European Parliamentary Election Earthquake - What does it mean for Scotland’s independence referendum?
The sadness and disappointment in many Scots over the recent European parliamentary elections is profound though there is nothing about the result that is particularly surprising. UKIP and their PR wing, the BBC, have been predicting a landslide in their favour and lo, it has come to pass. In England. In England UKIP have conclusively won. The consequences of this win are far more profound for Scotland than the other bit of news, that UKIP have secured a seat in Scotland.
UKIP as opposed to winning in Scotland have finally managed to squeak through to fourth place which got them the seat. Far from any meaningful repudiation of the SNP who have actually increased their percentage and actual vote to maintain their representation. The unionist parties have unsurprisingly managed to portray this SNP win as the most dreadful defeat. The media have predictably fallen all over themselves to gleefully bash Alex Salmond the Nats yet again.
The UKIP seat in Scotland barely means anything for Scotland. What it does do is highlight the point that Euro-scepticism does exist in Scotland. This is not exactly news as polls indicate that roughly 44% of Scots hold some form of Euro scepticism. 44% while being lower than the 48% in England is still a significant number and was bound to have some electoral effect at some point. This election is the one that it manifested in a small way in Scotland.
The SDA supports the idea that sovereignty and independence are inseparable and the automatic assumption of membership of the European Union is undemocratic. The SDA believe that the Scottish people should be the ones to decide whether or not we are to remain members in the EU through a separate referendum on the issue. The SDA’s position is that membership in EFTA would be better for Scotland and that our near neighbour across the North Sea, Norway, should be our model. This position was arrived at through careful consideration and research. It is not coloured in any way with the anti-Europe, anti-immigrant and anti-gay baser aspects of a far right ideology that UKIP espouses.
UKIP in spite of its other faults (and they are legion) is an anti EU party and the main one standing in the European elections. It is therefore not surprising for UKIP to have received a small measure of electoral success as the voice of discontent with the current political system.
Many Scots will have lived in the belief that we were all better than what UKIP is. Many will no doubt hope that the folk who voted UKIP held their noses to the taint of homophobia and racism and voted only on the issue of the EU.
In the wider context of the United Kingdom these European elections been nothing short of an earthquake with profound consequences for all the people of these islands. The trends we can glean from the polls on the direction of opinion in England have played out in much the way it was thought to. UKIP will absolutely swing the entire apparatus of the Westminster parties even further to the right. Whether UKIP ever gain a seat in the Westminster parliament in the 2015 UK elections or not, none of the other parties will fail to adjust to the new right wing norm that they’ve brought to England.
This means that we will certainly have a UK wide referendum on EU membership by 2017. While you might think that the SDA would support this it is still nonetheless a troubling development in that Scots sovereign choice to be in or out of the EU would likely again be overwhelmed by the greater weight of the votes of England in the same way that we’ve gotten government after government at Westminster that we didn’t vote for.
Ultimately, the European election results only serve to reinforce what is at stake in the independence referendum. The choice we are making on 18 September 2014 is NOT between independence and the status quo. It is about choosing our own destiny and building a country based on the rule of law, on social justice, that cares and protects all of us together. Only a yes vote in the referendum gives us the chance to bring this vision to reality.
A no vote leaves Scotland at the mercy of the corrupt, morally bankrupt, brutal, far right elitist state that the United Kingdom is rapidly becoming. What it is now is bad enough but what it will become, whether we stay or not, is becoming increasingly clear. The choice in the independence referendum is clear too.
UPDATED 16 APRIL 2014 This week John Thomson and Michael Granados of the Scottish Democratic Alliance will be on talking about the latest in independence!
Tune in tonight! Show is on live from 9pm to 11pm.
Perhaps you remember this little booklet printed by Dougie Don over a year ago. It made the case for the SDA policy for an independent Scottish currency.
That case has now developed into a fully fledged book which starts by setting down the economic and political background which has now placed the UK into a financial straitjacket.
The final Chapter of Part One places the blame firmly upon the ‘monetisation of government’ – measuring every public expenditure decision by its ability to show a cash surplus. This is neo-liberal economics whereby literally everything is convertible into short term profit.
It is accepted by most people because it reflects the familiar constraints of the family budget and extends them to apply equally to government. That is a fallacy.
If you wonder why most of the No Campaign scare stories emanate from the Financial Sector then “Moving On” provides the answers. The chances of reforming the banks and replacing financial jiggery-pokery with enterprise and full employment are zero for as long as Westminster calls the shots. With independence we will have a much better chance to put this malign genie back in its bottle.
It will not happen overnight because it cannot even start until the Scots own and control their own currency. Thereafter the Scots will make sure it happens.
Here are just a few FAQs you will find fully answered in the book
Is the National Debt really necessary in this day and age? No, it can be capped and the substantial portion held by the banks written off both sides of their balance sheets.
