Wednesday 26 April 2023

Mr Yousaf goes to London


When Humza Yousaf went to London and asked Rishi Sunak for a second independence referendum it would have been amusing if Sunak had said my dear Humza just because it’s you, I am going to grant your request. The date you wanted was 19th October 2023, wasn’t it?

It would have been an interesting campaign if the SNP Westminster group had lost the £1 million pounds and more that it would lose if it cannot get its accounts audited in time. Who knows how much the SNP overall will lose if it can’t appoint auditors in time also. Still there might be enough in the kitty to put an advert or two in the West Highland Free Press and the Stornoway Gazette.

It would have been interesting too to find out who would have led the Leave the UK campaign as I don’t think Sunak would have been so foolish as to allow another Yes/No referendum. Perhaps Nicola Sturgeon could have made a comeback, only what if there were a TV debate and she found herself unable to attend because she had to answer some other questions. Stirling may have important associations with the cause of Scottish independence, but Cornton Vale might not be the best backdrop from which to broadcast.

Alex Salmond might be persuaded to make a comeback, but it might be almost as awkward to have someone who has previously been the subject of a police investigation leading as having someone who might be presently the subject of a police investigation. It rather gives the impression that people who lead campaigns for Scottish independence are liable to be subject to police investigations.

So, it looks as if it would have to be Humza Yousaf who would lead the leave campaign and that of course would be right and proper given that he is the leader of the largest Leave Party the SNP.

But unfortunately, the SNP does not appear to have a plan for Scottish independence, beyond it being something that it wants. We still don’t know how an independent Scotland would deal with the border with England if it chose to join the EU. We don’t know how long it would take it to join the EU and we don’t know how long we would continue to use the pound unofficially, when it might become a Scottish pound and when that would become the Euro. In fact we know almost as little about the SNP’s plan for independence as we know about the motorhome (and why it was bought), the jewellery, the pots and pans and the fridge.

But at least we can all take a certain comfort from the words of Colin Beattie, the SNP’s former Treasurer who was questioned by the police and released without charge. Asked about whether recent events were the worst thing that a happened to him he replied “No, I was in Beirut actually, while I was under artillery fire. That was worse.”

Humza Yousaf can then take comfort in his campaign for Scottish independence that being in Scotland is at least not as bad as being in Beirut. There is no danger yet of being abducted by Jihadist groups and chained to a radiator. We are fortunate in Scotland to have avoided armed interventions from the Israelis and the Americans. We don’t yet have refugee camps. It could be worse. We could have actually voted for independence in 2014.

I have the impression that Mr Yousaf, apart perhaps from Ms. Forbes who would make George Washington look dishonest, is by SNP standards fairly honest. The reason for his honesty is that he genuinely didn’t know about the motorhome, didn’t know about the lack of auditors, didn’t know about the pots and pans nor indeed about the fridge. Somehow like Mr Smith going to Washington (1939) he has ended up like some innocent abroad not knowing anything at all while all around him is cunning and corruption.

Humza Yousaf didn’t know that Nicola Sturgeon had threatened to seize people’s mobile phones and check their emails. It was all news to him when he somehow or other took charge and discovered the motorhome. He didn't know about the lack of auditors, even though Blackford and Flynn knew. No one thought to tell the poor sap Humza, because he was always and only a token, to make the SNP seem just a bit less nationalistic and to attract a certain demographic.

But now your campaign for independence is actually going to be led by someone who knows nothing about anything. Right in the middle of your campaign who knows what might happen. If we found out about jewellery, pots and pans a fridge and threats to seize mobile phones in last weeks Sunday Mail, what will we find out next week?

In 2014 the independence campaign could have been completely destroyed if there had been a leak even suggesting what was later alleged about Alex Salmond. Imagine in 2023 if we had such a campaign, what might we find out this week or next week or just before the vote?

But Humza Yousaf has to ask for a second referendum just the same, even though it is completely obvious that neither the SNP nor Yousaf actually wants one any time soon. He has to ask for the referendum because if he didn’t the SNP supporters would cease joining and cease giving their hard earned so that the SNP can buy still more mobile homes.

Sturgeon still tells us that nothing that has happened since her resignation had anything to do with it. Yousaf tells us that he wants a second referendum when we know he doesn’t at least not now. Blackford tells us that he told Flynn about the lack of auditors when Flynn took over, Flynn says he found out later in February, but no one told Humza though Flynn supported Humza’s leadership bid.

These people are so used to lying that they have lost all sight of what truth is. It is this that is at the root of all the scandals that we have found out about and all the scandals that we are likely to find out about in the next few weeks and months. It is this that forces Yousaf to deny that the SNP is a criminal organisation and admit that he is surprised when colleagues are arrested. It is this that makes Scotland not quite as bad as being under artillery fire in Beirut.

If only you were Scottish Sadiq, you could wear a tartan tie just like me.