AT Prime Minister's Questions today, the SNP's Westminster leader Stephen Flynn demanded that Rishi Sunak apologise for likening supporters of Scottish independence to authoritarian dictators and terrorists. 


Stephen Flynn demanded that the Prime Minister say sorry for his comments, made in a speech on Monday, saying that including supporters of Scottish independence in a list of threats to the UK which included Russia, Iran, China and North Korea was tantamount to comparing "almost half the of the Scottish population with a war criminal like Vladimir Putin". 

The SNP Westminster leader said: said: "On Monday the Prime Minister outlined what he considers to be extremist threats to our society and in doing so he actively compared North Korea, Iran and Russia with those people in Scotland who believe in independence. So can I ask him to rise once to the standards befitting of his office and apologise for those puerile and pathetic remarks?" 

Sunak then denied that he'd said what we had all heard him saying. He said: “That's not what I said. 

The National: Rishi Sunak

“But I would say to [Stephen Flynn] that his party is indeed a threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom, and I hate to remind him but that's literally their entire purpose." 

Sunak went on to insist that the SNP do not accept the result of the 2014 referendum. It's far too much of an intellectual stretch for Sunak, just like the other leaders of the Better Together parties, to understand that the SNP does indeed accept the result of that referendum. 

What the SNP and about half the population of Scotland cannot accept is that the Better Together parties won that referendum based on lies and promises they have failed to fulfill. It's that failure of the Labour and Conservative parties which provides the moral and political justification for revisiting the question of Scottish independence in another referendum. 

We are patently not living in the United Kingdom Scotland was promised it would be a part of within three years of a No vote in the 2014 referendum. 

That was going to be a UK in which the powers of the Scottish Parliament were radically extended and legally entrenched placing them beyond the ability of any Westminster government to meddle with them. It was going to be a UK well on its way to becoming a federal state, and it was going to be securely a part of the EU. None of that came to pass.  

Instead, we got Brexit, the constant attacks on the powers of the Scottish Parliament and a Tory government which has embraced hard right Anglo-British nationalist populism. 

The real extremists in British politics are the Tory party. 

‘Poorly judged and disrespectful’ 

First Minister John Swinney has also called on Sunak to apologise for his comparison. Speaking to LBC he said: “I think the Prime Minister’s reference was poorly judged, very poorly judged. 

The National: John Swinney has told Rishi Sunak to apologise for his 'foolish' remarks

“I don’t think it helps to assist civilised, reasonable debate in our society. There’s just absolutely no relationship between all of these different classifications that he linked Scottish nationalists to.” 

He added: “I want to make sure we have respectful debate. I’m fed up with disrespectful debate in our politics and I think the Prime Minister’s contribution slotted in directly to disrespectful debate. 

“I think he should apologise, I think he should withdraw his remarks, I think they’re foolish remarks and they don’t help having reasoned debate in our society.” 

The National: Douglas Ross was asked what he made of Rishi Sunak's comments on 'extremist' Scottish nationalism

Meanwhile, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has predictably defended the Prime Minister's comments. 

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Douglas Ross was asked if Sunak had consulted him before “he declared almost half of Scots voters extremists”. 

Ross replied: “Well what Rishi Sunak was discussing in his speech on Monday was threats to the United Kingdom and this was a wide-ranging speech on a number of threats. 

“And I don’t think anyone would believe that a party that wants to tear up the United Kingdom, end the United Kingdom by removing Scotland from it is anything but a threat to the United Kingdom.” 

From the “respect agenda” to a "threat" to the United Kingdom, that is how far we've come in the ten years since the 2014 referendum. 

Alister Jack chips in 

In more proof that the 2014 referendum was won for the Better Together campaign by lies, the Conservative viceroy general of Scotland, Alister Jack – easily the worst Scotland Secretary this country has ever been lumbered with – has called for the introduction of a new Lords “grand committee” to scrutinise legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament as he criticised “bad governance”. 

The National: Alister Jack told a Lords committee he had asked for plans to be brought forward for a Scottish

Speaking to the Constitution Committee at Westminster on Wednesday, Jack said: "I have often thought a better review of legislation in Scotland could be one of the things we could improve upon. 

"Some sort of grand committee in this house [the Lords], helping to scrutinise and improve legislation would be a good thing. I am not alone in saying that the committee structure, in scrutinising legislation in Scotland, has clearly been one of the failings." 

So, what Scotland really needs to ensure better governance is oversight of Scottish Parliament legislation by unappointed and unaccountable appointees in the House of Lords – the likes of Jack, once he steps down from the Commons, George Foulkes and Michael Forsyth. The elder statesmen of British nationalism keeping those uppity Scots in line from the insult to democracy that is the House of Lords. 

Yeah, that will totally stop us from wanting independence.