Guy Stenhouse, I know ‘who?’ writes in the Herald today to argue that the independence question should be different next time, even though the UK Government and the Electoral Commission approved the last one after changing what the SNP Government wanted from:
Do you agree that Scotland be an independent country?
Should Scotland be an independent country?
Stenhouse argues that the first version was biased and that the second was a gift to the Yes campaign. Then he tries to argue, I think, that the possibility of responding with the ‘powerful’ word ‘Yes’ was an attempt to ‘manipulate‘ voters.
Does anyone think that if the last 9 opinion polls showed a majority for ‘No’, he’d be giving us this nonsense about the word ‘No’?
More important who is this guy? He pops up now and then, from stage-door-right to spout stuff then disappears.
In June, he had a go at bending reality with the suggestion that the FM and the PM were somehow alike.
I wrote at the time:
In the Herald today, the rare appearance entering from stage door right, of Guy Stenhouse, to suggest the pandemic is not such a big worry:
Comparing Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon is an interesting exercise. Nicola, one has the feeling, is comfortable giving us instructions – her motives are decent but she finds the state telling the citizen what to do a natural state of affairs; if the medical advice says we wait, then I will tell you to wait and you will do it. Boris, on the other hand, is plainly uncomfortable with this, he is an instinctive libertarian, the state infringing the freedoms of its citizens, especially when the real danger is far less that [sic] the shrieking tabloids would have us believe, does not come naturally. Boris wants us to use our common sense and just act sensibly.
Guy goes on to suggest that, based on his treatment of Mr Cummings, we’d all prefer Boris as our friend in difficult times. We might well but would that be any way to run a country?
Then, he piles in behind the private care home owners, calling criticism such as presumably Care Inspectorate reports, ‘complete absolute nonsense’ and suggesting that they suffer greater scrutiny than the public sector ones. Evidence? Don’t be daft.
Worst of all though, is that sentence highlighted above. What IS he saying? We don’t get the benefit of his peer-reviewed research data confirming the danger is far less than any media coverage.
I’d agree that there is always some media amplification of threat but to appear to side with libertarians, such as Boris and his chums, puts you pretty firmly in a herd quite immune to human concerns about mass death among the poor. It’s quite clear that in the first few weeks the UK Government’s strategy was herd-immunity and ‘taking it on the chin’ to toughen us up, encouraged by dithering experts until, too late, the tsunami of death was visible on the horizon.