Archive for the ‘europe’
Alert readers may recall as far back as July of last year, when we highlighted an odd thing that Scottish Labour branch manager Kezia Dugdale had started saying.
Regardless of the fact that it was total hooey, Dugdale repeated it every chance she got, and the inevitable Scottish-media consequences have duly followed.
Every day from now until indyref 2.
We’ll be honest with you, readers, we’re not looking forward to 2017 one little bit. It’s going to be the most tedious year in Scottish politics since we started this website, and perhaps since the advent of devolution.
Other than the mild distraction of the council elections in May – which are likely to be a bit of a damp squib due to the deadening effect of STV and the propensity of Labour and the Tories to do deals to keep the SNP out of power – pretty much nothing even a little bit interesting is going to happen.
All we ARE going to hear about is Brexit and the EU, over and over and over and over again, and everything we’re going to hear is the same empty, pointless, space-filling speculation we’ve already been hearing since June. So let’s just get it down, and then we can link to it every week and go and do something useful with our time instead.
Unionists got very excited last week about a YouGov poll for the Times which showed that not only had the post-Brexit bump in support for independence been undone, but that it was now (fractionally) below the level recorded in the indyref for the first time since the September 2014 vote.
(It was a slightly curious poll, with a massively disproportionate number – over 27% – of its respondents born outside Scotland, mostly from the rest of the UK, but it was weighted so that shouldn’t have been much of a factor. It also found majority support for a second EU referendum, despite a 30-point margin for Remain, but opposition to a second indyref despite the margin for the Union being just 12 points.)
Nevertheless, given that nothing’s happened since the end of June that ought to have damaged the case for Yes (the oil price is currently at a 12-month high, for example, almost twice what it was in January), the 10% drop in support is a troubling one for the independence movement.
But it shouldn’t be. Because what the poll shows is that there is currently a majority of people in Scotland prepared to vote for independence.
There’s been a running theme recently on Unionist social media.
It’s the claim that the No vote in 2014 was an anomaly – a rare victory of progressive, internationalist, inclusive politics over the anti-establishment, isolationist, separatist tone that won out in the EU referendum and now the election of Donald Trump.
Of course, the alternative view is rather simpler – that perhaps the forces that won the EU referendum and 2016 presidency also won the independence referendum.
Regular readers of this site will be impressed, if perhaps less than astonished, at the new high score achieved this week in the timeless game of McTernan Predicts:
It’s Siobhan again, readers.
Ever since Scottish Daily Mail political editor Alan Roden jumped ship to go and rearrange the deckchairs for Labour, his former paper has very noticeably toned down its hysterical “SNP BAD” content. We can go through the Mail for days on end now without finding some ludicrously distorted misrepresentation or screaming outrage piece about how a Nat MP found 20p down the back of their sofa without declaring it to HMRC or such.
The starting pistol hasn’t actually been fired on the two-year Brexit process yet, but now we have a clear statement of when it will be: this morning on The Andrew Marr Show, the Prime Minister pledged that it would happen before the end of next March.
When she gave a speech to the Conservative conference later, Theresa May did even more than that. By the common consensus of the punditariat – whatever that’s worth these days – May’s message was that the UK was heading for the “hard” version of Brexit, with the single market sacrificed for control of borders.
(We might end up broke, in other words, but at least we’ll be good old British broke, with none of those awful smelly foreign Euro-Johnnies around to see it.)
And nobody was getting a sick note.
And for supporters of independence, that’s about as good as news gets.