Who is this Round and why does he object?

This image and an attached news item appeared on the STV website today.

For some reason, as the SNP’s fortunes have dipped, my will to blog has wilted too. I don’t think it’s the hot weather, more the fact that it all started to seem less urgent somehow.

The headline about ‘indyref2’ brought me back to reality with a wee jolt. They’ll never give up and the best we can hope for is that the common sense of enough people reduces their obsession to the eccentric minority sport it was not so long ago.

That will not happen, of course, without constant vigilance on the part of those who care, even on small matters. I was challenged this morning by a tweeter sporting an SNP logo to justify my claim that nationalism and the SNP are in decline. It wasn’t difficult – I cited recent elections and polls. I’m sure he (George or Terry – like many he seemed to have two identities) knew the truth. But it was all about trying to convince a naïve English woman who wanted ‘out of England’ that Scotland was a great place to live. I hope she saw my statement and the links I provided because it’s on a thousand little lies like George/Terry’s that nationalism thrives.

Anyhow, back to the first minister’s forthcoming revelation about her plans for another once-in-a-generation separation referendum.

What caught my eye in the STV news item was the text in small print below the headline:

The First Minister said she would listen to Scots following the general election.

This is where ‘Round objects’ comes into play, because I’ve been told twice within the last year that the SNP were listening to me.

The first was their abortive ‘summer of love’ in 2016 when they were going to reach out to ‘No’ voters to understand our concerns and persuade us that they really were the cuddly, civic and joyous fun party they claim they are and we know they’re not. Unfortunately that exercise was to be led by Stewart Hosie, who was reaching out somewhere else at the time and was despatched in disgrace forthwith from the party’s leadership cohort along with the summer of listening.

The second was their egregious ‘National’ Survey last autumn, in which they claimed to be listening again, this time to the whole nation. Like Hosie and his reaching out, the survey disappeared without trace, with not a word heard about the views of the laughably-inflated two million people who allegedly answered their questions.

And now we have the first minister saying she’d listen again. A cynic might say there’s too much damned listening, and not enough hearing and understanding.

Which brings me neatly to Round and why he objects.

If you heard the original story, you’ll know precisely what I mean. If not …

… it may be apocryphal but they say that Churchill asked for a report from some expert in the Second World War. As is the way of the civil service, it was seen and annotated by others before it reached the great man. In the margin against some particularly contentious point, someone had written ‘Bollocks!’ A more senior and discreet mandarin carefully inked the offending word out and substituted ‘Round objects!’ Against which Churchill in turn asked, yes you’ve got there before me, ‘Who is this Round and why does he object?’

And that is precisely my response to what is the SNP’s third purported listening exercise in a year.

Just like the others, it’s complete and utter round objects.

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