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More free help for the UK press

Posted on March 23, 2015 by

Here’s Ed Miliband, giving a speech this morning to literally at least 20 Labour MPs, Labour MSPs, journalists and possibly a stray member of the public who accidentally walked through the wrong door in Clydebank, a place where Labour leaders used to address gatherings of thousands.

milibank

Unusually, Miliband took a few questions from the hacks, all of whom promptly wasted the opportunity by lobbing completely pointless softballs about coalitions and deals, all of which (a) have been asked a hundred times already, (b) were rendered moot by Alex Salmond on the Marr show yesterday, and (c) were only ever going to be batted away non-committally.

So here’s an actually worthwhile one they can ask instead next time.

“Mr Miliband, do you rule out being the Prime Minister after this election if Labour isn’t the biggest party?”

Because unlike all the tedious coalition questions, whatever the response to that is, it tells us something significant. If Miliband refuses to discount the probability, either explicitly or via evasive waffling, then beyond any dispute Labour’s entire election strategy in Scotland – which is based solely on “the ONLY way to stop the Tories is to make Labour the biggest party” – disintegrates to nothing on the spot.

labouronlyway

And if he DOES rule it out, it tells us something even more dramatic – that Labour cares more about its own political ego than about saving the UK from the Tories.

This, for example, is a perfectly plausible potential outcome of the election:

Tories 290 seats
Labour 285
SNP 40
Lib Dems/others 35

In that situation, Labour could win a government-forming confidence vote with the backing of the SNP alone. But the party is currently implicitly telling us that it would walk away and refuse to do so because it wouldn’t be the biggest single party, thereby abandoning the country to the Tories (or an insanely wasteful second election).

Voters in the entire UK deserve to know whether that’s really the case. The supposed job of the media is to establish that fact. Is there ONE journalist ANYWHERE in Britain who’ll ask the question and actually tell us something useful for a change?

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    1. 23 03 15 11:07

      More free help for the UK press | Politics Scot...

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    385 to “More free help for the UK press”

    1. Patrick Roden says:

      NAILED IT!

    2. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      “Mr Miliband, do you rule out being the Prime Minister after this election if Labour isn’t the biggest party?”

      Ouch, that is a low ball, so low it would qualify as a daisy-cutter.

      I wouldn’t hold my breath on ANY “journalist”in Scotland asking anything like that.

      Why, who owns the MSM in Scotland, lock, stock and two smoking barrels?

    3. mike says:

      wow, the very definition of “several” sums up the attendance figures at that meeting. We’re gonna need a smaller boat.

    4. The Man in the Jar says:

      If the SNP offered Miliband the keys to No.10 and he walked away Labour would be dead in the water for a very long time and the tories could run riot.

      Meanwhile at least it would put an end to “Yooz let the Tories in, in 79” crap. 🙂

    5. Gary says:

      He’d have to explain to loyal Labour voters why he wouldn’t accept votes from another left of centre party. I have long thought, however, that they might choose the nuclear option. By refusing to form a government with SNPs help then going to the country, perhaps in October, could prove advantageous. They could hope to polarise the vote (Tories too) away from SNP and UKIP. The gamble isn’t just about who gets power in THIS term of government but the potential to put down the threat for the future. If they gamble and lose, they’re finished.

    6. Famous15 says:

      They treat the Scots with contempt and that audience is signed up to that EXePT Oor Jim.

      What is he thinking there? “I’ll no bother with being First Minister I think I could get HIS job nae bother.He is a balloon,nae like me,smooth an that”

    7. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      a wee preamble here added

      Mr Miliband, as Jim Murphy has ruled out the Labour Party being in any association with the SNP, does than mean you will only be Prime Minister if Labour is the biggest single party?

    8. galamcennalath says:

      Perhaps it shows that the journalists who were invited were all ‘trustees’ and knew what to ask, and more importantly, what not to ask!

      I fear journalists who might ask embarrassing questions will be stopped from getting anywhere near someone who could answer. That is, assuming there are still any journalists out there acting independently of the establishment parties.

      Perhaps a strategic Wings billboard or ad somewhere with Stu’s question on it?

      Or, perhaps we should all write to our MPs “Dear MP, do you rule out Ed Milliband being the next PM etc etc?”

    9. ClanDonald says:

      It’s just like the indyref all over again, with the entire British establishment and media (Labour, Tory and Lib-dem) all working together to make sure Scotland does as it’s told. Then it was vote no, this time it’s vote Labour.

      Hurrah for Scotland that we’re not listening any more.

    10. Macart says:

      Oh, the answer to that question really would leave a mark. 🙂

    11. Ken500 says:

      What more can they do to spite the SNP and the will of the people, to destroy their own Party. Westminster crooks, charlatans, fraudsters and liars. Westminster secrecy and lies and the Official Secrets Act.

      When will they tell the truth, about shafting Scotland.

      Milliband will go for it, he has no choice or destroy his own party.

    12. Gillian_Ruglonian says:

      Another photo opportunity with no substance and therefore no point!
      When does the campaign ACTUALLY begin?

    13. John Lowe says:

      Was the National not allowed to be there. And if they where there could they not have asked the question.

    14. Caroline Corfield says:

      Yeh, well, about those Labour Leaders addressing thousands in Clydebank in the past. Not so far as I recall, and not so far as I can find with a very cursory google. Red Clydeside was not Labour red, which is something the Labour party conveniently forgets when it revises it’s history along with that of working class Scotland, but communist.

      My first ballot paper for the local council was nearly twenty candidates and most of them were of some shade of red. Labour never had Clydebank they way it managed to sew up Glasgow. Indeed it had SNP council administrations in the 70’s.

      Nobody would end up by accident in that room with Ed, they’d simply leave in disgust.

    15. Ken500 says:

      Ed Balls as Chancellor, goodness help the rest of Britain. Hold their feet to the fire for more powers to develop the Scottish economy.

    16. In that situation, if Labour insist the Tories should be the party of government, the only way for the Tories to govern would be with the support of either the SNP (who have ruled themselves out) or Labour.

      So, in that situation, would Labour seriously be willing to prop up a Tory government?
      Or would they put the UK into a situation where they refused to govern themselves but would also prevent a Tory government from passing any any legislation (by voting against them)?

      Also, if Labour are the largest party but refuse to do any case by case arrangements with the SNP (current plan seems to be that they would somehow blackmail the SNP into voting with them) then the only way they could pass any of their more right wing policies would be to do deals with the the Tories.

    17. Mosstrooper says:

      There seems to be a white speech bubble in front of Milliband with no writing in it. Does this mean he had nothing to say? (snigger, snigger)

    18. Tattie-bogle says:

      I just tweeted Mr Miliband

      “Mr Miliband, do you rule out being the Prime Minister after this election if Labour isn’t the biggest party?”

      I WONDER if i will get a reply?

    19. Ken500 says:

      ‘British UK Polling President’ Curtice pontificating on Bloomsberg. Worldwide?

      ‘Almost 81% of Labour 2010 voters now support SNP’

    20. G H Graham says:

      This evasive nonsense, not exclusively from Milliband of course, is just one of the many reasons that the electorate has so little respect for Westminster politicians.

      MPs are petrified of telling the truth for fear that their media chums will take a dim view & thus write columns of negativity.

      Oddly though, a large proportion of the newspaper reading public still haven’t joined the dots; it is due to the incestuous relationship between Westminster & the London media, that causes parliamentarians & candidates to treat their respective electorates as if they are thick as grandma’s porridge.

      And of course, helps explain why these so called “journalists” as mentioned above, generally do such a poor job of interrogating politicians, especially one’s who are viewed to be part of the London Establishment.

      This makes for a cosy arrangement whereby press releases are issued with a prologue of meaningless jibberish & a nod to an insider at any number of print titles.

      We, the public then, are prevented from establishing the truth and recently have begun to turn to blogs like this one to get an alternative viewpoint; one that seeks to establish facts, evidence & even contradictions.

      It’s hard to figure out how this self serving system can be fixed in the short term because any attempt to alter it will illogically & ironically be viewed by London as an impingement of press freedom.

    21. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I received a Labour election leaflet this morning.

      From it, I note, “Scottish Labour has a plan”.

      Does this mean: Big Dim Jim (I keep thinking of him thus since viewing the Yew Choob item of the same name) has morphed into Baldrick?

    22. chris kilby says:

      “Is there ONE journalist ANYWHERE in Britain who’ll ask the question and actually tell us something useful for a change?”

      You have to ask?

    23. Desimond says:

      Is Jim Murphy praying or sniffing a bag of glue?

    24. Desimond says:

      Its magic I can see Harry Potter sitting to Eds far right(gettit!) but I’d be Astonished if thats Johann Lamont with her back to us!

    25. proudscot says:

      Frankly I am not happy with all this pre-election speculation on how much, and on what conditions, the SNP would be willing to prop up a numerically weak Labour-led UK Government. If Scotland does elect a sizeable block of SNP MPs, then they should decide on which matters or policies to support, solely on whether these impact favourably on Scotland.

      With regard to Murphy’s latest bluster, in which he dares the SNP to “bring down a Labour Government”, this is best ignored as the McTernan-inspired propaganda it is. All the SNP MPs need to do in the case of any policies they don’t agree with, is to abstain rather than vote against. Murphy got shown up for the ranting soundbite deliverer he is, by Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics Show.

    26. Proud Cybernat says:

      Mr Milliband, if you become Prime Minister with SNP support, will you continue to vote with the Tories to implement austerity cuts? Will you vote with the Tories to spend billions renewing Trident?

    27. Brian Powell says:

      It no longer matters if journalists are under instructions from editors not to ask the important questions.

      They are now directly implicated in defrauding the public of information

    28. Croompenstein says:

      Should he not have a pointy hat with a big ‘D’ on it if he’s standing in the corner?

      I mean FFS look at them shoe horned in to the corner of the room!

    29. Grouse Beater says:

      Murphy has taken counsel. He refuses to answer any question that discusses the aftermath of the election in the event Labour needs another party to help it secure power.

      I think Stuart’s question is answered already – Labour do NOT intend to take power if they need SNP support.

      ‘End of’ – as they say on social sites.

    30. Mealer says:

      Very good Stu.

    31. Luigi says:

      I understand the red tories’ predicament, but I have no sympathy whatever. This mess is entirely of their own making. Had they any respect for Scotland’s democratic wish, then they would have supported devomax/FFA and a second question last September. Labour could have jumped into an almost impregnable position then, but no, they wanted everything to stay the same.

      Lo and behold, they now find themselves caught in an incredibly weak, compromised, no-win position. They had plenty of warnings this would happen, but believed their own hype, that a NO vote would finish off the SNP. The Daily Record and BBC have actually done their red tory masters a great disservice by encouraging Labour’s self-delusion. Had they really wanted to save their beloved Labour Party, the BBC and Daily Record should have supported a second question in the referendum, instead of slavishly telling the red tory emperor that he was wearing fine clothes, and that Alex Salmond secretly wanted a second question.

    32. Mealer says:

      Opinion polls show Labour getting half of the unionist vote in Scotland.I think that’s pretty good considering the poor quality of their candidates.Tories about a quarter.Libdems and UKIP on about 12% each of the unionist vote,which is in line with UK polls.

    33. mogabee says:

      As far as your last question goes…depressingly no.

      You need to train an apprentice Stu. ;D

    34. Luigi says:

      On the subject of Trident replacement, if the SNP do have leverage after the GE, perhaps they should insist that a decision of international importance to replace Trident should be put directly to the people in a UK-wide referendum. That would be an excellent way for both parties to save face. The blue tories would go ape-shit, but hey that’s another good reason to go for it.

      I think a referendum on Trident renewal would be a huge vote-winner.

    35. Luigi says:

      Mealer says:

      23 March, 2015 at 11:34 am

      Opinion polls show Labour getting half of the unionist vote in Scotland.I think that’s pretty good considering the poor quality of their candidates.Tories about a quarter.Libdems and UKIP on about 12% each of the unionist vote,which is in line with UK polls.

      Surely the SNP are going to pick up at least 10% of the unionist vote also (on previous form), so perhaps the figures need to be adjusted?

    36. Robert Graham says:

      agree about the press at least in the old russia they all knew that pravda told lies the daily record are still hoping people haven’t noticed yet as for the press down south i feel a distinct chill from there anyone else notice the change in the weather

    37. bookie from hell says:

      The Sun

      Kevin Lowry

      MY Dad was an Irishman. He hated rugby. He would, however, watch the Five Nations as it was then. When Ireland did well, it was a marvel. A triumph that such a tiny country could take on the might of the English and win at their own sport.

      When they were losing, the game became nothing more than a garrison sport, brought over by the English soldiers to Ireland and forced on the natives.

      He insisted the English team should play the Irish at hurling, a kind of angry drunk hockey. I don’t think this has happened and if my experience of playing it is anything to go by, which included becoming well known in the A&E departments, then it does not come naturally to us English.

      He had his own hurley in the County Offaly colours. That’s the stick you nominally aim at the ball or anyone’s nose while running around in a panic. It mainly got a run out when the rent man came round on Friday night. It would hide behind dad’s leg and slowly move forward with menace as the man insisted on payment.

      My dad’s nationalism was born of stories of old, of being downtrodden, of centuries old hurt. It came from a deep fury. It never seemed to be from a love of Ireland, more a hatred of another nation. I loved my dad. I still mourn his passing and there was much more to him than any fierce patriotism.

      But I hate nationalism, whatever the reason for it.

      I have a deep respect for my Irish heritage, very deep but I am a Yorkshireman. I support England but I do not do it to enhance a sense of pride in my country. I do it because I am English and they are my team. I support Liverpool, I want them to win not because it makes me more Scouse but because they are my team. I remain a Yorkshireman after a win.

      I went to see that comedian fella Stewart Lee last week and very good he was too. I have seen him many times over the years.

      The gig was in Glasgow and he did a routine about defecating on the England flag. I was not hurt in any way or felt this was an insult. I thought it was funny and aimed at the right wing horrors who use the flag and all it has come to represent over the centuries for their own ignorant ends.

      The crowd, made up mainly of Scots, loved it, revelled in the imagery and cheered and jeered as the defecation scene was repeated.

      Again, and I have seen this too often with football, rugby and any other sport the English play, Scots seemed to want to hate another nation more than love their own.

      The independence referendum has stirred pride but at what cost?

      The ribbing used to be banter but I have noticed in the run up to the vote and indeed after that it is more sinister, more cruel.

      Any expression of love of England is greeted with a nasty nasty response.

      This is nationalism. A cruel hatred of other masked as a love of one’s own.

      That’s why I hate it. It hides darker nasties than even the most gentle soul would realise. It fosters vengeance and mistrust, violence follows.

      I love England, I love Yorkshire. I’m not keen on the French having had some wacky encounters over the years, but don’t hate any country. What’s the point?

      Having said that, I was always glad when Ireland won, it kept me from having to play hurling with a bunch of my dad’s angry countrymen.

      Well done Ireland, the best team won. It would be a joy to celebrate these triumphs in a sporting fashion and not rubbing our hands and trumpeting that another country lost.

    38. Nuada says:

      I tweeted Milliband this morning to ask him that question. Be interesting to see if he or his team responds.

    39. It is indicative of the state of the msm that you’re having to spoon feed them questions.

      The gulf between intelligent discourse amongst the voters and how things are reported is actually now becoming painful to behold

    40. Fiona says:

      That is absurd.

      Sport is organised on national lines for no very good reason: the primary purpose is to set nations off against one another. That is demonstrated within the quoted article because the author can find no alternative explanation for his support for one team rather than another

      . I support England but I do not do it to enhance a sense of pride in my country. I do it because I am English and they are my team.

      That is nationalism. It is nothing else

    41. Grouse Beater says:

      Since Labour, Murphy especially, continues to promote the lie, insists on stating it, that the party with most seats gets to form the government, Labour can use that mantra to deny power in the event the Tories gain one or more seats over Labour.

      It is Labour’s get out clause.

    42. cearc says:

      Grouse,

      I’m not sure about that.

      At the moment he has a very panic-stricken and vocal group of SLAB mps, desperate for him to scream SNP bad to ‘protect’ their jobs. He can hardly say SNP votes are just as good as SLAB ones for the Labour party.

      Meantime, in the real world, he can see that the scottish seats have all but disappeared and the SNP are probably his only route to No.10.

      SLAB are anti-anything-SNP and would probably rather have Tories than SNP but would Milliband and english Labour?

      With just a taxi-load of SLAB he will no longer need to appease them.

      His career path would suggest that he quite fancies being PM!

    43. Sean McNulty says:

      Were the National or Sunday Herald journos there? Were they allowed to ask any questions?

    44. tartanpigsy says:

      Hi Folks,

      Sorry to go off topic here but this is quite important, to our local campaign anyway.
      As some of you might know I’m in the East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow seat currently occupied by Michael McCann MP.

      As things stand the seat, like many others has become a marginal which our great candidate Dr (@lisacameronsnp) is in with a real shout of winning. Like most other seats we’ve been running a crowdfunder to help us get all the necessary materials out to the public. The response so far has been great and we reckon we’re in with a real chance of unseating Mr McCann.

      Now, here’s the thing. Strangely, and we think uniquely our crowdfunder had had a number of large donations made with “pay after delivery” option ticked on Paypal. These had made the crowdfunder seem further on than it actually was.
      The organiser decided these may have been a derailing tactic by some anonymous ‘donor’ so removed these payments so we suddenly have an extra £5-600 to find in the last week. No one knows the identity of who was behind these, but the bottom line is we are now left with less than a week to secure the funds we require.
      Given ‘spygate’ has also happened where a known McCann supporter infiltrated a local meeting we have every right to think there might be dirty tricks afoot to derail our campaign.

      All I’m asking is any Wingers who feel they might not be totally spent out, to add what you can to our appeal and help put a candidate, who really has the constituents at heart into Westminster for EK, Stra’ven Lesmahagow.

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/DrLisaCameronSNP

      Cheers

    45. O/T but related to media..

      Radio 4 on Sunday morning looking back at the 6 Nations rugby.. reported that England didn’t win because Scotland refused to score enough tries against Ireland!

      Rather a convoluted way of looking at the results to engineer a negative Scotland reference, rather than gracefully admit Ireland won because they were better than England.

      I’m becoming nostalgic for the days when the propaganda was subtle and you had to look for it – now it has all the subtlety of a baseball bat to the forehead.

    46. Wait a mo….

      The lecturn card and the screen behind have “Scottish Labour” printed on them but Miliband isn’t a member of “Scottish Labour” is he? It is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. There is no such thing as “Scottish Labour”.

      We have the same nonsense going on in the Highlands at the moment with the “Highland Liberal Democrats”. Nope, no such thing. They are the same LibDems that have voted with and supported the Tories for the past 5 years.

    47. Mosstrooper says:

      I always thought that the child took the fathers nationality. that being the case then Mr Lowry would seem to have made a decision to adopt another nationality and in so doing he has become an English nationalist and no amount of mealy mouthed words will change that. I note that he doesn’t like the French. How very Little Englander of him.

    48. galamcennalath says:

      Just looking at the second pic above, the Labour poster. Tories-Tory-Tories …. Labour have many flawed tactics (thank heavens) but one which stands out is the continued use of the word Tory. Have they not twigged that to many people that word covers all the pro-austerity, pro-trident, London centric parties including Labour themselves?

      There’s a twist of the Henry Ford quotation about it all, choose any colour of Model T as long as it black.

      For me the above poster is saying choose red instead of blue but they are all Tories anyway.

    49. David says:

      It would almost be worth another 5 years of Tory Government to see Labour as the largest party but Con+UKIP having a higher tally of MPs.

      “But we’re the largest party, its a FACT that we get to form the Government!!!”

    50. cearc says:

      Grouse,

      My comment refers to your earlier one 11.25.

      Luigi,

      Love the Trident referendum idea, could be quite explosive!

      A lot more stuff should be put to referendum à la suisse. Trident definitely.

    51. gillie says:

      Was Jim Murphy there or is he in rehab?

    52. handclapping says:

      Its good to see BigDimJim all closed up and hand to mouth. “I don’t accept a word you’re saying.” No love lost there.

    53. heedtracker says:

      Logic dictates simply copy SNP policies but its all about middle England, in Scotland. They must realise they look like lying maniacs but they’re desperately trying to cling on to their Scotland region by hook or by crook.

      Its really coming down Crash Gordon and the Flipper economics that over a decade hiked middle class public sector professional pay level’s, £2milllion pension pots for GP’s, university chancellors on £400k a year, £200k for Pacific Quay SLab shills and placemen, Gordon Brewer types and so on.

