Thursday, 8 April 2010
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
This is how Alex Salmond, Scotlands's First Minister, sums up the two contending leaders of the two main Unionist parties. There is little to choose between them, he contends. They both put the interests of the Union first, without much reference to Scotland and Wales or to the funding which both these nations need while they still remain part of the Union. The main difference between the major parties is the fact that Labour emphasise state control and bureaucratic centralisation and the Conservatives prefer freedom of choice and more personal liberty. The Liberals claim to be the true party of change and fairness in society but remain shy of coming out in favour of constitutional change apart from changing the voting system in their favour.
Thus, for the people of Wales and Scotland this election has little relevance to their real needs, with the choice falling between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, neither of whom will bring much benefit to the nations of the perimeter. England will swing to the right, while Scotland and Wales remain traditionally left of centre. Yet these two resurgent nations do have another choice and that is to back the nationalist cause and sever the links which bind them to a corrosive and failing union. In the event of a Hung Parliament their MPs could win concessions which Tweedledum and Tweedledee are loathe to contemplate in a political process which has yet to run its course..