Sunday, 27 January 2013

A no vote is not always vacuous

Nicola Sturgeon in this morning's Scotland on Sunday says that a no vote in next year's referendum on Scottish Independence is a vote for nothing. This is rather big seeing as the SNP have yet to secure an Independent Scotland's future within Europe and to answer some leading questions on military, support for the arts, culture and leisure (currently covered by the national lottery) and other issues that severance with the rest of the UK would bring about.

Of course she pulls the line of toeing the line to Westminster Austerity cuts, has she forgotten that Scotland two banks and largest Building Society received bail outs from that same Westminster? Has she ever wondered what state Scotland would have been in had they not had the support of Westminster at that time? Maybe she should look at Greece and what is required there. Part of the reason that some of these cuts are required is because of the state that the Scottish financial institutions got us into, not all, but a sizable chunk. 

Of course there are many who believe that a vote to stay within the UK is in the best interests of Scots, there is the economy of scales questions of trans-British industry, there is security in a economy that despite the recession is still recognised world wide as a leader, there is certainty in freedom of trade and movement within Europe (yes even though David is promising a referendum on that in 2016).

You see what Nicola is forgetting to factor in is that the people of Scotland voted for a devolved Scottish Parliament within the UK. They also voted for tax raising powers with flexibility within parameters from the UK, powers that have yet to be exercised by any party in power in Scotland. So with the ability to do certain things differently that have not been exercised and others that have being taken, just what is this nothing that Nicola is talking about. Student fees, care for the elderly, prescription charges etc are all different in Scotland than in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. That is hardly a nothing decision.

The other three main parties in Scotland all promised in the past to look at increasing powers for Holyrood, some may have taken a step back from that. However, the reason that this is on the back burner is because of the SNP insistence of taking this to a referendum and the decision to make it a single issue question of being part of the Union or not. The fact that parties like the Scottish Liberal Democrats do not want to muddy the waters does not mean that there will not be any further powers handed to Holyrood it is just that this is not something that the executive Government in Scotland are pursuing. You see it is Nicola and her SNP colleagues who are playing high stakes poker. They have gone all in on one hand, for them it is independence or bust. There is no get out, indeed there is no detail in what an independent Scotland will be, although Alex Salmond seems more that content to be dictator in chief, referee and player in his own referendum to anoint himself and his heirs and kings of Scotland thereafter.

Voting for the status quo is not always a vote for nothing, it can be a vote for stability as opposed to calamity. It can be a vote for prosperity as opposed to doom. Just because people do not want change does not mean that change is good or better. Until you can convince people that change is better for people they will vote for what they know.

The fact that the SNP are trying to scare people into saying a vote to stay in the UK is vacuous only goes to show that they have no real plan for the future. They have yet to convince me that Scotland is better apart from the UK, which is why I say we are Better Together, if I were to have a vote in the referendum I would be voting "No".

1 comment:

  1. There is going to be a lot more bluff and bluster from the SNP before the referendum. Normally I would be in Spain at the time it is likely to be held, but I shall certainly be here in Scotland then instead so I can vote - obviously not in favour of the SNP objective. I note you have crossed through 'executive' and written Government; I used always to refer to the administration in Edinburgh as the 'Scottish Executive', which is how it was described by the legislation which set it up, the Scotland Act 1998. However with the coming into force of the Scotland Act 2012 in July 2012 ( its official name was changed to "Scottish Government", so it is now perfectly correct to refer to it as such (unfortunately - because in an ideal world I would wish to return to the status quo ante 1998 when the devolved Scottish administration was created, but as a realist I must accept that this is highly unlikely ever to happen).