Scottish Libertarians aim to ‘fill the vacuum increasingly left by the Scottish Conservatives.’

Scottish Libertarians aim to ‘fill the vacuum increasingly left by the Scottish Conservatives.’

by Andrew Coventry
article from Wednesday 13, May, 2020

SCOTLAND is increasingly looking like a one party state, which wouldn’t have been out of place in the 1970’s Eastern Europe.  We have an SNP who are ever more authoritarian and who believe in high tax and central control. Yet the official opposition, the Scottish Conservative Party, appears to have nothing to offer other than opposition to both Indy Ref 2 and independence. Scotland badly needs a centre right party which extols the rights of the individual, freedom of expression and which is business friendly.

Devolution wasn’t supposed to strip local authorities of powers and influence, neither was it intended to preside over the decline in Scottish education and NHS which is currently the case. For example, education under the SNP has declined alarmingly slipping down international rankings in science, reading and maths while education in England has prospered. The SNP’s policies are more akin to old Labour with a state monopoly. They have also cut 150,000 places in Further Education colleges. Places desperately needed for skills required for the modern workplace and Scottish economy.

The NHS in Scotland is little better with a plethora of missed targets. Prior to the pandemic Scotland had an average of 1,492 hospital beds blocked daily, a magnitude three times higher than the English rate. For potentially life-saving key diagnostics received within the six weeks target the Scotland NHS performance had plunged to 82 per cent compared to 96 per cent south of the Border. Life expectancy in Scotland is the lowest in the UK and, since 2016, in most areas has stopped increasing or has decreased.

The optimism following the 1997 referendum which ushered in the Scottish Parliament two years later has evaporated and Scotland looks increasingly out of step with political developments in the rest of the developed world where governments have embraced the free market as a means to improve their economies and living standards of their citizens. Politics in Scotland is increasingly seen through the prism of identity and the Scottish Conservatives have played straight into the hands of the SNP by adopting an extreme unionist stance.  The Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said a Tory government at Westminster would refuse to grant Holyrood the power to hold Indyref2 for a generation or even for Nicola Sturgeon’s lifetime. He recently told the BBC Scotland that position would not change even if the SNP repeated their electoral feat of 2011 and won a second Holyrood majority in 2021. One must now wonder what would happen to the Scottish Conservative Party if Scotland ever does become independent, they will surely be redundant suffering the political equivalent of a nervous breakdown.  The position of the Tories in Scotland is seen by many to be unsustainable, profoundly undemocratic and simply bad politics. Not only do they now appear to be increasingly out of touch but they are betraying the Scottish people who are not all dyed-in-the-wool socialists who want to turn the clock back to the 1970s.

The Scottish Libertarian Party is a new party which intends to fill the vacuum increasingly left by the Scottish Conservatives.  Libertarian policies include supporting independence if that is the settled will of the Scottish people. Libertarians are also keen to give a voice to the over 1 million Scots who voted to leave the EU in 2016 and support remaining outwith the EU. The party is keen to keep an open border with England and to foster free trade agreements with nations across the globe. Libertarians support free speech and the right of the individual to choose whether that is in education or healthcare. Scottish Libertarians challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual. We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose. Scottish Libertarians believe in low taxes and free markets in order to energise the failing Scottish economy and to increase living standards in Scotland. In short the Scottish Libertarian Party wants to move Scotland away from the paternalism of the SNP which is failing the country badly and instead wants to allow the Scottish people to develop their resourcefulness and ingenuity for which we have always been renowned. 

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