It was the document that was supposed to kickstart a dead horse, it was the document which was supposed to give the SNP a springboard towards independence, it was a document which was supposed to unite all under one banner.
And crucially it was the document which was supposed to save Nicola Sturgeon’s dying career and artificially made popularity.
The SNP Growth Commission report has seen Nicola Sturgeon firmly on the backfoot as she is forced to mount a fresh defence of her party’s controversial blueprint for independence, having failed to entice Scots to support independence with a an agenda geared up to the left, the new blueprint is an agenda for the right.
This document has received growing criticism from the Left of the Yes movement, the people who carried the load the last from 2012 to 2014, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP has betrayed them.
So, where does the Left of the Yes movement go now?
Do, they go out on the streets with the SNP, do they take orders in a new SNP controlled Yes Scotland, how does the SNP get a new coalition of the damned to worked together. In the world of the internet, Nicola Sturgeon used a series of tweets to reassure supporters that an independent Scotland wouldn’t mean continued austerity.
Only the really stupid, the incredibly thick would buy that, independent Scotland means austerity max, huge cuts to public services, job losses and the crippling of public services like the NHS. Despite the SNP saying they support the NHS, independence would mean an end to the NHS which I suspect the SNP would replace with a private health care system.
I don’t trust Nicola Sturgeon to protect the NHS; their current troubles can be traced back to her tenure as Health Secretary.
I read somewhere that it could take 67 years for an independent Scotland to get on its feet economically to rank alongside the best small countries. Sturgeon says the worst case scenario is of a decade of tight public spending to halve the deficit and that would be better than sticking with Westminster. Sturgeon’s claim that the Growth Commission would help win the argument for independence is fantasy, it really is. This is hope over reality, and people live with reality on a daily basis.
The report has been ridiculed already in the press, and by commentators for what it is, a cut and paste job selling the same worn out and defeated arguments, rehash of 2014 which is as unpalatable now as it was when this rubbish was called the ‘White Paper’. Sensing an opportunity, Scottish Conservatives took the time to comment on how rattled Nicola Sturgeon is and remarked how her intervention was “visibly desperate”.
The SNP are a party of protest, they are not a party of government, let that sink in and all that it means.
The 354-page document has been widely criticised on the Left of the Yes movement, with attacks from the Common Weal thinktank and former SNP MP George Kerevan, others equally unhappy are commentators Mike Small and Iain Macwhirter.
After all how do you stick a smile on your face and try and sell austerity max on a doorstep to the core independence vote which is working class, how do you sell prioritising deficit reduction over public spending?
How do you sell cuts to benefits?
How do you sell a plan to use the pound leaving Scotland tied to UK monetary policy?
How do you sell the pound will be dumped in favour of a temp Scottish currency when you refuse to talk or acknowledge that is what you need to do to join the EU?
How do you sell the lie that the SNP don’t want EU membership when they are campaigning at present to remain in the EU now?
Colin Fox, the former Scottish Socialist MSP, said his party would boycott any future independence campaign that put the Growth Commission at its centre? He said the Commission offers nothing to the working class voters essential for a Yes vote. Fox is right, the SNP aren’t interested in the needs of working class voters, they are just a vehicle to get them elected, and in return the Nats give them a fee gimmick policies.
New gimmicks are free tampons and baby boxes, such is the SNP vision.
Mr Fox added:
“It risks driving hundreds of thousands of former Yes voters into the hands of Jeremy Corbyn.”
I don’t see that being the case, what Scotland needs is new parties to reform and refresh our democracy, new people to take Scotland forward. Writing in the Herald today, Iain Macwhirter suggested the report made the SNP sound “like New Labour circa 1998”.
And we all know how they ended up, out of touch with the people, and taking their votes for granted.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:
"The SNP promised a Growth Commission, but Nicola Sturgeon has found herself defending a Cuts Commission. The people of Scotland cannot afford another decade of austerity.
"Scotland has over a quarter of a million children living in poverty and pensioner poverty has increased by 33 per cent since 2010. We do not want another decade of austerity."
Scottish Conservative deputy Jackson Carlaw said:
“This is a visibly desperate move by the First Minister, who’s clearly been rattled by the furious reaction of hardcore independence evangelists in recent days. But, as is so often the case when Nicola Sturgeon takes Donald Trump’s lead on tweeting, the content is dubious. This report made abundantly clear that a separate Scotland is likely to bring nothing other than economic hard times. The authors accepted this; perhaps Scotland’s First Minister should too. After all, in establishing her commission, she created the beast which has now turned to bite her.”
Finally, and this is an old story, beyond gimmicks and spin, Nicola Sturgeon has nothing to offer the people of Scotland, her legacy of failure is secure, what is needed is an election at Holyrood to clear out the underachievers and inject a fresh can do attitude to get things done. So far there is no sign that Nicola Sturgeon is the person to affect change unless it is crippling austerity on the most vulnerable, truly the dream has died.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University