We’ve got elections coming up in about 5 weeks time. These are for our Local Authority Councillors. I’ve never been really sure that politics with a capital “P” should play a big part in these elections, but hey, it does. Especially this time. No less a figure than the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has decreed that it should be so. “Send a message to the SNP. Tell them in these local authority elections that you don’t want another Independence Referendum” she said. Well then, who am I to argue with the Prime Minister? Clearly the local council elections really are all about politics with a capital “P“. So if that is the case then maybe we should all look very closely at the parties who are putting forward candidates seeking our votes. I know, these elections really ought to be about the best people for the jobs, people who really do understand our local issues, people who can deal with the dogsh*t problems and the housing development issues. But they’re not. The Prime Minister says so. So they can’t be. (Well, not this time anyway). So lets look at the parties.
This then gets us to something which isn’t mentioned or reported on the BBC News nor in any newspapers. It’s an uncomfortable truth, for the media, that Scotland only has a handful of political parties. (Assuming you accept the definition of being a Scottish Political Party as being a political party registered with the Electoral Commision as being Scottish.) The table below is an extract from the electoral Commision’s list of registered parties.
(You can click here to find the full list if you like)
So what of the Scottish Labout Party? The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party? The Scottish Liberal-Democrat Party? Well, according to the Electoral Commision (and they are the only source of facts) these parties do not exist.
Although the Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Conservative and Unionist parties might stick Scottish before their name, they in fact do not exist by those names on the role of registered parties. How Scottish are they then? Where do they get their money from? Where do they get their instructions from? Who actually controls these “Scottish” parties if they’re not on the Electoral Commision’s register? ( Johann Lamont once famously said the Scottish Labour Party was a branch-office.)
The questions I’ve posed are good and fair questions as these parties are asking us for our votes. It seems to me the “big three” parties are as Scottish as Yorkshire Pudding, the Blackpool Tower and the white cliffs of Dover.
So, when you come to choose where to put your 1 and 2 (and 3 and 4 if you wish) on your ballot paper on the 4th May in the Scottish Local Authority elections – just remember what country you are voting in, and which parties are as Scottish as David Beckham’s right foot…….. (and David Beckham’s left foot actually….)