Monday, 27 April 2015

The Numbers Game

Over the years I’ve complained about the lack of media interest in the SNP.  As a party they’ve struggled long and hard for air time and any recognition in the printed press, but this time round it feels as if the UK’s immediate future will certainly involve the SNP to some degree.

Polls have them flying high and Westminster is running scared, very scared.  Quite a delight to watch at times.

But with Nicola Sturgeon having such a prominent presence, both on our screens and in our newspapers, there are bound to be articles which she hoped wouldn’t achieve the light of day. The Daily Express runs this one.  If this is true then I’m concerned about Scotland’s future.  It’s well known large businesses do recruit personnel overseas when they can’t attract British workers, but in this situation, it appears actions were taken purely on financial grounds.  Where are the unions I wonder.

All regular readers know that I support an independent Scotland but I’m not a member of the SNP or any other political party.  My choices are limited because of my lifelong belief that Scotland could and should be independent. It’s the SNP or the Greens and I really shiver when I hear the leader of the Green Party mention some of their policies. They want to raise the living wages rate to £10 an hour and fund it by a wealth tax on the top 1%. I vaguely recall this policy has been proposed by every political party over the years without any result. 

Enough about the Greens. They’re not in the running for any landslide.  If the media are to be believed then the SNP is the party which will experience a landslide, although I think the projections are exaggerated.  Nevertheless, it would seem gains will be made all over Scotland and the numbers of SNP MPs will be increased in Westminster. A hatchet job was done on the SNP by the Backbencher recently but I doubt if it will make much difference to Scottish voters.

More concerning is Nicola Sturgeon’s determination to prop up the Labour party, thereby putting Ed Miliband in No 10. Ed Miliband is weak, very weak. He is not Prime Minister material. Ms Sturgeon will be very aware that he is inadequate.

Thus we - or perhaps I should say I - have a conundrum. The Tories and Labour are currently running a close race. The LibDems are running backwards and UKIP’s ratings have taken a sharp fall. Some suggest the Tories will win and run a minority government.  A well-run minority government is possible and as some highly experienced Tory MPs will surely be re-elected, it could work.

Labour may few experienced MPs, particularly from Scottish constituencies. The ‘big hitters’ are all jumping ship and the remainder look like their leader - weak.

Politics isn’t a ‘care for the people’ game it’s a numbers game. The SNP, like all other parties, wants a greater presence and recognition in Westminster and in order to make their presence felt need to join with either the Tories or Labour. The SNP has consistently ruled the Tories out and has no other option than Labour.

I don’t think Ed Miliband would be good for the UK or for Scotland.  At least the coalition in the last UK government left us alone most of the time and David Cameron was ‘kind’ enough to permit the referendum.

My vote will go to the SNP but not because I agree with any joint formal or informal agreement with Labour. I doubt propping up Labour will bring independence closer.

However, it’s all about numbers. Nick Clegg would sell his granny for another stint in power and the LibDem leader says he’ll talk with any party. Power over principles indeed.


William said...

Nothing will bring independence closer. You had the referendum. You lost. It's over.

If you're voting for the SNP because of some belief that they can still deliver independence then you're sadly mistaken. It's even more bizarre considering your hostility to several other SNP positions - pro-EU and the named person scheme, to name just two. I think you're allowing yourself to be deceived. If the SNP offer you nothing other than independence - which they can't actually deliver - then you should not vote for them.

JRB said...

Before those who would criticise me as some rampant Saltire waving nationalist – I should point out that at the last election I voted for the LibDems, being a party that has a long served the Highlands well.
But they sold their souls and liberal principles for the merest taste of political power, and are prepared to do it yet again with whosoever might offer them the opportunity.

So what is the choice left to me?

Labour in Scotland is suffering from terminal rigor mortis from which there is no hope of recovery; a fate which befell Scottish Tories many a long year ago.

