‘The debate so far shows there’s potential for at least one part of these islands to reject the consensus and seek something better’
There is an excellent article in today’s Guardian here by John Harris.
John Harris gets it:
‘… something very exciting is afoot. In England, the spectacle of mainstream politics frequently suggests a world gone mad: heated debate about whether schools should employ unqualified teachers, varying degrees of nastiness towards immigrants and people on benefits, white men with expensive educations endlessly frothing about “social mobility”. In Scotland, by contrast, within a political culture firmly fixed on the centre-left, the possibility of independence has sparked a snowballing conversation focused on just about every issue that gets picked apart on this site, and a common understanding that politics as practised in SW1 no longer works.’
He quotes Robin McAlpine the director of the Jimmy Reid Foundation, addressing an English audience:
‘The big irony … is that you think this is something to do with identity. But Scotland crossed that bridge ages ago … We’re talking about raising tax and nationalising energy generation. If you fall into the trap of writing us off as ethnicity-based gripers, you will not only miss the best political debate Britain has had in decades, you will play a part in quashing it. Come up, offer your expertise, help us build. If we succeed, finally you’ll have the proof that Thatcher wasn’t right with that ‘there is no alternative’ stuff.’
He is describing classic mistake that those on the Left make, where they blindly wear the clothes of their enemies and betray their stated beliefs. They did it by allying themselves with Islamo-Fascists, as they did it by supporting the Soviet Union of old. Here is a chance to change the paradigm we have had foisted onto us by the Tories and their fellow-travellers on the Neo-Con road, the Liberals, and sadly, the Labour Party:
‘But here’s the crucial point. They and millions of others in Scotland know that 30 years of what some call neoliberalism has done them few favours, and that the current Westminster government – indeed, Westminster politics across the board – is making things worse. For all the complexities of independence, given the chance to forever leave behind the Conservative party and a rotten London establishment by voting for secession, you’d surely forgive them for grabbing it while they can.’