Preserved for posterity in case of sudden vanishing, but also because we just couldn’t face writing another post about “The Vow” today.
This is a real thing that you can buy on Amazon and iTunes. If you chose to be British last month, this is what “British” means in 2014. Enjoy it.
Scotland is one of the more dramatic areas of Labour decline (it’s now the party’s second-worst “region”), but it’s far from alone. Fewer than 80% of Labour’s 2010 general election supporters now say they’ll vote Labour in 2015. The party is shedding votes everywhere and in every demographic group, as the post notes in detail.
With barely six months to the election, Labour’s average poll lead down to around 1%, UKIP continuing to grow and the expected traditional incumbency effect, it’d be a brave voter indeed who’d put a fiver on the increasingly hapless Ed Miliband taking the keys to 10 Downing Street next year.
There’s a rather curious piece in today’s Sunday Times by the UK’s only known living psephologist, the estimable Prof. John Curtice of Strathclyde University. In it he rather blows his cover of impartiality by framing his comments as an anti-SNP warning, but nevertheless raises an interesting point, while adding to the enormous pressure on the unfortunate Smith Commission.
It’s worth taking a moment to ponder the impossibility of its task.
This is how many Scottish Labour M/SPs turn out to save their own cushy jobs:
The Guardian today carries an article by Gordon Brown, which echoes the content of his speech to the House Of Commons on Thursday. We’ve read it over and over again trying to make any sort of coherent sense out of it, but we’ve drawn a blank. The mighty architect of “The Vow” appears to have not the slightest idea what he actually proposes as a constitutional settlement for the UK and Scotland.
But perhaps we’ve missed something.
Mark Steel in the Independent, 16 October 2014:
“Maybe one way they can reverse this is to try a more forthright approach, and to start with they could say: ‘If the Scottish are so daft as to believe our vow, maybe that proves they’re not fit to run their own country anyway, the idiots.'”
Craig Murray said something quite similar recently from the other side, as it were, and at the moment we’re finding it quite tough to disagree with either of them.
The Evening Standard, 16 October 2014:
The Evening Standard panel decided Mr Osborne is London’s most influential person because of his willingness to invest in the capital despite pressure for the Treasury to spend the money in other parts of Britain.”
Nice to know he’s looking after your money, isn’t it?
We didn’t notice this piece in Scotland on Sunday three weekends ago, because we were on holiday and, well, it was in Scotland on Sunday. But it seems odd that nobody (including SoS) has picked up on its ramifications at the time or since, because if it’s true then it would officially and conclusively mark the complete abandonment of the “vow” all three Westminster party leaders made to Scottish voters prior to the referendum, just 10 days after Scots voted to believe that vow.
And you’d think that’d be bigger news.
Gordon Brown is expected to be up on his hind legs again in the Commons today – a second appearance in a week that’ll almost certainly be the mainly-absent opposition backbencher’s busiest period of activity in Parliament since the 2010 election.
He’ll be inexplicably getting time to lay out his views on devolution again, despite having absolutely no power to implement them, and it seems reasonable to imagine that he’ll spend a fair bit of time on the contents of the infamous “vow” he brokered days before the Scottish independence referendum.
One line of that vow ran “We agree that the UK exists to ensure opportunity and security for all by sharing our resources equitably across all four nations”. And as “pooling and sharing resources” was Mr Brown’s catchphrase during the campaign, we thought it might be worthwhile taking a look at what that means in practice.
This morning’s Daily Record has a rather panicky-sounding editorial complaining that Yes supporters, from the First Minister down, are refusing to “move on” from the referendum result and are complaining about “betrayal”, especially in the light of yesterday’s joke of a Commons debate. The Record calls for unity and also talks, hilariously, of the “settled will of the Scottish people”.
(What is it, exactly, that the will of the Scottish people is meant to have settled on, given that they had and still have no idea which powers a No vote would bring?)
It rather smacks of the accused in a murder trial saying “Look, sure, I killed and butchered your wife and children, but that was MONTHS ago, let’s just forget about it and get back to normal”, but it’s not actually the point.
Because it’s not the referendum result that most people feel betrayed by. It’s not even the behaviour of the Unionist parties since the vote.
The entity in the dock here is the Daily Record itself – which still claims to be the most-read newspaper in Scotland, although the Scottish Sun sells more copies – and it’s charged with the serious crime of knowingly and deliberately lying to the people of Scotland, while proclaiming itself to be their “Champion”.