Nicola Sturgeon’s latest U-turn: She rejects claims of ‘brainwashed’ SNP supporters

Remember this image, and the Tory smear campaign going with it that won them the general election in May? Nicola Sturgeon is exactly the kind of opposition politician that David Cameron wants.

Remember this image, and the Tory smear campaign going with it that won them the general election in May 2015? Nicola Sturgeon is exactly the kind of opposition politician that David Cameron wants.

Is this the same Nicola Sturgeon who pledged to tackle the so-called ‘cybernats’ over online abuse back in June, saying SNP members who ‘cross the line’ will face disciplinary action?

This Blog (and other organisations) had beem forced to endure sustained abuse from these people, who lurked around Facebook, Twitter and the Blogosphere, waiting for someone to write anything remotely critical of their party and then launching vicious verbal attacks characterised by a lack of factual evidence to support their stance.

In fact, the evidence put forward – more often than not – seemed to be SNP propaganda rather than any real reflection of events or issue.

If those people weren’t brainwashed, then what were they?

Now she wants these creatures to help her get more MSPs in May, so she’s changed her tune and any such inference is “insulting” to her.

This is a familiar pattern also – she u-turned over her claim that the Labour Party who, under Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, supported George Osborne’s Charter for Budget Responsibility early in the year would be condemning the UK to £30 billion of cuts (which were not mentioned anywhere in the document).

In May 2015 she changed her tune – going much further than Labour and actually voicing support for the Tories herself, saying that the Charter “allows the UK government flexibility to increase spending over its current plans, while still reducing the deficit and debt”.

All things considered – especially Ms Sturgeon’s tendency to change her tune whenever she feels like it – perhaps the best choice for Scotland in May is to change the record altogether.*

Nicola Sturgeon has hit back at accusations that SNP supporters are “brainwashed” as parties kick-started campaigning for this year’s Scottish Parliament election.

Scotland’s First Minister said the suggestion was “profoundly insulting” in an opinion piece setting out her priorities in the run up to the vote on May 5.

[She said:] “Those who support the SNP have not been brainwashed, they are not blind to our imperfections – instead, they are weighing them against our strengths and achievements, and against the other parties, and deciding that the SNP is the party they most closely identify with, the people they trust most to stand up for Scotland.”

Source: Nicola Sturgeon rejects claims of ‘brainwashed’ SNP supporters | UK Politics | News | The Independent

*For clarity: This is a metaphor and I mean Scottish people may wish to vote for a party other than the SNP.

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8 thoughts on “Nicola Sturgeon’s latest U-turn: She rejects claims of ‘brainwashed’ SNP supporters

  1. Denis Bell

    Hi Mike, not sure I’m reading your blog correctly here..
    Do most politicians not change their tune..when they want to?..Is actually changing tune not necessarily a bad thing? Or is it better that they all stick in the groove, or trench (if entrenched in views) and never ever come out of it ‘come heckers or high water..’?

    I’d agree with some of your drift inasmuch as some followers will be like with all Parties totally convinced that everything the Party does is right and absolute and everyone else is wrong…but that’s disingenuous on a very large number of ‘supporters'(?) ….politically engaged people …??? Brainwashing is something all the Main Line News Media ‘reporters'[are they really….?] try to do at the behest of their ‘paymasters’, who we all know are too too often in cahoots with the political party that will serve their needs of making money..vice versa, versa vice…if you get that…! I think you’d be better to mention Scottish voters on ‘an SNP Bandwagon’…that is seen by many, and most, to be a political body that is closest to our politicised culture and actually reflecting traits and aspirations of a huge number of resident Scots voters….Scottish voters who are utterly, utterly sick of Blue Tories, Red Tories and yeller-belly LibDems…and ‘waste monster’!!!

    If Nicola Sturgeon says that ‘brainwashed is profoundly insulating then I agree with her. My regular FB ‘Friends ‘ typically seem to be to be very switched on and very opinionated in their own rights = GOOD!

    If you are concerned with the cybernats, the baddies, who have railed against ‘media articles’ then send the SNP a list of the ones you consider to be objectionably offensive and tell us what responses you get, or none?
    It is a bit rich though to mention and believe that you’d really expect all ‘SNP followers’ to be great or good or wonderful people. You might be suggesting that all the other Mainstream parties and chocked full of superb quality followers…?

