Notes on the General Election of 2015
09 May 2015
It felt like a hypothetical football match. A beautiful Saturday in May watching Ross County in Dingwall taking Celtic apart, breaking all sorts of records with a 9-0 scoreline, only to realise we've been relegated due to results elsewhere.
I stayed up all night for the 2011 Holyrood election, and by the next morning I was giddy with the excitement of the night. It was one of the best 12 hours entertainment I'd ever had. I did the same on Thursday, and it should have been even better, but it wasn't.
Yes, there were some real highlights. Two of them reflect poorly on me: Tom Harris saying early on that "if you've bet on me, you should consider your money lost"; Ian Davidson asked if Jim Murphy should resign, responding "'course he should" - both cases of me enjoying someone else's discomfort.
But yes, I also punched the air for Mhairi Black, Chris Stephens, Drew Hendry and dozens of others as the results were read out.
Nevertheless, I had invested a lot of hope in the overall result being an SNP supported Labour government, and for it not to come off has been a major let-down.
Labour had put forward some policies I strongly support from reform of the House of Lords to ending non-dom tax status. And I also thought that a minority government being kept in place by the SNP was the best chance for reform of First Past the Post as both major parties might see it as being to their benefit. And although none of this was rock-solid as Labour had failed to keep these kinds of promises in the past, I did see Ed Miliband as being sincere, even if I don't think a lot of his comrades are.
So I had hope that the UK was about to move in the direction I want it to, and which it has failed to do for most of my life. In effect this was the UK's chance to get back in my good books.
And it failed - it failed drastically.
I wrote after the referendum that I was no longer a nationalist, I was someone who wanted to live in a better, fairer, more democratic country, and that independence was just one way to achieve that. That's still the case, but what hope am I supposed to have in the UK changing now?
It doesn't really matter to me why the people of England and Wales voted for the Conservatives over Labour. Whether it's because they really support Conservative values or because they hate the idea of SNP members having some power at Westminster. In either case, it's pretty much becoming impossible to think of them as my countrymen, as people who want to live in the same kind of country as I do.
As Nicola Sturgeon has had to say to Jackie Bird et al, over and over again, this election wasn't about independence. Despite everyone except the SNP trying to make it so, it wasn't about independence. We've had a 7 month interregnum where the UK had a chance to look at itself and sort itself out. For me, that's over now. From now on it IS all about independence, and in a way I'm sad about that.