Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Nicola Knocks On London Doors?

In some parts of the media there has been crabby comment about Nicola Sturgeon's lecture at the LSE on 16 March.  This is tiresome and discourteous and likely to cause more resentment than progress.  There is no need for this.

The lecture is here and runs to 55 minutes, 28 from Nicola and the rest questions and is clear, if often detailed listening.  Make up your own mind.   Click on the Audio button and on my machine at least it comes up loud and clear.

Whether or not I might agree or disagree with anything that is being said, as a lecture there is little wrong with it structurally or the way it is argued.

She is the Leader of the SNP and came down to London at a venue convenient for our media and others giving a better chance of getting these views and policies over at a crucial time in the general election campaign.  She is a persuasive and intelligent speaker mercifully different from one who shall be nameless.

The LSE hosts lectures and events of this kind for many and various political leaders from across the world.  In this case the LSE strap line is that she aims to connect with the Reformist Left which is probably as good a description as any.

When she suggests that what is and what goes on at Westminster is far from good in many ways and needs radical change you do not need to be SNP to agree with this.  My problem is with the Reformist Left and a number of basic assumptions about the future.

One matter is the airy references to long term plans.  When I was young and optimistic and believed government might govern there was a time when long term plans seemed a good idea. Bitter experience has told me that they are a swirling fantasy of the mind doomed to disappoint.

It would take thousands of words to explain but what I would assert that the pace of change and events now means that there is no long term and unlikely even to be a medium term.  So if the financial players are short term they are simply brutally practical.

Moreover to win power the political brokers in our present set up have to win over many of the lower earning groups to the point where they will vote for them.  This means promises about jobs, housing and earnings that possibly can only be fulfilled by what is called the redistribution of income.

But when that involves disincentives for savings, creating money on the basis of debt, spending programmes that will never have any return on investment and handing out money for anything and everything that is demanded and lastly claiming that things will be free when they are not free, necessarily there may be adverse economic effects.

Couple this with a need to keep the big money men and players onside and supporting them and you have economies that are distorted, little real governance and possibly monolithic state run economies and facilities that are effectively controlled by their employees.

An added issue of what kind of population do you think you are governing.  Clearly the reformist Left with its policy of open borders does not like most of the existing legacy population and is anxious to replace enough of it with one that will offer loyal support and tip the balance forever to the Left.

Also there is the financial system that will exist.  At present many places in the world have placed their trust in the money flows generated by major money players.

But like any state that depends on a limited sphere of activity this makes it highly vulnerable.  We know now that the resource curse equally applies to finance as a curse.

The SNP vision of the future is a lost world of the recent past.  Only this sleeping beauty will not be wakened with a kiss.

1 comment:

  1. "...came down to London at a venue convenient for our media"

    And she wasn't tugging her forelock either. I'm sure 'your' media is duly impressed.