Benefit of Clergy
OTS isn't in the business of doing 'exposes', primarily because we don't move in the kind of circles where meaty gossip is exchanged and, while we know some lawyers. we don't, as a rule-of-thumb (nothing personal!) trust any of them.
But we do have a Twitter/X account and we see a fair amount of salacious material relating to various politicians of all parties. Most of it is innuendo, some cleverly disguised, but now and then there are comments which have the ring of truth about them. We will not reprint any of them here. Rather, we will try to convey the disgust felt by many 'ordinary' supporters of Scottish independence who have watched in dismay as the 'main vehicle' has fallen into disrepair. The motoring analogy has become tiresome over the years but remains one of the most effective.
(A current OTS poll, due to end around this time tomorrow evening, suggests that those interested enough to cast a vote are almost evenly split on whether or not 'the SNP is the only vehicle to independence'. Off-Topic Scotland on X: "Do you believe that the SNP is 'the only vehicle to independence'?" / X (twitter.com)
Right now, with Humza Yousaf abroad (COP28) the SNP President Mike Russell announcing his resignation, Alex Salmond's legal action coming over the hill and Nicola Sturgeon using the death of John Byrne to remind us all, yet again, that she was once the First Minister, one would imagine that the SNP has more than enough 'fronts to be fighting on'. But it seems that even the staunchest efforts of the party's remaining card-carrying diehards cannot keep the lid on persistent - and rapidly mushrooming - rumours concerning the peccadilloes of those at the apex of government in Scotland.
Perhaps it's unfair to suggest that SNP now means 'Shaggers -Not Politicians.' but no-one could fairly claim that the terms have ever been mutually exclusive. Those of a certain age will remember the drama surrounding the demise of Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe. Others, perhaps gleaning their news from Private Eye rather than the Daily Express at the time, will recall the name 'Boothby' being mentioned in connection with disturbing allegations which only became 'public' knowledge via much-later dramatisations concerning the Kray brothers.
This is all very unedifying stuff and so we will draw it to a close with no further comment other than to refer readers to this George Orwell essay.
Yes, of course, Orwell's work can be cherry-picked by anyone, of whatever political persuasion, but the point we want to make is not a 'political' one as-such. Rather, it is a weary groan.
We are tired of it all. After being promised so much and coming so close to a dream cherished by many generations of Scots, the form of 'democracy' that we have ended-up with has returned a cadre of deeply unsavoury characters whose primary interests appear to be centred on self-gratification rather than the welfare of the citizens who elected them.
In short, to paraphrase the final sentence of this brilliant piece of writing, 'they are diseased and disgusting and any investigation ought to start out from that fact.'
George Orwell: Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dali
Benefit of clergy - Wikipedia