Westminster is a sewer
The SNP plans to explore Westminster’s labyrinths for some time to come. Gas masks at the ready!
At times like these the the ruling party, probably Tory again after the election, (otherwise known as Ukip heavy) creates a diversion. A small war in some far-flung land is a tried and tested idea to whip up hysterical patriotism and call upon all sections of society to unite under one flag. Consequently, we should expect a Tory MP to advocate we send troops to die in yet another small arid country to ‘stop terrorism’ ignoring, of course, we are bombing them and innocents now, in tandem with the USA.
Next revelation to come will be how a phalanx of SNP MPs will prove only a pebble in a pond of 650 Westminster MPs. Every time an SNP MP stands up to speak they – that is Scotland – should expect to get booed, jeered, ridiculed, and generally spat upon.
If an SNP MP has the audacity to put forward a Bill it is sure to be voted down, or talked out of time. Guaranteed.
Our MPs shall do their level best to put forward Scotland’s needs nobly and courageously, and still get mugged. They shall be called amateurs. Some will say it is an exercise we must undertake to show how much Westminster does nor care about Scotland’s health, as if 300 years of showing how much it does not care is not enough.
MP ‘hopeful’ and top UK insurgent, Alex Salmond, and SNP’s new leader and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, warn Tories they will get no mercy, and Labour that they will hold their ear to the bacon slicer. That assumes, rashly, (pun intended) Labour is in power.
Where there are politicians there are rats
The Labour party detests the SNP so much it would have Tories govern Scotland until the next ice age. Why should they help the SNP just because they will sit next to them on House of Commons benches?
Like USA Republicans who prefer their country in chaos to Democrat rule, Labour would rather see Scotland laid low than shake hands with the Devil. What other reason did their MPs have to ‘punch the air with glee’ on hearing the Royal Bank of Scotland was in serious trouble? Hence, if any Labour MP votes with the SNP it will be by sheer error of walking into the wrong lobby.
Labour, the ‘party of the people’ despises the people.
In a timely article the respected journalist Neal Ascherson reminds readers of the perils of independence parties dabbling in the murky politics of Westminster for whatever noble reason or cause. He uses Ireland’s march to independence as his guide. Ascherson writes well about Ireland’s self-inflicted delays and disappointments on the road to independence as a comparison with Scotland, at times turning in on itself in the face of British obduracy to the extent Irish nationalists and republicans pushed aside radical thinkers. If unconvinced by my modest attempts at caution people should listen to his wise counsel, or at least take time to study Ireland’s path to independence.
Until today the SNP had no wish to order Westminster about not even in an act of pique. At least that’s what I thought but a hint of revenge from SNP executives in their stridency over ‘holding the power’ questions that assumption.
Westminster life is all about compromise
Does anybody with half a brain really believe the ruling party at Westminster will never undermine SNP popularity by blocking or withdrawing investment from Scotland?
Fraternising with Labour remodelled on the Conservative party is asking for contempt. In immigration policy and blaming the poor for being poor, Labour’s brave new dawn is closer to Greece’s Golden Dawn than the ode to life that is a dawn chorus. Scotland welcomes immigrants. England wants them repatriated. What will happen when a deal is on the table involving immigration quotas?
Scotland doesn’t count
There are justified barbs fired at Labour for its cardinal omissions, and lately it’s cruel and cynical ploy of pretending power gained at Westminster will always be delivered to Scotland in equal measure. There is always the possibility radical ideas will get lost in the mire and slop that is England’s understandable priorities.
With expenses and sex scandals and money for lobbying ringing in everybody’s ears just stepping through the portal of the ‘mother of all parliaments’ has a person tarnished.
No amount of clever footwork from Salmond, or Robertson, or Black, or any of the others, can ensure the SNP do not end up hated by one section or another of British society. Appease one group of people, alienate the other. It’s a tightrope.
Unprincipled MPs cause swathes of merry England to think the arrival of the SNP is the invasion of the Martians. The Conservatives and members of the House of Lords regard the arrival of the ‘Nats’ as akin to commies owning Fortnum and Mason. “They wish to break up the United Kingdom” is the startled cry, sometimes spoken of as ‘our’ country, meaning all of the UK is theirs, Greater England.
At some point the SNP will compromise its principles. It has to trade to get concessions for Scotland. Inevitably they will find themselves facing a Bill they would normally vote against stuck under their nose for support, the reward some gain or other for Scotland. It is as inevitable as the one nail in the street gutter finding your car’s tyre. When trading happens it weakens the SNP’s claim to be uncompromising.
From political party to runt
A quick look at the Lib-Dems illustrates what can happen. Deals can kill a party’s integrity. It can also show them unskilled at administration. Even the Lib-Dem’s one-time economic prophet, nice guy Vince Cable, no longer carries the air of a straight-talking politician. Will he survive the inevitable backlash against the Lib-Dems for sleeping with the enemy? I really doubt it. Clegg will surely resign. He has no other option.
SNP membership rising to a record 102,000 will have Angus Robertson say Nato membership does no harm. This is nonsense. Distress and anger over the way Westminster conducted itself during the Referendum drove thousands to overlook SNP policy contradictions and place their ‘X’ in the history books. Joining NATO hooks Scotland into American foreign policy, NATO its European arm. Westminster life involves grappling with the thorny dilemma of aiding and abetting American interests that are unpalatable. Many Scots and non-Scots dislike the association. With no new referendum in sight people will feel freer to voice dissent.
As a coalition at Holyrood SNP managed to appeal to all parties to get its budget agreed. In government SNP presents itself as a radical party, progressive, untainted. It shows itself respectful of civil rights. Westminster has a different ethos. It pursues neo-liberal doctrine assiduously. It has never shaken off its colonial mentality. How can Scotland’s representatives hold sway against that dogma? Even to be heard SNP at Westminster will have to be difficult, obstructive, pig-headed, and bloody minded.
The SNP’s annual conference had motions debated for more generous Welfare benefits, land reform, no fracking, no austerity, no Trident, no House of Lords, and above all, no Tories or Ukip in Scotland, policies at odds with Westminster orthodoxy.
If working in a sewer you had better be wearing the right safety equipment against leaks of noxious gas, malodorous stains, and noxious disorientation.
The SNP should tread very carefully, and check all doors for the best exit!