Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Not jumping on the bandwagon

A quick glance at the press this morning clearly shows that everyone and their dog is having a right-old-go at the Nats for failing to deliver, what they said they would deliver, as regards 1,000 "new police officers" provided for by "new resources".

I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon ... but, the whole situation does give cause for comment - hopefully, you'll agree, not 'too' partisan in nature :-)

I've always thought it would be pretty impossible for the Nats to deliver their 'whole' manifesto ... even die-hard SNP supporters will acknowledge this in private. As far back as early August, we started to see the first problems with some of their commitments; and just a few days ago I commented on the class-size pledge, which I personally feel is a LOT more unachievable than the 1,000 police officers.

And the sad truth is, the position they've now got themselves into is of a completely self-made nature. Why on earth, when they realised they were in a minority Government position, didn't they quickly state they would have to re-assess their manifesto commitments and come forward with an achievable 'Programme for Government'?

In 1999 the Coalition Parties negotiated a "Partnership for Scotland" - a joint programme of their respective manifestos, with some things added and some dropped - and in 2003, again, the Coalition Parties negotiated a "Programme for Government" - a coming together of their respective manifestos, with some things added and some dropped.

Yet in 2007 despite being in a minority position, the SNP came forward with a "Programme for Government" that included almost every one of their election manifesto commitments - they produced this 'programme' in early September in the full knowledge they had only 47 out of 129 MSPs ... surely someone in their inner-circle must have realised that what was published in September was unachievable given the make-up of the Parliament and finances available?

Back in mid-May, when it became obvious we were looking at a minority Government, I don't think many people would have baulked if the SNP had said ... "okay, we don't have a Parliamentary majority, we'll need to carefully assess what we can definitely deliver from our manifesto and come back with an amended 'Programme for Government' in due course".

But no, from May-September they didn't go through that process and have stuck (almost to a word) with their original commitments, many of which - given Parliamentary arithmetic and available finance - will simply not be deliverable.

Bravado? ... naivety? ... I'm not sure; but I do think it's been a huge tactical error. There needs to be some honesty now about what they can and can't do.

I would stop digging.


Ray Merrall said...

Some one, in the SNP forgot that all the pie in the sky pre-election promises were supposed to have been lost in the post election coalition discussions with the Lib Dems.
Unfortunately, the "flexible cards" of the Lib Dems didn't fall over to kiss Alex's arrointed ring.
The LibDems have their own problems - like how to get people to forget their own flying pigs of pre-election promises.
And already we can see the problems that Spinning Jenny has trying to run the city instead of having the pleasure of sniping from the shadows, or of trying to control Comrade Cardownski from saying too many nasty things about the LibDems while he is trying to use an icepick on them.
Great Knock about Fun - but not a way to run a city or a country.

Andrew said...


I sort of agree ... but my main 'point/worry' is that the obscufation that the SNP are now going through is just further damaging the political class - which is a tainted-enough brand as it is :-(