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Archive for the ‘europe’


Nigel’s Nightmare 175

Posted on October 30, 2019 by

As we steel ourselves for the wretched purgatorial misery of (at least) the next six weeks, we’ve been sitting up late trying to think of a positive aspect of the coming election campaign, and the best we’ve come up with is this: if it’s awful for most human beings in the country, just imagine how terrible it is for Nigel Farage.

Because as has been increasingly obvious from the Brexit Party leader’s comments this month, Farage knows only too well the truth that the rest of the country is going to realise quite soon, if it hasn’t already: he’s now the only thing that might stop the UK leaving the European Union.

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Three days in politics 332

Posted on October 27, 2019 by

It’s a long time, apparently. Because while a general election on 12 December would be a “barking mad” idea according to the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford on Thursday, having one on 9 December instead is genius.

So in a month in which this site has been extensively screamed at by SNP diehards as the work of a “traitor” and an “MI5 plant” for suggesting that maybe the SNP could vote with the Tories (or perhaps just abstain) to let Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal go through in exchange for a second indyref, the official SNP plan is to now vote with the Tories to give them the election Boris Johnson has been trying to call for weeks – which all polls suggest he’d win, allowing him to enact any sort of Brexit he wants – but to cleverly NOT get a second indyref out of it.

Y’know what, folks, we can’t even be bothered.

On a dark desert highway 129

Posted on October 26, 2019 by

The unbreakable lock 664

Posted on October 21, 2019 by

It’s Monday morning, readers, so welcome once again to the world’s favourite situation comedy, the United Kingdom.

The current position is that absolutely nobody has the slightest idea what’s going to happen this week, or today, or by lunchtime. The Prime Minister is as we speak being taken to court (again), and a whole series of votes in the House Of Commons may or may not take place and may or may not determine anything.

But there’s one particularly interesting thing going on.

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The ultimate Scotlanding 304

Posted on October 20, 2019 by

So, almost a third of you are bloody idiots and we’ll just have to deal with that.

The good news is that at least there couldn’t be any unforeseen consequences.

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Are you being served? 223

Posted on October 19, 2019 by

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 problem of England and Wales 131

Posted on October 14, 2019 by

As we write this, in between bouts of weeping with exhausted misery, frustration and rage, Her Majesty’s Opposition’s interminable will-they-won’t-they game of attempting – maybe, one day, perhaps – to bring down the government and force a new election leading to a new EU referendum continues.

And as the SNP in particular devotes huge amounts of energy to trying to stop Brexit, against the wishes of its own voters, we wondered how the public not just in Scotland but in the two constituent nations of the UK that voted Leave felt about that.

Uh-oh.

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The broad church 186

Posted on October 12, 2019 by

Our feather-ruffling Panelbase poll of SNP voters is now almost at an end, with only one further revelation to come tomorrow. So we thought it was worth taking a moment for a little bit of closer examination of just who the respondents were.

We know, of course, that the criteria for the sample was people who said they currently intend to vote for the SNP with their constituency vote at the next Scottish Parliament election in 2021. But what else do we know about them?

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Priority boarding 173

Posted on October 09, 2019 by

It’s been quite the week so far. For the vile and sickening crime of [check notes] finding out what SNP voters were thinking about the important political issues of the moment, we’ve had (especially on Facebook) a two-day barrage of stuff like this, and worse:

So, y’know, on with what we always do: reporting the facts.

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Honest dirty hands 320

Posted on October 08, 2019 by

Yesterday’s poll results attracted quite a surprising amount of anger from people who apparently don’t consider it at all important to the cause of independence to find out what people intending to vote SNP at the next Holyrood election think.

They’re probably not going to like these ones much either.

A third of SNP voters are unconvinced by the First Minister’s constant assurances that a second indyref will be delivered in the next 18 months. But the related question posed by several readers yesterday was “If you don’t think the SNP has a coherent strategy for securing a new vote, what would YOU do, Mister Smartypants?”

Which is annoying, because it’s a question we’ve answered in various contexts half a dozen times in the past year and a bit. So we thought we’d see if voters had been paying any more attention.

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