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Reforming your principles

Posted on April 17, 2016 by

The meaning of the word “reform” has taken something of a battering in Scotland this year. First the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust decided that it meant “bailing out a known liar in direct contravention of our own stated rules”. And today we have the strange case of the Electoral Reform Society.


“Make seats match votes”. Nobody could disagree with that, right?

Except that the ERS itself seems to.



Until late last year Juliet Swann was the ERS’s Campaigns and Research Officer, and her blog can still be read on its website. Her tweet above doesn’t specify how many months exactly she’s been telling people not to vote SNP for, but we can’t be alone in wondering whether she was doing it in an official capacity.

And that question became distinctly more pertinent today, when the Sunday Herald published a series of misleading articles giving independence supporters the same instruction, based on an ERS study and backed by a quote from the organisation’s current director in Scotland, former Labour councillor Willie Sullivan.


According to the Sunday Herald’s editor Neil Mackay, the ERS were “totally fine with” the paper’s presentation of the report, which went out under the blunt headline “Study claims independence supporters should not cast second vote for the SNP”.


Willie Sullivan and the ERS are of course perfectly entitled to want a diverse politics. But when that desire crosses the line into telling people which parties they should and shouldn’t vote for, something very different is happening.

If a party gets a parliamentary majority on 36.8% of the vote, as the Tories did at Westminster last year, that’s clearly a failure of representation. Almost two thirds of the electorate has voted against them, yet they have absolute power.

The same is true of the SNP having 95% of Scottish seats in the Commons on 50% of the vote. Seats are quite clearly not matching votes in either of those cases, and therefore the democratic will of the people is not being enacted. We fully support the ERS in its campaign to replace the UK’s First Past The Post voting system with some sort of proportional representation.

However, if a party gets a majority on a majority of votes, you’re no longer objecting to an unfair electoral system, because it ISN’T unfair. What you’re objecting to – and indeed directly attempting to subvert – in that instance is democracy itself.

The SNP are currently on schedule to get over 50% of the vote next month, and in those circumstances the democratic outcome is that they SHOULD have an absolute majority. Seats WILL have matched votes (perhaps not precisely, but in the crucial sense of more people voting for them than against).

The electorate in Scotland has the ability to choose minority or coalition governments – indeed it’s difficult NOT to, the system having been specifically designed to encourage it – but if it chooses not to exercise that right and instead decides that it would rather have one party in sole charge, that’s none of the ERS’s business.

If the ERS thinks the Holyrood system still needs tweaking to be more perfectly proportional, it’s perfectly entitled to argue for that. But it’s a massive perversion of what the organisation stands for to instead be campaigning explicitly against one party WITHIN the current system.

Indeed, in doing so, the ERS appears to be unarguably positioning itself as an entity which under Electoral Commission rules is called a “non-party campaigner”:


Willie Sullivan’s comments, made in an official capacity as a representative of the ERS, seem plainly to us to be “intended to influence voters to vote against political parties or categories of candidates” – specifically the SNP in this case – and are certainly “aimed at the public”.

But the ERS is NOT registered on the Electoral Commission’s current list.


We’ll be seeking clarification from both the ERS and the EC on Monday. We’ll keep you informed of any responses. In the meantime, we might check our dictionary to see if we can find out exactly when “reform” was redefined to mean “SNP BAD”.

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653 to “Reforming your principles”

  1. mr thms

    Re, What next?

    A UK Bill of Rights will follow the reformed EU referendum

  2. Hoss Mackintosh


    Yip. Just another round and sooner or later we are going to deliver that knock-out punch.


  3. Tam Jardine


    The bookies agree with you. What comes next? Well, the SNP are talking about a push to build independence support in the summer. For me this ignores the EU referendum. Some folk, mostly unionist commentators dismiss talk of another referendum on brexit. The discussion we should be having is whether we need another referendum or just mass and reassert our sovereignty.

    You ask some good questions though brother- too late to address properly. Will sleep on it.

  4. Iain More

    If the SNP doesn’t win 65 plus seats on the constituency vote then they can blame nobody but themselves for allowing a Banana Republic/Monarchy Postal Voting system that Robert Mugabe would love to have.

  5. Thepnr

    @Hoss Mackintosh

    Know what’s funny I think these half wits will knock themselves out. That’s usually how the game unfolds.

  6. Jack Collatin

    Scotland 2016 was at it again tonight. Curtice on, (is he on the staff now?) flogging the dead horse of a ‘tactical’second vote.

    There is a concerted effort by the Media to try and sell a ‘tactical’ second vote. Not the SNP but another Pro Independence Party, to return MSPs ‘sympathetic’ to Self Determination, but not overtly so in the run up to the SGE.

    It’s a ‘pretendy wee parliament’ election, don’t we know?
    No need to consider WM austerity, Trident, 1000 UK troops in Syria, and ‘wee things’ like that.Public Conveniences and Potholes.
    There is no sign that RISE, or the Greens, or any of the fringe politicos will present a Big Picture argument, attacking WM policies and Tory extremism.
    It’s all about devolving more power to Frank McAveety, and Co.
    Aye, right.
    SNP x 2 is the only option for those who consider that NS and her party put Scotland first on all matters political from Austerity, to Trident.
    The aim of this ‘tactical’ voting nonsense is to coax YES supporters into voting NOT SNP in the Regional List, arguing that the smaller parties might oust Labour or Tory hopefuls. Nonsense of course.
    The hidden agend is to eat into the SNP vote at any level .

    Ruth Kezia and Wullie would be first off the blocks the day after polling if we fell for this ‘tactical’ vote guff, and the SNP’s overall vote dipped.
    It would be ‘clear evidence’ that the Independence Momentum had faltered…
    SNP x 2.
    EU Remain.
    Daily Record and Scotland on Sunday hacks summarised the day’s events for us..FFS.

  7. schrodingers cat

    a board of a dozen indy folk including Robin from the various groupings and demographics behind him.

    yup, a board or a single figurehead, whatever is decided i will abide by

    2 years on and where is the written constitution? Fuck sake man- CROSS PARTY was what Yes was about; it was above party politics, or rather when it was great it was beyond party politics.

    this is why i have rejected many of the ideas put forward, including jim sillars
    we do not need a white paper, we do not need a common set of policies, i spoke with robin mac alpine and he disagreed with me, as did many in yesnef.

    my view. fuck the differences, if you want a monarchy or a republic, ram it, if you want a currency union or a scottish pound or the euro, fucking ram it, indeed what i have been consistantly saying for years is ” without independence” all of these issues are for the fucking birds.
    we do not need a white paper, or a manifesto, or a political party.

    what is needed is someone or some group to lead us, and the only policy they need is

    Scotland should be a free, sovereign and independent nation,

    the rest we can sort out afterwards
    btw, i will retire immediately after a yes vote, i couldnt care either way.
    I have been consistent in this view from day one, when arguing with monarchists i have pointed out that the snp (and the white paper)favour the queen, when arguing with republicans, i have pointed out that only with independence will you see a republic.

    the political issues raised on social media are only ever grist to grind in an effort to win independence.

    this is the only issue that has ever been important for me. without which, any discussions, arguments, policies etc will only ever be the scribblings of bit players in the greater scheme of things

  8. call me dave

    Nicola Sturgeon: ‘M9 crash deaths lowest point of my career’

    She also said:

    With polls putting the SNP on course for a second majority at Holyrood after 5 May, she said her biggest challenge is “convincing people that success for the SNP is not guaranteed”.

    She said: “It has to be delivered in the ballot box. That’s why I am spending so much time out and about, chapping the doors, convincing people that if you want to keep me as First Minister and want to have an SNP government, then it has to be both votes SNP.”

    Meanwhile Deputy Deadwood:

    Dugdale admits work to do after poll suggests Labour is toxic in Scotland

  9. carjamtic

    A Modern Day Greek Tragedy

    Red Tories dancing around,constantly changing their mask,totally confused,while the Blue Tories raze Scotland to the ground,in an act of spiteful revenge,for daring to question their authority to rule over us.

    Meanwhile the MSM/BBC give plenty of coverage,to those dissenting yes voices,who’ s main thrust,is to voice disapproval of the only party that can deliver Independance.

    I would laugh if this farce,pantomime was not so serious.

    Let’s save Democracy,Let’s save Scotland.

    SNP x 2 EU in


  10. Onwards

    @Thepnr – I hope the SNP will get a majority, but not taking anything for granted. Certainly no complacency here.

    The latest poll shows almost 20% undecideds.
    We have 3 weeks to go, more TV debates, last minute Labour manifesto, possible tactical voting. SNP will be the largest party, but its all about getting that all-important majority to keep the momentum going.

    So Both Votes SNP from me. Taking no chances.

  11. yesindyref2

    Oh dear, I see Cat Boyd in The National is trying to use the Prof Curtice card in spite of it being all over the internet – and Bella below the line – that he was misreported, and did indeed point out that there are risks to the strategy, and risks indeed of not getting an overall majority.

    She also slags off SNP supporters in the article, and indeed, the SNP itself: “Their strategy amounts to, “Sit back, do as little as possible, and tighten things up around the slogan ‘both votes SNP’.”

