The failure of Scottish political leadership is sad to behold. The consequences of the failure to unite against the SNP has dawned too late upon the main unionist political parties, and there will be reprisals. I have already heard Tories trying to make out that the All For Unity party has spoiled the collective vote against the SNP. This is historical revisionism.
The Tories have known since Oct 2020 that Alliance for Independence was trying to make a supermajority for separation in the Scottish Parliament election. The complaint that Alex Salmond has created his Alba Party to counteract All For Unity is wrong.
The Scottish Christian Party (SCP) understood this existential threat to Scotland remaining in the UK and put aside its specific USP to support an alliance against the SNP separatists.
The only person advocating this was George Galloway who began the Alliance 4 Unity and the SCP supported the aims of this Alliance. While George stood in the South of Scotland Region, I supported the lead candidate for the Highlands and Islands at that time, Professor Alan Sked, the creator of UKIP and Professor Emeritus of International History at the London School of Economics. The coronavirus pandemic lockdown preventing his campaigning in the north and a new lead candidate was found and the others throughout the eight Regions of Scotland are here.
For a brief window there was hope of a Unionist Alliance or at least ‘an understanding’ when the creation of the Alba party stung Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, into action. He called on the Labour and Lib Dem Scottish leaders to revive the Better Together campaign.
Douglas Ross says it took only three hours for Labour and the Lib Dems to reject his call for a Better Together Alliance
At one point I hoped that Douglas Ross’ equivocal response to this was in fact the same message as the All For Unity.
However, Labour did not want to play ball so they did come on to the field. The Tories then ran away with the ball, claiming that only the Tories could stop the SNP. If only it was so. However, it was more likely that this divisive attitude would only deliver more separatists to Holyrood. Then some Tories wanted to blame the All For Unity for dividing the Unionist vote, instead of admitting their own failed leadership.
If the Tories had called for the Better Together campaign in October 2020 the SCP would have supported this, but their lack of vision necessitated George Galloway filling the gap. We can only hope that there is an understanding between the Tories and Labour Parties to support each other, even if there is no secret deal that they are too frightened to bring into the light of day.
However, in The Times today Professor John Curtice says that the Tories’ claim and strategy has not had an impact.
It is now a bit rich that, at this late stage, Lord Darling who led the Better Together campaign in 2014 is now calling upon the Scottish Tories to support Labour, in the column right beside that of Professor Curtice!
This is a classic example of failed leadership from the main opposition party leaders in Scotland. Lord Forsyth came out in support of this strategy several months ago, although his account with its tweet has now disappeared; Lord Darling should have done so at the same time in order to advise Anas Sarwar on the utility of the pact. An alliance would have helped both the Lib Dems and Scottish Labour. The Lib Dems would win six constituency seats whereas in the last Parliament they had five, and Labour had 23 but it would win 37 constituency seats! As President Lyndon B. Johnson said, One of the first rules for politicians is that its “practitioners need to be able to count”.
Now Tories and Labour are pleading with voters for ‘both votes’ for their own Party, with the same myopic vision. Meanwhile George Galloway has warned about the consequences. To quote his final speech on the campaign trail outside the Scottish Parliament today – the ‘two votes for the same party’ strategy is “psephological, electoral, mathematical nonsense” – rather, vote smart. On the purple/lilac ballot paper, vote for the Party best able to defeat the SNP, which you can find for your constituency here, and on the orange/peach ballot paper vote for All For Unity with your cross.
Scottish Christian Party supporting the aims of the All For Unity Party
Meanwhile the SCP is giving a lead, just as the All For Unity Party is.
The Scottish Christian Party is putting its particular interests aside in order to support the aims of the All For Unity Party, an alliance of individuals and Parties uniting at this time against the existential SNP threat to the continuation and constitution of the UK.
We have put our country ahead of party at this critical time. Hadrian’s Wall belongs to a bygone era and we do not need new borders dividing the United Kingdom.
https://tacticalvote.scot shows voters in each Scottish constituency how best to vote tactically in this Scottish Parliamentary election to remove the SNP from its maladministration of Scottish affairs.
4 thoughts on “Failed leadership in Scottish politics”
I fail to understand why so called parties eg Alliance4Unity to name but one are allowed to stand in National Elections as everyone worth their salt knows that very few if any of these so called parties have a hope of having a MSP in the Scottish Parliament after this election.
Your failure to understand arises from several mistakes. “So called parties” are not “allowed to stand in National Elections”. Only Parties registered and approved as such by The Electoral Commission are allowed to do so.
