06 May 2011

The riddle wrapped in an enigma

Hey, it wasn’t supposed to happen like this. The system was designed, or so we were told, to ensure that no single party would ever secure an overall majority. But, astonishingly, fat Eck has done the business, and we will need to put up with the consequences for the next five years.

The consequences? Well, first of all, Mr Salmond can do pretty much whatever he wants. Backed by the massed ranks of the SNP, he can ram through parliament whatever policy or budget decisions he chooses. The only checks on his powers will be those written into the Scotland Act; and he is likely to challenge those pdq in the context of the current Scotland Bill.

And don’t imagine that the so-called SNP fundamentalists can influence him. Salmond, with Sturgeon and Swinney as his principal lieutenants, has just won a stunning victory of unimaginable (and unimagined) proportions. Within the SNP ranks, he is unassailable.

What of Labour? The Gray Man has already announced that he will stand down. Shorn of its more illustrious dinosaurs, is the party leadership a shoo-in for Jackie Baillie? It doesn’t really matter; indeed, for the next five years, the Labour Party doesn’t really matter. Mocked as losers, doomed to impotence, it looks a long hard climb to the sunlit uplands.

As for the Tories, they should stick with nurse for fear of something worse. Bella may never lead them to the promised land but they might have done a lot worse under anyone else. Besides she is becoming a national treasure.

The LibDems? Oblivion awaits …


Fatty Taylor said...

A surprisingly relaxed position from one who is never slow in espousing the Labour position - and thus making the fatal mistake that policies matter more than politicians.
Quite simply Salmond is head and shoulders above any other Scottish politician of his generation - inded he could hold his own against anyone at Westmister apart form Tony.
Ian Gray - did they never learn anything from Nixon - sweaty and five o'clock shadow lost a winning postion against Kennedy and it was the same for Gray.
It is a red-herring to focus on the collapse of the Lib-Dem vote - they didn't transfer to Labour did they?
Paradoxically, the only salvation for Labour in Scotland is independence. They can then cast off their chains from the national party (which will only win in England by adopting the Blair slightly left of centre position) and revert to the hard-left Brownite stance which will reassure their hard core (ie neandertal) support in Scotland. At the same time the SNP will, having gained independence, lose the glue that holds together their disparate wings and fragment. This will allow Labour to gain the upper hand, at least until a new right of centre party comes together. Until then we are well rid of the Andys, Toms and sundry bollards and have a government which for better or worse has a confidence in Scotland's future.
PS I didn't vote SNP.

Fatty (I've lost 5 pounds overnight) Taylor said...

Let us also be clear why AV was resoundingly rejected. Any form of PR inevitably results in a distorted result. Can anyone really explain how the list system works in Scotland? It is so bizarely complicated that even the media have given up. So for example in Lothian, although the SNP has way more votes on the list ballot than anyone else they end up with no list MSPs. People are led to believe that there are two distinct ballot papers but no, they are linked and if you vote one way on the first it damns you on the second. Ah but you say, this is to redress the balance that Party X got most of the constituency MSPs. But this is a total distortion of what people want.The only saving grace this time round is that the SNP (unlike Labour) played the list system so astutely that we were spared Pensioner and Christian party MSPs.
The only true PR system means doing away with constituency links and we don't want that do we?
And as numerous examples of AV show, Party X can be ahead in every round except the last when they are pipped by the Lib Dems whom nobody really wanted anyway - except Nick Clegg. No wonder he is such a derisory figure.
Get back to basics everyone.

Anonymous said...

Er, AV isn't a PR system.

Fatty (slimline) Taylor said...

But it is presented as such - and in one sense anything other than FPTP must be a form of PR.