SNP: A Reviled Party

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and leader of the SNP in Glasgow’s council, Susan Aitken

It takes some arrogance and a large dose of vanity to admit one got something terribly wrong but then refuse to get it right or apologise, as in my case, where the SNP know they endorsed a falsehood, had two senior party politicians confirm it, but SNP’s headquarters staff feel disobliged to get the record fixed. This is not special pleading.

I only mention this (before I die which is soon), because it is the hallmark of the new SNP, the ethos developed by the failure of leadership invested in Nicola Sturgeon. She has created a party that exists to protect her and nothing else. This would be fine and dandy if she had actually secured this nation’s liberty, or was on the point of signing a new pact with England. In that situation, the slogan ‘Wheest for Indy’ would make sense. But she has never been close to that ideal. She has, as so many opine, betrayed the cause to which she claims to be dedicated.

She has announced she is to fly to the United States of Amnesia to meet President Biden for a chat. What will our world travelled ambassador for peace say? “The invasion of Ukraine is a war crime, Mr President.” “Correct, Ms Sturgeon, and you will keep Trident in the Clyde for the next decade, won’t you?” “I will, sir. I expect to be First Minister longer than a decade.

I can guarantee, just as she blocked me from communicating with her, so will her colleagues, if I placed a plea to be heard on every SNP MSP’s Twitter site. A good proportion would follow her example and decide I was a citizen to avoid. (The SNP hierarchy ignored a generous outpouring from their membership telling them they knew my character was honorable.) This is Scotland’s first minister I write about, not a pompous member of the Tory party, or a Labour apparatchik living handsomely off a Regional list vote they have never won.

Sturgeon was elected to take us to full autonomy soon as she had an election victory and a mandate. She has had both several times over. There is no need to wait until we attain sixty percent in favour, or seventy per cent, as some SNP MPs like to suggest, a sly, self-serving way of reaching pensionable age before losing their jobs. The mandate lies with the party holding a sizeable majority. Conversely, if the Tories were to attain almost a full house of party members in government and lots of councillors, they would be justified in saying Scotland loves the Union for they have voted overwhelmingly for a unionist party. You will not hear a Tory, or Labour, for that matter, announce they must reach over sixty per cent before they lift a finger.

No one gave her powers to excommunicate swathes of the public. No one gave her powers to ban assembly around our Parliament building. No one gave her powers to pontificate on Russia, America, or the EU. Those are important matters we discuss and agree upon when an independent nation again otherwise we look like uneducated upstarts wagging a finger at passing events. Dissent is not antagonism. It is another view of how something can be done, how it can be achieved.

Refusing to listen is antagonistic, someone who believes they are a blameless saint. “I will decide when there will be a referendum,” she has said, emphasis on the first person singular. On timing alone, a referendum for 2023 is an almost impossible deadline, assuming the SNP don’t hold it a year this winter!

Scotland has lost its innocence, its belief that it was different from other nations, especially from England. We thought we were a just society unaffected by sleaze and corruption, proud of the Enlightenment with which Scotland led the world in the doctrines of tolerance and egalitarianism.

Look where we are now, voting for the SNP is not worth the price of entry into a public urinal. Thanks to the SNP’s slavish adherence to Stonewall’s corrupt ideology, a woman using one has to put up with some man staring at her while she pees. Nicola Sturgeon and her concrete deadhead of a shotgun rider, Shirley-Anne Somerville, want something to place on their portfolio rather than a photograph of an unmarked grave – GRA Reform is what they have chosen. Both those figures are well out-of-their-depth politically and intellectually. They have imperilled the nation’s sovereignty and rights and endangered the opportunity for political freedom.

If a dictator, I’d fire SNP MSPs for their slavish, craven loyalty to failure and banish Sturgeon to Rockall for the rest of her days. By sloth and attacks on its own people, the SNP has encouraged Westminster to try harder to win its well thought out campaign of internal colonialism. The SNP encourage their opponents to smear SNP supporters by endorsing the opposition’s libel. In fact, once defamed, if an individual dare complain they are labelled ‘bitter’, so basterdised is SNP’s idea of social justice. They block independence supporters from getting elected. Our first minister would rather have unionist MSPs in our parliament than independence MSPs. That used to be the Labour party’s policy. And her party colleagues are comfortable with that vindictive outlook.

The SNP has blighted the cause of self-governance. I am not alone in feeling profoundly let down by those in whom I placed trust. Those are my personal views. They are based on grim experience and empirical evidence. The columnist Kevin McKenna has his own opinion and like me, knows what people are saying in the street.

