Sunday, February 16, 2014

SNP meltdown: A blow upon a bruise

I am slightly reluctant to write- yet again- on the Scottish referendum, but the news that keeps coming in is critical for the whole future of Scotland and indeed Europe.

The SNP policy of currency union is a shambles. It literally can not work, and the use of Sterling could only be maintained for a short period while Scotland set up a new currency and ultimately prepared to join the Euro. The inchoate rage which has descended on the Yes campaign reminds me why I have so strongly opposed the Nats all these years. Wishful thinking and bluster does not make a coherent economic policy. This is a totally avoidable own goal by Yes and it has been made because Alex Salmond is still trying to pretend that Independence is more or less the same as Devo Max. Brian Wilson in the Scotsman is devastating in his critique of the foolish bluster that the SNP has embarked upon in the face of the collapse of a key plank of SNP policy.

After the currency collapse, worse has come on Europe. The Portuguese EU Commission President Jose Barroso has said that Scotland would not ab initio be a member of the EU and that most member states would regard it as a new acceding state. Accession is not a formality, it is "difficult" and takes many years. Since we would have to get the approval of many countries with succession problems of their own, it may even be impossible for Scotland to join the EU for the foreseeable future.

Again the predictable fury of the Nats, but Barroso is not speaking for or even on behalf of the UK, he is reflecting what all the 27 other member states have told him. It is devastating to the dishonest position that Salmond has taken that EU membership would be a formality for Scotland. As with the currency, it is a complete own goal.

What has got the SNP into trouble is the dishonesty with which they have approached this debate. The fact is that both separation and the common state are set of menus with prices, there are pros and cons. By failing to face unpleasant facts about their own position they have tried to mislead the Scottish people and the world. A wish is not a claim upon reality, and instead of hard nosed reality we now see that the fantasy that separation would be a quick and easy process has been totally blown away. Intellectually the Yes campaign is dead in the water. All the SNP now has left is angry bluster, victimhood and paranoia.

Two parts bullshit, four parts bluster and a pinch of pixie dust is a pathetic economic policy and a disastrous European policy, and this is not merely "reckless" or "irresponsible", it is literally mad. It would be a century long catastrophe if Yes were to win. I don't doubt that the heidbanger fanatics will continue to support Yes through thick and thin, but anyone with two Highers to rub together, anyone with a home, anyone with a job, anyone with a stake in Scotland's future now knows the horrible truth: the SNP has been deluded by their own propaganda and now can not be trusted to cut it at any level. 

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