The 22 percent swing of Glasgow East from the Labour Party to the Scottish National Party (SNP) is a clear sign that the former is heading for a massive defeat at the next general election. Listening to Des Brown MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, on the Radio 4 yesrerday left little hope that they know how to dig their way out of the current situation. Policy after policy has been anounced, only to be retracted, due to the simple fact that the policies center on taxing people more, for the most part hitting hard working families the hardest.
Gordon Brown is now heavily wounded heading into Labour’s Party conference, where there is likely to be stalemate in getting policies past the National Executive Committee (NEC). As such, there is little original to be written about that side of the story.
More interesting than the government’s defeat, is the to consider the position of the victors. The talented Alex Salmond unites a still ideologically divided Party. When recently up in Scotland unveiling the Adam Smith statue, I was able to discuss with a cross-section of interesting people the state of Scottish politics. The general consensus was that given increasing Scottish independence, the SNP divide would become more pronounced, resulting in a likely split along left/right lines. If that is the way things are heading it will be interesting to see how it unfolds.
It would be good to see Scottish politics enthused with clear forward-looking policies. Currently, the SNP is able to do this on only a few prominent issues. That said, this is certainly more than can be said for the Labour Party at present.