Monday, April 26, 2010

Iain Dale : The SNP seek power and influence. How very dare they?

An utterly bizarre little rant from Iain Dale a few hours ago, declaring that he is "sick of listening" to Alex Salmond's "bleatings" about how much he wants a balanced parliament, and suggesting that the SNP's "real agenda" is extracting more cash from the hard-pressed English taxpayer (yawn). The obvious irony here is that Dale's post has far more of the character of a bleating about it than anything Salmond has said, because what the Tory blogger is essentially complaining about is the SNP simply doing the following - a) seeking an election result that will maximise its power and influence, and b) seeking to use any such power and influence to further its own priorities, and the priorities of its voters. You know, Iain, like the Conservative party's top priority is inheritance tax cuts for millionaires, because those just happen to be the type of people who vote Tory. (And I presume it goes without saying that Dale would not deem it 'tiresome' for the Tories to be seeking power and influence in this election.)

This idea that seeking the best possible deal for the people who elect them is somehow a minus point for the SNP is rather reminiscent of George Foulkes' legendary objection "but they're doing it deliberately!". As it happens, though, most of the SNP's top demands in a balanced parliament would be just as good for the whole UK as they would be for Scotland - most notably proportional representation for the House of Commons, an elected upper chamber, the total scrapping of the UK's nuclear arsenal, and a proper high-speed rail network.


  1. The current attitude to the SNP in the unionist media, whether it is blogs, comment or the MSM, is a reworking of the Fast Show catchphrase, "Women, know your place!".

    This has now become, "SNP, know your place!"

    The words, "bleating" and "petulant", are applied to the SNP when they complain that they've been cut out of media coverage of the election or that they intend to fight tooth and nail for Scotland because that is what they were elected to do.

    The attitude amongst commentators such as Iain Dale appear to match the attitude of papers such as the Scotsman and the Herald quite well.

    Scotland is a region, the SNP is a regional party which involves kilts somewhere and how dare the SNP attempt to be regarded on par with a real political party and get involved with real politicians.

    If the Lib-Dems had been cut out of the, "Presidential", debates do you think Iain would have described Nick Clegg as, "bleating", because he had been cut out by the media? At the core of it all is a condescending and disdainful attitude to Scotland and a refusal to regard Scotland as a nation.

    In Iain Dale's worldview Scotland's not a real nation so the SNP are to be regarded as a bunch of annoying oddballs on par with eccentric English regional parties such as the Wessex Regionalist Party.

  2. Doug, the analogy of a dismissive attitude towards women is spot-on. There's a regular poster on Political Betting (ironically female, but very right-wing) who constantly refers to the SNP's wish to be involved in the main debates as a "sense of entitlement". Now, where have I heard that phrase before?