      Meanwhile, former SLabour voters working for £6/hour, say at ASDA or Tesco, no overtime rate, zero hour contracts, home fuel bills hiked to keep City boys in Ferraris and Lambos, but perpetually brainwashed by BBC vote SLab Scotland and co that the red tories are on their side.

      Take a walk round any teamGB leafy suburbia and middle class teamGB, especially around 50, have never had it so good and all of it thanks to giant borrowing by Crash and the Flipper.

      The trouble for red Ed and the BBC vote SLabour lie machine? There’s just not enough happy and glorious middle class Scots.

      Toodlefucking ooh red Ed.

    54. Kevin Evans says:

      That whole press stunt was a waste of his time, the medias time, clydebanks time and my time reading it.

    55. handclapping says:

      @galamcennalath

      I see that as a poster of a red Westminster, a blue one and a wee gold one with the strap line “Any color so long as its Tory”

    56. Ally says:

      “”Is there ONE journalist ANYWHERE in Britain who’ll ask the question and actually tell us something useful for a change?””

      Yes!- Goes by the name of Campbell!

    57. ClanDonald says:

      @Luigi: A referendum on renewing trident, with the full might of the UK propaganda media machine campaigning for its continuation, would probably result in a vote to renew it.

      Not just that, but the Tory and Labour parties would probably gang up on the SNP and make it into a “Don’t let the Jocks tell the British what to do” issue.

    58. peekay says:

      A wee thought just occurred to me. Even if Murphy gets re-elected in East Ren all he’s going to do is spend the next year campaigning for a seat in Holyrood. So he won’t even be giving his electorate the courtesy of a paltry years service at Westminster, we’ll be getting absolutely hee-haw!

    59. Fiona says:

      Here is an idea, proposed by a friend of mine.

      Let there be a referendum on the trident renewal, but confine it to coastal towns. The rules are these: after the result, the name of any town which votes for renewal goes into a hat, and the name that comes out of the hat gets to host trident.

      Wonder if that would influence the result?

    60. Grouse Beater says:

      On Kevin Lowry’s inability to understand:

      Scots seemed to want to hate another nation more than love their own. The independence referendum has stirred pride but at what cost?

      This is the age old argument, if only people would shut up and accept their lot life would be easier for the rest of us. Only the dominant nation has the luxury of making that statement.

      The complaint here is, life in Scotland is NOT easier.

      What you see is not hatred, but a natural release of tension brought about by people who feel powerless to alter their situation.

      It is the same for nations the world over whose economy is dictated by a neighbour state, or in too many cases, by the USA and western economic orthodoxy and interest.

    61. Author_Al says:

      @ bookie from hell

      Hmm – let me muse on Kevin Lowry’s words…

      “The independence referendum has stirred pride but at what cost? The ribbing used to be banter but I have noticed in the run up to the vote and indeed after that it is more sinister, more cruel. Any expression of love of England is greeted with a nasty nasty response. This is nationalism. A cruel hatred of other masked as a love of one’s own.

      That’s why I hate it. It hides darker nasties than even the most gentle soul would realise. It fosters vengeance and mistrust, violence follows.”

      Eh what, Kev? When I read that I thought you were gonna say ‘Any expression of love of SCOTLAND is greeted with a nasty nasty response.’

      I am English, btw. I live in Scotland.

      The Scots I met prior to the Ref were supportive, polite and friendly. The No voters I met were occasionally arsey and bemused that I, an Englishman, was voting Yes and was also an SNP member. We always parted amiably.

      Kevin – let me spell out what the media is doing. Your media > The Scots are on the receiving end of an unrelenting barrage of hatred, bias, falsehoods and disrespect from the ‘free’ press, not to mention ignorant folk on social networks. Why?

      It is borne out of fear and media lies.

      The Scots, by and large, are expected to suck up the media’s xenophobic diarrhoea.

      Scots have had such an all-round kicking (For wanting self-determinism or greater powers) and have been deluged by falsehoods from the Treasury, Westminster, the HOL and big business… so it is only right they voice their displeasure.

      They were sent to the back of the bus and told to shut up; they have had their democratic rights trampled and ignored (e.g, smith commission watered down by Treasury and IDS)…

      I hosted a dinner party last night where No voters and Yes voters and Scots and English were present. The atmosphere was great. Convivial and fun. We discussed politics and moved on. No one died.

      Being proud of one’s heritage is important. Being knowledgable of one’s culture is wise. Being proud of one’s nation…that is okay too.

      But – thinking your nation is better than another, imposing self-serving laws, ignoring rights of your neighbour…that is bad.

      Sadly, that is England.

      And I am ashamed of the oppressive, overbearing, foolish, cruel country of my birth at the moment.

    62. Helena Brown says:

      I see we are a Threat to What? Watched a very hostile group of people on Daily Politics who seem to think that the SNP should have ANY part in Westminster. Stuart Hosie obviously was not allowed into the Studio and therefore nobody supporting as the rest of them got to go on unopposed. When are they going to understand Alex is no longer Leader and that we are not the Nationalist party. The opponents included Norman, I hate you all, Baker.

    63. EricS says:

      Does The National not get an invite to these press events? If not, why not?

    64. Frazerio says:

      These questions must also be asked to all parties regarding post GE coalitions.

      Blue Tories & Purple Tories? Yes or No?
      Red Tories & Yellow Tories? Yes or No?
      Most importantly, Blue Tories & Red Tories? Categorically please Messrs Cameron & Miliband, Yes or No?

      As the referendum surely made clear, and as Ms Soubry stated in no uncertain terms yesterday, the unionists are terrified of the party that wants to ‘break up brittin’.

      For me, the big surprise will be if there isn’t a Grand Coalition after the GE. These career politico’s have no scruples. As the LibDems showed in 2010, dangle a share of Chequers and a ministerial Jag in front of these people and before you can say ‘reverse ferret’…

      Just as in the referendum, after the GE, the ‘protection of the union’ will be more important to unionists than red/blue divisions.

      Miliband was feeble (who’d have thunk) by bowing to tabloid pressure to rule out a SNP coalition (I know, we know it was a redundant point anyway).

      But if he’s going to say no to the SNP, I want to know who else he will or won’t go into coalition with (check Daily Mash – Miliband Rules Out Forming a Government). Obviously, I’d want the same from the other parties too, just so, you know, the electorate know wtf they’re voting for.

    65. Helena Brown says:

      Damn, should have read that the SNP should not have any part in Westminster.

    66. Mealer says:

      Luigi at 11.38am,
      You are of course,correct.The general election vote won’t split exactly along Yes/No lines.My previous post was merely to highlight the big change in psyche since the last general election.

    67. Luigi says:

      ClanDonald says:

      23 March, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      @Luigi: A referendum on renewing trident, with the full might of the UK propaganda media machine campaigning for its continuation, would probably result in a vote to renew it.

      Not just that, but the Tory and Labour parties would probably gang up on the SNP and make it into a “Don’t let the Jocks tell the British what to do” issue.

      Indeed, but Scotland would still probably vote against. If Scotland voted differently from the rUK, this would create a very interesting situation. More ammo for future battles!

    68. gillie says:

      Ed Miliband, “There is only one coalition we want. A coalition with working people”

      If you are sick, disabled, unemployed or a pensioner … well …. you can get stuffed.

    69. Richardinho says:

      It’s a fair question, but (as I’ve said previously elsewhere) it’s kind of based on the assumption that TBPAFTG is a fair strategy,and it isn’t: It’s a form of trolling designed to generate confusion, heighten emotion, and distract people from addressing more important issues.

      If you actually asked Miliband this question I think that his answer would be something like: “We’re fighting for a Labour majority in this election. We’re not interested in speculating on what might happen after the election..”

    70. Fiona says:

      @ Frazerio

      These are good points, and they are central to a situation in which the norm of FPTP is apparently breaking down: that is, the advantage of FPTP is said to be that it produces strong government. With an overall majority the governing party can deliver its manifesto (and, unfortunately, anything else it likes). There are genuine advantages to this, though obviously the part in parenthesis is the downside.

      What we may be seeing is a move to a situation in which we replicate the results of a PR system, but without any of the necessary preconditions which make that desirable, What I mean by that is that under a PR outcome (regardless of the voting system which produces that result) you cannot know what you are voting for. Not even in principle. Not unless ALL the parties make it clear what their “red line” issues are. We have no mechanism for demanding that, and so we are faced with voting for pigs in pokes.

      This needs to be urgently addressed and your proposal is one way of doing it in the short term. But longer term we need to alter our arrangements so that we avoid the pitfalls which are the downside of PR, and make sure our system allows us to choose on the basis of clear commitments rather than “good chaps”

    71. Roland Smith says:

      Got my latest Labour leaflet delivered by the Post Office this morning. Filled with the usual lies and misinformation. Minimum wage raised to £8, but no mention of that being in 2020 when it will probably reach that level in any case. Tuition Fees in Scotland are free care of Labour would you believe, and they abolished them. And of course the largest party message as shown above.
      Labour have no activists to deliver leaflets but obviously are spending a huge amount of money in Scotland attempting to buy the election.

    72. Richardinho says:

      “Murphy has taken counsel. He refuses to answer any question that discusses the aftermath of the election in the event Labour needs another party to help it secure power.

      I think Stuart’s question is answered already – Labour do NOT intend to take power if they need SNP support.

      ‘End of’ – as they say on social sites.”

      I absolutely disagree: If Labour can form a government by reaching an agreement with the SNP then they will. It may even take a coup to displace Miliband as leader, but when the prize is taking power and the keys to Downing Street I think it’s inconceivable that the Labour party and those within it wouldn’t do a deal with The SNP in order to obtain it.

    73. galamcennalath says:

      Helena Brown says:
      “I see we are a Threat to What?”

      There are fundimentalist BritNats north and south of the border. They see the United Kingdom as their country. Many would call it Britain, some would even all it England (with a vague inclusion of Scotland and Wales). They are ‘my country right or wrong’ nationalists. These views about the Union are deeply engrained in many people, from establishment leaders down to folk on the street.

      Scottish Nationalism has evolved into something quite different, for most Scots, compared to British nationalism.

      We are inclusive, civic and on a quest for justice, fairness and democracy. British Nationalism, IMO, seems to be more about blind devotion and raw patriotism.

      We see our self evident right to self determination being thwarted by whatever underhand and nasty tactic to protect their Union comes into the BritNats’ hands. BritNats don’t understand our civic form of nationalism.

      They see us challenging their country’s honour, pride, prestige, stature, reputation, authority, and credibility – we are disrespecting them. They believe we threaten their existence as they know it. We are the barbarians at the gate.

      These two views of reality are totally incompatible. I fear there is no compromise.

    74. Frank McInnes says:

      Having listened to Anna Soubry, on Andrew Marr yesterday, being “absolutely terrified” at the prospect of the Scottish people exercising their democratic right, I can only assume that the Tories likes democracy as long as it means the Scottish people don’t have a say in the running of the country!

      Shouldn’t we discuss the established Westmister Parties apparent fear of democracy?

    75. Grouse Beater says:

      Richardinho: It may even take a coup to displace Miliband as leader,

      You agree there is doubt. Therein lies the main issue, will Miliband give in to the inevitable or be deposed.

      Have you forgotten all the Labour politicians who said in so many words or directly? – ‘Rather Scotland under the Tories than the SNP holding power.’

      The MP’s and Labour city politicos are not renegade members of the party. They express Labour mentality.

    76. Fiona says:

      Well said, galamcennalath

    77. Karmanaut says:

      Nationalism.

      I’ve no time for that discussion, because it plays into their hands. I just want Scotland to be independent and that has nothing to be with nationalism.

      The truth is they have no argument to say:

      Independence = Bad.

      So they try to muddy the waters by saying:

      Independence = Nationalism.
      Nationalism = Bad.

      Don’t fall into that trap. Instead ask: “Why is independence bad?”

      I was a member of a trade union once. I paid my membership fees, and got certain benefits in return. Ultimately I decided the benefits weren’t worth it, so I cancelled my membership and stopped paying in. I did not do it because the majority of other union members lived in another part of the UK.

      Same with this union.

    78. Peter Campbell says:

      A journalist could always ask the same question of David Cameron – if your party is not the biggest single party, but is able to form a stable coalition with another party, will you rule out becoming Prime Minister?

    79. Mosstrooper says:

      Heard that Milliband has declared that the SNP would never get to influence a Labour Gov. budget “never in a million years” he said.

      Well that’s us tellt. So no confidence and supply then?

    80. Mosstrooper says:

      oops! support, not supply.

    81. Frazerio says:

      Hello Fiona.

      In the Frazerio Party (hardline libertarian in case you were wondering), manifesto point number 1 is PR. FPTP for me is a big part of the UK systems problem, promoting as it does, the adversarial Punch & Judy nonsense whilst excluding swathes of votes from counting.

      I also really like the idea of legally binding manifesto’s, though they might be hard to establish in practice. Quite simply anyone who stands for election to parliament can say whatever they like. It surprises me they don’t make even more incredulous claims. Maybe the electorate do have some power after all.

      But we are where we are and if we’re going to have coalitions in a FPTP, we should be told before voting begins where the red lines are. But you’re right, no mechanisms in place for this. What actually works in the present system???

      Maybe we should construct a grid that the parties can shade in showing who they would/wouldn’t deal with.

      A recurring theme now with the dinosaur parties is that they all seem to loathe conceding anything at all to the electorate. Usually for the sake of short-term posturing at the cost of their own parties long term health (never mind the good of the people who elected them).

      If the tories had given Clegg PR in 2010, we’d surely have a healthier democracy (heck the tories would probably have 5 or 6 Scottish MP’s). Or if DevoMax/3rd option was included in The Referendum, the result might have been something like; Yes 20%, No 10%, DevoMax/FFA 70%. If Labour had ran with either of these, or both, they’d surely be better off than they are now. But no, they obviously know better.

    82. Fiona says:

      I think you were right the first time, Mosstrooper.

      If he has indeed said that I take him at his word. Labour decides its budget if it forms the government, and if it does not suit the SNP they vote against. Either the tories support it (likely) or his government falls ( assuming a house composed as the polls predict)

      Labour will then spin the idea that the SNP brought down the labour government for all they are worth. But since such a budget would be at odds with an anti austerity stance, I don’t think that would help them much.

    83. Helena Brown says:

      Thanks for that galamcennalath, from the wee barbarian at the gate, I may yet clamber ower it, I certainly will give it a good kicking on the 7th May.

    84. Rob James says:

      Robert Graham @ 11:42

      “…as for the press down south, I feel a distinct chill from there. Anyone feel the change in the weather?”

      Very much so. It is now all about stirring anti Scottish sentiment down south. Then you have the likes of Ms Soubry doing it openly on air with phrases such as ‘We will not allow’.

      How far will they go to protect their precious empire?

    85. Desimond says:

      Jim Murphy stated yesterday that the SNP have painted themselves into a corner of having No Power at all. The SNP wont support the Tories and therefore the Labour Party dont need to worry about any alliance there so can plow on thinking the SNP wont side with Tories.

      Jim playing a dangerous game here of course. Is it only the Tories who can call a Vote of No Confidence should there be a Labour minority Government?

      No SNP fan in Scotland would bat an eyelid if Nicola Sturgeon appeared on telly saying “We cannot support this Government”. In fact, we’d probably applaud.

    86. heedtracker says:

      Their problem is can they exclude Scottish SNP vote from Westminster and ofcourse government.

      Anna Sourby went BBC ballistic with fury at just the possibility of Salmond or indeed any SNP MP’s voting on UK and Westminster laws but what neo fascism like this is really doing, is deciding who can and who cant participate in British democracy.

      If you voted YES, you’re out.

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/buyers-remorse/#comments

      This is what farce Smith Commission’s THE VOW constitutional law expert Professor Adam Tomkins, from Kent, currently law lecturer at Glasgow uni thinks about yesterday’s red/blue tory rage at this insult to their democracy

      “This is terrific. Well done @Anna_SoubryMP http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02mjj9d?”

      https://twitter.com/proftomkins

      Its easy to laugh at neo fascists but what’s really going down here?

    87. De Valera says:

      As regards the Kevin Lowry piece, it really is lazy journalism to equate a wish for self determination with anti-Englishness. We will still share this island whatever the political outcome and we on the Yes side are mature enough to realise this.

      Received the latest Labour propaganda today, with a little extra newspaper detailing our local MPs (Russell Brown) expoits “fighting to keep the Tories out”. Most of it concerns devolved matters but the front page has oor Russell with a local man saying that even though he received excellent care during a recent hospital stay, the NHS isn’t safe with the nasty Nats and only Labour can save it! Is this the best they can do?

      Is McTernan actually getting paid to come up with this crap?

    88. Fiona says:

      Hello Frazerio

      I have no idea what “hard line libertarian” means these days. Such is the fate of our language in the hands of neoliberals.:). Doesn’t matter, though

      I think that the debate about electoral arrangements is far too simplistic, on the whole. I am certainly not persuaded that PR is automatically a better system, as so many seem to believe.

      I agree that manifesto’s are less important than they were or should be. Indeed it is part of the neoliberal project to promote the idea that they are utterly meaningless, the better to undermine democracy. But they are not there yet, as the impact of the tuition fees debacle for the Lib dems clearly shows.

      Under PR manifesto’s cannot matter, and that is inherent in the system. So if you have that arrangement something needs to replace it, and neoliberals would prefer that what replaces it is a beauty contest. That hands more power to the media, who have control of our perceptions of politicians to a very large extent. That suits them fine: it does not suit me

      We need to re-establish the principle that we can judge a government or a party solely on what they are prepared to commit to in advance of an election: and the electorate needs to hold that thought so that breaking of pledges requires a really good explanation, else the party will definitely be punished at the next election. That is what democracy is for, arguably. Only thus can government serve the people.

      I wrote a post about different voting systems a good while ago, which I think touches on some of those issues. It is long, but you might be interested. Skip the waffle at the start because it was in context of a wider conversation 🙂

      http://thosebigwords.forumcommunity.net/?t=47092983&p=329477934

    89. HandandShrimp says:

      Tomkins is a Tory Unionist. I am sure Soubry’s performance tickled his tummy for him.

      What Tomkins doesn’t to seem to realise is that Soubry and her ilk play so badly for the Tories here in Scotland…maybe he doesn’t care. I certainly wouldn’t stop her. Her comments have been re-posted umpteen times on Facebook by SNP and Yes supporters.

    90. Benjamin Rae says:

      You’re analytical skills are very good. Get to the point and cut the shit. Like it

    91. CameronB Brodie says:

      I did chuckle when Ed the Red mentioned bringing faireness, or some such, to both Britain and Scotland, Doh! 🙂

    92. Fiona says:

      We are getting fairies, now? Oooh, goody!

    93. BrianW says:

      I think the UK Press have a moral obligation to highlight Jim Murphy’s pledge/vow to outdo the Turkish woman in this story:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-32017499

      “University dropout to graduate after 64 years”

      I think Jim’s trying to beat her and claim his place in the Guinness Book of Records.

      Surprised the press aren’t covering it to be honest. The man farts and it’s in the news. Then farts over all the questions being flung in his direction. Delivering off the cuff farts, and diversionary farts to detract form the interview in hand.

      “Why won’t you just answer the question Mr Murphy?”

      “Well I would, but your keep interrupting and I can’t get a fart in edge ways..”

    94. Dave the Squirrel says:

      Another suspiciously closely-shot photograph, in the corner of a room, to disguise the fact that this is likely invite-only anti-democracy at its worst.

      I can just imagine the faecal stench in the air right now:
      “change, party is changing, my britain, your britain, broken britain, mend britain, change britain, working britain, change for workers, helping working changing britain-ing”.
      Cue a circle of back-patting, and gushing voiceovers getting cobbled together down Pacific Quay.

      Personally, I see a bunch of toffs in a room working out how next to trick voters alongside their complicit media pals. That’s the honest truth. If I were interrogated under the administration of sodium thiopental, I’d say no differently.

    95. heedtracker says:

      HandandShrimp says:
      23 March, 2015 at 1:44 pm
      Tomkins is a Tory Unionist. I am sure Soubry’s performance tickled his tummy for him.

      Like I said, its easy to laugh at neo fascism, right now. Whatever Scottish democracy is doing to teamGB, its certainly turning over some big stones with horrible things under them.

      If a nutcase like that had tweeted I dont know say, “Anna Sourby right to be angry at Salmond but she’s profoundly wrong to try and exclude SNP vote from British democracy”

      But no, we get one more UKOK idiot strutting his stuff in public.

