Before I write about my week in Gran Canaria, a sort of curate’s egg of a blog to tie some things up.
It was the Scottish Elections just before I left, with the SNP becoming the largest party in Holyrood, winning 1 more seat than New Labour. This has been enough to see Alec Salmond elected yesterday as First Minister. In the Local Council elections, the SNP & New Labour each won 17 seats each, the SNP have since gone on to form a coalition with the Lib Dems in Renfrewshire.
The result in Renfrewshire is a welcome one, New Labour in Renfrewshire had run out of ideas and clearly didn’t know how to regenerate Paisley town centre. They had also taken to having a “Nanny knows best” attitude, particularly to home-owners. I hope that this will change.
The Holyrood election results were historic, and that’s not a reference to the length of time it took some people to work out how to vote. As the campaign closed, New Labour and the SNP indulged in a “my list of celebrity/business backers is more than your list” type spat. I am still annoyed that there was no mention of how to remedy the chronic poverty problem we have in this country. Still, who cares when we are told that the Scotland manager and his backroom staff all back the union. Hey, you never know, that celebrity endorsement from B A Robertson could just have swung it.
I think the right party won. The party that had the more positive message, the more positive campaign, was the party which won the most seats. New Labour lost, partly because there were too many chefs (Gordon Brown, John McTernan and “wee Dougie” Alexander all sidelining Jack McConnell) which gave the impression of a mixed up message. Also the campaign itself was way too negative, there was no explanation of where New Labour got the figure of £5000 (An SNP led executive apparently would cost every family £5000, according to New Labour propaganda). In the end the scare tactics failed.
What happens next, I don’t know. New Labour had their chance, they had 8 years in power (plus the 2 pre-devolution years) in Scotland, and as I have described in other posts some things have changed for the better, but some things have changed for the worst. Just before I was eligible to vote, I thought that I would be a natural Labour supporter. Since then, I have remained a socialist while New Labour has cast aside the values which made it care for the normal working person. I just hope that the choices made 2 weeks ago are the right ones.