“Stronger for Scotland”. That’s the self-styled slogan upon which the Scottish National Party stood for election this past May. They presented a core message of representing Scottish interests in London, locking the Tories out of Number 10 and “holding Westminsters’ feet to the fire”. A strong and noble cause, I’m sure most would agree, but when the curtain is lifted, and we can see a peek beyond the propaganda message, the truth is somewhat less honourable. This piece attempts to highlight the many shortcomings of the SNP, both in government, and internal politics.
Scotland in Numbers
The Scottish Nationalists love numbers. Some might say they’re obsessed with them. Go onto any UK political forum or platform for expressing ones views, whether that be Facebook or Twitter, a political forum or a forum about football, and you’ll see a familiar sight – Profile pictures plastered with things like ‘45’ and ‘56’(the percentage of people who voted ‘Yes’ in 2014, and elected SNP MP’s in 2015 respectively). You might even come across the occasional page attesting to the actual number of Yes/SNP voters. They even call themselves things like ‘The 45’, and call their champions in Westminster ‘The 56’. Such titles go hand in hand with the rampant, separatist Nationalism that has invaded every level of Scottish society, and makes their entire existence more akin to a cult than a Political movement.
Yep, they love numbers. But there are other numbers that we have to look at, to get a fair picture of the situation in Scotland. 55, which represents the clear majority that rejected their ideology, is one such number. A number that is likely to invoke some Nationalists into a fit of near blind fury, where all their remaining social grace is put on the back burner so they can spew venomous hatred, and tell you just what a bad, bad person you are. Another is 45.40 – Which is (at the time of writing this piece), the current price in US$ of a barrel of crude oil. The black gold the SNP and Yes Scotland movement balanced much of their economic policy for an Independent Scotland on, which dropped drastically in price, from over $116 a barrel, a mere few weeks after the Scots (thankfully) said No.
I could go on, Scottish politics is full of numbers. I could talk about the number of jobs that would have been lost had we voted Yes. I could have written of the £7billion black hole that Full Fiscal Autonomy (FFA) would have resulted in. I could even have typed about the various numbers of lost students, teachers and nurses that have already happened as a direct result of SNP government (and, I will, later in this blog page). But, there is one that I want to talk about specifically – 50. That represents the percentage of voting Scots who did NOT vote for the SNP and their fairy-tale politics. That’s right, the rhetoric of ‘Scotland votes SNP’ sounds a lot less impressive when it’s coupled with the fact that only half of Scots support them. Whether that be Labour, the Lib Dems, the Tories, UKIP or even the Greens – for all their differences, they all have one thing in common; they reject the SNP. The democratic will of the Scottish people, the (mostly) unrepresented half. But then, from refusing to accept the result of the Neverendum, to silencing political opponents in all levels of politics, and right up to turning their back on their own position of supporting PR – democracy was never the SNP’s strong point.
The Politics of Failure
In 2007, the Scottish National Party took a majority in the Scottish General Election, and subsequently took office in Bute House under Alex Salmond (as well as being on a vote share partnership with the Scottish Conservative Party – What was that about never working with the Tories?). They then, despite the early signs of failure, managed to enter Holyrood again, this time promising a referendum on Scottish Independence. Yet, the last 8 years in government, or two terms, if you prefer, have been an unmitigated failure for the SNP. So far they’ve managed to fool their cult masses by passing the buck and blaming the Tories, but eventually the mask will slip, and the truth will be revealed. If I was to go into greater detail of every failure this SNP government, I would be writing a novel, not a blog entry. But I can show you the base facts, and let you make your own mind up:
- Brought about a costly, and highly divisive referendum that they ultimately lost.
- A £444 million underspend.
- Missing cancer targets.
- 1000 fewer hospital beds in Scotland since 2012.
- NHS funding fell by 1.2% (whilst NHS spending in England & Wales rose by 4.4%).
- 144,000 fewer college places in the academic year 2013/14 (And falling) compared to 2001/02.
- 4000 fewer teachers in 2014 than there were in 2007.
- Fallen standards of reading and writing in schools.
- £1.7 BILLION worth of loans to students.
- Slashed nursing and midwifery funding by 11% in the past 5 years.
- Using NHS records to create an identity database.
- Introduced State Appointed Spies in virtually every Scottish home with the Named Persons Scheme (see next weeks blog).
- Centralised emergency services which has led to armed police on the streets, emergencies going unanswered, dispatch services to fall drastically and the public trust in Police to fall drastically.
- Missed their own target of building 6000 homes a year.
- Missed emission targets for 4 years in a row.
- Given Billions to build ineffective, expensive and unsightly wind turbines that have damaged Scottish agriculture and tourism.
The SNP, far from being the saviors of Scotland, are far more likely to be the ones to ruin it. And it’s time they stood up, and took account of their own actions. After all, as a not-so-great woman once said: “A party that is now in its second term of office cannot avoid taking responsibility for its own failings” (Nicola Sturgeon, 2001).