29 Apr 2015
April 29, 2015

Scotland’s one-party state


A poll today says the SNP might win every Scottish seat at the UK elections. I find the oddest thing about it all the attempts by commentators to place that rampant nationalism into the context of regular arguments about public policy.

The Iraq War, for example, had no effect at all on the Scottish vote in the two subsequent general elections. Indeed at the last election the SNP, with under 20% of the vote, did only marginally better than the Tories on 17%. Since then, spending on Health in Scotland under the SNP has gone up less than in England under the Tories (although the Scottish spend is obviously higher). Oil revenue is projected to be a fraction of what the SNP thought it might be before the oil price collapse. The SNP has provided no coherent response to the IFS’s view that fiscal autonomy – effectively independence – would create a huge hole in the Scottish budget which could be filled only by a long-lasting austerity package (albeit with a less severe spike than the Tories’ plans).

But none of that matters. Scots are behaving in the way any nation gripped by nationalism does. Artists, poets and writers are gazing skywards and telling us of ‘a new start’; unionist opposition isn’t just disagreed with but routinely vilified. Few folk are listening to reason, because reason is too painful and these are difficult times. The SNP has, adeptly, switched in the last year from being a party of the centre right (lower corporation tax, mildly authoritarian public policy around police powers, alcohol and the rest) to a party left of Labour. The leadership’s still essentially the same, of course, but this switch is entirely coherent because the SNP’s objective is independence by any peaceful means and a lot of Scots aren’t keen to face economic reality.

I think a lot of Scots feel that they can back the SNP now for a bigger (and wholly unreasonable) share of the UK cake, then save the union when the inevitable second independence referendum comes a year or so after next year’s Scottish elections. But they can’t, because by then the English won’t be having it. The union’s done now, and neither possible election result now can save it. With a Tory government, the  union’s done right after 2016 – with a Labour one there might be a stay of execution for a year or two while the SNP holds vast de facto power over the English without any concomitant responsibility or accountability whatever – then chooses the ‘best’ moment to kill the UK government.

Perhaps it’s time for people in Scotland to start wondering if they want to live in a place where it can be seriously projected that a single party might take all of the seats at a general election, and where well-educated and intelligent folk would actually celebrate such a state of affairs. Or maybe it’ll take a few years of independence before Scots are prepared to face up to reality.

The general historical trend with nationalism, I’m told, is the latter.

PS: After I posted the stuff above quite a few people tweeted (and Davie’s comment is below) that Scotland has been a one-party state until now under Labour. I guess that illustrates perfectly what I’m trying to say above. Labour hasn’t been in power in Scotland for 8 years. Even such realities are treated as ropey quibbles by people who seem to wholly embrace the notion of a one-party state. Welcome to Scotland.





36 Responses to Scotland’s one-party state
  1. Can’t believe in the light of your altered position Eric that you fell for all that guff about ‘one party state’. Where’s all the commenters from a year ago now who were in agreement with you, then? (Are you censoring their ‘outrage’ on your new blogging ‘fromnotoyes’?)

    This was the type of rhetoric we were facing these past few years: unfounded pejoratives casting half the population of Scotland as ‘mad’. I understand your changed position Eric in light of the EU vote, but you would do well to acknowledge the ‘wrong headedness’ in your output prior to your late conversion to the cause of Scotland’s self determination.

    We were many in Scotland all Labour before the ref Eric.There was never the ‘nationalism’ that you outlined above at the core of those who took the Labour (branch) party tae near extinction at the WM level in 2015, never, and how you and others of your ilk could describe vast swathes of the voting public in Scotland as essentially ‘in the grip’ of some form of ‘madness’ revealed more about your own mentality and lack of insight intae the very people you once represented is telling and beyond my comprehension.

    I welcome your changed position and commented on your initial article stating that it was a good thing that you were attempting as a former ‘unionist’ and No voter in attempting to swell our numbers to the 60% and above mark and I still hold to that assessment today.

    But I have to scold you for your utter arrogance and condescension regarding those of us who having genuinely re aligned our political positions, and many not without sorrow in the doing, were ‘othered’ so relentlessly and still are by those same pejorative terms that you yourself utilised in defence of the union.

    You wouldn’t even consider any of the valid counter points that posters made on this article (at the time) as relevant in challenging the ludicrous assertions that you patronisingly considered absolutely as ‘truth’. That’s the trouble with those who have no capacity to really think through the opposition’s reasoning, and counter respectfully and thoughtfully the points that they raise, this reveals an inability to accept the illogic of your own argument and a dearth of any real understanding of the polity to which you belong.

