Friday, 8 May 2015

Surf's up!

Well that was a wild ride!  I spent election night at an event arranged by our local SNP branch where we watched the election results live, along with drinks and food, until 6am this morning.  The atmosphere was incredible once the results started rolling in. 

If you go to music gigs, you'll know that there's a difference between a good gig and and the more rare awesome gig.  The difference is subtle.  A good gig will see people clapping and cheering and generally having a good time.  An awesome gig will also see this, but there is an added dimension.  A strange alchemy takes place where the emotions of the crowd somehow meld them into one organism.  The quality of the sound of the cheers and celebrations changes.  It's hard to explain if you haven't experienced it, but that was the feeling from last night's event.  It was like surfing on the tsunami that washed over Scotland last night, turning the country SNP yellow.

On a wider scale, Westminster politics will be undergoing some aftershocks of its own.  Three leaders have resigned (Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage), so new leaders will need to be chosen and possibly new directions taken.  However Jim Murphy has said he will not be resigning as leader of Labour in Scotland, and that he intends to rebuild his party in time for next year's Scottish elections.  Ed Miliband has, however, taken responsibility for the Scottish branch's almost total wipeout.  Compare and contrast.

There will no doubt be some that blame the SNP for Labour's defeat in the larger UK.  However, the arithmetic doesn't really stack up.  Even if every Scottish constituency had returned a Labour MP it still wouldn't have been enough to prevent Cameron getting his majority.  Also, analysis shows that the Tories have basically cannibalised the LibDem vote rather than taken seats from Labour.

Mr Cameron's majority is a slender one.  Should he try to pass contentious legislation it would only take a few of his backbenchers to rebel and his motion would be defeated, and he can no longer rely on the LibDems to support him.  There are going to be some interesting times ahead.

Meantime, let's dedicate a song to Labour and the LibDems in Scotland...

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