The politics of despair: we need a different approach

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Einstein coined the phrase - “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. This is no truer than in the current political world.

From Trump’s insurrection, democracy-denying candidates to the deluded Tory and Labour fantasy that Brexit has delivered anything beyond economic and social chaos, it is little wonder folk are in despair with politicians.

I know that some will read the above with a wry smile given my own shift to ALBA, but like it or not, I did so to speak the truth.

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And the sad truth is that democracy is fast becoming an illusion. Only last week I asked the Foreign Office Minister Andrew Mitchell if the denial of democracy to Scotland made a laughingstock of UK claims to be defenders of democracy.

Pic: Lisa FergusonPic: Lisa Ferguson
Pic: Lisa Ferguson

Mr Mitchell’s ‘considered’ response was “no”, accompanied by the usual contemptuous guffaws from the Tory benches. Well, Aristotle opined that the absence of democracy left only oligarchy or tyranny and his contempt for democracy suggests an argument could be mounted for both.

We are governed by politicians with minimal support in Scotland, yet they wield power from London to rape the land, sea and air of Scotland’s energy resources while Scots live in poverty.

Over the past nine months the UK Treasury has received £8 billion in tax revenue from Scotland’s oil and gas sector alone. In a recent debate I asked Secretary of State Alister Jack what percentage of this windfall was allocated to the Scottish Government to tackle the cost-of-living emergency. The answer was none; not a penny.

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But it’s not just the Tories, Labour also deny democracy to Scotland to ensure HM Treasury is pumped full of Scottish cash.

At this weeks PMQs Keir Starmer let the cat out of the bag when he complained about the “oil and gas giveaway” with not a mention of Scotland. To add insult to injury Rishi Sunak then bragged about the “investment and jobs” created by Scotland’s renewables boom when next to none of these benefits will flow to Scotland.

And the Scottish Government fairs no better. The ScotWind giveaway of a £350 billion licence for a measly £700 million is a shameful replication of Westminster’s contempt for Scotland. The Scottish Government have been given umpteen mandates to deliver independence, yet it uses its power to pursue policies no one voted for. For a different result, Scotland must choose a different approach.