Scotland

Scots nationalism can be pushed back

Author: 

Anne Field

The SNP performed so well in the 2015 general election that it wants to make 2017 a repeat performance, albeit with a few changes to the roles to be played by the different characters.

Exploiting the boost given to nationalism and national-identity politics by the 2014 referendum, the SNP succeeded in persuading Scottish voters in the 2015 election that they key question was not which political party should form the next government, but which political party would best represent Scotland.

The post-referendum wave of Scottish nationalism has begun to ebb, even if it still exercises a toxic influence on Scottish politics. And the SNP’s standing has been undermined by its record in Holyrood, along with its increasingly blatant intolerance of political criticism.

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The SNP and the Tory #rapeclause

Author: 

Dale Street

#Rapeclause was one of the four most popular Twitter hashtags used by SNP MPs and MSPs in the run-up to the Scottish council elections held earlier this month.

SNP MSP Humza Yousaf tweeted about “Tory born-again Brexiters and rape-clause advocates.” Fellow SNP MSP James Dornan explained: “If you’d rather vote for the Tories than SNP, you’re a right-wing Rape Clause supporting enabler.”

Only in the run-up to the council elections did the SNP discover that the #rapeclause was the defining feature of the Tories, all opponents of independence, and the British state itself.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Staff at Manchester Metropolitan University will strike against job cuts on 24 and 25 May, against a backdrop of hundreds of jobs at risk across the sector. Manchester University is planning to cut 171 jobs; up to 150 are at risk at Aberystwyth; 139 at the University of Wales Trinity St David; Sunderland, Durham and Plymouth are all looking for voluntary redundancies.

Universities start cutting jobs; LSE cleaners fight back; Fujitsu workers fight 1,800 job losses; stop job cuts at EHRC; nurses may ballot for strikes.

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Scotland: local elections, national issues

Author: 

Dale Street

In the Scottish council elections, the Tories did well, Labour did badly, and although the SNP won more seats than other parties, it failed to maintain the electoral momentum unleashed by the 2014 referendum.

The boundary reorganisation carried out after the 2012 council elections makes it difficult to compare the number of seats won in 2012 with seats won in 2017.

In the local elections, the issue of a second referendum on Scottish independence was central, overtly or covertly.

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Scottish Labour and the two nationalist squeezes

Author: 

Dale Street

Scottish Labour candidates need to fight the forthcoming general election on the basis of policies which challenge the inequalities of wealth and power inherent in capitalism, and which will mobilise the labour movement not just to vote Labour but to fight for those policies whatever the outcome of the election.

As the nationalist polarisation of politics in Scotland has intensified and increasingly degenerated into a permanent referendum campaign, Labour has been squeezed by the two competing nationalisms.

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The SNP reality

Author: 

Dale Street

In the 2015 general election, the Scottish National Party lied, lied and lied again. They helped the Tories win the election. They cannot be allowed to get away with doing the same in 2017.

“The only way to lock the Tories out of 10 Downing Street is to vote SNP on 7 May,” said the SNP. The reality: while the SNP won 56 seats, a Tory-Lib-Dem coalition was replaced by a Tory government with an absolute majority.

The SNP has sought to rally people round a flag. Unsurprisingly, this leads to other people rallying round a different flag.

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Scottish nationalism's priorities

Author: 

Ann Field

It is now over a year since the Scottish Parliament passed a piece of legislation. But Scotland is no SNP-ruled utopia which has no need of legislative reform or intervention.

Despite its record of failure in government, the SNP has found time to stage a Holyrood “debate” on a second referendum on Scottish independence.

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SNP nationalism no answer to Brexit nationalism

Author: 

Dale Street

On 13 March, a school in the constituency of SNP Education Secretary John Swinney sent a letter to pupils’ parents asking them to help teach maths in the school, due to a shortage of maths teachers. Later in that week a new report revealed that child poverty, income inequality and the number of people living in relative poverty in Scotland were all increasing.

SNP nationalism is no answer to Brexit nationalism.

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Puddle-drinkers and a crossword puzzle

Author: 

Dale Street

Attacks on Scottish nationalism have been coming thick and fast recently, bringing the puddle-drinkers (self-righteous Scottish nationalists) out in force.

It began with Sadiq Khan’s speech to the Scottish Labour Party conference: “There’s no difference between those who try to divide us on the basis of whether we’re English or Scottish and those who try to divide us on the basis of our background, race or religion.”

A week which began with contrived self-righteous indignation at Sadiq Khan’s argument that Scottish nationalism was a divisive political force became one long vindication of what he said.

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Scottish Labour Party: mixed picture

Author: 

Dale Street

Scottish Labour Party conference on 25-26 February unanimously passed policy in favour of “a progressive federal structure for the UK” and the convening of a “People’s Constitutional Convention” by the Labour Party at UK level in order to “deliberate on these issues”.

Since the 2014 referendum Scottish politics has polarised around national-identity politics, with Labour losing opponents of independence to the Tories and supporters of independence to the SNP.

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