Saturday 30 December 2023

We have the chance to destroy the SNP in 2024 take it.


Unless something very odd happens in the next year we will have Keir Starmer as Prime Minister and a Labour Government in 12 months’ time. I’m not remotely on the Left, but nor do I vote tribally. I have voted Labour before. I have voted Liberal Democrat. Everyone should think about how to use their vote to obtain the result they want. In the case of Pro UK Scots this is grasping our chance to do as much damage as possible to the SNP.

Previously with the SNP winning nearly all of the seats in Scotland I have feared a Labour victory at a General Election. Ed Miliband would have been in Nicola Sturgeon’s pocket. Jeremy Corbyn would have been in her corner cheering on the destruction of his hated United Kingdom. I didn’t see how Labour could avoid forming a government without SNP support. The price of that support would be a second independence referendum, which would be a coin toss at best.

Now everything has changed. Labour can win half or more of the Scottish seats and win an overall majority at Westminster. From a Pro UK perspective, I would far rather Labour won a large majority than we end up with a minority. Above all I don’t want Keir Starmer depending on the SNP for votes. But that eventuality is now highly unlikely. The more seats Labour wins from the SNP in Scotland makes it still less likely. The logic therefore has changed.

It isn’t up to me what happens at the coming General Election. I will probably vote Conservative as the Conservatives have the best chance of winning the seat where I live. I have mixed feelings about tactical voting. Some people cannot bear to vote for a party they disagree with and that’s reasonable. I understand why political parties oppose tactical voting as it stops them building support in a constituency. It all feels like one way traffic for Conservatives as they lend their support to Labour, but don’t get any in return. It is anyway swing that decides elections rather than tactical voting.

Forget all that. This is the year we can change Scottish politics for ever. Everyone must do what they can to take advantage of this opportunity. Scottish nationalism has dominated since 2007. If the SNP loses more than half of its seats at Westminster it will amount to a decisive defeat not only for the SNP but for the goal of Scottish independence. We can then reasonably conclude that there will never in the foreseeable future be a second referendum and that no one living today will see an independent Scotland. That is the prize on offer for you putting a cross on a ballot paper.

We can then look forward to a change of government at Holyrood that might be able to investigate and punish the SNP’s corruption. We can have normal politics based on Left/Right issues and who runs the country best rather than secession. We get Scotland back from the nationalists. That is what you can do. That is what you can help happen if you use your vote sensibly. If I lived somewhere where Labour had the best chance of beating the SNP and that means everywhere in the Central Belt, I would certainly vote Labour.

I’m not a Labour supporter. But I am a democrat. I think even Conservatives can admit that the present government has ruled poorly since 2019. Democracy is above all about kicking out a government that governs badly, otherwise you deserve bad government. This is more important than ideology.

There is no question that the Conservatives have been a terrible government.

We left the EU, but we didn’t completely leave it because we left Northern Ireland behind, and this meant that Britain too had to continue to adhere to EU rules and regulations.

We merely replaced legal migration from the EU with legal migration from the rest of the world, but lost our right to live and work in the EU. It is a poor exchange.

The correct response to the pandemic would have been to make a distinction between everyone who was seriously at risk from Covid and everyone else who had to be careful but keep working. If you could sensibly work from home do so, but otherwise you had to go to work or else get no more than you would have done on benefits. The government should have warned people truthfully of the risks of catching a disease that might kill one percent of the population, but it should have then left it up to each of us to decide how to respond to that risk. I am certain this response would have saved lives. Lockdown cost lives. It was ridiculous that people who had an almost zero risk of dying from Covid were paid nearly their whole salary to stay at home and do nothing.

From then on, we have had Boris Johnson’s resignation and the absurdity of Liz Truss being elected Conservative leader only to be forced to resign too and be replaced by the man she defeated. I can think of nothing more undemocratic in British history. If a party doesn’t deserve defeat after all this, what would it take for it to do so? The problem is that Labour is liable to be worse.

People join the Labour Party because they want socialism. It may be that they are willing to compromise on this ideal, which makes them social democrats, but they still think that socialism is the ideal to be worked towards. This is the essence of the problem with Labour. Socialism doesn’t work. The only way to make it work is to change human nature either coercively (Soviet Union etc) or subversively (political correctness, woke etc).

Free market economics is the only route to prosperity, but a feature of capitalism is that it is unfair. People study hard and work hard because they want to improve their lifestyle, but you logically cannot improve your lifestyle if it is the same as everyone else’s. People who do worse than others object to this essential feature of capitalism and think that it can be improved by equality or worse equity, but all this does is destroy the free market and make capitalism worse at creating wealth.

