Today’s Fish is Smoked Salmond

The important question isn’t about risks of independence, it’s about the certainties of staying under Westminster rule.

Via a friend in the North, this article on the subject of Scottish independence:

But if staying in the UK seems likely to mean living in a country that leaves the European Union (Miliband, if he wins the election, has not yet promised a referendum on that, but neither has he refused one); if it is to be a country that continues to impose increasingly punitive and humiliating sanctions on its poorest citizens who live on social security benefits (Labour spokespersons on this subject seem determined to show they will match the Tories’ brutalities); if the Human Rights Act is to be repealed (as our present home secretary promises); if the UK continues to have the most centralised government in the Western world (strangling local governments and killing off civic leadership); if ‘green’ policies are to have low priority; and if our armed forces are to remain mercenary outriders to American foreign policy; then I would rather get out, whatever the hazards of independence.
                — David Donnison

A perspective I hadn’t considered. Nice catch, Chris Hutchings!

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6 Responses to “Today’s Fish is Smoked Salmond”


  1. 1 The Politicoid 22/01/2014 at 10:35 am

    Well said. I can’t bear the Tories. I share the fear of many that they are taking us irrevocably into darkness. Have a look at my take if you like on Politicoid

    • 2 Chris Naden 22/01/2014 at 10:54 am

      Thank you :) I also have issues with the Tory party, though I’m inclined to look at the right wing on both sides of the Atlantic and wonder. UKIP are starting to split the Tory vote, and the Tories haven’t actually won an election in over 20 years. If UKIP manage to poach most of their extreme right… Similarly, in the US there’s a current battle for control of the Republican Party which could well split the traditional conservatives from the Bible Belt for the first time since Goldwater. That could get *interesting*.

      Your analysis is very good; because this isn’t an issue I particularly follow, I got a lot of data links that I hadn’t seen before. Thank you :)

      • 3 The Politicoid 22/01/2014 at 10:58 am

        No problem, thanks for reblogging my post. I am somewhat obsessed with US politics and, whilst you may well be right, I’m not sure what the result of the split would be. Until Citizens United is nullified by a constitutional amendment to keep money out of politics, there’s a real problem in preventing the Overton window in the US from continuing it’s rightward trajectory…

        • 4 Chris Naden 22/01/2014 at 11:09 am

          Ahh, well there’s the thing. I understand why you read that, but consider two counter-factuals: the sudden radical liberalisation of law surrounding homosexuality and the sudden, rapid movement towards legalising marijuana. In each case, what you’re seeing is the Bible Belt, *very suddenly*, losing a war they’ve been winning every substantive battle of since the the Gingrich Revolution.

          Mann and Ornstein, Jonathan Bernstein and Andrew Sullivan have all addressed that, as has Ezra Klein.

          In the 1950s, there was a *huge* swing into authoritarianism. There’s a fairly strong case to be made that without that rightward swing, the 60s cultural revolution would never have happened. For most of my lifetime, that is the 80s, 90s, 2000s, the political discourse has been being pushed rightward by a decreasing minority with disproportionate representation. But through exactly the same decades, the mass of the electorate (particularly those bits between 20 and 40 right now) have been steadily moving to the left on social issues (mostly but not exclusively because The Internet…)

          The TEA-Party are not economic conservatives, they’re religious socially authoritarian wing-nuts. The *only* thing that has kept them in the Republican Party’s tent is that the GOP has been quite happy to be the voice of racism and ridiculous quotes about rape. They kept winning elections through that alliance. And then they didn’t any more, and a black guy got into the White House, and their wingnuts pulled them so far into obstructionism through fear of hysterical primary challenges that they gridlocked the government for several *years*. And they still lost on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; they still lost on gay marriage, they still lost on the govt. shutdown, they still lost on Obamacare, and so on.

          And now, Boehner and the other big guns of the traditional GOP are starting to call out the wing-nuts. The wing-nuts are shooting back. The next two primary election cycles in the GOP are going to be *really interesting to watch*.

          In the event the GOP, who really want to govern again some day, lose their alliance with the TEA Party (who have no intention of ever governing: their whole game plan is to make sure no-one else does either, to ‘drown’ the federal government ‘in a bathtub’), the split will come out about 40-60 TEA party – GOP. At which point, the right wing will not win a national election again, until the alignments shift once more to create a new big tent on the right. (the State and Local implications are more complex and a bit more alarming.)

          The alliance between fiscal conservatives and racists has sustained the GOP electorally ever since the Southern Strategy, but the Gingrich Culture Wars have had the effect of pushing *only part* of the right wing into hysteria. If they decide to stay there and the rest decide they need to de-toxify their brand by a split, that changes the US electoral math in very interesting ways.

      • 5 The Politicoid 22/01/2014 at 11:01 am

        Another issue is that UKIP may well split the vote, but that may result in a UKIP-Tory coalition, as I noted in my last article. If you think this present coalition sucks, then just wait for that one…

        • 6 Chris Naden 22/01/2014 at 11:13 am

          I’ve had a look at that problem, and at the moment, I can’t see how UKIP actually *win* many seats. I can see how UKIP cause the Tories to *lose* a lot of seats: this is basically the same thing as Labour vs Lib Dems between 1983 and 2010. UKIP are not going to actually win many (if any) seats with a traditional labour voting record. They might take some from the Lib Dems, and they’ll definitely take a lot of votes off the Tories in more or less every constituency where the two compete. That means that the electoral math of first past the post implies that in most such cases, *neither* right-wing party will win. Just like what the Lib Dems did to Labour, though they were always more successful at taking seats off both large parties in the same election than I think UKIP could ever be.


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Politics, history, economics and rampant speculation from a victim of the Great Recession, currently at large in the West Midlands.

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