Monday, 4 May 2015

Greens Are Voting SNP. Will SNP Voters Return the Favour?

By Justin Kenrick, First Published at Bella Caledonia

As we’ve all noticed, there was no Yes Alliance for this election.

Many of us (in the Greens, SSP, RIC, Women For Indy, non-aligned) argued for such an alliance. Many say it would have muddied the water – “Who are you really voting for?” – and anyway clearly, in the short term of this particular election, the SNP didn’t need us.

Or so it would seem. 

But the overwhelming majority of fellow Green Party members I have asked are planning to vote SNP this election. Greens may poll 5 to 15% at the 2016 Holyrood election – time will tell – but it appears that the vast majority of these are going to be voting SNP on Thursday. 

So the SNP do need us after all, if they are going to achieve a wipe-out of unionist parties.

Greens are adding 5 to 15% to SNP candidates’ tallies. Greens are lending the SNP their votes en masse, (and not only this, I’ve just been canvassed for the SNP by an SNP party member accompanied by a local Green party member!) – and that’s a really intelligent response to the Westminster election system, and to this phenomenal historical moment. 

The opinion polls signal an overwhelming victory for the SNP in Scotland.

Is that situation going to change in the next week?

Yes, the SNP’s vote will get more and more solid.

Why? Because, as Murray McCallum has said elsewhere on Bella, the way the powerful (such as the Westminster parties and the corporates of the City of London and its media) dominate us is by “creating the conditions, and then criticising the actuality”. They create poverty, insecurity and division – nationally and globally – and then claim it’s the peoples’ fault, and that only they, the powerful, can impose the solutions needed.

Meanwhile their solutions – whether ‘war on terror ‘ or austerity – just make matters worse. Austerity accelerating the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich; the  ‘war on terror destabilising and demonising entire countries or regions, ensuring that their resources are dirt cheap and controlled by us, or that their reaction justifies our elites’ power.

But whenever we collectively realise what they are up to (as here and now in Scotland), then every move they make in this game – every lie the ‘Scottish Labour’ or the ‘Conservative and Unionists’ tell – digs them deeper into oblivion.

And they can’t understand – not one bit – why it isn’t working. It’s worked before (the big lies under Thatcher, the big deceits under Blair), so why isn’t it working now?

Let’s not tell them.

Let’s just enjoy the fact that if they could put themselves in our shoes and see why it isn’t working, then the act of doing so would involve them seeing the world as it actually is, and switching sides.

at this election, reverse rules apply:
the louder they lie, the harder they fall.
the more they scaremonger
the fewer scared mongers remain

But not in England, where there is not yet a credible movement against the elite (the Greens alone being too weak) and so there the lies still work a treat: scaring voters back into the Tory fold, and scaring Labour into being as Tory as they dare.

As we all know, behind the ‘reasonable’ face of the independence movement, behind the SNP, there is a far more radical movement. If Nicola Sturgeon and Stewart Hosie’s focus on abandoning austerity, Trident and other status, poverty and fear-generating games seems radical to the Westminster/ Corporate elite, it emerges from and is energised by a far broader and deeper movement (many of whom have joined the SNP). A movement focused on independence, not only for Scotland from the UK, but also for all of us from a system that is cannibalising the social and ecological fabric in the pursuit of unhinged profits.

Preparing the way for the best possible 2016 Holyrood election result:

What matters just as much (or more?) than who goes to Westminster, is what kind of Government and what kind of Opposition we want to vote into Holyrood in May 2016.

Many SNP members locally speak of wanting the Greens to lead the opposition to the SNP Government that looks certain to be elected in May 2016.

If, as looks inevitable, the SNP goes from strength to strength under a leader who is in touch with what people need, then the SNP will clear up on the constituency vote in 2016.

So in 2016, just as most Green voters will almost certainly continue to vote SNP on the constituency vote, will SNP voters waste their list vote on the SNP (when their having won so many constituency seats will mean a vote for SNP on the list will for the most part let Labour, LibDems or the Tories in), or will they instead vote Green on the list?

Will SNP voters in 2016 return the favour to Green voters in 2015?

Time will tell, but doing that would mean that our constituency vote will decide the Government, and our list vote will decide who heads the Opposition. 

It’s not who wins a debate, its what we debate, that matters

If we continue the stale debates determined by the media’s masters who want to focus only on how fast the deficit is cut, how many missiles we need, and how we are ‘swamped by immigrants’. If we continue these sterile debates then we’ve lost, however many seats we’ve won. (The exception to the rule has been the UK-wide leaders debates, because those running the system were focused on manipulating the UK level, on destabilising Milliband, and so didn’t see the space they’d open up for Nicola Sturgeon to shine).

Moving on from SNP vs Unionist, to (social democratic) SNP vs Greens (focused on social and ecological justice), means moving on to dealing with the real hard issues; where none of us can simply point and say you’re wrong, but all of us have to work out how best to reconcile conflicting truths. Is that not a politics worth (SNP and Green) voting for?

Of course, whether the Greens manage to powerfully articulate the need for a radical transformation of our system or, whether if they cannot, they are replaced by an ecologically conscious SSP or Radical Left party next year, we’ve yet to see.

The debate we need is between those, such as the SNP, who advocate making the system we live in fairer and greener, and those who argue that – although such steps are welcome – they are not enough, not for those living in poverty now, nor for the way this system is driving a stake through the heart of all our futures.

There is no easy answer in that debate.

One side is not wrong and another right. But the dynamic of that debate can rapidly drive positive solutions, in the way that the social democratic independence movement having to argue with the deadness of an austerity mass-destruction addicted unionism can never do.

Here are a few key Green propositions that are practical and transformative and contentious: free public transport, a basic income for all, green reindustrialisation.

Such a green reindustrialisation would include no to fracking and yes to a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewables, partly driven by a scheme such as cap and share (where huge tariffs are levied on companies bringing in fossil fuels, and the money raised is redistributed to all the population, thus rapidly increasing the wealth of the poorest while driving renewable energy and helping underpin a huge expansion in green infrastructure).

Such proposals, like the Green case for shifting taxation from taxing the producing of social value (work) to taxing processes that stop social value from being produced (for example, the proposed land value tax), are ones which will help the SNP Government to think freshly and consider how its actions can ensure a future for all, while considering: how can this be done in a way which can work in the realities of the world we are living in now?

So, Greens are voting SNP on Thursday to, but will SNP voters return the favour next May?

This Thursday matters, but the outcome looks pretty certain: whether the Tories ‘win’ by demonising Scotland, or Labour ‘win’ by denying Scotland, their actions have broken the Union.

We need to vote on Thursday, but we also need to keep it in proportion. Whatever happens in Westminster, what ultimately matters is what happens here.

If Westminster wants to bury itself that is its choice. Let’s continue to birth the new politics. 

1 comment:

  1. Mike,

    You're getting a smidgin warmer with your :-

    "Of course, whether the Greens manage to powerfully articulate the need for a radical transformation of our system or, whether if they cannot, they are replaced by an ecologically conscious SSP or Radical Left party next year, we’ve yet to see."

    But unless you fully grasp and articulate the horrendous implications of climate change you will be nowhere near enough to the actual total transcending of the current system that will be required to rescue humanity from the madness we've been sold and the physical and ecological disaster but a few decades away.

    You won't take to this message at all because the hard men of Green Left won't want to see their basic platform swept away - but the sad truth, as I see it, is that platform is already showing signs of ominous creaking when you peer a little beyond what the scientific community is currently revealing in huge detail.