woman in the street.  Here in Flanders there is a great sign of indifference to the pursuit of independence.  It is not necessary, all that effort and finally we are well here. I can imagine that the common man/woman in the street in a Scottish municipality, such as Pitlochry, follows the same reasoning.

Then it is, of course, up to a party like the SNP to convince people of the opposite. So far, no problem.

But then Catalonia comes out and there is the October 2017 referendum. I don’t have to explain what happened then and afterwards.  It is clear that the unionists in Spain are already using all the possibilities (from excessive violence to imprisonment) in their power to thwart the Catalan plans.

The National: Catalan economist Clara Ponsati is among the leaders of the Catalan movementCatalan economist Clara Ponsati is among the leaders of the Catalan movement

And here, Boris Johnson is already looking behind the corner.  He too has clearly shown that Scotland is just a piece of land that will forever be part of the UK.

And then there is the European community, on which the SNP has put all its hope in their struggle for an independent Scotland.

The SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon actually travelled through the whole of Europe to ask for support for the Scottish cause.  But that same European community turns its back on Catalonia.  It refuses to put a halt to Spain, or to take one step in any negotiations between Spain and Catalonia.  That Europe would support the Scottish people in their struggle for independence?

I think that part is very difficult to explain to the ordinary man/woman in the street. Why would the European community do this for Scotland and not for Catalonia?  Are we not going to experience the same here in Scotland as in Catalonia: the excessive violence of the police, the imprisonment of politicians and especially the abolition of the Scottish Parliament that Boris Johnson has already alluded to?

And I can already hear you thinking: “But no, people won’t let that happen here.”  But from own experiences and conversations with the man/woman in the street, it appears that it is precisely those people who are not at all comfortable with it.  Not to be reassured that everything will go smoothly, that ultimately they themselves could be the victims of what the politicians all “arrange” above their heads.

Isn’t that just our struggle to convince the common man/woman in the street that an independent Flanders, Catalonia and Scotland, is a struggle that is really worth fighting for, instead of leaving everything like it is with the thought that everything will be fine?