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Running on empty

Posted on December 08, 2015 by

The National today has a story we’ve been sitting on for several days while we tried to get some verifiable evidence in the form of links or screenshots to back it up.

juneneilson

But Labour aren’t the only people having trouble scaring up a candidate roster.

The Scottish Conservatives have recently ripped up their selection processes in the desperate hope of injecting a bit of sexy new young blood into their ranks (although some early attempts at using the new method had to be abandoned in chaos).

The Financial Times website reported on Sunday that:

“The Scottish Conservative party has ditched half its election candidates in an attempt to make itself Scotland’s second-biggest party in parliamentary elections in May.

The makeover sees a new breed of younger, moderate Tories replace many of the party’s longstanding candidates, as it seeks to appeal to voters from the centre ground.”

The Scottish Greens, meanwhile, are in a special turmoil of their own. The press has recently reported a minor kerfuffle over Maggie Chapman, who just last month was comfortably re-elected as the party’s co-convenor despite the other co-convenor and main public Green face, Patrick Harvie, publicly backing her opponent Zara Kitson.

harviekitson

The argument followed an attempt earlier this year by local members to kick Chapman out as a candidate entirely, amid deep and bitter divisions over the joint leader.

But “carpetbagging” and a disputed website biography are only the tip of the iceberg. A Scottish Greens member recently forwarded us emails revealing that the rift is far wider. It detailed an exchange between Harvie, elections and campaigns convenor Gavin Corbett, and activist Aaron Crane, from which the following extracts are taken:

PATRICK HARVIE:

“Colleagues,

You are all aware of a number of tensions within the party, some of which go back some significant time and some of which relate specifically to more recent events. Most particularly of course there has been the dispute in the North East, which has taken up a great deal of time and energy within the party and which remains the source of some difficult feelings.

As I stated at conference in my Co-Convenor’s report, it is disappointing that there has been little progress in acting on Council’s agreement for a process to resolve the outstanding concerns.”

GAVIN CORBETT:

“The mechanism for ordering of candidates on the ballot paper was imperfect… the party has taken and is taking steps to address those weaknesses.

The dispute has amplified tensions and brought to the surface differences of opinion which go beyond the North East and go back some time; [the] Operations Committee has been asked for specific budget to appoint an independent and qualified person to oversee a mediation process to conclude no later than end of November.

The dispute has highlighted some real issues about the culture and structure of the party in dealing with tensions like this and where decision-making lies; and therefore seeks to ensure that the party review mandated by conference takes those weaknesses into account and seeks to address them.”

AARON CRANE:

“From the inside I have witnessed a year of overwhelming malpractice. Some of the party’s officers have behaved in this anti-democratic manner, denying the membership a chance to participate in a fair election, and denying a just hearing for those they have wronged.

These officers have breached both our rules and our principles, yet have faced no consequences for their actions.

It really matters who we pick for Holyrood. Not only are high-profile (and well-paid) jobs at question, but with an increased group, those Green MSPs will help shape how the party is seen — potentially for decades.

The process by which we pick our candidates must be beyond reproach, but I have almost nothing but reproach for what I have observed this year.

My growing lack of confidence in SOC’s ability to operate fairly has led me to step back from the committee’s work over the last few months. This may not have been the best course of action, and I humbly apologise to all party members for that.

But I’d simply seen enough, and only my strong belief in the democratic principle and in the party’s wider aims has stopped me from resigning my party membership in disgust.”

Our source added in regard to the ongoing disquiet within the party:

“Things have turned uncharacteristically nasty in recent months. Attempts to get some exposure to the story have basically resulted in a couple of small stories but they’ve mostly been spiked by editorial interventions at the papers.

That odious little shit Ross Greer has been running around like Malcolm Tucker in a fair-trade T-shirt, trying to bully the people who have been trying to get this sorted, into dropping it.

Myself and a few other long term activists are seriously considering chucking our resignations in soon and not having to ever be in a room with him again is high on the list of upsides for me.”

That only leaves us with one more opposition party. But to be honest, readers, even starting on the Scottish Lib Dems – still beset by the farce around Alistair Carmichael, which could have some serious knock-on effects for their candidates in Orkney and Shetland – would feel like intruding on private grief.

willierenniest1

But the evidence adds up to an extraordinary, unprecedented degree of disarray for all four non-SNP parties at Holyrood, none of whom (perhaps understandably) seem keen to tackle the First Minister’s rampant Nats face-to-face.

