Can this really be six and a half years ago?
We suddenly feel very old.
Perhaps Ian Blackford does too, hence this unfortunate Freudian slip.
Even allowing for the Prime/First Minister gaffe, we’re reasonably sure that it’s NOT the role of SNP MPs at Westminster to “support the government”. If it’s the UK government they’re meant to oppose it, and if it’s the Scottish Government then it’s none of their business. They’re there to cause trouble for London, not to cheerlead for Edinburgh.
But a particular idea keeps popping up in all the media coverage of the current turmoil in the SNP Westminster group – coverage which is of course primarily driven and informed by leaks from within the group – and it’s a troubling one.
Because the entire PURPOSE of an SNP MP is to lose their job. It used to be one of the key arguments made by this site, way back in the days when Unionists were the biggest obstacles to independence, that Scottish Labour MPs – a term which was still a plural back in 2014 – opposed the concept because they were desperate to hold onto their cushy jobs and fat wage packets and expense accounts and juicy pensions no matter the consequences to Scotland, while SNP MPs were creatures of a higher principle, seeking election only in order to make themselves redundant.
God forgive us, we actually believed it. But sadly those days are long past now, and Scotland has simply replaced a Labour generation of gravy-train careerists with an SNP one. It’s manifestly clear that the likes of Blackford, Pete Wishart, Alyn Smith, Stewart McDonald, John Nicolson, Anne McLaughlin and far too many more in the Pension Posse simply LOVE the glamorous London life of a member of the Mother Of Parliaments and are in absolutely no rush to give it up.
It’s hard to say which of the two Parliamentary cohorts are now the most terrified of actually bringing about a second independence vote, even though hardly any of those at Holyrood would be risking their own livelihoods in a plebiscite election. We can only assume they mostly fear the First Minister’s wrath, it being much closer and more immediate to those in Edinburgh.
But in the heady atmosphere of six and a half years ago, after Scotland had sent 56 MPs to Westminster to settle up, few of us dreamed just how comfortably, or for how long, they would settle down.