:: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 ::

Swinney Gets into Protest Politics

Further to my earlier comments, the Scottish National Party (SNP) are trying to put the Iraq war at the top of their agenda for the European elections in June. They gamble that they will profit most from any "protest vote". Traditionally the European elections are seen as an occasion for voters to protest in an election that 'doesn't matter'.

It does matter of course. The European Constitution should give the SNP many headaches, enshrining as it does the existing nation-states of the EU rather than recognising its peoples. So the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is recognised, but not the Scots. Spain is recognised but not the Basques, Catalans or Galicians. You would expect the SNP to have something to say about this, but they calculate that the electorate aren't interested.

Instead they are concentrating on the war, the council tax and fishing. The first two are big issues for the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and it is interesting to see that the SNP are trying to make up the ground they lost to the left at the Scottish Parliamentary elections. This led Tory MEP Struan Stevenson to say that Swinney was trying to "out-trot the Trots".

I say, why settle for the copy when you can have the real thing?

:: Alister | 12:08 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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