It is customary for a host platform to state it does not necessarily agree with the opinion of its columnists, but I publish McKenna’s views because I agree with every word.

CAN YOU REVILE THE SNP AND STILL BACK INDEPENDENCE?

by Kevin McKenna

NICOLA Sturgeon’s response after the SNP held on to Glasgow City Council last Thursday was both spiteful and disingenuous. “Labour threw the kitchen sink at Glasgow and yet they still can’t defeat the SNP,” the First Minister said.

Glasgow’s ruling SNP group know all about kitchen sinks, of course: on their watch these stalwart household appliances were a common feature of the city’s overflowing rubbish dumps during last year’s strike by refuse workers. The SNP’s reaction to that strike, as espoused by the council leader, Susan Aitken was to accuse trade unions of fascist behaviour. And besides, she said, Glasgow wasn’t “a uniquely dirty city”.

Ms Aitken’s leadership of Glasgow these last few years has turned large parts of the city into a wasteland. Nowhere is this more evident than on Sauchiehall Street where the lights have been going out one-by-one on iconic retail sites for several years now. The only growth Glasgow has witnessed in this period has been as a location for several Hollywood action movies. Perhaps Ms Aitken is now aiming for those apocalyptic, end-of-the-world films where groups of bewildered survivors wander through the crumbling remains of their city after a plague has wiped out most of humanity.

The First Minister’s defiant howl last Friday masked the true reality of what had happened in Glasgow. The ruling administration had come to within a whisker of being ousted by a party whose national leadership epitomises mediocrity and intellectual sterility. The SNP’s abject stewardship of Glasgow should have ended in defeat last week. That they hung on by one seat was due more to the fact that Scottish Labour have become so transfixed by the Union Jack that many of their former followers still feel they can’t vote for them.

And so, another national election has delivered another overwhelming victory for the SNP. By my reckoning that’s 11 elections in four different jurisdictions on the trot for the Scottish Nationalists. In Scotland they are virtually untouchable, being opposed by two parties whose elected members and leaders are now merely stealing wages to maintain the pretence that Holyrood presides over a functioning democracy. Until Scottish Labour finds a leader who can make a mature contribution to the country’s constitutional debate this impasse will continue.

After 22 years of doing little more than provide Patrick Harvie with a world-class pension, the Scottish Greens might have delivered something useful by now in chivvying the SNP out of its bizarrely lethargic approach to seeking independence. Instead they’ve been bound by a vow of silence in exchange for a couple of junior ministerial positions. And to think we all thought that the system of patronage which once produced rotten boroughs had disappeared with the 1832 Reform Act.

Perhaps the Scottish Labour Party did expend a substantial amount of money and energy at regaining Glasgow, but it’s doubtful their budget comes anywhere near the annual £1m the SNP spends on advisers and spin-doctors. Alongside providing edgy backdrops for fantasy action movies, this appears to be one of the few other areas of Scottish growth in the devolved era.

These party fluffers and agitators were all over social media in the weeks running up to the council elections. Many of them once purported to scrutinise the actions of this government; now they are good for little more than opening doors and fetching sandwiches for people who’ve laughingly been accorded full ministerial status and whom they once regarded as barely literate.

In these wretched circumstances where political opposition has been all but extinguished, responsibility falls upon the print and broadcast media and upon SNP dissidents to hold the Scottish Government to account. The SNP have already been in power for 15 years and few would bet against them reaching a quarter of a century. Few would be willing to bet either on their oft-stated pledge of holding a second referendum on independence before the end of next year.

There are many reasons to doubt the SNP’s ability or desire to pursue a referendum. Not the least of these is the absence of any fully-realised policy or even thinking around the currency issue, without which anything substantial about Scotland’s future relationship with the European Union is entirely redundant. The current Northern Ireland border dispute which has acted as a wrecking-ball to the governance of the Six Counties demonstrates the need for a detailed policy on an independent Scotland’s future border arrangements with England. Yet, there’s been nothing about this either.

Joanna Cherry is the only SNP politician who has demonstrated any acuity on such issues. But, after a campaign of bullying, intimidation and misogyny – orchestrated by senior figures in her own party – she was demoted. The ordeal suffered by Ms Cherry has befallen many others within the SNP who have dared to criticise the merciless authoritarianism of Nicola Sturgeon. Many SNP activists have rushed to proclaim their feminist principles over the Roe versus Wade abortion debate in America. Yet they all chose to remain silent when their colleagues were being threatened with sexual violence on social media and bullied at Holyrood and Westminster for trying to defend women’s sex-based rights in the GRA debate.

