by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Mastodon: @RabBrucesSpider1@Mastodon.Scot

Twitter: @RabBrucesSpider

Not being a member of any political Party, my interest in the SNP leadership contest is based solely on whether the new leader will provide the leadership that the wider Yes movement needs. Which of them will actually deliver on turning Scotland into a normal, self-governing country? That’s my overriding concern.

From what little I’ve gleaned in the past couple of days, I’d say that all three candidates have strengths, and all have weaknesses. It’s rather a pity they couldn’t act as joint leaders in a triumvirate, but that didn’t work out too well for Republican Rome, and I doubt it would work in the modern political environment, although the Scottish greens seem to be able to cope with joint leaders.

My main concern is actually for the mental wellbeing of whoever does become the next SNP leader and First Minister. Both Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon had the mental strength to withstand the hostility of the UK media in Scotland, and whoever takes over will need that same mental strength. The fact that the media are already making a huge issue out of Kate Forbes’ religious beliefs seems to have scuppered her chances, although it is noticeable that they never apply the same scrutiny to the religious beliefs of other political leaders in Scotland. Of course, the media will focus on anything at all which gives them a chance to bash the SNP, so I suppose this is only to be expected, especially as Kate Forbes has shown herself to be a talented Government Minister. But, rightly or wrongly, I suspect it is a step too far for a Party to elect a leader whose fundamental beliefs on social issues is so far out of alignment with the Scottish public.

I’m sure we can expect media hatchet jobs on the other two candidates before long. NO doubt journalists are already digging deep into social media profiles and chasing anyone who might have some negative comments on any of the leadership hopefuls. It is, sadly, a sign of the times that the entire media has fallen to this tabloid level of journalism, but I suppose they need to do their masters’ bidding.

As for the candidates, it’s still early days to make any assessment, but I must admit that I do like some of the comments on bringing the wider Yes movement together and working with other parties, but I fear the SNP’s Sturgeon loyalists won’t go for that at all. Some of them seem to detest Alba more than they hate the Tories. And before anyone gets upset at that remark, I know that the same holds true in the opposite direction. Still, it would be nice to see every Yes Party working towards the same goal and putting their differences aside until we achieve that goal. As ever, though, the media will be the greatest opponent in that as well. You can be sure they’ll focus on splits and division, both within Yes and within the SNP. Divide and conquer has always been the British way.

Whoever does become SNP leader, I wish them well, and I sincerely hope they can take us beyond the current constitutional roadblock. Now, more than ever, we need strong leadership.