Search topics on this blog

Google+ Badge

Showing posts with label Scottish Questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scottish Questions. Show all posts

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The sordid attack by Scottish MPs on Scotland's freedom - with help from English MPs

Here they are – the sordid little gang of high-road-to-England Tory, Labour and LibDem MPs (the SNP MPs participate in Westminster of reluctantly and of necessity while it lasts) who know their careers will vanish like snaw aff a dyke when the Union ends.

We have Margaret Curran, Labour MP for Glasgow East since 2010, formerly an MSP, now Shadow Scottish Secretary, and Willie Bain, Labour MP for Glasgow North East, now Shadow Scottish Minister. Both of them come from constituencies that are among the most deprived in Scotland, a decline and deprivation that Labour has presided over for well over half a century. Willie Bain is the successor in this Labour poverty-stricken fiefdom of Michael Martin, formerly the Speaker of the House of Commons who was forced to resign in disgrace after the expenses scandal, and who is now a  Lord, safely distanced from from the poverty and deprivation of Springburn, from whence he and Oor Wullie both sprang.

Margaret and Willie sit cheek by jowl on the green benches, smiling supportively at each other – a kind of fairy tale hybrid couple. Across the gangway from them sit Michael Moore, Scottish Secretary and David Mundel, Scottish minister.

Both of these MPs are entirely unrepresentative of Scottish politics today, although they both represent the bad judgement of those who elected them. Both are members of political parties who face near extinction in Scotland. In Michael Moore’s case, were there a general election tomorrow, he and his party would almost certainly vanish. David Mundel’s party is already in self-destruct mode, something an endangered species can do without, but in a general election, the electorate of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale might well continue to display the execrable taste in politicians that has characterised them for a long time, so he might survive. (Maybe they’re too close to the Border …)

These two joined-at-the-hip double acts collectively form a discordant quartet at Scottish questions, given that their parties detest each other, but are united in their common desperate quest for survival in the face of their county’s independence. In this, they get support from sundry backbench – and backwoods – Tories, in this outing Norman Bone, who fancies himself as a wag, a hard-faced Essex Tory girl and a Scot who is MP for the English constituency of Fylde, so he’s alright, Jock when independence comes.

But let them speak for themselves, and try not to feel nausea and utter contempt as you listen – it won’t be long …


Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Scottish Office in action as the debate intensifies–Moore and Mundel defend their country–the UK

The Colonial Governor, Michael Moore talks down his country, or rather, the country whose interests he is supposed to represent. His country is, of course, the United Kingdom - a failed state.

He 'wholeheartedly' supports the union, as does his questioner - but it is not a Scottish heart, nor is it a brave heart.


  A Tory MP, Ann McIntosh and another Establishment figure, Sir Menzies Campbell (LibDem) make planned mischief over the UK Supreme Court and the Scottish Expert Group headed by Lord McCluskey.

The hoary spectre of Jim Sillars, yesterday's man (1992!) is invoked by David Mundel as a "former Deputy Leader of the SNP". It is left to Pete Wishart SNP to defend his country, Scotland and his Parliament to these two Scottish unionists acting in concert with a unionist Tory.



 

The West Lothian Question, the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament and the two Assemblies, the the UK Supreme Court debacle - the contradictions mount, the English get restive and the Unionists begin to panic.

Ah, the decline of an empire! What a pathetic spectacle it presents ...


POSTSCRIPT – JIM SILLARS

I should have some affinity with Jim Sillars. He is of my generation, two years younger than I am: he is a Scot, his politics have always been of the left, he is a former Labour man, he moved from Labour to the SNP and he comes from the Scottish working class. There the similarities end.

He also has a record of significant political action (which I do not), and was a pivotal figure at key points in the history of the SNP, and is a former Deputy Leader of the Party. For that legacy, he retains a certain respect among SNP members and activists.

But he has, in my view, been recklessly squandering that legacy since he lost his Govan seat in 1992, at which point he effectively ceased to have any real relevance to Scottish politics. His pejorative comment about Scots being “90 minute patriots” became a kind a epitaph for his political career.

His recent interventions into the Scottish political debate have, in my view, been at best unhelpful, and at worst, damaging to the cause of Scotland’s independence, especially at this crucial time. He has become a kind of icon for the unionists, who quote him at every opportunity (see David Mundel in the above clip) and is a favourite choice for inclusion in television news discussions for the same reasons. He chose recently to mount one of his more intemperate attacks on the Scottish Government through the medium of a letter to The Telegraph, the Pravda of the Tory Party and the Union.

I do wish he would shut up, but I fear he won’t – he probably sees himself as the prophet in the wilderness, and the Union is more than happy to accommodate him in this role.

Oh, Jim …