Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon says indy must be positive campaign so why aren’t the SNP willing to protect 19,000 jobs at Faslane, grudge, grievance and malcontent in SNP turns off voters voting indy

Dear All

It appears with each passing day, even to people who aren’t particularly politically minded that the independence campaign in the way it is being run is so incompetent and lacking that any meaningful discussion is one sided and therefore pointless.

Awhile ago, I popped into the BBC Big Debate, at that debate I was lucky enough to be picked by Isobel Fraser to speak, so I made a statement.

In a nutshell I said that the SNP had to be a member of NATO and also the SNP had to back Faslane continuing as a nuclear base. After that programme on Newsnet Scotland website, I was subject to abuse and smears. When I posted on the site only then did the smears come down, along with my post.

The SNP later went on to change policy and back NATO, the right policy which I always believed was wrong for the SNP to adopt.

My stance on the issue put forward ideas that would secure Scotland’s independence, neutralise any anti opinions coming from the US and protect jobs. Just as the big picture is important so is the small one, people’s jobs matter.

Now, by not following George Laird radical thinking, we have fears raised that more than 19,000 jobs dependent on Scotland retaining a nuclear deterrent will be lost if voters back independence in next year's referendum.

19,000 jobs!

The UK Government says that a Yes vote would result in the relocation of the entire submarine facility.

Faslane is currently Scotland's largest employment site.

It is said that 6700 direct jobs are at Faslane along with a further 1500 posts which are to be created by a centre of excellence in 2022. The Labour Party estimate that a further 11,000 people are also indirectly reliant on the base for their livelihoods.

Faslane is the right place to base the submarine fleet, and Scots would be foolish to give up on this facility because of some outdated notions of nuclear disbarment, the nuclear genie cannot be un-invented.

That’s the world we live in, a nuclear world with nuclear threats!

The UK Government recognizes Faslane as the best place for the fleet with £3.5 billion being spent preparing for the new generation of Vanguard submarines. Faslane is so much the golden goose for Scots in so many ways.

As well as the submarine fleet, it also provides a harbor for minesweepers and training facilities, it is one of the best naval bases in Britain.

The SNP Government has made clear that if voters chose independence next year, then Britain's nuclear deterrent would be removed from Scotland.

And the polls reflect that backward thinking by giving Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon a resounding No to independence.

If Salmond wants indy then the SNP need to go back again and have the argument over Faslane, the SNP isn’t the CND Party by proxy.

Labour's Ian Davidson, the Scottish Home Affairs Committee chairman said:

"Come the referendum, Scotland is now faced with a quite clear choice between 6000 jobs rising to 8000 being based at Faslane or the entire submarine force being removed. The burden of proof now passes to the SNP to explain how they will fill this huge gap."

Jim Murphy, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said:

"This would be a fatal blow to Faslane and thousands of jobs throughout the west of Scotland. The Clyde is becoming the UK's submarine centre and emerging as a world leader. This revelation means that if the SNP got their way, not only would there be no Royal Navy shipbuilding on the Clyde, there wouldn't be a single sub based in our waters."

Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster says that Faslane had a bright future as the base for Scotland's conventional naval forces.

Maybe Mr. Robertson has seen their website as well! As for what that bright future will be, Mr. Robertson cannot give details, however it will be ‘bright’, his evidence is because he says so, so there……!

Robertson added:

"One of the biggest benefits of an independent Scotland will be the ability to remove Trident from the Clyde. Scottish public opinion and a majority of the members of Scotland's Parliament are strongly opposed to nuclear weapons being based in Scotland and only a Yes vote in 2014 can guarantee Trident's removal”.

Nuclear disarmament is periodically used at elections by many parties, but it doesn’t sell with the public. They might not want to know the nuts and bolts of defence of the realm but they want to know matters are taken care of and we are not run by a bunch of cranks.

So, another story of the SNP Govt failing to stand up for working class Scots again, another story that Alex Salmond cannot be trusted with the defence of Scotland.

For independence, its pro NATO and pro Faslane, George Laird is always right, sadly yesterday’s man Alex Salmond is still trying to catch up.

And it shows in poll after poll after poll.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University  

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