Thursday, 5 May 2011 will always be a date worth remembering.
It was the day that the SNP won a majority in Parliament with 69 seats.
The 5 May will also be remembered by others and for different reasons.
You see, that Thursday was the day when a certain Tavish Scott opened his eyes to a very real possibility. An ambition that I believe he holds dear to his heart.
It wasn’t that he witnessed his beloved Liberal Democrats reduced to five seats, down from 16 in the previous parliament. No, parties get defeated from time to time. It goes with the territory.
It wasn’t that the Lib Dems came in 4th place behind the Tories.
It wasn’t that Tavish saw the writing on the wall regarding his leadership of the Lib Dems. Leaders come and go
then sometimes come back again.
What really hit Tavish like a freight train was the sight of his cherished ambition of a peerage going off the tracks.
Now Tavish has had his eyes on an ermine neck warmer for quite some time and on that memorable Thursday in May
the ermine scampered away out of reach of his grasping hands. And Tavish knew it.
Just a few months previously on 2 February 2011 his fellow Lib Dem, Nicol Stephen, was created a life peer as Baron Stephen.
Tavish probably thought he was a shoe in for the next round of ermine wearers. And why not? After all Tavish has been a Minister in the Scottish Government and in true Lib Dem fashion, he’s always shown loyalty to London and his Tory bosses in the Westminster Coalition Government since they came to power in 2010.
But the times they are a-changing so what’s a man to do?
If you’re Tavish, you spit the dummy out and throw tantrums, just like a kid that’s had it’s favourite toy taken away from it.
And what tantrums!
Tavish Scott and his colleague, Liam McArthur, Lid Dem MSP for Orkney, submitted a paper to the UK Government’s consultation on the independence referendum, in which they claimed that Orkney and Shetland may decide to remain a part of the UK if the rest of Scotland votes for independence. Tavish is also a loyal Better Together supporter and regularly speaks on behalf of them.
To my knowledge, Tavish (and Liam McArthur) is the only Scottish Unionist politician who has openly talked of part of Scottish territory seceding from Scotland. I concede that it would be unrealistic for a Unionist to suggest that Renfrewshire should secede, but that’s not the point. So why is he doing this? What’s in it for Tavish? I think it’s obvious. Tavish still has his eyes on the ermine coat and his bum keeping a seat warm in the House of Lords. He is playing a very dangerous game. In the event of a Yes vote the people of Scotland will look on his antics with great displeasure.
What is sad about this is that he could make a real contribution to a future Scotland and in the interests of unity we should keep the door open for all present Unionist politicians. But….
In my opinion, there is a red line that shouldn’t be crossed and Tavish (along with Liam McArthur) has crossed it.
I can see no future for Tavish in an Independent Scotland and he should be actively excluded from holding public office.
There are words to describe people like Tavish who have openly sided against their nation. Please see a thesaurus for more details.
A White Feather is actually to good for him but I enrol him into the White Feather Club none the less.