Saturday, July 3, 2010

Scottish Elections and British Referendums

The joke that is political union with England is typified by this story in today´s Scotsman:

'Disrespect' row flares over vote referendum

So, the idea is to try and drown out the Scottish election in a London-centric information blitz. Isn't it amazing that even those who want to push for a referendum on a new form of voting will undermine the democratic process in Scotland? People like Mike Rumbles are arguing that it will save money and people will know the difference between both votes when they get to the voting both.

What Mike and the LibDems with more interest in party gain than democracy are trying to get you to forget is that an election is about having a period where issues are considered and then decided upon by the electorate. In Scotland though there would be two debates simultatiously. The first is about deciding who is best to run the Scottish government and the second is about whether or not people want a new voting system for Westminster. One is a referedum on a single issue for the London institution and the other is an election to meditate on an array of issues and decide upon who the government will be in a Scottish institution. Both these issues demand space for debate and reflection and definately should not be run simultaniously.

Yes, having a seperate election will benefit the SNP but that's no reason to ditch another democratic process. And let's face it, it is often the case that the interests of the SNP and Scotland are one and the same.

No doubt the London parties are salivating over the prospects of squeezing the SNP in terms of media volume. Just like what happened when the BBC marginalised the governing party of Scotland at the recent London elections. All the unionist parties stand to gain and Scottish democracy is yet again a distant second in terms of priority.

Well folks, that's life in the union: Second-class citizenship! Asides from ignoring the fact that devolving power to an 'equal partner' in union is constitutional idiocy anyway.

They get away with this because the SNP are playing nice. The unionists will have their wicked way with Scotland because our national party does not like bare-knuckle politics! Where is the 'Britain is Bankrupt, Scotland is Solvent' campaign? Managing devolution and forgetting all about campaigning is costing Scotland dearly. Every day in the union means more poverty, less jobs and poorer healthcare and education. And what do we get instead? A building society power-point presentation on 'fiscal responsibility'. You see that sounds nice and board-roomy but 'independence' is a bit direct and we don´t want to frighten the children..

The unionists think they can get away with anything now and they can. The SNP is diminishing as a force which can lead public opinion let alone protect our national dignity and interest. They were given a chance and power at Holyrood went to their collective heads. Those ministerial mondeos, eh? Or whatever the trappings are these days.

And then we hear about a 'respect agenda'. Oh purleez, I never heard such patronising guff in all my life. We'll get plenty respect when we threaten to take away the oil that keeps the bankrupt British state's life support machine running. In the end, that's what politics and the union comes down to - money. In the process our nation is reduced in status and our culture trashed by big business.

Continued union means Scotland is a second-rate, tourist museum economy where our young sell short-bread to Chinese businessmen on the Royal Mile. Independence means we have a national culture supported by an economy underpinned by excellent natural resources.

That's the message the SNP needs to get out instead of pimping out Scots in return for plush Holyrood office furniture.

Where is our national movement for independence?


voiceofourown said...

I agree with much of what you say Alex. The new 'mutual respect' is shown up as complete twaddle.
Problem is, the result in the media of the SNP taking off the gloves is either searing vilification or contemptuous silence.

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece.
There is a growing swell of discontent amongst the grassroots SNP members and activists regarding the attitude shown by the party leadership.
Are they craven?
Or have they been 'got at'?
Whatever, they carry our hopes and aspirations and at the moment they are letting us down very badly.

Curley Bill

Alex Porter said...

Sorry but I can't help but chortle at the irony of someone with the moniker 'Voiceofourown' advocating not speaking our minds.. Maybe I'm exagerrating.

No, being boxed in is getting us no-where except into more and more trouble. And I do have to repeat time and again the obvious truth that Scots will never trust the SNP to deliver huge constitutional change if the party is not open and honest on the subject.

The media have a duty to report and we should take whatever advantage of that as much as we can. We should not be toeing the party line because the media have successfully brainwashed the leadership.

Alex Porter said...

Hi Curley,
Couldn't agree more. The leadersip need not worry about civil war in the party unless they refuse to listen to the members! An open debate is in everyone's interest. The party needs some fresh air to blow through it!

The only way they've been got at is through the unionists defining their agenda. They're overly sensitive to focus groups and other New Labour popularity techniques.

The leadership must lead and not get bogged down in media manipulated soundbites.

Get out there and win people over to the cause. That's how simple it is.

If not then we must find another leadership.