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Alba, Independence, Coronavirus and England’s drift to Fascism

by Axel P Kulit 7 months ago in politics
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I don’t know what to think about Alba, Alex Salmond’s latest project, which flopped at the 2021 May Scottish Government election.

Alba seem to have captured a large percentage of right wing Scottish Nationalists. some left wingers worried about things like gender reassignment and who want another referendum TODAY, despite polls showing the result would likely be a NO vote (anyone with good evidence to the contrary DO Let me know).

Alba could be useful as a way to divide the attention and attacks of the anti-Scottish/English/Welsh/Irish unionists but seems to me to be damaging the prospects of independence. Like all fringe parties they seem to have no detailed policy proposals other than “Referendum NOW”. They haven’t even, as far as can be discerned attacked Tory proposals to weaken devolution by spending money directly in Scotland rather than giving it to the Scottish Government to spend.

Alex Salmond

I believe Mr Salmond wants Scotland to be independent. I also think he wants Scotland Independent only if he is, or is seen to be, the one to deliver it.

Alex Salmond has not been bought by Westminster but I feel his age, ego and perhaps some bitterness at feeling abandoned by Nicola Sturgeon over sexual harassment claims have made his judgment, never infallible, as was seen by his inflexible stance over currency in 2014, less sure than it should be.

I feel he should retire from politics with what is left of his reputation and the kudos for nearly delivering independence in 2014 or commit Alba to work with the SNP on converting soft NO votes that the SNP may be unable to capture to YES votes

Meanwhile

In the mundane world Science., Common sense and caution are fighting the Coronavirus and Anti-Vaxxers. So far the protean virus (another new variant is spreading) is winning, though at present it looks like cases and deaths in Scotland are. unlike in England, trending downward.

Support for independence is unlikely to rise much until the virus is thoroughly defeated or at least reduced to the same level of risk as Flu. We can only hope that the social stresses and strains the pandemic has produced pushes support for independence past a tipping point and on the way to 80% support.

Unemployment

The UK, or indeed the world, will go back to the state it was in just after the Johnson was elected. UK unemployment is around 4%, below the level at which economists fear “wage breakout”, a wholesale increase in wages, will inevitably occur. The last time unemployment was this low was in 2017 however and wages, especially at the low end, did not rise. The official definition of unemployment masked the true rate by hiding, among other things, part time workers wanting full employment.

Things are different now. Many people have died or become unable to work because of Coronavirus, Brexit and the Tory Hostile environment have driven EU and Non-EU workers out of the country, and a large number of people used lockdown to reevaluate their relationship with work and either insist on continuing to work from home or upgrade their job.

Many employers who were dependent on minimum wage labour are now having to decide between paying higher wages (and treating staff better), reducing, in the case of owner run businesses, the salary they draw from the business or going out of business.

A Drift to Fascism?

In all this the UK’s Tory government, led by someone posing as a buffoon and incompetent, ploughs merrily on with the shambles known as Brexit, despite polls showing the public no longer want it, if they ever did.

Right wing populist parties are rising, for example the English Democrats, that threaten the Tory capture of the right and there are even claims, possibly serious, that Nigel Farage will be the next prime minister.

Perhaps most significant of all is the attack on the government by the right wing press that helped it get elected and indications that those who yelled loudest for Brexit are beginning to think they made a mistake, and are attacking the government while they plan how to blame the failure of Brexit (and the victory of Coronavirus) on the public

Dismantling Democracy

This may not matter. The Tory government is proceeding, aided by the “Labour” party, with its dismantling of democracy: stifling the right to vote by demanding Voter ID, knowing that non-Tory voters usually have neither passport or driving licence, castrating the right to protest, attacking the right to free speech by classing criticism as hate speech and banning critics of the government from Whitehall events.

The UK is overall sleepwalking into dictatorship, and not a benevolent one.

It looks like Westminster is scared

The UK government seems to be doing all it can to irritate Scottish opinion. A new Army division, the Union Division is to be created and more British troops will be stationed in Scotland. Ignore the claims that this will strengthen the Union. The more troops there are in Scotland, the easier it will be to impose martial law. I read this as saying they are scared.

We live in interesting times. We must use them to the best of our ability.

politics

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Axel P Kulit

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