Scottish whisky, Scottish kilts, Scottish wool, Scottish golf courses, Scottish salmon and the magnificent Scottish Highlands, the delicious Scottish shortbread biscuits, and the awful Scottish bagpipes…
These were the commonest ‘iconic brands’ of Scotland, known all over the world, until May 5th 2011 – the day when the Scottish National Party (SNP) thrashed its rivals (Labour, Lib Dem, Tory) in the 2011 Scottish elections.
From this date onwards, maybe the SNP will have established itself as another ‘trademark’ of Scotland – a political force to be reckoned with, and no longer a mere curiosity.
I bet that the current ruling coalition in Britain, nor the Labour Party, were underestimating the SNP (actually, maybe they feared it!), yet to people from all over the world this Scottish Party may have not be anything serious at all.
There are smiliar pro-independence parties in other parts of the EU (Catalonia or Flanders for instance) but it seems that there is more to this SNP than just ‘rethoric’ – its minority government actually held on to power in times of economic crisis.
With 23 new seats in Holyrood (and a total of 69 in a devolved parliament made up of 129 legislators), the SNP is due to rule Scotland for another five years. The party is free to pursue further reforms that could make his country look even more ‘distinctive’ than the rest of the UK.
Moreover, the First Minister (Alex Salmond) will be able to call a referedum on Scotland’s independence, after he had to gave up a previous ambition.
There’s little doubt that the tide of dissatisfaction with Cameron & Clegg helped the SNP in Scotland, however, there must be more than that simplistic explanation.
In spite of his ‘fishy’ name, it seems that Salmond’s his politics is not as ‘fishy’ as those of other parties. Many Scottish voters – among whom my friend from the Highlands – think highly of him.
Whether this is but an illusion, it’s only for the Lord to know. I can only be a bit envious of the Scots who still hope that a man (+ party behind him) could change things for the better, while most of Europe is freezing under a thick layer of bitter disillusionment with politics.
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