SNP election manifesto

SaltireI think I understand why the SNP manifesto ignores the environment almost completely – it’s because wildlife, forestry, agriculture, planning, fisheries etc are all devolved matters.  The Scottish parliament already has a very high level of power over these things.  However, in a manifesto which says that the SNP ‘will use our influence at Westminster to help deliver positive change for the benefit of ordinary people, not just in Scotland, but across the UK‘ then this ordinary person finds the manifesto sadly empty on a subject about which I care deeply.

It also suggests very strongly that the SNP MPs who come to Westminster, as they may in large numbers, may play a part in making my life better  (by ‘locking out’ the Conservative Party and opposing exit from the EU), but their main aim seems to be to carry bags of British gold back to Scotland.

It’s a shame, because I like quite a lot of what the SNP offers – except it doesn’t offer it to me, it only offers it to Scotland.  A party with which I feel quite a lot of empathy doesn’t give a monkey’s about me even though it is turning up in the parliament that governs my life. Hmm.

The SNP will support a ban on fracking and call for carbon targets across the UK that are as ambitious as those already agreed in Scotland. But that’s it.

Well I can’t vote for the SNP anyway!


Other political party manifestos are available:


Lib Dems




Plaid Cymru


Website Pin Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati Digg Google StumbleUpon Premium Responsive

Get email notifications of new blog posts

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

13 Replies to “SNP election manifesto”

  1. With the lowest population density of all the countries in the Union, Scotland does feel more in tune with nature. Having some spectacular areas of wilderness (or at least as 'wilderness' as 21st Century living allows), means that there are species here that aren't found elsewhere in the UK. The Scottish Government are keen on renewables, and are intent upon bettering the UK's target of 15% by 2020. Up here, they're looking for 100%. There has been a step away from wave energy (with some job losses), but tidal energy development continues apace. As far as protection for wildlife is concerned, it will be interesting to see what happens if the situation arises where the UK leaves the EU. For many reasons (hopefully, one of them being nature), Scotland would wish to remain in the EU.

    On a less serious note, when's Henry coming to visit the new Eddie Balfour hide in Orkney?

  2. A somewhat cynical view of the SNP, Mark. Part of this sounds like it was cut & pasted straight from the Daily Mail, or perhaps a Labour Party leaflet!

    While you are correct in that most environmental matters are devolved to Holyrood, if the laws protecting wildlife throughout the UK were as strong as the amended Wildlife & Countryside Act has become in Scotland, our natural heritage might be better protected. Scottish Hen Harriers also die in England!

    As the Labour Party implodes in Scotland, perhaps due to its support for Trident, illegal wars etc and it taking Scotland's support for granted for decades, the SNP has been a breath of fresh air, particularly with it grasping the nettle of land reform, and as Graeme says, setting ambitious renewables targets. While no-one can claim the SNP government has got everything right, and it certainly hasn't, their engagement on issues such as raptor persecution has been pretty encouraging. And no sign of licenced control of buzzards...

    If a large tranche of SNP MP's at Westminster has the impact of stirring things up, particularly preventing Labour lurching even further to the right, that can only be a good thing for the entire UK.

    1. Ian - thanks. It's fine for you to talk up the SNP's record in government in Scotland but there is no sign in this manifesto (which was written by them!) that they have any plans to help wildlife anywhere else in the UK if you send them down to Westminster. In their own chosen words, the SNP ignores wildlife issues in their bid to be a larger Westminster party. Just pointing it out. You seem to be saying that their unwritten words would be full of good things for wildlife - every party could claim that.

      And I very much doubt that the Labour party would criticise the SNP manifesto for lacking detail on wildlife - people in glasshouses etc etc

  3. I have a lot of sympathy with the Scots’ view that they should have far more of a say in how their land is governed than the Westminster parliament. (I feel much the same and I only live 60 miles from London.) However, the SNP forfeited much of that sympathy by giving Donald Trump permission to trash the dune system and blight the lives of local residents in Aberdeenshire by building his golf resort:

  4. Your anti-jock rhetoric is more akin to a cheap tabloid or even one of Nigel Farage's Ukip propaganda rants.
    Your talk of the SNP taking bags of British gold back to Scotland smacks of the fear and resentment unfairly being levelled at the Scots and perpetrated by the more corrupt and traditional Westminster parties. Perhaps you need reminded that there is next to no British gold anymore as it was sold off by a Labour government a few years ago at a price of $250 per ounce when today it would be worth $1600 per ounce.
    I'm sure I don't have to remind you of the millions of barrels of black gold that Westminster has pillaged from Scotland over the years without even the forethought to set up an oil fund for a rainy day.
    At last September's referendum we were subjected to every dirty trick the politicians, BBC, bankers, bullies and billionaires could dream up and were told that this UK was a family of equal nations. Well it now appears that some are more equal than others and Scotland is only welcome if we haud our wheesht and just be happy with the scraps that Westminster throws us.
    The tides turning in Scottish politics and the days of the traditional parties and their guaranteed seats is slipping away fast and I for one welcome that.

