Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oi, SNP, leave Scotland's saltire alone - it isn't your's!

One thing I really can't stand, as I've said many times before, is when politics, flags and patriotism get mixed up. I don't care who does it, but any party wrapping themselves in a flag and claiming it for themselves just brings me out in hives.

So you can imagine that I started foaming at hte mouth this afternoon when I read this from the SNP's official Twitter feed:

Alex Salmond closes conference - lets get a saltire over the constituencies of Scotland#snpconf#snp

The Scottish saltire is for everybody, for all Scots, regardless of age, religion, gender, political affiliation or anything else. It's one of those national emblems that we can all identify with, and which makes us smile when we see it. Loving Scotland is not the sole preserve of the SNP and it's hideously arrogant of them to imply that it is.

Apart from that, the SNP really have lost their way at their Conference in Aviemore this weekend. Even Jeff knows that Alex Salmond is in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that the Scottish Government can avoid some sort of spending cuts in the years to come. If we have to tighten our belts in our own homes, I don't see why the Scottish Government can't. What's important is that the services needed by those on the lowest incomes are preserved and improved - that's the fairness that voting Liberal Democrat will bring you.

Nicola Sturgeon had to look back to the previous Lib Dem/Labour coalition to find what she called "one of the proudest achievements of the Scotish Parliament" - free personal care. The reason we have that is absolutely nothing to do with the SNP. In fact, Labour on its own would never have implented it either. The reason Scotland is way ahead on this is squarely down to the Liberal Democrats.

She launched her big idea, too - universal health checks for the over 40s. Well, don't we already have these in most surgeries. Certainly mine has people fighting over you to take your blood pressure and check you out. My husband's been hauled in several times for various checks and screenings.

Is that it?

It's unusual to see a Government run so spectacularly out of steam barely 75% of the way through its first term. If that's the best they can come up with for their achievements and future plans, then the sooner they're out of office the better.


cynicalHighlander said...

Since the SNP stand up for Scotland they have every right to use the National flag as the other parties only use it for their own politcal gain as their flag is the one of union.

All politicians are out of touch with the reality of where the UK/World economy is going and until some common sense is brought into politics then we as punters will be the losers.

Sadly the Lib Dems lost there federal approach a long time ago and are trying to compete in a contest where they have no hope of winning but feel that they just have to go with the flow.

Anonymous said...

I suspect your anger is more to do with the fact that the people of Scotland identify the Saltire with the SNP rather than your own party.

Nothing stopping you guys (or anybody else using the Saltire at your UK/Federal/'National' conferences in the same way but perhaps that wouldn't describe your aspirations all that well.

The bottom line is that the SNP is distinctively Scottish and therefore its use of distinctively Scottish icons works for it in a way that it can't for others.

If you prefer to belong to a party that is not distinctively Scottish then you just have to get over this, I'm afraid.

Hythlodaeus said...

The thing about the saltire, is that it's just a flag. Two lines and bit of blue.

I own a saltire. For a good few months in 2009, it provided a lining for my cat's basket (admittedly because the cat knocked it in there itself, not because I put it there). If it's not above being used as bedding, being sold to millions of tourists, burnt, graffitied and otherwise used in any way people see fit, then it's not above politics.

I'm actually quite surprised that the Lib Dems don't use it. It would help to provide a distinct visual divide between the Westminster Party and the Holyrood Party (and going by policy and stances, such a policy divide does exist - Scott & co are much more left-wing then Clegg).
Using it in campaign material for you guys would probably be a vote winner as well since it would help to reinforce the idea of the Scottish part of the Party (which I'm sure many voters are unaware of).

The only people who really have a problem are Labour - the saltire crashes terribly with their colours and the Lion Rampant just looks a bit silly used in the same context.

You should be taking heart that the SNP wants to continue supporting personal care. It would be an easy policy to drop for a load of money given that it doesn't actually poll as being that popular with the majority of voters. It's the sort of issue where SNP and the Lib Dems really do have a lot of potential to work together on.

The Government isn't out of steam yet, but with two elections in 12 months, it does have to be careful. Afterall, everything it does can be pinned up as 'electioneering'.
Of course, the minority government aspect does cause problems as well. If this was a Labour or Lib Dem minority government - they'd be in pretty much the same place if they'd been faced with similar levels of cooperation in the Parliament. The problem with blazing trails however, is that you are the ones remembered for it.


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