A guest post by Samuel Miller
Why? What have they done in office that is so much more reprehensible than anyone else? If you had to take political opponents at their word, the current Scottish government have apparently brought the entirety of Scotland’s institutions and services to the brink of catastrophe. Going by the headline and the soundbite, at any minute our entire country is about to collapse from terminal ESSENPEENESS and descend into a screaming chaos of hospital closures, lawlessness, educational carnage and ‘notional’ bottomless debt. You name it, there isn’t an area of government that they haven’t been opposed on or criticized about every day for the past ten years.
In fact the SNP are generally painted by their opposition and the meeja as the evilest baddies in the universe… bar none. A sort of devious mad political offspring of Ming the Merciless and Countess Bathory if you will. It’s all their pure evil single issue divisiveness you see and apparently the idea is we should be afraid of them and what they’ll do next to make our lives even more miserable than they already are. They’re probably also cruel to kittens and steal the wean’s sweeties. Pure dead vile so they are.
Well, I’ve only today looked oot the windae and to my surprise, people are pretty much getting on with their lives and not creeping about in abject terror of imminent Niclamageddon. So let’s get a little perspective on what constitutes irresponsible government shall we?
Well no, not that I can recall either.
That last link by the way? The power to legislate at ministerial level without parliamentary oversight or scrutiny? Think about that people. Think about what it means for your democracy. Think about what it means for your human and civil rights. Think about a couple of decades of Conservative dominance of Westminster politics and then tell me how this creates a fairer, more just, more inclusive, more unified and caring society.
I know I’ve said this before, but in no reality I can imagine would the current Conservative government form a ‘stable and strong’ leadership. What follows a Conservative landslide in an already Conservative controlled austerity/Brexit UK, I believe we want no part of.
As near as I can see, the SNP are no worse in government than anyone else we’ve experienced in our lives, but I reckon they’re a hell of an improvement. They haven’t started any wars, crashed an economy, abused human rights, or wilfully enacted harmful legislation against the poor or the powerless in society. Oh, and they absolutely have NOT used their power, or seemingly limitless access to the mainstream media (sarky), to demonise and alienate major demographics of their population. They are however, human. They make mistakes. They’ll enact legislation that sometimes doesn’t work as billed and some they’ll have to make work. Some will work just fine. The democratic process takes care of real serial failure and intransigence. Ask Labour how that works.
That IS politics.
I’m wondering at this point if people know what government does for a living? More specifically, what responsible government does and should do for a living?
Your Conservative government and the Westminster parliamentary system, believe in top down power. Parliamentary sovereignty and power derived from the crown. In short, the people, the population owe the state their taxes, their loyalty, their lives. The population exists to serve the state and support the power and privilege of the few.
Traditionally and as far as generations of Scots have been concerned for some three hundred years and change, that’s how things are. The many serve the few and the few, when they can be arsed, deign to look after the interests of the many so long as it suits their needs.
In times of what they would see as good management, expansion and plenty (see under empire), the many benefit from the largesse of a contented few. They can afford it after all at this point. In times of bad management, contraction and want, (see under NOW), the dead wood (that would be you mainly) are cut loose and the power and wealth are centralised to protect the lifestyles and power structures to which the few have become accustomed. Heaven forfend that the poor dears suffer in any way shape or form.
The state and the established order is ALL. The people serve the state. No duty of care. No public service. No ‘unity’ or common weal. Simply ‘dae as yer telt’ because… badgers and it’s really for your own good.
Now yer SNP Scottish government, some associated progressive parties across the UK and the wider YES movement in Scotland, have a somewhat different outlook. They believe that the power rests with the people. That parliament derives its direction, its power and mandate from the wants, needs and aspirations of the population. That the government of the day reflects the mandate of its population. Not all of the Holyrood parliament holds this belief of course, but that’s a work in progress.
Essentially though, government should be very, very simple. I happen to believe that the state and the party politician owe the people their service, loyalty, a duty of care and the ability to live with dignity. The basics for all our requirements at point of need. It’s about putting food on our table. Keeping us safe and well. Protecting our inalienable human rights and interests. In exchange we pay taxes to meet those needs and pay our public servants accordingly to administer and manage same. In short, the population are the nation and the nation is its population. Not the state. Not those who exercise power through the state, but the people.
I’m hoping you can see why those reliant on the Westminster system and their hangers on, would want to ‘STOP the SNP’ and indeed any progressive political party at this point. You can also hopefully understand why they’d like to put an end to your engagement in the political process and I’d say it has bugger all to do with the good of the people or vile ESSENPEE badness.
So what’s it to be? It’s up to readers of course, but I know which government model I prefer for our future.