If standards in media have fallen like a rock in recent decades, then standards in Scottish politics have as well.
I remember, when I was in my early 30’s, meeting a group of young Labourites who were aghast at the poor quality of the party’s parliamentary candidates in Scotland … I warned them, “Wait until you see the next lot.”
Careerism had entered the party in a big way, and that always drives the intelligence quotient down significantly. So instead of getting smart, capable, driven people Scottish politics got the dregs.
It got people whose only skill was being able to deliver a prepared line to the press, people willing to become pager-slaves and fall into line, and I had seen the future in the last round of conferences I attended as a party member.
They are the worst people you’ve never heard of.
I could run off a list of their names, but why bother?
Most of them are off doing something else, and those who are still in politics aren’t in elected office but working for pollsters or shady organisations operating just outside public view, funded by God knows who.
A lot of people surmise that I’m an SNP member.
I’m not, although I have consistently voted for them these past ten years or more.
I have no real interest in who becomes their next leader, just so long as the person is competent and I’ll wait to see what the plan for independence is before I decide if they’ll get my vote again.
Which is all just to say that this isn’t a political post. It’s certainly not going to be a party political broadcast.
But this will be about one prize idiot, a Tory who makes his Scottish party leader sound intelligent, which as you’ll all know is a bit like saying that he makes something on a rock at the bottom of a pond sound smart.
Murdo Fraser is one of those people who talks just to hear the sound of his voice.
The idea that he has made any sort of real contribution to public life in Scotland is faintly ridiculous. But his party knows how to play its cards, alright. The unionist card. The orange card if and when it’s required. He is prominent for only one thing; he promotes himself through the team he supports, and you get no prizes for guessing which one that is.
So last night he waded into the SNP leadership contest, and his intervention betrays a little of the paranoid fear rampaging through Sevconia at this moment in time.
You know how I always tell these muppets to be careful what they wish for?
Well, this is another example of that.
They celebrated the fall of Nicola Sturgeon and now are terrified that things might just be about to get worse for them. And you know? In some ways they might be right.
Because Humza Yousaf is the current front-runner to become the next First Minister, and if they feared Sturgeon this guy has them petrified. If you believe what you read on their forums this guy is some mad combination of a secret Catholic Opus Dei Muslim member of ISIS with a virulent hatred of Protestant culture and Britishness.
This is the mad deranged world they live in, and this is the audience Murdo Fraser decided to pander to when he made his quite ridiculous intervention last night.
This is what he said, as gleefully reported by his party’s favourite rag The Scottish Daily Express, which I’ve written about on this website before of course.
“Humza Yousaf has an unenviable track record of ill-judged outbursts on social media. This was a classic example where he leapt to judgement on a clearly fake video that has appeared on Twitter with (Ibrox) players supposedly singing a sectarian song, demanding a prosecution. What was worse, he was actually Justice Secretary at the time.”
This would be a remarkable story if it happened to be true.
But of course, Fraser is such an idiot that he failed to recognise that the article in question would have to report what Yousaf actually said at the time and it was a little bit different from that.
Yousaf was quite clear that there should be prosecutions only if the recording happened to be genuine.
And he didn’t call for a prosecution at all, only an investigation into whether it was real.
The closest he came to making a demand was to say that if the recording was real that the club itself should act and sack anyone found to be involved.
Fraser must know this, so not only is he making himself sound like a complete fool but he’s treating the rest of us as if we are complete fools as well. But he knows his audience, and he’s pandering like mad.
For the record, here’s what Yousaf actually said.
“I have also been made aware of this clip, if (and I stress if) this clip is genuine then any player or staff member found to be guilty of anti-Catholic hatred should be shown the door by the club. It is right Police Scot investigate & determine the facts around it.”
That is a far cry from the allegation Fraser makes.
Yousaf was also not simply taking a punt on his own. As he said in an interview later, “The BBC, were the ones who were asking me to comment on that, but that isn’t the point. The point is that we saw anti-Catholic hatred, anti-Irish bigotry (in George Square) and not a syllable of condemnation from, for example, the Conservatives, or from other quarters … As Justice Secretary I don’t make an apology for calling it out and calling it what it is.”
Furthermore, nothing that Yousaf said there is anything other than fair comment. It is Fraser’s own comments which bring politics in Scotland into disrepute, and not for the first time either.
As his fellow Ibrox fans were tearing George Square apart, at a time when we were still in a government mandated lockdown, as they were pissing on statues and the cenotaph and going toe-to-toe with the police, he was baiting Nicola Sturgeon online about why she hadn’t yet congratulated the team on their title win.
Now he’s grossly misrepresenting the SNP’s leadership front-runner and a throwing a little red meat to the lunatic fringe on Follow Follow.
What a disreputable scoundrel that man is.
What a nasty little individual.
What an example of the decline in our politics and the standard of our parliamentarians, even those who didn’t have to win an election and got in by the PR back door. He is a disgrace, even in a party full to the brim with them.