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Living in a world of quicksand

Posted on August 26, 2016 by

Scottish Labour won a council by-election in Fife last night, held after the long-serving Communist Party/independent councillor Willie Clarke (who can be seen on the last page of our Charlie Hebdo feature here) stepped down due to ill health.


The successful candidate Mary Lockhart was understandably jubilant, but there were a couple of what seemed like pertinent facts missing from the local paper’s report.

One was that despite the Courier declaring “Following a swing towards the SNP in recent local votes, there was joy amongst the group in red rosettes”, there had in fact been a huge swing towards the SNP in The Lochs too.

The Nats had more than doubled their vote share since the last election contested by Willie Clarke, from 19% in 2012 to 38.6%. Almost all of his vote had actually moved over to the SNP, with Labour picking up just 0.7% compared to four years ago. And compared to a by-election in the same ward in 2014, the swing direct from Labour to the SNP was in the region of 16%.


(Lockhart was finally elected thanks to Conservative second-preference votes. She needed just 81 extras to get her over the 50% line, but hadn’t collected them until the fourth round of counting, when the Tory candidate was eliminated and enough of his votes went to Labour to clinch the seat.)


But there was an even more interesting omission from the story. Because if any alert readers are thinking they find Mary Lockhart’s name familiar, it’s probably because she’s appeared on Wings before.

In 2013 we saluted her subtlety when she stood down as chair of the Co-operative Party, a Labour sister organisation, having come under pressure for declaring her open support for independence.


Curiously there’s no mention in the story of the fact that Scottish Labour now has – as far as we know – its first elected representative who unambiguously backs a Yes vote and was elected in that knowledge. We suppose that could indeed be taken as an indicator of a “turning tide”, if perhaps not in quite the way that the headline meant.

Because if the parameters of victory for Scottish Labour are now 15% swings to the SNP and seats being won by independence supporters, then the political ground truly is shifting under their feet.

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  1. 26 08 16 10:56

    Living in a world of quicksand | speymouth

180 to “Living in a world of quicksand”

  1. shug says:

    It is very interesting that there have now been several instances of conservatives effectively voting in labour candidates.
    I wonder how this will pan out in the local elections. Will labour see a come back at the expense of the tories

  2. Micaela says:

    Just read that our local failed labour woman sends folk to report back to her in local community meetings the communist spirit lives

  3. Jules says:

    We need more of this. Labour folk who see the sense in Scotland being independent…and being allowed and encouraged to play an active role in Labour politics while saying so.

    From the Indy perspective it broadens the movement beyond SNP, Greens and Socialists. From Labour’s perspective it makes them electable in places such as South Fife.

  4. Fergus Green says:

    Maybe she should have a strapline like ‘Labour for Independence’. Or did I hear that somewhere before?

  5. Anagach says:

    It does look like a lot of Labour will have Tory as second choice and vice versa.

    Unionists will be sticking together, because being run from Westminster is more important than how they are run.

  6. Albert Herring says:

    Tories voting in the pro-indy candidate to keep out the pro-indy candidate. Are they thick or something?

  7. Morag says:

    It’s the way it often works though. It was second (or later) preferences from my voters that got the Tory over the line in the by-election here. My transfer votes went overwhelmongly to the LibDem at that stage (the LibDems had topped the poll in 2012) but just enough went Tory to get him over the line.

    There’s always some, and if the top candidate is very close he or she will almost always make it after the third-placed candidate is eliminated, no matter how incongruous it seems.

  8. Fergus Green says:

    It looks like at least 87.3% voted for pro-independence candidates.

  9. Disappointed at the result, but given the Tory and probably the Libdem vote going to Labour not surprised.

    As for her claim that the tide is turning let’s wait and see what happens in next local elections

  10. One_Scot says:

    It never fails to amaze me how the Yoon media can take good news storys for the SNP and Independence and then put it through their propaganda machine to turn it into a triumph for Yoonionism.

    Is there anywhere in the world where the media are more politically corrupt against their own country.

  11. Proud Cybernat says:

    Would the Tory voters have given her their second pref vote had they been aware she openly supports Indy? I rather think not.

  12. Takeour blueback says:

    Local elections need a bit of thought or we will return more Labour cash cow councils content to keep Scotland down.

    Is there a stategy we could apply other than encourage everyone to vote and give someone else (other than Lab or Con) your 2nd & 3rd preferences?

    Would be good to prepare now!


  13. Helpmaboab says:

    The gifting of Tories’ second-preference votes may partly explain why Labour still take such a hardline constitutional position: They don’t want to scare off Conservative supporters next May.

    Of course, by next May, there’s no guarantee that there’ll be a single Labour party for Tories to support. A difficult choice between rival Corbynite and Blairite candidates may be required…

  14. Ronnie says:

    I think I’ve seen it all now.

    To-day’s P&J is now claiming that Calum McCaig is the ‘Leader of the Scottish Labour Party’.

    Have I been asleep too long, or is this the latest media brainwashing scam?

  15. Helpmaboab is right…this is why The Dug and Fat Boab work together. They are forming a unionist alliance against Scotland; with the liberals yapping at their heels.

  16. Macart says:

    As per, its always what is not reported that seems more interesting or pertinent. 🙂

  17. Marie Clark says:

    Ronnie, whose Calum McCaig when he’s at home?

  18. Ronnie says:


    Callum (correct spelling) is the SNP MP for Aberdeen South, both at home and elsewhere.

  19. winifred mccartney says:

    Sarah Smith last night reporting from glasgow on Corbyn/Owen hustings – no mention of jeering for Kez and Owen- can you imagine the BBC and MSM if Nicola or any snp were jeered at a meeting – they would be in meltdown. And this is our unbiased bbc.

  20. Footsoldier says:

    Labour won another local election,regrettably. This on the cusp of a referendum for independence.

  21. Craig MachAonghais says:

    My local council Falkirk sent out a letter informing us the green bins will now only be emptied once every four weeks instead of fortnightly as now. This ridiculous dangerous decision will not only increase the risk of causing disease and a rise in the rat population but is in my mind a dereliction of duty by the council to ensure public health in their area. The reasons given by the Labour controlled council is financial. Funny that they found money to support the sectarian orange order rally in Callendar Park and the millions to waste on a consultation about building a new headquarters for the council. Of course if they didn’t have to spend the money for the PFI scandals brought in by Labour then they would have plenty to invest in ensuring a decent service when it comes to bin collection.
    My Labour supporting pals claim this is due to the council tax freeze imposed by the Scottish Government. Despite this being a ridiculous lie and that the council is more than adequately funded to provide the essential services, I point out there is an easy solution to their concerns. Im happy to accompany them down to the nearest one-stop shop and have them pay a voluntary extra 50% on their council tax. ( I’m being generous here – under the last Labour-liberal executive my council tax rose over 100%). Nothing to prevent them doing this to help out their Labour council. Strangely enough, not one of them has taken me up on this offer.

  22. winifred mccartney says:

    New labour councillorin fife- bbc forgot to mention she is an independence supporter and helped across the line with blue tory votes, but bbc is not biased.

  23. Stoker says:

    Rev wrote:

    “Curiously there’s no mention in the story of the fact that Scottish Labour now has – as far as we know – its first elected representative who unambiguously backs a Yes vote and was elected in that knowledge.”

    Does she though? Has anyone recently asked Lockhart if her position on Scottish independence remains the same? After-all, we’re all very aware just how easily Slabber representatives can and do turn their stances on important issues. They are the masters at hiding their true intent under a beggars mantle!

    In any case, what she believes or stands for is utterly irrelevant because, like all the others, when push comes to shove she’ll do exactly what her London masters instruct her to do or worse still she’ll bow to her managers superiority. 🙂

  24. call me dave says:

    Voters need to take local elections a bit more seriously no matter who wins.

    I remember the days when only such as those had a franchise to vote, think yourself lucky…my father used to say blah! blah!

    I used to smile but it’s true.

    4th shuffle of the votes. Tough 🙁

    Callum McCaig ?

    Not the SNP MP Aberdeen South? Surely a mistake.

  25. JLT says:

    Interesting …this is a very, very interesting article.

    Good to know Stuart. Certainly your arctle changes the whole picture immensely compared to the one reproted by the media

  26. Bob Mack says:

    We have often discussed on this forum the likliehood of Tories giving their second preference to Labour and vice versa. This is probably a snapshot of the upcoming Council elections in many wards. Hatred for the SNP creates many strange bedfellows who would rather vote against all political belief than vote SNP. This is aided and abetted by the voting system.
    This time it was a miscalculation I believe. I do not think for a moment that every voter knew of her indy preference, and hence the selection.
    I am not too worried about it though in major cities. Perhaps in the suburbs and rural areas.

