Lesson from History

My old history teacher used to say that the Liberal party had made a grevious mistake in opposing the Conservative policy of protectionism and thus allowing the Conservatives to decline government and let in the newly formed Labour Party into government by the back door in 1924 as a minority administration.

The Labour Party was thus given a chance to prove itself fit to govern. The Liberal party, or its current denomination the Liberal Democrats, has never been in power since.

Now in the Scottish Parliament the SNP, albeit the largest party, are in government for the first time. They have also a minority administration; the Unionist parties could in theory team up and successfully vote down every SNP bill.

Yet Labour has proven so shell shocked at losing Scotland that it has lost any direction it once had. The Liberal Democrats having once shared power with the Labour administration has seemed petty in their dealings with the SNP. Incredibly for a party that only clings to Scotland by its fingernails, it is the Conservative party that is showing a maturity for dealing with minority administration and dealing with the SNP policies on an issue by issue basis.

The SNP government is now overwhelming popular; not least because the opposition Unionist parties are so fragmented. There is no doubt that they have proved themselves fit to govern. They are now a serious party of government.

As the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats seem incapable of winning in Scotland, so Scotland becomes a straight two horse race between Labour and the SNP. The problem for Labour is that right now they are seen to be directionless in Holyrood and feeble in Westminster. The SNP can only lose the next Scottish election.

These could be the last days of the Union.

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