. Contrary to many assumptions, the
independence-seeking Scottish National Party (SNP) was not the only
political actor in Scotland to realise the electoral potential of nationalism.
Rather, the SNP’s monopoly over national identity politics in the 1960s
and 1970s gave way to a complexity of political actors involved in
articulating competing constructs of the ‘national question’ (Mitchell
1996). Each of Scotland’s major political parties – the Scottish Labour
Party (SLP), the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party (SCUP), the
Scottish Liberal Democrats (SLD), and the
Political parties were the most important elite actors in the politics of Scottish self-government. Where parties stood on the spectrum of constitutional options, what perceptions they had of the European dimension and how they played their strategies are crucial factors in assessing their impact on the distribution of preferences at public opinion level. In this chapter I analyse such factors in relation to the Scottish National party (SNP), the Labour party and the Conservative party, the three main actors of the Scottish party system
legislative loop. The SNP plays a key role here and has been very accommodating to its nationalist counterpart Plaid Cymru as well as to the Green Party. Their similar ideological backgrounds and history of cross-party working in the European Parliament paved the way for cooperation in the Commons. Both parties send a representative to the SNP's weekly business meetings to ensure that they are privy to information about key votes and debates.
The same applies during debates in the chamber, where the SNP whip will act
At a time when British politics has been increasingly fractured, with intra-party tensions cutting across both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, small political groupings and independent MPs in the Commons have taken on a more significant position than ever before. This book explores the rise and fall of Change UK within the wider context of the experiences of other small political groupings in the House of Commons. It examines the struggles facing MPs who leave behind the comforts of the large political parties and the strategies they use to draw attention to their cause.
Despite significant change in the Scottish party system between the 1970s and the 1990s, in particular the accelerated decline of the Conservatives and the stabilisation at a fairly high level of the SNP, party positions on self-government remained remarkably stable. Labour championed devolution, the SNP pursued independence but supported devolution as second best and the Conservatives favoured the status quo, albeit this time also in principle as well as in practice. The strategic playing of the self-government game, on the other hand
just how small the new parliamentary group was. The informality of the meeting place is typical of the smaller parties. One of the ‘original’ six SNP MPs (those who were in the Commons prior to the 2015 political earthquake in Scotland) described how the whole party went for a similar dinner right before the 2015 General Election along with a handful of parliamentary staff. So small was their parliamentary group at the time that they ‘could fill two taxis just about’.
With many of the party's MPs choosing to base
education and nationalism that analysed the education policies of
the Scottish National Party (SNP) government in Scotland.1 In this study, we
identified actors’ promotion of a discourse of ‘modernised nationalism’.2 This
referenced key historically embedded assumptions about Scottish society,
while also identifying the discursive use of essential elements of ‘modernised’
nationalism in pursuit of political independence. Education was selected as the
policy field for investigation because it is a space in which national identity may
be promoted or re-imagined (Arnott and
of the debate
with remarkable consistency and durability. This chapter examines
four seminal moments in the evolution of this ambit claim: the three
devolutionary referenda of 1979, 1997 and 2014, and the
Hamilton by-election of November 1967, when Winifred Ewing achieved
a breakthrough victory to secure the first SNP seat in the House of
Commons. 2 At
some young pup running the “Better Together” campaign, going around saying there are some organisations they can’t work with, and that the Orange Order is one of them! But we don’t have the “Mark of Cain” on our foreheads!’ one Orangeman protested to me. ‘They just want bland people, bland unionism’ agreed his Orange companion. Others took a slightly different view. While one informant, for example, openly admitted to me that ‘“Better Together” wouldn’t touch the Orange Order with a bargepole for fear of being labelled sectarian by the SNP’, he also predicted that
Like in the 1970s, in this latter period too, public opinion closely matched elite opinion though more as regards perceptions of the European Union than in relation to self-government. The sharp turnaround in attitudes towards the EU seen in the case of Labour, the STUC and the SNP and the emergence of a split among the Conservatives was almost exactly mirrored at the mass public level as shown by segmentation by party identification. In contrast, the distribution of constitutional preferences was less closely linked to party