Wednesday, 27 August 2008

What do the Other Parties Really Think?

Well the other parties in Scotland had been writing off the Lib Leadership Election as an irrelevance but it is interesting in some of their statements just what they really think. As I'm currently reading Barak Obama's 'The Audacity of Hope' one thing that is equally apparent in US as well as UK politics is that you don't use negative campaigning unless you are worried and in a tight fight. Obama had eased into the Senate when the Republican campaign imploded around him in Illinois and he didn't get the barbs many of his colleagues had throw at him.

Therefore in the first 24 hours of Tavish Scott's leadership witness the following:

First up is Murdo Fraser the Tories Deputy Leader who said:

"We congratulate Tavish on his election as the LibDem leader.

"He will have a tough job as he takes over the reins of Scotland's
fourth party, especially since Scottish politics is now a three-horse

Of course Murdo is only looking at one contest for that of the MSPs, the Tories on the same day where fourth in the number of councillors elected, whilst the Lib Dems were second only to Labour in the number of councils they had some control over. Indeed the most recent Scottish opinion poll also showed that the Tories had sunk back to fourth place. Surely we can put this down to the wishful thinking of 'a thoughtless man' which is why he was given the job of making the statement not Annabel 'cuddly' Goldie.

According to Kezia Dugdale the Nats have been even more cutting by saying:

"Congratulations to Mr Scott on taking on the leadership of the Liberal
Democrats. With such a small membership and so little support for the Liberal
Democrats Tavish Scott faces an uphill task with polls showing few people know
who he is. The LibDems have voted for more of the same in an invisible election
for an invisible man. Tavish Scott is responsible for their dire election
results and their catastrophic decision to reject a coalition."

Oh dear Nats man speaks with barbed tongue. Even the first line of the above reeks of foul spirit the phrase taking on used instead of being elected to gives the onerous feel that this is heavy or thankless burden. Then goes on to attack those people who actually take time to be members of ANY political party, including their own, in a time of declining memberships. I hope members of all parties are as riled by that slight as I was upon reading it. I know that in my local party membership isn't everything as we have many supporters who always vote for and help us who aren't members of the party, doesn't make them any less important to us than members when it comes to elections and votes in the ballot box.

As for Tavish and the election being invisible with a lot of the political media, including Brian Taylor, taking a holiday first one and now a second Westminster by election. In what would normally have been an empty summer silly season other things have preoccupied the press doesn't make this contest invisible nor the winner, to take a leave out of Iain Duncan Smith's book the Nats had better beware the presence of an invisible man.

As for rejecting a coalition talk with the Nats it does take two to tango. I admit I think we were wrong not to enter into talks with the Nats but if those talks had gone ahead would have given leeway on the referendum on independence. Looking at the mule like stubbornness they have taken over a gamult of policies as they try and wade them through Holyrood I think it is clear that they would not. Maybe the Lib Dem leadership knew that the talks would stall and weren't prepared to waste time on a needless journey which the Nats would probably still have spun in their own favour anyway.

I have to ask the Nats why this sort of statement, until you look at that anagram Nats y = nasty. Alex Salmond is the master of the put down at First Minister Questions so much so that he often avoids any answers yet still earns plaudits. Without any second chamber such as the Lords in Westminster to question the government this is the only opportunity yet he fails to be open to scrutiny. They have been putting everyone else down at every opportunity yet still try and reach out to them as they need support at the same time. Bullying and cajoling may give you short term supremacy in the schoolyard but eventually when you get out into the world and have to achieve you need the support of others. If the Nats keep this up others will see them from just what they are bullies who will take their ball back if we don't play by their rules and let their goals stand.

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