A new Scottish right of centre party?

Unless I’ve missed something UKIP have decided to ignore the suggestions outlined earlier from those at the Stirling meeting. The result is clear in the latest opinion poll which shows UKIP now have no chance of a Scottish MEP and are heading for a disaster in the Euro election. Given UKIP England’s attitude to Scotland, it now seems UKIP would rather have this defeat than listen to us Scots with the result that what little is left of UKIP in Scotland is likely to fall apart even more.

We have to admit it, UKIP have failed in Scotland, largely because UKIP England did not listen to us in Scotland. That is such a cliche: the age old problem of English politicians trying to foist English policies and English politics onto a very different political & economic situation in Scotland. It has always failed and it will always fail. UKIP are not the first England party to crash and burn in Scotland and no doubt they will not be the last.

But this now leaves me and many other people in Scotland with no party to vote for. Even if the Tories were not the Eton Old boys club they are, having lived in the SE of England, I know their policies are devised by those in the SE of England, for the SE of England and largely at the expense of those everywhere else in the UK. I can only imagine people in Scotland vote Tory, either because they are part of this “Eton Old boy’s club” or through shear desperation they ignore or don’t care about the anti-Scottish economic policies of the Tories.

But that then leaves the most “pro” Scottish-business in party in Scotland as the left-leaning anti-business SNP. There is clearly a huge gap on the right of politics in Scotland which is not being filled by any party in Scotland!

So with the demise of UKIP in Scotland who are those like me to vote for? The only option I can see is to try to fill that gap with a new party. That means finding people interested in a new Scottish right of centre party with aims not too dissimilar to the Scottish-relevant policies of UKIP with a view to putting together a manifesto to form a new party.

But that still leaves a key question: “why has no right of centre party has been successful in the recent past in Scotland?” Unless we have an answer, any right of centre party seems destined to the same fate as the Tories and UKIP.

The answer seems alarmingly simple and obvious after the recent events within UKIP Scotland: the problem with both UKIP and the Tories are that they are both just branch offices of what is in reality an English focussed party with English focussed policies which like the Tories ends up being largely anti business when those policies are applied in a Scottish context to Scottish business.

So, the e solution appears equally simple: a new a totally Scottish right of centre party.

What would that look like? I think the gap in political market in Scotland is generally for a party:

  • Right of centre
  • Scottish (not a branch of an English one)
  • Pro self-reliance and against state nannyism (e.g. appointing state guardians to replace parents).
  • Pro-business, particularly small and medium size businesses (i.e. indigenous rather than multinational).
  • Against the social(ist) policy of the EU but largely in favour of business links with Europe
  • But as these are important in Scotland, supportive of public sector education and healthcare.
  • With a Scottish centred economic policy, not one designed to favour SE England companies. So, far more support for areas where Scotland has done well such as engineering, industry, tourism, free energy markets, etc.

In addition I might also like to add some “nice to haves” but not essential principles:

  • In favour of a simple set of human rights for ORDINARY UK citizens (NOT THE FEW who can either afford it or can get legal aid)
  • BUT …  balanced by human responsibility.
  • Pro liberalising the media and particularly freeing the “state” media of the BBC from its state-nannyist culture.
  • Pro the “countryside” particularly as a tourist industry asset, so e.g. removing the costly, anti-tourist “clutter” of wind turbines.
  • Pro investment in the transport infrastructure of Scotland in order to encourage economic development of remoter areas.

In other words not a UKIP clone because the focus is not an EU independence party. Instead the new party will be above all else a Scottish right of centre, pro-business party. A party which is against the EU, not on principle, but because the EU is a practical failure because of its social, anti-libertarian and anti-business culture.

Scotland within the UK.

One obvious issue which I do not cover above is Scottish independence. This is a difficult issue. In practice as the opinion polls show, Scots are in favour of union, but this is very different from saying they are “unionists” and I think unionist zealotry is another reason why many Scots are put off voting Tory or for UKIP.

Whilst most Scots are proud of their Scottish identity, I don’t think most Scots are too bothered about independence, but neither are we over impressed by the highly inequitable way the Union has been used by the English to favour England and particularly the SE.

We Scots are pragmatic, not principled on Union.

A short aside on the pros/cons of union

There is no doubt in my mind that Scotland would get a huge economic boost from having the key institutions in Scotland. This is not because government is any good with the economy, but because government is so “leeky” in its spending, that any government institution in Scotland would inevitably “leek” to local companies which just happen to boost local economic growth, which just happens to be particularly helpful in nurturing the small and growing business sector which is so important to nurturing future businesses. This is why the SE does so well – not because government is effective, but because the coincidental purchases of government departments are particularly helpful in growing futures businesses.

In other words, the incompetence of the public sector is actually a huge business opportunity which just happens to have a huge knock on effect. However, that incompetence is also a big business drain, and unfortunately, the Scottish government so far seems to be so ignorant of business realities that it is positively harmful to business in Scotland.