    We enter the age of Union v Indy. Interesting stuff.

  27. One_Scot says:

    ‘Labour won another local election,regrettably. This on the cusp of a referendum for independence.’

    Yeah, but a Labour candidate that supports Independence.

  28. mike cassidy says:

    The Courier are probably hoping their readers have forgotten this report on Maverick Mary back in April.

    Interestingly, the winning candidate made no mention of her views on independence on her fundraising page.

    And as an aside –

    I know you can read most anything into numbers –

    but do those first preference votes reveal at least some former Willie Clarke voters opted for the Tories this time round?

    I had no idea he was that popular!

  29. call me dave says:

    Not often I give a nod to shortbread radio but the Owen v Corbin conference was given a fair shake this morning as was stirring under the blankets about 8’ish.

    Even played the Owen part of the speech where guffaws rang out
    Sort of gave me the impetus to get up.

    Geez! No double-entendre intended as I re-read this 🙂

  30. While one of our councillor’s who was canvassing and leafleting in the Lochs by election gave me some of the SNP candidate’s leaflets to see.
    I haven’t seen the Labour candidate’s leaflet.

    Though I suspect she wouldn’t be proclaiming she supported an Independent Scotland in the by election campaign, the local Fife Labour mafia wouldn’t allow it.

  31. Dr Ew says:


    Mary Lockhart is strongly in favour of independence. I heard her speak at a Women for Indy-organised hustings prior to the May election and she was absolutely unequivocal about her position. Indeed she spoke very eloquently about the opportunity for a second referendum in the event of a Brexit vote (though this didn’t seem a likely prospect back in April).

    I’d heard of her but never actually heard her speak before. I was very impressed but also astonished someone with her intelligence and integrity could still exist in the Labour Party, especially in Scotland.

    Worth mentioning several folk in the audience asked her why she remained a member. In short, she believed her party had been taken over by New Labour careerists and neoliberals in almost a mirror-image of the Militant Tendency operation of the 1980s – and she simply refused to give in to them.

  32. Tony Little says:

    What is becoming clear, if it wasn’t already, is that the Council elections will be Independence vs Union. We should anticipate that the Unionists (Lab/Lib/Con) will support each other with their second preference votes and we need to have a strategy to try to minimise this impact.

    This means that unless we can mitigate this factor, Lab (and perhaps the LibDems) will retain more seats than their support deserves.

    Getting out the vote ha never been more important. And supporters of Independence should understand that they should ONLY express a preference for an Independence supporting party and NEVER give any preference to a Unionist party. Under the system you are not obliged to use all your preferences. You can in fact vote only for one candidate if that’s your wish.

    I wonder how many people understand how the council electoral system actually works? (Says me, who might have it wrong as well!)

  33. Capella says:

    Another piece of brilliant journalism. You could give lessons to the MSM hacks who obviously missed the “investigative” class.

  34. mike cassidy says:

    Peter McCullough 10.34

    The one Labour leaflet that came through my door was basically what is on her fundraiser page. (my 10.27)

    I suspect a case of “Don’t mention the independence” and scare away the tory second preference voters.

    Ironically, who else was likely to get those except the Labour candidate?

  35. hamish k says:

    I am saddened to see the end of the “Little Moscow” which traditionally had a strong representation fromm the CP. I salute Willie Clarke and those who went before – in Cowdenbeath, Lumphinnans and Lochgelly.

  36. CageyBee says:

    Craig MachAonghais says:
    26 August, 2016 at 10:17 am
    My local council Falkirk sent out a letter informing us the green bins will now only be emptied once every four weeks instead of fortnightly as now.

    Please stick to the facts and let the yoons use spin
    Currently your green bin is collected every 3 weeks. Oh and watch out for the next logical step which is weighing your green bin and charging byweight for those unable to recycle.
    PS not disputing your jibe re the new headquarters

  37. Rab Ward says:

    just a wee comment on the Britain elects figures…there was no Swing away from Communist in the Forths ward . Willie Clarke stood as an Independant Councillor since the Communist party of great Britian disbanded over 15 years ago. Before then he stood as a Communist. and since the figures in the last by-election show no communist standing in the by-election of 2014 I dont know where this ‘swing’ comes from.

  38. Stoker says:

    @ Dr Ew (10:35 am)

    Thank you for that! Very interesting but obviously not impressive enough to convince the masses that she needed blue tory help in the end.

    Going far back for examples this is another wake-up call to all of us hoping to do serious damage at the local elections next May. We are up against a Unionist tory alliance.

    We really need to get organised and start sending out local voting recommendation messages. These elections will signal our progress thus far, imo!

  39. Another Union Dividend says:

    Great article on GERS deficit

    Worth printing out and keeping for reference

  40. DerekM says:

    @ CageyBee

    He got his facts spot on some places still got two week uplifts some 3 thats if they turn up on the right day or even week for that matter.

    Watch out for the new rubbish gestapo who will come round and fine you for putting a can or paper in the green bin funded by the council who brought such projects as rusty ww1 memorial outside disused falling to bits barrs factory and big pond no parking grangemouth traffic chaos.

  41. Marie Clark says:

    Ronnie 10.10, sorry had to go out for a wee while.

    So Callum McCaig is the SNP MP for Aberdeen South. No wonder you thought you’d been dreaming if he’s now being spoken about for the Labour leader in Scotland.

    I thought he must be a SLAB person that you don’t hear about, that’s why I couldn’t place him. Thanks for clearing up the confusion.

  42. Bootsy81 says:

    Call me cynical but how long do we give it before she puts career ahead of principals and reverses her position. I’m awaiting lines like “it’s no longer feasible in the current economic climate/post-brexit arena for Scotland to be independent”

    Now she’s an elected official it’ll not be long before she’s back tracking and toeing the party line. I hope to be pleasantly surprised…

  43. Craig MachAonghais says:

    Cagey Bee @ 10.59

    Jeez you’re right! My bad! Checked with the good lady and it’s already at every 3 weeks! Even worse than I thought ?

  44. Dan Huil says:

    Realistic analysis, as usual, from the Rev, in comparison with the hysterical britnat media. Everything seems, to me, to be ticking along nicely: SNP up 19.6% since 2012; swing from Lab to SNP c.15% since 2014; new Lab counsellor pro-indy. And all this after another anti-Scottish barrage from the britnat media.

  45. R-type Grunt says:

    Any quotes from her re independence more recent than 2013?

  46. gordoz says:

    Living in Quicksandland surely ?? ?

  47. Robert Peffers says:

    @Footsoldier says: 26 August, 2016 at 10:14 am:

    “Labour won another local election,regrettably. This on the cusp of a referendum for independence”

    What else would you expect, Footsoldier?

    The by-election was due to a Communist Party member retiring due to ill health, (Mr Clarke had stood as an independent BTW). Not only that but he voted Yes in the Scottish Referendum and urged his supporters to vote SNP in the by-election.

    However, “The Lochs”, ward is composed of several ex-mining communities and, besides the communists party, have been staunch Labour since ever there was a Labour party. The point is that the Socialist mantra is very strong around these parts and where else would Communist voters choose to go than Labour.

    In the event the reason Labour scraped home was due to both Tory and LibDem second & third choice votes. As some have pointed out on Wings, Scottish politics has now become a matter of Independence voters against the combined Unionist parties. Unionist Parties who once were the bitterest of enemies of each other but who are now all cosy friends of the union together.

  48. Suzanne K says:

    Could the election results of a Labour candidate have anything to do with Brexit rather than Independence from Westminster? I’m thinking it has, due to the stance taken by Smith, Dugdale and Corbyn.
    If I’m correct, then this is a good thing and shows that the feeling in Scotland is most definitely to Remain in the EU in whatever form that may take.
    I acknowledge the problem we face from Tory second preferences. But given the huge rise in the SNP vote in this by-election, coupled with the election of a pro Indy, pro EU candidate, regardless of party, I think we’re still heading the right direction as a nation.

  49. ScottieDog says:

    Commonweal have sadly rolled out a turgid article on deficits.

  50. Alibi says:

    Why have you got a photo of Nanny McPhie?

  51. Tinto Chiel says:

    Excellent article, Rev. Is this called journalism, by any chance? Mary Lockhart seems a decent sort but the message for us is to GTVO next May, a difficult thing to do considering the apathy council elections engender.

    I agree completely with Another Union Dividend: the G McIntyre-Kemp essay in The National is a real keeper. Combine that with the Rev’s Six Key Facts and it’s pretty much all you would need to know for the doorstep campaign.

    Do you think the MSM hacks read these contributions and feel petty, inadequate and ashamed?

    No, me neither.

    Silly me.

