The biggest event in 2007 for Scotland, undoubtedly, must be the SNP surprising everyone by taking the house.
Those cries of "If Salmond wins I'm seriously leaving Scotland" from my colleagues have faded to slightly apologetic, slightly admirational wimpers. Now, James McFadden may be responsible for the single act that has created the greatest morale boost in the country's history, and the SNP should be hugely grateful to the man. But this shift in optimism, belief and, dare I say it, our new-found lack of inferiority complex can mostly be put down to Alex Salmond.
I am not an SNP voter/fan/enthusiast, but I cannot fail to see that the wobbly-faced Jambo is head and shoulders above any politician we have ever had. Maybe Malawi Jack was just so, so, so bad that Salmond could do nothing but look so, so, so good. If this is the case, Wendy must be weeping into her coco pops, because if McConnell can't make you look good, it's time to do what all failures do these days - become a teacher.
Labour's future looks bleak. As I predicted about a year ago, they are going to do what the Tories have done in Westminster for the past ten years - flounder, fight and f*ck it up, wasted year after wasted year, useless leader after useless leader and this is what the holyrood, the labour party and the voters have to look forward to in 2008. Regardless of whether they actually have a top trump leading the way (and if anyone can think of such a mythical character in the party I'd love to hear your suggestions), there is no unity, no team element. This is what the Tories were like until Cameron came along with his love-in makeover.
If Labour are not careful, and I say this with an element of humour and trepidation, some voters might actually take notice of the Lib Dems. Unbelievably, Nicol Stephen could take Labour's voters to a new Nicol Stephen shaped cloud in the sky. Now this may not have happened with the LibDems/Tories in Westminster, but this is because down there the 'boys in blue', despite their troubles, had some people with some real game. I have searched, studied, even prayed for a wee bit that there would be someone within Labour's ranks that at least had the political legs to stand up, never mind step up to to the plate. 'Fraid not, it seems.
And all of this is happening because... Alex Salmond is the new Tony Blair.
What? Salmond would probably bury me for this comment, but let me justify it.
I don't mean Salmond is the new, young, sexy, spinmeister with a PFI pistol, hidden but loaded.
I mean, like Tony Blair, he is just that much better than anyone else around. Combine this with the Messiah worship and loyalty he receives from his party and he is a runaway success. Find me a single MSP who is a) that popular in his party and b) any good, because right now, I can't.
I prefer politics where there is a good, evenly matched scrap on. I would love for Labour, the Tories, even the LibDems to have someone who could take on the SNP and give us some good interesting, talented political swordsmanship. Wendy'll be going soon, for the good of the party, but as bad as she's been, Margaret Curran? McCabe? A sorry state of affairs.
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