A Shakespearean Tragedy

Pin on Macbeth
“Will these hands ne’er be clean?” Lady Macbeth

Only two days ago I published an essay beginning with these words: “The SNP is wrestling with a fundamental crisis of its own making, a profound loss of trust by the public in its honesty and methods…..“. I referred to the SNP’s unnerving ability to implode with unerring regularity into some scandal or other. Today, Nicola Sturgeon summarily removed the Right Honourable Joanna Cherry MP QC from Westminster’s front bench in a shocking act egregiously based on an SNP cabal’s engineered campaign of falsehoods, amounting to constructive dismissal. The sacking of Joanna Cherry indicates Scotland’s First Minister is incapable of sound judgement, or determined to preserve her power at all costs.

This is the same Joanna Cherry who beat in court the charlatan known as Boris Johnson, self-styled Prime Minister of the Union. Cherry won a great victory in the UK’s highest court, a victory no one else has matched since.

In that essay, I also drew attention to the stupidity of people who think knowledge of the inner machinations of a ponderous political party is safely boxed and locked with folk who use Twitter. SNP events with the First Minister as star have been the stuff of international gossip columnists for a while now, and now move into the mainstream press. When your every prat-fall (not a James Bond title) is the talk of Tumblr, the American microblogging, social networking website, you are in deep trouble. 

Nicola Sturgeon has a tremendous following worldwide, particularly by admiring women, some highly influencial, who do not realise how they demean her by calling her a ‘female’ First Minister. (Was Salmond ever described as a ‘male’ First Minister?) Those women must be asking, how does a ‘woman’ find herself so disenchanted with one of her best MPs, another woman, that she can humiliate her, and do it so publicly?

Nicola Sturgeon’s mounting list of non-achievement makes admiration of her all the more mysterious. Among many disappointments, mandates stored not capitalised, two years chasing England’s Brexit when climate change is the gravest threat to Scotland and humankind, the hunting of Alex Salmond and her cold inability to cease the chase of an exonerated man, the support of ravaging and ravenous civil servants, missing funds for a second referendum, and now with a husband who, Mafia-like, thinks himself above the law, refusing to attend a Holyrood Inquiry into the process that led to the civil service scandal. These matters crush peoples’ hopes and break a bond of trust.

With what is Joanna Cherry charged?

She is accused of transphobia and associating with a ‘known’ anti-Semite, a claim utterly false, designed to defame in a blatant act of character assassination. Cherry has assiduously avoided espousing transphobic views. She holds to the belief woman’s rights, attained after decades of hard struggle, are sacrosanct while wishing trans rights a safe haven. Cherry has been given police protection because of death threats from the ‘peaceful’ community of trans lobbyists. This development is a blight on the legacy of Scotland’s Enlightenment.

Some sections of the party saw Cherry as a possible first minister one day. She is a clever, perceptive, very likeable and dedicated champion of Scotland’s future, but to be candid, not my first or even second choice. But my opinion is neither here nor there. Unlike Sturgeon, she is not burdened by severe skill and personality limitations. Nevertheless, it is impossible for Nicola Sturgeon to claim she was not aware of Joanna Cherry’s acumen and popularity, and the hopes of many Cherry might take on the role one day. It is inconceivable that Cherry, a fine example of intellectual honesty, would not conform to the party line if, after National Executive Committee (NEC) and cabinet debate, her advice was outvoted. So, what did Nicola Sturgeon have to fear?

With what is Nicola Sturgeon charged?

Nicola Sturgeon is charged first with a vindictive act. It is no less. It taints the post she holds. She saw Cherry elected to the NEC and sensed events – sustained criticism of her governance, were closing in around her. She took a panic decision. She did this after months of the most vile harrassment dumped on Cherry’s head by the trans lobby, a small group of shriekers and sociopaths separated from genuine trans people, the former propelled by mental instability borne of carnal revulsion. Sturgeon did not intervene to stop the hostility.

Worse, Sturgeon has formed a cabinet of Yes clones, making her no better than Boris Johnson who sacked a third of his party for expressing concern at his far-right policies, and she is no better than Donald Trump who would put down his own dog if it barked when he wanted silence, and not have it euthanised first.

