Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Blooming Missouri...

Well that was a historic week last week wasn't it?!?

I am of course referring to my predictions as to the outcome of the US elections - I believe that out of 50 States (and the District of Columbia) I called 49 and DC correctly.

The only one that I think I got wrong was Missouri. You know, the state that is the most dependable bell-weather, that always calls it right, that never makes a mistake. Yeah, they got it wrong and therefore so did I.

On a more serious note, it was an important week. The election of Obama is truly historic. As you will know, I am not an Obamabot by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought that his acceptance speech was magnificient. The religious presentation of it can be a bit worrying at times, but there is no denying the effectiveness of his style and the fact that he cut a very Presidential figure on stage - I would expect him to very quickly seem at home in the White House.

I also thought John McCain's concession speech was very impressive. It was a reflection of the old McCain, the one who truly is a maverick and a hero. This McCain has sadly been lost during the campaign season as he has been subsumed into the elements of his party which he had previously fought against. There seemed to be almost a relief from him in conceding, and hopefully free from the fervour of this campaign he can return to his previous status. For the Republicans it is a time of disaster, but one which is deserved - they have displayed an arrogance in government which has been their undoing. A sensible period of reflection could see them return to importance, however the election losses have hit their sensible centrists more than the radical right, and it may be quite a period of isolation for them.

I will blog more on US stuff later, but must move on to the other big election...

Yep, Glenrothes!

Take that one Alex Salmond!

Sometimes I despair of democracy, but then something like Glenrothes cheers me up no end (along with the council by-election victories of the same day). It was a great result for the Labour Party, made even sweeter by the arrogance which Salmond had demonstrated in the run-up to the election. Political leaders have to be confident in the run-up, but his overbearing presumption that people would vote for him just because he told them to was very offputting. The margin of the victory was stunning and caught everybody by surprise - I think there was unionist tactical voting against the SNP, but this is something that they should have anticipated.

I don't want this to be a partisan rant - I don't think that Labour holding Glenrothes signifies the end of the SNP or an inevitable Labour victory. In fact, if the Labour Party makes the mistake of reading too much into the result then they could end up in a worse position than if they had been beaten. However, it is a significant result and a sign that the SNP Government is not the invulnerable and eternal entity that some of its members and supporters have allowed themselves to believe. Being in office means that you will start to annoy people and be held accountable - the SNP have encountered this for the first time in Glenrothes. The interesting point will be whether they can take this lesson on board, or whether they dismiss it.

But I'm still not going to forgive Missouri...

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