Down Recorder gives Cllr Enright a platform on Scotland and SNP

Here is the full article that I wrote for the Down Recorder as well at their own precis of it pasted in as a photo

Local Councillor Cadogan Enright, representing the Lecale Coast and Downpatrick area, is just back from Scotland having taken couple of weeks off in the run-up to the Westminster election to go and campaign in Ayrshire for an SNP candidate who hails from Belfast. Cadogan has penned the following opinion piece;

July Down Recorder gives Cllr Enright a platformI campaigned for Philippa Whitford (MP) who was born and raised in Belfast and went to study medicine in Glasgow. She has worked in the NHS for 30 years, with the last 18 years as a consultant breast surgeon in Crosshouse Hospital with periods as a volunteer in the 3rd world including volunteering in a UN hospital in Gaza. She is based in Troon where the ferry arrives in from Northern Ireland.

It was an exhausting but exhilarating campaign resulting in a 26,000 vote swing to Philippa and the SNP in the face of a very hostile media. The reaction of the defeated Labour Party candidate Brian Donohue was quite astonishing, where he revealed that he was “glad he can now tell people to “f*** off” that he’s no longer an MP”. This says much about the way the Labour Part in Scotland had fallen into a rut of taking people for granted, and paid the price for their scorn of the electorate

[ Editor see links  – http://www.irvinetimes.com/news/news-roundup/articles/2015/05/15/737320-donohoes-four-letter-farewell/ ]

The scale of Philippa’s victory reflects not just the rise of the SNP, but also her videos defending the NHS that went viral during the Independence referendum campaign and her extensive community work.  Philippa joins a huge contingent of 56 SNP MP’s, drawn from all parts of Scottish life  – with real life experiences – unlike most politicians in Westminster. Many other doctors and medical professionals, teachers, scientists, musicians and business people who are now determined to get the sort of deal for Scotland that we in NI could only dream about. We have much to learn in NI, and at many levels.

The Mainstream Media (MSM) still don’t understand what has happened. They think this has something to do with Nationalism I.E. ‘who runs your country’, English or Scottish politicians. It was actually all about ‘for whom is your county run for’. The London Tory economics of Clegg, Milliband and Cameron stands in stark contrast to the Scottish notion of the ‘Common Weal’.

Scotland’s Adam Smith is the patron saint of London Capitalism because of his work, ‘The Wealth of Nations’. But in Scotland, they still also remember Smith’s writings on morality and the decisions we make in pursuit of happiness, especially his ideas in the epic work ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’. It will be interesting to watch how this division over moral philosophy plays out in the myopic world of Westminster. The people v’s the City of London – who will win?

The biggest losers in this election were the MSM including the BBC. Their influence is now reducing to just older voters in Scotland. There has been a massive drop in sales for the Tory and Labour supporting press. A huge inter-generational gap has opened up in Scotland where a majority of people now have their opinions distilled by the social media. It is astonishing how clearly the fault lines have been drawn:

–          Those informed by the social media versus old media,

–          Economically active people verses pensioners and those dependant on the State

–          Grassroots democratic campaigns versus the elitism of the Westminster/Fleet Street bubble

–          Believing in local ability and ideas versus following London establishment authority

–          Politics influenced by the needs of citizens verses vested interests like the City of London

–          Those supporting mixed economy verses a privatised economy

–          Hope verses Fear

–          And way down the list – Scottish versus British identity

In my opinion, this level of political change has not been seen since the moderate Irish Parliamentary Party (IIP) won 80-odd seats in 1885. The Torys of that day supported a rapacious English landlord class extracting penal rents from their overwhelmingly Irish Catholic and Scots Presbyterian tenants. The Torys of today support unreformed banksterism and the interests of the top 1%. Different issues, same Torys.

It is to be hoped that the Westminster elite learned something from their 40 year campaign to stop the IIP getting Land Reform and Irish Home Rule under the Crown. The initial reactions from the incoming Tory Government are not hopeful. Here in County Down we are in the middle of a series of centenaries that demonstrate the Torys mishandling of the ‘other’ Home Rule campaign. It was 103 years ago that Tory leader Bonar Law encouraged the Ulster Unionist Council and the UVF to arm themselves against Irish Home Rule. Many of their 37,000 German guns were landed in County Down at Donaghadee and elsewhere.

It was Bonar Law MP and the Torys that encouraged the Army in Ireland to mutiny against the elected Westminster Government and pushed for the suspension of the 3rd Irish Home Rule Bill. As a reaction to this, just 2 years later, Sir Rodger Casement stayed in the Ardglass Arms and conspired with Francis Bigger at Shanes Castle in Ardglass to bring in the 1,500 guns which were to be used in the rising in 1916.

If only the Torys had respected democracy 100 years ago, we could be living either in a Federal Britain and Ireland under the Crown now, or maybe an independent Ireland within the Commonwealth like Canada. It is to be hoped that something has been learned from the Irish debacle. Let’s hope that Scotland’s desire for Home Rule and its wish to have a more Scandinavian style of politics is respected. Clearly a Britain run for the benefit of the Financial Sector in London is not attractive to Scotland, and the worm has finally turned.

Scottish ideas about better economic governance resound around the UK. Especially in areas where the influence of the London-controlled media is waning and social media is gaining. Increasingly people are pointing to Northern Europe and Scandinavia for a different view of societal economics. Late last week tens of thousands of English people signed a petition for the North of England to join Scotland and declare independence. Many here sympathise with this sentiment.

The last straw for Scotland was the Smith Commission proposals on partly devolving some powers to Scotland, rather than the Home Rule promised by the No Campaign last September. The elections results were a clear rebuff for the Smith Commission. Cameron will have to give, or Scotland will be gone.