    96. orri says:

      Let’s suppose that the only other party in Scotland than the SNP is Labour. If by design or simple arithmetic the Conservatives are still in government will there be no Secretary of State for Scotland or will there be a brave volunteer, Murphy perhaps, compelled by patriotic duty into accepting the role?

    97. caz-m says:

      The Unionist bastards at STV News have shown another Ed Miliband video, this time from Clydebank this morning.

      It shows Ed slaughtering Alex Salmond again and how he would not do any deals with the SNP. And again , I was waiting on the SNP rebuttal from Nicola and again, there was nothing. They moved quickly on to Crime and Fitba.

      This is a regular occurrence now from our Scottish TV broadcasters.

      STV doing there bit for their friends at Scottish Labour.

    98. gillie says:

      From the Daily Mail, “Ed Miliband jetted into Scotland today as a devastating poll suggests Labour could end up with just two seats north of the border – the same as the Tories.”

      Okay who is the other Scottish Tory MP?

    99. Iain Donald says:

      Stole and posted on Twitter.

    100. Frazerio says:

      Fiona,

      I’ll certainly look at your election systems link, probably this evening.

      I’m not convinced manifesto pledges and PR are mutually exclusive. But will happily stand corrected if so after further reading.

      Just viewed Murphy v Neill from yesterday and couldn’t quite believe this little gem from Jim Murphy just after 10 mins into the second clip.

      “We can’t have an election surely where the whole campaign and the whole contest and the whole debate is based about what happens after the election”.

    101. Dr Jim says:

      @The Sun Kevin Lowry

      Thats not even a good try, that’s just a pile of steaming

      well let’s just say mince

      some might fall for this if they never went past primary school, but then again it’s aimed at Sun readers

    102. Desimond says:

      A Helpful Press you say…( apols I cant archive in work)

      If they fail, the Daily Mirror’s Kevin Maguire reckons a deal involving the SNP is on the cards: “Miliband’s camp are optimistic, as they believe Labour could finish second and their man would still be PM… If that happened, Miliband would have 14 days to stitch together a deal. I’m told he is optimistic the SNP, Plaid, SDLP, Green, Respect and Lib Dem rump would favour him over another election.”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-32013231

    103. Douglas Macdonald says:

      O/T I have just heard on the BBC Scotland News that Nigel Farage and his party contemplate a severe reduction in foreign aid and a reduction in the money sent to Scotland. It sounds like the Unionist parties are out to punish Scotland for daring to challenge Westminster hegemony.

    104. Kenny says:

      Can someone clarify for me what actually happens under the Fixed Term Parliament Act? I understand that losing a confidence vote doesn’t automatically force an election. It might make government more or less untenable, but it doesn’t technically bring the government down any more, does it?

      Assuming all the polling arithmetic just now is accurate with the Tories edging it as the largest party but probably unable to form a majority even with DUP and UKIP support. The SNP can actually do a lot of interesting things in that scenario. They can certainly keep the Tories out of government if that’s what Labour wants too. However, they can make Scotland almost completely ungovernable. They can vote against anything and everything if FFA is not delivered as a first priority for a Labour government. Even in a more friendly relationship, they can effectively grant EVEL to the Tories by taking almost every Scottish MP out of the equation on English-only legislation. Thus, the Tories have a majority in England and can flatten Labour at every step while Labour technically remain in charge of actually governing the country.

      Having said all that, it could be a tightrope. Labour will paint ANYTHING the SNP does from now until the 2016 elections as “pro-Tory.” And I absolutely expect that if Labour is not the largest party, they will abstain on the Queen’s Speech, let the Tories into government and then blame the SNP ferociously for the next 30 years. With all their propaganda now to set the scene and then not enough people really understanding the system and not following parliamentary arithmetic and voting records very closely (and certainly no media outlets to provide the facts), it will be an easy year to say “the SNP let the Tories in just like we said they would. Now you need Labour at Holyrood to insulate Scotland from this horror the Nats have inflicted on all of Britain.”

    105. Glamaig says:

      @caz-m – I complained to the BBC about a similarly one sided news bulletin. The answer was, ‘ah but the bulletin an hour later gave an SNP soundbite. Therefore we are balanced.’ Without listening and watching all day every day recording and taking notes its impossible to prove anything.

      Also, how do we know, for example, if a particular timeslot has more viewers/ listeners and what their demographic is?

      Methinks Prof Robertson and others (if there are any others) need a small army of volunteer helpers.

    106. Mealer says:

      Orri,if there is a Tory government with no Scottish seats they will pick a Scot who holds a seat for the Tories elsewhere.Failing that,a Lord.Or just some random person who has some Scottish blood.

    107. schrodingers cat says:

      The SNP do not vote on English only issues
      The SNP are standing on a manifesto of Devo Max, FFA

      What would the SNP get for propping up a minority Labour/Tory/coalition Government? FFA? That would only increase the number of issues in Westminster that the SNP don’t vote on? This cannot work

      However, a minority Labour/Tory/coalition Government which had a majority if the SNP mp’s are removed from the equation will cede to the SNP’s demands for FFA, as it would leave them in a majority for 80% of the time.

      This would be spun as a victory for whoever agreed to the FFA, no more Barnett formula, or Scottish subsidy Junkies, and the introduction of EVEL

      The fact that the SNP will gain their manifesto demands will be quietly forgotten by the UK MSM. Win win folks

    108. HandandShrimp says:

      Farage is pretty irrelevant now. I think UKIP have been too weird too often. Their bubble appears to be deflating.

      However, Farage saying unpleasant things about Scotland is good. No gift horse ever looked in the mouth 🙂

    109. galamcennalath says:

      orri says:
      “Let’s suppose that the only other party in Scotland than the SNP is Labour. If by design or simple arithmetic the Conservatives are still in government will there be no Secretary of State for Scotland”

      The Cons would appoint a Scottish Tory from the House of Lords. This would be constitutionally sound, however it would be rather rubbing our noses in it!

      However, if the Tories are in power, then they can give a two fingered salute to Scotland … Once more.

    110. Frazerio says:

      Fiona.

      Footnote to my last post, to put it better, I’m not convinced manifesto pledges would be any less valid under PR than they are under FPTP. Whereas I think PR provides a more representative election outcome compared to FPTP.

      Cheers.

    111. heedtracker says:

      So today teamGB tory boys are fighting extremists everywhere and Teresa May/teamGB says

      “The Home Office defines extremism as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of armed forces whether in this country or overseas”.

      All that’s happening in Scotland is campaigning and voting but if you’re SNP, you’re not going to get near any Westminster vote, according to UK.gov Minister of Defence Sourby, assorted red and blue tory nutters.

      Meanwhile top UK.gov civil servants breached so much of civil impartial stuff throughout Scotland’s referendum campaign, they have no crediblity left

      https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/civil-service/about/recruitment

      “Our values

      The Civil Service Code sets out our core values and the standards of behaviour expected of all civil servants:

      integrity – putting the obligations of public service above personal interests
      honesty – being truthful and open
      objectivity – basing advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence
      impartiality – acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving governments of different political parties equally well”

      Ha bloody ha Sir Gus O’Donnell

    112. CameronB Brodie says:

      Oops. I still need glasses. 🙂

    113. HandandShrimp says:

      heetracker

      If it was left to the Soubrys of this world I suspect being a Scottish Nationalist would also be added to the extremist verboten list.

    114. Valerie says:

      @shrodinger 2.30pm, loving your work there!

    115. galamcennalath says:

      HandandShrimp says:
      “Farage is pretty irrelevant now. I think UKIP have been too weird too often. Their bubble appears to be deflating.”

      It had occured to me that all the media attention the SNP and Scotland are getting down south (for a change) must be detracting from UKIP. In many ways their appearance on the scene has been media driven. The only reason they got a Scottish EU seat was because they got far more coverage in Scotland than any other party! So now they are getting less attention.

    116. Brian Nicholson says:

      I have been using the following signature line on my emails and getting a very positive response.

      “Red Tory, Blue Tory
      Same old Story
      May 7th Vote SNP”

      Short and to the point. Feel free to use it.

    117. Dr Jim says:

      When i write, i don’t sit with a Thesaurus in order to assist what brain i already have
      I have never found it to be honest sounding to look up words to increase my importance to others
      I also try not to talk like that either, it always sounds full of self importance which is something i aspire not to be

      A thing is or it is’nt it’s true or it’s a lie
      Politico negative speak is detestable, the use of language to confuse and distort truth
      That’s one of the reasons why more folk have turned to the SNP from Labour
      Although we know they’re all lawyers and very clever people
      they speak English in a way everybody can hear easily

      The Labour Party, on the other hand come into none of the above categories, they, in their infinite stupidity attempt to do politico speak and make themselves sound, if such a thing were possible, even thicker than they are,
      and it’s noticeable
      So instead of speaking plain truth in plain language they indulge in this attempt to hide their lies by trying to outdo the brainy team by using “Repetitive Brain Injury”
      It does’nt F..k..g work..Stop it
      Instead of endearing themselves to their support that once was
      they have successfully destroyed all trust and hope in all but the last few remaining addicts
      I’m no expert on politics, but on human behaviour, i have a little understanding, and if there is one thing i could humbly impart to the Labour Party in simple language,it’s this

      Fuck off no’bdy likes you coz you’re lying dicks and you’ve been “FUN OOT”…..simples…squeek..

    118. Desimond says:

      Kenny

      Labour wills pend the next 30 years blaming SNP

      There will be no Labour in Scotland in 30 years. In fact there probably wont even be an SNP as we know it in its current form.

      The only difference is, one of those parties will evolve along with an energised forward looking and free nation, the other will simply crawl under a stairwell and die wimpering yet snarling to the end like the sick dog it is.

    119. Footsoldier says:

      Slightly o/t but I do wish Alex Salmond would not enter into boastful rhetoric and comments. This plays directly into the hands of the MSM who delight in repeating his comments to our friends south of the border.

      He needs to highlight Nicola Sturgeon much more when he is on the national stage and it might even be prudent to stay off the main stage until the election is over and just concentrate on his Gordon constituency.

      Everyone in Scotland knows who he is and it serves no meaningful purpose for him to be on national television. It might even put off some Scots who dislike Salmond but have now turned to the SNP because Nicola Sturgeon is now the leader with a very different style from Salmond.

    120. caz-m says:

      Glamaig 2.28pm

      The battle against the Scottish media is constant. I try to avoid it. There can’t be many countries in the world where you can’t watch your National News broadcaster because of the bias reporting.

      Devolving media powers to Holyrood, so that BBC Scotland and other broadcasters are held more to account for their actions, has to be one of the main priorities that a strong SNP voice at Westminster must carry out.

    121. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      So, if you want to go to see a box with some bones, belonging to a man buried for 5, under a council carpark, 500 years ago,in Leicester, (not when the carpark was tarmacamed) you will have to wait until tomorrow.

      There are too many people queuing up to get within touching distance of the said box.

      FFS, England is turning into a living theme park.

      It is all they have left.

    122. Tîm Criced i Gymru says:

      o/t…well, re ‘THE’ Election anyway…
      Just received the most recent of our Tory candidate’s newsletters today (a North Wales constituency btw). Destined for the Nat.Lib of Wales political archive (or the fireplace on a chilly March evening tonight), but I just spotted this:
      ‘… The rise of a number of minor parties such as UKIP and the SNP in Scotland have created some uncertainty about stability in British Government,(and onwards blah blah…).
      SNP – MINOR?!!? Ha -from where I sit and watch here in CYMRU/Wales, the SNP support is about as far from a cry of uncertainty as is possible and the uncertainty is clearly to be seen in the ‘UK’ polls as the electorate are genuinely fed-up to the back teeth with being used as a political beachball by successive same old, same as Lab/Tory. Free yourself, one and all!

    123. almannysbunnet says:

      Just got in the latest lib/dem flier for West Aberdeenshire. They actually quote the daily record twice and the Herald once as a source for their information. So the lib/dems up this way think quoting the Daily Record is a vote winner. In West Aberdeenshire!! Wow! now that is an MP out of touch with his constituency.

    124. Tinto Chiel says:

      Of course we all know Stuart’s question was really a rhetorical one: there seem to be no real journalists allowed into these completely controlled media affairs. And look how crowded they are into one wee corner. Last days of the Labour Raj? Or should that be Radge?

      Oh, I love it when Ed comes North! Remember when he visited Blantyre during the referendum, the day of Johann’s shameful Asdagate performance? The film clip has him stoating about aimlessly until he finally approaches an old boy over the garden gate with his fixed politician’s grin. And what does he get?: “You’re no’ welcome in Blan’ir, Mr Miliband!”

      Ah, comedy gold. He probably had to ask Johann or her pyoor best friend Mags Curran to translate for the hard of brain cell.

      Haste ye back, Ed. More votes on the SNP mountain.

    125. Helena Brown says:

      Dr. Jim here here and Footsodier in many ways I tend to agree with you, trouble is he is the only one they seem to know down there, I am sure I heard him described and not in his presence that he is still leader. I think he needs to refuse any more invitations even to publicise his book right now.

    126. Desimond says:

      @Footsoldier
      Are there clear examples of Alex boasting?

      Dont go mistaking “reported comments” or simple statement of facts being misinterpreted on purpose by the Press as boastful rhetoric.

      Every time I see Alex Salmond I see a calm measured man who is clearly no-ones mug and wont pretend to be as expected.

      BTW..For anyone in London..Alex is in Piccadilly signing books from 7pm tonight.

    127. caz-m says:

      tartanpigsy

      O/T

      Was it yourself who was selling the large YES Saltires last year??

      If so, have you any plans to sell similar size Saltire’s
      with the SNP name on it??

      I have been looking about for this type of flag, unsuccessfully.

    128. carjamtic says:

      “Perception is Reality”

      The perception was that after the no vote,it was over,job done.

      Once all the high fives and back slapping of the BT campaigners had calmed down,they have realised the reality of their perceived victory has come at a huge cost to them,reality bites.

      “You may have scared me and my familly for a short time,but as is the pattern from Westminster your lies were uncovered and you failed to capture me in your disgusting web of deceit”

      Reality bites…………We have seen your worst………We are not afraid.

    129. CameronB Brodie says:

      Civil Service impartiality is a myth. Studies may appear immpartial, whilst they are fundamentally compromised by the skewed parameters set by Heads of Department. Studies can also be compromised by selecctive reporting of findings. This has been my experience.

      There needs to be tighter democratic oversite, IMO.

    130. heedtracker says:

      HandandShrimp says:
      23 March, 2015 at 2:48 pm
      heetracker

      If it was left to the Soubrys of this world I suspect being a Scottish Nationalist would also be added to the extremist verboten list.

      Oh how they laughed as they marched us to the local football stadiums. stadia, grounds?

    131. Glamaig says:

      BtP 3.10pm
      Weird isnt it. I feel that if even Bruce or Wallace was reinterred there wouldnt be as much interest. Bannockburn 700th anniversary was just a fun family day out of entertainment. The English and UKOKers are more nationalists than we are, they just dont see it.

    132. YESGUY says:

      The country is in mess.

      This country is in a mess. 307 years of union has given us a country full of cowards and ("Tractor" - Ed)s.

      The news full of spin and lies and the real stories are kept out the way.

      Stories of benefit sanction and the disgraceful attacks on our disabled.

      Mark Frankland runs a food bank. This is a day in his life. And this is happening everywhere.

      A terrible tale , one of far too bloody many.

      http://tinyurl.com/lx58668

      The bastards in Westminster allow this and the MSM ignore it. When are folk going to wake up.

    133. Jamie Arriere says:

      If people don’t realise the shambolic fractious nature of the 1974-79 government from the mists of time, have a read of this. It’s either an essay or a book chapter by Philip Norton, a Tory peer, academic and according to Wikipedia, the authority on the history of Parliament.

      He says the most remarkable thing is that it even survived at all till 1979, and a key reason for that was the support of the fringe parties, including the SNP.

      The Government was defeated 42 times in the Commons and 347 times in the HoL. In its last session, any number of Labour MPs voted against the government in 45% of motions.

      It was a blessed relief when it ended.

      http://www.revolts.co.uk/Labour,%2074-79.pdf

    134. SquareHaggis says:

      Don’t see Margrit fawning down the front 🙁

      Must be there surely?

    135. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Salmond and Nicola and all of the snp have served us well and they know what they are doing

      Whether labour or the Tories win the larders share of mp’s is now irrelevant. If the snp hold the balance of power, they will have no choice but to concede to the FFA, devo max demands of the snp

      This is what this election is about, not propping up anyone, not pulling anyone in any direction. If we win, we win the right for the newly elected snp mp’s to walk away from wm, for 80% of the time

    136. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Larders = largest

    137. Les Wilson says:

      If the Tories get in Milliband will resign, I feel that is a certainty, maybe D. Milliband will return?

      Then come the resurrection of labour, in the press of course, so watch out for “Newer Labour” making an entrance. New ideas, new policies, new energy in the press of course.

      But still ran by all the bogey men and women we have grown to laugh at, nothing really changes with them. But expect a new wrapping.

    138. David Doherty says:

      Labour must be really worried they will lose the West Dunbartonshire seat, if Ed Miliband is visiting. I don’t ever recall there being any interest in Clydebank, other than the Queen visiting, reminiscing on a shipbuilding past that is now gone. The incumbent MP (Gemma Doyle) has done nothing for the area. Well that isn’t quite true. She voted to cap welfare spending, and supports the renewal of Trident (since some Clydebank residents work at Faslane..really principled, courageous stand there, Gemma).

      The SNP candidate Martin Docherty seems to have more ideas on tackling the root causes of poverty and unemployment in the area.

    139. frogesque says:

      My reading of the result after the result of the GE:

      It only needs 163 Labour and 163 Tory MPs to agree to not to disagree (since they have apparently already agreed on the Budget) and the ‘problem’ is solved.! We have a brand new right of centre Bacon Party. Form an orderly line and all snouts to the trough.

      There may be a couple of LibDems in the mix as well since, being very liberal and of negotiable affection, they will bed down with anyone.

      Now, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband would have to go (it would make ‘the night of the long knives’ look like a playschool squabble – should be fun) but what’s a little collateral damage? Quick game of eanymeany for PM, Chancellor and Home Sec. and job done.

      Solves all those difficult decisions about coalitions, Jocklandshire and those troublesome plebs who talk funny a bit west of somewhere. Britannia rules, and we get to make the rules, OK?

      The far right would of course scream ‘Foul’ and Murphy would just scream but there would be nothing anyone, not even the SNP, could do about it except exit from the Union after 2016 Holyrood and another IRef.

    140. Schrödinger's cat says:

      If we get FFA it won’t matter what flour newer whiter than white labour wrap themselves in

      If Indyref 2 is reduced to arguing over nuke subs and the eu, labour with no labour mp’s to defend the union, will need to get David Bowie to write better together a song to have any chance.

      SNP winning here

    141. Sinky says:

      Latest Ashcroft Polls put SNP up 1% to 6% in UK. Although I don’t know the Scottish sample size.

      The Conservatives and Labour are level at 33% in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. Both parties are up on last week (Labour by four points, the Tories by two). The Liberal Democrats are unchanged at 8%, with UKIP and the Greens each down three points at 12% and 5% respectively. The SNP are up a point at 6%. All but one change was within the margin of error.

      It also points out that Cameron and Miliband’s two kitchens
      has resonated with voters who are fed up Westminster politicians.

    142. liz says:

      I think the reason Lab are ruling out any co-operation with the SNP, is because they will be hoping for a quick 2nd election.

      They will say this shambles cannot continue vote for us to keep tories out.

      They want to make the SNP as irrelevant as they can.

      Also if Milliband does not get enough seats there will be a coup against him and Murphy will lead the charge.

    143. gordoz says:

      OOOFFTTT !!

      A well aimed size 12 steel toe-cap in the plums Sir !

      Its a real pity we don’t have a strong media in Scotland with such nerve to pose real meaningful questions as this Rev.

      They can’t get past all the fawning after a real politician from Westminster guff. So sad

    144. Schrödinger's cat says:

      We still need 10-15% of labour supporters in Scotland to cross the floor and support independence
      A lab Tory coalition will ensure that happens
      Indyref2 will be in autumn 2016

    145. frogesque says:

      A wee reminder:

      Due to the death of Councillor Betty Campbell a vacancy has arisen in Ward 14 – Glenrothes West & Kinglassie.

      A by-election to fill this vacancy will take place on Thursday, 26 March, 2015.

      The Notice of Election was published on 10th February 2015.

      http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/topics/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.display&p2sid=6F160F8A-FD68-2CAD-D87122B97114A64D

      Any help or even moral support would be much appreciated. This area has been held by Labour and we desperately need to kick the Kirkaldy Kremlin into touch. Look on it as prequel for the Big One in May!