And as we looked into it, an intriguing detail presented itself. Next May, the leaders of all four parties will contest constituency seats as well as topping their regional lists. Kezia Dugdale is standing in Edinburgh Eastern, Ruth Davidson in Edinburgh Central, Willie Rennie in North-East Fife and Patrick Harvie in Glasgow Kelvin.

(Out of the four, only Davidson stood for a constituency seat in 2011, where she garnered just 1,845 votes in the Glasgow Kelvin seat that Harvie will fight next year.)

With all of them surely odds-on to be defeated (every seat is currently held by the SNP), the Scottish Parliament looks set to find itself in a situation where every single opposition leader has been explicitly personally rejected by the electorate, but snuck into the chamber on the list vote.

prizeeverytime2

That’s a snapshot of the remarkable current state of Scottish politics. The Tories have just recorded their lowest vote share in a general election in Scotland for 150 years, Labour and the Greens are tearing themselves apart with infighting, and the Lib Dems will be able to hold their next conference in the back of a van in a Lerwick lay-by.

Not a single opposition party looks like it can muster a leader who can actually get themselves elected to Parliament on their own merits. They can barely even manage to rustle up enough candidates to try to fight for seats.

If Nicola Sturgeon should find herself singing along to “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” over the festive season, she may well find that her dream comes true.

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    1. 08 12 15 17:06

      Running on empty | Politics Scotland | Scoop.it

    153 to “Running on empty”

    1. schrodingers cat says:

      note

      ssp member allan grogan also announced he doesn’t support and wont stand for RISE

    2. handclapping says:

      Its just unfortunate that not having an opposition does make a “one-party state” true.

      Its probably down to the SNP to ensure that they have an opposition but it doesn’t seem right somehow 😀

    3. Dervheid says:

      All that’s required now is to remove the option to stand in both constituency and list, that’d sort the wheat from the chaff…

    4. Lesley-Anne says:

      But … but … but … if there is confusion asunder in the Labour, Tory, Greens and Lib Dems ranks who is a pair wee *ahem* innocent soul like me going to vote for next May? 😉

      I mean, I am just too wee, too poor and too stupid to be in a position to make up my own mind I need GUIDANCE! Who will guide me into making my well thought out and reasoned considerations of who to vote for?

      Don’t Panic!

      Problem has been resolved! … PHEW! 🙂

      S.N.P. in my first vote!

      S.N.P. in my second vote!

      Problem has been well and truly RESOLVED! 😀

    5. Craig says:

      And will the MSM report on this?

      Nae prizes for guessing

      It’s an absolute disgrace that the 4 “Leaders” of their respective parties lack the courage of their convictions to be judged by the electorate but instead hope to sneak in through the back door.

      I hope that when in the chamber, Nicola will take every opportunity to remind the “4” that they were never approved by the electorate and therefore should never be allowed to ask questions at FMQT

    6. theMadMurph says:

      Yet these buffoons are constantly allowed to air their poison by the media. We really need to address the media issue!

      The papers are dying on their arse. STV have Daisley frantically providing click-bait.

      I know, like me, many have stopped paying their license fee, but the Tories are going to sort that little get-out sometime soon!

      Thank god for wings, but we need more!

    7. Steve Bowers says:

      Hmm, it’s starting to get interesting

    8. Martin says:

      This is frankly astonishing and, with the exception of the Greens (who have never been heavyweights and do seem to have some internal issues), shows the fruits of a campaign to belittle and largely ignore the electorate.

      Tell us we just need to come to our senses to vote for you, and you’ll likely find we go the other way.

      I would almost feel sorry for them- and for some people I do (Harvie, who I think is a genuinely decent guy- the FRB issue is his party’s anti car thing coming out) if it weren’t so self inflicted. I know a few of the young SLab folk (possibly future politicians) and they’re nice enough….but they don’t see what a clown Kez is. The future looks bright for the SNP as the others seem oblivious to their flaws. I’m reminded of the Sevco fiasco when “loyal fans” were happy to point the finger every way but Govan.

      This House of Lairds thing may actually be quite a smart, though underhand, move by Foulkes. The other parties will likely have hunners of spare candidates and the SNP may not- as they’ve all been elected already. I think we’re all agreed the elected senate thing is stupid, but I can sort of see the thought process behind it. If it was a HoL type thing where people (supposedly) popped in to look at things they have a background in I’d happily stand for SNP and look at health matters, but giving up my real job to work as a politician? No thanks. And I wonder how many feel the same.

