WE have the resources, we have the people, we just need the power. That, in essence, is the argument for independence.

There are a whole other range of factors in favour but when we boil it down to its core, it’s about the people of Scotland having the power to affect our own country’s destiny, instead of being reliant on the whims of here-today, gone-tomorrow prime ministers.

Westminster returned to shambolic action this week. The decaying palace perhaps seems a real-life allegory for the state of the UK with its falling masonry, collapsing ceilings, asbestos, and rodent infestation, yet the powers that be refuse to take any sensible measures to fix the long-term structural issues.

On our very first night back we were supposed to have a vote on oil and gas extraction – a crucial issue for Scotland – yet the bill was pulled at the last minute, so we were hanging around for votes that never came. This is a UK Government that is evidently not even in charge of its own business timetabling, much less anything else.

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Already lurching from gimmick to soundbite, all the while the situation out there in the real world gets progressively worse for too many of the people we serve.

By contrast, on Monday, Scotland’s First Minister and my party leader Humza Yousaf made an excellent speech on how an independent Scotland will take a new approach to industrial policy with the powers of independence, making the perfectly valid point that it is precisely because we don’t have the normal powers of independence that too many people are struggling with poverty and low growth.

There have been bumps in the road in our party’s history.

It took 11 years for us to win our first MP in a by-election in 1945. It would be another 27 years before we’d win another seat with the late Winnie Ewing’s famous by-election victory in 1967.

The National:

After initially peaking with 11 MPs and just over 30% of the Scottish electorate in the 70s, the rigged loss in the 1979 referendum meant it would be another 20 years before seeing the Scottish Parliament re-established. Even then, it took nearly a decade for us to win power at Holyrood and another seven years after that before we held our first independence referendum in 2014.

The point is that change happens slowly but there are certain moments where political earthquakes can change the political landscape in an instant. As with real earthquakes, it takes time for such moments to build before spilling into the open.

I’d argue that we are in such a moment now where the political pressure is continuing to rise, slowly but surely, towards sustained majority support for independence.

Humza’s excellent speech on Monday shows that our priority is delivering for the people of Scotland and securing their best future as an independent country in Europe (and I am looking forward to the rest of the speeches!).

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We want power not for its own sake, but to use it to build the better nation we want to see, and at the next electoral event, the UK General Election, it is only the SNP who are in any position to deliver.

Tommy Sheppard, in his excellent Sunday National column, put it best: “The discussion on independence stops if the SNP do not win the Westminster election.”

And the stronger the SNP result, the stronger Scotland’s position as the next, likely Labour, government interprets the result. A strong contingent of Unionist Labour MPs and that signals to Starmer et al that they can take Scotland for granted, just as Labour did for decades.

On the other hand, a Labour victory in the rest of the UK but failing to win in Scotland shows where the people of Scotland’s desires really lie – independence in Europe.

If current polls are to be believed, it’s not a question of if there will be a UK Labour government but whether it will be one with an absolute majority or a minority administration forced to work with others.

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A minority administration where there is a strong contingent of SNP MPs in the parliament means we can push for the permanent power for Scotland to decide its own constitutional future. It also means we can push for further powers – economic, social and international – that can make a manifold difference to the people of Scotland’s lives, instead of continually mitigating Westminster actions.

And if it’s a Labour majority?

Well as we’ve seen the Labour Party are composed of several factions. As the vote for a humanitarian ceasefire in Palestine showed before Christmas, where the SNP can lead, significant numbers of Labour MPs will not only agree but vote with us.

So even with a Labour majority, SNP MPs will still keep Labour honest and hold their feet to the fire.

The outcomes of the election are all still hypothetical and there are many twists and turns ahead with certainly a few more surprises for all parties before and during the election campaign.

Two things are clear though.

Only a strong contingent of SNP MPs will be sure to stand up for Scotland and our right to decide our future. The other is that only independence will secure Scotland’s long-term prosperity and opportunity.

The next few months are going to be a hell of a fight but it is one that I and many of us in the independence movement are more than up for.