WITH the present rise in cases, it appears that Scotland, like England, is now entering a third wave of Covid. I suppose that means that independence for Scotland has now been kicked that bit further along the road. After all, we have been told we will get it when Covid is over but with another Covid crisis on its way, that means it will be that much longer before it is safe to hold a referendum.

But, why? Let’s just consider a few points. Scotland has had a national election. England has held local elections. America has held a presidential election. Both Germany and Israel have held elections. All of them have taken place during the pandemic. Both Scotland and England, and indeed, America held their elections while there were greater infection rates and certainly many more hospital admissions, and intensive care patients, than we have at the moment.

READ MORE: 'Horrid' Delta variant scuppering plans to ease lockdown in Scotland

How come it’s possible to hold elections during Covid but not a referendum? I mean, what’s the difference between them? I suppose one of big difference is that it is unlikely that the English Broadcasting Corporation will allow the same sort of debates as we had for the last referendum. After all, this one is likely to be considered illegal by Westminster. But is that important?

Then there’s publicity. You can still send out publicity for the referendum, in the same way it was sent out for the elections. The only difference might be getting funding for it. However, the ability to “knock on doors” is more feasible this time round since we are on lower levels of restrictions than during the elections. As far as I am aware, “knocking on doors” wasn’t possible for the Holyrood election. I got plenty of leaflets through the door but nobody actually called in person.

Then there’s calling meetings in local halls etc. That wasn’t possible for the election and I doubt it will be possible for a referendum held within a year. But we could hold “street stalls” to push publicity. That’s open air and you are only going to be dealing with “passing trade”, therefore, social distancing is unlikely to be a problem. Let’s face it, you pass people in the street all the time. A street stall would be pretty much the same. So, the referendum might have a slight edge on elections since we could knock on doors and hold street stalls, whereas for the elections they couldn’t.

READ MORE: Responding to Unionist rants is a waste of time we could spend productively

As for similarities – for an election you have to go along to a “polling place” and put your cross on a wee bit of paper. Or you send it in as a postal vote.

It’s exactly the same with a referendum. Why is it safe for one but not the other?

Within the past few days, umpteen members of the SNP have underlined the importance of having independence in order to implement the policies that they want, and that will aid our economic recovery. Natalie Don’s maiden speech, which was praised all round, actually called for the referendum so that policies to combat the poverty imposed by Westminster could be realised.

More important still might be avoiding the destruction of our farming industries by avoiding the free trade agreements Boris is busy negotiating with Canada and Australia. He tells us his deal will not affect our farmers. Our farmers tell us differently. Boris told us the fishing community would get a better deal with Brexit. In reality their trade has been reduced by some 80%. Once again Boris has shown he can’t be trusted – except to muck things up!

If so much depends on getting independence, why are they not pushing for it now? I think I have shown, above, that Covid is not a reason to delay a referendum. It’s only an excuse. Maybe it’s something else that’s stopping them. Think about it! You have to have elections to allow the MSPs’ jobs to continue. Otherwise, parliament just folds, the country is in chaos, and the MSPs are all out of work. But with a referendum? Their jobs are not dependent on that. In fact, with independence a lot of them will be out of work. All those presently at Westminster will have nowhere to go – unless they suddenly increase the numbers of MSPs at Holyrood. So, maybe, just maybe, there’s more to delaying the independence referendum than the SNP are telling us about.

Charlie Kerr