So, my prediction and nearly everyone else’s predictions were a bit off the mark, the SNP did better than some of us could ever have hoped and the Conservatives did better than most of us feared they would. Because of the horrible fixed term Parliament Act we will probably now have to suffer a Tory Government for the next five years minimum, their majority in parliament will see attacks to boundaries to benefit the Tories themselves, continued attacks on the poor and vulnerable, the slow but sure privatisation of vital public services, and possibly the result of this Tory agenda will be the return of major riots on the streets of Britain as the return to a Victorian Britain picks up pace.
The SNP will need to be heard now but whether they are heeded will be a different matter. While I suspect some minor changes to the constitutional settlement, I am not expecting anything major or ground breaking. The SNP have adopted a slow and safe approach to this issue and who knows they may be right. I wish the 56 all the best, and while I am sure there will be ups and downs, for maybe the first time in my lifetime Scotland’s voice at Westminster will at least be loud. I hope the SNP use this trust well, with dignity, with intelligence, and with wisdom. As a member I supported Chris Laws successful bid to become an MP, and I hope that Chris does a better job than Jim McGovern ever did for Dundee West. However, and as I have never hidden from anyone, I have always been an uncomfortable member of the SNP. Being a member of anything is maybe the thing that I am uncomfortable with, I also have the misfortune of considering myself to be a Liberal Democrat with no home, so my days as a member of the SNP probably are coming to an end, but my desire for an Independent Scotland never will due to the failure of the United Kingdom to truly embrace federalism.
The Labour Party have no one to blame but themselves for their failures, this failure might actually be the opportunity for a once proud party to return to its roots and become truly the party of the poor and vulnerable. While many of us would hope they seize this opportunity, what we have heard the last few days indicates that they will not. Jim Murphy, no longer an elected politician thankfully, staying on as leader of the Scottish branch will do further damage to the party in Scotland. We have also heard people like the toxic Jackie Baillie MSP, continue to blame the SNP and the 45% for all that is wrong in the world. This view shows that the Labour Party in Scotland are filled with a hate that possibly only a total wipe-out and bankruptcy will possibly start to solve. When you think about it though it looks like only the total death of New Labour will bring about the left of centre, socialist like party in Scotland that many crave for. Maybe it’s time for the SSP to rise from the Tommy Sheridan affair and become that party of the left, although I suspect they may have to move to the centre to achieve it and maybe that would be a step too far. Labour however won’t even start to recover until they admit they themselves are to blame for their failure, and for the Scottish branch, they should start by breaking away and becoming a fully independent Scottish Labour Party, possibly even embracing the SSP if that is possible. What they should not be allowed to forget though is that their failure over the last 18 years has brought about misery for many in Scotland.
The Liberal Democrats also have an opportunity now to have a long look at what they actually stand for and believe. Liberals used to believe in equality and equal opportunity for all. It was a movement that allowed the opportunity for everyone to be the best they could be, while protecting the weakest from the vulgarities of the elite. It was a party of decency, a political movement that recognised that federalism was the way forward for Britain while recognising that there was still common ground that we could unite under when needed. I don’t think it was the failure to stick to a promise on tuition fees that killed them, it was the glee with which they grasped the Tory vision of greed, and the joy the likes of Alexander took in the misery of the many that killed them. They, like Labour, also continue to suffer from people like Clegg and Tim Farron, Willie Rennie and Carmichael in Scotland, who don’t know what they actually stand for and again blame the SNP for all that is wrong in their world.
Most people I believe are liberal in nature, I certainly am, and I believe there is a way to find that middle ground that allows people to be all they want to be while protecting the weakest from the vulgarities of poverty in all it’s spheres, protecting them from an elite who don’t care while also protecting that elite from themselves with a strong Liberal vision that is built on common sense and cares about all. People being successful and wealthy is not a bad thing, it’s when that success and wealth corrupts everything they stand for, when it’s at the detriment of the poor and vulnerable, and the less well off. In a Liberal country the most successful would accept they have a duty to protect the poor and vulnerable because that is the right thing to do. Call me an idealist but it’s what I believe.
Will we ever achieve this vision, probably not, but we will never achieve it in any way without a proper Liberal Democratic Party and a proper Labour movement working alongside the SNP to make Scotland a better and fairer country to live in. When the dust settles and the Conservatives start to do their worst the need for the consensus that Nicola sturgeon was calling for will be even more vital, we are certainly living in interesting times.
Thank you for continuing to read my clumsy writing, I am always flattered that anyone takes the time to read my opinions.