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Saturday, May 07, 2005

With the accustomed mature council...

(as Scottish bishops were wont to begin letters of mandate) - my tuppence-worth is that the election result won't change very much. The qualifications to be added to this are:
a) the reduced majority should make it more difficult for Mr Blair to pass controversial legislation, but the Lords have been doing a sterling job on this front anyway. (What is perhaps more worrying than Mr Blair's cavalier way with the Commons when he has a majority is New Labour's attitude to the Lords, which seems to have been less commented-on in the media. Government ministers keep moaning about unelected people blocking legislation when (hello!) the parliamentary system of the country does in fact include a completely legitimate and constitutional unelected upper house. Unelected elements of the government are not here on suffrance. But will this make the upper house less useful?)
b) the appearance and/or promotion of sogenannte Brownites like Ed Balls may or may not mean government is to be less 'Blairite.' I'm a trifle sceptical about the extent of the Blair-Brown rift, at any rate in terms of its effects upon what government does, but we'll see.
c) the whole issue of when Mr Blair will or will not step down. He hasn't shown much sensitivity to getting out or holding back when people want him to, so I don't expect him to depart gracefully or quickly. Unless he's going to be terribly cunning and resign much sooner than expected, giving us all very high hopes for Mr Brown as a nice sensible Fife Prime Minister, which will rapidly be dashed as he turns out to be just like all the rest of them - and this being Britain, over-excitement turns to cynicism faster than - well, faster than most rail services around the country, anyway.

I am intrigued by the remarkable slump in support for the SNP up here. I don't know why that is, and await 2007 with interest. (Which thought is so banal that it's hardly worth broadcasting to the internet - would someone else care to say something more constructive?) Unless boredom with Holyrood politics means that anything with an insular focus has come to seem unattractive? (How odd that 'insular' when referring to Scotland is the opposite of what is truly 'insular', viz (literally) the island of Great Britain or even (historically, technically) the whole British isles. No, that wasn't very interesting either, sorry.)

The better-informed (almost everyone) are welcome to disagree totally and explain why the next four years will see radical changes in British politics.

(Meanwhile, of course, we seem to be trekking into a Brave New World, but it will all happen very quietly and the government will ignore it, as it is a matter for Personal Morality. Even though there's legislation about it. St Gianna Molla, pray for us!)