While Nicola Sturgeon does pose a threat … it is a threat to maintaining the status quo … politics as usual … it is a threat to the cozy Westminster club. It will bring about a new kind of politics, the politics of negotiation and consensus. The SNP have the potential to change Westminster for the good of all the people in the UK. We might end up with a government that governs on behalf of all the people of the UK. A government that sees "Austerity" as something more than simply cutting, that it is also about raising taxes. Austerity to use Margaret Thatcher's terminology is about living within your means.
So far this election campaign can be summarized as follows:
And on the left we have "Knife and Fork" Milliband aka "the deficit is such an insignificance I wont even mention it", while on the right we have "Huff and Puff" Cameron aka "We have a plan", and holding center stage both as referee and enforcer it is "The Witch of the North" sometimes called "wee Nicola" by her adoring band of followers.
"Huff and Puff" tells us that wee Nicola will be holding "Knife and Fork" to ransom, forcing all the money to go North and depriving the rest of us. Little does he tell us that he would will offer wee Nicola all of the North including some of the more bothersome border territories and to hell with referendums!
"Knife and Fork" tells us he will not deal with wee Nicola, little admitting, how thankful he is that she is fluttering her eyes at him, maybe he will be be able to close that bothersome branch office in the North, sure she may ask for some sweeties in return … like throwing Trident on the scrap heap … would do wonders for his budget! He might even be able to achieve some of his promises.
And if we are to believe "Buffoon" Boris … (He who cannot see a difference between paying our rent to a British Company rather than Abu Dhabi) She is not just a witch, but the very embodiment of the Anti-Christ about to bring about all sorts of apocalyptic events!
And poor old Nigel absolutely stunned by the solidarity of three women leaders … how dare they come onto the big man's stage and hold him to account!
The debate should be about a few issues:
1. Do we want consensus government.
2. What rules do we want applied to immigration.
3. What is the extent of the Social Security Net we want for the people
4. What access to the Social Security Net to be provided to migrants..
5. Do we want Trident
Let me try and explain.
By consensus government we mean a government without an absolute majority that no longer believes that might is right. It means that we have to have honest debate in parliament, that the governing party seeks to persuade rather than dictate. It means that Prime Minister's questions are honestly answered rather than simply shouted down, it means politics that is not about point scoring but about finding the best way to manage the economy and country. Note: I said manage not rule!
No political party is able to claim that it is right in every regard, so we should be listening to the people, or Nigel Farage, and come up with a policy that the vast majority, of the people, not simply seats in parliament, can understand and believe in.
The Conservatives tell us that they are going to cut expenditure on Social Security by £19 billion over the next parliament which will enable them to balance the budget. Well as they are not telling what they are going to cut that makes all their giveaways a little unbelievable. So let us ask for defini tion. It is not always easy to believe what they claim …they tell you they have cut the deficit, but this is only true in a statistical sense, and even then not so clear. Consider the announcement by "Huff and Puff", that Costa Coffee, and Asda were creating a lot of new apprenticeship vacancies (I wonder how long it takes to teach anyone to make coffee?) … well in the first year of an apprenticeship the minimum wage rate is only £1.56 an hour … to those over 21 this is topped up by way of tax credit by the state! The Zero Hours contracts were only a means of getting the state to top up the income of a person working only 30 hours a week at minimum wage … which also coincides with the maximum wage that the employer does not have to make an employers contribution to National Insurance. His iniatives on the employment side are certainly going to add to the Social Security burden!
So we should demand that the Social Security Net be defined for everyone to see and decide.
I think that there should be a clear definition of the extent to which migrants are given access to the Social Security Net. When I came to the UK I was required to sign an agreement that I would not make use of the UK Social Security Net. Possibly because of my age, but I considered this a fair request.
Just as the Conservatives balance their future spending plans by claiming they will make an undefined saving on Social Security of £19 billion, Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP are making use of £20 billion saving during the next parliament by not going ahead with Trident replacement. As a 1960's ban the bomb person I believe that Trident should be canned., however this is something that the people of the UK have a right to express their opinion. I am sure that in open debate we will find a majority uneasy about retaining the bomb!