Saturday, October 17, 2015

SNP Economic insanity

The SNP are brilliant at political positioning and utterly daft in many of the policies, particularly the economic ones, they support.

This graph indicates why their wish to break ties with the UK, but remain part of the EU, is so completely inconsistent.

 Their entire raison d'etre is to leave the UK, when the rest of the UK buys more than £46 billion a year from Scotland - more than 62% of exports from Scotland. Yet they are afraid of "deeply damaging consequences" if Britain leaves the EU, which buys £12.9 billion of Scottish goods and services annually, 17.4% of Scottish exports.

Of course, you cannot make a rational assessment of whether either will have a good or a bad economic impact thing unless you have a clear idea how the terms of trade compare when you're in or out. I'm not convinced that was clearly articulated for last year's Scottish referendum and it most certainly has not been done yet by either side in the forthcoming EU membership referendum.

But it makes no sense whatsoever to be deeply worried about £12.9 billion of trade and completely blas√© about £46.175 billion.

There is an interesting point about the difference between SNP words and actions in today's telegraph parliamentary sketch by Michael Deacon.

I will be coming back to the issue of tax credits to which Michael Deacon alludes, as I regard tax credits as one of the most serious of the poison pills left by Gordon Brown - people who are working hard and doing the right thing and who ought to be independent are being made clients of the government, which is taking money off them and then making them dependent on the money the state hands back - we need to be getting more people completely independent so the state is not interfering with them at all.

But he makes the following interesting point about the way the SNP, who are as brilliant at PR as they are rubbish at governing Scotland, exploit the difference between Scots' self image and the reality.

"Are the Scots really more Left-wing than the English?

"The SNP are clever. Clever at selling themselves, anyway. Because they’ve recognised a subtle truth. Many Scottish voters like to think of themselves as more Left-wing than they actually are.

"This week a polling firm asked Scots whether they’d be willing to pay higher income tax to fund an increase in benefits. Nearly 60 per cent said no. Yet Scottish political discourse is dominated by bitter opposition to the Tories – as in, the number one party for people who don’t want to pay higher income tax to fund an increase in benefits.

'Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box' – a recent book of political essays edited by Philip Cowley and Rob Ford – contains a fascinating chapter on Scottish political identity. Researchers found that Scots “are significantly more likely to report themselves as Left-wing than other Britons”. Yet when asked for their views on individual issues such as welfare and the role of the state, their answers are scarcely more to the Left than English people’s are.

"The SNP get it. Which is why they talk like a Left-wing party – but rarely act like one."

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