    146. Fiona says:

      A quick second election would be interesting. I have no idea how that would impress the voters.

      I do not imagine it would sway many independence supporters, because many do not see any difference between labour and tory and so they have no incentive to switch votes in order to achieve “stable government”.

      I do not see many labour core voters switching to tory, nor the other way around.

      A second election is tantatmount to saying to the electorate “you didn’t really mean that”, and if you see the electorate as one lump you would be right. Very few are consciously voting for a hung parliament, in my view.

      But that is a part/whole fallacy, is it not? Each voter did consciously vote for their preferred party and I do not see how a second election will change their views.

      So it seems to me just as likely that the reply from the voters would be “yes we did” and the outcome would be no different

      What then?

    147. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      For those who have not yet twigged;

      The UK Civil Service and the BBC

      2 cheeks of the same arse.

    148. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Glamaig says:
      23 March, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      BtP 3.10pm

      Weird isn”t it. I feel that if even Bruce or Wallace was reinterred there wouldnt be as much interest. Bannockburn 700th anniversary was just a fun family day out of entertainment. The English and UKOKers are more nationalists than we are, they just dont see it.”

      Yes, you could almost think, at Leicester, that you could buy splints of the real cross and bottles of the vinegrated blood of christ, outside of course.

      They have no hope, there is nothing left.

    149. Bob Mack says:

      I will try to put it as simply as I can,we are most definitely winning my friends.
      Never in all my years have I seen Westminster in the bubbling cauldron it now openly displays each and every single day.Their discomfort is palpable.I never thought this could ever happen.
      In spite of the barrage of negativity poured out each and every dsy in the mass media we are ahead in the polls ,and maintaining that lead.This can only mean one thing.The people have decided who to trust with Scotlands future. Like many on here I now listen to programmes or political shows,and shout the answers to the screen, before the selected Unionist puppets even reply .I am firmly decided on my future course,and nothing will now dissuade me from seeing it through.
      No paper programme or promise will affect my resolve to see our journey to its conclusion. Having voted Labour all of my adult life, the curtains have now fallen from my eyes,and the truth revealed.I am one of many.There can be no return .

    150. galamcennalath says:

      Schrödinger’s cat says:
      “We still need 10-15% of labour supporters in Scotland to cross the floor and support independence
      A lab Tory coalition will ensure that happens”

      I agree. The best outcome for Indy would be a Lab/Con freeze out of the SNP. The second best would be Con continuing by just getting enough votes with say LibDem and DUP. Both ways, Scotland will have chosen a different course and WM will be the obstacle with no mandate here.

      The option of Lab with SNP support could perhaps lead to DevoMax. that would be a reasonable consolation prize. Though it would push Indy further into the future.

      The period between GE 2015 and Holyrood 2016 will decide on how long the Union lasts.

    151. GM_Dundonian says:

      Aye @ Bugger (the Panda)

      One that that needs a good slap these days.

    152. Onwards says:

      @footsoldier.

      “Everyone in Scotland knows who he is and it serves no meaningful purpose for him to be on national television.

      I don’t see a problem with Salmond helping out.

      Yes, he winds up some people, but he also comes out with good soundbites that help to sum up the situation, and keep the SNP in the news.

      “If you hold the balance, then you hold the power.”

      Most people in Scotland actually like the sound of that.

      Miliband can huff and puff all he likes, but if the SNP hold the balance of power, there is no getting away from the fact they will have huge influence to deliver for Scotland.

    153. Dr Benway says:

      Bob Mack 4.43

      Well said, give that man a cigar.

      Here’s hoping that by May 7th many more will have come round to that view, and that on May 8th Her Maj Benefit-Scrounger-In-Chief won’t be purring in her palace but throwing a hissy fit instead tee hee hee

    154. The question I am asking myself, today, is this:

      Does Ed Miliband know what day of the week it is or even his arse from his elbow?

      His pat response to the nice man from ITN suggests, if he forms the next government, he will be relying on the Conservatives to support his legislative program if, as stated, he is going to ignore the wishes of the ‘minority parties’ supposedly supporting him.

      This clearly means only one thing: Vote Labour and get Tory policies anyway …

      Miliband’s Forrest Gump momment – Stupid is, as Stupid does.

    155. Glamaig says:

      IMO we will never get FFA. Its too much of an upheaval for the creaking and antiquated UK structure to handle. The Act of Union and devolution would have to be torn up and a totally new structure worked out.

      For me, it would have to be 4 national parliaments of equal footing. House of Commons becoming the English national parliament (which it effectively already is) on an EQUAL footing with Scottish Welsh and NI parliaments. House of Lords abolished. A new federal upper house based somewhere more central like Manchester. PR in all elections. Its not going to happen. Our imperial masters are not capable of that level of change.

      What is going to happen in May if SNP hold the balance of power? The establishment may dig in and step up the propaganda and dirty tricks. Its all they know.

      Interesting times…

    156. T222Deracha says:

      Sorry to go O/T, but why the f**k is Youtube showing me “New powers are coming to Scotland. Agreed and guaranteed…….”, every time I try to watch my favourite music!!!

    157. clochoderic says:

      After watching Jim Murphy’s meltdown under Brillo’s interrogation yesterday I suddenly realised how he managed to spend 9 years at university without ever graduating.

      The answer is blindingly obvious – every time he sat an exam he refused to answer the fucking question!

    158. NODROG says:

      No doubt you are working on it Stuart but I hope you can get a GE15 version of the wee blue book out soon to list the Truths and Lies that will help the voters to really know what and who they are voting for. I believe it is essential we do this and I hope you agree.

    159. bob mooney says:

      Re SquareHaggis @ 2.52

      Wee Maggie is operating the clapometer.

    160. Macart says:

      @ Footsoldier

      Or it could be he is doing a job for the FM, he’s running interference. If the press are on his back they’re not on Nicola’s, Mr Hosie’s or indeed Mr Robertson’s.

    161. Valerie says:

      On the old bones thing, there are some very touchy people on the Huff Post threads, screaming its giving a royal a decent burial, a bit of dignity please etc.

      Apparently, the current Royals have on their website that Dick was a “usurper” which is why they ignored the whole car park scenario.

    162. Stakhanovite says:

      O/T Breaking- Longannet to close next year, so say Jackie Burd

    163. GM_Dundonian says:

      Ed just went over the same tired propaganda. I’ve not heard anything new from Labour in years. In fact I think I can narrow the daily dross spewing from Slab lips to:

      -SNP Bad
      -SNP = Blue Tory vote. Please vote Red Tory.
      -1979
      -NHS / Danger / Only we can Save it
      -Biggest Party and all that Jazz
      -No Pacts
      -No coalitions
      -You lost referendum / Go away evil nationalists
      -Scotland our Priority (Honest!)
      -Trident Good / Trident Jobs / Putin bad
      -We will stop massive cuts to Public Spending! (even though we just voted with Tories in January for another 30 billion of said cuts. Lolz, what are we like!)

      Think that covers it. Heck, you could play SLAB bingo – just check off the list as the red Tories repeat them over and over in the next few days.

    164. Dr Jim says:

      As the day has unfolded i have, for some reason become increasingly more convinced that the ultimate destination of the Labour Party in Scotland has been reached, inasmuch as they have gone as far as is possible and will advance no further

      I am beginning to believe that they know this, and that the ongoing “Campaigning” is in fact a playacting farce to convince voters of a reality that doesn’t exist
      They know it’s over, but how to continue as if it’s not seems to be the question

      If, as Alistair Gray seems to think, the unthinkable and hellish notion of a Pact of any description between the two Westminster main bodies were to happen
      then there would seem to be a certainty of almost immediate
      Independence screams from all corners of Scotland

      Betrayals, Resignations galore would surely follow, except of course from the Liberal Democrats who would no doubt see it all as yet another opportunity to be in charge of something until of course stability was maintained “For the good of the country” of course

      Scotlands transition to Independence then would seem assured, and how fortunate we are in that regard that we have The SNP, prepared and confident to move us forward into a future where Politics will be for all, not some
      and not the privileged

      The fear in all this rosiness for us north of the border will be the rise of what we see the beginnings of at the moment, rampant English Nationalism which is i fear a different animal to the Scottish desire for self determination

      Even now the English press, on a daily basis pour out vile expressions of hate filled rhetoric
      supported by the State Broadcaster thinly disguised to the populace as news
      Here in Scotland we’re used to this tactic although not inured, we still bleed, but thankfully less with every day
      In the south this method will succeed more easily not because the good folk of England are in any way more gullible, simply arithmetic, a rumour spread by many is more absorbed and slower to debunk

      Most of you know my postings tend to be shorter and slightly more humorous, but today, i have a feeling, although whichever way it goes, we win, i just hope we can win without the rancour that may be a pervasive and corrosive part of the process, after we win

      Onwards….

    165. Mosstrooper says:

      So Her Madge and crew think that Richard the Turd was a usurper. That’s bloody precious coming from a bunch of Germans. Away back tae Saxe-Coberg-Gotha.

    166. Macart says:

      @Schrodinger’s cat

      I’d go further. Its not just that we need those people to come aboard, they need to realise that they need to come aboard for their own future and that of their children. This is as much for them as anyone, indeed its for all of us.

      The state and its establishment isn’t just failing them, its manipulating them. These are smart people, some better informed than others, but I doubt if many of them think for a moment that the state or its political system is trustworthy. I’d imagine they are every bit as sick of the behaviour of Westminster politics as we are.

      A predominant mindset encountered throughout the referendum was ‘better the devil you know’. This combined with two years of relentless negativity aimed at undermining personal and collective confidence in the chances for success of an independent Scottish state was enough to make the difference.

      That confidence needs to be rebuilt, people need faith in their own abilities, the abilities of their wider communities and their national institutions. ‘Course what doesn’t help is having Labour constantly undermine confidence in our Parliament, SNHS, Laws and yes even their own electorate. They do so love to tell us how crap and undeserving we all are.

      We have to help people understand where the real danger lies in their governance. Encourage their engagement in creating a better system for themselves and their own ability to manage that system and their future. The tide is turning, we just need to hold out a helping hand.

    167. Glamaig says:

      The DNA testing of King Dickie cast doubt on the er, provenance of the current occupant of Buck House… not hearing much about that 🙂
      See Guardian article on 2/12/2014 soz cant remember how to archive.

    168. Johnny says:

      There were rather a lot of ‘usurpers’ in those times. Dynasties spent half their time fabricating myths that ‘proved’ their lines were entitled to all the territories they claimed.

      I highly doubt they want people ruminating on such things, lest they start to question who else claims things ‘as of right’ when really all they mean is they got their claim down on paper first and managed to browbeat people at the time into accepting it.

    169. Stoker says:

      @ Glamaig.

      http://archive.today/
      😉

    170. Ken500 says:

      The Tories have tried to destroy the Oil sector and now Longannet. Thanks to those who voted NO.

      Baron Purvis of Tweed. Pantomime time.

    171. shibboleth says:

      Ah now, there’s David telling us he won’t serve a third term as Prime Minister. There’s blind optimism for you. For me the dream result in May would be:
      Independent 303
      Greens 258
      SNP 55
      Lib Dems 1
      Labour 1
      Conservative 1

    172. tartanarse says:

      Shibboleth

      I think you are being overgenerous to the LibLabCons.

    173. Alan of Neilston says:

      20 Minutes as the leading story on B.B.C. 6pm News tonight covering David Cameron not going to stand for a 3RD TERM as Prime Minister. What a shower the London centric Media are. Why do we in Scotland have to put up with this crap!! I switched it off.

    174. Craig says:

      Now there is something you can do with the “excess” funds Rev, hire an advertisment trailer with a poster of Ed Milliband with that question on it around Westminster

      The media can’t fail to notice the question, especially if it’s strategically placed where the various media outlets place their TV camera’s during the lunchtime news.

      That could generate more exposure than you could dream of

    175. Stoker says:

      The Rev wrote:

      “Here’s Ed Miliband, giving a speech this morning..”

      Miliband? His patters like watter, it comes oot ae ah tube!

    176. Clarinda says:

      O/T – Nicola Sturgeon and the Cabinet on live in Inverness now via You Tube or the Scottish Government web site.

    177. GM_Dundonian says:

      Sad to hear about Longannet.

      Stay in the Union to save jobs they said. Only the broad shoulders of the U.K can save Scottish industries they said. Vote No for job security!

      Well done NO voters. well done.

    178. heedtracker says:

      20 Minutes as the leading story on B.B.C. 6pm News tonight covering David Cameron not going to stand for a 3RD TERM as Prime Minister.

      And endless coverage of Richard 3 funeral in Leicester, or Lichester. Its a typical day of England’s show of UKOK cultural domination.

      Here’s a test, ask anyone anywhere in teamGB who was the king or queen of Scotland during the reign of Richard 3.

      If anyone knows, buy them a drink. Rule Britannia.

    179. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ Dr Jim

      Pretty close.

    180. T.roz says:

      Why is Ed doing the talking? murthy should tell him who’s in charge up here! ‘Labour 2015’at half ten BBC 2 & ‘labour tonight’ ITV. will get it all cut and ready for pumping out later.

    181. heedtracker says:

      C4 news dude in Glasgow trying to mega boost SLab, Morphy and Milliband, here in England. Salmond’s a joke with a book to sell. C4 very weak on their vote SLab or get Cameron, how long before posh English men on the telly start pleading with Scotland to NOT vote SNP?

      7 weeks of sneering Project Fear BBC style, all the rest begging you to vote SLab.

    182. Patrick Roden says:

      @Dr Jim,

      Funny you should mention Labour going no further, as Jim Murphy has said in a couple of interviews, that ‘Labour has been written off before, but always bounced back’

      Now I’m not sure when he means, but I noticed he didn’t say Scottish Labour, so I think he means the Michael Foot & Neil Kinnock drubbings.

      Yes they were written off, and they had to change to become electable again, as they allowed Thatcher and the right wing press, to set the political agenda.

      Before we knew where we were, we had New Labour, who according to the woman herself, was ‘Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement’

      As Tony Blair’s henchmen set about changing the Labour Party into Red Tories.
      Out went anyone who even hinted at being socialist (as Thatcher had turned that into a bad word) and in came people who’s one overriding talent was to be able to lie without shame.

      And behold a child was born to us, and his name was Jim Murphy.

      The rest is History, or should that be Redtory.

    183. Harry McAye says:

      Scotland Today tonight, Ed Miliband gave a speech in Glasgow says I’m John Mackay. Funny, thought it was Clydebank. Sky News and BBC News24 both said Clydebank. They’ve form for this, last year Carnoustie became Dundee. John didn’t appreciate my tweet rebuking him!

    184. Fat boab says:

      O/T Sorry, but I’m flabbergasted.

      Did I just hear Michael Crick on Channel 4 News tell a local Glasgow woman that a vote for the SNP would let David Cameron back in??

      Somebody tell me I misheard, please.

    185. Grouse Beater says:

      The battle between Labour and Conservatives is an English one.

      Neither give a damn for Scotland. If either know Scotland has a completely different agenda and values neither wish to acknowledge Scotland is in another place politically.

    186. haud on the noo says:

      Fat boab, correct. Now get back tae yer diet…

    187. scotspine says:

      Re Cameron :

      Perhaps he has weighed it all up and can see the writing on the wall for the Union.

      After all, he can retire from the role having done his bit for Queen and er…England.

      The next incumbent may be remembered for eternity as the last PM of a UK.

    188. AndyC says:

      Sorry O/T but I think it’s important.
      Re.T222Deracha@5:04 “Why is it nearly everytime I watch a youtube clip, it’s prefaced by a clip of ‘New powers are coming to Scotland'”

      More importantly, how much does it cost to do that and who’s paying for it?

      Also I’ve now had THREE of those pish liebour leaflets through my letterbox recently, all delivered by the postie.

      At, say, 50 pence a shot (not including printing costs) multiplied by the number of households in Scotland (2.14 million), I make that a total of £3.21 million for 3 mailshots per household.

      Considering Labour are supposed to be skint, who’s bankrolling all of this?

      Methinks bettertogether are, in other words, we, the taxpayer are footing the bill for all this propagandist lying shit.

    189. caz-m says:

      How refreshing to watch the telly and see a true YES voter presenting a show, very re-assuring. It’s Elaine C Smith visiting North Berwick on STV. Comfort Telly.

    190. Ian Mackay says:

      Since Stu is very busy… Maybe Wings could do a fundraiser to employ a journalist to go round Scotland and ask politicians the questions we actually want answers to. It would have the side-effect of showing up the establishment journalistic placemen and women as to what real journalism actually is.

      (Although I suspect many of those journalists might actually love a bit of freedom to do their job without being pressed to sing the Unionist editorial line all the time. There might even be a flood of applications… )

    191. Mealer says:

      Scotspine,
      Remember Cameron saying he’d fight with every fibre of his being to save the union? It was all very well giving that promise when they were fifty odd points ahead in the polls and thought there was no danger of losing.At some point in the future there might be another referendum.Yes might start out in the lead with a bit of momentum behind it.What then? Will the encumbent PM fight with every fibre? Or will he say “the way the countries of these isles are governed has always been changing and now is a time for change blah blah closest of friends and best of neighbours blah blah our ties will strengthen,not weaken through independence blah blah.”?

    192. bookie from hell says:

      BBC

      daily politics

      had a caption SNP threat,while a SNP MP was talking

      BBC don’t give a FOOOK

    193. Paula Rose says:

      @ Ian Mackay – I can ask difficult questions and do PR.

    194. Tamson says:

      BBC website redesign fails the first, most basic test of web page design: where previously it only needed one click to visit the Scotland page, it now takes 2. You never, ever make it harder for your customers to reach what they want.

      If I can be arsed, I’ll bookmark the BBC Scotland page direct later. But still, internal website navigation is now more cumbersome, so I won’t be visiting so much.

    195. DerekM says:

      Just heard some of Ed the reds speech in Clydebank but missed most of it because i was laughing so much at his conspiracy theory that the SNP are in collusion with the tories to stop him being PM whaaaaahahaaahaaa so funny ,he should give up trying to be PM and go into comedy.

    196. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Glamaig at 5.03

      Well said. Devo Max or FFA or Federal UK cannot happen. They are all diversions on which we could argue for years.
      They are not steps towards independence. They are impediments. They are all hugely complicates and significantly incompatible with the concept of a unitary state.

      SNP tactic at the moment is to shout about them to expose the fact that they cannot happen and that the promises were false

    197. Grouse Beater says:

      What truth is there in Bateman’s suggestion Stuart is the Scotsman’s next editor?

      (The current one is off to the Times Scottish edition – confirmation of his failure.)

    198. Laverock says:

      Fat boab @ 7.46

      You heard right. We may as well cut out the politician middlemen and just have Michael crick telling us what to do. Would save ourselves some money that way.

      Seriously though that was way way out of order and it wasn’t even disguised a little bit.

    199. Joemcg says:

      BBC have definitely topped everything now with Hosie being interviewed alongside SNP THREAT on the screen. Absolutely shocking. Similar to being treated like a terrorist organisation. Is it going to get worse than that?

    200. Legerwood says:

      “””Mosstrooper says:

      23 March, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      So Her Madge and crew think that Richard the Turd was a usurper. That’s bloody precious coming from a bunch of Germans. Away back tae Saxe-Coberg-Gotha.”””

      Richard III was a Plantagenet. After his death the Tudors took over the throne so not really surprising if DNA does not show much of a connection to present day incumbents.

      As to the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha connection it is as well to remember that ALL the Kings and Queens of Great Britain since James VI & I have been descendants of Mary, Queen of Scots. James succeeded Queen Elizabeth the First because James IV had married Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII

      King George I was Elector of Hanover but on his mother’s side he was a great grandson of James VI & I. His mother Sophia was heiress presumptive to Queen Anne but pre-deceased her so Sophia’s son, George, succeeded Queen Anne. A fact that is usually glossed over in any discussion of the Royal House of Windsor – or Mountbatten-Windsor.

    201. heedtracker says:

      Today’s neo fascism Torygraph style, Vote SNP and you’ll “foment as much constitutional chaos as possible.”

      TeamGB is an actual democracy right?

