by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Yesterday, I posted an article explaining why I thought the SNP MPs needed to remain at Westminster and put up with the contempt and abuse in order to create a case for saying they had tried, but failed, to work within the Westminster system. As everyone knows by now, this opinion was out of date within thirty minutes of posting as the SNP staged a walkout. At time of writing today’s piece, I’m not sure whether they will have resumed their seats having made their point or whether it will be a permanent walkout. I suspect they’ll be back in the Commons for the reasons I outlined yesterday, but who knows?

One thing I did get right was the media reaction which has largely, although not exclusively, been to push the Tory narrative that the walkout was a stunt.

There is no doubt that Ian Blackford intended to disrupt Prime Minister’s Questions. The timing of his request for a vote makes that perfectly clear. However, claims that the entire thing was a pre-planned stunt presuppose he knew the Speaker would expel him from the House when he was abiding by House rules. That seems unlikely. Unless he was in collusion with the speaker, the expulsion cannot have been pre-planned since the rules back Mr Blackford’s position, even though he was making unusual use of his rights.

Whatever happened, the walkout has achieved its purpose, which was to highlight the democratic outrage currently taking place in Westminster. The media has been doing its best to downplay the looming constitutional crisis, keeping many Scots ignorant of what has been happening, but now they are forced to admit that something serious is going on. Whether their spin will backfire on the SNP remains to be seen, but their walkout has raised the bar. It has also resulted in nearly two thousand new Party members as people realise that we are facing a critical moment.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. After yesterday’s events, I’m not going to try to make any more predictions.

We live in interesting times.