    I guess my SNP leaflet and MSP newspaper, are a figment, and parts of the SNP manifesto haven’t appeared as if by magic in the media, and there are no canvassers swarming the streets.

    But feast your peepers on this fool’s gold nugget:

    Professor Curtice’s report essentially questions the intellectual grounds of the SNP’s slogan in this election. “Both votes SNP”, it suggests, could be a counterproductive strategy for independence. From the simple standpoint of gaining a pro-independence majority, SNP voters in certain areas might be advised to switch their regional vote.

    “a counterproductive strategy for independence” ???????

    I do wonder if she ever read the report.

  12. yesindyref2

    Interesting quote from Sturgeon in the National:

    “When you are faced with a fiscal position or an economic position that is less than you would want it to be, that is not an argument for the status quo – that’s an argument for change,” she said.

    Nice way of putting it. Yes, the recent downturn in the North Sea will have to be addressed, in time. Unionists are making hay on it, but I can’t be bothered with it myself at the moment, it’s not the time yet. And I think it makes the Unionists look silly and obsessive, as most normal people will also know there’s no referendum just now.

  13. woosie

    Overthinking. Frequent posters on this fine site seem to fall into the trap of dissecting every aspect of governing Scotland. There is only one big picture; independence.

    We all have our own views on local and national issues. I see many well read contributors arguing fine points – some argue with almost everything said – but surely simplicity is still the best route. I vote SNP, always have, for one reason only. After independence, they may well dissolve, it’s not that important ( although they’re doing a fantastic job ).

    I’m not keen on English tridents on our land.

    I’m not keen on the monarchy.

    I don’t care which currency we use.

    I’m not fussed about in or out of EU.

    Still SNP x 2.

  14. Janet

    Fact is that some indy groups belong at fringe meetings. Not SNP.

    SNP twice.
    EU remain. Let’s spoil their Brexit party!

  15. Ken500

    Curtice says only two votes for SNP will ensure a majority.

    Vote NO you get nothing. People were warned.

  16. heedtracker

    We were lied to not warned. “Why are these lying bastards lying to me now?” is the YES campaign slogan.

  17. Breeks

    If it wasn’t for the BBC, we’d have never heard of Professor John Curtice.

    If it wasn’t for the BBC, we’d have never heard of Professor John Robertson.

  18. One_Scot

    Cat in the National, split your two votes, ‘use your first vote for the government you want’.

    I thought your first vote was for the person you want to represent you as your MP. What do I know.

    Clearly a woman putting Scotland before any self interest, not.

  19. One_Scot

    The National promoting the idea of splitting the SNP vote.

    You would be forgiven for thinking that they would be happy for the SNP not to have a majority.

  20. Muscleguy

    Hmmm, either the definition of majority I have always known is different from yours Rev or 50% is not a recipe for a majority in the parliament but a hung parliament. 55% is a majority, 60% is a majority.

    If 95% of GE seats on 50% of the vote is problematic then expecting a majority from the same level of support is also problematic.

    You sir are not a democrat and are guilty of special pleading.

  21. Clydebuilt

    Have the National and the Sunday Herald both been playing the same game……. Namely, keeping a captive YES readership buying the rags fed a diet of pro Indy pro SNP articles , so come Election time at Holyrood they both turn into SNP Vote Splitting wedges……Has that been the plan all along since getting rid of the previous editor Richard Walker.

    After the election watch as they increase the number of pro SNP articles

  22. Capella

    Rumour has it that Kezia’s been found safe and well and will be talking to Kay with an e this morning. Personlly, I can’t bring myself to listen. but those of stronger constitutions might give us a summary.

    More! BBC R4 has discovered the English/Irish question. There’s a history programme on Friday mornings “The Anglo-Irish Century” starting this Friday at 11 am.

  23. Macart


    Yeah, disappointing is a word that’s doing the rounds this election for sure. I am fair sick of folk’s on the same team knocking lumps out of each other in search of a vote.

    I know who’d be fairly delighted at this kind of action and I’m pretty certain they’re more than happy to encourage more of the same.

    S’up to the pro yes parties of course, but perhaps campaigning on behalf of your party, creating and presenting your policy ideas and putting in the shoe leather time might be a better plan than the constant back biting. (shrugs)

  24. Les Wilson

    I take this as conformation that the Tories want to destroy the NHS in England, and open the door to more and more privatisation.
    There is no depth they will not go to to fill their own pockets.

    We seriously need out of this Union,or we will get dragged down with them. Our escape must be soon.

  25. Another Union Dividend

    Millionaire red Tory candidate in Edinburgh Southern, who fails to mention that he went to a very expensive fee paying secondary school, attacks SNP for making political points over Labour’s toxic PFI schools scandal then proceeds to attack SNP over the much cheaper NPD.

  26. tartanarse

    Clydebuilt at 8.21

    I have been saying this since the day the National was produced. Many here were dismissive of my concerns.

    Same goes for SH, but to be fair wtf did we expect from them?

    Some astute person has spotted a wee gap in an ailing market. Tell the daft Nats stuff they already know, taking their money that they won’t part with for their other Yoon works during the week.

    Folk need to seriously wake up to the fact that there is NO Scottish media except the NO Scottish media.

    Even some namelss online sites that purport to promote independence are getting suspect now. (not this one, I stress!)

  27. yesindyref2

    Yes, it prompted a strong reaction from me and I’d have probably deleted it if that was a facility, but I was thinking about it afterwards, and disappointment was what I decided causing it. Launching a manifesto over ridiculing the leaders and candidates of Labour and the Conservatives, and the whole of the SNP party and its supporters. Way to go, she lost my respect over that. The actual bit about the manifesto and policies was fine. If she’d lost the negative twitter-chaff quarter she’d have done the job at least twice as well.

  28. cearc

    The joy of the EU campaign is the very public exposure of all the Indyref tactics by westmnister:

    Farage, “The idea that the Foreign Office is spending taxpayers’ money trying to tell other countries what to think about a matter purely for UK citizens smacks of both desperation and an establishment stitch up.”

    Anybody else getting a sense of (what’s that nice english word for it? Ah, I remember) deja vu?

  29. Les Wilson

    The yoons are going anti SNP crazy, not helped by the desperation of minority parties scrambling to get a Holyrood position.
    They are spurring the Yoons on to ever higher hopes of splitting the SNP vote.All media involved, the BBC in particular is a total disgrace.

    This is a very important election and to split the SNP vote will ensure a quagmire in Holyrood for the next session. Nothing will be achieved towards a better Scotland.

    The yoons will love it, and use it more and more to undermine the SNP, and as such,to weaken our goal of Independence.

    If we believe in our country’s destiny, we need to refuse the BUM propaganda and not fall into their devious traps nor the splitting of votes by some well meaning minorities,as this could destroy our democracy, and our hopes.

    It has to be SNP X2 and + Eu. Nothing else will serve our purpose. The rest comes after Indy.

  30. Brian Powell

    I sent a complaint to BBC over the John Beattie show and Scotland16 bringing up the predominant party issue at this time. Pointing out this was never discussed when Labour were in power in Westminster and Holyrood.

    Bringing up a voting issue on a particular party during the period before an election is biasing to the result.

  31. scotspine

    Postal votes away from my wife and I. SNP x 2 x 2.

  32. Papadox

    Don’t think we had a referendum to get us into this toxic union, just took the bribing of a few self serving thieves and robbers to sell their countrymen and country into servitude and line their own pockets with blood money. These slugs then signed the act of union without the consent of the Scottish people, a large section of whom were vehemently opposed to it. The agreement of the Scottish and English parliaments clinched the deal.
    So where does this idea of a referendum to cancel this contract come from? The Scottish or English governments should be able to cancel this uneven and unbalanced contract at any time. Scotland was never extinguished as Mundell the muppet suggests. Maybe I am totally wrong would like to know.

  33. Les Wilson

    Brian Powell says:

    I hope you get a good reply,but suspect you will get their standard rejection. We are dealing with an outrageous state propaganda machine.

    Emboldened by a Westminster policy of letting them do anything they like, as long as it is Union biased.
    The can, they do anything they like.Without any fear.

  34. Dr Jim

    Kezia on the not call Kaye but for a change do call Kaye program, desperate to Nyooze the powers again

    It’s becoming pitiful

  35. scotspine

    Jeez. Is anyone listening to Kezia on call Kaye?

    Just listened to a student called Gabriella call in and ask Kezia a question. The answer was like a statement and it sounded like she was reading a script.

    No serious challenge for Kezia by Adam.

    I smell shite.

  36. ScottishPsyche


    I was thinking just that!

    I wonder if she will emerge as ‘ordinary student’ Gabriella? This whole show is so contrived. And Kaye is allowing Kezia Dugdale to continue without interruption her wheezy rambling nonsense.

    Just wait till Nicola Sturgeon is on and Scott and John from Edinburgh will be foaming with outrage.

  37. call me dave

    Radio shortbread has ‘your call’ on with Deputy Deadwood answering listeners Q’s giving an impassioned pitch for her aspirations and the big seat with all these new powers.

