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Archive for the ‘scottish politics’

From the mouths of eggs 315

Posted on April 26, 2019 by

We got a tweet this morning from one of those odd Twitter accounts that’s been going for eight years and still only has six followers. This one appears to be a fairly moderate right-wing, UK-nationalist Brexiter with only a few dozen tweets (nearly all replies) to their name since 2011.

But readers, he’s got a point.

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We’re talking about money 283

Posted on April 25, 2019 by

…unfortunately. The hottest topic of debate within the Yes movement in recent months has been currency, and what sort of it a prospective independent Scotland should use. We’ve avoided it because it’s such a boring and pointless debate (at this stage, at least), and because the impact it had on the first referendum was vastly less than the media frantically insists.

The truth is that in 2014 most people simply didn’t believe the UK government’s claim that it would refuse Scotland a currency union, and nor did most people find it very important anyway. By enormous margins, Scots thought that an independent Scotland would keep using the pound, despite the No campaign’s assertions to the contrary.

We already live in a world of multiple currencies. People buy things seamlessly on the internet from Europe or the USA or China with all the exchange transactions handled automatically and invisibly. It can cause some issues for businesses, but it simply isn’t an issue for the huge majority of voters, however obsessively politics nerds debate it.

But just for the sake of argument, and for the benefit of delegates to this weekend’s SNP conference in Edinburgh, here’s what they think right now.

By comfortably more than two to one in our Panelbase poll conducted in March, Scots want to keep using the pound forever after independence. Yes voters marginally prefer a transition to a new currency, but only one in six want to go there on day one, and almost as many as want to transition want to stay with Sterling permanently. No voters – who are the people we need to persuade, remember – are overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the pound, with only 16% wanting a new Scottish currency at any point.

Wings has no position on the subject, because to be quite honest we don’t understand it well enough. Strong arguments have been made on various sides and we’re not sure which one we favour yet. It’s a decision for an independent Scottish Government.

But what these findings tell us is what the public thinks – and therefore which options would play the best in a referendum – and the public isn’t in much doubt at all.

A plan of little action 704

Posted on April 24, 2019 by

Well, this won’t take long.

The First Minister’s speech to Parliament today contained a single useful and practical step: by aiming to pass the legislation required to conduct a second independence referendum by the end of this year, Scotland will be well prepared to act swiftly in the event that such a vote somehow becomes a reality.

On how to make it become a reality, there was nothing.

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Walking into traps 180

Posted on April 21, 2019 by

(This article was originally intended to go up on Wednesday, but it was somewhat overtaken by events before it was finished.)

This week has seen another of those strange coincidences by which a whole slew of Unionist pundits all randomly decide to start talking about the same subject. On this occasion it was the rape clause, and why it proved the SNP are bad.

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What you wish for 548

Posted on April 14, 2019 by

The Conservatives’ disastrous handling of, and failure to deliver, Brexit seems to have finally begun to hurt them in the polls, with a clutch of recent stats showing Labour with a significant lead for the first time in many months.

Most seat projections on the numbers show Labour failing to reach a majority either on their own or with the Lib Dems, but being able to get Jeremy Corbyn in to Downing Street with the assistance of an increased number of SNP MPs.

But then what?

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Scotland’s first choices 187

Posted on April 12, 2019 by

We’ve still got a few of the results from our last Panelbase poll (conducted last month) to round up, and this one seems pertinent this week:

As has been the case ever since we started asking this question about the nation’s twin constitutional dilemmas back in July 2015, the single most popular option in a four-way choice remains an independent Scotland inside the EU, which leads the impending reality (a UK Scotland outside the EU) by a clear 10 points.

Scotland isn’t merely about to get something it doesn’t want, it’s about to get the exact opposite of the thing it wants most. But oh boy, is it ever more complicated than that.

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The ruined summer 321

Posted on April 11, 2019 by

Firstly, our congratulations to Her Majesty’s Government (pictured below) on its setting last night of a new world record in incompetence.

We can’t see it being beaten in a long time. But Jesus, what now?

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Any minute now they’ll get it 234

Posted on April 08, 2019 by

Just you wait and see.

Scottish political pundits: they’ve got all the pieces in their hands, but they still haven’t even worked out that it’s a jigsaw.

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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Minds locked shut 80

Posted on April 07, 2019 by

Alert readers may have noticed that the deadline for the Conservative Party to respond to our formal query about their fake indyref 2 “petition” was about to expire (today, in fact), but fear not, compliance fans – at the eleventh hour a reply was received.

This is it:

So we’ve asked the obvious question.

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The balance of powers 259

Posted on April 06, 2019 by

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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