CEe60izW8AAAaSeBy Mike Small

This is a brilliant disaster. Congratulations to all of the fine candidates who swept away a derelict and bankrupt force in Scotland, whether that be the useless Charles Kennedy, the hapless Douglas Alexander or the derisory Ian Davidson.

It was brilliant to see the charlatan George Galloway dispatched in Bradford, Danny Alexander dismissed in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey and of course Jim Murphy in East Renfrewshire. My own constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was won by 10,000 votes – an incredible result and congratulations to all that worked so hard to make that happen.

The obliteration of the Liberal Democrats is a moment of pure political karma, and we have just witnessed an extinction event for Scottish Labour. Those discussing who will replace Jim Murphy are missing the point. The party is over and will need to reinvent itself not just appoint a new leader. There is nothing to lead.

As Paul Mason writes today: “Scottish Labour convinced itself that the separatist mood was being driven by economic grievance. But most journalists who covered the Indyref quickly realised it was about a positive identity, total rejection of the austerity politics that Labour had signed up to, and essentially a form of plebeian national leftism.”

There is a fresh energy in Scotland today after a brilliant campaign backed by an army of Yes voters and a country ready for real change. That it was not matched by a Labour party unfit to govern and uninspiring in every aspect is not the fault of SNP.

But we now face a series of massive challenges.

An emboldened Conservative government are now going to assert an austerity agenda with a further £12 billion unaccounted cuts that will devastate the most vulnerable in society. The disabled, the bereaved, the old, the unemployed, carers, those needing housing support, all will be affected by the ideological changes that are coming. Make no mistake as we celebrate victories be sober to the daunting manifesto they have ahead of them. They will also charge on with a European referendum that will be a disaster for Britain.

As Hari Kunzru ‏wrote: “Now comes the period of purely ideological austerity: the project of dismantling postwar social democracy.”


An unhappy Ronald Villiers


Two huge challenges present themselves.

First we will need now to create an opposition and a wider extra-parliamentary movement that can resist this and bring the constitutional change that’s required so we get the government we elect. We will need to show solidarity with the people of England who also face the social and economic disaster of a Tory government. We should create a mass movement to resist Trident and shut-down Faslane.

But second we all need to work now to create a radical alternative in Holyrood that can do whatever it can to resist and repel the Westminster government.

Today the campaign to elect a Scottish alternative government begins.

The Conservative government that will rule us for the next five years has no legitimacy here and must be resisted. We will need to build a network of resistance that connects the parliamentary opposition to the grassroots movement. We will need to explore creative ways to resist the punishing economic measures that will be enforced on us against our will.

If England is divided and unsure Scotland is united in opposition. We have spirit but we need strategy. This is a massive massive victory, but it’s also a difficult one.

Comments (58)

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  1. Andrew Gallacher says:

    Spot on. What a night though. I still cannot believe the result. Had it not been for Hay’s behaviour, then Labour would have been wiped out completely. Carmichael and Mundell only just clung on with leads of c.800 votes each.

    Listening to Labour though on the news, they still do not get it. And sadly, listening to some commentators outside Scotland interpreting the result, a lot still do not get it either.

    Changed days though. And whilst undoubtedly real challenges are ahead, I am excited about the future. Bring it on.

    1. Iain Lennox says:

      Please don’t blame Neil Hay. I live, and campaigned in Edinburgh Southern, and I’m convinced that most voters were not taken in by those manufactured issues relating to ( IMO ) harmless tweets.

      Many of my (Tory) neighbours displayed Labour posters and obviously voted tactically to try and ensure we failed to elect an SNP MP. A substantial portion of the constituency is extremely well off…in Grange, Morningside and Newington.
      Many of these people would do anything to stop the SNP
      I think it’s clear that they succeeded in their aim.

      I KNOW Murray made a point of personally seeking out such anti-SNP voters. He fought a good campaign ….on this front alone.

      Neil Hay feels bad enough already.
      He doesn’t need uninformed criticism into the bargain.

