Archive for the ‘uk politics’
Our favourite bit is at 27m 52s.
None of the tweets below are true.
Scottish leader Willie Rennie on today’s Sunday Politics Scotland:
We saw this exchange on Twitter this morning, involving left-wing Labour activist Eoin Clarke, a reader, and Scottish Labour list MSP Elaine Smith.
Smith professed to find it “unbelievable” and “scary” that the reader thought he’d had Tory governments for most of his lifetime. (We asked him how old he was and he said 34, which means he’s had Tory governments for 62% of his life, so that checks out.)
But it’s a standard Scottish Labour line that there’s no real difference between Scottish and English voters in terms of favouring left-wing politics, so we thought we’d just quickly check the arithmetic on that. The results are unlikely to shock you.
It’s important to note, firstly, that the version of Sadiq Khan’s speech to the Scottish Labour conference he tweeted on Saturday morning simply flat-out said that Scottish nationalists were the same as racists and sectarian bigots. Its meaning was as clear as crystal to the Daily Record, a newspaper which is hardly hostile to Khan’s party.
“No difference” is a stark and unambiguous phrase. The speech did not contain the hastily-added qualifiers about “in this respect” and “of course I’m not saying the SNP are racist” which suddenly appeared when he read it out onstage that afternoon.
But which version did he really mean?
The reliably-wise Stephen Bush of The New Statesman said something perceptive yesterday on the subject of an EU referendum, although it applies much more widely.
It’s a view we’ve held for many years, most often in relation to UK governments ruling with huge majorities won on pretty tiddly pluralities of the vote (often in the mid-30%s), where the bulk of the electorate has no defence against a party it didn’t vote for.
Despite an electoral system that makes such events far rarer, the phenomenon crops up a lot in Scotland too, and both sides are guilty, often on the same subject. Scottish employment figures, for example, alternate with almost metronomic regularity between being higher/lower than those in the rest of the UK, and whichever it is in any given month one side or the other will trumpet it as conclusive and permanent proof that Scotland’s governance is better/worse than that of London.
(Even though Holyrood in fact has almost no power over the economy, so deserves little of either the blame or credit, whichever applies that month.)
The most common case, though, is Trident.
Below is part of a segment from Monday’s edition of Good Morning Scotland (from 2h 35m at the link beneath the clip), which featured an interview with Professor Allyson Pollock, an extremely experienced academic in the field of healthcare on both sides of the border who so far as we know has no dog in the Scottish constitutional fight.
(Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, 6 February 2017)
We thought it was worth the infinite pain of transcription to get it down in writing.
These are the comments of UK defence secretary Michael Fallon in a short interview with today’s Herald. We don’t know about you, folks, but to us it feels like Christmas.
We think our favourite line is “There are other voices in Scotland now, not least Ruth Davidson’s”, but there are a lot to choose from.
This is Conservative MP Dominic Raab, a member of the Brexit Select Committee, speaking on the BBC News Channel’s “Hard Talk” programme at 00.45 this morning. Perhaps imagining that nobody would be watching at such an ungodly hour, it seems he felt able to be unusually candid.
We left the last bit on in order to demonstrate that he was still talking about Scotland as well as Ireland. (He went on to recite the usual boilerplate about all leaving together as the UK etc etc, you can watch the whole show for yourself on iPlayer.)
But let’s just get that key early exchange down in writing for the record.