Friday, 3 April 2015

Is that it?

The big leaders debate is over and the winner appears to be...whoever fits with the political line the papers want to take.  There seems to be agreement, however, that Nicola Sturgeon was the star turn of the evening, to the extent where many English people on Twitter were wishing they could vote for her.

I think this may be a turning point for the SNP, where they move from being an essentially regional party of no interest to the wider UK to a player on the Westminster scene.  Ms Sturgeon has shown that the SNP can look at the big picture and offer something to voters outside Scotland.  The fact that there seem to be a fair number of people wishing they had an SNP candidate to vote for should send shivers up the spines of the two big parties.  The phones at London SNP this morning have been pretty busy I understand.

Over the last few weeks the Tories have spent a fair amount of time portraying the SNP in general and Alex Salmond in particular as the bogeyman of politics, the monsters ready to destroy Westminster by propping up an Ed Milliband minority government, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Alex Salmond is no longer the leader of the SNP.  Don't think that'll be an issue after Ms Sturgeon's performance last night.  Labour, meanwhile, have been portraying the SNP as the monsters that will let David Cameron back into Number 10.

Stephen King, writer of many a horror story, has written that in the best horror stories you never show the monster, as your readers' imaginations will provide them with something far scarier than whatever you some up with.  If you show them, say, a 20-foot lizard with razor-sharp teeth rising from a lake they will think 'pretty scary, but what if it was 30-feet tall?'  I'm paraphrasing, but you get the gist.  Now the wider UK public have seen the SNP monster and have found out that it's not nearly as scary as they were led to believe and is in many ways quite cuddly.  The monsterishness of the SNP has been greatly exaggerated, to coin a phrase.

So, now that everyone has seen the monster and found it isn't nearly as scary as they were imagining, where does that leave the Tory and Labour campaigns?  Back to the drawing board boys.

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