At a less toxic level the orchestrated abuse directed at supporters of Scottish independence for daring to criticise the party’s con artistry in seeking a referendum has also intensified. And if you attempt to ask questions about the unexplained disappearance of £600k in party donations, or their incompetence around the CalMac ferry contracts you are reviled as a Red Tory or a Unionist plant.

The cabal of party loyalists who maintain the SNP gravy train also have questions to answer about their no-great-mischief-if-they-die policy towards Scotland’s elderly and infirm in the early days of Covid. Yet that too draws a pathetic response from the desperadoes on the party’s scarecrow wing who are seeking favour from “the boss” and the prospect of a considerable pay-day at a level beyond their talents in the real world.

The professional SNP is a vicious and pitiless organisation which proceeds on a ruthless system of patronage. They have disfigured what was once an optimistic and celebratory venture and damaged the overall cause of independence. It’s possible to revile this party and yet remain faithful to self-determination.

NOTE: Kevin McKenna is a columnist published in various newspapers, such as the Guardian, the Scotsman the National and the Herald where this article was first published.

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25 Responses to SNP: A Reviled Party

  1. Alastair Bryan says:

    Strugeon the Enemy within. Some people have no shame, she is one such person.

  2. James Kydd says:

    Had someone on FB today gloating that ‘Alba is dead!’ What kind of mentality in a supposed supporter of independence celebrates the idea of a party of independence being dead? The NuSNP kind, thats who.
    Who knew we could ever feel more antipathy towards the, ‘vehicle for indy’ than we do towards the yoons. Strange and tragic days indeed

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    You can lay that at Sturgeon’s door. She owns it.

  4. lorncal says:

    The promise of a referendum in 2023 will last just as long as it takes for the spineless to vote through the GRA Reform Bill, then it will be business as usual. Both you and Kevin have it right, GB. I have been sickened by the gloating in The National over ALBA’s lack of success, and of being accused of being a ‘fifth columnist’ because I want to see my country regain its independence and don’t want to see women and girls deprived of even privacy and dignity, let alone safety.

    The callous, cruel and cold lack of empathy for anyone who does not toe the line is despicable. I thought at the time, when Alec Salmond chose Nicola Sturgeon as his right-hand woman that he had made that choice off his own bat. Now, I wonder. Roseanna Cunningham was his first choice, but was sidelined in favour of Nicola Surgeon, who, at barely thirty, if even that, was ready to try and oust him for the leadership. Maybe the choice was made, knowing that she was not going to step back and might have split the party at that point?

    Everything since has shown that that is how she operates: she will destroy any dissent or opposition rather than give up her favourite hobbyhorse, and that is the mark of a Stalinist. The strange thing is that most of her crew are also of that mindset – authoritarian – and they behave as the people around Stalin behaved, in a craven and sycophantic way that has led to a split in the independence movement that will never be healed, whatever calls are made for unity. She and her cronies do not want unity: they thrive on pitting one against another; on destroying norms that have held for many years and trampling on them; and on causing maximum harm where it is totally unnecessary. It is not ALBA that renounces unity, but the SNP itself.

    What is the point in the end? She won’t survive forever because there is always someone who will scheme behind her back and take her out when the time is right. We all watched as Labour morphed into New Labour and took up the position of a white line in the middle of the road, neither on one side or the other, doomed to be forever vacillating in the centre. The NuSNP is filling the gap left by New Labour in Scottish politics before the big downfall, but with an extra large dollop of virtue signalling sanctimony to boot. They are spew-inducing.

  5. tombkane says:

    Amen, to that Kevin.

    Nice to see the nepotism and authoritarianism on the gravy train being succinctly nailed. The biggest scandal is the silence of the wee lambs. And the fact that all it takes for the whole rigmarole to keep rolling onwards is their silence.

  6. diabloandco says:

    Sadly I find nothing in either Mr McKenna’s article or your statement with which I disagree – I wish for Scotland I could but I can’t.
    It is almost unbelievable that the party of Alex Salmond has become this dismissive , contemptible and arrogant group – personally I am very content to be an ex member of the disfigured SNP.

  7. imacg says:

    Revile them, and despise them

  8. Puirt a Beul says:

    I agree…but I can’t give up on hope!

  9. Robert McAllan says:

    Thankyou Gareth, two blistering exposes of where we now find ourselves. The politically naive voting public and their fellow travellers within NuSNP unionism have just underwritten Sturgeons unchallenged subversion of the democratic process in our country, Scotland.

    Sturgeon on Rockall? The Gannets wid tak it ill oot at the verra thocht!

