Holyrood would gain from having another pro-independence party

I’VE noticed lately a number of established SNP figures looking down their nose at the prospect of another pro-independence party sitting in Holyrood. The claim is that the new party would open the door to Unionists parties and damage the pro-indy majority, but that’s hard to rationalise as long as the prospective party stands only on the regional list.

As Holyrood enters its 23rd year, why should it continue to reflect the tired political status quo which exists at Westminster? Surely it’s time the Scottish Parliament branched out to better represent the Scottish people. We have three parties at Holyrood strongly united against independence – why not have an equal number in favour?

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There is considerable frustration amongst Yessers that the SNP’s strategy simply isn’t going to deliver independence as their mandate promised, and the growing interest in an alternative pro-independence party is inevitable. If the SNP’s strategy is the correct one, however, and we need to endure the Union for the longer term, then surely some constructive pro-indy opposition in the Scottish Parliament is a good thing? Surely we want a party who we know will hold the Scottish Government to account, but not because they want to throw independence under the bus.

The SNP effectively is the Yes movement at Holyrood (with all due respect to the Greens), proving an easy target for the Unionist media. As the governing party any weakness or policy “failing” is projected into a “forever more” policy of an independent Scotland and “proof” as to why we would founder on our own. Just look at how long the Unionist hacks have been dining out on the ridiculous Growth Commission proposals. An additional party with an alternative view without the burden of governance at Holyrood is a positive thing. It helps stymie the media tactic of conflating party policy or performance with the constitutional debate. For those of us somewhat troubled at the SNP’s political leanings over recent times it also provides a welcome alternative.

To SNP politicians, before you start asking “what’s wrong with these people?” it might pay to remember that Scottish Labour have been asking the same question for a number of years. Surely you should be asking why “these people” are actively looking for other solutions. A growing number of people recognise that Boris Johnson, a man with the emotional intelligence of HAL 9000, isn’t going to change his mind.

Scott EgnerAberdour

WHAT an absurd article and headline (Michael Fry on “the greatest living Scotsman”, May 5) concerning Angus Deaton and his winning of the “Nobel Prize” for Economics in 2015.

Firstly, there is no such prize. Alfred Nobel founded annual prizes for real sciences and genuine intellectual endeavour that benefits humanity (Chemistry, Literature, Physics, Physiology or Medicine and Peace).

In contrast, the Nobel Memorial prize, founded by bankers to reward those who provide bogus intellectual ballast for their usury, rent-seeking and pillage, is a prime example of “physics envy” and public relations.

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The problem is not just its bogus ontology, but also its designation of economics as a scientific field worthy of receiving a Nobel prize at all.

It is not “scientific” to promulgate theories that fail to describe economic reality; rather it is a body of doctrine, derived from absurd axioms, whose sole use and purposes are ideological, rather than a means of understanding lived reality.

Real sciences work by empirical observation, hypothesis formulation, experimentation and real-world predictions. Their legacies are, inter alia, antibiotics, vaccines, the electric grid, computers and vital infrastructure.

In contrast, mainstream economics, since its “utilitarian” revolution, has abandoned the analysis of the objective world and its political, social and economic productive relations, in favour of introverted, axiomatic speculations, mathematical acrobatics, and psychic gobbledygook in the service of money power.

The social science of political economy, that of Adam Smith and Ricardo, was discarded in reaction to Marxism – which represented the logical culmination of classical Ricardian economics – and replaced by the “Cargo Cult” of neoclassical economics that has engulfed present academia and governments.

The established practitioners of economics, even Mr Deaton (being to the left of Michael Fry is a poor test of radicalism) are generally negligent of the social preconditions and consequences of man’s economic activity, especially when it comes to actually challenging power and private wealth.

It failed its biggest test with the unforeseen (by the mainstream) banking crash and subsequent imposition of unnecessary austerity. Its legacies are inequality, poverty, industrial devastation, bullshit jobs, economic instability, ecological degradation, and war. It continues to fail during the present crisis – itself a product of the globalisation it promulgates.

The idea that any mainstream economist – even Mr Deaton, who is not the worst – could be “the greatest living Scotsman” is silly beyond words.

Dr John O’DowdBothwell

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