Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quote of the day

Alex Massie:
The great ignored truth of the devolution years is that Holyrood* has been a bulwark against change, not an agent for it. And that meant that the Scottish Labour party spent a great deal of time resisting Blairism, just as it will, if returned to power next year (as the polls suggest it will be) do its utmost to preserve the status quo. That's what it's there for. That's what it believes in. Scottish Labour is a security blanket and the electorate is Linus.

Roll on Holyrood 2011. Or, you know, not.
*You could quite easily pop in Stormont there, the difference being that Scottish Labour's role in our Assembly is performed by...basically all the parties.


Anonymous said...

No comparison. NI is barely out of conflict mode. There are two separate voting blocs with very little crossover. Of course all parties are trying to make it work, but for different reasons.

In Scotland, the SNP needed to show that they could govern. They have. In NI, SF needed to become respectable to attract middle class nationalist voters. They have.

Once there are Home Rule parliaments in either jurisdiction, the prospect always exists of a surge in SNP or SF support, giving them actual power. In NI this is tempered by the GFA compulsory coalition rules, but bolstered by the prospect of Cross Border co-operation, border polls and the like.

tony said...

Just on the Blair contention alone I cannot grasp, honestly if piles of shite could talk. I remember well the chagrin surrounding the implementation of the Terrorism Act when civil servants in Edinburgh had to admit that their London counterparts had not consulted them. This was a serious breach of Sewel motions and one we heard not a peep from the labour lackeys in government in Edinburgh.

The other contention about Holyrood not being a place of change is complete and utter!

Witness Cameron expected to copy the openness and scrutiny that our MSP's must work under. Not to mention the public process that prospective Bills go through, the touring of the executive all around the country. And don't forget the SNP making their own justifiable decisions that go against the establishment grain. I cite Megrahi.

O'Neill said...

Blairism, if it did have any kind of philosophical background, was the modernising of the Labour party moving it into the middle-classes, dumping the old class (and community) "consciousness"? The Labour Party in Scotland mustn't have got the memo.

IBut with regards to the the main point of the quote, in both cases the economical structural problems and more specifically the over-emphasis on the public sector is the elephant in the room that no one, of whatever political stripe has been prepared to change. Too much (electoral support to lose).

In Stormont's case, real change which would affect the situation on the ground is not in anyone's but more particularly SF's or the DUP's interest. Which is why, aftre well over a decade of devolution we have more Peace Walls than we did at the start.