David Cameron: Britain is bankrupt and broke
Why wasn't this Alex Salmond's pronouncement?
Naturally the Tories are going to splash on the state of Britain's finances. They are in a total mess and Britain is indeed bankrupt. This is a fact that I've blogged about incessantly and before my blog I banged on about it in the comment section of The Scotsman. Nationalists for a generation and more have had to argue how Scotland would finance itself independently of Britain's fantasy largesse. I spent many months trying to turn the argument around; the Union is financially bust so why should oil rich Scotland not get out? After a while Gordon Wilson urged the SNP to roll-out a 'Bankrupt Britain' campaign. All to no avail. And here we are after the election with the Tories capitalising on the fact.
Before the election a 'Bankrupt Britain' campaign could have given the SNP serious ammo. To start with the idea that the SNP have been remiss economically. The answer was always simple: Labour have destroyed the economy and so the SNP have not been able to do much about it and have had to reverse manifesto pledges into the bargain. The case for an independent economy was there to be made. Crucially it wasn't. Now the economic realities are hitting home the case of 'Bankrupt Britain' would have shown the SNP to have been right all along. The nationalists would have saved votes and now won the argument. Roll on Holyrood.
It must not happen again. The cat is out the bag. Labour will be painted as having destoyed the UK economy. The SNP must now argue that Scotland must not go down with the Titanic. A 'Bankrupt Britain' campaign is still its best strategy. It would have had more power and resonance if they'd argued it before the Westminster election but we have to run with it anyway.
There is an opportunity to show that Labour lost because of English votes, that Labour was as bad if not worse than the Tories anyway but more importantly that 'Bankrupt Britain' is not a serious option for Scotland anymore either politically or economically.
The SNP are missing an open goal here and who knows why? Will the leadership venture out of the Holyrood tea-room?
There's a year before the next Holyrood election. What nationalists need to know now is whether the party's ambition goes beyond simply getting re-elected at Holyrood and if independence is still the party's principle goal.
If 'yes' and 'no' then we nationalists simply must forget the SNP as a vehicle for independence or go through the pain of a party civil war. And what a mighty shame taking those paths would be!
Can we have our 'Bankrupt Britain' campaign now please?