    But it seems the shortbread filter is working as only ’empire biscuit’ and ‘tea cake’ scoffers are allowed to get on.

    OH wait!

    She’s asked twice the ‘who will your vote go to if not allowed labour or no labour candidate’…. but avoids the question as usual.

    Nothing to see here…she investing in everything and the moons made of cheese, lots of words but no real plans. 🙁

    Off to the cafe to see if that free ‘Scottish Champion’ has been left behind as usual.

  38. Tam Jardine


    Listening to call Kaye- some very strict call screening going on. I would love to analyse this compared to a phone in with Nicola Sturgeon.

    Are labour on track to win this election? Everyone on the blower this morning seems pretty convinced or easily convincable.

    ‘Kezia explain what your policy is to help students?’. ‘Kezia, explain how you are going to improve the North East?’

    Kaye even wittered something about the established parties, suggesting Kezia leads some kind of new model army or something: a fresh face taking on the establishment. Pass the sickbag.

  39. Ian Brotherhood

    Why doesn’t Kaye playing some of Kezia’s favourite pop songs – it’ll help get through the hour.

  40. Jim

    Kezia, under pressure, creates a new word, “Motitivated”.

  41. Tinto Chiel

    “I smell shite.”

    Scotspine, it IS the BBC.

    Quoi de neuf? as we say in the great English language.


  42. Morgatron

    Fuck sake what is that knob whittering on about. This BBC propoganda needs to be shut down. Kezia Dugdale is a moron.

  43. Ian Brotherhood

    FFS Kaye, only ten minutes left…we want to know if Kez is going anywhere nice for her holidays, eh?

  44. Tam Jardine

    Brilliant- last caller on spends a couple of minute in a preamble blowing smoke up Kezia’s arse then asks the same questions as someone earlier: what amazing things are you going to do with all the extra tax revenues you are going to raise.

    One anti labour caller on so far. 15 mins still to go.

    Can we get a figure on number of hostile callers when Nicola was last on the programme?

    Everyone is asked if they are happy with Kezia’s answer and almost everyone IS. Amazing!

    Blah blah blah. I think they should tax radio programmes on the level of bias they exhibit in their call in shows.

  45. Capella

    @ Tim Jardine and Co
    Thanks for the excellent summary. I’ve developed an allergy to Kay with an e and her cronies, the BBC, the MSM and most of UKOK propaganda. Sad to see that some of the Indy media is succumbing to the lies.
    Still another 3 weeks to go! Keep calm and carry on!

  46. Tam Jardine

    This is as convivial as an episode of Parkinson. All we need is Kezia with a glass of whisky telling anecdotes about winnabagos and her time at RADA or the Royal Shakespeare company.

  47. Morgatron

    What kind if questions are they and the length of them so the dumb arse doesnt have to answer. I will never get this hour back!

  48. Tam Jardine

    Direct quote from the last friendly caller:

    “Thank you for coming on air and taking all this flak from people.”

    No further comment required.

  49. Morgatron

    Oh my god , total shite. What a load of guff. How many questions was put to this defective? Think it was her name she answered.

  50. Free Scotland

    @Clydebuilt and @tartanarse

    Wouldn’t have agreed previously, but I’m beginning to see it now. The National and the Sunday Herald are like wolves in sheep’s clothing. £3.60 a week now being put to better use.

  51. tartanarse

    Morgatron at 10.00

    Im not a misery but I don’t often LOL at stuff I read online and I detest the term LOL, however I did indeed perform a lengthy LOL at your 10.00 post.


  52. gordoz

    Have to say; don’t know what people are going on about re Call Kaye chat show with the nice lady from Labour North.

    Some really tough questions like “Tea of coffee” Kezia ?

    Seriously though – The “No surrender !!” questioner got through; but none from “You deny democracy if you refuse the peoples right to a referendum”.

    No bias from BBC ? no never

  53. gordoz

    Think oor K gave it away when she stopped Kez at the end of Education SNP Bad plant question (Cool; I’ll vote fur you now Kez).

    Kaye clearly says yes think will hold that difficult subject over for another guest. Who could that be ? The FM.

    So much garbage spouted by Labour rep unchallenged by so called impartial BBC interviewer.

  54. Peter McCulloch

    I stopped listening to call Kaye on radio Scotland quite a few years ago.

    Also isn’t it wonderful that the one Nation Labour party of Kezia Dugdale wants to compensate for Tory cuts by making those on low pay and who are already suffering under this Westminster Tory government austerity measures, pay a higher rate of tax in Scotland than their counterparts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    As for Grahame Smith the well re-numerated gen sec of the STUC who has slammed the SNP’s tax plans, “as pathetic”, does he seriously suggest his members should be paying more in tax than workers in the rest of the UK?

    I wonder how he would have felt if Labour and the Tories had implemented their proposed regional pay and benefits, which would have seen lower pay and benefits paid here in Scotland.

    Would he have been quite happy with that?

  55. NeoconNat

    Only 3% of the population listen to Call Kaye and it’s just my luck that they’re all in here today…

    Kezia’s political demise isn’t even interesting.

    It’s actually true that UKIP is probably more relevant to the lives of ordinary people in Scotland today than Labour, whether you agree with UKIP or not.

    Everybody in here seems to be depressed these days. Even Stu has gone somewhat quiet.

    Don’t know why, you should try looking at it from the point of view of someone who wants to make Scotland the world’s first independent Thatcherite State. Do you see me crying in my soup?

    Onwards to victory.

  56. gus1940


    Our wonderful unbiased media continually bombard us with allegedly unbiased reports from what are invariably referred to as independent think tanks.

    Curiously said reports which invariably criticise the campaign for Independence are leapt upon with glee and and shouted from the rooftops by the papers and then debated by the usual suspects in their own inimitable ways by the late night political programs.

    Can I suggest that with Rev. Stu in the chair he selects some of the best WOS commenters and calls the group a think tank which can then go on to produce their own independent reports for media release.

    Naturally, as the reports will be coming from a think tank they will be splashed all over the media – some hope

    Can anybody suggest a suitable name for the think tank?

  57. Tam Jardine

    No question on PFI labour schools fiasco of course. I wonder how long Call Kaye would have had to run before that would get brought up? 48 hours? 6 months? Longer perhaps?

  58. Fireproofjim

    Many, perhaps most, posters on Wings end their post these days with “SNPx2”, and quite right too.
    I hope those in the party leadership note this and react by making sure that outside every polling station the SNP billboards emphasise the necessity to give both votes to the SNP, as many voters still think they have to give a second choice.
    I have written to HQ about this.
    Meanwhile SNPx2!!!!

  59. HandandShrimp

    Only 3% of the population listen to Call Kaye

    Is it as much as that? I have heard it once – once was enough.

  60. Scot Finlayson

    Tokyo Kaye

    lying and propagandising for her beloved Red Torys,

    the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,woudnae put up with such obvious state sponsored anti democratic misinformation,

    she is a public school Right Wing Blairite Red Tory,

    Brutish to the core.

  61. Dr Jim

    Just had the Lib Dems leaflet in by post,
    How about this, with a picture of Jo Swinson on it who we managed to vote out last year advocating for someone who’s picture isn’t on it but she’s apparently called Katy

    There are pictures of folk talking to each other so she could be any one of them

    Oh and the Lib Dems are protecting everything while at the same time doing the punching above the weight thing and the country is going backwards

    All in all their punching and protecting hasn’t stopped the going backwards then

  62. Bill Dale

    I cancelled my order for the Sunday Herald and National some months ago. I stopped posting on here about my concerns that they were untrustworthy – I am too old to be bothered countering the flak that I get for pointing out the subtle and not so subtle anti-SNP bias in both papers.

    I recently started picking up the National from time to time and am sad to say that my concerns were justified. When they first launched the National I thought that their strap line about supporting independence was designed to ensure that only independence supporters would buy the paper. They still own the Herald remember.

    I also thought that they would seek to establish nationalist credentials so that later they would use this to undermine SNP (the only chance for independence in the near future). They would do so on the basis of “look what we, independence supporters, are saying about the problems with the SNP. If even we are saying it it must be true!”

    The recent blatant attempt to undermine the list vote by pushing small parties is straight out of the UKOKian playbook of divide and rule. If we knew all the voting numbers ahead of time, then and only then, would it be possible to game the system to decrease UKOKian parties representation. Without this knowledge, voting other than SNP on the list is a huge gamble, as WOS and Scot Goes Pop have consistently pointed out.

    To look at this another way. What is our objective? Independence. What is the only party supporting independence and with a track record of pushing for independence? SNP. What do we need to advance the cause of independence? A majority SNP Government.

    So consider the following scenarios:

    1. The polls are accurate, and SNP take almost all constituency seats, giving them an (increased) majority overall.

    2. The SNP do not take as many constituency seats as the polls suggest, and WOULD NOT HAVE A MAJORITY WITHOUT LIST SEATS.

    Since we do not know which of these scenarios will play out, it makes most sense to assume the worst (Case 2) and give the list vote to the SNP. This is what ensured both a minority government in 2007, and a majority government in 2011.

    Any other option risks losing a majority SNP government and with it, any hope of independence for some time.

