The SNP’s guide to appropriate behaviour

Handing out Union Jacks is “inappropriate behaviour”

Even when it happens at a rally to honour our Olympic athletes.

So said Glasgow SNP Councillor Mhairi Hunter to me in a tweet on Saturday.

 


I was a bit fearful as I clicked on the link, worried that it was going to be a sorry tale of some anti independence idiots beating up a nationalist. No, it was to this Facebook page from the No to Scottish Independence and Protect the Union where they said they handed out 1000 union jacks to people who went to the Olympic and Paralympic parade in Glasgow on Friday.

Hanging around with violent revolutionaries is fine, until you’re found out

Scotland on Sunday reports that the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement had been invited to a rally for independence which takes place in Edinburgh next weekend.

A quick glance at their website finds exactly how they wish to achieve their aims:

The ruling class must be completely overthrown to achieve true Scottish Independence and freedom. Because the ruling class will not relinquish power without their use of armed force, this revolution will be a time of violence as well as liberation. Unions by their very nature cannot become vehicles for the revolutionary transformation of society. 

Now that the papers have found out, the SRSM have been barred from the rally. If they had not found out, our First Minister would have been at the same event as this charming bunch.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

For months the SNP have been more than happy to receive support from these extreme groups with their menacing message. This just shows the ragtag company Alex Salmond is prepared to keep to split Scotland from the UK.This group wanted to violently smash up society as we know it in order to achieve  independence. What other unwanted groups have the SNP attracted to their campaign?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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14 Comments

  • This is really two articles which contradict each other. The zeal of some political types that it *had* to be GB flags is a little surprising though…

  • Ok, first of all, it is a bit off to turn a celebration of sporting success into a pro vs anti independence feud, and given the union jacks were handed out by a political group the SNP have some grounds for complaint,.

    Secondly, where’s the story? Dodgy group found to have been signed up for rally, organisers cancel their invitation. Isn’t this what you want to happen?

    I’m very much a Unionist, but this is beyond ridiculous, and if it’s the best the quiet man of scottish politics can do to get in the news then he’s doomed along with his cheerleaders.

  • Richard Swales 16th Sep '12 - 6:23pm

    Certainly the experience of Slovakia has been that any politicians who campaign against independence are damaged goods after it occurs. They will never hear the end of “how can you want to lead a country you didn’t want to exist anyway”. None of the parties there have real historical continuity before the mid-nineties, but in the UK context, where there are more established political parties, this will taint the political party forever too.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 16th Sep '12 - 6:44pm

    Andrew, Twitter has been awash with nationalists who really can’t cope with people reporting the facts that their leader was booed at the Olympic Parade. That whole episode is a sign that the shine is coming off the SNP for all sorts of reasons – links with Murdoch, spending our hard earned taxes defying the Information Commissioner and Salmond’s constant complaints about the Olympics – even this week saying they caused Scottish unemployment to rise. The fact that Salmond was also booed at the Tattoo a few weeks ago is also symptomatic of the fall in his public standing. That is relevant and should be remarked upon.

    Re flags, this wasn’t some random nationalist making a comment. It was an elected representative. of the SNP. And when you consider how the SNP behave as though they own the saltire, the comments are all the more laughable.

    Yes Scotland and the SNP should have recognised the issue with the SRSM long before the papers found them out, The fact that they did not is a bit of an indictment.

    Willie Rennie and Mike Moore have spent a considerable amount of time trying to nail the independence jelly to the wall. Salmond expects people to just take his word for the fact that things would be fine post independence on matters like the EU. As he obfuscates and prevaricates, so does people’s confidence in him falter.

    Salmond has been quite clever in appointing Nicola Sturgeon as the Government’s lead on independence, but the careless behaviour of some elements of the nationalist community are not helpful to her cause.

  • Dr Alan McCowan 16th Sep '12 - 7:39pm

    Embarrassing stuff from Caron here, but entirely in keeping with much of the pro-Union campaigning so far, when random loons on the internet are taken as official SNP spokesmen. I’m a bit more concerned with Willie’s latest flight of fantasy, though:

    “For months the SNP have been more than happy to receive support from these extreme groups with their menacing message.”

    What does that actually mean? When did the SNP “receive support” from these groups (plural, apparently), and in what way did they demonstrate their “happiness” with it?

    That’s not a rhetorical question – I’d quite like someone to actually answer it. Caron, you appear to have a hotline to the leader – what on Earth does it actually *mean*? Is it, as I suspect, a case of “approval by omission”, ie because Salmond hasn’t been condemning the SRSM in every interview he must be in favour of them, even if the reason was that like most people in Scotland he’d never heard of them until this weekend? If so, the pair of you are humiliating our party and I’d really rather you didn’t.

  • cynicalHighlander 16th Sep '12 - 10:01pm

    STV chiefs may face jail after ‘Boogate’ complaints.

    SNP MP Pete Wishart responded later with the following tweet: “Catching up on all the #boogate nonsense. Odd that Jim’s tweet was sent almost 5 minutes before the booing took place”.

  • Tom Robinson 17th Sep '12 - 1:57pm

    Unionists (and that does include most of the remaining LibDems in Scotland) are clutching at straws. I distinctly remember Salmond being subjected to boos at a major Scotland football international match at Hampden a few years ago.

    It did not mean that his popularity had ceased to be much greater than any other politician in Scotland, and it did not prevent his massive win in 2011.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 17th Sep '12 - 4:12pm

    Alan, Mhairi Hunter isn’t a “random loon” – she’s an SNP councillor in Glasgow, someone who speaks for the party. And the answer to your question is simple. This lot were going to the march and were only thrown out when the papers found out. The supporters of independence (and indeed those who oppose it) have to be very careful not to associate themselves with people who advocate violence to achieve their ends.

  • Dr Alan McCowan 17th Sep '12 - 4:35pm

    ” And the answer to your question is simple. This lot were going to the march and were only thrown out when the papers found out. ”

    That isn’t an answer to my question at all. My question was “When did the SNP “receive support” from these groups (plural, apparently), and in what way did they demonstrate their “happiness” with it?”, and your response entirely fails to address it. The SRSM was attending an independence rally, not an SNP one, and the SNP to the best of my knowledge made no reference of any sort to them at any point.

  • Dr Alan McCowan 17th Sep '12 - 4:37pm

    And of course, the “random loons” referred to the SRSM, not Mhairi Hunter, who didn’t say anything offensive or outrageous, merely questioned the politicisation of the Olympic celebration by pro-Union activists.

  • Richard Swales 19th Sep '12 - 10:19pm

    @Ian, I am not an expert on Irish politics, but my understanding is that Fianna Fail wanted to go even further, and have all of Ireland in one country – so their patriotic credentials to run the compromise free state are not in question – and neither are the DUP’s credentials as a “proper” Ulster party (Paisley Snr had to be forcifully removed from Stormont by police after it was closed in the 70s) regardless of whether they approved of the constitutional arrangements. A more equivalent example would be to look at how well former unionists did in the south after 1922 (and I have no idea but I can’t imagine it was very well even with STV).

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