danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
[personal profile] danieldwilliam
I am entirely okay with the Scottish election results.

Although I was (and am) pro-independence in 2014, in practice it's not really on the table this Parliament - barring Brexit disasters. I don't think it's the most important issue facing our country. Plenty of stuff that we could have discussed didn't get talked about during the referendum and we should deal with some of that before going round to that particular constitutional question again.

I think the SNP are a competent government. I like that. They are also sort of centre-left. I like that - well more than a centre-right government. Rhetoric doesn't quite match the action and I think I know why that is. I can live with it.

I think the SNP have a tendency towards centralisation and close control and a broad stripe of authoritarianism. Which I don't like.

They have a tendency to be a bit soft on environmental and energy issues when jobs or the interests of their donors are affected. Which I don't like.

I don't want a Tory government (see pro-independence) and I'm not sure I quite trust the Labour Party to be different than the SNP in terms of being centralising, authoritarian not-quite-as-centre-left-as-they-think-are and I don't trust them to be competent

So a situation where the SNP remain in government but in a minority government requiring support from the more left wing and more environmentally minded Greens and from the more localist and liberal Liberal Democrats actually suits me just fine.

And if this means that it is 20 years until indepedence instead of 10 or that independence never happens - well that's a price I'm perfectly willing to pay for better, more democratic, more radical government today and over the next couple of decades.

Other plus points include...

The Labour Party having to have a long hard look at itself and I hope come out as a more liberal, more radical, more democratic, more vibrant organisation.

The Tories being the lead opposition party and getting some scrutiny beyond "Ruth Davidson looks mighty jolly on a bison and isn't it progressive that the Tories have a woman-lesbian-Glaswegian-person as leader."

The Greens get a decent chance to build up some organisational structures and some expertise over the coming 5 years.

People might stop shouting "Saor Alba - c'mon wour Nicola!" as if that some how made everything alright.

Frankly, it's about as good as it was going to get.

Date: 2016-05-06 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhythmaning.livejournal.com
I don't think the SNP are adequate. They've screwed up the police, education and the NHS. That's a large part of their brief. They're not even very left - their actions (though not their rhetoric) are pro austerity.

They centralise power despite espousing devolution and their strangling of local government finances verges on the criminal.

I could go on. I'm sure I shall.

Date: 2016-05-09 10:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com
I don't take issue with what you're saying.

I prefer a government with left-wing rhetoric but no action to one with right-wing rhetoric and action. The SNP are certainly doing more posturing as a left-wing radical, democratic government than doing. I hope that being dependent on the Lib Dems and the Greens and having fewer Tartan Tories will encourage them to do more.

They are not an unadulterated policy success. (I'd add fracking to your list.)

The government's policy on policing was probably wrong at both the macro and micro level. I'm not convinced that a single police force for the whole of Scotland is going to be better or cheaper. Populating the senior management with Strathclyde officers and weakening local control was flawed. The implementation has gone wrong. It is a policy I disagree with that has been badly implemented.

The critisism of their treatment of local government is valid

I draw a distinction between a government that is doing the wrong thing or which is finding it difficult to implement its policy and an incompetent government.

A government doing the wrong thing i.e. something I disagree with might have a legimate difference of opinion or a difference in values to me. I think there is a difference between doing something that I disagree with and doing something that can not solve the problem you have or in fundamentally misunderstanding the problem.

My understanding of the problem with the policing of Scotland was that it was a too expensive. Merging several different police forces in order to gain from economies of scale *might* solve that problem. It also might not. Gains from economies of scale operations might be lost to poor implementation or poor quality. I'd put my money put my money on it not working but at least there is a link between the problem and the policy.

At a deeper level - the policy and the implementation might be poor but it is unlikely to destroy the ability of the government to govern.

When I look at the SNP I see a government who usually understands the basics of the problem and their proposesd solution usually has some link to solving that problem. Sometimes with values I disagree with (I'd prefer more local accountabilty in policing), sometimes badly done.

I contrast that with the UK government who, I think, are serial incompetents.

The UK government's response to Indyref. Having spent so much time and effort campaigning for Scotland to remain in the UK why do EVEL, and turn a comfortable win for your position in to a Dunkirk moment for your opponents. If you want Scotland to stay in the Union do things that help you keep Scotland in the Union. If you don't - don't campaign for it.

Junior doctors' contracts - don't get in to a fight with people the public love about the future of an institution the public loves when your grasp on the problem is a basic error of arthimetic - particularly when changes to the health services are a grave yard for your party.

If you are the Conservative Government of the UK you can not win a referendum on EU membership. You don't want to leave the EU. The problem is that you don't control your own MP's.. So instead of trying to control them you land yourself with a referendum where worst case your government immediately collapses due to the worst foreign policy fiasco since Suez best case you win but your party splits.

The Conservative government had either not properly explained what the problem universal benefit was supposed to solve to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, or appointed a Secretary of State too stupid to understand what that the problem was a political desire not to pay money to poor people, or its economic policy is fundamentally unworkable.

Can the UK government build an airport? We don't know because all we can see is that they are unable to make a decision about building an airport.

The Scottish government can move the state or the country or itself from A to B. It is competent.

The UK government can not locate A on a map or move towards B.

That's what I mean by a competent government.

So, I'm not dancing in the streets for joy over the result but I think it was the best possible result that was on the cards.

Date: 2016-05-06 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] widgetfox.livejournal.com
Do you and Dan disagree on what matters, or how the SNP are doing at what matters?

Date: 2016-05-07 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com

I think I set a lower standard for adequate.

For example I'm watching the current UK government and wondering how those boys get themselves dressed in the morning best out of three.

Date: 2016-05-07 07:04 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-05-08 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doccy.livejournal.com
I think I can answer your question about how they get dressed in the mornings in five words: "They have people for that"


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