With just ten days to go until the 2015 UK General Election, I find myself sitting inside the little known members room of the Scottish National Party. Whilst it is mentioned on the party’s own website, I find myself on my own and with the company of nobody else except a library full of a variety of different political books and a selection of SNP memorabilia (but Kevin Pringle did pop into the room to say hello!).
Situated on Jackson’s Entry, next to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the SNP’s national headquarters are situated in the heart of the Scottish capital and near to other iconic places such as the Scottish Parliament and Our Dynamic Earth. It’s not a particularly massive place – when you take the lift up to the floor and enter through the door, you get the feeling that you’ve walked into a busy television newsroom. People are on their computers and busy working on the current campaign, the news channels are up on the television screens and there is a whirlwind of activity taking place. But I’m currently not spending my time in that dynamic environment. Instead, I’m sitting inside the dedicated members room and absorbing the environment around me.
The selection of books here vary from biographies of Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond (and yes, his famous new book is available to read here as well) to a Lonely Planet guide of Edinburgh and other various books about politics in general. There are even books about Sir Winston Churchill and Angela Merkel on the shelves here. If you are an SNP politico, then this is a happy environment for you. I am also embraced by pictorial memories of the party’s success’ in recent years – look across this blog entry. They do say a picture is worth a thousand words!
It’s actually quite bizarre and incredible that I am even sitting here. The Scottish independence referendum (alongside other things) last year shifted my political views so dramatically that I found that my own political preferences changed from previous times. And if you know me, then it’s the worst kept secret as to what way I will vote next week. Scottish politics has changed for good and there is no chance of a reversal of the state of affairs of politics north of the border. We have truly become the most enlightened nation politically across the globe, whether pro-independence or not. And personally for me, whilst I am neither left nor right, I am attracted to the idea of championing the country’s cause and ensuring that positive policies are delivered in the Scottish national interest. And I do believe in independence as well, but I know that is now off the table for the time being since last year’s result.
On a separate note, the latest TNS poll today has put the SNP on 54% of the vote for next week’s election. That would translate into 57 seats for Nicola Sturgeon’s party. Quite unbelievable. Personally, I will not get too carried away by the latest polling data, but it is safe to say that Scotland is about to witness the kind of change that absolutely nobody dared to think of (not even those of an SNP persuasion) on the morning of September 19th last year. Where will we be going after May 7th if the Scottish nation decides to send a majority of it’s Westminster MP’s in the grey and yellow tartan?
And what’s more, I will not encourage the idea of putting one hand on the trophy before any victory becomes official. Because, the final whistle has yet to blow.