27 April 2007

Three and a half months

I'm surprised that HolyroodBelle hasn't picked up on this, as this is right up her street. In the midst of the 'my endorsements are bigger than your endorsements' battle being played out, and the variety of polls, this quote from Jack McConnell stuck out for me today:

"This is an election, it is about electing a government, it's not a game and therefore it is essential we put across the choice that exists the consequences of the vote.

"This is about the government of Scotland, it's about the future of our country, people should think very carefully about that choice."

In January, McConnell said:

"The prize will be worth it. On May 4th, to have bucked every international trend for a mid-term election..."

Governments do not get elected in mid-term elections. Governments face re-election at the end of a term, and/or are elected at the start of one. So is this a mid-term, as McConnell said, or an election for a government, as McConnell also said? It can't be both.

But then, indecision is something of a feature in Scottish Labour. A promised NHS pay rise hasn't materialised, and until the start of this month, tolls on the Forth and Tay Bridges were a good thing, but they aren't anymore.

In addition to the possibility of a U-turn, this is the sacrifice of one of his biggest excuses for a poor performance: he can't say that people were thinking about Westminster when he's now gone out of his way to remind people that the election is all about Holyrood. If things go badly for Labour, then either he says that people were indeed thinking about Holyrood, in which case his record is poor enough for his party to be voted out, or he says that they were in fact still thinking about Westminster, in which case he's shown himself to be complete ineffectual having tried to remind people that the election decides the make-up of the Scottish Parliament.

It's also patronising: is he really suggesting that voters are too stupid to realise what body they're voting for, and that a government will be (or should be) formed at the end of the election? That's right, Jack, treat undecided voters like muppets just one week before an election. That'll get people back on side, oh yes.

1 comment:

Richard Havers said...

According to today's Scotland on Sunday it seems to have passed the point of no return.