How the left got duped by the SNP on austerity, but will ignore it anyway


9:30 pm - April 20th 2015

by Sunny Hundal    


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What would you rather have: 1) a party that tells you what you want to hear and does something different, or 2) one that tells you straight about what its going to do?

Most people, I suspect, would pick the latter option. Or at least, they would like to think they prefer the second option but they’re easily seduced by the first.

Many of my colleagues on the left have been raving about the SNP for months. Today, when they released their manifesto, it turned out their spending plans and commitments weren’t actually that different to that of Labour

I just feel sorry for those people who had raved about how SNP would challenge austerity, only to find their fiscal plans were largely the same as Labour’s plans.

The Guardian’s George Monbiot put the SNP in the same category as Syriza, Podemos, Sinn Féin, and the Greens. Follow your convictions, he extorted! Ignore those bloody bean-counters and accountants from the Labour party who offer nothing other than limp policies, he added.

Oh. Now it turns out the SNP nicked half their policies and ideas from Labour. As Stephen Bush points out, it feels as if it is the SNP being pulled leftward by Ed Miliband. Ouch!

My friends, this is what happens when you focus on empty rhetoric rather than actual policies and commitments. Monbiot and others had been saying for ages that Labour and Tory austerity was the same until it turned out… that wasn’t true.

THIS is why I keep saying, focus on the actual policies rather than the rhetoric, otherwise later you’ll be left asking why politicians don’t live up to expectations.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy

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Reader comments


1. Helena Brown

Ed Miliband pulling the SNP leftward, hardly. Mr Miliband has to watch his South Eastern Tories to become a leftward leaning politician.
Anyway if we can afford to waste 100 billion on a useless item like Trident we can afford to stop punishing the poor who were not involved in robbing this country.

2. Born Optimist

The SNP may or may not have pinched Labour policies but they certainly implemented some of them when they had the opportunity. Did Labour when in office?

Nope. And that’s one major difference between the two parties.

3. Edward the Bonobo

Well, yes. Agreed that the SNP’s programme is somewhat mild, mild even for many of its supporters.

But to understand why they go for it (and not Labour) requires some understanding of Indyref and post-Indyref politics. The SNP represent the tip of a radical/progressive iceberg. Many are supporting out of convenience because they believe it to be manipulable. Electing the SNP is The Art Of The Possible.

So why reject Labour? Because Labour can never be pulled in the right direction: the electoral logic is that they have to pursue policies that favour the bulk of voters in the SE. They’re not bastards as such – they’re just incapable of representing the priorities of the Scottish people.

Yes well left of Ed Milliband is pretty far left but you are reading this as if it mattered. the point here is to give Labour any excuse to ignore the SNP. Once their feet are under the table they will plunder England for the Scots and Labour will throw money around like confetti as usual.
Manifesto commitments looked at years later are like old girlfriends . Seem important at the time but a couple years later you can hardly recall the name

5. douglas clark

Newmania,

From your perspective Ed is pretty far left. That would include replacement of Trident? That would have already voted for an additional £30bn of austerity cuts?

‘Tis an interesting thing that where you and I stand on the planet are so far apart.

The SNP will vote against Trident. The SNP will vote in favour of reversing the establishments gob smacking inability to tackle tax evasion. The problem, amongst many others that you have, is that you read and believe MSM and sadly the author of this piece gives you grounds.

As it stands, in the polls right now, Labour, a shower of Tammany Hall self serving people, are likely to get decimated – reduced to a tenth – in Scotland.

Sunny Hundal, and a lot of metropolitan commentators have no idea how behind the curve they are on all of this. It, if polls are to be believed, is not so much a sea change as a parting of the seas.

What is scaring both Ed and Dave is the possibility that neither will have an outright majority.

Sunny has always been good on the way Muslims are completely unfairly treated by media. It is something I have agreed with him about for a long time. But having that sort of racist bullshit directed at my vote?

Ian Martin, a repected, spit, commentator had this witty rejoinder to the release of the SNP Manifesto:

“Correction, sorry. SNP Manifesto not being released in Sheffield. It’s actually being released in Nuremburg”

What a tit!

I wil save myself the effort of looking for more racist bullshit from the great and the good. Just read this:

http://wingsoverscotland.com/zoomers-on-stunned/#more-69955

and tell me it is not you lot that has gone bat shit crazy?

‘Tis an interesting thing that where you and I stand on the planet are so far apart.
No it is a boring thing, students and yoofs always posteur with silly opinions , I put it down to a sort of displaced sexual display
Trident – We persuaded Ukraine they didn`t need Nukes and Scotland has no objection to being protected by Nukes on other people`s land . The jobs will be welcome elsewhere but to leave France as the only armed N European power is obviously not sensible
Sunny has always been good on the way Muslims are completely unfairly treated by media. It is something I have agreed with him about for a long time. But having that sort of racist bullshit directed at my vote?
No buffon the racist bullshit is directed at my vote . By retaining 80% of government in Scotland and voting on English law as well my vote is devalued , this is particularly obvious now .Who else do you propose to get second class votes , black people . gays ,poor people, prithee tell twerp?

