Where we are and where we will be

Where we are and where we will be
The idea of Edinburgh is a combination of place, soul and symbolic leadership of a nation

Thursday, 4 September 2008

on the one hand and then on the other...

The SNP's list of legislation is varied and includes some subjects that needs to be dealt with like health, climate change, flood management and children's hearing system. But the truth is, the only one of significance is the Council tax bill and that significance is nothing to do with deciding how Council's raise their money. All the others are about the things of government that any party would have to deal with. this one is about the potential of independence

The First Minister has been very clever. If he get's defeated, he will say I wanted to be fair but the other, (unionist) parties didn't. If he wins he will say I kept my pledge. But it goes deeper than that. this is about how power is used and perceived to be used. The SNP want to show that he can manage the challenges of minority Government and still bring about radical change for Scotland. That will show they can both be consensual and stick to their principles. And to that end, I think that would be an achievement for the power of Proportional Representation. I just wish it wasn't on this subject. Somewhat ironically, should the Council Tax be abolished and we get instead a income based tax set centrally achieved by a minority government achieving a parliamentary majority, we could have one huge political victory with immensely positive consequences for our political process and yet in the same act be destroying local democracy and accountability in one fell swoop, (and that's before the problems of collection and loss of cash for public services kick in). Politics: its a funny old game!


Will said...

Just a thought: what if the Government accedes to the LibDem wish to see the LIT rate set locally in order to get that majority? Then with that combining with stand-alone local elections fought on local issues, Councils will find themselves a lot more accountable...

Malc said...

"The First Minister has been very clever."

You say it like its a bad thing!

You are right though. He's painted Labour and the Tories into a corner - the Tories have provided an alternative to LIT plans while each of the 3 leadership candidates for the Labour party have identified that the Council Tax is bad but don't have any ideas on how to reform/ replace it.

So yes, the FM is being clever. But the unionist parties are not being so clever on this - makes him look even smarter. You need a strategy!

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