As the SNP leadership campaign crawls to the finish post, time for a Big Debate on the political and socio-economic future in Scotland and the UK
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 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 It should accept that high progressive income tax is out of date.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.”
‘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.’
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?
Now that Johnson has reverted to talking of No Deal/WTO terms, is it time for Scotland to strike out on its own in relations with the EU (and the wider world)?
‘If (national debate about indy Scotland joining the EU) is to be meaningful, there needs to be far more active engagement by both the political class and civil society.’
Morning. Mourning? Brexit done? ‘It’s more like getting breakfast done, it starts again the very next day.’ We take a Sceptical journey led by poets.
‘…there may well be sympathy for the Scottish case but it is, for now, entirely irrelevant to what’s at stake now. As we know from the last 43 months, that’s even more true of Westminster and Whitehall.’
As the UK gets set to leave the EU on January 31 2020 after 47 years of membership, we look forward to what’s likely to happen in mainland Europe in 2020…