  52. @mike cassidy
    26 August, 2016 at 10:50 am

    My Councillor colleague who isn’t too disappointed at the result
    e-mailed me to say he manned a polling station all day and that Labour had all the Big Guns out Yesterday Brown and dugdale Rowley ..and the provost Leishman.

  53. heedtracker says:

    The boss really likes it too. Fine propaganda work. Unless she’s changed her mind that is, but we’ll probably never read about it in this organ of toryboy bleh.

    Ross MacCallum ?@C_RMacCallum 12h12 hours ago
    Here’s our Fife by-election page for Friday…fine work by @C_JWatson

  54. Proud Cybernat says:


    Radio 2 right now. £22 billion to be cut from England’s NHS budget over next few years. Surely then that will lead to a Barnett consequential cut of around £2 billion to Scotland’s budget.

    Another Union Dividend.

  55. heedtracker says:

    Radio 2 right now. £22 billion to be cut from England’s NHS budget over next few years.

    But our imperial master baiters need that money for Trident 2, only £200+bn, then there’s the next hot war, just far enough away not damage anywhere nice in teamGB, like the south east and London. Its for punching things above our weight Scotland, so be British and rejoice.

  56. Clootie says:

    Does anyone still doubt that Red and Blue Tories have one objective – to maintain the union regardless of the impact on our society.

    However this type of tactical voting back fires when they help a candidate who is willing to consider Independence. If only we had a Labour leadership who put Scotland ahead of a right wing Westminster (which includes the anti Corbyn majority grouping within Labour)

  57. jimnarlene says:

    @Proud Cybernat
    Barnett consequential, that’s exactly what I thought.

  58. mike cassidy says:

    R-type Grunt 12.21

    The Courier post about Maverick Mary is from April this year.

  59. Stevie Bee says:

    Bootsy81 @11.52
    Not cynical in the slightest.
    I seem to remember seeing a video of a certain Adam Tomkins addressing the crowd at a Pro-Independence rally in Calton Hill just under 3 years ago & just look at him now in all his UKOK Britnat SNP Baaad Glory! That ermine cloak surely is a big seductive dangling carrot for some of these careerist politicians. I tried searching for the video but couldn’t seem to find it, maybe some kind person has a link to it?

  60. Clootie says:

    NHS budget cuts have Barnett consequentials – A couple of Billion less to Scotland…Better Togethet – I sure much, much more will be cut during the coming decades of Tory rule…unless!!!

  61. HandandShrimp says:

    I wonder if the Tories that gave Mary their vote realised that she is not a wedded unionist like them?

    Going to be an epic fail if they try their SNPout shtick with Labour candidates that are pro-Indy. 🙂

    I have no issue with Labour candidates that for independence.

  62. AliT says:

    How much can you infer from a less than 28% turnout? We have a serious issue with local democracy in Scotland.

  63. Stevie Bee says:

    Re: my last post
    I think it was the Declaration of Calton Hill in October 2004 & not 3 years ago as I mistakenly wrote. Still shows the blatant hipocrisy of certain career potiticians.

  64. mike cassidy says:

    Peter McCulloch 12.37

    So Brown and Dugdale were out supporting a labour candidate who wants independence.

    I wonder if she was under any pressure to keep schtumm in return for their support.

    I’ll ask her that when she’s up for election next year!

    We live in interesting times.

  65. heedtracker says:

    The pouncing tories:D

    The Courier post about Maverick Mary is from April this year.

    Isn’t the Courier owned by a ferocious torboy anyway, who probably won’t want his organ to mention this sort of interview again?

    “Ms Lockhart’s comments have been pounced on by the Tories, who are calling for Ms Dugdale to clarify Labour’s position on independence.

    Jackson Carlaw, the deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said: “Mary Lockhart’s support for independence is well known and she has an honest position.

    “But if Ms Dugdale is whole-hearted about her support for the Union, why are her candidates who oppose the Union allowed to stand?”

    Ms Lockhart, who was speaking at the Women for Independence event on Thursday, also claimed the deputy leader Alex Rowley backs home rule for Scotland through a federation of countries within the UK.”

  66. woosie says:

    I think tactical voting won’t last. A died in the wool blue tory will eventually say “this isn’t the party I was programmed into trusting” after voting red for 20 years, while SNP vote stays solid.

    Agree with comments about jeers for Kez; not reported in msm.

    Got a Sun today, as on hols, and no option ( gave in after 6 days with no racing news ). Editorial raging about Scotch subsidy junkies. Makes me boak.

    Also agree with Falkirk Council posters; a test should be introduced for potential Falkirk Council employees. Pick the right lane at Grangemouth’s Earl’s Gate roundabout or you’re out!

    That should solve the budget problems.

  67. R-type Grunt says:

    @ Mike Cassidy.

    Cheers mate.

  68. Fireproofjim says:

    NHS England
    I can’t wait for Eleanor Bradford’s hard hitting condemnation of the £20 billion cuts to NHS England, and her glowing report on Scotland’s health services on BBC news tonight.
    I have just bought the Eiffel Tower from a nice Nigerian man and await delivery

  69. Luigi says:

    Sigh. I was really hopeful that we could wipe out most of the blue and red tory-controlled councils next year, but now I’m not feeling confident at all. Two reasons:

    1. Low turnout (to be expected for council elections)
    2. Yoon tactical voting (blue to red and vice versa)

    Together, these factors may well deny quite a few SNP/Green gains next year. Not good, since we don’t want to have loads of yoon controlled councils at the time of IndyRef 2. Could be a big problem. 🙁

  70. orri says:

    Thing is the Co-op Party is a wee bit less of a sister party and a bit more of a conjoined twin. To stand as a candidate you have to be a member of Labour. In addition they don’t stand against each other. In a past Holyrood election the kind of fiddle where in order to play games with d’Hondt by standing one party unopposed at constituencies and another at list level was rejected by the Electoral Commission due to that.

    Seem to remember that Brown is a Co-op MP.

  71. schrodingers cat says:


    ive been saying that for months now

    no one ever listens to me… I might as well be a Leonard Cohen LP 🙂

  72. Effijy says:

    Maybe not such a bad thing then for Scotland to have another Councillor who is pro-independence, all be it a Labour one.

    Good for us to have another foot hold in the Labour camp.

    We need to recognise that the First Minister has said she would be happy to work with progressive parties and their representatives, it just fell down previously when Westminster Labour, via their Leader Miliband, said that they would rather work with the Tories than SNP.

    Unfortunately for Mary Lockhart, she will now be brought to book by Dipity Dug, for not following the Westminster
    guide lines by hating the SNP, Independence, and Scotland.

    This situation may well see Mary change camps at some point?

  73. HandandShrimp says:

    I might as well be a Leonard Cohen LP

    Oi you! Nothing wrong with Leonard.

    “I might as well be Willie Rennie”…would be more apt.

    However, I agree. Unless we can get people to vote then there is unlikely to be much change. SNP could take Glasgow but the rest is not likely to move much.

  74. Sinky says:

    The Courier journalist Jonathan Watson should stick to comedy

    Oh wait the headline is hilarious just like Owen Smith’s praise for Kezia Dugdale’s leadership that reduced Labour to the third party at Holyrood.

  75. louis.b.argyll says:

    Those who distrust the lunatic left, think again.

    They are closer to the (actual) centre than, say, the apparently electable Conservative and Unionist Party.

    Distrust those who fear the centre, whoever misery makes rich.

  76. schrodingers cat says:


    difficult electoral system, in the irvine west by election last week, over 300 of the 1200 who voted for Robin Sturgeon SNP, voted SLAB as 2nd choice, not that this would have changed the result, but it might have. It shows the lack of understanding the voters have of this system.

    we have our work cutout educating the electorate in 350 odd ward elections.

  77. Proud Cybernat says:

    Question – in STV system, is it better to put just a single preference (i.e. SNP) on the ballot paper or is it better to give 2nd and 3rd prefs to other indy parties (i.e. SSP, Greens etc)? Realise NOT to give any yoon parties 2nd or 3rd prefs.

    Genuine question.

  78. Alex Clark says:

    @Proud Cybernat

    Unlike by-elections where the SNP can put up only one candidate the May council elections can have more than one candidate from any party standing for that ward as their are typically three seats for each ward and some four.

    In 2012 the SNP mainly had two candidates standing in the majority of wards and sometimes even three. The simplest tactic would appear to be voting SNP one and two and if a pro-indy candidate from another party is standing give them too a vote.

    On no account give any vote to any of the Yoons if Independence is your aim.

    shrodingers cat had an excellent post on tactics about a week ago on another thread, maybe he will repost it for all.