To demand conformity to the point contrarian opinion and advice is forbidden on pain of demotion or ‘removal’, is the very antithesis of democracy. The whole point of having a cabinet of colleagues is to listen to their advice and expertise and seek consensus for whatever policy is finally composed. If you do not want their advice, just be a dictator, choose the language of the fascist creed. Nicola Sturgeon stands accused of turning her role as protector of the nation into one of protector of her legacy.

A Shakespearean tragedy

Character assassination, craven colleagues, show trials, death threats, this is Scotland in the year 2021. Really? Is this a portent of the new society? How anyone can argue Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership is inspirational, without blemish, compassionate and wise?

This is a Shakespearean tragedy. The SNP enfeeblement of Joanna Cherry MP is a calamatous act. Nicola Sturgeon exposes the fragility of the SNP’s current popularity. In embracing the role of Macbeth’s wife so wholeheardely, so aggressively, deciding all challengers to her crown should be dispatched … without hesitation or regret, the First Minister is determined not only to hold onto power, but to monopolise it.

With polls predicting a landslide victory for the SNP at the May election, the sacking of Cherry is crazy. It plunges the party into yet more conflict. It hands more dry powder to the British state’s minions to tell Scotland we are useless governing ourselves.

We are sold a vision of a humanising, decent leader, ‘put your trust in her ‘, and this is what we get. Uncritical adoration of a populist leader is dangerous. It leads to fans threatening to kill their opponent so the object of their love can enjoy a quiet life.

Scotland’s governing executive is almost totally purged of critical independent voices—nothing left but sycophants. If they’re not sufficiently loyal to the mistress, fire them and get someone else.

The SNP ask the populace to follow them to the promised land, but we are expected to take the baggage of antagonism, animus, assassination and corruption with us to the new society. This is the brutal creed of neo-liberal regression.

If a determined independence voter with a conscience, a smidgen of decency, alarmed by SNP’s intolerance, you are forced to ignore their unethical practices to vote SNP.


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38 Responses to A Shakespearean Tragedy

  1. Ronnie Anderson says:

    They changed a Rolls Royce for a Morris Minor when they removed Joanne Cherry This will backfire on SNP & Nicola

  2. alisonsarah22 says:

    A great read Grous Beater from the now banned from twitter @fieryweeunicorn Alison. Please forward that work address to @MissBabington if you see this and tell her I ask she sent your gift directly to you

  3. Laura Cameron says:

    Brilliant as always Grouse Beater, thank you.

  4. Grouse Beater says:

    I am so grateful Alison for the thought and the effort! I have never received a gift for anything I have ever done for Scottish education, theatre, film or independence. I am so proud.

  5. Doreen Milne says:

    Excellent blog, thank you, G. I’m witnessing the end of a Party that once held so many of our hopes and dreams. That they cavalierly dismissed members and been actively instrumental in seeking to tarnish others’ reputations will always be remembered by so many of us.

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    Can you see Sturgeon retaining the crown much longer?

  7. Doreen Milne says:

    ‘Can you see Sturgeon retaining the crown much longer?’
    No, I honestly cannot. She appears to have burned her boats with the sacking of Joanna Cherry. I wonder if she could see that things are spiralling out of her control and this is a last ditch cleanse before the possiblity of a vote of no confidence?

  8. Grouse Beater says:

    I agree.

  9. twathater says:

    Thank you for ALL your enlightening essays GB you have earned your place in the history of Scotland’s independence , it is both inconceivable and disgusting that the party of independence has deteriorated to such an extent due to the machinations of a narcissistic sociopath and her cabal of sycophants .There is no passion or bravery from these usurpers in our fight for independence , merely a concentration of what’s in it for them

  10. peakcrew says:

    That’s one of your best recently, Gareth. Your barely restrained fury as a result of your betrayal by the SNP leadership comes through loud and clear. You voice what many are feeling with dignity and honour. Thank you.

