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Just stepped out...

I have spent the last week away, and inevitably it was a critical week in various affairs that are themes of this blog. I have already blogged a little about the attacks that Russia has been making against Estonia, and I will return to this shortly. Suffice it to say here, that the actions of the Russian Federation are totally unacceptable, but the weakness of the NATO and especially the European Union response opens up the real possibility that both these organisations are now simply a dead letter, with no strength to oppose the burgeoning power of a neo-fascist Russia- a truly terrifying prospect for those who believe in freedom.

Meanwhile I got it wrong over the elections in Scotland- the SNP did better than I expected, and the Liberal Democrats were blind sided. Fantastic candidates like Craig Harrow and Siobhan Mathers did not get elected, while the loyalty and hard work of Nora Radcliffe was drowned in a wall of SNP money, which allowed the detestable Alex Salmond to enter the Scottish Parliament. The United Kingdom is entering new and difficult waters. Naturally the Scottish Liberal Democrats will oppose any attempt to break the Union: we beleive in a federal solution to the constitutional problems created by Labour's asymmetric version of devolution. We oppose the break up of the United Kingdom- and will continue to do so.

So, since the Nats refuse to back down on a disruptive and pointless referendum, the Scottish Liberal Democrats will oppose them. We will join with the other parties to face down the SNP attempt to break the valuable 300-year old Union. In the meantime, the companies that gave millions of Pounds to the SNP: Kwik-Fit and Stagecoach will not be receiving my custom again.

Since South West Trains is a monopoly, it will be hard to bring home to Brian Souter the consequences of his actions, but personally I think a high profile boycott of at least one independentista company might remind the Scottish Oligarchs that their wealth too depends on the continuation of the Union.

Comments

Richard Thomson said…
'Detestable'? Some perspective, please... and as for being drowned in a wall of SNP money, I didn't notice too many Lib Dem complaints when the party was chucking c. £100,000 at both the Moray and Dunfermline & West Fife by-elections.

I'm sure that Nora Radcliffe has many estimable qualities, but would it hurt to concede that maybe, just maybe, on this occasion a better candidate won?

As for the referendum, the talks proposed by the SNP, had they gone ahead, would have started with a clean sheet of paper. Everyone in the SNP knows that there ain't going to be a referendum, at least this time round, so contrary to the Lib Dem spin, people were completely open-minded about where any talks might lead. If Nicol Stephen had deigned to accept the invitation to sit down and talk, he might have been pleasantly surprised at what he could have come away with.

Unlike independence, the Lib Dem goal of federalism is not something you can deliver with Scottish votes alone. With neither independence nor federalism an option in the short-term, there is a huge amount of scope for our parties to explore options for developing the parliament and building public support to that end. The opportunity of building that at government level is now good as dead, and with it the prospect of getting much shared policy implemented.

Assuming that this point is understood full well by the Lib Dem leadership, it seems that the SNP thoughtcrime of believing in independence is the real barrier to talks. Or is it that the Lib Dems really do want to be in opposition, but want to try and maintain a front of resigned regret to try and hide the fact?

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