    202. Dr Jim says:

      Relevance, to vote for a politic in, and for your own country
      to mean something, that’s important to me that’s why i joined Scotlands National Party

      Not because i’m a socialist or a left of centre or indeed any other geographical location of my brain
      Efficiency in decision making, politics to the point, for the people and a bit American sounding but by the people

      The SNP are those people, folk who try and do the right thing for the good and benefit of their country,
      I suppose that’s not accepted as what normally is and has always been the “Big politics of the Big Parties”

      As we in Scotland have found to our great cost the two “Big Parties” are the same one perpetrating the one “Big Lie” to the once “Big Nation” soon to be returned to their original parts, at least our part first

      I like being a member of Scotlands National Party
      i know who they are, i can talk to them, if they get it wrong i know where they are so i can moan about it if i want to, and here’s the most important thing about that

      “They’ll hear me”…..

      Can’t fight that with project nonsense drivel

    203. Paula Rose says:

      No sauce Grouse Beat’er no source.

    204. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I reckon what Bateman is suggesting: the Rev SHOULD be The Hootsman’s next Editor. For that to happen, there would need to be a total sea change in that paper’s politics.

      The Hootsman, to its credit, does not go in for the downright lies and exaggeration of the Daily Heil and the Torygraph, but, it is very much a North Briton newspaper. It’s website threads are awash with some of the worst examples of Proud Scots – but.

      In my own specialist field of sports journalism – The Herald is currently without: a Sports Editor, a Chief Football Writer, a staff specialist Rugby Writer and the Chief Sports Writer has applied for a redundancy deal.

      The Hootsman’s Sports Editor took such a deal and the former Sports Editor, promoted to being an Assistant Editor, is now back running the Sports Desk. The Chief Sports Writer is working his notice; the paper, like The Herald, does not have a specialist staff Rugby Writer.

      I know a lot of the guys who have left, as one eloquently said: “This is no longer the paper I joined”.

      That is just one department, I understand the same situation accrues across other departments in both papers. Existing staff members also complain of such staff shortages, there is difficulty in the print editions meeting deadlines.

      OK, print journalism is in decline, the newspapers are struggling to adapt to modern media, but, might this decline, at least in part, be down to the papers NOT printing what their public wants to read.

      I cannot speak about the Record, however, I hear of staff unrest there also. The Scots are revolting against decisions made in London, and this is showing in the Scottish press too.

    205. carjamtic says:

      @Dr Jim,@Patrick Roden

      Spot on,reached a new low point with Murphy,no principles,no morals,no ideas.

      Blair and co. sold out years ago,they fail to comprehend that democracy is created by the people for the people.

      Equality of opportunity without exclusion of any kind,is merely a throwaway line used for marketing purposes by these Z rated actors.

      We can see them for what they are and we not the only ones ref:Michael Sheen “advice” to them in his recent NHS you tube video….”Get out,Get out”.

      I am sure we can assist them on their way in May,let’s hope enough voters in Scotland see them for what they are and they are got rid.

    206. heedtracker says:

      What truth is there in Bateman’s suggestion Stuart is the Scotsman’s next editor?

      As much chance as the Rev getting offered Daily Record editorness:D

      Come on he single handily whupped their dumb asses as they say, and didn’t they take their spanking with all the good grace that UKOK wet farts such as Crichton Torquil can muster.

      Terrific review of Salmond’s new book Grousebeater. Flipper wept like a girl after indy tv debate 2, why is that not a surprise.

    207. Joemcg says:

      Socrates-have to disagree with you. The Scotsman is just as bad as those papers you mentioned for distorting stories to suit their unionist agenda although have to admit it was worse pre-referendum it’s still pretty dire.

    208. Natasha says:

      @Socrates McSporran
      The Scots are revolting against decisions made in London

      I suspect most Londoners would stop at The Scots are revolting. After all, isn’t that usually the joke about the peasants? And we are peasants, according to the MSM.

    209. galamcennalath says:

      Glamaig at 5:03 pm
      IMO we will never get FFA. Its too much of an upheaval for the creaking and antiquated UK structure to handle. The Act of Union and devolution would have to be torn up and a totally new structure worked out.

      Dave McEwan Hill s at 8:49 pm
      Devo Max or FFA or Federal UK cannot happen. They are all diversions on which we could argue for years.
      They are not steps towards independence.
      SNP tactic at the moment is to shout about them to expose the fact that they cannot happen and that the promises were false

      I agree with you both. The problem is, the idea has become so engrained in Scottish political thinking. It’s the elephant in the room – ever popular, but usually never mentioned. Well, BetterTogether may have dragged it into the light now.

      I posted the other day and used a phrase, which I still like and feel it covers the situation.

      DevoMax/FFA is a demon which needs exorcising!

      It needs to pursued. It might happen, but I really can’t see how. Once it’s accepted by everyone that it isn’t going to happen then there are voters just waiting to converted to full independence.

    210. Paula Rose says:

      I’m a revolting peasant and proud of it.

    211. Grouse Beater says:

      Why doesn’t England declare independence and get on with it?

    212. Achnababan says:

      Socrates – looking at the all new BB website it looks like the Scotland Sport section has disappeared – there is no longer any direct link from the Scottish page.

      Looks like Scottish Sport has become the first casualty of the last battle…

      Scotland free or a province of England – our choice.

    213. Lesley-Anne says:

      Sorry for going O/T here, way WAY off topic 6 months O/T in fact. 😉

      I know we have all moved on since 18th September 2014 and thnakfully we have because we stand on the verge, in my view, of sending the biggest number of S.N.P. M.P.’s to Westminster on May 7th.

      However, if I can take your minds back to September 18th for a wee second and remember how we all felt and the numerous accusations of voting fraud that we, to a greater or lesser extent, though had taken place. Well I have come across a report on Facebook, via Twitter, from Andy Anderson, DSF Education Officer. Andy was present at the Argyll and Bute count on 18th Sept and like us thought something smelt rather fishy. He has compiled a report on an investigation he has carried out that I think may interest some on here. Unfortunately I have no idea when the report was written.

      https://m.facebook.com/notes/10152740278692513/

      I am posting this not with the intention of starting up another there was/there wasn’t any voting fraud. I am only posting it because I think that some people will find the findings/workings of the report interesting and because he raises, I think, a few interesting questions about future election/referendum voting results.

    214. Grouse Beater says:

      Heedtracker: Terrific review of Salmond’s new book, Grouse Beater.

      Ta. 🙂

      The comment about Stuart hasn’t been denied by … Stuart.

      Running the Scotsman would be terrific, no one better – Wings its dynamic website arm.

    215. Lesley-Anne says:

      Sorry for going O/T again folks just a wee heads up to look out for Marcie’s *ahem* presentation of Tomorrow’s front page of The National. 😉

    216. davidb says:

      And how do they explain to their voters in England that they were offered the keys to No 10, but chose instead to put David Cameron in because they hate the SNP?

      An SNP which many of the more switched on in England know delivers free prescriptions, eye tests, tertiary education, etc etc. An SNP which is delivering more radical policy than Labour promises. An SNP led by that Sturgeon woman who keeps popping up and speaking sense?

      They risk being wiped out in England too. They will take whatever deal they can.

      And if we all pray really hard Murphy will be defenestrated in Eastwood. Maybe he’ll get a permanent place presenting a football program from his buddies at the MOT. Or maybe he could go back to university and actually get a degree this time.

    217. Thepnr says:

      Well, who would have thought it possible. We lose the referendum 55/45 and only then the panic begins.

      In the 1974 GE, the SNP sent 11 members to Westminster, this created panic and resulted in the Labour government offering devolution.

      What if Scotlands voters now send 30, 40 or even 50 MP’s to Westminster?

      UK politics will have changed forever (already have). I’m glad that Anna Soubry is scared and “absolutely terrified”.

      What is it she fears? Decent government maybe?

    218. Joemcg says:

      Lesley-Anne-yep, said that on the 19th that is were they won it on the postals and nothing is going to convince me otherwise that they were not rigged. That’s just confirmed it. 800,000 votes and an almost 97% uptake? Aye right. Too much to lose you see and you are talking about the masters, the British establishment. I know it’s soul destroying but we will NEVER win at the ballot box.

    219. Effijy says:

      Ed the impostor comes to Scotland to listen to the People and
      shape his policies to meet their needs?
      So he hires a function suite too small for an unpopular teenager’s
      18th Birthday party, forces 25 people whose jobs are paid for by
      Libore and a few pretend journalist with their first note pad and pencil.

      He lies, gets a few rehearsed questions, and jumps back in his chauffeured car and get the hell out of there before the public get wind of him being there!

      Another Tory copy cat event like old Cammy baby locking himself
      in an Edinburgh Canteen to meet the great Scottish public?

    220. Chic McGregor says:

      OTish

      SNP through 100,000 membership.

    221. heedtracker says:

      keep em coming GB. Reading around teamGB meeja is getting creepier by the day, Libby Carrel from rancid Graun says

      “An ICM poll for the Guardian suggests Scottish voters could, on 7 May, send at least 43 nationalist MPs to Westminster, relegating Ed Miliband’s Labour party to second place or – at best – leading a vulnerable minority government reliant on deals with the SNP and other insurgent parties such as the English Greens”

      Wiki dictionary definition insurgent-a person fighting against a government or invading force; a rebel or revolutionary.

      Being called an insurgent by a ferocious shill at red tory The Guardian is a bit odd and another new new low.

      We do still live in a democracy right?

      Incestuous, folk dancing, sadomasochistic insurgents, in kilts, all from rancid The Guardian and all because some Scots, even some English people, wont vote who they tell us to.

    222. Wilty says:

      Grouse Beater says: Why doesn’t England declare independence and get on with it?

      They need our oil to prop up their dodgy deals.

    223. alexicon says:

      You mean this one Lesley-Anne.

      https://twitter.com/ScotNational

    224. Still Positive. says:

      @ heedtracker 10.18pm.

      So the English Greens are insurgents too?

      Dearie, dearie me. To quote oor Nicola.

    225. Harry McAye says:

      Lesley-Anne – I’ve just got about two thirds of the through that through another chap posting it on twitter. This needs to get out. It’s a very long read but worth it. Is the police probe into Ruth Davidson’s comments still on-going?

    226. Lesley-Anne says:

      Sorry folks here I go AGAIN!

      I’ve just seen the front page of tomorrow’s Sun. Anyone care to have a guess what the headline says? 😉

      Exclusive: Argie invasion fears

      We’ve gotcha backs

      more troops to Falklands over Putin threat

      Remind me again but I am CERTAIN Maggie is dead. Reading this sort of headline is beginning to make me think that perhaps she isn’t dead and it was all just a rather expensive ruse to catch us all off guard. 😀

    227. Fiona says:

      @ Lesley-Anne

      And I thought the “Dallas” dream was unrealistic, too 🙁

    228. Lesley-Anne says:

      That’s the one alexicon. I was going to put the link up but didn’t want to spoil the fun for Marcia plus it might get a few on here trying to figure out what the front page could possibly be about. 😀

    229. feedhunter says:

      Sorry for O/T but a large number of education establishments in our area are getting a visit from a trade union steward to talk to staff. These will be during contracted working hours (but outwith pupil attendance times) so most people will be unable to avoid it.

      I guess they will say it’s to increase union membership but the cynic in me reckons it’s to drum up support for Labour as they are all happening between now and just before the election.

      It seems officers are bound by purdah regulations, anyone know if the same is true for stewards?

    230. terry says:

      Hamza Yousaf clearly reads Wings as he has just asked this question on STV right now.

      Anyone else think that Cameron’s reason for not going for a third term is because he doesn’t want to go down in history as the PM who oversaw the break up of the UK? It seems really strange for him to say what he did today. If so that’s another indyref scalp to add to Darling, Brown etc.

    231. Fiona says:

      @ terry

      I think he may be sowing dragon’s teeth, just.

    232. Les Wilson says:

      In case you have not heard, Thursday channel 4, Milliband and Cameron go head to head.
      Should be fun!

    233. Fiona says:

      Not as much fun as watching the proverbial paint dry, though 😉

    234. Pauline says:

      Question just posed by John Mackay to James Kelly (but not answered)on Scotland Tonight.

    235. Mealer says:

      Kelly was asked the question but wouldn’t answer.

    236. Stoker says:

      You know, this Miliband coming to Scotland pish can only serve two purposes.

      (1)-To give the twigs of the dying branch a tweek, a wee boost.

      AND

      (2)-Another excuse (as if they need one) for the Slabber sycophants in the media to pump out the same old tired shite.

      A wee message to the Unionist media – You can throw as much manure in support of the dying tree as you like but at the end of the day, whilst the unaffected twigs might soak some of it up, the vast majority of onlookers can only watch in disbelief as the tree will ultimately die anyway.

      With these 2 imbeciles (Murphy & Miliband) as head gardeners that tree is going to die a lot faster than they think.

      The rot has well and truly set in beyond the point of recovery.

    237. Chic McGregor says:

      Caption comp

      Collective audience thought balloon: “Oh shit! We’re back to red tie mode. They never tell us anything in advance.”

    238. Johnny says:

      I will not watch any head-to-head with Miliband and Cameron. The former wanted this only because it promulgates the idea that only those two leaders matter. Not interested in that.

    239. Michael McCabe says:

      Miliband and Cameron is not a head to head. Paxman will interview them both Separately. And then they will face a studio audience Separately.

    240. Lesley-Anne says:

      I agree with you Harry it is a good read and, in my view, raises quite a few valid questions that need answers but no one in the appropriate authorities is either capable or more likely willing to give.

      As I said in my original post I had not really intended to reopen old wounds but more just to use it as an avenue to spread the word about this report.

      Funny you should mention THAT dream Fiona cause I agree both on the *ahem* dream and on the Falklands idea. There again the Tories will invoke ANYTHING if they think it will help them to win seats and let’s face it there is nothing bigger in vote winning than a good old war or three going on.

      I’ve got my doubts Les. If I remember right one of the *ahem* hosts of the programme is to be Kay (without the E) “I’ll keep quiet because there is a helicopter taking off and they can be quite noisy” Burley. I have never seen her actually ask what I would class as a reallyb intelligent question. She does have the insane habit of repeating the most bleeding obvious of obvious points when in a *ahem* interview or news report.

    241. Lesley-Anne says:

      Anyone interested in the latest opinion polls can view those from Lord Ashcroft over on here.

      http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2015/03/ashcroft-national-poll-con-33-lab-33-lib-dem-8-ukip-12-green-5/

    242. GM_Dundonian says:

      @ terry

      Dunno mate, but with this referendum fraud report now doing the rounds, the explosive surge in SNP memberships, the polls showing an utter collapse in labour and thus unionist support across Scotland – something doesnt add up about last September, or maybe I’m just over thinking it.

      Perhaps Cameron is aware a lot of dirt may come out following a major SNP victory in May… Or maybe he’s just realising the referendum was a mere sticking plaster on the festering wound that is the Union. Perhaps he knows the U.K will soon separate.

      We can only hope.

    243. HandandShrimp says:

      In order for Miliband to make a head to head with Cameron to work for him he needs an alliance between his brain and his mouth (holiness of such an arrangement entirely up to himself).

    244. crazycat says:

      Cameron’s lazy and very shallow.

      He’s got one of those “things to do before you’re 50” lists.

      Lead the Tory Party – tick
      Be PM – tick
      Get seat in House of Lords and put feet up – needs to stop being PM first.

    245. Joemcg says:

      Notice Cameron has named Scotland hater Boris Johnson as a possible successor. Oh dear.

    246. Joemcg says:

      GM-re-that fraud report, that is probably the main issue why that result does not add up. Why this huge upsurge in the SNP support? It’s very strange and must call in to question the integrity of the vote.

    247. Midgehunter says:

      @ Lesley-Anne

      That was a good link re. the postal vote anomaly. 🙂

      I’ve posted a couple of times that I think the P.V. is the achilles heel of all elections in the UK.

      It’s third world level.

      I don’t doubt that Morag and others correctly supervised the counting of the the P.votes, every vote that came in was counted as it should be.

      My biggest worry is WHAT was counted.

      Starting with (multiple?)registration, politicians and pensioners, partisan council officials and more. The pre-counting process is full of holes like a swiss cheese.

      These were/are very desperate times for the unionists and there is nothing that they won’t do to keep their treasured troughs safe.

    248. Robert Peffers says:

      As to Kevin Lowry’s daft piece it has to be understood that every other country has evil Nationalists like Adolf Hitler but the he’s British/English/UK and so quite, quite different. “We’re Patriots, don’t you know, old chap? It is, after all our place to rule the World, don’tcha know? We punch above our weight, old boy.”

      Aye! Jimmy! Richt!

      Ya bliddy wee nationalistic nyaff.

    249. Jim McIntosh says:

      Re the link from Lesley-Ann –

      Using the data from electoralcommission.org.uk

      Interesting to see that the electorate in A&B went up from 67,165 in 2010 (UK Election) to 72,014 in 2014 (Referendum) An increase of 4,849 electors.

      88% of A&B electors voted – that’s 4,267 additional voters.

      For the same elections postal votes went up from 10170 in 2010 to 14,445 in 2014, an additional 4,275 postal votes.

      So was every new elector conveniently a postal voter, including the 1,808 16/17 year olds who voted?

    250. Indigo says:

      I feel ill after reading that pv report – I remember being deeply suspicious of the extraordinarily high voter registration before the vote, when I heard there was to be no exit poll it sounded like deliberate information management – if you’re writing the story you need to control the plot.

      Seeing this analysis clearly laid out, brings it all back. A crime was committed against the people of Scotland, I understand why the SNP cannot state any of this, but they’re bound to know

    251. Mealer says:

      In the last three years support for independence has doubled from 25% to 50%.Keep doing what you’re doing everyone.Especially the MSM.

    252. Lesley-Anne says:

      Midgehunter … doffs hat! 😉

      I’m glad you were able to glean something out the Ashcroft links Jim. Being the village idiot I always struggle to figure out how to read these damned sheets. 😀

    253. David says:

      VERY INTERESTING

      m.facebook.com/notes/10152740278692513/

    254. Joemcg says:

      Don’t know the legalities about keeping ballot papers but a friend of mine went out to Ingilston at the Edinburgh count and photographed shredding trucks in the early hours of the morning on the 19th. I remember him posting the pics on Facebook that day. Something to hide?

    255. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      For those who haven’t sighted this yet. Full report with charts and graphs will be launched soon (with the support of a Labour ex Cabinet Minister)

      https://m.facebook.com/notes/10152740278692513/

    256. Valerie says:

      I wonder what is really going on with troops being sent to the Falklands? Also the “big stick” has arrived in Portsmouth, a behemoth from USA of an aircraft carrier with the MOD chaps wetting themselves with excitement.

      Seems its here for a 5 day “visit”. There are 5000 men on board this thing! Is this all for Putins benefit?

      Is this flag waving?

    257. GM_Dundonian says:

      Just finished reading the whole thing. Extremely troubling, and the Maths involved make no sense – it all points to sinister dealings, but as Lesley-Anne says, who in real authority will pick up this hot potato?

      I’m convicted more than ever Scotland is up against some dark forces in its fight to be free of the Union. And if you don’t think this or the medias growing racist ‘anti-jock’ overtones count as dark, only one word comes to mind: naive.

      Good post Lesley-Anne, I salute your efforts!

    258. scottieDog says:

      Interesting reading on PB votes.
      As for the military tensions – when the economy is collapsing, start a war. It improves GDP on the long run.

    259. GM_Dundonian says:

      I recall a report about a load of yes ballots being found in a bin in glasgow last October and was being investigated by the police. Not sure what came of that. Anyone else recall that report?

    260. GM_Dundonian says:

      Well as far as the Falklands goes, we don’t have an operational carrier till 2017, and last I recall a carrier was vital in defending the islands last time… Still, nothing like stirring up fear of Argentina to stir some patriotic imperial Unionist spirit! Tally ho old chap!

    261. Lesley-Anne says:

      GM_Dundonian … doffs hat! 😀

    262. ClanDonald says:

      @AndyC

      Believe it or not the Royal Mail prices for mass bulk deliveries are really cheap compared to the cost of a regular stamp. You can get a million flyers delivered for about £55k or 5.5p per delivery. If you include the printing costs you can do it for about 10p per delivery if it is a simple, lightweight leaflet.

      2.1 million households x 3 mail shots each could work out at roughly £650k. Mind you, I wouldn’t be surprised if “Scottish” Labour couldn’t afford even this, probably the rich Hedge Fund donors in London are paying for it.

    263. Onwards says:

      @Tamson says:
      23 March, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      “BBC website redesign fails the first, most basic test of web page design: where previously it only needed one click to visit the Scotland page, it now takes 2.”

      Yes – you have to click on UK, before you can click Scotland.
      The excuse will be to save space, and the same for England, Wales etc. Every little helps though. All in it together..

      You can’t set a direct ‘Scotland’ link in the ‘location’ box either.
      Just regional – Glasgow and West for example.

