Saturday, July 31, 2010

It is not logical, Mr Chekov

It suddenly occurred to me that it was overwhelmingly likely that self-styled "liberal unionist" (ie. zealous Brit Nat and Tory cheerleader) Northern Ireland blogger Chekov would have been bound to weigh in on the Megrahi affair at some point over the last few days. I wasn't disappointed - and needless to say, there was plenty of predictable guff about a blundering 'regional executive' creating problems that our hard-pressed 'national' leader Mr Cameron has to mop up for us. Just for once, I tried to leave a comment there, but I wasn't sure it went through, and as Chekov has a "perhaps, perhaps, perhaps" moderation policy in any case, I thought it might be an idea to post it here as well...

As ever, Chekov - utterly desperate. A few points -

"he didn’t expect that his ruling would cause the SNP to crash in the polls"

Just as well there's no reason to think he was wrong, then, isn't it? To the best of my knowledge there hasn't actually been a Holyrood poll for ages, but even on the assumption that the SNP vote is not as high as it was, have you got the slightest scrap of evidence that there's a causal link between that and the Megrahi release? Thought not. It's not a particularly plausible proposition anyway, given how split Scottish public opinion was on the subject. From the way you talk you'd think there was unanimous opposition.

And I fear you might be in for a nasty shock about the effect of the current controversy - so far I can detect nothing but quiet satisfaction at the way Alex Salmond is very respectfully rebuffing the US Senate's arrogance.

"A nationalist Scottish Executive, flexing its muscles and styling itself a ’government’"

'Styling itself'? Do you want to have a little think about what the word "executive" actually means in this context?

"medical experts suggest that Megrahi could live for another decade"

I'll ask the same question I've asked of a good few others - why leave out the crucial words? I believe what you were trying to say is "have suggested there is a less than 1% chance that Megrahi could live for another decade". Giving people the full picture isn't so much use for propaganda purposes, right enough.

"In truth, the Scottish Executive chose the wrong issue to attempt to parade its autonomy in front of an international audience."

As you seem utterly convinced that the UK government was in some mysterious, unspecified way involved in MacAskill's decision, a far better way to "parade independence" and court popularity would have been to say "we're having none of this, the evil mass-murderer stays right where he is". But they didn't take that easy, cheap, opportunistic, populist route. They actually had the courage to take the right decision for the right reasons under impossibly difficult circumstances.

I've never been more proud to be an SNP supporter than I was that day.


  1. I fully agree. I don't think the Megrahi affair has done the SNP any harm at all. And if it had it has more than been made up by the US senators bully boy tactics and the cringing way the Tories sided with them rather than respect their own respect agenda and either support Scotland or keep quiet.

    The reason the MSM is not doing a poll in Scotland at the moment is because they know that it would show an SNP surge and that is something that their hidden agendas would never allow.

  2. I agree James. I'm not much for feelings of national pride or any of that bull, but when Kenny made the decision, absolutely the right one in my opinion, based on the evidence provided by experts and the principles of Scots Law: mercy mixed with justice, I too was proud to be Scots and proud to support my government.

    As you say, if you stop and think about the meaning of the word executive", then you have the answer.

    I'm always amused by the way that the bloggers who want to put down the Scottish government, and indeed Gordon Brown and David Cameron, use the word "executive" as some sort of insult; a regional executive, like it was some sort of council.

    The First minister is only so called to save mixing him up with the London one. The French prime Minister (as we call him) is actually Premier Ministre or First Minister. The Spanish prime minister is actually titled President of the Government. The German one is a Chancellor. What’s in a name? It’s small politics.

    We all know that the Scottish government/executive/council of it what you will, has very limited powers placed upon it by an English dominated UK government. We are trying to get more powers... and some of us want all the powers of a sovereign nation. The “insults” from a unionist blogger about “executives” are small, petty and unnecessary.

    I’m sure that Messrs Salmond and MacAskill were well aware of the controversy that this would create across the UK and America. Neither is a political numpty, and Alex Salmond is as smooth an operator as you’ll find between here and New Mexico. It was done because it had to be done. It was and is the law.