Debasing democracy the Salmond way

Debasing democracy the Salmond way

by Hugh Andrew
article from Tuesday 11, September, 2012


CONSIDER THIS little exchange at last week's First Minister's Questions at Holyrood...

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie asked: "How many civil servants are working for the new minister for independence and how much is it costing?"

Alex Salmond: "Somewhat less than are working in Downing Street trying to argue the case against the Scottish people…

"Moving somebody of Alex Neil’s formidable talents into the health service indicates and vindicates the strength of feeling of this party in favour of a National Health Service that is free at the point of need. Would that the Liberals in England would resist the Tory attempts to dismantle the national health service in England…

"There was a time in Scotland when members of the Liberal Party actually believed in genuine home rule and controlling the finances of Scotland. Under the leadership of Willie Rennie and his immediate predecessor, that enthusiasm for genuine self-government has disappeared. That is probably why the party is reduced to a rump in this Parliament."

Rennie: Can it really be justified for taxpayers to pay her and for so many civil servants to be devoted to the SNP’s cause? Come on, tell us."

Salmond: "I consider Willie Rennie’s allegations “preposterous and his interpretation of the incidents fanciful”."Those are not my words but the words of Alison Elliot, the former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, who had to respond to a similar ridiculous and nonsensical attack from Willie Rennie."

 This little exchange says so much about the corrupted and debased state of Scottish public life under Nationalism. Let us take a step back and examine this exchange for what it really says. First Minister's Questions is a chance for opposition politicians to ask questions of the First Minister. It is hardly likely that they are going to be clapping him on the back and applauding his every action but nevertheless a courteous and clear question deserves a courteous and clear reply.

That is what was asked. What came back was a bullying, contemptuous, arrogant, inaccurate and abusive tirade. The sort of tirade which if it happened to you in the street would have you shaking with anger, a kind of political road rage that anyone dare challenge you. You would give anyone a bodyswerve who did this to you and yet this is the behaviour of the First Minister of Scotland in the formal setting of his Parliament.

Note too that no restraint whatsoever was placed on him. He simply was allowed to use up precious time in abuse and irrelevance. The Presiding Officer did nothing.

This short exchange says so much about the First Minister's contempt for others, his belief that democracy has no application to him, his dislike of challenge and free speech. And, without meaning too, it says so much about his Scotland. It is an embarrassment.

But it says something deeper too. The sheer aggression, the sheer ‘Cmoan ya bampot’ style, actually bespeaks a real and deep insecurity. The answer that is not an answer is covering up the First Minister's knowledge of just how much he is spending, how much of the civil service he is subsuming, and the deep and uneasy knowledge that this is wrong.

Perhaps I attribute too much sensitivity to the First Minister. Brutal monstering has always been a susbstitute for debate in his eyes and it is a methodology which he has done his best to teach his party. Who of us on disagreeing with a Nationalist has not been subject to Cybernat assault, personal abuse, discrete briefings against, and the full weight of a thuggery that substitutes volume and quantity of noise for argument?

Who of us has not noticed that Nationalist arguments proceed so often by assertion followed by reiteration, whatever arguments are presented against. It is a depressing prospect for the next few years and a deep warning as to the future that is planned for us when in an independent Scotland all controls can be ridden over, all dissent stifled and free speech turned into a hollow mockery.

No doubt, like so many decent questions before, it will take a Freedom of Information request to get the truth out of the SNP government. Will this one be denied yet again, will this one end up in court like others before it?

 In the meantime Willie Rennie's question hangs in the air. Will anyone answer it?

ThinkScotland exists thanks to readers' support - please donate in any currency and often


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter & like and share this article

User Comments

I suppose all those terrible aspects of Dictator Salmond and his party are the reason why the SNP is at 47% in the polls today. Anyone who has watched the coverage of the HoL or Ian Davidson's risable committee will see how truly ironic Rennie's question was.

Posted on Tuesday 11, September, 2012 by Robert Duncan
This has resonance go to article :- 'Scottish Government’s Public Engagement' at No-Tiree-Array http://www.no-tiree-array.org.uk/?p=3097

Posted on Tuesday 11, September, 2012 by Rob Trythall
Dictator Salmond's idea of democracy is to allow people to have their say and totally ignore anything which challenges his tunnel-visioned policies. His policy regarding wind-power is a suicidal gallop to ruin.Forcing turbines on a population which relies on tourism is nothing short of criminal.

Posted on Tuesday 11, September, 2012 by Anne Lynch
Debasing? More like simply being 'base'. The First Minister's behaviour is as base as it gets. He is an embarrassment and those who voted him in should be very much ashamed. He does not represent a democratic Scotland seeking independence. He stands for a totalitarian regime seeking to disassociate itself from the last thread connecting him to a democratic nation and thus held account to his actions. I have learned seeking information under FoI does not always turn up what is wanted. Sometimes it is even denied without any justified reason.

Posted on Tuesday 11, September, 2012 by Douglas Stewart

Warning: Unknown: Your script possibly relies on a session side-effect which existed until PHP 4.2.3. Please be advised that the session extension does not consider global variables as a source of data, unless register_globals is enabled. You can disable this functionality and this warning by setting session.bug_compat_42 or session.bug_compat_warn to off, respectively in Unknown on line 0