An Unfit SNP

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland

In keeping with a policy of offering a platform to well-written, intelligent opinion from members of the public and professional journalists, while not necessarily agreeing with the content. Today we republish Kevin McKenna’s article from the Herald newspaper. McKenna is a well-known freelance journalist and columnist. Here he presents a litany of SNP fails and failings, giving reasons why the public are gie scunnered and supporters suckered.

The SNP is in no fit state to fight an Indyref campaign

by Kevin McKenna

The tides of pro-independence optimism, cajoled expertly by the SNP party machine follow a familiar pattern. A fresh opinion poll indicates a recent increase in support for Yes; then some leadership loyalists say the tide is turning and, in the days following, a few sympathetic columnists urge us all to unite so that we can rise up and “make this happen”. We are then urged to put all the divisions of the past two years behind us so that we can defeat the far greater evil of Toryism as practised by Boris Johnson’s cabinet of thieves.

Once, such consummate condescension and party engineering had the desired effect. There would indeed be renewed optimism and the party funds might receive a reasonable injection. Such innocent times seem far distant now.

On social media several previously loyal SNP party activists suggest they’d now prefer life under the Johnson regime than a government run by Nicola Sturgeon and her WhatsApp cabinet. So sickened and marginalised have they become that you know life will never be the same again in this party which once portrayed itself as something softer and cuddlier in UK politics. Anyone who thinks we can all just “unite” and submerge the divisions so that we can “move forward together” are deluding themselves.

The first SNP conference of the post-Covid era (assuming that there ever will be a post-Covid era) will require a team of UN peacekeepers to keep order. The sheer hatred that now exists between several SNP factions is quite distressing to behold. Hatred in this context is not too strong a word either. The malice and ill-will directed at women in the party who seek to defend their sex-based rights is especially chilling and much of it seems virtually to be endorsed by their own leadership. These wounds will not be healed any time soon, if at all.

Others have seen friends, former comrades and allies defamed and traduced for joining Alba in exasperation. It can’t be easy still to remain in this party when you see people who have fought inequality their entire lives now dismissed as bigots on social media by the salonistas and fake liberals.

The prospect of the SNP forming a partnership with the Scottish Greens threatens to marginalise many women in the party even further. Much of the misogyny and false accusations directed at them comes from the Greens, a party which has weaponised this to touch the hems of power, despite never actually winning a single, contested seat in its ornamental history.

The organised campaign of poison and intimidation directed from within the party against Joanna Cherry and anyone deemed to be supportive of her should be a source of shame for those responsible for it. When I raised this with a senior SNP figure a few months ago I was told simply: “Joanna isn’t a team player,” as though being guilty of this alone justified the attacks. It thus becomes clear why the party refuses to investigate complaints of actual bullying and intimidation by male members known to them.

The absence of any support for Ms Cherry even as a man was being charged and admitting guilt to threatening her with extreme sexual violence also begins to make sense. This is a party where women members can expect to have their reputations trashed and sullied if they dare to speak out.

Even if the police find no evidence of actual criminality over the whereabouts of £600k raised specifically as a referendum fighting fund it’s clear that a lot of members have been played for fools by the party leadership. They have been deceived and this won’t easily be forgotten or forgiven either. When some continued to ask what on earth the leadership was doing with the money they’ve been subject to attacks by Ms Sturgeon’s elite troll force.

This money was supposed to have been ring-fenced for the purpose of fighting a referendum campaign. In the last few years the SNP seems to have devoted much time and energy avoiding a referendum, while using a compendium of words and phrases to indicate it’s still committed to the cause. An awful lot of vowing, pledging and demanding has been going on. Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, does little else.

The migration of so many senior SNP people to Alba means that Sturgeon and her husband, party CEO Peter Murrell, are free to continue running the SNP as their own personal fiefdom, granting favours and promotions here and there to those who remain loyal and unquestioning.

Ms Sturgeon is reportedly keen to leave a legacy following her time as First Minister. She can’t seriously think of claiming anything significant in health, education and justice where the only policies of note have been meaningless ornaments of the Named Persons and Offensive Behaviour at Football legislation.

Boris Johnson may be missing a trick here. The SNP are simply in no fit state to fight an independence campaign and have never been less well equipped for independence. How would they survive the merest pin-prick of scrutiny in a no-holds-barred and take-no-prisoners referendum campaign?

The first one in 2014 was keenly-fought but largely civilised. You sense though, that the next one will be far less so. Yet several of the SNP Westminster group reportedly burst into tears because Humza Yousaf, as Justice Secretary, didn’t signal what they wanted to hear about gender reform before he was chivvied back on-message.

It won’t take much for even a half-decent Better Together campaign to exploit these deep and lifelong divisions. And that’s before they start turning their attention to the SNP’s chaotic governance of health and education.