    264. Lesley-Anne says:

      I’ve just put the Lord Ashcroft polling figures into the other site I use and found the following resultL

      S.N.P. 58 seats

      Labour 0 seats

      Tories 0 seats

      Lib Dim 1 seat (Carmichael)

      http://www.scotlandvotes.com/

    265. silver19 says:

      @Lesley-Anne Work is need on Shetland to make it a full house 🙂

    266. manandboy says:

      https://m.facebook.com/notes/10152740278692513/

      This report about Postal Voting in the Referendum,
      explains why Murphy is continuing with his campaign,
      and making statements about turning the poll results around.

      From Cameron, all the way down to McTernan & Murphy,
      they know that they have in place
      the same set up as in IndyRef,
      to enable them to rig the Postal Ballot in GE15
      using UK Gov computerised voting records and results.

      In the light of this report,
      only those with a PhD in naivity
      will think that GE15 is going to be lawful.

    267. Lesley-Anne says:

      To be fair Silver we need to keep up the force of right right across the board. 😛

      It is interesting that depending on which seat predictor you use Carmichael has lost his seat on these Ashcroft figures or he just about hangs on by his finger nails.

      Personally I want 59 and hope we can achieve this. I may be wrong here, but I think Lord Ashcroft and his polls have been pretty close to the final mark in previous elections so I’m quite happy to accept them as a guide to what we can realistically expect at the moment. Hopefully someone who is more “into” opinion polls can confirm my thoughts on this or more than likely prove me wrong. 😛

      Either way we should not be letting up for a second. We all know what is a stake here and what we can and WILL achieve on May 7th. Only by doing the necessary foot work can we realistaclly expect to see the results linked to on May 7th.

      Let’s do this peeps! 😀

      Hmm!

      One of my posts seems to have disappeared.

      Here are the results of the Lord Ashcroft poll results using the Electoral Calculus seat predictor.

      S.N.P. 59 seats!

      http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/cgi-bin/usercode.py?scotcontrol=Y&CON=36&LAB=33&LIB=8&UKIP=14&Green=&TVCON=&TVLAB=&TVLIB=&TVUKIP=&TVGreen=&SCOTCON=17&SCOTLAB=20&SCOTLIB=4&SCOTUKIP=1&SCOTGreen=&SCOTNAT=56&display=AllChanged&regorseat=%28none%29&boundary=2010

    268. scotspine says:

      @ manandboy

      What happens then if 50 potential seats (as predictions have steadfastly held up over past 3 months) suddenly turn into 9 or 10 on 7th May?

    269. manandboy says:

      The Electoral Commission Board, including the CCO, Mary Pitcaithly,
      must be suspended immediately,
      pending investigation following this report.

      Scotland may well be about to be thrown into an electoral crisis,
      in which trust in the UK Gov to run a fair election
      will possibly disappear completely.

    270. manandboy says:

      How to rig an election/referendum

      Please watch the video first-
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1421914688&x-yt-cl=84503534&v=YcxGGnmRQAs

      From the Dunoon Report:
      Our observations during the Referendum campaign and the count raised a number of concerns in our minds about the security of our democratic institutions and got us thinking about this in a serious way.

      We made some efforts following the Referendum to investigate the issues we were concerned about and to seek help from the established ‘guardians’ of our electoral system, such as the Electoral Management Board (EMB).

      We soon discovered that if the EMB had any concerns they were making an effort to suppress such concerns and were anxious that others, such as ourselves, should do the same.

      We were not however dissuaded from looking for answers to the issues which concerned us and we kept seeking information.
      The Electoral Commission Report in late December gave us some further information. However all the information we gained since the Referendum did not resolve our concerns; on the contrary it confirmed them.

      We are now convinced that the Postal Ballot (PB) at the Scottish Referendum was compromised by a UK Government agency, and consequently that the ballot result is not democratically valid.”

    271. manandboy says:

      It is enough that the people know there was an election.
      The people who cast the votes decide nothing.
      The people who count the votes decide everything.”

      I didn’t believe this when I first read it.

      But now I do.

    272. manandboy says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV_ZerkPIMU

      It’s time for us all to grow up about what is really going on
      in Western Democracy.

      Remember that the No Campaign invested heavily in election expertise from the USA prior to Indy 14.

    273. Michael McCabe says:

      I Thought before the referendum they were at it. after the refererendum I Thought the same. I Hope I am wrong but I can see the same happening for the General Election. Proving they are at it is the hard bit. Until then all I can do is Vote SNP or Yes at the next Referendum. And leave you all with a Thought (Song) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds1faZB4QSc&feature=player_detailpage Aye till I die.

    274. manandboy says:

      @ scotspine

      What happens then if 50 potential seats (as predictions have steadfastly held up over past 3 months) suddenly turn into 9 or 10 on 7th May?”

      At this moment, it isn’t an ‘IF’, it’s a ‘WHEN’.

      I doubt though that McTernan will go for a result like that.
      To avoid suspicion, he’ll settle for around 30/35 seats to Labour
      and the rest to SNP.

      Murphy will claim his campaign on TV and in the Press
      was the right one as shown by the ‘fantastic’ turnaround.

      It is now CERTAIN that the GE in Scotland will be rigged
      unless the Scottish Government steps in to safeguard the vote,
      and the Postal Vote especially.

      GE15 will only take place in rUK.

      In Scotland, it will be a No Campaign re-run.

    275. Richardinho says:

      Against the claims of fraud in the referendum count I think you have to balance the fact that the number of Yes votes was broadly in line with what various different opinion polls predicted.

    276. Michael McCabe says:

      Up until the last 10 days the polls all had No in the lead. I think Yes was in the lead for at least the last 3 or 4 months of the Referendum.

    277. bookie from hell says:

      This Case Proves SCOTTISH LABOUR Doesnt Exist as a LEGAL ENTITY,Forced To SUE PARTYS LONDON HQ

      Tommy Morgan has announced he will petition for a judicial review of North Lanarkshire Council’s Labour Group’s vote to sack him as the local authority’s main internal watchdog.

      “I fully intend to pursue my case through the proper legal procedures. “As such the matter is now in the hands of my counsel to petition for a judicial review.”

      It is not clear when Mr Morgan’s case will come to court.

      Scottish Labour does not exist as a legal entity and the councillor has been forced to sue the party’s London HQ.

    278. scotspine says:

      @ manandboy

      OK, so where does that leave us? Are we destined to go round in circles?

    279. Alon says:

      The question perhaps that should follow if Labour was to say no would be, “Would Labour back an SNP formed government?”.

    280. Kevin Evans says:

      On the topic of PV rigging I’ve never forgotten the fact the 2 highest yes areas (Dundee & Glasgow) both showed the lowest turnout. Was it not 75% compared to 85%ish on average in other areas.

    281. Kevin Evans says:

      I mean drop the vote % in high YES areas. Fiddle with the PV in areas that might be 50/50 and leave the high NO predicted areas alone and hey presto.

      Too much to lose not to have been messed about with.

    282. Kevin Evans says:

      We all know deep down in our bellies the UK establishment WOULD mess about. Not sayin they did. But would anyone REALLY be that shocked if it came to light it had

    283. BJ says:

      O/T
      David Cameron is talking about not doing a third term.

      He wasn’t elected for a first and the second one hasn’t happened!!

    284. Kevin Evans says:

      And just to really throw my paranoia into the mix.

      The day after the refurendum my partner and I watched 2 large white unmarked vans reverse back to back on each other and watched 2 guys move something from one van to the other. My partner lives North of Dundee just 1 mile south of Forfar on a quiet side road about 2 miles from the motorway to Aberdeen.

      At the time we didn’t think anything but “someone’s up to something dodgy”. We didn’t at the time associate any of this van nonsense to the refurendum but as times went on we’ve both read about vote messing around and brought up this vans.

    285. Robert Peffers says:

      Jim Murphy states, “I refuse to answer questions on the grounds that it might incinerate me.

      PC Murdoch says, “Tae hell wi him”.

    286. Bob Mack says:

      I have never subscribed to the” rigging ” theory due to lack of positive evidence. However, if these figures are indeed accurate, it is pretty convincing stuff..It also explains something that has troubled me since the referendum.

      Following the result ,the Social media within a few days was filled with various shall we call “accusations ” that the result was fixed, citing mainly the revelations of Ruth Davidson re attendance at Postal Vote opening. However not one mainstream Newspaper or current affairs broadcast followed this story up with any degree of intent or conviction. .and I cannot satisfy myself as to the lack of interest in such a potentially major constitutional act of criminality. Indeed most media outlets have studiously avoided the topic completely.Something is wrong.

      Even now,the report, if genuine, appears only on Social media outlets ,and does not appear to have been taken up by any major news organisation,who will undoubtedly have heard about it. Why is that?. Perhaps there are reasonable answers to these points,but for the sake of the people of Scotland ,they must be answered.

    287. Kevin Evans says:

      The points made concerning “world record” turn outs over 97% should be celebrated if true. I agree it’s strange nothing has been championed by media or politics concerning this figure and the reasoning that if only 3.1% of postal voters did not vote then the 97% is wrong and therefore the electoral count is wrong regardless of if 97% vote yes or no.

    288. Mealer says:

      I don’t trust the British establishment and so I think it is crucially important that we scrutinise every part of the democratic process.The report from Argyll and Bute raises issues that need to be further explored.

    289. A Very British Disease?

      David Whyte, author of a new book How Corrupt is Britain? argues that this very British disease also infects Scottish institutions.

    290. Dorothy Devine says:

      Bob Mack ,you don’t really expect our sycophantic press to bother their bahoochies investigating anything which might show that there had been major interference with the result do you?

      if you do , I have this lovely bridge…………….

    291. ClanDonald says:

      For those concerned about vote rigging who aren’t already out there campaigning, lets get to work canvassing 100% of Scotland. If the results of this don’t tally with the GE result then we’ll know for certain something isn’t quite right.

      With 100,000 members the SNP should be able to achieve this no bother. Contact your local branch for how to get involved. Volunteer on election day to help get out the vote too.

    292. Robert Peffers says:

      @GM_Dundonian says: 24 March, 2015 at 12:21 am:

      “I recall a report about a load of yes ballots being found in a bin in glasgow last October and was being investigated by the police. Not sure what came of that. Anyone else recall that report?

      Just forget that one, GM Dundonian, the guy who posted it on YouTube is a very well known scammer who has a long history of such fake video scams. He mainly produces fake videos of himself confronting police officers the guy’s as mad as a March hare.

    293. Lesley-Anne says:

      Can I just say as the *ahem* instigator of this “return to vote rigging paranoia” I’m sorry. 😉

      When I put up the original link to the Argyll and Bute report last night I only intended it to be for information only not to instigate another round of serious discussion about were we or were we not cheated in September. the last thing I want is for anyone on here to be accused of not moving on from the September result.

      Having read the comments after my original post it does appear that I am not alone in thinking that the report does in fact raise some *cough* interesting questions that need answers but are in fact not being answered.

      As others have pointed out the report also raises questions about the security of the vote in May. I for one sincerely hope that despite all our collective paranoia we do infact win as near 59 seats as possible. However, knowing this report is out there with highly likely accurate evidence about electoral fraud in the referendum I will not sleep too easily at night until I see that 59 seat result, or as near 59 as possible, on May 8th.

    294. Macart says:

      Yesterday’s vote is history and time will tell on the actions taken during the referendum campaign. It always does.

      Tomorrows vote is now the one which can change the history of politics in Scotland.

    295. Kevin Evans says:

      I remember my ex wife tellin me I was paranoid and creating conspiracies when I thought she was having an affair.

      Turns out she was.

      That’s all am sayin

    296. DerekM says:

      Thanks for that link @ LA makes very interesting reading however i do believe that will be as far as they get with it and the only way for us to find out the real feeling in Scotland for independence is for the SG to create its own register and a SEC.

      Yes westminster will claim it to be illegal but what are they going to do about it fling us out the union for breaking their rules,to hell with them so come on the SG lets do this thing!!!!

    297. Dorothy Devine says:

      Perhaps the BIG three are more than anxious the SNP don’t get to see any works of fiction put in writing by interested establishment parties , like the civil service.

      Perhaps the SNP getting a good look at their recorded behaviour during the referendum is causing them some loose bowel moments.

      May they have many more!

    298. Lesley-Anne says:

      Macart says:

      Yesterday’s vote is history and time will tell on the actions taken during the referendum campaign. It always does.

      Tomorrows vote is now the one which can change the history of politics in Scotland.

      As always you are correct Macart. However, as I think I have, at least tried to say, if this report I linked to does have some merit to it regarding the referendum result then it should, in my view, raise a few eyebrows about the strong possibilty of something similar happening in May.

      I know we are all doing whatever we can to win up to the magic 59 seats for the S.N.P. but if this report is factually correct, and I have not seen anything to disprove this theory yet, then we could possibly be looking at a repeat perfomance in May where we know we are winning but on the night we lose by some inexplicable massive anti SNP postal vote accumulation. 😉

    299. Author_al says:

      I’ve said it before and I will say it again. What safeguards are in place in Scotland to prevent postal vote fraud, and are ‘early peeks’ a la Ruth Davidson allowed?

      I am now back on the electoral register having been informed by letter I was off it, despite voting last year. Not alone. Cock up or conspiracy or just bloody annoying?

    300. Macart says:

      All polling aside (and yes they do look good), I think it might be prudent to look at what constitutes a reasonable result for Scotland and for the SNP. Prior to February I’d have said twenty seats were not only achievable but would mark a phenomenal result for the SNP. It would IMO have marked just as sizeable a sea change in our politics, but without added oxygen as it were. Now?

      Well now, I honestly believe that anywhere between thirty to forty might be on the cards. For all the talk of fifty plus seats in the media (as heady as that is), remember who and what we are dealing with. If the SG achieve anything less than those numbers it will be played as a crushing disappointment, a blow.

      I’m not saying don’t try our damnedest to help the SG along in every ward, even slashing margins is a step forward, but I am saying we need to keep our expectations realistic and achievable.

    301. Macart says:

      Lesley-Anne, you keep on keepin’ on kiddo. 🙂

      When it comes to politics, the establishment have pulled every stunt under the sun and few you haven’t even thought of. Doesn’t mean to say they can’t be beat honestly. 😀

      And that’s exactly what we’ll do – keep it honest.

    302. manandboy says:

      To take one single piece from a jigsaw box,
      and understand what it means in the ‘big picture’
      is very difficult indeed.
      But when the last piece is that same piece,
      understanding the detail contained on it,
      is both easy and obvious.

      With this report, containing details of the computerised postal voting system,
      and how the Postal Ballot can be manipulated,
      the picture is completed.
      It also makes sense of other anomalies in IndyRef 2014.

      Until now, we had the feeling IndyRef was rigged,
      but without knowing HOW it was rigged, that feeling left us all none the wiser.

      But now we know.

      And now we know the answers to so many questions.
      Like why there was no big ‘No’ celebration.
      Now we understand what Michael Portillo was talking about
      when he said it was possible to rig a referendum.
      Now we know how the ‘perfect’ margin of 10% was achieved –
      not too much and not too little. Just as forecast in ‘The Drum’.

      With a bent Ballot comes a bent Government, and with
      a bent Government, Democracy is broken.

      Late news – UK to become twinned with North Korea.

    303. caz-m says:

      Irn Bru getting plenty of airtime and free publicity from our state broadcaster, BBC Scotland.

      Call Kaye is doing some phone-in which will give the drink maker even more publicity. This couldn’t have anything to do with Barr’s coming out as strong NO Voters in the Referendum could it?

      What next? The up and coming tour dates of the Krankies.

    304. Stoker says:

      @ Author_Al (8.40am).

      How about incompetent conspiracy.
      😉

    305. Glamaig says:

      O/T, another electoral registration story – I received at my house a letter from Electoral Registration addressed to someone I have never heard of at my address. I phoned them and they took the person off the list at my house and confirmed who was actually on the list. Ok, but WTF??? How can this happen?

      Then they send a letter out asking for confirmation of who is at the house. Its addressed to my son who happens to be first in the alphabetical list. Previously I guess this would have gone to the householder. But what is the point of moving to individual registration if you don’t send out individual letters?

      Im not a conspiracy theorist on this, I think they just have a job on their hands and as usual its chaos and hasn’t been thought out. But it is worrying so close to a vital GE, I have no confidence in the system.

    306. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just returning to the original theme of this thread for a second or two. 😉

      Apparently all is not quite as smooth as wee RED Ed and Murph the Smurph want us all to think it is. Not least of all in North Lanarkshire. It appears that we have a Labour councillor taking Labour to court over unfair dismissal. 😛

      https://archive.today/3j1St

      Oh and one other wee tit bit for folks to chew over whilst eating their cereal. 😀

      Apparently the unelected governors of all that stands before them have decreed that they have *ahem* deep concerns about the more powers thingy promised by Broon the Loon’s VOW to give more powers to Scotland.

      https://archive.today/Sqrqs

    307. manandboy says:

      With six weeks to go (45days) before GE15,
      and assuming that Postal Voting is under Government control
      as per the Dunoon Report,
      the polling results to date for Scotland
      will have to be interfered with by the Gov.

      The reason is obvious and very simple.
      Should the polls show a 20 point lead for the SNP
      on the day before GE15,
      but the result on May 7 shows Labour with 35 MP’s in Scotland,
      no one will believe that.

      No. As with Indy, the result will have to be believable.

      This can be achieved through a gradual reduction
      in the SNP poll lead over the six weeks which are left,
      until 20 points now, becomes 4 points on May 6th.

    308. Jim McIntosh says:

      I wonder when the grown ups are going to pop their head round the door and tell us conspiracy nuts to behave 🙂

      Still I think it’s weird that:

      800,000 postal votes were split 70/30 for NO. – advantage to NO = 320,000
      Potential additional votes to YES if turnout in Glasgow/Dundee had been similar to other areas – 43,000

      With no other anomalies that gives NO a 363,000 lead before we start counting the polling booth votes.

      With all votes counted NO won by 400,000 votes. If we remove the 363,000 votes above that’s a win by less than 40,000 votes. Which just happens to be the 1% difference between the polls a day or so before the referendum.

      Don’t know how they did it, but they cheated ????

    309. ClanDonald says:

      @manandboy: No doubt this is why we’ll probably get another super-duper new 100% guaranteed vow a few days before the election: to make a major, last-minute “surge” to the Labour party appear convincing…

    310. Mosstrooper says:

      @Glamaig 8.57

      An almost identical instance of what happened to me. Phone the registration office, there will be a reference number which will enable them to check on who sent out the letter to you. Get answers and take a copy of all correspondence. I know I did.

      I am in Renfrewshire, where are you?

    311. Stoker says:

      Re: The Postal Vote Report.

      I see this has poked the house of hornets.

      So what are we going to do about it?

      It was only a few years ago when the Electoral Commission was warning us all with their own report that there was approximately seven million mistakes on the electoral register and by the time the Scottish referendum comes around there would be approximately thirteen million mistakes on it.

      Remind me again, what exactly did we do about that, apart from what we are doing now about this report? That’s right, at arguably THE biggest time in Scotland’s history we did nothing but talk about it. Not even the SNP organised anything against that situation.

      And before anyone asks, i don’t have any answers, there are folk amongst us with far superior intelligence than i and maybe they have workable suggestions.

      We need to do far more than just talk about how offal this is and set up some sort of organisation to investigate and monitor.

    312. Robert Peffers says:

      All we need do to see hear how the Establishment works is listen in to Gary & Hayley on BBC Against Scotland this very morning. The impending closure of Longannet is being projected as all the fault of the SNP/SG.

      Now anyone with at least two brain-cells is aware the Establishment has been ripping Scotland’s generators of power off for Electricity Grid Connection Charges ever since there was a grid, (just post WWII), by use of the unequal charges to put electric power into the, so called, National Grid. They are and ripping off Scottish Consumers too by a higher per unit charge for Scots than for Englanders.

      These Grid Connection Charges work like this, (under the daft excuse that it is to encourage generators to be sited near main population centres). The further away from London the higher the charge to add power to the grid. In fact they actually pay the southern generators a subsidy.

      Now the free market economy they crowed so much about to justify selling off public owned services demands that those who want a commodity must pay for it and the provider should demand as high a price as the free market can get? So, correct me if I’m wrong but are not those Southern consumers the ones who are short of electricity? Then are not the generators furth of London in the position to charge the southerons as high a price for a scarce commodity as they can get?

      Seems the North lose out when it comes to privatising their public owned services and lose out once again when it comes to being charged for supplying the south with a commodity the so desperately need.

