Sometimes there is so much on the to-do list that none of it gets done. It was like that last night at blogging time. What to write about? There was just so much choice, and then there was an article on Kate Bush and I was distracted.
The leader of Scottish Labour had his majority cut from 2000 to 151 and his party lost several safe seats. Everywhere the Eds campaigned in Scotland, Labour lost. The Brown Gorgon now has a SNP MSP. In England, 'Special' Ed's Labour party performed less well than the Labour leg-end Shabby Foot managed when Thatcher was cutting back. They did better in Wales but still didn't get a majority in the assembly.
There was Dai Cameroid crowing with delight at the AV referendum result that meant he wouldn't have to do anything, which is his favourite action. There was Vinnie the Wire complaining that the Tories were campaigning for Tory councillors and not for Lib Dem ones. 'Hang the Smokers' Clegg took a whipping over AV and his party was hammered north and south of the border. Good. Started listening yet, you pompous little git?
And then there was the SNP. Subrosa has a map showing a few bits of blue and red among the gorse-flower yellow. The Lib Dems are down to five seats in the Scottish Parliament and those are mainly on islands populated by the candidate, his dog and a sheep (the sheep didn't vote for him).
So far the SNP government have been relatively harmless aside from windmills and smoking bans. The idiotic idea that minimum pricing would cut down on drinking - in Scotland! - was shelved because the minority government couldn't force it through. There was none of the utter lunacy we saw under Labour's majority government in Westminster because the other parties, despite being almost all socialists, blocked as much as they could. Those days are over.
Now we'll get to see what the SNP are actually about. Now they have a majority and don't need to convince any other party to join in with their plans. Finally we get to see what those plans are.
Aside from independence, I mean. The rest of it. The details.
As for independence, Al is one slippery fish and he knows he can't just declare independence. He has to have a referendum first and there is always the chance he might lose. If he holds a referendum and loses, that's it. No more 'Watch yersel', sassenachs, or we'll tak oor oil and sod yez all, the noo'. He has to have that referendum in this parliament or he won't get in for the next one. His supporters are expecting it, but Oily Al won't do it until he is damn sure he'll win it.
The thing is, and Oily Al will know this, his supporters do not consist of even half the population of Scotland. Forty percent of those who voted, I believe the figure was. Only half the electorate voted so Al can only be certain of twenty percent of Scotland definitely voting for independence. He has an 'unknown quantity' of eighty percent, so that referendum will be a risk.
What Oily Al doesn't know is how many have noticed the big problem. Independence from the UK is irrelevant when we're all just regions of the EU anyway. It won't change a thing. I don't know how many have noticed either but I'm sure the number is growing. He'll have to balance that growing number against the number he can convince to vote 'yes'.
How many of the SNP voters gave a stuff about independence? On the table was a continuation of the council tax freeze, continued free prescriptions and no university fees. Al cannot even be certain the twenty percent who voted for him will also vote for independence. That might not have been why they voted.
In the meantime, he will use the threat of that referendum to lever concessions out of Cameron (and probably an apology for the Highland clearances, the Poll Tax, Hadrian's Wall and Russ Abbott). It's a strong hand to bluff with but if he plays that hand and loses, it's all over. Sooner or later it'll be cards-on-the-table time but until then, Al will bluff for all he's worth.
The referendum will come and I suspect turnout will be a lot better than for any election. This isn't just choosing which noses go in the trough, this is something that will have a big effect on the whole country. Sure, there'll be a 'don't care' contingent who won't vote but there are many who have strong feelings on both the 'yes' and 'no' sides. I think there'll be a good turnout but I wouldn't like to guess which side will win. I'm not even sure which side I'm on.
Al cannot be certain of winning that referendum at the moment. When he calls it, then he's sure he'll win.
Until then, watch him beat Cameron around the head with it.