I have no disagreement with Ms MacDonald on that point. We need, therefore, to move beyond the point where, every time someone raises a question, they are accused of scaremongering. [Interruption.] I apologise, Presiding Officer; I seem to have inadvertently hit the button that activates the chips on SNP back benchers’ shoulders.
So far, the signs that the SNP is rising to the challenge of its own objective are not encouraging. Scottish ministers have been caught out saying one thing about independence in private and something else entirely in public. Deficits are turned into relative surpluses and legal advice on EU membership is asserted to exist on television, only for it to turn out that it was not even commissioned at that point.
The imagination of the SNP in bending what independence means and has always meant to some of the contributors to the debate to mean something else entirely knows no bounds of principle or practicality.
The party that trumpeted its disarmament credentials when its policies were not subject to scrutiny now wishes to shelter under NATO’s nuclear umbrella—so long as someone else holds up the umbrella for it. Former republicans now reassure Scots of a royalist persuasion that they want a monarchical union with England.
Bob Doris (Glasgow) (SNP) rose—
Welfare arrangements can be shared while at the same time being transformed to reflect undefined Scottish values. Linda Fabiani again completely failed to define what those values might mean.