Calling it the ‘Year of Broken Promises’, the SNP see the UK Government as having broken promises made by the ‘No Campaign pledges’ in 2015. SNP MSP Linda Fabiani has said that the three main parties are no longer trusted due to their record regarding promises. Some of these broken promises include HMRC office closures putting more than 2000 jobs at risk, the cancellation of a £1billion investment in Carbon Capture technology and the cancellation in shipbuilding investment – a contradiction of what voters were told in the run up to the referendum.
A poll earlier this year showed that only 9 per cent of people in Scotland believed that the Westminster parties’ pre-referendum ‘Vow’ had been fulfilled. Also, earlier this year the cross-party Devolution (Further Powers) Committee slammed the UK Government’s Scotland Bill proposals as failing to live up to the powers agreed by the Smith Commission.
SNP are claiming that this is a sure sign that support for independence in continuing to grow.
The growing costs of the Trident missile system have also been lambasted by SNP as figures from the House of Commons Library suggest that nearly £5 billion has already been spent on what the Ministry of Defence (MoD) describe as the ‘concept phase’ and the ‘assessment phase‘.
Brendan O’Hara MP, SNP Defence spokesperson commented: “…once again the SNP are the only effective opposition at Westminster.
“…Trident is the UK’s ultimate virility symbol…proving beyond any doubt it is not a military asset – it is a political one.
“In his memoirs, former Prime Minister, Tony Blair – by no stretch of the imagination a unilateralist – wrote of Trident: “The expense is huge and the utility, non-existent in terms of military use.” But he decided against cancelling Trident because in his words, it would be “too big a downgrading of our status as a nation.”
In not so much as a critical look at SNP policy as a critical look at SNP mentality we can see that it is easy for SNP to make a large case for independence based on the fact that they can oppose the large basis of what is done at Westminster and term themselves an ‘anti-austerity party’ – this is what drives their appeal south of the border. However, back in Scotland how can we apply this term here?
Yes, the policies of SNP might well be anti-austerity but the reality is that they have applied ‘austerity-lite’ policies in Scotland – arguably, through pressure put on them by Westminster. SNP have a nice little niche as it stands: they are the more united basis of the Opposition in Westminster while at home they have a poor Opposition facing them in Holyrood. SNP has all the bogeymen it needs but people ought to be careful because they might find that the value of relativity in this case has rendered the SNP a party with good values when effect they really only have become the new ‘lesser evil’ party.