The editor voices his views on the most topical events of the past week…..
IT WAS BILLED as being one of the closest general elections ever, it was going to be a cliff-hanger that would take weeks to unravel.
In the end it was the pollsters who were left looking damn silly and three party leaders were out of a job, so far from being a cliff hanger it was more a LibDem/Labour suicide mission.
Although for all that the pollsters will say they got Scotland just about spot on, having been predicting for weeks that the SNP would sweep all before them. And they did, including here in Moray where Angus Robertson enjoyed an increased majority and will now lead 55 colleagues in Westminster where for the last five years he has led just 5.
Probably the only other politician in Moray who could genuinely sleep soundly on Friday was Douglas Ross, who also increased his election showing – and while he failed to make much of a dent on the SNP he could at least point to what happened south of the border with a smile on his face.
Right, that’s the facts and numbers out of the way – now, at the risk of facing the wrath of the SNP’s cyber army who are not slow at letting you know when they feel you’ve stepped out of line (or have an anti-SNP agenda), I have some very strong reservations for our future.
We now have what is pretty much a one-party state in Scotland – and that, even for this former SNP member and by-election candidate, is more than a little bit scary.
The BBC did a wee exercise on what would have happened if a system of proportional representation had been used this week, and that suggested the SNP would have gained 25 seats rather than the 56 they now enjoy.
The other parties would have been far better represented in Scotland while on a national basis no party would have an overall majority – although it did throw up an even scarier scenario where the Conservatives and UKIP could have been able to create a coalition that would rule the roost.
But laying that aside, why should I find 56 SNP MP’s scary? Well I should qualify that with saying that I would feel the same way if ANY of the political parties had such a dominance.
It is just not healthy for so much power to be centred on one political group – in particular for someone like myself who has developed a mistrust for almost all political parties! The old saying ‘power corrupts’ springs to mind, and in my experience it was one of the truer sayings in the English language.
So where am I going this week – well, I spotted the former Labour councillor in Moray, Barry Jarvis, at the election count sporting a green rosette. Barry I know as a very honest, stand-up guy who perhaps was, because of that, unsuited to politics. He is very much in the same mould as several Green party members I know – including their Moray candidate, James MacKessack-Leitch.
OK so I’m turning into an old idealist – but it seems to me that it is not beyond the possibilities that, one day, a political system is brought to our nation that is actually fair to all, that allows the ‘good guys’ to flourish and actually have a real say in how our fate is decided.
We need such as the Greens to have more of a say – although perhaps before that can happen they need to re-invent themselves a little, not learn to play the dirty political game as such – just sharpen up and widen their policies, even accept that the ‘green way’ is not always the only way.
Surely that has to be better than what we have – after all, can we really say that the ‘mother of democracy’ is living up to her name by constantly encouraging so many lying, deceitful professional politicians to control our destiny?
Well, I just have this hunch that the Green Party, so humble, small, under-funded and, let’s face it, for many people a bit of a joke right now – can yet teach us all a thing or two about running a country.
Of course – if they were ever to win 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland I’ll be running for the hills all over again……