Nicola Sturgeon and Andrew Neil(15 Posts)
To those who have seen the interview (available on iPlayer), what do you think?
NS was clearly well briefed, and more than once I felt bamboozled by all the facts and figures being quoted.
There was no major blow, I would say, but had I been AN I would have asked, re: education:
1) why are you not running both the SSLN and the new tests for a few years to have a benchmark?
2) that standards are falling is something that has been known for some time, why act only now?
3) talking about acting, what exactly are you planning to do?
Education is a devolved matter so the responsibility lies with MSPs in Holyrood, so not relevant in a UK election where MPs are reporting to Westminister.
Well, if YOU are in charge and have been for the last 10 years I think it is still relevant, especially because of the indyref2 push. One can't have it both ways.
Was the interview not on general election & issues not devolved ?
You cannot disentangle the two. In any case the interview (available on iPlayer) dealt with both,
On both Education and Health I thought NS convinced her supporters but did nothing to persuade her critics. Lots of equivocation on education. On Health wrong tack to justify protecting jobs when there are shortages and concerns about loss of local provision outside the Central Belt.
On the 2 Big questions she spoke very strongly to her core vote (Indyref2 and Remain in EU) and the Scotsman is running with vote SNP for Indyref2, while the Herald is on Progressive Alliance (ie JC in NSs' pocket). JC is now to the Left of NS, so I don't think Progressive Alliance persuades anyone who wants a Proper Left Agenda (very different from "Tory Lite" Labour last time).
This would not have been my strategy were I SNP minded. 1/3 of the 45% want Brexit, 55% are still NO, and about 65% are "Not Now" and "just get on with Brexit as best we can". This suggests at best she only spoke to 35% (most recent SNP polling below 40%).
howabout, agreed. I have to confess that I switched off more than once as I found it difficult to follow the deluge of "information" she was imparting.
Shoring up the core vote?
Education is a devolved matter so the responsibility lies with MSPs in Holyrood, so not relevant in a UK election where MPs are reporting to Westminister
Then why was an MSP being interviewed rather than the SNP senior MP in the Commons?
The fact that control of all public services as well as income tax levels etc are devolved makes election campaign in Scotland very confusing, because the MPs elected will have no control over any of these things (the Scottish parliament does). It makes the SNP position especially baffling as they're releasing a manifesto of commitments that can only be voted for by Scots...who will be largely unaffected by them. They may as well ask Scots to vote on policies that will be implemented only in France!
I liked that Andrew Neil started by getting Sturgeon to agree that public services were the Scottish government's responsibility, as I think there are still many people who don't understand this (if the 'I'm voting SNP to protect the NHS and education from the Tories' type comments are anything to go by). I agree that there was no killer blow, except perhaps getting her to admit that SNP votes will be taken as consent for a referendum - she's been very keen to distance herself from this in the main.
Am I right in thinking that the largesse put forth in the SNP manifesto for desired Westminster increases in public spending would be edit Scotland most of all because of the Barnett formula?
I'll see what the IFS have to say if they look at that.
Yes, even more money from Barnett that Scotland wouldn't be finding out of its own tax revenues.
Sometimes the IFS is irritating.
1 It admits in the footnotes that Scotland would not take on a proportionate share of UK debt burden because of previous oil surplus, but doesn't countenance that the starting point could actually be rUK being in debt to Scotland.
2 While the footnote downgrades the Scottish deficit for 2020/21 there is no corresponding upgrade to the rUK deficit.
3 It doesn't really address the volatility of oil - the current deficit can easily reverse on this - or the rebalancing in the Scottish economy away from oil, but then again neither does anyone else convincingly.
4 Also worth bearing in mind that long term deficits in a growing of economy with little or no starting debt of 3% are generally deemed to be a good thing. Budget balance / surplus is only necessary / desirable at unsustainable debt stock levels, which rUK (not Scotland) is deemed to have by some but not others.
Still not voting to split up the UK but the amount of talk of rUK subsidising Scotland is almost enough to make me change my mind, if it weren't for the facts that
1 Breaking away from rUK is the one thing almost guaranteed to stifle future Scottish economic growth
2 rUK is highly unlikely to give us a decent divorce settlement and we would end up paying them for all sorts of interdependencies
it's hard to model for conjecture on oil prices or a Scottish economy less dependent on oil though.
Subsidy isn't pejorative thing - the reason we're part of the UK surely is that it's a 2 way street where Scotland receives more from rUK in times when oil prices are low? Insurance is a way I prefer to look at it.
I can't see where the Scottish economic growth miracle of 4% pa is going to come from.
Agreed. Risk pooling is how I see things too but definitely not how DH's relatives in the S East see things. This sort of IFS partial analysis plays to their perceived self perception as bankrolling Scotland, rUK, EU and probably the entire World as well.
I'm sure there's a certain section of England that would be happy to see Scotland drop out of the union, sadly - I've heard similar from relatives - there are always idiots.
What we need is the IFS to include some longer time-frame data to show tax receipts from Scotland over a much longer period to show a fairer picture, totally agree with that.
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