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Contractual obligations

Posted on May 24, 2024 by

We suppose we should talk about the general election for a bit.

It’s going to be awful. Will that do?

Robin McAlpine has already done a pretty thorough job of assessing John Swinney’s mind-bogglingly dishonest and, more to the point, cretinously stupid performance at FMQs yesterday, but we can’t help echoing it because it was astounding.

Even 62% of SNP voters think that Michael Matheson should resign as an MSP. Many people, this site included, do not understand why he’s not facing criminal charges for attempting to defraud taxpayers of £11,000 to which he knew he was not entitled. If Matheson sat at Westminster rather than Holyrood, voters would be entitled to recall (ie sack) him, as happened to Margaret Ferrier.

A month’s suspension from Parliament, then, seems like a massive let-off. And yet the First Minister refuses, on a ludicrously abstract nitpicking technicality, to even uphold the decision of the cross-party committee which recommended the sanction.

He left himself open to a sustained public battering at the hands of Douglas Ross and Anas Sarwar yesterday, bleating time and time again that because Matheson had – eventually, reluctantly, grudgingly, and after telling a string of lies about it – paid back the money, there had been no cost to the public purse.

That isn’t even true. The deliberations of the standards committee did cost the public money. But it misses the point by a thousand miles anyway. If you steal an £11,000 car and then give it back after the police catch you, you still get prosecuted.

The general public doesn’t give a tuppenny damn about the arcane procedures of the standards committee, but it does care about being taken for a bunch of mugs, and for Swinney to compound that ire by so grossly insulting their intelligence on the first day of a general election campaign is simply beyond rational explanation.

What can he possibly hope to achieve? Even if he whips his MSPs to vote against the ban, regardless of how terrible that’d look, it’ll surely still pass – we presume Matheson himself can’t vote, but even if he could the SNP don’t have a majority. So all the acres of bad press and all the political self-harm will have been for absolutely nothing.

We must assume that if Swinney isn’t actively trying to lose the election, he at best just doesn’t give a damn about it. Maybe he knows that because it comes so soon into his leadership, there’s no way he can be blamed no matter how badly it goes for the SNP and so his own job is safe.

Even so, you’d expect him to at least be bothered about the serious financial damage losing dozens of MPs would do to his near-bankrupt party. Perhaps he’s so sure the SNP are going to get a brutal kicking from the electorate that it won’t make any odds.

But if even John Swinney doesn’t care about the election, it’s hard to see why any of the rest of us should. There’s next to zero doubt about its outcome. Labour are going to win a landslide at Westminster, the only question is whether it’ll be a Rest And Be Thankful-scale landslide – a setback for their opponents, but one that can be cleared up after a while – or a full Pompeii-scale burial for the Tories and SNP.

Swinney’s already tried a half-hearted attempt at sounding like a blackmailing Mafia boss, telling SNP voters there’s no way of achieving independence without the SNP.

But his threat has zero credibility. Not a single person in Scotland with an IQ or mental age above 12 thinks that voting SNP at this election will take us one step nearer to independence. Electing 56 SNP MPs out of 59 in 2015 didn’t do it, and half, a quarter or even fewer of that many this time certainly won’t. “Give our useless benchwarmers a licence to sook up gravy for five more years” is not an “independence strategy”.

The SNP have proven for almost a decade that even when they hold the numerical balance of power in the House Of Commons they have neither the wit nor the courage to leverage it, and there isn’t one chance in a million of them doing that this time, when Labour’s majority is likely to be counted in the hundreds.

Their MPs are SUCH boneheads that half of them spent Wednesday wittering about the election being an opportunity for “change”, apparently not having worked out that if you’re an incumbent and you tell voters to bring about “change” that means VOTING YOU OUT. These people are clowns.

(There’s no “change” on offer at this election anyway. At UK level Labour are all but indistinguishable from the Tories, and other than on the constitution in Scotland they’re all but indistinguishable from the SNP. Their only real tactic in both countries is to say as little as possible and just get elected by default because people on both sides of the border hate the ruling parties so much.)

The party’s other main emerging election line seems to be that we need SNP MPs to give Scotland a voice at Westminster, but anybody in Scotland who wants to actually have a voice in Westminster would rationally be better off voting Labour, because at least then their MPs, however hapless – and they WILL be hapless, because Scottish Labour’s talent puddle is even shallower and more dried-up than the SNP’s – will be in the room and have the ear of the Prime Minister and have a theoretical chance of getting something done.

So Labour are going to win in a canter, the SNP are going to be a total irrelevance and independence is going to be off the agenda. Six weeks out from the actual vote, we can already state all of these things with 100% certainty, so what is there to talk about?

Precisely how low the turnout is going to be? (Particularly in Scotland, where much of the country will be in the school holidays.) Exactly how much carnage Reform UK can wreak on the Tories without winning any seats for themselves? Whether Green/Alba candidates will do the same to the SNP? (We hope so.) All matters of passing interest to politics nerds, sure, but none of them will make any difference to the electorate.

You certainly don’t seem all that fussed either:

So we’re tempted to take an extended holiday, or just spend June watching the Euros and posting ice-lolly reviews. We’ll see how it goes.

But if we’d ever harboured any thoughts about taking this election seriously, they were destroyed by John Swinney’s suicidally idiotic performance yesterday. The next six weeks are going to be a grotesque and pointless waste of everyone in the UK’s time.

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0 to “Contractual obligations”

  1. ross
    Ignored
    says:

    we voted 56 MPs in a year after the independence vote.

    It wasn’t on a platform to proceed independence.

    That should be highlighted.

    The strategy at 2017 was ill judged, though.

  2. James
    Ignored
    says:

    #EndTheUnion

  3. Harry Dunlop
    Ignored
    says:

    The most idiotic, suicidal stance a political leader, heading into an election could take. Every one of us knows if we did this in our working lives we’d be sacked. One has to wonder about the motivations and skills of Colin McAllister, the so-called Chief of Staff.

  4. Martin
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m going to be the dissenting voice. Labour won’t win this general election. The tories will, in a result that will surprise all commentators. I don’t know why I think this, but the last time I felt so strongly about such an unlikely event was in about 2013 when I *knew* Trump was going to win the US elec3in 2016.

  5. Carol Sadler
    Ignored
    says:

    Repurpose your vote and write #EndTheUnion across it.Bigger the better.Maybe even use a Sharpie.