In a democracy even individuals are “allowed to stand in National Elections” unless they have certain criminal convictions or other disqualifications such as being a foreign national and not a citizen of the country. There are various ideologies, fascism “to name but one” although others could be named, that do not allow people and parties to stand in national elections. This restriction is practised in various countries at the present time, Russia, China, Hong Kong, etc., but the UK electoral system allows it, and for very good reasons.
As there are many individuals and political parties that have no “hope of having a MSP in the Scottish Parliament after this election”, there must be other reasons for standing and some enquiry from the relevant people will yield some answers. As you “fail to understand”, I presume you have never had a good enough answer from those minor parties who send leaflets through your door on a regular basis although they have no hope of securing an MSP in the next election.
It is common enough even for the major political parties to have ‘paper candidates’, who have no hope of winning but who ‘keep the flag flying’ for the party, which I explained at length in a former Scottish Christian Party website, which you may not have read.
There was a time when the Scottish National Party had no hope of having a politician elected, but this party now runs Scotland – very badly. There was a time when the precursor of the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland had no hope of having a politician elected, but now the DUP is in Government in Northern Ireland. Their early pioneers well understood why they stood candidates in elections that they had no hope of winning.
In other words, the minor parties are standing candidates in elections for a multitude of reasons – to name but a few: 1. to publicise their existence, 2. to measure their support, 3. to win supporters to their cause, 4. to build their base for the future, 5. to find where their support lies, etc. Indeed, the next time you meet activists from such parties, you can ask them for their reasons. They will probably answer along the lines that one must vote according to one’s convictions rather than depending upon the hope of success.
You mention “everyone worth their salt”. This phrase originally refers to payment, which used to be ‘in salt’ rather than ‘in sterling’ as nowadays, but it is usually used to denigrate those who disagree with one’s opinion as being ‘not worth their salt’. However, we should listen to more people than only those who are working for a salary (the root of the word ‘salary’ is ‘salt’). Multitudes of political activists are volunteers who are paid nothing, who voluntarily give their time, talents and energy to changing the political landscape. Such people are entitled to give their opinion why they are fighting what appears to others to be hopeless causes. The problem is that it can be changed for the worse as well as for the better and this is where Christian politics comes in. Christians are to work to make a difference – “faith without works is dead” – to bring Christian principles to bear upon society. The major parties in the UK are doing the opposite, so it is time to stand up against it. The only vehicle of peaceful change in a nation’s laws is through politicians and, in practice, through political parties.
You mention “so called parties eg Alliance4Unity to name but one”. Once again, you are mistaken. The Alliance4Unity is not a political party and it did not stand in “this election” for the Scottish Parliament. It was the All For Unity Party that stood, but it is not a “so called” party. It is an alliance of individuals and political parties, which is registered as “a Party” with The Electoral Commission because this is what electoral law requires. As the Scottish Christian Party supports the aims of the All For Unity Party, I was invited to be a candidate and I stood as a Scottish Christian Party candidate on the Highlands and Islands Regional List of the All For Unity Party https://donaldboyd.org/2021/02/13/all-for-unity/
Your comment refers specifically to “this election”. The message of the All For Unity Party was partially followed by the major political parties in “this election”, in which there was an unprecedented amount of tactical voting between the major parties in order to oppose the SNP. The SNP attempted to make “this election” a litmus test for another Referendum through which the SNP hoped to separate Scotland from the United Kingdom. The message of the major parties (explained in the above blogpost) was to vote for themselves to stop another Referendum – the message of the All For Unity Party was to support the UK rather than a party, to minimise the number of SNP MSPs calling for another Referendum. The major parties did not respond to the All For Unity message but partially implemented it in their own misguided manner https://twitter.com/Jamie_Blackett/status/1369252752489148420 But I have already explained this in this blogpost above.
The best way to learn about politics is to join a political party where you will discover the nefarious behaviour of those who govern countries. Ungodly people fail to heed the biblical warning that those in authority are responsible for how they use their God-given authority, and its abuse “shall receive greater condemnation” Jam 3:1. This is why the Scottish Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship” exists – to teach a better way to do politics. It has to begin somewhere, as all political parties do, including All For Unity.
I hope this goes some way towards your catching up on political issues.
Hello Donald. I was shocked and saddened to see that the Scottish Christian Party chose not to put forward any candidates and in the Scottish Election this year under the Scottish Christian Party Banner.
I will be pleased to know more Christians who are shocked and saddened as you are. You and they are welcome to join my weekly Zoom meeting, which began last year during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, https://donaldboyd.org/upcoming-events-talks/ where they can learn how to promote Scottish Christian Party candidates.
Other parties are opposed to the SNP’s agenda but the raison d’être of the Scottish Christian Party’s alliance with the All For Unity Party for this election is a direct protest against the SNP, its ungodly policies and its threat to the Christian constitution of Scotland, which are explained in the above post and its links.