Never let a good crisis go to waste’ said Churchill. And it seems the SNP have taken that maxim to heart, judging by the alacrity with which they’ve sought to exploit the current rumblings over Ukraine. Alyn Smith, the party’s foreign affairs spokesperson, was straight out there in a fuel-guzzling jet at the beginning of the month, accompanied by several party cronies who smelt an opportunity in the east. None of them have any role in UK government foreign policy whatsoever.
Smith, a man who has never met a camera he didn’t like, duly clipped himself standing solemn in front of the country’s foreign ministry, gravely intoning about the ongoing crisis – as if the poor Ukrainians hadn’t suffered enough already. Having butchered the pronunciation of ‘Kiev’, the Stirling MP claimed he was there to ‘see what’s happening on the ground’ as ‘it’s a sensitive time and we need to make sure we calm down any excess hysteria.’ And who better to do that than the famously self-restrained SNP?