It was a good turnout today in Edinburgh - the BBC website estimated "hundreds" of campaigners but it seemed to me there was up to a thousand, with the same number of spectators lining the south side of Princes Street. The regimental associations led off in order of seniority with a few dozen unaffiliated types at the back, myself included. The march was well-received with lots of applause from the spectators and one amusing banner atteacted much applause and comments - it read "Hoon's a Balloon" which seemend to go down well. The speeches were good, particularly Brig Barnett. The earth did not move and I am sure that TCH is hardly quaking in his shoes at this moment. However, if each of the 2,000 or so marchers and spectators tell 3 friends "don't vote Liabour" and their 3 friends tell 3 friends each, then that is a message sent directly to 54,000 people. Add on the media coverage also, and a clear reason not to vote Liabour has been sent to a lot of people. This will influence them in deciding which box to tick at election time. On the face of it, regimental amalgamations and cutbacks may not seem crunch issues to change people's votes but there are other factors involved. The Scottish Parliament is very unpopular because of a massive overspend on its own building (funny old thing) and poorly performing health services (worse than England and Wales; there are at least 3 unpopular hospital closures/mergers I could list off the top of my head) with council tax increases. Add onto that the unpopularity of the Iraq war and this gives a potent brew for dissent. Now, the MSPs are not due to stand for election until 2007, but the argument that "health is a devolved matter" probably won't register too highly in the minds of voters wishing to send a clear message to Bliar and Liabour. Watch for a thinning of the Scottish Liabour MP ranks in 2005, and a drubbing for Liabour UK-wide. Hopefully the excellent STSR campaign will continue with the fielding of election candidates and a tactical voting campaign. It is crucial that alliances with opposition parties are maintained and built because, under certain circumstances, it may be best to allow a single candidate a clear run at a seat - for example, if there is a particularly contentious hospital closure and a single-issue anti-closure candidate with a lot of local support. Selection and maintenance of aim - Bliar out in 2005!