What a night, and what a challenging five years ahead for Scotland.
A profound democratic revolution has taken place at the British ballot box.
The auld enemies face each other across the border once more. But the Tories have no mandate in Scotland. And the irony? There is always irony where politics are concerned. The irony is, Cameron is son of a Scotsman, and he faces a phalanx of Scots in opposition.
56 SNP MPs out of 59 elected to Westminster – the Tories sweep to power in England.
Scotland against the might of Etonian England. A huge swing to a view opposing neo-liberal policies. One token lonely Tory, Liberal, and Labour MP Left in Scotland to sob into their sherry, wine or beer. (No more champagne for Labour socialists.) The election proves beyond a shadow of doubt that unless Labour wins in England it doesn’t matter how many seats it wins in Scotland, it won’t rule at Westminster.
We know Nicola Sturgeon will be celebrating but it is a bitter-sweet victory facing the Tories in London with few Green or Welsh MPs in support. However, she is well liked in all parts of the British Isles, unlike Cameron. It’s a personal victory for Alex Salmond, returned to Westminster and with the private pleasure of seeing every one of his vicious opponents from the past gone, banished: Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Davidson, Danny Alexander, Saint Vince Cable, Jim Murphy, ‘Margrit’ Curren, Sarwar, Galloway, the sad Kennedy a good man fallen years ago, Nick Clegg, the list goes on and on.
Ed Miliband, leader of the blind Labour party fell on his sword, still bewildered as to why his myopic policies held no sway in Scotland. Miliband and the others stood up and said Scotland didn’t count unless it agreed to do Westminster’s bidding. They all said the people serve parliament. The talk still of ‘keeping our country together.’ Sorry, which country was that?
Even Gordon Brown’s old constituency now SNP, and Darling no more too – MPs that forgot who it was they were elected to serve as soon as they had been elected – Scotland.
For me, a delight was to see Douglas Alexander, the man responsible for Labour’s election strategy, who previously enjoying a large majority, get beaten by a twenty year-old student yet to finish her final exams. Mhairi Black is some sort of heroine. But it was symptomatic of the way the people of Scotland had enough of lying, double-dealing, flaky MPs claiming high expenses while imposing austerity on everybody else, and above all, Scottish MPs derailing or blocking the will of their own country.
The morning after
Jim Murphy lost too. At his morning after the night before speech he continued to lie, in a seriously mean, over-long farewell note telling voters the SNP had promised “vote SNP get Labour.” No such promise was made. He is a chronic liar.
I am sure Jim Murphy and his behind the scenes henchmen, McTernan and MacDougall, spin doctors of falsehoods, will have to resign. Scotland’s branch party was thoroughly routed. Any pronouncement from Murphy that he feels obligated to stay on and fight the good fight for Labour’s renaissance will follow with a choked cry of et tu Brute as deposed Labour politicians gather around him for the kill.
Murphy does not realise he took part in a people’s revolution from the wrong side of the palace gates.
Lame Labour and Lib-Dems
Clegg’s Lib-Dem party is decimated, same as Labour. They, like Labour, pay the price of uniting with the extreme-Right against the interests of Scotland, happy to show how they really treat ‘a valued part of the United Kingdom’, treated with disdain for generations.
How can the Tory party impose a non-SNP MP on Scotland as Secretary of State? The lion has roared in Scotland said Alex Salmond in his acceptance speech, which makes it very unsafe for a rookie Secretary of State with no whip or chair to enter the lion’s cage.
How can the Tory party impose any policy on Scotland faced with the will of the people. The best they can do is submit to the inevitable and begins talks to evolve a genuine federal state. Try and take Scotland out of the European Union against its will and all hell will break loose. At that point Nicola Sturgeon will be justified in responding to calls for another plebiscite on independence for Scotland.
The largest party
The SNP is now the third largest party at Westminster. That entitles the party to sit or accept chairmanships on many of the most influential select committees, including the Treasury, defence and foreign affairs.
It would also entitle Nicola Sturgeon’s party to have automatic speaking and tabling rights during Commons debates and at prime minister’s questions – putting it ahead of the Liberal Democrats for the first time in the party’s history.
As a large party it is eligible for state funds. Central government funding helps fund activities among constituents will increase in the SNP’s case up to £2 million, I think. (Don’t have figures in front of me.) Plus we attend commemorations, state events, that sort of thing, all high profile, no longer Scotland ignored.
One word on England’s racist party, Ukip. Farage won only one seat and it was not his. His thanks but no thanks speech tried to imply the English voted for the Tories because they are scared of Scotland. How gracious, and how typical to blame ‘foreigners.’ “I have never felt happier” for losing, says the loser. I hope he does not qualify for welfare. Either that or time to join his expats in Spain and order as much warm beer there as he can afford.
Celebration without triumphalism
Despite the Tories victory in England it cannot afford to indulge in triumphalism. They have only a few seats of a majority. That equals an unstable administration. In 1992 the bumbling John Major was put back in to Number 10 to his surprise. One Tory MP was heard to opine they ‘could do anything now” – which is exactly what many must be thinking now. Tony Blair swept them all away at the next election. Before that happened Major faced rebellion after rebellion, ‘those bastards’ from his own backbenchers. They made life hell for him. He simply could not govern. He carried no authority. Thatcher’s choice of successor was always a grave error of judgment. And he proved it with ease.
The Tories will try to stick to their manifesto commitments but are in for a hard lesson faced with so many SNP MPs on the opposition benches. Scotland’s soldiers did not turn back before they reached London.
The Queen will not be purring this time. She is hacking up a fur ball.
As for the BBC – the Tories want to emasculate that ‘great institution’ and the SNP no longer trust it. The BBC’s future is indeed very shaky. For once, Tory and SNP have a common cause, reorganisation of the BBC.
Back to work and reality for me and everybody else. Nicola Sturgeon demeaned and defamed almost before she uttered a word dubbed ‘the most dangerous woman in Britain.’ She has the backing of her nation. She has my full support.
What lies ahead for Scotland depends on how well the Tory party holds together – remember Cameron is disliked by some of his far-Right colleagues – and how well the SNP manage that den of iniquity that is the ‘mother of all parliaments.’