  10. Alastair Bryan says:

    Rockall is to small for all the traitors we have St Kilda would be a good place to build a thought correction centre for surrogate colonialists.

  11. Two brilliant articles and, sadly, I agree with every word. There has also been a lot of hot air recently about the need for the independence movement to come together. Well, as a minor victim of the SNP’s war on dissent, I’d like to say that from being conned into “agreeing to differ” on GRA, through being called a transphobic bigot by my former branch convenor to being patronised, conspired against and suspended, I’m in no mood to forgive and forget for the good of the cause. There are lots of things that I’d like to do to my former branch colleagues but rejoining and co-operating isn’t one of them. In fact, when I read things like this, I realise that I am angrier than ever with the SNP leadership and that it is indeed possible, as Kevin says, to revile this party and yet remain faithful to self-determination. The SNP have ensured that independence, if it ever comes, is going to be at the end of a much longer road than it had to be.

  12. diabloandco says:

    Gruinard?

  13. deb1710 says:

    Brilliant… as always.

    Can I ask why you say you will be dying soon? That did upset me. I run a group on fascist book .. dedicated to herbal medicine.. please let me know if I can help in any way. Sincerely, Deb brown.

    >

  14. Grouse Beater says:

    Hello, Deb, I have an incurable skin cancer – under not on my skin, contracted from working years in hot climates. I am resolved about my fate. It’s the cruelty the SNP has caused so many that moves one, people who watched their loved ones struggle all their adult lives for our liberty and they died before we had it in our hands.

  15. Mrs Watson says:

    This is truly excellent and I agree with everything said by yourself, Kevin McKenna and the comments people have written.

  16. She represents nothing in our Scotland. As vile and bloated as she is crooked and corrupt, I know no one in my circle of friends, or in my daughter’s circle of friends, who remotely resemble the inwardly haggard person she’s finding difficulty concealing. The non-Scot of our times, she’s become our worst nightmare, and I foresee history portraying it as such, whether she’s done prison time or not. Are *all of* our representatives cowards? Will no one speak-up? – they’re as culpable, worse, for their craven stance. To Hell with the lot of them.

  17. alfbaird says:

    Braw synopsis Gareth, and an excellent lead in to Kevin’s analysis. Thank you.

  18. Grouse Beater says:

    Painful to compose … but she’s taking so many of us by the hand towards a banana republic.

  19. grumpydubai says:

    both your and Mr McKenna’s powerful words unfortunately ring so true.

    a hard rain is going to fall on the people, on our Scotland but, I live with the hope it will wash those who have taken our Country into the sewer wherein they belong.

    the Scottish will and must waken up to the horror awaiting us if still tied to England and really take our Freedom.

    my best wishes to you and thank you for your intelligent and considered contribution to the cause of the Scottish people through your perceptiveness. Ian

  20. Passionate angry writing Gareth. Very understandable in your position. We do not get a Redo of life, and Ms Sturgeon could do well to take note of that. The 2014 Vote prospect fired me on though my cancer treatment. I determined I was going to see that day. I did & it was so sad, but I hoped it was a dress rehearsal for something bigger now we knew how the Union played the game- dirty!
    It was time to get the gloves off! Alex Salmond stepping down after the result bothered me. Had it been agreed before the day. Was that the fait accompli in motion?
    SNP hired New Labours cast offs in order to reinvent the party Sturgeon was to lead. Working towards removing Salmond from their history along the way. WHY? Where did this betrayal & nastiness come from? Then again, SNP have always had it’s rebels, but certain folk have been consistent. The Gradualists should have been removed before AS stepped down. Ah Hindsight..only good for looking at your own backside eh? Well Alba ae here now & we will rebuild the momentum lost to us by Emelda Sturgeon. Independence doe not belong or depend on or only to SNP. The Dream shall Never die.

  21. katielass04 says:

    I can’t argue with a word either you or Kevin has said, Gareth. Every considered word describes Sturgeon, SNP and the situation we are in. As you say… so many people have fought, pounded streets leafleting, holding stalls, people who are not extroverts & don’t find that kind of campaigning easy are out doing it – and people have died, never seeing their country free. And it really bothers me that Sturgeon has denied them their Right to live in an independent country. Yours & Kevin’s words resonate greatly with my own thoughts