The argument for free market capitalism is so basic and obvious that it continues to astonish me that everyone doesn’t support it. But the problem we have in the UK is that neither of the main parties are offering us free market capitalism. Each is offering a mixture of capitalism, social democracy and decline. No one has offered anything else since Margaret Thatcher.

But there is still hope.

A period in opposition might lead the Conservative Party to rediscover that it believes in free markets, low taxes and freedom.

A Labour government might remind people once more that socialism does not work and we might finally learn this lesson.

Labour might rule more competently than the present Conservative government. There are a lot of Labour MPs who have not been ministers. Some of them might do a good job despite their ideology.

There are areas that Labour is better able to fix than the Conservatives. Labour might be able to do something about the NHS and Welfare State. It can do so without being continually attacked for being wicked Tories. Healthcare is incomparably better in most other first world countries and it’s still free. Welfare for too many has become a lifestyle rather a safety net. Labour invented both the NHS and the Welfare State, and I think only Labour can improve them.

Labour might be able to find a way to make devolution equal so that every UK citizen has the same degree of devolution. But to do so it must be honest about how devolution has fuelled nationalism both in Scotland and in Wales. This means ceasing to listen to Gordon Brown who cannot admit the flaw in his original project.

The Labour/Lib Dem objection in the 1980s and 1990s (polite Scottish society) that it was unfair that Scotland voted Labour but got a Tory government was a nationalist argument and therefore it gave rocket fuel to the SNP.

I am open to any alternative to the present arrangement, but no nation state can long endure if it continues to think of its parts as also being nation states with the ability to secede at will. The United States resolved this issue in the 1860s by making clear that its parts had federal power but were not nation states. The UK could do the same, but only on condition that in the same way secession is not an option and that the parts of the UK are not nation states either. We must dispense with the notion that the UK is a country made up of countries or perish. We are one nation indivisible or else you should vote for the SNP, Plaid Cymru or Sinn Féin.

We have at the moment Scotland pretending to be a nation state in order to justify itself becoming a nation state. Above all it necessary for Labour to make clear that Scotland voted for a devolved parliament and against a sovereign parliament. We have played along with the fiction that Scotland is independent while not being independent for too long. No more embassies. No more attending international meetings. No more pretending that Scotland is a country like France when it is not and hasn’t been since 1707. Don’t appease Scottish nationalism. Oppose it, or else lose in the end.

Labour is going to need to spend less and earn more. That would appear unlikely but at some point, a Labour chancellor is going to realise that the increase in public spending in the past decades and the size of our debt is unsustainable. Again, perhaps a Labour Prime Minister can be more honest about spending choices or else the market will force him to be honest.

If the bond market ceases to lend at a reasonable rate of interest our life style will go down the toilet no matter who we vote for. In this sense it is true that our government is the bond market. We are two trillion in debt.

The one thing that a Labour Prime Minister could do that would do the most good would be to encourage British women to have more children. This is the root of our dependence on migration. We have an aging population that believes it is entitled to be looked after from cradle to grave, but it depends on importing the people we didn’t give birth to. Provide women with free childcare or pay them to stay at home looking after their babies. Pay them a fortune if necessary to do this.

Legal migration is the problem. Successive governments have believed they needed to import vast numbers. Illegal migration can only be tackled like any other form of criminality by deterrence. If there is a very small chance of being caught and a high reward for committing a crime, it is rational to be a criminal. The same goes for illegal migrants. The risk of coming to Britain in a small boat are small, the chance of being deported almost non existent and the reward is a lifestyle far better than you could have at home. It is rational to make the trip.

To stop this behaviour, it is not necessary and almost certainly it is pointless to send people to Rwanda. You just need to make the UK no more attractive than France.

Again, perhaps Labour will be able to tackle internationally what has become an existential problem for Western Europe. We cannot allow everyone in the world who is worse off than us to come and live here. If we did what is distinctive about Europe our nation states, our history our culture and indeed our economy will in time cease to exist. If you import enough non-Europeans into Europe, there comes a point when you cease to have Europe. This is self-evident.

It is not up to me who wins the next election. I have been extremely disappointed with the Conservative government, but I am still a Conservative who believes in a small state, free markets and low taxes. I don’t expect much from Labour. Indeed, I think even what is considered to be the best Labour government under Atlee was a disaster that put Britain on the path of decline. The NHS and Welfare state were a catastrophe for British prosperity and did more long-term damage than anything else I can think of in our history.

But it is always better to look forward with hope to a change in government. It may make things worse, but it may not. Labour like every government has a chance to improve our country and I hope that it does.

Above all else let us use the next year to destroy the SNP, which for nearly twenty years has been the greatest threat to existence of the UK in all our history. If voting Labour is necessary for that then do it willingly and be grateful for the chance.


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