So, clearly we’ve discovered in the last twenty-four hours that the people of parts of Motherwell have forgiven John Major, and his predecessor, for wiping out the economy of the area and throwing thousands on to the scrap heap, many never to work again, or work in any other places but retail parks, we’ve gleaned that the levels of confusion brought on by the badly managed administration of psychotropic drugs in Ferguslie Park to treat significant health issues related to the misery of poverty and austerity is even worse than first thought, and we’ve noted that Shettleston has recently been redesignated as a garden city, and is now famous for its wide tree-lined boulevards, cafe strips, salons and boulangeries. I think not, on all three counts.
We’ve also discovered that the results of the Scottish Local Council Elections show that the SNP, a political party that only stands in Scotland, and has independence for Scotland as it’s key target, has increased the number of seats it won at the last election by 6, becoming the biggest party in Scotland’s largest cities Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Dundee. Their best ever local election result. The Scottish Greens, also a party of independence for Scotland, increased their seats by 5, which represents a 35% increase for them.
We also saw the collapse of New Labour, as they were beaten into third place by the Conservative and Unionist Party. The Tories taking around 23% of the vote.
Paragraphs two and three are the facts. No matter what the BBC tells you, this is what happened.
We can speculate and ruminate that the collapse of the New Labour vote could be as a result of the Tory Grandmaster stroke in deliberately avoiding any discussion on policy during the election campaign, other than making it all about a plucky courageous No Surrender, man the barricades, resistance of independence. After initially, as a knee jerk reaction, seeing it that way I take the view that this may be an oversimplification, and unfair to the many independence supporting non-conformists to tradition, bearing in mind there are many of the green and white variety who voted no in 2014 too.
We could also speculate that the variations of the electoral processes in Scotland,other than the traditional first past the post method, bamboozle and confuse the electorate. Reports of many spoiled votes as voters placed a cross on the form rather than rank the candidates as required, and the apparent lack of comprehension of the process of ‘Vote tae ye Boak’ as aptly named by Mr Kavanagh of Wee Ginger Dug fame, may support that.
Worryingly some election workers and politicians seemed a bit confused about these processes too. I think there is a strong argument that if an electoral system which has been in operation now since 2007 (for three Scottish local government elections) is still causing confusion and headaches, then either it needs changed, or a comprehensive education media campaign needs to be run prior to each election to ensure voters know how at works, and what the consequences of various scenarios are to the outcome.
There are many of of us boaking today at the idea that working class people in Scotland can be convinced in 2017 that they are best served by voting for a political party that despises their very existence, particularly should they fall off the wealth provider conveyer belt that keeps the rich getting richer and fecks everybody else, by getting sick or becoming unemployed, and therefore becoming a burden, a barrier to profit.
For almost seventy years Scotland has voted left or centre left. It’s inconceivable in a country where record numbers are attending Foodbanks, where life expectancy in some areas is several years less than in affluent areas, where one in four children (in some places one in three) live in poverty, that Scots in significant numbers should vote for the political party responsible.
We may also speculate that there is an increasingly strong socially mobile element in Scotland who have benefited from the neo-liberal policies of the likes of Blair, Cameron and May, having moved on from humble beginnings, who basically don’t give a shyte about anybody else, and it’s all about druggies, immigrants and spongers. That one I refuse to believe. If it was right I despair.
We may further speculate, on such a low voter turnout, and extrapolating the results out into the first past the post scenario of the upcoming panicked and hastily arranged General Election, that we may well be getting excited about very little. As it stands the SNP will have a massive majority of Scotland’s MP’s for perhaps the very last government term that they’ll ever have to attend Westminster.
Yesterday’s Scottish local government elections do provide us with some indicators though. For one, the blinkers are off for the electorate. No more can Unionism queer the pitch and confuse swing voters with promises of pseudo-progressive Blairism. ‘Kez’ apparently is still buoyant after yesterday’s results. I’ll have a pint of whatever she’s drinking. They are gone.Too many deals with the devil killed them.
Secondly, the mist is clearing, the veil has dropped. The future of Scottish politics is becoming a simple polarised question. Do you want heartless selfish inward looking hard right-wing elitist Unionism or progressive outward looking and internationalist social democratic independence?