Monday, August 13, 2007

Why Are The Unionist Parties Scared to Talk?

I was really quite annoyed to see the three unionist parties in Scotland come out in opposition to the Independence White Paper. Of course they don't agree with the White Paper, they are unionists, they don't want to see independence but I don't see what the problem is with a White Paper or with the "national conversation" that Alex Salmond has suggested.

My views on independence are mixed. In the past couple of years I have moved towards thinking it's a good idea. I've joined the SNP but not just out of a desire for independence but also because on issues like civil liberties the SNP view is closest to my own. And there's the family connections too. If I lived and voted in Scotland I would be exactly the kind of person the conversation would be aimed at. I would have voted SNP this year, I was delighted to see the SNP become the largest party in both Holyrood and Local Government but ask me if how I'd vote in an independence referendum and I'd really struggle.

I get so angry when people say that Scotland COULDN'T be a successful independent country. Of course it could. It's a country of intelligence, talent and a solid base of natural resources. When I hear the English argument of "we fund them Scotch they should be grateful" I get so wound up and feel like singing Corries songs until the cows come home.

There are questions that need to be answered on both sides. A couple of quick examples off the top of my head:

What would happen about the Royal Family? I'm not a commited Unionist these days but having a Republic of Scotland would be a crunch for me.

Why are the SNP so keen to leave one Union but will happily sign up to deeper union in Europe? It seems a contridiction to me.

Why are the Conservatives happy to support a referendum on Britain in Europe but not Scotland in Britain?

I think both sides of the debate have persuasive arguments. Neither has anything to fear - although the Unionist knee-jerk, debate-stifling reaction would imply that they are scared. Putting their fingers in their ears and shouting la-la-la won't stop the White Paper being published and it won't stop people thinking about it.

Politics should be about great debates - this could be one of the greatest ever. It would be a shame if only one side was talking.

5 comments:

Aberdeen Patriot said...

I know the BNP would be willing to speak out, but as usual we are denied by the blinkered media who refuse to acknowledge that we have moved forward and have managed to rid the party of the radical element.
They refuse to acknowledge we don’t hate anyone, but want to see people integrate into Britain not the other way around. Yes we are worried about the spread of Islam, and are against mass immigration where it costs locals jobs and houses. These are not policies that are radical and are more in line with the conservatives in the 70s although we are more socialist.
Will the media give us freedom too speak, if we are radical surely it will expose us.
But we know the truth the other parties are running scared.
I was disappointed at Mark McDonalds blatant anti English stance, on his web, and the fact he does not give the right of reply, and the fact he reverts to childish remarks.
Ah not to worry at least the BNP are selling the truth.

Louise said...

AP - I'm exceptionally sceptical that the BNP are anything except a racist party. People can be a part of Scottish/British society without giving up their religious beliefs and traditions.

Where has "mass immigration" cost local jobs and houses? You can use statistics such as those used by your colleagues in the East End of London, but a cursory glance at the facts shows these to be untrue.

I don't think there's anything wrong with debate particularly around immigration but it always has to be done in a reasonable and non-insulting manner. I'm not sure what's been going on between you and Mark McDonald but perhaps that's best kept for his blog.

Is it still BNP policy not to allow Jews and Christians to marry? Hitler at least waited til he was in power to bring that one out. Do you still deny the Holocaust? Or is it only Muslims you attack now?

Aberdeen Patriot said...

Oh Louise you should have a look at the BNP website to see the real BNP, I have served in the Army for years and have Visited Belsen, we have a Jewish Councillor down in England, and me personally I back Israel.
We are democratic. We do not 'hate' any ethnic group, nor do we think we are 'better' than any other ethnic group. We do not strive for an 'all-white' Britian. All these things are made up by groups such as the UAF. We just want to keep Britain British, as we feel we deserve a homeland like everyone else on the planet, and to give the British people a better deal. Why is that so wrong? I have Indian friends in Aberdeen, and most of what the BNP were shouted down for a couple of years ago is coming true.
My main issue is the lack of punishment for crimes, and the society that we live in where pensioners are attacked on almost a daily basis is sick.
Yes we do have evidence of people losing out on the council waiting list, we have evidence of British workers being sacked and replaced by East Europeans, and yes we are worried about the spread of Islam.
Ask someone Jewish or Hindu on that one. They have the same fears.
Basically our party believe in putting local people first. And not selling them out for cheap Labour, so the rich can get richer.
The generation who are about to leave home, will not get a decent council flat or house in a decent area they are all gone. Their are only a few flats left in the more undesirable estates.
Immigration is forcing up house prices while at the same time keeping the wages of the average worker suppressed. Why give a good wage rise if you are a business owner when there is a queue of cheap labour waiting to take any job offer.
Also we believe that everyone moving to the UK should be security checked and anyone with a criminal record should be denied access. We would have problems getting a visa for America, so why don’t the British people get the same protection.
Basically we want a return to the days when it was safe to go out at night, and the British government worked for the British people. Not unelected Brussels bureaucrats.
Thanks for the right of reply, we don’t swear, we are not racist, but we just have the guts to stand up and defend our way of life, and to stand up for right over wrong.
P.s both me and my daughter are disabled so according to groups like the UAF, and Unity, I would be in trouble with the BNP. It’s the mad Marxists who are the crazed ones, who spout lies; our problem is we are truthful, and not deceitful like the mainstream political parties

I will not hog your blog but I applaud you in being open and willing to ask questions.

Jeff said...

What would happen about the Royal Family?

I believe the SNP's favoured approach is the Queen to remain head of State, much like she is in Australia. I don't think anyone is pushing for a Republic of Scotland.


Why are the SNP so keen to leave one Union but will happily sign up to deeper union in Europe?

They believe there is more benefit to being inside the EU than out of it. I would say that it is "deeper Union" being part of the UK. Right now we are part of UK and Europe, being only a part of Europe is more independence for Scotland.

Scotland would benefit from talks on fisheries, regional grants and, of course, the free transfer of people/workers across borders.

Being part of the EU is a no-brainer. Being part of the UK isn't.

Why are the Conservatives happy to support a referendum on Britain in Europe but not Scotland in Britain?

Good question. Not too sure.

I would guess it's to do with polling figures. Or Scottish Tories toeing the national line.

Mark McDonald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.