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Showing posts with label NATO debate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NATO debate. Show all posts

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Coda – the NATO debate, SNP Conference 2012

The full debate is up on other clip. I selected these end clips to give my personal impression - and it is only that - of the quality of the speakers and the delegate reaction.

It leaves me with the question I posed elsewhere - given the calibre of the anti-NATO speakers and the audience reaction to them - how did Conference end up endorsing the motion? Some branches had pre-mandated their delegates, some had not. Some delegates came with their minds made up, some didn't. Some changed their minds, some didn't.

The anti-NATO speakers all gave cogent arguments why Conference should reject this misconceived motion and think again. The pro-NATO speakers opted in the main for strident assertions of their anti-nuclear credentials while advocating joining a first-strike nuclear alliance for expedient and, for me, highly questionable reasons.
In Kenny MacAskills's case, it was a piece of shameless rabble-rousing populism, eschewing argument for pushing easy anti-nuclear buttons in the audience, while calmly dumping a lifetime of principled opposition to nuclear and NATO for realpolitik and a place in the sinister NATO corridors of power.

Sadly, his approach probably consolidated the pre-debate pressures on some delegates and swung the vote with the unmandated, undecided remainder.

The fatal die was cast ...