Well the election result turned out okay(ish) in Scotland. So long as the SNP dont let this majority go to their head and start going all independence, independence independence :yawn: again…largely because, like the lib dems with AV, theyll likely be disappointed. Indeed it would be sensible for them to delay any independence referendum for as long as possible. With the threat of such a referendum hanging over them, the Torys down in London know they have to be on best behaviour as far as Scotland goes. While the opinion polls currently show a referendum would be lost, the one thing that could tip the scales the other way is the certain knowledge by Scots that with independence they can banish forever the spectre of nasty, penny pinching Tory governments who look on Scotland as some desolate wasteland to be exploited and forgotten about…sorry about that last line, I think Im coming down with Culloden Fever |-|.
Either way if the SNP defer their Independence Referendum (defeat) till say 2013-14 that would mean the Scots can get away with anything for a few years with the Tories unwilling to take the budget scissors to Scotland for fear of drumming up support for independence. By 2013/14 with a general election looming around the corner and the Tories/lib dems about as popular as pig shit with the electorate, even after the Independence Referendum is defeated, theyll be reluctant to make any serious cuts, not unless they want to get wiped out in Scotland altogether.
And speaking of getting wiped out, the Labour party and Lib dems need to assess why it was they lost and the SNP won. Its not so much Scottish independence I favour, its an independent Labour party and Liberal Democrat party in Scotland that doesnt need permission from London to ties their own shoelaces. For example, one of the things that swung me into the SNP camp (for the FPtP seat, I voted Green with the party list) is that Labour are pro-nuclear power. While one could build a limited (and fairly weak) case for nuclear down in England, in Scotland its just silly. Scotland has the best renewable resources in Europe. Why build expensive nuclear reactors, dependant on fuel brought in from abroad and technical support from the French/USA, when we should be encouraging Scottish companies to exploit Scottish renewable resources? Logically, the Scottish Labour party should thus adopt an anti-nuclear position, at least in Scotland, but then theyd be challenging the hierarchy down in London.
Similarly, the only thing stopping the lib dems going into coalition with the SNP before, was the Independence issue. As individuals committed to liberal democratic values it would seem logical for the Scottish Lib dems to adopt a neutral stance on independence (i.e they wont support it if it comes to a Referendum but they wont stop the SNP proposing one). And of course if they were tactical (as the Tories clearly were when it came to AV) they could let the SNP have their bottle (and then lost the Referendum) and have gotten into government last time without much difficulty (and likely still be there right now). Again the Scottish Lib dems cant do this because it would conflict with orders from London.
So for either of these parties to recover from this election, they need to take a leaf out of the other parties books. The Scottish Greens and Conservatives are, by and large, independent of London. They set policy appropriate to what they know will work in Scotland, rather than what the politburos down south want.
I hate being right some times, but it seems my assessment of the Socialist parties was spot on :**:. They formed themselves into 3 factions in Glasgow, split the vote and diluted one anothers support. If you look at them numbers for the Glasgow Party lists, and you add up all the socialist party votes, they could have just pipped either the Tories or Greens for the last seat. So effectively by voting Socialist (or Respect) youd have been as well off voting Tory or Green. Well done guys! Like I said, the Socialist need to realise that they are their own worse enemies. If they could just sit down and have a sensible talk about strategy they might stand a change next time. If gorgeous George can’t get a seat in Glasgow, what chance do you think you have? Not that Im going to complain, as the Green got in :>>!
Of course the real disappointment of the night was the failure of the AV referendum, a triumph for fear and loathing over democracy and reason :no:. We see it all the time in Ireland, inevitably both parties play the fear card, usually the one with the most to loose, as it was here with the Tories and of course their Tabloid newspaper allies do fear really well. Theyve been using fear and scare tactics to sell papers for decades by convincing a large portion of middle England that the UK is overrun with Immigrants over here to steal our jobs while live the lazy live on benefits and committing knife crime (and terrorism) in their spare time :lalala:.
An example of such scaremongering tactics, in the 1995 Irish divorce referendum (yes it took us till 1995 to pass a divorce referendum!) the way the no camp :crazy: went on youd swear half the farmers wives in the country were going to be looking for a divorce the next day and taking the farm too. Of course this was complete BS. Equally, in the more recent Lisbon Treaty referendum we were told by the no camp that if it passed the Germans would be running the Irish economy…well okay, that one sort of happened ;D, but the rest of what the no lot said, about the minimum wage going down to 2 euro or us all being drafted into the EU army or being overrun with Poles and Latvians (inward migration into Ireland has since gone down not up), none of this came to pass. Indeed, the Lisbon Treaty referendum in Ireland is interesting because of the action of Nigel Farage of UKIP, he helped get the Lisbon treaty passed in Ireland. Yes, really! He was interviewed on TV in Ireland in the lead up to the Referendum and we all thought that if this little xenophobic nice-but-dim toff was against the EU, then we were in favour if it ;D. A rare moment of clarity. Cheers Nigel!
I would finally note thought, to any Labour party supporters who voted no against AV (you know who you are!) that if (and its a big if) Scotland does get independence, while the Scots will never have to worry about Tory governments again, England will be all but condemned to have them more regularly. Without AV and lacking the more generally left wing Scotland (and possibly Wales) in the UK it will be much harder, if not impossible, for the Labour/lib dems to gain power in the UK under the current voting system. Well done lads! Next time use youre head to decide how you vote not what some right wing lackey of the Murdochs in the Sun says :wave:.