Christine Jardine: Donald Trump is a warning, not an inspiration

Christine Jardine has been sharing her dream in her Scotsman column this week. And it isn’t pretty:

In this sleep-induced scenario, some Donald Trump sound-alike was holding court in Edinburgh, draped in tartan, surrounded by saltires and spouting endless meaningless slogans. Fortunately, they had stopped short of wearing a bright blue Tam O’Shanter bearing the motif “Make Alba Great Again”.

And people in the crowd which had gathered were not all there to cheer and applaud the separatist dream being espoused at the flag-laden centre of events. No. Many of those in the imaginary demonstration were instead calling for help for the nurses and other health workers who have to cope with long shifts looking after wards with too many patients and too few staff.

This echoes the feeling of many Scots that the Scottish Government needs to sort out the crisis in its public services instead of looking to populism to stoke up division over the constitution.

Christine points out that the SNP has never secured a majority of votes at any election, yet now intends to dominate our political discourse with an attempt to turn the next election into a proxy poll on independence.

She found that her dreams were not too far from reality after the Supreme Court decision that the Scottish Parliament could not legislate alone for an independence referendum.

I want to see devolution progress to a more federal structure for the whole of the UK. But at the moment there are more pressing and, in many cases, life-threatening issues that we have to deal with. Our constitutional considerations can wait.

That is why turning on the TV to see the metaphor of my dream reflected in news footage from Scotland and then to hear both sides of the argument hurling Trump-related insults about on social media brought my frustration to a new height.

Surely, we will not make the mistake of disappearing down the same flag-lined, slogan-heavy, progress-light rabbit hole which has swallowed up so many US politicians. There is too much work to do.

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One Comment

  • George Thomas 29th Nov '22 - 4:36pm

    Donald Trump was chosen to run roughshod over normality of politics with aim of taking control of the USA Supreme Court and stripping away rights to self-determination in terms of abortion, with the risk that this is just the start.

    There’s still much work to do, and no one wants to end up in situation like Brazil where symbol for all (yellow football kit) becomes a symbol of political extremism; but when Ed Balls (apparently a politician of the center-left) is saying we can only think about tackling climate crisis if can manage it without borrowing to increase debt, Jeremy Hunt (apparently a politician of the center, in this case the center-right) is saying we need more austerity despite this policy choice leading to more excess deaths than covid and levelling up is being quietly shunted aside (including much needed home building); well there are many, many reasons to suggest separation from Westminster is the starting point to sorting out the issues you see rather than something to discuss on the never-never.

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