  63. Luigi

    Ah! BBC Labour at its best.

    Call Kaye this morning was an excellent example of stage management. Steady as she goes, kid gloves on, round up a few sympathetic callers, and make Kezia look good at every opportunity. Kezia never said anything of substance, because she never had to. The BBC haven’t done so well since they cottonwoolled Gordon Brown’s indyref intervention. Total control. 🙂

    Not to worry folks. BBC Labour accept that there will be many complaints of bias, and they would like to respond by assuring everyone that they are listening and will learn lessons etc. The next interviewee will not get off so lightly. No more nice BBC. 🙂

    Next up: Nicola Sturgeon. 🙂

  64. Ken500

    The Unions want to keep Trident. £170Billion. Osbourne just spent another £1/2Billion of Scottish taxpayers money on Trident. Osbourne taxed the Oil sector 60/80% when the price had fallen 75%, losing thosands of jobs.

    Northeren Ireland raises £28Billion in taxes and gets £13Billion (50%) more = £42Billion (Norway levels of funding).

    Scotland raises £54Billion + £9Billion which could be better spent. = £63Billlion. A 1/6 (£11Billion) more would = £74Billion (UK level)

    The rest of the UK raises £595Billion and borrows and spends £95Billion (1/6) more.

    The Unionists want to put up taxes in Scotland to pay for Westminster policies. £4Billion lost in Oil Revenues, £4Billion repayments on money Scotland doesn’t borrow or spend, £1Billion on Trident/illegal wars, £1Billion could be saved on a tax on ‘loss leading’ cheap alcohol, £3Billion? on tax evasion (Whisky companies pay no tax) = £13Billion.

    Hinkley Point and HS2 a total waste of money. £95Billion. The deficit. A tidal barrage at the Humber would cost £9Billion, produce more electricity and be safer. HS2 will make journeys throughout Britain longer and more expensive.

    Davidson is promoting Trident. Even Cameron seems to be saying let Westminster decide. Corbyn is against Trident.

  65. Auld Snody

    To Neocon Nat
    Please with the Thatcherite talk. We all know you are a dyed in the wool red Tory trying the old double bluff.

  66. Giving Goose

    Re Scot Finlayson

    Brutish = British.

    Brutal to Scotland.

  67. NeoconNat

    3% based on me recollection of the Wings’ surveys last year… Yah, probably got it wrong.

    The big elephant in the room in all these discussions about splitting the vote is the EU referendum. I suspect that’s what the establishment is afraid of.

    There’s a lot of variables in play. Life being life, we can probably expect a surprise or two too.

    If the UK votes to pull out, we have an automatic trigger as I understand it. Tomorrow we will see that at least in writing.

    A few extra seats in the Scottish Parliament could be critical in terms of claiming a democratic mandate for pulling the trigger and another indyRef in the event of Brexit. Splitting the vote is insanity in that context.

    Everybody knows that’s the real issue here. Nobody really has any problem with RISE getting a few seats here or there. We all know the Scottish Parliament is essentially a talking shop anyway.

    But in terms of passing legislation for another indyRef, a distinct possibility with this brexit, a few seats could make a big difference in any argument over the legitimacy of the SNP mandate.

  68. Dr Jim

    @ NeoconNat

    Not depression buddy,tired boredom, there’s a difference
    I’m an old SNP member and if you’re hoping for a Thatcherite revival you’ll really be disappointed

    I can assure you, that’s not even close to the plan

    No cigar bub

  69. Bill Ross

    The WOS think tank should be called the mushroom dept As the yoons don’t seem to do irony ?

  70. Capella

    O/T – can we go off topic yet?
    From the link to Politics Home which I think Nana posted earlier, an excellent example of the shocking disregard for democracy shown by the Westminster Government.
    They will not name the polar research boat “Boatie McBoatface” in spite of overwhelming public support.

    And doesn’t science minister Jo Johnston look remarkably like Boris?

  71. osakisushi

    “woosie says:

    19 April, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Overthinking. Frequent posters on this fine site seem to fall into the trap of dissecting every aspect of governing Scotland. There is only one big picture; independence.”

    I could not agree more. I’m probably more right wing than most and in the 1950’s (okay the last three years) would have voted Tory.
    But for now, only one thing matters and that’s our countries independent future. Once we’ve got that, then we can argue.
    Insanely, I intend vote for EU. But once we are independent, I will vote against EU membership. And for smoking in pubs and a ban on cyclists on roads with a 60mph limit. And a requirement folk pass a motorcycle test before a car test – would work wonders for the gene pool – and generate a new tolerance of bikers.

    But for now, nothing will stop me 2xSNP. It is all that matters. That and chocolate.

  72. HandandShrimp

    Has anyone seen a LibDem candidate. I saw the name of ours for the first time in a local newspaper the other day. To my knowledge she has not visited our town. Only the SNP candidate who is the sitting constituency MSP lives in the constituency. The Tory and Labour candidates live in the south of England and the LibDem candidate lives in Edinburgh (I think). Unsurprisingly the SNP candidate has the drop on them regarding local visibility.

  73. Ken500

    Tax receipts for the UK are £515Billion @ UK Gov publications.

    Taxes raised in Scotland £54Billion. Scotland pays £4Billion in repayments on money it doesn’t borrow or spend.

    Taxes raised in the rest of the UK = £461Billion + £95Billion borrowed and spent = £556Billion.

    Vote SNP x 2 Vote for FFA/Independence.

  74. Greannach

    Not very probing questioning of Kezia Dugdale by Kay Adams. I still don’t know what Ms Dugdale’s favourite colour is.

  75. heedtracker

    Another round of UKOK tory coffee time bullshit anyone?

    Rancid The Graun headline-

    “Sir Elton John and JK Rowling listed as most charitable UK celebrities”

    Jk is a very generous celeb, 2015, 10+ million quid for research into multiple sclerosis, which killed Rowling’s mother.

    What rancid Graun hacks do do, include Rowling’s £10 million MS research donation with her later donation to a children’s charity, presumably 300 hundred thousand but why mix in that money with Rowling’s 10 million and so on?

    Surprisingly, rancid old Graun dont think JK’s 2014 one million quid donation to BetterTogether UKOK is worth a mention.

    £300,000 to a charity for children, £1,000,000 to stop Scotland running Scotland.

    2014, Jk Rowling was a dollar billionaire.

  76. cearc


    Heard someone on the radio yesterday (Boris baby-bro I think) waffling on about it being government funded and so government ministers should decide.

    What a load of prats. The ship has had worldwide publicity about the name and now they are going to throw away that advantage.

    Boaty MacBoatface press releases would have caught attention whereas now it will be just yet another elizabeth tribute name that everyone will promptly forget.

  77. heedtracker

    JK Rowling is most charitable UK celebrities and

    “Aside from the earnings J.K. Rowling is receiving from Harry Potter, part of J.K. Rowling Net Worth also comes from her other written book “The Casual Vacancy” where she received £3m advance to write the story.”

    Nae bad. £3 million for dire fiction that they couldn’t sell until Rowling dropped the pen name. 10% of that £3 million to a kids charity is nice of her though.

  78. Robert J. Sutherland

    Dr Jim @10:35 said:

    … Jo Swinson on it who we managed to vote out last year advocating for someone who’s … apparently called Katy

    It’s Katy Gordon, who was FibDem candidate in Glasgow North in UKGE 2007, and Jo Swinson’s campaign manager at the last UKGE.

  79. heedtracker

    It is the usual The Guardian Britnat creep out reading that rancid The Graun puffery for ultra Britnat Rowling.

    Rowling made a billion dollars from children’s books and the movies but compared to other English celebs like Bechham and Oliver, her three hundred thousand is peanuts.

    Yet rancid The Graun make it look like she’s given kids charities £10+ million.

    UKOK Britnat’s are weird.

    “The family, who made their money as the founders of Britain’s second largest supermarket chain, gave £220m in 2015, totalling almost 40% of their wealth.

    Of the celebrities in the list, athletes and musicians proved to be the most generous. David Beckham donated £5m to children’s charities. Coldplay donated £1.7m, while Ringo Starr gave£1.6m, raised through an auction of Beatles memorabilia, to his own Lotus Foundation.

    Jamie Oliver was named seventh most generous celebrity in the poll, having donated £1.4m towards his own charitable organisation including the chef apprentice programme he started in 2002.”

    Jamie Oliver is NOT a dollar billionaire.

  80. Robert J. Sutherland

    I never listen to Radio Scotland these days, but Kaye Adams didn’t ask Kez about that odd speech she gave to the STUC yesterday in which she asked people to consider giving one vote to Labour? I would have been curious to know which other party she would recommend for the other vote…

  81. Liz Rannoch

    O/T @ Capella 12.04

    Jo Johnson definitely Bojo’s wee brother. Check wiki.

  82. call me dave

    Edinburgh school crisis company wins £60,000 contract ‘to inspect city walls’

    Joshua, to repair Jericho built schools? Funny old world init!

    Caught all of the Deputy Deadwood on shortbread radio as I was listening in the car while beloved was getting her annual dental check.

