Monday 29 April 2024

Send in the clowns


For a long time, I have found Scottish politics to be authoritarian, corrupt and if you are not careful potentially threatening.

The cultlike devotion to Nicola Sturgeon and the more unthinking elements in Scottish nationalism were sinister.

It was extraordinary that Alex Salmond’s misbehaviour in Bute House did not leak. It was even more extraordinary that eleven professional women witnesses were not enough to obtain a conviction in Scotland when they would have done so everywhere else in the world except Iran.

I have followed the secrecy at the heart of the Scottish government I have listened to the lies. Like everyone else I have followed the developments exposed after Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation.

I began to wonder what on earth is going on in the Scottish government and how far and how deep the corruption went.

But this week I have discovered that we are not run by the Mafia, we are run by the clowns.

Politics ought to be a serious business and we ought to expect politicians to act seriously. Humza Yousaf was perfectly within his rights to tell the Scottish Greens that he wanted to end the Bute House agreement. The Scottish Greens could logically decide to vote against the Scottish government in a confidence vote. This is what ceasing to be a part of a coalition involves.

But having obtained Humza Yousaf’s resignation, it makes no sense at all for the Scottish Greens to then say we will continue to support the Scottish government though no longer part of a coalition.

If the Scottish Greens are happy to support the Scottish government outside a coalition, then what is their objection to Humza Yousaf ending that coalition? Was it that he didn’t speak nicely enough to Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater? Was it that they resent losing their ministerial salaries? Absurdly the Scottish Greens will continue to support the Scottish government even while Humza Yousaf continues as First Minister though they said they would vote that they have no confidence in him. This is not serious.

Scotland is important to those of us living here. We cannot have clowns running it.

I begin to think Humza Yousaf, though clearly a poor First Minister, has been harshly treated. He acted on the advice if not the pressure of Westminster leader Stephen Flynn. It’s true that he ought to have consulted with the leaders of the Scottish Greens to find out how they would act if he ended the coalition. But it was also reasonable of Yousaf to think that the Scottish Greens would act to avoid a Holyrood election by bringing down the Scottish government as both they and the SNP would do badly and the result might be a Pro UK coalition instead of an independence coalition.

But everything that has happened since has defied rationality. Far from treating the dissolution of the coalition rationally, the Scottish Greens have first claimed that they would vote against Yousaf in a no confidence vote and then that they would vote against the Scottish government only to show temporary confidence in Yousaf until someone else takes over and permanent confidence in the Scottish government even though they are no longer in coalition.

It ends up being a fit of pique with hysterical Lorna Slater demonstrating that women should not be in high office because they have attacks of the vapours while Patrick Harvie puts on his clown makeup with one moment a smile and another moment a frown in the same way that he thinks men can become women on whim and women can become men to avoid PMS even if they have penises. This is what you get for electing flakes.

The latest revelation has Humza Yousaf coming to a deal with Alex Salmond at 7.30 AM having obtained reasonable indeed lenient terms to obtain Ash Regan’s vote only to have the deal overruled by Nicola Sturgeon who can’t bear the idea that Alex Salmond should have any influence and any chance of ever getting back into Parliament.

This too is not serious. Humza Yousaf was elected leader of the SNP and First Minister. How can he be overruled by a former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon? How many times has Sturgeon showed up in Holyrood in the past year? She is no more than a backbench MSP. Yet one phone call and Yousaf has to resign or what exactly?

And now who becomes the next leader of the SNP and the next First Minister? You would think it would be the Deputy First Minister Shona Robison. After all it is normally the job of the deputy to step in. But Robison turns out to be deputy in name only. There may or there may not be a contest, but who is pulling the strings like the poster for the Godfather? Could it be someone who just might be charged imminently and who might know things about all sorts of SNP politicians which might be to their disadvantage?

Don't you love farce?
My fault, I fear

Yes, it was your fault Mr Yousaf, but I think you were led astray perhaps deviously by one not quite as naïve as you.

I thought that you'd want what I want
Sorry, my dear!

It was reasonable for Yousaf to think that the SNP and the Scottish Greens had a common interest. But it turns out that the Scottish Greens are mere opportunists concerned more about their jobs than the common interest they were supposed to have with the SNP. Why do independence supporters vote for these charlatans? The Scottish Greens no more want independence than I do.

But where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don't bother, they're here

The Scottish Parliament is full of clowns. Some of them are rather sinister clowns. Some of them may even be dangerous clowns like in a Stephen King novel. But this week has shown that the whole thing has become a joke on those of us who live in Scotland and are ruled by these jokers.

Holyrood is a failed experiment. If you don’t take the last week as evidence for this, what evidence would you take?

I keep thinking of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon and those old photographs of them looking devotedly into each other’s eyes as if they were just about to kiss.

Isn't it rich? Are we a pair?

The personal drama between Salmond and Sturgeon has eaten away at whatever seriousness there was in Scottish politics. It is merely a story of an old Scottish message with one fish trying to tell the other fish that it sleeps with the fishes. It has now become comical.

Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air,

Salmond is on the ground. He is safe enough. He was acquitted. Sturgeon has not been charged with anything. She is still in mid-air.

Where are the clowns?

Don't bother, they're here.

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