The SNP: Over a Decade of Dismal Failure

April 25, 2018


Since the SNP came to power at Holyrood in 2007 they have proved a great disappointment to those who believed their promises of change. For those who have always opposed them, their poor performance in power is no surprise, and was always expected from what is at heart a single issue party with nothing to offer but a fixation on their half-baked idea of 'independence in Europe'.


The SNP have blatantly broken a number of promises and totally ignored some of their core manifesto commitments. They promised prior to 2007 that they would scrap council tax and replace it with what they deem to be a 'fairer' alternative; come 2018 after over a decade of SNP 'government', Scots are still paying the council tax.


But the reason why the SNP have been such a failure in government is much more fundamental than their inability to deliver any particular policy. The problem at heart is that the SNP are a party of contradictions that can only be held together by their overwhelming desire to break apart the United Kingdom.


The biggest contradiction is that they are an establishment anti-establishment party. When they came to power in 2007 they were outsiders and benefited from what was really more of a protest vote than any real support for independence amongst the Scottish people. Over ten years later, the SNP's ranks are filled with career politicians who represent everything their grassroots hated. At one point in 2015 the SNP had 56 MPs at Westminster enjoying large salaries and expenses, on top of the largest number of MSPs at Holyrood who each cost twice as much per head of population as an MP. A number of their former MPs have been hit by scandal and resigned the party whip. The SNP might try to play to anti-establishment sentiments, but it is increasingly sounding hollow as they look more and more like a corrupt establishment party.


Another contradiction can be seen in how their rhetoric of independence clashes with their slavish devotion to the EU. UK Union and EU Union are indeed two very different things, and we as a party support the former and oppose the latter. But we do so based on nuanced arguments that recognise the distinctions between these two unions. The SNP and especially the Yes movement on the other hand only ever used the vague rhetoric of "freedom" and "independence" to justify breaking up the UK, and it is little wonder that so many of their grassroots supporters applied this rhetoric as much to the EU as to the UK. Almost one-third of SNP voters voted Leave in the EU referendum: they are unlikely to be impressed with Sturgeon's constant attempts keep Scotland under the yoke of Brussels.


Another contradiction to recently wound the SNP is their stance over Russia. Sturgeon was quick to state explicitly that she backed Theresa May's response against Russia in the aftermath of the Salisbury poisoning, including the expulsion of twenty-three Russian diplomats. In doing so, Sturgeon angered much of the SNP's support base, and even found herself rather awkwardly condemning Alex Salmond's slot on Russia Today, which he has continued to maintain (another classic example of how many of the SNP's supposedly anti-establishment figures are nothing more than career politicians).


It is little wonder then that when the SNP are being torn apart by their own contradictions and are only loosely held together by their agenda to break up the United Kingdom, that they have failed to deliver good 'government' at Holyrood. From falling NHS and education standards, to the crisis hit Police Scotland, to the farce of the now defunct Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, the SNP's record is an undeniably poor one.


The fact that they lost 21 MPs in quite spectacular fashion at the latest General Election shows that the Scottish people are becoming truly fed up with the SNP. With their poor record in government now spanning over a decade, the electorate are now finally beginning to punish them for their failures.






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