SNP took right-wing constituencies for granted and paid the highest price

Thought-provoking commentary by Michael Fry in The National today:

One thing that has struck me in all the commentary and analysis since the General Election is the refusal to accept that there might be a kind of right-of-centre Scottish nationalism, and that its alienation from the present leadership of the SNP could be a reason for the setbacks last Thursday.

… While Salmond was personally a lefty he could, as a former bank executive, walk the capitalist walk and talk the capitalist talk. That was what he and his colleague John Swinney did at a crucial stage more than a decade ago as they made the rounds of Scottish finance and industry persuading moneyed men that the independence of the country might be good for them too—and that, at any rate, things could hardly get worse than they eventually got under New Labour. All the while Salmond remained First Minister, he continued to cultivate these connections, and with a good deal of success. George Mathewson, Jim McColl, Brian Souter, Tom Farmer, Bill Samuel, Peter de Vink and many others have all endorsed or donated to his SNP. But since 2014 the ample flow of business funding has dried up.

The reasons are not far to seek, and can be found conveniently summarised in the election manifesto the SNP published a couple of weeks ago. Looking inside we find, against dozens of spending commitments and calls for higher taxation, only a couple of lines on how the private sector of the economy (from which all other blessings flow) is to be encouraged and expanded.

One thought on “SNP took right-wing constituencies for granted and paid the highest price”

  1. Definitely agree. We need Scots of all persuasions if we are to achieve independence. We shouldn’t be demonising people who voted for the Tories as we need their support. A significant number of formerly SNP supporters went back to the Tories at the GE. Some think they won’t be back but I beg to differ.

    Events are moving at a hectic pace and Brexit will change the way a lot of people think. We need to grow our tax base and encourage entrepreneurship if we want a fair and socially progressive independent Scotland. Our next manifesto needs to show we value business and the wealth it can generate for the whole country.

    We also need a senior business ambassador from the SNP to restore the links with business we appear to have lost. Perhaps Alex can carry out that role again?

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