The starting gun has been fired for the General Election. In a series of blog posts I’ll look at some of the key players and arguments in election campaign. First off, the…
Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party, or SNP for short, is a party committed to making Scotland an independent country.
Ex-leader Alex Salmon almost persuaded Scotland to quit the UK last year. Now, under Nicola Sturgeon, it looks likely the SNP will win most of the Scottish seats in the UK Parliament – making them the third largest party and king-maker.
Economy spokesman, Hamish Trout, has committed the party to taxing high earners and reducing austerity – causing consternation among more affluent English voters if the party should prop up a left-wing Labour government.
Perhaps more worrying are the Culture spokeswoman, Morag Haddock’s plans to replace the National Anthem with ‘Hoots Mon, There’s A Moose Loose Aboot This Hoose‘, Received Pronunciation with Sean Connery‘s accent and the image of the Queen with that of Wee Jimmy Krankie on all stamps and coins.
The real importance of the SNP’s success lies in the changed relationship between Scotland and the rest of the Union. It is well-known that the SNP wants to break up the 300 year old marriage, despite its outstanding success – and will continue to push to do so.
Even falling short of this, it is likely that Scotland will get more powers to set its own taxes and decide how to spend the revenues. This has led to demands that England and Wales should get similar powers.
There are questions about whether Scottish MPs should be allowed to vote on English matters, or whether this should be reserved for English MPs only. Wiser heads question whether MPs should be allowed to vote on anything at all, with any signs of clear-thinking, consistency or courage still forthcoming.
One thing all MPs can agree on is that it’s good news that they have recently passed legislation to introduce plain cigarette packaging, as this will leave more space for them to hastily write out a new Constitution in the weeks after the election.