For far too long the myopic politicians of Westminster have been unable to see much beyond the Home Counties and Scotland has remained that quaint little place one visits in the season for a little ‘hunting, fishing and shooting’.

But the voice and aspirations of the Scottish people deserves to be heard.

So this leaves me with the SNP, being the only remaining effective voice for Scotland.
Oh! - there is much of the SNP’s politics that I would strongly criticise – its renewable energy policy; its position regarding the EU; the introduction of GIRFEC
… but, and it is a big BUT - I have no hesitation in giving my vote to the SNP

And to the Westminster parties I would say - your venomous and vitriolic abuse hurled at the SNP has gone far to far and has become the denigration of Scotland, its people and what might be their democratic wishes.

As a consequence the politics in Scotland will never be the same again. Westminster and its self interested politicians may just have driven more Scots into the SNP/YES camp for any future election/referendum.

Independence is become more an more of a reality – not through the demands of the Scots - but by the negative and destructive xenophobia of the English.

William said...

"But the voice and aspirations of the Scottish people deserves to be heard."

2 of the last 3 Prime Ministers were Scottish. One would thought thy had pretty loud voices.

"your venomous and vitriolic abuse hurled at the SNP has gone far to far and has become the denigration of Scotland, its people"


The SNP is a political party. It is not the people of Scotland - though like all Nationalist parties it likes to assert that it is.

"by the negative and destructive xenophobia of the English."

IRA flute bands playing past the Cenotaph during a 'Hope Over Fear' rally on Saturday. Yes, not destructive or negative at all. It's all the English fault. The should accept the continued whining from the SNP and the attempted destruction of the UK with gentle humour and good grace.

Joe Public said...

From one south 'o the border, I commiserate at the (lack of effective) choices available to the Scots.

You have your proud Nationalists; the Welsh have their proud Nationalists; down south, the Left actively attempt smear like-minded voters with the 'fascist' label.

Being relatively apolitical, but a victim of being shafted by previous Lib/Lab/Con governments, there is a strong inclination to ..............

Demetrius said...

I think I will be voting with my feet.

wayne said...

Yea lets all vote SNP they are the most progressive party in the UK today . Take this for example... Teaching 3 - 5 year 0lds about sexual pleasure.... Fantastic idea. Lets sexualise children at an early age but first lets change the law to give the professionals legal rights that way the parents dont have a leg to stand on when they find out and are disgusted by this perverted behaviour .


Specially when you read about the SNP govt delaying the child abuse inquiry and the official guidance for girfec effectively sidelining parents .

Now thats what you call progress SNP style .

subrosa said...

I have to disagree William. I think, if the tories become the UK government then the momentum for independence will grow even more.

Yes I do disagree with some of the SNPs major policies but I will make my decision about the Scottish Parliament when that election comes round next year.

subrosa said...

Thank you for your contribution JRB, honest and eloquent as usual.

subrosa said...

Blair refused to be acknowledged as a Scot William as perhaps you know.

The SNP is the only political party with Scotland’s interests at heart. I certainly don’t think they’re xenophobic.

subrosa said...

You must vote Joe, even though you spoil your paper. I agree your choice is even more limited than mine.

subrosa said...

Auch Demetrius, go along and take delight in spoiling your paper if you don’t feel any suit you.

subrosa said...

Listen Wayne, British (yes all UK I mean) schools have been teaching sex education in such detail for over 15 years now. I don’t approve of the content for the young ones but I’m not in a position to complain as I’ve no children of a young age.

Look on your own doorstep. It won’t be much different.

Nessimmersion said...

