The crisis is causing pain and major uncertainty. At Westminster the electoral response to this was the establishment of the Con/Dem Coalition. Their policies have added to the pain and to the questions.
In Scotland we’ve seen the election of a majority Scottish National Party (SNP) Government to the Edinburgh Parliament. For many the scale of the result was a surprise. The programme of the SNP Government has not addressed the crisis. Alone its policies never could. But some of the Salmond administration’s actions have provided a degree of continued social insulation for Scotland’s people.
Traditionally across Britain the assumed vehicle for socialist advance has been the Labour Party. Expectations have been inflated and depressed many times, but the recent history of war and the embracing of casino capitalism have done major damage. Devolution across Britain has allowed for differentiated responses to this. In Scotland it has led to two consecutive SNP victories at Holyrood. Labour disarray and a ‘successful’ minority administration contributing greatly to the second of these.
It is in this context that we now move towards a referendum on Scottish self-determination planned for autumn 2014. We need to think about what kind of Scotland we want.