Quite a headline eh? Some (OK me and a few of the Twitterati) have characterised the former Sunday Herald and the National as ‘Trojan Horses’ with their unconvincing converts to independence, Kevin McKenna, Michael Fry and Iain McWhirter as mercenaries, driven by a combination of a basic need to get paid and an innate conservatism, to shy away from criticism of the wider movement but to weaken it, a bit, by attacking the SNP.
McKenna has been very active in the last few days with today’s George Robertson/Gandalf-like suggestion, in the Observer, that a ‘dark presence has come to possess this [SNP] party.’ In the same piece we read: ‘Some of their [SNP] candyfloss policies can drive you round the twist.’ Leaving aside McKenna’s own dark presence, there’s some connection between his anger at ‘candyfloss policies’ and his despair in the Herald on the 13th, with ‘SNP diktats.’
These will include the ban on smoking indoors which Reuters have today reported as reducing heart attacks by four times more than in England and the reduced alcohol-related hospital admissions after the introduction of minimum pricing in Scotland.
More darkly, Mckenna’s obsession with the SNP goes back. In the Herald in October 2016, he wrote:
‘There is a curiously illiberal and reactionary strain running through its (SNP) core which seems to belie its socialist credentials’
Here were his claims:
- Named Person Scheme was soundly trashed
- A Party whose language is a Caledonian version of Orwellian double-speak
- Army of superannuated advisors
- Critics howled down and accused of pandering to paedophiles
- Christian groups jeered and intimidated
- Encouraged by a bunch of indolent academics
Here are SNP actions he clearly didn’t like:
- Named Person Scheme
- Prisoners’ Voting Rights
- New Women’s Prison
- Minimum Alcohol Pricing
- Police Scotland
- Offensive behaviour at Football Act
I don’t know if the many recent repeated child abuse scandals in the, mostly, catholic ‘care’ homes or in the, mostly, Celtic boy’s clubs, have moderated his opposition to the Named Person Scheme or if he now wishes we had kept the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, in the wake of last season’s events.
McKenna has considerable previous as an SNP-basher since his supposed and suspicious conversion from a rabid Unionist. Here’s what Bella Caledonia wrote of him before he converted:
‘It’s a piece so loaded with self-loathing, barely recognised inferiorism and desperate, desperate, political emptiness it’s hard to approach, but we really do need to talk about Kevin.’