A guest post by Samuel Miller
Y’know, you read appalling stuff about yer political class every day. Brexit shambles, leadership backstabbery, cash for access scandals, election campaign under investigation because reasons sorta thing. The levels of hypocrisy, cynical abuse of power and public manipulation can leave you speechless. For instance, I read a typically clinical dissection by Wings Over Scotland on the current equal pay dispute going on in Glasgow. Well worth the effort to go read. I can predict a very high probability of a ‘words fail’ moment.
If you’re a supporter of self determination for Scotland, then you’re probably no stranger to the notion that the political class of the establishment are a bit on the hypocritical side. You’d also be understandably forgiven for being of the opinion that, at best, those establishment political types should be considered disingenuous opportunists. At worst?
I mean, it’s not as if we haven’t been round this track before. Ruth Davidson especially has a penchant for …. changing definitions. Or is it really necessary to remind everyone that Scotland’s Conservative branch supervisor’s definition of democratic mandate seems to have somewhat altered since 2011?
To be fair, you don’t have to look very far in Scottish or UK politics for examples of hypocrisy. The history of UK politics is rife with the stank. It seems to rear its head every other week. Kezia Dugdale on some form of second EU referendum for instance? That’s reportedly a yes. A positive thing, showing a respect for democracy apparently. On a second pure divisive Indyref? Well, that’d be a not so much. Not entirely sure what the difference is, but I’m sure an explanation will be along any day now. Same can be said for the Libdem’s Willie Wossiname. At this point your more cynical reader might think that circumstances only ever change in other countries and democracy is only ever allowed to be an evolving thing so long as you’re not Scotland. That reader may have a point. (Also? If I keep shrugging, I’ll do myself an injury). Willie also has a thing for moral rectitude and resignations. Except of course when it’s a Liberal Democrat. Which you’d think is neither a very liberal or democratic stance to take really, but there you go. (Shrugs. OWWW!)
Then we get back to what might be an ‘at worst’ scenario.
It’s a sad condition of politics as it is practised really. UK style being no better and no worse than many around the globe. The accepted practice, (accepted mainly by politicians), of ‘all’s fair in love and politics’. Aye, seemingly it’s acceptable for the public to be misled, manipulated, cajoled, insulted or even downright intimidated. You would think, as a VERY long suffering public, we’d get used to that and the above examples of hypocrisy by now. That if we held a given individual, an institution, or a party in low esteem, then that opinion couldn’t get any lower. It’s entirely possible you’d be wrong.
Readers can draw their own conclusions on what ‘at worst’ means when it comes to their thoughts on the political class and political practice.
Personally? I don’t think I have the words these days.