    Only one thing I heard her answer in full.
    Not voting for Trident it’s labour party policy.

    All the rest was Scot’s mist… er!…mince. 🙂

  83. NeoconNat

    In osakisushi I think I’ve found someone who’s almost as confused as me.

    Had an interesting exchange with RISE supporter last night. He asked an interesting question which I’ll paraphrase;

    Q) all we agree on is independence, so how come you are voting the SNP who as far as we all know are not going to offer a referendum?

    RISE of course can offer anything they want with no realistic prospect of being required or able to deliver. With no power comes no responsibility.

    Why wouldn’t the SNP put another referendum on the manifesto? We might not win it? True. But if it’s not on the manifesto, what can we win? Dominance in the Scottish Parliament, a parliament with no power?

    A Scottish parliamentary election without the offer and hope of independence is like musical chairs without music or prizes. The SNP must know this.

    “I’m With Nicola” it says on the leaflets. That will go on the bin with the others, I’m afraid. See, I’m not necessarily with Nicola. I’m necessarily with Independence.

    If Nicola isn’t willing to go in front of the cameras and tell the bastards we want another referendum, they cheated with the last one, it’s our democratic right, then I’m not with Nicola. I thought that was her job though.

    Are we being asked to put aside all our political differences to get behind an independence movement that is being led by a party that isn’t offering us independence? I don’t think so.

    It’s for those reasons that I expect a bombshell in tomorrow’s manifesto. The alternative is a dark, musicless, hole.

  84. Capella

    @ cearc @ Liz Rannoch
    Goodness! what a talented family the Johnstons are. Two brothers are MPs, sister edits The Lady and there’s another one called Leo to emerge into the glare of publicity.
    Another riches to riches story!

    But the boat will always be Boatie McBoatface to me.

  85. orri

    The ERS gum mump after the 2011 election. Not sure how change of the party list is actually going to make anything better however not this statement, digest it and keep it close to your heart.

    “The problem this report does not address in its recommendations is that control of Scotland’s voting system is held firmly at Westminster,” he said. “The SNP has long argued for fairer voting. However, what this year’s results show is that regardless of the system people vote for the party that best represents their views and ambitions.”

    Ironically the report referred to no longer seems available.

    The prospects of providing additional ammunition as far as Westminster simply imposing a new more unionist electoral mechanism on Holyrood by bringing it in to disrepute bears thinking about.

    Saw a reference to a similar arrangement where two parties have a formal agreement for one to stand at constituency level and the other at regional thus allowing over representation of them based on there support. If that was to happen in Scotland or even be seen to occur then any parties kept out of power would have a legitimate reason for complaint and that the system that allowed that to happen be amended or replaced.

    It might be interesting to postulate what would happen if instead of a simple (N+1) (2N+1) were to be used.

    Certainly the reports of the ERS study seem to show there wouldn’t have been an SNP majority. Not that there wouldn’t have been a pro-Indy one.

  86. orri

    Is the SNP Manifesto actually out yet? As far as I knew the SNPs basic stance amounted to no move towards a referendum unless there was an extremely good chance of success. So “Brexit” might trigger it or the using it as an excuse to remove human rights legislation without the expected replacements might also do so. Without clear evidence that there was a chance of success all a second referendum does is push another even further into the future.

    Basically that’s why RISE are a poor choice as not only do they promote the idea of a kind of radical socialism as being the inevitable fate of an independent Scotland but could not be trusted not to make an issue of not going too soon/

    More importantly that’s why Davidson wants to get some guaranteed that it won’t happen and, perhaps, the same press that are misrepresenting Curtice might be doing their dambdest to do so to the SNP manifesto. They certainly don’t want the implication that a second referendum is in the bag once it’s called to sink in.

  87. One_Scot

    Neo, seriously mate, if you have something to say by all means say it, just stop talking shit, everyone can see you are just taking the piss, apart from yourself that is.

  88. yesindyref2

    I had an interesting exchange last night with our cat. She rubbed against my legs and clearly asked me for food in cat language “miaou”, so I gave her some food.

    She might expect a bombshell in her bowl tomorrow, but she’s very clean so she’ll get a pouch same as today, and she can put the bombshell in her litter tray.

    Does she listen when we ask her to drop the bombshells outside? I don’t think so, she prefers the litter tray when she comes back in.

  89. Andrew McLean

    I wonder if Kay Adams BBC, staunch and proud, really proud, actually believes she is a top journalist working for the words greatest broadcaster, can that really be how she sees herself. If it is then this might go some way to explain the current corporate failures in the Scottish edition of the BBC.

    She and others think they are holding the government to account, but instead continually talk Scotland down just like the rest of the corporate media. In Scotland we are blessed with a state propaganda machine that uses black propaganda, lies, disinformation and sleaze to corrupt the political discourse and the body politic.

    Therefore we have the juxtaposition of the BBC output, a degenerative and illegitimate excuse of a “Forth Estate” that the state uses to trample on the democratic wish of the population when they assert their rights of self-determination and wishes of an independent statehood. And the growing realisation amongst enlightened readers that a better quality of debate and information is available from independently minded Citizen Journalists, bloggers, web based news sources or whatever. Having this realisation effectively elucidates that the democratic voice of Scotland is not reflected in the unionist broadcaster’s, either state funded propagandists like the BBC or private foreign owned publications output.

    Having listened to a fluff piece between the Scottish equivalent of a North Korean state propagandist and a laborious screeching child abandoned in a middle management position who is constantly belittled by her own head office management team, I wondered what was going through each other’s minds, both oblivious that their days are numbered, their reputations ruined and the sword of Damocles even more precarious hanging over them.

    The question is can the BBC claim to be a world class professional media outlet ? Well yes if only comparing itself to the oldest profession, who also park their morality in pursuit of payment.
    My Country deserves better than the bunch of reprobates who clog up the airways and print media with, to be quite blunt, shit!

  90. Macart


    I think the launch is tomorrow.

    RE: Any future referendum.

    Davidson’s ontae plums looking for guarantees from the SNP. Two cast iron guarantees will be found in that manifesto.

    1. The SNP will start a new campaign to convince the electorate of the benefits of independence.


    2. If the SNP are to form a majority government they will guarantee to hold a referendum as and when a consistent majority of the Scottish electorate desire one.

    In other words the timing of a second referendum is entirely in the hands of the Scottish electorate. As and when enough folk reckon they’ve had enough better togetherness they know they have a government in place willing to act on their say so.

    That, in my opinion, is even scarier to the establishment parties. Means they have to play nice to a lot of folks they’ve let down, held in contempt, demonised and otherwise royally pissed off with their actions. They NEED the SNP to take responsibility for the people’s referendum and they NEED to party politicise the process. In their eyes it makes it containable, manageable. Going back to the people they so callously harmed and asking for a third chance cap in hand? Their worst nightmare.

  91. call me dave

    Sturgeon unveils anti-poverty legislation but the Herald spin deflects.

    It was all Gordon Brown’s idea and Harriet Harmon insisted that she has to do it etc etc.

    Par for the course, SNP bad or forced to adopt labour policy. 🙂

  92. NeoconNat

    One_Scot, you’re giving me confused signals. On one hand if I have something to say I am to say it, on the other I’ve to stop talking what you call “shit”.

    I’m just giving expression to what so many others are thinking. This argument over splitting the vote has crystalised things.

    You can see rather than respond in kind I am trying to remain civil with you. Don’t count on that sort of leniency if you get nasty next time.

  93. NeoconNat

    The cop-out fudge: “the timing of a second referendum is entirely in the hands of the Scottish electorate.”

    Wouldn’t it be simpler to put it on the manifesto and let people vote on it?

    Isn’t “vote SNP if you want another referendum in the next 5 years” a more democratic way of dealing with it?

    Who cares what a fat hermaphrodite thinks? And the press hammer us anyway, referendum or not.

    Tomorrow we will see.

    I’ll be scrutinising and deconstructing the SNP manifesto with the same attention to detail that I deploy against the BBC and the rest with their statements. I hope everybody here will do likewise.

  94. Jack Murphy

    call me dave said at 2:08pm:-“Sturgeon unveils anti-poverty legislation but the Herald spin deflects………..”

    Thanks for this link—-it’s well worth a quick read,even if it’s the Herald. 🙁

    “Sturgeon to use new powers to revive anti-poverty legislation ditched by Tories”

  95. tartansrse

    Neo Nat con. I’m not as polite as the others. Do fuck off. There’s a chap

    I’m not expecting any “leniency” from you and I quite frankly couldn’t give a shit for your utterings.

    In other media trolls get blocked. Stu is a patient man in relation to this.

  96. Robert J. Sutherland

    NeoNat Con unpleasantly and irrelevantly pronounced:

    Who cares what a fat hermaphrodite thinks?