    1. Ronnie - thanks. But this post is about Westminster politics. And I notice you haven't come up with a list of fine environmental policies in the SNP manifesto.

  5. A little depressing Mark, to see you recycling the tabloid smears regarding the SNP and Scotland. You clearly did not listen to Sturgeon when she spoke in England a couple of times last month. The commitment to Scotland is obvious, but the commitment also to a constructive and progressive role for the whole UK is genuine and was expressed in the straightforward and statesmanlike terms which the other parties cannot match. Having empathy with progressive SNP policies, while rejecting the legitimacy of their MPs does not add up.

      1. The SNP manifesto is aimed at a UK election and every policy is a UK policy, the thrust being social justice and sustainable economic growth across the UK, consequent on ending austerity. Specific references to Scotland are simply illustrative of the particular effect on Scotland, or they express how the devolved parliament could develop these in a Scottish context, particularly with greater powers. Any particular policies to Scotland's advantage in terms of Regional development include areas like the north of England and are necessary in the absence of any UK Regional Development infrastructure (unlike most of Europe) and the current imbalance towards London and the south east. There is nothing that, in your own rather tabloid expression, will carry bags of British gold back to Scotland, or that doesn't give a monkey's about you.

        In pursuit of these UK policies the SNP has said it will align itself constructively with the UK centre left, in which it has (generously) included the Labour Party. The inability, however, of the UK to accommodate political diversity indicates that, instead of the civilised cooperation found elsewhere in Europe, we will get a pretty ugly and unrepresentative version of English nationalism, orchestrated by the Tories and the media, which in no way is reciprocated in the debate in Scotland.

        Criticise the environmental scope of the SNP manifesto by all means - you will not be alone in terms of its respective UK and Scottish versions - but following the line of Cameron, Farage and the Daily Mail on the legitimacy of Scotland reduces the credibility of any comment. As Ian Thomson suggested, conservation in England might have a fair bit to learn from Scotland and, of course, vice versa. Diversity and cooperation are productive, especially in environmental terms.

          1. Probably because, as you said yourself, it is a devolved matter, of less immediate relevance to a UK General election. That however is not a wholly adequate reason. The environment is as much a UK wide issue as any other and probably requires a more integrated approach than most, so it needs to be addressed in a UK context.

            The SNP, for a variety of historical reasons does not have much of a background on purely environmental issues, in particular on species and habitat conservation, hence some of the laughable stuff in the current manifesto on 'species' protection. You could however say exactly the same about the other three large parties. The SNP's focus in conservation appears to have been to establish Scotland's legitimacy in international terms by seeking to uphold EU Directives and other international agreements and by taking a tough line (relative to England) in legislating against the reputational damage inflicted by things like raptor persecution. Similar motivation, alongside the economic, drives the renewables policies. All that is perfectly normal and desirable in a country trying to re-establish its international identity. It just needs further development, but you will not convince me that that development will come any better within the UK's political system ; the reverse is true.

            You also have the legacy, of conservation in particular, being largely associated with the south, and negative in terms of the aspirations of remoter areas with which many Scots, for various reasons, identify. That was a major issue until relatively recently and developing a genuinely indigenous conservation culture, able to influence political direction and deal with the 'jobs versus birds' nonsense takes time. That process started with the breakup of NCC 25 years ago, a change which your own organisation fought tooth and nail to thwart, confirming for many at the time the impression that UK NGOs were anglocentric interlopers (an impression not helped recently by the RSPB's toe curling statement on the Referendum issued the day after the vote). SNH is far from perfect but that can only be addressed within Scotland.

            If you think this island's environment needs a common approach you will only get that by working with what is happening in Scotland.

          2. Stephenson - I'll work with anyone. My point, after reading every word of the SNP manifesto for a Westminster election, was that it said bugger all about the environment. You seem to be tip-toeing around that fact. I also said, that there was much else in the manifesto that I liked - I wish the Labour manifesto were as left-wing.

            But if a party can't find anything to say about the environment in its manifesto then I am entitled to think it doesn't give it much attention (much like most of the other manifestos - but not the Greens and not the LibDems).

          3. It's worth adding also that the SNP itself is undergoing massive change with the influx of almost 100,000 new members broadening its activity and interests as a mass party and creating a new dynamic. That is bound to widen the environmental debate, particularly in a Scottish parliament with a much more consensual approach than Westminster where the Greens are likely to grow, and against a background of far greater public engagement in politics. The future is bright.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.