But, whilst the actions of the present political parties, media, civil service, etc. suggest Scotland would be an economic disaster if we were given independence now, a party in favour of self-reliance and tending to be against the smothering state nannyism of the EU would be in favour of self-determination and so it would not be against Scottish independence on principle. In practice right now yes! That Scotland might within a few decades be better off as independent country – quite possible.

A pro-business party would be in favour of the economically successful union between England and Scotland for practical reasons and not on principle, however that still leaves the problem that as we all know, the economic benefits of that union have not been equally shared.

So, I would suggest the party view would be:

“not in principle against Scottish self determination, but that at present the benefits of Union with England outweigh the net benefits (less costs) of independence”.

Constitution of UK

Whilst not perhaps a key issue of the party, given the current debate it would be necessary to state some kind of view. I would suggest in favour of devolution – perhaps with a rebalancing so the Scottish Parliament is not just a spending body but also has a responsibility for parts of the economy.

So options would be:

  1. Devolution (but with less MSPs as most are just anti-democratic voting fodder without much to do except party politics)
  2. Devolution + (with more powers particularly encouraging economic responsibility, less MSPs, but perhaps an upper chamber to prevent some of the more stupid policies they tend to think up)
  3. Federalism (which is more a rebalancing of power in England so it has its own parliament)

 

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15 Comments

Filed under Scottish Politics

15 responses to “A new Scottish right of centre party?

  1. I’ve just had the question: “what about immigration?” Shall I be honest and say I forgot … or shall I say immigration is really a problem of EU membership and part of daft “benefits” of being a member of this club of clowns?

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    • Immigration has helped many parts of Scotland, in places you had boarded up shops and full of what could be considered benefit cheaters/neds. People from east Europe buy up the empty properties, move in and turn the areas around. Decade back no business would dare invest in these areas have now turned turned around considerably.

      When you open your borders three kinds of possible people come to this country.

      1) The young/non skilled individuals however they have come here to “work” and more likely to invest or move into areas which are considered “run down”. Most may work in unskilled employment however they are willing to work up in their careers and possibly start businesses. We can see this specially in Edinburgh how parts of the city has considerably improved.

      2) The skilled 40 year old coming here for the money looking to earn £50,000+ a year. They have come to this country due to the skill shortage and companies have had to look further a field for these skilled Individuals. .

      3) Benefit tourism. Sorry, this is a problem with the UK benefit system rather than migrants coming to this country.

      There is no economic research that shows immigration has any major negative effect on the economy, wages or jobs. Most people who come to this country do so to become productive not to work in phony jobs or live on benefits.

      Yes, migration is a major problem in the south east however this has nothing to do with the economy but the effect it has had on culture and “space”

      For me turning parts of Scotland when once full of drugs/neds into a multi-culture vibrant community. The loss of an old culture of drugs/neds is really no loss at all.

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      • My mother put the case for immigration very well: “if it weren’t for immigrants who else would do all the jobs that British people won’t do ” … although I’d add “at a price I would want to pay”.

        That to me is one of the most racist attitudes I know – it is one that is prevalent amongst middle class people and who are the first to label those who want controls on immigration as racists.

        In my experience, those in favour of immigration are usually rich home owners who are only in favour because they personally benefit from rising house prices due to the shortage of houses. In other words entirely selfish and usually the first to complain when their local green space is being bulldozed for housing, new schools, roads etc. in order to cope with the massive influx of people.

        So for me having reasonable controls on immigration is the most socially responsible action to take.

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      • neilfutureboy

        If you look carefully virtually all the arguments that immigration increases gdp claim only that it increases total gdp, not per capita gdp, because the population rises. This is almost inevitable of the immigrants average poorer and less skilled, linguistically and otherwise than the natives (as economic migrants must average). I defer to nobody in my enthusiasm for economic growth but only because it makes the citizens better off – when the increase in growth is lower than the correlating increase in population it is counterproductive for current citizens.

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  2. By Email:

    Dear Sir

    I have been unable to find any substance in your email, or website, on which I can base a comment.

    Regards

    Iain Cumming
    UKIP Glasgow and District

    Like

  3. neilfutureboy

    While the EU poll is disappointing it still puts us ahead of the LibDems let alone Greens and thus far ahead of any potential new party. Having already gone this route with the 9% Growth Party (whose policies I am still proud of) I don’t see this as beneficial. UKIPers are democrats and we have an AGM upcoming. Particularly if the EU result is as poor as the herald suggests it is likely members will vote at it for less London control.

    Remember also that Scotland has what I regard as the immense advantage of a relatively democratic electoral system so that at the next Holyrood election we are likely, even on 6%, to get about 6 MSPs, which is 6 more than free marketists have had up to now.

