Tag Archives: Establishment

Scotland Takes Centre Stage

Today saw the launch of the Scottish National Party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election. Now, as best I can remember this sort of event normally takes place in front of the media pack and that’s about it. The politicians sit at the top table, show their slides, sip water and get their spin across. A few questions follow and then it’s off to the pub. Let’s remember the SNP only stand in the 59 Scottish seats, can’t win a UK Election and at best aspire to have some influence in a hung parliament. In the past this would have seen their manifesto launches restricted to the hardened hacks of the Scottish press corp. Those days are clearly over. For now, at least, the whole of the UK has their eyes on Scotland.

The video below contains all 62 minutes of today’s event. This is made up of roughly 20 minutes of presentation, followed by a 40 minutes Q and A with the assembled press.

I don’t deny I regard Nicola Sturgeon as the UK’s best politician, by a distance. However, as I’ve said before, no matter your allegiances it’s hard to not give at least grudging respect for the way she handles this sort of occasion.Not once was she remotely flustered. Her demeanor remained positive and only rarely did she show any signs of understandable irritation.

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The questions asked covered all the expected areas i.e. another independence referendum, Full Fiscal Responsibility, Ed Miliband and of course the big one, “Why is England scared of you?”. In truth the last type of question is a gift as it gives her the chance to reassure voters in rUK that there is nothing to be scared of, unless progressive democracy and Scotland having a voice frightens you.

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I was feeling really buoyed having watched today’s event. However, my mood has darkened somewhat since. The expected trail of xenophobic and misogynistic bile flowing up from Westminster and Fleet St has actually surpassed my worst fears. Some of it is truly shocking. I won’t repeat any of it on this blog. The part which my poor brain is struggling to cope with is this: the UK pleaded for us to stay, we stayed and now they complain when we take part in the very system they wanted us to remain part of. The reality is the UK establishment has misjudged the mood for change in Scotland. Their current approach is to insult us rather than to work with us. Any short term gain will surely be more than matched by a continuing decline in Scottish respect for a system creaking at the seams with corruption and self-interest.

Thanks for reading.

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Divide And Conquer

Had something on my mind and I was struggling to get it over in a tweet. So a small blog entry is needed to give myself more room – but not too much more i.e. I’ll be brief.

Ok, my feeling is growing that the ‘Establishment‘, and by that I mean:

  • Conservatives
  • Labour
  • Lib-Dems
  • UK Government Civil Service
  • Almost all newspapers
  • BBC

Are hell bent on trying to turn every election into a re-run of September 2014. Debate after debate, headline after headline, interview after interview plays the Scottish National Party against the rest. Everything gets spun around YES/NO. I could understand that if we were in the run up to a Holyrood election, or another Independence Referendum – but we’re not. The only possible reason for this is to maximise support against the one party, the SNP.

ns2Let’s cut to the chase. Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP could win all 59 seats in Scotland, and still be frozen out of Government decisions. This election will send either David Cameron or Ed Miliband to 10 Downing Street – not Alex Salmond or Stewart Hosie. The only people who can, and will likely continue, to create “black holes” in the UK economy post 7th May are the same people who have done it all their days i.e. Tories or Labour. The role of a large contingent of SNP MPs is to make Government accountable to the people of Scotland: to give us a voice, and to put an end to the Labour/Tory closed shop (with occasional meddling from the Lib Dems).

The latest Labour campaign tactic of showing weakness in Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland is a clear attempt to tell people we don’t really want “Devo Max“. We’re too wee, too stupid. Classic “Eat your cereal” claptrap. In short, no reason to vote SNP as there are no more powers to give. Bizarrely Labour have made it known they actually want to attract YES voters. Their way of doing this is to rule out another IndyRef as well as reneging on “The Vow” of real powers for Scotland in the Union i.e. Devo Max. This is of course being lapped up and echoed around Scotland by their Establishment colleagues.

In truth I’m uncomfortable with the wedge that the UK is trying to drive between Scots for their own narrow aims. They need to stop it, and furthermore stop denying what’s staring them in the face. The old days and old ways are over. Attempts to alienate, ridicule and demonise half of the Scottish Electorate (and growing) is not only insulting, but it’s plainly not working.

Thanks for reading.