Alex Salmond and the end of English democracy
The SNP are, in many ways, Michael Foot’s old Labour Party of 1983. They're hard Left. One big difference is that the electoral predictions for 2015 mean they could wreak havoc at Westminster, putting Labour in power in return for Salmond's destructive conditions
So Alex Salmond has not gone away. Having lost his referendum on Scottish independence, Mr Salmond now intends to stand for a Westminster seat in the next general election, with every intention of continuing his hard-left campaign to break up the United Kingdom.
Speaking after declaring his candidacy for the SNP nomination in the Gordon constituency, Mr Salmond showed his long-held contempt for Westminster -- by which he appears to mean the English Tories -- by dismissing any possible coalition with the Conservatives.
The English in particular need to take note of what is happening here. The Conservative Party represents much of England, yet the SNP, on principle, will refuse to have anything to do with them. This is SNP nationalism showing its contempt for the English voter.
Even after the referendum rejection of Scottish independence, Alex Salmond and the SNP are still determined to see the break up of the United Kingdom. They intend to exploit a Westminster hung parliament after the next election, a position of power that is quite possible with predictions of the SNP reducing Scottish Labour to five MPs from the 41 MPs they had at the 2010 election.
Mr Salmond has declared his intention to “turn Westminster upside down” -- in other words to make all but Scotland ungovernable, unless Westminster gives him what he wants, which is “devo max” (essentially Scottish independence funded by the rest of the UK) and quite possibly even another referendum.
It’s important to understand the ideology that drives the SNP and Alex Salmond. The SNP are determined to see the end of the UK, not simply for narrow nationalist reasons (although such reasons exist in abundance), but because the SNP is hard left, and as a hard-left party it rejects what it sees as an endemic English Thatcherism.
The SNP are, in many ways, Michael Foot’s old Labour Party of 1983, hilariously the party that had an in-built allergic reaction to political realism.
Like Foot, Alex Salmond rejects nuclear weapons. He has stated that if the SNP hold the balance at Westminster after the next general election he will put Mr Miliband into Downing Street in return for removing Britain’s nuclear deterrent from Scotland.
With such a policy, Salmond and the SNP have placed themselves right back with Michael Foot and CND, the useful idiots of Britain’s and the West’s enemies.
But of course then as now, the argument against the British left’s nuclear disarmament policy is the same: intellectual immaturity and lack of political realism. Our nuclear enemies -- and soon that may well include nuclear-armed mullahs in Iran -- laugh at such political naiveté and are very likely cheering Alex Salmond and his SNP to the rafters.
Nevertheless, Alex Salmond and his nuclear-free Scotland can rest assured. They can continue to enjoy the nuclear protection of Nato while occupying the high moral ground, like their Celtic neighbour the Republic of Ireland, a country that benefits from the Nato nuclear shield while morally condemning it.
On the economic front, Alex Salmond, just like Michael Foot, believes that a high-tax state can deliver a socialist utopia. All that is necessary is Scottish independence, ending forever English Tory rule.
With no Thatcherite Tories, there will be no such thing as capital flight from an independent Scotland. No such thing as unaffordable national debt. No social problems such as glue-sniffing, football violence and food-banks. Businesses will simply pay whatever tax rate is necessary to fund Mr Salmond’s vision of public sector jobs for all.
With the end of English Tory rule, Scotland can finally achieve what perfidious England has always denied them.
And, of course, mixed in with this deliriously simple SNP romantic socialism is the weary old traditional Celtic-fringe Anglophobia, never far away when Celtic nationalism is on the march.
Naturally, the SNP deny being Anglophobic, but as the Glaswegian Andrew Marr put it: “If you go back to the origins of the SNP, the origins of home rule, Anglophobia was as well entrenched then as it is now.” Marr further stated: “There is a very strong anti-English feeling, everybody knows it, there always has been.”
The SNP like to portray themselves as socially progressive and liberal. But when it comes to the English the SNP liberal mask slips and shows a nastier expression, as when SNP nationalists laid siege to Nigel Farage in Edinburgh where he needed police protection.
The English in particular need to know and understand what Alex Salmond represents. Not all Scots support him, but, to underline, enough may support him at the next general election to give him the power to put Ed Miliband into Downing Street on SNP terms.
If such tribal voting were to become entrenched at Westminster, the English may never get the government they want. Instead, a king-making SNP at Westminster would be able to maximise Scotland’s interests while denying the majority English a democratic voice.
The Conservatives might counter SNP influence by striking deals with Ukip, or even with the Northern Irish unionists, but that would likely involve never-ending concessions on spending more and more tax payers’ money to keep the Celtic fringe on side.
Eventually, in such a scenario, it may well be the English who demand the dissolution of the United Kingdom, giving Alex Salmond what he wants.
Vincent Cooper is a regular contributor to The Commentator
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