Kay Burley has always been a ‘questionable’ journalist, ask her to cover anything Royal, like the birth of small infants and she is off cooing and excitedly asking all gathered around the hospital what they think the baby will be, boy or girl. When covering a terrorist attack, dogs even look sad. However, when asked to interview anyone from the Scottish National Party and the hostility boiling away underneath, comes to the fore. Her intense dislike for the Scottish National Party’s Ian Blackford was there for all to see. Take yesterday’s interview for instance. Burley, dressed like some sort of 1940’s private detective in her white trench coat, looked like she would like nothing more than to slap Blackford around the head. With eyes darting back and forth and her frame as stiff as a poker she tried very hard not to let her feelings get the better of her. Nice try.
Right from the off Burley made her feelings heard: Mr Blackford from the SNP’ is here with us, ‘What happened?’
Blackford, who looked to have taken his, patience is a virtue pill that morning remained calm and collected. “Well, we had constructive talks with Jeremy Corbyn, myself, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens, we wanted to express to Jeremy that we wanted him to accept the responsibility joining us, to get behind a peoples’ vote, we wanted him to join us on the rally on Saturday.”
Great stuff, a rally for a peoples’ vote, I wonder how many SNP will show up for that rally in comparison to how many have shown up at marches and rallies for independence. That will be very telling indeed. Only a handful of SNP MP’s MSPs and councillors have shown the people of Scotland that they are for independence. In fact, the First Minister is very good at joining marches and rallies for anything but, independence. Perhaps they’ve just been enormously busy with Brexit and trying to keep the whole of the United Kingdom in a union only half want to be in.
Blackford went on: “We are at at five to twelve, if I could put it that way, there is still the risk of the fallout of the European Union next week, it’s not impossible that, that can happen, Theresa May’s deal has failed, no deal has failed. We ought to really go back to the people of the United Kingdom and let them have their say.”
Go back to the people of the United Kingdom, when did the Scottish National Party become the representatives of the people of the United Kingdom? Did I miss something here? I have grown more and more concerned with regards to the stance of the Scottish National Party, I have flipped and flopped around, back and forth. Are they the party of independence, or are they the party of the Union? Or have they drawn up a deal with the European Union to help keep the UK in the EU? They seem hellbent in doing so. I really cannot fathom this out. The people of Scotland gave them a mandate, that should we be dragged out of the European Union against our will, then another referendum on independence should be held. Surely this is what the SNP should be telling us, instead they are peddling another EU referendum. A peoples’ vote. Which Sky reporter Beth Rigby pointed out there was no majority for.
Rigby: “There’s no majority in there, (signals parliament) for a second referendum so why are you peddling something that doesn’t have a majority. Why don’t you go back to a softer customs union style Brexit that maybe you could bring Jeremy Corbyn aboard with, the opposition parties could come aboard with. You could get, maybe twenty, thirty Conservatives on board and, hey presto, you’ve got a deal.”
Blackford: “I think the fact is that we didn’t win last week because the Labour Party weren’t prepared to come with us, if the Labour Party come with us I know that…several Conservative MP’s will do as well but unless the opposition parties show that collective leadership, it won’t happen.”
Rigby: “A majority of more respectful Labour MP’s don’t want to?”
Blackford: “I think the majority of Labour MP’s have got to listen to their members and their voters and they certainly want that peoples vote…”
Blackford seems to know what Labour voters want, however do the SNP know what their members want? Do they know what the people of Scotland want? We are all sitting here in absolute limbo, watching our elected representatives running around putting everyone else first.
Blackford: I am not prepared, my party is not prepared, my government in Edinburgh is not prepared to sit back and allow this to happen. (Scotland to be dragged out of the EU against the expressed wishes of the people of Scotland).
Well at last, now Blackford has dropped the mic as they say. To which, Burley, arms flaying in the air, like this is some sort of trigger for her to go into absolute meltdown at the mere mention of Scotland not being dragged out of the EU. Or Scotland standing up for ourselves. Burley, so incensed by this that her palms balled into fists. Which I am sure some body language expert would show this as being very telling indeed.
Burley: So, what are you going to do?” She looks to be very aggressive here.
Blackford: Well, we’ll not allow Scotland to be dragged out against its will.
Well that’s refreshing, I am totally reassured by this.
Burley: So, what are you going to do?
Blackford, tone quiet, reserved, patient. “Well…we have a mandate for an independence referendum the people of Scotland gave us in 2016 and if we choose to exercise that mandate then…”
What does he mean, if we choose to exercise it? What on earth does this mean? Is the party of independence going to let this mandate lapse?
Rigby, who comes across as being the more professional between her and Burley: “Will you? Isn’t polling suggesting that you are not in the lead when it comes to independence?”
I really do not see the relevance in this question. What is she saying, we can only call a referendum when we are in the lead? When we started campaigning for the first referendum, polling was sitting in the low twenties. We took support for independence into the mid-forties and had gone ahead just before we went to the polls back in 2014, therefore that question is invalid.
