The words “Jim Sillars says” have come to resonate with me in much the same way as I imagine the words “inoperable tumour” might. Never more so than when he is right. One need not be particularly politically astute to foresee that the coming revelations from Alex Salmond will almost certainly cause the SNP leadership difficulties on a spectrum from considerable to catastrophic. One would have to be pathologically bitter and resentful to contemplate this prospect with anything like the drooling relish that Sillars exhibits.
I wonder only if those revelations “will gladden Unionist hearts” half as much as the publication – in the Unionist media – of another outpouring of bile from Jim Sillars.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that the repercussion of the ‘Salmond Affair’ are set to go on for years and impact the SNP and the Scottish Government at the highest levels. Rather than chortling gleefully in anticipation, however, I prefer to reflect on how best the independence movement might address an issue which has potential to do great harm to Scotland’s cause.
Of one thing I am certain; revelling in the misfortunes of the ‘high heid yins’ is about as counter-productive as it can get. We would do well to remember that, just as the SNP isn’t the whole independence movement, so the leadership is not the entire party. More than anything, the party is its members. For me, that is what has until relatively recently distinguished the SNP from the British parties.
How the coming storm – or volcanic eruption – affects the SNP in the medium to long term very much depends on how the membership deal with the situation. It also depends to a great extent on how the Yes movement responds. I fear the knee-jerk reaction will be to discard the sword. That, in my view, would be a massive mistake.
Babies and bathwater, folks! Let’s scrape the rust off the sword and discard only that. Let’s go further! Rather than discard the sword let us publicly declare and demonstrate our determination to restore and preserve the sword which we, the people of Scotland have crafted for our purpose – the honourable and essential purpose of restoring Scotland’s independence.
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