    Whilst you get underway in your new project of enticing former No voters to alter their position and whilst you obviously wish the topic not to be about you. You surely must make allowances for any criticism that may come your way especially in light of your own outstanding contribution to the debate which led you to use such language in describing the hundreds of thousands of Scots who chose not to see it your way?

    There needs to be some atonement for the part you played in creating that narrative and disseminating the madness of those who ‘think’ in those terms. You were wrong, they were wrong and now here you are entering intae the fray from our side and we have shown you nothing but an open hearted welcome.

    But don’t expect tae be trusted ‘whole’ heartedly Eric. Yer fear brought you over…not your convictions. Yer fear’s therefore could very well settle for a ‘fudge’ politically…if they are given succour and ameliorated by ‘events’ dear boy…events.

    I wish ye well as I said before. I won’t be reading any more of yer former witterings on the subject cause it’ll just make me annoyed and there is no point tae that as we all have to come together for the sake of the bigger picture of Scotland’s future.

    Nonetheless it needed said.

    • Thanks for this, K1. I completely understand people’s scepticism when a former politician changes his mind in new circumstances. Over time, I hope you’ll accept that I am genuine in my views and doing what I can – along with some helpers – to affect an eventual Yes vote. I’ve had a good look at my posts over the last few years and while I don’t doubt the bad blood which has existed between Yes and No camps in the past, none of it emanated from me. After the referendum, I was very critical of the No campaign. Even before it, I was very open about my reluctance to vote No. Here’s a link http://ericjoyce.co.uk/2014/09/the-no-campaigns-cure-may-kill-the-patient/“and here’s another http://ericjoyce.co.uk/2014/09/a-stymied-scottish-referendum-would-be-the-worst-result-of-all/. If there’s something specific you’d like to raise, do feel free.

      This website (it’ll be in a slightly different format quite soon) is all about moving people who voted No and now, in the post-Brexit environment, might well be prepared to vote Yes. A lot of them will do so not on the basis that they accept your pre-Brexit argument, but that Brexit has changed the whole nature of the judgement. I appreciate you frustration about things other have written or said in the past, but the main thing now – I do see you agree – is that people are persuaded to move over in the best interests of Scots and Scotland.

      By the way, nothing at all is ‘censored’ here. Every post has been published and only posts which set out to be abusive (of which there have been none at all) would ever be unpublished (even then, we’d ask the poster if they’d like to re-phrase). I honestly think the reason for former No voters not posting negative stuff is that a lot of them a thinking seriously about Yes.

      Anyway, I do appreciate your thoughts and please do post as the weeks and months go by.

      best wishes, eric

      • Thanks for your response Eric, my comment was specifically regarding this post and your own language in describing Scotland as a ‘one-party state’. To that extent post referendum, you were part of disseminating a ‘false’ narrative in describing the changed political landscape leading up to the GE last year.

        I’m glad to hear that you’ve received no ‘negative-stuff’ since you publicly stated your new political position and I do hope you are correct that there is ‘a lot them thinking seriously about Yes’.

        I just wish many more former No voters who have changed their position would enter intae the fray in ‘fighting back’ against the pejorative othering that is still ongoing. With many commentators from both SLabour and STory (political/media) still shit stirring to create division in Scotland whilst blaming the ‘Nats’ and the SNP for said division as a means of undermining the legitimate viewpoint of those who support Scotland becoming independent.

        The irony fail is that those same people were in the Remain camp, how they can still support the Union in light of Brexit is beyond me. They are entitled to hold their own views, but am sick and tired of them having the entire mainstream media (tv/papers) as their megaphone to disseminate the exact same rubbish that was spouted during/post the ref/ge/se with no balance or comeback from those who hold the opposing view.

        Unless this imbalance is addressed in Scotland it is going to be as difficult to get those ‘shy’ notoyes people to support the proposition when it comes.

        I agree completely that post Brexit the argument has shifted for No voters and that is were you ostensibly take your leave of the Union from that point. I understand that. It’s not really about frustration in terms of what was written in the past Eric, it’s still being written in the present. We need people like you to disavow it now. We need more voices and so far you are the only ex politician in Scotland who has declared his reversed position publicly.

        I appreciate your replies Eric, to my comments. Still won’t be reading any of yer earlier witterings though 😉

        Will be reading your future ones though.

