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The SNP’s fall couldn’t have come sooner

These authoritarians posing as freedom-fighters have been pushing Scots around for far too long.

Tim Black

Tim Black
Columnist

Topics Politics UK

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The UK General Election has confirmed that the Scottish public is sick and tired of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP).

With the next Scottish parliament elections not due to be held until May 2026, the SNP will be able to cling to the reins of devolved power for a couple more years yet. But if these election results are any indication of public feeling – and there’s every reason to think they are – this is an administration living on borrowed time.

Indeed, the SNP has just suffered an electoral disaster on the scale of the Tory wipeout down south. With just two seats left to count (as of Friday afternoon), it has lost an incredible 38 of the 48 seats it won in 2019. It no longer holds a single seat in Edinburgh or Glasgow. Former leader Nicola Sturgeon has said the SNP’s performance was ‘at the grimmer end’ of expectations. Which is one way of putting it.

The SNP’s collapse has delivered a surge for Scottish Labour. Having returned one solitary MP at the 2019 General Election, Labour has now increased its total to 37, making it the largest party north of the border.

Still, Labour’s brand of bloodless managerialism enthuses no more voters in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. What we saw in Scotland last night – primarily – was a rejection of the SNP-led Scottish ruling class.

This should be a surprise to no one. Since forming a majority government in 2011, the SNP’s support has been sustained by its posturing opposition to the Tories in Westminster and the accompanying cause of Scottish independence. Yet, in recent years, with the majority of Scots stubbornly continuing to support the Union and Labour looking ever more likely to defeat the hated Tories, the SNP’s appeal has ebbed.

Meanwhile, everything that is rotten about the SNP – its woke authoritarianism, its incompetence and its borderline corruption – has slowly but surely been exposed.

There was the SNP’s disastrous embrace of gender ideology, writ large in its ill-fated Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which would effectively have introduced gender self-ID in Scotland. Since at least 2016, Sturgeon and other SNP higher-ups clearly saw full-throated support for so-called trans rights as a way to burnish their ‘progressive’ credentials – a means to demonstrate that the SNP’s Scotland was on the ‘right side of history’, unlike the supposedly backwards English.

Yet, over the past few years, the more Scottish voters learnt about the SNP’s plans for gender-recognition reform, and the more they became aware of the threat gender ideology poses to women and children, the more the overwhelming majority opposed it. When, in early 2023, it emerged that a rapist calling himself Isla Bryson had been remanded to a women’s prison, the dangerous folly of the SNP’s trans crusade became impossible to ignore. A few months later, Sturgeon resigned as SNP leader and first minister.

The Isla Bryson scandal – and the broader gender-recognition fiasco – revealed the conflict between the SNP’s pseudo-progressive worldview and the views of ordinary Scots. Sturgeon and pals seemed determined to dismiss all opponents of this trans lunacy as bigots and worse. This captured and amplified the contempt in which the SNP has long held the Scottish public.

Indeed, since it won its first majority in 2011, the SNP has consistently set itself against the Scottish people. It has seen them as a problem to be managed, an unwoke mass in need of enlightenment, a people that can’t be trusted to think and act for themselves. As a result, it has consistently set out to regulate, re-educate and even surveil Scottish people. It has clamped down on football fans chanting offensive songs, and tried to assign, as part of its sinister and thankfully aborted Named Person scheme, a state-appointed guardian to every child. And this year, it finally introduced its insanely authoritarian Hate Crime and Public Order Act, under which people can be prosecuted for saying things even within their own homes. This sweeping, dystopian and unpopular piece of legislation contributed to Sturgeon’s successor, Humza Yousaf, losing his job earlier this year.

While the SNP has been eagerly trying to regulate almost every aspect of Scots’ lives, it has overseen a massive deterioration in standards of education and healthcare. Indeed, so successfully has the SNP run down the Scottish NHS that waiting times now comfortably exceed those in England.

This combination of woke authoritarianism and wretched governance would be enough in itself to turn Scottish voters against the SNP. But this has been compounded by the attempt of the SNP government to insulate itself from scrutiny and accountability. This was illustrated most clearly by the Scottish government’s handling of the harassment allegations made against former SNP leader turned nemesis Alex Salmond. From an official investigation, which a 2021 judicial review deemed ‘tainted with apparent bias’, to the SNP’s refusal during a subsequent Holyrood inquiry in 2021 to hand over documentation related to the case, the Salmond affair pointed – at the very least – to an institutional contempt for transparency and accountability. This was highlighted again this year, when it emerged that Sturgeon and other senior members of the government had systematically deleted WhatsApp messages during the pandemic.

On top of all this, a stench continues to waft voters’ way from the police investigation into the SNP’s funding and finances. Both Sturgeon and her husband, Peter Murrell, have been implicated.

It seems a long overdue reckoning with the SNP is finally upon us. The cause of independence is no longer enough to sustain it. It can no longer blame the mess it has made of governing Scotland on the Tory government in Westminster. And so Scots are finally seeing the SNP for the authoritarian gang of incompetents it always was.

Scots are fed up with being treated with disdain by their own government and MPs. The SNP’s reign in Scotland can’t end soon enough.

Tim Black is a spiked columnist.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Politics UK

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