Monday, December 05, 2011

Fairy lights for independence!

You've got to love the SNP. And I actually do, even if they annoy the hell out of me most of the time.

I have my passions in life. If you're a regular reader, you'll know that Strictly, F1 and Doctor Who occupy a significant proportion of my waking thoughts. On things that actually matter, children, housing, poverty, freedom, equal marriage and LGBT equality drive my political thinking.

Now, I know that an overwhelming support for independence is hardwired into the DNA of every SNP supporter. That's what you would expect. I do find it just faintly ridiculous, though, when they bring it into completely unrelated issues.

Take yesterday, for example, and the arrival of the pandas from China.Most of us went "awwww", some of us grumbled about human rights and pandering to the Chinese, but Angus MacNeil, SNP MP for the Western Isles, took it just a step further.



From what I gather about these cute and cuddly creatures, they can't even find the enthusiasm to procreate. As long as they have bamboo, they don't much care where they are. In fact, if they actually cared much about independence, they might have started with campaigning for a free Tibet.  Seriously, though, Mr MacNeil's tweet wasn't just a one off. When challenged, he just kept digging.

Oh dear.

Well, apart from anything else, the irony of this is that there's been a lot of leg work by the UK Government to get them here in the first place. I'm not sure whether an independent Scotland would quite figure at the same level within the international community as the UK of which it is currently a part, shall we say.

And so the #pandasforindependence banter continued.

If that had been an isolated incident of SNP people dragging unrelated things into independence, I might have let it pass, but there was the curious tale of Mo Bros for Independence in November. Now, I really hope they did well and raised bucketloads of cash for Prostate Cancer research and support but what on earth had their efforts to do with independence?

We all know that the SNP are trying to paint a picture of an independent Scotland where nothing bad ever happens just cos we're independent. Bunnikins will be fluffity, the sun will shine and chocolate will be plentiful, if you listen to them. The realities of day to day life are never discussed. Frankly, I prefer to have a bit of detail with my optimism. And detail is not the SNP's strong point.

So it made me wonder, what else could they link to independence?  Might they say that the soil would be more fertile in an independent Scotland so potatoes would grow better? Have a "Let's drink beer (at the minimum unit price) for independence?" campaign? When you decorate your home with fairy lights this Christmas, do it for independence, why not? The possibilities are endless.

Sometimes, the SNP just tries too hard to manoeuvre independence into every conversation. And before you all you lovely cybernats come back at me with the "£500 will secure an independence vote", just remember that the SNP is a million miles from proving that independence will make us better off. That poll shows primarily that people are concerned with the realities of their everyday life, not some mystical constitutional state.

27 comments:

Don McC said...

Oh dear, usual lib dem nonsense - "we're too poor, too wee, too stupid" to figure on the world stage.

If it's not Willie Rennie claiming our research labs rely on charity from England, it's other lib dems claiming nobody in the world would know who we were without England bigging us up.

An Duine Gruamach said...

You don't think it could have been a joke, no?

George W. Potter said...

@Don McC

Shocking as this may seem to you, Caron's a Scot. And there are plenty of Scots (approximately half the population) who aren't convinced that independence would be best for Scotland.

So, here's an idea: instead of insulting and disparaging them for daring to disagree with SNP dogma, how about you actually engage with them in a reasoned debate? Or is insulting people the best intellectual effort you can handle?

Dubbieside said...

OK George, so, heres an idea.

Tell us why the union is so good, and why we are better ruled from London by torys and their Lib Dem poodles, than by Scots in Scotland.

Once you outline the benefits then maybe we can have a debate.

P.S. Do you and Caron think that the Scots should follow the English NHS changes that the Lib Dems in the cabinet wholeheartedly support.

Munguin said...

Caron: far be it from you to let a chance to have a (very) cheap dig at the SNP pass by. I imagine that the Pandas are in actual fact unionists and Scottish Lib Dems to boot, god knows you are both on the endangered list due to natural habitat destruction.

Munguin said...

As for all things being bunnies and chocolate rivers in an independent Scotland. Well let’s look around and see just how rosy things are here in the Union. We are broke thanks to the vagaries of government controlled from London. So the bunnies are all dead and the river is deep in some other brown thing that is most certainly not chocolate.

Munguin said...

It’s quite ludicrous to suggest that we could have a debate here. The original post is clearly a cheap shot at the SNP linking everything into independence. How is that a good premise for starting a debate? If you can puff what is clearly a joke into some sort of anti-SNP diatribe it is hardly surprising that you get the same sort of cheap shots back. A serious discussion would surely require a serious starting point and when Caron does that and does not fall into the usual bad habits of simply issuing a cheap broadside at the SNP or at independence (or in this case both) then we will all be more than happy to engage with her in a serious debate.

Don McC said...

