SNP – At risk of Arrogance?

Patrick Harvie, Co – convener of The Scottish Green Party, in an interesting interview in the Herald (I saw it online, didn’t buy the paper) said regarding the SNP 1-2 or both votes campaign for Holyrood:

“The SNP would do well to remember how deeply that kind of mind-set rooted itself in the Labour party when they were the dominant party in Scotland, and how much it ended up damaging them.”

It’s interesting that he would say that as I had been having similar thoughts as the election campaign leaflets etc get delivered on the door steps. Now of course the SNP should be pushing for as many votes as they can get, and of course they can campaign in any way they want within the rules, but I must admit I find the both votes for SNP a bit annoying.

Now I’m not sure I would call it arrogance but I think it can be perceived, or at least could come across as a risk of arrogance. I have found it to be too much in your face, all the time on the literature with little explanation why the electorate should lend the SNP both votes. Now I understand why the SNP feel voters should lend them both votes, ensure majority SNP Government, maintain the YES momentum, ensure that on-going Government Policy is continued and followed through, fight the cuts etc. I understand that, but it is an in your face type of campaigning that I suspect many of us are uncomfortable with in Scotland.

One of the many things that have virtually killed off British Labour in Scotland was their sense of entitlement in elections across Scotland for too many years. Are the SNP at risk of that? I think Patrick is correct to raise it. The SNP suffer from a serious lack of opposition in Holyrood, I have mentioned it before. The lack of opposition could make the SNP Government get complacent, or be perceived as arrogant, and the campaign may just be risking that perception with its literature.

Now I believe you should vote for what you want, if that is Conservative, Labour or even UKip, vote for what you want to happen. That’s democracy, if your over-riding belief is Scottish Independence then give both votes to the SNP, but for myself. I want a Government in Holyrood that governs well, in everyone’s best interests as best possible but one that is held to account by good opposition and by the electorate.

Now I know good opposition in Holyrood is hard to find when most of it comes from Rennie, Davidson, Dugdale, and the hateful Baillie – but it is important. However, in light of the fact that there is zero decent opposition in Holyrood right now the SNP would be advised to be careful on how they are perceived as good governance and the big prize of independence are too important to those of us who supported YES.

Don’t get arrogant, don’t get complacent, build the momentum for YES. Build a better Scotland, don’t get used to power and don’t ever take it for granted.



    • Anonymous

      Anon (Daniel)

      I never did that, ever, I wouldn’t stoop that low.

      Thanks for commenting on my baldness issue.


  1. jimnarlene

    The mainstream media act as the opposition in Scotland, I don’t think there’s an immediate danger of arrogance setting in; “Scottish” Labour had decades of weighing their votes, and UK funding to become complacent. The SNP has none of these.
    I do agree Scotland needs an effective opposition, it’s not the electorates fault there is none; it’s the opposition parties themselves who are to blame.
    I think Mr Harvey my be getting a tad arrogant himself, asking SNP supporters to “lend” their second vote to the Greens. Why should they? The only poll that counts is on the day, why would SNP supporters risk a minority administration or a unionist coalition, independence would be booted in to the very long grass.

    PS, bald myself, it’s not sore; nor is it fatal.

    • Anonymous


      Very true about the mainstream media, never really looked at it that way. I see where you are coming from regarding Labour and the Greens and I really hope the SNP don’t get too used to things as they, and the members / YES movement are this countries best hope for a decent future. It’s a fine line for the SNP, they probably can’t win either way, and as I said people should vote for what they want but I hope the literature and the campaign doesn’t get too in your face. I get annoyed at that, but appreciate that’s just my view, but I have heard people comment in the office etc about how they feel about the campaign so far. You can’t please everyone but I did find Patrick Harvey’s interview interesting. Fingers crossed the SNP can keep the momentum going and as keep the YES movement and long term aims to the fore.

      Thanks for commenting.


  2. daviddrawsandpaints

    Firstly, the SNP is not the Labour Party in Scotland and never likely to be ( I would put money on it and that is some endorsement from a non-gambler)
    Secondly, Patrick Harvey and the Greens are in my opinion being very naughty here trying to paint the SNP in this manner, but that I suppose is politics.
    Thirdly, I believe the SNP are only trying to defend and capitalize on their strong present position. As jimnarlene alludes to the SNP have more than enough opposition from the msm to contend with to keep them grounded.

    Finally, if you can’t get a head (of hair), get a bunnet!

    • Anonymous


      I hope the members will keep the SNP grounded and focused, the media will just keep up their SNP bad message for as long as they can I suppose. I agree that they are all electioneering, so will say a lot of stuff, but I do find Patrick Harvey to be decent, don’t agree with all of his policies, even though some are interesting, but I do think he has the countries best interests at heart. Should the SNP win, pretty certain I know, they will be embarking on reaching 14 years in Government. A long time for any party and there will be dangers for them, the fact that the unionists are such a mess will definitely help the cause but there is a danger of arrogance and complacency after so long in power, my hope is that they guard against it as best they can. The members need to be strong and keep voicing their opinion, the SNP is a top down party in many ways, and while I can understand that with such a huge membership, care needs to be taken. It will be interesting to see what happens and hopefully that end point is another referendum and a yes vote.

      Thanks for taking time to read my blog and comment, the debate is so important. I wear a DFC woolly hat with pride.


  3. lanark

    The way I see May’s election is that it’s not so much about electing a new government, more about electing a new opposition. The further the Tory parties fall, the better the chance at least one will split from London control and become a Scottish party. If said party then embraced the idea of Independence, then great, if not then perhaps the pursuit of geniune Home Rule. It suits the Tory parties to campaign separately in a PR election to gain more list seats – yet another way they abuse the system (see Anas Sarwar). In the next FPTP vote I am sure they will form some sort of coalition.

    As others have said, our “media” have taken up the opposition mantle. But I agree with you, we need a good opposition within the Scottish Parliament and this mob we have just now are not (and never will be) it.

    I get round any doubts I have about the SNP by thinking of them as the Yes party. I want Independence more than ever and they, flawed though they are, are our best chance.

    It is a strange election however. Even Thatcher in her hideous prime never faced Michael Foot or Neil Kinnock campaigning to come second. This election is a foregone conclusion and this does bring dangers – arrogance being one as you correctly identify. I will be watching closely on the Tory parties to see if anyone has the balls to step up and try to take them back from the shysters who run them at present. Interesting times ahead.

    PS I’m a baldy too!

    • grumpyscottishman


      It is about electing an opposition you are correct there. I know my first vote but still undecided for the second so far and still have a bit of time to decide. I must admit I’m not bothered which of the Tory parties are the opposition as they are all crap, not good for democracy but their own fault. I can’t see any breaking away from the head office, they would be broke I suppose. They are just trying to see it out and hope for a better future. If the No voters got behind one party like YES appeared to have then they would actually have a chance, and I would not rule out a unionist merge in the future if they keep getting their arse kicked, lets face it there is not much between any of them as far as policy goes, shit everytime there is a debate Willie Rennie is that close to Davidison he might as well make out with her.

      The SNP do have flaws, too cautious for me in some ways esp around Council Tax and challenging Westminster, too centralist but they are the best we have right now by a mile. I must admit I am less worried about arrogance to be fair as the mebers should keep that in check, but I do think that complacency could set in if they are not careful and that would not be good for anyone. Interesting times.

      Thanks for commenting.


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