Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Smith's Report Burns ...

It was quite fascinating today to come into the Paisley SNP councilor's take on "Säuberung" or cleansing by fire - only at tea time. The object they sought to cleanse by "Säuberung" is the eponymous 'Smith Commission Report' on the recommendations on further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament.

Now whether you agree or not with the fiery end to this particular copy (I happened to think that lighting fires actual and metaphorically under it are possibly the best uses for this report) one could not but be highly amused by the BBC Scotland orchestrated outrage, accompanied by their usual tame Labour stooges, turning this into an image of all the copies of the Smith Commission Report going up in flames at the hands of the nasty Gnats, an ever growing pile of flame in George Square - the Nazi symbolism redolent in the air of BBC Scotland's over wrought hypocrisy and hyperbole.

The Smith Report is not a guarantee of change, just as the Calman Report was not a guarantee of any change 'vis a vis' powers shifting from Westminster to Holyrood. The Smith Report was the result of a 'back of fag paper idea' by Gordon Brown and the Editor of the Daily Record, hastily signed up to by the gruesome threesome in Westminster, as it looked increasingly like the UK Union was going down the tubes in the run up to the 18th of September. The 'Vow' three Tory party leaders at Westminster sort of signed up to in an united front of Unionism - but not really as the 'Vow' meant different things to each of the Tory faction leaders: 
  • For Miliband it was to keep Scotland's Labour MPs who could be vital in what looks like a close run thing in May 2015
  • For Clegg it was to cover up the Libdems political nakedness with a few scraps of federalisation
  • For Cameron it was the chance to screw Labour over good and proper and ensure his butt goes back into 10 Downing Street for another five years.
  • For Scotland the expectation was we would go back into our box and take what ever crumbs of new powers the British Establishment decided to trickle down to us.
With reference to the bullet points above Lord Smith has delivered exactly what he has been asked to deliver by Mr Cameron, recommendations with all the survivability of the one and half humped, three legged camel designed by committee Cameron asked for. The only thing it has not succeeded in doing is the one area the Vow's claims raised  expectations for - Full Fiscal Autonomy; the only solution which would have guaranteed putting the Scots back in their box.

What has surprised me is Ms Sturgeon's rush to condemn and suspend the SNP Councillors - who after all were representing the majority of the party in their public "Säuberung" disdain for the Smith Report. Some more radical members of the SNP would have suggested using the Smith Report to wipe their dirty bottoms was more fitting, others lining the bottom of a hamster or bird cage. In effect the Smith Report is already yesterday's chip wrapper along with its progenitor, the Daily Record and its godfather the ex MP known as 'Mad Goggs Brown O'Dysart Bings' to his friends; while I could not bring myself to write down what his enemies are describing him as, such are the foul epithets; not so much 'Julius Caesar' as 'Coriolanus' with the cooling, pastry, pie bases awaiting their contents.

Surely Ms Baillie should have been suspended by 'Scotch' Labour for her out right lies to the Scottish Parliament on the Vale of Leven Hospital debacle, where was BBC Scotland's hue and cry for that load of old misinformation? (Oops forgot it was a BBC Scotland journalist who supplied Baillie with the duff NHS figures on both occasions she has been found out telling porkies to Holyrood, nobody pointed out she was the Labour / Libdem coalition Health Minister at the time of the Vale of Leven debacle in 2005/6 either).

Where is the outrage and cries for suspension around Willie Rennie's defamation of the sole owner and author of the 'Wings over Scotland' blog in that bastion of Unionism - the Press and Journal? (For which the P&J has now posted an apology to the worthy Reverend).

My own opinion is Nicola's wonks and advisers over reacted on this issue and by acting in such a peremptory fashion  put more petrol on the flames where a simple, "We will be looking into the actions of these councilors," which would have been Labour standard practice, "  ... and will be dealing with it as an internal party disciplinary matter once the Paisley SNP Constituency Association reports back to us", would have been more than sufficient.

There will be a section amongst the new SNP membership, more accustomed to the hurly-burly of West of Scotland politics, who will be disappointed and even disillusioned in Ms Sturgeon's actions as leader on this occasion. A wrap on the knuckles, yes, but suspension looks far too much like Ms Sturgeon is dancing to BBC Scotland and the histrionics of 'Scotch' Labour's tune.

1 comment:

  1. Have to agree that the Party have over reacted over this report burning. It's all a bit childish. The Unionists should 'man up'. Will they ever get over their 'SNP' bad fixation? I fear not.