by Colin Campbell
ALL traces of originality, flair and creativity among the great minds leading the SNP seem to have died and gone to that fabled land of milk and honey.
Yesterday Nicola Sturgeon and her cohorts announced the creation of a “task force” to “fire up the cause of independence”.
A task force: it’s right up there with “a consultation”, “a review”, “a think tank” and “a working party” in the lexicon of stale, jaded jargon that means virtually nothing.
If you’ve got no fresh ideas on how to make actual progress towards your goal pluck any of the above out of the air and attach an announcement to them.
A junior clerk at Highland Council could have devised something more eyecatching than this.
In fact Highland Council have frequently come up with this kind of thing.
No idea about what services to cut because of financial constraints: set up a “review”.
No idea about ways to improve the city centre: opt for “consultation”.
Struggling with plans to expand the council car park: time for a “working party”.
Come up against a brick wall on how to deal with traffic congestion or how to improve local play facilities: set up a “task force”.
An announcement that a “task force” has been set up to address any particular issue is met with a universal groan because it’s a deflection and it’s a virtual certainty nothing worthwhile will come of it.
And the reaction to the announcement from the SNP has generated a similar response among many party members. Even in the comments section of the vile National yesterday contributors were hugely unimpressed.
Six years to plan for independence and only now they’re setting up a task force? The groans are echoing all the way to Gretna.
On the track record of any and every task force ever created this one will cobble together a few SNP worthies, hold a few meetings, talk a lot, and then will be forgotten about.
This announcement from the SNP five months before the Scottish Parliamentary elections is astonishingly dull and smacks of desperation to appease their more fervid followers. And it seems to have completely backfired.
It’s an out and out embarrassment to many in the SNP who believed they’d left this kind of meaningless nonsense far behind them.
And the same people are forcefully pointing out that they don’t need to be “fired up” in their pursuit of independence. And that it’s Sturgeon and the SNP hierarchy who need to have a rocket placed and lit somewhere that’ll lift them off the ground.
But their dismay, disenchantment and outright disgust over Sturgeon and her new “task force” is very much their problem and they’re welcome to it.
The nats in the Inverness constituency will again turn out in droves to vote for Fergus Ewing in May in the belief that he actually supports independence, when he’s been 20 years at Holyrood and just wants to get back there to get on with whatever it is he’s doing now.
Apart from making the right noises now and again, Ewing no more wants independence than I do.
Neither does Inverness MP, Westminster socialite, Twitter maestro and TV personality Drew Hendry. He’s perfectly happy with the salary, expenses, perks and privileges where he is.
As an ex-councillor, Hendry must feel very much at home with this SNP masterplan to set up a new “task force” on independence. He saw plenty of them during his time on the council.
Inspiring stuff! But you do have to wonder if SNP voters who genuinely want independence will EVER get tired of being conned.