Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Never mind everything else, let's focus on independence!

SNP MP Pete Wishart has been a busy boy of late, and seems to have taken to making remarks likely to inflame and alienate. First was his claim on Better Nation that Scottish independence could well "enhance" Britishness and "give it a new lease of life", which went down like a lead balloon with the unreconstructed wing of nationalist fundamentalism.

Then he upped the ante following John Mason's nod towards social conservatism, describing the SNP MSP's Holyrood motion on same-sex marriages as "nasty" and "just wrong". Thus hardly likely to contribute to party cohesion.

But neither of the above seemed likely to cause great offence to the electorate as a whole. However, perhaps that's not the case with Mr Wishart's latest remarks in the Scots Independent newspaper, where he said: "It's now three months since our historic victory in May and our total and exclusive focus must be now on winning the referendum."

Which seems unlikely to go down well with either the electorate generally or indeed MSPs who ironically seem unlikely to win an independence referendum if that's the SNP Government strategy proffered to the Scottish people during the next handful of years.

Thus Mr Wishart's comments seem more likely to prove a hostage to fortune than smoothing the path towards independence, and in truth seem rather cack-handed. Perhaps he's trying to win back those in the SNP annoyed by his comments on Britishness, but in doing so has overegged the pudding and to that extent seems likely to in turn alienate public opinion.

But ironic, therefore, that Mr Wishart's remarks only seem to have been picked up by the Courier's David Clegg (not to be confused with Nick Cameron!), perhaps because of media preoccupation with the riots. Which of course Mr Wishart could no doubt hardly have predicted when he penned his article, and which it's difficult to in any way link the SNP to, but that perhaps underline the ill-judged nature of his claim.

(Pete Wishart's article in the Scots Independent does not seem to have made it to the publication's website at this time.)


barbarian said...

Pete Wishart got his backside tanned by Salmond (take that as fact, I'm not saying anything else).

What really annoyed a lot of people was Salmond suddenly coming out and demanding everything and its granny.

Now we have him moaning about the news referring to the riots as "British" or "UK". The same can be found on certain internet sites as well.

Whatever happened to the mature party that was proving itself in government?

If the focus is to be purely on the referendum, then they have had it. And if the referendum fails, then the SNP will split, and let in the Labour clowns.

Most of the MSPs in parliament are no better than two bit councillors anyway, and Wishart is proving this along with Mason.

Stuart Winton said...

Thanks, Barbarian.

I wasn't aware of Alex Salmond's remarks regarding the "UK riots", but I see NNS is now leading with that story, so I'll pop across there to see what they're saying ;0)

Not the most newsworthy aspect of the riots though, in my opinion at least.