"He never writes, he never phones..."
So said Alex Salmond when asked about Tony Blair.
On Friday, Gordon Brown, the soon to be and sorta kinda really already is the next PM (Prime Minister) of the UK, phoned to congratulate Alex Salmond on becoming the First Minister of Scotland. Great, but a little tardy at 16 days after Alex got the job.
Tony? He's abroad, he's too busy, he's (in my opinion) really pissed off!!
Tony is swanning around Africa indulging his massive ego with a farewell tour of places he likes to think he did real swell in - Libya, Sierra Leone... etc.
["Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
Britons never will be slaves." - yeah right! ]
I personally think he missed out on the better tour - the US where the ability to speak in complete sentences is regarded as a miracle after so long with a monkey at the helm (sorry I'm likely insulting monkeys here). Everyone here can't get enough of Tony but then the majority of people wanted to go to war in Iraq. Oh and its easier to like someone you didn't vote for and doesn't actually have anything to do with running your country.
If Tony had a pair he'd be touring the UK apologising!!
But back to Alex. Alex Salmond has a tough job ahead of him. He will be the first person to actually test out the theory of devolution: the theory that the Scottish Parliament actually has control over a chunk of their own affairs. He has a minority government and will have to govern Scotland by doing things the way devolution was set up to do them - by cooperation between rival parties for the betterment of the common good of the country.
So far, Alex is doing a great job of trying to achieve this.
But, as Mark Douglas-Home writes in today's Observer, the issue for Alex will be communicating with the PM (Gordon). There has been little need for much coordination of such things before as all the First ministers of Scotland and Wales have until now been members of the Labour Party. They are all in the same club, singing from the same hymn sheet.
Uh oh! Alex is not in the club - he's not even allowed in the car park!! (although I don't think he wants to go anywhere near the sewer infested place...) He's likely to be pushed around by the members, be picked on as the odd one out. He really is the weakling considering he has to operate in a mode of cooperation or his governing days are over.
So what has happened? Tony disnae phone. Gordon has to have his arm twisted (press outcry) and 'sorta' phone but make sure and do it late. If this doesn't sound like bullying ....
Labour hate the SNP with vitriol. I'm sure Tony would rather walk naked through Baghdad before talking civilly with Alex Salmond - he may after all contract a case of "Salmond"ella.
Gordon is painting himself as more English than the English and wants to signal to England how much he cannot abide the man who will be governing the devolved Scottish Parliament - even though as MP for Kirkcauldy in Fife in Scotland that very man (Alex Salmond) will be making decisions that directly affect the people he (Gordon Brown) has been elected to serve.
All this is great. I love it. It shows blatantly how the Labour Party is a bastion of tradition which is out of date with the postmodern world. Tony and Gordon took to spinning till we all got dizzy but they can't hide the reality underneath. The SNP victory has slipped a knot in the carefully constructed fabric and the curtain is unravelling in front of the wizard of Oz.
Modern day Britain, modern day Scotland, modern day England, Wales, Northern Ireland are awash with multicultural aspects that no longer mold to traditional politics. The world is becoming more individualistic, more autonomous. Politics needs to catch up. I am excited at a political environment in Scotland where people have to debate, discuss and resolve issues for the common good. The system at Westminister has demonstrated how easy it is for a government with a big majority to allow an egotistical PM to do what he wishes - take the country to war against the wishes of its people.
The UK is one of the oldest democracies in the world. Before we make claims about exporting it, I think it would be good to address whether our system should be changed to fit with our changing world and country.
If Tony ever gets round to phoning Alex I'd love to hear Tony's excuse for being so late in calling....