Labour's SNP Disaster
This post has been cross-posted at Harry's Place
Yesterday's poll which showed the SNP on course to take every seat in Scotland is a frightening one and its not clear that politicians have woken up to the implications. If Labour was to go into some sort of confidence and supply arrangement with the SNP after next Thursday it could lead to an almighty nationalistic backlash in England, especially because on current projections this alliance would only have c37% of the vote over the UK (v eg c47% for the Tories + UKIP).
In spite of this we still see support for such an arrangement appearing in (where else) the Guardian along the lines of "well who cares, the SNP are to the Left of Labour so its a good thing". But as Eric Joyce points how here the SNP have been and will continue to be all things to all men, in fact in Scotland they have shown no signs of being more Left than Labour in their actual policies, see also James Bloodworth here. Alex Salmond even once said he didn't mind the economic side of Thatcherism - no Clause 4 man he. All they are doing now is pretending to be progressive to get Scottish Labour votes, and the kind of progressive politics they have in mind is more money for Scotland from blackmailing a Westminster administration. Its a win win situation for selfish nationalistic politics.
Now it might well be the case that the Tories (perhaps because of the above prospect) actually get in again to form a coalition with the Liberals. What will happen then ? If Labour moves back to the centre the Scots may well stay with the SNP, if they move to the Left and aim to ally more with the SNP then the English backlash will again come into play.
The SNP surge is potentially a life threatening problem for Labour. Any supporter of a centre-Left Labour party can only hope that the Scots in future come to their senses and reject the SNP's nationalistic opportunism. The majority of Scots do not want independence it appears but if they continue to vote SNP they will not only be playing games with the UK constitution they will potentially be stopping Labour from ever getting into power in the UK again.