The weal that will not heal? Plot-losing, conspiracy-hugging paranoia from Robin McAlpine

https://sourcenews.scot/robin-mcalpine-the-foundations-of-scotlands-democracy-have-crumbled-and-you-should-worry/

I’ve complained about the First Minister’s presidential style for some time but that headline is pure daft. The foundations of Scotland’s democracy have crumbled? Really? I’m well-into to worrying about Robin.

Remember the Dead Kennedys punk band and ‘Holiday in Cambodia?

Now you can go where the people are one
Now you can go where they get things done
What you need, my son…
What you need, my son…Is a holiday in Cambodia
Where people are dressed in black
A holiday in Cambodia
Where you’ll kiss ass or crack

Common Weal have been right into this kind of misguided hyperbole recently. Remember them on care home deaths saying:

The single greatest failure in devolved government since the creation of the Scottish Parliament

and completely missing the evidence that it had been a failure of centralised UK government, failing to lock-down early enough and sending misleading messages about the risk to care homes.

I was going to just ignore this. The readership of Common Space is tiny so maybe the damage done by this kind of mad hyperbole is minimal.

Regrettably, someone shared it again with me and that Jeremiac headline just pissed me off so much, I felt I had to say something.

I’m not spending much time on this. I don’t need to. The incredibly daft headline above and one section will do:

Let’s take the SQA debacle; like everything else, it seems clear to me that the only real consideration was how the exam problem would make the first minister look. She clearly wanted a slight improvement – but not too much. In other words, to look like last year with a slight uptick. It’s plain as the nose on your face that the methodology was retrofitted to achieve the outcome. Fearing that the Scottish Government would catch a Daily Mail backlash if poor kids got decent results, it was made sure that they didn’t. Had I pages and pages to spare, I would document dozens of examples where government in Scotland has been calibrated primarily to the interests of a first minister who behaves like a president in a system ill-equipped to deal with this concentration of power. It is why virtually everything this government has done in five years has failed – you can’t weld a presidential model onto a parliamentary democracy without consequences. They’ve been dire.

This is plot-losing, conspiracy-hugging paranoia at an astonishing level. No one surely can believe any of that yet….

Footnote:

Robin McAlpine was head honcho at the Jimmie Reid Foundation which launched Common Weal and its Common Space website but left to do his own thing with it in 2014 after an acrimonious split from the founders.

I understand the clever, patriotic choice of a Scots word in the title but doesn’t ‘weal’ just suggest, to 99.9% of Scots, a red, swollen mark left on flesh by a blow or pressure?

She slapped his cheek and a bright red weal sprang up on it!

18 thoughts on “The weal that will not heal? Plot-losing, conspiracy-hugging paranoia from Robin McAlpine”

  1. This is only my perspective… but I seem to find that a lot of men of a certain age (with some sort of media platform, whether new or traditional (and I’m not including Prof John in this)) just don’t seem to like or offer much respect to the current first minister.

    Especially in comparison to their immediate predecessor.

    I could be wrong, but the only thing I can put it down to is subconscious-misogyny.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. And you could also be right norm, subconscious misogyny is alive and kicking particularly in men of a certain age, I deal with it every day at work probably because I’m not ‘submissive’ enough for their tastes.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. A lot of men of a certain age are what I term ‘clever fools’ usually born out of pseudo arrogance, envy and the thought that nobody takes them seriously and they can’t understand the reasons why. They are usually quite obnoxious and ignorant of their own failing. The arrogance is the mask they wear that camouflages their deep rooted insecurity.
        It is Mummy thing and to much lesser extent a Daddy thing.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. why would certain men of a certain age use their media platforms to attack the FM and the SNP, at a time when sustained support for independence has never been higher?

      subconscious misogyny, or worse.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. “why would certain men of a certain age use their media platform to attack the First Minister</i

        Because the SNP are riding high in the polls, Independence edging towards majority support and there's an election in 9 months with the future of England's precious Union hanging on the result.

        At times like this we will all be surprised at who will step forward to attack the Scottish Government!

        Like

  2. Yeah, when I read his piece all I could think of was ‘hyperbole’. He always seems to trash his own writing with it, and perhaps with the evident ‘vitriol’. Maybe he has something interesting to say, and has many thoughts that could be of interest, but who can be bothered when you have to wade through the trash and just guess at what might be the useful parts?

    I did read the whole piece this time, but by the end was left disturbed and fairly confused – like he doesn’t actually know what he’s trying to say, or to who. It reads like brain-vomit smeared over a page, and I don’t have the time or energy to try and make any interpretation. 1/10 for effort, execution and content.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have to say that much coming from Common Weal has merit and I read their articles carefully.

    However, I struggle to do so when the author is Robin McAlpine. I find him arrogant utterly sure of the rightness of his position and some of the ways he expresses his opinions border, quite frankly, on the offensive. He also seems to feel that no-one has the right to disagree – even elected officials such as the FM. Thaty is not how democracy works.

    This diatribe oversteps the bounds of what is reasonable and decent. If you look at the look at the ScotGov Covid-19 where his organization gets a mention, you may get clue as to the reason for is ire.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Bit of a leap, to put it mildly, between a “presidential style” and a loss of Scottish democracy, whatever that means. (I haven’t read the piece.) So, what is the “presidential style” and what lies behind it.?Just more centralisation of power and a narrower, smaller group of influential people? I think I may have noted it.

    Like

  5. The political far left have a long tradition of fragmentation and pursuit of narrow ideological objectives.
    If you want to be a successful political force,then you need to learn lessons from the Tory party.
    The Tories,by a country mile,are the most successful political party in the UK.
    Their ruthless determination and focus on being in power allows them to paper over any cracks and dissent within their ranks in the pursuit of that objective.
    Without power,nothing is possible.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve had the misfortune of sitting through a couple of Mr McAlpine’s talks. He loves the sound of his own voice, and don’t ever disagree with or question what he says!

    Like

    1. Isobel Lindsay

      “why would certain men of a certain age use their media platform to attack the First Minister</i

      Because the SNP are riding high in the polls, Independence edging towards majority support and there's an election in 9 months with the future of England's precious Union hanging on the result.

      At times like this we will all be surprised at who will step forward to attack the Scottish Government!

      Like

  7. I used the like McAlpine. Met him a couple of times in the run up to the 2014 referendum. He seemed a sensible guy with several good ideas. However, after 2014, and especially in the run up to the 2016 election, everything changed and he turned into someone who seemed to believe that he was the only person in Scotland capable of understanding how Scotland can make progress as a nation. Anyone who disagreed had to be shouted down, with long explanations showing how foolish their ideas were.

    This latest nonsense surely rings the death knell for McAlpine and Common Weal. Surely they have now sunk into the depths of irrelevance where the Labour party will be their only companions.

    Like

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