SNP leadership contest: Hustings no longer a 'safe space’ for candidates, the poor dears – John McLellan

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As if the SNP leadership squabble wasn’t illuminating enough, the attempt to ban journalists from their hustings over the next three weeks just added to the entertainment.

Now very limited access has been granted, at least the public can get a glimpse of what’s going on, but only after protests, contrasting with last summer’s Conservative leadership events when reporters weren’t just welcome but ran the debates.

Why was there any doubt that the public had to see how the future First Minister stands up to regular scrutiny? Might they not be under daily pressure when doing the job for real?

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Perhaps SNP managers didn’t want the public to see members asking hard questions or to know they have disagreements like any other party and the poor dears needed a “safe space”. Not like those Tories at the Perth hustings who deserved everything they got.

After all, which party would want the Press to witness candidates, Scottish Government ministers, trashing their own administration’s policies when they are entirely deserving of being trashed? But now everyone will be able to hear poor Humza Yousaf trying to give a consistent explanation for why he missed a key vote on same-sex marriage.

You might enjoy Ash Regan’s history lessons about the American Revolution and the Irish War of Independence, which some might interpret as suggesting shooting British soldiers is a reasonable alternative for the independence movement if a referendum is not available. And you might see Nicola Sturgeon loyalists flay Kate Forbes for the unusual political crime of bare-faced honesty.

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