Monday, 15 December 2014

Scottish Nationalist 'People's Vow'

I picked up a copy of The Spectator while I was in Aberdeen at the end of November with a piece by Alex Massie entitled 'Scotland's unwon cause' in which he wrote:
'The SNP is the only political party in Scotland that can credibly claim to be a mass organisation.  It will soon, in all likelihood have 100,000 members.'


About the same time I bought a copy of The National a new daily that claims the be 'The newspaper that supports an independent Scotland'.  According to Alex Massie this paper sold 50,000 copies of its first edition – near twice of what the Scotsman averages.  Since then The National has doubled its print run.


At their last SNP conference since Nicola Sturgeon took over it produced the People's Vow:which specifies that industry should be nationalised; a republic declared; land ownership reformed; fracking banned; Nato left; and a people's budget published that would offer an alternative to austerity.


Whatever the outcome in Scotland at the next UK general election, and the SNP could win up to 50 seats if it performs in line with the recent polls, the consequences could lead to conflict for the Union whoever gained power in Westminster:  a Tory win next May would almost certainly result in increasing the backing in Scotland for the nationalists, and a Labour majority would not be much more helpful in so far as it would have to chose between letting down Scottish aspirations for more independence and possibly upsetting English opinion.  A Labour Government that depended on the SNP would be particularly vulnerable.


Mr. Massie argues that during the next General Election in Scotland it will be like '59 mini-referendums [in Scotland] on the national question'.  That in turn would 'serve as an overture to the 2016 Scottish parliamentary elections', at which Massie says: 'another SNP triumph would open the door to a second referendum.'  This would need the approval of the London Government, but in such circumstances it would be hard to refuse.

The building site lads I met from Glasgow at the Rank & File construction worker's conference in Newcastle on the 15th, November, certainly had high hopes that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP would be able to force the political pace in the New Year and give the Westminster crowd the run-around.  It is expected that Paul Salveson will be writing on this in the next edition of the Northern Voices - N.V. 15.

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