      1. Andrew Gallacher says:

        I work in Edinburgh South. And with a wide variety of community groups. Sorry, but it did have an effect, or at least certainly amongst a number of those I came across. The actions he was accused of did sway some voters, I’m afraid. I also agree that Labour were out in force in the area. They knew it was a vulnerable seat even though part is very affluent and not pro SNP etc.

        I’m just saying what I saw. And sorry, nothing uninformed about that criticism.

        1. Tom Elliot says:

          “Many of my (Tory) neighbours displayed Labour posters and obviously voted tactically”

          I live in Edinburgh South. There were plenty of other constituencies where the unionists could have voted tactically to defeat the SNP, and would have easily had the votes to do so if they had – look at Berwickshire for example.

          Why do you think such tactical voting only really happened in Edinburgh South?

          Murray is a fairly good local MP, but then so were many of the other Scottish MPs swept away on Thursday.

          The sorry truth is that Hay’s behaviour did affect the result. I’d argue it was the key factor in his loss. Perhaps if he’d been a more capable candidate he could have overcome the issue, but I’m afraid he just wasn’t very good – his performance in the hustings was pretty poor.

          The SNP don’t have many lessons to learn from a spectacular result, but one of them is to make sure that they’d don’t select any candidates from the cybernat fringe.

          1. hatfinch says:

            It was presumably a combination of the factors already mentioned, plus the Hearts issue.

          2. muttley79 says:

            Edinburgh South is one lf the hardest seats for the SNP to win in Scotland. It includes Grange, Morningside and Newington. The fact that SLAB’s only victory was in this constituency is actually very, very bad news for them. Regardless of Neil Hay’s comments, which I think the media went well OTT on, and his performance overall, I still think it would have been difficult for even a good to very good candidate to win. Nicola Sturgeon hardly helped by throwing him to the feet of the MSM and SLAB. Pretty dispiriting to campaign in that seat, and your leader basically throws in the towel.

          3. Tom Elliot says:

            I’d say the most damning stat of Neil Hay’s failure is that he wasn’t even capable of attracting every yes voter in Edinburgh South to his cause.

            The yes vote was 35% here, Hay only got 34%.

      2. Wee Red Squirrel says:

        Edinburgh South has as much Fernieside, Burdiehouse and Moredun as it has the more affluent areas. These areas are highly populated and could easily have outvoted the sparsely populated Grange et al in other circumstances.

  2. Jim Bennett says:

    “A radical alternative in Holyrood”. Indeed, that’s the challenge: forcing the Government to use the Scottish Parliament to it’s maximum effect in achieving social and environmental justice.

  3. ldocksey says:

    Scotland has something to celebrate so well done.
    Here in England many of us are overwhelmed, heart broken at what has happened. We can’t quite believe that our fellow countrymen and women should have been so stupid in voting for another 5 years of greed for some and pain for an awful lot of others. Some of us must be wondering how quickly we could move north! Others, myself among them, are looking at how on earth we can create a genuinely new social movement that will energise England (and Wales?) and bring us independence from Westminster and a corrupt political system.
    Quite agree about Galloway. I was very involved in campaigning about Iraq and always thought he was a tosser!!

    1. Cath Short says:

      Proportional representation

  4. emilytom67 says:

    idocksey you have to get the ordinary good English peoples organised and prepared to fight and fight long and hard,we in Scotland won,t turn our backs on you but you need to get organised.


    A wonderful result for common-sense South of the border; whilst North of the border crass nationalism is exemplified by a callow 20y/o student defeating one of Labour’s true stars – Douglas Alexander!

    Truly a sad day for Scotland; and the future there very uncertain

    1. You’re havering man ….

    2. JimW says:

      You really don’t understand, do you, Nick? It wasn’t about identity, nor about shallow patriotism, nor about anti-Englishness. It was about making a clear statement of the kind of country we want to live in, and we don’t want to have to live in the same kind of country that you choose. We don’t want nuclear weapons, we don’t want to have to rely on food banks, and we don’t want our public services privatised.

