What a choice eh? I can’t say I’m greatly engaged by the 2016 Scottish election. It’s all rather predictable. But there are some things worth commenting on, mainly around tax policy, and I hope to have the time to do that before the election, perhaps even sooner than the publication of Labour’s manifesto which remarkably we won’t see until 8 days before the election. Must be really bad if they are going to keep it hidden that long.
We do however have the Tories manifesto, not that we needed it to know their plan. I say plan rather than plans because they have only one, to replace Labour as Scotland’s number 2 party.
As a document it consists of the remarkable and the unremarkable. The unremarkable is it is full of completely uncosted policy commitments or rather completely uncosted policy commitments which somehow they are going to force on the SNP government. And there will be an SNP government because the Tory manifesto says there will be. It is remarkable in that it is the first manifesto I’ve seen where the election is conceded by page 2. The rest is mainly an anti SNP, anti independence rant except where they are having a go at Labour.
The plan is clear and has been for a while. They are setting themselves out as the anti independence anti 2nd referendum party. They claim they are the only true unionist party. This is based on Kezia, rather democratically, allowing individuals within her party, including elected ones, to campaign for independence if they wish in the event of indy ref2. The fact is though that the Labour Party remains a Union supporting party.
My query is if you are a Union supporting traditional Labour voter why would you switch to the Tories? Apart from a believe in the Union what else do you share in common with Ruth’s merry little band? Well bugger all is the likely answer. Frankly only the terminally stupid would succumb to such an approach. The fact is there will be a 2nd referendum when the country decides it wants one and there is an SNP government. Switching your vote from Labour to the Tories or the Monster Raving Looney party for that matter will make no difference whatsoever. And when that referendum arrives if you are still inclined to vote for the Union you can do so, you don’t have to become a Tory in the meantime.
Apparently Ruth is a very popular politician and just the gal to hold that vile separatist Sturgeon to account. The only people who actually believe this guff are the Tory party and the Tory supporting press. True in the most recent polls Ruth is apparently more popular than Kez. Kez of course was handed a dead fish in a waistcoat by Murphy and the stench will probably never disperse. On the other, rather more important hand, Labour are still ahead of the Conservatives in the polls.
The only people Ruth is likely to attract, if they do not already swell her ranks, are the brain dead scum of the Unions far right and she is welcome to them.
One point on the tax policy ‘debate’. While the Tories at Westminster are always telling us to get on with using our super duper new tax powers the Tories in Scotland are doing precisely nothing. All that hanging out with the Lib Dems seems to have affected Ruthie and she is now a fully paid up member of the wishy washy, flip flop party.
Ruth it was who drew a line in the sand and said no more powers to the Scottish Parliament. A commitment, which to mix my metaphors, disappeared like snow off a dyke, when the tide came in. Then she told us she was going to reduce income tax by a penny, what happened to that? Then she got a commission to come up with the idea of introducing a 30% tax rate to ease the way in to a 40% tax rate for our wealthier tax payers. No sooner had the idea been adopted than with the election looming, it was suddenly kicked into the long grass and yet another commission will be set up to advise on tax matters.
Apparently with the country in dire straights this isn’t the time to introduce such a policy. This at least has the merit of being true but it isn’t the reason Ruthie dropped it. A much more likely scenario is this.
The phone rings in the Davidson household. On the line is a ‘friend’ “Hello Ruth?, listen old gal been having a butchers at your 30% tax rate idea. Very whizzo and very Tory. Unfortunately it would create one of those inconvenient black holes we are always going on about. You see when we stitched up the Jockos with the Smith thingy we left you with no way to make up a reduction in income tax. It’s ok for Gidders because he has all sorts of sneaky, under the radar, ways of eaking out a few quid. Plus of course we can always screw the poor prols a bit harder. Unfortunately those options aren’t open to you old gal. Anyway must pop off now. Dave sends his best and says he really loves the leaping out of cars, the tank riding, the ice hockey stuff. Just wishes he had the balls to do something brave himself, like leading his party rather than doing whatever they tell him. Anyway as I said must dash, we’ve got this awful EU thing that Dave got us into to sort out.”
Well must dash myself now. Hold on the phone’s ringing. It’s the picture ed. What? Are you sure? Well it looks like her to me.