George, much as it might shatter your world view, taking humbrage at the assertion that Scots are "too wee, too poor, too stupid" has nothing to do with independence or "SNP dogma" and everything to do with no taking such insults lying down.

You might be content to settle for second class, many Scots aren't.

cynicalHighlander said...

Survey suggests constitutional gulf widening between Unionist parties and voters

Which of the following comes closest to your view about who should decide the level of taxation and government spending in Scotland

The Scottish Parliament alone 51% (+15)
The Scottish and UK Government 35% (-4)
The UK Government alone 11% (-12)


But don't fret as the FM is speaking to the Chinese to see if they are willing to set up an area for an endangered species in Scotland and I believe somewhere next to the Yellow river might be more homely for them.:)

Dubbieside said...

Cynical

At the moment we have more Pandas than tory MPs.

After the next general election we will have more Pandas than the combined total of tory and their Lib Dem poodles MPs.

You would need a heart of stone not to laugh.

Mind you what the torys ably supported by their poodles are doing to benefit claimants and NHS patients is no laughing matter. All because Glegg wanted to be important.

Munguin said...

Now that this post has been up for a day we can clearly see the other element necessary for a debate is missing. That being any sort of engagement by the author. I once pointed out to Caron that, in my opinion, it was bad manners to invite someone to read a submission of yours and take the time to compose a comment, only for the author to blithely ignore those comments, good or bad. I was tritely informed that she had a “life”, implying, of course, that us cybernats did not! It now seems that that “life” mostly involves watching Dr Who and Strictly, while totally ignoring even her most positive comments. If you have the time to have a swipe at the SNP you should make the time to respond to those who wish to challenge you and at least thank those who wish to support you. Otherwise, I’m afraid it looks to all the world like what it is a nasty, cheap jibe with no substance that had never any intention of giving Mr Potter his debate. In addition it makes Mr Potter’s staunch, white knight to the rescue, defence of you look very foolish indeed.

Caron said...

It might have escaped your notice, but there hasn't been any Doctor Who, Strictly or F1 on. Not that I have to account for my movements to you, but collapsing on the sofa feeling pretty crap and then spending a sleepless night coughing has been pretty much how my last 24 hours has gone - in amongst looking after 3 kids, Christmas shopping, doing minutes of meetings, cooking dinner, sorting out various school admin stuff and getting ready for my Dad's birthday which is today.

This is the first time I've been at my laptop for any period since yesterday afternoon. If that isn't quick enough for you, well, frankly, tough.

Caron said...

Don McC I never said we were too small, too poor or too stupid. You are putting words into my mouth that I would never say. It was the UK Government, who did a lot of the legwork, working together with the Scottish Government for a long time, which secured the deal to bring the pandas here. The UK is still a fairly major player in terms of world economies, though - and that helps us achieve more internationally. Scotland is more than capable of being independent - I just think we have the best of both worlds if we have more powers as part of a different UK.

ADG, I hope it wasn't entirely serious, put it that way.

Actually, Dubbieside, it makes sense to do some stuff as an island - foreign affairs and defence and the like. I'm quite happy to see many more powers decided here, but I think that there is a place for us all to be part of a federal UK - there are loads of opportunities for Scots within the UK - we enrich the union and we get from it, too.

I actually think PR for Westminster is the answer to the Tory Govt idea - at Westminster we didn't get the Government we asked for in 2010 (nor in any other election to be honest). There should be around 140 Lib Dem MPs to around 240 Tories rather than 57 to 307. We already punch well above our weight in that coalition - and, if we'd had more MPs may well have had a realistic choice of a left of centre coalition last year. We didn't go into the coalition for our own electoral self interest, clearly - but cos the country needed a stable government. Sometimes you just have to step up and get on with it.

Munguin, you have correctly deduced that this my tongue was wedged in my cheek when writing that. A little bit of gentle fun never did anyone any harm. Maybe you might like to persuade your leader to answer the question that's put to him, not use any excuse to attack or blame others. Just a suggestion.

Dubbieside said...

Ok
Caron thank you for part of a reply.

Could you please explain the benefit to Scotland of a joint defence agreement that still allows nuclear weapons of mass destruction being sited on the Clyde?

What benefit has Scotland gained from the colonial governor visiting Brazil? Why do we need a second rate politician like Moore trying to look important when we have a real politician in China getting real benefits for Scotland.

You did not answer the point about whether you think that Scotland should follow the changes to welfare and the NHS in England that the Lib Dems so wholeheartedly support.

Dubbieside said...

Caron

I meant to add, I was puzzled by this bit of your reply,

there are loads of opportunities for Scots within the UK - we enrich the union and we get from it, too.

I hear this all the time from unionists, we get all these warm words but no substance. Just what exactly do "we get from it to"

Caron said...

Dubbieside, that trade delegation to Brazil brought in an initial £3 million for Scots businesses and there will doubtless be more. That's real jobs and money in people's pockets. Not a bad thing.

