I see the Tories are in trouble for overspending to try and win elections in England – they should learn a lesson from the Scottish Tories – who don’t need to cheat so much, they just lose the election by a country mile (winning only 31 seats, less than half of the SNPs 63 seats) and then get their friends in the press to write it up as if they had won – much cheaper and less hassle.
Ruth Davidson made it clear that her party were campaigning on a platform of No to independence and No to a second referendum. Her whole campaign was predicated on the notion that ONLY the Tories stood behind the Union and her vote did actually go up a few percent. However her party polled only 22% of the vote – in other words she failed to convince 78% of Scots who voted to cast the one vote that would guarantee no second referendum. Ipso facto she has no mandate and is significantly overreaching in the extreme when she claims that the second referendum is dead and with a second Holyrood majority for independence the mandate is to hold a second referendum should the circumstances demand it.
“Respect the result of the referendum” the unionist parties and their allies in the press will scream at our re-elected First Minister but its a hollow soundbite, worse its insincere as from the moment David Cameron announced English Votes for English Laws having challenged Scotland to “lead the Union, not leave it” the unionists have been wildly disrespecting that result and disrespecting the promises made to get it.
Was it respecting the referendum result to promise to keep tax offices open and then announce their closure, to promise orders for the Clyde and then to cut them and delay the contracts? Was it respecting the result to guarantee EU membership then to lead us into an referendum that’s now to too close to call, or to say that only the UK can support Aberdeen’s oil industry then to let that city down with a half hearted city deal in its moment of need? Was it respecting the referendum result to say renewables require the UK for grants and then to cut those grants early, endangering Scotland’s renewable energy future, or to offer devo max / something close to home rule and then offer a Scotland Bill that misses even the watered down Smith Commission by a mile?
Yes, the nation narrowly voted No in 2014 but the reason that the independence debate is still alive and the reason SNP support has soared is because of the disrespect shown by the Westminster parties, not just to the YES voters but to the No voters who were swayed by the now broken promises and fear mongering.
If anything Ruth Davidson’s nonsense claims on independence show that she is also disrespecting the result of last week’s election. Labour in Scotland on the other hand might just be about to wake up – happens when you get kicked that hard. They may be about to have a home rule epiphany Deputy leader Alex Rowley, Former Deputy Leader Anas Sawar and former First Minister Henry McLeish have all been pushing for Labour to become the champions of Home Rule. I respect that and the Lib Dems would do well to consider that too but how many more powers can you give the the most powerful devolved parliament in the world – oh no wait was that just spin then? Mr Rowley said “home rule”, with control of pensions, foreign affairs, defence and some taxes reserved but most other areas should come under Holyrood’s remit. Pensions (keeping our old folk safe), Foreign affairs (representing ourselves to the EU etc) and Defence (Opting out of illegal wars) and taxation based fiscal levers are the first powers not the last powers you need to control to create a fairer, safer, prosperous and successful nation.
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