“Little to nothing hinted at in Starmer’s speech – or more concretely asserted by Conservative leaders – could even be countenanced by a new state without its own central bank or control over monetary policy. These are ideas for the wrong century, and the gulf is widening.”
So far, a mere ten countries account for an astonishing 75 percent of global vaccinations. 130 countries have received not yet received a single dose. “Vaccine equality,” the UN observes, “is the biggest moral test before the global community”.
During the pandemic, the pendulum swung back to One Nation largesse. The rhetoric changed too. We have Conservatives who heart the NHS. Compassionate Conservatives. Conservatives who believe in the Nation.
For now, issues of Salmond and independence are subsumed in the public mind by the question of managing the pandemic. And here, in the shadow of May’s election, the news is (superficially) good for the SNP.
Catalonia’s election – and ours in May – could begin a new conversation. For decades, Western states have suffered from democratic malaise (Britain is merely an extreme case). . Challenges for popular control of state power thus assume critical importance.
Sadly, our planet is plagued by “humanitarian” disasters. But Palestinians specifically deserve our solidarity because here our complicity is larger, historically but most especially today. And thus our political agency is more meaningful and potentially more effective.
The investigation into the Scottish Government’s handling of the Salmond affair has consumed column inches and online discussions. But that’s all happening in bubbles of political trainspotters. What about public sentiment? Does anyone care?
While everyone needs a cheer right now, impeachment distracts from the huge political realignments needed to confront successive global crises. That’s why, insofar as we enjoy the spectacle, we will always have that dirty feeling.