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The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Scottish Independence

In a private email I received recently, I was reminded of an interview I gave to the Chicago Tribune in 2005 or 2006 where I was asked about the prospects for Scottish Independence in the context of the 2007 Scottish elections.

At that time I said that I believed that the prospects were very good for an SNP majority in 2011, and consequently a quick move to independence. I based my view on the expectation that the SNP would not be in Government after 2007, and that a minority Labour Government would struggle and fight it's way through the subsequent 4 years, alienating everyone and allowing the SNP plenty of opportunities to undermine and give a positive, alternative and opportunistic view on what they could offer.

Reading that Alex Salmond expects independence by 2017, I have to admit that my expectations had slipped to at least 2015.

Why did my expectations slip? For the simple reason that the worst thing that could happen, happened, which is a minority SNP Government having to fight it's way through the next four years, and against a background of economic problems totally outwith their control, inevitably ending up with a lot of disillusioned first-time supporters. This may be heretical to many, but the best thing for Scottish Independence would have been for the Labour and SNP positions to have been reversed and for the SNP to use Labour's problems to build an unstoppable momentum for 2011. Now we are going to have minority and coalition Government in Scotland as the norm for the forseeable future, and that will delay would should have been the inevitable.

But then there are events which appear from left-field and though small and minor can change the relative positions of the parties, by demonstrating to the public just how stupid, incompetent, naive and incapable politicians and their hangers-on can be.

A top Labour Party spokesman has been forced to resign after making a series of blunders at an awards ceremony. Matthew Marr is believed to have called First Minister Alex Salmond a four-letter word at the Scottish Politician of the Year dinner. It is also understood he was rude to a female nationalist MSP and abusive towards a cloakroom supervisor at the event on Thursday.

Rightly he has been immediately sacked, but it clearly demonstrates that many in the Labour Party has still not come to terms with defeat, or how to deal with being in opposition. Carry on like this, and it will become a permanent feature. And my aspiration will come to fruition sooner
rather than later.

What is it with the Labour Party and free-booze events? Three years ago Lord Watson of Invergowrie got slaughtered at the same event in the and tried to burn the hotel down set fire to the curtains. Still reckless fireraising and eight months in jail doesn't preclude him from making the laws for the rest of us.

Update 19/11/07: The photo of the piranha and the infant.

Piranha Wendy Alexander


Anonymous said...

I saw Fiona Hyslop on the Politics show today, a very poor performance and most of what she said about councils being in charge of their own education was very much at odds with the recent experience here.
How exactly are new schools going to be funded, why has student debt not been abolished?.
The difference that I can see is that the SNP look at every policy as a means to independance, and how it will effect independance rather than the merits of the policy itself.
I think if the SNP are to be successfull they must govern first and look on independance as a long term prospect not something that is going to be achieved in the next 2,3 or even 4 parliaments

Anonymous said...

Matthew Marr an adviser to Wendy Alexander?! He looks as if he should be checking whether his balls have dropped yet...and Wendy looks a bit piranha-esque in that photo...but appearances can be deceptive...but then again, maybe not with NuLabour.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Angus my expectations have slipped, too. Not quite the same reasons, unfortunately it seems as if Alec is in for the long term.... the worst possible result in my eyes. (look what it did and is doing to Tories and Labour.)