The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Author Archive


Going down a bad road 57

Posted on September 27, 2019 by

You now have less than 24 hours left to secure your copy of our intermittent cartoonist Mr Cairns’ latest beautifully-crafted volume of biting political satire featuring a cute lion. (No, not the one pictured below.)

For the love of God please don’t upset him or we’ll get more like this.

Lord Pannick on the streets of London 721

Posted on September 24, 2019 by

So the Supreme Court has delivered its brutal verdict. The prorogation of Parliament was completely unlawful and now, in effect, never happened. Parliament is officially still in session. The same Parliament that has stupendously failed to solve Brexit for three years can reconvene and continue to fail to solve it. What now?

Jeremy Corbyn stood up a few minutes ago at the Labour conference and demanded that Boris Johnson stand down immediately and hold a general election, as did several other opposition leaders. Which, alert readers may recall, is what Johnson tried to do, twice, barely a fortnight ago, and was blocked by the opposition.

Presumably if he tries again, they all now have to cooperate and vote for it, even though the dissolution of Parliament would render the Benn bill requiring him to ask the EU for an extension first null and void. So there’ll be a general election held on the subject of “Who rules the country – the people or the courts?”, which is what Johnson wanted all along. Um, victory?

.

PS Fun trivia fact: UK electoral law requires 25 working days between the dissolution of Parliament and the date of a general election. There are exactly 27 working days (inclusive) between now and 31 October.

Labour and Brexit: clarity at last 130

Posted on September 23, 2019 by

Labour just had a vote at their party conference to decide on their Brexit policy. On a close show of hands, the party voted not to have a policy on Brexit until after the next general election, and – we promise you we’re not making any of this up – delegates immediately demanded to have another vote to overturn that vote.

A few minutes later, Momentum activist Cathleen Clarke and former Tony Blair adviser John McTernan appeared on Sky News to sort it all out for confused viewers.

Good luck in the next few months, everyone.

A whole sackful of ferrets 213

Posted on September 22, 2019 by

“Flounders” might have been a more appropriate animal.

It’s painfully entertaining viewing, but Gordon Brewer’s persistence pays off right at the end as we finally discover that Scottish Labour’s answer is “No – even if a clear majority of Scottish people vote for parties explicitly calling for a second independence referendum, and return a majority of pro-indy MSPs to Parliament, we will not consider that sufficient support.”

Which would mean there was no democratic route left open to Scotland to achieve independence. So what is it that he suggests we do?

Read the rest of this entry →

Song for 18 September 2019 106

Posted on September 18, 2019 by

Why the Lib Dems are idiots 264

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

The letter 278

Posted on September 10, 2019 by

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

So we had a look.

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Read the rest of this entry →



↑ Top