I’d love to gloss over the fact that the closing sentence is convoluted nonsense. But I can’t. I can’t because it confirms what I suspected from the outset and grew more certain of as I got closer to the drivelling denouement of Angus Robertson’s column in today’s National.
The entire article is a lesson – although far from a master-class – in how to raise your media/public profile by latching onto an issue that’s going to be hogging the headlines for a while. The piece consists almost entirely of an unadorned regurgitation of the factual elements from the kind of lurid news reports which feed panic about a coronavirus pandemic.
Angus Robertson’s sole contribution to this news digest is the final paragraph. The paragraph which contains the intellectually offensive sentence,
We are fortunate not to have had any coronavirus cases in Scotland yet, but they may well come sooner than we might fear.
Surely the soonest we “might fear” is right now. So how can cases of coronavirus possibly come sooner than that? This is the kind of idiocy politicians come out with when they’re obliged to fill air time or the space between quotation marks. Absolute no thought has gone into it as would be the case if the article had some serious or worthy purpose. A purpose more worthy than enhancing Angus Robertson’s ‘presence’ at a time when he is engaged in a tough political contest. A contest with someone who has recently done their fair share of headline hogging.
With this article, Angus Robertson is setting himself up as the SNP’s spokesperson on coronavirus. The person the media will approach for a quote when Jeane Freeman finds it politic to remain silent. Lots of lovely TV and radio exposure!
We are told that Robertson is the SNP’s go-to guy for campaign management. If this clumsy effort is typical of his work then I fear for the electoral fortunes of the party.
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7 thoughts on “Clumsy self-promotion”
I note that Mr Robertson has declared the Edinburgh Central is the only constituency in which he has any interest. This in itself is very suspicious, given that Ms Cherry was already standing and the constituency contains quite a lot of her Westminster seat. It is not difficult to conclude that Robertson is more interested in himself than either the SNP or independence. I fear that this division will line up with peripheral issues that have nothing to do with gaining independence. It may be that Ms Cherry is being targeted because of hers views about women only spaces. I hope I am wrong. Whatever else, Robertson needs to have a wee word with himself.
I think we can safely assume that the SNP leadership would prefer if Joanna Cherry was not sitting in the Scottish Parliament. Which leads to a suspicion, at the very least, that Angus Robertson has been sent in to target her as much as the seat.
While it may be a healthy thing that prospective candidates should have to compete for selection by branches, one would hope that the prize would something more worthy than obstructing a politician who may be an inconvenience to the party’s upper echelons while effectively representing her constituents and a significant part of the SNP membership.
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I was briefly on the executive committee of SNP Edin Cent branch. It is an odd constituency. My experience was that it was rather dependent on who were the office bearers. If Mr R has been shipped in, members too will be primed and told the right thing. I suspect that the forthcoming kerfuffle will be the end of the SNP as we know it.
I have to say it. AH TELT YE! Although, to be honest, I actually didn’t. While the potential for various internal problems in the SNP was one of the considerations behind my urging of a referendum in September 2018, it was something I thought it better not to discuss openly. It’s not like I didn’t have plenty of other reasons.
No party remains in power for more than a decade without experiencing some ‘misfortune’. The SNP bosses seemed to suppose they were the exception. As did a large part of the membership. Many still believe the usual rules of realpolitik don’t apply to their party. I’m telling them right now that they’re wrong. It won’t be long, I fear, before my only comfort will be saying to them, AH TELT YE!
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I had a ‘wee word’ with him over 20 years ago at a party and called him an egotistical bastard. As you can imagine he wasn’t well pleased and was throwing daggers at me for the rest of the night. Nothing that has happened since has led me to change my mind.
I am rooting for Ms Cherry.
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I too shall be supporting Joanna Cherry is whatever way I consider appropriate, given that selection of a candidate is a matter for local SNP members. But I hope I will be doing so for positive reasons relating to her qualities, attributes and skills rather than my growing dislike of Angus Robertson and distrust of his motives.
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That’s a spectacular piece of prose. So is Mr. Robertson running for a seat in the Scottish Parliament or perhaps there’s a vacancy as the Health Correspondent of the Sunday Post.
If he comes up short for either position I think his knowledge of foreign affairs surely puts him front and centre to become Foreign Secretary. Minister for Health? Hmm, perhaps not.
In general the corona virus is an excellent opportunity for the Scottish Government. A hard border with England and associated health screens seem like a no-brainer. After a few months this will be treated as normal and both countries can go their separate ways.
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