    Our real problem is that the state funded social fascists have got a lock on government funding and the media but that is not entirely a disadvantage – it means the other parties get to be so lunatic ordinary people can see http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/

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    • Neil, I think the biggest problem faced by UKIP in Scotland was that UKIP is one of the most English-centric parties and that those making the decisions down in England didn’t have a clue what was going on in Scotland. I think the way UKIP Scotland were treated over the EGM was a symptom of their total lack of interest or knowledge of the day-to-day politics in Scotland which, whether or not you agree with them, has very different priorities than covered by the press down in England.

      So, this is nothing about policies directly, it is more that anyone working for UKIP is having to work with their hands tied behind their backs.

      What UKIP needed was the support and money to develop the party infrastructure in Scotland. What UKIP Scotland got was the proverbial cold shoulder followed by a slap in the face and the appointment of an absentee landlord in Bexley Heath.

      And that 6% is a starting position – given the fragile nature of the party I think by the time the other parties have had a go at UKIP in Scotland it could well be half that figure.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The political issues that exists in the south east of England does not exist in Scotland. With the none existent (in scotland) of the BNP the UKIP is going to attract a more of a right wing authoritarian crowd rather than a libertarian one or at least north of the border.

        For example in the south east of England immigration is a major issue however in many parts of Scotland we need more immigration rather than less.

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  4. Robert Grubb

    Your idea is very interesting and I don’t disagree with much of what you say but it would surely be much easier for everyone to simply get behind the Yes campaign and if successful in September we, the Scots, could then determine on our own how we would like to be governed without any outside interference.

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    • That has a odd sort of logic to it … I cannot help thinking that voting yes is the quickest way to exit the EU … it is also the quickest way to run Scotland into the ground economically and bring in a hoard of daft anti-normal people PC laws. The laws can be ignored, but the economic suicide of the Scottish government would likely cause most of my children to have to emigrate from Scotland probably with us not far behind, so we would never get the benefit of being outside the EU!

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      • neilfutureboy

        Yesterday I went to the “Glasgow Skeptic” organised debate on independence (today’s entry on my blog linked). It was not just the Yes speakers but the audience of 400 (admitedly heavily drawn from pseudo-Skeptics) who were (A) heavily against any sort of patriotism, let alone nationalism (B) drawn to separation mainly by the numerous promises of a windmilly socialist state where promises can be made because money comes from air (C) not in any way interested in facts or economic success (indeed somewhat interested in economic decline) (D) definitely not interested in any sort of dissent (one speaker was a Radical Independence fascist).

        Getting behind them to achieve separation and hoping what emerges will have room for us is reminiscent of the Iranian liberals who got behind Khomeni to get rid of the Shah.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Neil, I was not at all impressed by these so called “skeptics” who are so far from being sceptics it is hard for me to express. Scepticism is a philosophy where views are based on an unbiased assessment of the facts. It is in fact what people used to mean by “science”.

    But as you say, these “skeptics” don’t even look at evidence and actively repress views based on their politics rather than what the facts dictate.

    So, I’m not surprised by your list of entirely contradictory and fantasy ideas about independence. There are pros and cons of independence but none of them are those given by these non-skeptics.

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  6. There is a new party in the middle of forming, google “scottish libertarians”.

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  7. Some essential correction is required..(although frankly dealing with the daft delusions of certain self promotionalists currently working to undermine UKIP Scotland is becoming a tad boring). UKIP far from failing in Scotland is gaining ground as in the rest of the UK with the majority of polls showing support at between 10-17% – only 10% is required to secure an MEP in May. Far from ‘what little remains’ UKIP Scotland’s membership is in fact increasing quite literally daily and up 30% since the change of management (for the record only 20 out of over 900 have left since December). The new management team is entirely Scottish and Scottish based with a clear understanding of how ‘modern’ politics works which has resulted in considerably increased media coverage and funding which is essential to getting elected. As for ‘absentee landlords’ that’s a bit rich (pun intended) given the previous ‘Scottish leader’ went missing for a full 2yrs and couldn’t be contaced by his left at home lackies – at least the current Scottish lead MEP candidate is a Glaswegian born and bred living full time in Scotland (or perhaps UKIP would be more appealing to Scots if we continued asking the electorate to doff their caps to an English Laird or his South African and Welsh sidekicks ?). The article also misses the point of UKIP entirely (rather like the former ‘conservative conventionalist’ leadership) we are not the party of the establishment but the insurgency, not the party of priviledge but of the ordinary people, not of the right or the left but of the new cross class politics, our vote lies not only in the suburban semis but also the social housing schemes, not the party of cap doffing elitism and knowing ones place but of meritocracy and aspirationalism – UKIP is rising because it has evolved and Scotland has now fully embraced that evolution. In short the only thing that will stop UKIP returning a Scottish MEP in May is a continuation of silly
    self serving internal factionalism as suggested by those interested only in securing peerages and paychecks at the entirely unofficial Stirling debacle – if we do not have a UKIP MEP on May 22nd the blame will lie squarely at their feet !

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  8. Pingback: A new Scottish Right of Centre party – on hold | Scottish Independent People

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