It’s not that long since SNP MSP and senior aide to Alex Salmond Joan McAlpine suggested that the unionist parties were acting in an anti Scottish manner. Their crime? Not agreeing with SNP policy on the referendum.
“There should be an immediate and unreserved apology from Joan McAlpine and if one is not forthcoming Alex Salmond should sack her as his parliamentary aide. “This is a deeply offensive comment that shows profound disrespect for the many victims of domestic violence which is an appalling crime.
“The relationship between England and Scotland within the wider United Kingdom is a successful partnership; one based on mutual respect and shared values. “To imply otherwise and compare it to domestic abuse for partisan political ends is abhorrent.”
McAlpine’s words bring to mind what Willie Rennie said in his speech to Conference the other day about cybernats, the people who are not one nation nationalists.
That’s us. Constructive in opposition and delivering in office.I think it’s positive politics.It is an approach that accepts that you have to work with other people.It’s a generous approach, that recognises that people may have different ideas.And it poses a massive challenge to parts of the SNP.The SNP ‘heavies’.
The people who attack personally anyone who disagrees with them.It’s ugly politics.
And they will hunt down one-by-one on the internet those who stand in their way.Faking letters from academics, telling cross-party groups they can’t criticise the government; telling airlines to downgrade Jim Wallace.They talk-down Scotland’s place in Britain and cause division between people.They are not one-nation nationalists.
If they are not careful they will cause Scotland to become a divided country, setting Scot against Scot for a generation.My message to the SNP is simple: please don’t question my loyalty to my nation just because I don’t agree with your policy.It’s not all of those in the nationalist camp.There are many sincere, generous, liberal-minded people in the SNP.But it is their behind-the-scenes stalkers and abusers who need to be tackled.The SNP leadership needs to rein them in, to tackle the abuse, to overcome the division-creators.Their leaders need to act. And act now.
He’s right. I want the progressive forces in Scotland to unite against independence and win in a positive campaign. I don’t want us to win because people like Joan McAlpine have spent 1000, or 500 or however many days spreading a message of hatred. Like I’ve said before, we have to wake up the day after the referendum and all live with each other, to get on.