Thursday 17 March 2005

The real SNP?

A few days ago I wrote about Mike Russell of the SNP who had called for a low-tax policy from the Nationalists.

There's a letter in today's Herald (second page) from a Mr Bob Doris - who seems to be an SNP activist - that gives the game away somewhat:

... the SNP has clearly stated that it is in favour of defending our public-sector pension schemes from the ravages of a right-wing New Labour government. Indeed, the SNP Trade Union Group got unanimous support at our recent campaign conference on this matter. Furthermore, all SNP MPs have signed an early-day motion (number 579) calling on the UK government to withdraw regulations affecting the pension rights of public-sector workers. This is in direct contrast with many Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs who have failed to do likewise.
So what's it going to be? A low-tax, limited state, successful and prosperous Scotland that seems to be favoured by Mike Russell or the same old nonsense from people who think that we have a "right-wing" government? You can probably guess the answer. Mr Doris continues:
With 28% of workers in Scotland working within the public sector, there is every chance that they can use their collective power to defeat these shameful proposals. A UK general election is just around the corner and workers must vote for a party that will both defend their current occupational pension entitlements, and will also have the best chance of winning in May. This can only be achieved by voting SNP
There we have it. Mr Doris is saying that the SNP is the party of the public sector worker: those tax-consumers who are responsible for the UK having a £700 billion pension black hole (with a hell of a lot more to come from Europe). Mike almost had me convinced for a while. Non-government workers should think very carefully indeed before voting for the Nationalists.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Stuart Dickson
If you want to understand a wee bit more about why the SNP targets the centre-left of Scottish politics, just take a look at this remarkable table. Note that the SNP are in second place in 60% of all Scottish constituencies. All but one of those seats is held by Labour! 
Now do you understand why Labour detest us so, and why we must appeal to voters who currently back Labour?

17 March 2005, 23:29:42 GMT
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Neil Craig
Messrs Doris, Russell & even the SNP Trade Union Group may represent many activists but they do not set policy indeed Mr Russell's leadership bid failed badly. 
The SNP has always been all things to all men to an even greater extent than all parties are (more politely a broad church). Partly this is because their appeal isn't left/right but more, I think, because they have never expected to hold real power.  
Their commitment to reduced corporation tax & (more difficult to determine) less regulation is a strongly positive move & despite Russell's wishes that is all they have committed to.

17 March 2005, 18:48:30 GMT
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David Malloch
Not a good idea to compare Edinburgh now with the Edinburgh of the Enlightenment. These days Scotland is a country where 'intellectual' can mean Gerry Hassan. 
As for the SNP I think there very recent switch towards sensible economic policies is simply a case of the social democratic delusion finally beginning to wear off. After six years of devolution they have simply had to wake up and smell the coffee, but I don't think they are happy about it. However that is only the case for some of the smarter ones in the SNP. 
In their hearts they are still the same tax and spend party that you hear at Holyrood week after week. They are still more Tony Benn than Tony Blair. I suspect Mr Doris speaks for the majority of SNP members in West Central Scotland.

17 March 2005, 15:14:22 GMT
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Stuart Dickson
There is little doubt that currently the SNP are a classic, typically European, centre-left political party. But what Jim Mather, Andrew Wilson, Fergus Ewing and now Mike Russell (and many others) are saying is that perhaps a shift to the true centre, to liberalism, is what Scotland needs. 
After all, Scotland did invent the enlightenment, which began the global march to wealth.

17 March 2005, 11:39:59 GMT