New Political Landscape

Well, we’ve woken to a new political landscape and no mistake. The SNP are to be congratulated on their victory which is decisive and very clear.

There have been shocks and surprises all over the place and I think that even the SNP activists that I know, who were expecting a good night are themselves surprised by the extent of it.  All kinds of good people who have been in the parliament will no longer be there and I’d guess some who were not really expecting to be elected have been. It’s a brutal process, not least for those who work alongside politicians – some of whom who will have been hoping for a job to continue only to wake up this morning to find that they are out on their ear too.

There will be changes too. Labour has had a bad night in Scotland. Red Clydeside ain’t red nae mair, nae mair and there will be much weeping over some of those losses. It was clear in recent weeks that it was not going Labour’s way. They’ve lost a lot and lost it quickly. At the start of the year, I was predicting that Labour would be back into power. Now it seems astonishing that anyone could have thought they would do well.

It was a terrible result for the Liberal Democrats. As bad as I thought it might be. (And I did correctly predict that in January).

Nick Clegg’s line is that the voters have judged the Lib Dems because they have seen them delivering Tory cuts. It’s not true though. Voters have judged the Lib Dems because they feel betrayed by them and by him in particular.

It’s not cuts, Nick. It’s tuition fees.

There will be no climbing back, no comeback, no return to anything without that being recognised. And to recognise it is to recognise that there needs to be some changes. The problem is not the Tories and it isn’t Labour’s legacy.

It has all gone wrong because of two images – the first the picture that people have in their minds of all those candidates signing pledges on tuition fees which came to nothing. The second is the sight of a Westminster-educated lad so thrilled that he was allowed to play with the Bullingdon boys that he did his best to blend in and started to look like them.

The Lib Dems need a new leader and need one soon. (And I’m not talking about Tim Farron either). The coalition needs to be run on completely different lines. Business, not pleasure. No more joint press conferences in the Rose Garden. No more attacking Labour as though doing so is the very business of government – it isn’t.

And a swift and clear statement that on tuition fees, the party and particularly its leader, got it wrong.


  1. I think it might be the cuts as well: recall information is beautiful: economy, with particular attention to Trident and the NHS. (It’s worth a bookmark anyway, is that page.)

    There’s a difference between compromise and being compromised; I’m not sure who I’d vote for if the current election was for Westminster instead.

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