Monday, April 12, 2010

Today is Liberation Day

Karl Marx once famously observed that the English are a free people for just one day every few years - general election day - and are slaves to their government the reminder of the time. (It's an open question whether he used the word 'English' in error or if he meant that the Scots, Welsh and Irish remain enslaved even on election day!) But the election process also brings about another kind of liberation that, while similarly transitory, at least lasts for a good few weeks. Perhaps you, like me, live in one of Labour's Scottish rotten burghs where the first-past-the-post electoral system has obediently delivered a Labour MP since the year dot. If so, congratulations - you don't anymore, at least for a little while. Your "local Labour MP" has no right to call themselves by that title from this day on - he or she is merely a humble candidate, on an equal footing with the SNP candidate and all the others.

So feel free to enjoy the clean, fresh air of your constituency's Labour-free status for the next three and a half weeks - but this time, for the good of everyone, let's hope that state of affairs is extended for considerably longer.

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