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.