      Then, to add insult to injury, the power companies charge their Scottish customers a higher charge for a unit of electricity than they charge a southern consumer. Time has long passed for we Scots to get out of this abusive marriage of Kingdoms called the United Kingdom.

    313. Macart says:

      I hope folk are checking the links L.A. and I just stuck up about the Lords. Seriously, it may be just what we’ve been expecting for some time.

      Bare bones? They’re no happy about even the crappy Smith Commission outcome and see no reason to cause further constitutional problems by simply accepting them.

    314. Naina Tal says:

      @Jim McIntosh
      Aye they cheated. But in all sorts of ways. A bit here and a bit there. Nothing yer “conspiracy theorists”, ” cynics”, or realists can get their teeth into.

      Nothing to see here, or if there is it wouldn’t have affected the result anyway. Just move on!

    315. manandboy says:

      Let’s be clear.

      Consistently high poll ratings for the SNP
      are what is driving the high hopes and indeed the high expectations
      currently held north of the Border.
      It has nothing to do with media tittle-tattle.

      Logic does not support a withdrawal of credibility for consistent poll results.

      Nor is there any future for a position whereby we factor into an election a corrupt Government’s interference,
      and settle for what we get in the way of a rigged vote.

      Government rigging of any election is unnacceptable
      and must be robustly challenged and eradicated.

      With this WM Government in particular,
      election fixing is but one more symptom of a culture of corruption
      which threatens to destroy civilised society itself.

      May we not dilute our cause by granting concessions to injustice.
      Our goal is an Independent Scotland and a fair and prosperous nation.
      I am not interested in a neo-Liberal takeover of social democracy
      which is precisely what Westminster is trying to do
      in these elections in Scotland.

      If the Scottish people vote in 59 SNP MP’s,
      then that’s what I want to see appear in the House of Commons.
      I will not settle for 20 due to Unionist electoral fraud.

    316. Spout says:

      Robert Peffers

      “Time has long passed for we Scots to get out of this abusive marriage of Kingdoms called the United Kingdom.”

      Amen.

    317. Stoker says:

      btw, RE: my post @ 9.17am.

      Perhaps i should have explained, i deliberately used the word “offal” (ie:tripe) rather than the word “awful” in a poor play on words.
      😉

    318. Ken500 says:

      The Scottish consumers are nearer the source, but pay higher charges because it is colder. Higher unit costs. Scotland exports 25% of fuel and energy bu pays higher charges.

      The Tories increased the Oil taxes 10% (£2Billion) in 2011 Budget, up to 80+ %. That cost Scotland £4Billion a year in lost revenues. £16Billion, more than enough for a CC project at Longannet and to cut any deficit and loan repayments. There are vast coal reserves all over the UK. Scotland also missed out on Renewable Grant from the EU because of Westminster indecision. £2Billion is being spent on two coal fired energy plants near Clegg’s Sheffield constituency.

      The 10% Oil tax has now been reduced in the 2015 Budget but is not enough to save thousands of jobs. Now jobs will go at Longannet because of the irregularity of the Grid conditions. Scotland is surplus in fuel and energy and nearer the source but pays a higher cost. The rest of the UK gets energy from France and Norway. £Billion contracts for Norwegian Gas. Scotland could cut out the middleman -Westminster – and have cheaper fuel and energy and control of it’s own Market.

      Vote NO Scotland gets nothing but unemployment.

    319. Glamaig says:

      @Mosstrooper 9:13
      Glasgow

    320. Robert Kerr says:

      O/T

      One way to expose voting irregularities is to bracket the actual election votes with pre-election canvas returns and exit polls. That may well show up some interesting data.

      This can be done on a constituency basis especially in the contentious ones. The SNP and fellow travellers have the manpower.

      The postal vote is more difficult. It requires the counted vote to be confirmed back to source. We Wingers could do that. Vote postal and demand proof that the vote was actually counted at all and also counted correctly.

      Let’s make sure that GE15 vote frigging is exposed and SE16 and iRef2 is done properly.

    321. Glamaig says:

      @Grousebeater 9:33pm
      I have also thought that they are the troublemakers in this Union. The rest of us would get along just fine.

    322. Ken500 says:

      Irn Bru and other fizzy drinks are full of sugar. The BBC should not be promoting any fizzy drinks companies on health grounds. They are breaking the Law on advertising.

    323. frogesque says:

      Robert Peffers says: 24 March, 2015 at 9.22 am

      Further, what will happen when/if a water grid is established? Will we (along with the Welsh) pay to subsidise drought stricken regions of England?

      Current wars are being fought over oil, future wars will be about water. It is our most precious resource

    324. caz-m says:

      Ed Mili bland can offer the Scots as many sweetner’s as he likes, the more the merrier.

      And we will send as many SNP MPs down to Westminster as possible Ed, just to make sure you deliver on these promise’s.

    325. Tony Little says:

      I hope this is not a duplicate post but I lost web connection at the same time I “submitted” and haven’t seen it.

      Regards @LV and @Mccart and Postal voting.

      I do not want to relive the ref as we have a more important issue ahead of us with the GE. However, weeks before the ref I posted here and elsewhere my concerns over the inadequate preparations of the Referendum voting system, especially Postal Votes. And especially after the recent history with postal vote fraud in England.

      Unanswered questions included why there was 120% of ballots printed, why 800,000 voters out of an electorate of 4,200,000 chose to opt for a postal ballot, why the Postal Ballot was not recorded separately, why there was not to be an exit poll, and why the EC was given monitoring role after their failure to manage fraud in the past.

      I do not think that there was any fraud “on the day” judging form what I have seen and read, but then this could not have swung a vote in practice. I also did not read many (or in fact any – others may advise differently) stories of people turning up to vote and being denied because “you have already voted by post”.

      So after the vote, I had no understanding of how a fraud may have been done, if in fact it was done. (I also discounted the stories about vans of postal ballots being sent to London for “verification” as no evidence exists that this happened).

      However, the link provided by LV does provide a plausible explanation of how such a systematic process could have been done, and provides an explanation of why the vote was not closer (or indeed why the canvassing returns on-the-ground were confounded by the voting on the day). It does not prove anything of course, but does provide a start point for someone (who, I don’t know) to make a more detailed and thorough investigation.

      But looking ahead we have an even more important vote. How can we ensure that a similar story is not repeated? As @Man&Boy suggests, if the polls are still showing SNP on 45% and Lab on 25% (= SNP: 47 MPs, Lab = 11 MPs), but after the votes are counted a miracle occurs and Lab in fact “win” 35 seats, this is unsustainable as a convincing story. So, yes let’s watch the polls over these next few weeks.

      What else can be done except to bring this story to as wide a network as possible (I just do not think that the SNP HQ will do anything to challenge this themselves – the media would have a field day ridiculing them as conspiracy “nuts” and this would certainly lose votes, IMHO) so as before it is up to us.

      Rev. Is this a distraction, or is there some mileage in WoS doing something to investigate the truth here? I suspect this is probably a time-consuming activity with limited impact, if in fact anything could be done before the GE.

      We are not in a happy place, despite the apparent massive lead in the polls. Maybe this WILL be our salvation, as a swing back to Lab in the order of 15% would simply not look serious unless there is an SNP “bombshell” being planned?

    326. frogesque says:

      Even a sniff of Irn Bru makes my GG granson hyper. He has ADHD and that stuff is pure evil. Sugar free is even worse with all the artificial sweeteners.

    327. Luigi says:

      Sorry folks, I just don’t subscribe to these vote rigging conspiracy theories. For one simple reason – I know many people who, for different reasons, voted NO!!!!!! If we had been cheated they would have been very thin on the ground, they were not. Silent maybe, quiet yes, difficult to see at times, but NO voters were and still are all around us. Many are voting SNP, by the way.

      RE the low turnouts in Glasgow and Dundee – this is more difficult to explain, but what I think happened was that the infamous Vow made quite a few anxious, soft YES voters stay away. They could not bear to vote NO, but the Vow gave them an excuse not to vote YES. This and the fact that the NO voters in posh areas pulled out all the stops to ensure they had a big turnout.

      Getting your supporters to turn out, or vote by post in greater numbers is not cheating – perhaps we can learn a few lessons there.

    328. caz-m says:

      Just a wee thought, but with all the conspiracy theories going on, maybe we should be delegating people not just to watch what is happening inside the counting centres but to watch what is happening round the back of the counting centres.

      This will let us know what vans are arriving, what they are dropping off and also what they are taking away from the counting centres.

      Using cameras, we could note the names on the vans and registration numbers. I think it is a box that needs to be ticked.

    329. Valerie says:

      Frogesque you are right, we must protect our water

    330. ArtyHetty says:

      The page keeps shrinking when I try to load it, ie read it, even in Opera. Anyone know why?

    331. Mosstrooper says:

      @ Glamaig 9.38

      Thank you. A widespread stuff up then. Anyone else have one of these?

    332. Flower of Scotland says:

      O/t. Rory Stewart ( of the cairn ) is ramping up the threat from Russia and from Argentina to British “Interests”!

      Michael Fallon wants much more spent on Defence to “protect” us against Russia and to protect “British” oil in the Falklands.

      They really think we can’t see through their little schemes. Rory Stewart wants Britain back in the sphere of influence! Ha,ha.

    333. One_Scot says:

      As Carlsberg would have said, “Britain, probably the most openly politically corrupt country in the world.”

    334. frogesque says:

      There is one big difference in the GE to the IRef.

      In the IRef there was an overarching imperative for NO/BT to win. Different forces are at work this time and it is the UK (Tory) Governments interest for Labour to be annihilated in Scotland. If they can gerrymander ‘encourage’ the English voters to give them a working majority, all be it with the LibDeamons, then they will laugh their socks off at a Labour collapse. They can then ‘deal’ with the SNP at their leisure.

      Bumping a Labour vote in Scotland would require a massive effort, bumping a Tory vote with close margins in England would easier and much more believable.

      59 is the target, Shoot for the Moon, even if you miss you land amongst the stars!

    335. frogesque says:

      ArtyHetty says:
      24 March, 2015 at 10:02 am
      The page keeps shrinking when I try to load it, ie read it, even in Opera. Anyone know why?

      I’m getting the same problem on my tablet, main PC running Safari (on now) is OK

      Looks to me as if there are some rendering issues across different O/Ss

    336. Jim McIntosh says:

      @luigi

      “If we had been cheated they would have been very thin on the ground.”

      What makes you say that? If the result had been 55/45 the other way that would have been 1 in 10 less NO voters on the ground. I.e. You still would have met 9 out of 10 NO voters you did.

      I’m not sure your reason for a low turn out in Dundee & Glasgow holds water either. The “vow” offered the disadvantaged members of society less than it did the more affluent. More reason to vote, not less.

      We all have our opinions, but I beleive we would be naive if we didn’t at least consider what might have happened.

      As the saying goes – “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”.

    337. Breastplate says:

      On the subject of vote rigging, the only logical conclusion is that it DID take place.
      Some questions,
      1. Was an exit of Scotland from the UK seen as a threat to The Establishment?
      2. Does the British state have the capability to interfere with cast votes?
      3. Would the British state use those resources available to them even if illegal or immoral?
      What it boils down to is a ‘ Could they? Would they?’ theory.
      Of course this is only my opinion and would be interested to hear coherent arguments against it.

    338. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Luigi at 9.57

      Of course lots of people voted “no”. We all know that.
      Did you actually read the very detailed examination?
      This will be launched with supporting graphs and pie charts very shortly.
      It is virtually, if not actually, impossible to achieve a 95% plus turnout on a postal ballot yet this was apparently achieved in many Scottish districts including 97% in five of them.
      That is the focus of the report, not a “theory”.

    339. DerekM says:

      Did they or didnt they to be honest it is irrelevant now,its like running up to the ref in a fitba match and complaining about him giving a penalty ,it is not going to change anything.

      However we must look into the future and make sure that next time there is not a repeat of this mess,in my above post i mentioned we should create a SEC and our own register,the way to do this is the same way we got an indyref in the first place the SNP must include this in their 2016 manifesto for government ,it wasnt the good will of westminster that allowed indyref it was they had no choice ,to deny it would have been to deny the will of the electorate and a governments promise to the people which would have strengthened the SNP and blown a massive hole in their pretend democracy for all the world to see.

      And anyway we will need both of these in the future so why not set the ground work for it now 😉

    340. Luigi says:

      im McIntosh says:

      24 March, 2015 at 10:25 am

      As the saying goes – “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”.

      Indeed, Jim. I’m not saying there wasn’t a wee bit of monkey business here and there but not on the scale that would have been required. You just can’t hide something that big. Although a 45% YES was disappointing, in some ways it was way beyond many expectations. Like others, I hoped for the best on September 18th, but if someone back in 2011 had said it would be 40%, I would have jumped for joy. 45% against all odds, was phenomenal. So we will agree to disagree, I suppose.

      Make no mistake – the union’s days are numbered, it’s only a matter of time now. This nonsense about devomax/FFA, a new constitution for the UK etc is just something we have to go through. Painful but necessary.

      Do not worry about dirty tricks – this is becoming unstopable. . When the people of Scotland finally come to terms with the new reality, we will win our independence. Not quite there yet, but we are heading in the right direction.

    341. Fiona says:

      @ DerekM

      If this happened it is not really like a referee giving a penalty at all. In the rules of football, as I understand it, the referee has a legitimate responsibility to make those judgement calls, and it is accepted that sometimes the decision will be wrong: but given the kind of sport it is there is no way round that: or at least there wasn’t when the rules were made. They are pragmatic and it is assumed that errors will “balance out”, because they are errors.

      Vote rigging is nothing like that at all. It is not inherent in the system that “mistakes” of that sort will be made (though other unavoidable errors are accepted, such as the lag in updating the register). Vote rigging is deliberate fraud, which will not “balance out” over time.

      Nor do I think that there is any prospect of ensuring there will not be a repeat in the future if we accept the result of a rigged ballot now. Improving things will cost money and it is not likely to be forthcoming unless there is shown to be a very good reason for making changes.

      That is not to say that I am convinced by the evidence we have so far. The report asserts that this can be done and shows a mechanism: but I personally have no knowledge which allows me to evaluate it. I don’t know what is recorded on the computers nor who has access to the data, and that is central to the report.

      It seems to me that it raises some important questions, however, and I would like to see a proper investigation in to the matter

      We are not likely to get that: it is a bit like Lord Dennings’s view of the miscarriages of justice in relation to the Guilford and Birmingham defendants: it opens a horrific vista. Nobody in the establishment will wish to contemplate that, and neither will the public. It is far more comfortable to dismiss such concerns as paranoid conspiracy theories than to face the possibility that our democracy is a direct sham of this sort. For if it is there is truly nothing left of civil society.

      But I find myself unable to go with those who say let us leave it alone and look to the future. It seems to me that there are questions to answer, and a prima facie case which needs to be addressed. If there is any substance to the allegation this is one of the most important issues that has arisen in my lifetime. I do not think that is an exaggeration.

      It is more like

    342. Mealer says:

      During the referendum we were up against every facet of the British state.If we accept,as surely we all now do,that the treasury played an active role against us then it’s natural to assume that MI5 played a part too.Thats what they’re for.However,I think the Argyll and Bute report is very premature in its presumption that the anomalies it seems to have uncovered are down to MI5 vote rigging.But many thanks to those involved for their tenacity.They have obviously put a lot of work into this and have exposed issues that require the greatest of independent professional scrutiny.
      In the run up to the referendum,and previous elections,the Labour machine was out harvesting postal votes whilst we sat at our keyboards girning about it.Going on Facebook and saying its a swindle after the fact.For this election we need to knock on doors to find out where our voters are.You can’t do that if you’re hiding at home on facebook.Then we need to make sure we get those who need a postal vote to get one and use it for SNP.Then we need to get round on polling day and make sure all of our intending voters have got off their backsides and gone out and voted for SNP.Thorough canvassing is essential for this to work.SNP have 100,000 members.We’re about to find out how many of them are true supporters and how many are armchair fans.1.6million people voted for independence last September.Success at this election will depend on how many of them WE can persuade to go out and vote in May.

    343. GM_Dundonian says:

      I’d just like to say I’m no tinfoil hat wearing nut job, I work as an assistant scientist in microbiology, and as such I prefer good reason, sense and logic – such as an independant Scotland being a very sensible logical choice! 😉

      However, L.A has provided a link that has deeply troubled me, and where before I didn’t believe the British state could be that blatant in ringing some PB results, we are presented with a well argued and numbers based report, and the numbers don’t work. I would say it’s more gullible to believe we had miraculous 97% turnout when historically this was never the case. It’s a bad day when I’d like to see a crap-ton of international observers swarming Scotland in May.

      But I also agree we can’t get too distracted by this. We need to keep the SNP vote riding high for GE 15 and boot as many of those labour thugs out as possible. I take comfort in a few things. First the polls showing a massive SNP majority has not moved in months, there is real anger at labour on the streets. That is something labours woeful campaign and even some moms ballot box stuffing will not easily overcome. It’s also easier to rig a yes/no vote that was hovering around 50/50 in polls that a GE will multiple party votes with SNP in a 16-20% lead.

      Guess what I’m saying is keep the faith in ourselves and our campaigning. But let’s now also be very… very vigilant. Fool us once…

    344. DerekM says:

      @ Fiona

      Ahh i think you missed my point i should have maybe been clearer ,when a ref gives a penalty regardless if it was one or not the decision stands and is very rarely overturned now the pundits and everybody can moan about it, claim the ref was wrong but it does not change the result that was my point 🙂

      Oh dont get me wrong i think they screwed us big time just like they did the last time but where is the proof and moaning about it is pointless as its not going to change the result it didnt change anything in 79 we just have to do better next time and learn from our mistakes like allowing the UK establishments to run the show.

    345. GM_Dundonian says:

      Correction: ‘some moms’ should have read ‘someone’s. Stupid auto correct.

    346. Fiona says:

      @DerekM

      Thanks for the clarification.

      I do understand your point. However it seems that the report has shown a mechanism whereby this could have been done; and some interesting pointers as to how it could be proved. I think that makes a major difference simply because it is clear that it would be possible to establish the facts if the will was there

      My own post deals with why I do not think that will be done, but the situation is not at all similar to 1979, where you could cry “unfair” but you could not say “illegal”, since it wasn’t.

      In this instance it is not the case that we can only “moan”, though practically speaking that may be what it amounts to. There is a clear direction for an investigation to take to establish the facts, and while that is difficult it is not apparently impossible. The report is a prima facie case for fraud and it should be pursued by those with the resources to do that.

      There are many even within the political establishment, who would understand the enormity of any such fraud and who would wish to investigate, if they could only get over the “Denning” reaction. I find that difficult myself, and am also opposed to conspiracy theories. But in a conspiracy theory there is no evidence which can overturn the conclusion and that is not so in this case. This depends on facts which can be found, though with difficulty. That makes it quite different, surely?

    347. frank kemp says:

      Second question. Would you support an SNP vote of no confidence in the Conservatives.

    348. rongorongo says:

      The Dunoon article suggests a method by which postal votes might be plausibly rigged. It is based on a number of clear assumptions which would be relatively simple for anybody attempting to debunk the theory to test.
      First of all there has to be one or more computer systems which store the “verified” but not yet “human counted” images of postal votes on them. So the first test is “Do such computer systems exist and do they store the images in ways which would allow somebody to see the vote results and and the identity of the voter?”. If they exist then how are they protected?

      Let’ assume the scanned images exist and that the attacker can identify how many can be tolerably altered. The next thing he needs to do is have a way of removing the paper records of any voter whose ballot he wants to change. There would be degree of subtly required to ensure that the books are cooked to the required degree without arousing suspicion. The broad nature of the parameters that would have to have been followed and the size of the potential influence are important here too: would the intervention have been worth it?

      Now we need a mechanism for getting hold of the original records so that they can be disposed of. One method would be to “re-print” the entire set of ballots – including the doctored ones – then dispose of all of the originals. The other method would be to extract just those ballot originals which needed to be changed. Neither of these methods is easy and all require a team of people who must be undetected by officials and trusted never ever to spill the beans.

      Having made the ballot alterations the attacker needs to ensure that they remain undetected in all cases: we can’t ever have voters being able to see a a doctored ballot and we need to ensure that no suspicion is aroused by voters who are turned away at the polling booth on account of doctored ballots which indicate that have already voted.

      Some of this would have been easier to pull off with a compliant media and without the corroboration of exit polls. Vote rigging is probably the biggest area where actual conspiracies have been recorded in the past – but this would have had to have been a particularly risky and audacious operation.

