Martin Hannan: Do not weep at what you sowed

What's wrong with Scotland - as represented by the SNP - holding the balance of power at Westminster? Picture: Ian Rutherford
What's wrong with Scotland - as represented by the SNP - holding the balance of power at Westminster? Picture: Ian Rutherford
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There is a peculiar breed of journalist known as “political pundits” or commentators, but I prefer to call them the mediacrity.

This SNP member – remember I always state my party allegiance when writing an opinion column, and would invite other columnists to do the same – may be getting on a bit, but I don’t think I’m doolally just yet. I think some of the mediacrity most definitely are.

They are certainly getting their pantaloons in a fankle over the prospect of the SNP holding the balance of power at Westminster after the general election in May.

English anger will apparently know no bounds if the SNP supports Labour and “dictates” policies to Prime Minister Miliband. This from the normally more level-headed Allan Massie in the Daily Mail: “If the SNP has the effrontery to prop up a Westminster administration, English anger will have free rein . . . I don’t say the rivers Thames and Mersey will literally foam with blood – but they might well do so metaphorically.”

Tsk, tsk, Allan, take a quiet snifter and go and lie down in a dark room. I am sure on calmer reflection you will see that such sentiments are in themselves inflammatory, and also plain wrong.

What makes my blood really boil is that to a man and woman, those on the pro-Union right wing of the mediacrity – the majority of them, given the shocking lack of disparate ownership of our media – have forgotten something they all preached. That we are all better together in a Britain that stays together.

A little under six months ago, Edinburgh voted decisively No in the indyref. I never expected the capital city of Scotland to vote Yes, not least because there are far more English people, including students, who live here than in any other city in Scotland, and while I know there were plenty people from down south living in Scotland who voted for independence, the majority of them voted No.

That is their perfect right, and it is not being racist at all to suggest that most English people resident in Scotland last September preferred to keep the Union together.

So, too, did a lot of people in financial services, our largest private sector industry. They were just fearties, but that’s also a legitimate reason for voting No.

Stay united in the Union was the pleading of the Better Together lot. And they won. Now all of a sudden, the SNP could hold the balance of power in the Westminster parliament.

That’s what happens when you have a state, a union, that is put together in a mangled way. You cannot on the one hand say we are all in this Union together and then start screaming blue murder when the very fact of that union gets you a political result you don’t like.

As it happens, I don’t think there will be an SNP landslide because the fear tactics being used by branch manager Murphy and his chums will work again. But the SNP will be the largest party in Scotland, with maybe 32 or 33 seats, and therefore could hold the balance of power. Tough, but things like that happen in a union.

To all the Unionists from last September, all I can do is paraphrase the prophet Hosea in the Old Testament: “You have sown the wind, prepare to reap the whirlwind.”

New chiefs must be a racing cert

I HAVE been depressed to read of the problems afflicting Musselburgh Racecourse. There is no doubting the internal disarray within the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee which oversees the course and comprises East Lothian councillors and members of the Lothian Racing Syndicate – the latter people are racing types who know the sport inside out.

The problem is that Musselburgh requires council involvement because the course is on Common Good land. It’s been the tradition that councillors took the job, and some of them have been excellent in working for the course. The current lot led by Councillor John Caldwell are clearly not so excellent. So why do the councillors not stand aside and

let other Musselburgh community leaders represent the Honest Toun?

Drama should be chalk of the town

THERE are just a few performances left of The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, so if you are the sort of person that hears the name of Bertolt Brecht and squirms, get yourself along to Grindlay Street and be prepared to be amazed by a stunning, exuberant piece of theatre that you’ll never forget.