Friday, July 27, 2012
Braveheart Alex Salmond’s future relies on trying to turn traditional Labour voters if he expects to win his independence referendum, not a chance!
If you follow Scottish politics then you will be aware that the vote can be fluid and has been for some time.
People view certain types of elections differently.
In 2007, the outrage of the Westminster expenses scandal saw a shift in public opinion away from the Labour Party thus allowing the first SNP Government to be formed.
In the years 2007 to 2011; the Labour Party in Holyrood put up a disgraceful performance as an opposition effectively doing nothing, engaging in spin and providing weak leadership in many areas.
When they went back to the electorate, well the result speaks for itself.
A large part of Alex Salmond’s electoral success in the past two Holyrood elections is based not on the SNP’s popularity rather it is based on Labour’s unpopularity which saw vast numbers of former Labour Voters temporary switch.
Council tax freeze and free prescriptions were useful carrots to help them on their journey.
Step back to 2010, the 3rd year of SNP Government and a General Election for Westminster, Alex Salmond proclaims that with a Gordon Brown Labour administration falling apart that a hung parliament is possible. The SNP, he said could win 20 seats off Labour to form a Celtic block.
He aimed and got no additional MPs.
Why did he get nothing?
It was quite simple, ‘elect a local champion’ from what I saw was nothing about electing a local champion coupled with the historic distrust that voters have in electing the SNP to Westminster.
The result showed Labour’s strong electoral performance in Scotland at the 2010 general election, Holyrood polls aside, the SNP can’t assume their success will be replicated in all tests of public opinion.
Professor John Curtice has spoken on this extensive on television.
To win independence, many obstacles remain; the main problems are lack of a work ethic, no blue print, no real policies and a poor strategy in thinking that ‘Alex Salmond for First Minister’ has any meaning in an international context.
There isn’t enough time to do everything that is needed to prepare Scotland for independence, the SNP have been going for circa eight decades and no one had the foresight to produce a Scottish blue print of the new Scotland.
Alex Salmond’s future success is linked to trying to appeal to “Old Labour”-inclined voters.
In the past at Westminster elections the answer is no, and it isn’t just no, it is rock solid not even willing to listen to you no!
So, despite that Salmond is locked into a direct pitch to them which is a key plank of his strategy in attempting to win support for the independence cause.
He is offering nothing, saying effectively nothing will change and offers no new vision.
What is his selling point?
Literally he doesn’t get that substance is more important as spin, and his middle class clique are too stupid to say anything.
Labour has had a tough time, their own making, based on stupidity and arrogance, in the Glasgow Council Election of 2012, they realised that in order to shut out the Nationalists, they had to cull deadwood.
And that is what they done, high risk but it worked.
The Labour Party won a majority, rock solid, in part Team Sturgeon boosted their chances tremendously by a lame and inept campaign.
They could even produce their manifesto with a cover sheet on it, and let’s not talk about the pap that formed the contents.
Down the road, the relative success of Ed Miliband in rebuilding the Labour Party at UK level suggests Alex Salmond may struggle to get Scottish voters to back independence.
I would expect that Labour will be selling hard that Ed’s the man in 2015, an election which is up in the air.
And if anyone is stupid enough to think that hating Tories is enough reason to vote for independence they don’t quite grasp the situation properly.
In spinning away Alex Salmond is making claims, that independent Scotland would never elect a centre-right government.
That is subjective opinion based on hot air even within the SNP there is a centre-right element in the north of Scotland.
Claims that Scotland would have a nation where the NHS, education and public services would forever be protected from Thatcherite-style policies.
That’s just hot air as well; it is based on the SNP being the party of government forever and ever.
Back to Glasgow, Alex Salmond never managed to sell his message to a receptive audience in traditional Labour strongholds such as Glasgow.
Out of 79 seats, the SNP got 27, and this is on the back of a Labour administration in chaos, showing weak leadership and seen as crony ridden.
Despite all that, the public looking at what the SNP were offering said a resounding no!
And if you know Glasgow SNP, you can understand why they were able to see right through them.
On many levels Alex Salmond is effectively sailing the Titanic 2, either he will run independence onto the iceberg of public opinion or the unionists will move the iceberg of public opinion into the path of his Titanic and rip the keel wide open.
Scotland isn’t ready for independence, Holyrood isn’t ready for independence, the SNP isn’t ready for independence and the public haven’t been convinced.
Alex Salmond may think he can turn all of the above around in two years, he can’t.
He is just kidding himself on; like he did in 2010 when he said he would get 20 MPs, behind him he relies on his untalented ‘Yes men’ and they are just not up to the task.
People will be going back to Labour for two simple reasons, the work hasn’t been done and the SNP isn’t trusted at Westminster level.
And ‘Alex Salmond for First Minister’, balloons, spin and a wee Scottish flag on a stick to wave about aren’t going to change that.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University