The SNP’s anti-austerity politics is in reality a rehash of moderate redistribution – in the tradition of post-war British Labourism
Smear or swoon. Attitudes to Nicola Sturgeon lurch between the two. The few days since the #leadersdebate on ITV have seen her vilified as a secret Tory supporter (good for a second referendum with a positive outcome this time, supposedly) and “the most dangerous woman” in UK politics.
The differences between Labour and the SNP in their plans for UK government spending and borrowing are much closer to each other’s than they are to those bequeathed by George Osborne.
It’s a commonplace of Scottish political discourse to compare our nation of 5.2m to independent near-neighbours such as the Nordics – Denmark, say, with its 5.6m – or, more recently, the Baltics, with their 6.2m in three countries. ‘We could be just like them.’ But comparisons can be facile. Latvia, with its 2m people, is a case in point.