Saturday, 16 October 2010

Just like Labour.......?

The SNP election strategy for 2011 now appears clear.

They do not expect to win next year, and just like Labour at Westminster, they are going to promise all sorts of sweeties between now and May, knowing that they are not going to be the party to have to deal with the economic difficulties ahead. By doing this, they hope to avoid the worst of the political fall-out, and maybe make a come-back at some point in the future.

What is the evidence for such a sweeping statement?

Firstly, the Nats are putting Independance at the heart of their election manifesto, a sure-fire vote-loser with all the current uncertainties that we face. This is not a message for the wider electorate, it is a message for their own core supporters, to try and preserve morale. It is nothing more than that.

Secondly, just like Labour last year, they continue to make spending committments. Yesterday, John Swinney announced that the Council Tax would be frozen for another two years. Fine, people will appreciate that and great if an overall Scottish budget will allow for this, but the pressure that this will put on local authorities will be immense, and give them much less leeway in being able to deliver local services. This just smacks of political expediency, an easy way of getting through to May next year.

On Newsnight on Thursday, astonishingly, their Education spokeman Mike Russell insisted that a wholly state funded option for higher education in Scotland was a viable option. Great if it is, but do we believe this? Is it possible in the situation we face today? Does anyone else believe this? Is this anything other than a delaying tactic to hold out for another while and be all things to all people?

What other spending committments will be given over the rest of the Nat conference this weekend? Will John Swinney be able to put together a balanced budget at all, or will the SNP just behave disgracefully like Labour and run our finances in to the ground to save themselves, and let others pick up the pieces? What is this new "uniquely Scottish" solution to funding that Mike Russell has dreamed up, making money appear out of thin air and defying all economic logic?

Not only do the Nats not expect to get re-elected, it appears pretty certain now that they dont want to get elected, with a period on the sidelines looking much more attractive to them.

When the going gets tough, the Nats get going. They are tired and lacking inspiration, they dont have the courage to be in office to deal with the new realities and they want out.

Run the country?

Run away more like..........

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