Penny Mordaunt: ‘SNP’s slopey-shouldered separatism has run its course and change is coming to Scotland’.
Fresh from her barnstorming appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt MP writes for the Scottish Daily Express on how the Nats’ victimhood tactics and England-blaming are starting to unravel.
It is said that every departure is an arrival. Never was this truer than my recent visit to Scotland.
I must admit I had been a little surprised to find that the venue for my speech had been changed. That’s usually down to a security threat. In Edinburgh, it was down to ticket demand outstripping supply.
A bigger venue had to be found. Whilst it’s flattering to think this was down to my rapid repartee and scintillating small talk, that would be misguided.
It was obvious that something has changed. A new sense of possibility is stirring. It was tangible. The tide has turned against the SNP.
In 2007, 300 years after the Act of Union, the SNP took control of the nation. They promised a fresh way of thinking – a new party with a shiny brand, delivering results efficiently. A party of the people, for the people. Good people placed their trust in it.
They have been monumentally let down. The new start turned out to be as old as the hills.
First, you tell a fierce and proud nation that they are not the strong, fearless warriors they know themselves to be. You tell them they are victims. You do this because victims are stripped of personal responsibility. This renders them powerless. Then you disorientate them.
Next, you tell them simultaneously to remember and forget. Remember every grievance going back hundreds of years.
Remember all the way back to William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots, through every Jacobite uprising. Forget you are the nation of the Coldstream Guards, The Black Watch and Shimi Lovat’s commandos. Forget you are a nation of high-tech, aspirant, hard-working, young, multinational, intelligent, inventive and successful achievers.
Forget your family across the rest of the UK. You are the nation of the eternally beaten and self-pitying.
nally, you bake this into a shiny new brand updated for the modern age and plug it into social media. Then feed it with hyperbole, hysteria and hatred. And then you go looking for someone to blame.
The narrative is updated but ancient – you have been held down and held back by the auld enemy, England and the English. They’ve stolen everything, the resources, the money, even your very future.
The fact that funds to Scotland have rightly increased and the SNP delayed taking up further powers offered to it were an inconvenient truth. So were the falling education standards, scandalous levels of drug addiction and deaths, the near collapse of basic public services, filthy streets and appalling stewardship of public and party finances.
With scandal followed by revelation, the great lie of the SNP has been exposed. And so, something amazing happened in Scotland.
Of course, many are angry. And they’re right to be. They’ve been misled. But one thing is clear: there is hope.
Scotland is not the home of hatred. I’ve been to many wonderful places around the world but nowhere matches it for warmth, welcome and sense of humour. I may have more Irish blood in me than Scots, but last week I was made to feel very much at home by all I met.
There is hope and ambition from people and communities who want to do so much for themselves and others. There is so much talent, creativity and innovation. And there is personal and collective responsibility.
After years of being told their nation was incapable, and that permission to act on their dreams was being denied, the people of Scotland have had enough. They have always known authority isn’t given, it is taken. It is a choice to step up and serve.
To put others before yourself. To be focused on delivering and enabling all to reach their full potential. To bring people together. A party that divides, is self-serving, spends taxpayer money on the trappings of office at a time of economic stress, that abuses power and is fuelled by bile does not represent the values of the people of this nation.
While many thanked me on my visit for speaking up for them and taking on the SNP, I do not deserve it. I didn’t bring down the SNP. Nor did my party. Nor was it the English or England that led to their demise. There’s no-one else to blame. They did it all themselves.
Self-serving, slopey-shouldered separatism has run its course. Change and opportunity are coming in Scotland.