Blackford’s response: “No, I think all the polling is showing that there has been a shift towards independence over the course of the last few months.”
This seemed too much for the insufferable Burley, she snapped: “To be fair, you said that ahead of the first referendum.”
When exactly did Blackford say this? Perhaps he should have pointed out the recent poll that Sky news took themselves. A poll that had independence well in the lead. They are really scared of the people of Scotland, and scared of the SNP.
Blackford explained: “The first referendum was in different circumstances and we were promised in 2014 that If we stayed in the UK our rights as EU citizens would be respected, it looks at the moment like we are going to be dragged out against our will. I believe Scotland has changed. I believe that Brexit has changed everything and the argument we will have will be one about protecting the economic interests to the people of Scotland.”
Burley, possibly with producer screaming down her earpiece, mention the Euro, mention the Euro. She said: “So, you would accept the euro and say goodbye to sterling?” Blackford disagreed, “Because as you know, you need, if you are a new country joining the European Union, you have to accept the Euro.”
Blackford: “No, no we don’t Kay.”
Burley: (Laughing) “Yes you do.”
Blackford: “Let me explain that to you”
Burley, with hands up, as if pushing Blackford away, clearly taken offence by this remark. “Well don’t mansplain…” Mansplaining is the explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman in a manner regarded as condescending or patronising. This from a woman who, from the start of the interview showed all the signs of condescension I have ever seen. “The latest we’re hearing, well when I’ve been speaking to legal advisers…”
Blackford: “But it’s not true.”
Burley: “Let me finish my question and then you can answer it.”
She began this part of the interview by asking Blackford a question and upon not getting the answer she wanted she accused him of mansplaining to her and would not let him finish until after she had made her point; that any new country, joining the European Union has to adopt the Euro. To be quite honest, I have no idea what all the fuss with the Euro is about. The way the pound is tanking, monopoly money has more value.
Blackford responded: “There is a rider on that, to join the Euro, you have to be in the Exchange Rate Mechanism…and you have to be in the Exchange Rate Mechanism for two years. Joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism is entirely voluntary, you can’t be forced into the Euro against your will; the last three countries that have joined the EU, have not joined the Euro.”
Burley, (in a huff now) “So why will you be keeping the pound?”
Blackford: “We will be keeping the pound because it’s in the best interests of the people of Scotland that we do that, we will have a debate at the SNP conference in a few weeks on this issue…”
Rigby: “Isn’t it up to the UK government that you keep the pound?”
Seriously, I cannot believe she asked this. I cannot be sure if she was being genuinely dense of just trying to fool the public into thinking the pound belongs to the UK government.
Blackford: “We don’t have to do so, because we would do that by establishing our own monetary institute by establishing a central bank, we will continue to use the pound…as we can rightly do so…we don’t need authority of the Bank of England or the treasury of the UK Government to do so. We are perfectly entitled to do so and of course the pound belongs to us just as much as it belongs to anyone else.”
I was glad to hear this from Blackford, as it means the SNP are working on the currency issues which was a massive downfall in 2014. It means they are leaving nothing to chance, this time around.
Rigby: “So are you expecting to announce or trigger a second referendum move at your conference?”
I expect half of Scotland moved off their chairs when she asked this question. However, the answer was not forthcoming. We shall have to wait a while longer. Blackford’s answer was rather vague in that we must wait a further two weeks. Once we know the outcome of Brexit, which to be fair has been the SNP stance for quite some time.
Overall this interview provided some answers to those of us who are chomping at the bit to get going. Who have worried ourselves silly over these past weeks. I said in my last update that I believe the SNP are putting things into place, answering the question not tackled in the last referendum. I am still a little mistrusting of the SNP, but we just have to hold the line as they say. You only have to look at the worry on the faces of Unionist politicians, the hostility of journalist like Burley, who has complained of the tyrant of abuse coming from those she deems to be trolls and SNP supporters. Her tweet from this morning read, “Morning all you gorgeously polite SNP supporters. Have an absolutely fabulous day filled with fun and thoughts of the Euro.” Yes, this is the level of professionalism from so-called journalists in this country. Biting back against those calling her out on social media. They really do not like their behaviour called out in public. For too long they have been beamed into our homes to give us the daily dose of drivel, never to be called out on it. Until now that is.
My overall feelings, I await an announcement, of any kind from the Scottish National Party, who still seem to be addressing everyone but the people of Scotland. I will be keeping a close eye on this rally on Saturday to see how many SNP MP’s MSP’s and Councillors take to the streets for the match and how many bother to turn up on Sunday for ours. Or indeed any of the marches for independence. The end is nigh, it is all to play for. Will the SNP do what the people have given them a mandate to do, or will they continue with this peoples’ vote. Time will tell.