Q. Could Scotland have dealt with RBS collapse?
A. It would have been dealt with very differently. RBS & HBoS were not taxpayer liabilities. These and other banks were deregulated by the Thatcher government in 1986 under the Banking and Companies Acts of Westminster over which Scots Law has no jurisdiction.
The law should have sent in the Administrators, rescued the branches and payments system and left the other creditors (mainly other corrupt banks) to pick over the carcase.
Q. Why do tourists, exporters and importers pay transaction fees for exchanging currencies which could be done automatically by their Central Bank at no cost? And why do foreign exchange rates vary from day to day?
A. Both these questions have the same answer - because currencies are bought, sold and speculated in financial markets instead of being adjusted between Central Banks.
Q. Why do democratic governments defer to privately owned rating agencies, bond traders and bankers?
A. Because they borrow the taxpayers credit from the banking system which creates credit guaranteed by the taxpayer. Yes, but why? It is a circular argument which doesn’t make sense….
Q. Why, with youth& adult & unemployment at consistently high levels are public services being cut? How can the country afford £350 billion to bail-out banks but cannot afford to keep adequate employment in public services?
A. Moving On exposes and explains these anomalies. More importantly it offers a roadmap out of this morass of financial bondage.
Moving On from Amazon at (direct link)
There is an e book version (Kindle) but it loses much in re-formatting and indexing, so not recommended for a book of this nature.
Or buy directly from the publisher (UK post free) at http://www.scottishmonetaryreform.org.uk
From the SEADH Blog by Tam McTurk - an avowed "Independent for Independence" Tam is not affiliated with the SDA. Reprinted with permission. https://tammcturk.jux.com/
Ah the joys of waking up on a lovely spring morning in Leith.
The main party in Scotland that opposes self-determination, the Labour Party, had its last conference before the historic, once-in-300-years independence referendum at the weekend, a democratic vote they did not want to hold and one they have not debated internally. It looked to me like an absolute shambles. Nothing new was proposed, the same old faces spouted the same old, and the same old internal divisions were plain enough to see.
Ripe for pulling apart by the BBC? Or at least some heavy questioning?
I must have missed that programme. What I woke up to was the once esteemed state broadcaster providing a platform on its main radio programme in Scotland for one of the Scot Lab leaders to once again hammer home the message that Scotland’s economy, uniquely among all nations in the world, will fall apart if its people vote for self-determination, a principle cherished by the self-same Scot Lab for every other nation in the world except for their own.
Watch out for a severe outbreak of negative campaigning this week. The polls are narrowing, the Labour-Tory-Liberal Pact is getting a bit twitchy and in its infinite wisdom and unity has decided that the medicine is more dollops of fear.
Careerist after careerist will patronise you from media outlet to media outlet, telling you that after 300 years of Union, our economy is not fit to stand on its own two feet, and that the solution is (self-evidently) more of the same. All of the companies who threatened to leave Scotland in 1979 and 1997 when devolution was on the cards – because of course the economy would fall apart if the Westminster Treasury didn’t retain full control over Scotland – will be wheeled out again to tell you the same thing and the BBC will not put them on the spot and ask any hard questions (like why are you still heare if devolution was such a disaster waiting to happen?).It would appear that the No campaign has no plan B. The outlook is for another six months of fear and negativity, a constant harping on about Scotland being the exception to all international economic, social and political norms and being uniquely incapable – of just about anything.
But remember, there is a reason all of this is coming at you from media outlets and not being put to you on your doorstep by hundreds of enthusiastic campaigners salivating over the glorious prospect of another few centuries of Union.
Scottish exceptionalism and the wonders of the Westminster system are, quite simply, hard to sell on the streets and doorsteps where real people ask real questions and have real memories.
Maybe I am wrong, maybe you can just put the fear of everything up everybody all of the time. But while the Labour-Tory-Liberal anti-independence clique ratchets up its negative campaigning from radio and tv studios nowhere near you, the antidote to this nasty medicine consists of the many different parts of the Yes campaign continuing with the millions of one-to-one conversations on the streets and doorsteps of the country, the strategy that has been closing the gap in the polls and making various parts of the anatomy twitchy in Lab-Tory-Lib circles.
So if you are not already involved – join the campaign. Knock on doors, leaflet, join street hubs, attend one of the many hundreds of packed public meetings the length and breadth of Scotland. Or, if circumstances dictate you might prefer just to donate to Yes Scotland, Radical Independence, Business for Scotland, the National Collective, etc.
On 9 March 1776, Scottish moral philosopher and pioneer of political economy, Adam Smith, published "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations", a work of immense importance to the development of our modern world. Generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, it is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher.
The book offers one of the world's first collected descriptions of what builds nations' wealth and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. Through reflection over the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labour, productivity and free markets.
In it, Smith warned that a business-dominated political system would allow a conspiracy of businesses and industry against consumers, with the former scheming to influence politics and legislation.
Quote: "...in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public...The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention." ~ Adam Smith 1776
via wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealth_of_Nations
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