Friday 28 April 2023

Teaching the Scots a lesson, Sunak-style


For reasons best known to themselves, it is a regular theme of unionist politicians that the SNP, the party founded with the objective of obtaining independence for Scotland, should stop campaigning for independence for Scotland and give all its attention to other issues, such as making the union with England work. It’s a bit like telling the RSPB to stop banging on about birds, or the RNIB to stop promoting the interests of blind people, and to concentrate instead on what the government people are really interested in, such as being nasty to immigrants. Telling people committed to a particular idea that they should simply forget their original objective seems to be a particularly pointless and futile approach, although forgetting the original objective might appear normal to Sunak who has burned almost all the campaign pledges he made in his failed attempt to lead his party. Anyway, he’s taking his turn to play the game today in his speech to Scottish Conservatives. I’m sure that it will play well at the conference itself, and have just as much impact as it does when other unionists say the same thing. They take a similar line with Wales on the rare occasions when they can be bothered to think about us at all.

It is, for them, an article of faith that the SNP are unable to discuss any issue other than independence*, and that the campaign for independence is based entirely on a series of manufactured grievances. That faith is, in turn, based on the unshakeable exceptionalist belief that England is always best at everything, and if the facts and data don’t always support that contention they will invent other facts and data which do. They are genuinely unable to understand why anyone in Scotland (or Wales) could ever believe that they could do better than the most truly wonderful government in the whole of human history – hence it can only be based on hatred of all things English. He’ll get his round of applause and a headline or two, cross Scotland off his ‘to-do’ list for this week, and go back to pretending that he can stop small boats crossing from France by passing a law or two. That’ll teach those pesky Scots.

*There are obvious dangers in commenting on live investigations into potentially criminal matters, but, as an aside, I can’t help noticing that the people who are so keen to criticise the SNP for turning every issue into an argument for independence seem also to be keen to pile on their outrage at the idea that the SNP may have spent money raised to campaign for independence on something else. Perhaps that’s a different SNP.

1 comment:

Gav said...

* in fairness, most of those banging on about the £600,000 are those who believe, or say they believe, that the SNP has betrayed the independence movement and, in some versions, has been actively working in cahoots with Westminster to deprive the Scots of their freedom. Other than that, what you said.