    9. John H. says:

      It’s enjoyable to see the opposition parties in such a mess, and any young person with political ambitions and sense will join the SNP. There’s the danger though. How many of them really want independence for Scotland?

    10. Johnny says:

      An interesting thing about Labour here is that those thinking they should ‘just stand on the list’ should think about how it might look to voters if they cannot muster candidates for the constituencies. Do they want to end up being perceived as ‘like the other small parties who have no chance and are therefore not worth voting for on the list unless you REALLY like their policies’?

      On the other hand, there would be a danger (in such a scenario) of unionists being a lot clearer which candidate they should coalesce around than there was in May. This makes me wonder if there is any possibility at all that this isn’t all a big kid-on. That said, I think such a move would backfire in most areas.

      Just a couple of things which make all this interesting!

    11. Iain More says:

      Hilarious!

    12. bobajock says:

      This does frighten me somewhat. Its not the ‘one party state’ crap to be honest, its just the indication of how weak the party ‘infrastructure’ actually is.

      In Scotland, once independent, then new party politics will rise, and I see the SNP ‘shedding’ into some splinters.

      As others have noted, ‘no list place if standing in constituency’ should be what we have, its just too easy to have no-hopers in government.

    13. ahundredthidiot says:

      Patrick Harvie

      I wouldn’t follow him to the fucking bar

      Anyone voting green or RISE needs their heid looked at.

      SNP SNP next May.

    14. McBoxheid says:

      The SNP are to blame. They have turned normal UKOK unimaginative yoonies into dangerous, radical terrorist sympathiser sympathisers 🙂

    15. CmonIndy says:

      Having dialysis right now but this has fair cheered me up.
      And by the way Scottish NHS is wonderful.

    16. Colin says:

      In an appeal to get support from the centre ground, the Conservatives are looking to a new breed of “younger, moderate Tories”…..if ever there was an example of an Oxymoron, that musty be it !!!

    17. Martin says:

      I don’t know if I mind the list stuff from the leaders. Funny as it would be, parties not having a leader would lead to bad democracy. Also, this rejection thing is very FPTP and what I like about Holyrood is that we use a different system (far from the best alternative but it is better than FPTP). I don’t think we can celebrate our different political system, then judge people by WM system.

      The issue at the heart is that the opposition parties are in sire straits, and much as I’m loving it just now, it’s bad for the country longterm. Effective government needs scrutiny. My hope is independence followed by a broadening of political landscape. Ironic that the UKOK parties are being suffocated by their own victory.

    18. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Greens looking less like a School Teachers Common Room and more like the Peoples’ Front for Judaea

    19. jimnarlene says:

      Lesley-Anne, I’m with you.????

    20. Onwards says:

      There is no serious opposition to the SNP at the moment.

      Labour is in chaos.
      Lib Dems are irrelevant.
      The Tories come across as anti-Scottish and half of them would abolish Holyrood if they could get away with it.

      On top of that, Nicola Sturgeon is obviously the most credible candidate for First Minister.

      Most Scots simply want an ambitious, pro-Scottish party running the Scottish Parliament. Even those who aren’t quite ready for independence at this stage.

      If there was a unified independence party running on the list, that might have a chance of doing well in certain circumstances. The other minor parties all have their own agendas and will split the remaining vote amongst themselves.

    21. RogueCoder says:

      Superb piece, Stu – fantastic to have the curtain lifted on the inner workings of opposition parties.

      I’m hoping for another tsunami in May. It won’t have quite the 95% effect that the GE did, but if the SNP can increase their majority and deliver the coup de grace to Scottish Labour, then the next term will be all about taking the fight to the Tories – as it should be.

    22. Lesley-Anne says:

      jimnarlene says:
      8 December, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      Lesley-Anne, I’m with you.????

      PHEW!

      Thanks for that Jim. I was beginning to think I was going to be all alone in my choice of votes next May! 😀

    23. Iain More says:

      The SNP SG has an opposition it just isn’t elected. The Brit Nat Press and Media aren’t democrats by any stretch of the imagination. The BBC should just appoint Jackie Bird the leader of the opposition and take up one of those SLAB seats in Holyrood and be done with it.

