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Scotland the Brave

May 2, 2007

Polls open in Scotland in just 7 hours in one of the most crucial elections the country has ever faced: according to opinion polls, Labour is set to lose its 50 year dominance of Scottish politics and be ousted by the Scottish National Party.

Labour deserve to lose. I sympathise with a lot of Labour voters – they have the same emotional connection to the party that many people have for the ANC in South Africa. The party started as the political wing of the trade union movement, but it’s come a long way since. Politics is never black and white, but my personal view is that Labour went over to the dark side of the force when Iraq was invaded.

I hope Labour take a kicking, but I don’t expect it to. I think people will err on the side of caution. So my prediction for the election is: a very narrow Labour majority.

In my previous post I wrote about how immigration to Britain is becoming more difficult. The Scottish elections offer a very thin sliver of hope: the Scottish National Party want Scottish independence, and all the pro-independence parties in Scotland have rather more welcoming immigration policies than Britain. The current Executive is trying to encourage immigration, even though immigration is a reserved issue controlled by Westminster rather than Holyrood. So there’s a very slight chance that Scottish independence will offer an easier doorway to Europe.

I guess the best possible outcome for the election is a good majority for the SNP, with enough support from the Greens and Socialists to form a coalition government to keep them right.

The best election coverage has come from a blog by a bloke called Alan from Falkirk. He’s been broadcasting daily from around Scotland on YouTube. This excellent video has an updated version of the song Scotland the Brave, featuring some of the best and worst of modern Scotland:

Will Friday be a new dawn for Scotland? Watch this space.

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