Yesterday we noted that rational people arrive at decisions about things based on the facts, not the personalities of who else might support or oppose those things. But in the interests of balance, allow us to present the counterpoint.
Yesterday the SNP’s defence spokesman at Westminster cited the position of French National Front leader Marine Le Pen when arguing with someone who suggested that an independent Scotland should leave NATO.
As it happens, we agree with McDonald on NATO membership. It would be a pointless folly and an exercise in self-destructive virtue-signalling to leave an organisation which is willing to defend Scotland militarily for free because of its strategic location, and it would be extremely unpopular with the Scottish public (including SNP voters), no matter how much those on the left might wish otherwise.
His reasoning above, however, is a wretched embarrassment.
McDonald, while very much on the right of the party, is typical of the SNP’s hyper-woke wing – a pious, puritanical fundamentalist completely intolerant of any dissenting view on any currently fashionable topic.
And as the woke are driven wholly by trends, it follows that they have no interest in facts and are all about personalities, whether it’s the cult of the leader or the merciless “cancelling” of those deemed unworthy.
McDonald’s view that “we can never, ever be on the same side as the National Front” sounds instinctively fine on first hearing. Who, after all, would want to be allied with a bunch of horrible racist thugs?
But the problem with an infantile policy of “whatever X is for, I’m against” becomes obvious after five seconds’ thought, and is twofold.
Because as someone on the thread pointed out, Le Pen’s party has, since 2017, been opposed to capital punishment:
And what that means is that if you’re also opposed to the death penalty, then whether you like it or not you’re on the same side as the French National Front. For his position to have any sort of logical consistency, McDonald would be obliged to start campaigning to bring back hanging.
(Typically, when challenged he insisted this wasn’t true, while failing to offer any sort of attempt at an argument to back up the assertion. It is, as with so many other aspects of the current SNP, a mindset terrifyingly reminiscent of “1984”.)
The second problem is flagged in the words “since 2017” above. Because what THAT means is that if the Front Nationale suddenly had an unlikely change of heart and became supportive of immigration, the SNP would have to start opposing it, because McDonald’s brainless student philosophy requires the SNP to reflexively position itself as the diametric opposite of the FN whatever the FN stands for on any given issue, and therefore to change whenever it changes.
(In other words, in effect Marine Le Pen gets to decide SNP policy.)
It’s a stance not fit for a primary school’s first ever debating society: “some people are just plain bad so we have to be whatever they’re not”. And we’re not misrepresenting McDonald’s views there – they’re his own unaltered words: we can NEVER, EVER be on the same side as Marine Le Pen.
No qualifiers, no exceptions, no “on this particular subject”, no “as long as she has this view”. Just NEVER, EVER, under any circumstances, because she’s evil and he’s good and the two must never occupy the same space, like matter and anti-matter. If it turned out that she liked cheese’n’onion crisps, McDonald could never eat them again, because cheese’n’onion crisps would have just become fascist by association.
(Or less satirically, if she suddenly switched the FN over to a pro-NATO stance, then by McDonald’s logic the SNP would have to revert to opposing it, as it did until 2012. In fact, since McDonald despises this site, he really ought to oppose NATO membership simply on the grounds that we advocate it.)
We have no idea how such a pitiful intellectual void ever came to occupy a seat on the SNP’s front bench, other than perhaps as a box-ticking exercise. But if McDonald is representative of the party’s senior ranks then the independence movement really is in a lot of trouble in more ways than we can count.