Thu May 5th, 2011 at 05:51:01 AM EST
There is a parliamentary election in Scotland [today] at which the Scottish National Party (SNP) are hoping to be returned, after four years of minority government.
There was an excellent article [Saturday] in the Scotsman by Gerry Hassan, now posted on that excellent commentator's blog.
Election could be big crunch for SNP and Labour
The Scottish elections have been shaped by two diametrically opposed campaigns, with two different themes and moods, one SNP and one Labour.
They have met with very differing responses from voters, with the SNP surging ahead in the polls as Labour have badly stumbled and blown a double-digit lead.
He goes on to compare and contrast the positive SNP campaign with the negative Labour campaign based essentially on fear and concludes.....
frontpaged with minor edit - Nomad
Just as the SNP believed their own hype in 2007, so too did Labour in 2010, aided by the party moving into the lead in the Scottish Parliament election polls, a lead the party did not earn, but which merely reflected anxieties with the Tory led Government. The moment voters concentrated on Holyrood and the SNP got their act together, Labour's lead evaporated.
Next week's election is going to tell us many things. That Labour can't win on its core vote alone. That the `old Labour' approach is dying. And the party has little idea what to do.
That the Nationalist victory and coalition of 2007 wasn't a flash in the pan. That the SNP are competent and a permanent fixture. And yet at the same time, at what could be the height of their popularity, this will be the ultimate testing of the party's emotional resonance, the catch-all nature of its appeal, and Alex Salmond's leadership. Whatever happens next Thursday the SNP and Labour will never be the same again.
Gerry routinely posts his articles on Facebook for discussion, and there is always a high quality discussion which develops, often including some pretty influential Scots, and I added my two penn'orth as follows...
I think we are seeing that people respond better to a positive message than a negative one. Which should not come as a surprise.
If Labour are anything, they are the party of Solidarity, and yet in becoming New Labour they lost their core values of mutuality and the common good. These values have always seemed to resonate more strongly in Scotland and the Nordic countries than elsewhere, probably because in harsh environments co-operation may be a matter of survival.
As third generation Labour (but not New Labour) it surprised and saddened me to see that the SNP's policies were closer to my values than Labour's had become.
Add to this the fact that the best SNP politicians actually want to be in Holyrood, rather than Westminster, and that their excellent core team have played the cards dealt to them by Westminster extremely shrewdly, particularly in devolving financial matters to the councils as much as possible so that the tough choices may be made locally rather than imposed top down.
I believe that the forthcoming election will lead to the death of Labour in Scotland, and hopefully the birth of Scottish Labour.
IMHO the Coalition's Big Society and Localism policies have created a political vacuum which may be filled bottom up by people acting collaboratively who understand that in a networked Society 'reality-based' Policies will create the Party, rather than the Party creating the Policies.
There is no reason whatever - other than dinosaur tribalism - why Scottish Labour could not unite in solidarity with the SNP in respect of policies 'which work'.
As the man said, the 19th century was the century of Liberty; the 20th century was the century of Equality; and the 21st century will be the century of Fraternity.