        • Ah, got you! The posts come into a central column and I hadn’t noticed that you were commenting on that post. Apologies and point taken! Yeah, ignore the old posts – that’s my advice…(!) Thanks for this and for reading in future!

  2. How long will the English – 85% of the UK’s population – accept our present asymmetrical constitutional system of government in not having its own parliament like Scotland?

  3. George Orwell (Eric Blair) wrote, “nationalism is political and aggressive while patriotism is defensive and cultural”. While in Scotland & Wales Labour is proud to fly the Saltire & Red Dragon respectively it refuses to use St. George’s Cross on the grounds that it is imperialist as though the Scots, Welsh & Northern Irish had nothing to do with the British Empire! So the flags of those migrants or immigrants from eastern Europe should not be flown either because their respective ultra nationalist parties fly their national flags too? By the way is it not disgraceful that after the Good Friday Agreement Labour does not campaign in NI as the only non -sectarian Left party in the province after the demise of the NI Labour Party?
    It was blatantly obvious that to exclude the English – 85% – of the UK’s population – in the emerging federal UK created (with apologies to Macaulay) almost in a fit of absentmindedness – is unfair and undemocratic. The argument from Labour politicians like Prescott that ‘England is not a nation’, Straw that ‘the English are not worth saving’, Johnson ‘that if the Scotland becomes independent it will be the fault of the English’ and Lord Falconer that ‘Labour will never allow an English Parliament because Labour will never get a majority’ let alone SNP’s Salmond saying the English have no patriotism because they don’t fly their own flag, mentioning Liverpool for example when England are playing footie and after as well shows the prejudice of some on the Left while the lazy and erroneous Tory ‘patriotism’ ignores the plight of people not living in decent homes and bigotry regarding strike ballots, but defending the very low 18% electoral voting for Police & Crime Commissioners and opposing the Mansion Tax because as Cameron says, ‘our patrons won’t like it’.
    Labour in England emulate the best in Scots, an inclusive, civic English patriotism and not the ‘Q’ and Nazi ‘ graffiti that apparently occurred in Aberdeen recently to the Conservative office and the ‘Q’ on Labour’s office that the police are investigating.
    Will the English backlash of giving more to Scotland be even fiercer than the nationalism in Scotland, Wales or in NI Republican or Ulster varieties in that province? As regionalism in England is debatable and electorally unpopular and to return England’s great provincial cities to their Victorian civic political glories may not be enough and will only include rural England as at present as afterthoughts, there will be demands for the return of an English Government & Parliament on the successful model north of the border. There could even be ‘Qualified Majority Voting’ as the EU uses so that England will not be too dominant. Reminiscent of Namier’s view of the 1848 Revolutions as one of ‘the intellectuals’, but what if others support this opinion in numbers?
    In England the idea of having to choose either the Tories or UKIP to represent ‘Englishness’ because Labour ignores the ‘England Question’ or dismisses it as almost Fascist and with LibDems implying they would address this issue if they came to power – and didn’t, though they say Kernow should have its own Assembly (I am partly Cornish) is an unpalatable one.

  4. As a once staunch unionist from England I can say now I have had enough. I wish Scotland would go it alone and see how far they get with their borrow, borrow, borrow, spend, spend, spend policies without the might of the English economy backing it up.

  5. I am a Conservative voter but completely agree with Eric Joyce. David Blunkett said the same thing, alot of people in Scotland have closed their ears and are not listening to rational arguments. They will pay the price in the end, and maybe full independence is the only thing that will snap people back when they cannot blame the English (and Welsh and Irish) for how Scotland is run.

  6. Eric, we all seem to be sucked in by the polls.
    As an Englishman, who once lived in Scotland for a number of years, I found the Scots to be very rational and a wee bit canny.
    I will look forward to Friday 8th May, late in the afternoon when the final results are declared, and will not be surprised to see the polls rebutted.

  7. Eric,

    First, did none of these concerns arise when Labour had 40 seats, or is it only now SNP looks likely to get 40+ seats? Or is it purely the suggestion the vote might go over 50% (of the people who vote) that worries you?

    I don’t think SNP will get all the seats or anywhere near, maybe 40. If they do get 40, for argument’s sake, they will be replicating what Labour routinely did in past elections. Not surely something you can complain about as being a unique or worrying one party state. It’s FPTP unfairness.

