Burn the witch! Burn the books!

As I sit down to write this I learn that Joanna Cherry has been sacked from the front bench of the SNP Westminster group. A demotion and a slap in the face for an individual who surely speaks more and better for the SNP membership than those who treat her thus. This will be the last straw for many. Nicola Sturgeon is presiding over a crash and burn more precipitous and spectacular even than that of so-called ‘Scottish’ Labour.

Not everybody will be as dismayed as myself. There is a small but disproportionately powerful faction within the party which will be dancing with glee. Literally dancing in many cases. Joanna Cherry has earned the virulent hatred of this clique not by betraying the principles on which the SNP was founded but for upholding them. Not for flouting the standards by which the party is supposed to operate but for insisting on them. Not for a lack of integrity but for having integrity in a measure which embarrassed too many who today are responsible for managing the party’s affairs. Not because she is unpopular with ‘ordinary’ members but because she is so detested by those jealous and fearful of that popularity.

We know about all of this largely thanks to one person – the Reverend Stu Campbell, analyst and commentator at Wings Over Scotland. A man whose forensic journalism has provided an incalculable amount of fuel for Scotland’s cause. A man who is much reviled but seldom rebutted. In fact, I don’t know of any instance of any statement he has made that has been proved to be lacking a sound foundation of verifiable facts.

It is precisely because of his impeccable record of veracity and accuracy that he is attacked with such venom by those whose falsity is laid bare by bare facts and fair comment. Time after time after time his villifiers have been all but begged to refute the material to which they object with obscene biliousness. Time after time after time those who condemn him failed to provide as much as a scintilla of evidence to support the charges laid against him or justify the calumnies constantly peddled on social media – often by people who proudly boast of not having visited the Wings Over Scotland site or read Stu Campbell’s blog for years.

The spittle-flecked demands for Stu Campbell to be silent or silenced bear comparison with the book-burnings of an earlier age; just as the hounding of Joanna Cherry is reminiscent of the witch-hunts of an era when it was actual witches that were hunted. Or at least those accused of practising witchcraft – which in the minds of bigots and zealots amounts to sufficient proof of guilt.

It is impossible not to concluded from all of this that the proud aim to restore Scotland’s independence has been crushed under the heel of an intolerant, dogmatic and malicious coterie intent on taking the SNP to be the vehicle for their agenda. They presume to usurp the mandate afforded the party on the understanding that it’s political effectiveness was dedicated to the service of Scotland’s cause and turn it to serve their own purposes.

What those purposes are is unclear. I doubt if any of the people involved could articulate a purpose common to the whole faction. I have never been told what these people stand for even as they insinuated themselves into the heart of the party and positions of influence like some parasite or malignancy. I can judge them only by their behaviour. The fact that they so hate Stu Campbell for exposing their behaviour is a measure of how desperately they want that behaviour to remain hidden. The fact that they so abhor Joanna Cherry must surely betoken a loathing of the values she represents. Values such as society’s duty to protect and comfort the vulnerable. Values such as equality, universality and justice. Who would loath such values other than those incapable of holding them as more than a veil to their true nature?

I am appalled by what is happening to the party to which I have been committed since long before I could vote. I have voted for the SNP at every opportunity since the age of 18. I have promoted the party to the best of my ability and defended it likewise when it is attacked. I have come as close to being ‘loyal’ to the SNP as I can feel comfortable with. On occasion even closer. I view what is being done to this party with growing dismay. I have not given up hope. Largely because there is no alternative for those of us who are serious about restoring Scotland’s independence. If I lose hope the blame will lie entirely with the current leadership of the party.

I am not departing the party. I am standing firm where the party used to be; watching in despair as it moves away from me at an accelerating pace.

20 thoughts on “Burn the witch! Burn the books!

