But do its supporters always understand those whom they support and the less-emphasised (at least in the mainstream press reports) policy issues which underlie much of the SNP agenda? Amongst the younger age-groups which the SNP seems to see as forming its natural support-base, specially in the future, one wonders if they understand fully just who it is they are supporting?
I've written about this matter before, although the comments provoked on that occasion from a pro-SNP political-activist (and now Westminster-candidate) have unfortunately been lost, because in the intervening 18 months I have changed my commenting system from Haloscan to the one offered by Google/Blogger for technical reasons, when I was obliged to alter radically my blog template toward the end of 2008 (I wrote about the then forthcoming change here).
In the latest issue of Scotsgay magazine, Issue 94, Garry Otton (of Scottish Media Monitor fame) takes a detailed look at the SNP and its associations with (and financial support from and to) various religious groups and on various issues - you'll need to scroll down to page 10 of the linked .PDF file to find the 'Badge of Shame' article. A few brief extracts from Gary Otton's article are instructive in illustrating some of the less well publicised aspects of SNP policy, despite earlier attempts in comments to my earlier article to pooh-pooh such concerns:
"Salmond confesses that religion is the driving force in his thinking and seeks to accommodate Catholic thinking on every level, supporting (.. [*]) more sectarian or 'faith' schools and lobbying Whitehall for Catholic adoption agencies to be given an 'indefinite' exemption on gay adoption."
"Since gaining power, Alex Salmond snubbed a debate on gay equality which was attended by all political parties, even the Tories.[*]"
"... a senior SNP councillor in the Borders and Nationalist constituency party chairman, Keith Gunn exposed his 'beliefs' during a BBC Radio Scotland phone-in when he was asked why non-believers should have to treat the Bible with reverence. He confessed, 'Well non-believers are damned to Hell anyway, so why should we bother?' Presenter Graham Stewart suggested he might 'live alongside other people and have respect', but he was having none of it, 'No, I don't think so' he gushed. 'When we all went to church on a Sunday morning and we all prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ every Sunday morning, this was a much better country. Look where it is going now. We have got so-called gays who are really very sad people and we have non-believers and heathens, you know, running the country and running down Christianity. .... The SNP were quick only to dismiss his ideas as 'personal'."
"Writing in the Scottish Catholic Observer, he [Salmond] went on to promise the Catholic Church he would do all he could to secure them exemptions from equality legislation - already passed by Parliament into law - that some Catholics saw as forcing them to treat gays equally in their quest to become prospective parents in publicly-funded, Catholic adoption agencies."
Just where is the SNP trying to take Scotland, riven as it seems to be (from top to bottom) with religious 'zealots'?! It takes great care not to talk too openly about its 'theocratic' agenda, but it is there to ferret out if one cares to look - thanks are due to Gary Otton for his efforts at exposing some of the 'wackier' ideas.
[*] PS/ I have been reading Gary Otton's writings for quite a few years now so am not unaware of his definite left-wing (and probably pro-Labour) biases and his seeming visceral dislike of Conservatism, so it is probably necessary to factor similar caution into an evaluation of his feelings about the SNP in relation to Scottish politics and its rivarly with Labour for influence.