Linger a while over the title of this article. You will surely never have seen its like before. You are unlikely ever to see it again, and certainly not outside the confines of the British media. For the most part, such a statement would be regarded as a contradiction in terms. Few combinations of terms can be more contradictory or incongruous than the conjunction of “British Nationalist” and “truth”. It is an oxymoron such as would serve well as a dictionary illustration of an oxymoron.
The first title I toyed with was “Blair McDougall is correct!”. On reflection, however, I considered this just a bit too jarring for a Sunday morning. I am aware of how difficult it is to remove spluttered porridge from a computer keyboard, especially after it has dried and hardened. There are no circumstances in which grit-blasting will not void the manufacturer’s warranty. Being nothing if not considerate, I opted to tone down the sensationalism just a shade. Hopefully, this will have to some extent softened the impact of the revelation that Blair McDougall has made an honest observation.
Despite [SNP’s] total dominance of politics, despite 15 years of every resource of the Scottish Government, and despite everything the Conservatives have gifted them, voters remain stubbornly unconvinced.SNP hit out at seven years of ‘broken promises’ from Better Together
It is telling that even an evident dullard like the man British Labour thought dumb and disposable enough to be forever tainted as the Tories’ lackey nominally heading the campaign to preserve the Union, nonetheless has sufficient nous to recognise a truth that is strenuously denied by Sturgeon/SNP loyalists. Appearing less perspicacious than Blair McDougall is a far from flattering look eschewed even by most of his fellow British Nationalists. Notable exceptions being those stalwarts of British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) Baron Robertson of Port Ellen and Baron Foulkes of Cumnock.
Of course, McDougall only managed to stumble upon this truth because it is too big for even the most bumbling of buffoons to miss. Which implies that those Sturgeon/SNP loyalists must be buffoons of a truly extraordinary ilk. Which they very well may be. But it seems more likely that they don’t so much miss this discomfiting truth as avoid it. Something to do with cognitive dissonance. Keith Brown is depute leader of the SNP, a role akin to that of the rodeo clown. I have a great deal more respect for Keith Brown than I do for Blair McDougall. If that unavoidably seems to damn with the faintest of praise I implore that you – and he – accept that this is not my intention. The disclaimer is necessary because it is Keith Brown’s words which I use to illustrate the second of the trains whose collision course represents the threatening cognitive dissonance.
The UK Westminster Government has misled and mistreated the people of Scotland for so long that it’s no wonder that support for independence is continuing to grow.
I have just this moment invented the term ‘tricksyism’ to refer to a form of words such as this in which the truthfulness of something self-evidently true is ‘borrowed’ in order to impart a varnish of truthfulness to something which absent this veneer would be just as obviously devoid of truthfulness. That “the UK Westminster Government has misled and mistreated the people of Scotland” is incontrovertible. The claim that “support for independence is continuing to grow” is contradicted by the evidence. SNP/Sturgeon loyalists want and need to believe Keith Brown’s comforting claim. Therefore, they must exclude from their ken the polling evidence which contradicts this claim of growing support for independence if the cognitive dissonance train-wreck is to be averted. Keith Brown’s tricksyism is intended to assist the effort to avoid the painful truth that support for independence has not grown at all in the seven years since Sturgeon took over as leader of the SNP and First Minister. Blair McDougall is correct!
The SNP now dominates Scotland’s politics in a way and to an extent which would necessarily be considered unhealthy if not unacceptable had this dominance not been contrived by the electorate using legitimate democratic means to an equally legitimate end. We, the people, have granted the party this extraordinary dominance in order that it might use the effective political power this entails in the service of Scotland’s cause. The SNP did not drag the people of Scotland along on its quest for power. The people of Scotland pushed the SNP to the vanguard of our fight to restore Scotland’s independence. If effectiveness in that role is to be assessed by increased support for independence then the SNP has failed. Blair McDougall is correct!
It is also self-evidently true that British Labour’s allies and Better Together financiers (therefore Blair McDougall’s paymasters?) the British Conservative & Unionist Party has “gifted” the SNP/Scottish Government circumstances as close to being perfectly conducive to growing support for independence as they might have hoped for in a lifetime of Christmases. By the SNP/Scottish Government’s own repeated insistence, the British government has, over the last seven years, given the distinct impression that it is doing everything in its power to make the the task of growing support for independence easier. And yet, contrary to the claims so unquestioningly accepted by SNP/Sturgeon loyalists, support for independence remains at the same level now as it was in the immediate aftermath of the referendum whose seventh anniversary is now being marked. Any who doubt this can check the polling data for themselves. (Wikipedia has a helpfully comprehensive list of polls.) Bair McDougall is correct!
Not only is Blair McDougall correct, he neatly summarises the essence of the SNP/Scottish Government’s problem – it’s loss of credibility. A loss for which it seeks to compensate with bombast and bluster and by casting as ‘the enemy’ anyone who correctly identifies the cause of this loss of credibility – regardless of whether they do so in a spirit of constructive criticism and for the sake of Scotland’s cause or in the role of dumb BritNat troll seeking preference from the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state or from intellect-crippling resentment of the fact that this preference hasn’t prevented the total loss of a status their tribe once enjoyed.
Blair McDougall may be correct for all the wrong reasons. He may be utterly incapable of comprehending why they are the wrong reasons. But he is correct nonetheless.
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