In the UK, the Tories have edged into the lead in the latest Guardian/ICM opinion poll. While New Labour’s support for benefit cuts, government spending plans and the entire neo-con agenda means it makes no difference who is in power at Westminster, residual voter tribal loyalty to these moribund and corrupt parties remains the basic fact of “mainstream” politics, even after the voters have twigged the politicians are almost all self-serving crooks.
That is important for Scotland, as the perception of continued Tory rule at Westminster will increase the independence vote. By the Autumn it is going to be very clear the Tories are in power until 2020. But will that perception enter the public consciousness before September 18 2014? Charles Clarke, ever anxious to stab his colleagues in the back – a defining Labour trait – is doing his best to make it clear.