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Song for 18 September 2019 106

Posted on September 18, 2019 by

Why the Lib Dems are idiots 262

Posted on September 16, 2019 by

Yeah, we know, that could be a really long article. But we have a specific thing in mind.

Over the last few days, Jo Swinson and Willie Rennie have both endured toe-curling interviews trying to defend the comically-indefensible hypocrisy of the party’s positions on Brexit and independence.

(If you haven’t been following, official policy now is that a Lib Dem election win is a clear and unimpeachable mandate to carry out their manifesto promises, but an SNP election win isn’t a mandate to carry out theirs.)

But it’s not the mere crass, transparent hypocrisy that makes them stupid.

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From the Information Commissioner 380

Posted on September 11, 2019 by

We’d almost forgotten the delirious pleasure of having something to write about that isn’t sodding Brexit, so thank heavens for this email today:

It’s the outcome of a case that we’ve been pursuing since February, and while it’s a very welcome step it’s still not quite good enough.

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Wet Blanket Department 253

Posted on September 11, 2019 by

In normal times we’d at least find today’s landmark defeat of the UK government in a Scottish court amusing. But these are not normal times, and at the present moment our toxic loathing of every politician in Westminster makes it a bitter fruit.

Although we must admit this bit still did manage to raise a smile:

(The reason, incidentally, is that the English High Court wasn’t sitting in August.)

What does it all actually mean, though? Well, nothing good.

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The letter 278

Posted on September 10, 2019 by

We saw this earlier, and thought “Oh God, what now?”

So we had a look.

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Narrow windows 433

Posted on September 08, 2019 by

Supporters of the opposition’s plan to block a no-deal Brexit have been proclaiming vindication this weekend over a couple of polls which show significantly lower support for the Tories, and a lead for Labour, in the event that a general election is called after 31 October with Brexit not having happened.

In that scenario, Tory voters tell pollsters that they’re more likely to defect to the Brexit Party, and the resulting split in the Brexit vote appears to point towards a Labour-led government if you plug the figures into a site like Electoral Calculus.

The reality is much more complicated than that. But what we’re specifically interested in is how it would affect the chances of securing a second indyref, so let’s take a look.

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The British sense of fair play 159

Posted on September 07, 2019 by

We’ve talked about this subject before, but a couple of findings in a new poll today by Survation really caught our eye.

And that tells us something quite profound about the UK’s voters.

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Hopeless times 416

Posted on September 06, 2019 by

Sitrep: we’ve given up any hope of turning on the television and seeing a politician – any politician – telling the truth.

Boris Johnson is lying about negotiating a new deal with the EU. Jeremy Corbyn is lying about pretty much everything (in so far as he even knows what he wants the truth to be, let alone what it actually is). Jo Swinson is lying about wanting to meaningfully work with other parties to stop Brexit. Nicola Sturgeon is lying about wanting to stop a no-deal Brexit – she just wants to stop Brexit full stop.

(Unfortunately, this also means she’s lying about having any real intention of holding a second independence referendum before 2021. If she did, she wouldn’t have all her MPs and MSPs frantically running around parliaments and courtrooms trying to destroy her own democratic mandate for it, which would leave her needing to secure a fresh one 20 months from now. And assuming she’d have any more idea how to put it into practice than she has with the ones she’s already got.)

The government is lying about the fact that it doesn’t have confidence in itself, and the opposition is lying about the fact that it does. Everyone now says they want an election, but somehow it isn’t happening because nobody wants it yet, and nobody can agree when they DO want it, and they’re all lying about why.

And absolutely everyone is lying about the fact that whatever they’re trying to do right now has any chance of solving the present shambles. Johnson is just stalling to run the clock down until no-deal, although he swears blind that he isn’t, and the opposition just wants to drag the whole agony out for several more months with not the slightest clue what they’d actually do then.

Grimly, the closest thing that British voters currently have to an honest man is Nigel Farage, who is at least clear about what he wants and what he’s prepared to do to get it. Which is ironic, as he’s only anywhere near getting it because he’s spent his entire political career lying through his teeth about it.

We don’t mind telling you, folks, it’s been pretty hard to get up in the mornings.

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Chaos and conspicuous lounging 441

Posted on September 04, 2019 by

So, British politics, eh? We’re basically on strike until things make at least an iota of sense, because there’s no point in attempting political analysis right now when events can overtake you before you’ve finished typing a sentence.

But let’s just have a quick recap on what we know.

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The power of ideas 715

Posted on September 01, 2019 by

So it seems like our semi-idle musings about the possibility of starting a new list party for the Scottish Parliament generated some interest last month.

(That’s more than the whole of 2018, more than the whole of 2017, and over five times the previous biggest single month since we moved to our current stats provider in December 2014.)

But yeah, nobody cares and it’d be certain to fail, apparently.

How numbers work, with Paul and John 241

Posted on August 30, 2019 by

We just watched a nine-minute segment on Sky News, purportedly on the subject of “Is the Union between Scotland and England under threat?”, which for maximum balance and impartiality included views from both Labour and the Tories – in the forms of Paul Sweeney MP and John Lamont MP – but nobody else.

Both men spouted some quite extraordinary claims, all of which went unchallenged by presenter Adam Boulton. Let’s just take a quick look at a couple of the best ones.

Wait, what?

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Coup versus coup 658

Posted on August 28, 2019 by

Today, a collection of UK politicians who were to all intents and purposes attempting to arrange a coup have been complaining that the government has beaten them to it by organising a coup against their coup. The fox has ambushed the chickens.

Boris Johnson’s move to prorogue Parliament for most of September and a chunk of October actually only represents a couple of weeks of extra holiday time for MPs – Westminster would be shut for most of the time in question anyway for party conference season.

The Commons would open for business again on 14 October, in time to debate the outcome of a crucial European Council summit on 17-18 October. If that meeting doesn’t provide any new deal – and it’s vanishingly unlikely that it will – then there’ll be no time for anything other than a no-deal Brexit.

But there wasn’t anyway.

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