17 Nov 2009

The Second Term?

As SNP activists digest the implications of the defeat in Glasgow North East and revise downwards that 20 plus Westminster seats target, they can still be comforted by the substantial lead the party enjoys in polls on Holyrood voting intentions.


So the second term remains on course.

But with the Tories in power at Westminster, Labour in opposition both sides of the border, and big block grant cuts inevitable, should the SNP want a second term?

10 comments:

Montague Burton Tuesday, November 17, 2009  

If every marginal targeted was in the same fucked up condition as GNE, I'd see room for negativity and a a downsizing of the 20 seat target. However, I like your thinking, how messed up would the Unionists be with Tories in Westminster and First Minister Iain Gray in Holyrood?

Cruachan Tuesday, November 17, 2009  

That's quite a double whammy of despair you're implying for 2010/11; a Referendum Bill blocked and a stance of "No thanks" to another term in Government.

I would suggest the temptation to revert to an oppositionist mindset, looking in from the sidelines from a "moral highground" is not the right way to go.

IF 2007, and perhaps 2011, are high water marks for the SNP, this is a historic opportunity of governing and not one to let go lightly. Of course it mustn't become governing for its own sake. Alex Salmond and his Cabinet team have performed with skill, panache and purpose but perhaps even after just 2 years, it has got just a bit too comfortable?

We all know achieving independence is a long game, but perhaps - as a party of Government, the SNP are being just too polite/cautious/complacent (see GNE).

Time to step up the positive case for independence, to go in harder on the bankruptcy of the Union and time for non-party and all-party (non-Governmental) independence campaigns to recapture the momentum?

More questions than answers.

Aye We Can ! Tuesday, November 17, 2009  

The target for nexy years UK GE I have no strong views on - presumably it remains "as many as possible"

However the main issue i am trying to raise, albeit at an early and speculative level, is how vulnerable the SNP might be as an administartion in Holyrood with a UK Tory Government impossing cuts from the centre. Sure, the SNP would attempt to portay this as the Union's heavy hand etc, but with Labour in opposition in both london and edinburgh, plus its dominance of the Scottish media, i can easily forsee how labour could present itself as "Scotland's protector" against "right wing governments" in London and Edinburgh.

Of course this would be galling given it would all be taking place under labours devolved settlement, but that doesnt mean it wouldnt work.

I raise this as i know how thinking in the SNP tends to centred in StAndrewes house and Holyrood tea bars these days, from where the attractions of office will always be persuasive. But in the post 2010/11 situation will it necessarily advance the cause?

Glenrothes and now GNE gave us an little insight of how incumbancy has downsides as well as benefits. and how the labour-unionist machine might exploit it. Maybe in 2011 we should be prepared to say to Ian Gray nad co - "it's your system, run it!"...or at least consider this as one option

AMW Tuesday, November 17, 2009  

Should the SNP want a second term?

Should that not be they need a second term?

The SNP will have a trorrid second term if they do win one but I think they will come out even stronger afterwards when people see that labour was just like the Tories.

As for the GE, SNP 7 seats on 30% Labour 40 seats on 32%. That is why I hope the Tories skin them at the polls so people can see by voting Labour in Scotland you get Tory.

Aye We Can ! Wednesday, November 18, 2009  
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Aye We Can ! Wednesday, November 18, 2009  

Cruachan - getting a referendum plus a national movement to fight it on the front foot is what I think we need to achieve.

First and foremost this will need a big and vibrant SNP block in Holyrood. But "doing what?" , and being held responsible for what?

Yes, the SNP has done well in government, but until now this has been in the context of an increasing block grant, in which more positive choices can be made tha negative ones. But we have started to see, with the cancelation of GARL an a few other projects how the purse strings are tightening - and block grant cuts aint really started yet.

But crucially, Scottish Labour in opposition will be far better placed than the Scottish Tories ever will be to exploit this.

I am not a natural oppositionlist, and am not suggesting the SNP fights the next Holyrood elections on a "we will not govern ticket" -But the conditions and terms for entering government need to be freshly assessed in light of the radically changed circumstances we are likely to face the day after the 2011 elections.

For example, SNP support for a non SNP administartion, in return for a guaranteed referendum bill might be preferable to implementing real cuts of 10% or more, with no more prospect of a referenum than in the current parliament.

All just ideas, possible scenarios - but worth considering now, deciding later. I simply question whether "government" is nmecessarily the best option. It certainly aint the only one.

OutLander Wednesday, November 18, 2009  

An interesting question and excellent comments.

Andrew Wednesday, November 18, 2009  

Here is a better question:

The SNP have responded to the recession by slashing the housing budget.

They have effectively given up their manifesto pledge to cut class sizes to 18.

Newly qualified teachers are struggling to find jobs and the number of training places has been cut.

We are still waiting for the Scottish Futures Trust to build a single new school.

And I haven't even mentioned the Glasgow Airport Rail Link yet.

So I would ask, does Scotland want an SNP second term?

Aye We Can ! Thursday, November 19, 2009  

Andy, you can ask what you want

But i suspect you star from the widely held assumption that all parties want power - irrespective of circumstances.

I simply ask whether the SNP = a party with an obvious cause should necessarily want to run a devolved settlemt it itself knows cant deliver, paticularly in the context of big cuts to the bloc grant....and with an opportunist labour party sitting on the sidelines.

I might also have asked, "does Labour want a forth term at Westminster" - I cant quite see what "cause" it's advancing there....but for another discussion thread

I think the british public has already all but answered if it wants Labour to get a fourth innings

Aye We Can ! Thursday, November 19, 2009  

WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY:

I think in 2007 the SNP was right to take power, show there is an alternatve to labour and it that could run things competently. But they have done this and circumstances are now changing. So it might be time to consider tactical changes.

Getting a referendum , with the SNP as a party and a movement well placed to fight it is I think where the focus must be. And whilst this is never going to be easy, having the Tories in Westminster with a small lead ( maybe a minority) and labour desperately looking for a way back to some sort of influence in Scotland , plus the lib dems keen on any slice of the action, might just see the SNP well placed to get a referendum - but neither as an incumbant nor an irrelevance. Indeed, unusually as a party on the front foot but one prepared to forego office in order to win its principal objective. And this would not per se be independence, but rather a direct say in their future for the people of Scotland.

I would not condem the SNP for what it did in 2007, but increasingly it looks like what it may have done - unwittingly but objectively - is traded power for forgoing a referendum: By this I don't mean a referendum was on offer (cause it was not), but rather that the unionist parties have only let the SNP run a minority administration because they can block any referendum.

All I am suggesting is maybe - and only maybe - in 2011/12 there might be the opportunity to reverse the deal.

But power is seductive - for both the SNP who have it at Holyrood and other who want it in London and Edinburgh. A potential trap but a potential opportunity also I think.

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