by Colin Campbell
CAN’T SNP politicians in their vapourings ever think of anything fresh, original or interesting to say?
When they publicly enlighten us with their thoughts, are these churned out by a semi-literate robot at The Party’s Central Command under strict instruction that they must not be altered in any shape or form, and if an SNP politician/lackey actually does have something interesting to say they should keep it strictly to themselves?
Like marching infantrymen at the annual North Korean state celebration, they must never step an inch out of line.
The latest to slather us with wit and wisdom is Highland MSP Maree Todd, another of those elected on the basis that SNP supporters would vote for a monkey on a bar stool if it was wearing a yellow rosette.
Almost a year on from the outbreak of the virus, her inspiring message for a new year ahead is that we must stick by the rules to get through the current situation.
No one’s ever heard that before.
There is, however, “ light at the end of the tunnel”.
That’s in the form of a vaccine secured by the foresight of the UK government, but she somehow forgets to mention that.
The UK Tory government has, however, sold us out with Brexit.
And the only solution to our many problems is for Scotland to urgently gain independence, according to Ms Todd.
The robotic record never changes.
It is, of course, a certainty that Maree Todd will regain office at the May elections, and will be able to return to cosy Holyrood and her fat salary and expenses.
Stick by the rules? The only rule she has to stick by is never to utter a word of dissent from anything dictated by The Party.
Todd represents a rural area with many outlying communities. It was Tory MSP Edward Mountain who was ahead of the game last November when he said the army should be brought in to help disperse the vaccine to rural communities across the Highlands. He was in fact the first politician I saw anywhere to grasp the challenge of the logistics and call for the army to be drafted in.
In stark contrast, if some people in her constituency were still waiting for an armful in December I doubt if Maree Todd would speak up for them to avoid offending The Party. That must be avoided at all costs.
As for independence, does she really want it, or is she just another aspiring Holyrood time-server along for the lucrative ride, like so many of her SNP colleagues? Outside of the run-up to an election, she hardly mentions the “I” word.
The same can be said, except more emphatically, of Inverness MSP Fergus Ewing, another outstandingly dull contributor to the public debate. In his next public offering, how refreshing it would be if Ewing offered a full throated cry for independence. It wouldn’t be credible, but at least it would be something new from him.
He’s another who’ll be re-elected in May by SNP supporters in their quest for independence, even though he virtually never mentions it either. He’ll be returned to Holyrood for the sixth time. He’s been there for 20 years. At some point even SNP voters might begin to wonder if a comfortable two decade stint in the Scottish Parliament indicates that Fergus Ewing really does spend every waking hour consumed with a passion for “freedom” from the English oppressor.
However, SNP politicians aren’t wholly incapable of springing surprises. For example Inverness MP Drew Hendry, formerly a stolid local councillor, this week tried to pretend he’s now a multi billion pound business expert with calls for yet more largesse from the Chancellor. He’d worked out that the precise figure required is £98 billion, apparently. The last time Hendry dealt in numbers like that was when the council was estimating the number of seagulls dropping crap on Inverness city centre.
And, joy of joys, the SNP leader and prime specimen at Westminster, Ian Blackford, was this week cut off by a technical glitch when he was being screened in in his weekly contribution at PMQs. I haven’t yet seen it but I do hope the blackout occurred when he was bellowing: “It’s an outrage, a disgrace, an insult to the people of Scotland who have been dragged out of the EU against their will and the only solution for Scotland as a nation is…” (blank).
If only that could happen more often. The only thing viewers missed out on seeing was his apopleptic, puce-faced reaction as he was left bellowing only to himself.
Maree Todd and co. may not be very original, but at least one thing is certain, however. Whether they really want it or not this comfortable, complacent bunch with their snouts embedded deeply in the trough are sure to follow orders from The Party and step up demands for independence as the May elections get nearer.