  1. I despair of my party, Joanna Cherry and a few others have spoken out against the corrupt ruling cabal. Others whom I used to respect have sat on their hands as they watched our party being infiltrated and steered away from the goal of independence or deliberately colluded in the project. Shame on you.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I left the SNP last week, my husband resigned on Sunday evening. On Twitter I have people telling me that if the SNP don’t get a majority in May it will be the fault of people like me, and if I really wanted Independence I would “wheesht for indy”
    In reply I say to them the same as you, that I anticipate voting SNP1 & 2 in May, because they have put me between a large rock and a very hard place and truth be told, I am very angry about it.
    If any other party put their current credentials in front of me – 2016 manifesto promises not achieved (land reform for one), unable to account for independence funds, evidence of setting up a former FM, civil servants and others lying under oath, promises of an independence referendum never realised – would I vote for them ? Certainly not.
    But because they are the only party even likely to possibly, maybe and who knows, deliver a route to independence then I am almost blackmailed into voting for them.
    The sacking of Joanna Cherry isn’t even disguised as anything else – it is plain for all to see what it exactly is. Speak out against the ruling cabal and you will be punished. Margaret Ferrier knows this to her cost, abandoned by the party because she made some poor decisions when unwell.
    Lie to an inquiry under oath – ah, well that’s okay, I mis-spoke, I forgot, I was terribly busy that day. Or if that doesn’t work, get someone to alter the official record or just don’t record it at all
    If the SNP don’t get a majority in May, it won’t be because of people like me who left the party, or who decide they just don’t want to put their cross next to them. It will be because when you vote for a party you give them your trust that they will offer you something in return.
    And the only thing, the ONLY thing they have to offer me right now is independence. If it looks like that’s not on offer, why would I vote for them ?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I feel your frustration. Made worse by the fact that we have to vote SNP to keep the British parties at bay. Just to rub salt in the wound I have John Swinney as my MSP and Pete Wishart as my MP.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I too have cancelled my membership, but like you, will still vote SNP because it is my only (if very faint now) hope of seeing independence in my lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said.There is so much that seems so rotten within the party and, it would appear, especially the leadership.

    Regardless of viewpoint on the subject of transexuality/transgender I found NS’ video last week pleading with a handful of what appear to be somewhat deranged members of the ‘T’ portion of the LGBTI community within the SNP not to leave the party mind-bogglingly bizarre and astonishing.

    In addition it is an insult to all those other independence seeking SNP members who expect the leadership to at least try and deliver on its declared primary objective and raison d’être. You know, article 1 of the SNP’s constitution which states that it is the “right of the people of Scotland to self-determination and national sovereignty”.

    NS says ‘I don’t care’ when it comes to making special exceptions for, and pandering to, this small sect within the party. But I’m sure tens of thousands within the SNP membership do care … just not for her set of priorities.

    There seems to be much passion expressed by the leadership for sex/gender politics and none for achieving the restoration of full self-government for Scotland.

    Then there is the evident sleaze, corruption, dishonesty and conspiracy surrounding missing party funds, NEC gerrymandering and the Salmond/Hirst/Murray affairs.

    Yesterday there was the reported ambush at the NEC meeting with the business convener ignoring the advice of legal counsel, bouncing people into voting on a subject seemingly not on the original agenda and then using her casting vote against all protocols to pass the change proposed on regional list candidate priorities.

    Today we have the humiliation of Joanna Cherry, our most effective MP in Westminster by a country mile and probably the best of all our elected representatives.

    We need to take back control of the SNP vehicle: It’s our bus, we pay the road tax, insurance and servicing. We just need to get a confident helmsman and a competent navigator, who both know how to get from A to B safely and quickly, as well as a trustworthy conductor who will honestly charge and collect the fares of its passengers, using the receipts solely for fuel to propel the vehicle onto its destination.

    And, if what I’ve read, heard and observed over the last few years is true, I reckon that, when the dust has settled and history written, Nicola Sturgeon’s name may well be worth less than that of Samuel Mudd.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. There is an apt religious parallel.

    Judas Iscariot is remembered for one thing: his betrayal of Jesus Christ. Even though Judas showed remorse later, his name became a symbol for traitors and turncoats throughout history. His motive seemed to be greed, but some scholars speculate political desires lurked beneath his treachery.

    Was particularly interested in the last sentence. However, Judas only betrayed one individual, while Nicola Sturgeon seems to be intent on betraying a whole nation.


  5. Reminds me a bit of how the Scots had Cromwell at their mercy at Dunbar and then decided to get rid of their best soldiers over petty differences and then gave up their strategic supremacy to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.


