Friday, July 25, 2008

Glasgow East SNP Victory: A Step Closer to an Independent Scotland

I was up until past three this morning, waiting on the results of the Glasgow East by-election. Would the Scottish National Party (SNP) win? Well, there's an old saying that in Glasgow if you put up a donkey for the Labour Party it would be returned to Westminster. It didn't happen last night. With a nearly 23% swing to the SNP its candidate got in with a majority of 365 votes. It was too close for the ghastly Margaret Curran, Labour's loser, who insisted on a recount. But the SNP prevailed.


For the first time in thirty years, Labour has been kicked out of Glasgow East which is now SNP land. Slowly but surely the SNP is claiming Scotland for itself, constituency by constituency. If last night's swing was replicated through Scotland in a general election Labour would be wiped out left with only one MP! The same punishment that the Scots meted out to the Tories many years ago will have been dealt Labour. The SNP will have reclaimed Scotland and would be well on the road to independence.

SNP victories, it has to be said, were initially won by default, the options being so distasteful. But that cannot be said anymore for a Party that really knows how to govern and to earn the respect of the Scots thereby. Under Alex Salmond the SNP has proved itself as not only worthy of government but of being miles ahead of all the other parties. The prospect of an independent Scotland rebuilt along the Scandinavian model is something we can all look forward to.

The most unusual and significant thing about last night was that it was really more than just a by-election: it was two governments competing with each other for public approval, Westminster against Holyrood. And Holyrood won, sending out a clear message back down south: things have changed and they have changed forever. Britain will never be the same again. Get used to it!

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