      1. Precisely, eh- and they all loved the voting system when it worked for them! 🙂 Happy days indeed!

    3. ian says:

      English nationalism good,Scottish nationalism bad.The difference being we have no wish to dominate or involve ourselves in other countrys affairs.Obviously your one of the i’m all right Jack’s.

    4. Saor Alba says:

      A totally meaningless and opinionated comment, offering no analysis or factual support.
      I suppose we should now know to expect this kind of arrogant drivel.
      Scotland has spoken. Get over it.

  6. Good article and excellent blueprint. Shared.

  7. maxi kerr says:

    I bet you are really good with a caber.

  8. McIntosh says:

    Good, if a bit over optimistic. Labour still has a network of local councillors, significant trade union support and 33% of the vote. It has a base from which to build or to retreat into. And judging by some of the cyberunionists there is a willingness to build an anti-SNP bloc which will encourage opposition to any progressive change in Scotland..
    We do need to build resistance but it is wrong to say the tory Government has no legitimacy. We live in a Parliamentary democracy and its 35% of the UK vote gives it 50% plus one of the MPs. It doesn’t matter where the MPs come form. They form a legitimate Government of the UK – and unfortunately we are still part if the UK.
    An issue is whether the Tories really have any coherent plan to reduce expenditure on welfare. they winged it through the last 5 years with piecemeal cuts on easy targets. The easy cuts are gone, the economic cycle will move against them in the next 5 years and they could fracture over Europe.

    1. MBC says:

      There was quite a low turn-out in England. 66%. That suggests apathy. And apathy suggests that Labour just are not connecting with large sections of the people.

      Our break out started when we got proportional representation in the Scottish Parliament and it allowed smaller parties like the Greens or the SSP to get a foothold, also for co-operation between parties when there was no overall majority. It steadily built confidence, and innovation.

      At the moment UKIP are the only party suggesting proportional representation. They got 14% in England, and 1 MP, just as in Scotland the Tories got 15% and only 1 MP.

  9. Robert Graham says:

    i wonder who the daily record will back now ?

    1. Saor Alba says:

      It is not really a case of who the Daily Record will back now, but who will back the Daily Record.
      They, like Labour, lack principles. This will not be forgotten.

    2. Jim Bennett says:

      Interesting that they didn’t actually back Labour in Scotland in this election.

  10. Eduard Klak says:

    Serves them A’ gled.

    Now the real battle truly begins. Both Labour and the other two defunct and disgraceful parts of this antedeluvian westminster based menage a trois, are still all singing from the same “Little Englander” hymn sheet. Their message remains, that It’s a’ Jocks fault.
    This is the gey thin negligee they’re planning to use in a vain attempt to cover their blushes. But, I suspect that the cat is now long out of the bag, and most thinking folks throughout these islands now see them for the pack of utter charlatans that they’ve always been. No, they just don’t get it.Nor will they ever get it.

    There is of course a simple solution to all of their their woes, and that is…………, If Scotland is such an ungrateful and heavy financial burden to carry, then “Cut Us Loose”. They can paddle their boat, and we’ll happily paddle our one. But don’t hold your breathe on that one. They’re no a’ daft a’ thegither.

    Ta-Ta the noo

    1. Saor Alba says:

      We all know why they will not willingly “cut us loose” and you are absolutely correct Eduard, “They’re no a’ daft a’ thegither.” Very well put.

  11. Nick Greenwood, that sounds like satire, so I’ll leave my comment at that.

    The SNP branches worked their butts off, and have their reward. Who can forget Salmonds resignation speech that the future was ‘redolent with opportunity’. SNP rehearse, strategise, energise, support, work hard and prepare. They will have had a plan for failure, as well as this outcome, never fear.

    Tory only have a slim majority, there is a lot that can stymie them, hence soft talk of building bridges, even from jock basher BoJo. I am really sad about more Tory rule, but Scots cannot be blamed for Miliband and Cleggs ineptitude. I have already advised some FB friends, that even had Scotland voted Labour, Tory would still be in power at WM. South of the Border have to get angry, and start getting motivated.

    1. NICK GREENWOOD says:

      Sorry Valerie – neither satire nor saltire for that matter…

      It’s just a fact that without the generosity of your fellow compatriots South of the border, the population of Scotland is going to be seriously disadvantaged.

