Regular readers will be well aware that I am no supporter of the Alba Party. I regard it as a powerless and therefore pointless distraction from the focus that Scotland’s cause requires. Alex Salmond’s new party needlessly dilutes the effort to pressure the SNP+SGP/Scottish Government into taking the action required if Scotland’s independence is to be restored. As only the SNP+SGP/Scottish Government can take this action then Alba can only be irrelevant. As I repeatedly find it necessary to remind the party’s devotees, Alba is not now the party of government in Scotland and cannot possibly become the party of government until long after the British Nationalists have succeeded in closing all democratic routes to the restoration of our independence, thus making Alba Party redundant for an entirely different reason.
All Alba has done is provide a home for those understandably disaffected by the SNP’s pusillanimous procrastination on the constitutional issue and/or the erosion of the party’s internal democracy making it all but impossible to challenge Nicola Sturgeon’s self-evidently failed and failing approach to what should be the first item on her agenda – ending the Union. Indeed, Alba seems quite proud of having provided a camp for refugees from the SNP. Suggesting that they are oblivious to the fact that all Alba has achieved is a disastrous intensification of the divisions within the Yes movement which stem from the SNP’s woeful neglect of Scotland’s cause over a period of nearly eight years. The ensuing tribal conflict has done serious and almost certainly irreparable harm to Scotland’s cause at a time when that cause has never been more pressing.
Given my well-publicised attitude to Alba Party some may have been surprised to find me apparently leaping to the defence of Neale Hanvey MP following what we may now firmly conclude was a scurrilous misrepresentation of Alba’s position on the illegal invasion of Ukraine by imperialist Russia. I was not. Quite apart from the fact that Mr Hanvey has absolutely no need of my assistance, I had no interest in offering it. I have studiously avoided becoming embroiled in the tribalistic squabbling twixt SNP/Sturgeon loyalists and Alba/Salmond devotees. Since quitting the SNP last year I have adopted a strictly non-partisan standpoint. I sincerely wish a pox on both their houses. And neither – both being nominally at least committed to the cause of restoring Scotland’s independence. But both – because neither is helping that cause.
My sole consideration in challenging Reuben Duffy’s abhorrent misrepresentation of Neale Hanvey and Alba Party was defending truth. If that sounds pretentious then I simply don’t care. Particularly in the context of war, I consider defending truth to be both essential and the very least that anyone might do. There is nothing exceptionally noble or righteous about defending truth. It’s what we all should be doing as a matter of course. Especially at a time when armed conflict has led to a massive ramping-up of propaganda. We swim in an ocean of lies and deceit where we are hunted by packs of callous and skilled manipulators. We must seize upon whatever scrap of truth can be found and use it as both shield and cudgel against this onslaught.
As a communication from Alex Salmond published in The National this morning makes clear, Reuben Duffy’s claim that Hanvey said Ukrainian independence had to be “balanced” against Russian security concerns is completely false. It is a lie. To condemn such lies is to neither defend nor attack this or that party, politician, policy or position. It is merely to keep sight of the reality which propagandists in the service of interests infinitely far removed from our own are intent on obscuring.
That Neale Hanvey did not say what was alleged by Reuben Duffy is an objective fact – verifiable and verified. Such facts, however trivial or portentous, are the stuff of which reality is made. When you find one, hold tight to it. Protect it from those who would destroy the reality constructed with facts and substitute a confection of falsehood and fantasy.
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