Thursday, 13 October 2016

SNP Going for Independence... Again

Nicola Sturgeon has once more demonstrated that her petty, nationalistic separatist party is nothing more than that, by declaring her intention to consult on a second referendum on Scottish independence. The implied threat is that, if the UK leaves the single market, the SNP will press ahead with Referendum 2: The Revenge. The media are duly spinning this as a choice between 'Hard Brexit' and 'preserving the Union'.

This is a false premise, for several reasons:
  • Neither the Scottish Government, nor the Scottish Parliament, has sufficient power to authorise a referendum. Only the Westminster Parliament can grant one. If the SNP do try to hold one, it will be unlawful and can be ignored;
  • The Westminster Parliament has no political or moral reason to authorise such a referendum. The SNP do not hold a majority in the Scottish Parliament, the referendum was not in their manifesto, and the recency of the last plebiscite are all good reasons to deny one;
  • Most opinion polls in Scotland indicate that the Scots don't want another referendum, which is unsurprising, given that the last one on this subject was held only 2 years ago, and was the most divisive event in Scottish political history;
  • Most opinion polls in Scotland indicate that the majority of Scots would vote to remain in the UK, which is unsurprising, given that an independent Scotland post-Brexit still wouldn't be in the EU, would have a higher public deficit & cut off from its largest trading partner (England);
  • It's highly likely that the Brexit negotiations will result in, if not continued membership of the single market, preferential access to it. EU ministers are making noises about it, but at the end of the day, there will be concessions on both sides and a deal will be done.

In other words, the premise for the referendum is on shaky ground, it's outside the SNP's authority to call a referendum, there's no advantage to Westminster in permitting one, and even if they did, the SNP would probably lose.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Xenophobia? Don't Be Daft

Jeremy Corbyn has criticised Theresa May in Prime Ministers Questions today, accusing her government of 'xenophobia' for wanting to compile details of foreign workers, and asserted that the British people are 'disgusted' by it.

So disgusted that the Conservatives have a 17-point lead in the polls, and Labour are on course to lose over 50 seats at the next election. Personally, I'm hoping it'll be over a hundred.

Of course, there is a grain of truth in what Corbyn says. The British people probably are disgusted by xenophobia. We have long history and tradition of welcoming refugees from war zones throughout the world, not the least of which being a significant wave of Jewish immigration in the aftermath of the Second World War. So why do the Tories command such a massive lead?

Because the Government's policy is not xenophobic.

It is not xenophobic to monitor the conditions of the labour market to establish what skills we need. It is not xenophobic to limit immigration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands, to prevent increasing strain on the health service, schools, housing and other services. It is not xenophobic to ensure that, if you are using the health service for free, you are entitled to do so. This is not xenophobia. It is putting the interests of the British people first. Which is, you know, kind of what the Government was elected to do.

Brexit and All That

The BBC, putting a wholly negative spin on it, are reporting this morning that the UK may still have to pay into the EU budget after Brexit in order to secure access to the single market, to the tune of £5billion.

'Oh, that's terrible!' say imbeciles with the intellectual capacity of squashed apricots. 'Vote Leave said we could have our cake and eat it! Waaaah! Told you so!'

So let me get this straight. A potential Brexit deal means that we:

  • Repatriate powers on trade, agriculture, fisheries, security, tax and benefits;
  • Regain control of our borders, so we can decide who we let in and when;
  • Restore the supremacy of the British Courts and end the interference of European judges;
  • Ensure that our nation is completely sovereign once again;
  • Have very low-tariff or tariff-free access to the single market; and
  • It costs up £4.6billion a year less than what we're paying now?

Am I missing something here? Surely this is good news?