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Archive for the ‘uk politics’


The Weasel 120

Posted on February 26, 2017 by

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.

khantweet

“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?

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The tyranny of majorities 287

Posted on February 21, 2017 by

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.

bushref

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.

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Equal partners 392

Posted on February 11, 2017 by

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A division of principles 346

Posted on February 09, 2017 by

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.

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Bringing it on 374

Posted on February 02, 2017 by

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.

fallon

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.

In the dead of the night 334

Posted on February 01, 2017 by

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.

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Not you, Scotland 149

Posted on January 31, 2017 by

The Tories yesterday:

mayroi1

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Time catches up with us all 342

Posted on January 29, 2017 by

Here’s the Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon 10 months ago:

zahawi1

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Call the experts 850

Posted on January 26, 2017 by

Because when you really want people with their finger on the pulse of Scottish politics to analyse the implications of the Supreme Court decision on Brexit, where else would you go but to Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff, to hear from um, former rugby league star and haircut pioneer Martin Offiah?

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The simpler version 292

Posted on January 26, 2017 by

Way back in October last year we analysed what now seems to have become the key plank of Unionist argument against independence in the wake of Brexit – the idea that because Scotland does more trade with the rest of the UK than it does with the EU, independence would be economic suicide because Scotland would be sacrificing “the UK single market” (a thing that doesn’t actually exist ) for a much smaller one.

wto

It’s a completely idiotic position, but to be honest we didn’t do a very good job of boiling the counter-argument down to something snappy and quoteable, so let’s have another go and see if we can manage something a little better.

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Fooled you again 564

Posted on January 24, 2017 by

Supreme Court ruling just in: “LOL SUCKERS!”

sewel

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A useful reminder 243

Posted on January 17, 2017 by

Every day from now until indyref 2.

jhbrexit



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