  6. Ian McCubbin
    Ignored
    says:

    Spoil ballot papers of no true independistas are standing its that simple
    Angus and Perthshire Glen’s have a billionaire Dan Pena standing as an independent, not sure of him as my research suggests he is one of world elite. I think he wants more of Scotland’s resources .

  7. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “I’m going to be the dissenting voice. Labour won’t win this general election. The tories will”

    I am willing to bet you any sum up to and including a billion pounds that they won’t.

  8. Carol Sadler
    Ignored
    says:

    Repurpose your vote.Scrawl #EndTheUnion across it as large as you can manage.All “wasted” votes have to be scrutinised after all.Better than voting against your principles or worst still not voting at all.

  9. Nemisis Benn
    Ignored
    says:

    “. . . could bring parliament into disrepute…”?
    Get real Swinney, that happened ages ago!
    As the assembly of the SNP and the seat of a “government”, Holyrood was brought into disrepute by various stitchups such as Alex Salmond and the administrators of Rangers Football Club.

  10. Mark Beggan
    Ignored
    says:

    Dead men walking. The Union is here to stay for your children’s children’s children thanks to the SNP Green excrement.

  11. Toby
    Ignored
    says:

    Matheson did not ‘ attempt to defraud ‘ the public purse, he actually successfully defrauded the public purse. He received the money he illegally claimed in expenses.
    The fact he eventually repaid the money is neither here nor there.
    Restitution of the proceeds of a crime do not absolve you from responsibility for that crime.

  12. shiregirl
    Ignored
    says:

    Disappointed there are no Strawberry Mivvi’s in that stash, Stu. Or Funny feet.

    Unsure if there will be any change in Orkney. Seems LibDem have it sewn up here. Wonder if Alba will stand a candidate?

  13. Spreadhunter
    Ignored
    says:

    Hi Stu

    Long time reader, first time poster, lifelong punter

    I recall that late last year, or early this, you posted (it may have been on twitter) the respective SkyBet odds for SNP under 20 and 10 GE seats

    It would not be your first good shout so I took immediate notice

    Both markets remained available till just a few weeks ago now when they were pulled

    I lumped on both way back in January. You can still get a spread of 19-23 to buy or sell and may find some even-money shouts for above or below a similar total but thanks to your heads up many months ago, my bags are packed at considerably more generous odds

    Dare one dream of under 10 seats? I’ll be happy with anything in the teens but if we do indeed get a nuclear event then it’s proper jackpot material. 8/1 back when you highlighted it

    I’m grateful to you for the early spot. Go well, and thanks for your work

  14. Zander Tait
    Ignored
    says:

    Yup. The next six weeks are going to be a political snooze fest. A one donkey race. Sorry donkeys.

    The only upcoming item of any interest to me is whether the COPFS have the audacity not to proceed with the prosecution of Peter Murrell on the grounds that it is “not in the public interest”.

  15. Sven
    Ignored
    says:

    I guess that following his previous failure as Leader of the SNP Mr Swinney is hoping to improve even further on his proven record of disaster.
    For myself, he has just demonstrated that he’s in this position for the enhanced salary, pension and resettlement payment. As far as Scotland, Independence or any sensible policies are concerned, they’re just of academic interest to this time server.

  16. David Hannah
    Ignored
    says:

    Ignore the election. I couldn’t care less about it.

    Read about gardening or something else instead. And then come the day I’m spoiling my ballot.

    Not my parliament. And I’ll never vote for a soup taking SNP. Judas party!

    Sturgeon = destroyer of SNP.

  17. WingsOverFrance
    Ignored
    says:

    @ross

    My vote FOR the SNP was always a vote FOR independence. What planet have you been on?

  18. Cuilean
    Ignored
    says:

    If you have not been tested for diabetes, I beg you to do so, asap. Scotland needs you!

  19. Stuart MacKay
    Ignored
    says:

    Arrgghhh, my eyes, my eyes – all those rainbow colours – the woke have taken over Unilever!!!

    I like martin’s idea that there’s a surprise in the offing. Labour are just sitting there waiting for the election to be handed to them. That means the names will change, but very little else will, so why not let the Tories continue. At least Big Ears is a better comedy act than Squeaky Voice.

    Just for laughs, how about a neck and neck race in England with a landslide for Labour north of the border getting them over the line. I think that would be the worst possible outcome for everybody.

  20. Geri
    Ignored
    says:

    I think the Tories will hold on too. It’ll be rigged.

    Their donors won’t switch to backstabbing Starmer. He’s too unpredictable & untrustworthy – especially in light of world events. (War/Gaza/Assange/CC arrests/US election)

    I don’t see them changing horses while their empire is circling the toilet..

  21. Vivian O’Blivion
    Ignored
    says:

    McAlpine names Colin McAllister (Chief of Staff) as prime numpty, as if Swinney is duty bound to take orders. No Swinney must own this lunacy. Also, where is the much vaunted Kevin Pringle in this?

  22. Mark Beggan
    Ignored
    says:

    When is a thief not a thief?

  23. Calum
    Ignored
    says:

    Minimum (and hopefully more) of three Scotland games to talk about. You are good at writing about football too Stuart, make a wee pivot for the Euros at least.

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Disappointed there are no Strawberry Mivvi’s in that stash, Stu. Or Funny feet.”

    I enjoy a split now and again but as a rule I very much prefer water-ice lollies to ice-cream ones.

  25. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Also, where is the much vaunted Kevin Pringle in this?”

    Fired when Swinney took over.

  26. Mia
    Ignored
    says:

    I am so disgusted by the whole thing that, at this point I do no longer feel generous enough to give ANY politician the benefit of the doubt.

    In my eyes, what Matheson did was a sackable offence with immediate effect. As far as I am concerned, he attempted to use taxpayers’ cash to pay his ridiculously high personal phone bill. That, in my books, is a blatant case of embezzlement of public funds right under our nose.

    There was plenty of evidence to demonstrate it. That he paid it AFTER the shit hit the fan, is neither here nor there. The crime had already been committed. He should have immediately faced a disciplinary tribunal and should have been sacked.

    That was at all practical effects theft of public funds for personal use. And that is without entering on that other issue of allegedly giving his children the pin code to access a Scottish government phone, which could have confidential information in it, so it could be used as a hot spot. There are some considerable information governance violations there too.

