Deserve better

Ash Regan “seeking clarification on what specific divisions the audience member meant” was probably the most telling point of the whole ‘debate’. When asked a very general question about what they will do to “heal the divisions in Scottish society”, a thoughtful person will seek clarification because a thoughtful person will immediately realise that there are many divisions and many kinds of division and that not all can be ‘healed’ and that some divisions are healthy.

For the vacuous, virtue-signalling politician’s response to the question, I refer you to Humza Yousaf and Kate Forbes. To be impressed by their responses, you’d have to be as shallow as they are. Only Ash Regan treated the question with due respect. The fact that there was laughter from the audience and that she was taunted with a strawman that falsely represented her as having suggested there are no divisions in society demonstrates nicely the people get the politicians they deserve. Some significant part of that audience failed to appreciate the sensibleness of Ash Regan’s request for clarification.

As with discrimination, the public has been conditioned to think of all division as a bad thing. The basic premise is that ideally, there should be no discrimination and no division. Yousaf and Forbes and probably the vast majority of politicians respond to questions about discrimination and division on this basis. They don’t offer nuanced responses. In a way, we can hardly blame them. Look at the reaction Ash Regan provoked when she sought to introduce just a touch of nuance into the discussion. It seems Ash momentarily forgot that as a professional politician she is expected to pander to the lowest common denominator in an audience and in society. Personally, I’d be very pleased if she were to forget that rule completely.

Yousaf and Forbes stuck to the stock answer, and were rewarded with approbation. Ash Regan attempted to provide a more meaningful answer, and she was met with derision. I really wish she had persisted. It would have been gratifying had pursued the point that it is foolish to generalise negatively about complex concepts such as discrimination and division. As it was, her answer when she was allowed to give it, was a compromise with the lowest common denominator while not quite pandering to it.

Ash Regan strikes me as someone who has not yet been pressed fully into the mould of the professional politician who has learned all the tricks of that trade. There was a certain innocence in the way she sought clarification. That is not intended in a pejorative sense. I don’t mean innocence with the connotations of naivety that commonly accompany it. I mean the innocence of someone who is still prepared to at least try and do things differently. She made an effort to engage with the audience member and their question. She attempted to include them in the discussion. She tried to draw them in and treat them like adults. She was not well-rewarded for her effort.

But it is not she who needs to change. It’s the people in the audience who mocked her that should have a wee word with themselves. Particularly the fool with the strawman taunt. If we want better politicians, we must demand better of our politicians. But we must also deserve better.

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6 thoughts on “Deserve better

  1. ” Yousaf and Forbes stuck to the stock answer, and were rewarded with approbation. Ash Regan attempted to provide a more meaningful answer, and she was met with derision. ”

    I’m reminded ( again ) of this pearl from the Tao Te Ching ….

    ” When the superior man learns of the Tao , he puts it into practice immediately

    When the mediocre man learns of the Tao he vacillates – sometimes yes , sometimes no

    When the inferior man learns of the Tao , he laughs .

    If there wasn’t laughter it would not be the true Tao ”

    It’s the laughter of fools that authenticates the truth of an idea or action .

    I haven’t seen any of these leadership – related events , P . I didn’t have to , to know there is only one candidate that represents any hope of progress ; for that matter , that can rescue the SNP from descending into utter irrelevance and electoral oblivion .

    It’s neither Ms Tweedle nor Mr Dum

    Liked by 5 people

  2. According to The National “Ash Regan was met with laughs” when she asked for some more specifics.

    Unable to define what was meant by a question devoid of context the audience plonkers got the platitudes they merited from Forbes and Yousaf.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Agree with your premise, Peter. I, too, have been astounded by the lack of understanding in so many. I shouldn’t be, because The National carries so many letters by these people who appear to be quite unable to grasp nuance or hidden depths. Have we become so inured to superficial analyses of everything that we have actually dumbed down? A few honourable journalists are the exception to the rule, and they do delve deep into the heart of a matter, but, again, they are pounced on and eviscerated verbally by the mob. It worries me greatly that we could end up having a succession of leaders who are anything but, because we have not the savvy to pick the one who will actually do the job properly. It happened in the Labour party, in the Tory party, and in the Lib Dems. It happens when a party and its membership start to believe their own propaganda. The SNP is in an unholy mess and nothing short of a strong and effective leader and a cleansing of the root cause of the several-headed, parasitical infection within its ranks will work now. If it is not done, the infection will arise again, stronger. Scottish Labour did not do it, and look at the state it is in now. The Scottish Tories did not do it, nor the Lib Dems, and they are both in the doldrums. Either the SNP does what is necessary, or it, too, will wither away. Independence will not, however, and someone else – another party/movement – will come along and pick up the baton. Returning to core values and policy is the only solution, but the present managerial form of governance seems to be incapable of recognising its own, in-built obsolescence and demise.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. sigh.
    Having just watched the recorded video of the radio show on youtube, I am disheartened by the discouraging noises from the audience.

    If this is in any way representative of the selectorate, i.e. that rump of people who haven’t left the SNP yet, then then Scotland and Independance are in real trouble. 😦

    “SNP Leadership Debate | Live from Edinburgh”
    Question from a ‘Jane Griffiths’ is from 16 minutes 15 seconds onwards.

    Liked by 1 person

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