It’s a slow period for political news, what with both Westminster and Holyrood being on Easter recess. As we eagerly await the First minister’s announcement, after the break, on how the Scottish Government intend to take the independence referendum issue forward, there isn’t a whole lot to cover. However, there are a couple of interesting things I’ve come across today. I thought I’d do a brief round-up here, in case folks missed them elsewhere.
First up, a piece by Anthony Salmone, research fellow at the Scottish Centre on European Relations and PhD Candidate in Politics at the University of Edinburgh, writing in the LSE Blog. TL;DR – It is the intransigence, arrogance, and single-mindedness of the Tory government in Westminster, and not the SNP, that has brought us to a second independence referendum.
Next up, the Independent reports on new research by economists at MIT, which claims that Brexit will be four times worse for the UK economy than previously thought. And I thought it was looking bad enough already.
In third place, something that I wanted to address here, because it’s vital ammunition against the unionist lie, that is being repeated ad nauseam lately, that we should take the independence vote off the table because it creates anxiety/uncertainty in the markets and damages the economy. Well, it doesn’t. That’s bollocks. Here is Nathanael Williams writing at CommonSpace to tell you why. Here’s another piece by Autonomy Scotland saying much the same thing. Now you know where to send unionists who make that claim (but ask them to provide you with evidence for their claim first – it’s always fun to watch them flail around and come up with nothing).
In the interests of wrapping up on a positive note, here are a couple of things that made me smile today. The first is this flyer for the council elections next month, sent out by none other than everyone’s favourite diminutive Tory, Ruth “the mooth” Davidson.
The only thing of interest in Ruth’s flyer (and other Tory flyers I’ve seen), is that there’s nothing of interest in it. At least, there’s nothing that might be of interest to the local people who are being asked to vote. Nothing about say, what the Tories will do for the area if elected. Not a single policy. Nada. All it says is “SNP BAD!!! Grrrrrr!” and “No referendum!” It’s worth remembering the minor detail that local councils have absolutely no say over whether or not a referendum is held. Ruth opposing it is irrelevant to the local council elections. The only way councilors can oppose an indyref is by jumping up and down in the street and shouting “I oppose it!” The post-it note says it all really. It’s pretty sad that the only policy the Tories have for the local elections, is a policy that has bugger all to do with the local elections.
As a brief aside, the Tories here appear to be trying to cast the council elections as a kind of intermediate, pseudo-referendum on whether or not the Scottish Parliament should have the right to call another indyref. They seem to think, perhaps rightly, that an overwhelming SNP vote in the local elections would be, if not exactly evidence, certainly interpreted as the electorate supporting the right to hold that plebiscite. I can, if I’m honest, see where they’re coming from. That does not however mean it is right to hijack the election, to the detriment of important local issues.
Finally in today’s slow-news round-up, is this poll, published today by Ashcroft. It shows, in what could well be rather good news for the independence movement, that contrary to the rest of the UK, an overwhelming majority of people in Scotland think that the UK is going in the wrong direction. It also shows that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is the only politician in Scotland with a positive approval rating (among Scots). I grabbed it from the article, ‘cos it’s good to share:
I love how the clueless Brexit brigade are bringing up the rear there, trumped only by, er, Trump, who’s apparently about as popular in Scotland as a dose of Chlamydia.
So there you have it. Let’s get out of this “union” before the Tories achieve their ultimate goal. What goal? This goal: