Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Disunited Kingdom - bloggers' panel
HERE for the other bloggers' contibutions and a wide-ranging comments thread.
'An independent Scotland would be a step forward. I welcome anything that weakens the cohesion and power of the British state and undermines British nationalism. Then there is the democratic deficit: being subject to a Tory-led central government despite hardly electing any Tories to Westminster.
Scottish politics has increasingly developed its own dynamics in recent years. Take what happened in Scotland in May's elections. Labour did badly, the Tories were nowhere, and the SNP proved the big winners. Understanding that involves a grasp of the distinctive elements in contemporary Scottish politics. Scotland essentially now has two centre-left social democratic parties – and it's the SNP which is faring better, due to disillusionment with 13 years of New Labour government.
Sections of the Scottish political and business elites are comfortable with independence. The Scottish left needs to be pro-independence and anti-austerity, campaigning for a break from dominant UK-wide policies of cuts and privatisation. There's some cynical opportunism in English Labour ranks, among those who want to preserve the Union because they want to hold on to Scottish seats. But the way for Labour to beat the Tories is to deliver serious and principled opposition to austerity and articulate clear alternative policies.'