    24. Andrew McLean says:

      The electorate stand at the ballot box and one thing goes through their mind, “who best represents me”.
      That’s not difficult you would think?

      But what do the opposition do, snipe, sleaze and bitter attacks, honestly who would you trust, who would you trust your future too, the wicked spiteful LiBLabTorie or the SNP?

    25. scotsbob says:

      “the Lib Dems will be able to hold their next conference in the back of a van in a Lerwick lay-by.”

      Excellent.

    26. galamcennalath says:

      I consider that Scotland is in a state of national emergency.

      We we have to go through a period of effective one party state to achieve real democracy, then so be it!

      Memories are short. It is not so long since Scotland was a one party state under Labour. That wasn’t a good advert for one party statehood! That could be interpretation as having been about induced stagnation and deflection while our oil was stolen!

      Perhaps we have collectively woken up now (mostly) ….

      Vote SNP & SNP

    27. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just a wee bit of O/T information here.

      For everyone currently living in the *ahem* isolated kingdom of Fife you may want to put a face to those councillors who have just voted to CLOSE 16 libraries across Fife. So here you go. 😉

      https://www.facebook.com/FifeSNP/photos/a.187166821308541.42203.117421551616402/1109999995691881/?type=3&theater

    28. jimnarlene says:

      Lesley-Anne, I don’t know where all the question marks came from, it was a smiley face thingemibob.

      Don’t worry, I think we’ll have plenty of company.

    29. Dan Huil says:

      The bbc is the official opposition party in Scotland. See tonight’s RS bridge-related [!] story for yet more proof.

    30. caz-m says:

      I am waiting on this massive support for the SNP being transferred into a vote for Scottish Independence.

      We must be getting near the staedy 55% mark by now.

      And if I was in the newspaper business, I know what side I would be backing.

      Unlike:-

      Daily Record
      Herald
      Scotsman
      Times
      Mail
      Express
      P&J
      Paisley Express
      Guardian
      Independent
      I
      Metro
      Sunday Mail
      Sunday Post

      I suppose they know best.

    31. Bob Mack says:

      We cannot force people to vote other than they choose.
      I will vote for the Party I believe will do what is best for me ,my family,and my country. That is the SNP at this time.

      In a future independent Scotland that may change ,but for now they are the only possible vote.

      Looking forward to the Carmichael verdict and regardless ofthe outcome I will keep donating to the Orkney folk who showed us the way by their remarkable courage. We must not let them down come what may.

    32. Kenny says:

      Surely Tory Tank Girl can find a constituency in borders country where she stands half a chance?

      I am surprised she received so many votes in Glasgow Kelvin, for all that it is quite a “well-off” area. I believe the Glasgow Kelvin SNP branch has more members than Scottish Labour in total!

      There seems to be something rotten in the state of the Green Party. I have not paid them much attention, I like their Highlands MSPs and Maggie Chapman always seemed decent enough. I cannot say I have ever had pleasant interaction with Patrick Harvie, but that is just my own experience.

      It would be great, in a way, if the pro-indy parties could have an electoral agreement that would see RISE and Solidarity take the working-class areas, the Greens go for Morningside and the like, while the SNP mops up everywhere else. But the fact of the matter is that half the country has one idée fixe. And that is INDY. And the most direct road to Indytown is SNP/SNP.

      In a way, it will be a shame when Indy comes and the SNP is then dropped by many…. the Moor has done his job and all that… but surely that is the ultimate end-dream of the SNP? To achieve indy and so for there to be no need for an SNP, just a new Scotland Party or whatever it wants to call itself…

    33. Lesley-Anne says:

      Think I’ll leave this here folks.

      Just in case anyone thought that what was happening to Labour in S******d was a one off. 😉

      http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2015/12/08/first-results-from-the-new-welsh-political-barometer-poll-4/

    34. ahundredthidiot says:

      All the funny stuff aside for a mo

      Surely this should lead to the startling conclusion that Scotland is seriously getting its act together to achieve our main goal of independence.

      Naysayers converting in their droves or hiding in the shadows.

      MSM will run with this, surely.

      Big deep breath and hold……..

    35. Roboscot says:

      I wish the people of Scotland were watching the House of Lords today as they discuss amendments to the Scotland Bill. Some of the stuff from Scottish Lords is shameful. (Warning: if you do watch the proceedings you will have to leave the 21st century.)

