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Hubris: A Warning From History 125

Posted on January 17, 2020 by

We had a brief but semi-enlightening debate on Twitter with some daft young idiot from Scottish Labour this morning, which culminated in his desperately clutching at votes for the Tories and Lib Dems last month as somehow representing a victory for Labour.

Readers can pass an idle moment by identifying all the obvious logical flaws in that tweet for themselves, but it did lead us to a striking realisation, which we instinctively knew was true but still had to double-check because it seems so ridiculous.

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Prisoners of time 462

Posted on January 15, 2020 by

So we’ve got a couple of weeks to wait to find out what the SNP’s grand plan that they should have had ready yesterday was, and in the absence of anything better to do we suppose we might as well speculate on the possibilities.

WARNING: if you’re one of the decreasing rump of ultra-faithful still clinging to the idea of a new indyref in 2020, don’t build your hopes up.

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There Is No Plan A 301

Posted on January 14, 2020 by

So it’s finally official: Boris Says No. He’s formally done the thing that we’ve all known he was going to do ever since he became UK Prime Minister last July.

So what’s the stunning, game-changing counter-response we’ve got for him, having known for six months that this was what he’d say and had all that time to prepare for it? What’s the stroke of strategic genius that all those SNP loyalists insisted we had up our sleeve and just weren’t revealing until the key moment?

“We’re going to wait for however long it takes for the Westminster establishment to accept that another referendum is inevitable.”

Brilliant. What a plan. To the barricades, everyone.

The Toady And The Trap 291

Posted on January 09, 2020 by

Anyone who’s followed the UK political media over the last decade or so with specific reference to Scotland will know that in a very crowded field, the standout poster boy for arrogant, condescending metropolitan cluelessness is the Independent’s chief political commentator John Rentoul.

For reasons which escape us, Rentoul – who was born in India and as far as we know has spent not a single day of his life resident in Scotland – identifies as Scottish. And yet he doesn’t appear to even recognise the concept of Scotland as a political entity, and today he demonstrated that fact in a manner so stark and striking that it’s worth recording for posterity.

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From the archives #12 410

Posted on January 07, 2020 by

Over the last few days, for want of anything more interesting happening in Scottish politics, we’ve been reviewing some of the entertainingly fluid criteria by which Unionist politicians used to assert that Scotland could supposedly achieve independence. But we hadn’t seen this one before:

A view apparently “almost universally shared among English Tory backbenchers” back in the late 1980s was that independence could be won by the SNP securing a majority of Scottish MPs at not one but two successive UK general elections.

Given that that line has now been crossed in THREE Westminster elections in a row, we’re all agog to find where Boris Johnson will move the goalposts to in his keenly-awaited response to the Scottish Government’s second Section 30 request, which he’s due to deliver any minute now.

From the archives #11 95

Posted on January 06, 2020 by

We’ve never been able to actually confirm the oft-cited “quote” from Margaret Thatcher suggesting that the SNP winning a majority of Scottish seats at a UK election would constitute a mandate for independence, but here’s a verified more recent one from a then-serving Conservative PM.

“[John] Major has made it clear that a majority of SNP MPs after an election would serve as a mandate to begin negotiations for separation. There are no plans to hold a referendum”, said former Thatcher minister and party chairman Norman Tebbit a few months before the 1997 election.

It was a position the Tories held right up to 2010 – the last election at which the SNP didn’t win a majority of Scottish seats, at which point the goalposts magically shifted. Now, of course, the rule is that a majority of MPs doesn’t count, but you also can’t have a referendum.

Scotland is a prisoner without hope of parole. Time for a breakout.

The success story 212

Posted on January 05, 2020 by

We couldn’t help but raise a quizzical eyebrow at this assertion from SNP MP Pete Wishart in today’s Sunday National.

It was said in the specific context of securing a second indyref in 2020, and since such a referendum has NOT in fact been secured – and looks extremely unlikely to be – we wondered which other definition of “success” might be being used to justify the claim.

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From the archives #10 91

Posted on January 03, 2020 by

From less than 10 years ago:

A plebiscitary election? Now there’s an idea you don’t hear much any more.

Crossover content 171

Posted on January 01, 2020 by

Have a great 2020, readers. We’re still in the UK, for now.

(Pic by Rafal Miazga, from Woot! 2019 tape magazine for the ZX Spectrum.)

The Hillary Step 237

Posted on December 31, 2019 by

The 2010s end in a matter of hours, and everyone and their genderfluid dog is writing retrospectives of the 10 years just past. This site, which came into existence in the second year of the decade, has very little interest in following suit – we’ve always been about the future.

But a cursory glance over the shoulder does reveal one immediately striking fact that’s worthy of passing note.

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A radical idea 324

Posted on December 29, 2019 by

Gee, you think?

If only someone had said something before, eh readers?

Deny all that’s evil 190

Posted on December 25, 2019 by

Happy Christmas, readers.

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