  79. schrodingers cat says:

    looking 4 it alex

  80. Bob Mack says:

    @Alex Clark,

    The posting from Schrodinger would be most welcome. There must be a way to collate the voting preferences which would assist pro indy parties.

  81. Proud Cybernat says:

    Alex Clark

    Thnx Alex. You see – I think I am reasonably well clued up on things politics but there I’ve just gone and learned something I didn’t know. I didn’t realise that I could vote for the SAME party more than once in the Cooncil elections. How many others think this?

    Ah well – every day is a school day. Thanks again. Look forward to SC’s post.

  82. schrodingers cat says:

    1st post

    for the record
    however imperfect you believe this STV system is, it will be using in 2017
    The reform of this system is really an issue which should and hopefully will be dealt with at a later date.

    how, and what is the best way to win the most councillors in 2017, should be our main focus

  83. schrodingers cat says:

    2nd post

    these are the basic rules for the voters, not an explaination of the system

    nb, indy here means, SSP,GREENS,SOLIDARITY or other identified YES supporting candidate
    nb, very few 3 candidate wards had 3 SNP candidates in 2012, if you are in one then these rules will need amended

    rules for voters

    No 1
    Never vote for any Unionist on any ballot paper in any ward anywhere in Scotland

    No 2
    First Learn rule number one

    No 3
    If there are no Indy candidates on your ballot paper, Stand as a candidate yourself or destroy your ballot paper or don’t vote at all

    No 4
    If there is only one Indy supporting candidate on your ballot. vote for him/her, regardless of which party or none they represent.

    No 5
    If you are an SNP supporter, and there is 1 SNP candidate and 1 Indy candidate standing in your ward vote
    SNP 1 & Indy2

    No 6
    If you are an Indy supporter, and there is 1 SNP candidate and 1 Indy candidate standing in your ward vote
    Indy1 & SNP 2

    No 7
    If you are an SNP supporter, and there are 2 SNP candidates and 1 Indy candidate standing in your ward vote
    SNP 1&2 & Indy3

    No 8
    If you are an Indy supporter, and there are 2 SNP candidates and 1 Indy candidate standing in your ward vote
    Indy1 & SNP 2&3

  84. Proud Cybernat says:

    Thanks SC. Got it.

  85. mike d says:

    Well now that Mary has been elected. Maybe she can reiterate her support for independence? Stand by her principles.

  86. Dan Huil says:

    @schrodingers cat 3:05pm

    No.9. Print many copies of Rules 1 to 9 and hand them out to pro-indy supporters.

  87. mike d says:

    Electoral system too confusing for a lot of people., young and old alike. Should be one candidate from one party, f **k all this 2nd preference sh**e.

  88. Fairliered says:

    After the next council elections, I believe there will be a number of councils where the SNP are the largest party, but are kept out of power by Lab/Con/Lib coatitions. What the effect on voters of such a blatant corruption of democracy will be, I am not sure.

  89. heedtracker says:

    Nothing out there on this election or Owen’s stand up routine last night but these three yoonsters are having a good laugh, Shoo in, geddit? Me neither, hick. Come on JC.

    Scott Arthur Retweeted
    Severin Carrell ?@severincarrell 3h3 hours ago
    Jeremy Corbyn leaves @edfringe arts policy launch without taking media questions “we’ve been told he’s not talking to the press today”

    Scott Arthur Retweeted
    George Foulkes ?@GeorgeFoulkes 3h3 hours ago
    George Foulkes Retweeted Severin Carrell
    He seems very rattled for a supposed “shoo in”

  90. schrodingers cat says:

    post 3

    Rules For Activists

    No 1

    first, learn rule No 1

    If there are insufficient unionist candidates on your ballot paper, consider standing as an Independent Unionist candidate with a UJ as the logo next to your name on the ballot paper. Even better, convince a friend to stand as a Unionist Independent candidate with a UJ logo too. the more the merrier ?

    No 4
    Avoid standing more than one indy candidate against SNP candidates in any ward. Consider standing in a neighbouring ward with no other Indy candidates other than SNP candidates

    No 5
    Indy candidates should avoid standing in wards with 2 SNP candidates, Standing in a neighbouring ward with only 1 SNP candidate will improve your chances

    No 6
    Identify all Independent candidates to ascertain whether they are Unionists or not. hint, most probably are

    No 7
    Contact your local Green/SSP/Solidarity/Rise party and find out how many and where they are standing. Help negotiate to avoid conflicts of interest

  91. heedtracker says:

    Also wish at least one UKOK red and blue toryboy, even Dr NO! here, could at least try and explain why the future Scottish nation state has got to have NO deficit and instantly too. Presumably that is not what Fraser of Allander Institute’s research conclusion is, but it probably is.

    Dr NO!’s a big The Ligger fan

    Scott Arthur Retweeted
    Graham Lane ?@flashgrim 5h5 hours ago
    The reality is the union can’t be replaced by wishful thinking, there is simply no economic case for independence

    Andrew Neil ?@afneil 5h5 hours ago
    “It is simply not possible to operate under independence with a [Scottish] deficit at this scale – full stop” – Fraser of Allander Institute

    Andrew Neil ?@afneil 5h5 hours ago
    The Fraser of Allander Institute: Closing 21% structural deficit needs rates of economic growth for Scotland not seen in current lifetimes.

  92. handclapping says:

    There were plenty of SNP supporters in the Lochs to have won it. They voted for Roger Mullin and Annabelle Ewing in huge numbers. What the SNP are not good at is getting their vote out. Manning polling stations only influences people already going to vote. Chapping supporters doors influences people that werent to go and vote for you.

    Yes2 will need to remember that and not rely on the SNP for any part of that. Remember how Glasgow and Dundee only turned out 70%. As it was that extra 10% wouldnt have won Indy but we cant take any chances next time. All Yes2 groups should be concentrating all the time on how they will get indy supporters to actually vote on the day.

  93. mike d says:

    Fairliered 3. 24pm. I’m sure the liebour voters won’t be bothered as long as they can still get their discounts at sports direct.and watch the great British Bake off.

  94. Marcia says:

    In the local elections prior to Holyrood & STV elections from the 1980’s the SNP didn’t put up a candidate against Willie Clarke his former single member seat. He always won in a landslide.

  95. heedtracker says:

    Just because the Ligger’s quoting this research, his conclusions are , lets just say, toryboy ones, as in Ligger left out things, “on a consistent basis” and so on.

    However, there is absolutely no escaping the fact that these numbers paint a very difficult picture of how Scotland would start out or transition to becoming an independent country. It is simply not possible to operate under independence with a deficit at this scale on a consistent basis – full stop.

    This means that in pursuing the case for Scottish Independence, the Scottish Government need to set out the tough choices that it would make alongside a detailed and comprehensive plan for how it would manage the public finances under independence. This won’t be easy but is essential”

    To be fair to the Ligger, these researchers also want Scotland with a zero deficit too, like say oil poor Norway maybe, or rather they want “economic growth required to eliminate the deficit” all run up by our English chums. Hey diddly ho, TGIF.

    “What about the outlook for the future, won’t Scotland’s deficit naturally fall with faster economic growth? To an extent. But the rate of economic growth required to eliminate the deficit – or even substantially reduce it – would exceed current forecasts and indeed the rates of growth seen in current lifetimes”

  96. schrodingers cat says:

    post 4

    a few thoughts

    If you are an SNP candidate, on no account should you be seen promoting any other party, this applies (less so)to other indy supporting party candidates. see what happened to james kelly on twitter when he said labour supporters should vote tory in some south constituencies in 2015

    no2 If you are a lowly foot soldier in the SNP, SSP GREENS, like me, ie, the stuff of gutters 🙂 then you could risk telling folk on the doorstep and the street to vote SNP 1&2 GREENS 3 etc, (see post 2) Also, spreading the voters rules and tactics on social media, especially under a pseudenome would be a good idea

    It is difficult to say exactly how many SNP candidates should stand in any one ward, 2 will be the most common figure for most wards, although in some wards, 3 may be considered worth the risk. I know of no 4 candidate wards where 4 SNP candidates will stand.
    Unfortunately, the number of unionists candidates who are standing in a ward will also affect the result, eg, if only 3 unionist candidates (lab,lib & tory) and 3 SNP candidates stand in a 3 candidate ward, then there is a risk that after 1 x unionist and 1 x SNP councillors are elected, that a 2nd unionist is elected before the SNP have a chance to win a 2nd seat.
    I wish I could be clearer but I dont even know yet how many unionists will be standing in my own ward. Knowing this info in advance will have a direct effect on how many SNP candidates I think we should stand here. If anyone knows someone who works in a council who has access to this information, im all ears

    In reality, as per previous elections, the SNP asking their supporters to vote SNP1&2 and Indy3, is unlikely to help the other Indy parties very much at all. Most of these indy candidates will be eliminated from the count before the SNP candidates are eliminated, so 3rd preferences on SNP supporters ballots for eliminated candidates wont count.