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    I write to be read, Nicola Sturgeon governs to be loved.

  12. bushgeoff says:

    Just posted a link to this on FB group “SNP Members For Independence” , thank you for writng it, great post

  13. Grouse Beater says:

    I am grateful. I write to be read. 🙂

  14. paul botler says:

    Another of your best,
    The first minister’s resemblance, in word, deed and pretense,to the last elected UK Labour PM and his avatar Blair Starmer is increasingly revealed.
    Glib presentational skills,treachery and a deep conservatism is found in all three.
    She may have wanted to be loved, but by who?
    She shunned the crowd but wilted before the gentry.
    As with the original blair, who had a clear purpose at least, anything less than adulation exposed the brittle character beneath.
    He was smart enough to jump ship and collect the loot.
    Our FM is not.
    How much much more damage will she do in her desperate, flailing exit is the only remaining question.

    *slight typo in para 9 anaesthetised rather than euthanised?
    As her plodding progress through her book assignments, she anaesthetic to the core.

  15. Grouse Beater says:

    It flowed in an hour of anger, understandably not held back until the weekend. I am shocked by Sturgeon’s action.

    Your recommendation; I like to us Americanism to the prose a surprise and readers on their toes: ‘Euthanised’: verb North American, past tense: euthanized; past participle: euthanized -to put an animal to death humanely. 🙂
    “older dogs may find loving homes instead of being euthanized”

  16. robert hughes says:

    Yet another fine essay Gareth .

    It surely must be the End of Days for Sadie MacBeth and the Holyrood ( Independence ) Death Cult. The only question is who will be first to drink from the poisoned chalice?

    My guess is Sadie M will insist the other cultists drink first claiming she’ll follow, after having secured her successor is someone equally inert, subservient to WM overlordship, and with the same complete absence of political savvy and personal integrity. She won’t have far to look.

  17. paul botler says:

    It flowed in an hour of anger, understandably
    Righteous anger at that.
    I meant no criticism.

  18. alfbaird says:

    Should we expect anything different from the political class? Its all a big Macbeth play. The Bourgeoisie are the source of all barbarism, according to Cesaire.

    On the matter of “Cherry won a great victory in the UK’s highest court”; yes, the sovereignty of Westminster MP’s was proven. But I am not a British nationalist so I was less than enthused.

    As a Scottish nationalist I would have preferred a case brought which proved the political sovereignty of Scotland’s MP’s over Scotland. Had that been proven then we would already be independent.

  19. Grouse Beater says:

    I agree with your reading of things. Taking to the UK Supreme Court neatly undermines Scots Law.

  20. lilou57 says:

    Great piece. Thank you.

  21. duncanio says:

    Looking at the action of NS it looks clear that she does indeed suffer from what she herself claims to be ‘imposter syndrome”. A fear of inadequacy and insecurity. This would appear to be well founded.

    Her humiliation of JC and pursuit of AS (despite his winning not one, but two, court verdicts) points to a paranoid individual who sees threats all around her.

    She appears obsessed with her own popularity and reacted in panic when she thought that a handful of equally intolerant trans fan base resigned from the party last week. If only she were so decisive when it came to pursuing Scotland’s Cause.

    NS is clearly under pressure with the inquiries now reaching conclusions with her husband under a cloud for contradictory evidence presented at his initial interview at the Fabiani committee and now his unilateral refusal to appear again after being summoned.

    As an SNP member I am astonished, stunned and disgusted in equal measure. But most of all I am angry.

    A golden opportunity is being squandered to restore Scotland’s self-government.

    And for what? A populist leader’s popularity ratings and the pandering to an intolerant minority that seem to have wheedled their way somehow into positions of influence within the hierarchy and structures of the SNP?

    On the current trajectory NS’ name will be worth less than Samuel Mudd.

  22. neilanderson3 says:

    This mess depresses me in the extreme.

    I feel like giving up altogether on Independence; I can’t see it happening in my life time. However, I will not give up agitating for Scottish Independence because the Scots of the future deserve it.

