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