I don’t need to repeat the apparently impassioned calls from the Scottish Tories for the Health Secretary to resign because of an error by her staff in sending out a letter with the wrong date in it.
I don’t need to repeat the First Minister’s quick, withering, dismissal of their call as ‘political.’
These calls, regularly made, by all opposition parties over time, for different SNP ministers to go, are beyond merely ‘political’ or cynical attempts to score points, they are political theatre in which facts no longer matter and in which context is missing.
Think about it. Jackson Carlaw is the leader of the Scottish branch of the UK-based Conservative and Unionist Party which is, on the evidence of multiple experts, responsible for the unwarranted deaths of thousands. This cabinet, infested with Libertarian belief and an elitist private schoolboy ideology which embraces the herd immunity fallacy, deliberately delayed lock-down, in the face of academic protest and, crucially, the evidence from Italy.
This caused the deaths of thousands. Professor John Edmunds would only say ‘a lot of lives’ but Edinburgh University researchers estimated 2 000 in Scotland so for the UK, that might be around 25 000.
The man behind this disaster, is the ideologue Dominic Cummings. We have yet to read the COBRA minutes to see what he said there and how and to what extent he pressed the group into accepting the idea that we could lock-down too early and the heartless idea that ‘we’ (they, the poor) should just take the deaths ‘on the chin.’.
You will remember and compare Carlaw’s stumbling, fearful, call for Cummings to ‘consider his position’ with his bombast in Holyrood, shouting theatrically for the fall of a competent, courageous woman.
Aye, he thinks he’s the big man now. He’s a classic bully, quiet as a mouse when the real hard-men make mistakes but joyously merciless when a hard-working woman can be accused of the smallest of errors.
The phrase ‘Shouting Theatre in a Crowded Fire‘ comes from a 1999 paper by Profesor Ian Stronach, then of Stirling University, now at Liverpool John Moores, in which he suggested that a lot of educational policy development was often more a ‘cultural performance’ than real change.
Allegedly, Stronach was ‘driven out’ of Scotland by indignant HM School Inspectors who were mightily offended by his apparent suggestion that they were in some way like pacific island witch doctors and then tried to isolate him.
Still in Teacher Education myself at the time, I though the analogy was perfectly reasonable and illuminating.