Neat move from Carole Erskine. Rather than take personal responsibility for the ill-informed drivel, she dumps blame on some anonymous dinner guest.
One can readily understand why she would want to deny ownership of comments such as the threadbare inanity about a "one-party state". And, as a self-styled 'politics reporter', it is not unreasonable that she would be eager to disown the fallacy about using the second vote to "ensure an effective opposition to the SNP". But it seems a little unfair to make some quite possibly entirely innocent third party the unwitting butt of others' ridicule.
It can hardly have escaped the notice even of one so obviously immersed in the cosy consensus of the mainstream media that there are actually numerous parties standing candidates in the coming election. Not that 'numerous' is necessary. It would require only a single party other than the SNP to make a nonsense of the claim that Scotland is a "one-party state". As pretty much everybody apart from Carole Erskine... Sorry! Carole Erskine's unnamed dinner guest will willingly acknowledge, two is more than one.
But the pish about a "one-party state" isn't only an insult to arithmetic. It is a slur on all of Scotland and its people. It implies that we are no more than the pawns of some arch-manipulator. It portrays us as mere ciphers, rather than effective actors. It discounts the fact that the electoral dominance of the SNP is something knowingly and purposefully engineered by Scotland's voters.
With an arrogance that is offensive in a scatter-gun sort of way, Carole Erskine (and/or some random diner) supposes that the people of Scotland are no more than biddable sheeple being herded by devious politicians. Their sneering contempt for Scotland precludes consideration of the possibility that it might be the other way around. That it may be the people of Scotland who are using the SNP as a tool to shape a new politics of their choosing. That the SNP is being deployed by Scottish voters as a weapon with which to defend Scotland against an increasingly antagonistic British state.
And what of the suggestion that the regional vote can be used to "ensure" anything? If Carole Erskine is truly qualified to be a 'political reporter', why does she not immediately shoot down this daft notion? If it really did come from this mysterious 'dinner guest', oerhaps she was just too polite to point out to them how misguided this is. That must be it! Because it surely couldn't be that a professional journalist was seeking to mislead voters into imagining that Scotland's voting system could be gamed. Perish that thought!