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grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Re: Jeremy Corbyn
Sep 07, 2015, 02:08
I actually did disagree with some (not all) of your other points.

But the point I was trying to make is that your claim that the SNP were a significant factor in the tory victory does not stand up to scrutiny. You seem to be saying that voters in Bolton West (to take a random Tory/Labour marginal) voted Tory instead of Labour because opinion polls suggested the SNP were doing well in Scotland?

That's plain irrational. There is absolutely no evidence that the people of Bolton West shift their political allegiance based upon the perceived popularity of the SNP.

You have a real problem with the SNP. I get that. A person can't have been using this forum for the past year without picking up on that. But if you really think that the SNP was a significant factor in the election in England (where the tories have a majority larger than the total number of Scottish constituencies) then you're guilty of projection.

Let's be straight; I don't particularly like the SNP. From what I know of them, they are a mainstream, vaguely centrist, pro-capitalist party. Their stated policies were marginally to the left of Ed Miliband's Labour Party, but there wasn't really a great deal in it. And I considered the Labour platform to be effectively centre-right. The SNP stance on Trident was significant in my eyes, but I have friends in the Scottish Green Party who also share that particular policy; so Trident by itself wasn't a reason to vote for them.

But - in Scottish terms - the simple truth demonstrated by the 2015 election is that even if literally nobody in Scotland voted tory, you would still have David Cameron as Prime Minister. And that would also be the case even if every SNP seat had been won by Labour. Because of English voting patterns, the people of Scotland - as a discrete voting bloc - could not have done anything at all to influence the outcome of the election.

On the surface of things that appears like a fairly convincing argument in favour of independence. When the English votes are close enough, then the Scottish vote can matter of course. Historically though, it's generally the case that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland get whatever government the English vote for - regardless of how they themselves vote.

This is the argument put forward by the SNP - but also by the Scottish Greens. It seems compelling, though it doesn't have to be of course. Because it begs the question... does that matter? When it comes to the UK election, why should Scotland be viewed as any more significant a "discrete voting bloc" than The Midlands or The South West? Regional variances in voting patterns are inevitable in large democracies after all.

Then it becomes a philosophical question about the nature of Scotland. A lot of Scottish people clearly feel that, as a group, they have important concerns and interests that are distinct enough from those in England to undermine their representation in a government elected primarily by England.

And surely that's a question for every Scottish person's conscience, as opposed to a party political issue? It's about personal identity as much as it's about anything else. That said; it is surely not insignificant that the people of Scotland have been saddled with almost a quarter century of tory governments since 1979... despite never once voting for them.

Doesn't that fact alone kind of make Scotland a discrete voting bloc?

I don't know... but as an Irishman who lived a long time in England and has more English friends than Irish, I'm very very happy that the people of West Sussex can't elect David Cameron as leader of my country. I love England and I love so much about it's culture; but it can keep its bizarre monarchy and its deeply fucked up militarism and its weapons of mass destruction and nuclear power stations and a whole bunch of stuff along those lines that - were I Scottish - I would jump at the chance of voting my way free of.
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