Saturday, July 26, 2008

Earthquakes & Tidal Waves

There has been a tremendous earthquake in the form of an SNP victory over New Labour in Glasgow East constituency, the heartland of Scottish Labour. There was a massive 22% swing to the SNP dissolving the 13 thousand Labour majority from the last election to an SNP slim majority of 365. 

This is huge!!! Gordon Brown has lost major elections all over the UK and now in his backyard. Glasgow has been a hotbed of Labour support for generations. Its practically synonymous with being Glaswedgian. John Mason, the newly elected MP, has been a dedicated councillor in Glasgow East for ten years. He is popular but not charismatic. This was not some random protest vote. This was a vote of discontent. But also, a vote for change. 

Everything I have read about the vote yesterday, has detailed that the real deciding factor was in the professional vote - the working vote - after six o'clock. Young professionals, and not so young professionals came to the polls to express a desire for a different political future for Glasgow. Contrary to what Labour hoped, independence for Scotland is no longer the bogey man that has voters scurrying to all corners. 

I don't believe that somehow the voters in Glasgow have suddenly changed their ideological perspective. I believe that underneath the city beats a heart of socialism. However, I do believe that those voters now perceive the Scottish Labour Party for what it truly is - a branch of the UK Party. The voters in Glasgow East are not asking for a change in political ideology. They are asking for a change in political perspective. They now see their future as inherently tied to Scotland. They wish Scotland to be their political perspective.  

The New Labour Party is hemorrhaging at the seams. I feel very sorry for Gordon Brown. He is witnessing his dreams and ambitions dissolving before his eyes. The keys to 10 Downing Street, handed to him from Tony Blair, were a poisoned chalice. The American sub prime economic melt down, eight years of economic greed in Wall Street has destabilised the UK economy. Biofuels have created a global food crisis, and we are beginning to feel the affects of the finite nature of carbon fuel. These global crises have landed on Gordon Brown's desk. 

This is a very difficult situation for Gordon but even without it he would not succeed. I feel sorry for him because he wants so desperately to be a leader but he lacks completely the charm, personality and charisma that the job requires. He tries desperately to be something he is not. He tries to please everyone without staying true to who he is as a person. 

I believe that Scotland is on a path to independence. I think that a Tory government in Westminster will only increase the pace. I would like to see Gordon Brown wake up to this reality and come home. A politician of his skill and experience could have a positive impact in a new Scotland. I think Gordon Brown is an example of what Scots have done for three hundred years: exported their talents to the running of the British Empire from the sidelines. 

Scotland is finding its voice, is finding its confidence and realising what its future could hold. Scotland as an independent nation can come home to its socialist leanings and follow the examples set by our Scandinavian neighbours. Labour had to re-invent itself "New" to gain acceptance in the South of England and in doing so lost its ideological base. In an independent Scotland Labour can return home to its socialist aspirations of wealth distribution, universal healthcare and education. 

There has been an earthquake in Scotland and behind it comes a tidal wave that will end in the dissolution of the Act of Union and the rebirth of the Scottish nation. 

1 comment:

Mo said...

I agree, Kirsty. If the UK elects a Conservative government at the next election - which it undoubtedly will, Scotland won't put up with what happened in the 80s again and independence will be on its way.

The Labour party have taken the socialist vote in Glasgow for granted for too long.

It's interesting here that the media are trying to play it down - there has been very little on the news about the by election. Of course, it's been dismissed by Labour as mid-term unpopularity.