Sunday, 4 December 2011

Blogging on a Sunday Afternoon

Unlike, it appears, every single other person in Scotland this Sunday, I am bored.

Every second Saturday at St Mirren Park for as long as I can remember it has been possible to see at least one and sometimes two pandas. Indeed on occasions there was also Junior P, so presumably they bred at some point.

I can't therefor see what all these Edinburgh folk are getting all excited about. Even more excited than the Chinese appear to be at the distinction of a visit from the First Minister. I hope the Chinese at least take the opportunity to raise their concerns with him at the proposed abolition of corroboration.

(Diversion 1. Rumours are that Eck's trade delegation was accompanied by representatives of Greggs the Bakers but that their samples had to travel separately to ensure they weren't consumed on route.)

And another thing about Paisley Panda, he did stunts. Bet the Edinburgh pandas won't do that. On the occasion of one Renfrewshire Derby he even approached the Morton support bearing a large scrubbing brush and a gigantic bar of soap. The soapdodgers then reciprocated by hanging a miniature Panda from the crossbar at the return game.  Just as well the new football legislation wasn't in force then, since, as everybody had offended everybody else, the whole County would have had to have been transformed into a giant prison.

(Diversion 2.  In Italy, supporters of Hellas Verona refer to supporters of, their rivals, Vicenza as "Mangi Gatti", (cat eaters) in reference to some otherwise long forgotten 16th Century siege. That makes even the Battle of the Boyne look like a relatively recent event.)

So, anyway, is this blog going anywhere?

Well, not really, because there's not much happening in Scotland other than Panda Mania.

Except that there was an incredibly insightful article by Kenny Farquharson in Today's Scotland on Sunday on the subject of the SNP and Europe. Which touches more generally on why there's not much happening in Scotland.

For all the political sound and fury around last week's Pre-Budget report there was a consensus across the UK Parties about the potentially disastrous consequences of the collapse of the Euro. Douglas Alexander popped up on the UK  section of the Politics Show to comment on this very subject and even the most Eurosceptic of Tories are being a bit more judicious in their schadenfreude.

Now, for the moment at least "this Country" includes Scotland, at least the last I time checked. And, for all the long term importance of opening up new markets, such as China,, "Continental Europe" is likely to remain Scotland's most important trading market (apart obviously from No Longer So Great Britain). The events in Europe are obviously the cause of great domestic political difficulty for David Cameron but nobody would expect him to remain completely immobile simply to "avoid" that difficulty. As, to be fair, he realises.

So one might expect that the Scottish Government, which supposedly trades on a greater European enthusiasm than the Tories, to have something to say on the subject. Certainly something more than "Ooh! Look at the Pandas!".

I bang on and on about the distoring effect that the Constitutional question is having on Scottish politics as the Government concludes that silence can be interpreted in the otherwise silent ear of the listener. Thus you can support Independence from the belief that it will lead to anything from (a) The return of the Stewarts; a separate Scottish Pound and membership not of the EU but of EFTA or, for all I know, the Holy Roman Empire; (b) A Republic; early entry to the Euro and full participation in a fiscal Union; (c) Retention of the Queen; the  Pound Sterling and very little current day to day difference (Flags and Anthems aside); (d) a Socialist state on the Cuban model, including the weather; or even (e) who cares what kind of State so long as we're not in the Common Fisheries Policy; since we all know, then, fish stocks would magically become inexhaustible.

This silence on the part of the SNP as a Political Party on the European crisis is therefor understandable. Whatever they said they'd offend somebody, even if Independence somehow achieved by this sort of route is going to leave an awful lot of these people disappointed if we were ever to get there.

The SNP are not now however just a political Party, they are the Government of Scotland, or so they like to claim, when it does suit them. The Government of Scotland must (in both senses of that word) have a view of the way forward for the European Union it is still their intention, one day, to join as a "full" member. It is time we heard what that view is.

Presumably even they, maintainers though they are that all Scotland's problems would be miraculously solved by Independence, wouldn't have the cheek to suggest that Scottish Independence would also solve all Europe's problems. Even if it would bring back the fish.

1 comment:

  1. If d is an option on the referendum ballot I might vote for that...