      Even though your two banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland (HBOS) nearly bankrupt the whole of the UK, your generous benefactors are still prepared to pay you excess funding under the Barnett formula.

      Nevertheless, the problem for Scotland is that the best brains and entrepreneurs head South; and this brain drain inevitably undermines the local economy and boosts the lumpen-proletariat %age left to be managed.

      The political turmoil so successfully stirred by Sturgeon will, I suspect, inevitably lead to Referendum 2 – and Scotland’s exit from the UK.

      I would love to think that Scotland might thrive; so much better to have a financially strong neighbour with whom to trade. However, with no currency and no place within the EU, Scotland as an independent state is near-certain to be a very rapid candidate for IMF support. The rest of the UK knows it, the rest of the EU knows it, the rest of the World knows it; but Nationalist fervour knows no bounds.

      The only hope for Scotland is that a more resounding NO vote second time around will lance the nationalist boil. Logic over emotion please….

      1. K Mulhern says:


        Was it Scotland that bankrupted RBS, and HBOS, nevermind that, HBOS is a Subsidiary of Loyds, and not the only institutions effected by the morgage speculation bubble that burst in 2008. Who were all regulated by the FSA, another institution that can hardly be described at being under Scottish control.

        Our generous benefactors give us excess funding from the Barnett formula if you discount oil and gas revenue form the calculation, I hope that most people are looking towards fiscal autonomy from London, I know I do. We have seen a racket being run in London that has screwed the population as a whole to benefit a minority of finanial interests.

        As for the brain drain, well maybe the greedy, those homo-economicus the self-interest actors that our current economic models love soo much, I have no qualms about that, hopefully we will be left with people who are interested in their local communities and judging by the poll results, there are a lot of us.

        The political turmoil is all their own making, Westminster had a chance with the electoral reform (alternative vote) referendum, and chose to sabotage the vote with not much resistance for Labour or the Libdems. We could have had reform that offered a more fair voting system but they wanted to have their cake and eat it. Then the independence referendum where the hostile attitude towards the Scottish electorate before and after is what resulted in a large portion of the Scottish population washing their hands of them. All this is taking place in an extremely dysfunctional electoral system, and if you want to prevent turmoil that is what needs to change. I think it was said above, they were all happy when it worked in their benefit, but now it doesn’t it’s the SNP voters fault.

        Do I think an independent Scotland would not have international finance toubles? I think it would, but it is not because Scotland is in some way, too small, too insecure, or too weak. Well the comparative weakness would probably be the issue, and then we need to ask ourselves how we want to deal with an international economic system that seems to have such hostility towards the weak.

        The probem as the status-quo sees it, is an alternative, a workable alternative. The idea that people may have more interests then their own avarice. That makes it difficult for them to fit into and easily managed unequal world. The world is changing and power centres have touble seeing it, because it doesn’t look good to them. They are doing everything in their power to prevent this, and it’s not working, we can see it’s not working because we are opting out, and that is the victory.

      2. Squirrel Towers says:


      3. John Page says:

        I see from your comments that we are too poor and too stupid………is it implicit in your appraisal of Scotland that we are also too wee?
        Can I thank you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to care and subvent us? Do you think you could provide a suitable job for wee Dougie while you’re it?
        I am sure we will strive in the years ahead to take a more common sense approach.
        Thank you

      4. Ah,now, go easy, Nick, it seems to me, dear compatriot (status pending), that you’ve thought yourself into an awful state, there: due in no small part to that Anglo-Saxon perspective of yours. That is perfectly understandable and forgivable, if at the same time a tad grinding and predictable.

        Most of us in Scotland, I should tell you, Nick, are now left unmoved by the intemperate, nonconstructive language favoured by some of our archaically encumbered neighbours in the South.

        We hear in such language only the murmur of ghosts long departed.

        1. sandra says:

          well said josef

      5. IAB says:

        ‘I would love to think that Scotland might thrive’ – no, the tone of your comment indicates otherwise. Logic over emotion indicates that we need to leave the ‘union’.

