Sunday, April 15, 2007
The petty, craven mendacity of Blairite Labour, even in its death throes, continues apace. Aghast at the prospect of losing the Scottish Parliamentary elections to the Scottish National Party (shouldn't have allowed the SNP to out-left you then), they have resorted to scare tactics about the mooted independence for Scotland, producing a party political broadcast that shows the effects SNP tax increases would have on an 'ordinary family', an ordinary family that happens to have at its head a former Deputy General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party. Blair has since conceded that the scare tactics aren't really working and has instead decided to question the wisdom of anybody wanting to leave the Union. 'Of course Scotland can be independent,' he said, 'But why? At what cost and to what purpose?' Maybe because Scotland is as differently culturally and institutionally from England as Norway is from Sweden or Portugal is from Spain, and self-government and independence would be more fitting to their political economy. There is no guarantee that Scotland will do any better economically from independence - nor do I think that the Union is responsible for all their economic ills - but it is unlikely to be disastrous either. Playing the Tartan Tory card doesn't work anymore for Labour when decrying the SNP as they themselves are well to the right of the Nationalists. Scotland is a different country to England, if not necessarily a better one, and the old principle of self-determination, so beloved of Blair when his boss in Washington was the huggy Bill Clinton, should be applied in their case. If the Scots want to remain part of the Union, let them, but Labour should stop insulting the intelligence of the Scottish people.