Monday, April 06, 2015

An introduction to nationalist realpolitik for dummies

Wife accuses her unfaithful husband of cheating.  If he wasn't a total dawg, he'd be calmer, more reassuring.  "Don't be silly, there's no-one else..."  But what fires his indignation is that on this occasion he really was working late.  "The very idea!  How dare you!"

Nicola Sturgeon's response to the Telegraph story that she expressed a preference for a Tory victory in May's election strikes me as being exactly like that.  I doubt very much that she would have said what she was reported to have said and one of the key reasons for thinking this is the reason she gave just doesn't ring true.  She may have said she doesn't think Miliband is Prime Ministerial material - but as a reason why she wants Cameron to win?  Nah.  For why should she care if Milband isn't Prime Ministerial material?  A Labour PM who isn't up to the job would suit her just fine, although not as much as a Tory PM, whether he's up to the job or not.  Why?  Well, I hate to break it to the likes of Owen Jones and Zoe Williams but because she's a Nationalist and Nationalists are not the least bit interested in forming part of a 'progressive centre-left coalition' that will govern Britain.  Why, if they thought such a thing was possible, they might even give up Nationalism but clearly they haven't, which is why of course the SNP want a Tory victory.  Anyone who thinks otherwise just hasn't been paying attention.  Nationalism needs enemies.

It's depressing to have to spell this out.  The SNP want independence.  To get this they have to undermine support for the Union in Scotland.  Does anyone really think they are more likely to achieve this under a Labour government than a Conservative one?  Get the latter and you get a few more years of being told this is a government we haven't voted for, as if 'we' voted as a homogeneous bloc.  

And for the Conservatives, there's an obvious attraction, which I assume is the reason why the Tories, post 'Leaders' debate, have been anxious to talk up the performance of Nicola Sturgeon at every occasion, as well as being why Cameron didn't confront her properly during the debate itself.  The SNP are for the Conservatives the last hope they have of ever winning a majority in Westminster ever again.  It tends to be forgotten that they haven't won a Parliamentary  majority for over twenty years are are unlikely to do so in the foreseeable future - unless Scotland leaves, or get 'Home Rule', which would presumably mean scrapping the Barnett formula, a reduction in the number of Scottish MPs and/or EVEL.  If you're an English Tory, "what's not to like?" is a question I'd imagine fewer and fewer have a convincing answer to.  

This is why we are were we are.  Did Sturgeon say what she was reported to have said?  I personally doubt it but this shouldn't distract from the unspoken Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that now exists between the Scottish Nationalists and some (many, most?) English Conservatives.  I'm not at all confident that the Union can survive this contemporary political class that puts the need for electoral advantage quite so blatantly above country.  It matters to me for reasons I've already elaborated but I also think many others will miss the Union when it's gone.  If it does fall, I think there'll be many other people who realise that "anything's better than this" is one of the most over-used phrases in the English language.  Or any other language, for that matter.

1 comment:

donnie said...

Hmmm.. Would they prefer a Tory government to propping up a Labour one?

We just had a referendum with the Tories in and the SNP lost. If they were in some kind of power they could simultaneously show Scotland they're up to running real things and make a lot of England angry. That gets you some enemies and then it gets you the tories in but on the back of anti Scottishness.

Plus politicians just like power.

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