    36. Lesley-Anne says:

      jimnarlene says:
      8 December, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      Lesley-Anne, I don’t know where all the question marks came from, it was a smiley face thingemibob.

      Don’t worry, I think we’ll have plenty of company.

      I did sort of wonder about the question marks Jim. 😉

      I think you may just be right though about the company we will have though. 😀

    37. galamcennalath says:

      I believe Better Togther’s composition and antics have had a big detrimental effect on all Unionists parties. Each had their other problems, many long running. However the whole BT affair still caused damage, especially to Labour.

      It deeply offended Yes voters, but I also believe the way BT was organised, fronted, paid for, and most of all behaved, must be seen my many NO voters as disgraceful. No voters wanted to stay in the Union, but they cannot possibly have been impressed by the way their representatives conducted themselves.

      Unionist politicians went head to head not only with Indy supporters, but as it turned out, they gave DevoMax supporters a kick in the teeth to.

      Hell mend the lot of them.

      As for the Greens. FFS, Scotland is rapidly evolving in a way which they should be capitalising on. This should be their opportunity as much as it is the SNP’s. And they can’t run their own party?

    38. bjsalba says:

      I think is the result of parties taking donations (and policies) from the super-rich elite.

    39. North Chiel says:

      Re “Iain More” at 0536pm . “I’ll second you “with that comment Iain.

    40. David McDowell says:

      Election Court to decide Alistair Carmichael case tomorrow morning.
      http://www.scotland-judiciary.org.uk/25/1532/Morrison-and-others-v-Alistair-Carmichael-MP-and-another

    41. heedtracker says:

      Cometh the hour, cometh my Slovene girlfriend. He’s in Canada this week, sorting out vile Canadian separatists, but he’ll be back.

      Adam Tomkins
      ?@ProfTomkins
      Today’s stories show yet again we need effective opposition to the SNP. Move over Labour, it’s @ScotTories time: http://www.capx.co/is-nicola-sturr-its-own-good/

      Future tory FM of the vile separatists also boosts Daily Heil who says SNP vote No for Syria bombing is

      Adam Tomkins
      ?@ProfTomkins Adam Tomkins Retweeted Graham Grant
      Excellent piece from @GrahamGGrant
      Crass, insular and morally repugnant…despite what they claim, the #SNP don’t represent all of us. In today’s Mail.

    42. Vestas says:

      If all of the mainstream media are saying “we must do x” then I know that “doing x” is not going to be in the interests of normal people (ie those not staggeringly rich/powerful).

      If there’s even some token arguments taking place for/against “x” in the media then it becomes easier to blur the edges of the arguments.

      I think most people inherently think the same way & the uniform negative response of the (unionist) media towards the SNP on any subject is actually strengthening the vote FOR the SNP.

      If Scotland does turn into a “one party state” then it’ll be the first of its kind as usually the media are persuaded to say the “right things” in those states.

      Irony? We’ve heard of it 😀

    43. caz-m says:

      There must be some kind of pecking order within the corridors of the Scottish Parliament.

      Surely a Constituency MSP is allowed a bit more swagger in their walk than a wee insignificant “Listie”.

      I think Queen Nicola’s chair should be raised a couple of feet higher so she can look down on her undeserving opposition leaders.

      Long live the Queen(Nicola)

    44. Onwards says:

      Colin says:
      8 December, 2015 at 5:25 pm
      “In an appeal to get support from the centre ground, the Conservatives are looking to a new breed of “younger, moderate Tories”…..if ever there was an example of an Oxymoron, that musty be it !!!”
      ——

      If ever there was a party that needs split in half it is the Scottish Tories.

      You would think there was a place for a pro-Scottish centre-right party that pushed for substantial devolution, self-reliance and more responsibility.
      Instead it is about putting London first, waving their union jacks, and devolving as few powers as they can get away with.

      You get the sense that Ruth Davidson would have been happier with a safe seat down south, where she could do the rounds on political quiz shows, laughing along heartily with the jock-bashing.

      You can feel the cringe everytime she sneers “When will the First Minister next be meeting the PRIME minister?”

    45. drawdeaddave says:

      In the interests of balance & fairness the SNP at branch level is not all plain sailing, my branch has gone from under a hundred members to over a thousand, which brings it’s own problems like finding big enough venues & not having enough chairs for everyone to sit on, with some having to stand at meetings (sort it out Nicola)..

