I said in the previous post that the Scottish election result is a victory for compassion and respect. Today it was announced that the hate site Wings Over Scotland (whose author, Stuart Campbell, is based in England), a.k.a. The Daily McMail, is to stop blogging.
As usual, though, Mr Campbell’s word is not to be trusted. “Wings is over,” he says, and then adds he will reconsider his decision in November. Many of us are sceptical that Mr Campbell will be able to live without his narcissistic supply, but a break for six months will be a small mercy.
And, whatever his decision, he is correct: Wings is over. So is Alba. So is Alex Salmond. This is 2021, and Scotland has its most diverse parliament yet.
Nothing suprising happened. The SNP got one vote short of a majority, and the Greens gained seats, so the Scottish government is still a pro-independence majority. Alex Salmond and Alba, with less than two percent of the vote, are dead and buried, and their hateful supporters have their cards marked. I found it comical when one of them, Kenny MacAskill, said the election had been “too soon” for Alba. Thirty years too late, more like.
I live near a bar that is a notorious stab inn. A few years ago, there was talk that it might close, and I overheard someone walking by it say, “If they close it, where are the nutters supposed to go?”
This can be taken two ways. One is a typical Glaswegian compassion for “the nutters,” an understanding that even the most antisocial and violent people need community. The other, more practical, point is that if their hangout closes, they will migrate to other bars and make them less pleasant, safe and sane.
In the politics of Scottish independence, Alex Salmond’s new Alba party might serve the same function as the bar I shall not name. The worst bigots and other reactionaries — “the nutters” — now have a party to join, a community of their own, leaving the SNP a more pleasant, safe and sane place. The worst of the worst will join Alba, while the good and the merely bad will stay with the SNP.
“Ye Jacobites by name,
Your fautes I will proclaim,
Your doctrines I maun blame, you shall hear, you shall hear”—Burns
It is fitting that the online launch of the Alba party (the name of which its leader, Alex Salmond, does not know how to pronounce) was disrupted by technical issues, and then had its membership list leaked, because the party represents a time before such technology existed.
I have a dear friend who, like me, is in his mid-50s. We met in the 1980s, and my friend is still in that era. He is a walking time capsule who still speaks the vernacular of 35 years ago — people who would now be called “woke” are “right on,” or they are “trendy lefties.” He is disturbed by the acceptance of transgender people, and declares that there were only two genders until recently, and he does not see why it should change. (I am not making this up.) He also believes passionately in various conspiracy theories, including that the 9-11 attacks were committed by the US government…
In the Holyrood inquiry as to whether Nicola Sturgeon misled parliament, the vote was along party lines, with four SNP members finding that she did not, and the other five — two Tories, one Labour, one Lib Dem and one independent — finding that she did.
Now an independent report by James Hamilton, former director of public prosecutions in the Republic of Ireland, has found that she is not in breach of the ministerial code. This will disappoint her opponents, who have been excitedly demanding that she resign if Mr Hamilton’s report had found against her.
You are an impressively meticulous reporter. You are also thin-skinned and self-absorbed, and, as I have previously written (while defending you), you have a tendency to embarrass yourself when you take things personally.