Sunday 27 November 2022

Weekend reading: informative essay on Sturgeon's SNP

 Further to our brief Scottish foray after the Supreme Court ruling ... here. Extracts: 

Where [Salmond] imposed his chaotic ego on issues foreign and domestic, [Sturgeon] had more strategic nous, crystallizing the party’s Europhile credentials in the wake of Brexit and consolidating its standing among Scotland’s middle-class Remainer majority ... Sturgeon engineered the destruction of Scottish Labour, lifting support for independence to record-breaking highs. Recently, however ... the semi-biblical belief in Sturgeon’s power has started to fade. [She] saw the 2016 Brexit referendum as an opportunity to de-risk, or de-radicalize, Scottish nationalism. From then on, the SNP moved to the centre in pursuit of liberal Remainers; the Yes campaign began to splinter and dissipate (thanks in part to a controversy over trans rights); and the prospect of a second independence vote receded.

... she will leave behind a threadbare political legacy ... pledges to scrap Council Tax and abolish student loan debt were ditched. In their place came a botched green industrial strategy, record drugs deaths and, potentially ... tens of thousands of public sector job cuts. In 2015, Sturgeon ostentatiously invited the Scottish media to ‘judge’ her on her record of eliminating the class attainment gap in Scottish schools. Nearly a decade later, that gap remains as vast as ever. 

... In 2018, the SNP appeared to concede that the era of petro-nationalism was over was by removing North Sea revenues from its fiscal projections for an independent state. But in her speech to the SNP’s annual conference on 10 October, Sturgeon abruptly repositioned oil at the centre of her vision for Scottish self-government. Tax receipts from remaining North Sea fields would be paid into an investment fund, she said, which would help kickstart Scotland’s economy during the early years of independence. The announcement eradicated what was left of Sturgeon’s meagre environmental credibility and reflected a ‘business-as-usual’ vision for independence.      



dearieme said...

In his discussion of possible Sturgeon replacements he mentioned "Finance Secretary Kate Forbes ... with antiquated views on abortion and trans rights linked to her extreme evangelical upbringing"

Three thoughts.

(i) It's OK, apparently, to disparage her Christian upbringing; would it be permitted to refer in equivalent terms to someone's Roman Catholic or Moslem upbringing?

A hae ma doots.

(ii) I don't know what her "antiquated views" on trans rights are - for all I know they may be views shared by the bulk of the Scottish population.

(iii) On abortion: a politician could surely defuse objections to her personal views by holding a referendum on abortion. I mean, the SNP are the pro-referendum party, aren't they?

E-K said...

Sorry to go O/T, Nick.

I'm just watching Countryfile about an issue called "Wald laff craam." (wildlife crime)

It's a white, middle aged, middle class guy in a top of range Arcteryx jacket speaking like a toddler.

FFS ! The BBC is just determined to make MLE the national accent.

Also.. midgets are now well over represented on TV now.

Rant over.

Don Cox said...

I don't know what MLE stands for, but there are certainly some poor speakers on Radio 3 nowadays, especially one called Elizabeth Alker.

But they're not all bad: Petroc Trelawney, for instance, is OK.

The dividing line is between those who pronounce "hour" correctly, as a single syllable, and those who say "ow-er".

dearieme said...

But, Don, almost no one in England pronounces "hour" correctly. There's an "r" on the end.

E-K said...

Multi-ethnic London English

Nah whaa' ah min gah ? (Know what I mean, guy)

dustybloke said...

The SNP illustrates why the establishment is terrified of nationalism.

The BBC loves the SNP because it’s anti English but hates English nationalism because it’s a working class movement.

The Scots don’t elect the SNP because of their competence (which doesn’t exist) but because it gives them an identity.and so all the corruption and theft is ignored.

lilith said...

Antiquated views on trans "rights" include believing that Men are not Women, that male sex offenders should not be housed in women's prisons and that women and girls require privacy and dignity in their single sex facilities. Also that being a woman is not a feeling or a costume or a fetish but a material reality. All these beliefs run counter to SNP policy.

Jeremy Poynton said...

Posting from Budapest worked. Donations solicited to keep me out here. Off later to photograph some of the many many magnificent specimens of Art Deco and Art Nouveau buildings here.

Just search


and see for yourself

Don said - rightly

"I don't know what MLE stands for, but there are certainly some poor speakers on Radio 3 nowadays, especially one called Elizabeth Alker."

Yup, hugely dumbed down. I do recommend reading columns by one Michael Henderson in The Critic. This on the very subject of R3

A year or two back, I read a wonderful book by him, mourning the end of cricket as old buffers knew and loved it.

"That Will Be England Gone: The Last Summer of Cricket"

Review here.

So enjoyed it - and discovering he's from my part of the world, a Lancashire CC and Man City supporter, that I wrote to him via his publisher, and got a very appreciative email back. We correspond occasionally.

I do recommend his articles on radio in The Critic.

As for the SNP. All the major political parties are beyond debased. So don't vote for them.

dearieme said...

"columns by one Michael Henderson"

I remember reading a column of his a few years ago.

He was praising English culture - not, he emphasised, British. Then he cited as examples the Beano and the Dandy.

But they were and are published by Messrs D C Thomson of Dundee. What a pompous ass!

Old Git Carlisle said...

Not just BBC 3 but a very large proportion of news items on Radio 4 are difficult to hear, poor grammar, Robinson is clear and even when exited over some football club. Many speakers of from local vox pops or from foreign parts are incomprehensible, Surely some editor should be responsible to ensure contributions can be understood .
The amount of world cup and kangaroo penis eating is beyond my understanding!!

andrew said...

