The SNP Conference shut its doors today. Alex Salmond has been listened to, questioned and written about. He’s been able to lay out his table or maybe at least start to put the easier bits in place. I still feel that independence is the best way forward but it would seem that Alex has a few parts of his plans for independence, which might not sit easily with some of his supporters.
Alex started off by reminding people what the two aims of the SNP are – “independence for Scotland” and “the furtherance of Scottish interests.” So far so good, he went on to say that the SNP “believe in freedom”. I’m not sure what Mel Gibson may have to say about that but we’ll press on shall we
The framing for these very noble aims is coached in the terms of “community of the realm”. Now this is something that we Scots have enjoyed from around the time of the reformation, it’s just got muddied over the years. The general Scottish public or population or the people were well informed and were not afraid to engage with politicians and argue their point to their satisfaction. I’m not altogether sure that this is what Alex had in mind however. His list of good things, which the SNP have introduced, is of course seductive, especially his Council Tax freeze. However, councils are getting very good at parting local people from their hard earned cash by charging for anything and everything they can get away with. This doesn’t meet the “community of the realm” aim since it dilutes the genuine attempt to put money back in peoples wallets and to improve things generally. Let’s hope that Alex does something about this. And soon.
Alex also said that the SNP had been trying to control rises in peoples bills where that was possible. Again a noble aim however… he is also banging on and on about windmills and the like. £18M to be provided to Scottish businesses that are involved in wave and tidal power development, totalling £35M in three years. He then also mentions the ridiculous situation where we have “people scared to turn on their heating” because it’s too expensive” (and we are energy rich in Scotland). Well stop throwing money at projects which might just possibly work and start saving lives now Alex. Haven’t you heard the noise of the stampede of governments running away from the global warming scam? Get building some power stations as wind doesn’t work and of course, you’ll have to build them anyway even with windmills in place.
Then things took a kind of strange detour. The referendum for independence is to have two questions – one a simple yes or no and another which goes for “fiscal autonomy only”. This sounds like a Westminster special. A cop out. It’s like last minute nerves. Maybe this is to confuse the opposition although that’s unlikely since they are in such dreadful disarray anyway.
Next up was the “independence within the EU” statement. What? There is no independence within the EU. What is the point of trying to achieve this? And, and… Queenie is to remain head of state? That’ll mean we’ll get Greenie Weenie Charlie or (Tim nice but Dim) William as our head of state in years to come? Really? Honestly Alex? Is that a good move?
It’s okay though because we can have our own Scottish currency. A Scottish pound in your pocket will be worth a pound as long as you can keep it in your wallet. We have our own notes at the moment and Scotland’s Central Bank will be? RBoS? BoS? Or throw discretion to the wind and go for a new Trustees Savings Piggy Bank? Interesting times are ahead. Mind you there’s also Tesco Bank although those protestors in St Andrews Square might be hard to convince?
Alex was right when he stated that the biggest issue was the bailout of the EU banks. On Saturday, the figure being bandied about was 1 trillion Euros whilst on Sunday it was 2 trillion Euros. Neither of those amounts will be enough. The Germans have that amount of money to burn lend. Wow. I’m not sure the German people will be entirely happy with that. In fact they might just get a bit raucous and start slapping their lederhosen covered thighs harder and more often than is sensible. The EU is on borrowed time and everyone knows it.
And Alex wants us to be a part of this? Really?
Okay. There we have the bits that caught my attention, one final thing though. Alex also said that the only thing holding the Scots back are the limits to our imagination and ambitions hence “Nae limit”. Hardly an original statement or thought, but worthy nonetheless.
My suggestions are –
- Only one question for the referendum – yes or no.
- Independence outside the EU club like Norway and others manage. Until it goes phut anyway.
- The Queen won’t be head of state. There are loads of countries all around the world that mange perfectly well with out royalty and so can we.
- A Scottish pound please backed up with our oil and gas reserves and earnings.
- Sort out the governance, which reaches from your desk Alex to the people who vote for you. Reduce the power and increase the accountability of local councils as a starting point.
Most of all though Alex, speak to, listen to and consult with the people who are going to vote on the referendum and who have voted for you. Please don’t be telling us what you are going to do without doing so, get ahead of the curve and encourage debate with “the general Scottish public or population or the people who are well informed and are not afraid to engage with politicians and argue their point to their satisfaction”.
I still support the SNP and Independence but, like a lot of people out there, there will be “nae limit” to my disappointment and rage should this opportunity be lost because of political manoeuvrings.