So Nicola Sturgeon, Leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party and First Minister for Scotland won the Great Debate last night. It is ironic and hilarious that she wants to break up the DisUnited Kingdom. The two great rivals David Cameron (Conservative) and Ed Milliband (Labour) were underwhelming.
It has led to some amusing English “tweets” that people would vote SNP in England.
Should SNP put up candidates in England? Well…hardly. But the policies of SNP …left of centre…do actually resonate with the voters that the British Labour Party have abandoned in the unholy rush to the “centre ground” where conventional wisdom says elections are won and lost.
Yet there is a curious precedent…..T P O’Connor, journalist was Irish Nationalist MP for a Liverpool (England) constituency. Scotland Road …or “Scottie Road” as the Scousers would say was the centre of the Liverpool-Irish community from post-Famine Ireland (1840s) right up to the Beatles era of the 1960s.
Indeed Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral is known as “Paddy’s Wigwam”.
But the story of 19th Century electoral reform is the story of Catholic Emancipation, Increased Education, Literacy and the increase in the franchise especially after the Reform Act in 1884.
Thus the 1885 Election changed the face of British Politics and would have far reaching effects …not least in Ireland. One of the new Members of the new Westminster Parliament was Tay Pay (T P) O’Connor….representing Liverpool-Scotland (sic) and elected by those post-Famine refugees. He represented the Irish Nationalist Party. So curiously, the Irish Nationalists had a MP on the British mainland.
Even more curiously, Tay Pay was a MP for the Nationalists until 1929, years after the Irish Free State (later Republic of Ireland) was established. He was even “Father of the House” (the honoury title given to the longest serving MP).
There is also a connexion to Texas. O’Connor was married to a daughter of a District Attorney from San Antonio.