    However, Indy supporters ballots which have SNP 2&3 preferences will DEFINATELY influence whether a 2nd SNP candidate is elected in a ward.

    These are generalisations, not absolutes. For further confirmation, see a priest 🙂

  97. mike d says:

    Efter aw, scoatland ur sh**e withoot England keeping us (subsidising is a big word ?)

  98. Iain More says:

    So lots of Yoons voted for a vile Separatist to keep the SNP oot. I suppose they don’t do irony though. The Courier is obviously just another Brit Nat Rag.


    Having caught up with the whole Corbyn I hate the SNP more than You Punch and Judy Smith show – no you don’t , yes I do no you don’t yes I do. Even the National gives space to an SNP BAAAAHD angle. Depressing.

    Much like giving an unnamed Brit Nat the last word on the 1 Billion bill for the crooked Brit Nat PFI schemes. Again Depressing.

    The lazy Brit Nat journalism even extended to the back page and the predictable Battle of Britain tosh of Celtic v Man City.

    Then just to annoy me further they give space to regular Brit Nat troll Allan Sutherland on their letters page. That same creep has cropped up from time to time in the dreadful Letters page of the Northern Scot and the last time I looked Stonehaven wasn’t part of the Country it covered.

    More fool me for buying it today I suppose.

  99. schrodingers cat says:

    Fairliered says:
    After the next council elections, I believe there will be a number of councils where the SNP are the largest party, but are kept out of power by Lab/Con/Lib coatitions. What the effect on voters of such a blatant corruption of democracy will be, I am not sure.

    this is already the case in quite a few councils, fife, stirling, edinburgh to name a few

    depressingly, most folk are unaware of this or simply couldnt care

  100. heedtracker says:

    Ultra unionist man Kevrage strikes back in the Daily Record but he’s a bit tricky to follow, with relentless BBC Scotland led Project Fear 2.0 fury pouring out of all Scottish newsrooms, too small, poor, stoopid Scotland, biggest “black hole” in the whole UKOK universe, blame Nicola Sturgeon etc, the twit’s got the sheer gall to have this printed.

    Scotland is shite under the SNP, they cant even deal with their black holes and

    “Our young people are bombarded with negative messages, provided with excuses not to succeed, hampered by reasons they can’t instead of encouraged with reasons they can. It’s Westminster’s fault, it’s the UK’s fault – we’re cheated, hard done by, put upon – we can’t succeed unless we break from the UK, or so the SNP argument goes”

    It really is a torboy world.

    06:00, 26 AUG 2016

  101. schrodingers cat says:

    What the SNP are not good at is getting their vote out.
    Yes2 will need to remember that and not rely on the SNP for any part of that. All Yes2 groups should be concentrating all the time on how they will get indy supporters to actually vote on the day.

    yup, GOTV is a problem which needs addressed, but since the SNP make up 90% of the yes Activists, it is a problem for yesnp

    It isnt the activists failing, we can only do so much, It is indy voters who are too “bel weather”, Fear is the motivation behind the unionists voters and a more effective motivation.

  102. schrodingers cat says:

    mike d says:
    26 August, 2016 at 3:23 pm
    Electoral system too confusing for a lot of people., young and old alike. Should be one candidate from one party, f **k all this 2nd preference sh**e.

    agreed mike d

    but read my 1st post 🙂

  103. heedtracker says:

    Good old Dunc. It’s his party and he’ll only have people like him in it. Probably the worst party in teamGB history ever.

    Melissa Iacone @meljomur
    According to @dhothersall, if I wanted to join @scottishlabour I couldn’t because I campaigned against them in the last election.

    Duncan Hothersall ?@dhothersall 1h1 hour ago
    Duncan Hothersall Retweeted Melissa Iacone
    Damn right.

  104. heedtracker says:

    Don’t call me a tory Kevin and call me a working class tory Ruth, up a tree, k i s s i n g. No that doesn’t work.

    It is bad luck though, yoonsters all hysterical with UKOK joy this week at low NOT Scots oil prices but what would they have used if prices had held up, and all of it would still flow in to the Treasury coffers anyway, like its always done for the last 40 years. Such a burden is Scotland on our chums in the south.

    Kevin Hague Retweeted
    Ruth Davidson ?@RuthDavidsonMSP 8h8 hours ago
    Great piece in today’s Record by @kevverage – clear, easy to understand analysis of GERS & how to grow our economy.

  105. Ken500 says:

    Just vote SNP/SNP

  106. orri says:

    The essential problem here is in using what is in effect a form of AV for by-elections in a multi seat ward. In this case it hasn’t actually had an effect on the political make up.

    However on the figures given what you’d have if it’d been a 3 seat ward with 2 Labour and an SNP, or even 2 unionist, and the SNP member had stood down is a situation where not accounting for the already elected parties means that even though a third of those voting did so that SNP member would be forced to stand down. It’s a flaw in the system. Personally I’d opt for an AV style election that accounted for those already elected which would be fairer.

  107. mike d says:

    Ian more 3.52 pm. Yeah the usual battle of Britain sh*te forgetting to omit the fact that financially it’s a David and goliath contest.. and not a level football playing field.

  108. Alex Clark says:

    Here is the simplest rule of all when voting in council elections next May.

    You can vote for your preferred party as many times as their candidate appears on the ballot paper. Only ever vote for those parties that support Independence in your own order of preference. Never anyone else.

  109. Iain More says:

    When it comes to next years Council Elections it wouldn’t surprise to see the Yoons cynically press the Brexit button just to confuse everything and to really harness the Yoon vote into a stop the SNP campaign with interest.

    The Yoons will be desperate to get the SNP out of Dundee and to stop them in Glasgow and other places. How many lies have the Brit Nat Press and Media pumped out today for instance with an eye to those elections next May.

  110. Stoker says:

    This part of my post on the previous thread is more appropriate here:

    “Anyone interested in getting on with things and using their own initiative to create a leaflet of ‘SC’ guide to voting tactics or whatever message you want to send, you can get 1000 quality flyers for £15 or 5000 quality flyers for £33 at Vistaprint. There will be other rates from various companies so do your homework and use whatever suits you best.”

    “Don’t forget to tweak ‘SC’ advice to suit the constituency that you live in. Research the details and find out who’s standing for who etc. Good luck troops! We can but try!”

  111. Sinky says:

    Heedtracker at 3.45

    Yoons should be reminded that in 2010, under Labour’s watch, the UK’s deficit at 11% was a bigger share of GDP than Scotland’s in the latest GERS figures yet nobody said it proved the UK wasn’t a viable independent country or would get chucked out of the EU.

  112. Alex Clark says:

    A final point. If on average the SNP stand just two candidates in a three seat ward, which is what they will do then they can NEVER win more than 66% of seats as they only contest that number.

    That’s why you should give your second, third or fourth preference vote to another Indy supporting party.

    Every yoon we deny a seat makes an SNP council more likely in your area. We will need to use our brains to make inroads here and the number of councils we Independence supporters end up in charge of may prove critical when it comes to Indy2.

    Let’s keep that in mind.

  113. Jack Murphy says:

    Proud Cybernat said at 12:40 pm:-
    “Radio 2 right now. £22 billion to be cut from England’s NHS budget over next few years.
    Surely then that will lead to a Barnett consequential cut of around £2 billion to Scotland’s budget.

    Another Union Dividend.”

    Yes,Ruth Davidson’s Tories are cutting the NHS down south and will have serious knock-on slashing effects on money given to Scotland’s Parliament !!
    God bless Davidson’s Tories.

    ….and Red Tories ‘Scottish’ Labour will join in the moaning when Scotland has to cut—-forgetting of course they voted to keep Scotland in this Blessed Union. 🙁

    What will BBC Reporting Scotland be saying about the Barnett Consequentials tonight?
    Answers on a postage stamp.

    BBC Doon Sooth:-

  114. Wee Alex says:

    I’m confident that next years elections will return many many SNP councils.

    Labour pour huge resources into winning by elections. These resources will be thinly spread in 2017.

    Labour, come May next year could be split it two and hopelely divided, might even put up opposing candidates.

    Tories will want to retain 2nd place and will be campaigning to overtake Labour, so tactical voting as you get in by elections won’t happen.

    The honeymoon for May will be a thing of the past and we will have had her very own austerity budget.

    Bred it negotiations should be taking place with the inevitable set backs.

    The Council tax freeze is a thing of the past, let’s see if current Labour controlled Councils will increase Council Tax in February. They can’t blame the SNP this time!

