Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, May 08, 2011

(Scottish) National Brotherhood Week

As you may imagine, I was extremely pleased by the referendum result in Thursday (well, referendum on Thursday, result on Friday).

I was also pleased, not to say amazed, by the phenomenal success of the Scottish National Party in the Scottish Parliamentary elections. It's funny: my own constituency had been viewed as a two-party contest between the Lib Dems and Labour, and I had dithered with the idea of voting Labour to ensure that the Lib Dem incumbent was removed, rather than following my heart and voting SP. In the end I went with the Nats, and evidently so did a lot of other people, as the Lib Dems were thumped into a poor third place as our seat (like all bar one Edinburgh seat) went to the Nats. I gave the Nats my second vote as well, though possibly if I'd realised Margo McDonald was standing against as an independent on the list I might have gone for her. Anyway, she got in.

Regarding the SNP and second votes, probably the defining moment of the vote counting (which was unfolding all through Friday morning and being followed on the BBC's live blog by most folk at work) was when - after gaining all ten of the constituencies in the region, thus rendering their list votes worth 1/11 of those of candidates with no constituencies already - the SNP picked up a list seat in North-East region (where I'm sitting now in Aberdeenshire). Jaws were being picked off floors as it sank in what that said about the solidity of the SNP vote round these parts.

Anyway, the SNP have a majority in the Scottish Parliament (despite, as everyone keeps reminding us, the PR system in use having been specifically chosen by Labour to render an absolute majority impossible to achieve). Hah!

This means that at some time during the next five years (Alex Salmond says it will be late in the term, which makes sense) we will have a referendum on Scottish independence. However that goes (and if held today it would lose) it will be a proud day for Scotland: one step closer. There are undoubtedly a lot of questions which folk need to have answered about an independent Scotland, regarding the economy, defence, nationality issues (my kids were born here, my wife has a Scottish father, but I'm an English immigrant since 1981: where do I stand?) and other things.

All in all, an exciting time to be a Scot (even an adopted one!)

I must confess to a slight pang of disappointment that George Galloway didn't get elected on his regional list. Not because I miss the presence of any real socialists in the parliament (I'd rather have had some SSP members now that they've put the whole Tommy Sheridan thing behind them) but simply because he would have brought a little colour to the chamber, like a more productive version of the Monster Raving Loony party. But hey, Scotland will get on without George, and George will get on without Scotland.


At 08 May, 2011 16:25, Blogger Eddie Louise said...

We watched with interest (from a distance)as well.

Of course for us, Scottish Independence might mean a chance to re-immigrate. The Home office didn't want us, but I still get emails from my old boss at the Arts Council - he would hire me back in a second!

Lets hope the SNP, after having been on the fringes for so long, can govern sensibly!

At 08 May, 2011 22:51, Anonymous Phil said...

The ironic thing is that the SNP are actually over-represented relative to their share of the vote - 53.5% of the seats on 44.7% of the vote. Presumably the regional quota-scaling didn't hit them quite hard enough (I guess a national list system wouldn't have had this problem, but I can't see anyone wanting that). Labour can't complain though: 29% of the seats (well, 28.7% to be precise) on 29% of the votes. The real losers are the people who voted for 'others' - 240,000 votes, 3/4 of them wasted (only two Greens and Margo MacDonald made it through).


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