Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A Manifesto For Scotland: More Nats, Less Cuts

This morning, before the launch in Glasgow of the SNP manifesto, Alex did a great interview with the “Today” journalist Justin Webb and set out his stall. He has not given his support to any of the parties in England, but he has indicated that his preference was for a big rise in the size and influence of the smaller parties everywhere.

He believes that a ‘balanced’ parliament (which is a better name for it than a ‘hung’ parliament and more appropriate too) would give the SNP a chance to influence policy and push for Scotland’s rights for a change. He’s repeated that he has no wish to tell the English how to run their country. He simply wants Scots to have the right to run theirs.

Alex repeated that he would not go into coalition with anyone. Well, he can’t, can he? He only has the moral authority to vote on matters that affect Scotland. Nothing else! He has the greatest knowledge of any of the politicians of working with a balanced parliament, and he would look for the SNP to approach the post-election landscape on a “vote by vote” basis, securing concessions in return for supporting key pieces of government legislation.

One example would be the money from the fossil fuel levy, £200 million sitting in a London bank. It can only be used for renewable in Scotland if there is a corresponding £200 million cut in the Scottish grant. How ridiculous is that?

He wants to see the UK ditch Trident, with a saving of £2b+ a year and more when the replacement for Trident is axed. Also on the scrap heap would go the House of Lords, Scotland Office and the daft ID cards.

Alex did a Gordon and “agreed with Nick” when he indicated that he wanted an end to the old two party system. He said that a “balanced parliament will be the people’s parliament”.

The rest of the manifesto concerns itself with details of fighting cuts imposed by Westminster and creating green jobs in Scotland.

It’s a manifesto for Scotland. It gets my vote.


  1. As much as I disagree with the SNP on the EU and Salmond's economics they'd still get my vote.

  2. Yes Scunnert, there are many things that many people disagree with in the SNPs policies. By its very nature it has to be a broad church. People who want their country to be free do not necessarily see other things the same way.

    I know there are people who want an independent Scotland to be a right wing country, Thatcherite even; there are SNP supporters who want a Queen and those who want a President; there are trade unionists; there are greens and Liberals; there are Muslims and Christians, Hindus and Jews, Buddhists and Agnostics, white, black, tall and small, old and young, male and female....and on and on... There’s even a few dog that’s fur it too!

    If we have any brains at all we will wait till after the deed is done and then start worry about the relatively little things. Freedom must come first. A country, run from Edinburgh for the good of us all must be our first endeavour.

    Whatever is in today’s proposals if we want our freedom we must pull together to get it. A vote for any of the big parties is a vote for the United Kingdom and the status quo.

  3. Excellent post, Tris, and a very comprehensive description of me in your second para. One important aspect of independence would be that politicians would be more accountable to their constituents rather than have them languishing in anonymity in the leather seats of some House of Commons bar.

  4. You’re all of these things Mr Brownlie? LOL. Thanks a lot, nice compliment, much appreciated. In a wee country Mr Brownlie, I think there's more chance that politicians would keep their feet on the ground. Being part of the UK parliament has traditionally given MPs a kind of superiority, because traditionally, in a world of deference to money and status, these were men of substance. They work in a palace and, quite literally, the ordinary laws that they make for us, don’t apply within a royal palace. Winterton’s airy utterances, clearly said before he thought of the furore it would cause, show that they really do think themselves above the rest of us. And look at the tradition that goes with it all: Black rods and gold sticks and goodness all else what, men with Bucked shoes and britches. It’s all very well them placing at dressing up, but in what way does it make our legislation any better? It doesn’t. It simply fills the participants with a sense of self importance.

    British politicians who get near to top are mixing with the top people round the world, as a relic of the time when Britain really WAS important. These days are gone now (and in the past they just remain!! Ha ha!), but the British are still up there at the top table, whilst much more important countries have no voice (causing all sorts of resentment), and so British politicians still have a second reason for this air of self importance.

    In an independent Scotland much of that has gone. No tradition, no buckles, no wigs, no top hats “I spy strangers” and Rt Honourable and Learned Gentlemen...

    Hopefully that will bring the whole business of government closer to the people, as it already is at Holyrood.