Showing posts with label Centre Ground. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Centre Ground. Show all posts

Friday 31 May 2024

An SNP Facing the Centre Ground

 An SNP Facing the Centre Ground


Kelly Given often writes of progressive change in the National. The problem is the devolved Scottish governments limited powers to bring about really meaningful change, and these are questions for after our independence. 


We need to gain ground in the centre of politics, where many peoples views sit, otherwise Scotland will continue to be stuck. Many SNP supporters feel the Scottish government has been side-tracked by a focus on identity issues that many Scots have little interest in – when a quarter of Scotland’s children live in poverty, there is a housing crisis, Scotland’s wealth and resources are sold off to foreign bidders we can’t control, when an energy rich Scotland has the highest energy prices in Europe and there is growing energy poverty, when the environment catastrophe facing the world cannot be ignored. 


Too much time has been spent on minor issues. While I appreciate the importance for the SNP of the young voters who want progressive polices and all voices must be heard. And I also agree that without reform and change to progressive and inclusive capitalism  - after 40 years of the clearly failed neo-liberal policies that have only made the rich richer – is crucial to our happier and successful independence.


My understanding is the SNP and Forbes had little choice over the UKs Freeport scheme – it was either have the Freeports imposed on Scotland, or at least add some Green credentials. I appreciate Swinney and Forbes wish to project a more positive spin on the SNPs devolved options, while asking for more powers, I hope. Certainly united and more positive parties win elections! 


Joseph Stiglitz book Road to Freedom talks about ‘Progressive Capitalism’ - that the most successful countries are those who also invest in their education and health and that free for all unregulated capitalism over the past 40 has failed people. That trickle down theories have simply meant the rich getting richer. 


On Energy. I don’t agree with nuclear – the toxic waste is there for thousands of years, so multiply the number of nuclear plants needed very fifty years. Hydrogen is very complex and highly combustible – and it also requires large sites which makes it expensive.


While I am also confused over the SNPs stance over Grangemouth – which will mean Scotland as the only oil producing country with no refinery and the loss of hundreds of skilled workers, who are then likely to leave Scotland. Plus make us even more ‘dependent’ on English refineries which is clearly the plan for the foreseeable future. As well as effecting moves towards net zero with large tankers bringing refined oil up the Forth. Scotland will be the only major oil producer with no refinery. While the net zero policies  are crucial, we will continue to need oil for the next few decades.


But I do believe John Swinney is a man of integrity who listens and has vast experience.  Kate Forbes also understands the issues facing rural Scotland that are essential to our future too. Once Scotland is independent , that will be the time for new political parties. I really don’t like the old left/ right divides. A future Scotland needs both good social policies so a well educated and healthy population can thrive, but also one where small businesses and industry can thrive.   

If Scotland wants to follow other small and medium-sized nations successes – education must be a key driver and top priority. 



PS Any Scots interested to vote for English Labour MPs, should realise ONLY 106 MPs of the 650 at Westminster are non-English MPs! (543 are English MPs) – so a Scot’s vote for English Labour party really leaves Scotland with no voice at UK level.  (Scotland 57 MPs, Wales 32  MPs, NI  18 MPs)