May elections

A fish Back to opinions

There were elections in Scotland on May 3. The Scottish National Party (SNP) won by a whisker. The head of the SNP is Mr Salmond and his deputy is Mr Sturgeon. Am I the only one to have noticed that the Scots have elected a pair of fish?

Anyway, I want to mention the pamphlets I got through my letterbox before the election. The stuff from the Liberal Democrats was really creepy.

Why? Every item was pretending to be something else.

A couple pretended to be free newspapers. One was “Edinburgh Central News, April 2007”. It promised ‘Expert Opinion’ and ‘Detailed Analysis’. Only on closer inspection do you see that the website of the press office was (the name of the Liberal Democrat candidate).

Another one was camouflaged as a handwritten letter — on faux letter-paper — from John Barrett MP thanking me for my massive support for the Liberal Democrats (golly, I hadn’t noticed). Only at the bottom, in tiny print, did it say that the letter had been printed for …​ Siobhan Mathers.

And so it went on.

Apparently the Lib Dems have a central printing and design service which turns this stuff out for all Lib Dem candidates. So this is representative of the whole party rather than of Mrs Mathers alone.

When Blair invented New Labour the sense was palpable that Tony knew best and we should let him take care of everything. He was willing to lie routinely, not to protect himself (the usual reason), but to get us to do the Right Thing; the lies were not the truth, but they were sanctified by a greater ideological Truth. Arguably, events knocked this out of New Labour. They didn’t know best and eventually they had to admit it.

But perhaps there’s a kind of ‘conservation of attitudes’ in the universe of politics. Judging by the electoral literature, the instinct for ideologically motivated lies is alive and well and has moved into the Lib Dems.