    Frankly, Somebody who is caught doing that can no longer be trusted with either public money, confidential information or Scottish government restricted devices. Therefore somebody that continues to put their trust on him cannot be trusted either.

    When the evidence of misconduct has been laid bare in the public eye as it has been, there is no possible credible excuse to keep that man in post, anywhere near government, anywhere near parliament or in the party.

    Backing somebody like that can only be, in my eyes, because:

    1. you are a worse criminal than he is, so embezzlement sounds minor, or/and
    2. he has some dirt on you, so you are effectively being blackmailed, or/and
    3. you are purposely trying to lose the election to help labour win, or/and
    3. Matheson is a plant/informant working for somebody else who has power over Swinney.

    The exact same applied to Yousaf, by the way. Matheson should have been sacked from the cabinet and party immediately as soon as his deeds hit the front pages.

    All this only goes to reinforce my already over the roof cynicism and scepticism towards any kind of election in the UK and my belief that the result of every election has already been agreed before hand, so it is just a matter of moving the pieces of the board around and brainwash the public 24/7 with propaganda under the guise of “expert” statisticians reports and predictions, to sell as justifiable that pre-determined result.

    I wonder if now that the “campaign” for the General “Election” has started, I wonder if operation snailform will suddenly come back to life from its looooooooooong hibernation.

    I am actually incredibly disappointed, shocked actually, that Mr Macaskill is standing on the same constituency as Eva Comrie. So much for Alba parroting a pro-independence united front, eh? Was it all for show?

    We all know what the result of that ill-advised move will be: neither Ms Comrie nor Macaskill will get the seat, so Alba is basically giving the seat away to Labour. How generous of them. So it appears it is not only the SNP that is busy at work committing political harakiri to prop up Labour so it gets to win the election.

    I guess the only consolation here is that it is becoming evident that without all this help from the SNP and Alba Labour would not stand a chance.

    ISP or, if not ISP candidate stands in my constituency, spoiled ballot it is then. I refuse to continue playing this stupid game that keeps us forever running in circles.

  27. David Jones
    Ignored
    says:

    Perhaps one of the SNP supporting multi-millionaires, someone like Val McDermid, Brian Cox or Nicola Sturgeon, will give their election campaign a boost with a large donation?

  28. Hatuey
    Ignored
    says:

    I think the ice-lolly reviews idea is a winner but I’m looking forward to seeing the SNP getting hammered, and in England I’ll be hoping Galloway’s party wins a few seats.

    Callers on LBC this morning argued that Starmer had a secret plan to fix everything and that he wasn’t sharing it because the Tories would steal it… I’d much rather be the hopeless bastard I am than be put through that sort of wringer again.

    If Sturgeon taught us anything, it’s that disappointment can be avoided if you expect fuck all.

  29. Liz
    Ignored
    says:

    Can’t wait to see the back of that fat fraud Blackford with his whiny voice and constant lies.

    Total coward and tractor

  30. FionaN
    Ignored
    says:

    Its not as though we will even be able to escape outside to enjoy summer weather/gardens/beaches etc unless we all go on holiday, as the long range forecast is for unsettled showery weather for most of June. This will be the most boring election ever, but at least we can look forward to the demise of a few of the snp nastier political figures. Small consolation though.

  31. Geri
    Ignored
    says:

    Ross

    “we voted 56 MPs in a year after the independence vote.

    It wasn’t on a platform to proceed independence.

    That should be highlighted.”

    Could be argued that the clause about Brexit & being taken out against our will was a tigger that should have started a change of direction. It was in the manifesto.

    Sturgeon had absolutely no qualms about going back on her word with everything else.

  32. David Hannah
    Ignored
    says:

    6 weeks out to the election. Branchform with the Crown Office.

    Let me guess. No charges will be brought prior to the election. Because of crooked Dorothy Bain?

  33. David Hannah
    Ignored
    says:

    Also Michael Matheson will face a parliamentary vote next week.

    That means the SNP will be 5 weeks out of a general election and the public will be talking about Michael Matheson.

    Swinney is running the SNP in his first week like a mafia.

    Steven Flynn will be shitting himself won’t he? HAHAHA!

    Steven Flynn: “Cometh the time. Cometh the man.” “John Swinney is the right man for the right moment.”

    AHAHAHAHA!

  34. AnneDon
    Ignored
    says:

    If Joanna Cherry wasn’t my MP, I would probably spoil my ballot paper, so I’m lucky I can vote at all. Even if the SNP totally sideline and ignore her.

    I’ve never had so little hope or faith in the political system or our future.

    Off topic, I left Twitter a few years ago, but I’m pleased to see that you’re still keeping your dentist in business, Rev. I’m sure he orders a new sports car after you leave from your appointment!

  35. Mark Beggan
    Ignored
    says:

    Whoever celebrates in the streets of Glasgow tomorrow should get volunteers within their own ranks to gather their own rubbish in a designated area for uplift. Showing respect for residents, businesses and the workers. If they love Glasgow so much then show it.

  36. Northcode
    Ignored
    says:

    Now that the SNP’s cover has been blown and its usefulness to Westminster in maintaining the hoax of ‘Scottish’ Government has come to an end, London has instructed Swinney to finish the SNP off and to clear the path for its English political parties operating in Scotland.

    It’s the only reason for Swinney’s behaviour, the words he utters and the actions he takes, that makes any sense.

  37. Ian
    Ignored
    says:

    Had you used the fourth option of a Twitter poll and added “Just post ice-lolly reviews”, I suspect you would have got a very different result.

  38. John C
    Ignored
    says:

    Labour are going to win a landslide at Westminster, the only question is whether it’ll be a Rest And Be Thankful-scale landslide – a setback for their opponents, but one that can be cleared up after a while – or a full Pompeii-scale burial for the Tories and SNP.

    The impression I’m getting is that while there’s not even half the enthusiasm people had for Blair’s Labour in 97 for this version of Labour, there’s a real desire from people to not just punish the Tories (and SNP/Greens in Scotland) but to just have a level of normality in government for a while. It remains to be seen if Labour will provide that. I suspect it’ll try for a time but the task ahead of them is enormous & at some point hard, unpopular decisions will be made.

