24 February 2007

A Terry Tautology

Terry Kelly has waded into the row over Jamie Stone's comments with his usual sensitivity. He says, "if England didn't exist neither would the SNP."

Well, let's work this through. If England didn't exist, then there could be no Union with England (you can't unite with a non-existent country), and so unless Scotland had united with another country (Denmark? France?) then there would be no need for an SNP in its present form. That satnds to reason, so TelKel is, in one sense, correct.

But does that make the SNP Anglophobic, as Kelly asserts? Well, no. The SNP do want Scotland to govern itself, which entails a secession from the Union with England. But as I can testify, the SNP's attitude to the English couldn't be more positive. Certainly the welcome I received from the Party's activists in Edinburgh when I helped out with them was fantastic.

One person in particular, though, did splutter, "You can't be a part of the SNP! You're English!" That was Kenny Young, Labour's candidate in North East Fife. Turns out that in Labour's world, where you were born affects what your politics can be. And they accuse the SNP of anglophobia?!

Incidentally, I'm collecting my thoughts on Independence, ready for a few posts on the matter. (Update: You can read the first one here.)


Anonymous said...

I mistook Lord Foulkes for Terry on Question Time.

Kenny said...

Will, I can't remember hearing anything as bizarre as your posted comments. The reason why I would adivse people not to become members of the SNP is because of their spending black-hole, their lack of education policy, and the fact that they are run from London. I would never suggest that the reason people should steer clear is because they are English! Why use that silly reason when there are so many valid ones against seperatism?

One thing I do remember from our time at University together though, was when you were convener of the Debates Union and you invited me to debate with you the merits of the Union.

In case you don't remember how that one went, Will, students then- as now- were overwhelmingly in favour of the Union.

Yours ever

Kenny Young


Will said...

Well, you did say it, though I was remiss in not pointing out that it was probably tongue-in-cheek. Certainly, though, it only ever occurred to members of Unionist parties to say this. The welcome I got from the SNP couldn't have been warmer. That was the point of my post - that none of the people who voiced a problem (joking or otherwise) with my affiliation were in any way supportive of the SNP - quite the reverse! It's interesting that you should choose to talk about 'education policy': you may or may not remember that it was Labour's (at least at the UK level) policy that finally pushed me into making the switch.

What is also interesting is you talk about 'valid [reasons] against seperatism (sic)', but you list an SNP Budget in a devolved Scotland, education policy, and the Parliament that the SNP Leader currently sits in. None of those have anything to do with the independence argument, it's just casual egg-throwing at the SNP.

You're right, the vote went your way: by 12 to 6. In percentage terms, it was overwhelming, though I can imagine a statistician having a fit at your suggestion that such a small sample size can yield the conclusion you make, about then or now. It does, however, suggest that in 2004, students at Edinburgh weren't particularly bothered about the issue (and/or that our publicity was rubbish - this second reason is probably true regardless), as there were at most 20 students in the room, and at least 20,000 students elsewhere. And on occasions when I was out on the stump, like at the European elections, I did at least get people considering the issue where they might not have before.

By the way, I should thank you again for showing that night: you really did save my bacon!



Will said...

PS I forgot, the Labour Students leaflet that you were handing out at the Societies' Fair that day seemed to suggest that the primary reason against independence was that TV viewers in Scotland would no longer be able to receive Hollyoaks.

At the risk of sounding like a cultural snob, I'd think that's a pro-independence argument!

Ewan Watt said...

With all due respect Kenny - and I do sincerely mean that, the Labour Party can't really lecture people about a "spending black-hole" now can they?