A thumping Labour gain “would signal that currently the key swing voters in Scotland – that is, those on the left torn between expressing their support for independence and kicking the Tories out – are giving a higher priority to the latter. This is a precondition for Labour progress in Scotland.”
“Labour took up the anti-centralising rhetoric originally coined by Unionists and turned it against the Thatcher government in the 1980s, portraying its neoliberal policies as an illegitimate affront to Scottish national traditions. At the same time, Labour in Scotland emphasised the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine whether they wanted to be governed by a devolved parliament within the UK. A rhetoric that had initially been coined to glue together an anti-Labour electoral coalition had now become a staple of the Scottish left.” No more?
“For the last few years, the British state has at least been able to pretend that a Labour government might come over the horizon, and solve some of the problems created by the Tories and their austerity. If and when that cavalry does arrive, it will likely come in the flaccid form of Keir Starmer, triangulating towards a far-right Tory opposition. A Sinn Féin-run Ireland may not have to work too hard to convince voters that they are better off under its wings.”
“Westminster has decided that all sovereignty rests with itself and it only lends powers to Holyrood – powers that these London-based pipsqueaks will now get to sit in judgement over. So much for the promise that Scotland would have “the most powerful devolved legislature in the world”.”
“The people in lost constituencies want Starmer’s Labour to spend more, not less, than New Labour. This is the most significant aspect of “red-wall sentiment”, and yet the one Starmer seems reluctant to recognise.”
“..the old saw that long periods of Conservative rule are a price worth paying to remain in the UK, and that Labour will fix everything when they get back in, has worn too thin for me. I want to see Scotland take responsibility for its own future, build and manage its own democratic institutions. So at some point, England will have to get ready to do the same.”
“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.”
“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?
“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 latest Building a New Scotland paper on the economy is being roasted – including by informed nationalists. Here a prominent unionist dissects a weak case. “Doubtless the SNP will argue all this is “Project Fear”. It really isn’t. It is the reality that flows from our underlying economic position.”