    As for Matheson, his situation sums up where the SNP are right now. Fully transformed into everything they once hated. They’ve also got a string of failures and scandals swirling around them from the Wadhwa case (where he’s still astonishingly in a job), Murrell’s case, the agreement with the Greens, Sturgeon’s legacy and so much more. At some points parties/governments can bear the weight of all this which is what we’re seeing with the Tories and SNP right now.

    I still think the SNP will get around 15-20 seats, but they’re going to lose enough seats to probably lose Swinney his job. The SNP facing a future where Labour will be dominant for a decade and independence is essentially over for a generation means they surely have to have the sense to flush out the party of entryists, not to mention the crooks & failures dominating the SNP right now.

  39. Alan Mackechnie
    Ignored
    says:

    There is one big difference between labour and the conservatives- gender. I don’t trust labour an inch on this and given everything else is the same I could end up voting for the only party that represents biological reality.

  40. John C
    Ignored
    says:

    Labour won’t win this general election. The tories will, in a result that will surprise all commentators.

    The only was the Tories win this election is if they fiddle the results. People are done with them. However I don’t think they’re being totally wiped out but they’re certainly heading to their worst result in living memory.

  41. Effijy
    Ignored
    says:

    The story goes
    Labour wins power
    Announce no money left after Tory exit so can’t do anything for anyone.
    SNP massive loses no interest in independence now.
    SNP fight back- can we still ask about a referendum every now and then if you don’t mind.
    Many former Tory MP’s go off to spend the money they made with PPE contracts, emergency contracts and all the peoples utilities they sold off.
    Lib Dem’s increase Number of seats and if growth continues they claim that power will be there in 2064.

    Let’s do it again in 2029 and throw a coin up for the Tory/Labour dance of destruction

  42. stuart mctavish
    Ignored
    says:

    @mia

    Now defacto indy ref date is confirmed, an easy solution would be to incorporate the matheson red herring into plan A, and leverage it to call Holyrood election on same day.

    Swinney can then come down like a ton of bricks on Salmond, Sturgeon & Ferrier, get them to call for SNP 1 alba 2, or whatever, and come to an arrangement where 2 of the 3 indy candidates for the Grangemouth seat are given priority for Holyrood instead.

    🙂

  43. President Xiden
    Ignored
    says:

    Swinney has the appearance of a dour funeral director which is appropriate since he put the final nail in the coffin of the SNP yesterday and will now bury them.
    Ps Magnum white chocolate for me.

  44. Garrion
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Mark Beggan, 1:16, respectfully disagree. Change is intrinsic to politics. The trick is to make and sustain that change. Determining that we’re extrinsically and deterministically hooped for two generations is a self fulfilling statement, so let’s build some proactive thinking here.

  45. Campbell Clansman
    Ignored
    says:

    I have an election prediction.
    Four, really:
    1) the so-called “Independence parties” (SNP and Alba) will get hammered;
    2) Alba will barely register more votes than the Monster Raving Loony Party;
    3) James Che and others will blame the Alba failure on MI5, or the Normans, or the long-dead Queen Anne; and
    4) Alf Baird and others will nonetheless assert that the “real” Scottish people (the “real “Scots,” the “ethnic” Scots, the “neo-autochthonist” (or whatever) Scots) actually voted 97% for independence!

  46. Derick fae Yell
    Ignored
    says:

    Generally a believer in the cock-up rather than conspiracy theory of politics, but it gets harder and harder with the SNP. How is it possible for them to be SO incompetent?

    If the leadership (and a substantial chunk of remaining members) were deliberately trying to destroy the party and take the cause of independence down with it they could hardly do better.

    Maybe Swinney is mounting a pre-emptive strike on Flynn by trying to ensure wipe out at the GE? Maybe he has dementia. Maybe he’s just an idiot flailing around.

    Voting choices Falkirk
    1 don’t vote
    2 if ISP stand, positive vote for abstention
    3 hold nose and vote for some Labourite dunderheid tactically anti SNP
    Them putting up Dopey Toni does make 3 easier

    Look back on 2014 a weep.

    Controversial opinion: the SNP deliberately threw the 2014 vote by key sections of the White Paper being indefensible shite

  47. Mark Beggan
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Garrion
    With respect. How very dare you use words like deterministically on a Friday afternoon. I have to go and lay my head down now.

  48. John Thomson
    Ignored
    says:

    Sad but true in every sense

  49. Rob
    Ignored
    says:

    For the forthcoming GE, do I have this “right?” The LibDems are likely to stay irrelevant, the irrelevant Greens won’t be quite as irrelevant as at present, but still irrelevant. The Tories will become as close to irrelevant as naked jingoism snobbery and old-boy networks will allow. Labour will come to the fore and preserve everything essential to Tory voters. The SNP will go from irrelevance by choice to irrelevance by dint of massacre.

    There is much I would prefer, but, I cannot see it as a wholey bad thing if there are exSNP.MPs with time on their hands and a grudge toward Messrs Swinney and McAllister. I may buy popcorn.

  50. Republicofscotland
    Ignored
    says:

    In any other line of work Matheson would’ve been sacked, Swinney came up with some nonsense about some sort of witch hunt against Matheson by the Tories, and then Swinney revealed the truth of the matter when he said he has been friends with Matheson for a decade.

    As McAlpine says, Swinney not sacking Matheson puts him above the system the public will see this as the SNP/Swinney putting a guilty mans interests before that of the people, and voters will vote accordingly, Swinney by his actions on this has further damaged the SNP and their chance of winning seats at Westminster.

    Its as though Swinney doesn’t give a monkeys what the voter thinks.

  51. Hatuey
    Ignored
    says:

    Campbell, four is a peculiar number… couldn’t you think of a fifth? China invading Taiwan perhaps?

    I don’t think Swinney will be able to shrug off blame if the SNP collapse results in less than say 20 seats… he’s been Nicola’s loyal lapdog for years and everybody knows she single-handedly destroyed everything, including the SNP, with Swinney right at her side providing support and encouragement.

    These are historical events and times, about which much will be said in years to come. Everybody who believes in independence should be excited about what’s to come.

  52. Livionian
    Ignored
    says:

    I know the general election is gonna be devoid of decent patter, but we need a bit of wings coverage please. If nothing else than to rebutt the usual ‘can labour win without Scotland?’ bollocks.

    A Scottish politics website simply has to comment on the general election to remain relevant, as tedious as that job might be.

