History is about to repeat itself and once again, Scotland plays a leading role.
In 1990, Thatcher was driven from office by her own Party after 11 (great) years in absolute power. Scotland delivered the final blow in its reaction to the trial of the infamous Poll Tax. Heseltine, the big noise of the then Tory Party, had previously dithered over the assassination, trying all manner of underhand tactics to prompt revolt. The departure of such a powerful leader exposed the shallowness of spirit in those left behind and the complete absence of talent or leadership.
In the end, the apparently dominant Heseltine failed to secure the leadership as the Party chose to “play safe” behind the featureless charisma vacuum that was Mr Major. The Government and, frankly, the country descended into unseemly decay. Scotland did for Thatcher and the Tories haven’t managed to win more than one seat North of the Border ever since.
In the next few months, Scotland will once again provoke political chaos, and, albeit in a slightly different way, the outcome will be the same. Power will be usurped, a talentless inner lining will be exposed, and the dominant figure will stumble in the final straight as a divided and rudderless party loses its nerve.
Scotland, Gordon Brown’s personal fiefdom, is set to go to the polls in 60 odd days to elect MSP’s to a Parliament that only exists because our current Government made it so. The polls suggest however, that they will express their thanks by voting Labour out of office in favour of the Nationalist SNP. Thanks indeed. Scots were never known for their sense of humour.
This time Scotland will do for the “Prince Regent” at the moment of transition, and the Labour Party will panic and play safe. This time, however, the Opposition are ready and waiting and there will be no extended death throes.
Gordon Brown, broken and furious, will never understand how his own people conspired to use the liberty he helped to give them to betray him.
The moral of the story, if that is what you are looking for, is that politics is a ruthless business not for the fainthearted. Power must be acquired and retained by fair means or foul. Most of all, if you don’t take control of your destiny, your destiny will crumble to dust before your very eyes.
Oh yes, and Scotland may be very beautiful but its residents are a political liability! I feel the onset of a new metaphor. Alongside the "Trojan Horse" perhaps we should have the "Scottish handgrenade".