      6. Richard Anderson says:

        The Barnett excess funding crap is tiresome like much of your diatribe. Scotland, despite the spread of its population and large rural and island areas to service, spent £49 per head more than London each year of the past 5 years. The London figure doesn’t include over priced expenditure in London deemed ‘National Projects’ like Crossrail, London Super Sewer and the Olympics to mention a few projects. In Scotland water is included as a public expenditure item but not in Englabd and Wales. Nobody has ever explained why our police and fire services pay VAT but equivalent in England and Wales don’t. All of that increases the public expenditure figure north of the border. If you remove water from the Scottish public expenditure bill, our spending per head would be below Wales. You need to stop re running the referendum campaign in your head and brace yourself for the severe cuts coming our way that will, once again, hammer the poor at the expense of the wealthy. Of course, if you’re alright Jack I can understand why you want to keep your personal wealth. After all these poor people who can’t find work need to take some responsibility don’t they. As for the bank nonsense. Grow up!

      7. Gordon says:

        Sorry Nick. They were BRITISH BANKS while they were winning before the crash, but suddenly became SCOTTISH BANKS after it. After all, 90% of their business was conducted in England, mostly in London. Bit like Andy Murray mutating nationality from BRITISH to SCOTTISH when he’s losing.

      8. Jim Bennett says:

        Great laugh, Nick. Keep it coming! Reminds us all of what we’re campaigning for.

    2. Saor Alba says:

      Even if Labour had won all 59 seats (I know this is fantasy), the Tories would still have been able to form a Government.

    3. Heather says:

      True Valerie, those disenfranchised South of the border need to get active and start a new party and ditch the labour lot, or something like that. My sis in NE England texting yesterday, suddenly started spouting rubbish about the SNP, when she is totally politically unengaged, asked where this was coming from, no reply, but I know it was the msm, and ignorant fb friends. The tories have outwitted labour, and all on the back of their hate filled media, which they control to their own ends, the people fall for, not so here in Scotland now.

      We will have a say, they wanted us to stay and told us we were all in an equal nation after all. Our say will sway things, for Scotland.

      It seems that much of the electorate South of the border are extremely unhappy with the prospect of five more years of tory rule.

      Going to be interesting few months ahead.

  12. moirasc says:

    Yes. Agree with everything you say. For me part of that strategy should include finding a way to be true to fighting for the principle of PR even though SNP had to heroically surmount 1st past the post system to get iits 56 in. In the long term demonstrably defending principles even when at personal cost will win trust of the 48% we still need to get on board.

  13. Big Pete Crenshaw says:

    I think that it’s a smashing result all round.

    Well done to all who gave so much, a wonderful effort!

    Just a matter of time now before the rewards are reaped surely?

    Wha’s like us?

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Thanks Pete. Very helpful. Believe in anything?

      1. Big Pete Crenshaw says:

        Sorry Mike, I wasn’t trying to be “helpful”. I was just throwing my 2p in.

        I believe in lots of things, although I’m not sure which aspect you are questioning.

        For the record, I was being serious with regards it being a good result, and I do expect the pay off sooner rather than later.

        Apologies again for such a cryptic? post.

        1. bellacaledonia says:

          What do you believe in? Why was this good? #secretsquirrel

          1. Big Pete Crenshaw says:

            I believe that Mhairi is our future.
            Feed her WKD and let her lead the way.
            Show us all the the genius that she tends to hide.

            Excuse the flippancy.

            I still don’t understand the belief question.

            Why was it good? The party that I believe in, with the manifesto that I agree with most, was overwhelmingly accepted as the right choice.

            As for the other(s)? It would appear, or it will no doubt soon, that if you “give ’em enough rope”….


  14. Darien says:

    “We will need to show solidarity with the people of England who also face the social and economic disaster of a Tory government.”

    England got wot they voted for, surely. I fully expect the 56 SNP MP’s to withdraw from Westminster very soon.

  15. Douglas says:

    Three letters on my mind tonight Mike…U…D…I…..