    349. manandboy says:

      Harold Shipman should have sought a defence Counsel in Scotland.
      He would have found not only plenty to defend him
      but plenty to believe his side of the story.

      I am amazed at how many rush to the defence of the British Establishment whenever reports arise about their skullduggery.

      I’ll just away to practice some bowing and scraping.
      If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

      Aye right.

    350. Fiona says:

      @ rongorongo

      I did not read the report as saying that any ballot needed to be changed: merely that ballots be submitted purporting to be from those who did not, in fact, vote.

      If that is correct then most of the problems identified in your post are done away with, are they not?

    351. Thepnr says:

      @rongorongo

      I attended the opening of postal votes in Angus along with others on behalf of Wings. There are a couple of points made in your post that I feel I can explain.

      First of all there has to be one or more computer systems which store the “verified” but not yet “human counted” images of postal votes on them. So the first test is “Do such computer systems exist and do they store the images in ways which would allow somebody to see the vote results and and the identity of the voter?”.

      Firstly the votes themselves were not scanned nor recorded in a computer. There were two envelopes for each postal vote. Your actual vote on the ballot paper was placed in envelope “B” and not opened. The “Postal Voting Statement” which contained the voters signature and DOB was placed inside envelope “A” along with envelope “B”.

      At the verification, envelope A was opened and the voting statement placed to one side and the unopened envelope B to another. The voting statement was then scanned and the DOB and signature compared by computer with the original application for a postal vote.

      This is the sole reason that “agents” such as myself and the other parties were present was to compare any anomaly in a DOB or signature that was identified during the scanning process.

      On completion of this process envelope B was opened and the ballot papers sorted into bundles of if I remember correctly 100. Finally these bundles were placed into ballot boxes for delivery to the count on the night of the election.

      Votes were never scanned but even though the ballot papers were counted face down it was possible at times to see whether the X was for Yes or No. This is where the idea of “sampling” came from. There was no way for an observer to know who voted what, the voting statement paper was completely separate from the ballot paper.

      As far as I am aware there was only ever one postal vote verification, contrary to what is stated in the facebook article we’re talking about here.

      Anyone who missed the deadline for verification could deliver their vote to their local Electoral Registration Office prior to the 14th of Sept or to their polling station on the day of the vote.

      The only real concern in my mind is how secure were the already filled ballot boxes after the verification process before being delivered to the count? We are talking of maybe a period here of a couple of weeks and there is no way of knowing what may or may not have happened in this time.

      I prefer to reserve judgement, of course there was scope for messing with the vote and the will may also have been there. Did it happen? Not without proof and we would need to wait on a whistle blower spilling the beans.

    352. manandboy says:

      Farmer 1 said to farmer 2 ” Foxes raided my chickens last night. What should I do?

      Farmer 2 in reply said ” Have you got a good strong fence and a lock on the hen house door?”

      “No, nothing”, said farmer 1.

      So farmer 2 said ” Well, now you know what to do, would you like some help?”

      “Thanks”, said farmer 1, “but I’ll wait a wee while, maybe the fox won’t come back.”

      The fox’s name was McTernan.

    353. Fiona says:

      Interesting Thepnr.

      So a record of who voted by post was scanned into a computer, yes?

      Those postal votes delivered to the local Registration office were not similarly verified? If not then how were they verified? For even votes in person are scored off a list, so they must have been verified somehow, I think?

      If the postal votes were all scanned in to a computer which already had the information about who had applied for a postal vote, including the signature, what is to prevent that data ending up in the wrong hands? That is a lot more plausible to me than physically moving votes or altering them. But that may be because I don’t really get computers and their potential and limits.

      If we can be sure that information was secure then there is no problem, but I have to confess the turnout and the composition of the postal votes does give me pause, if it is as reported.

    354. Thepnr says:

      @Fiona

      Good point about the verification process after the “original” verification had taken place.

      The answer is I have no idea how this may have taken place which is not much help.

      Undoubtedly though those numbers that had applied for a postal vote and whether or not they had returned that vote was already known and stored on computer.

      I think though that local Election officials and those at the count may have had a problem with tens of thousands turning up a day or two before the election.

    355. GM_Dundonian says:

      @ Thepner

      His report mentions that to make up the amazing 97% turnout dead people and prisoners would have had to have voted. I’m interested in what you make of that, is he exaggerating?

      This isn’t a hostle question btw, I genuinely just want your thoughts on that part seeming you were there for the box openings. 🙂

    356. Thepnr says:

      @GM_Dundonian

      Don’t know about dead people but there was vote whose signature I had to compare with someone born in 1911 which made her 103 years old!

      To be fair there was another where the voter was only 16, don’t ask me why they needed a postal vote. One thing I believe to have not been possible is multiple votes from the same person as there was one instance where the same signature turned up on two votes.

      The person in charge suspected fraud and took it away for further investigation, turns out it was legit and the person signing had a proxy vote for the other.

      I’m certainly not saying that it wasn’t possible to in some way tamper with the postal votes but I don’t believe that it could have happened at the verification process.

      As I said earlier, how secure were these filled ballot boxes after verification for up to two weeks and during transport to the count.

      Their has to be a better way of ensuring fairness and open democracy than that we currently have.

      Just for the record, the referendum (for now) was a one off and anything is possible, messing with the GE15 results is somewhat different. Would the Tories stitch up the SNP so as Labour can gain an extra 20 seats? I doubt it.

    357. Fiona says:

      @Thepnr

      Thanks again for that

      I am not sure what you mean by “thousands turning up a day or two before the election”, though

      As I understand it there is no suggestion at all that would happen. I may not be correct in my interpretation of what is being claimed, but as I see it, there is no need for any physical person to turn up at all. Have I completely misunderstood?

      What I thought was being said was there was a computer data base of all those who had a postal vote, complete with DOB and signature. Those who did vote were known through the verification process, both the main one and the second one at the electoral registration office up to a few days before the vote. Fraudsters, if they existed, then only had to complete postal votes for those who had not voted. They would then have to get them into the boxes, but you have already said that that part of the process is the one which worries you.

      On that topic I noticed somewhere upthread that it was said that those areas with the lowest turn out were those which voted yes: this seemed to convince the poster that there was no such fraud, iirc – read the post last night

      The opposite would be true, as I see it. Low turn out would lead to a yes vote on this scenario: because the elevated turn out is a direct consequence of adding votes which were not truly cast to the NO pile.

      Again I do not wish to seem as if I support this claim: I really have no idea. But from what you are saying it seems possible to me, and the numbers do look odd.

    358. Thepnr says:

      @Fiona

      I typed the first from memory but have since done a bit of research. First off I got the A and B envelopes the wrong way round, the ballot paper was in A and went into B with your voting statement.

      My point about the “tens of thousands” of postal votes turning up after the official verification process would surely have aroused some suspicion.

      I think that we have already established that at the close of the verification process which again from memory was over 3 days in the case in Angus. It could be ascertained and was recorded exactly how many of the applied for postal votes had been returned and scrutinised under that process.

      Obviously it would then be known who hadn’t returned their postal vote up to that date, as said earlier was at least 2 weeks from the referendum date.

      Whether or not after this date the votes had to be delivered in person or by post i do not know. The electoral commission website is not clear either, it simply states:

      If you miss the post, you can drop off your vote at our office, at the address on envelope B.
      Or you can take it into any polling station in [the constituency/ward]/[your constituency/ward] between 7am and 10pm on polling day, day/date of poll .

      http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/150374/Making-Your-Mark-Example-Postal-Voting-Quick-Start-Guide-First-Past-The-Post-Election-GB-English-A4.pdf

      The above does state “drop off your vote” and “take it into” which implies that if you miss the official verification date then you have to deliver in person.

      As far as the ballot boxes present as the original count are concerned, these were sealed there and then and agents had an opportunity to put their own seal on if they so wished. I didn’t witness this process.

      As far as I’m concerned any postal votes turning up after this was complete could not be put in these boxes but would have to be totally separate. It’s very unlikely that any postal votes handed into a polling station on the night of the 18th could possibly end up there. Therefore there has to be another process for handling these late postal votes.

      This was the first time I have ever been involved in such a thing so unfortunately there is no way I can give you a satisfactory answer.

      That’s my interpretation at least, I do feel now that I am somehow defending the system which is far from the case. My intention is simply to report the process as I witnessed it and maybe inform others.

    359. Paula Rose says:

      It strikes me that those of us who were present at the count did not witness any chicanery although we are aware that it could have happened. I am of the opinion that those who comment here but did not help out at their local counts when they could of are not being very helpful.

    360. Fiona says:

      Not meaning to put you on the defensive, Thepnr. Far from it. Just trying to see if this is at all possible

      On the basis of your observations, how many votes go into a box before it is sealed? The reason I ask is that the report suggests that it would be no more extra votes than about 4-5000 given the size of that constituency, if I am reading it right. So how many extra boxes would that be?

      In other parts I think we are talking at cross purposes. I infer that the number of postal votes which were verified in the first process was known to those who processed them. I did not realise that. I sort of thought that they just scanned and compared but did not necessarily count them. Can you say whether that count was matched with the number actually counted for the vote itself? If so who did that? Because that would make the suggestion untenable, I think. I had thought that the postal votes were just emptied out of the boxes and added to the total votes without any count of how many there were.

      Similarly, it does not matter if you have to drop off your vote personally if you have missed the vote on this scenario: because the suggestion is that the added votes would not be in that batch. They would be in the batch which was received in time, presumably in added boxes of votes in wherever they were stored. No need to open sealed boxes: just add some.

      I do not know if that could be done, Thepnr, and my ignorance is why I am pursuing this thought. If that could not be done the whole scenario falls, if I am understanding it right. But you did say that you did not think the storage of the boxes was all that secure, if I read you right.

    361. Fiona says:

      Fair point, Paula Rose

      However if this was done the way the report suggests I do not see how anyone who was present could have seen it or prevented it. Not unless they were at the verification process in the first place and were savvy enough to count how many postal votes there were then and also how many were there on election night

      Where the report seems to me now to be unlikely is that if some boxes were added they would show a different pattern from the legitimate ones and that would be noticeable if each box was counted separately: but if they all went into the pile because they had been counted before polling day (as seems possible given Ruth Davidson’s and McTiernan’s statements) or at least separated and stacked ( I seem to remember pictures of neatly stacked papers and an explanation that they were stacked before they went into the box -might be wrong about that) then it remains possible. And how could observers know that?

      One thing is certain: if there was any fraud it had to be done in such a way as to be opaque to the observers.

    362. Paula Rose says:

      Fiona – indeed, but there is nothing to be gained when some people ignore the observations of those of us who were there.

    363. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Paula Rose.

      Digressing, slightly. You typed,

      …when they could of are not being very helpful…

      Tut tut Paula. And you a person of your age! Surely,

      …when they could HAVE are not being very helpful…

      The grammar police dismisseth us…

    364. Fiona says:

      If you are suggesting that I am ignoring your observations then I can only disagree

      I am asking folk who were there how it worked, precisely because they know more than me.

    365. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Fiona.

      I was at the Arbroath Declaration (see link below) – and that’s why I gave no credence to the conspiracy theories regarding videos allegedly showing YES votes being moved to NO vote piles.

      It was all down to the counters counting EVERYTHING into piles of 100; these piles were subsequently split into piles of YES or NO.

      It was possible that a vote or three was moved to the “right” pile, after being put on the “wrong” pile.

      To me, the A&B scenario has more credence.

      https://sites.google.com/site/webgaffer/home/badge-designs/WingsDeclaration-crop.jpg

    366. Fiona says:

      @Brian Doonthetoon

      On the basis of what those who were there said I gave no credence to any suggestion of fraud in the ways initially proposed

      It is the A&B scenario I am trying to explore.

    367. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Fiona, A couple of things. I was at the count in Dingwall as a wings rep. Regarding the postal vote. If you handed your vote in person to a polling station it was put in a separate box at the polling station from the polling station box. They then were taken to the count along with the ordinary ballots in their sealed boxes. Each box there is numbered and the number of ballots depends on the village/town etc.

      I think the potential weakness is that in some manner, some data mining has occurred and indicated persons who either wont vote or cant vote for various reasons and these ballots have been slipped into the system, by simply posting them in a postbox. They then enter the stream of legit votes and go through the various checks. This is more plausible than extracting physical papers and replacing them. As regards things being “secure”, this is the security service, I have no doubt about their ability to access any system, either through a backdoor or by hacking.

    368. Thepnr says:

      @Fiona

      Q. On the basis of your observations, how many votes go into a box before it is sealed?

      A. No Idea, but it is a big box! I’d guess though you are not far of the mark in guessing 4000 or so.

      Q. Can you say whether that count was matched with the number actually counted for the vote itself?

      A. As far as I know the purpose of scanning them was not for counting purposes but to compare signatures and DOB with postal vote applications. Whether they were actually counted or not is down to the software. Obviously it is possible to count them and so too is it possible to identify who has and has not actually voted during this verification. This information is not needed of course for verification of a signature but is certainly simple and possible.

      Only postal voting statements were scanned not ballot papers since many voting statements were rejected then the actual votes could not have been counted at this stage, it is not possible.

      I can only assume that the reason for counting them later into batches of 100 was that so when they were placed in the ballot box a tally of the amount in each box was also taken. Just as for in the polling stations. Note that I witnessed the final batches of less than 100 had a slip of paper added stating the quantity in that batch.

      Q. Similarly, it does not matter if you have to drop off your vote personally if you have missed the vote on this scenario: because the suggestion is that the added votes would not be in that batch. They would be in the batch which was received in time, presumably in added boxes of votes in wherever they were stored. No need to open sealed boxes: just add some.

      A. As stated earlier I have no idea what happened with late postal votes, I was only stating that which I was present at.

      But you did say that you did not think the storage of the boxes was all that secure,

      Finally I did not say that I thought the storage of the ballot was all that secure. I stated:

      “The only real concern in my mind is how secure were the already filled ballot boxes after the verification process before being delivered to the count?” and…

      “As I said earlier, how secure were these filled ballot boxes after verification for up to two weeks and during transport to the count.”

      I have no idea whether they had a 24 hour guard or were under lock and key in the vaults of the BoE. That was my point. I had no idea how secure or insecure storage was.

      Your guess is as good as mine.

    369. Fiona says:

      Thanks, Alan Mackintosh

      Not convinced the data mining could occur before the verification process, and per Thepnr votes posted after that day would not count as postal votes, at least that is how I understand what he said. They had to be dropped off at the office if they were to be accepted after that day, no?

    370. Thepnr says:

      @Fiona

      I’m sure our posts will cross in the ether, but just to correct you in your post of 8:22pm.

      Whether a postal vote was dropped off at the Electoral Registration Office or the polling station it would still have been treated as a “postal vote”. After all they would have to have been in envelope B 🙂

      Being in the envelope and requiring verification ect. I think that’s the point Alan is making regarding them being delivered separately to the count, possibly so as they could be “verified” before being counted?

      My last words on this topic are this:

      1. Was the Scottish Referendum result fraudulent due to the UK government using voting fraud.

      Answer. Don’t know

      2. Was it possible for the UK government to concoct a result against Independence using voting fraud.

      Answer. Yes

    371. crazycat says:

      @ Fiona

      Different councils used slightly different procedures, but here is what I observed as a counting agent in East Ayrshire:

      1) There was a nationwide deadline for applying for a postal vote, with absolutely no exceptions granted – unlike emergency proxies which could be granted up till 5pm on the day of the vote. At the end of that day, the exact number of postal voters in the council area was known by the registration office, and was, I think, something they would reveal if asked.

      2) People who had applied for PVs far enough in advance had that indicated on the electoral roll – so could not be impersonated by someone at a polling station. I believe a final roll was issued after the deadline for applications/registrations so that later applications were also included.

      3) Blank ballots were sent out in at least two batches; voters could return them by post to the council offices at any time. They could also be handed in to the council in person. Until about a fortnight before the referendum, these votes were kept unopened in a ballot box at the council HQ. On September 18, it was also possible to take a postal vote to a polling station and hand it in, to be put in a separate ballot box and then taken directly to the count with the other boxes.

      4) As has been described, there was a series of scrutinized sessions where the signatures and dates of birth accompanying the votes were checked against those on the application forms (which might be decades old). The 3 Ayrshire councils (which also have a Joint Valuation Board which conducts the registration process) share software to do this; I observed it being operated by an employee of the manufacturer, not a civil servant.

      5) Any rejects from the automated system were checked by hand, watched by me, and I am sure it was done fairly.

      6) The matching envelopes containing the votes had serial numbers on them; these were kept in sequence in case there was a need for checking – for instance, if two people in the same household, maybe with the same name, signed each others’ voter statements, both were rejected. If, however, they signed the right documents but then put the ballots in each others’ envelopes, and both mistaken insertions could be found, then they were accepted.

      7) The ballots were then removed from the envelopes, face down but occasionally visible (this is the opportunity for “sampling”), so that the numbers on the envelopes could be matched with those on the papers. After that, verified ballots were counted into bundles and stored until the count. The ballots themselves were never scanned, as confirmed above for a different council.

      8) At the count, while waiting for ballot boxes to arrive from the polling stations, the bundles of postal votes were counted, each by at least two people for cross-checking. These bundles had elastic bands round them, unlike the loose ballots from the polling stations, which made some people think there was something sinister about them – there was not.

      9) The number of votes cast at each polling station was known from the marked registers; the contents of the ballot boxes were counted, and recounted if necessary to ensure the totals matched. Then votes from several polling places, and a subset of postal votes, were mingled together at each of many tables, and sorted into Yes and No, then counted.

      It seems to me that the opportunities for fraud at the count were negligible. Anyone wanting to swap ballot boxes would have to know it was worth it and to have a plausible fake marked register to accompany it. The weak point is the postal votes; it would be perfectly straightforward to add votes at any of the collection places on or before polling day. This is where any lapse in security at the council HQ might be relevant.

      But, this would only be undetectable if the extra votes came from newly, falsely, registered individuals marked on the roll as Postal Voters. It would also be possible to impersonate someone, but would only be reliably undetectable if you were absolutely sure they would not themselves vote – if they were dead, for instance, and the roll not updated yet.

      This is already too long, so I won’t talk about the record turnouts.

    372. crazycat says:

      Lots of inevitable cross-posting there, but we seem to be agreed – phew!

    373. Paula Rose says:

      Fiona – wasn’t aiming my comment at you, sorry if I’m not being very clear. I meant those who have made grandiose claims, doubt I’m being any clearer now.

    374. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Paula Rose – you’ve been sniffin’ the nutmeg again, iye?

    375. Fiona says:

      I think I have not been able to make myself clear in this exchange and I am sorry for that. My apologies.

      No doubt more information will become available over time: I hope so anyway. Meantime I will forget about this 🙂

    376. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Fiona, to clarify, I dont beleive the system was data mining to determine those who had asked for a postal but not yet used it prior to the verification date. There is a risk there of discovery. Rather it identified those who would not be voting,(eg, those dead but still on roll, those in prison, but on roll, those with dementia but on roll. And even the unknowns, there have been several posters who have said the local ERO sent them a letter which included some complete unknown as being listed at that address. A few dozen in every parish adds up to a lot in the country, but would be difficult to identify as they are spread out so widely.

      As Thepnr says, Did they do it? Who knows. Could they do it? Undoubtedly. They have gone to war for less.

    377. thomaspotter2014 says:

      I’m saying what I said on the 19 September 2014 07.30 a. m.

      THE REFERENDUM VOTE WAS RIGGED!

      SIMPLES.

      Nothing gonna make me change my mind.

      And yes I expect the same sculduggery from the same people at the GE.

    378. rongorongo says:

      Thanks to all those posting down at this unfashionable end of the thread. My initial understanding of what was going on with the postal vote processing was way off and it is great to hear from those who were there on the ground. I guess is there was any potential for fraud here it would most likely have come from some kind of scheme to add in extra boxes of votes. To have the fraud make a big enough difference to matter, a pretty large number of ballots would have had to have been added – and the amount of adding would therefore have had to be spread out across a fairly large number of counts. Tricky but not impossible.

      The biggest barrier to plausibility to me is that we have to imagine a government agency who are strategically smart, reactive, covert, secretive, well staffed and of single purpose to carry out fraud such as this. I have not met real life government agencies, in the UK or anywhere else who seem to fit that description.

    379. Fiona says:

      Course they would have outsourced it, given their “principles” 😉

    380. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      It’s nice and quiet down here, rongorongo; a quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle of today’s pages.

    381. GM_Dundonian says:

      Just want to say thank you Thepnr for the detailed answer to my question. 🙂

      So the consensus on if there was fraud: Maybe Ayes, Maybe Naws

      Got it!



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