Yesterday it was going to be the Scottish Tories’ big day. It was going to be the day that Douglas Ross secured his position as the unchallenged leader of the Scottish Conservatives and Ruth Davidson triumphantly set out for the House of Lords with Nicola Sturgeon’s scalp under her belt, to be hailed as the saviour of the Union by her Conservative colleagues and ideally placed to slot into a ministerial position in Johnson’s cabinet.
But that’s not how it turned out. Although it was ostensibly a vote of no confidence in Nicola Sturgeon, it turned into a de facto vote of no confidence in the Scottish Conservatives, one which they lost badly as they were isolated and alone without the support of any of the other parties and finding themselves attacked and assailed by all sides in the parliamentary chamber. The Conservatives were exposed as grubby political opportunists. Their motion fell by 65 votes to 31 with 27 abstentions. Labour abstained.
Yet the fiercest criticism on a day which was supposed to see the decapitation of Nicola Sturgeon was instead levelled at the opposition members of the Holyrood committee who had cynically and shamefully leaked selective findings to a sympathetic press and in so doing had traduced the trust placed in them by parliament and the original complainers in the case, whose interests Jackie Baillie, Murdo Fraser, Alex Cole-Hamilton and Margaret Mitchell hypocritically claimed to have been standing up for. The leader of the Scottish Greens angrily demanded that whoever leaked the findings to the press be disavowed by their party and prevented from standing for reelection as they had proven that they are unfit to hold public office. The cameras cut to a sullen Jackie Baillie looking as though she was chewing her way through a jumbo sized packet of wasps.
The normally mild mannered and scrupulously polite John Swinney launched a ferocious attack on the Conservatives’ Adam Tomkins and Murdo Fraser because of their cynical bad faith and grubby politicking in the inquiry, hanging them out to dry with the evidence of their own Tweets. This was a vote of no-confidence in the Tories and their enablers, they lost badly.
Another loser this week was my resolution to steer clear of the toxic cesspit that is Twitter. Just like John Swinney I reached the limits of my patience. On Monday I sent a Tweet after Nicola Sturgeon was cleared of breaching the ministerial code asking if we could all now please get back to campaigning for a strong pro-independence majority in May and making the case for independence. From behind his sock puppet account set up to get around his Twitter ban, Stuart Campbell told me with his usual grace and charm to get to fuck. Then he blocked me on Twitter, a block which I was happy to return in kind. Then after receiving a series of sniffy tweets from his supporters to tell me that my blog post yesterday wasn’t very conciliatory, I snapped back : Just a wee note to any of Stuart Campbell’s minions whining about my supposed lack of conciliation with their guru. Campbell’s fragile ego can’t cope with compromise and conciliation, so spare me your pearl clutching. I am past caring.
Perhaps it was ill-judged of me to send that tweet,and I apologise if anyone other than Stuart Campbell was upset by it, but I was angry and fed up. To tell the truth I am sick to the back teeth of the double standards employed by Campbell and his supporters. He can be as nasty and abrasive as he wants, but don’t dare respond to him or challenge him, because then it’s you who is in the wrong. His fragile and brittle ego rests upon his refusal to acknowledge that he has ever been wrong. He is remarkably quick to take offence, yet even quicker to resort to personal abuse and insult.
The thing about conciliation is that it is like the tango or making a baby, it takes two to do it. Stuart Campbell has demonstrated that he has no interest in conciliation. He wants supplicants, not anyone who might dare to challenge him. Stuart’s world is a simple black and white one. Yet the real world is complex and full of shades of grey.
Campbell has of course been quite spectacularly wrong. For months now he has been claiming that Nicola Sturgeon will be driven from office, and has been devoting his energies and time to trying to bring about her downfall without any apparent care about how this might impact upon prospects for independence. He has been asserting that she is behind a massive conspiracy in which she set out with malice aforethought and with the collusion of the police, the SNP, the Crown prosecution service, and a group of women whom he alleges to have maliciously invented a series of baseless lies, to send an innocent and saint-like Alex Salmond to prison.
Yet Nicola Sturgeon is still in office and the proof of the conspiracy always remains in a document which has yet to be made public. It’s in the nature of conspiracy theories that they cannot be disproved. Like the Second Coming, for true believers,vindication is always just over the horizon. We have had almost two years of investigations, committees, inquiries and reports, not to mention intense scrutiny from a media which is overwhelmingly hostile to the Scottish Government, despite all that and the best efforts of Campbell and his followers to dig up and propagate any dirt they can find, Nicola Sturgeon remains in post, vindicated by an impartial and independent investigation. Conclusive proof of the grand conspiracy remains as elusive as ever. It’s time to give it up. In FMQs today even Ruth Davidson in her last appearance in Holyrood recognised that the Salmond-Sturgeon saga had run out of political steam, choosing not to address the issue at all and instead attacking the Scottish Government on its record in educational standards.
However Stuart Campbell cannot admit that he was wrong or that he has lost, so in order to protect his fragile psyche from the devastating truth that he is as fallible as any other human, he has resorted to arguing that independence will never happen and that in any case independence isn’t worth having as long as Nicola Sturgeon remains the leader of the SNP. For that reason he is no longer a supporter of Scottish independence but is now actively campaigning to prevent it. My long standing policy of not using this blog as a platform from which to attack or criticise other independence supporters no longer applies to him. He has become a sad irrelevance, and an enemy of independence, and it’s all because of his vanity and ego. Having got that off my chest, I will now get back to ignoring him, and I suggest that is what everyone else does too. I will also get back to ignoring Twitter.
You don’t deal with a narcissist’s attention seeking by giving them the attention that they crave. There are far bigger and more important fish to fry. We have an election to win and an independence referendum campaign to fight. Those of us who are focused on winning this election and winning Scottish independence are no longer telling Nicola Sturgeon’s online critics to wheesht for indy. We are telling them that we are no longer listening to them. We have work to do, if you are not going to help win a pro-indy majority and a victory for independence in the referendum that lies ahead – then get out of our way.
This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership ,or about some other issue not directly related to Scottish independence – there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.
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