After GE2017

There are perhaps three possible outcomes to the June General Election.

The Tories may lose their overall majority. We live in strange unpredictable times so this is not impossible. However this in itself will bring even more chaos.

The majority may stay more or less the same. We then know we are probably heading for a hard Brexit.

The Tory majority increases. Then we are definitely heading for a hard Brexit if we are to believe Theresa May.

What about Scotland?

If Theresa May is secured and Scotland decides to stay in the Union then the Scottish parliament’s days are numbered.

If Scotland breaks away then England will diminish and  Scotland could flourish.

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Scotland’s Brexit

Mostly the media commentary about Brexit is conjecture. However as far as Scotland is concerned there is a fact that should not be ignored. The devolved government in Holyrood was set up by a UK Act of Parliament and could just as easily be done away by the MPs at Westminster as Pete Wishart MP writes. The Tories have a majority there and Theresa May could get rid of the thorn of the Scottish Parliament if she judged that to be in her interests vis a vis Brexit. That would leave Scotland unable to influence or decide its own future.

Brexit at the moment is all politics, nothing decided and all to play for so Nicola Sturgeon’s Brexit plan is part of the political chess game she is playing with the UK government. So are her visits to European leaders and to Dublin. By giving Scotland such a high profile on the Brexit scene she is hoping to make any foul play by Theresa May more difficult to carry out. To date her reasonable and practicable ideas and plans have found much favour and will be hard to ignore. What is more she is keeping alive the sense of destiny that grips many Scots at the present time.

Commentators saying she will not achieve what she would like are probably right but better to play for high stakes than tamely give in to a lifetime of Tory rule direct from Westminster.

For a very detailed look at the Scottish parliaments powers and the fact that in UN terms the UK is defined as two countries read the Grouse Beater.

What Now?

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.

SNP and GE15

The Scottish Referendum campaign was marked by a very timid approach to their message by the SNP. They obviously did not want to appear extreme to the middle of the road voter but as a result failed to garner their votes and possibly also failed to convert some undecided voters to the Yes camp. David Knowles has recently written about converts here. Many people have been converted to the renewal of Scotland through participation in the Referendum and the SNP must talk their language.

That means not sinking to the level of the other parties trying to hedge their bets for their positions after the election. The SNP message should be loud and clear. “Vote for us, the only party who will put the Scottish People’s interests first”. They should ignore any attempt to get them into a duel of weasel words. Be simple. Be evangelistic. That is the Scottish mood.

Scottish Independence – Will Hutton Against

Will Hutton makes his case for imaginative thinking by Westminster in the last ten days of the campaign to stop the breakup of the UK. In this paragraph be succinctly explains why we in Scotland have had enough of the Union…

The big argument is that Scotland does not need to be permanently yoked to English Toryism’s infatuation with a libertarianism that denies obligations to society and each other, has abandoned justice and equity in its public policy positions and is the author of the great “cashing out” of the past 30 years. All our utilities, five million council houses, many of our great companies and swaths of real estate in our cities have been cashed out in the name of market forces, of liberalisation, of being open for business and wealth generation. What has been created is predator capitalism, massive inequality and a society organised to benefit the top 1%. The country needs to build, innovate and reinvent social partnership. Independent Scotland can strike out in this direction.

We have nothing against the people south of the  Border but we do want to build a society that we want. Hutton goes on to say that an  independent Scotland will carry on in much the  same way. But he forgets that the SNP are a regional authority not a national government which has stepped into the void in national politics to effect change. After a YES vote the people of Scotland will decide what government they want. It could be that Alex Salmond is actually a turkey voting for Christmas and that a strong Socialist party will emerge before the first general election of iScotland.

I will vote for it if…

  • It proposes an independent currency with our own central bank
  • It looks outward to Europe and to the Commonwealth
  • It proposes a fair tax regime for everybody and every organisation
  • It has long term realistic plans to tackle inequality and nurture everybody’s health and well-being.

Some suggest this is wishful thinking but better to live in hope than vote for Will Hutton’s picture of the present and no doubt future Westminster government.

Scottish Independence – Endgame

I have the feeling that everything worth saying about Scottish Independence has now been said. Ron Ferguson in the Press & Journal summarises the debate clearly.

We have gone through all the technical arguments with neither side in the debate actually being terribly convincing. The future is not ours to know about sums it up. So it remains a single question. Each individual voter has to rely on their own emotional psyche, if there is such a thing, to decide a preference for government from Westminster or from Holyrood.

I personally believe that England which dominates Westminster is going in a direction which I don’t like and that it will not easily be changed. Scottish voters will have minimal influence. On the other hand I have written before that I doubt some of the present politicians’ abilities. So I do hope that a Yes vote will result in  many of  the present campaigners stepping up to the plate to make Scotland a society we can all be proud of.

I want radical change not nationalism.

Scottish Independence – NHS Urgent

Better Together and their pals are suggesting that the NHS is safe in Scotland because it is a fully devolved matter. That is absolutely true. But…

What they fail to add is that as soon as  there is a NO vote, the Westminster gangsters will start to dismantle the Devolution arrangements. They can  do this because the present arrangements are not constitutional but merely the result of an Act of Parliament at Westminster which can be changed at any time.

Cameron has many times failed to fulfil what he pledged as leader of the opposition since he has been prime minster. It is totally naïve to think that he will deliver more devolution to the Scottish Parliament if we remain in the Union. It and the Scottish people will be emasculated.

The media are failing to deliver this message and yet it is vital that the true position is widely known because the NHS is the major factor in how many people will decide to vote. Somehow the YES campaigners must get this message out to the undecided voters.