8 May 2015

When will English politicians understand Scotland and the SNP?

How much longer does the English political establishment go on not only not getting it – but demonstrating with toe-curling embarrassment that they simply don’t get it.

The inability overnight of English political leaders to read, even vaguely the significance of the SNP obliteration, leaves one speechless.

Let us take two examples. English voters would say left and right wing ones.

First Ed Miliband lashing out at the SNP revolution saying Labour had gone down to a “surge of nationalism”.

Then Boris Johnson talked about the urgent need to reach a “simple” sort of “federal” arrangement to somehow cope with the incoming yellow tsunami in Westminster.

Both men, simply not seeing or wilfully ignoring the greater part of the entire SNP campaign here.


It wasn’t nationalism. They barely campaigned on it. Referendum and independence were only in the debate because it is often all the English establishment seems to be able to see.

The wholesale success of an anti-austerity, anti-Trident, pro fiscal autonomy campaign – it is sometimes as if the SNP never mentioned it.

But these campaign issues are what Scots went for in a droves as the SNP drilled into the Labour and LibDem votes from Jo Grimond country in the northern isles to the old red heartlands of the central belt.

They wanted a “left” alternative, the SNP use the word “progressive”. It is that simple.

In England they do not.

What is clear is that somehow, somewhere, London is going to have to start hearing this message delivered in utterly historic fashion.

Somehow Edinburgh/Glasgow is going to have to find more effective ways of getting its vision across.

If they do not, the avalanche mandate what they call A Jockalypse Now, may indeed turn into exactly what England prematurely fears right now – unstoppable pressure upon Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond to return to nationalism. Jockalypse goes apocalypse.

Put simply, the surest way for the English lurid fears about the SNP to be realised, is to continue thinking it’s all about nationalism insofar as it thinks about Scotland at all

Follow Alex Thomson on Twitter: @alextomo

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