Backlash of a whole nation forgotten by political classes in London
Published 09/05/2015 | 02:30
The wipeout of the Westminster parties in Scotland is a dramatic demonstration of how spectacularly their leaders have misunderstood the mood of the Scottish people by failing to see past their own political agenda.
Ed Miliband's vacuous "Hell yes, I'm tough enough" stance, which lead him to make hollow pronouncements about not working with the SNP in the event they had to share power, has left him with no power at all.
He either failed to realise, or arrogantly discounted, the fact that an alliance to create a more progressive political climate in the UK is precisely what most Scottish voters - and, no doubt, a large number of those south of the border too - want.
The triumph of the SNP in Scotland is not caused by the so-called "surge of nationalism" which Mr Miliband so witheringly referred to overnight - a comment which further demonstrates that he would rather blame a phantom menace than take responsibility for a defeat that he has brought upon himself and his party by his own policies.
The real problem was that in Scotland, in particular, he didn't listen to what the people were saying. A majority of Scots voted 'No' in the referendum, but have overwhelmingly made the choice to vote 'Yes' to the SNP in this election.
That's partly because, by voting for the SNP in the context of a general election, rather than an independence vote, they can express their desire to have Scottish voices heard, not necessarily by leaving the UK.
Most Scottish people want increased autonomy for Scotland, not for the sake of waving a flag, but because they want to live in a country that better reflects their values. Nicola Sturgeon clearly articulated those values, which is why she has gathered so much support. After her stand-out performance in the leaders' debate, people from all over the UK were asking if they could vote SNP - that's not nationalism, that's about people seeing a leader they felt they could trust.
Mr Miliband could have chosen to find common ground with her, and Labour and the SNP could have worked together to build a groundswell of support across the UK from all of those people - not just Scots - who don't feel properly represented by the London political classes.