The volcanic eruption of the Icelandic volcano had a bizarre effect on the week's Scottish general election campaign. The Scottish media informed us that the campaign had been seriously disrupted due to volcanic ash in the atmosphere.
London based politicians had planned an ‘Elvis Presley’ style drop in to ‘North Britain’ and our media were waiting for their verbal crumbs in order to produce that days election ‘headlines’, the plans turned to ashes as volcanic dust grounded every aeroplane in the UK.
That the visits would have been so brief that even Sheena Easton wouldn’t have had time to acquire an accent wouldn’t have mattered – this is London’s election and anything the London parties say is the story. The Scottish media were left with only the SNP big-wigs, but in accordance with the wishes of the London based parties and the London based broadcasters, the SNP were all but ignored.
Last night Scotland, cut off by nature watched as they were cut off by broadcasters from participating in the debate. The debate hosted in England featured questions primarily relevant to England and were answered by parties based in England. A malevolent political apartheid has slowly been introduced into UK politics, the buzzword of the new political sectarian and dominant political elite is ‘irrelevant’.
Scotland is simply too small to bother about, we are overlooked and marginalised – the message to Scots is that unless they vote Labour or Tory then they simply do not matter.
Scotland’s media have embraced this democratic dry rot with zeal. Today’s Herald has an editorial that describes the exclusive ‘leaders debate’ as a “landmark occasion in British electoral history” the headline proclaims “Democracy is the winner from debates”.
Such an opinion wouldn’t be out of place in a Labour party press release, however that it appears to be the opinion of one of Scotland’s ‘quality’ newspapers is worrying – not least because the owners of this newspaper is one of a group of media organisations about to be awarded taxpayers money to produce future Scottish TV news.
Immediately after the disgraceful sham that was the first of these debates, the BBC’s Nick Robinson told us that the election campaign had “started in earnest”.
Yep, last weeks ‘campaign’ in Scotland clearly hadn’t registered and didn’t matter – the English general election campaign kicked off last night.
The day after the first debate sees an England still enveloped in the cloud of dust and ash, however the skies over Scotland are clearing and planes are starting to take off again.
The metaphor is stark – two countries, one with a clear blue sky and opportunity to fly, the other trapped beneath a cloud.
We were excluded, we were deemed irrelevant – we should take the hint and leave the club – in Scotland come May 6th the London based parties could ultimately find themselves heading for the ‘irrelevance graveyard’.