The investigation into the Scottish Government’s handling of the Salmond affair has consumed column inches and online discussions. But that’s all happening in bubbles of political trainspotters. What about public sentiment? Does anyone care?
While everyone needs a cheer right now, impeachment distracts from the huge political realignments needed to confront successive global crises. That’s why, insofar as we enjoy the spectacle, we will always have that dirty feeling.
The prospects for farce were highlighted by Peter Murrell’s evidence yesterday: when Labour MSP Jackie Baillie implied he was being coached off camera, Murrell answered that his eye was distracted by a rogue magpie. You could almost see Malcolm Tucker off camera, stamping his foot with rage.
“No matter how dire the crisis has become, [the Saudi coalition] have been able to count on the uncritical political and military support of the UK government. That support must end, and so must have the arms sales that have done so much damage.”
The EU made the worst possible start to the coronavirus, but that phase of emergency passed and soon it was anti-establishment populists on the run. However, to say the vaccination process has been a setback would be an understatement.
You can’t really argue with twenty polls in a row for independence. And those same polls show the SNP sweeping May’s planned elections. Yet dig deeper and the Scottish independence movement is filled with dread and acrimony.
It’s difficult to reconcile the jarring contradiction between the Labour we grew up with, still regarded as synonymous with the Scottish nation, and the deflated rump we see today, pleading with Scotland not to hate them.
Forbes styles the Scottish budget as continuing a “progressive and restorative approach”. Conversely, Larry Flanagan, head of Scotland’s main teaching union, spoke of “an effective pay freeze”. And critics led by the STUC say key workers have been “left out in the cold”.