Doubtless this latest nonsense from British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) will provoke precisely the reaction intended as it gives British nationalist trumpets an excuse to vent some of the vacuous righteous indignation for which they are notorious. There will be lots of ill-informed ranting about ‘secrecy’ and ‘something to hide’ and how ‘we paid for the advice so we should see it’. We’ve been here before – on countless occasions. Yet the British nationalist dullards still haven’t learned to question the stuff that’s being fed to them.
Intellectually crippled by dogma and prejudice, the average unionist hard-liner would never think to ponder whether there might be a good reason for the long-standing “tradition” of confidentiality regarding legal (and other)advice to ministers. It is unlikely ever to enter their heads that this is not simply a “tradition”, as in something done out of habit, but a practical necessity. They probably won’t be able to understand that, if the policy-making process is to benefit from full and frank input from experts, then advisers must be guaranteed confidentiality. It would seriously hamper the process is advisers were concerned that their submissions might be subject to the ravages of media less concerned with explaining and illuminating than with distorting and sensationalising.
Advisers are not going to talk openly and candidly to ministers if they suspect that their words are going to be taken out of context and spun in whatever way suits the political agenda mercenary hacks are being paid to serve.
It won’t occur to the British nationalist fanatic that the odious Jackie Baillie must be well aware of the reasons why ALL political parties adhere to the principle of confidentiality with regard to policy advice. Even Baillie must know that the guarantee of confidentiality is essential to the business of government. So, it follows that none of these Britnats will wonder why, if Baillie is aware of the necessity of confidentiality, she is demanding that the Scottish Government make an exception. No alarm bells will ring in their hate-addled heads when they hear Baillie refer to the practice as a “convention of the SNP Government”, when it is in fact a convention which all governments of whatever hue abide by.
They will never realise that they are being manipulated. Because they will not get past the #SNPBAD spin to a realisation that making an exception is likely to be fatal to the process because it inevitably and necessarily undermines confidence in confidentiality. No adviser will ever again be fully confident that they too are not to be made an exception.
It’s a cheap trick – ask a minister a question you know they can’t possibly answer so that, with the support of the media, you can portray the administration as evasive and secretive. What is perturbing, at least to those of us who have the wits to see through the ploy, is that this petty and trivial politicking pretty much tells the whole story of the British parties at Holyrood over the past decade.Views: 6172
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