Tweet Follow @RPJblog
By Jason Michael
IMAGINE FOR A MOMENT that I could tell you with absolute certainty the future of the Scottish independence campaign. Imagine that I knew for definite, without being elected, the details of a Scottish government announcement more than twenty-four hours before it was to take place. Imagine I knew the exact position the First Minister and her government will take, the ins-and-outs of the consultation process ahead of a draft bill to be published a year from now, intimate details of a proposed working group, and the timetable for the legislation being introduced to our national parliament. Now imagine that I knew all of this information days or weeks before most of the people we have elected to represent us in parliament. Let us even suppose these are details relating to national security, defence, or other sensitive information with the potential to damage the country, the integrity of our democracy, or cost lives. Other than making me some class of wizard, being privy to all this would make me a very dangerous man.
Yet, we have such an éminence grise. Dumfries and Galloway MSP Joan McAlpine exploded on social media last night when one “Jordon, Duke of Edinburgh” – the partner of Alyn Smith, allegedly – revealed to his Twitter followers the full details of a Scottish government announcement to Holyrood scheduled for tomorrow. Like my hypothetical example above, he had all the details; the position of the government, details of the consultation process and the working group, and the timeline of the bill going before parliament. Had this been Westminster, had this been a matter of national security, Mr Jordon would right now be languishing in a cell and so too would his source. According to McAlpine, Jordon has “consistently abused” her and other women on Twitter over the subject of this leaked legislation – gender self-identification.
Disappointing to see a man who consistently abused me and other women on twitter seems to have more of an inside tr… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Joan McAlpine (@JoanMcAlpine) June 18, 2019
Perhaps more worrying is the fact that the leak is wider than Jordon. BBC producer and director of Pinksixty.com, Leeze Lawrence – who has also been engaged in a long-running online campaign against Joan McAlpine and other members of the “GOP,” messaged McAlpine yesterday afternoon accusing her and her “cock of shit bigots” – that would be the “GOP” or biological women concerned about the ramifications of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) on women’s safety – of abusing Jordon, the guy with all the insider information. In her rather pointed message to McAlpine Lawrence claims that “it wasn’t just him [Jordon] that knew this.” The real punch comes at the end, of course: “People came to us.” Us, who’s this “us?” In a nutshell, the BBC’s Lawrence Leeze is telling us – and we know it’s the truth because she knows the details – is that someone right at the heart of the SNP, right inside the inner circle, is leaking private government information to Jordon and to this mysterious “us” – Leeze’s “LGBT audience” at Pinksixty, the BBC, it’s propaganda office, her/their handler(s)? – who knows?!
For all the chaos and meltdowns at Westminster, not once has the contents of one of those fabulous red briefcases been leaked by an insider’s other half. Not even when Ross Thomson was humiliated in front of his party colleagues did he dish the dirt on the London government – and let’s face it, he’s about as low are you’re going to get in politics. Whatever way the SNP looks at this, it’s bad. It stinks to high heaven. This leak has blown the political vehicle for independence wide open; it has shown that the political leadership of the entire independence movement is as watertight as a burst teabag, a reminder that we aren’t as good at this as we like to think we are.
Alyn Smith has not yet commented on the situation – and maybe that’s for the best. If he is the source of the leak, he has to know this is right up there with the best of sacking offences. Movement activists are sick and tired of a gender identity crusade that is fast becoming the chief priority of a certain cadre around SNP HQ. “This issue is causing a lot of upset in the movement,” a senior SNP figure wrote to me this morning. “Certain individuals have been allowed to openly attack women in our party and no action has been taken.” The majority of women in both the party and the movement are critical of self-ID and the lobby advancing it. Those who stand up and speak out against it or are in any way cautious, women like Joan McAlpine and The National’s Shona Craven, have been subjected to unrelenting online harassment and abuse.
Details of the Jordon leak were known to BBC producer and director of Pinksixty Leeze Lawrence before they were kno… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) June 19, 2019
By making this a top-down prime objective – you know, to be “progressive,” the SNP is committing a colossal act of self-sabotage. There’s a general election on the horizon, and the SNP isn’t exactly winning friends and influencing people in the movement. In the midst of a woeful Conservative leadership contest, with all its revelations about class-A drug abuse, with a dead-in-the-water Prime Minister, and with everything south of the border looking like the last days in the führer bunker, the SNP has managed to achieve precisely zilch for independence – the reason it’s in power in the first place. In fact, if any other prison anywhere in the world was as dysfunctional as HM Prison Caledonia has been for the past decade, there would have been a mass breakout years ago. We have missed one opportunity after another – always waiting on that glorious announcement, the unveiling of the master plan, and the firing of that non-existent starting pistol. The legislation we have coming is fitted with an inbuilt self-destruct button in the form of a request for another Section 30 Order. But, sure, with none of this going for us – let’s bully the women of the movement into accepting laws that frighten them. We can all see how that’s going to play out.
From where I’m sitting, this has to be about the last straw for the SNP. This is not what people voted for, and it’s certainly not what so many Scots politically re-energised after 2014 put their faith and hope in. It’s one thing for the fanatics to swear blind this is the only vehicle and Nicola is the only Joan of Arc, but when there’s little evidence of diesel in the tank or a sword in the maid’s hand – then maybe it’s time to call last orders. The party’s over. There’s too much now at stake for the independence movement, and this cosy set within the SNP had better realise this in short order or get ready to step aside and let some grown-ups get on with the job.