  16. Mary Vasey says:

    Nick you have it backwards, firstly I’m pleased to say, in fact it is us subsidizing you down South. As well as our exports eg oil, whisky, food and drink, financial services, to name a puckle, the taxes from these go south to westminster never to be seen again. We also pay a much higher rate of tax per person than either England or Wales,nso we are most definitely NOT subsidised by England, in fact WE subsidize England.
    Secondly, the banks that you mention are NOT ours, the headquarters of both are in London, I think, ergo we would have had no liability for their losses. And I believe even if they had been, we would have done exactly the same as Iceland and prosecuted the banker criminals and jailed them not bailed them out causing us to have well over £1trillion debt that we have also not pay a share of.
    Thirdly we have to pay for infrastructure projects in London and England such as the new London sewage project, the HS2 rail network, that will come nowhere near Scotland one other project in London which I cannot recall at the moment, sorry have been up for 48hrs else I could tell you, as well as giving figures for all I have mentioned.
    So please check stuff out before quoting what you obviously do not know.

  17. JimmyC says:

    Just to let you know the above map is wrong. It has Midlothian coloured in red when it actually went SNP. It’s Edinburgh South you’re after.

  18. NICK GREENWOOD says:

    K Mulhern – well argued and obviously I respect your zeal and idealism. I do however feel you’ve fallen prey to the Salmond rhetoric when you state: “…Then the independence referendum where the hostile attitude towards the Scottish electorate before…” …!!!

    The chippy underdog seems to be the natural characteristic of the typical Scot; sadly however seems to be coupled with paranoia – you no doubt even blame the English for your weather and midges! South of the border most people have always loved the Scots; but the recent behaviour of your politicians and the biddable nature of your populace have conspired to now drive a wedge between us.

    Increasingly the English and even ex-pat Scots now think you should be assisted to go and play your independence games. It will of course drive many more Scots to abandon the sinking ship; and will inevitably end in tears for those that remain.

    1. paul says:

      I am saddened that we have such conversations. I feel no enmity with the English people, I judge people on their personality and whether I can get along with them. However, I am puzzled by the attitude of some of the English people who tell us that we are better together, then complain about the amount of subsidy that the Scot’s receive. Therefore, can you please explain, from an Englishman’s point of view, what are the benefits of being in a union with a country that you seem to dislike so intensely and that you think simply use up all of your resources, without gaining any benefits in return.

    2. Darien says:

      “Increasingly the English and even ex-pat Scots now think you should be assisted to go and play your independence games.”

      That’s good to hear. Many of us up here also favour English independence. Happy to support your quest in that.

    3. John Page says:

      Do you think you could try just a wee bit harder to sound patronising… you’ll be saying that you used to love going on holiday in Scotland but you will have to rethink that…….
      The level of debate here is usually quite high……do you not think you should try and find a golf club somewhere to air your second rate analysis and tissue of cliched prejudices.
      The discourse in Scotland has moved on substantially and in the medium term it will be an independent country playing a positive role in the international community. Most Scots wish our English neighbours well but I am fearful that you are heading for progressive decline to a backward looking, profoundly unequal and dysfunctional state unless England stirs from its MSM led, apathetic slumber.
      John Page

      1. Well put, John, I second you.

  19. Clydebuilt says:

    “The conservative government that will now rule us for the next 5 years has no legitimacy here”……..Scotland could be under the yolk of the Tories for a lot more than 5 years……Now unfettered by the Liberals, the Tories are free to change the constituency boundaries, giving them around another 20 MP’s .
    I can’t forget the words of Gordon Brown in the last week of the Referendum “Vote NO to get faster change with a Labour Government”. Then I remember Milliband being interviewed in Scotland saying much the same and implying that a Labour victory in May was a certainty. How many people voted NO based on words of these two men?

  20. Darien says:

    The similarity between all three ‘unionist’ seats in Scotland is quite simply that these three particular constituencies each have an unusually high population of English residents (30% or more), and English people living in Scotland tend to have very little desire for or personal interest in Scottish nationhood. The result in these three areas therefore has very little to do with individual SNP candidates.

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