Tuesday, 12 August 2014

My Prediction: Post-Independence SNP

The polls seem to indicate that the Scots will probably reject independence in the referendum. There certainly do seem to be some big problems in the case for an independent Scotland. Nevertheless, I would like to offer some amateur political analysis about post-independence Scotland.

Salmond offers this shining vision of a progressive and egalitarian Scotland, free to spend its oil revenues without restraint and without interference from Westminster. However, not long after independence, the Scottish government is going to realise the realities of economics in a harsh and competitive global economy. They are going to realise that you can't spend more than the economy brings in. All those promises of unlimited spending on welfare, health and education are going to go up in smoke.

Salmond and the Scottish government will realise the need to encourage investment in the rather econmically precarious independent Scotland. They will start promising to trim regulations and corporate taxes, to make Scotland seem cosy for investment.

The Scottish National Party will no longer be the party of progressive spending and will instead be the party of big business and corporations. The SNP will become another neo-liberal party, just like the three in Westminster. Labour will probably switch to being the moderate left-wing opposition. The Conservatives in Scotland will find themselves redundant in the face of a newly neo-liberal Scottish National Party. They may well decided to merge with the new Scottish establishment.

Of course, I can't claim to be an expert in political analysis, so this is just a guess.

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