The Scottish First Minister is punishing children just to prove a political pointby John McTernan / February 8, 2016 / Leave a comment
Politics often seems about positioning and presentation. This is understandable—it is a contest for power, and persuasion is central to gaining power. But in the end that power is about purpose—political purpose—or it is worth nothing. We see this principle boiled down to its basics in Scotland today. The Scottish National Party has now been in power for nearly nine years. The first seven of these were about a referendum on independence, which they held and lost decisively.
The question is what will the next decade—which the SNP looks set to dominate electorally in the Scottish Parliament—be about? Almost certainly it will be about trying and failing to hold a second referendum. This, paradoxically, will be a success for the SNP. Any second referendum is a high-risk option for them as there will be no third one, but the hope of the SNP leadership is that the prospect of a potential referendum (that never quite materializes) will hold their coalition of support together. It is power through procrastination.