Socialist Worker

Scottish National Party’s shift to Kiwi capitalism is a sharp turn to the right

Issue No. 2599

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon (Pic: Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916/Flickr)

The Scottish National Party (SNP) is poised for a sharp turn to the right.

The Sunday Herald newspaper reported that party’s growth commission is set to champion New Zealand as the model after independence.

The SNP used to punt Ireland’s “Celtic tiger” as its model.

When that became embarrassing after the credit crunch, attention switched to Norway.

When oil prices slumped, that too became difficult. Now, in an effort to look “credible”, the country of choice is New Zealand—one of the most free market economies in the world.

The commission has been sitting for 18 months to deliver policies that could help win a future independence referendum.

Failed free market models won’t deliver the fundamental change Scotland needs—and they won’t motivate most people to vote for independence.

Perhaps the SNP will ditch the commission’s suggestion, but that won’t hide the retreat from radicalism.

When delegates gather at the Scottish TUC union federation conference next week, they should push for an alternative set of policies.

Taxing the rich, nationalising oil and gas, abolishing all the ­anti-union laws and sweeping away the racist immigration laws are starting points.

And then delegates need to build resistance to win them.

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