Thursday, April 28, 2011

Miliband: out of touch?

Ed has warned of 'disaster' for Britain if the SNP's rise in the polls should lead to victory in the Holyrood elections on the 5th of May.

There was a time when I would have been inclined to agree with him but I now no longer associate an SNP win in Holyrood with independence. Anecdotal evidence would suggest I'm not alone. Devolved politics in Scotland has become a little more practical and mundane and consequently less absorbed with the constitutional question. I would suggest that this is one of the reasons that Labour is doing so badly. On the constitutional question, most Scots agree with them - but as for presenting themselves as an alternative administration that could be more effective than our present one? Oh dear, oh dear. I get the sense people don't believe the constitution is what is at stake in this election. While this might be complacent, I think they're probably right. The nationalists would, after all, still have to win a referendum.

Miliband doesn't get this because he isn't particularly interested in Scottish politics. I'm wondering if this doesn't mean the 5th of May will be a bad day for him because it looks increasingly like it's the day when he'll be seen to have backed two losing causes: Labour in Scotland and AV. I'm for the former and opposed to the latter but take the view that neither deserve to win. Both thus far have failed to persuade because their advocates don't feel the need to persuade. Instead they treat their opponents like disagreeable schoolchildren. If people were more familiar with the Scottish political landscape, they'd appreciate the assumption of a right to rule is not an exclusively English and Tory phenomenon. You should see just how uneasy Scottish Labour are with the whole business of persuading people to vote for them. They're not used to it, you see. How they squirm...

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