Silly Rennie

Shambles, served three ways!

When it comes time for the history of how Independence was won to be written, one name will probably be missing and I think that’s a shame.

One man has taken a Party from being both a stalwart of the case for Home Rule, a partner in Government and a considerable election winning machine and almost single handed reduced it to the most unthinking of Unionist parties, not even recognised as a Party at Holyrood and a deposit losing shambles. 

Truly we have much to be grateful for that Willie Rennie ever stood for election!

For those of us of a certain vintage the Liberals were the Party which kept the Home Rule flag flying through real politicians like Jo Grimmond and Russel Johnston. For many years we could only dream of overtaking the Liberals, so entrenched were they in large areas of Scotland as defenders of the Home Rule cause. When we finally put them in the rear view mirror, they were still in many ways more influential because their lack of a core purpose made compromise easy.

It’s educational to track the decline of the LibDems over the years.

For the first three elections to the Scottish Parliament the LibDems could credibly claim to be one of the architects of the parliament and supporters of strengthening int’s powers. Arguably Tavish Scott laid the groundwork for the decline in 2007 by the farcical refusal to enter negotiations with Alex Salmond unless Independence was taken off the table. Being all things to all people was easy until the moment when a hard choice had to be made and the LibDems have been utterly unable to rise to the challenge of history.

The 2011 election was the first with Rennie as leader and the figures speak for themselves. He fought a campaign which was fiercely opposed to an Independence Referendum when it was clear that people were attracted to the idea and 12 of his colleagues paid the political price. 

Since then, we have seen that opposition harden but it’s hard to claim to be liberal or democratic when your main campaign issue is stopping the people of Scotland choosing their own destiny at the ballot box. But not only has he been incapable of learning he has now brought them to the point where they are no longer even regarded as a Political Group in the Parliament. I have no doubt however the BBC will still give them time and space they no longer deserve.

Rennie has roped himself and his diminishing party to a bandwagon which is firmly in the hands of the tories but he is so utterly inflexible that he cannot see the tide of history. To admit to such an error of judgement is beyond his capacity. It says much for the state of their party that not even the foul mouthed Cole-Hamilton can be bothered challenging for the “top job”.

There has been much excited talk about the disgraceful behaviour of Martin Bashir and the BBC in the wake of the Dyson Report. One singular factor stands out for me. Had Bashir believed that this kind of behaviour would, if it had been highlighted, have resulted in his summary dismissal and the ruin of his reputation as a young and rising journalist, would he have taken those risks?

The answer lies in the way the BBC punished the whistle blowers and cleared the wrongdoer and in the way Tony Hall was so anxious to cover up. 

This speaks to the systemic failure of the BBC to uphold any kind of honesty, impartiality or balance in it’s “journalism” Arguably this leads to the bias we have become so familiar with in Scotland and especially on the YES side of the debate.

In much the same way the revelations from Dominic Cummings come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. It matters little in many ways, who was telling the most and biggest lies or who was the most devious or incompetent in the Government. What matters is that they are utterly incapable of seeing beyond the end of their bank statement and the health and safety of the people matters not a whit. Yes, Boris is unfit for the job he holds. Just as Cummings was unfit for his and Hancock, Gove et al are in the same boat.

Much as been written and said about the need to demonstrate the “why” of Independence but the behaviour of this bunch of misfits makes a far more compelling case than ever we could. 
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