    The biggest worry has already been stated, the SNP could end up the largest party but kept out of power by an alliance of Tory and Labour.

    That’s if Labour survive.

  115. Arbroath1320 says:

    Apologies if this has already been linked to. 😉

    Just another of one of those wee poll thingys about independence. 😀

  116. heedtracker says:

    Sinky says:
    26 August, 2016 at 4:38 pm
    Heedtracker at 3.45

    Yoons should be reminded that in 2010, under Labour’s watch, the UK’s deficit at 11% was a bigger share of GDP than Scotland’s

    Its the old don’t start from here to get there, gag. Ultimately its all about who’s saying what. There’s clearly massive room for the SNP to start telling everyone how council election voting works.

    But yoon culture’s relentless “black hole of Scotland region” propaganda is there to be tackled too. Nowhere in that Fraser of Allander Institute report does it say anything like, Scotland’s black hole is caused by no oil revenues and …..

    Nor do they say real world stuff like, Holyrood has virtually non of the Treasury’s fiscal economic controls and never has had them since 1997. Its all down to and the Treasury.

    Its really bad show as this is the uni of Sterling too. Although, knowing UK. ac academia, as I don’t, they’ll have slipped that kind of real world stuff in somewhere.


    “We’ll leave it to others to pour over the political and constitutional implications of today’s deficit figure.

    Many will argue that it shows the benefit of the Union – the ‘union dividend’. Others will argue that the figures demonstrate the weakness of the current economic model and the need for reform.”

    Fine and everyone and their cat now knows that Scotland cant run Scotland because we’re shite at economics, have a huge crushing deficit that makes toryboy’s like Ligger and Kevrage feel great and can never be paid off, ever.

    Or is it because another country is running Scottish economics. And same England that begged us to stay 2014, with their devo-max, federal UK historic fraud.

    I know some say devo-max cant work but can it be any worse?

  117. Cactus says:

    Maybe we should start getting the good word out the now for next May, with emphasis, subtle suggestion and remindment of the endgame, with questions like..

    “Are youse planning on voting in Scotland’s pre-indy council elections next year?”

    Kinda pre-empting the pre-indy vibration to boost Yes turnoot. We got less than nine months to go now, SO get the word out, to get the vote out / Get Out The Vote.

    Have a great weekend one and all, stay tuned and look out for tomorrow’s toon!

    Back on topic:
    “Quicksand, quicksand.. splendid” 🙂

  118. velofello says:

    Regards the NHS England budget dilemma, well do I remember Dr Phillipa Whitford warning of this, and at a Largs referendum debate a nasty wee Labour man sharing the platform with her, rubbishing her presentation.

    it is to be hoped that Auntie Beeb will visit his tweed factory and ask his views now.

  119. call me dave says:

    Kezia will be challenged by Rowley: Labour must split in Scotland!

    “His ambition is in inverse proportion to his ability”

    says Paul Sinclair.

  120. Robert Peffers says:

    @Graeme Borthwick says: 26 August, 2016 at 9:54 am:

    “Helpmaboab is right…this is why The Dug and Fat Bob work together. They are forming a unionist alliance against Scotland; with the liberals yapping at their heels.”

    It has always been that way, Graeme, since at least there has been a recorded history of Britain and that has been since the Romans invaded Britain.

    The Romans began the succession of, “British Establishments”, based upon Londinium and, with only minor exceptions, there has been a controlling, “Establishment”, down there ever since.

    In point of fact the so called, “Anglo Saxon Invasion”, is a lie of gigantic proportions for after hundreds of years of the Romans being not only a ruling elite but also the protecting military forces the South Britons had no experience of defending themselves nor of running a country. Remember, though, that in spite of commonly taught history Roman Britain, like the United Kingdom, was not all of Britain. Wales, Ireland, Scotland and parts of the south west of what became England were never really part of Roman Britain.

    What actually happened was that the south Britons invited the Anglo-Saxons, (which actually included a few other Germanic tribes), to come and protect them with promises of free land. In fact the Germanic Tribes included the Vikings and Norsemen too. These last. “Norsemen”, were in fact those Norsemen who got a similar deal of land on continental Europe and the land those Norsemen got was to become. “Normandy”, and the name, “Normans”, was a corruption of, “Norsemen”.

    Thus the Norman Invasion was just another sect of the Germanic, Anglo-Saxons. Also bear in mend that the name, “England”, is a corruption of, “Angle land”.

    So there you go – “The Establishment”, no matter what particular political parties it includes, at any particular time, has always been based in London and they have always thought they owned all of Britain.

    The only part of Britain they have never taken in war is Scotland but they have always claimed to have full sovereignty over the Scots.

  121. mike d says:

    O/t what are the chances celtic and rangers offered straight admission to English premiership to remain in union? Their best chance of trying to scupper us?

  122. Proud Cybernat says:

    “O/t what are the chances celtic and rangers offered straight admission to English premiership to remain in union?”

    And never get another Champions’ League match ever. I think they’d both prefer a chance of Euro games – English league way too crowded for them. Better chance of Euro games in their own Scottish League.

  123. McBoxheid says:

    Tony Little says:
    26 August, 2016 at 10:39 am

    What is becoming clear, if it wasn’t already, is that the Council elections will be Independence vs Union.

    What is also clear, a turnout of 27.8% isn’t going to beat the younyonist tag teams. Going on a generous 50/50 split Indy/loonyyoon, then turnout is crucial. Apathy is no longer an option if we want pro Indy cooncillors we must vote at maximum capacity. A pro Indy 3 line whip if you like.

  124. Proud Cybernat says:

    One of the things you very rarely see in Council Elections is windows posters. During IndyRef#1 you could barely walk ten yards without seeing a YES poster somewhere (car, house window or whatever). By comparison, CEs are very low key in that respect. So, to ramp things up and beat apathy we need to make sure that ourselves and everyone we know gets the posters up–everywhere. Let the population know there’s an election coming up. The more posters they see then the more important people will see the upcoming election and are more likely to get out and vote.

    In short–for May’s CEs we need to ramp up the ‘noise’ big time.

  125. schrodingers cat says:

    Ken500 says:
    26 August, 2016 at 4:18 pm
    Just vote SNP/SNP

    that will work too ken, voting indy 3 probably wont make much of a difference to the indy parties anyway

    but if enough of us push the line SNP/SNP/Indy then hopefully they will reciprocate and help more SNP councillors get elected

    one thing I will say is the figures and turnout from 2012 probably wont be much use
    you will need the results taken at the counts in 2015 and 2016 from individual ballot boxes by your snp branch to work out where support in constituency is concentrated in which ward. Local knowledge of where you live will be crucial.

    i would also re-iterate that the most important thing mentioned
    by Cactus
    get the word out, to get the vote out / Get Out The Vote.

    we also need to educate indy supporters on how to vote. too much confusion amongst even our own supporters.

    lastly, when you start campaigning in the streets…… go below the wire and ditch the hi vis vests and big foamy hands, Dont noise up the yoons at the same time

  126. Tinto Chiel says:

    Thanks again to schrodingers cat for his STV-busting advice. I have found it very useful, and if I can understand it…..

    We need to rewind and repeat as a movement till we get it right. And somehow we need a leaflet for the electorate which explains all this.

    Next May we are fighting low turnout and Yoon tactical voting. Of course, for years SLiB have artfully depressed expectation in council elections, since they want low turnout and an apathetic “whatever: there is no alternative” electorate who have little information.

    Don’t forget, this is The Last Stand for The Union: if the SNP can get hold of the councils, the administration of Indyref2 has a chance of being well-regulated and therefore likely to produce a Yes vote. Otherwise, it will be the usual postal vote/holiday home/student voter fiasco.

    It’s that simple.

  127. Cherry says:

    Waay off topic!
    For the Rev… ‘re your Twitter thread about Viz
    Well saw this and thought of you….what with all those Bath Bears!

  128. Orri says:

    Not sure the Normans were entirely Germanic given a lot of them were descended from Hiberno Norse from Dublin, Gaelgellad (sp) from Scotland, Norwegian/Scots from the islands and Danish/English from York and the Danelaw. A fairly substantial celtic ancestry.

    The history of the Anglo-Saxon might be slightly misunderstood in that rather than being invited in when the Romans left they choose to remain in pretty much the same position as they had as Auxiliaries. Whether that counts as being stood down in place or an outright rebellion is anyone’s guess.

  129. Croompenstein says:

    nice blog from Liam McGinley SNP Pollock

    No one who aspires independence can afford to hold back from now till May, the council elections could seal the deal.

  130. Bill says:


    Wine label.

    Wino’s for Yes, it’d be a big seller, got to be Chardonnay not thon pishy English wines!

