Looking back on the Czech/Slovak divorce 30 years ago, a US political scientist sees no precedent: “The SNP might interpret a general election result as a mandate to leave, but unionist parties might see it otherwise and refuse to come to the table. Any push towards independence in the face of opposition from the U.K. government could lead to an impasse akin to that between Catalonia and the Spanish government.”
“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?
“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 It should accept that high progressive income tax is out of date.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.”
“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.
‘It is conceivable that all this could lead to a rapid collapse of the Putin autocracy, but we should not engage in wishful thinking. Wide-ranging economic sanctions on Russia may be needed for a lengthy period of time. Ejection from Swift is a symbol of these efforts, not a powerful economic tool that can constrain Russia’s actions in Ukraine at little cost to ourselves.’
The Scottish Government has dropped plans for a National Energy Company in favour of a watered-down advisory agency but the author says electricity should be treated as a public (common) good. The debate continues.
Germany’s Social Democrats are emerging as the surprising potential winners in the general election of September 26 under Olaf Scholz. Is the EU’s most important member about to opt for seismic change?
“A move from unilateralism to deliberation suggests negotiation. So, if last week’s pardons counts as a concession by the Spanish executive, what will the Generalitat have to concede in return?” asks a Barcelona-based commentator of the pardon of nine leading Catalan politicians.
‘The message for and from Scotland is that the trends in society and the economy favour outward-looking, social democratic, culturally progressive, green (in the widest sense) political movements and this was reaffirmed by last week’s results in Holyrood. Now, more than ever, is the time for these Scottish political forces to reach out to their fellows across the EU and Europe as a whole.’