Let’s be clear. When Michael Settle refers to “Treasury cash flowing to Scotland”, what he’s actually talking about is Scottish tax revenues appropriated by the British state and disbursed according calculations which have absolutely nothing to do with the needs, aspirations and priorities of Scotland’s people. The language does rather more than merely hint at Settle’s British nationalist sympathies.
The attempt to associate this phrase with the SNP is, of course, an example of the sleekitness we’ve grown accustomed to from the British establishment.
Other than this, the entire tone of the article seems to presage support for Michael Gove in the contest to become the next UK Prime Minister. The rather artless emphasis of his status as a “Scot” is telling. But the crucial thing that gives Gove the edge over Theresa May is that he was one of the leading figures in the Leave campaign, while she supported the losing Remain side.
Never mind the fact that the Brexiteers have been shown to be a bunch of lying buffoons, there is something insidiously plausible in the argument that the negotiations on exiting the EU should be led by someone who campaigned for Brexit. Or, to put it more pointedly, that someone who was associated with the Remain effort cannot have credibility when it comes to honouring the Leave decision. It is this which could well provide Gove with all the edge he needs in order to win the leadership contest, so long as he can get through the process of candidates being filtered by Tory MPs who largely favour staying in the EU.
Will those MPs risk the ire of whatever the Tory party has instead of a “rank and file” – not to mention the wrath of England’s Leave-voting majority – by dismissing Gove, who may well be the preferred candidate among the party membership and that part of the English electorate which is susceptible to the populist allure of Ukip?
Could we be heading for a situation in which the Tories mirror the mess that British Labour has got itself into, with a leader who enjoys the support of ordinary members while being openly opposed by MPs?
More to the point, does Scotland want to continue to be bound to a British state which is in such a state of ongoing crisis? Even if the political and constitutional shambles triggered by the EU referendum is eventually resolved, how much damage will have been done to Scotland in the interim?
And how likely is it that the the British state which emerges from the current maelstrom will be something that Scotland can live with?Views: 2683
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