|It has been a while since I’ve expressed my views on the politics of the day in this country and I think I need to address this. There are two issues I want to get off of my chest and I’m sure I’ll feel better for it. Now I’m the first to acknowledge that what I’m about to write won’t make the slightest difference but no matter, this is my blog and so I can write about whatever I like.Scottish Independence
I believe the contradictions of the SNP approach to independence are starting to unravel the whole question of independence. From south of the border it would seem that the SNP argument has been that independence was a no pain option when in fact there would be huge uncertainties for the Scottish nation going forward. This doesn’t mean that Scotland shouldn’t be independent it is just that the SNP seems to think that they can try and pretend these uncertainties don’t exist.
The two things that have brought this home; the currency and pensions. The SNP has tried to argue that neither would be effected which has now been shown to be a false claim. They are bound to be effected when they are both controlled by a much bigger country i.e. the United Kingdom. Now of course the last thing that the UK will want is problems north of the border but that doesn’t equate to the UK rolling over and allowing the Scottish nation to still take advantage of the financial power of the UK.
If I was a Scottish person who wanted independence then I would want control of my money and my pensions, even if there was a cost to pay for this. Perhaps the SNP should be a little more honest with its people and try and tell them the risks as well as the advantages of independence. There is a good case to be made but trying to pretend things will stay very much the same is not helping. I also don’t things are helped when trying to compare Scotland to Norway or Denmark, both roughly the same size countries. Neither of these countries were be established by trying to disentangle themselves from one of the richest and socially complex countries in world. This will have a great cost and it is for the Scottish people to weigh up those costs and wether they are worth paying.
One final thing whilst I’m on my soap box. The SNP should stop pretending it is in Scotland’s interest not to shoulder their share of the national debt. If they did this it would lead to the first day of independence being the last day of the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Bank of Scotland being based in Scotland. Both are effectively owned by the UK government and so it is only far that the UK government would remove their assets from a foreign country. Please a more honest debate for the sake of the Scottish people.
The Right Wing Eating Itself
Is it 1993 or 2013? I’m really not sure because we seem to be reliving the whole right wing implosion all over again. This time the cause appears to be, well Europe, which of course was the problem last time. The catalyst for all this has been the UKIP ‘success’ at the local elections. For those of you who might know, in England the local government is so powerless that it really doesn’t matter which clown runs it as all the real power sits with the national government at Westminster. This means that votes cast at local elections don’t really relate to local issues but are a reflection on the state of national politics – hence the ‘success’ of UKIP whose policies, let alone candidates, contradict themselves at every turn.
Yet this ‘success’ has meant that the Conservative party are really starting to tear themselves apart. Today Lord Lawson of Blaby, my old MP, has said he would vote for a withdrawal from the EU. He argues that Britain would be better off outside Europe as it would force the country to export to the world rather than just Europe. It would also protect the City of London from EU interference. Now I’m sure that Lord Lawson means well but both these points seem somewhat disingenuous. For a start most of the the UK’s exports are to Europe so I cannot see how drastically effecting that relationship will help this country. Also even if the UK was outside of the EU the City of London would still have to comply with EU regulations if they want to do business in Europe, which they do, so how would being outside the EU help prevent even more EU interference which, of course, we would have not real control or influence over?
The second strand of the Europe argument on the right is over Human Rights and the current problems with extraditing muslim terrorists to other countries. Now I don’t want these people in this country any second longer than the next man but to try and run roughshod over the rule of law for political convenience doesn’t seem, to me, the sign of a free country. Tim Montgomery, in The Times, has argued that it should be for the UK Parliament, rather than clever lawyers, to set what the law should be. This really doesn’t understand how the rule of law works and to think that ‘clever’ lawyers would disappear if Human Rights legislation was home grown seems farcical.
Both of these seem to be symptoms of a much bigger problem for the right. There seems to be a feeling that if the UK was truly master of its own destiny then we would once more rule the waves. Of course this is nonsense. The UK is a very rich European island. It’s strategic interests are all European and are, to an extent, controlled by Europe. We will be so much poorer, both monitory and culturally, should we try and pretend otherwise. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for many on the right and I really don’t know why.
One final thing. In 1993 when this all came to a head last time the Conservative party lost the next election and weren’t back in power for another 13 years. Even then they didn’t manage to win the election when fighting one of the most unpopular Prime Ministers in modern history. Keep this up and the euro hating right will be able to have political purity for another 13 years whilst out of government. Is that what they want?
That felt good to get this off of my chest. Normal service will resume from here on in until I feel the need to vent once more on the politics of the day.
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Copyright - © Simon Marchini 2017. All Rights reserved. Not to be used without permission
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