    There was a chink of light today, I believe, in what Ian Blackford said in the ‘House’ – he used Sara Salyers findings & declared the Claim of Right as our route to Independence. He has basically admitted to the UK that an S.30 isn’t necessary to move forward on Independence. But in doing so, he has shot himself in the foot. He has admitted the Constitutional position – and if he doesn’t act on that admission, Scotland will see the party for what it is – devolutionist. I believe SNP know they are running out of ‘2023’ time – that Indy can’t be done in the manner they stipulate, now. But in doing so, their party has run out of time & will lose a lot more members. I believe they read ALBA posts & blogs, listen to ALBA/Indy podcasters & know what SSRG have been working on. And I believe they KNOW that Sara’s work is Constitutionally the way forward to Indy. Dr Mark McNaught sent all the MSPs & MPs copies of their work, the letter they shared in the National & SNP are WELL AWARE of Sara/SSRG’s findings. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have even had Constitutional lawyers look at it. Hence Sara’s very words coming out of Blackford’s mouth, even using her quote and court case she used to support her findings.

    SNP know Sara/SSRG knows the way to Indy. They know Sara/SSRG have broadcast those
    findings & are now holding roadshows to discuss, debate & make people aware. And that a date has been sent for an Independence Convention. People are now talking about it and spreading the word. People KNOW an S.30 IS NOT required & it will be much harder now for SNP to sell them that old rhetoric. So SNP know they have to move on with a credible plan (the old Scottish Constitution that is still very much a basis for Scottish law and the Claim of Right that will supersede any Domestic laws put in place by WM.) be it even Sara’s plan – and plageorise it to make it theirs to keep control of the situation. If they don’t do that, they will be left behind. Their party ISN’T NEEDED when it comes to ‘the will of the people’. They know that It HELPS to have them on board. But they are NOT NECESSARY. And if they wish to keep control of the people, control the situation,to keep control of the situation. If they don’t do that, they will be left behind. Their party ISN’T NEEDED when it comes to ‘the will of the people’. They know that It HELPS to have them on board. But they are NOT NECESSARY. And if they wish to keep control of the people, control the situation, they have to be on board with the new Plan.

    I suspect Blackford’s words are just that – words. And probably had no intention to actually do anything about his claim. Hence bozo’s sneer on hearing the words. He too knows Blackford – all talk, no action. HOWEVER, I believe now Blackford has acknowledged the Claim of Right as a legitimate route to Indy so he has backed himself into a corner. We wait & see if he continues to legitimate route to Indy so he has backed himself into a corner. We wait & see if he continues to turn round in circles trying to get out of it – or move on & declare ‘That’s it, we’re outta here! Good day, gentlemen!’ (I know but you’re allowed to be magnanimous when you’re saying goodbye! 😉 ). We shall see where we go from here. But he will know this – SSRG/ALBA/the people, will not let this stay as it lays. Time for Scotland to move forward.

    Thank you, Gareth. Excellent comments from both you & Kevin!

  22. katielass04 says:

    Sorry!! Lots of mistakes there… being interrupted every few mins & site not letting me post, trying to refresh blah blah blah… and it’s made a merter of my post! SORRY!! Hopefully you’ll get the gist of what I was trying to say!

  23. ayeinskye says:

    Alastair Bryan says:
    May 10, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    Rockall is to small for all the traitors we have St Kilda would be a good place to build a thought correction centre for surrogate colonialists.

    DONT EVEN BOTHER THINKING ABOUT SENDING THAT QUISLING TO ST KILDA,
    That beautiful island does not deserve to have her there, even though a former politician/Jacobite supporter sent his wife there in the 1730s when she threatened to report the Earl of Marr, and his brother for speaking to Simon Fraser, quite a sad story really when the Lady Grange who after years of living in Edinburgh while her husband was whoring it up in London whilst being an MP, he faked her death three times, once the night Simon Frasers men spirited her north from her townhouse, then twice after leaving St Kilda see had funerals at Trumpan in Waternish.

    The Prisoner of St Kilda is a book well worth reading, personally I wouldn’t desecrate Rockall or Hirta with Mrs Lavender Sturrell, I would just send her to one of the colonies, Tranada or New Zealand

  24. ayeinskye says:

    As an addendum to the above, I once took Greg Hands out to Hirta on the passenger vessel I skipper, once I found out who he was and what he did( the following day I found out he was a Toraidh MP and friendly with Baw Jawnson) I messaged him and told him if I had known, I would have set him adrift as a joke) but believe it or not Greg was someone who I spoke to about my views on Scottish independence, and he accepted my thoughts as valid, and he was a lot more approachable that Elsie McSelfie, but while on the sailing, he did say plenty of his workmates were jealous of his daytrip, and that his boss also wanted to go out, I would love to have the Heid Bumbling Idiot out, so I could lay into him about my thoughts on independence

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