Sunday, October 18, 2009

SNP stuff

Nicola Sturgeon announced that the 'right to buy' policy has 'had its day'.

Have to say I'm broadly supportive. The problem with this policy, introduced under Thatcher, is that it was one example amongst many under her reign where local government powers were emasculated. It doesn't matter if you think it was a good idea or not - the point is under this scheme local government was compelled to offer its housing stock up for sale by central government and this can't be supported by anyone that believes in decentralisation.

Alex Salmond reveals his evil plan:
"Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme, Mr Salmond said his preferred option would be for a straight "yes or no" question on Scottish independence.

But he added: "I have also indicated that if it was necessary to obtain the parliamentary majority in the Scottish parliament to have a third defined option on the ballot paper, which could be done by a couple of questions or by preference voting, then I would be prepared to discuss that and probably be prepared to concede it, so long as independence for Scotland is on the ballot paper."
I'm in a minority of one on this, as far as I know but - and I'm repeating myself - I reckon this, far from being something Salmond is reluctant to concede, is what he actively wants: being not entirely stupid he knows perfectly well that actual independence, with a separate border, foreign policy, army and currency, is never going to happen. But he's happy to have that presented on a 'multi-option' referendum, knowing full well that people will recoil from this but find in contrast option three (whatever that might be - fiscal autonomy etc.) more palatable. The opposition could and should call his bluff but they're too dim and too timid to do so, I reckon.

The SNP have also been arguing about the Euro, apparently. Swinney was arguing with a certain MEP who is living in the past and seems to think that the UK Bank Rate is higher than the ECB rate. But the question was over whether to have a referendum over Scotland's membership of a European monetary policy. On this, MEP Alyn Smith had the following to say:
"Making the argument to remove the referendum proviso, Mr Smith said: "I think we can be too conditional about what we want an independent Scotland to look like, too conditional about public opinion, too conditional about what sort of orientated economy we want to see."

"We are a Nordic, European country, currently part of a debt-laden sub-prime toxic assent currency we don't want to be part of and which is not serving our interests well.""
Nordic country? We'll park that one for now. It's the thing about being part of a "debt-laden sub-prime toxic assent currency" that got me. Four words: Royal Bank of Scotland. Anyone needing any argument beyond that simply hasn't been paying attention.

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