It is probably true that “Westminster-watchers” are obsessing about whether Stewart Hosie stepped down voluntarily or was forced to do so by Nicola Sturgeon. It is certainly true that this is a sad reflection on the state of political journalism. A once serious and highly regarded profession reduced to the level of sub-tabloid celebrity gossip.
The reality, of course, is that there these things are not mutually exclusive. The simplistic dichotomy is reflective of the journalist’s disrespect for readers. It assumes that we are not capable of dealing in shades of grey and require that complex issues be reduced to bite-size black-and-white chunks spoon fed to us by the mouthpieces of the British establishment.
The reality is that circumstances made it impossible for Hosie to continue in his role. More thoughtful commentary would be concerned, not with the dumb mechanics of the process, but with such questions as whether it is right or fitting or proper or helpful that a hugely talented politician, supremely well-fitted to the role entrusted to him, should be hounded from that role for reasons which have infinitely more to do with satisfying the blood-lust of his political rivals and a rapacious media eager to flex its manipulative muscles than with behaviour which, however reprehensible, in no way reflects on the capacities and talents which the role requires.
What we should be asking is, not what went on between Hosie and Sturgeon – far less what went on in the former’s private life – but whether society and democracy are well-served by the bringing down of such a gifted politician.
At a personal level, I am disappointed. I will say no more than that for fear of being even remotely associated with the pompous cant that is oozing out of certain commentators. But, above all, my politics is pragmatic. Stewart Hosie has been an adept champion of Scotland’s interests and an outstanding servant to Scotland’s people. While others obsess about who said what to whom, I ask myself who benefits from the loss – or the diminishing – of such an individual. I am forced to conclude that it can only be those who do not share his commitment to what is best for Scotland.Views: 1984
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