Why is it the Scots respond so well to negativity from our politicians, particularly Labour politicians? Scottish labour politicians continue to voice the fear of Thatcherism - spread and encouraged by a friendly media - and those in the central belt vote labour as if they had no other choice in this election. Why is it many prefer the prison of fear to the freedom of positivity?
What many seem to have disregarded is that labour has been as bad as Thatcher. Yes she ruined our industrial base - the nationalised industries - but Gordon Brown is just as guilty. He's the one who did exactly the same to the Teesiders with refusing to help Corus, yet at the same time giving Tata's main base (who own Corus) millions of our money towards climate change projects. Where was the sympathy from the Scots for the behaviour of labour in this situation? He's given away billions to other countries while leaving many parts of Scotland untouched for generations.
It's true Margaret Thatcher made a big error in her administration of the poll tax. It wasn't thought through and using Scotland as a testing ground was a bad decision. Labour similarly used Scotland as a testing ground for the smoking ban yet there wasn't a word of protest from the central belt's labour voters. Don't any of them smoke or are they the happy band who are content to stand outside the pub? Ah no, the pub is a male reserve in most of Scotland and where people gather to talk. I'm not against a ban on smoking in certain spaces but where pubs and smoking are concerned I certainly think it has been a disaster. We have hundred of pubs closing down yet nothing is being done. That's another subject, although the smoking ban has stopped many conversing as they've done for centuries. Now it's a bottle of something from the supermarket and a night talking to the television.
What labour could have done in the years since Thatcherism was to protect the skills which were lost when many industries closed. They could have ensured that the relevant skills were taught in their 'new' universities to encourage young people who would have been equipped for work in many countries where such skills are still employed. However, they allowed the older generation of skilled workers, those who could have taught the next generation, to wither on the benefits vine. They had the power to change that. They did not use it.
All Gordon Brown has done in his premiership is ensure the benefits culture is more embedded into the Scots. Endless soundbites of child tax credits, the insistence to Mrs Duffy that she try for the umpteenth time for pension tax credit and of course the working tax credit which supplements those who ought to be earning a decent enough wage to avoid needing help from the state.
The Scots seem to either love or loath the thought of independence. The SNP campaign was weak. I found the slogan 'More nats less cuts' ludicrous and it became more and more irritating. We are part of the UK at present and Scotland has to take her fair share of cuts. We know they're coming, even though the tories, labour and libdems don't want to admit it. I'm surprised Alex Salmond used this as a theme for the SNP. They could have had a more positive message to offer the voters.
Most of all for the SNP they really need to stop being the pleasant party. Labour has the media on its side. It also is playing on Thatcherism which is nearly 40 years ago and long before many labour MPs were out of nappies. They're too polite when responding to the nasty retorts of labour. Let's be honest Jim Murphy offered nothing during televised debates other than sarcastic remarks towards the other participants. 'I am a patriot' - that was it and his flock voted him in by a bigger majority.
But, it was the fear factor in the Scottish pysche which achieved the result for labour here. Nothing to do with their politics or policies which are non-existent. The word 'tory' was enough for so many in Scotland to vote labour. I'm rather sad about that, because so few of today's labour politicians have ever dirtied their hands in industry.
It's time the Scots started looking outwards instead of being controlled by fear, but until the benefits system - and education system - are rehashed, then we will continue to have those who prefer to say 'Thatcher did it'. In a few generation's time the word will be 'Brown did it'. He removed the 10p tax from the lowest paid, removed many of our freedoms and raided the best pension system in the world in order to pay for labour voters. It worked.