  53. Campbell Clansman
    Ignored
    says:

    Hatuey, I should have added a fifth, which you’ve summarized as:

    5) Blame Sturgeon!

    In the real world, if the Sturgeon could “destroy everything single-handedly, including the SNP,”

    if one person (Salmond’s handpicked successor, since people need to be reminded of that) could single-handedly “destroy” a movement,

    then perhaps the movement wasn’t that viable to begin with.

  54. 100%Yes
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve decided I’d rather keep the Tory’s and get rid of the SNP. I wrote to Hannah Bardell MP saying

    Dear Hannah

    I personally will not be voting for you in this Westminster election nor will the rest of our family, you and your party has done nothing for Indy or our country, so I will be voting for what ever party can defeat you on 04.06.24 American Independence day.

  55. BigJay
    Ignored
    says:

    When John the Redactor was elevated to FM the MSM was full of how he was a ‘safe pair of hands’.

    In his attitude towards the Matheson issue he’s shown that he is the exact opposite: he’s the eponymous Dr. No who has useless, non-functioning prosthetic hands.

    How can a high-ranking politician with 45 years experience be so utterly, utterly useless at those most basic of the required skills – reading the room: managing the optics or spinning the issue? Surely he wasn’t advised to show support to Matheson by his advisors? If he did it off his own bat it’s terrible: an astonishing lack of judgement. If he parroted what his SPADs told him to say it’s worse.

  56. Republicofscotland
    Ignored
    says:

    The poor folk of Glasgow’s East End really are up against it with this lot.

    “SCOTTISH Tory councillor Thomas Kerr is standing to become an MP in Glasgow East as the UK prepares to go to the polls on July 4.

    Others contending with Councillor Kerr for Glasgow East include the SNP’s David Linden (below), who is hoping to retain his seat and the Labour candidate John Grady”

  57. DavidT
    Ignored
    says:

    In other news, “An employee of a five-star Edwardian hotel and spa in Yorkshire has been charged with stealing almost £4,000 from the business. If convicted, the maximum penalty is a 12-month prison sentence or unlimited fine.” (Yorkshire Post)

  58. Garavelli Princip
    Ignored
    says:

    Sven
    says:
    24 May, 2024 at 1:35 pm
    “I guess that following his previous failure as Leader of the SNP Mr Swinney is hoping to improve even further on his proven record of disaster.”

    Oh, it’s better than that, Sven. Last time he was only party leader and not in office; this time he is actually First Minister – though no-one, not even anyone in the SNP voted him into that position.

    This very, very useless man now has the capacity to damage the movement even more spectacularly than he did then.

    He seems to be setting about that task with all the fervour of a drunken idiot let loose with a chain-saw.

    He has much more damage to do.

  59. Andy Ellis
    Ignored
    says:

    @Hatuey 3.28pm

    Or a fifth: weren’t there supposed to be Turkish boots on the ground to stop the “gen0cide” in Gaza by now Hats…? I’m sure I remember that confident prediction being made too….

    I’m not sure all that many share your sense of excitement. I seem to recall 12,000 excited people cheering Imelda McSelfie to the rafters not that many years ago. The world seemed pretty different the morning we woke up with 56 of 59 MPs being SNP.

    A labour government in Westminster and a hamstrung SNP government in Holyrood hanging on for dear life until 2026 doesn’t seem like a recipe for exciting times.

    Let’s just hope your soothsaying abilities are improving: thus far your record is like the inverse of Rev Stu’s. 🙂

  60. Andy Ellis
    Ignored
    says:

    @Hatuey 3.28pm

    Or a fifth: weren’t there supposed to be Turkish boots on the ground to stop the “gen0cide” by now Hats…? I’m sure I remember that confident prediction being made too….

    I’m not sure all that many share your sense of excitement. I seem to recall 12,000 excited people cheering Imelda McSelfie to the rafters not that many years ago. The world seemed pretty different the morning we woke up with 56 of 59 MPs being SNP.

    A labour government in Westminster and a hamstrung SNP government in Holyrood hanging on for dear life until 2026 doesn’t seem like a recipe for exciting times.

    Let’s just hope your soothsaying abilities are improving: thus far your record is like the inverse of Rev Stu’s. ?

  61. Richard Denning
    Ignored
    says:

    Regarding Matheson:

    Presumably if the press had not discovered his claim he would have got away with the crime?

    It was only because he was ‘found out’ that he – eventually – paid the money back .

    As already stated tha5 doesn’t absolve him from having committed the crime.

  62. Captain Cavemen
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Stu

    I’ll bet you £50 the Tories either win outright or is a hung parliament, for a laff.
    I reckon that’s my fifty down the Swanee though!

  63. Eric
    Ignored
    says:

    I thought Swinney had to be an improvement on Humza, but I’m having second thoughts.

    What Do We Want?
    Indy

    When Do We Want It?
    After the school holidays

  64. Antoine Roquentin
    Ignored
    says:

    Yes, let’s all make the effort to perform our democratic-duty on July 4th. It’ll change absolutely nothing, of course, but voting was never intended to undermine the status-quo. #END the UNION

  65. Robert Louis
    Ignored
    says:

    In the not so distant past, when I was in the SNP, I genuinely believed (as did most others) that no matter what, IF (and it seemed impossible at the time) IF ever, the SNP won most or all MP seats in Scotland then at the very least the SNP would disrupt the English parliament until such times as England gave us independence.

    When it happened and they won 56 out of 59 seats, I recall watching live news coverage from the BBC and ITV. It was clear, that England and its establishment was feart. They openly talked of a ‘constitutional crisis’, they said it was not clear what might happen, and that the SNP COULD demand independence. I fully expected Nicola Sturgeon to play hardball, demand independence, with a more realistic expectation of ensuring the promised devo max (the ‘vow’) was delivered in full and with bells on.

    So, given all that what did Nicola Sturgeon do? Swiftly announced (with no prompting from unionist parties whatsoever), that the result did NOT mean Scotland could go for independence. Thereby willfully removing her main bargaining chip from the table. Either an idiot, or an English stooge – I think the latter.

    In short, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP did NOTHING. They didn’t even try. No upsets in the HoC, no demanding democratic rights for Scotland e.g. Scottish votes for Scottish laws etc.. Nah,. they did f***ing NOTHING. They have spent the last ten years sitting on their backsides in London, living it up, expenses, free flights, free second homes, subsidized meals, subsidized drink.. On and on, their list of perks in their London high life go on.

