No Votes SNP?
In the general election, I voted for the SNP purely to avoid welcoming another Labour MP for my area. The fact the party were at the forefront for the Independence campaign went a long way for me and I have always admired the success of the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in an otherwise male dominated field like politics. However, there is room for some questions to be asked about the true reliability of the SNP and there are a few reasons why I won’t be sparing a vote for them on Thursday for the Scottish Parliament elections.
The SNP portray themselves as a socialist party but some of their policies and proposals don’t comply with this image. Under Alex Salmond, the party pledged to cut Scotland’s corporation tax. This is a proposal which would have been advantageous to big firms and private businesses – a proposal which could suggest the party is of a more capitalist nature than it would like its supporters to think. In fairness, once Nicola Sturgeon took Salmond’s place, she discarded this proposal and decided to focus on “greater equality.” However, more recently in the build up to the Scottish election, the SNP backtracked on their proposal for the richest taxpayers to pay more income tax under the Scottish system – meaning it will only apply at Westminister not Holyrood. These proposals which act in favour of big business are far from the supposed socialist roots of the SNP and if further implemented can see the wealth gap encouraged further, worsening the already existing social inequality which the SNP supposedly opposes.
Another SNP policy which has made me reconsider giving them either of my votes is the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act. Since this legislation was introduced the general public, backed by football clubs and politicians alike, has opposed its unclear and consequently unfair nature. The legislation itself is massively flawed with its subpoints being vague and imprecise. What is constituted as a crime under the Act is unclear which results in football fans being targeted for a variety of tame, innocent acts which once taken through the courts are recognised as such – harmless and non-criminal. Not only is this a waste of police time, with the police presence at football fixtures ever-increasing, but the personal and social consequences of those targeted is lifelong and is far from the ‘greater social equality’ that the SNP so preaches.
In fairness, I do think its unfair that in public appearances and leaders debates, that the other Scottish leaders have used the concept of a second independence referendum as a tool against the SNP. The First Minister has made it clear that this would only occur if it was the wishes of the people of Scotland and whilst this is ultimately how democracy works, the other leaders still oppose it. All that said, in terms of a Scottish government, I would prefer the SNP in power at Holyrood as opposed to Labour or the Tories but is democracy, and ultimately effective representation, really about making the ‘best of a bad bunch’?