I don’t know about you but I know I am really bored, if not a little pissed off, with the continued implication that the fact I will vote SNP in the General Election makes me an extremist as far as the establishment is concerned in this country. I am sick of the implication that somehow a vote for the SNP is an anti-democratic vote, that somehow my vote for the SNP is worth less than a vote for Labour, Conservative or Liberals.
I am sick of the comments from politicians of the three unionist parties and various commentators accusing our democratic right to vote for who we want as some form of threat to democracy. That if we vote SNP we will be holding the rest of the UK’s voters to ransom, the implication here being that England must be allowed to decide who the Government is for the United Kingdom.
The arrogance of the assumptions regarding the make up of any Government in the United Kingdom is astounding, if not actually frightening and enlightening. If you didn’t know where Scotland stands in the United Kingdom pecking order you do now. The unionists begged Scotland to stay in the ‘union’, please don’t leave we are Better Together. How hollow that must feel now to all the no voters.
Now I have been very clear on my views, I think the SNP have played the campaign wrong in many ways but none more so than all the talk about holding the balance of power, of being willing to be the kingmakers to Ed Miliband and Labour, of Trident being a red line in the sand etc.
I totally agree with scrapping Trident but it will never happen within our Westminster system, I totally agree with ending austerity but it will never happen in the way the SNP are demanding. However, where I don’t believe the SNP strategy helps and where I don’t agree with the SNP is that they should not be publicly seeking any deal with anyone at this point, win the bloody seats first and then see where the cards fall. The SNP strategy makes a Labour/Conservative coalition more likely than it does any other, the SNP strategy makes another general election within a few months more likely. The SNP strategy runs the risk of, as we are seeing, the right wing media and unionist parties painting my vote as some form of extremist protest which not only damages the SNP’s chances of really making an impact in this election, but also those right wing attacks seriously damage our democracy at a time when it has never been under greater threat from the three right wing unionist parties and the racists of UKip.
Now some might argue that all of the talk of SNP extremists, and Scots not being allowed to influence UK politics brings independence that little bit closer and they may well be correct, but I absolutely do not accept the implication that because I am a Scottish Democrat I am somehow less worthy and that my vote means less than an English, Welsh or Irish vote, that somehow an MP from Scotland is worth less than an MP from other parts of the UK.
This is a very dangerous game that is being played in my opinion, it plays into the hands of more right wing parties like UKip and takes us down a path that the UK cannot afford and that parts of Europe may already be going down. I accept that language within politics gets extreme, that passions on all sides get worked up, I accept that I may have used language in the past that might have upset unionists. But what I have never done is called people extremists, I have never questioned their right to vote for who or what they want, so my point is this. When you call SNP voters extremists, when you question our right to vote, our right to influence the union, our right to influence Government, our right to our political beliefs, you put at risk the very nature of our democracy and you might actually be creating the very extremists you fear.