There’s an election in Scotland, so naturally, being an Australian, I’m gonna blog about it.
I dunno much about Scotland apart from the fact that Scots eat haggis, play the bagpipes, and wear kilts:–which fact probably explains, in turn, why a number of my ancestors fled the place to seek political asylum in Australia, thus ensuring my ability to eat vegan pies, play truant, and wear kilts.
Anyway, one of the more remarkable features of the election–apart from its domination by the SNP, whose members now enjoy sitting in 69 of the 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament (and the fact that only half the registered voters bothered to go the ballot box)–is the collapse in the left vote.* Solidarity and the SSP both done bad; the worst result of the election, however, seems to have been reserved for the SEP. Despite the fact that “The Socialist Equality Party is the leadership workers in Britain need”, according to the BBC, out of a possible 282,371 votes, the SEP candidate in West Scotland has received…
(Of course, the BBC website is trying to be tricky: the SEP done put 0 candidates up. See also : Liberal Democrats hammered in UK elections, Chris Marsden, wsws.org, May 7, 2011.)
*Well, apart from Arthur Scargill’s SLP: “With results still incomplete at time of going to press, it seems likely that the Socialist Labour Party will easily be the main electoral force on the left of Scottish politics. It looks likely that we will also outpoll both the BNP and UKIP even with their high profile media coverage and big business backing – no small achievement!”
International Socialist Group (Scotland)
Splitters! from the Socialist Workers Party franchise in Scotland have formed a NEW! party called — with typically imaginative flair — the ‘International Socialist Group (Scotland)’. The ‘International Socialist Group (Scotland)’ is to be confused with the ‘International Socialist Group’ (now part of ‘Socialist Resistance’, the British Section of the Fourth International, to be confused with the British Section of the International Committee of the Fourth International) and will be joining the Scottish Socialist Party, the Socialist Party Scotland and Solidarity (Scotland’s Socialist Movement) in the struggle for sand, surf, socialism, and Scotland.
Otherwise, the BNP has fared poorly in council elections: “Extreme rightwing party has so far lost seven of 11 council seats it was defending and has been wiped out in key target areas” (BNP suffers election meltdown, Matthew Taylor, The Guardian, May 6, 2011).