How can Andrew Whitaker suggest that having “a Scottish voice in a UK Cabinet” is a substitute for “a bulked-up bloc” of SNP MPs (Perspective, 29 April)?
We’ve had Scottish voices in UK Cabinets many times before. However, in taking such a promotion the MP is expected to put Scotland firmly behind him/her and focus solely on UK interests.
The only occasions on which Scotland will appear above the Cabinet minister’s radar from then on will be if s/he is called on by the UK prime minister to put in a plea for Scotland to stay under London control.
In fact, since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament the sole role of the Scottish secretary has been to keep the Scottish Government in its box. A strong bloc of SNP MPs, on the other hand, will keep Scotland well above the radar, both in negotiating extra powers for our government and in reminding the people within the rest of the UK that an alternative way is possible.
Walter Allan (Letters, 29 April) states with great certainty that the SNP are going to Westminster to “make a nuisance of themselves”, but who, apart from him and his ilk, have said this is their plan and this flies in the face of every policy statement made by senior SNP politicians?
Of course making a nuisance or even making themselves heard was not a feature of the performance of large numbers of Labour MPs who disappeared in Westminster, and yet again we have another instance of the proud Scottish unionist who cringes at the thought of a Scottish MP with the gall to speak up for Scotland. In letters (same day) Martin Redfern repeats what we all read on Monday: that one in seven people intends to vote tactically and ignores the fact that this means six out of seven voters (76 per cent) do not intend to vote tactically.
He is very confident (perhaps over-confident) that Alex Salmond won’t win in Moray.
However, I have a strong memory of another unionist contributor to these pages, Dr John Cameron, saying that he placed great store by the opinion of the bookies.
Unionist supporters may be interested to learn that William Hill have just slashed their odds on Labour losing all their seats in Scotland to three to one. In 2010 you would have 1,000 to one for that bet.
As the SNP’s influence grows stronger day by day, the feeling that the English are being left in a UK political “no-man’s land” is increasing.
English anger is not growing out of the SNP’s increasing political strength but from the British government’s failure to address the injustices felt by the people of England.
The SNP have outmanoeuvred unionists by changing tack, as they allowed people to believe that they treated England as a separate country and that English politics was not in the remit of the SNP’s policies – that has now changed.
The new message Nicola Sturgeon appears to be promoting to both the English and the Scottish public is that the SNP will “put Scotland’s future first in England”.
The English can clearly see the hypocrisy of a political party which so vigorously objects to any non-Scottish commentary on its own nation’s situation, sees fit to pass judgment and make laws for England. The SNP do not have the moral right to “descend upon” England and tell the English how they should be governed or taxed.
If Westminster corrected our undemocratic, unbalanced Union by giving England its own government within a federal system then the SNP would be blocked from involving themselves in English affairs. This has to be the way forward for the UK.
The SNP should govern Scotland and leave England alone – but if they cannot resist that temptation then an English government would be able to stop them, saving the UK in the process.
Campaign for an English Parliament