    SNP bad Mike eh…??
    Br, Denis.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Sorry, Denis, but your comment gives away your own loyalties.
      You’ll be aware that SNP MP Mhairi Black quoted Tony Benn’s famous comment that politicians should be “signposts”, not “weathercocks”, in her maiden speech. She, and he, meant that politicians should indicate their preferred direction of travel very clearly, and stick to it. So, no – SNP politicians should not change their tune whenever it is expedient, by their own admission.
      … And certainly not within a matter of months, as in both cases I mentioned. Had anything changed, with regard to either issue? No.
      But then, as I mentioned, you give yourself away with your claim that the news media are all in thrall to political parties other than the SNP and your claim that most Scottish people accept the SNP’s claim to reflect their character and hopes. You even mention the SNP term for Labour – “red Tories” – so we can all see how your card is marked.
      Knowing where your loyalties lie, we can understand your reasons for supporting Sturgeon’s (current) position – and reject them.
      Your comment about “all SNP followers” is an example of “all or nothing thinking” – a psychological fallacy in which a person cannot understand that life isn’t black-and-white and criticising some members of a group isn’t the same as criticising all of them.
      There is at least one SNP supporter commenting here regularly, who I would most certainly not describe as “brainwashed” – although we certainly disagree on many details. Similarly, SNP MPs have made good points in Parliament since the general election.
      Therefore, in response to your parting shot, I can respond. No. SNP not all bad.
      It just leaves a lot to be desired.
      As do many of its supporters, no matter which way Nicola Sturgeon is facing on any particular day.

      1. Denis Bell

        Hi Mike, thanks for that…I enjoy a bit of banter..! To understand my loyalties, then you should know I’m English but with all my formative years in decent education up here…so I’ve lived life for 53 years up here from the borderland of Northumberland…Truly ‘Scottish through and through’…the Country has given me absolutely everything I have …and I gave back with Scottish vets, some years ago. But in all my life I’ve worked very hard to try and help in a small way for my Family and work colleagues and friends to flourish….I had hoped for a better LibDem (really I think I am centre left…) but they threw their lot in with the Tories. Too many years of Labour here propping up weakening English and Welsh Labour with clearly not a lot to show for that allegiance for all those years …Blair finished it for me, as Thatcher did for any aspiration of Tory progressiveness…etc. So to me SNP are the vehicle I hope for the better.
        I have swung and changed throughout my life Mike and think I’d be a very base and shallow person if that was not decent to change for ‘the better’ at various times.…. NS is to a huge majority of us up here rather more trusted and worthy than the great majority of other ‘influential politicians’… We’re many of us very sick of the obscenity of Westminster and the SE. We think and believe that we can do better. SNP are our beacon meantime, though at another time there may be more decently competitive political parties up here and who knows where my affiliations then might lie. Nothing and nobody’s perfect, and choice is mine as a ‘punter’, ‘customer’ or ‘Scotsman’…;-)) Anyway you know that I am a true man of and for the People…definitely left of centre…. Keep up the good work, I try to read most of it…you’re doing pretty well all in all, thanks for coming back to me. Br, Denis.

  2. Joan Edington

    Ah, the season of goodwill is truly over and you are back to your SNP-bashing. If you are sick of what you call cybernats, I am sick of the BBC and MSM constantly criticising the SNP for all and everything. If there is any brainwashing going on it comes from their end. I admit that there are some pretty weird SNP supporters on social media but no more than other party trolls. It is not the SNP’s problem that the likes of you seem to hate their’s more than others’. The vast majority are like me and support the SNP as the best for Scotland, with what is available here, but realise that does not mean they are perfect. If anyone has suffered “sustained abuse” this last year it has been the SNP, mostly by people to whom the party is irrelevant.
    PS. I resent being referred to as a “creature” for my political beliefs. That is Tory-speak.

  3. Richard McHarg

    Talking nonsense about the SNP, again?

    It’s not a case of the SNP brainwashing anyone, but simply a case of Labour being rumbled: Trident supporters; Tory austerity abstainers and supporters; bitter and twisted, rubbish opposition; perpetual liars.

    Labour in Scotland aren’t called the Red Tories for nothing. It’s as if you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about, and that’s why people challenge you, strongly. We’re pig-sick of hearing this sort of crap on your blog and in the London-based media.

    If you think the abuse you get is bad, you should have been in Scotland over the last 40 years to hear the abuse the SNP has endured from Unionists.

    We don’t like you!

    Back to school, Old Chap!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I think you’re the one who needs to go back to school.
      What’s that shopping list you have there, of traits you’d like Labour to have? Trident supporters? Not any more and certainly not in Scotland. Austerity abstainers? Under previous management maybe – not now. And remember – not only would the SNP’s economic plans before the general election have required more austerity than Labour, but SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon supported the Tory ‘Charter for Budget Responsibility’ after attacking Labour for doing so, as stated in the article. Your other claims are just words without supporting evidence.
      I don’t care if you don’t like me. I’m not here to be liked by a minority of extremists who won’t accept demonstrable facts. I’m here to publicise the facts, whether you like them or not.
      Thank you for your comment, though – you make my points about SNP-supporting extremism better than I ever could.

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