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Archive for the ‘analysis’


We must just be idiots 79

Posted on October 23, 2018 by

On the face of it, this stuff is like shooting fish in a barrel.

But let’s treat it with more dignity than it deserves and hear her out.

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The definition of insanity 278

Posted on October 08, 2018 by

A famous quote commonly attributed to Albert Einstein (and hotly disputed, as always, by point-missing Quote Nazis), runs that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.

It’s been bouncing around our heads for the last couple of days, because with the SNP annual conference in full swing in Glasgow, Scottish political pundits have taken it upon themselves to start issuing bizarre assertions/advice about the party’s strategy for securing a second independence referendum.

This version, from the Herald’s cut-price David Torrance knockoff Mark Smith today, is no more than we’d expect from that source:

But we were a lot more surprised to see the notion also being taken up by someone we’d previously credited with a lot more insight and intelligence.

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The fine art of self-delusion 172

Posted on October 04, 2018 by

When the news is slow, we sometimes steel ourselves and go for a little paddle in the Yoonstream – a private collection of the most unhinged hardcore-Unionist accounts on Twitter – and see what they’re getting themselves all worked up about.

For a good few months now, they’ve all been posting mad graphs like this:

And we’re not quite sure why.

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Anatomy Of A Thicko 93

Posted on October 04, 2018 by

For our money – and by an admittely wafer-thin margin over the likes of Annie Wells, Miles BriggsAlex Cole-Hamilton and James Kelly – Tory list MSP Jamie Greene is still the lowest-watt bulb in the Scottish Parliament’s festival of lights.

(Our alerter readers may have spotted that that’s an official watermarked Scottish Conservatives pic, so that’s them making him look as intelligent as they can.)

But being really properly brainless isn’t just a matter of not knowing which powers are devolved before you attack the Scottish Government for your own UK administration’s failings or not being able to do basic arithmetic.

To stand out as especially doltish in a group of epic dolts like the current Tory cohort in Holyrood, you also need to be incapable of following simple logical trains of thought. So let’s see if we can illustrate with a topical example.

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Geese and ganders 379

Posted on September 25, 2018 by

Tory MSP Miles Briggs was yesterday cleared of sexual harassment claims by an internal Conservative Party inquiry process. We haven’t the slightest idea of what the facts of his specific case may or may not be, and as such express no view on it, but the nature of the process has been severely criticised by Rape Crisis Scotland, and with what in this instance appears to be extremely good reason.

An obvious question does rather leap to mind, though.

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Everybody but you 256

Posted on September 17, 2018 by

There’s a fascinating piece in the Guardian this morning.

It reveals that in attempting to solve the unsolvable Irish border problem, the EU’s Brexit negotiators are – at the UK’s behest – trying to come up with a plan which would preclude its use for Scotland in the event of independence.

That’s an entirely legitimate course of action. Having lacked the courage to establish itself as a nation, Scotland shouldn’t expect to be treated as one by either the EU or the UK (which has demonstrated its contempt by flatly refusing Scotland any voice in negotiations). The EU is quite properly, and admirably stoutly, defending the interests of its member state, Ireland. Would that Scotland had such clout.

But it’s worth taking a second to ponder what it all means.

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Data in depth 110

Posted on September 07, 2018 by

Last night we stumbled across an interesting little statistical wrinkle to our story from Wednesday about voters’ satisfaction with Scottish public services.

The middle set of figures there is especially revealing.

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Dickie’s Taffy Puddings 73

Posted on September 05, 2018 by

Perhaps the single most striking feature of everyday non-constitutional Scottish politics is Labour’s constantly-recurring habit of highlighting some supposedly unsatisfactory statistic about the Scottish Government’s performance, only for it to be revealed that it’s vastly better than the comparable figure for Wales, where Labour has been in power ever since the Assembly was created in 1999.

So let’s crank up the machine again and see what it says, shall we?

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The scissored isles 137

Posted on September 02, 2018 by

New polling out tonight from British Polling Council members Deltapoll.

Excluding don’t-knows, both of those sets of figures come out at 52-48 margins: for Yes if Brexit goes ahead, for No if it doesn’t. If Brexit isn’t mentioned in the question at all, the results are 49% Yes 51% No.

Excluding don’t knows, the figures for Northern Ireland are 57-43 in favour of a united Ireland in the event of Brexit, and 60-40 against if Brexit is averted.

Fair bit at stake in the next few months, then.

The National Enquirers 122

Posted on August 28, 2018 by

The data in this Scottish Government reply to an alert reader this week pretty much speaks for itself, so we’re not going to add too much to it.

The number of FOI requests submitted to the Scottish Government by the BBC in the past three years (112) is more than 25% higher than the total number submitted in the previous seven years (89).

The number submitted by Labour in 2017 was more than TEN TIMES as many as it submitted in 2008, and twice as many as any other year.

The number submitted by the Tories in 2017 was a third more than the total number submitted in the previous NINE years (92). They’ve also exceeded that total in the first seven months of this year alone.

And as the highlighted passage notes, the true numbers are considerably higher.

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A sad, sad robot all alone 138

Posted on August 28, 2018 by

It really takes some going to stand out for especially terrible journalism in the Scottish press this week, given the vast acres of page-space that are still being devoted to truly abysmal, and borderline legally-actionable, barrel-scraping articles about the recent allegations made against Alex Salmond. So hats off to perhaps the only man who could possibly have achieved it.

Ladies and gentlemen, who else but David Leask?

Let’s see just who we meet, shall we?

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The eternal mystery 141

Posted on August 27, 2018 by

It’s around this time of year that we always enjoy a delve in the impenetrable enigma that is the membership of Scottish Labour. (As gathered together in the picture below during Jeremy Corbyn’s last trip to Edinburgh.)

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