Posts Tagged ‘Humza Yousaf’

The SNP’s impending collapse is an opportunity, but also a warning, for Scottish Labour

29/05/2024, 09:30:05 PM

by Rob Marchant

While the Tories writhe in anguish about how large their defeat is likely to be, spare a thought for another party, which might conceivably end up worse.

It’s been difficult to keep track of everything that’s gone wrong for the SNP over the last year or so.

First there was the shock resignation of former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and her own arrest. Not to mention that of her husband, who was later re-arrested and charged, on suspicion of embezzlement.

Her successor Humza Yousaf, in power for just over a year, continued to pursue Sturgeon’s tremendous unpopular policy of gender self ID, and was himself forced to resign after the failure of a widely-criticised bill curbing free speech and the subsequent collapse of the coalition with the Scottish Greens.

Now we have John Swinney, who has been in office for a further 21 days, during which he has: used up political capital trying to save a disgraced MSP friend, only to fail in the end; pushed for recognition of a terrorist state, even though his role has no powers whatsoever over foreign affairs; has been unable to say what a woman is; and the icing on the cake was when Rishi Sunak called a general election unexpectedly early, meaning that they now look to receive a terrible drubbing at the polls sooner rather than later.

Indeed, a poll a few days ago, when put through the well-known Electoral Calculus model, predicted it could end up with as few as seven seats; a total wipeout. Oh, and their Westminster leader, Stephen Flynn, would lose his seat, although he remains bullish about their prospects, in a “Chemical Ali” kind of a way.

Yousaf was fond of saying that this coming general election should be seen as a plebiscite on Scottish independence – but they’re not saying that any more.

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The coming implosion of the SNP sees Starmer and Sarwar finally inching towards common sense

12/03/2023, 11:09:29 PM

by Rob Marchant

As the SNP ship is seen to drift, perhaps inexorably, towards a disastrous new era with Humza Yousaf currently its most likely captain, we have to ask ourselves how they ended up here.

As John Rentoul rightly argued on Twitter last Friday, the party has been in decline for some time, of which Sturgeon’s exit is a symptom rather than a cause. One cannot help but think that more is likely to come out about their funding irregularities; but the trigger for the final dam-burst was clearly Sturgeon’s decision to die on the hill of gender self ID, a highly unpopular – not to mention fundamentally damaging to women’s rights, and unworkable – policy.

Rather than listening to Scottish voters, Sturgeon then decided to double down so hard, that she triggered the first-ever invocation of Section 35 the Scotland Act; that is, an overruling of the bill by Westminster.

Crying “an affront to democracy” when you simply do not like the law as it stands makes you look foolish; and one use of Section 35 in a quarter-century of devolved government is hardly evidence of heavy-handedness by Westminster, rather of checks and balances operating exactly as they were designed to.

The sum total of all this has not only undermined the SNP as a credible political force, but has almost certainly set the SNP’s touchstone, the cause of Scottish independence, back years if not decades.

But that is only the start of the SNP’s woes. For a start, think of the hand dealt to Sturgeon’s successor: the party’s electoral hegemony, despite its lacklustre record in government, has arguably been the result of poor competition to replace them. That is, it is largely the near-collapse of its erstwhile big rival, Labour, since the mid-2000s, which has allowed them to continue in power with such so little actually delivered. This is unlikely to change.

Next, now the benighted self ID policy has gone through to become law, there will undoubtedly be  a consistent drip-drip-drip of media fallout from it; of a similarly shocking variety to the perfectly timed case of self-identified transgender rapist “Isla” Bryson, slated for a women’s prison despite the obvious bad faith of the man’s declaration as transgender.

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