|TN Bhoy |
Member since Apr 2010
SNP risks shooting itself in the foot (Posted on 4/8/12 at 1:58 am)
Over Rangers intervention
The curious case of Lyall Duff, not Duffer, has been something akin to sticking the ball in your own net during a game of political football. For those unaware of this tale of woe, Duff is a prospective SNP council candidate for the wonderfully titled Murdostoun ward of North Lanarkshire council. He has nothing to do with Duff and Phelps, the frazzled administrators frantically trying to find a buyer for Rangers FC and their unpaid debt mountain of millions. The bold Duff has rightly provoked some local outrage after describing two Catholic midwives who objected to helping with abortions on the NHS as "money-grabbing old witches".
As far as we know it, Duff was not slurping Buckfast tonic wine when he made his feelings known. Duff was suspended by the SNP for his outburst pending further disciplinary measures within the party. These comments are especially untimely coming at moments when Scotland's First Minister and party leader Alex Salmond is trying to shove through the idea of an independent Scotland, a prosperous place free from the religious prejudice of yesteryear. At such times, it is easy to despair.
Somewhat astonishingly, Duff was not immediately disowned or expelled by the SNP for his views. Without condemnation from Salmond, there remains suspicion that the SNP view such figures as fit for political life, perhaps even wishing to endorse such bigots. It is fairly obvious, but can you imagine the outcry there would justifiably be if the midwifes were Jewish or Muslim? For some reason, such rabid attacks on Catholicism remain fair game in Scotland.
Against such a backdrop, Salmond may be wiser to avoid getting involved in football - that other sticking point of Scottish life - with Rangers apparently owing anywhere between £50-£90 million to HM Revenue and Customs. There are surely enough intelligent folk involved to get the club back on its feet despite the unpaid tax.
Trying to help out Rangers by asking HMRC to go easy on them because of their vast support within Scotland would undermine the law of the land and the natural order of life to pay tax. How could Salmond justify an independent Scotland complete with its own tax-raising powers if there is going to be one rule for one, and one rule for another?Do celebrity tax dodgers escape Scot-free under Salmond's version of home rule?
Salmond has already stuck his foot into choppy waters when he came up with his ill-conceived "Celtic can't prosper unless Rangers are there" line in an interview with David Frost back in February. It was a comment that attracted derision from Celtic, who accused him of exploiting the subject for political reasons.
Salmond apparently spoke to HMRC about the issue of Rangers in January and what was needed to secure a settlement for the club. It has been claimed that the Scottish Government's stance on the matter would be at odds with those of the British Government. The whole mess shrouding Rangers is giving off a stench that could yet strike at the heart of Holyrood. The First Minister has a duty to remain whiter than white.
The Catholic Church in Scotland feels the SNP risk a backlash at the ballot box in North Lanarkshire for the bold Duff's opinion of a couple of midwives. There are dangers that Salmond will sample a similar effect at an independence referendum if his footprints are found in and around the rather murky goings on at Rangers.
Salmond wants his independence referendum to pass (of course). The symbol of loyalism in Scotland is Rangers. He thinks helping Rangers will peel off some of their fans and get them to vote for independence. The problem is that (A) Rangers are being tried for tax evasion (massive amount of money) and (B) Rangers are also a symbol for anti-Catholic/Irish bigotry in Scotland. So by helping Rangers, he's maybe getting new supporters (+), but he's alienating those who think tax evasion is bad (-) and Catholics/Irish (-).
This post was edited on 4/8 at 2:13 am
|Back to top|
Back to top