This article was originally written for the Subrosa Blog and is published here with permission.
Last weeks post “SNP Worries” resulted in various comments, which questioned if the SNP were dealing with issues in an acceptable manner. Furthermore, do they have the intellectual depth required to deal with, not just with the central issue of gaining independence, but the thornier issues, which will require a more strategic response.
I would appeal to the SNP to follow a single approach which, if carried out in the true spirit of it’s aims could well make the difference between gaining independence or not. That sounds arrogant. There are far better minds employed on working out the best way for the SNP to proceed. However, we are all entitled to our won opinions.
How about giving “anything and everything is possible”.
Okay so how about applying that to a few wee issues which have been bothering the SNP?
Alcohol abuse. Let’s start with this gem. The truth of this issue is that it is culturally based. No amount of minimum pricing and preaching from our medical friends will do the job. That’s the same medical profession who are who are, lets be honest, far from being paragons of sobriety. The culture change required will take time, maybe more time that we would all like but it is the ONLY way to sort this out.
Smoking. The truth of this is that secondary smoke doesn’t harm anyone. Get the truth of the available real science out to people. Let them make their own decisions. Let pubs, restaurants, and all other places where people might want to smoke make their own decision to be a smoking venue or not as is there right. Non-smokers can make their own decisions about whether or not they will frequent those establishments.
Renewable power. The truth on this one is simple. It doesn’t work. It is the most expensive way to generate electricity bar none. Demonstrate to the Scottish people how much of their electricity bills go to subsidising windmills and the like. Then give them a get out clause. If some people are happy to pay more for windmill electricity carry on if others don’t they should be able to say no thanks. The burden of funding power generation is for the generators, not for governments using tax payers money.
Sectarianism. Integrate our communities including education. A state school is a state school. If people want their children taught a particular religion they can have that done by their church, which might actually get more people to go to church. School is for educating children, not for any form of indoctrination, awareness of religion, yes but nothing stronger.
Everything and anything is possible.
Now the reply to that would be “but it has to be realistic”. Well no. The higher you aim the higher you achieve. We could do with increasing the confidence of the Scottish people. Not the football flag waving type of mock confidence though complete with doom and gloom waiting in the wings.
Well Alex, when do we start? Now is a good time for me.