Friday, 30 May 2014

Lies, evasion and FMQs

First Minister's Questions are a total affront to democracy. How is it that Alex Salmond is allowed to get away with not answering the question? Is it because the Presiding Officer is ex-SNP? Was it really a good idea to select a PO from the governing party, against the usual precedent? Or is the position basically toothless? Marwick is quick enough to jump on anyone accusing the FM of telling lies but doesn't seem to be able to make him tell the truth. Evasion, evasion, evasion was the order of the day yesterday. Well, if the leaders of the opposition parties at Holyrood can't get Salmond to spit out the startup costs of an independent Scotland, maybe a petition from the people will have some effect. Or maybe not. If the latter, you know the answer - vote NO. After all, would you buy a car without knowing the cost, and not just the cost to buy it but the cost to run it? Calton thought not and yet that is precisely what the Yes Campaign are expecting us to do. Their £1000 bonanza is based on increased immigration and increased productivity in an independent Scotland but where are these jobs going to come from? Thin air? We can't manage to employ all our people at the moment, particularly our young people, and so, unless all the immigrants Salmond wants to welcome here come with enough capital to start businesses and employ Scots, Calton just can't see increased productivity happening. It's a mirage. As is the idea that, on the 19th September, Scots will "come together" regardless of the outcome of the referendum. Dream on Tricia.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Maybe we just don't want to be in the EU

Extraordinary. In all the BBC coverage on UKIP's gains in the local elections in England and Wales which Calton heard today, not one word about the fact that people may be voting UKIP because they don't want to be in the EU. The Libdems even managed to put their total wipeout down to a mid-term backlash against a governing party! Er, no Nick - Calton thinks it is because you are the most pro-EU of all the main Westminster parties and you are just not in tune with the electorate. Now, which of the parties in Scotland is the most pro-EU apart from the Libdems (whose wipeout here is so predictable that it goes without saying)? The SNP. So, based on that, Calton is going to stick his feathery neck out and predict that, far from the SNP gaining an extra MEP, UKIP is going to get their first in Scotland. Unfortunately, so far it doesn't look like the main parties are prepared to learn anything from their cuffing at the hands of an anti-EU party. They continue to pursue their European dream heedless of the voice of voters or, in other words, situation normal. It reminds Calton of turkeys and Christmas or ostriches and sand. They are either going to get stuffed and roasted or, at the very least, their backsides kicked. Roll on May 2015! (Calton is assuming a No vote in September 2014.)

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Running scared - the political elite

It seems to Calton that the main political parties are running scared of UKIP and with good reason. The trendy liberal political elite are completely out of touch with ordinary voters. They seem to have no idea what it is like to see your grown up children spending their days either in bed or on the computer playing games because they can't get a job. For many parents the fear of the empty nest has been replaced by anxiety over whether their offspring will ever manage to fledge and fly the nest. Many of these youngsters have been through further education, supported by their parents and yet they still can't find a job. For people like these, the news today that there was a 7% increase in the number of NI numbers issued to workers from overseas in 2013, compared with 2012, is not good news. The government can say all it likes about controlling immigration and bringing down the numbers but, as long as we remain in the EU, we have no control over immigration from the EU, which makes up the bulk of that 7% increase. UKIP are on course to win the EU elections, with the possibility of an MEP in Scotland, because they scratch an itch the other parties are not reaching. They are also constellating an anti-EU sentiment which is not able to be expressed in any other way. If the main political parties were really serious about spiking UKIP's guns, all they need to do is take us out of the EU, thus removing UKIP's raison d'etre in one fell swoop. Or at least offer a referendum. Instead, the old-boy establishment (including the BBC) has ganged up on the newcomer who is daring to challenge them and has resorted to playing the loony/racist card, conveniently ignoring the loonies/racists in their own woodpiles. It is a strategy almost certain to backfire. Voters are not that stupid.