Stands Scotland Where She Did? (Part 1)
Time to take stock and understand where now we, the SNP, stand.
Bad news first.
Both the roads to Indyref are blocked off. Whoever the UK PM is can, and will, refuse Section 30 consent. Any attempt to hold a unilateral advisory referendum does not have the degree of backing it would require to force it through — paradoxically independence is closer than ever, whilst the route is blocked.
The Scottish Tories are resurgent and are as well placed to ‘win’ the Scottish General Election in 4 years time as we were in 2003. Ruthie could be FM, mebbies in some rainbow coalition, or as a minority – or she could force us to support Kezia. (This doesn’t mean they will, but they could).
Everyone was wrong about Corbyn. When the politics of two contending parties don’t meet it means that one of the parties is not fishing for voters in the right place. We all assumed that the Tories were fishing for Brexit-Labour votes (she was) and Corbyn was off-piste and therefore she would win. Theresa May got her vote up to her campaign target levels. Turns out the real fishing grounds, or at least another fishing ground, was young people with their historic low turnouts. Corbyn’s Momentum had cast their hooks there.
The SNP took a kicking. First Past The Post is a cocaine system, on the way up you get a big boost, and on the way down you get a big crash. It should have been apparent that we were going to, or at least could, lose a lot of seats. Why couldn’t we see that? Well, that’s cocaine for you, making people overconfident since the dawn of the Incas. Look at the numbers and our small majorities – if there is another election this year, we will get another kicking. How big? Dunno, a dozen, mebbies more?
Political parties, like people, tend to shy away from their own mortality, but it remains a fact that the SNP will lose power at some stage, either 2021, or 2026 or whenever, but it will happen.
There are two theories of political parties. In one view, that of the old left-wing parties and the SNP pre-2002, your voters are made elsewhere, in factories as workers, or heather-strewn hills and glens as Scots. Your job is to mobilise them.
In the other view, politics is a coalition, and your job is to work out who doesn’t vote for you and why, and then seek to build a coalition that is broad enough to support your party into government.
I, like many others, fell into the trap of thinking that our voters were being ‘made’ by the unfolding of Brexit – we in the SNP need to have a politics of building a coalition again – of understanding why some of our voters stopped voting for us.
Well, thank you Gloomy Glenda for coming the big bummer on us all, eh?
Things are not all bad and I will get on with the good, better or just indifferent aspects in the next post.