Monday, 27 April 2015
The Numbers Game
Over the years I’ve complained about the lack of media interest in the SNP. As a party they’ve struggled long and hard for air time and any recognition in the printed press, but this time round it feels as if the UK’s immediate future will certainly involve the SNP to some degree.
Polls have them flying high and Westminster is running scared, very scared. Quite a delight to watch at times.
But with Nicola Sturgeon having such a prominent presence, both on our screens and in our newspapers, there are bound to be articles which she hoped wouldn’t achieve the light of day. The Daily Express runs this one. If this is true then I’m concerned about Scotland’s future. It’s well known large businesses do recruit personnel overseas when they can’t attract British workers, but in this situation, it appears actions were taken purely on financial grounds. Where are the unions I wonder.
All regular readers know that I support an independent Scotland but I’m not a member of the SNP or any other political party. My choices are limited because of my lifelong belief that Scotland could and should be independent. It’s the SNP or the Greens and I really shiver when I hear the leader of the Green Party mention some of their policies. They want to raise the living wages rate to £10 an hour and fund it by a wealth tax on the top 1%. I vaguely recall this policy has been proposed by every political party over the years without any result.
Enough about the Greens. They’re not in the running for any landslide. If the media are to be believed then the SNP is the party which will experience a landslide, although I think the projections are exaggerated. Nevertheless, it would seem gains will be made all over Scotland and the numbers of SNP MPs will be increased in Westminster. A hatchet job was done on the SNP by the Backbencher recently but I doubt if it will make much difference to Scottish voters.
More concerning is Nicola Sturgeon’s determination to prop up the Labour party, thereby putting Ed Miliband in No 10. Ed Miliband is weak, very weak. He is not Prime Minister material. Ms Sturgeon will be very aware that he is inadequate.
Thus we - or perhaps I should say I - have a conundrum. The Tories and Labour are currently running a close race. The LibDems are running backwards and UKIP’s ratings have taken a sharp fall. Some suggest the Tories will win and run a minority government. A well-run minority government is possible and as some highly experienced Tory MPs will surely be re-elected, it could work.
Labour may few experienced MPs, particularly from Scottish constituencies. The ‘big hitters’ are all jumping ship and the remainder look like their leader - weak.
Politics isn’t a ‘care for the people’ game it’s a numbers game. The SNP, like all other parties, wants a greater presence and recognition in Westminster and in order to make their presence felt need to join with either the Tories or Labour. The SNP has consistently ruled the Tories out and has no other option than Labour.
I don’t think Ed Miliband would be good for the UK or for Scotland. At least the coalition in the last UK government left us alone most of the time and David Cameron was ‘kind’ enough to permit the referendum.
My vote will go to the SNP but not because I agree with any joint formal or informal agreement with Labour. I doubt propping up Labour will bring independence closer.
However, it’s all about numbers. Nick Clegg would sell his granny for another stint in power and the LibDem leader says he’ll talk with any party. Power over principles indeed.