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Brooks Was Here 190

Posted on October 18, 2019 by

As we write this, Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal appears to hang in the balance. According to Sky News this morning the arithmetic is poised on a knife-edge.

The four “in play” groups down the middle of the graphic are, from the top: three Tory “Spartans” (hardcore Brexiters who might yet back the deal), 19 Labour MPs who’ve suggested they might do so for various reasons, 20 former-Tory “rebels” who had the whip removed by Johnson for voting to block no-deal, and 14 independents, mainly from the “Change UK” wing or whatever they’re called this week.

The government needs 36 of the 56 to vote with it to get the deal through, and can probably count on most of the 20 former Tories. Labour sources are suggesting, quite plausibly, that double-figure numbers of their 19 will also back the deal. So it’s close.

If it passes, England and Wales will get what they voted for (Brexit), Northern Ireland will – after a fashion – get what it voted for (effectively staying in the EU), and Scotland will get shafted. It’ll be placed at a significant economic disadvantage to NI, at a likely severe cost in jobs and investment. The nation which voted the most decisively on Brexit (for either option) will be the only one not to get its democratic wishes respected.

And slightly surprisingly, the whole UK thinks that’s unfair.

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Levers of power 422

Posted on October 17, 2019 by

16 votes, up to a maximum of 31, you say?

If only there was a party with enough MPs to turn that round, eh?

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The grand strategy 373

Posted on October 16, 2019 by

Yesterday we finally got to hear the infallible top-secret plan for independence.

Oh. Oh well, that’s okay then. That should sort it all right out.

The soul of the SNP 268

Posted on October 15, 2019 by

As we write this, voting has just ended to elect the membership of a number of key SNP internal bodies, including the Member Conduct Committee which has the power to discipline members and even expel them from the party.

This year has seen a concerted attempt by a small but active faction within the SNP, led by the Young Scots for Independence and Out For Indy groups, to flood the MCC (which in normal times struggles to fill its ranks) with officers aggressively committed to transgender ideology, with the openly-declared intent of purging “gender-critical” women from all party candidate lists and ensuring that anyone seeking to protect women’s sex-based rights can be expunged for “transphobia”.

(An attempt to deselect Joanna Cherry on such grounds failed earlier this year, but with control of the MCC the faction could pretty much dump anyone it wanted to.)

The matter has not escaped the attention of the independence-hostile media.

We avoided discussing the committee elections while voting was taking place because it’s not our business to interfere in the internal affairs of the SNP, and also because a certain element of the party has been having a massive tantrum over some poll results we published last week and it might have ended up being counter-productive.

But make no mistake – the outcome of these elections will have a huge impact on both the SNP’s electoral fortunes and the chances of securing independence. We’re about to find out, in other words, how screwed we are.

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How to tell when Kezia Dugdale is lying 148

Posted on October 10, 2019 by

Her lips move.

On 21 June 2019 she said this:

But today we learned what happened in July 2019, literally just days later:

Ah, classic Kez.

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The counsel of despair 968

Posted on September 28, 2019 by

He’s got no right to shoot from there.

There’s less than half an hour to go and we’re holding the previous year’s World Cup finalists on their own patch. A point would be a great result, but we’ve got men up. Try to thread it through on the left. Turn, hold it up for a second and knock it out wide to the overlap on the right and get forward for a cross or a cutback. If we just wait, if we take it slow, the situation can only get better for us.

But definitely don’t waste it on a wild, optimistic punt.

Right?

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The contaminant 123

Posted on September 27, 2019 by

Remember this guy? Go on, give it a minute, it’ll come to you.

He popped up today to chuck in his tuppence-worth about inflammatory language in politics, and how – like everything else bad – it all started with vile cybernats in 2014 (because as you’ll of course remember, it was Yes supporters who never shut up about “surrendering”) and has now sullied even the dignified halls of Westminster.

We wonder how that can have happened.

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Lord Pannick on the streets of London 721

Posted on September 24, 2019 by

So the Supreme Court has delivered its brutal verdict. The prorogation of Parliament was completely unlawful and now, in effect, never happened. Parliament is officially still in session. The same Parliament that has stupendously failed to solve Brexit for three years can reconvene and continue to fail to solve it. What now?

Jeremy Corbyn stood up a few minutes ago at the Labour conference and demanded that Boris Johnson stand down immediately and hold a general election, as did several other opposition leaders. Which, alert readers may recall, is what Johnson tried to do, twice, barely a fortnight ago, and was blocked by the opposition.

Presumably if he tries again, they all now have to cooperate and vote for it, even though the dissolution of Parliament would render the Benn bill requiring him to ask the EU for an extension first null and void. So there’ll be a general election held on the subject of “Who rules the country – the people or the courts?”, which is what Johnson wanted all along. Um, victory?

.

PS Fun trivia fact: UK electoral law requires 25 working days between the dissolution of Parliament and the date of a general election. There are exactly 27 working days (inclusive) between now and 31 October.

Labour and Brexit: clarity at last 130

Posted on September 23, 2019 by

Labour just had a vote at their party conference to decide on their Brexit policy. On a close show of hands, the party voted not to have a policy on Brexit until after the next general election, and – we promise you we’re not making any of this up – delegates immediately demanded to have another vote to overturn that vote.

A few minutes later, Momentum activist Cathleen Clarke and former Tony Blair adviser John McTernan appeared on Sky News to sort it all out for confused viewers.

Good luck in the next few months, everyone.

A whole sackful of ferrets 213

Posted on September 22, 2019 by

“Flounders” might have been a more appropriate animal.

It’s painfully entertaining viewing, but Gordon Brewer’s persistence pays off right at the end as we finally discover that Scottish Labour’s answer is “No – even if a clear majority of Scottish people vote for parties explicitly calling for a second independence referendum, and return a majority of pro-indy MSPs to Parliament, we will not consider that sufficient support.”

Which would mean there was no democratic route left open to Scotland to achieve independence. So what is it that he suggests we do?

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Accentuating the negative 155

Posted on September 21, 2019 by

(Editor’s note: as a result of this cartoon, Mr Cairns has been sent on mandatory administrative leave of absence to let’s call it a “health spa” for the next two weeks. While he’s receiving let’s call it “therapy”, fill the gap by purchasing the latest volume of his works, which is guaranteed not to contain this one, we can only hope and pray.)
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Song for 18 September 2019 106

Posted on September 18, 2019 by


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