Alex Salmond, Britain, Conservatives, David Cameron, Edinburgh, gordon brown, Holyrood Elections, Labour Party, LibDems, Politics, Scotland, Scottish Elections 2007, Scottish Green, scottish independence, SNP

Salmond caught in the net

Salmond has had hardly the time to celebrate the greatest moment of his political career and of his party’s history, that trouble kicked off. The most likely coalition deal, SNP+LibDem+Greens, already appears to be off. The Liberals aren’t interested, and understandably so. They took a sore beating, both here in Scotland and down in England. The tendency, in Scotland, appears to be to blame the poor performance on having been in government with Labour for too long. Opposition pays much better in electoral terms, the LibDems seem to have decided – eight years too late. That’s a pretty weak argument, given that the Liberals have possibly done worse in England, where they have always and only been in opposition, than in Scotland. But even if the argument doesn’t stand, they might be right all the same: staying clear of government for the next four years might improve their electoral performance next time around. So the Liberals are out: for now, anyway. Indeed, Salmond might make an offer that they can’t refuse, such as the post of First Minister for Stephen; but that’s unlikely. I tend to think that Salmond prefers a shot at leading himself a minority government rather than letting someone else lead a majority government.

No other option appears feasible: a deal with the Tories would have the same problems, namely the independence referendum, than the one with the LibDems; plus the fact that Tories and SNP are further apart in terms of policy. Cameron would not allow it anyway even if the Scottish Tories were to suddenly grow interested in it. A Grosse Koalition with Labour is even less likely: it would guarantee stability and it would probably allow Salmond, just like Merkel in Germany, to lead the government, because of the higher number of seats. But given the sort of campaign Labour lead in the past weeks and months, that kind of arrangement won’t be forthcoming – not to speak of the fact that obviously Brown cannot show himself to be compromising with the devil, otherwise the task to be re-elected at the next general elections will become just short of impossible.

A minority government is bad news for Scotland; change and reform are already difficult enough for a Parliament elected through PR – even though only partially so. This way, we would be in for a four-year-term that would do not much more than prove right those that opposed an independent Holyrood Parliament in the first place as a waste of money and time. With the added drawback that not only things wouldn’t be decided in Scotland, but they would not be decided at all – because now they are the responsibility of Holyrood. So a deal is in the interest of Scotland. But a country’s interests can move politicians to a compromise only when they match their own.

Britain, Conservatives, David Cameron, discrimination, Home Office, John Reid, Labour Party, New Labour, Politics, racism

“steal our benefits”

New Labour has long adopted conservative policies. Now they have embraced conservative language too (and one that even Dave C would probably avoid):

It is unfair that foreigners come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits, steal our services like the NHS and undermine the minimum wage by working. (*) (it’s him speaking, needless to say)

Britain, Conservatives, David Cameron, gordon brown, Labour Party, LibDems, Politics

sinking Brown

New ICM poll (specifying the party leader’s name):

Tory (Cameron): 42% (40% without mention of the leader’s name)

Labour (Brown): 29% (31%)

LibDem (Campbell): 17% (19%)

So Brown is 13 points behind Cameron; furthermore, his presence appears to worsen Labour’s performance (are they keeping from us the poll with Blair’s name instead of Brown’s?). How low does that number need to get before Labour starts reconsidering their options? 25%? 20%?

Britain, David Cameron, gordon brown, Labour Party, Politics, Tony Blair

a yummy slice of denial, late at night…

What can a Blairite blogger say on a night like this? After Levy has been arrested, AGAIN? I’ll just have to help myself to a slice of juicy denial: let us talk about Sunday’s interview (the one in which Blair, you’ll say, repeatedly refused to answer questions on cash for peerages? – no, shut up, you can’t say that; what’s the point of denial, otherwise?). So, Sunday’s interview (the lowest point in Blair’s legacy, you mean? – no, I told you to shut up; you must respect my denial… it’s me writing this, after all): at one point Blair was asked about his future and, surprise surprise, he refused to answer… no, wait, that’s not the point. The point is the interviewer was going on about the fact that Blair was still young, and that he must have had plans, and such… and Blair actually said something (yes, stupid, you better believe it; denial or not denial, he had a point to make; our PM actually did not refuse to comment…). He said that the media should get used to PMs finishing their job when they are still young, and moving on to do other stuff. Now, why did he say that? (yes, I know, you’ll have a ready made answer: that was a poor attempt at diversion; but, remember, I’m in denial, so not only I decide what to talk about, I also choose my explanations) So here’s why he said that: who’s the PM in waiting who’s likely to be still young at the end of his mandate? Yes, you guessed it, it’s not Gordon Brown… if that slimy (what’s the point of being a Blairite blogger if you can’t even have a go at g.b.?) lump of rotten flesh ever wins an election he’ll probably be sorting out a nursing home for his younger child by the time he leaves office. So Blair was not so implicitly anticipating a fat-Dave (hey, but they are both fat, Cameron and Brown, so you can’t use it to refer to Dave; once and for all, silence! I’m in denial, and this is my blog!) victory at the next election. Our wee slice of denial (yup, we’re not only Blairite, but also Scottish… kinda like being plump on the cat-walk (yes, dumb too), these days) is quite yummy indeed: our man has been in office a decade, and is still there; where’s yours? hangin on…