R3 and R4 may not be what they once were but the alternatives are worse.
... classic FM (shudders)

Anonymous said...

Talking of the BBC, have you noticed the difference in tone between the coverage of the anti-lockdown protests in China, compared with the anti-lockdown protests in the UK only 18 months or so ago?

Gone is the depiction of protesters as “science denying conspiracy theorists putting us all at risk – and look, one of them is Corbyn’s brother!”

Now anti-lockdown protests are "righteous pushback against an authoritarian state".

Anonymous said...

Again, an interesting contrast in BBC editorial style - someone ran on the pitch at the Portugal/Uruguay game trying to unfold a banner - he was sandbagged by security and taken off.

But at the end of the game the BBC lady was happy to tell us that he was trying to unfold a rainbow flag, that he had "Free Ukraine" on one side of his shirt and "Justice for Iranian Women" or similar on the other.

"So he was able to get all his points over. I should say that it's illegal to invade the pitch, but he's a very brave man ..."

When someone invades the pitch in the UK, BBC cameras immediately cut away, and the commentators talk about anything except the bloke on the pitch !

E-K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E-K said...

Ironic that the Tory demise may rescue the Union. (From the article.)

Just how on earth can we be be talking of a Tory demise ?

Well... I think Anon at 8.06 has it. The over extended lockdowns totally stuffed any chances of real conservatism and now the BBC doesn't even believe in Zero Covid, is this because their mission of destroying the Tories is accomplished ? The BBC are even reporting of white English people being displaced from accommodation for Albanian 'refugees' ... is this also because they hate the Tories more than they do racism ?

Also the war in Ukraine. The Russians may have lost the battle but - if converting the West to broken, bleak, authoritarian Leftism was the goal - they've won the war, even if it is inadvertently and from beyond the grave of the Soviet Empire.

Anonymous said...

As this thread (like most) has gone off topic - Have our hosts been following the collapse of FTX, the crypto trading exchange?

Reading about this, it's a wild story. SBF came from no where to become worth ~$30 billion in a few years, for it all to vanish in days as it turns out he was running was a giant ponzi scheme.

Is any of this likely to have any impact on the "real" money markets?

Nick Drew said...

Anon: FTX - well, crypto is not my special subject, in fact I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

But it does amaze me, how easy it is to set up ponzi schemes. Bernie Madoff, etc etc etc, it never ends.

"Real" money markets? Hopefully (hah!) no "real" institution did more than take some modest, fully disclosed, fully risk-managed, unleveraged punts on crypto ... (hah!)

Wildgoose said...

Conspicuously absent from the Guardian piece is that FTX was the Democrat Party's second largest donor, (after Soros).

Or that apparently it was the preferred way of transferring financial "aid" to Ukraine.

Suggesting a certain circularity: Taxpayer cash to Europe's most corrupt country sent via America's most corrupt company and then into the coffers of the Democrats, the USA's most corrupt party.

Anonymous said...

Comments on BBC after Wales performance

"You have to admire Ryan Giggs for his principles, boycotting a tournament in a country where they treat their women so well"

"Wales were so bad, Ryan Giggs' girlfriend put up more of a fight!"

Anonymous said...

Albanians stop traffic in London to celebrate their national day... ain't diversity great? Everyone loves London, they all want to come here ...

E-K said...

Anon at 1.34

My comment WAS on topic (the last one.)

How is Starmer even a prospect in 2024 (a core part of the essay.) A year or two ago this was unthinkable.

What changed ?

Gas, Covid debt, Greenism, immigration... inflation (blowback sanctions against Russia - a war which is not all one way.)

Matt said...

I see Huw Pill from the BoE has looked into his crystal ball and decided that inflation will reduce at the backend of 2023.
This astrologer has predicated it on the massive caveat that natural gas prices stabilise which the energy companies don't think will be the case. Europe might just get away with winter 2022 but refilling stocks afterwards is going to be expensive which means gas prices remaining high.
Still, if that's the case, he can say he wasn't wrong!

jim said...

Scotland - a small country far away...

Re wot Matt said. Economic forecasting was invented to make astrologers look respectable. The BoE knows full well inflation may come down a bit because we have all spaffed our cash on leccy/gas bills with nothing left over. As said the real fun comes winter 2023 and 2024 and 2025. There is no reason for optimism that the Russian bear will stay put or go away. But politicians like optimism and will reward those who spin some.

Putin is not going away and we have no magic fairy dust to make him vanish. Sanctions fade over time and economies and industries adapt. That is helpful but does not alter the fundamentals. He will let General Winter do his work for him while he builds up strength for 2023 and 2024 and 2025. Putin may not have intended to but he has altered the face of warfare.

Now about my turkey dinner...

Anonymous said...

"How is Starmer even a prospect in 2024 (a core part of the essay.) A year or two ago this was unthinkable. What changed ?"

1/ Supporting US policy over Ukraine. Russia had been saying Ukraine in NATO was a red line for maybe 15 years. The US basically said "tough shit Russia" and now Ukraine have found out. Starmer would have done the same but he's not in government so Tories get the deserved blowback when energy prices explode, as do Ukraine's transformers.

2/ Boris'/Tories insane and indefensible handing out of 1.1 million visas in a year, thus suppressing wages AND keeping rents up. Couple that with the huge energy/everything inflation, and you've a recipe for immiseration.

Boris had it all in 2019, but those 1.1 million visas and the highest-ever immigration rate represent a slap in the face for his voters, though maybe not his donors. Talk about spaffing things up the wall.