Bring it On?

There has been much blogging comment* on Plaid and the SNP's use of their opposition day motion to call for an immediate dissolution of parliament. Most of it has been supportive.

If the Tories and the Lib Dems stick to their principals and support the motion, and if enough peeved Labour MPs either support it or abstain then there is a very slight chance that the move might be successful.

There is no doubt that by pushing for an election in a practical way that the national parties are capturing the mood of the country (as the pundits say). They will be supported by the vast majority of the good people of these islands on this occasion. If successful they might have a big publicity boost that may benefit them in a forthcoming General election. But, there are dangers in their posturing too.

In 1979 it was support from the SNP that was the decisive factor in passing a vote of no confidence in the Callaghan government. The election that followed was the beginning of Thatcherism and 18 years of Tory government.

Thatcherism was not particularly welcome in Wales or Scotland, and Labour made hay out of the fact that it was the nationalists who paved Mrs T's way to Downing Street by virtue of the SNP voting yea in the no confidence vote.

A silly argument, of course. If the vote had been won by Jim he could have limped on for a few more months and Labour would still have been decimated in the polling booths. Mrs T would still have become PM, Tory history would not have been different. However the charge of letting Thatcher in did harm the advances of both Plaid and the SNP.

If the national parties win the vote next Wednesday there is little doubt that it will be the first step towards another long period of Tory government in Westminster. A government that will not be popular in either Scotland or Wales, and a government that Labour will, yet again, be able to blame the nationalists for.

Bring it on? Perhaps not!

*Some blogs on the SNP/Plaid debate:
SNP Tactical Voting
Penri James
Che Grav-ara
Politics Cymru
Plaid Monmouth
Andrew Nutt

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