The people of Scotland are being used as pawns by the Tories and SNP

Health, education and the economy are all taking a back seat


Nicola Sturgeon says the general election ‘once again’ gives the people of Scotland an ‘opportunity to reject the Tories’ narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future.’

Over the weekend, the Daily Record concurred, declaring the election a ‘chance of a lifetime’ for the SNP to get the mandate they seek for a second independence referendum.

Compare this then with Sturgeon’s comments to the Scottish TUC yesterday, in which she declared that the forthcoming election ‘won’t decide whether or not Scotland becomes independent. We got a mandate for a referendum in the election last year so this is about Scotland’s voice is heard and Scotland’s interests are protected.’

It was, as Sturgeon declared about the prime minister’s decision to hold this general election, ‘one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history’.

Scottish voters must not be deceived by an SNP which is seeking to change the goal posts away from their original intention to use the election to seek a mandate for a second independence referendum, spurred on by the party being spooked by polling suggesting the Conservatives north of the border could make considerable gains in the election.

But then again, u-turns are not confined to May and Sturgeon since, in the wake of the EU referendum last year, Ruth Davidson warned that the Prime Minister should not block a request by the First Minister to hold a second vote on independence.

The reality is that an election which matters so much in Scotland has been hijacked, with voters being used as political pawns between the Conservatives and SNP for whom stoking up grievances around the future constitutional settlement for Scotland matters more than bread and butter issues such as schools, hospitals and the state of the economy.

Just for the record, according to polling published today by Kantar 55 per cent of those Scots questioned said they did not back independence, compared to just 37 per cent who did.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward

See: For the first time since the 1850s, the Tories may take the majority of seats in Wales

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6 Responses to “The people of Scotland are being used as pawns by the Tories and SNP”

  1. Derick Tulloch

    Same old nonsense, Ed. Disappointing.

    The ‘bread and butter issues’ are directly connected to the constitutional issue, because the Scottish Parliament’s powers over the economy, taxation and hence the funding available to deal with the other items are currently derisory. Those powers are held in the Parliament of a foreign country, which more often than not, and clearly for the next 10-15 years returns a right wing administration.

    The UK election is as interesting and relevant to me as the French election. I’d rather Corbyn won than Le Pen, and Macron won rather than May. But in the end it’s a foreign jurisdiction and it’s up to the people of those nations who they vote for. The fact that it the UK one has any influence whatsoever on our lives in Scotland is simply an irritation. Not least because our votes have never influenced the outcome of any UK general election in any significant way.

  2. Chris Bartter

    Oh Dear
    I thought that the mantra – a big boy did it – had slipped into disrepute, due to the failure of the current Scottish Government to actually use their current powers to tackle the ‘bread and butter’ issues? Passing welfare powers back to Westminster, and looking to cut air passenger duty spring to mind.
    Mr Tulloch also (unwittingly?)confirms Ed Jacobs’ main point. He claims that the powers that matter are all concentrated in Westminster, yet this election is as relevant to him as the French election, showing how little he is concerned about those ‘bread and butter’ issues – exactly as the Tories and the SNP want.
    Finally, the actual stats of Scottish votes influencing the Westminster election do NOT show a lack of influence. Indeed as this website shows – – in the elections between 1945 and 2010, Scotland got the Westminster Government it voted for about twice as many times as it had an alternative government foisted on it. Once indeed (1951) Scotland got the (Tory) government it voted for, overturning the English votes for a Labour government.
    Again, the preference of the SNP is for a right -wing Tory government in Westminster, so it can frustrate the left in Scotland into voting for their constitutional aim.

  3. uglyfatbloke

    Chris, it’s Scottish Labour that’s campaigning for the tories and it will be their efforts that get Mundell and others elected…which Scottish Labour will regard as a triumph.

  4. Glesga

    The SNP are Tories and have been going along with Thatcherite policies since gaining power. The emergence of a new middle class in Scotland who have not experienced poverty have left Labour in the wilderness. This new class are oblivient about the underclass sitting begging on the Scottish streets. Greed has won.

  5. Gary Hogg

    Chris – your dates are selective – I wasnt even alive in 1945 – We could go back to 1707? In recent history from 1979 – Scotland has had the UK government it voted for in only 13 years compared to 23 years when it didnt – and more importantly this pattern doesn’t seem to be changing – if anything it is getting worse. You seem to be happy that in 1955 that the Unionist, National Liberals and Conservatives collectively got more than 50% of the vote – perhaps you want another grand unionist alliance?

  6. Derick Tulloch

    That Scottish voters occasionally vote the same way as those in England is utterly irrelevant because those Scottish votes have virtually no influence on the make up of ‘UK’ Governments. Remove all Scottish MPs in the 19 elections since 1945 and the only ones that change are

    1964 Labour majority of 4 (uselessly low) to Conservative majority of 1 (also uselessly low)
    1974 October. Labour majority of 3 (useless) to Labour minority of minus 8.

    Laughing here at the tired old ‘Tartan Tory’ tosh. So far removed from reality it’s funny!

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