    46. Kenny says:

      Labour have never been the brightest tools in the shed and how many times have they been shafted by the Tories, walking straight into a trap? They are missing a trick by failing to see that independence is only a question of time and placing themselves as a pro-indy leftist party for the day after we repeal the Act of Union. By tying themselves to unionism, they are guaranteeing that they will go the same way as the dodo…

      Being unionist in 2016 is like a deathwish. It would be worth anyone’s time to set up parties now to be the new opposition (conservative, liberal, etc) when Holyrood is the parliament of the independent Scottish republic (I still say it will happen in 2017).

    47. DerekM says:

      Wee Wullie will be chuffed you didnt forget about him Rev 🙂

      Seriously though none of this lot are fit to sit in parliament an absolute bloody shambles.

    48. gary cullen says:

      Well its called democracy if the Scottish people vote for a single party time and time again it is for good reason that party is doing them some good and not the other way around ,we can only hope that this 1 party state will keep working to rid ourselves totally of any unionist party’s in the near future and that the voters follow suit with their votes and believe in themselves that united as one Scotland can and become a free nation again

    49. John Walsh says:

      Have you passed this on to Sarah Smith so she can up her game ? Full throttle SNPbad!

    50. Gary45% says:

      Was that last picture taken at this years Slab conference?
      Sure thats Jaba in the middle.

      Was away for a few days (no internet), so not sure if this has already been said on other posts.
      The unionist parties were quick to kick the SNP regarding the necessity of the New Forth crossing, egg on face anyone ?!?!
      This is one of the many reasons they will struggle at next years election, and struggle to get anyone to put their head over the parapet for them.
      No vision, No clue and No future.
      Vote SNP x Twa.

    51. mealer says:

      Just make the no.1 on the list be the constituency candidate too.That would sort it for Labour.i heard a Tory member moaning to another that he had only heard of one candidate on the Tory regional list ballot. O/T how are these parties funding their campaigns? I suspect there are going to be an awful lot of half hearted,”paper” candidates.

    52. Jules says:

      Maggie Chapman ain’t an MSP, btw. A rare inaccuracy…

    53. yesindyref2 says:

      Aye, interesting times.

      Over 3 years back in CiF when 2 or 3 of used to discuss post-YES politics in Scotland, one of the interesting possibilities was for the Conservatives who get, I think, less votes than their natural voter base – because of their association with the totally toxic Westminster Tories.

      I’ve kept a bit of an eye on them, and apart from not going too far over the top during the Ref, they’ve shown some interesting signs of removing themselves bit by bit from the London Tories. They need to, not just to survive though, but to make some progress.

      The makeover sees a new breed of younger, moderate Tories replace many of the party’s longstanding candidates, as it seeks to appeal to voters from the centre ground.

      This would be another sensible step along that path, and shouldn’t be underestimated for effect, even in May 2016. Nor should Ruth Davidson, She’s got a certain gauche charm, and plays it for all its worth. Either that or she is just gauche!

      It does, however, have a potential side-benefit for the cause of Independence in that an evolving Scottish Conservative Party would be unlikely to oppose it strongly in the next Ref, and might even go neutral and surprise everyone.

    54. muttley79 says:

      I am really not surprised at all to hear about the Greens and RISE. The left in Scotland are notorious for following out with each other. Apart from the ILP, I cannot really think of a left wing political party/faction that have even been remotely stable for any length of time. Something strange happens there, not sure what it is down too: too many big egos, or is it too much idealism, factionalism?

      As for the Scottish Greens, it seems a shame. I have really gone off Patrick Harvie in a big way since around 2011. He was visibly reluctant and uncomfortable in the Yes campaign imo. I never got the impression that his heart was really in it. Harvie goes on about radical politics, but unfortunately I think he is a phony. He could not deliver a pizza. I think Harvie wants to be everyone’s pal, but in politics you are really not going to achieve much by this tactic.

    55. caz-m says:

      AFTER Independence, will the Unionist Scottish Labour Party keep fighting to return Scotland back to the Union?

      Or will they accept the result and move on?

      That’s a good question to put to Kezia.

    56. Nana says:

      O/T

      Breaking news

      White House says Trump comments disqualify him from presidency

    57. Macart says:

      There’s a constitutional train wreck on the horizon for Westminster and the establishment parties are going to be faced with a series of massive problems. Oh and I’m not referring to the branch offices in Scotland, but the heid bummers in Westminster.