    So, can John Swinney, or indeed ANY SNP person tell me just what is the effing point of electing SNP MP’s to England’s parliament? They have proven time and again, they will simply NOT stand up for Scotland. Lazy, fat, overpaid, underworked, talentless, lazy gits, every single one.

    So, as their is no ALBA candidate where I live, at the election, for the first time ever I shall spoil my paper.

    As a former member of the SNP, who went to conference and watched speeches by Kenny Macaskill and Alex Salmond, I genuinely hope the nuSNP get utterly trashed. At least then the lazy SNP barstewards living it up in London might need to get an actual job.

    The SNP, under Sturgeon, decided just not to even bother trying to get independence. They let England forcibly strip Scots of their EU citizenship wholly against their wishes and ANY kind of democratic rights, they have sat back and allowed the demise of Grangemouth, the selling off (at dirt cheap prices) of our wind power, and then to top it all, are actively working on the TORY English FREEPORTS.

    They have done NOTHING to preserve and protect Scottish culture and Scottish institutions.

    WTF, SNP??? Seriously, what the actual F***?

    If I could, I would vote ALBA, and folk should seriously look at their policies, and vote for them if they have a candidate in their area.

    As regards the result in England, who cares, red tories or blue tories, feck all difference between them. Oh, and remember the Last Labour government wanted to force folk to carry ID cards, well that is exactly what they plan to do this time around. Hell will freeze over before I have one. SIR Keir Starmer and his cohort of England-subservient red tory MP’s can go swivel.

  66. Hatuey
    Ignored
    says:

    First of all, Ellis, Turkish boots on the ground in Palestine would be a sixth prediction, not a fifth. Learn to count ffs.

    Fourthly, anybody that isn’t excited about the prospect of the SNP losing 30 seats in a GE, is confused and probably conflicted. Let me re-frame your trauma for you.

    The SNP is a colonial administration, charged with managing and containing the independence movement on behalf of London. Why wouldn’t we celebrate its demise?

    Getting rid of the SNP is the first step towards rebuilding the independence movement. Even if we do nothing after that, we are closer to independence than we would be with the SNP managing us on behalf of London.

    I don’t know why Wings appears underwhelmed by the prospect of them getting hammered in this election. I’m super-stoked. I’ll celebrate every lost SNP seat with booze and fireworks.

    Justice, revenge, karma, call it what you want. I love it.

  67. Andy Ellis
    Ignored
    says:

    @Hatuey 6.10pm

    It would be the fifth because there were originally four posited. Perhaps you just have a different number of digits to count on because your ancestors were too close when they interbred?

    There’s no point in getting excited until things change: we don’t yet know the extent of the SNP melt down – which I will warmly welcome like most on here – but the exact number of MP’s they end up with is, as I already said pretty immaterial.

    Whether they end up havind 20, 15, 10 or 5 makes SFA difference unless and until the movement uses the SNP’s gubbing as a way to wrest control back from the party, and ensure we concentrate on plebiscitary elections in 2026.

    With a Labour government in Westminster and a minority SNP government in Holyrood, we can’t automatically expect dramatic events to be some deus ex machina delivering change. Even if we see Branchform resulting in jail time for some who richly deserve it, that won’t automatically translate to an uptick in independence support.

    Wings is – as usual – right. You -as usual – are dead wrong. Your MO precedes you. You’re Wings own crap Cassandra: the anti-Midas of prediction. Everything you touch turns to dross.

  68. Republicofscotland
    Ignored
    says:

    “weren’t there supposed to be Turkish boots on the ground”

    Speaking of boots on the ground its been revealed Daesh carried the attack in big concert hall in Mozzcow. They are Naeto and U backed and come from the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan, they are now in U aiding and abetting the Kneo-Nattzi’s where they’ll end like the others and be turned into dog food.

  69. ScottieDog
    Ignored
    says:

    Incredibly depressing. It’s hard to know what to even hope for, such has been the betrayal by the SNP. Hoping down south that there is a decent haul of ex-labour independents getting elected.

    Up here, yes the SNP deserve annihilation. Just so sad the auld labour gravy train is the alternative. My only hope is that the highly calorific former head of better together loses. He’ll get automatic ermine if that’s the case and it will be absolutely fitting for what scotland did to itself in 2014.

  70. Karen
    Ignored
    says:

    Re SNP candidates wanting voters to vote for “change”. I assumed SNP know Labour are going to win; “vote for change” is Labour’s election slogan; SNP candidates hope punters will vote for them by mistake.

  71. george william addison
    Ignored
    says:

    Swinney missed the obvious point here! WE the public ARE his & Matheson’s employers & it is more like 80% of their employers believe that the lying toad should be facing criminal charges. So who’s Swinney going to come down on like a tonne of bricks? His own voters? What a cretin!

  72. Ruby Friday
    Ignored
    says:

    The BBC could have written a better headline.

    I bet all people read is

    ‘Swinney wont support Matheson’

  73. Geri
    Ignored
    says:

    “weren’t there supposed to be Turkish boots on the ground”

    I think you’ll find they did one better than that. They’ve stopped trading which has far greater consequences.

    As the saying goes – there’s more than one way to skin a cat than through it’s ass.

    Just saying. Update yer software. Lol..

  74. mike cassidy
    Ignored
    says:

    So its holiday time until after the election

    Then its wait and see

    Will someone come forward and challenge Swinney?

    Thinking if I get in now I can revive the party before the next Holyrood election

    Especially as people will have experienced two years of Starmerama by then

    Or will he remain unchallenged because nobody wants to go near the job until after that Holyrood election

  75. George Ferguson
    Ignored
    says:

    Procedural Committee anomalies in the Matheson Investigation. Minefields laid by Nicola Sturgeon. Has everybody forgotten the Fabiani Inquiry. Reap what you sow. The Greens are going to support the Scottish Government in the Matheson penalty being excessive thereby ensuring it’s on the news agenda for at least 2 weeks of a 6 week General Election cycle. Madness by the SNP. Sturgeon laid the Minefields, Humza got a hospital pass and Swinney is in Intensive Care already. Why I am interested in the General Election 2024? Have you seen the individual Constituency betting? Some big SNP Portillo moments coming up. I will donate most of it to charitable causes.

