The dust is settling after last Thursday’s election and we are emerging blinking into the sunlight. Sadly, England has elected a Conservative government to inflict further austerity and misery across the UK. However, Scotland has almost unanimously elected the SNP, the only major anti-austerity party in the UK.
So, now, as we await the Conservative attempts to abolish human rights and take the UK out of Europe, our new third party in Westminster, the SNP, plans to oppose these disastrous plans. The Conservatives only have a majority or 12, not much when faced with policy affecting our place in Europe, a topic which deeply divides them. Add to that the new SNP presence in Commons committees and there is real cause for hope.
At least until the Labour party has completed its post-election navel-gazing, we must hope that the SNP can lead an effective opposition to inhumane Conservative government.
As Gordon’s list fades into the sunset, reduced by fudges in the Smith Commission and by EVEL, we have a new list. It’s in the current Westminster biblical style in keeping with the various vows and apocalyptic predictions emanating from there.
Here we have Ed’s Stone Tablet. If he gets into Number 10, I’ll put its contents in the sidebar for handy reference. In the meantime, you could use it for an election night game and see how many times Labour spokespeople manage a direct quote.
Despite its absence from the SNP manifesto and assurances from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other senior SNP figures, the Labour Party seems hell bent on rerunning the Better Together Campaign instead of fighting this General Election. The Labour big guns have been out all week, claiming a vote for the SNP is a vote for independence.
Let’s get it clear. People join the SNP because they believe Scotland should be an independent nation and now there are over 100,000 members who clearly believe in this cause. However the SNP is a democratic party and believes that independence can only come if the Scottish people want it and vote for it. Last year, we had a referendum and the majority of voters decided that it is not yet time for Scotland to go it alone and so the matter is settled for now. Nicola Sturgeon has stated time and time again that there would have to be a substantial change in the conditions within the UK to trigger the offer of another referendum and so the matter is shelved for now.
SNP are fighting the current General Election on an anti-austerity ticket. If you vote for SNP you’ll get a voice in parliament speaking up for the poor, the sick and the vulnerable in our society, nothing more and nothing less.
So, why does Scottish Labour want to rerun the referendum rather than debate those issues in the run-up to next week’s vote, which is a vote for who will represent us at Westminster?
The answer is pretty simple. The referendum is the only vote Labour has won since the General Election of 2005 and they are keen to repeat their success. Unfortunately for Labour, the Scottish public has moved on. We want that strong voice within the UK that Labour, Conservatives and Lib-Dems offered us in exchange for our No vote last year, and we reckon that the SNP can be that voice.
Come on Labour. Live in the present. Campaign on the current issues. Where are your £30 billion in cuts going to fall? We want to know what our votes can get us.