Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Tory MP John Redwood throws a devastating body blow accusing the SNP of being 'anti-English', Salmond put on the back foot, as racist tag is levelled
John Redwood is a former Tory Minister who has pretty outspoken views.
He says that the Scottish independence movement is anti-English.
He also alleges that the SNP is bent on fostering English nationalism to secure the break-up of the UK.
When people think of English nationalist, some immediately think of BNP, although the BNP shout about Britishness, they really are talking abvout English values and traditions.
But they would rather Scotland stayed in the union.
John Redwood's remarks have drawn a furious response from First Minister Alex Salmond.
Mr. Salmond has described them as "spectacularly ill-informed and ill-judged".
Redwood however does articluate a widely held view that English nationalism was now the "new force in UK politics".
What does English nationalism mean for Scotland?
In a word, less!
On the issue of devo max, he makes a valid point that if Scotland gets it then England should have its own version.
The problem with the devo max option is that it requires a bill going through Westminster and voted through by English MPs.
English MPs will decide what devo max is, not Alex Salmond, the Scottish Government or the Scottish Parliament.
In this case the tail will definitely not be wagging the dog.
Which brings us to devo plus; the devo max lite that allows Westminster to say they are standing up for Scotland by delivering for it.
If independence fails, then it will be the unionists claiming all the credit for Scotland’s new powers.
The SNP majority at Holyrood will be meaningless in the Westminster village, and it is doubtful if Westminster will allow SNP MPs to be part of devo plus committee discussions.
Writing in his blog, Redwood says that the SNP "enjoys using the EU against England".
"It all helps to antagonise the England they wish to leave in a way, which might help the change they want".
One big hurdle which the SNP cannot answer is what currency will be in play post independence, they have a preference for Sterling but they stand in the shadow of the Euro.
Redwood says that one of the ironies of the independence movement was it wanting to transfer ‘ownership’ of the "dependence movement” from Scotland to Brussels direct control.
He added: "It is an anti-English movement more than it is an independence movement."
The sting in Redwood’s tail is that although he is happy that indy is a matter for the Scots, it should be understood that, should they decide to stay in the Union, there must be a new deal for England.
If that is the case, then the view in Scotland will be to return Scottish Labour MPs on mass to Westminster by the public.
The SNP isn’t seen as credible when it comes to Westminster, in 2010, Alex Salmond predicted a block of 20 SNP MPs returning to Westminster.
The original six went back and they lost the Glasgow East seat which was won in a by-election.
They lost that by thousands as people went back to Scottish Labour.
A spokesman for Mr Salmond said:
"These are spectacularly ill-informed and ill-judged comments, which are plain wrong."
He said Scots independence would be good for Scotland and England, creating a new relationship of equality and friendship.
"That is the positive message the First Minister has taken to people in England in a series of speeches, which have received an extremely enthusiastic response."
What a great pity that Alex Salmond cannot bring equality, fairness and social justice in his own party.
He is saying the all the right words but the deeds of his own party say something else.
As a Labour supporter said to me a while ago regarding the SNP, why would anyone believe that the Scottish National Party can deliver democracy for Scotland when they cannot deliver it within their own party?
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University