Monday, 9 April 2012

Until 4th May

Regular followers of my blog will know that I am not an unconditional supporter of the current Labour Leadership, either North or South of the border.

Now, for the avoidance of any doubt that does not mean that it would not be better for both of my countries if the current incumbent of the highest elected office was swept away and replaced with the Labour alternative. My lack of enthusiasm for the current Labour leadership is premised not on any doubt about that. Rather it is that any hoped for change of administration will depend on the will of the people and that, regrettably, the people seem hugely unenthusiastic about the alternative candidates Labour currently intends to place before them. That is at an actual election rather than a snapshot opinion poll. In a democracy, while the people are often wrong, that does not contrive to make them any less the ultimate arbiters. The SNP might well have won last May if, instead of Eck, they had been led by Nicola or Kenny. They certainly would not if they'd been led by Lyall Duff or Bill Walker, equally approved candidates though they both were.

So, Labour needs to realise this and, at some point, act accordingly. Unfortunately, such is the self interest that surrounds politics at all levels that I am not holding my breath. In the end the only people who will truly have a say about this will be the close lieutenants who might just conclude that with a different captain they might just have the chance of being something a bit more significant than a supporting cast to the Leader of the Opposition. No change of leadership will only confirm they think we've got no chance of office either way.

That, I assume, is the conclusion the SNP have reached about Alison Hunter in Glasgow. This woman is simply incredible as leader of Scotland's major City. It appears that not only can't she be trusted to appear on television, worse, when she appears on any other public platform at all the Nationalists themselves know that the next 48 hours will be dominated by them spinning desperately about what she meant to say or indeed would have said if she'd only thought about it. Why are they imperilling the prize of seizing control of Glasgow in this way, you may ask? They are not, is the answer. They have worked out that they can't take the City and are already two moves ahead in the game. Poor Ms Hunter, who has given her life to the Nationalist cause, is to be offered up as a (possibly even knowing) human sacrifice to shield the wider SNP from any suggestion that the "Big Mo" to independence is any less Big and might not even be a Mo at all. "Nothing to see here; personal car crash, no suggestion it any way interferes with the ever clearer road to independence" will, I confidently predict, be the spin in the early morning of May 4th.

It's all very cynical. But then again, that's politics.

But I also know politics to be a rough trade. And that the time at which you are facing the enemy is not the point at which to be running about doubting the formation or querying the generals' competence.

So, with that in mind, this will be my last blog about Scottish politics until May 4th. I reserve the right in the meantime to bore on about the politics of Italy (Bossi has resigned!); the art of the Renaissance or even whether Lang Lang is really the genius he is marketed to be. But I do not wish to give comfort to the enemy, or worse still provide some sort of ludicrous "Labour activist claims...."copy to the Daily Mail or the Sunday Herald.

So I intend to say nothing more till the polls close except that here I will be voting Jean Jones 1 and Heather McVey 2. And I won't be expressing any other preference. If anybody reads this in Kilsyth and the Villages I would encourage them to do likewise.

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