The Scottish Blog Round Up is with us for another week. Plenty of news on the 'SNP are xenophobic row'.
I don't wish to go on too much about 'the row', so I'll just give a brief outline of my thoughts on the matter. I feel certain that all the political parties in Scotland contain their share of xenophobes and I doubt the SNP are any different. I merely note that the SNP have been involved in campaigns against dawn raids, Dungavel and so on which rather undermines their anti-foreigner credentials. I could be catty and contrast that with our internationalist chums in the Labour party but I shan't. One suspects what they are trying to say is anti-English.
At present I am not a member of any political party and haven't decided who I will be voting for, however I will be voting for one of the parties in favour of independence which I suppose makes me a wicked anti-English bigot to some. Which rather overlooks my wee drop of English ancestry, English relatives, admiration for certain aspects of English culture and so on and like all criticism which can be levelled at me is very unfair. As an aside I will point out the most anti-English (full chip on shoulder bit) person I know is a former member of the Orange Order, a lifelong Tory and staunch unionist.
We are frequently told that the Union is in Scotland's best interests which I'm quite certain that it is, though I have my doubts that a set up which requires the rest of the UK to plough a disproportionate share of it's resources into a country that contributes nothing can be described as one that works. If the decision is to made on purely economic terms then I suggest that Scotland is presented to the USA as a gift, given that they are the nation best placed to afford us. Or better still let us sort out our own mess, rather than treating us like a lazy, overindulged adolescent. Just a thought.
It might also be nice if we could get on with things without everyone blaming Westminster for our ills. It's often argued that if Scotland were to become independent we'd end up resembling some sort of Soviet state, well good! Either this will work out well or it it'll be catastrophic and instead of being able to blame London the government will not be able to wriggle off the hook and can be dealt with at the ballot box.
There is no real effective opposition in Scotland. The SNP and Labour are like one of those couples that turn up for a night out and spend the evening arguing in sentences that begin 'well at least I don't...', the Lib Dems are undermined by their desire for coalition, the small parties are too small to make much impact just now and I have been led to understand that there is some sort of Conservative presence but has anyone seen it lately?
As far as I can make out we're only taking in every shade of opinion from far left to centre left, with the odd bit of New Labour third way (worst of both worlds) chucked in for variety. Even I, a dreadful, deluded and wicked left winger find this unhealthy. With little substantial to disagree on all we're left with is a pointless tribal blame game. This can only continue because everything can be blamed on Westminster.
To illustrate what I'm driving at because this piece is dragging on at embarrassing length I shall give an example based on the world of blogging. Prior to reading many blogs I had little exposure to (intelligent) right wing views, consequently whenever anyone mentioned that Socialism was inherently authoritarian I had a poor understanding of what they meant and supposed that they were just dragging up one of the many examples of it in practice that were beyond awful, to score points. Whereas now I have been exposed to other well argued opinions I have been forced to re-examine my own views and face up to the 'we are banning this for your own good' mentality present on the left. I'd love to finish this on a rousing high and amaze you all with my new philosophy but I'm still thinking.
Suggestions on how to put the state in it's place without coming over all unnecessary about tax are more than welcome below.