I abhor all weapons of mass destruction and want them off this island completely. I don't suddenly sleep easy if they move to Cumbria.

And re the NHS in England, no, I don't much care for the changes. However, I don't think they signify anything like the end of the world. I also think the NHS is desperately in need of some major culture change. Its principles must be preserved, but the way it delivers its services could be much more people rather than process centred. I had a friend in hospital last week who was in agony for hours and hours and something was only done to help her because her family strongly advocated on her behalf.This wasn't in Scotland, by the way, although I think it could happen here. What breaks my heart is the thought of those people who don't have families to stick up for them.

Munguin said...

In all fairness Caron it was you that brought Strictly and Dr Who up not me, see paragraph two of your item.
Far be for me to presume to tell you how to run your blog. But comments seem to be approved in tranches through the day yesterday, which would seem to suggest that, someone was approving them. Maybe not you though, or maybe just a ghost in the machine and this morning at 9am is indeed the earliest you have been able to look at things.
As for the rest of it. Do you not think that cybernats have colds or do Christmas shopping, or have parents with birthdays? That is after all “life”. Either an SNP bashing blog is part of your life or its not! And if it is and a debate is what you want maybe a prompt response to comments might be more efficatious.

Caron said...

Ok, let me tell you how I approve comments. I have my phone with me and I check my e-mail regularly - partly because I got so much grief from you and Cynical Highlander for not publishing comments quickly enough. It's very easy to have a quick read and press publish while in the queue at the supermarket, or the school playground, or wherever I happen to be at the time. These locations are not quite so conducive to thinking out a response.

And I love the way you tell me it's not for you to presume to tell me how to run my blog and then you do exactly that:-).

Caron said...

Ok, let me tell you how I approve comments. I have my phone with me and I check my e-mail regularly - partly because I got so much grief from you and Cynical Highlander for not publishing comments quickly enough. It's very easy to have a quick read and press publish while in the queue at the supermarket, or the school playground, or wherever I happen to be at the time. These locations are not quite so conducive to thinking out a response.

And I love the way you tell me it's not for you to presume to tell me how to run my blog and then you do exactly that:-).

Dubbieside said...

Caron

£3 billion from Brazil! and Moore never arranged a press conference with the BBC to shout about this!

What businesses will benefit? what peoples pockets? More spin when what we need is more substance.

Where exactly in Cumbria are the Nuk Subs going to be based? when will the base be built? When will they be moved? At the moment the Lib Dem default position is better in Scotland than any place else.

You still have not told me if you think that Scots should support the welfare and NHS changes that the Lib Dems wholeheartedly support at Westminster.

Do Willie Rennie and the Scottish Lib Dems support the welfare and NHS changes in England?

Munguin said...

Caron: you are making me feel terrible..the thought of you in the queue at Morrisons with 3 kids in tow, struggling to ok comments because CH and I have brow beat you into it! And now I'm doing it again...sorry!

I do hope you feel better soon and that its a quick cold thats all gone in time for Christmas. And wish your dad all the very best form all at cybernattery!!

cynicalHighlander said...

The UK is still a fairly major player in terms of world economies, though - and that helps us achieve more internationally.

At whose expense eh Caron?

New UK climate finance package ‘will push up developing countries’ debt’

Fluffy, fluffy talk from Lib Dems as they do their masters bidding.

Don McC said...

" I'm not sure whether an independent Scotland would quite figure at the same level within the international community as the UK of which it is currently a part, shall we say."

Carol, the insinuation is obvious, despite your protestations. As was the insinuation of Rennie's claims about our research labs. The usual "too wee, too poor, too stupid" jibe.

Caron said...

But what's wrong with being part of a nation that already has that level of international influence?

And Willie was simply stating that the sources of funding from UK sources would not necessarily be available in an independent Scotland. He is right to point out what Scotland would lose by leaving the union.

Don McC said...

No, Willie's claim was that our research labs, far from being world class and receiving funding based on merit, rely on charity from the rest of the UK.

Because he, like the rest of the lib dums, believes we're "too wee, too poor, too stupid" to stand on our own two feet.

Caron said...

You are putting words into his mouth that he simply didn't say, Don.

The only people inferring stupidity on our nation is yourself. What Willie said is that we could lose £210 million of UK funding because the SNP can't guarantee that it would continue after independence. It's a gap we'd have to make up ourselves. How do you propose that's done? It's a lot of money to lose.

cynicalHighlander said...

PRESENTING: The Rosetta Stone Of The Entire Sovereign Debt Crisis

In short, the UK has one of the most detestable economies you can imagine.

It's got no resources, it's incredibly service-based, and oh yeah, it keeps missing its deficit targets.


So where is that £210 million coming UK debt or Scotland's oil?

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