Until now I have stayed out of the silly season sniping between nationalists that has set in these last few weeks. I rather hoped it would abate after Robin McAlpine’s excellent oil on troubled waters effort, but it has re-erupted with a virtue signalling, holier than thou mess by Ross Greer in today’s Sunday Herald. I am afraid, Ross, that I am one of those irredeemably straight, white, old and male people. So you can discount what I say already.
To go back to the roots of the trouble, for the sake of openness, I should state that:
a) I think Cat Boyd was wrong to vote Labour rather than SNP. I would urge everyone in Scotland to support the SNP as the only practical route to Independence. However I do share the frustration of many with the SNP’s timidity on social reform and its continued, and frankly infuriating, failure actively to campaign about the benefits of Independence. Quite a lot of Independence supporters voted Labour, including some of my own family.
b) I think Stuart Campbell is wrong to sue Kezia Dugdale for defamation. I believe in free speech and if someone brands you with an unfair insult, the answer is to argue why they are wrong, not head for the courts.
However, having said I think they are both wrong, I should state that my very considerable regard for both Cat Boyd and Stuart Campbell is entirely undiminished. Why on earth should I expect people to act in the way I think they should act? And why should I assume that my judgement on these calls is superior to theirs, as opposed to just different? If everyone acted as I want them to, the world would be weird. Indeed, if I am so clever why am I typing up this at 3am? And why on Earth would the Yes movement want everyone to behave the same way all the time?
So in short, neither Cat not Stuart acted as I would have, but I accept they are acting as they believe best. In fact the criticism of both of them has been much more of a problem than their particular actions.
You don’t have to be perfect to work for Scottish Independence. But it would be a great help if we saved our bile for the unionists.