A few years back I joked that if Pete Wishart MP – former keyboard-player with Runrig – were to start a new band he should call it Pete & The Postponers. I was reminded of this as I read the final paragraph of his latest offering in The National. The wry humour I find in that closing paragraph has a bitterness not associated with the earlier satirical quip. The interval of almost four years has afforded ample opportunity for the bitterness to grow. Those who recall the piece on Pete Wishart’s blog which gave rise to the joke will, like myself, be struck by the planet-weight irony of what he now writes.
It is time for Scotland to forge its own path away from the corrupt corridors of Westminster and create an independent nation that can shake off this broken system. The sooner we can do that then the better it will be for the people of Scotland.Sleaze-ridden Tory government believes rules don’t apply to them
I urge you to make time to read both Pete Wishart’s infamous “optimum time” article and my own response. When combined with full appreciation of where Scotland’s cause stands right now, these two articles illustrate the limbo in which that cause has been stranded by the very inaction Wishart commended. For anyone in the upper echelons of the SNP now to talk about the urgency of Scotland’s predicament having spent the last seven years allowing that predicament to get very much worse is the most sickening hypocrisy.
I might be able to get past this hypocrisy if that final paragraph signalled some meaningful change in Wishart’s thinking. I could forgive the hypocrisy if it came with some indication of an epiphany having occurred such as to cause him to comprehensively rethink his dedication to the Sturgeon doctrine of dither and delay. But nothing in the rest of the column suggests such a metamorphosis. The target of Pete Wishart’s perfectly justified ire remains Boris Johnson and the Tories rather than the Union. Despite a brief statement implicating the other British parties in sleaze similar to that for which he rightly castigates the Tories, he still fails to identify the corruption with the British state. He continues to approach the constitutional issue as if it were a party political.
On the evidence of his latest outpouring of ineffectual outrage, Wishart still hasn’t awakened to the fact that ‘Tory sleaze’ is a manifestation of the corruption that pervades the entire British political system, It’s not ‘Tory sleaze’! It’s British sleaze. It’s not merely that Boris Johnson “does not believe the rules apply to him and his government”. It’s that the British political system relies on the rules being whatever is considered expedient by the British ruling elites. The rules are whatever best serves the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. By extension and by definition, therefore, the rules are whatever suits whoever happens to have their hands on the power, privilege and patronage of the British political system.
‘Britannia waives the rules’ is another amusing barb whose humour has been lost to bitterness over time.
I might be better able to celebrate Pete Wishart’s belated realisation of the urgency of Scotland’s predicament if there was any sign that his latest proclamation was likely to be endorsed by his boss, Nicola Sturgeon. It’s all very well for him to state that “it is time for Scotland to forge its own path away from the corrupt corridors of Westminster” but unless the term “path ” refers to a credible process then it matters nothing even if his change of heart is sincere. Given that no such process has been set out by the SNP/Scottish Government, we can only assume that we’re still on hold.
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