Last nite on Newsnight Scotland with Lorraine Davidson talking about the forthcoming Glasgow North East by-election – or should we say to be promised some time in the distant future by-election.
I love by-elections, and have done from an early age – when my formative experiences where the double excitement of the Liberal-SDP Alliance briefly sweeping all before it and the force of Vincent Hanna descending on campaigns like an elemental force. Both scared the two main Westminster parties, and Hanna gave the world his sidekick in Andrew Rawnsley (what a gain that was!).
Newsnight Scotland is always a strange experience – given the time of night – but last nite we were in the situ of talking about a by-election whose date could be as long away as November, and yet whose campaign has begun.
This is the third Westminster by-election in Scotland since the election of the SNP Government – and if after Glasgow East and Glenrothes – Labour with all their problems hold it this will tell us something about Labour’s vote in Scotland and the SNP as well. My guess is that for all the trouble Scottish and UK Labour are in, there is still a Labour vote out there, particularly in the West of Scotland.
The SNP haven’t helped matters by moving to their third choice candidate – an interesting reversal with Labour last year in Glasgow East – and David Kerr, is not only an Opus Dei member but has ‘hard’ right views on social policy of the most clichéd and predictable kind.
What does that say about the tactical nous of the Nats? Such caricatured and fundamentalist views in a left-winger would be a huge bru ha ha. For how long will hard right fundamentalist market opinions be more acceptable, considering this is the tosh which has got us into the mess we are?