No one else does down Scotland quite as often and quite as gleefully as the SNP does down Scotland. As well as being tiresome and downright depressing, it’s also somewhat ironic.

It’s reasonable to conclude that several of the SNP’s elite are embarrassed by Scotland’s Presbyterian heritage. This was made lamentably clear during last year’s party leadership contest when Kate Forbes was chastised by several of her colleagues for being true to her Free Church of Scotland faith.

Yet, like those curmudgeonly, fire-and-brimstone preachers of old, the SNP likes nothing more than to persuade the rest of us to cut about in sackcloth and ashes whipping ourselves in a frenzy of penitence and contrition.

Of course, none of this applies to the party’s own senior officers. Having long ago renounced any commitment to independence and standing for little else of social worth, they’re reduced to cycle-lane politics and bouncy castle activism. This, and wagging their fingers at the deplorable conduct of delinquent Scotland.

The latest manifestation of this obsession with self-mortification was evident in the recent train-wreck BBC interview given by Fulton MacGregor, the SNP MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston. Mr MacGregor is not considered sufficiently worthy to have joined the SNP’s legion of ministers (39 at the last count). But for one night he was made to walk the plank and defend the many absurdities lurking in the Hate Crimes Act which comes into force next week.

The Herald: Hate Crimes Act comes into force next weekHate Crimes Act comes into force next week (Image: free)

This being Holy Week, I’m reluctant to be uncharitable. But let’s be frank here: the principal qualification for ministerial responsibility in the SNP government seems to be demonstrating a capacity for being able to talk very slowly from a prepared script and to walk in a straight line.

If you’ve been overlooked for preferment in favour of these mountebanks and chancers then perhaps it’s time to re-think the life choices that led to this sorry impasse. To paraphrase PG Wodehouse: it will never be difficult to distinguish between the upstanding member for Coatbridge and Chryston and a ray of sunshine.

If BBC Scotland’s comedy unit ever wants to revive Rikki Fulton’s memorable Reverend IM Jolly character then Mr MacGregor is the very fellow for me. His opening justification for the Hate Crimes legislation was to declare that “hate crime is a major problem across Scotland” and that no-one could disagree with this.

I’m normally loathe to accuse politicians of lying when they’ve merely been inaccurate or mistaken. Mr MacGregor, though, will have been prepped and briefed before his appearance by the SNP’s swollen caucus of aides and researchers. There is simply no justification for him to make such a statement. It defamed the people of Scotland in the same way the Police Scotland cynically targeted  working-class men in their infamous Hate Crime guidelines.

Once, the SNP embraced their fellow Scots and smiled at them as they took us to the brink of independence and made themselves an election-winning machine. Now, having dropped any pretence at striving for independence, it sneers at us. And when it’s not doing that it snarls. It strives to disguise its true face, but occasionally the mask slips.


Scotland's Hate Crime Act has plenty of safeguards

New hate crime law doesn't criminalise offensive speech

We had glimpsed this previously in Nicola Sturgeon’s attempts to marginalise Joanna Cherry and other women who opposed her on gender self-id. Even when Ms Cherry was assailed by multiple threats of sexual violence by men who wanted to silence her, neither Ms Sturgeon, nor any of her fawning acolytes, could bring themselves to offer any support.

The SNP has been portraying Scotland as the most backward and hate-filled country in the known world for several years. And if they’re not wiping us off the soles of their well-shod feet they’re portraying us as Buckfast-swilling troglodytes who must be taxed on their alcohol choices.

They also think Scotland is a nation of rampant transphobes. And to reinforce this lie they’ve granted millions of pounds over several years to groups linked to Stonewall for the purpose of disseminating these falsehoods to school-children. Like much else of the SNP’s claims this gas-lighting of an entire nation turns to dust under the slightest scrutiny.

The facts are simple. Transphobic attacks in Scotland are vanishingly rare. Simply stating the biological and protected truth that transwomen are men does not make you a transphobe.

Meanwhile, if we’re not all hating each other, getting tore into the Buckie and the Dragon Soop and being transphobic, we’re all bulk-buying in Iceland and Greggs and stocking up on wur pot noodles and steak bakes and wasting money on scratch-cards.

In 2014, the SNP failed to bring in its equally absurd Named Persons legislation. This was an early sign of the contempt in which this party holds people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Now, they’ve effectively installed themselves as a National Named Person, ever vigilant for signs of delinquency among the natives of the most backward nation on the planet.

If the SNP’s portrayal of Scotland as Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights were in any way true then we will never be granted our independence (being as how we’re little more than hate-filled, boozed-up savages).

Indeed, taking its lead from the Scottish Government, an arts project was given £90k by Creative Scotland to stage what looked like a re-creation of the great northern Renaissance painter’s works. The Haitians must hear about us and think “thank God we don’t live in Scotland”.

The Herald: Police Scotland's 'hate monster'Police Scotland's 'hate monster' (Image: free)

Instead, we should be put on special measures and placed on an international watch-list to ensure that we must always be dependent on much more civilised nations.

As Humza Yousaf jets around the world trying to pretend to bewildered world leaders that he belongs in their company I’d love to eavesdrop on his conversations.

“So Mr Yousaf, I hear that you’re in charge of the most backward country in the western hemisphere.”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Perhaps you could talk to us about how your progressive administration is addressing these issues.”

“Have you seen our baby boxes and cycle lanes?”

There is, of course, some purpose to the SNP’s orgy of hate against its own people. This party has failed in every measurable standard by which a reasonable person would judge a government to be competent. Thousands of preventable addiction deaths have occurred in their reign. More children are in poverty; they will never reduce the attainment gap in education and they’ve all but abandoned any attempts to enact meaningful land reform and build a sufficiency of social housing.

This way, the SNP can say they were trying their best and if it weren’t for the rest of us being so hate-filled and boozed-up they’d have succeeded.