The story so far! In part one we saw that the SNP has now become the party of the EU, rather than the party for an independent Scotland. The End of the Dream – Why the SNP Have Given up on Independence – Part 1 In part two we saw how there is an increasingly authoritarian tendency within the party and an inability to allow disagreement. The Beginning of the Nightmare – Why the SNP are Giving up on Independence for Scotland – Part 2 Interestingly I read this article in The Spectator this morning – on the press censorship evidenced by the neutering of the journalist Stephen Daisley Press Censorship in Scotland
We now look at what I call the danger of Dreams Politics.
It is good to dream but as Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said ‘beware the tyranny of the visionary!).
One of the biggest dangers in politics is the cynicism of those who don’t believe. But an often greater one is the blind faith of those who do.
At the SNP conference I saw one banner that stated, “I support peace in the Middle East”. Who doesn’t? Is there anyone walking round with a banner stating ‘I support war in the Middle East’?! Does anyone think that this kind of gesture politics makes any real difference?
Most dreams have a commendable goal. The notion of ‘inclusion’ is one such goal. The First Minister told us in her main speech that “inclusion is the guiding principle for everything we do….it encapsulates what we stand for as a party…everyone has opportunity”. She contrasted this with the wicked Tories (yah, boo) who with almost every action they take exclude someone. The trouble is that Nicola’s ‘inclusivity’ is in danger of being as exclusive as anything the Tories do.
The SNP speak for all the people of Scotland, the Scottish government knows what we feel and what our values are. Therefore anyone who does not accept this values, feelings etc. cannot be ‘us’. They must be excluded. There is no place in public life in Scotland for those who don’t accept the new ‘progressive morality’.
Every Child Loved
But fantasies can also be dangerous in other ways. Take for example the best part of her speech – that on childcare. I thought it was wonderful. The whole childcare system needs to be and will be reviewed. I loved what she said about this and I was warmed by her genuine emotion and concern. Although to be honest we could have done without the twee photo opportunity of teenagers in care waving love hearts as Nicola said
““My view is simple: every young person deserves to be loved. So let’s come together and make this commitment: to love our most vulnerable children and give them the childhood they deserve.”
We could also have done without the nonsensical tweets such as –
“ No other UK politician would announce policies to build fairer inclusive country and use words like these below. ’Every young person deserves to be loved’. Class apart. #SNP16”
Seriously? Just as every politician is going to want peace in the Middle East, so they would all agree with ‘every young person deserves to be loved”?! It’s hardly the most profound or original of thoughts.
But lets take what Nicola says seriously. I believe her and I hope her review helps. But I fear that she and her fellow ‘progressives’ are missing the main point. I get just as angry and emotional about the 1500 children in care in my own city of Dundee (and probably there should be more if there were the resources). But in old liberation theology adage I observe that ‘when I give someone bread, they call me a saint, when I ask why they have no bread, they call me a communist’! I want children in care to be properly looked after and I support the review. But I want to ask why are there so many children in care?
The Progressive Destruction of the Family
The main answer is because of family breakdown. And of the many complex reasons for family breakdown by far the main one is the ‘progressive’ view of the family which has ultimately undermined and done a great deal of harm. It is ‘progressive’ politics which redefines marriage and family. It is ‘progressive’ politics which shifts responsibility away from parents for bringing up their children and hands it over to the State. It is progressive politics which has turned schools away from their basic purpose of education (teaching children how to think) and turned them into centres of social engineering (teaching children what to think). Progressive education (such as TIE), teaching children that they can choose their own gender, that they can be whoever or whatever they want to be, will do continuing harm to Scotland’s children and result in far more ending up in care.
I believe that this ‘progressive’ view of the family is destructive and harmful, especially to children. The progressives of course cannot allow anything to challenge their ideology and so they ignore the consequences and look for other scapegoats to blame….if you are of a political bent just shout ‘its the Tories’….or if you want to go deeper, just blame the ‘religious’, especially any Christians who actually believe the Bible. We are ‘the enemy within’!
The trouble with those who are for ‘peace’ is that they are prepared to make war on those who don’t agree with their ideology. The trouble with those who are for ‘inclusion’ is that they want to exclude all who don’t agree with their ideology. I have again and again noticed this tendency in the cybernats, the stormtroopers of the new SNP. You don’t agree with expressed party policy on any point and you are automatically classed as the enemy ( a tory, a unionist…) and therefore not worthy of any sensible discussion. An example of this is one of my favourite responses so far to this series -a tweet which stated ‘absolutely no way is the author an SNP supporter’! Why? Because I question party policy on Europe?
But this ‘inclusive’ progressive ideology excludes. Let me give you one example of how this works within the new progressive Scotland. I was contacted by Barnardos on the 2nd of June this year. Barnardos is one of those good organisations who want to help children (and come from a Christian foundation) and although I knew they were very much for this ‘progressive’ agenda I thought that their plea for help in finding foster homes for children in care was worthwhile and something we could get involved in. A week later came the follow up call. The caller from Barnardos was deeply apologetic but she had been told by her bosses that they could not work with us because ‘we have to be accepting and have a wide range of beliefs’. Apparently we were to be rejected because we didn’t accept SSM and other similar ‘progressive’ beliefs. When I pointed out that this is itself was hardly accepting or indicative of a wide range of beliefs, she agreed but told me that there was a corporate broader point of view which meant they had to be accepting. When I said that they clearly were not accepting of my views – she agreed and said she was really sorry…but thats what the corporate bosses said and she was an employee. Can you see where this leads? In order to protect their own ideology they are prepared to sacrifice the care and needs of children! Barnardoes is saying that having the right progressive politics is more important than helping children!
Just for a moment can I ask my ‘progressive’ friends to simply ask ‘what if we are wrong’? What if, instead of your values and policies leading to Eutopia we end up with a devastated and broken society? The consequences of the combination of Tory austerity and SNP ‘progressivism’ does not bear thinking about! As Cromwell wrote to the Church of Scotland in 1650- “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”
Identity Politics – Why the SNP are Giving up On Independence – Part 4