  76. Geri
    Ignored
    says:

    “Will someone come forward and challenge Swinney?”

    Who? Lol

    They’re all as bad as each other. There isn’t a single person left with any integrity. They’re just shuffling the deckchairs & collecting their salary.

    When 43 are sacked from Westminster there could be a challenger but I don’t see any emerging leader from that lot either. That time has passed imo.

  77. Hatuey
    Ignored
    says:

    Does Ellis wish me to remind him of what he said about the “petrol station masquerading as a country”, how it would lose the war, how Vladimir would be deposed and “strung up”, etc?

    I’m pretty sure you went on about the sanctions too, suggesting that their economy would collapse… I just paid my electricity bill — it’s my economy that’s collapsing.

    How about my point made several months ago that Alba should have made more of the massacre going on in Palestine, that public opinion would be favourable to such a stance? Alba stands for nothing and as long as plonkers like you are involved (if you are), it will achieve nothing.

    On one of my more recent predictions regarding the deaths on the Iranian helicopter, it looks like things are shaping up there too… I’ll get back to you on that.

    If you or anyone else is predicting the SNP getting thrashed in this election means nothing, you’re simply dead wrong again. It’s going to be a massive defeat and it’ll be massively important, with massive consequences.

  78. Ruby Friday
    Ignored
    says:

    Labour introduced the GRA 2004 which basically allows men to claim they are women.

    Any discussion you have about ‘women’s rights’ all you hear is these men with their deep voices saying

    ‘But I am a woman.’

    Don’t vote Labour if have any respect for biological adult human females.

    If you have any respect for Scotland & yourself just don’t vote in Scotland.

    Zero turnout is the answer.

    Wouldn’t you like to see them all turning up at the count to be told nobody voted.

    Presiding Officer says:

    “You can demand a recount all you like but there is SFA to count.

    Turnout Zero. No postal votes and not even a spoiled ballot. ”

    Whether or not Stu wins his million quid will be down to the voters in England.
    (What’s new?)

  79. twathater
    Ignored
    says:

    On the subject of Matheson the LIAR this is a copy of an email I sent to my 8 MSP’s for my constituency,I have recd 2 AUTO confirmations 1 from K Clark and 1 from P O’Kane to indicate they have recd my email, no response from the other 6

    Dear Katy Clark, Ross Greer, Pam Gosal, Paul O’Kane, Neil Bibby, Russell Findlay and Jamie Greene,
    I watched a news programme today in relation to the fraudulent claim of £11,000 by MSP Michael Matheson and the Holyrood Standards Committee’s recommendation to suspend Michael Matheson from parliament for 27 sitting days

    I was outraged that the committee had imposed such a meaningless penalty for such an egregious attempt to deliberately lie and obfuscate the matter to not only the Scottish Parliament but to the citizens of Scotland who are finding it increasingly difficult to manage their dwindling finances in this age of financial hardship

    It is despicable that Matheson deliberately attempted to claim the bill was for parliamentary usage and only when that was exposed as a lie did he reluctantly admit that it was used in a personal manner

    Matheson not only tried to defraud and mislead parliament, he brought his position as a MSP into disrepute by continuing with his lies which is abhorrent, everyone can make mistakes but to double down on his lies and misinformation illustrates his lack of character and the utter contempt he holds for the electorate , his colleagues , his fellow MSP’S, and the Scottish parliament

    I also watched him being interviewed by journalists and his attitude and demeanour was that he was being unjustly punished and was unwilling to show any real sign of contrition

    I am a avid supporter of independence for Scotland but I find John Swinney’s and the wider SNP’s attitude to a minister breaching the ministerial code disgusting and patronising

    Please see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-67473221 for a timeline

  80. Rob
    Ignored
    says:

    Both sides in Palestine are wearing black hats, neither are the “good guys”
    The only difference is that one side is much better armed.

  81. Geri
    Ignored
    says:

    Hatuey

    “How about my point made several months ago that Alba should have made more of the massacre going on in Palestine, that public opinion would be favourable to such a stance? Alba stands for nothing and as long as plonkers like you are involved (if you are), it will achieve nothing.”

    Exactly. Big fearties win fck all.
    He who hingith aboot wins hee-haw.

    If they don’t stand up & be counted at mass murder then they won’t stand up for anything, including indy if it ever came to it, when it’s our skulls they start cracking to retain what they already see as their possession.

    I think franchise fanny would love that anyway. He’s already a willing & fully paid up member of the propaganda & fake news bull despite the whole WWW telling everyone otherwise.

  82. George Ferguson
    Ignored
    says:

    Interesting from the Labour Party. The Great British Energy Company based in Scotland. Tens of thousands of jobs created. Absolutely no evidence of how they are going to that. I have researched the Labour website absolutely no detail. Is that the Supply Business or Generation, Transmission and Distribution? Another Sturgeon smokescreen. The Supply business accounts for 5% of energy costs. Remember Sturgeons
    promise? Equally based on the Supply Business. The latest energy price cap by Ofgem 7% reduction in prices. The total operating profit of the Supply Business 5% on average. None of these politicians know how to fix things. And hundreds of pounds of the average energy bill? Absolute nonsense. They don’t know what they are talking about. Especially Labour. Sturgeon revisted.

  83. Alf Baird
    Ignored
    says:

    George Ferguson @ 10:31 pm

    “The Great British Energy Company.”

    Scotland, the biggest producer of renewable energy per capita in the world, yet our people suffer the highest energy prices in the world. Colonial plunder in action:

    https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2024/04/18/the-realities-of-an-energy-rich-scotland-plundered-under-colonial-rule/

  84. George Ferguson
    Ignored
    says:

    @Alf Baird 11:19pm
    I dinnae need links Alf. I lived it. I went to a meeting 12 years ago about the Supply Chain for the renewable energy industry. The Saudi Arabia of the World. At least that was the promise. Meeting full of Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Government officials. Nobody knew what was needed. Fast Forward 12 years. The same. Since then Scotwind, BiFab, resistance against Freeports. I accept I am in a minority position on Freeports because people believe in the SNP mantra. Actually it’s the best thing to happen to Scotland for a decade. The mechanism to get Scotland in the game. As Alf Young says in the Sunday Times thanks to Texas and not Holyrood.

