Othering the SNP

There’s some truly bizarre stuff coming out of Ruth “Bullstraddler” Davidson and David “Snackbeard” Mundell these days. But we should not assume that these utterances are as totally irrational as they appear. There is method in the madness. The purpose is to delegitimise the SNP.

When Davidson says that she aspires to be First Minister of Scotland, that is not mere rhetoric. She genuinely believes that by riding a wave of jingoistic British nationalist fervour that appeals to the basest instincts of an electorate substantially in thrall to the mainstream media, she can achieve real power. The SNP is the obstacle.

To be more precise, Scotland is the obstacle. The political engagement and activism of the independence movement is a very real problem for the British establishment. Democratic dissent is something the ruling elites are ill-equipped to deal with. But the SNP stands between us and the ugly forces currently being unleashed by Theresa May and the nasty little clique that has coagulated around her attracted by the smell of power. Scotland must be put back in its box. And the surest way to do that is to undermine the agency by which the people of Scotland exercise the effective political power that challenges the might of the British state. The surest way to get Scotland back under control is to delegitimise the SNP; discredit the SNP administration; denigrate institutions – such as NHS Scotland – whose performance would otherwise reflect well on the SNP administration; demonise SNP members/supporters; and smear SNP politicians.

Look around you and you will see all of this happening right now.

The SNP is the only political force capable of challenging the Tories. The only political force capable of standing against the very real threat of populist British nationalism. When a far-right Tory government starts promoting itself as the champion of the working class, it is time to be afraid for democracy. It is time to slap the shackles on established power. British Labour is incapable of fulfilling this role. Quite apart from the fact that it is too fatally riven by factionalism to be an effective political force, it has proved woefully susceptible to being manipulated by the Tories. British Labour is too ready to let the Tories set the agenda on issues such as immigration. British Labour is a party of the British establishment and as amenable to British nationalist nativism and exceptionalism as its Conservative counterparts. British Labour will be eager and enthusiastic accomplices in the Tories’ efforts to delegitimise the SNP.

The stuff coming out of the British political establishment may seem confused and incoherent. It is certainly riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions as well as the language of hate. But it is purposefully so. It is not an appeal to rational sense. It is an appeal to emotion. It is an appeal to atavistic urges. It is, in the parlance of our times, ‘othering’ on a scale which is only feasible when the full resources of the state can be called upon.

Will we allow ourselves to be manipulated? Unfortunately, many will. Which places an even greater burden of responsibility on those who refuse to be used as instruments of their own subordination.

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10 thoughts on “Othering the SNP

  1. Clydebuilt

    Heard Mundell getting the Kid glove treatment this morning on GMS. His favourite sentence repeated several times was “The SNP are a minority government”.
    So Operation Split The Vote, headed up by The Sunday Herald and The National was a success.
    Splitting the vote, weakening the SNP in Hollyrood, that was a goal scored for Roothless and Theresa’s precious Union……

    1. David McCann

      Not sure what you mean by ‘headed up by Sunday Herald and The National.
      Both are pro indy, so lets attack the real enemy and not those who support us.
      Heaven knows there are enough of them!

      1. Clydebuilt

        During the Hollyrood campaign the message pumped out by both papers was that an SNP majority was a given, guaranteed even. And that giving your vote to another “pro-independence” party would maximise the majority for independence in the parliament.
        The damage is done, The SNP are a minority Government.

        1. Kangaroo

          With a d’hondt voting system minority government is the norm. It was the 2007 result which was the outlier. I think these proindy papers just didn’t “get that reality”.

          Maybe I’m being niaive, but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

          But yes the damage was done, though we still have a proindy parliament.

  2. Jas

    When you used the word ‘delegitimise’, I somehow kept hearing the word ‘de-humanise’. Perhaps it’s just the general tone of things emanating from my view screen? Now I know what the ‘two-minute hate’ looks like!

  3. alasdairB

    Mundell & Davison should be treated with contempt. Their viagra charged hard men act at The Conservative jamboree was dispicable, delusional & dishonest. Their allusion that they represent Scotland is desperate stuff & a downright lie.Nothing more than grandstanding & playing to their English audience.They are each an irrelevance in the grand Theresa May plan & will be quickly discarded by their when their usefulness is surpassed by their sell by date.

    Anything they say or pronounce in the meantime is beyond their capabilities but will unfortunately in the short term achieve the headlines and airtime which they crave.

    The plan seems to be to irritate & provoke the SNP which, as a party of 125,000 members now outnumbers the Tory party on a national basis. So the irrefutable facts : the SNP now clearly outnumber the Tories on a party basis, elected 56 MPs to Westminster and Scotland returning a 62% in favour of remaining in the EU . It is not accept being talked down and told to remember our place in a disfunctional union. Those days are in the past and in the past they must remain.

    It is good that the SNP Conference is this coming this weekend . It will give our First Minister an early opportunity to not only deal with the Conservative xenophobic & slightly Ill thought out plans and outline to conference and the nation the next steps towards Scotland remaining a member of the EU. Scotland cannot & will not stand idly by and suffer the impending disaster of Mrs May & her half baked Brexit nonsense.

    Mundell & Davidson are spoiling for a fight and I feel they will not be disappointed and will be on the losing side

  4. RuthL

    I have been noticing the upping the ante against SNP and more generally about Scots. Ruthie and beardie man really did make fools of themselves. I sense the Unionists are getting very worried about any Indyref2 result judging by their squawking. I’m an english person who came here as i was disgusted with how things were going down the road and the senses of community and notions of public service were respected up. Plus scots still respect engineers, scientists and teccy types (partner one). we have been welcomed by most the only conflict has been by a unionist supporter who told us to go home, who was wearing a certain football shirt then singing “no Surrender” . At first I thought he was an indy SNPnat as we were treated to a full anti english rant. So when britnat sites go on about pro indy people being anti english it is BS.I will be voting “Yes” this time and don’t forget many people who come from england and wales will be voting Yes too. I can tell you this for a fact there will be many people with skills, businesses and outlook who will move to Scotland if it goes indy and applies/stays in the EU/EEA. That ‘s on top of firms and bigger businesses who would come. ok Lib dems, Labour you’ve been shown the future under Toxic Theresa if you want to hang around you deserve to disappear off the map politically.

  5. Malcolm Hughes

    Please people, keep off the vitriol. Anger and insults do harm a case. I’ve always been a naturally independent Scot, but never support the nasties.
    So many really clever proscotland folk must catch the rottern bastards at it! So keep it clean, please.

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