“The SNP has dug itself into a fundamentalist hole and will need a dramatic pragmatic turn to hope to take advantage of the changing political context. Its best hope under its current fundamentalist leadership remains that the Tories win the next general election, opinion remains polarised and might finally shift decisively in favour of independence.”
A voluntary union with no exit?
“Scotland, the Supreme Court says, cannot have a referendum without Westminster’s approval. But what the SNP, and others, put in their election manifestos is up to them. We’re on a path to a quasi-referendum. And Scotland will have its say.” Kirsty Hughes on the political aftermath of THAT ruling. Where do we go from here?
It’s time to talk to the neighbours
“There is now a pressing need to investigate some common ground, if not a broad strategic compromise, in a new isles-wide partnership of states for the 21st Century.” Glyndwr Cennydd Jones puts the case for constitutional collaboration
A monetary straitjacket: Scottish Government economic plan for independence
“A Scottish currency is no guarantee that independence would see the country’s deeply embedded economic problems tackled. A monetarily sovereign independent government would still be perfectly capable of chronic mismanagement. But to have an independent country with a fighting chance of making even partial economic and social progress, monetary sovereignty is a pre-requisite. Another Scotland is still possible.”
Can muscular unionism save the Union?
“Muscular unionism didn’t work in Ireland in 1921 and there is no reason to expect it to work now. Ignoring the votes, and the people elected, in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, is not unionism. It’s imperialism.”
The left must abandon high tax policies
“The left should opt for an eco-fiscal policy, designed to dismantle rentier capitalism. It should accept that high progressive income tax is out of date. It should make clear that income and consumption taxes are mainly for public services and infrastructure, including transport, defence, housing, schools and other social needs. Beyond that, the aim should be to restructure fiscal policy as a means of common justice.”
Labour’s revival puts SNP on the defensive
“The process of recovery has begun for Scottish Labour. It can now focus on winning back what Anas Sarwar describes as ‘soft SNP’ voters. This will not be plain sailing. The SNP remains a formidable campaign organisation…” Prof James Mitchell on how Labour’s revival has put the SNP on the defensive.
Fantasy economics: alive and well on both sides of the border
“Where Scotland differs (from the UK) the most is in its lack of engagement on economic issues. If this continues then the £1.5 billion (fiscal) shortfall will continue to grow and taxes will continue to rise to compensate. Surely no-one wants this but then why does no one take it seriously?” asks John McLaren in his latest acute commentary on the state of the Scottish economy.
Going for growth – or broke?
The new UK Chancellor has set out his radical fiscal plans – and prompted a sterling crisis. The situation is so grave, not least for Scotland, it merits a return from us in the interests of a wider public policy debate. Here we republish commentary from the FAI – and expect to run further contributions this autumn.
For future generations from our here and now
Survival, war, poetry. What is it like to fight for your motherland with words and on the streets? Here is a message to transcend time and place.