  6. I can actually hear Johnson scream “thank you lord Sturgeon has delivered them unto me”.


  7. The YES movement continues to make ground. The SNP is not the YES movement. The MSM have their sites set on the SNP. Ignorance is bliss!


  8. Aye! Peter, your well versed in the machinations of the SNP.
    I’m all for Independence, self determination , this will not deter me from voting for the SNP.
    Even this crap.
    Like thousands of others we watch from the outside looking in.
    We woke up, and made our beliefs real
    We are the yes movement, knowing that politicians alone cannot get Independence, we are the change going forwards.
    Clichés, stupid is as stoopid does.
    Keep your friends close and your leaders in waiting closer.
    We have had delay and obfuscation since 2015, now infighting at the top, we have a stink from the top, the civil service, police, and judiciary.
    I look and see we’ve always had a collusion between police, civil service judiciary linked to England.
    This will have to change with Independence.
    I find it unbelievable that all this is coming at once.
    It makes me wonder, who has got what on who?
    The hesitancy for moving forwards, I put down to the poor polls, polls not moving.
    But it must be more than this, otherwise the SNP would’ve been busier setting up various areas for Independence, to hit the ground running.
    I hope our people aren’t fickle when it comes to voting, like the red line English .
    A week is a long time in politics.
    Take it easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well we are where we are.
    It is what it is and it’s not nice.
    Probably the best we can do at the moment is to work for and make sure the SNP get a landslide victory at the election. That much thankfully is within our power. I’d be surprised if the British Establishment are not behind much of this so a Landslide win would not only be such a boost for the Yes Movement but at the same time a real sickener for Johnson and all his spineless sycophants. It’s 3 months away so let’s put all this rubbish to one side. Let’s rise above all this divide and conquer and let’s focus purely on the election. Nothing else.


  10. Just over a year ago I was furious with Bojo calling Nicola Sturgeon ‘that wee Jimmy Crankie woman’ or words to the effect. Now I see it as a dreadful insult to wee Jimmy Crankie.


  11. This is a pivotable period where nerves have to be held. Focus on
    May and that SNP to deliver the change that’s needed, more significantly the inspiration for the % of undecided voters. To manage this alongside distaste for decisions made by the party will be a challenge but not the greatest challenge. That will be with the WM establishment. We need to keep focussed on that. There can be a reckoning when we have cleared out the U.K. parties branch offices and new parties appear.


    1. Much as what you say appeals to me, Jacqui, I’m afraid inspirational talks aren’t going to suffice in this situation.

      The “nerves” in question are not those of people such as myself but our political leaders. It is they who evidently lack the “nerve” to address Scotland’s predicament with the necessary vigour and urgency. They too are focused on the coming election. But it is difficult not to take the view that their reasons are not ours. That they are less focused on the demands of Scotland’s cause and more on a partisan agenda.

      I have to disagree, also, when you say that it is Westminster that is the greatest challenge we face. We know how to deal with Westminster. We don’t look to Westminster to resolve the constitutional issue to our satisfaction. All that we must do we must do in spite of Westminster. It is the SNP which we look to to represent Scotland’s interests. Westminster is doing precisely what we expect of it. The SNP is doing so much less than we expect of the political arm of the independence movement. Until we get the party back on track nothing we do with regard to the British state will matter.

      There must be a reckoning. But if it doesn’t come well before May then it is extremely doubtful that we will go into the election in a way that will allow us to come out of it prepared for the next stage.

      The fallacy of the fresh start is alluring in the same way that the siren voices of mermaids are. There are no new beginnings. Only continuations. Much that Scotland will be in the future is being decided today. Not in terms of public policy. The idea that the policies of governments not yet elected in a nation not yet independent can be decided now is just as nonsensical as it sounds when stated in language stripped of party political rhetoric. A nation born – or reborn – into corruption, conflict and compromised principles is a nation destined to be plagued by the problems thus bred. If we fail to cleanse our politics, resolve our conflicts and hold fast to our principles then the restoration of our independence will be a continuation of all that we hope to leave behind.

      It is not just the fact of our independence being restored that is important. The manner of its being restored also matters greatly. Both fact and manner depend on what we do today.

      Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.