The party still hasn’t produced any serious thinking around the currency issue, Scotland’s future relationship with Europe and how the Border will be managed. Those big television debates would have to carry an X-certification and a host of trigger warnings for Yes supporters. It may be that the conditions for securing a final, decisive No vote will never be more favourable than these for Boris Johnson.


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22 Responses to An Unfit SNP

  1. David McCann says:

    “It won’t take much for even a half-decent Better Together campaign to exploit these deep and lifelong divisions. And that’s before they start turning their attention to the SNP’s chaotic governance of health and education.”
    With friends like Grouse Beater, who needs enemies!

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    I didn’t write the piece, you buffoon! What are you advocating? Censorship? The new Scotland as created by intolerant, scared of discussion SNP supporters – terrific.

  3. steelewires says:

    When England voted for Brexit and Scotland voted to remain in 2016, I thought, “This is the moment to mount an independence campaign”. When Nicola Sturgeon started touting to stop Brexit, I was astonished. I thought, “She’s lost the plot.

    The SNP may lose us our opportunity to become independent”. Kevin McKenna’s article seems to confirm my thinking. Unless we get rid of Sturgeon, Murrell, and the Woke appointees to the NEC, the SNP will lose us our opportunity to become independent.

  4. lorncal says:

    I agree, steelwires. We have a choice: stay with this nonsense and be conned time after time because there is no intention – none – to advance independence; or go for broke and overtake them. Yes, it will take time, as we are constantly reminded by one blogger, in particular, but he has yet to answer the question of what we do in the face of SNP intransigence – which is letting time slip by, but which he refuses to acknowledge.

    There never was any hope of independence under Nicola Sturgeon and her coterie. That is now very evident. We need to start challenging them. I quite literally (good pseudo ‘woke’ Stonewall word that, literally, as in, literally killing them by stating the obvious, that they cannot change sex) feel sick when Nicola Sturgeon talks of being a ‘feminist’ because she is a handmaiden of the pseudo ‘woke’ fringe which is destroying the party from within.

    Most of these ‘team players’ are far too lacking in little grey cells to be anywhere the seat of power. It was team playing (never asking questions and sycophantically grovelling to rank and obvious delusion, if not insanity) that put the great dictators of the world on their corrupt thrones. People who are able to think independently have always been attacked and castigated throughout our horrendous human existence thus far. Shooting the messenger has been elevated to a sport.

    It has taken me many years to figure out why I was puzzled by Nicola Sturgeon when she sallied forth with Alec Salmond in 2007 to challenge for the leadership: I saw the ambition and emptiness behind the facade, I think; but did not realize what it was until much later. Now, looking back, I am no longer surprised by anything she does or says. She has betrayed women utterly, completely, beyond any redemption or forgiveness.

    Either she is supremely stupid or supremely uncaring in the face of her own ambition. Either way, she is not fit to be leader, of the strongest political party supposedly of independence, and few of those around her are either. To think that the party was once one of original thought, of determination and steadfast adherence to the principle of independence via the ballot box and resiling the Treaty. God help us. Excellent blog, Grousebeater and Mr McKenna.

  5. paul botler says:

    “Either she is supremely stupid or supremely uncaring in the face of her own ambition.”

    I think she is both, and these qualities are all too common in this era’s political class. They particularly noticeable in the graceless lifestyle politicians that hold sway in the wretched caricature that is the current Scottish National Party.

  6. njedmunds says:

    I am one of the malcontents who left the SNP after many years. The only thing I question in K. McKenna’s piece is his apparent assumption that the SNP are crucial to an independence campaign. They are becoming a liability to any campaign. There is plenty of appetite for independence and over a few months the belief in the SNP has crashed amongst the many who remain on the Yes side. I hope it won’t belong before the “wider Yes movement” get together behind a new leader.

  7. greig12 says:

    My major concern is that I wouldn’t like to have to put my trust in the current crowd in the SNP to negotiate effectively with the British State after we won a Yes majority in a referendum. I of course realise for this to happen, we would actually have to have a referendum, followed by a successful campaign and both at present seem highly unlikely. In a nutshell this means I don’t trust the current SNPs fitness before, during or after, in any Indy process. I agree that it’s a failure of leadership that’s knocked us back, squandered opportunities etc…..

    As far as major negatives go, that’s probably the full set.

  8. lorncal says:

    I can’t see any statesmanlike qualifies in any of these virtue-signallers these days. Everything is appearance over substance, so I suspect that you quite right. They probably couldn’t negotiate with a monkey for its peanuts. The really awful thing is that they know it – and still don’t care, so little respect do they have for those who voted them into power. Echoes of Labour and the Lib Dems.

  9. scotsmanic0803 says:

    ‘Yet several of the SNP Westminster group reportedly burst into tears because Humza Yousaf, as Justice Secretary…’ You could have just stopped there. What a total and utter disgrace the SNP are now. They will NEVER be forgiven for trashing the country to bolster the fragile ego of an intersectionalist-puritan narcissist dictator.