    Rather than piggy-backing on Wings ad nauseam, why don’t you enterprisingly set up your very own blog, then you can scrutinise the SNP’s manifesto to your heart’s content, plus all the rest of your voluminous pontificating? The world awaits with eager anticipation…

  97. Dr Jim

    Tomorrows manifesto will contain “Not Stupidity” no jumping up and down or rockets going off it will set out clearly and plainly the drive for Independence will continue until the electorate say it’s time to have it and not knee jerk “Do it now” nonsense, before it’s winnable

    Other circumstances may occur that might persuade Scotland to ask for a revisit of the question sooner rather than later, but those circumstances have yet to be determined and the SNP hopefully being the Governing party and much smarter than the average Bear or indeed “Churnalist” will not be, under any circumstances hurried or twisted into a bad decision, that’s why they are where they are

    Anybody who thinks the SNP are just lucky needs a brain transplant, we’re not talking about Labour or Tory here, we’re talking about strategists who have taken on the British Government and only lost one battle but in the process have kicked the British Establishments Arse all over the embarrassing shop

    Military commanders would give their eye teeth to have out maneuvered the enemy as well as the SNP have done

    Folk will vote for who they like and they have that right
    but at this moment in time for anybody to suggest that wee two bob parties who will probably disband under the next shower of rain have any credibility when it comes to the real business of Politicking on a world stage those folk are living in La La Land, we’re in the big grown up stuff now and the new kids have to wait till they get to the big school, and if they haven’t dropped out by then maybe they’ll get a chance

    Are there folk out there who think First Ministers questions is it, the whole deal, once a week on the telly,
    because if there are, these folk better get with the program
    The FM and her team are up at the crack of dawn till late grafting every single day, they don’t do 9 till 5 in for a curry and Game of Thrones, and they make sure nobody else does either
    I would not, and could not, even if I was smart enough to do the job, have the mental stamina the FM and her team have, without cracking up

    The SNP don’t just run stuff, they forward plan it, dissect it, ask and answer their own questions, pose themselves problems, look for flaws and then correct them
    and they do that every single day and then expect to be criticised and assaulted in the media, by everybody, double

    Anybody really want that job?….. Not me

  98. yesindyref2

    It’s very clear what you’re doing. You’re trying to insinuate there’ll be a “bombshell” in the manifesto tomorrow, such as a definite referendum promise, when people know there won’t be.

    But you hope to catch some people out so that they’ll be disappointed with the SNP manifesto when it doesn’t contain such a silly promise, get angry, and maybe consider not giving their second vote to the SNP.

    There’s a certain amount of counter-intelligence in my blood. I’m up for it too.

  99. orri

    Yes it would be simpler to promise a referendum within the next 5 years. It’d also be foolhardy and reckless to do so. If a referendum is launched on the back of popular demand with a consistently large pro polling then there’s far more chance of it succeeding.

    The YES side would have the advantage that the NO did last time as far as postal voting. Regardless of whether McTernan may have peeked and had illegal knowledge or not his on screen prediction was based on postal votes reflecting the polls at the time they were cast which up till the very last moment was NO. Setting aside that those using postal ballots were probably more motivated if you were to assume they simply reflected the average poll at the time they were cast you could simply count them as they arrived and estimate their content from that. Even if you put conspiracy theories to one side it’s more than reasonable to assume that the majority of the postal ballot was for NO and that the exit polls on the day would have to predict fairly large majority for Yes to overturn that.

  100. Macart

    @Dr Jim

    Bloody right I wouldn’t. I’m still working on joined up words. 🙂

    Right on the nail.

  101. NeoconNat

    Indyref2, you think too much.

  102. Les Wilson

    Dr Jim says:

    Good post Jim, I agree with all of that.
    SNP x2 + EU.

  103. starlaw

    Callers to call Kaye were probably selected last week. I listened to the first caller, who may have been genuine. Lizzie from Ayrshire “why don’t you call your party the Scottish Labour Party” Kezia wittered about something else and Kaye said goodbye Lizzie. I went for my bus.

  104. Les Wilson

    Anymore tweets from Murdo Fraser anyone?
    If not maybe he has sobered up, and faced the rage of Ruthie, or maybe not …..

  105. Auld Snody

    I have yet to see you scrutinising or deconstructing anything. I will be interested on your commentary on the SNP manifesto to see if you trip yourself up

  106. Jack Murphy

    OT slightly———–does anyone know when the Postal Votes are opened and counted———–or are they just opened,locked away waiting to be counted at a later date?

    My Gran was wondering. She posted last week.

  107. Les Wilson

    call me dave says:

    So Edinburgh Council, give a £60k contract to have the walls inspected by one of the Partners in Building them, to pay them for the inspection they should do for free!
    You could not make it up.

    Edinburgh Council is a disgrace, there are a whole lot of other Councils who work in the same way. No respect for the public purse.

  108. yesindyref2

    Not really, and I’m not exactly the only one on Wings who loves the smell of cow dung in the morning, wafting gently over the hills from far away, with the sun splitting the sky, and birds twittering about new birth.

    Haven’t really had the lambing snow yet, it’ll soon be time for the cuckoo snow.

  109. Valerie

    Dr Jim @3.05

    Very well said. I ripped into someone recently who said the 56 were just idling.

    The Peoples Front of Judea haven’t a goddamned clue as to how hard the SNP work. I said to my MP, he had to make a point of taking care of his health, as he looked awful.

    The splitters make me bloody sick, but I think as in 2011, the good folk of Scotland won’t let us down.

    The campaign manager has just contacted me about the 4th and final leaflet. I’m sure other branches are working just as hard.


  110. crazycat

    @ Jack Murphy

    In the week or so before the election (depending on how many postal votes there are) the verification process will take place, to ensure that the signatures and dates of birth included with the vote match those supplied when the postal vote was requested.

    The actual votes cast will not be counted until after the polls close on May 5th; postal votes are mixed in with those from the ballot boxes before they are segregated according to party/candidate voted for.

    When the ballots are taken out of their envelopes for the initial verification process, the people taking them out do their best not to allow anyone to see which candidate has been chosen, but there will be people from the parties acting as scrutineers, who will try to catch a glimpse and make a rough tally. They are not supposed to tell anyone what they have seen; someone did tell Ruth Davidson before the referendum, which enabled her to let slip that the postal votes were “encouraging”, but they had not been counted at this stage and she did not know for sure how they split into Yes and No.

  111. yesindyref2

    @Jack Murphy
    What crazycat says, and when they’re received they’re locked away unopened in a safe, or safe place until the verification. I think they’re also counted at that stage – the numbers of envelopes, not the contents!

  112. crazycat

    @ yesindyref2

    That as well; they are bundled into 50s, or 100s, or whatever, and kept in those bundles so that they can be tallied as needed. (At least, that’s how East Ayrshire does it and I’m sure elsewhere will be near enough the same if not identical.)

    Keeping them in order also enables particular envelopes to be found; I observed a case where two people at the same address had put their ballots in each other’s envelopes – the first one was noted and when the second one was found, they were both accepted. In a sadder case, two people had used each other’s ballot papers, so both were rejected. Given the propensity for people to name their children after themselves, that sort of mix-up is quite easily done.

  113. orri

    Think I’ve said it before but deffo worth repeating don’t underestimate the power of a form of legal ballot stuffing from voters outwith Scotland registered for a postal ballot. Not only do you need to assume that some of those who say they’ll vote for Green do so depending on how the question is phrased and will switch to the SNP, perhaps, on the day but you need to account for an extra few percent on top of the unionist parties.

    Remember if a telephone poll conducted within Scotland was to be believed then the referendum was far closer than that result. Either it was a genuine indication of what local voters thought, an indication of a post referendum buyers regret or a bit of both. Apparently the SNP in the GE didn’t get many more votes than the total for YES. If there was a genuine mass mailing of votes from the rUK there’s every possibility those voters were more interested in voting in the rUK than trying to prevent that wipeout. They may have helped Mundel though. They’ll be able to switch their focus back to Scotland now.

    Another point is that the whole SNP are going to skoosh this idea might also be an attempt to foster voter apathy. In that light the Greens and RISE might actually help balance that out by making it seem worth going to cast your vote.

  114. yesindyref2

    Yeah, my son and I had that problem for our postal votes for the referendum. I’d to phone the electoral officer to confirm the appropriate ballot paper numbers. This year though it has our middle initials so it’s a doddle. The new registrations may have cleaned things up a bit, we’ll see!

  115. yesindyref2

    The new registration has tightened up the whole thing of ballots which would include postal ballots, by requiring your national insurance number or passport number, or if not available requiring the local councils to verify your identity by other means (DWP etc.).

    That should then be checked across the whole UK to ensure no multiple registrations, but not sure if that’s done – yet.

    I believe the aim is a gradual steady reduction of dud voters – in more ways than one!

  116. Robert Graham

    Question who or what is this neoconant that i keep seeing folks on here arguing with ? If this keyboard pain in the butt is just on here to disrupt and generally act like a arsehole , why react just ignore the tube it feeds on reaction must be lonely .

  117. Andrew McLean

    Listen to this absolute Shite from Colin Fox from RISE!

    “Currently Holyrood (SNP) cannot hold a second independence referendum without Westminster temporally devolving the required powers. The resolution would call for the parliament to “its assert its right” to hold a referendum “at the time of its choosing”.

    So only when RISE say it’s so is it so. Make it so, who said that, John Luke Picard that’s who! Only captain of the Starship fucking Enterprise.