    So we are then left with the one thing you think makes all the difference – the word “nationalism”. You think 40 Labour seats is fine, 40 SNP means a descent into nationalism.

    But people are not voting for independence, or nationalism (in most cases). They are voting a) for Nicola, who they seem to like, b) against Labour who they feel are no longer competent, c) for Westminster representation safe in the knowledge they AREN’T voting for independence.

    It’s not the SNP or nationalism to blame for the situation you describe in your piece. It’s Scottish (and to some extent UK) Labour, being incompetent.

    In my opinion.

    For background, I voted Labour always, I voted SNP 2011 because Labour were incompetent in Scotland (I hadn’t even considered independence), I then wanted a 3rd option on the referendum ballot for more powers but this was prevented, so I was forced to vote yes, aided by the smearing and scaremongering, and now I refuse to vote Labour again unless or until they are rebuilt from scratch.

    It’s not nationalism (no more than Labour are nationalist). It’s disgust with an incompetent Labour party.

    • It’s nationalism all right, bud. And independence is what you’re going to get. Just the way it is. It’s being taken very lightly in Scotland, i know.

  8. Sadly, I think you’re quite right. The SNP will make demands on the Barnet formula and on English laws and force a split when the English kick back. And then we’ll be left with an escalating divide until the SNP gets what it wants, and ten years down the track most Scots will wish they were still part of the UK. Sadly Blair and Dewar pushed us down this route when they started the devolution bandwagon. It was astonishingly foolish and short-sighted – but then, not many people would accuse most politicians of being forward-thinking. You are rather rare in that, Eric. Good luck.

    • Thanks, Mike. Blair and Dewar meant well, but I guess they didn’t really think Scottish nationalism through properly. Blair, especially, was in the midst of Northern Ireland and I wonder if he thought Scottish nationalism a bit ‘lite’.

  9. Perhaps you should reflect that the surge in the SNP is a result of the actions and stupidity of the Labour Party. You created this idiotic onesided devolution, which was supposed to neuter Scots nationalism, but has done, as some predicted, exactly the opposite. And now the Labour Party resists the proposal (purely for party reasons of course) of English Votes for English Laws. Why weren’t the English given a devolved Parliament in 1998 too ? We know why.

    One further point. The Labour Party (and you probably as well) have spent 30+ years demonising Tories in quite vile terms. It suited you all to boost your Scottish fiefdom. Well it wasn’t a very smart policy was it. All you have done is create a nationalist monster, which has turned on you. Congratulations.

    • The demonising of the Tories in Scotland is awful. You’re right that Labour’s played a part. Demonising folk on account what they believe is a classical sign that things are going awry. Hilariously, though, the de honte voting system created for the Scottish parliament was designed to prevent labour taking all the seats. Donald Dewar felt that the inevitability of a permanent Labour majority would undermine the new parliament’s credibility. uh oh….!

  10. Eric, I don’t recall any unionists complaining about FPTP in the past, except of course the Lib Dems, but Red and Blue Tories combined to thwart any hope of reform relatively recently.

    In 2010 Labour got 2x the SNP vote but 6x the number of seats.

    Proportional representation is in the SNP’s manifesto for this election. Which of the unionist parties can say they same?

    For once in a century the shoe is on the other foot. You might not like it but at least have the decorum to lump it.

  11. I think independence is now essential for the health of Scotland; not because the awful English are doing them down, but because until they stop looking south of the border to blame everything on they’ll never get to grips with reality.

    The SNP economic claims and promises are drivel, but it’s inspiring drivel; everyone likes to hear how they deserve more. In most places they are occasionally forced to confront reality before being able to forget it and elect another group of distributors, but in Scotland no matter how much is given out they can always claim the dreadful English are shafting them. It follows that the infantisising process has gone completely unchecked.

    Painful as the correction will be that’s not healthy, and the long term best interests of the Scots will require them to get exactly what they seem to want, and to learn what a shambles it really is.

  12. Nah. The “one party” thing is a consequence of the lousy FPTP system we have in General Elections, coupled with Scottish Labour being a disaster area (sorry, but it’s true), coupled with the “Yes” vote having one party to rally around while the “No” vote is split three ways.

    When we get to the Scottish elections in 2016, things will be rather different: the Greens and SSP will make gains, and both Labour and the Tories will retain a rump of about 15 MSPs (about 11% of the total each).

