I’m quite happy with beingamoderate
I feel a further response is required to Thomas Burgess (Letters, July 10), who thanked me for describing him as a “fanatical SNP supporter”.
The problem with being fanatical, Thomas, is the lack of objectivity that naturally follows fanaticism.
Moderates, on the other hand, tend to be naturally cautious and ask searching questions of any offering put in front of them.
Thomas states “by implication taint those who disagree with Tory philosophy as extremist”. I disagree with that analysis but would have thought it was obvious anyone holding a position, such as fanatical support for a political party, was indeed holding an extreme view.
I like to think I am indeed moderate in my views, no matter how I might vote.
For example, I see many flaws in both SNP and Tory positions. Boris Johnston, for example, is totally unsuited (in my view) as a prime minister. Also, leaving the EU is a mistake, solely due to the uncertainty it will cause economically, not for any other reason (I voted to remain).
Whatever the rights and wrongs of any political party, the words of James Carville (strategist to Bill Clinton in 1992) spring to mind: “It’s the economy, stupid”. It is a fact that unless you have a strong economy, governments cannot carry out their many manifesto promises.
To have a strong economy you need to focus on business, fostering the private sector. The public sector, however important, only eats cash.
If we listened to Sturgeon’s economic strategist Andrew Wilson, author of the SNP’s Growth Commission, he said only a few weeks ago that the SNP’s main focus should be on the economic emergency, now that the health emergency was more under control.
Sturgeon has ignored this and has continued to focus on further depressing/eradicating the virus as her main aim.
There is no such thing in this pandemic as “safe”, it’s a question of balancing risk.
The number of collateral deaths that may arise from a recession/depression (mental health?), allied to those who have not had, for example, early cancer treatments, is likely to eclipse those that fell victim to the pandemic - just listen to the health experts.
I suggest Sturgeon has taken the view it will be mainly Westminster that will have to bear the problems and costs of trying to rescue the UK economy.
I also point to Benny Higgins remarks as the chairman of the recent “independent” SNP-commissioned report on economic recovery. He states that the SNP’s relationship with business “is not good”.
He was, by the way, the only one on the five-person committee who had significant commercial/business experience. The remainder were either academics or public sector appointees. If it cannot get business onside, the SNP has a huge uphill task to get a moribund economy going again, never mind getting growth.
Finally, Thomas shows a lack of understanding of the central bank position and the borrowing capability of an independent Scotland.
The central bank would indeed remain with the rump of the UK, Scotland would have no central bank. That was the SNP offering last time.
Scotland’s ability to borrow would depend on the market and be far more costly than at present. Yes, the IMF may lend to an independent Scotland, but the conditions would be stringent, resulting in austerity which would make the past 10 years seem like a picnic.
It is basically a lender of last resort, as indeed the UK Government found out in the distant past.
Rejoining the EU, likewise would be difficult, and even if successful, subject to conditions and major austerity.
In summary, the “moderate” position is just to question closely what is presented to you.
Economic stability is the cornerstone of our existence. Do we want to be deserting our main trading partner and at the same time handling the potential horrors of Brexit?
Fanaticism is safer if it’s restricted to following St Johnstone Football Club. George Godsman