The Scottish Notional Party – Scotland’s main independence party is a shadow of its once revolutionary self – has left too many permanent stains on Scotland’s history to be considered a safe bet. Led by a First Minister who is happy to let slip that she feels pride in delaying a referendum to secure our liberty, now so overconfident she can cock-a-snook at her own voters with a smirk and a smug “I have all the time in the world”. One questions her understanding of how fragile is a career in politics. In this instance, pride before a fall has much to be desired.
Fearful of the challenge of securing self-governance, willing to accommodate Tory constraints on freedoms and food, the SNP cry “How dare they!”, and return to choosing footwear in the Comfy Slipper store, the fleecy sort, made ironically from sheepskin. This is governance by baby steps.
The denunciation of followers the SNP dislike, working with a unionist press, the hunting of Alex Salmond employing faked charges, promoting ferociously stupid Wesminster-loyal civil servants, the cover-up of an appropriated public fund, millions paid by the taxpayer for any number of blunders, and the brutal harrassment of her own MP, Joanna Cherry, add up to a hellish portfolio under Nicola Sturgeon’s tenure. Our future is now in the hands of a grossly inadequate SNP that feels the survival and reputation of their leader more important than Scotland’s existence.
We are now under threat of extinction as a country – the evidence suggests that is not an exaggeration – from plans concocted by a tyrannical English government that does not hide their intention to subjugate a neighbour nation. We look in astonishment at an SNP that cannot contemplate tearing up the Treaty of Union. It takes Alex Salmond of the ALBA party to issue a short video reminding the populace it is us, the people of Scotland, who decide on a referendum, not the Tories of England or their scummy dog handlers in Scotland. But we do not actually need a referendujm. A majority in Parliament is enough. Whether the UK government grants a Section 30 order or not is irrelevant. Indeed, there is no rule suggesting independence must issue from a referendum. Individual states and the international community will determine if the means of achieving autonomy is a peaceful, democratic process, and so endorse Scotland as a nation state.
Kevin McKenna, is of the earliest reliable Scottish journalists working for the unionist press to come out in support of independence. (Iain Macwhirter is the other.) McKenna hankers for no faux alternative, ‘Devolution Maximus’ or a confederancy of dominions. It’s nationhood restored or nothing.
In his latest column, McKenna sees the renewed harrassment of MP Joanna Cherry by the SNP in general – a ‘wicked’ silence – and SNP MP Kirsty Blackman’s public outbursts in particular, as unconscionable.
In the last few days Kirsty Blackman has renewed her attacks on the integrity of Joanna Cherry, accusing Cherry of ‘transphobia’, despite it being impossible to find evidence for the charge. Blackman incites her followers to join in the chorus which they do with gusto. Senior colleagues asked Blackman to removed her attack from the public domain, which she did, swiftly substituting a similar slur – a classic example of the non-apology apology.
At rock bottom, Blackman’s outburst is dangerously unprofessional, at worst it reminds voters that the SNP have trans people’s rights way ahead of Scotland’s freedom. In fact, some empty skulls argue that is how it must be, rights for a tiny minority soon removed by the colonial power because Scotland cannot protect itself.
Unfortunately, I cannot offer Blackman the right of reply because she blocked me from existence when I first suggested, diplomatically, she was lacking in professionalism. Clashing views, I contend, ought to be discussed face-to-face with Cherry and not in public.
To be candid, I have not hidden my uncertainty of Joanna Cherry’s detemination to create a path to independence any different from Nicola Sturgeon. As a constitutional lawyer she has done little that has reverberated to advance detailed plans or argue against SNP lethargy. Perhaps that is her way of showing loyalty to the party line. Recently, however, she has called out for something to be done and I publish her videod lecture at the foot of this essay. (See Notes.)
Cherry is the one SNP MP, unlike Nicola Sturgeon, who beat Boris Johnson, stopped him in his tracks from seizing power by illegal, anti-democratic means to close the UK Parliament for his political ends. And she achieved that victory via the courts. Many English voters shared her alarm. Aye, there are a few English out there who still believe Magna Carta has legitimacy.
Does Nicola Sturgeon perceive the urgency to withdraw from the Union, to ‘tear it up and throw it on the floor’ of the House of Commons, as Professor Alfred Baird suggests?
In the late sixties there was a very successful play turned film witten by the American Frank Marcus, about lesbianism, lesbian love and animosity, entitled ‘The Killing of Sister George‘. It starred Beryl Reid, playing ‘George’, and Susannah York. Here is the plot:
“June is an actress who portrays the popular Sister George in a British soap opera. The actress spends her time drinking and engaging in lesbian sex with her much younger lover Alice. A television executive decides she likes Alice and wants to write Sister George off the show. June watches as her behavior and insecurity drives Alice away.” Extract from IMDB
At the end of the film, her career in tatters, ‘George’ breaks into the television drama studio and begins wrecking the scenery, while mooing like a cow. As compensation for being written out of the soap drama, she had been offered a new role playing the voice of a cow in a children’s puppet series. Puppetry is SNP’s forte.
Scotland’s civil and constitutional rights are not a soap opera, but the leadership of the SNP are hard at it to make it so.
The title of this essay is paraphrased from Marcus’ play. To my mind, it has unsettling parallels. If readers reject the inferences, they cannot reject a rotten SNP behind a failed First Minister who has made Scotland’s freedom her last priority. Kevin McKenna has similar qualms, that the SNP has a way of shooting their best and strongest voices dead. His column is republished below.
