…has for the last 14 years been the None Of The Above Party.
On the image above, we’ve added, for parties active in Scotland only, striped circles indicating each party’s 2010 position. But what does it tell us about 2015?
Some readers have been a bit dispirited by the findings of our Panelbase poll this week, which revealed a few quite socially-conservative views among the Scottish population and also found fairly small differences of opinion between Scots and the rest of the UK on a number of issues.
But to be downhearted about the findings is to miss a whole series of points.
Depending on how you choose to look at things (and where you live), this next tranche of data is going to either cheer you up a little bit or make you feel even worse.
We note with interest that the remarkable “I am not and have never been a Unionist” article about Jim Murphy, which vanished last night from the Daily Record website for several hours, has reappeared today. As far as we can see at a glance it’s the same as the original version with one slight alteration.
We’re not sure that was worth all the effort, lads. For most Scots, including a great many in the Labour Party, those are two interchangeable terms.
Owen Jones in the Guardian, 7 September 2014:
“New Labour’s surrender to the underlying assumptions of the Thatcherite crusade gave the independence movement its greatest opportunity. Yes, the Blairites could not entirely purge Labour’s traditions, and so the minimum wage was introduced (albeit at too low a level), poverty was reduced and public services were invested in.
Yet they illegally invaded Iraq with Conservative support, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and 179 British military personnel before handing much of the country over to fanatics. They punished aspiration by introducing tuition fees, saddled public services with long-term debt through the colossal rip-off of PFI, and began privatising our NHS – laying the foundations for some of the pernicious policies of this coalition as they did so.
They allowed the living standards of millions of working people to begin falling years before the crash, even as the coffers of corporate Britain prospered like never before. They failed to solve an ever-worsening housing crisis, leaving 5 million languishing on council housing waiting lists. They cut taxes on corporate Britain while indulging in entirely destructive gimmicks such as scrapping the 10p tax rate.
Seems to pretty much cover it.
The Telegraph, 10 August 2014:
“Policy Exchange, a think tank with close links to the Conservative Party, will later this month publish a report calling for the government’s £26,000 benefits cap to be lowered outside London to reflect the lower cost of living.
Nice to have a range of democratic options about punishing the poor, isn’t it, Britons?
Kudos is due to the Daily Record today, which has a large and prominent feature about NHS surgeon Dr Philippa Whitford, with whom readers should be familiar. Her message, from a position of knowledge and authority, of the fate awaiting the NHS on both sides of the border is a powerful one and makes a strong case for a Yes vote.
Obviously, that upsets both Labour and the No campaign very much.
There’s an interesting article on the Guardian today from the invariably-excellent former music journalist John Harris entitled “The crisis in the Labour party goes much deeper than Ed Miliband”, which looks at how a 280-page policy document published this month by the Labour-leaning IPPR thinktank was boiled down by the party for public and media consumption to “cutting benefits for young people”.
That got us to thinking about something, but luckily before we’d wasted too much time on thinking we discovered that Labour Uncut had helpfully already done the research we were about to embark on for us.