Monday, September 13, 2010

SNP Must Prepare to Leave Westminster

Depression, civil unrest, conflict - it's all coming. This Scotsman headline will be one of many:

Cuts: now it's war

Should Scotland use this moment to go for independence?

I warned of social and economic chaos whilst Gordon Brown was talking about 'bail-outs' and 'stimulus'. It was clear that bankrupting Britain was going to cause serious economic and social problems and Labour have achieved it. Now the Tories and not Labour will give you 'austerity' and you'll have a class war to distract you from what's really going on - more banker thieving.

That said, union leaders anticipate intense public fury and are preparing said class war:

Plans could include sit-down protests on roads, mass industrial action and high-profile stunts at key public buildings.

As the debt and the cuts drastically reduce the average citizen's standard of living the very notion of Westminster legitimacy will become even more questioned than it is now. The people do not trust the political class and people are sick of the corruption and doubt the very viability of Westminster.

Is this the right time for the SNP to pounce?

Just as the unions falsely put the blame on the Tories, it seems to me that in Scotland the shift of blame can go from a single party to the Westminster system itself.

It may well be time to withdraw SNP MPs from the London parliament as argued here.

This could be the nationalists' check-mate move. Just at the point where the people are angry at being ripped off by banks with the collusion of both UK parties there is a real case for shifting the focus of blame from one party to the Union itself. Scotland did not vote Tory and so you have a mandate issue simmering underneath too.

Naturally this would require a successful Holyrood campaign fought on the issue of independence. The issues of the kiboshed democratic referendum and the mandate will resonate alongside the matter of economic independence.

The timing could not be better for outmanouvering the Scottish unionist establishment as argued by Gerry Hassan:

On the other hand, the unionist parties and institutional establishment of Scotland have not come to terms with the depths of the multi-faceted crisis of Britain: of its politics, democracy, state and economy.

The SNP should be readying itself to play hardball. Get the groundwork done and make a bold move towards independence. It's not going to happen over tea and biscuits Alex.


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