By Allan McCombes
Alan McCombes is a member of SSP National Executive and was the coordinator
for the party's 2003 election campaign. He is a member of the Editorial
Board of Links.
For the complacent ruling establishment, the spectacular rise
of a new left opposition in Holyrood came like a snowstorm in the Sahara.
Right up until literally the midnight hour, the
SSP, the Greens and the independents had been ignored, or at best patronised, by the mainstream media.
Nothing prepared the political commentators for the shock of witnessing
the big four parties lose one and a quarter million votes across the two ballots; or
for the lurch to the left across Scotland and the election of seventeen radical
The centre right continues to rule Scotland through the Lib-Lab
coalition. But the political centre of gravity in Scotland has shifted decisively to the left.
There is now a clear red gulf separating Holyrood from Westminster. Scotland
has become the political Achilles heel of the UK capitalist state.