An American-Scot’s take on exciting times ahead


by Sharon Dolan-Powers

A week is a long time in politics and this past week was packed full of interesting and important goings-on, and not just here in Scotland.  Just to name a few:

* Iain Gray and the Incident on Platform 9 1/2 at Glasgow Central Station
* A historic landslide win for the SNP in the Wick council by-election
* Scottish Lib Dems discover the central plank of their manifesto (to sell off Scottish Water) is all wet
* ‘Voice of Labour’ Brian Cox switches allegiance and backs Alex Salmond for First Minister
* Poll shows more people in Scotland favour Independence or additional powers for Scotland than ever before
* Catalonians go to the polls in Barcelona for their largest non-binding referendum on Independence which, if won, could see the Catalan Parliament press for full Independence from Spain

These are interesting times.  And there’s still a lot of political water to flow under the bridge before we know who will form the next government in Scotland.  The choices for voters couldn’t be more stark:  three Unionist parties who answer to their London overlords, and will do anything to retain the Union even though the model is broken, versus a handful of Independence-supporting Scottish parties, led by the SNP, who have the good of Scotland and the Scottish people in mind as we move into an uncertain future.  Add to the mix another three weeks of PR opportunities and gaffes, one major manifesto yet to be released, and loads of intrigue and subterfuge.  Who says politics isn’t exciting?

To the anoraks who seem to think they can project the outcome of this election by using historical trends, I have a news flash: the political landscape is nothing like it was in 2007.  In many ways the events of the last four years have caused the scales to fall from the eyes of the Scottish electorate regarding the Unionist parties.  The behaviour of two successive governments in Westminster has not helped matters.  Labour are promising to save Scotland from “Thatcherite cuts”.  Note to Iain Gray:  this is a Scottish, not a Westminster, election.  In any case it’s ‘Vote Gray – Get Ed’.

The poor Lib Dem voters in Scotland are in a real pickle.  Should they trust Tavish?  Do they agree with Nick?  Does Tavish?  Their credibility is in tatters.

While Aunty Bella accuses Alex Salmond of telling porkies she behaves as if her party has some kind of mandate in Scotland.  Isn’t that a kind of porkie?  No amount of ‘common sense’ talk is going to make the brutal cuts ushered in by ‘Call Me Dave’ and company any easier to take.  Thank goodness he can’t get his hands on the NHS in Scotland!

People in Scotland are waking up and taking a look at what Scotland could be. Old political alignments are shifting.  It’s been a slow process but I’m encouraged by the things I’ve seen and heard out on the campaign trail.  Hopefully voters will opt for a better future for Scotland, one with Independence as the ultimate goal.


Sharon Dolan-Powers is an American-Scot from Oregon, now living in Scotland.{jcomments on}