    One other thing: you say “The SNP has, adeptly, switched in the last year from being a party of the centre right to a party left of Labour.” The problem with this statement is that even when the SNP were a party of the centre right, they were already to the left of Labour – and that was before Jim Murphy’s election.

    Fundamentally, you’re right, though – it’s not healthy for Scotland to be represented by 59 MPs all from the same party. We do need a strong Labour party (and, for that matter, a strong Tory party). But while that’s the case, it’s not the electorate that has to sort themselves out.

    • Thanks for this, Stephen. In the past, I too have found it interesting to theorise about possible future results and systems. For now, taking a view from quite a different perspective from daily politics, I guess, I find the idea that a single party might in a modern and wealthy democracy might win all of the seats in an election to be symptomatic of all sorts of ills – many of them in the minds of regular people – and that’s where nationalism comes in. Scottish nationalism is shorn, thankfully, of the horrors of many nationalisms in the past – that’s one reason it’s taken hold in the way it has. In the end, though, nationalism needs an Aunt Sally (union and unionists) and appeals to people who want a year zero. I’ve no idea why folk in Scotland would want a year zero – but I guess the majority is going to get its wish. It’s all more a question of psychology that politics per se. Politicians will maybe get some traction a few years after independence.

      • What infuriates me about all of this is that I didn’t believe it was inevitable that the union would else. FWIW, I voted “Yes”, but I was content to accept the result and actively didn’t want another referendum. (The expressed will of the majority, and all that.)

        But it should have been clear that there were some serious issues that needed talked about. And I don’t just mean more powers for Scotland, but rather a serious discussion about how we do the whole of politics, probably leading towards a federal solution. (And I know federalism has its problems.)

        But instead, we seem to have been given a Smith Commission determined to work out the minimum package that would meet the letter of “The Vow”, followed by Cameron’s EVEL gambit, followed by the media down south fighting desperately to delegitimise any involvement of the SNP (and, by extension, Scotland’s chosen representatives – if the polls are accurate) in the government of the UK.

        Instead of making Scots feel welcome and valued members of the UK, whose concerns are taken seriously, it really feels like we’ve been hit by the opposite. Mostly with the aim of keeping the Tories in government.

        (And it really does feel like the Tories actively want Scotland gone… just as long as they’re not in power when it happens. Indeed, I suspect most of them would even be happy with that, provided they personally don’t go down in history as “the PM who lost Scotland”.)

        • You voted Yes. Well you’re going to get what you voted for. Please don’t complain….

    • Spot on.
      But also
      Scotland’s leftism is a ‘privilege’ of their position as a fringe region of the union. When independent of party politics, polls show convergence with English political opinion, not divergence.
      The creation of a new state changes everything including budgets and political life. The Scots would have to face up to contentious questions that arise from issues that are currently reserved. An independent Scottish right would finally find a voice.
      I want the matter to be settled one way or the other and I see as much inherently wrong with secessionist nationalism as with unified patriotism. That is to say, nothing inherently wrong with either. They can both be misused. But the thing that will settle this once and for all is forcing the hinterland to enter the same political debate as the core.

  13. Eric, interesting read.
    The majority of folk living in Scotland aren’t voting SNP for nationalistic reasons although I’d accept some are.
    Scots don’t like food banks, can’t understand why a council tenant for 30 years gets taxed extra for having a box room, are blown away at disabled people’s benefits being cut in the 6th richest country on earth and struggle to understand why we are all supposedly in this together, hardly seems the case. I’m sure the normal working punter in England gets this.
    Perhaps a wee political shake up would do all the UK good. All my life it’s been a spell of a relatively well meaning party, but an inept one, f*****g up the economy followed then a spell of a more competent party but one who brutalises lower classes and is out to protect the ruling classes sorting out the mess the wrong way (IMO).
    Maybe a spell of consensus politics would do us all good?
    For a lot of Scots there isn’t really much choice.

    • Well Jim, what can I say? Scot’s don’t get ‘taxed’ for their extra room in Scotland because all parties in Scotland opposed that Tory policy. I think some Scots do like foodbanks, by the way. You’ve bought the Tory propaganda about Blair and Brown buggering the economy – how only the Tories are competent economic managers. Why would John Major, Ken Clarke or George Osborne make a more competent macroeconomic manager than Gordon Brown or Alistair Darling? It really doesn’t make any sense. But let’s see what happens. There’ll be a stable, poorer, Scotland which is at ease with itself in 50 years or so. Maybe less. Once the hating stops, perhaps.

