Redefining failure

The #SNPBAD propaganda campaign having been an abject failure in 2016, a unionist newspaper makes an early start on the next round of grinding negativity; groundless smears, gross misrepresentations and general dishonesty that it hopes will serve the British nationalist cause better in 2021.

And when I say “failure”, I mean failure in the old accepted sense of that term. The sense of a marked lack of success. The sense of not accomplishing the intended purpose. I do not mean it in the sense that it is used in this leader article. Here, the term “failure” has been redefined to refer, not to an actual lack of success, but to falling short of an arbitrary measure that shifts according to the needs of #SNPBAD propaganda. Here, failure doesn’t relate to not accomplishing an intended purpose, but to achievements defined by those who are disinclined to allow any achievement at all.

According to the British nationalist media, all is failure in Scotland. Except when it is crisis or catastrophe. Whatever an SNP administration does, that is what failure is from the perspective of the British establishment.

Rather evidently, voters see things differently. They are not compelled by fear for status or bitter resentment to see failure all around. They do not look at Scotland through the distorting lens of British nationalist ideology. Their assessment is based, not on mindless prejudice, but on observation and lived experience. What they see is a nation that is getting by, despite being sorely tested by an increasingly alien and antagonistic government in London. What they observe is an administration that has been quietly competent in the face of difficulties both circumstantial and wilfully contrived by those who have a vested interest in failure for Scotland.

From the warped perspective of ideological unionism, people inexplicably continue to support the SNP despite the “failure” that British nationalists are bound by temperament to see everywhere. The continuing popularity of the SNP is inevitably going to be perplexing for those who see only the grotesque caricature of the party created by the British establishment’s propaganda machine. But for those who see only the rather more mundane reality of a political party doing what political parties are supposed to do, the SNP’s success seems only natural. For those people, #BothVotesSNP is an obvious choice.

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