Patrick Grady case illustrates the authoritarian instincts of the SNP –  Brian Wilson

I have never been able to take seriously Ian Blackford’s parliamentary posture as a pillar of ethical probity, buttons bursting with moral outrage.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford (Picture: PA)
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford (Picture: PA)

Those of us with only slightly long memories can be forgiven for taking satisfaction from his current discomfiture.

Every political party has its scandals and the test is how they are dealt with. After six years, the Patrick Grady case only came to prominence now because the complainant went to the press to expose what he had experienced at the hands of the SNP leadership.

No other party is run along such centralist, authoritarian lines and this has served them well electorally, even if it tends to produce a collection of over-obedient parliamentary clones. Eventually, however, lids come off as evidenced by the leaked recording from the table-thumping meeting in support of Mr Grady.

The response of the SNP chief whip, Owen Thompson, still owed nothing to concern for the complainant. Instead, he threatened the anonymous miscreant with the full force of the “Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act”. Orwell would have been amused.

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By and large, the SNP’s internal antics are their own business. Much more concerning is the fact they work constantly to control Scotland in the same way, with rigid centralisation and the ruthless use of public resources for political purposes.

The Grady case will doubtless be held up as an antidote to Nationalist claims of high moral ground. More optimistically, it might open eyes to the nature of the beast that runs Scotland and its over-riding commitment to self-preservation.

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