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Wings Over Scotland

Archive for the ‘comment’

The mystery man 222

Posted on March 07, 2019 by

Scottish Labour’s 2019 conference, which starts in Dundee tomorrow, isn’t taking place in the most auspicious of circumstances, to put it kindly. The branch office is trailing a breathtaking 22 points behind the SNP in the latest Holyrood polling8 points behind the Tories, and the gap is getting bigger.

Westminster polling isn’t a great deal better, with the SNP 15 points ahead despite having been in power for 12 years and doggedly attempting to commit electoral suicide with a raft of increasingly unpopular policies (more on that to come).

Donations have shrivelled to under £36,000 in the last year. (For perspective, the 2018 Wings fundraiser made over £153,000.) The North Britain branch has shed a fifth of its membership in a matter of months, has had to give away conference passes for free to try to fill seats, and is embroiled in a bitter spat over its EU policy.

So it’d be a tough time to be Richard Leonard, if anyone knew who that was.

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A different country 318

Posted on March 05, 2019 by

(Full series here.)

Jenny Marra is a liar 349

Posted on February 26, 2019 by

Yesterday afternoon the Labour list MSP Jenny Marra tweeted this allegation about Dr Drew Walker, the Director Of Public Health for NHS Tayside:

It wasn’t true. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

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The secretary of the playground 259

Posted on February 25, 2019 by

In today’s Times:

Yeah, you read it right. He really said it out loud.

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Every rat for themselves 376

Posted on February 23, 2019 by

Counting With James Kelly MSP 776

Posted on February 19, 2019 by

Alex Cole-Hamilton’s reign was the shortest on record.

The master of detail 70

Posted on February 19, 2019 by

Unionists have been in a purple frenzy of rage in the last couple of weeks that the First Minister has dared to leave the country not once but twice in order to try to improve relations and trade links with Scotland’s business partners. Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton – a man who still thinks the Queensferry Crossing isn’t finished a year and a half after traffic started using it – tried a different tack.

And that’s a zinger of a point unless oh dear what’s this?

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The tissue-paper tigers 339

Posted on February 18, 2019 by

It’s never a good look for a politician to have fewer principles than UKIP. When Tory MPs Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless defected to Nigel Farage’s party, both stood down from their seats and fought by-elections to establish whether their electoral mandates were personal or owed to the party. Both of them won. (Though both men subsequently lost at general elections and Reckless has now returned to the Tories.)

The seven Labour MPs who resigned from the party today have no such honour and no such respect for the electorate. They’ve quit the party but not their cushy and lucrative jobs as opposition MPs, and will bring about absolutely no practical difference other than sitting a few feet further to the left in the Commons voting exactly the same way as they did before.

Labour MPs already regularly rebel against the whip anyway – just last week 40 of them broke ranks to back an SNP amendment on Brexit. So nothing will be achieved by Chuka Umunna and six people nobody in the real world has ever heard of splitting under the meaningless umbrella name “The Independent Group”, whose claim that “politics is broken” was neatly illustrated by its website at their big launch moment.

The seven claim that Labour values no longer represent them, yet they’re happy to remain in the seats that Labour’s manifesto and brand secured for them. Nor do they wish to stay in the party and fight for the values they think it should have. They’ve chosen the most cowardly, meaningless form of protest possible: keep cashing the paycheques but carp from the sidelines.

There are already three MPs elected as Labour but who now sit as nominal “independents” – Frank Field, John Woodcock and Ivan Lewis – and the fact that most people’s reaction to that fact will be “Who?” tells you all you need to know about the impact and power of not-actually-resigning “resignations”. Jeremy Corbyn’s reaction will be a shrug. Oh no, fewer Blairites in his party. Not the briar patch, Brer Fox!

And Theresa May? Theresa May won’t even notice. Why would she? TIG poses no kind of threat to her. The idea that any MPs from other parties are going to change their vote on anything just because there’s a new gang of would-be cool kids in the cafeteria who’ve given themselves a name is laughable in its tin-eared arrogance.

Indeed, mention of Brexit – the only political issue anyone in most of the UK cares about right now – was startlingly conspicuous by its near-total absence from the group’s press conference. Instead there was an almost endless parade of petty personal gripes and grievances in which the Labour Party was decried as a shambolic, racist, anti-Semitic entity posing a mortal threat to the nation’s politics – yet not one bad enough to actually take a stand against at the ballot box.

The 400-odd words we’ve written here already indulge the TIG “rebels” with far more attention and significance than their empty, craven gesture merits. So we won’t waste your time and ours with any more.

Labour rebels launch new party 38

Posted on February 18, 2019 by

A rose by any other name 155

Posted on February 16, 2019 by

Counting With Jamie Greene 448

Posted on February 14, 2019 by

In this site’s view, the proposed new employee-parking levy which the 2019 budget will enable local authorities to implement if they choose to  – but which is in no sense being imposed on anyone by the SNP, who don’t have a majority on a single Scottish council – is a pretty rotten idea, which will do nothing to combat climate change or congestion and will punish ordinary workers purely to make Greens feel important, but that’s neither here nor there. Councils can answer to voters if they use it.

What we’re a lot more worried about is the rampant Zimbabwe-style hyper-inflation that’s apparently running wild across Scotland, at least if you listen to Olympic-grade imbecile Jamie Greene MSP.

That was at 10.18 yesterday morning. But by halfway through lunchtime the situation had become far more serious.

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An uncertain future 185

Posted on February 12, 2019 by

Another slow news day, so here’s one from the archives:

Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you try to read it that size.

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