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Archive for the ‘analysis’


Fear Of Failing 172

Posted on December 02, 2022 by

Word reaches us, readers, that Nicola Sturgeon was “furious” when she joined the most recent meeting of the SNP’s Westminster group by Skype. Her rage was driven by the suggestion that the party should trigger a Holyrood election to act as a de facto independence referendum, a policy we’re reliably told is supported by a number of MPs who are too scared of being browbeaten by Sturgeon in front of their colleagues to actually speak out in favour of it.

(We won’t mention their names at this point.)

Our source mentioned to us that they seemed to remember an interview in which the First Minister had revealed a possible reason for her extreme antipathy to the idea – one for the BBC’s extensive and rather good three-part documentary “Yes/No – Inside The Indyref”, which was broadcast in August 2019 and never seen again.

It’s not available on iPlayer or YouTube, but fortunately we happened to still have the show recorded on our Sky+ box, so we went to check, and lo and behold our source’s recollection was correct. Apologies for the slightly wonky quality of this video, as we had to record it off the TV screen.

We’ve transcribed it below.

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How you do it 175

Posted on November 29, 2022 by

It’s more than two years now since we published this article, but it’s worth quickly going over it again, because there’s nothing on Earth more tedious than boneheads on social media going “Oh, you slag off the SNP but what’s YOUR plan if you’re so clever?”, who haven’t bothered to read any of the dozen times we’ve already answered that question since 25 months ago.

This is it. This is our plan. Try listening this time, thickos.

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But not yet, Lord 131

Posted on November 27, 2022 by

The SNP have been all over the place since Wednesday’s judgement of the Supreme Court. Astonishingly, the party hadn’t prepared an agreed line in the event of the Court ruling against it, with the result that various party figures had popped up with all sorts of different versions of what a supposed plebiscite election would mean.

The closest things to an “official” position were when the SNP’s Policy Development Convener Toni Giugliano, and former Glasgow city councillor and Nicola Sturgeon’s mouthpiece Mhairi Hunter (who’d dismissed the whole idea of a plebiscite election as “impossible” earlier this year), both suggested that a victory in a plebiscite general election would simply amount to another mandate to demand a Section 30 order.

The party’s Depute Leader Keith Brown, on the other hand, had claimed that winning such an election would produce independence by itself. But lest any Yes supporters get over-excited, on TV this afternoon Brown declared that the matter would have to wait at least a couple of years.

Why? Because apparently the SNP can’t be bothered with the paperwork.

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Where there isn’t a will 132

Posted on November 25, 2022 by

Let’s get straight to the point: this is a straight-up categorical lie.

Since Wednesday’s events there’s been a lot of chatter and confusion on social media about whether the Scottish Government has the ability to trigger a snap Holyrood election and use it as a de facto plebiscite on independence.

The short answer, as we told you yesterday, is “officially no, in practice yes”. But that needs a bit of further explanation, so as usual let’s do the job of actual journalism that nobody else in Scotland can apparently be bothered to.

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The Thief Of Time 419

Posted on November 23, 2022 by

So it’s official – Scotland is not a partner in the UK, but a prisoner. Supposedly equal signatories to a treaty, we were in fact captured in 1707, with no hope of release other than at the whim of our jailer. It is an outrage, but a wholly predictable one.

Nicola Sturgeon could have put the matter of Holyrood’s legislative authority to the Supreme Court at any point since she became First Minister in November 2014. More particularly, she could have done so in July 2016, after the UK voted to leave the EU, thereby triggering a clear and explicit condition of the manifesto on which the SNP were re-elected as the Scottish Government just weeks earlier.

Instead, she’s wasted a decade of your time and probably sold Scotland’s future.

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Eight Years A Failure 123

Posted on November 20, 2022 by

Well, it looks like Wings is coming back, then. Blimey. So let’s see where we’re going to be picking things up from. Exactly eight years ago today, Nicola Sturgeon took over as First Minister from Alex Salmond.

How has it gone?

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The depths of madness 71

Posted on November 10, 2022 by

Yesterday we watched the first day’s proceedings of For Women Scotland taking the Scottish Government to court over its definition of what a woman is.

The topic is really very niche but will affect us all if the judge rules for the government (we won’t know the outcome for at least a month or two), so here’s the short version of what it’s all about.

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The silent coup 124

Posted on November 04, 2022 by

In the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, the Scottish Greens received just 4.7% of all the votes cast. (255,314 of 5,419,544). The SNP got 44% – almost 10 times as many.

So we’re not sure how the Greens – a party that well over 90% of Scots don’t support – suddenly appear to be in charge.

Nor, perhaps more to the point, do we understand why.

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Serial Failure Fails Again 96

Posted on November 01, 2022 by

Kezia Dugdale, the hapless leader who took Scottish Labour to 14% in the polls, is one of the most extravagantly-paid people in Scotland who has no discernible talent or significance to public life whatsoever.

As well as being the Director of the John Smith Policy Centre (a job with no known responsibilities but which nevertheless pays around the same as being an MSP making laws in the Scottish Parliament) she writes regular columns in The Times and The Courier and is now, hilariously, the new Professor of Practice in Public Service in Glasgow University.

(A post with unspecified duties and unknown salary and which was also not, as far as anyone can tell, ever publicly advertised.)

We were bored so we thought we’d find out, via Panelbase, if her latest lucrative role was perhaps the result of a noticeably impressive performance in the first one.

Ah. Not so much.

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Truth in numbers 1,035

Posted on October 21, 2022 by

A year and a quarter ago, we contrasted the performance of the SNP’s last two leaders in terms of building support for independence. As the First Minister crows about how much better she’s been at staying in power than a succession of UK leaders, it seems only proper to bring the stats up to date.

(Click pic to enlarge.)

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I see you’ve had a change of heart 85

Posted on October 20, 2022 by

Do you remember, readers, how the next UK election was supposed to be a single-issue de facto referendum on independence if the Supreme Court ruled Holyrood didn’t have the power to hold one itself?

Well, it appears that policy has been abruptly and quietly ditched.

Because just a couple of hours ago SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford told BBC News that “I can assure you” the SNP “will have a growth manifesto” for the whole UK whenever the next election comes around, because in his view the UK economy hasn’t been growing enough for the last few decades and the SNP would have a plan to fix it. Because apparently fixing the UK is the SNP’s purpose now.

Guess we better hope for a good result from the Supreme Court, then.

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Anarchy In The UK 68

Posted on October 20, 2022 by

The only major prediction this site has gotten wrong in the last decade is that we didn’t think Theresa May would be so stupid as to call a general election in 2017.

And while the prediction itself wasn’t vindicated, the reasoning behind it certainly was, because she duly lost her majority just as we said she would, and limped pitifully into oblivion over the next two painful and shambolic years. (While Nicola Sturgeon ponced around hopelessly trying to stop Brexit instead of saving Scotland by getting it the hell out of the UK before it was too late.)

So it’s in that spirit that we’re going to stick our necks out once again and predict that despite the opinions of most political pundits Liz Truss is going nowhere any time soon, because as incredible as it seems, she’s almost certainly the least worst option for the Conservative Party right now.

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