The credibility problem

My first reaction on reading Toni Giugliano’s column in the Sunday National was disbelief. Genuine disbelief. Here was a leading figure in the SNP saying all the right things. I don’t believe it. And that is the problem for Toni Giugliano and the SNP. Even if they now start saying the things we want to hear from them, nobody is going to believe it. Nobody other than the party loyalists, that is. But they really don’t count. Thinking, informed, engaged people are going to react with great scepticism. Toni Giugliano is looking strangely carrot-shaped right now.

Actually, he isn’t saying all the right things. It would be more accurate to say that he’s almost saying some of the right things. But even this is considerably more than we’d expect. Hence the disbelief. It’s almost as if Toni Giugliano is departing the party line. Not by any great distance. But after nine years of that line being rigidly adhered to by everybody in the upper echelons of the party or they wouldn’t be in the upper echelons of the party, even the slightest crossing of the line is… well… unbelievable.

On first reading, it certainly seems as if he’s saying the sort of thing we’ve been anxious to hear from the SNP. Trouble is, this immediately sparks my cynicism. I cannot help but suspect the words have been carefully chosen to give a false impression. If Toni Giugliano is offended by this suggestion then he needs to remember that it was the SNP leadership that squandered the trust of former party members such as myself. I now deeply regret having trusted Nicola Sturgeon as much as I once did. Having been bitten, it cannot be so surprising that I am doubly shy.

The talk of restoring the internal democracy of the SNP hits the right note. As does talk of better engagement with the wider Yes movement. Calling for the return of National Council is bound to win him friends among the disaffected. If they think it sincere. Unfortunately for Toni Giugliano, sincerity isn’t something one immediately associates with the SNP. Again, he can thank his former(?) patron for this.

On the other hand, he is totally focused on winning elections and on the Tories as the threat rather than the Union and on ‘making the case’ for independence instead of forcing the British to make the case for their ‘precious’ Union. So, there’s still a lot of the old new SNP in there. Far too much for my liking.

Toni Giugliano says,

But for the SNP to triumph, they must fight the [UK general] election on independence as the core and central campaign issue.

He comes tantalisingly close to the nub of the issue when he talks of protecting Scottish democracy. But then he identifies the threat to our democracy as the Tories when the threat is actually the Union. And he fails to spell out exactly how the constitutional issue is to be made the “core and central campaign issue”. He fails to recognise that independence has always been the core and central issue for the Yes movement – it is the SNP leadership that side-lined the constitutional issue. For us to believe the party is putting the constitutional issue front and centre then we will need more than just a glib assurance that this is what the party is doing. We will require a solemn and binding undertaking from the SNP on specified actions that will ensue from us voting for them en masse. Otherwise, how are we to believe this isn’t just the SNP yet again using independence as the carrot which has so often in the past been deployed to help the SNP rather than Scotland’s cause?

I’ll believe Toni Giugliano when the SNP adopts something like the #ManifestoForIndependence. That’s where we are now. That is what the SNP has to do to be assured of my vote. The polished spiel just ain’t gonna do it, Toni. Not this time. Not ever again.

It might also help if Toni Giugliano were to drop the idiotic tribal rants about Alba Party. Jist sayin’, like!

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9 thoughts on “The credibility problem

  1. Yesses need to recognise the unpalatable truth that any attempt to put independence in front of voters for at least the next couple of years is doomed to failure and will cripple indy for a decade or more. Voters will not readily forgive the main party of independence turning into a corrupt, anti-democratic autocracy that puts rapists in women’s jails.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It is obviously the commencement of a long campaign to con those voters and members who have deserted the party ahead of the next British General Election, expected at some stage in 2024.

    The SNP are falling in the opinion polls (while YES support is holding up) as the scandals and sleaze keeps dripping out of the Unionist organs that the party once courted.

    It’s simply a desperate attempt to hitch YES supporters back to the SNP wagon.

    He says in his column “Make no mistake – the next electoral test will decide the fate of Scottish independence for years to come and that opportunity can’t be squandered” without any sense of irony and clearly zero insight.

    The giveaway is when Toni Giugliano identifies “the Tories” and “Alba” (in his tweet) as ‘the enemy’ you just know for him and his acolytes it is the Sometime Never Party before country … once again.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. He’s a leading figure, not THE leading figure. For announcements on that scale, I’d expect Yousaf to be delivering them, not letting a minion assume the leadership role.

    Robin McAlpine was imploring the SNP to hire somebody who knew about crisis management and order to manage the conflagration they are engulfed in but don’t quite realise it. This would appear to be their response.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I read the title at 6 this morning: “Toni Giugliano: SNP must act at pace to get ready for election” and thought, oh, him, at least he’s honest all he cares about is elections not Indy. So I started reading the article and read exactly what I expected, a very rare thing for me, and got half way down before I realised it wasn’t what I was expecting.

    So I started again and by the time I got to the end I realised I was right first time – la la land with the hung parliament, and give me your vote and I’ll pretend it’s about Indy (I expect he’ll stand in an election some where again). The giveaway is mentioning affirming YES with BiS and the Greens (like, wow, dude) but NOT mentioning Alba – which shows no real interest in uniting for Indy and actually doing something about it.

    It all comes down to this, adapted from the Bee Gees:

    You think that I don’t even mean
    A single word I say
    It’s only words and words are all I have
    To take your vote away

    Well, you’ve been rumbled pal, awa bile yer heid.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. ”It might also help if Toni Giugliano were to drop the idiotic tribal rants about Alba Party. Jist sayin’, like! ”

    You mean the idiotic rants you used to speil ?


  6. Campaign group Republic, who have the National on speed dial, when asked about the oath of allegiance said:

    “We of course will be down on bended knee, tugging our forelocks (not a pretty sight), kissing the very ground our Liege and Leaf is walking on, and swearing with a great shout”.

    Oh, wait …

    There is a serious point about this, and that is that it seems to me to be overkill, and could provoke the opposite reaction – as well as reducing support for Indy which is far more important than any old Monarchy, love it, hate it or be politely agnostic.

    It’s a lesson in language and excessive use of it that YES needs to learn.


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