On episode twenty-seven of the For A' That podcast, Michael and I were joined once again by the irrepressible Robin McAlpine of the Jimmy Reid Foundation.
Up for discussion on the show today, Scotland's press fell over itself this week (dropping their iPhones in the process) to report the scandalous news that random punters on twitter responded less than solicitously to Chris Hoy's intervention in the independence debate, snarking his politics, citing his privileged education and in one, bonehead case, using the language of treason. We discussed the political strategy behind Better Together's "cybernat" strategy. Robin argues that this isn't half so canny as they think it is.
Moving on, we looked at the SNP's position on an independent Scotland's approach to charging corporation tax. Although I had the misfortune to study tax law at university, I don't have strong views on the question, beyond a loose skepticism towards enthusiasm for Laffer curves, and counter-intuitive economics. Robin sets out to persuade me that the policy is not only madness economically, but worse, perhaps, is zombie policy, adopted in a muddle and enjoying an unhappy, undead life in the SNP's case for independence.
Thereafter, the discussion bended back towards something we looked at a few weeks ago: UKIP, the Janus faces of English nationalism and the hostility of self-consciously British, metropolitan Liberals towards it. I suggest that this attitude is both superstitious and politically perilous. All nationalisms are constructed, and for the left to forego participation in defining Englishness is to implicitly endorse the idea that Englishness is inevitably ethnically chauvinistic, the exclusive property of racists, George-crossed skin-heads. A strategic mistake, I'd suggest. Robin ended by calling on supporters of the current Union to forego the idea that Scottish nationalism is primarily animated by hatred of the England. Move on, move on, his refrain.
You might also want to check out Comrade Greenwell's latest Scottish Independence podcast, in which he nattered away with Colin Fox of the Scottish Socialist Party, about his reasons for supporting Scottish independence.
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