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Showing posts with label Scottish Elections 2011. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scottish Elections 2011. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Keep it simple - the arguments decoded

THE REFERENDUM

The unionists want a referendum now because the uncertainty is harming recovery in the economy.

Decoded

The unionists want a referendum now because the polls indicate that Scots would say No to independence. They want the SNP to lose.

The SNP want a referendum later because the economy is a pressing priority, because the Scottish people must have time to hear and evaluate the arguments - and because that’s what they promised in their manifesto

Decoded

The SNP want a referendum later because the polls indicate that Scots would say No if balloted now. They want the SNP to win at a later date.



SUPREME COURT

The unionists say a UK Supreme Court is necessary to provide a final court of appeal across the UK and to relieve the pressure of human rights cases on the European Court of Human Rights, and to handle matters of constitutional significance.

Decoded

The unionists set up the UK Supreme Court to keep the devolved Parliament of Scotland and the Assemblies of Wales and Northern Ireland in line, and to control any attempts by Scotland to secure independence by asserting the right of the Supreme Court to rule on constitutional matters, regardless of the law of Scotland and the Act of Union. A secondary motive was a deep distrust of our European partners and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.



THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

The unionists claim that the SNP government was elected by a minority of Scots, given the share of the vote in relation to the percentage of the electorate voting. They also argue that Alex Salmond and the SNP  will abuse their mandate by riding roughshod over the unionist opposition.

Decoded

The Scottish voting system, with the d’Hondt method of proportional representation, was deliberately set up to ensure that the Scottish Government would be ineffectual because no one party would have an overall majority, especially the SNP. Remember, this was set up by a Government elected by the first-past-the-post system, and is now supported by another Coalition government who mounted a successful vitriolic campaign to defend the first-part-the-post system, the antithesis of what was intended for Scotland. But most of all, the unionist attack on the SNP mandate is based on the fact that they are bad losers.

SCOTLAND’S SOCIAL AND WELFARE POLICIES

The unionist position is that Scotland can’t afford their generous social policies, that they are funded by Westminster, and that they must be retrenched in the light of the recession. Today, Frank Field, a former Labour Minister, has tabled an amendment to the Scotland Bill to limit Scotland’s public spending to within 5% of England’s public spending.

Decoded

The British Government is engaged in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan and was engaged in an illegal war in Iraq. It is now engaged in a misconceived operation in Libya. All of these involve an enormous drain on the UK public purse. The Coalition Government is engaged in an attack on public services, on the NHS, and on the ordinary people of the UK in an attempt to make them pay for the folly of two British Governments and greedy irresponsible bankers.

The UK must have its wars and foreign entanglements to serve the military/industrial complex and its insatiable greed, fed by the M.O.D. and the Foreign Office.

They cannot afford to let the people of England look north to a country, Scotland, and to a government, the SNP Government, that cares about its people, about its poor, its old and vulnerable, its pensioners, its sick and disabled and about the public services that serve their needs, and make invidious comparisons and draw the obvious conclusions.

Least of all can they afford to let that country, Scotland, achieve its full independence from their corrupt, declining empire.

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Scottish referendum - Lorraine Davidson being objective?

Lorraine Davidson, former Labour spin doctor, biographer of Jack McConnell, former Labour First Minister of Scotland ('Lucky Jack'), now a Times journalist, offers an objective assessment of the SNP landslide and the referendum.

Or is it? Judge for yourself. A journalist and commentator has a right to take a position - balance is not always objectivity. But when a journalist has formerly been so close to a specific political party and viewpoint, it pays to be careful. Lorraine is initially critical of the Labour campaign, but then ...

Lorraine Davidson

People in Scotland instinctively want to be part of the Union, but Alex Salmond’s game now isn’t the game the SNP played in the 70s and 80s – with one great leap we’ll be free.

What Alex Salmond wants is independence by stealth. There are already going to be extra powers in the Parliament – they’re going through at the moment – he’s going to beef those up further. His referendum I would bet will also contain an option of full fiscal autonomy, so by the time you get to the independence thing, further down the road – he’s playing the long game … He wants to take the view that nobody in Scotland’s going to matter when you put in the last piece of the jigsaw.”



The Times, according to Angus Macleod, chief political reporter in Scotland, favours no party or political viewpoint, but reports objectively. He exemplifies this approach, and as a result, his analysis and prediction of the Holyrood elections was the most accurate and prescient of all the papers.

Lorraine would do well to remember this, and watch out for that old danger in reporting - the use of coloured terms, i.e. pejorative adjectives, adverbs and appellations. I would like to feel that she is now free of old, reflex, in-denial Scottish Labour and unionist attitudes, but I often fear she is not.