What can Eurosceptic Unionists bring to Scottish politics? Causality…

What can Eurosceptic Unionists bring to Scottish politics? Causality…

by Dr Sutherland MacNeill
article from Monday 20, January, 2020

A TEDIOUS DRAMA has been played out in the last week or so.  Nicola Sturgeon once again went into a bar, twirled her hair and tapped her trotters against the bar, then ever so subtly asked Boris Johnson,

"Are ya Yes yet?"

Amazingly enough he wasn't and isn't.

Strange how making repeated advances as an incompetent suitor can land you in jail for harassment but a political movement can happily waterboard the country with repeated requests for the same thing and somehow play the victim. Not the perpetrator, no, no, the victim.

The problem for Nationalists now is not how do they get independence, instead the problem is framed around why we are not independent yet?  The current setup does not help. We have a Westminster opposition in government in Holyrood and a Holyrood government in opposition in Westminster.

Both main parties have played EXACTLY the same game in the so called victim triangle, each being seen as a victim of a perpetrator and also a rescuer of a victim. The Scottish Tories milked the indyref question remorselessly and so has worked with the SNP to remove any refractory period in Scottish politics whereby anything else can be discussed.

If you set up a such a reactive re-entrant logic circuit in the brain, where cells go from firing to recharging and back again without pause, moderation or reflexion, this circuit amplifies through the brain and creates an epileptic seizure.

Interestingly enough this is called Jacksonian expansion. What a coincidence, for the interim Scottish Tory leader has done nothing more than expand on the mantra Team Ruth had been banging on about for over four years.

The SNP has always done the same, ever since the people voted the wrong way in 2014. Its leaders have adopted the strategy of the bar sleaze who keeps returning as the incompetent suitor, hoping eventually the (real) victim will tire and just give in to the relentless demands to gain a bit of peace.  Of course this is wrong. No must mean No – and heaven help us if political leaders reject this rule in their own lives, imagine where they would end up?

It is the Prime Minister who has made a smart move, despite what the baby blue blob up here may think, if they ever really think at all. It has been uncertainty that has perpetuated this circular logic of Scottish politics. Who is in charge? Who should be? Who is taking responsibility? Who has the right to...

This uncertainty in the face of two narcissistic political leaderships has created a victim triangle, whereby parties can be victims, rescuers and persecutors depending on press office messaging and clientelism of the mainstream media that increasingly feels obliged to pick a loser if not a winner.

It does help that the electorate deep down knows almost every aspect of government in Scotland has influences from Westminster and Holyrood – but then doesn’t always know exactly what?  There is no political party able to critique BOTH parliaments without feeling the need to protect their own tarnished record in government. It is bold and new thinking that breaks the circuit and Boris has started by infusing certainty into the referendum question. The Nats are furious victims, but after that where do they go? If stonewalled and effectively deplatformed they have to go elsewhere and here lies their fear.

The SNP has run Scotland on a mix of anxiety and fear for over a decade and it is losing its grip. It only the jetsam and flotsam of Westminster parties in Scotland that give the SNP any form of life raft. This needs something else, not simply a novel move or tactic but a new strategy.

Brexit and independence are casually connected

Through analysis of two movements, Brexit and Scottish independence, Eurosceptics can too present arguments to unionists and nationalists. Though for many these synchronous movements seem, somehow, just about connected but not in any obvious way. It is for us to show that causality, that there are intrinsic imbalances within our union that create anxiety and fear that neither the status quo nor secessionism can find a solution to that does not isolate almost half of the voting public.

There cannot be sovereignty from the independence from Europe if only one centralised paternalistic elite replaces another.  We did not fight to reshore the establishment, but to sink it! There cannot be any form of political republic in which half of the voters simply do not matter or indeed are an obstruction or else seen as unpatriotic.  Certainly there can be no serious attempt to present democracy where the Front bench is almost exclusively from the Home Counties and the Opposition front bench almost entirely from London!

Labour's current offering suggests at first this might change but Sir Keir Starmer is racing ahead and, in the end, members will want someone with a hope of victory rather than purity that will be certainly defeated.  The Leviathan London consumes all. If we need one, no two, ten billion pound rail tunnels so be it. If we must spend twenty billion of taxpayer's cash boosting infrastructure to feed a privately owned super airport like Heathrow, or bung £100 billion+ then make it so.

Leviathan must be fed!

We spend half as much on housing benefit making rent in an overpriced island than we do on our national defence, almost £20 billion a year! Much of this is frittered away in poor quality housing in London's suburbs and inner city ghettoes yet so often people balk at the idea of a land value or property value tax to replace the regressive council tax.

What country do we live where those renting see their wages taxed to subsidise the rent of others and property millionaires hold up their hands and cry, " but it's not our fault!" Can we perchance split the difference and say it is PARTLY the problem? Is it wrong to then say to build a social market economy for the Union that that economy needs to drive on four wheels and not two?

Can we go from near total dependence on taxation of income and consumption to shifting some weight onto property and land and to tackle head on the iniquity of borrowing at high interest rates from the private sector simply to smooth over the public accounts and satisfy EU spending rules we are about to jettison?

The working class is doubly done over. They benefit least from mammoth largesse on megaprojects and from the property boom but then end up paying nonetheless for the consequences of both. The regions with the highest PFI debts on the NHS are... London and Scotland! 

Somehow though we are led to believe these regions need radically different solutions. In truth they need a radically similar solution:

A free market in a fair union – Leviathan must be tamed

That means solutions at Westminster and Holyrood where the victims are the people who are failed by the status quo for whom separatism has found absolutely no concrete answers. We all lived through, "Scotland's Future" and it didn't work.

Now we need the grace and the dynamism to bury the carcass and reboot the union. If Scotland must take back control of the union from the establishment to do it, then so be it. Let's be bold and let's be brave.  We can look beyond Arctic diversity and examine other nations and other states.

Canada is a nuclear energy superpower. So were we. Where is almost all of Canada's nuclear power based? Ontario. A state with 15 million people is one of the world leaders in reactor technology, generates 60 per cent of its power from nuclear and has been one of the world's leading exporters of medical isotopes and reactor engineering.

We can do it too. Rebooting Dounreay with a mix of UK and North American technology would give us a clean closed cycle nuclear economy to power our economy, heat our homes and even fuel our aircraft.

New Zealand has moved entirely to a market-based agricultural economy producing profitably what people want, not want lobbyists feel they need. Less money goes to landlords in subsidy, more stays in workers' pockets for their family to buy a diverse healthy diet.

We can do it too. We have some of the most extensive estates in Europe that can support grass fed organic game and rural recreation instead of pouring money into commodity produce that just isn't coming close to covering its costs.

Bavaria has a social market economy where local authorities act in the market to buy services from utilities and also produce their own through the Stadtwerke (town corporations) while a strong culture of investing in their own people means they build world class vehicles over a thousand miles from the sea. Bavaria has had a centre right unionist party in power for almost all of the last 60 years and is one of the most prosperous economies in the world.

Yes, we can do it too. Democratising public services away from the loony left and having a world leading capitalist export led economy are not mutually exclusive.

We have to realise that so, so many of our problems lie within the current political and economic system. Scottish independence will do nothing positive in solving the highly polarised economy of our islands. More likely it could lead to it being accelerated, with military shipyards, the financial economy and research collaboratives battered in the process.

There is such a thing as an optimal economic and monetary union, just as there is an optimal currency area. The UK happens to be that optimum. It's just not fully optimised yet. To do that we need to get of this victim triangle we have allowed to control our aspirations.

Leviathan must be tamed, and only unionism can do that. 

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