    Well thank fuck we have RISE because without them making it so we would all be standing about with our fingers up our arse!!!

    What is it about the far left that as soon as they try to be serious they just make complete arses of themselves!

    Colin Fox isn’t angry neocon mainyu nat is he, bloody sounds like it with that shite?

  118. Dr Jim

    Just watched a state broadcaster production with Huw Edwards and Sarah Smith on Scotland s most powerful parliament in the known universe even more than everywhere else that’s got one

    Well they interviewed some teenage first time voters from each party and I have to say I’m deeply concerned as to the standard of information each young person thought they were in possession of, even the SNP one was, for the want of a better word, an idiot, and I’m being a bit flippant maybe but really they were not in the least informed on their own parties

    Lesley Riddoch and that Yoon Gallagher were also on and they were both as bad

    No one seems to mention that income tax being devolved by itself is a Tory trap and with the wrong usage which is what Labour and the Lib Dems and the new lot as well want to do, Scotland would be in financial trouble really quickly, they don’t seem to grasp that anything we do income tax wise can be immediately undermined by Osborne to put Scotland right in the proverbial and that’s the whole reason behind the SNP safety first agenda

    Independence first then change the whole system without having to tell George Osborne your plan first to give the Tories the chance to Bugger it up
    Are there folk still out there who think the SNP will be left alone to get on with it, because they won’t

    I’m afraid, given the chance the folk who they think are our betters will screw Scotland over the first chance they get and if it makes the SNP look bad in the process then orgasms all round for the Great City Of Yoondon

    And a cry of “We told you the SNP were Baad” from all sides and everywhere, will be enjoyed

    Fortunately for us, we already know that

  119. gus1940

    I agree that the HUW Edwards/Sarah Smith report on 6pm news was a disgrace – no wonder the folk south of the border are so uninformed re the political situation in Scotland.

    Still – it’s the BBC – what else can we expect.

    Did I hear correctly but did that patriotic Scotsman Michael Gove in his Brexit diatribe today refer to Remain threatening a ‘Hermit England’ if Brexit wins.

  120. Grouse Beater

    Need more ammunition to convince both votes SNP?

    Here it is:

  121. galamcennalath

    Grouse Beater says:

    “Need more ammunition to convince both votes SNP?”

    Did you forget steel? 😎

  122. call me dave

    ‘Trident is a reserved issue’ Deputy Deadwood is warned after she announces opposition to Trident to be in the manifesto on radio shortbread.

    I commented on this earlier today as the only answer she actually gave to a caller. It’s ‘Scottish’ labour policy.

    Jackie B. etal are not amused as are the WM clique well well. They claim that UKIP’s David Coburn is gaffe prone…geez!

    Is Trident boomerang shaped for labour?

  123. ronnie anderson

  124. Tam Jardine

    Dr Jim

    It is a strange election- I haven’t seen the report you refer to but we are in uncharted territory.

    The Yes campaign’s proposition was that a another Scotland was possible if the Scottish Government was free to use all the levers of power, we had control of our own resources and were not tied to Westminster’s insane spending priorities. The no-voters screwed that up so their proposition now is essentially we will do what we can within this crap outcome.

    The income tax powers are ludicrous and a trap as you say. You can just imagine Osborne creaming himself at the thought of Scotland improving the competitiveness of England by making it the most heavily taxed part of the UK whilst Osborne helps out by cutting income tax or raising the personal allowance again and again.

    He’d be pissing himself laughing. Champagne corks would be popping all over the shop. Boris would be making animal noises- all kinds of crazy shit. And it WOULD be funny if the end result would not be so serious for the people of Scotland.

    Kezia and Willie are acting as tory enablers. A penny on income tax to stave off the latest round of cuts: do their tiny minds really imagine that Osborne has finished with Scotland? Seriously? From what I have read of the tories in the eighties they are never finished with Scotland. This is not unique knowledge I alone possess.

    So when the axe falls again presumably to protect essential services the answer will be to put another penny on income tax! Is this outcome really so far beyond their horizons that it cannot be envisaged? I have certainly never heard any of our amazingly intelligent Scottish press core pose that proposition to Kezia or Willie or Rise or the Greens.

    So the SNP are going to the polls saying (implying) we’ve been fucked over by Westminster- the new powers are essentially unusable and we’ve been hamstrung by half the electorate and now we have to get on with trying to protect the people of Scotland from some pretty shite outcomes.

    Perhaps the manifesto will frame it in different terms but I kind of get how the young folk are maybe confused. I feel idiotic writing about it.

  125. Dr Jim

    @ Grouse Beater

    That’s the way to do it

  126. Rock



    “Fuck the Tories Rock, they will not be for turning, just like Maggie.”

    “Our goal is the last Labour voter standing then Scotland WILL be Independent.”

    I am glad that we are now on the same wavelength about the Tories.

    Maybe you can now accept that you were wrong in arguing with me about wasting resources on Tories:

    “Embrace the NO voters, even the Tory ones if you hope to reach your ultimate goal.”

    I am in full agreement with you on convincing Labour voters of the benefits of independence and how they have been duped by Labour for so long.

    Socialists too have been used by the establishment to minimise the SNP vote in the past. It is good of you and your fellow socialists to vote SNP+SNP until independence.

    But I don’t trust Greens and “ex Greens” one bit.

  127. Rock


    “Why is there only 1 proud Scot but yoon MP from each yoon party in Westminster now?”

    Unfortunately because of the undemocratic FPTP system.

    I would have liked it to be because of a complete wipeout.

  128. Rock


    “Oh dear, I see Cat Boyd in The National is trying to use the Prof Curtice card”


    “The National promoting the idea of splitting the SNP vote.

    You would be forgiven for thinking that they would be happy for the SNP not to have a majority.”

    Free Scotland,

    “@Clydebuilt and @tartanarse

    Wouldn’t have agreed previously, but I’m beginning to see it now. The National and the Sunday Herald are like wolves in sheep’s clothing. £3.60 a week now being put to better use.”

    I have been warning about The National for ages.

    Where is Dave McEwan Hill, The National’s apologist-in-chief, these days?

  129. heedtracker

    Rock says:
    19 April, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    “Why is there only 1 proud Scot but yoon MP from each yoon party in Westminster now?”

    Unfortunately because of the undemocratic FPTP system.

    I would have liked it to be because of a complete wipeout.

    It more less was. And its still really annoying watching an outfit like the ERS trying to get Scotland to stop voting SNP. Its not hard to see them looking at the 56 SNP MP’s in London and deciding they have to act and stop this. Although Scotland dominated by Labour for 70+ years was completely fine

    “40 Scottish Labour MPs Were ‘F*cking Useless’, Claims Current Shadow Cabinet Minister”

    They weren’t though, they were very good a F*cking Scotland. Huff Post gits even bullshitting like Britnats because you can eventually get non F*cking useless candidates, eventually.

    If the whole BBC led Britnat crew like ERS can get a coalition May 6, they earn themselves 4 solid years to get the SNP out of Westminster. It’s no doubt what they’re lining up Anas Sawar for, IF they can get a Holyrood coalition.

  130. Robert J. Sutherland

    Tonight’s talk by Prof. Curtice was fascinating. Some of his points were:

    + With 45% of the vote you’re hard to beat, and with 50% you can’t lose; polls put the SNP towards the upper end of that bracket. So he reckons the SNP are on course to win a majority.

    + He expects that there may be the odd anomaly, with Labour possibly still holding one or two constituencies against the odds, but he expects essentially an SNP whitewash in the constituencies, and as a result only a small number of list seats. (But even then, a failure to win a constituency will just bring a list gain instead.)

    + Although the polls appear to show a marked reduction in likely list votes for the SNP compared to constituency votes, he believes that some or all this difference may be illusory, as apparently turned out to be the case last time.

    + The SNP’s policy on taxation is near-optimal in terms of voter response. It isn’t a significant election issue. He reckons that the Tories attempt to sell a tax reduction has stalled, and they are now downplaying it.

    + The SNP’s record in government is generally acceptable to most voters, a significant achievement in the circumstances. Competence is only an election issue to the extent that Labour are judged far less competent than the SNP.

    + The main election issue remains Scottish autonomy. The SNP continue to retain the support of the vast majority of “yes” voters, as well as a significant number of “no” voters. The SNP have essentially captured a significant proportion of former Labour voters, and aren’t losing them.

    + Labour are in serious electoral trouble. Their polling remains low, and they will be neck-and-neck with the Tories for number of MSPs, around ~23 each.

    + The Tories are recovering some ground but only getting back to the (poor) result they got the time before last.

    + The LibDems are heading for “also-ran” status with only ~6% of the vote. They will likely be overtaken by the Greens with ~8% of the vote. He reckons that the Greens may well be taking votes from the LibDems.

    + RISE are toast. They won’t likely get more than 1% and it ain’t enough. Local concentrations in places like Glasgow and Stirling still won’t be nearly enough. (He points the finger squarely at Sheridan and Galloway for “blowing it”.)