“Correction, sorry. SNP Manifesto not being released in Sheffield. It’s actually being released in Nuremburg”

It is a Nationalist Socialist Party ….. funny that you don`t see it , do you think Mussolinis supporters voted for him becase he was a manifestation of evil . No it was because he was Nationalist ,left wing and modern, revolutionary …ooo a breath of fresh air. The ability of the Nats to tell lies change sides and cynically use and undermine democratic institutions is predictable

In short Sod off Nazi

7. VictimsFriend

How some others got duped !!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/23/tower-hamlets-mayor-lutfur-rahman-found-guilty-of-electoral

How disturbing politics has become become.

The timing for this has married up with the political season of mass bullshit (Election Campaign). Hopefully this should open a few eyes at such a so called important time before people go out to vote for whatever !

8. douglas clark

Newmania,

What a shit response!

Let’s take it line by line, and we’ll not forget the misses.

“Newmainia, he shoots! He misses!”

Tis an interesting thing that where you and I stand on the planet are so far apart.

No it is a boring thing, students and yoofs always posteur with silly opinions , I put it down to a sort of displaced sexual display.

I am 67 y’know, you are the one revealing your arse for a kicking, but, hey, that’s OK, your sexual display probably makes you loved by more dominant idiots. Your comeback will be along the lines of ageing hippies or summat. You are a Piers Morgan lookalike and I claim my £5.

If you cannot play the ball rather than the man it makes you look extremely weak Newmania, but it was ever so with you lot wasn’t it? You are, extremely, weak.

Moving on to more weakness:

Trident – We persuaded Ukraine they didn`t need Nukes and Scotland has no objection to being protected by Nukes on other people`s land .

Who is this ‘we’ to whom you refer? In relation specifically to the Ukraine? I will be corrected if I am wrong, but it was a multi-lateral agreement between the Ukraine and the Russian Federation, the USA, France and the UK was it not? The Ukraine unilaterally disarmed. I call bullshit.

The jobs will be welcome elsewhere..

Where, exactly are you going to put it? The English, god bless them, are NIMBY in extremis. I doubt most folk in that green and pleasant land will welcome them. Perhaps your good self could start up a local petition to have it on your doorstep? I will be the first person to sign it…

but to leave France as the only armed N European power is obviously not sensible.

Why? Are we about to have Agincourt all over again?

And then the brain dead bit of a Newmania rant:

Let’s split his ridiculous notions into the pathetic bits that they are:

So:

It is a Nationalist Socialist Party

No, it isn’t. It is the Scottish National Party and it embraces anyone that wants to join, even a Frenchman who we elect as an MSP,

I could realistically describe both the Tories and Labour as British National Parties on the flim flam evidence he presents.

and here is the money shot from the rather sad Newmania:

….. funny that you don`t see it , do you think Mussolinis supporters voted for him becase he was a manifestation of evil . No it was because he was Nationalist ,left wing and modern, revolutionary …ooo a breath of fresh air. The ability of the Nats to tell lies change sides and cynically use and undermine democratic institutions is predictable

In short Sod off Nazi

Really?

I don’t think the Nazi’s did too well in Italy. But well done for linking my wish for self determination with all the demons of the last century, all of whom were before I was born. And I am 67 you know….

‘Tis you that use Nazi propoganda techniques and assume that no-one will call you a Nazi in turn. For they explained the greatest lie as a way to win, and you Newmania have swallowed it lock stock and barrel.

So:

In short Sod off Nazi

9. douglas clark

It is sad that Sunny’s name is not on a list of PPC’s. I don’t know what that is about.

Sunny, no-one is being ‘duped’. The rise of the SNP from around 3% to 4% of the vote in pre devolution elections to its current 50+% is to do with the SNP actually listening to people and tackling (or attempting to) to tackle issues that arise in Scotland.

They have snubbed the politics of hate, no-one in the SNP wants to castrate the poor or kick the disabled out of their wheelchairs in a bid to out Tory the Tories. no-one in the SNP would pass for an IDS or Osbourne, nor have we descended to the populist bullshit offered by UKIP.

No, we get on the doorstep of ordinary people and get to the crux of the issues. People in Scotland have the same issues (rightly or wrongly) with regard to benefits, immigration and their impact on livelihoods, waiting times at A&E job security and the like, but we look at the central underlying causes, rather than reactionary finger pointing.

Rather than looking at the lack of affordable housing as an excuse to finger point at the Poles, we have looked at building council housing, for example. Ditto with zero hour contracts or low pay. Sure, we have racists in Scotland too, but the SNP have not simply joined the bandwagon and lit torches and sharpened the pitchforks to appease them, they are smart enough to look beyond the abuse and look at the core of the problem. If you are about to be made redundant, you may want to blame Eastern Europeans, but it is more important that you keep your roof over your head. The SNP understand that in the way that the London Left do not.

The political wonks like to examine every line and every comma in manifestos, looking for the ‘Ah ha’, but most voters don’t. They look at the leader and they look at the party and say ‘are these people I can trust?’. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon are talking about the type of things I am actually thinking about, not what the Daily Mail, or the London elite for that matter, want me to think about.

Had the Left strapped on a pair of balls and tackled the Tories and their mouthpieces on the issues, the actual issues and not shrivelled up at the least provocation, perhaps the Scots would not felt abandoned. I am sick and tired of watching Labour/Left people simply shut up shop and sit calmly when the Tories claim the moral high ground on anything from benefit cheats to who ’caused the deficit’.

You Westminster based people campaigned for the destruction of the post war settlement and you got it. We, in Scotland are not willing to give up our hard won civil society so easily.


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