Election Night: Scotland under media barrage

Friday, 4th May 2007 at 0:38 UTC 15 comments

Before I get going, I should point out that this is about the 3rd or 4th election sitting on this particular sofa, and its still doing me fairly well. Also, we’ve just been told that in the ward in Sedgefield that Blair lives in, the Tories have taken just one vote.

Anyhow, Scotland. We’ve only got one seat in, and given that Yorkshire isn’t counting till tomorrow, I’m mostly concerned with a foreign election. Or rather, I’m hoping it will be! And the scary thing is the extent to which the press has come out to bash anyone prepared to stand up for the Scottish National Party. The BBC have shown us tomorrow’s Sun front page, and its all about the SNP being the noose around Scotlands neck.

The establishment media and the establishment parties are coming out to loudly in support of the so-called union with Scotland. I think it is disgraceful the abuse that Scotland is taking, especially concerning its ability for self rule and its ability to hold its head up in the global economy. Perhaps those in Westminster are more worried that they will lose the right to claim Scottish oil.

I really hope the people of Scotland have managed to stand up in their minds to this horrible offensive from the media and from the politicians. They’re certainly more intelligent than most in Westminster seem to be able to comprehend. I thought the Scottish Highers were meant to be harder than A Levels. Those who believe the world revolves around London have some serious waking up to do.

With ballot boxes from two of the four main ‘Western Isles’ now delayed until tomorrow, perhaps we won’t know until tomorrow. My main worry is that, should it be too close to call without the Western Isles, the SNP will not be able to confidently launch its major project of separation. Grrrr…

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Entry filed under: democracy, Elections, Participation, Scotland, Scottish Parliament.

Finding and Creating Space for Ourselves Election Night: Who says Single Issues suck?

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Scotsman  |  Friday, 4th May 2007 at 1:01 UTC

    Record numbers of spoiled/not-counted votes in the election!

    http://earz-mag.com/2007/May/Spoiled_Votes_Scottish_Election.html

    Reply
  • 2. Graham Martin  |  Friday, 4th May 2007 at 2:04 UTC

    I noticed, and this means better explanations are needed in the media of how the voting system works. I’d expect that next time most people will have it right and those numbers will be lowered.

    Reply
  • 3. Jennifer  |  Friday, 4th May 2007 at 7:18 UTC

    or 100,000 Scots voted spoiled their ballot in protest?
    just a thought…

    Reply
  • 4. Jonathan  |  Friday, 4th May 2007 at 16:47 UTC

    no borders, no nations…

    Reply
  • 5. Graham Martin  |  Monday, 7th May 2007 at 0:26 UTC

    I’m now being told that the problem goes thus: the ballot papers people were given had three columns, one for each of their votes, meaning that the ballots could be entered into the counting computers much more easily. Many of the 100,000 spoiled ballots were in fact just unused ballots. People didn’t feel any compulsion to vote in some of the elections, ergo, the ballot was spoilt because there was no visible preference.

    Reply
  • 6. Greg  |  Tuesday, 8th May 2007 at 21:37 UTC

    So Graham, what precisely do you think the benefits to Scotland would be if it were independent. I hope they’re actual hard economic ones, rather than anything related to Scottish nationalism – it sems to me that less union with the rest of the uk would just lead to more union with Europe sooner, which would hardly get them anywhere as far as actual indepenence goes.

    Reply
  • 7. Jonathan  |  Wednesday, 9th May 2007 at 12:38 UTC

    What Greg said.

    I don’t really see how replacing rule from Whitehall with rule from Edinburgh would be of benefit to people in Scotland (aside from the bureaucratic sector); further, the SNP advocates adopting the Euro and full participation in the EU, essentially making them the latest addition to the Europe of capital.

    (minor tangent, but it frustrates me that we are generally offered two perspectives on the EU – either traditionalist, nationalist, patriotic right-wing isolationism or neo-liberal participation. the whole “below and to the left” attitude gets little attention.)

    if the choice is between Scottish bosses, English bosses, and European bosses, I really don’t see any of the independence debate having value.

    Reply
  • 8. Graham Martin  |  Wednesday, 9th May 2007 at 13:18 UTC

    In answer to Jonny’s point, there is something of a theory that goes ‘the smaller the country, the easier the revolution’. Losing the Union between England/Wales and Scotland would deal a blow to Westminster’s power, even if only a small one. But then, sometimes you have to do revolution by small steps.

    If you want power devolving to the communities themselves, you have to start somewhere, and giving Scotland its autonomy is a good start, partly because this will begin to put pressure on the government to grant regional autonomies (I’m a Yorkshire person, nuff said).

    But I think the real answer to your question lies in the political mood in Scotland. At least initially, it has been a generally leftist feeling, and the defiance over Westminster has been felt within this. Yes, the left did badly in the last elections, but thats mostly internal problems and a move to vote SNP. Both in Europe and on its own terms, Scotland could be a better force (not a perfect one) than Britain is currently.

    That all aside, there is still the damned principle of fighting Westeminsterism!

