Nicola Sturgeon this week went to London to address the UCL ( University College London) and its noticeable that in taking the debate to London, she is getting heard. There has been quite a bit interesting comment on the speech which you can read in full on the Scottish Government website.
What is especially interesting is that the speech has been the focus of considerable attention and surprisingly perhaps for south of the border where the SNP are often looked upon with derision, an unwelcome thorn in the side of the Westminster establishment, it’s reaped a fair bit praise and not a little debate about a third way. A third way that seems to have eluded the Labour Party who are little more than trying to play populist politics to attract a South East electorate who doesn’t like them very much ( like a Scottish electorate that even puts David Cameron above Ed Miliband!). It’s very possible in some traditional English Labour strongholds, an SNP candidate might do better than the Labour party themselves! As the Spectator pointed out this week, David Cameron should be grateful its Ed Miliband he faces on the other side of the despatch box, not Nicola Sturgeon.
The speech prompted comment by Jonathan Portes ( Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social research) when interviewed by the BBC. He agreed with Nicola that further austerity is not ” inevitable , desirable or necessary”. He also backed her assertion that per capita GDP has actually dropped since the start of the recession despite what the Tory / LibDem claim is rosy economic progress.
Alastair Carmichael our “Scottish Secretary of State” was also interviewed on I think it was the BBC and showed what a slender grasp of economics he has when he stated that the UK continues to “enjoy” record low mortgage interest rates for, I think he claimed, 7 years now. Near zero % interest rates held like this while the UK Government artificially generates money that it effectively lends itself, is not a healthy or sustainable way to run a country. It’s effectively on life support and you can tell that if you actually try to get one of these “cheap” mortgages. But the LibDems want you to think that they and the Tories have engineered artificial rates through policy and not necessity. As if!
As Nicola was quoted from her speech “The entire focus of the Westminster debate is on the deficit. The deficit is hugely important, but it is a symptom of economic difficulties, not just a cause of them”.
A vote for SNP will get Scotland representation in Westminster that cares about Scotland, and will win the debate on austerity politics.