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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Scottish stories

As voters go to the polls in the Glasgow East by-election the fate of Gordon Brown allegedly hangs in the balance. It is widely acknowledged that the SNP are the main challengers though I expect the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate to make a fight of it. Consequently, there has been a fair amount of movement between Wales and Scotland as Plaid Cymru activists head north to assist their nationalist brethren.

Those Plaid members may be interested in a piece in this week's Private Eye about the way the SNP are shaping up in government. The magazine tells us that the SNP had intended to re-regulate Scotland's buses, which provide publicly funded services. But just before the party became the Scottish Government it received a handy £500,000 donation from Stagecoach boss, Brian Souter and promptly dropped the idea.

This is a phenomenon that New Labour will be familiar with given the UK Government's decision to exempt Formula One from its ban on tobacco advertising following a completely unrelated £1m donation to Labour from Bernie Ecclestone.

The Welsh Assembly will shortly be considering a Legislative Competence Order tabled by Labour backbencher, Huw Lewis that could lead to the re-regulation of the buses in Wales. It will be interesting to see whether those with investments in transport in Wales will oppose this proposal.
the lib dems are struggling to hold their deposit...
Well, SNP did it! Can Gordon Brown possibly recover from this?
by making a fight of it did you mean lose deposit?
I think it is fairly obvious that the Scottish Lib Dem vote was squeezed so as to accomodate a strong anti-Labour vote in favour of the SNP who were perceived as the main challengers. It is a well known phenomena. Sometimes the Lib Dems benefit from it, at other times we do not. It is no reflection on our standing nationally and in another seat where we are in second place against Labour it is likely that such a pincer movement would help us to win.
I hope the Plaid women's brigade will be very pleased with the fact that their party also helped to elect a man with frankly stone-age views on a woman's right to choose.
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