Tam's Tall Tales

- 20 Year Old Student Socks It To Labour

Mhairi Black at the Scottish National Party Conference

Scottish Nationalists Rout Labour in Scottish Election
The General Election of 8 May was a setback for the Labour Party in the UK (losing a net total of 26 seats) but a particular catastrophe in Scotland where they lost all but one of their previous forty one seats. The Conservative Party retained there one Westminster seat in Scotland but overall in the UK had a net gain of 24 seats, allowing them to form a government of the UK without needing the support of any other party.

The big winners in Scotland were the Scottish National Party (SNP) who increased the number of seats in the UK Parliament in London from 6 to 56, leaving Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats with one seat each in Scotland.

This drubbing will have consequences for many years and I am not all that well qualified to comment on it. Party politics is not really Rampant Scotland's thing. (Although the UK Houses of Parliament draped in a Scottish flag in the illustration here does emphasise that the SNP cleverly managed to capture Scotland's flag and make it a symbol of their political party).

However one or two quirky things have emerged from the election which have intrigued me in particular and I thought I would like to share with readers.

In April, Mhairi Black was a 20 year old student at Glasgow University. Now she is the SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South. She beat Douglas Alexander, a Labour big hitter and former minister - with a swing of 32% to the SNP. Her days of helping out at Crookston's Pizza Mario chip shop will soon become a distant memory.

She is the youngest MP to take her place in Westminster since records began following the Reform Act of 1832.

I have heard Ms Black on the radio and she comes over as a sassy, savvy and energetic individual who might go very far indeed. I am reminded of a young Margo Macdonald who had a great by-election win in Govan in 1973 and went on to be admired even by those who did not share her political views.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
May 2015

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