Sunday, December 2, 2012

Open questions

Leaving aside the obvious jibe that 'Open Unionism' is a contradiction in terms, my eye was caught by this article of the 'anyone to the left of Enoch Powell is a Marxist' variety -

"It became more and more obvious that many of the people who were attracted to the SNP were attracted precisely because they were disappointed former Labour party voters. They now considered the Labour party to be a party of the right. Independence for many of these people was thus a way of bringing about “Socialism in one country” leaving world revolution for another day!

There are clearly people in the SNP with a variety of political viewpoints, but if supporters are declaring that the present day Labour party is a party of the centre right, then it must be that the SNP is a party of the centre left in a different sense to that in which most people understand the term. Moreover, they must be on the centre left in a different way from other European centre left parties."

Hardly. In fact, I would suggest that the SNP are understood to be centre-left in precisely the way that most of the social democratic parties of western continental Europe are, and Labour are understood to be centre-right in precisely the way that most of the conservative parties of western continental Europe are. It's no coincidence that Tony Blair's closest allies on the continent were not Schroeder or Zapatero, but rather Aznar and Berlusconi. Labour may have made a marginal move back in the correct direction since then, but that isn't saying much when you bear in mind where they were starting from.

"I never understood the almost universal SNP opposition to nuclear weapons until I realised that they truly were a left-wing party. What have nuclear weapons got to do with independence?"

And it could just as easily be asked - what has opposition to nuclear weapons got to do with being left-wing? As the author of this piece has already raised the spectre of 'socialism in one country', it should be noted that Stalin himself wasn't exactly short of the odd nuclear weapon. If Stalinism is being presented as the pinnacle of leftiness, surely any party that does the opposite of what Stalin did must by definition be 'sensible, moderate, compassionate conservatives'?

Alternatively, it could just be that 'Open Unionism' is missing the point somewhat.


  1. By Effie Deans who has a very weird take on all things that she writes about, I am always right mentality.

  2. Effie Deans, barking mad.

    If the SNP are not Nazis they must be commies now.

  3. I can never make my mind up about Effie. Is she a troll, or simply an upper class twit?

  4. Effie Deans' blog contributions to Open Unionism are a delight.

    Ponderous, complacent, and always silly in a 'senior' kind of way, they never fail to present an open goal. I think the only people who actually read them are non-unionists.

  5. "Labour may have made a marginal move back in the correct direction since then, but that isn't saying much when you bear in mind where they were starting from."

    I'm not sure they have. Certainly, by electing "red" Ed instead of his true blue brother they gave the impression of moving in that direction, but I don't see any evidence that their policies have, in fact, changed.

    I noted that Alex Bell spoke to Labour's Strathkelvin branch on Friday and found (in his own words):

    ''There was strong support for a return to real Labour values, heavy criticism of "weak" leadership at both Holyrood and Westminster, anger at how the membership had not been consulted over Better Together (or anything else), opposition to the slide to the right and an understanding of Scottish Labour's own need for independence to remove the "Milliball 'n chain of new labour" and its obsession with home counties focus groups.''

    He also found, that the membership (he doesn't say how many) were:

    For the Union 2
    Against the union: 4
    and that the rest were open to being persuaded. The trouble with these figures is that we don't know how many there are of "the rest".