THE return of Wings Over Scotland to Twitter has caused a degree of ferment and toga-tearing within the SNP’s elite pension class. And for this alone, the account’s return from a lengthy ban by the social media platform has already been good value.

No one’s entirely sure why the blog – written by the Rev Stuart Campbell – was banned in the first place. If it was for his liberal use of profanities, then several thousand other Twitter users should probably have gone too.

Notable among them were some elected members and staffers in the SNP who have recently specialised in hurling insults at fellow independence supporters who opted to join Alba, or who don’t bend the knee at the very mention of Nicola Sturgeon.

The insults that some of these people regularly aim at gender-critical women – even though such a position is protected by law – are even worse and have threatened their safety. But Twitter, under its former owner, often chose to instead ban women who sought to defend themselves from the abuse.

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There are several reasons why Scotland’s anointed and affluent political elite hate Wings Over Scotland (“hate” in this case is not overstating it).

The SNP’s high command revile the blog because, after 15 years of virtually unopposed rule, they are simply unaccustomed to criticism. And when such criticism is rooted in cold analysis of hard facts and detailed scrutiny of historic statements and claims made by SNP actors, the discomfort of Wings’s targets often turns to rage.

It’s worth noting here that the quest for Scottish independence has made many of those expressing fear and loathing about the return of Wings very affluent indeed. It’s reasonable to suggest that their collected earnings and pension pots are far larger than anything their limited skillsets could command in the real world. For them, Scottish independence has become a business sector and a lucrative career opportunity.

We could, of course, overlook this if they had even marginally advanced the cause of independence in the seven years they’ve been enjoying their lives consuming port and stilton in the Palaces of Westminster. But they haven’t. Instead, many of them choose to hurl insults at anyone in the wider Yes movement, daring to question the glacial rate of progress on independence.

One of them, Pete “Slippers” Wishart, seems to have an unhealthy obsession with Alba bordering on psychotic. Others, such as Stewart McDonald and Alyn Smith should be sending expense claims and fee invoices to Nato for services rendered. My friendly advice to all of these good-hearted chaps is to please remember why they were elected.

The Unionist parties at Holyrood – especially Scottish Labour – loathe Wings Over Scotland for many of the same reasons the SNP high command does. Their bogus commitment to Scotland, wrapped tightly in the Union Jack, has often been dismantled by Campbell. In particular, the glee with which they look forward to the annual GERS day betrays something depressing about the state of the opposition at Holyrood.

Quite literally, they are unable to formulate any substantive economic argument of their own and must, of necessity rely on a once-a-year snapshot that frames Scotland’s finances within a UK context and according to UK spending preferences.

The research and analysis of Scotland’s true fiscal position done by Wings Over Scotland have benefitted many faltering SNP figures whose knowledge in this sphere is patchy. That’s “patchy” as in “couldn’t be trusted to get the messages”. Wings’s Wee Blue Book in 2014 became a free economic and social primer for pro-independence figures and those seeking elected office on the back of that campaign. And, of course, many of my colleagues in the mainstream political press also like to smear Campbell and Wings. Much of this is rooted in jealousy. The quality of the prose on the Wings website and the accuracy of its research leave many Unionist commentators floundering.

Besides, some journalists still travel under the delusion of grand entitlement. That only we have the full deposit of political truth owing to our training and experience. This is bollocks, though.

Some of Scotland’s best political writing can be found on the blogosphere. Instead of resenting this, we should be learning to live with it and even learn from it.

As for what passes for political analysis on BBC Scotland? Let’s just say that much of it seems targeted at the CBeebies demographic. It’s lamentable.

Until relatively recently, politicians and journalists could spend their entire careers escaping scrutiny. Before the advent of social media, they got to control feedback and comment. Unless you had the time or inclination to attend a hustings event every four or five years or write lofty letters to the broadsheets beginning with “it behoves me to …” or “anent …”, the rank-and-file voters had scant means to respond to journalists or politicians and hold us to account.

They routinely expressed their commitment to democracy and the right to free expression by the public … so long as the public were kept at a safe distance.

Many of them couldn’t deal with the disconcerting fact that Wings Over Scotland and – to a much lesser extent – Bella Caledonia were doing it for themselves. And that the Wings website had a political readership that eclipsed that of many of the mainstream national titles.

And it was inexplicable to their inflated view of themselves that online analytics regularly showed Wings getting far more electronic hits from inside Holyrood and St Andrew’s House than any other comparable blog.

The way in which Wings Over Scotland goes about its business is not to everyone’s taste. I am one of many inside the political bubble who has been “monstered” by the irascible and impatient Rev Stu Campbell. Yet he represents many thousands of rank-and-file supporters of Scottish independence who have devoted their entire adult lives to this cause.

For them, it is a serious business, equivalent to a religious faith. As successive Westminster governments have tacked increasingly towards the extreme right they have become angry and frustrated that the independence cause has stalled while an elite class of SNP appointees has materially thrived.

A large percentage of them turned to Wings because it channelled their frustration and gave them a platform to express their disappointment with the professional SNP. Rather than disparaging them all as misfits and extremists, they should be asking themselves why this blog remains the most influential player in the larger Yes movement.

Stu Campbell and Wings help to keep honest the SNP and those who have made a lucrative career from independence.