Saturday, 20 October 2012

....And We're Back!

This blog has been lying dormant for a wee while, but what better time to swing back into action than on the back of the signing of an historic referendum document?

After 305 years, Scotland will at last have its say on whether it should be an independent country or not.

Not before an almighty political battle though which may end up there with the greatest political battles of all time.

The length of the campaign itself is of titanic proportions.

However,the two years which this campaign will span will be littered with a number of political sub battles that it will pass in the blink of an eye.

Indeed, just this week the SNP ended their 30 year stance against joining NATO.

So if you want the man on the street's view of what is going on and not tainted by party allegiance then grab a beer, kick your feet back and keep it here.

Friday, 6 May 2011

History In The Making

Another election is consigned to the history books. And it will be referenced as one of the most remarkable elections of all time.

When the campaign started six long weeks ago, it looked as if Labour were heading towards having the largest number of seats in Holyrood. Fast forward to 16.00 this afternoon and the SNP have an unprecedented majority.

Anyone with a passing interest in Scottish politics will have witnessed how things in the campaign (Subway-gate) started to go against Iain Gray. So a Labour defeat would have come as no surprise.

What definitely came as a surprise was the sheer scale of the defeat and the SNP victory.

From the initial victories in Labour heartlands in South Lanarkshire, to the last gains in Labour heartlands in Fife the results were one way traffic. Or a tsunami, which became the favourite phrase of the night. Perhaps ironically, the seat that gave the SNP overall majority was Kirkcaldy, right in Gordon Brown’s backyard.

The Labour vote actually held up quite well despite the lacklustre and negative campaign they conducted. It was just that the SNP vote sky rocketed.

The reason for this was probably three-fold. Firstly the Lib Dem voters brought retribution to the party for their part in the coalition and walked en bloc to the SNP. Secondly the SNP fought, for the most part, a positive campaign. And finally there is the S factor. Salmond. He was head and shoulders above the other party leaders throughout this election campaign and looked the only one suitable of holding the keys to Bute House.

Firmly on Salmond’s radar now, is a referendum on Scottish independence.

Now that is a referendum worth having!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Election Week

As we enter election week, I don’t think I can take much more excitement! Some people are claiming this has been a boring campaign. Indeed there have been long periods where not very much has happened. But there is nothing like refreshing your Twitter page every two or three minutes, searching blogs and checking out our website to get the latest information from the campaign trail!

Or is it that I am just sad?!

Well, whatever, the latest news from the election is that the Scotland on Sunday and the News Of The World have both come out in favour of Alex Salmond.

And the latest polls show the SNP maintaining their lead in the polls. The latest Mail on Sunday poll has the SNP leading by 10 points on the constituency vote and 5 points on the regional vote.

The Scotland on Sunday poll shows SNP ahead by 8 points on the regional and 2 points ahead on the constituency votes.

Given that at the 2007 election, the SNP shaded the constituency vote by 1 point and the regional vote by 2 points, they seem to have an unassailable lead!

But the polls are contracting a little bit in favour of Labour. And as the most famous saying in politics goes:

A week is a long time in politics.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Final Week

As election day draws ever closer, the excitement continues to build. In stark contrast to the 2010 Westminster election, I think there will be a lot of seats changing hands.

Indeed the Lib Dems are facing electoral annihilation. Their plight isn’t likely to be helped by the fact that Nick Clegg hit the campaign trail with them today!

If the polls are to be believed, the Labour Party are facing a struggle. Iain Gray, our potential next First Minister, may be under pressure in his own constituency of East Lothian.

The SNP are flying high in the polls and on some predictions may even return an unimaginable majority.

The Tories will do as they always do in Scotland – not very well!

The Greens, again according to the polls, are in line for a good result. This could see them potentially in a position to form a coalition with the SNP. I think this would be the most appealing outcome of the election.

Firstly it will start to move legislation forward. For example, instead of the alcohol bill being opposed for oppositions sake, a formal coalition would be able to make progress which would bring about benefits for the whole of Scotland.

Secondly, having a Green partner as part of the Government might bring a new dimension to decision taking, putting more emphasis on protecting the environment. This can only be for the benefit of a future Scotland and our children.

Finally, an SNP/Green coalition would bring about an independence referendum. Salmond and co would have no excuse for delaying it any longer. Let’s have it. Let’s decide Scotland’s future.

So how does one vote for an SNP/Green coalition? SNP constituency vote / Green regional vote? I’ve still to decide on that one!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Crest Of A Wave

With just under two weeks until polling day, the SNP have surged into the lead in the opinion polls, being double digits ahead of Labour on both the constituency and the regional vote. The interesting thing about that is the poll was taken before the Scottish Sun came out and backed the SNP.

If the support was to hold, then the SNP would be close to having a majority in the Scottish Parliament. If the Greens do as well as predicted, then an alliance/coalition/agreement (whatever you want to call it), could be on the cards and an independence referendum just around the corner.

But as anybody in politics knows, two weeks is an eternity. Salmond must ride this wave crest all the way onto the beach and back into Bute House.

The alternative is altogether too grim to contemplate!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Now make the choice

The SNP are the last major party to launch their manifesto, which is due tomorrow. Then we will know where everyone stands. But are they standing in relatively the same place?

Anyway, I will be waiting with interest to see how much weight is given to independence in the SNP manifesto. If it is a token gesture, then I and many others, will be deeply disappointed.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Short Of Ideas?

What is the point? Just what is the point?

The BBC commissioned a poll to look at which “policies” hold the biggest sway with the Scottish electorate.

Coming out on top was the reduction of cancer waiting times, which is fair enough. But the majority of the list just fills me with despair.

The second and third top choices were to do nothing at all, because the policies have already been achieved! In fact that is the case for 4 of the top 10.

Is that all we expect of our politicians? Do we not want policies that will improve our country? Just policies that will keep it the same, or change it around the edges?

The Cosla president, Pat Watters, was spot on when he said we are being fed rubbish from the party manifestos.

Where is the vision?