Why it has to be SNP

SNP Venn diagramme


For an end to austerity – to benefit cuts and sanctions and the war against the unemployed and disabled – give a tactical vote to the SNP. You may not agree with all their policies, but under our first-past-the-post electoral system, this is the most effective way to support the fight against the Tories and the fight for Independence.

Last election the SUWN gave critical support to the SNP, and we do so again today. Last time, we expected and hoped for a Labour government in Westminster supported by the SNP. That would still be our ‘hope’, but this time no-one expects it to happen. Instead, we look set to be faced with a strengthened Tory government that is determined to destroy what’s left of the welfare state, to hasten the drive towards a deregulated low-wage economy, and to claw back existing devolved powers into the control of the London elites. Our chance to escape from this future must be grasped with both hands. We need to maximise the number of Indy-supporters in Westminster; and we need to make it difficult for the political pundits who will pounce on any drop in the number of SNP MPs or in the percentage of votes for Indy-supporting parties, and present this as evidence of falling support for an Independence referendum. (Except in the safest seats this means a vote for the SNP, but we will get the option of showing support for smaller Indy parties, such as the Greens, in the council elections, where we can rank our choices in order.)

Last time we could confidently state that the SNP was a more progressive anti-Tory force than Tory-lite Labour. This time we have to recognise that Labour now has a leader in the tradition of the post-war Labour Government. But many of the people standing on a Labour ticket would sooner stab Corbyn in the back than support socialism. Most voters in England who want to show their support for socialist values and Corbyn’s leadership have no option but to vote Labour, whatever their local candidate, but here in Scotland the situation is different. Scottish Labour has shown little enthusiasm for Corbyn’s ideas apart from his refusal to support Scottish Independence: unionism has become their defining obsession.  And, of course, if it wasn’t for Scottish Labour’s dogmatic support for the union we wouldn’t be suffering under a Tory government now. Labour even made sure that control over most welfare benefits remained with Westminster – against the spirit of their own duplicitous devolution ‘Vow’.

We want to see the decisions that affect Scotland made in Scotland, and not in distant Westminster. At the same time we value working-class unity, which is not stopped by national borders. However, our unity with the English working class does not require us to go down with the UK ship. It is better for everyone if we make use of our lifeboat to survive and offer support from a more secure place.

Of course we recognise that we need much more than the SNP’s cautious social democracy to make Scotland a truly fair society, and we will not stop pushing for more radical change. But if we can weaken the Tories and increase the pressure for Independence, then we are a step further along the way.

On the 8th June we must choose between the brutal vision of a Tory prime minister determined to finish off what little Thatcher left of community, and the possibility of building our own very different future. What follows will not be simple, but that electoral choice can have only one answer.

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