We still have the issue of revealed preferences.
Do you
a) Vote for the most Stalinist party, that has brought in GIRFEC, nominated persons, removing all references to regional identity in order to emphasise the scottish identity - dog whistle politics and all that.
b) Vote for any of the party's that haven't brought in the above.
UK has the majority of its population in the SE - a good six times scotlands population.
If scotland were unfortunate enough to become separate from the rest of the UK, the same issue would crop up - the whinging subsidy junkies of the central belt would ensure all the money was spent there, with sod all left for the rest of the country, at least the London region is a net contributor to the economy.
For most scots outwith the central belt the most centralising regime in living memory has been the recent one of the numpties in Edinburgh.
Personally I have every sympathy with those I know in the borders & the Shetlands who would push for remaining part of the UK were the subsidy junkies to get their way.
Partition is a viable option for the borders & the Northern Isles show every indication of becoming a Crown dependancy as their fall back position.

Unknown said...

Hi SR.Interesting opinions.As a country, we will make our mark and for the next five years we will be ignored by the winners. Remember that governments don't win elections, they lose them. And for the last month I have been feeling that none of the major parties want to win,certainly I don't feel with their antics they deserve to win.The SNP will be better for Scotland I think, because they are local to Scotland.Some of their policies may not please some people, but that applies to all parties. But for those worried about Girfec, think of the result of a government combining ALL databases available to them. Then they would know all about you. All it needs is the will to do it.
The Torys in the last week have made it abundantly clear they do not want Scotland to have any say in the UK government,with that attitude we may as well be independent.The Torys have a strange way of playing by the rules,they want to apply them differently to different parts of the country.If they win, will Scotland be given fair treatment?

wayne said...

Yes you're right subrosa . Sex ed has been part of the curriculum in schools for a long time. But never before have children so young been subject to graphic sexual content.

Starting at P2 (6 years old) ... Whats wrong with letting kids be kids ? IMO this is nothing more than sexualization of children .

William said...

"If they win, will Scotland be given fair treatment?"

If they win, will you accept the verdict?

Or will it be like the referendum result you haven't accepted yet?

The Nationalists have never understood that in a democracy you might not always get what you want.

carol42 said...

As a Scot living in England I find what is annoying people is the SNP saying that even if the Consercatives win more seats and more votes than Labour the SNP will make the awful Ed PM. What's democratic about that? More and more I hear that they wish Scotland had voted for independence! I would be sad as most of my family live in and around Glasgow but if that's what the scottish people want so be it. The SNP attitude is creating bitter resentment but maybe that's the whole idea.

Unknown said...

William. If they win, will Scotland be given fair treatment? If they win,being the winners its unlikely.
Look at history.
Accept the verdict?That is just numbers,as Joe Stalin said, its who counts the numbers that matters.
The referendum result had some questions about it, I heard the official Russian observers said it reminded them of North Korea. Are you sure this is a true democracy?

carol42, Hi there, I believe all that is proposed is to use the rules of the house as other parties can and will use them , nothing illegal in that. I think you will find resentment being stirred up from South of the Border,as a matter of policy by the Westminster politicians.

JimS said...

If only Scotland could free itself from the shackles of Socialism. Play the 'victim' and the Socialists will forever keep you as a victim.

Of course the SNP brand of Socialist is on a winner because, unlike Labour, it can always blame the wicked English.

Heaven help Scotland if it got 'independence' under the EU-loving SNP in control, the begging bowl would become the national symbol while the 'leaders' would live the high-life in Brussels.

William said...

If the Russians, lovers of freedom and democracy (just ask the good people of Ukraine), are suspicious then we all should be....

You seem to be part of the tin foil hat brigade, Daniel, so I'll leave it there. Suffice to say that someone with your intellectual capabilities is precisely the reason Scotland's future looks absolutely terrifying.

Unknown said...

Hi William. I would think the Russians would perhaps know the North Korean political practices better than us , so I will not argue with their reported comment.
I have been watching and reading all that has come from the media south of the border for more than a month, noted all the improbable promises from all the Westminster parties and like a lot of people in England I too wonder who they will steal, sorry, "acquire" the money from.Also the abuse aimed at Scotland by the Tories and UKIP will be remembered I suspect long after the election and will be found not helpful.The 8th May will be interesting.

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