For blatant opportunism masquerading as objective political commentary, Angus Robertson’s article must surely take the oatcake (Scottish Perspective, 28 July).
In true populist style he establishes his “reasonable bloke” credentials with a somewhat gratuitous reference to the Jo Cox murder before donning the steel toecaps to highlight the “bloody Greek tragedy of the Tory succession” and the “self-destructive civil war in the Labour Party”. Aren’t we lucky, the gullible are supposed to feel, that in all this chaos we can still rely on the SNP? Is that the same party which has led us from the al-Megrahi fiasco via T in the Park over the Forth Road Bridge to the Named Person debacle? T
hen we have no less than four quasi-subliminal references to the fact of the “distinctive” Remain majority in Scottish counting areas. Surely by now Mr Robertson knows that the real story of the EU Referendum vote in Scotland was the 38 per cent who voted for Leave in the face of the Remain consensus amongst the Scottish political elite? Indeed, in Moray – Mr Robertson’s own fiefdom – where, of all of Scotland, the dead hand of EU bureaucracy was most keenly felt amongst fishermen, the Brexiteers came within 122 votes of victory. What was that old saying about people in glass houses? It is, however, as a political shapeshifter that Mr Robertson’s real talents shine forth. He looks with disdain on the march of anti-elite populism across Europe and the accompanying rise of demagogues peddling simplistic solutions. He hopes, presumably, to deflect attention from his own party’s ethnically based demonisation of Westminster elites, Donald Trump’s erstwhile friend Alex Salmond’s brand of demagoguery and the simplicity of independence for Scotland as a panacea for all our complex woes? Mr Robertson then pins his own colours to the anodyne “progressive” mast to cunningly paper over the ominous faultline running through SNP support between the Corbynistic tendency in the West and the so-called Tartan Tories of the East Coast.
I do agree, however, with Mr Robertson that doing nothing is not an option. The SNP most obviously should take up Theresa May’s pragmatic invitation to feed Scottish concerns into the UK Brexit pitch. At the very least, as many of your correspondents have pointed out, Nicola Sturgeon could get on with her day job instead of bombarding Europe with constitutionally dubious second-rate Evita impersonations at the Scottish taxpayers’ expense.