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The problem with being liberal 262

Posted on April 07, 2019 by

We haven’t talked much on Wings about the court case currently in progress against former Scottish Labour branch manager Kezia Dugdale, for hopefully obvious reasons.

The case is currently “in avizandum” – legal jargon for “the sheriff is considering his decision” – and a result is hoped for around the end of this month, and while as far as we know there’s no actual rule against talking about it at this stage, if you’re one of the participants it’s probably not the greatest idea as a general principle.

But what CAN be discussed is a much wider issue which it touched on, as highlighted by Daily Record columnist Anna Burnside while talking about the case during last week’s BBC Radio Scotland media review on the John Beattie Show.

The debate had a fully balanced panel: Burnside, who thought I was an awful person, Stuart Cosgrove, who thought I was an awful person with a sometimes-good website, and Anne Marie Watson, who thought I was an awful person. But it was Burnside who really went in with the boot, as can be heard from 2m 27s on the clip below.

(The John Beattie Show, BBC Radio Scotland, 28 March 2019)
.

Let’s take a walk through that.

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Scottish Labour’s best man 342

Posted on April 04, 2019 by

After running a minor post about poll results this morning to pass the time between Brexit fiascos, we got a bit engrossed – as we’re wont to do now and again – in some stats. Because the Labour Party in Scotland has been in a seemingly inexorable slide into irrelevance for a good few years now, and seems completely unable to find itself  a supremo capable of stopping the rot.

But with our customary diligence, we’ve discovered their secret star player.

Because somewhat to our surprise, it turns out that the most successful Scottish Labour leader of the past 20 years is… Alex Rowley.

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The no-personality crisis 54

Posted on April 04, 2019 by

We were just going through our last Panelbase poll this morning looking to round up findings we hadn’t yet published when we suddenly noticed an odd thing.

We had of course previously observed that the Scottish Labour branch office manager Pritchard Leopold (SUB: PLEASE CHECK) wasn’t terribly well known in the nation, with barely over a third of Scots able to pick his name out of a list when prompted, despite a year and a half in the job.

But then we spotted something curious about the numbers.

Because the sub-party’s pseudo-leader was recognised more by voters of EVERY other party than he was by his own. While just 37% of Labour voters from the last election knew who he was, a whopping 61% of Lib Dems did, along with 51% of Tories and 41% of SNP supporters.

Or put another way: the more people could identify him as leader, the less likely they were to vote for his party.

And particularly when the extremely underwhelming act you have to follow is Kezia Dugdale, we’re pretty sure that can’t be a good thing.

To James Kelly MSP, our congratulations 572

Posted on April 02, 2019 by

So there was a football match at the weekend.

At least three people were stabbed, one very seriously, in violent incidents the likes of which haven’t been seen around Scottish football for years.

But it was probably just a random, unforseeable one-off, right?

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The long way home 339

Posted on March 30, 2019 by

Normally when I go back to Bath after spending time in Scotland, it’s with a mixture of sadness and happiness, because – usually after a delightful but exhausting round of racing around working and catching up with family and old pals – I’m returning to the place where I’ve made my life, where most of my friends and familiar comforts reside.

This time it feels different.

Because I don’t think I’ve ever been this scared for Scotland before.

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Little red dots 550

Posted on March 28, 2019 by

Last night’s farce in the House Of Commons, where MPs rejected in turn every single possible Brexit option and variant thereof, perfectly encapsulated the ridiculous state of British politics and may well have scuppered any chance of avoiding a no-deal Brexit, because the EU’s terms for a longer Article 50 extension than April 12 were that the UK presented a clear and achievable plan.

But who ultimately sank the plans for either a softer Brexit or a second referendum?

Oh.

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Oliver Notwell 378

Posted on March 23, 2019 by

Our pale red faces 203

Posted on March 22, 2019 by

From today’s Telegraph:

But who’s this “we”, exactly?

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Press release imminent 409

Posted on March 20, 2019 by

This was the Scottish Tories two years ago, when Scotland’s economy registered a small downturn for a single quarter, which was definitely the SNP’s fault:

Shall we find out what actually happened, readers?

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The Great Coincidence 842

Posted on March 17, 2019 by

Several media outlets today relate a story from BBC Scotland’s fascinating three-part documentary of the indyref, revealing that secret UK government polling in the first week of September 2014 gave Yes a lead even bigger than the famous 51-49 one published by the Sunday Times on the 7th.

And naturally we couldn’t help wondering what might have caused it.

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Little Baby Bull 416

Posted on March 16, 2019 by

The end of the rope 70

Posted on March 14, 2019 by

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament (essentially the Euro Lib Dems), is by no means our standard go-to guy for political guidance. Like most European politicians he’s been criminally silent on the outrages being perpetrated by the government of Spain, and in general he’s a bit neoliberal for our tastes.

But his speech from yesterday is powerful stuff.

As we write this, the UK’s parliament is blundering through a third successive day of toe-curling farce on the floor of the Commons, aimed this time at securing some sort of extension to Brexit to avoid a disastrous no-deal in just 15 days’ time.

It may yet be that such a request will be issued and the EU will grant it, dragging out the whole awful mess for God knows how much longer. But judging by the tone of M. Verhofstadt’s impassioned, exasperated address in Strasbourg, we wouldn’t like to have money on it. It appears that an entire continent has had just about enough of us.



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