  131. Almannysbunnet says:

    OT but must see TV. The young Adra reading from his new script. It is now the longest running show in yoonville. The script and its reader have barely changed in 40 years, apart from the hair and the flares.

  132. mike cassidy says:

    Hold the presses re this thread.

    I know I’m going to come over all MSM here –

    but an anonymous source close to the action tells me that Maverick Mary is no longer a Maverick.

    It appears she has chosen the federalist route – that last refuge of Scottish political scoundrels.

    I wonder when we can expect the announcement!

  133. louis.b.argyll says:

    S.C. and others..
    The problem with rule 1, is that it doesn’t help in many rural areas where a vote for ‘ahem’ a certain Unionist Party, is often preferable to a Secret Tory/independent candidate. Therein lies the complicated local rub..regionally disastrous if not checked.

  134. heedtracker says:

    It appears she has chosen the federalist route – that last refuge of Scottish political scoundrels.

    I wonder when we can expect the announcement!

    It does beg the question how SLab at least are deciding who can can join their party and who they are kicking out.

    Duncan Hothersall ?@dhothersall 4h
    Membership=control. Why on earth should Labour allow vocal opponents to gain control with no demonstration of changed opinion? #LabourPurge2

  135. galamcennalath says:

    mike cassidy says:

    “the federalist route – that last refuge of Scottish political scoundrels”

    Indeed it is. They threw away their chance with that one.

    Why can’t they just move on and accept it’s straight fight between independence and decades of right wing neo con isolationist Tory rule from London?

    Anyone suggesting a federal solution at this late stage in the game, post Brexit and all, is a charlatan.

    And anyway, what sort of idiot wants to give away Scottish nationhood and sovereignty to be reduced to a federal state?

  136. Tam Jardine says:

    The conflation of the fortunes of the oil industry with those of an independent Scotland has been soaked well into the national psyche.

    ‘We can’t be independent because of the state of the oil industry’ if I can paraphrase this afternoon’s hour long political argument.

    My new favoured tactic on GERS is to ask: who is in charge of the Scottish Economy? It sounds like a fucking no brainer but to some this is a difficult question to answer as I found out. My friend and adversary this afternoon could not bring his self to admit (and I do not think he actually new) who was in charge. He didn’t want to know. In his mind it is Nicola Sturgeon.

    Is it Derek Mackay? I asked, preposterously. Can Derek Mackay influence interest rates or apply quantitative easing? Can he change the rate of VAT? Can he change the taxes and incentives in the oil industry? Can he devalue the currency? Can he change corporation tax? What about tax relief for businesses, ISAs and the like? Tax on wine, spirits, tobacco, fuel? Nationalising banks? Privatisation of assets like the Royal Mail?

    The answer is arguably Philip Hammond but I guess David Gauke in the treasury and Mark Carney at the BoE are up there too.

    “Who is in charge?” cannot be asked often enough. “Who’s been in charge for 310 years?” is a good one too when Scotland keeps being compared unfavourably with Greece. That graph… that graph is for another post.

  137. heedtracker says:

    One rule for the SLabour party,

    “On the 20 March, I awoke with a sense of hope, and with new resolve.
    A resolve to vote Yes in the referendum for Scottish independence. It won’t deliver Utopia. But it will deliver the chance for socialists to help shape a Scotland which reflects the identity of its people.”

    Mary Lockhart.

    Another rule for the SLabour party.

    Wings Over Scotland Retweeted
    allan cook ?@allancook3 26m26 minutes ago
    allan cook Retweeted Look Aboot Ye

    Is this why liking the Foo Fighters gets you purged from the Labour Party?allan cook added,

    Look Aboot Ye @ThereWasACoo
    Nice. Dave Grohl of the #FooFighters says #VoteYES to Scottish Independence!

    #IndyRef #YES #voteYES #bettertogether

  138. RogueCoder says:

    Apologies for the blatant off-topic advert, but Official Wings Vile Cybernat A2-sized (420mm x 594mm) super glossy black posters are now in stock 🙂

  139. mike d says:

    Proud cybernat 5.51 pm.ah but you and I both know that. The rest??.

  140. Rock says:

    Mary Lockhart could not possibly have been the Labour candidate if she still supported independence.

    I am 99.9% sure that she now opposes independence.

  141. Robert Peffers says:

    @mike cassidy says: 26 August, 2016 at 10:27 am:

    ” … And as an aside –
    I know you can read most anything into numbers –
    but do those first preference votes reveal at least some former Willie Clarke voters opted for the Tories this time round?
    I had no idea he was that popular!”

    Willie Clarke has a tremendous personal following and anyone who knows the man knows just why. There are few such hard working councillors in Scotland and even fewer who are as honest as Willie Clarke.

  142. schrodingers cat says:

    louis.b.argyll says:
    26 August, 2016 at 7:20 pm
    S.C. and others..
    The problem with rule 1, is that it doesn’t help in many rural areas where a vote for ‘ahem’ a certain Unionist Party, is often preferable to a Secret Tory/independent candidate. Therein lies the complicated local rub..regionally disastrous if not checked.

    the rules are generalisations, no doubt about it, i cant review all 350+ wards, but tell me which ward you mean and i will run the figures on here from 2012 and we can all look at them and see what the best course of action is for your ward.?

  143. heedtracker says:

    This is funny, what’s missing from rancid’s Labour in Glasgow reportage? hint, they have 56 Westminster MP’s and are the third party of the good olde UK. Maybe you really can just wish away Scotland’s elected.

  144. cynicalHighlander says:

    @schrodingers cat

    We have 1 to 6 choices and there is absolutely no law that states you must use all of these. Simple rule is only vote for independence supporting parties, problem solved.

  145. schrodingers cat says:


    agreed, maybe better to say “dont vote for any unionist” etc

    as I said before, they are a general guide for the whole of scotland. You must decide what is best for your ward, no one else can or will do that for you. this is where local knowledge is paramount. As you have already seen from louis.b.argyll on this thread, one hat may not fit all

    the goal, in your ward,
    ensure at least 1 indy candidate is elected
    try and get a 2nd
    if we all achieved this we would control all 32 councils

    i can dream cant I

  146. Bob Mack says:

    I notice the Rev on his twitter feed was stating he was going to look at this very subject nearer the time.

  147. Ian Brotherhood says:

    ‘Tories Out’ has been the mantra for decades.

    We’re very nearly there.

    Whatever it takes to achieve a Tory-free Scotland, at every level of administration, should always be the main aim.

    I rely on this place, with its impressive array of unpaid analysts, to provide relevant instructions on how to achieve that aim, one election at a time.

    More power to The Cat and a’body else who crunches numbers and does all the tedious shite most of us just can’t be doing with.


  148. Alex Clark says:

    @Bob Mack

    A week or two before the May elections would seem a very sensible time for the Rev to do an article on how to use the (pretty inadequate) current system to Independence supporters best possible advantage.

    It’s also good that we continue to talk about this right now and through to the election in order to get the message across that including a Unionist candidate as any of your preferences will reduce the chances of even an SNP candidate being elected, particularly where more than one SNP candidate is up for election.

    I’m looking forward to more discussion on this as time goes by, getting control of more councils will bring us another step closer to our goal.

    Education, Education, Education!

    That brought one man success and he wasn’t even being serious. I think we should be.

  149. CameronB Brodie says:

    It appears she has chosen the federalist route – that last refuge of Scottish political scoundrels.

    The British Commonwealth was a federalist solution developed and promoted largely by the Fabian Society, so as to maintain imperial control over a disintegrating empire. How time flies.

    An inability to form a national credible opposition and an arguably perfunctory attempt to keep Britain in the EU suggest advisory words of collectivism and undividedness will struggle to connect with political associates across the globe. The left-right political equilibrium has long given the Labour party machine and its members a headache, of which the impending fourth industrial revolution will clearly highlight. British ‘left-wing’ politics may no longer have the global-fame it once had and before its obituaries are written, perhaps it can find new life.

    N.B. a nonpartisan approach to politics is apparently “bubblegum elite-politics”.

    Re. Gerry Hassan. Please correct me if I am wrong but I was sure he identifies himself as British. He is also in luv with the “labour movement” and ‘socialism’ as he sees it. He has also had work published by the Fabian Society. As such, I think it is safe to say he has at least one foot in the wrong camp. Can he allow his ethics to rise above his beliefs though? That’s what he should be asking himself, IMHO.

  150. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @CamB –

    It’s the terminology that confuses me.

    Well, not the terminology as such, more the nomenclature…or perhaps it’s the denominationalism (is that a word?)

    This hypothetical dude, let’s call him ‘Mr A’.

    Is he a ‘mister’?