    + Support for EU-remain in Scotland is a steady ~60:40, but in the UK as a whole it’s too close to call. He got a good audience reaction when he wondered aloud how the Unionists would react if England narrowly voted “leave” but Scotland+NI keep the UK in!

    + He recognises that an SNP majority is absolutely essential to keep a future indyref alive. He recalled the 1997 devolution referendum, where the result was in effect settled by popular consent before the referendum was called. He thinks the SNP knew they were up against the odds last time, and will not make the same mistake again of putting too much of the argument in the hands of their opponents, eg. over currency. The next one will only happen [and he seemed to rather assume that it would happen], when the result is likely to be undisputed. [In effect, he seemed to be setting the ground for a movement to achieve widespread civic consensus.]

    That’s about all I immediately recall. I believe the whole talk will be put online somewhere, so you can hopefully watch and judge for yourselves. (Someone post a link?)

  131. yesindyref2

    Gloat ye not! But I must admit I was thinking about you when I posted the thing. On the other hand, it’s not the national itself doing an article, it’s publishing the RISE article, and presumably would and has done the same for Sturgeon.

    But yes, it has favoured RISE for a long time, with some Green thrown in for good measure.

    I think as others have said, it’ll be back to pro-indy after the election. meanwhile it’s foolishly putting hard left policies within a devolved parliament before Independence. I think that makes it thick as two short planks, not devious.

  132. Thepnr

    @Robert J. Sutherland

    Thanks for the report, sounds like his talk will be well worth viewing if/when it gets posted online.

  133. Orri

    Whilst requiring an NI number might go some way to prevent blatant false registrations it isn’t perfect. The point I was making was that it’s perfectly legal to be registered in more than one location provided you only cast one ballot in a particular class of election. There may not even be anything preventing you from casting a constituency vote in a different region from your list vote.

    Not sure if you would be allowed to register more than once for a postal vote though. All you need is to either be living somewhere or have a history of doing so. A sufficiently paranoid mind might lead cone to believe that Labour had something they could turn to there advantage in mind when they relaxed the rules. Certainly suits me, my wife and friend as we were all on holiday at the last GE. 4 SNP votes in the bag. Wife works long days so could be away the entirety of the time polling stations are open and given the fuck ups in 2010 always a possibility that if she did get home in time she wouldn’t be able to vote.

  134. heedtracker

    Another right wing Britnat boost for the far left, in their Scotland region, shock.

  135. Nana

    @Robert J. Sutherland

    Thanks for that, very interesting.I would think once uploaded we will be able to watch here.

    Perhaps someone can keep an eye on the site.

  136. Rock


    “But yes, it has favoured RISE for a long time, with some Green thrown in for good measure.

    I think as others have said, it’ll be back to pro-indy after the election.”

    Yes, then gullible independence supporters will again defend and promote it on here.

    As I have said many times, The National’s only purpose is to milk gullible independence supporters.

    Those who buy The National thinking that it supports independence are more stupid than those who vote Labour thinking that it will defend them against the Tories.

  137. Mick DIAMOND

    I didnt think i would, but im also in agreement with the posts on here re the national. A paper i wont be buying again whenever i travel back to scotland. Have subscribed yearly to magazine instead

  138. lumilumi

    I’m sorry this is all OT and late to the party. But…

    Nicola Sturgeon has been talking about a “baby box” for all new parents. Something copied from Finland, where every baby gets a box of essentials. Baby clothes, a baby hairbrush, a thermometer to gauge the temperature of a baby bath; clothes, nappies, and most important of all, the baby sleeping bag.

    Finnish mothers wrap their babies warmly and slip them into their “baby box” sleeping bags and stick them outside for their naps. Fresh air is good. Even when it’s minus 20 or 25 centigrade outside. The air is fresh and the baby is wrapped warm, so what’s the problem?

    No wonder we’re hardy. We’ve learned to sleep outside from the crib. And most of us have shared memories of “baby box” clothes and stuff. Rich or poor, we all had it, what a leveller.

    It’s, of course, a political thing. Do you want all babies to have the same material things and the same opportunities; or do you want rich people’s kids to be brought up as rich people’s kids and ideas of their “hereditary” privileges and “betterness” over everybody else.

  139. NeoconNat

    Lumi, either you’re a better troll than me or you’re potty.

    Copied from Finland? Listen, pal, we aren’t going to take lectures on torturing babies from a country that would still be under German occupation if we didn’t sort Hitler out.

    And I don’t know why you are trying to make it a class issue. If people can’t afford nappies they shouldn’t have babies. I assume you have heard of contraception and abortion over there?

    I suppose you’ll involve Brussels and fix it so that we need to leave our babies in fridges or something.

    The more I think about it, the more I’m drawn to think this EU vote isn’t about getting us out of the EU, it’s about getting the EU out of us.

    May God have mercy on your foreign soul.

  140. Dave McEwan Hill

    Absolutely excellent National today. A good read throughout and the pieces on Johnny Ramensky and the Black Death were very informative. Cat Boyd want list vote for RISE (quelle suprise) but lots of coverage of Both Votes SNP.
    Good full page coverage on Nicola to start the paper off.

  141. Thepnr


    Nice to see you posting again on Wings. Don’t mind the nasty smell, just hold your nose and try ignore it. It will dissipate soon.

  142. Dave McEwan Hill

    The absolute desperation of the nawbags is leading them to suggest Federalism. They were at it on TV tonight and we will hear more and more of it. It is the last hurdle they can put in our way.

    It should be treated with the sort of derision it deserves. England is ten times the size of Scotland and eight time the size of the rest of the UK put together. Any suggestion that any form of Federalism could empower Scotland in the UK is bonkers nonsense unless Scotland is reduced to the same status as Yorkshire.

    I can think of no benefit at all from any attempt to fashion federalism into a coherent destination for Scotland when independence does everything so much better
    There is of course absolutely no desire for Federalism in England.
    Laugh this nonsense out of court.

  143. Andrew Mclean

    I remember years ago that midwives used to issue packs to new mothers, now I am going back a bit, I think they got them mostly from medical reps who wanted to push baby milk and nappys.
    I will ask the midwife tomorrow.

    Rock, The national was good today, best remember that they in common with all newspapers depend on AP news feed and press releases from lobbyists and political parties. Also it’s not a SNP publication, it can print what it dam well likes, it’s good that they are more balanced, I am more concerned with the north Koreaisation of the state loyalists media.

  144. Molly

    Dave Mcewan hill

    I’m not sure about ‘ any desire’ for federalism but with a financial incentive there certainly seems to be a bit of ring fencing going on , such as the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority.

    In a Tory world that is maybe as close to what they’d call federalism .

    They have the power over transport ( trunk roads) regeneration and enterprise.


    Can I just apologise for that cretin . It’s interesting to learn how other countries do things and why. Given the debates there have been ( even from academics) about babies/sleeping positions etc it’s good evidence is being used to support this initiative

  145. Macart


    Good to see you Lumi. I understand the baby box initiative was piloted by Finland and has been a great success there.

    Good post by Taranaich here on the subject:

  146. Paula Rose

    @lumilumi Hi Honey – sorry I missed you last night – Yes the Baby Box is a wonderful idea that you Finns came up with. I’ve been doing some research and it really is impressive how successful it has been.

  147. Tinto Chiel

    Nice to have your thoughtful perspectives again, Lumi. I’d forgotten I hadn’t seen your name for a while. At present there’s a vacant area under a bridge somewhere, I’m afraid, but we try to ignore.

    DMH: if Federalism is now the new black for the desperate Yoons, expect a salvo from Mr MacWhirter on the subject. Given the disparity in population (let alone the fact we are supposed to be equal partners in a union of kingdoms) it could never work. It reminds me of the time I expressed surprise to my dear old dad that Aberdeen FC’s strip before the war had been black and yellow stripes.

    “Aye, they played in Burnbank Athletic strips,” he replied.

  148. HaggisHunter

    Hello again LumiLumi,
    how is life in beautiful Finland?

    I have very fond memories of my travels to that brilliant country, with its hardy and strong willed people.

    NeoconNat your extremely ignorant post above; Finns had the choice between invasion from Stalinist Russia or take military aid from Nazi Germany, because Britain, France and Sweden promised help, but did absolutely nothing while Finland took on the massive Red army. Of course, it was the industrial might of the USA that defeated the Nazis, along with the 27 million dead Russians, but they just have ‘foreign souls’

  149. Jack Murphy

    Postal Vote Counting and Security.
    Thanks crazycat at 4:12pm and yesindyref2 at 4:25pm yesterday.
    It’s a lot clearer now. 🙂

  150. Jack Murphy

    Robert J. Sutherland said at 8:51 pm last night:-
    “Tonight’s talk by Prof. Curtice was fascinating. Some of his points were:……………………….”

    It’s now posted on video.
    Professor Curtice,University of Glasgow.

  151. Thepnr

    @Jack Murphy

    Thanks for the link I will watch after work. You may have already done so but worth posting on the current thread, sure they’re others who will be interested.

  152. Robert J. Sutherland

    Please note, the link just provided is likely to the right site, but alas as yet only features a much earlier talk by Prof. Curtice, not the one of yesterday (19.Apr).

    Watch this space…

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