Sovereignty rests with the people of Scotland. We are charged with creating a liberal community. We are charged with protecting human rights. We can create the splendour that is a free country. Nicola Sturgeon has failed; she has nowhere near ‘all the time in the world’.
THE ENEMIES OF INDEPENDENCE
Perhaps there comes a point during the lifetime of a long-standing political administration when its ministers begin to assume they’re unassailable. There was more than a whiff of this during the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. It’s as though, having checked to see that the coast is clear and that there is not even a remote prospect of being caught, that they feel they can drop the pretence.
Previously, they might at least have paid heed to the timing of policy announcements or considered how they might be viewed by the wider electorate. “Does this seem callous? Will we be slaughtered for appearing not to care?”Yet, something in the tone and bearing of assorted Tory ministers at Manchester seemed to suggest that they had travelled well beyond the foothills of basic, human compassion. It was evident in Priti Patel’s speech that she and her party are now beholden to a new moral compass where a tone of defiance is no longer considered sufficient.
You now have to appear gleeful; to look as though you enjoy inflicting pain. Thus, she exulted in the end of free movement and boasted that she would be tireless in pursuing all means of turning back small boats in the English Channel, no matter the cost in human suffering.
Once, not even a Tory would question the impulse to defend asylum-seekers in their quest to reach Britain. This often, after all, is a country whose persistent looting of their homelands and meddling in their affairs had caused them to flee. Ms Patel now believes that even advocating for these poor scraps of humanity is immoral.
The inversion of what we once thought moral was maintained in Boris Johnson’s speech: that it was immigration that must be blamed for low wages and not the refusal of cash-rich companies and their billionaire owners to pay their workers properly. Thus the party of the family is the one which undermines it. For, how can you think of building a household and perhaps having children when there are no homes within reach of your scant and uncertain wages? And when withdrawing a modest £20 uplift will force many to choose between eating and heating?
A gift to the SNP
All of this plays to the social agenda of a Scottish Government which seeks to portray kindness and compassion. We might forgive the ineptitude of its ministers, apparent in their chaotic health and social care delivery or the school exams fiasco. At least their hearts are in the right place.
Lately though, it’s become clear that Nicola Sturgeon’s administration is afflicted by the entitled complacency of the Johnson regime, and for the same reasons: after 14 years in power the SNP are even more invulnerable than the UK Tories. This has hardened their hearts too. At least the Tories are good to their own. In Scotland, the SNP throw you to the wolves if you’re not considered to be unquestioning in your obeisance to Nicola Sturgeon. This party too has lost its moral compass.
This was evident in a re-tweet by Kirsty Blackman, one of its most senior politicians and true disciple of the Sturgeon creed. Thus she had endorsed a call for her far more able and successful colleague Joanna Cherry to be expelled from the party for expressing transphobic views. Belonging to a party with a messianic complex and which now believes itself infallible, Ms Blackman failed to consider its consequences and was forced to withdraw her injudicious re-tweet. Yet, in doing so she offered one of those non-apology apologies which make you wonder if she thinks we’re all stupid.
It looked like the start of a well-orchestrated and sanctioned campaign. This was given credence by a slew of well-kent SNP desperadoes piling in, eager to seek favour in their pitiful quest to access life-changing salaries at Westminster and Holyrood.
Ms Blackman must be aware that her colleague has been subject to four years of intimidation for defending those women’s rights currently threatened by some proposals in the Gender Recognition Act. This culminated in her being threatened with serious sexual assault earlier this year by a former party member who was charged and sentenced for the crime. His threats of sexual violence came just a few days after Nicola Sturgeon had made an extraordinary video denouncing transphobia in the party.
Then, as now, an insidious and orchestrated campaign targeting feminists for seeking to protect their sex-based rights was well underway. Simply espousing such rights in a reasonable manner is now considered sufficient in the eyes of Ms Blackman – and many others in the SNP – to be guilty of transphobia.
Ms Blackman partly owes her prominence in public life to a lifetime of campaigning for women’s sex-based rights by people like Joanna Cherry. To accuse Ms Cherry and some of her fellow campaigners of transphobia merely for being true to those principals is a lie and it’s a well-rehearsed lie that now threatens to disfigure this party.
It’s now reached a point where its many members who agree with Ms Cherry, including those who currently occupy high offices of state, must come out from behind private messages of sympathy and nail this wickedness publicly.
In this week, of all weeks, Ms Blackman’s intervention was reckless and a repudiation of the duty of care the public expects politicians to have for each other in the disposal of their public duties.
More complaints than British Rail
It’s astonishing that numerous complaints by Ms Cherry and several other party members about bullying and intimidation in the workplace remain un-investigated, often ignored by this party which endlessly proclaims its moral righteousness. Some of these relate to the conduct of Ms Blackman herself and Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP’s Westminster group of MPs towards Ms Cherry.
One of the main attractions of an independent Scotland is a withdrawal from the sewer that runs beneath the Westminster Tories. Another attraction is this: that it provides an opportunity to ensure that the present high command of the SNP never again get to spit poison at women who seek to uphold the truth.
Joanna Cherry’s speech, Wales Governance Centre, 2020: https://joannacherry.scot/index.php/routes-to-independence. McKenna is columnist for The National and Herald.
‘The Republic of Barbados’ – how Barbados achieeved independence and soon to be a republic: https://wp.me/p4fd9j-q5z