When No Means Yes
As the Unionist parties begin to complete their attempts to persuade you that by voting No, you will get Yes (reminiscent of the Vote Blue Go Green?) we’ll be publishing a series of stark reminders about why this is an exercise in hoax politics.
These are the parties who opposed devolution, who opposed a referendum, who told you in 1979 there would be more powers, and who have spent the last year telling you that not only does your country and your culture not exist, but you are incapable of running it.
The Tories opposed devolution right through the 1990s, and during the devolution referendum in 1997; and Ruth Davidson campaigned against more devolution when she fought for the party leadership in late 2011. During the leadership race, she said the new Scotland Act was “a line in the sand” and insisted she would oppose any further devolution. Labour’s bizarre pick and mix politics revealed today is such a pigsty it shows they have never really recovered from their ‘Bring It On’ fiasco. As our friend Mr Bateman puts it (‘Is that it?’):
Welfare is what Labour voters would liked to see in the hands of the Scots but that has been cherry-picked to include the bedroom tax which as been effectively neutralised anyway. Leaving almost the full range of benefits in the hands of the Tories is a vote-loser. Corporation tax would have been a logical adjustment – it’s already mainstream as an idea in Northern Ireland – but Labour’s timidity in differentiating Scotland gives the game away…they are resolutely British first. The same applied to air passenger duty. It’s a no-brainer for developing tourism, one of our biggest industries. So it would create an anomaly in the UK but aren’t anachronisms what the Union is all about? This is low level stuff in terms of the UK economy and in terms of the debate – it’s like control of air guns – but still they flunked it. This is a package defined by what it doesn’t offer rather than what it does. Not only does this miss the target, it wont even be part of a united Unionist package before the referendum, adding to the sense of confusion and lack of commitment they offer. I am a relieved man today.