    Is he an ‘esquire’?

    Is he a ‘doctor’?

    Is he a ‘professor’?

    Is he a ‘jobbing gobshite’?

    Until and unless we can pinpoint exactly which category ‘Mr A’ falls into (or perceives himself as belonging to) we cannot, surely, accept anything he has to say without some measure of circumspection?

  151. CameronB Brodie says:

    In a nutshell Ian. 🙂

  152. Macbeda says:

    O/T but not really.

    Looking at all the messages coming out from the Unionists and the MSM makes me think the unthinkable.

    Do you ever get the feeling that we Scots are the new “Untermensch” in the eyes of the Britnatsis who just love to denigrate us continuously aided and abetted by the multi millionaire media moguls.

    I wonder when the work camps will be set up?

  153. CameronB Brodie says:

    @Gerry Hassan
    Won’t you support our (Scots) right to development?

  154. heedtracker says:

    In a week where yoon culture in Scotland tries to beat the NO in to all of us with the crushing burden of not Scots £1.5 trillion oil and gas reserves,

    Solid bronze monument to the history of Scotland at Berwick?

    Norway is not run by toryboys and cringers.

  155. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I seem to remember seeing a video of a certain Adam Tomkins addressing the crowd at a Pro-Independence rally in Calton Hill just under 3 years ago”

    It was longer than three years and he spoke against the monarchy, not about independence.

  156. Fran says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood

    There will never be a Tory free Scotland, within the union or out. Remember that we had conservatives for independence in14.

    I do not believe in a socialist utopia, I believe in balance. The left is there to stop greed and the right is there to push advancement.

    Maybe I’m wrong but some one must be there to stop either side from going out of control, that’s human nature.

  157. Ian Brotherhood says:

    It was 2004 when Tomkins appeared on Calton Hill, just a few weeks before Sheridan permanently fucked-up the SSP:

  158. Alex Clark says:

    Tompkins speaking at Calton Hill was in October 2004.

    Adam Tompkins of Glasgow University reminded the crowd of the Queen’s previous reluctance to pay tax despite her massive income. He said that the queen had special powers or `prerogatives`, which included being able to appoint anyone she liked as Prime Minister. You cannot sue the monarchy. He said Tony Blair used these special powers to attack Iraq and there would have no Iraq war without the crown. In a democracy it is the people who are sovereign and not the crown! He urges the abolition of the monarchy. “If you want democracy down with the crown!”

    The people are sovereign! Well who’d have thought it?

  159. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Fran –

    Aye, okay.

    I’m cool with home-grown Scottish Tories. They live. I’m aware of that.

    It’s the Eton Boys I’m on about, and I suspect you know that full well.

  160. Alex Clark says:


    The right is there solely to advance their own greed. The’re winning too.

  161. CameronB Brodie says:

    The polarity of the left-right paradigm is in danger of evolving beyond the constraints of Victorian thought and morality. Imagine that.

  162. dakk says:

    Re Scottish Tories.

    I believe around 7% of Scottish Tories voted Yes.

    Give me a Yes voting Tory over a No voting SNP,Labour,Green or anything else any day of the week.

    Not that I would necessarily ever vote Tory myself,though in an Indy Scotland every Party would have a clean slate with a vision to offer.

  163. Grouse Beater says:

    Dakk: “In an Indy Scotland every Party would have a clean slate with a vision to offer.”

    Nice sentiment. 🙂

  164. Grouse Beater says:

    Tomkins spoke against the monarchy, not about independence.”

    Ooo! A skeleton in his unionist cupboard. Bye, bye OBE.

  165. Sandy says:

    Council elections:
    I will repeat my warning as promised.
    To all voters north of the central belt &, perhaps, to the south.

  166. Justin F N minty says:

    Tide has turned for labour?
    On the way out then
    On a neep tide

  167. Breeks says:

    @Dr Ew 10:35

    Interesting comments Dr Ew.

    Seems the people of Fife respect people with principles, not so much the party. I find that strangely encouraging, and that feels a strange thing to be saying about a Labour victory. That’s not a flickering ember of latent support for Labour, it just seems something more constructive than people voting for the right party saddled with a moron in the driving seat.

    It’s a curious phenomenon to have someone so loyal to Labour’s founding principles that she fights from within to defend Labour values from Labour itself. With that kind of loyalty, it’s a safe bet you’re not going to get an SNP defection, but you do wonder whether support for independence inside the Labour Party is rare, or widespread but has no means of expressing itself. Begs the question, if Labour softened it’s stance in Independence, whether there would be trickle of support for Indy or a deluge.

    Until your comment Dr Ew, I was all set to dismiss Mary Lockart’s support for Indy as a flag of convenience akin to that Labour candidate who posed as an Independent until he was elected. I’m happy to accept her support for Indy is legit, but it must be very difficult for her to reconcile her principles with the truly epic shambles of her Labour Party. Loyal to a fault, but what a fault it is.

  168. Wulls says:

    It is utterly utterly staggering that the Tories gained 7% IN FIFE.
    Christ on a rope have they forgotten the pit closures. Rosyth scaled back.
    The Fife I remember would never have considered this.

  169. schrodingers cat says:


    the tories didnt GAIN anything in Fife, the SNP voters just didnt show up

    right across scotland, the tories gained about 60k voters from 2015, they GOTV and added 60k, possibly due to tactical voting by slab voters. the libdems managed to GOTV too, albeit with a small drop from 2015. they started from a low point anyway.

    the snp failed to GOTV, dropping almost a third of their voters from 2015, not sure why, maybe the media line of a certain snp victory made them complacent.

    more importantly was the drop of 30% (700k to 500k) of labour support from 2015. important because these slab voters are the yes campaign target to convert from no to yes

  170. louis.b.argyll says:

    Fran.. you say..’The left is there to stop greed and the right is there to push advancement’…

    Really, the right? Advancement? You’re maybe confusing the power of commerce and academia to balance social desires.

    Elitism is beyond right-wing, it currently rules the world.

  171. Wee Alex says:

    Sandy says:
    27 August, 2016 at 4:03 am
    Council elections:
    I will repeat my warning as promised.
    To all voters north of the central belt &, perhaps, to the south.

    And remember Labour intends to put up 2nd candidates, dressed up as Independents.

    Just stick to SNP/SNP or Green second if there is only one SNP candidate.

  172. louis.b.argyll says:

    IF YOU’RE YES!..

  173. louis.b.argyll says:

    A little bit of local homework for all YES VOTERS.
    We can beat them at their own game.

  174. mike cassidy says:

    Breeks 7.49am

    I’d note my 7.16pm and reserve judgement!

  175. mike cassidy says:
    26 August, 2016 at 7:16 pm
    Hold the presses re this thread.
    I know I’m going to come over all MSM here –
    but an anonymous source close to the action tells me that Maverick Mary is no longer a Maverick.
    It appears she has chosen the federalist route – that last refuge of Scottish political scoundrels.

    That wouldn’t surprise me a bit mike, standard Labour behaviour, party and career before country every time.

  176. shug says:

    The SNP needs to think or a tactic to manage the impact of all no voters labour and tory joining forces
    Both labour and tory parties will encourage such tactics

  177. Breeks says:

    Judgement duly reserved Mike.

    Federalism is also dead in the water.

    I hope we didn’t miss the opportunity to engage with that list of Unionists flirting with YES, and / or annoyed over Brexit. Perhaps we should be going out of our way to get these soft Nos / marginal yeses involved in something constructive.

    I’m also thinking of a certain author of some repute, who really didn’t like Brexit but still seems a wee bit shy of full on Indy. More joy in Heaven for a sinner who repents and all that…

    I understand the reasons, but this is a frustrating time for Yessers. The calm before the storm, the phoney war, call it what you will…. Engines ticking over on idle can lead to overheating.

    I’d be interested to know whether YES has a “plan” to engage with high profile “switherers” and help them grow into fully fledged Yessers rather than falter and stumble back into unionism. If we don’t, then maybe we should. A polite and friendly welcome pack might be no bad thing, complete with an invitation to join in with something positive and uplifting that is YES related.

  178. Big Phil says:

    Hi all, been reading this site for a while now as its the only way i stay educated about the truth,I stopped buying shitey newspapers and i never watch the bias that msm constantly throws at us.The reason i’ve decided to write is i’m wondering ,with all the education that the good Rev is giving us why are Our SNP Leaders so quiet.? Is it not logical for them to be doing EXACTLY what Rev Stuart is doing and publicly denouncing all the shite that is being spouted. I dont know if Our SNP government is a sleeping giant or just sleeping. We need away from the uk NOW.

  179. Ryan says:

    Is that Willie rennies sister? Must be related.??

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