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Archive for the ‘analysis’


Diversionary pointing 131

Posted on July 19, 2019 by

From today’s lurid Scottish Daily Mail cover splash about a “£1 BILLION TAX BLACK HOLE” appearing in the Scottish budget “despite [imaginary] Nationalist tax hikes”:

But hang on a minute.

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Grasping the thistle 547

Posted on July 16, 2019 by

Last night, grudgingly, we watched the whole of the final Tory leadership debate, for a contest in which pretty much everyone believes Boris Johnson has already gathered enough votes to comfortably win even though there are several days of voting to go.

The headline outcome the media appears to be focusing on is that both candidates proclaimed the Irish backstop “dead”, to which the EU’s response will without a doubt be “Is it, aye?”

So where does that leave us? Let’s have an update.

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The four estates 235

Posted on July 07, 2019 by

There’s quite an interesting piece in today’s Sunday National detailing the extremely unequal representation of various parties on the BBC’s network politics shows in the last month, in which readers will be astonished to learn that the SNP (and Scotland in general) come off very poorly.

(Five appearances compared to eight for the Lib Dems, 40 for Labour and a startling 143 for the Tories.)

As it happened, it coincided with our coming by a list of people who’ve appeared on the Corporation’s nightly newspaper-review show, so we wondered whether the brave members of the press whose job it is to scrutinise politics independently might have redressed the balance somewhat.

Let’s find out.

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No-Independence Day 466

Posted on July 04, 2019 by

I went for a very long walk before writing this post, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing it in the heat of anger. But 8.5 miles and 18,753 steps later it still needs to be said and there’s no getting out of it, so batten down the hatches, folks.

Last night SNP MP Mhairi Black tweeted what may be the most ill-advised, destructive, offensive, repellent and just downright idiotic thing that I’ve ever seen an elected SNP member do. (Maybe not just the SNP.)

The video, bizarrely made for the amusement of readers of comedy lad-mag website Joe.co.uk, sees Black reading out a series of supposedly “transphobic” and “mean” tweets – almost all from women and only two of which were in any way rude – and reacting to them with a toxic mixture of arrogant condescension, mockery and insults, alongside a tirade of flatly wrong and endlessly-debunked myths.

It concludes with the smirking, sniggering suggestion that women, including survivors of male violence, who’ve expressed their serious concerns over reforms to the Gender Recognition Act – concerns shared by the overwhelming majority of women, and of the population as a whole – are “Jeremy Hunts”, a piece of rhyming slang that doesn’t need any translation.

The video pretty much speaks for itself, unfortunately, but let’s look at some highlights.

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Political Jargon For Dummies 90

Posted on July 01, 2019 by

Prospective new Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was interviewed on Sky News this morning, where she made the usual honking mess of the admittedly-impossible task that is trying to justify her party’s naked hypocrisy over second referendums.

Swinson indignantly insisted that “the SNP do not have a mandate for [a second indyref]”, a statement which we of course already know is unambiguously false.

The SNP campaigned in 2016 on an explicit pledge to have a new vote if Scotland was dragged out of the EU despite voting to Remain, and they won the election and formed the government, having secured more MSPs than Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems put together (63-60).

They then put their manifesto pledge to the Parliament, which voted for it by a clear majority of 54% to 46% (almost exactly the reverse of the 2014 referendum, routinely described by Unionists as an “overwhelming” majority).

Finally they campaigned on the same pledge in the 2017 UK general election, where they again won more seats than the three Unionist parties combined (35-24).

So that’s a pretty clear triple democratic and political mandate in any parliamentary democracy: a majority of MSPs, a majority of Scottish MPs and a majority of the Scottish Parliament. But since Jo Swinson doesn’t seem to recognise it, we wondered if she maybe just didn’t know what the word meant.

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Watching the world catch up 258

Posted on June 18, 2019 by

The UK’s political commentariat is afire with shock today over a new poll.

The poll showed that Tory members would by margins of around 2:1 willingly sacrifice Scotland and Northern Ireland – along with the UK economy and their own party – to make sure Brexit happened. Which is all very interesting, unless you read Wings in which case you knew it a year ago.

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Whoever wins, we lose 79

Posted on June 17, 2019 by

You could actually weep for some of the people in our country.

But the point Yes supporters understand and Unionists don’t is that it’s everything to do with the question – because “who is or might be Prime Minister, or which party is in government” is never our choice. It’s the choice of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland together. One of those countries outnumbers the others by 8 to 1.

More than that, it isn’t just who is Prime Minister now, or who may be in the future – it’s every single Prime Minister in my 35 years of existence on this planet.

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The Delusionists 221

Posted on May 27, 2019 by

We’ve watched in growing amazement this morning as some Remain supporters have tried to spin last night’s election results as somehow representing a Remain victory. Much of it has been based on this batshit-mad graphic from the BBC website:

We’ll give you a moment to digest that one.

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All change and no change 189

Posted on May 27, 2019 by

Some quick thoughts on the EU elections, then.

Despite in some ways being the most tumultuous election result in UK history (in terms of the near-destruction of the two main parties), it also changed almost nothing.

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The new order 286

Posted on May 25, 2019 by

This video is 20 minutes long, and most of you won’t watch it all the way through. But you really should.

Because the UK is changing, and it’s changing fast.

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Please do not waste this time 270

Posted on May 24, 2019 by

So Theresa May has handed in her notice. She will formally resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7, triggering a leadership election which will be concluded by “the end of July”, until which time she’ll continue as a powerless lame-duck caretaker PM.

Let’s just recap that timetable.

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89% of Scots support second indyref 277

Posted on May 20, 2019 by

Almost nine in ten Scottish voters now back a second referendum on independence. This rather startling news was brought to us at the weekend by an unlikely source, in the form of walking brain vacuum Annie Wells MSP.

Wells was absolutely unequivocal that NO other vote this Thursday – not Labour, not Lib Dem, not Brexit Party – would constitute opposition to a second indyref.

(She emphasised the point by RTing a tweet from the Scottish Tories’ boorish and obnoxious head of media Adam Morris which described both Nigel Farage and Vince Cable as “weak on Scotland’s place in the UK”.)

So how are those numbers looking?

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