It takes a remarkable level of shallow-thinking to suppose that there might be a single universally appropriate method of communicating any idea, never mind a contentious political message. Pete Wishart is up for the challenge. He would have independence activists paralysed by fear of upsetting someone. One gets the distinct impression that his preference would be that we all submit our comments to his office to be approved before publication. And the strong sense that most of them wouldn’t make it through.
Let us not forget that the man who would be king of the censors is the same clown who proclaimed his desire to be dragged to the Speaker’s chair in the British House of Commons. The kind of unconsidered outburst that might have even the most committed advocate of free speech reaching for the blue pencil.
Read Wishart’s latest mindless mumblings from Perthshire and you’ll be treated to the self-styled master of political communication interrupting his celebration of the SNP’s success in the recent election to spin an embarrassingly feeble and self-serving excuse for the SNP’s failure to motivate its own support in the 2017 snap UK general election. I can easily imagine knowledgeable professional communicators physically cringing as they read this. I can hear the tone of breathless incredulity as they wonder aloud why an experienced political operator would mar his party’s moment of triumph by reminding everyone of a past episode which positively pleads for the veil of discretion.
I can feel their foreheads crumple like discarded Christmas wrapping paper as they discover Wishart compounding this crass indiscretion by attributing the SNP’s electoral success, not to the party’s electoral offering or the efforts of the party’s army of activists, but to a tactical blunder by the party’s opponents!
Astonishingly, this individual who is evidently all but totally lacking in any awareness of how his own words are perceived purports to know exactly what the entire electorate is feeling and thinking. A feat which is facilitated by regarding said electorate as a homogenous entity whose responses are so mechanical as to be totally predictable.
Perhaps it’s not so surprising that someone capable of such inanely simplistic generalisation could be sufficiently shallow-minded as to suppose it possible that a script might be devised which campaigners could recite on the doorsteps and win instant converts to the cause of restoring Scotland’s independence. Wishart’s idea of political campaigning is disturbingly reminiscent of the programmed performances of telephone customer service operatives in businesses where their sole function is to act as a protective barrier shielding incompetent managers from disgruntled clients.
The death-blow to his credibility comes as Wishart mocks the foolishness of the Tories thinking that “Scotland 2019 was exactly the same as Scotland 2017”. An observation which, while undoubtedly accurate, fair reeks of dumb hypocrisy when placed alongside his insistence that the independence campaign now – or whenever Nicola Sturgeon decides to start it – must employ exactly the same strategy as for the 2014 campaign. Apparently, Scotland changed dramatically between 2017 and 2019, but not at all between 2012 and 2020.
Imagining that the obsessive ‘positivity’ of the first independence referendum campaign might still be appropriate in present circumstances is every bit as plainly idiotic as the notion of a single form of words which might have a magical effect on voters. It’s in the same league as Pete and The Postponers’ previous chart-topping inanity, ‘Optimum Time‘.
Pete Wishart has become a tribute act to himself!
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