  85. charlie
    Ignored
    says:

    I think Swinney’s mindset is that we’re all doing what Matheson did but unfortunately he got caught. They’re in such a bubble that they neither know no care what voters think. They have their pensions they really don’t give a fuck. They have their strange minions earning ridiculous salaries for what they do for the foreseeable future.

    Mind Matheson could have got away with pocketing eleven grand, he was unlucky. Which is mebbe why Murrel has been investigated way back.

    But Matheson lied and then admitted he’d lied. And Swinney is defending that? FFS. Get their pensions stopped, strip their assets. Put these cushion warmers back to an ordinary life.

  86. Kcor
    Ignored
    says:

    “These people are clowns.”

    Are they?

    Haven’t they been laughing their heads off at the plebs instead of making them laugh?

    I hate it when bastards and tractors like them are trivially written off as clowns.

    They are anything but clowns.

    The clowns are the ones who will vote for them.

    And there are plenty of them in Scotland.

  87. Confused
    Ignored
    says:

    “rewilding” = GET ORFF MOI LAND

    – all these landowners are now “custodians of the land” and “environmentalists committed to net zero”.

    that the oiks won’t be munro bagging in case they get eaten by a wolf, is just a side effect.

    here is an interesting one if you have never realised the phenomenon

    https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/commodities/solar-panel-supply-german-electricity-prices-negative-renewable-demand-green-2024-5

    – but you could always mine bitcoin, or use hydro pumped storage as a national battery. Once the datacentres for the coming AI boom are built, I doubt negative prices will ever be a thing.

    note that to the biz press, such a thing is a disaster as it disallows the profit; but in the UK energy providers will be given guaranteed prices, so they always profit – this is how the nuke stations will be financed.

    aren’t the tories absolute cunts; and aren’t labour the hypocrites for talking a good game then turning round to say – “no, we won’t do that after all”

  88. Stoker
    Ignored
    says:

    Andy Ellis wrote: “Whether they end up having 20, 15, 10 or 5 makes SFA difference unless and until the movement uses the SNP’s gubbing as a way to wrest control back from the party, and ensure we concentrate on plebiscitary elections in 2026.”

    Not just 2026 but for evermore. Every Holyrood election. This is where Alba need to up their game as far as standing a candidate in every seat goes. Not only that, but they also have to alert us as early as possible as to who will be standing where etc. Meanwhile every Westminster election is treated with a spoiled ballot regardless of who is standing where etc.

    I would even go as far as to say we also need to replace SNP candidates at local (council) level too. They really need to be taught a very harsh lesson for what they’ve done to the indy cause. If we don’t teach them a lesson, and send a very strong message, i fear we will just end up with as corrupt a political system as Westminster, with weak inept self-servers as our representatives.

  89. Shetto Al
    Ignored
    says:

    How about some Strolling With Stuey content to give us some relief from the election? And those bears need patrolled!

  90. Alf Baird
    Ignored
    says:

    George Ferguson @ 11:58 pm

    “Scotwind, BiFab,… Freeports”, to which can be added ferries, privatised utilities, lands/properties sold to anybody, citizenship/visas bought, GRR, HCA, colonial administrators, colonial institutions etc; all part of the colonial racket, all part of the ongoing colonial plunder; which is actually rather easy to calculate, the social and economic cost of colonialism to Scots, at upwards of £150 billion per year:

    https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2024/03/19/the-real-economic-price-of-the-uk-union-for-scots/

    “Freeports ..The mechanism to get Scotland in the game.”

    On the contrary, a colonised people are “out of the game” and “no longer part of history” (Memmi).

  91. Northcode
    Ignored
    says:

    “rewilding” = GET ORFF MOI LAND

    @Confused, with inimitable style, succinctly reveals the real motivation behind the current fad for the ‘re-wilding’ of Scotland.

  92. faolie
    Ignored
    says:

    Pointless voting for the SNP. Repurpose your vote instead
    https://repurposeyourvote.scot/

  93. James
    Ignored
    says:

    “Labour….The Great British Energy Company based in Scotland. Tens of thousands of jobs created.”

    HoHo. Red Tory Starmer, [Like the Blue Tory leader Sunak who thinks Darlington is in Scotland] probably thinks Blyth is also in Scotland. Jobs for the Scotch in Newcastle. Rejoice!

  94. Robert McAllan
    Ignored
    says:

    @Carol Sadler, you are bang on the money as the saying goes!
    Spread the word LOUD and CLEAR, FAR and WIDE, repurpose your vote,#End The Union!!!

  95. Alice Timmons
    Ignored
    says:

    I think the best and most relevant thing you can do for your readers over the election period is take a poll on which ice lollies to review. I’ll start with Asda’s Cider Flavoured Ice Lollies. I believe absolutely that they (and I know this may be a bit controversial) are the best tasing ice lollies ever to be produced in the history of the world.

  96. charlie
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s a bit strange that all this election crowdfunding is going on for a grand or two when the sitting members are on the whack they’re on, but hey ho, gravy doesn’t grow on trees.

  97. Rob
    Ignored
    says:

    This sort of corruption and entitlement is exactly what the SNP have been accusing the Cons of for years.
    I think that unless something significant changes the SNP are heading for oblivion in the GE and again in the SE.
    Some of this will be due to voter apathy but I think the apathy will be more profound in the SNP support.
    Don’t think it will bother them as it must be nice to have such a large non contributory pension, everyone else in the public sector has to pay in for 40 years to get this, why are MSP’s different in that they get it for free?
    And plenty of folk are in and out of work so that ain’t an excuse!

  98. Stewart Gowans
    Ignored
    says:

    I have really not looked at Wings Site since end of the 2014 Independence Campaign in which it was just brilliant. Regrettable the site no longer reflect very much the Independence movement The role of the Labour Party doing the Tories dirty work should daily be repeated.
    No mention of Little Douglas Alexander never returning to fight in Paisley. No mention of Craig Murray being Margaret Currans son. Take a look at Labour PPC. Councillor for Lewisham London and carpetbaggers from the Labour establishment.

  99. Helen Yates
    Ignored
    says:

    My prediction for the election, Tories will lose a lot of seats.
    Labour will lose quite a few seats but win overall.
    Lib-Dems will gain a couple of seats.
    Greens will gain a couple of seats.
    SNP will lose at least six seats.
    Alba will win 2 maybe 3 seats.
    Independents will do surprisingly well.
    So a hung parliament.



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