    Reply
  • 9. Graham Martin  |  Wednesday, 9th May 2007 at 13:20 UTC

    Oh, and I forgot to mention. Trident. Oh yes, the British forces will be up the loch without a paddle if they lose their base for Trident. And also, technically Scotland could claim its right to its locally based regiments. That would exert even more force on the UK to get out of Iraq, seeing as Scotland is as likely to leave its troops there as hell is likely to freeze over!

    Reply
  • 10. Jonathan  |  Wednesday, 9th May 2007 at 16:03 UTC

    In answer to Jonny’s point, there is something of a theory that goes ‘the smaller the country, the easier the revolution’.

    does this have any basis in fact? ie can you point to any real-world example in which a worthwhile revolution (ie discounting coups, fascist dictatorships, etc.) has come about following a nation’s “independence” from a wider nation, in which this revolution can be directly linked to that independence rather than other factors?

    there is also that pesky factor of internationalism…

    Losing the Union between England/Wales and Scotland would deal a blow to Westminster’s power, even if only a small one. But then, sometimes you have to do revolution by small steps.

    I’m curious as to what kind of revolution you’re advocating here. if I can don my hard-leftist hat for a moment, the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself – not a hand-down from yet another set of leaders.

    If you want power devolving to the communities themselves, you have to start somewhere, and giving Scotland its autonomy is a good start, partly because this will begin to put pressure on the government to grant regional autonomies (I’m a Yorkshire person, nuff said).

    This is the second time you’ve brought this up and I’m going to re-iterate my question: what benefits do you see for the people of Yorkshire from having a regional assembly? All it appears to offer is the facade of local control and the enrichment of a handful of bureaucrats.

    (and I’m a Yorkshire person too, as you know, albeit one currently displaced.)

    While I would undoubtedly be butchering academia by doing so, I’d argue for a separation of the ideas of devolution and autonomy. The latter is a product of collective self-organisation creating the means to organise our own lives autonomous of the state, capital, etc.; the former is the (generally superficial and liable to rescinded) creation of another stage of the state considered to be “closer” to a particular group of people.

    But I think the real answer to your question lies in the political mood in Scotland. At least initially, it has been a generally leftist feeling, and the defiance over Westminster has been felt within this. Yes, the left did badly in the last elections, but thats mostly internal problems and a move to vote SNP. Both in Europe and on its own terms, Scotland could be a better force (not a perfect one) than Britain is currently.

    Check out the rest of Europe for examples of what “leftist” parliamentarians get up to once they’ve been given power. they have to act in the same environment as any other politician and while they may be able to make certain changes, ultimately their scope is highly limited.

    That all aside, there is still the damned principle of fighting Westeminsterism!

    What “principle” would that be?

    Oh, and as for Trident: while there are a number of practical and political reasons why the UK govt would not want to have to move their missiles, they could do so if they had to. So the nukes move from Faslane to somewhere on the English coast. Big deal.

    Reply
  • 11. Jonathan  |  Wednesday, 9th May 2007 at 16:06 UTC

    To summarise the above, some questions:

    – What material, practical benefits do you see to Scottish independence?
    – What material, practical benefits do you see to the creation of regional assemblies?
    – What makes you think either one would (a) have effective power separate from Westminster, or (b) act in a more progressive manner than the current setup?

    Reply
  • 12. Betty  |  Wednesday, 9th May 2007 at 17:21 UTC

    If an independent Scotland would keep their troops, then why would they give the nukes back? If there really was a revolution, surely being a nuclear power would be of some advantage.?

    Reply
  • 13. Graham Martin  |  Wednesday, 9th May 2007 at 22:56 UTC

    Erm, well done everyone for creating the longest set of responses to one of my posts yet. As this was originally my fumbled attempt at a response to something that was bugging me during the election count, I figure its fair to say things have gone away from (rather than ‘off’, as such) topic.

    I’m going to propose, for the sake of clarity, that I take the last two comments, stick them in a draft post, and then write a fresh post when I have had a decent amount of time to think about them. Would be good to continue this, just not by me writing another thousand words of comment. Feel free to complain, though, as I fear this is a bit of an unfair way of doing this.

    Reply
  • 14. Greg  |  Thursday, 10th May 2007 at 9:25 UTC

    Fine then. Points I’d particularly like addressing are:

    Why would a Scottish assembly, made up of the same MPs in the same constituencies as have sat in Westminster for years, be good for the people of Scotland? Tangible benifits, please.

    Why on Earth do you want regional assemblies? We already have both national and local government, and regional assemblies would be an expensive method of stroking Yorkshire’s and the North East’s egos.

    We have American military bases in Britain and there are British bases in Germany (plus in heaven knows where else). Why would any Scottish independence deal not have a clause written in where England’s allowed to keep Faslane?

    Reply
  • 15. Jonathan  |  Thursday, 10th May 2007 at 17:02 UTC

    Eh. I’d echo Greg’s points (tho through the filter given in my comment #10 above), and also – tho this is a much wider issue – question just what kind of “revolution” you have been referring to in preceding comments.

    Reply

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