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Monday 10 May 2021

Brillo Sturgeon Snark FAIL

Cut adrift from his team of researchers and other assistants at the BBC, former Murdoch editor Andrew Neil is increasingly finding that his views, and inconvenient reality, do not always coincide with one another. And there is no subject where this dislocation comes into sharper focus than that of Scottish politics - and the drive for independence.

Earlier this year, given a platform by the Daily Mail, Brillo pontificated “[Nicola] Sturgeon is on the ropes and her natural instinct is to strike out at all who assail her. It is not a pretty sight … She is determined to lead the SNP into the crucial Holyrood elections in May … some of those pro-Union politicians publicly calling for her to resign hope privately that she stays in situ”. Whyever would they do that? Ah, but The Great Man knows.

They think the fallout from the Salmond-Sturgeon civil war has turned her into a liability who could scupper the SNP’s hopes of an overall majority … a politician who has always been head and shoulders above all her rivals - inside and outside the SNP - and widely regarded as the party’s biggest asset could now be the politician that stops the SNP from fulfilling its dreams … [the] Salmond affair … has taken its toll on Sturgeon and the SNP”.

And his conclusion? “I would not be surprised if Sturgeon decided sometime in the next parliament to pack it in and go off to a more pleasant life managing some global quango. If May’s elections produce a result which secures the Union for the foreseeable future … what would be the point in hanging around?” And then came the elections.

While the SNP did not (quite) achieve an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, it won 64 of the 129 seats. Moreover, the Greens, who are also pro-independence, won eight seats. There is a clear pro-Independence majority. So back came Brillo and the Mail.

Following the failure of Nicola Sturgeon’s pro-independence SNP to win an overall majority in last week’s elections to the Scottish parliament, the 314-year-old Union between England and Scotland lives to fight another day … Of course, it is by no means certain that the British Government would have bowed to Sturgeon’s demands for a second independence referendum even if she had won an overall majority”. Do go on.

Only last month the First Minister told ITV that a vote for the SNP was ‘not voting for independence’ … Yet even before the final votes had been counted over the weekend, she was out in front of the TV cameras insisting she now had a mandate for a second referendum”. The Great Man complains that Ms Sturgeon is performing a bait and switch.

This, he asserts, makes her an Arthur Daley figure, which will make no impact with anyone under 55 (Daily Mail target audience giveaway there). This is total crap: one look at the SNP’s Wikipedia entry is all you need. “The SNP supports and campaigns for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom and for membership of the European Union”.

You vote SNP (or, indeed, Scottish Green) and you know what you’re voting for, Brillo sophistry or no. And as David Allen Green has put it, “Every time an opponent of Scottish independence resorts to 'no SNP majority' or 'the last referendum was supposed to be once in a generation/lifetime' that is a lost opportunity to make a case on its merits”.

Unless that case has no merits, O Sage Of Grasse. Wind your neck in, Brillo.

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Anonymous said...

A far right M25 dickhead like Neil will never understand what drove the Scots toward independence.

The main reasons are: (a) Deep rooted nationalist identity, (b) Perfectly justified resentment of Westminster dismissal of Scottish concerns, and last but not least (c) Perfectly justified hatred of London-based propaganda manufactured by the likes of Neil. The irony is of course every time he blurts his absurd bullshit he reinforces the SNP position in the popular mind.

The only thing which prevents an overwhelming SNP command are traditional internal differences between West and East, Highland and Lowland, and the wretched remnants of religious sectarianism. If these are overcome the SNP will sweep the board.

If Scotland leaves the Union it will be a long term tragedy for everyone. Nothing good ever comes from one dimensional nationalism, EU or no EU. But if that is the true democratic wish of the Scottish people then they must have it, anything else is just hypocrisy.

The truth is that present so-called constitutional politics have failed all of Britain at all levels, not only in Scotland. There can be no surprise when some resort to the desperate identity politics of nationalism. Ultimately, patriotism really is the last resort of the scoundrel.

Nor is this inevitable development confined to Scotland. The English regions are now shaping into a bizarre localist chauvinism. All because of the wilful ignorance and spiv opportunism of the tiny number of stonebrained careerist apparatchiks who infest Westminster and Whitehall, the same Oxbridge mob who have so disastrously failed the whole nation.

All of which means Neil and his ilk can blurt their reactionary bullshit as long as they like. There are historical tides in motion which will leave them stranded as detritus under a rock on a small, polluted beach....which is all they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Scotland doesn't use the archaic FPTP electoral system (except for General Elections) so using "no overall majority" as evidence that the SNP is struggling is wilfully dishonest. The Scottish Parliament is set up in such a way to avoid massive unassailable majorities that would allow a party to ram through its agenda (as the Tories are currently doing in Westminster).

Pendragon said...

To Anonymous:

Alex Salmond courted Murdoch for many years to get him to support the SNP, rather like Tony Blair courted him to support New Labour. Both regarded the support of the Scottish edition of The Sun (Salmond) and its English/Welsh edition (Blair) as essential to increasing the number of people who would vote for their parties.

Both succeeded but I am not sure what price they paid for Murdoch's support. Certainly Blair never got round to removing Thatcher's restrictions on trade unions.
I believe Salmond offered a low-tax deal for Sky (then owned by Murdoch) in an independent Scotland.
Labour quickly lost a lot of voters (and around 45 seats) to an SNP supported by The Sun in Scotland and so lost the ability to ever form a majority government in Westminster under FPTP.