  10. nallyanders says:

    Thank you Grousebeater and Kevin McKenna for telling it how it is.
    Frankly I don’t know what it’s going to take for the Sturgeon cultists to wake up.
    Truly appalling.

  11. Michael W says:

    Person A says to Person B give me a £100 and I will cut your grass. Person B pays Person A £100 to cut their grass.

    Person A doesn’t cut the grass but keeps the £100.

    That’s either fraud or failure to perform the contract either way my party, our party have deceived us and have committed either a civil or criminal wrong. They deserve no sympathy.

  12. diabloandco says:

    I’m with njedmunds. Independence does not need the SNP but it needs a focal point , a leader and organisation – needless to say in my opinion that is Alex Salmond.
    It is beyond tragic that we are now where we are and all thanks to an SNP which has lost its way and taken a road to incomprehensible idiocy and deceit.

  13. moone33 says:

    The death of my mother in her care home last April, THAT will forever be Sturgeon’s f***ing legacy.
    The Covid Queen, seeding disease wilfully throughout Scottish care homes.

  14. Grouse Beater says:

    I fear Covid-19 will be the undoing of quite a few politicians. In theiur defence they will argue they did their best to mitigate the pandemic.

  15. Alex Montrose says:

    oh dear, SNP BAAD part 329.

  16. Grouse Beater says:

    You missed out ‘very’, Alex. If the SNP won’t listen, it will lose more and more supporters.

  17. lorncal says:

    Alex: when this is all over – as over as it will ever be – then we will see just how very un-different the approaches were, or similar, if you prefer. Very sparsely did the SNP administration bring health, a devolved power, into play.

    The National today talks of being unable to have social distancing and the wearing of masks made mandatory on trains. How many more of our population are we willing to sacrifice so that we can pretend that there is nothing we can do when they start dying again, or, in years to come, long Covid brings them prolonged ill-health?

    The rail franchise is also devolved. Nah, better to go along with it all and bleat like a particularly bleaty sheep that we can do nothing. Just what are the devolved powers for, Alex? For non-use, for decorative purposes?

    This Scottish government will be lucky to escape several charges of criminal negligence towards its people on the grounds of gross negligence – no independence or move towards independence in seven years of winning election after election, mandate after mandate and being in possession of an international Treaty that other countries would give their eye teeth for; introducing, quite deliberately, laws and measures that will ensure the end of moderate free speech and definitely the end of women’s public existence, and, as I say, not by accident or chance, but deliberately and cruelly, with malice aforethought and determined viciousness (the videos?); and, finally, not even trying to use some of the most powerful powers that were won through devolved status.

    They are an absolute disgrace. Bleat, bleat, bleat. Baaaaaahhhhing sheeple everywhere.

  18. Lawrence Anderson Burley says:

    I agree with Diabloandco. The only politician of sufficient stature on the horizon who can lead us out of this is Alex Salmond. (With all respect to Joanna Cherry whom I greatly admire, the raging war that would ensue were she to try and wrest the leadership from NS, would totally consume the present SNP. Ashes! It would not advance our cause)

    But as Grousebeater mentioned elsewhere, he was not convinced by Salmond’s Alba move and even wrote to counsel against. AS was unfortunately slow to fully understand the huge damage done to his reputation by the relentless campaign to vilify him in the eyes of the wider public. He’s not the first. I know it is deeply unfair but it is what it is.

    If I had AS’s ear, I would advise that Alba take a leaf out of the Green’s playbook and institute a co-leader structure. One man (AS), one woman. This is Europe-wide Green policy btw, not all is bad chez les Greens!) There are some very impressive, strong, eloquent, politically experienced women now in Alba. McAllister for example. That will take the relentless focus off Salmond, refresh the party generationally and in feminist terms and strengthen the offer to the electorate.

  19. Grouse Beater says:

    ALBA will almost certainly nominate and elect a deputy leader at its first conference, later this year. To be hoped he or she is more active than stand-in.

  20. lorncal says:

    I think you make an excellent point, Lawrence, and I also think it has to be a co-leader, not a deputy: shades of NS. A female would send the right message to the other half of the human race, but I wouldn’t insist on it, as Alba needs the very best.

  21. It isn’t possible to reform the SNP so ALBA has to replace them as the party of independence. Whilst I am a great admirer of Alex Salmond he is to some what Nicola Sturgeon is to me. So a leader must be found that is capable of uniting the YES movement.

  22. Grouse Beater says:

    Nesski: even Martin Luther King Jr was smeared as a philanderer, but he battled on against huge odds because there were enough people unhappy with the status quo who believed he could do good. Salmond is a fine statesman; he will know when he can take a back seat.

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