It’s 8am on Friday morning, May 6th.
I’ve had about 2 hours sleep. I didn’t turn off my wee black portable until after 5:30am, so my big co-pilot on the bunk below me probably didn’t get a good sleep, although I did try to keep the sound down.
What an absolutely historic election.
A stunning, completely stunning victory for the SNP. Every other party bar none has been trounced. Labour in particular has been spectacularly humiliated, but the Lib Dem’s have been reduced to a fringe group and the Tories are left reliant on a life supporting electoral system that they oppose in principle and wish to deny to the voters of England.
I don’t have access to all of the regional list results but have heard that George Galloway failed to secure a seat, which is extremely disappointing. I don’t know how many votes George and the Solidarity anti-cuts coalition polled but I had hoped he would have secured enough to win one of the seven list seats.
I see from the BBC 1 news ticker that Patrick Harvie has been elected in Glasgow. He’s had a decent profile and received some good coverage during the campaign.
Solidarity’s results have been disappointing, that is clear. However, the parties who shared the electoral coverage limelight – the Lib Dems, New Labour & the Tories, are the ones who should hold their heads in shame this morning. They had huge coverage of their policies in both the electronic & print media. Their leaders were given the critical platform on live TV debates on several occasions.
Failure to shine in these circumstances was truly disastrous.
I probably shouldn’t offer any comment without access to all the electoral details, but if I don’t finish this by 9am and send it today I won’t be able to comment until Monday, as there is no post from here on a Saturday or Sunday.
I remember commenting on an SNP victory four years ago, and in the midst of the deep disappointment of losing my seat in Glasgow by 1% point I called it a shift to the left, and predicted the SNP would be in power for perhaps a generation. That’s because their social policies and attitudes in relation to a public health service, opposition to illegal wars and nuclear weapons, positive relationships and dialogue with many Trade Unions chimes with the heart of Scotland and the overwhelming mood that used to be reflected in a left of centre Labour party, but which now now finds that space abandoned by that party’s pursuit of a Thatcherite and big business agenda.
The reality is that on all the major issues thrown up in the course of the last election and this one the SNP is the left of centre party.
They are sadly not a socialist party though, as they embrace the same big business, free market agenda of the other ‘mainstream’ parties.
But, they are still the most left of those mainstream parties, and thus the point I made about Scotland voting left in 2007 is just as applicable today. The party that opposes nuclear weapons, supports a public health service, purports to believe in a fairer income-based alternative to the council tax, embraces a positive human approach to asylum policy and scrapped the tax on ill-health in the shape of prescription charges has won.
And they’ve won by a landslide, a political tsunami as Alex Neil called it.
The talk now, as we approach 9am and my prison-imposed deadline, is of an SNP overall majority.
The people have rejected the Labour campaign of fear promotion. They have opted for the positivism and hope conveyed by the SNP.
But the SNP must also now be on their toes. If they do indeed get an overall majority, and I hope that they do, then there is no hiding place. The council tax abolition bill and its replacement with a fairer income-based alternative has to be brought in.
The Westminster agenda of brutal cuts has to be opposed.
The independence referendum has to be delivered.
And the steps to de-commission the barbaric, illegal and immoral nuclear weapons base at Faslane has to proceed immediately.
Instead of billions being wasted on useless weapons of mass destruction that would destroy our planet if ever used, we have to divert these resources into socially useful jobs and protection and expansion of public services.
With an overall majority the SNP has to now stand up & deliver.
They must announce that Faslane and the horrible carbuncle on the Scottish environment that these monstrous nuclear weapons represent must be removed within the next five years.
Scotland appears now to be a Scottish National Party supporting country. That means Scotland must become nuclear weapons free, council tax free, privatisation of public services free, and as a small nation, free.
It’s an exciting time.
I hope to get out soon to engage in the battles that loom ahead.
The Westminster cuts agenda must be opposed.