Monday, 31 August 2015

Autumnal Politicking

The Summer 'silly season' is drawing to an end as the politicians head towards their annual party conference frolics. Party Leaders (and those who aspire to lead) are busy dusting off their propaganda releases in attempts to make them appear plausible to the UK electorate. From the Tories dramatic announcement of £500 million pounds to prepare Faslane (aka MoD Aldermarston) for nuclear weapons the UK Parliament has not yet approved; to quasi-investigations into what is wrong with Police Scotland by Giesa Jobdale's Scotch Labour. In this we could all save Scotch Labour a lot of huffing and puffing, BBC Scotchland air time, paper and cash (they do not have) by reaching the conclusion on Scotch Labour's behalf - it is all the SNP's fault. Job done Giesa, I hope my cheque is in the post.

It seems Willy Rennie is still alive and the Libdems have decided to revive him from his self induced coma though given the Libdems £800,000 outstanding bill for Police Scotland's activities at the Libdems last conference (and I mean that most sincerely folks) making indirect claims about deliberate under funding and cost cutting by the Scottish Government causing the 'overstretch' is just a bit rich and hypocritical. Even worse for the Libdems is a number of police authorities in England are now looking at Police Scotland style amalgamations as a way of maintaining effective policing given the severe cuts being inflicted on them by the Tory Government's austerity policy which the Libdems and Labour, at Westminster, apparently support.

In the meantime Ian Taylor of Vitol, dodgy Serbian Oil deals and fracking has thrown Ruth and her Scotch Conservatives £100,000 in the hopes they will get enough list seats to keep the fracking pot boiling so his company's arms length investments in Scottish fracking licenses are not as worthless as a Tory Party promise of being a compassionate government. Mr Taylor would probably prefer the money to be spent ensuring the Tories control Stirling Council after May 2016 so he has a better chance of gaining planning approval for the Airth Field Expansion; then again, maybe I am just being cynical and he really does care for more than his immediate self interests.

Then there is RISE which has created a fog of confusion as to whether it is the official political wing of RIC or just yet another re-badging of the ferrets in a sack known as the Scottish Socialist Party which is hanging onto RIC's coat tails. The confusion becomes even greater when the chair of the RIC states that RISE has arisen from the RIC but is not part of the RIC. RISE has not yet stated what it actually stands for except its is "more left wing than the SNP and stands in solidarity with the working class ...." but given RISE's SSP domination we can expect announcements on the ending capitalism, creating a workers paradise and bringing everything into public ownership - whether it would be an effective use of taxation income or not. The launch conference was long on rhetoric but short on policy. I remain concerned, given the longstanding fracture lines and antipathy between its founding members, that RISE will make it to May 2016 in one piece and if they do, they will steal list votes from the Scottish Greens in the main and, in effect, weaken the 'socialist' impact at Holyrood by reinforcing in the Scottish electorates' mind the only effective opposition to the Unionist cabal is to vote SNP in both constituency and list. In this they have already done themselves little good by their immediate leap into antagonistic 'SNP bad' press releases, just for the sake of them.

The SNP are not infallible nor are their policies in Government agreeable to all of the wide base of their support at anyone time. Mistakes have been made in the process of creating Police Scotland but if anyone thought the process could be seamless they need their heads examining. Whether Mr House was the best person to lead this change has been long debated given his alleged Hitleresque style of leadership which involved removing, demoting or ignoring senior officers who did not agree with him. Further the process was undertaken in the knowledge that £1 billion of savings needed to be made while retaining front line police officer numbers because of known Barnett consequential reductions in funding for Scotland's Police and Fire Services over the next five years. These funding cuts could yet be even worse in the light of Osbourne's Treasury spending revue announcements which have now been delayed until November.

The SNP are increasingly seen as a 'safe pair of hands' by even Unionist Party supporters, though it cuts them to the bone to admit this. More importantly once the SNP have recognised they have made a mistake in policy they are not afraid to put their hands up, apologise and revise the policy. To some this is seen as their weakness; to me it is a great strength in this left of centre social democratic party which seeks to put the needs and expectations of the all the different sectors of the Scottish electorate ahead of its own narrow political and membership interests.

At its heart the SNP respect and acknowledge the Scottish legal and constitutional tradition of the people of Scotland being sovereign and as a result of this constitutional position, Ms Sturgeon and her team understand they can not be all things to all people nor do all they would wish, given the serious constraints put on them by Westminster's control of Scottish Government funding and the need to represent the wishes of the sovereign people of Scotland, but one thing is certain and that is this: The SNP always put Scotland's interests first and foremost.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent, well said and a good analysis of where we are at right now. We are at a ridiculously tedious, mind numbingly waste of time and money situation with the unionists flapping around like mad in attempting to continue their deceit of the people of Scotland, in order to keep the gravy train going for them and their friends. Let's see how things pan out. Expect more visits from the likes lf Gideon in the run up to May 2016. Who knows what they will do to make it look like we are bettertogether, all that cash swimming around, goodness what fun they are having, while many here are going hungry. Disgusting.