‘Scotland has been utterly ill-served – but the SNP nightmare is approaching its end,’ writes Bill Rammell

Humza Yousaf

‘Scotland has been utterly ill-served – but the SNP nightmare is approaching its end,’ writes Bill Rammell

Bill Rammell

By Bill Rammell

Published: 01/05/2024

- 18:18

Humza Yousaf resigned as Scotland’s First Minister on Monday

I’m not keen on nationalism as a philosophy of Government. Brexit has demonstrated how narrow nationalism cuts us adrift and makes us poorer. Living and working for 18 months in Iraqi Kurdistan showed me how nationalists in Government subvert every decision to the interests of the clan, not the people.

Basing your politics and Government simply on the country you come from strikes me as wrong and absurd. Class, values, and attitudes to life matter much more.

And we’ve seen over the last 17 years in Scotland how the insularity, the extremism, the bullying of the SNP Government has demonstrated the deficiencies of nationalism.

Yet for 10 years, the laws of political gravity have been suspended, with SNP supporters denying reality saying “Och, they’re doing their best.” Now at last it seems political chickens are coming home to roost.

Look at the SNP record.

The Referendum on Independence was lost because an independent Scotland no longer subsidised by England didn’t add up and 55 per cent of Scots were not prepared to risk a leap in the dark.

Yet after losing, the SNP - despite saying this was a once-in-a-generation decision - has subverted every decision to gaming how to bring forward a new Referendum.

Alex Salmond was a swaggering, narcissistic bully, and was in a real sense the Godfather of the current SNP modus operandi.

Humza Yousaf

Humza Yousaf


His successor as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was an able political communicator, but led with a preachy tone, claiming moral superiority which has been blown apart by her arrest and her husband being charged for embezzlement. The sight of police white tape outside her house is now seared into the consciousness of Scots.

Hamza Yousaf was then anointed by the clan as Mr continuity and elected narrowly by SNP members. And he has palpably been out of his depth culminating in his resignation last week.

So we’re now having the 2nd unelected First Minister in 13 months. The SNP’s practice of changing leaders without troubling the electorate is beginning to match the chaos of the Tories.

And during this wretched period of SNP rule, they’ve run Scotland like an oligarchy. Conducting themselves as a huge majority Government with the arrogance to go with it. Forgetting they were a minority in Scotland. Bullying and intimidating their opponents. As a former University Vice Chancellor, I was regularly told by my Scottish counterparts that the SNP would say “You toe the nationalist line or you’ll pay a price.” And we saw the ugly spectre of the Cybernats bullying anyone who had the temerity to oppose Unionism-cyclist Chris Hoy and JK Rowling among them. The BBC’s Nick Robinson being hounded by independence supporters. All tolerated and supported by the SNP leadership.

And in Government, the SNP have embraced extremism. Supporting gender recognition without any medical process and allowing, as Sturgeon did, a male rapist entry into a female prison. Legislating for draconian hate speech laws which seek to criminalise free speech. And which allows reporting of hate crimes far and wide including through sex shops and Mushroom farms!

Perhaps most importantly the SNP Government has presided over massive policy failure. Europe’s worst death rate from drugs, worse health outcomes than England, and Scottish schools tumbling down the Pisa international schools rankings. An abject failure to replace Calmac’s ageing ferry fleet has caused major disruption for Scottish islanders. They haven’t even managed to deliver a bottle deposit scheme!

What lessons should we and the Scots draw from this shocking Government?

That Scottish people are no different in attitudes and values from the English; that nationalism is no substitute for values, competence and the proper conduct of Government; and that you really need to moderate your zeal and not be driven by your sense of innate morality and superiority.

With the SNP tumbling in the polls, this SNP nightmare is I hope approaching its end.

You may like