It’s Siobhan again, readers.
Ever since Scottish Daily Mail political editor Alan Roden jumped ship to go and rearrange the deckchairs for Labour, his former paper has very noticeably toned down its hysterical “SNP BAD” content. We can go through the Mail for days on end now without finding some ludicrously distorted misrepresentation or screaming outrage piece about how a Nat MP found 20p down the back of their sofa without declaring it to HMRC or such.
Today’s story, even by the demented standards of McFadyen, is a lunatic howl of madness. “EXCLUSIVE!”, it blares. “A diplomatic row is unfolding amid claims the Scottish Government is compiling a ‘secret list’ of foreign nationals living in Scotland.”
The justification for this claim is the letter that the Scottish Government sent to EU nationals living in Scotland reassuring them that they were welcome and that everything possible would be done to protect their status in the wake of Brexit.
“Letters issued by both the First Minister on Scottish Government headed notepaper and also via SNP MSPs on Parliamentary headed notepaper to individual households in July stated that the administration was seeking ‘assurances that their residency will be unaffected.’
Now mystery surrounds how the names and addresses of thousands of people were collected.”
And it’s true – it IS mysterious, if you’re a cretin with the brains of week-old toast.
EU nationals were denied a vote in the EU referendum by the UK government (unlike the Scottish Government, which ensured they DID have a vote in the independence referendum). In order to enforce that ban, the electoral register – obviously – has to hold information identifying the people to whom the ban applied.
The Scottish Government naturally has access to the electoral register, and therefore if it wants to send a nice letter to all EU nationals telling them that Scotland will do everything it can to stop the UK government deporting them, it can easily do so.
And that’s that mystery solved, although McFadyen manages to shriek on for another 700 words of scattershot innuendo and quotes from some of the more frothing Yoons on Twitter (and Willie Rennie).
We’d never previously paid a lot of attention to the Express. It only just outsells the Daily Star in Scotland, and trails behind regional papers like the Press & Journal and the Courier. But it seems to be doing all the heavy lifting for the Unionist nutter faction these days as the Scotsman and Herald spiral into the abyss, with hacks leaping off their sinking ships like rats as their sales figures sink like the Titanic.
So what Siobhan McFadyen says today is probably what we should expect to hear from Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale tomorrow. It’s certainly moronic enough. So if only for the purposes of being forewarned, we’ll be keeping our eyes open.