Britain, Conservatives, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Central, Holyrood Elections, Jack McConnell, Labour Party, LibDems, Politics, Sarah Boyack, Scotland, Scottish Elections 2007, Scottish Green, scottish independence, SNP, Solidarity, SSP, the left, Tony Blair

LibDems are out in Edinburgh Central

Well done to McGellie for catching the LibDems faking data on their electoral adverts for Edinburgh Central. I already couldn’t vote for Tory and SNP; now I can’t vote LibDem either… guess who’s left? Good old labour… so Sarah Boyack is probably gonna get my vote by default.

Which reminds me: SSP, Green, and Solidarity not having candidates for the Constituency vote is a huge favour to Labour – remember that next time they slag off Tony Blair or McConnell.

Britain, Conservatives, Edinburgh, Labour Party, LibDems, Politics, Scotland, scottish independence, SNP

Scottish Elections: last seven polls averaged out

I have averaged out the last seven opinion polls for the upcoming Holyrood Elections. Here’s the result:

Constituency: SNP 35.42%, Labour 30.14%, Tory 14.28%, LibDem 12.57%

Regional: SNP 33.57%, Labour 28.57%, Tory 14%, LibDem 11.85%

MSPs: SNP 47, Labour 43, Tory 18, LibDem 15

The seven polls:

28.3.07, Populus

29.3.07, Scottih Opinion (data here)

30.3.07, YouGov

1.4.07, TNS System Three (data here)

2.4.07, YouGov (commissioned by SNP, data here, MPSs count mine)

3.4.07, ICM (data here)

6.4.07, mruk (data here)

9/11, Britain, China, Cold War, Conservatives, House of Commons, Iran, New Labour, North Korea, nuclear deterrence, Politics, Russia, Scotland, scottish independence, SNP, Terrorism, Trident, WMD

The unspeakable case for nuclear deterrence

The only argument for nuclear deterrence that could be heard today in the Commons, from both New Labour and the Conservatives, was that the world’s future cannot be predicted; and that, in the absence of safe predictions over future threats, we must keep our nuclear weapons, just in case. This is, by the way, an admission that nuclear weapons, today, are not doing any deterrence. And it is, therefore, an admission that, today, nuclear weapons are not deterring North Korea, for example.

Now, not only this is a bad argument; this, actually, is no argument at all. Because it does not point to anything as the justification of nuclear deterrence. To justify nuclear deterrence, as to justify anything, we must point to something: in this case, we must point to, if not actual, at least possible threats. If there are no possible threats to point to, than there is no justification for nuclear deterrence. But possible threats are not even enough: being attacked from outer space is a possible threat, but in the absence of any reasons for thinking that this might actually happen, this possible threat does not constitute a justification for nuclear deterrence (if the government does indeed think that this is a reason to keep Trident, let us hear it).

So whoever cares to justify nuclear deterrence, must point to reasons for thinking that those threats might materialize. Unfortunately the government is not in the position to name any possible future threat that we have reason to think might materialize; because that would unsettle its international relations. The government, for example, cannot mention any reasons for thinking that, 50 years down the line, China might turn nasty. So, in short, the government is not in a position to justify nuclear deterrence. Make of it what you like: it might be that the government must have the right, in the interest of its people, not to make necessary claims that would, though, unsettle its relations with the international community. Or it might be that, in the absence of a public justification to Parliament of nuclear deterrence, the government is asking the Commons to vote on an unjustified motion – and that Parliament should never vote for an unjustified motion.

But the Conservatives, which are using the same arguments as the government, are not in that delicate position. The Conservatives can, therefore, name their reasons; they therefore ought to: let us hear them!

UPDATE: MPs voted to renew Trident, 409 to 161, majority 248. According to The Guardian, around 85 Labour MPs voted against the Government.

Britain, Labour Party, Political Philosophy, Politics, republicanism, Scotland, scottish independence, SNP, Tony Blair

A, very modest, proposal

Blair cannot pretend that Scottish independentism is just about economic interests: the same way that the Nats’ commitment to an independent Scotland goes far beyond their desire to control Scottish resources, others, on the left, want to leave the Union because they want free of the Queen. In a slogan, if the Nats want to ditch the “United” bit of the UK (in fact in their plans for independence the Queen would remain Head of State), others are more worried about the “Kingdom” bit. And it is just those people that might tip the balance at the next Scottish elections if the debate is polarized by the independence issue: people that wouldn’t’ mind independence if that opened up the possibility of a Scottish Republic. So here comes the proposal: Mr. Blair, promise us a British Republic, and we’ll stick to Westminster.