    One small quibble; is “emasculation” the correct term for the treatment meted out to Jo Cherry? It seems a bit odd when referring to a woman. Oh dear! I’ve used that word!

  23. Grouse Beater says:

    Thanks, Neil … I used it in its general sense, but have substituted ‘enfeeblement’.

  24. paul botler says:


    A populist leader’s popularity ratings and the pandering to an intolerant minority that seem to have wheedled their way somehow into positions of influence

    I see it slightly differently. She does not pander to them. She indulges them because they have utility. I doubt extensive market research could come up with a bunch better designed to get decent folk to hastily escape any enclosed space they found having to share with them. As she is a person somewhat intolerant of principled sentients, they are the perfect blockleiters for the FM.

    The impostor syndrome schtick was typically brazen,calculatedly false modesty on her behalf. The syndrome bit is entirely superfluous.

  25. Votefor Poodles says:

    You say, “but to be candid, not my first or even second choice. But my opinion is neither here nor there.”

    I would beg to differ. Your opinion is valued by many of us who do not have your experience or knowledge of the SNP. Like many others I am sure, I can’t for the life of me see a successor who can lead and inspire from the current teams at HR or WM. Is one of them hiding their light for fear of the current incumbent?

    You can tell us the names Grousey, you’re amongst friends!

    Keep well.

  26. Grouse Beater says:

    This one, Duncan Hamilton QC, a former SNP MP, currently ‘assisting’ the Salmond team. https://youtu.be/KxS3RjilBzg

  27. The slow motion train crash continues.

  28. Doreen Milne says:

    ‘This one, Duncan Hamilton QC, a former SNP MP, currently ‘assisting’ the Salmond team. https://youtu.be/KxS3RjilBzg
    That would be an excellent thing. Spirit, conviction, youth.

  29. duncanio says:

    Paul Botler,

    “The impostor syndrome schtick was typically brazen,calculatedly false modesty on her behalf.
    The syndrome bit is entirely superfluous.”

    On second thoughts you are probably right.

    And I like the use of ‘blockleiters’ – so apt.

  30. Derek Aitken says:

    Thank you!

  31. madcoffeman says:

    The secret to holding on to poweris to have acolytes and underlings who are totally dependent on you. That is what has happened in the SNP Machine. I jumped ship a year ago. The quandary is what to do with my vote in May. I want Indy but I do not trust Sturgeon,
    Murrell and the rest

  32. Grouse Beater says:

    Hard one to answer. One school of thought says, better a minority SNP administration than a corrupt one running Scotland. Another thinks Sturgeon’s single solution for independence is a Tory delight, and yet a third thinks she will not be around by May, a new leader in place. As you can see, she feels she has removed one contender..

  33. Michael W says:

    I think that Nicola has devised a plan. She has weakened her centre to allow the Unionists to push forward but has prevented them from enveloping her flanks. The Unionists will keep pushing forward into the trap Nicola has created before she encircles them and destroys them??? Anyway that’s what Hannibal did at Cannae.

    Back here in the real world Scotland must be the only English colony that has a civil war before independence! That alone should be enough for Sturgeon to go.

  34. dal74 says:

    In some respects the Cherry sacking makes it easy for me. I’ve been wrestling with the question of whether I can vote SNP in May for some time. I now know I won’t.

    I simply cannot allow my vote for independence to be misconstrued as validation of their personnel or policy.

  35. Grouse Beater says:

    It is not my place to tell people how to vote, but I can applaud those of sound conscience, such as you.

  36. Grouse Beater says:

    “who ended both Kennedy’s political life as well as his biological one.

    Tragically, Mr Kennedy was a long-time alcoholic. His mental instability killed his political career, his damaged liver killed his capacity for a long life. Your statement is a descredited myth, but also libellous, and therefore removed from here on the probability of court action.

  37. mairimaciverhotmailcouk says:

    I award you “Most eloquent, 2021”! Rolls Royce to a Morris Minor is also v funny comment 😂

  38. grumpydubai says:

    your dagger is actually the dart which struck the inner bull on the board of everything that is wrong with SNP and its leader. thank you yet again, young man.

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