Those given to making barbed comments about how the SNP ‘runs a tight ship’ would do well to observe the pond-life disarray of the British parties over the Brexit issue. In many years as a member of the SNP I have never seen any sign of the kind of heavy-handed internal discipline referred to in these disparaging comments. But were those lurid tales of rigid regimentation even remotely accurate, that discipline would surely be preferable to the cloddish confusion that characterises our imperial masters.
This is particularly the case, of course, when the headless chickens being spoken of are the decapitated fowl charged with managing the farmyard and negotiating on our behalf at market. But it is doubly disheartening when the aspiring ‘cock of the walk’ is just as disoriented and directionless as those he is supposed to help keep in line.
Far be it from me to suggest that the UK’s erstwhile partners in the EU take on the role of the foxes in our little analogy. But were they to be regarded thus, we might readily imagine much licking of vulpine lips at the prospect of exploiting the confusion that reigns among the political elite of the British state.
While it may well be argued that there is a point at which party discipline becomes excessive, it is incontrovertibly true that there is a minimum level of competence required of those who presume to hold dominion over us. As the Brexit process rumbles erratically on, there is less and less indication of adequacy in either the British Tory administration or the British Labour opposition. And such political ability as may be in evidence is deployed, not for the purpose of ‘doing the day job’, but in the pursuit of internecine squabbles.
Curiously, as all order and method succumbs to the generalised ineptitude of the British establishment, the one thing that not only survives but flourishes is their sense of entitlement and the absolute conviction that, being British, they are born to rule.
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