Political narcissism always eats itself - the SNP will be no different

Political narcissism always eats itself - the SNP will be no different

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Thursday 16, July, 2020

THREE OF THE WORST regimes of the last century were dominated by narcissist leaders who while red in tooth and claw were very astute in wrapping themselves in their respective national memories. 

Romania then, and North Korea, still developed levels of personality cult that would have left Orwell overwhelmed. These were two literal nationalist socialist regimes where power and praise swirled around two little dictators. Height, or lack of it, really does seem to bring out the excesses of these people. No socialist revolution would be quite complete without celebrating the leader's birthday... again and again and again. 

In 1980s Romania the loudspeakers broadcasting their master's voice meant even a trip to the seaside was no excuse for not listening to Ceausescu's wisdom. 

In North Korea, the annual mass games ensures the leader is audience to the showcase of North Korean talent and then when he rises they become audience to him, such is the circle of national revolution when complete. Such is the unity of the people and their Dear Leader.

In Argentina we had Evita, whose claim to power rested on little more than being consort to her husband President Juan Peron. A story of reflected glory in a woman lacking humility who was wholly incapable of running government and instead relied on emotive speeches that signified nothing. How familiar.

In Scotland for now Nicola Sturgeon has had to make do with daily press conferences composed mainly of trotting out the same rubbish as in Westminster during this sorry Covid-19 crisis, albeit with a little more media finesse. Then again, a devolved government has less to worry itself with. 

I sense though this is no longer enough. The narcissism needs constant reassurance and validation and as she comes up her 50th birthday, having so precious little to show for it, the people will I'm afraid have to rally to raise her sagging spirits. Hence we are being invited to show publicly our loyalty to the regime.

It's quite clever isn't it? You Yes Yet? Well make no mistake, if you don't clap for the Dear Leader this month your cards will be marked.  If there is no SNP councillor or MSP on your road chances there will be some stone faced limpet who wiles their day suckling on the third sector who will dob you in, or at least make a note of your lack of enthusiasm.

Let's not quibble over how many thousands have died needlessly from an avoidable clinical disaster. For the Herculean task of pettifogging confected differences between Holyrood and Westminster policies we must praise the Dear Leader.

This is not worthy of the medics, nurses, scientists and volunteers who have strove to keep us as safe as they can. Meanwhile those same workers are effectively gagged from revealing the truth, including my own freedom of information requests now running into their third month when the responsible ministers are free to shoot from the hip on social media. 

This inequality of arms, of the state against the citizen, typifies the overcentralised and egotistical government one can expect from nationalist socialists.  They can command us what to do on a daily basis daily yet force us to wait months if we have the audacity to question them.

Worse, it is profoundly unhealthy and worrying that when these calls for adulation mysteriously arise they are not batted down immediately for being as vulgar and overzealous as they are. 

More Trumpian than Trump.

For a nationalist movement so apparently enthralled by modern day Europe, it is worrying and fascinating in equal measure how much the First Minister’s behaviour resembles the European leaders the current model sought to replace.


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