by Colin Campbell

AN indignant front page headline in the vile National yesterday declared: “Jack McConnell appears to label half of SNP supporters extremists.”

Oh no, surely not! What an outrageous thing to say! The former Labour First Minister has surely gone well over the top this time.

Except hundreds of thousands of Scots would agree with him. And there would be no “appears” about it.

Whether SNP supporters should be branded extremists is however not the main issue. Many probably aren’t.

But the fact is they’re supporting a party with an extremist agenda, the most reckless, destructive, selfish and divisive in Europe.

A party reeking of anti-English bigotry, and run by a cabal of fanatical grievance mongers hellbent on getting their way whatever the cost.

Any party which wants to end a 300 year union and break away to form an independent country with no answers on what currency it would use, or the effects on jobs, savings and mortgages, or how it would compensate for the loss of the extra £2000 per head Scotland receives in public spending, or how it would deal with a hard border separating it from its closest neighbour, or the impact that would have on trade, or how it would cope with having the largest deficit in Europe, or how much it would cost to set up a new army, navy and airforce, or whether it would be able to join the EU, or how it would pay the pensions of the elderly, is extreme.

The SNP is a political party like no other. No other party remotely comes close in wanting to win support on so much blind hope and faith. Its favoured targets are those who are uninformed and incurious even about the basics. The kind of people who’d accept assurances on all the unanswered questions, on the basis of “We’ll sort all that out after independence. It’ll be fine”.

That’s not extreme, it’s terrifying.

A recent survey by the These Islands group found a significant number of SNP supporters aren’t worried about currency because they think we already have our own currency, in the form of notes issued by the Bank of Scotland and the RBS. That level of ignorance – there’s no other word for it – is frightening.

The SNP is desperate to give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote because the vast majority dont know and don’t yet care much about the complexities of life that lie ahead for them. And why should they, they’re just kids. And the SNP want to exploit their lack of knowledge and use music and marches and face paint and a sense of excitement to gain their votes.

They’ve tried, including here in Inverness, to deliberately stoke up fears about Brexit among EU migrants living here to win them over as referendum supporters.

The SNP hate it when direct questions are asked of Nicola Sturgeon about the monumental difficulties an independent Scotland would face, in the first 10 years at least.

A recent TV interview she had with Andrew Marr resulted in a record number of complaints, even though it was no tougher than for any other politician. SNP attempts to intimidate the BBC and win excessively favourable coverage, even more favourable than it is now, are relentless and extreme. No other political party is so intensely focused on propaganda.

Angus “the ghoul” Robertson, former deputy leader of the SNP, suggested that the death toll among older people since 2014 was good news for the next referendum vote. Is that extreme?

Former SNP MP George Kerewan, still a leading voice in the party, wrote last month that the May elections should be a mandate for independence, and he added: “And what better time than May, as the full negative implications of the Brexit deal are revealed and the economy locks into mass unemployment. Popular discontent in Scotland will be at its peak. What better time to seek endorsement for Scottish self-determination.”

So mass unemployment and “discontent at its peak” – that means people with no jobs and no money – would be a great time to strike for independence. That’s not extreme – that’s sick.

Party leaders like Ian Blackford and Mike Russell are demanding an independence referendum this year, pandemic or no pandemic. If that’s not extreme then the word itself needs to be redefined.

It seems they’re less interested in counting the dead from the virus than they are in counting election votes for the SNP.

So Jack McConnell has given his verdict and others will have their own opinion.

Does the SNP seem extremist in its independence mania in the current situation where we have the worst health crisis in 100 years?

Extremist? Revolting is the word I’d use.


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