The polls open in a few hours, and the parties are making their final pleas to the public. The SNP hope to retain their majority and with luck increase it. The Greens hope to overtake the Lib Dems as the fourth largest party. And the Tories hope that Labour collapses to such an extent that they can sneak into a far distant second place.
Some anti-independence commentators, who really ought to know better, have been complaining that Scottish politics are now Ulsterised. This is based on the facile notion that the great political division in both is now between nationalists and unionists. However if you really think that Scotland’s politics have become just like Ulster’s, then you know nothing about Scotland and even less about Northern Ireland. Best you just shut your geggie before people point and laugh. As far as I know, there have been no knee-cappings or molotov cocktail throwings associated with organised crime gangs in league with Scottish political parties. There has been no voting early and voting often and a high turn out in graveyards, although if there has then perhaps we can ask Ruthie if she’s seen the postal votes. There has been snark a-plenty, there’s been pursed lips and dirty looks, but this election campaign has passed without so much as an egg being sacrificed.
There is of course only one small and rapidly diminishing voting block in Scotland which casts its ballot on the basis of sectarianism, and that’s one which wears an orange sash, waves a red white and blue flag, and whose members have a tendency to support a certain fitba team. If Ulsterisation exists in Scottish politics, it’s a problem for the Unionists and no one else. Funny how Unionists have a tendency to project their own shortcomings onto independence supporters.
If you believed the Unionist press, Scotland has been on the verge of civil war since late 2013. Yet the only actual violence leading to criminal charges, as opposed to hysterical predictions of violence which go no further than the pages of a Unionist rag, have been amongst Unionists. There’s that psychological projection again. Some anti-independence commentators really ought to consider the beams in their own eye before they go on about someone else’s motes. Not that that ever stops them of course. There is nothing that the Unionist media would love more than actual violence from the Scottish independence campaign. Our refusal to give them any annoys them almost as much as the inevitability of another independence referendum.
Ruth Davidson, in a last minute appeal from the back of a buffalo, has called on people who voted yes in the independence referendum to vote Conservative this time so that she can hold the SNP to account. That’s a bit like asking someone to shoot themself in the foot so that you can write a stiff letter of complaint to the Daily Telegraph about local chiropody provision. All over Scotland, at least in Ruthie’s imagination, independence supporters will limp to the polls to give her their support, although the overlap between independence supporters and psychotic self-harming masochists is probably not as great as she’s hoping it is. Even if Ruthie’s imaginary yes supporters who’re going to vote Tory do manage to drag themselves to the polling station leaving a trail of blood behind them, they’d probably be stopped by her equally imaginary burly men.
It’s not entirely clear what it is that Ruthie believes would possess a yes supporter to vote Tory in order to put pressure on the SNP. She’s spent the past few months banging on about nothing except her opposition to another referendum, but apparently she now wants people who want another referendum to vote for her because she claims the SNP don’t show sufficient leadership. She seems to struggle with the concept that you can only be a leader if people want to follow where you’re leading them. Ruth will show leadership, just leadership 180 degrees opposite to the direction that yes voters want to go.
By the same logic, if you want to protect the NHS you should vote for it to be privatised, if you want nukes out of the Clyde you should vote for Trident renewal, and if you want politicians who are truthful, consistent, modest, and self-effacing you should vote for Donald Trump. Or indeed, if you are viscerally opposed to politicians who pose with tanks, buffaloes, or large and very dead fish so that they can grab a quick photo opportunity and avoid being asked difficult questions about their Westminster colleagues’ vindictive and nasty actions in government, you could always for vote Ruth.
Meanwhile Kezia Dugdale has opined that she’s afraid that the controversy over allegations of anti-semiticism in the Labour party could have damaged their election hopes. She really needn’t worry. Labour never had a hope to begin with. The only question in this election is just how gubbed they’re going to get. Labour descended into irrelevance the moment that the party decided that campaigning alongside the Tories to prop up the Westminster system was the best way for their to guarantee their continuing expenses claims, the best they can hope for is that they don’t haemorrhage so much support that Ruthie overtakes them by simply standing still. Labour do occasionally manage to oppose the Tories successfully, in the same way that if you leave a basket in your garden and a fish falls into it from the sky you’re a successful angler.
Having been upstaged by pig-sex, which for once didn’t involve Davie Cameron, Wullie Rennie is confident that his party can avoid being relegated to fifth place behind the Greens. He was also confident that Alistair Carmichael didn’t deserve to get prosecuted, that Nick Clegg was right to go into coalition with the Tories, and that Danny Alexander was going to get reelected. The pigs rutting behind him as he made his pronouncement were making a far more profound statement about Lib Dem chances. They’re screwed.
However you vote on Thursday, vote Scottish. Vote to annoy the Unionist establishment, vote to keep Scotland on the agenda. Let’s make sure that Labour is justly punished, that the Lib Dems are consigned to history where they belong, and that the Tories and UKIP make no inroads. Let’s hope for a majority SNP government and a large contingent of Greens. If we can do that, and we can, there’s still hope for Scotland.
There are strict laws about publishing during the period of time when the polling stations are open. It is illegal to publish anything about how the vote is going, or anything which could be construed as an exit poll. I can’t sit and moderate comments all day, so regretfully I will turn off the comments facility overnight, and will turn it back on again when the polls close at 10 pm on Thursday. Thank you for your understanding.
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