      • It wasnt a Tory policy, Eric. It was a Labour one which was brought in in 2008 for Private Rented recipients of Housing Benefit and that the Tories extended to social housing when they got in.

        Not that I’m a Tory apologist by any stretch of the imagination but I’m struggling to see how they had control over the economy from 1997 to 2010 – unless you consider Gordon’s 4 years of following Ken Clarke’s spending plans “tory power”.

        Jim has a point when he says the shake up may have positive results, if it means that the established parties that have become somewhat complacent now are compelled to re-connect with their core vote. Its the only way the electorate have of telling them they got it wrong – by hitting them at the ballot box.

      • Sorry Jim and Eric, but I think the give away in your responses (regardless of whether or not I agree with the analysis in the initial piece) is this idea that there is such a thing as a ‘bedroom tax’ at all. Consult any dictionary worth its weight and you’ll discover that no such tax exists. A cut in benefit is not a tax. It’s a cut in benefit. If for example a party were to cut child benefit, we wouldn’t call it a ‘child tax’, we’d call it a cut in benefits. No one has to pay any money because they have a spare bedroom, they just don’t get the same level of benefit.

        It is symptomatic of political discourse that some of us, are sick and tired of. If you’re going to undermine policies, at least do so with a degree of intellectual honesty and not the latitude which allows you to portray relatively moderate positions (like people should be able to afford where they live without recourse to exorbitant levels of public funding) as being extremist. Because the second we start to portray moderate views as extreme, is the second that more extreme views (like those espoused by the SNP, UKIP et al), become more mainstream. Because hey, if the moderates of Cons / Lab are saying x, then it’s not too far away from the y which their ideological fellow travellers promulgate. Therefore, why not vote for the real deal rather than a watered down version.

        Therein lies one of Britain’s greatest challenges. I will confess, I’m a Tory voter by stock and trade, but the continued belligerence which political argument occurs in this country prevents relatively sensible ideas ever being proposed as policy, because news cycle management and having a good line on TV is more important than saying “You know what, may be, even if we disagree with the execution, we shouldn’t be spending billions of pounds on this and there’s a smarter way to govern / provide this service.”

        • I’ve literally never use the term bedroom-tax. On that policy, it’s really very straightforwards. If a single person is on welfare then unless there’s a good reason, the taxpayer shouldn’t be paying for 2 bedrooms. A good reason is that there’s no single bedroom accommodation available. Without that latter caveat, it’s just a brutal welfare cut. My extensive experience is that while London has one-beds built or converted as a norm, Falkirk has almost none (land is cheaper so builders whack in an extra bedroom).

  14. Britain has not been a one party state since Mrs T of course. It is trite, lazy objectarianism to make that out, and those who do like to utterly ignore so many good things many of which Lord Toby Harris described on his blog Mar/Apr 2010.

    To my mind this apparent St Vitus Dance in Scotland is yet more millenarianism, like the hysteria post Princess Diana’s death.

    A new rationale which portrays 50% of Scots represented in the polls in a better light may be back in a moment.

  15. The party doesn’t ‘grab’ seats, Eric. People vote them in.
    And trust me, the UK’s been a one-party state since Thatcher.

    • Thanks for commenting, David. I’ve read it over again and didn’t use those pejoratives. But whatever, quite a few folk have tweeted comments like yours about how it’s been a one-party state up until now. That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about above, really. No-one care’s much about reality when a nation is gripped by nationalism. Labour hasn’t been in power in Scotland for 8 years – almost two full election periods. And Labour hasn’t been in power in the UK for 5 years. And, by the way, after Thatcher, the next prime minister was a Tory and the next election victors were the Tories.

      But if it’s a one party state you want, and it does seem to be, then it looks like you have it. Congratulations.

      • “And, by the way, after Thatcher, the next prime minister was a Tory and the next election victors were the Tories.”

        So although we voted predominantly Labour in the 80s and 90s, you couldn’t describe Scotland as a one-party state then, because the UK government wasn’t Labour.

        How is that different to any possible result next week, where even if the SNP win all 59 Scottish seats, Scotland will still be governed by a party it didn’t vote for? You can’t claim it’s not a one-party state when it’s Labour that wins most of the seats, but it is when it’s the SNP who (MIGHT) win most of them.

        Does 1997 – 1999 fit the criteria of one-party state?

        And that’s without even getting into the fact that Labour control – fully or partly – far more councils than the SNP…


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