The leadership problem II

As a member of the party, I am perfectly content with Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the SNP. As a citizen of Scotland, I am more than satisfied with her performance as First Minister and our nation’s political leader. As a lifelong advocate of restoring Scotland’s independence, however, I cannot in good conscience claim to have much confidence in her ability or, indeed, her readiness to provide the leadership that Scotland’s cause requires.

I’m sure Nicola Sturgeon would be the first to acknowledge that these are three quite distinct roles, each requiring a particular set of skills which, while they may often be interchangeable, are deployed differently according to the role being fulfilled. Until recently, it was my hope and expectation that the three roles could come together and be satisfactorily handled by Nicola Sturgeon. I now come to the realisation that this appears not to be the case.

Need I point out that Jackson Carlaw is slavering a load of pish? While SNP politicians will surely be found jostling for position as the ‘game’ requires, to suggest that they’re “fighting like ferrets in a sack” is plainly ridiculous. It’s the sort of risible hyperbole one would expect from a politician devoid of ideas and lacking anything meaningful to say. It’s words to fill the space between quote marks. There are primary school children in Scotland able to write a computer program that would do Carlaw’s job and cover for the other British party office managers at the same time.

There is no vacancy. Nicola Sturgeon is not likely to step down any time soon and my reading of the mood in the SNP is that there is no appetite for a leadership contest and likely little tolerance for anyone who seeks to incite one. None of which will prevent the British parties squatting in Scotland’s Parliament and the British media infesting Scotland’s culture from portraying the gentle jostling as the Mother Of All Ferret-in-sack Battles – 72-point bold three exclamation marks. Which is fine, I suppose. It’s just British Nationalists preaching to the afflicted.

There is a real issue here. But it’s not the one that the British establishment’s lackeys in politics or the press will obsess about. They will appreciate and analyse the situation in terms of the British politics that is familiar to them. The politics of two-party hegemony and competing personalities and interminable scandal. They will only be able to understand what is happening in terms of the kind of party leadership contests to which they have become accustomed. That is to say, something that combines the worst elements of The Apprentice and The Weakest Link with Paxman at his most surly, Marr at his most shallow and elements of the beauty pageant catwalk when the girlies get involved – “Prime Minister? In those shoes?”

The notion of an office which might involve several different roles is rather too complex for those accustomed to the simplicities, sound-bites and faux rivalries of British politics. The concept of politics as a contest of ideas is only dimly remembered by the oldest among British political commentators. Their juniors having never seen politics more sophisticated than a Hogarth cartoon.

There is no leadership battle in the SNP. Nor is there likely to be in the near future. Although this comes with all the usual caveats about a week being a long time in politics etc. What is developing, however, is a contest for leadership of the independence movement. Or, more precisely, an increasing acknowledgement of how urgently the independence movement needs leadership combined with a growing realisation that it’s not coming from Nicola Sturgeon.

We don’t have time to interview candidates. We will not be appointing a leader. The necessary leadership will emerge. Hopefully, we will recognise it when it does.

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11 thoughts on “The leadership problem II

  1. I think many are coming to the same conclusion. It would take away much of the heat from the FM and give independence supporters a figure all of their own!

    I know who I’d wish to see!


  2. I agree. Nicola is an excellent FM and the SG does sterling work.

    The idea that leaders will emerge appeals to me. At some level these already exist in as popular and influential bloggers campaigners and so forth. In which case, dare I say, you might yourself play a significant role.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for you comments, a new person will emerge as I said ASAP
    But then the people must be allowed to speak.
    Kindest regards Raymond E. C


  4. It is not a vote for a new party leader we need either from within the party or by the people, Scotland needs a vote for a new leader from the people, ( DIRECT)
    Kindest regards Raymond E. Clewer


  5. There is no leadership battle in the SNP. Nor is there likely to be in the near future.

    True, in which case the emphasis ought to be on a change in policy, not a change in person.

    Though like you, it seems, I do rather prefer the Cherry style. So maybe this is a case where two heads are better than one…?


  6. Sturgeon has knowingly and with malice aforethought, lied to the People. She led members of her party and the electorate alike to believe she would deliver a referendum on independence in the life of this parliament in the event of material change, even to the point of conning voters by touting #indyref2020 as she began to shed credibility like snaw aff a dyke.

    She is not blameless. She is the cause of this current situation. Recall the prolonged and perfect storm of the brexit debacle when she could have taken advantage and applied leverage but instead did nothing. One Nation toryism is sharpening its best Masamoto blades to slice and dice what remains of the devolution settlement into raw sushi while ‘Nicola’ poses as clueless ingénue on Marr.

    Scotland is facing de facto extinction because of the criminal negligence and malfeasance of this duplicitous pol and her cadre of pusillanimous troughers. Many of our people wrestle daily with abject poverty, hunger, depression, and suicidal ideation, as a direct result of the draconian policies of this Tory Government.

    Do you think for one moment if Sturgeon and her gang of mendacious chancers had been suffering these deprivations they would have delayed a referendum this long? They are safe, swaddled in their sinecures. They don’t give a rat’s arse. Indeed, it is to their advantage to prolong the status quo as long as possible.

    Like it or not, the truth is there is no way forward towards Scottish independence that does not require the ouster of sturgeon as leader of the indy movement AND as FM.


    1. Sooner the people find themselves an honest government with a truthful leader for their country and the elected party the healthier , wealthier country Scotland shall be , the government do not own or control Scotland, the people pay their wages , they vote for the countries wealth , health and well-being together with the future of all.
      It is the people voice and theirs alone that speaks .
      I know not who should instigate this process but demand they do so NOW.
      Kindest regards Raymond


  7. I’ve been saying for some time now that there are three distinct roles here which don’t combine happily. It’s no reflection on Nicola Sturgeon. She is excellent as FM. We are very lucky to have her and I want her to stay as FM.

    I don’t think people should personalise this in anyway. Just recognise that there is a dilemma here.

    Because as a party of government in a devolved administration, that is, a tied and limited administration, the FM has to play by the rules the UK sets.

    And playing by UK rules is the antithesis of independence.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Care not where the border is on a map, is in Scotland? , is it in England? The reality is it’s our border a place between two countries within our island , we chose to defend our island from within together but we must still defend it against all comers from asides and from those within, Scotland has its own voice but lacks the person or the party to use it!! Instead it argues for something it already has!! independence ( FROM WHAT ? If they canny handle their own party/country or Westminster then the people need somebody who can NOW. If they need instructions get a teacher even I could teach them and I am a REC , but I will not allow my heritage be run over by friends, foes or bullies. But more importantly by those who know not how to speak with determination and the confidence to know and understand that they do not feebly ask they take us onward and upwards because they know.
    But do so now.


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