I am not sure why I feel this way but I do have a feeling that the June 8th election may well see Theresa May lose her overall Westminster majority. At the same time I think the SNP will lose several seats in Scotland.
This will make an already chaotic situation even worse as it will put Brexit negotiations and the second Scottish independence vote into areas of even more uncertainty.
I have not written anything for several weeks now as events have moved so fast that there has been no time to reflect. What is more, there is a deluge of comment out there which has highlighted every possible extreme for the future. However I cannot remain silent for ever so I have to find a way of commenting on individual events in slightly more than the 140 characters of Twitter.
I am more and more puzzled by the attitude of the Westminster pro-Unionists? Why do they want to hang on to Scotland? It’s full of pesky people always whinging, always demanding more and costing the English taxpayer a fortune or so we are told; Nicola Sturgeon arguing with the PM about what she wants from Brexit. Why not just let the English have a referendum to get rid?
Firstly I supposed there is sentiment. Maybe the UK PM does not want to end up as the rUK PM and go down in history as the one who lost Scotland, a bit like Lord North losing the USA.
It seems more likely knowing the present Tory government that it is about money. So do they know something the Scots don’t. England has few natural resources and has only a small manufacturing sector. Scotland has oil which England always points out is about to run dry. Is that the clue? Is it actually that Scotland is a useful economic milch cow for rUK? It certainly would explain the hysterical blasts of invective and downright misinformation that accompanies any attempt by Scotland to break free.
It is perhaps not surprising given the power and reach of the Neoliberal uber-rich that in the UK, the EU and USA Austerity has become the orthodoxy. In the UK it is taking on an extreme form in our political life. So much so that the neoliberal Tories are regarded by many voters as a centre party. They have been bamboozled by the idea that the finances of a country are best managed like a household budget. Margaret Thatcher famously started the idea but George Osborne and Cameron are the real practitioners. Prof Steve Keen in an interview explains the absurdity of such theories. It is not surprising that his views and similar views of other serious economists are hidden under a blizzard of spin and invective by the powerful uber-rich who stand to lose if austerity is abandoned.
This has resulted in Labour becoming a right of centre party also enamoured of austerity which they dare not refute. That is the case with all their leadership nominees apart from Jeremy Corbyn. He is being taken apart by the neoliberal main stream media, not surprising in view of who owns them, and there is a desperate campaign to stop his bid for the labour Party leadership.
However, there are growing signs of at least some of the electorate realising the fact that they have been hoodwinked. Jeremy Corbyn is the popular candidate of the grassroots of the party, Greece elected a left wing party, Syriza, and there are movements in Spain and Italy.
Prof Steen mentioned the economic policy of the SNP in Scotland as going in the right direction.
Anybody who thought that with the Smith Commission and the new Tory government Scotland would somehow get a Christmas hamper of devolved powers must be very naïve. At last Iain MacWhirter in the Sunday Herald http://t.co/8zBWeFrJ4j has brought it to the fore. I first used the words “poisoned chalice” in relation to the devolution of taxes in August 2014 where I said that devolution of all taxes might be acceptable. Nobody should be under any illusion that the established parties, Tory, Labour and Lib Dem, will forego any opportunity to ambush the SNP.
Tommy Sheppard MP in his maiden speech set out the SNP position in a nutshell and it should be referred to at every opportunity. The video also highlights the very few members of other parties who bother to attend debates. A key weapon in the SNP 56’s armoury should be be their attendance. If they can keep up that level of attendance sooner or later discontented voters in other parts of the UK will begin to ask where their own MPs are? The SNP contingent must stick with it as a key ingredient of their Westminster campaign. Sweet reasonableness is another weapon. They should also always bear in mind that they have no friends in the House except just possibly Speaker Bercow if you listen to his remarks at the end of Tommy Sheppard’s speech.
BBC Radio 4 Today programme allowed John Humphries to blatantly play the immigration card when interviewing Mark Carney BoE Governor about the poor productivity figures. Mark Carney refuted it with some figures but the damage was done, a UKIP message had been transmitted. Surely it is time Humphries went.
George Osborne wants devolved cities. Let’s be even more radical and devolve power to the English regions, Scotland, Wales and N Ireland. We already have historically recognised regions, the North East, North West, South East, Midlands etc. and while we are about it make London an international city state. In that way we can arrive at a federal UK.
If only the Tories had some imagination and were not so enamoured of big corporations and the uber-rich.