Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A Disconcerting Alliance

As a young woman I believed politicians were elected on their promise of working for the good of their electorates.  How naive I must have been in those days.

Since last Thursday's local elections some strange coalitions have arisen from the wheeling and dealing behind closed doors. East Lothian Labour have decided the Tories are their best friends, (although they seem rather reluctant to admit it) and the good people of East Lothian will now be governed by a Labour/Tory coalition. Only time will tell how successful that arrangement will be but I would think the decision will not be cheerfully accepted by many voters of either party.

But, so far, the biggest shock to many must be the announcement that Labour and the SNP will form a coalition to run Edinburgh for the next five years.  Labour group leader Andrew Burns will become council leader with the SNP's Steve Cardownie - once a Labour man himself until he defected in 2005 - as his deputy.  Labour will also choose the Lord Provost.

I have yet to decide if this is a clever or foolish move by the SNP. Several of my Edinburgh friends are angry because they feel they have been betrayed.  How can the SNP get into bed with Labour when it was Labour who forced through the trams?  That appears to have been the major local issue because the years of disruption to the city has effected nearly everyone in some way.

On Newsnicht, Steve Cardownie insisted Labour and the SNP have much common ground on policies yet it was reported earlier that the SNP had initially made 'some fairly serious offers' to the Tories.

Will being in coalition with Labour help or hinder the SNP's chances for a yes vote in the referendum?  Only time will tell, but this decision in Edinburgh has me believing the politicians are far more interested in acquiring power than they are about representing their electorate.



JRB said...

And so it is similarly here in the Highlands.

At what passed for political hustings just days before the election, the animosity and vitriol that passed between SNP and Labour candidates was palpable.

But now, they are bosom-buddies, you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between them if you tried.

So what has changed?

Simply, the threat of an Independent/LibDem/Tory coalition taking control which would have left the SNP and Labour members languishing on the side-lines.

Such is their lust for power and control that both the SNP and Labour councillors are now willing to sacrifice their pre-election promises and supposed political beliefs.

Is the achievement of that level of power really worth such public indignity?

And, as we have discussed before, are such unholy alliances truly democratic?

Apogee said...

No, what it does tend to prove that power of any kind is their aim,and as has been said for years they are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

pa_broon74 said...

I don't know...

It sounds pragmatic to me. I grew up in East Lothian and have had cause to contact councillors there, as it happened the Labour councillor I spoke to was a lot more helpful than the SNP one.

I live in Edinburgh but have had little contact with any councillors here, the tram thing has been like a cloud over Edinburgh. We can recriminate and whinge until we expire or we can get on with sorting it out, if a labour/SNP coalition is what's best then so be it.

Obviously, they'll tell us that is what's best and we can choose to belive it or not.

Council elections are a bit like sex, you'll say and do a lot of things the night before that you wouldn't otherwise, but you have to wake up in the morning and somehow get along, it might be awkward but if we're being adult about it, we just accept that we've seen each other at our most craven and get on with breakfast.

dognamedblue said...

"Major leaders from around the world are part of a united effort to remain in power forever. To do so, people are lured into the trap of perpetual debt, making it impossible to be repaid by the people"

once people realise that it is all a fraud & start sacking the lot of them, getting those nice people you see out of your window who go out of their way to be nice to people just because they can & not for any reward, into the roles, giving them whatever they want in return, the better it will be for everyone, at least you know these nice people won't screw you over expenses. the only problems we have are manufactured by these very same politicians, the financial collapse is manufactured by the banks, we can print all the money we need debt free & that means no more national debt & no more tax, but people won't accept this & would rather look elsewhere for answer that don't exist because they stupidly feel safer in not accepting the truth

Apogee said...

Hi dognamedblue. The entities, people who are running the set up, are not going away just because we say ! They have centuries of time and effort and treasure. invested in the system,the sheeple in the street are quite happy because they have only known the world as it is and they don't want it overturned because they have been conditioned to like it this way by those who run the world. You have a lot of conditioning to overcome.I think you are right but try proving it to the sheeple.Try getting their attention, to start with!

Barbarian of the North said...

Take away the party banners and you will find that most councillors are alike.

There are more than I few councillors I've met in my time, who I felt couldn't get a job in the real world so resorted to politics. There are some exception but very few.

Ian said...

"-the politicians are far more interested in acquiring power than they are about representing their electorate." They always were and always will be.The best thing anyone can do is to shun "society", especially with regard to paying taxes, by becoming a traveller.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Power corrupts principles and confuses responsibility - which by definition should exclude all politicians due to past custom and present practice are proven to have neither.

subrosa said...

I think democracy has gone out with window JRB and I also think the SNP have lost considerable credibility making pacts with Labour.

subrosa said...

I agree Apogee. Power in any shape of form seems to be what the SNP intend. Sad really, I thought they were above such indignified actions.

subrosa said...

Wouldn't it be far better for the SNP to have become a very strong opposition pa_broon?

subrosa said...

Excellent contribution dognamedblue. Many thanks.

subrosa said...

That's true Barbarian. Unfortunately I believed the SNP councillors, MPs and MSPs were slightly more principled than others but in recent years I see they're all of the same mold.

subrosa said...

Ian, my days of travelling are gone. Anyway why should I sell up and take to a lifestyle which I would find unsuitable.

But yes, I agree that's possibly the only way to attack the 'system' as is proven regularly by press articles.

subrosa said...

Sadly you're right Crinkly.

pa_broon74 said...


Perhaps, if we carry my metaphor on a bit more, sometimes its better to leave before morning arrives. ;-)

I happen to think it is a bad idea in this instance. I also don't know why they can't work on an issue by issue basis.

Would that also not be pragmatic?

subrosa said...

That would be a much better idea pa_broon. Not only would it be pragmatic but more democratic and acceptable to many voters.

As I suggested, the SNP joining with Labour on a permanent basis (for 5 years anyway) will upset many of their voters.

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