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Archive for the ‘scottish politics’


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 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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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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Faith is always blind 294

Posted on October 13, 2019 by

The first novel I remember reading is “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, shortly after it came out in 1979. I was 12, and it had a huge and lasting effect on me – it was the first thing that made me want to be a writer, and both Adams’ writing style and the worldview it deftly illustrated have been lifelong influences.

Almost every line in the book is great, but this one always stuck with me:

And so to the last of the results from our current poll.

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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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