- who is the largest party in Scotland.
- who will be First Minister.
- on what mysterious journey my ballot paper has been during the night.
Satisfied with the result locally. However, the way this election has been conducted, in Scotland, in 2007, makes me almost physically sick.
It does not make Scotland look good. It makes us look more like an Eastern European country before the wall came down. For whatever reason(s), the problems with postal votes and (b) the utterly shocking number of "spoilt" papers means that democracy has taken a bit of a backseat. 100,000+ papers not counted in a country of 5 million. Oh, and ballot boxes bursting open in Edinburgh, with forms being stuffed into carrier bags, the boxes themselves not being sturdy anymore but pathetic cardboard constructs vunerable to anything, software not working, remote communications not working, and not to mention the issues with transportation in Arran and here...
Locally, we had the first embarassment of the night in Scotland. To put a few things incorrectly mentioned on the news straight - there WAS NO BAD WEATHER IN THE OUTER HEBRIDES. Some complete d*ckhead, somewhere, decided that the helicopter would fly (seemingly at the last minute) from Inverness to the Outer Hebrides, then loop northwards picking up boxes on the way. Fog in Inverness meant no take-off - despite the Outer Hebrides having excellent weather, as confirmed by residents of Barra on the radio this morning. Worse, whoever was running this hadn't learnt from previous helicopter unreliabilities.
People - that is residents and taxpayers who live here - were fuming in Lochmaddy this morning. Nobody finds it funny. Everyone expects better.
The more sensible approach would have been:
- have the helicopter in Barra SOONER.
- have a decent back-up plan. Not "Ah well, we'll put the boxes somewhere overnight then take them on a ferry tomorrow".
- build a few weather-proof tunnels so this kind of shambles - and that's what it is - doesn't happen again.
- ban the returning officer, and any other person who says "Well, this kind of thing happens in the Western Isles" on national TV, from ever having any position of responsibility, or media exposure again.
Mr officer, on your appearance on national TV last night, you made the islands look backwards. You are a disgrace and an embarassment. You have an unacceptably poor attitude, and you don't fit into a modern island economy or infrastructure. Myself and many others here compete, against mainland companies, for mainland clients. With your unacceptable attitude you've given an almost retarded impression of these islands, which to put it very mildly, does not help local businesses. Do the right thing and resign. I hope you, and anyone else with your attitude, never holds a position of responsibility again.
Bottom line: just because we live on islands on the periphery doesn't mean the infrastructure should be unreliable. Far more remote communities in the periphery, in Norway, Finland, Lapland and beyond, wouldn't accept this. Why should we?
The future? As of early afternoon, the day after a supposedly hi-tech election, it looks like either Labour or the SNP being the largest party with a very narrow margin. This means four years of acrimony. Never a dull moment here.