      First up comes relevance to the Scottish electorate and their ‘all in it together/one nation/pooling and sharing’ narrative. Bit of a hard sell if you have zero representation of note in the Scottish parliament and the Scottish public and their representation are quite demonstrably choosing and embracing a different ideology and social narrative.

      Secondly there’s the media. Having, under such a possible result, singularly failed to influence the Scottish public, their stock and worth in the eyes of the establishment may just come under some scrutiny. Will they consider appealing to the public if their party handlers decide to abandon ship?

      Publishers and broadcasters will still be joined at the hip to government, but what about some very nervous editorial staff?

      Next May is a pivotal point in our journey and don’t they just know it. The super hyped project fear 2 is no accident, no coincidence. They mean to deluge the Scottish electorate with this current attack for the next five months at least.

      Now more than ever I reckon we need to be reading from the same page. If we want to break the hold of both the Westminster parties and the corp media on Scotland, we need to clean house in May as a first step.

    58. gerry parker says:

      Drawdeaddave.
      Up to the convenor to sort things like this out.
      If they are not up to it vote them out at the next AGM.

    59. Iain says:

      All I can say is that “you reap what you sow”. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of bastards.

    60. Cath says:

      This state of affairs is a disgrace. When will Nicola Sturgeon do something about it? She’s know the opposition is crap for at least 6 months now and doesn’t seem to have acted at all. #snpout!!!!!

    61. Scott Shaw says:

      I would say the Tories “sexy new young blood” is pushing the limits of reality a great deal.

    62. yesindyref2 says:

      @schrodingers cat
      That’s interesting. I would think the SSP will be watching very carefully, to see if they should just stand on their own in most places. I think they should.

    63. Lollysmum says:

      CmonIndy at 5.24 pm
      Now thats what I call an excellent use of your ‘down’time-catching up with Wings. Full marks for your effective time management 🙂

    64. crivensjings says:

      Interesting analysis, but have you taken into account SLAB’s postal votes…!?

    65. Ken500 says:

      Luving it. Best laugh for ages.

      Sweet revenge for the Referendum

      That’s what they get for voting Tory.

      Wipe the lot of them out for what they have done to Scotland. 2016/17.

      SNP/SNP independence.

    66. liz says:

      The problem for the SSP, whether they like it or not, they only got as many votes as they did back in the day because of Tommy Sheriden and they can’t forgive him for that.

    67. muttley79 says:

      @Cath

      There has been no real opposition since 2007 at Holyrood. There has been a unionist hate mob, and it was primarily aimed at Alex Salmond until late 2014.

      I see that the Regional Chair of Scottish Young Labour for Mid Scotland and Fife has seemingly referred to the SNP as the NSP. Surely that cannot be internal SLAB talk for the SNP as a comparison to the Nazis, who were of course known as the NSDAP? Surely they would not stoop so low?..

    68. forgotmaths says:

      “Malcolm Tucker in a fair-trade T-shirt”

      What an image 🙂

    69. schrodingers cat says:

      I argued for a tactical vote in holyrood 2016 from just after the referendum in an attempt to convince/bribe the greens and the ssp not to stand candidates at the may ge and for their supporters to back the snp. I got pelters for it from them, even on this site. I was worried it would split the vote and divide the indy supporters. I was right, ask morag and others in mundells seat.

      since the ge, I have continued to call for a tactical list vote and have made no secret of my disagreement with the rev and Scots goes pop, I understand the risks but believe that the snp will win most if not all constituency seats. it would appear even labour think so now. this would entail the snp losing most of the list msps.

      while i still think the greens, ssp and even solidarity are prefereable to any of the unionists on offer, what i don’t disagree with is just how difficult, the ssp, rise and the greens have made it for me to argue this point

      todays loki post in bella is the case in point. how does calling all yes supporters,.. “people who believe braveheart a documentary”, gibsons law at its best, make loki an independence supporter with a different view? it doesn’t. it makes loki a unionist troll.

      rise’s first ever public declaration was to barr solidarity from their ranks.

      rise and the ssp have just fractured into 2 groups now
      allan grogan has ditched rise.

      debra storr and ron greers spent most of the time before the ge telling people not to vote for salmond, and insulting me on face book. the greens wouldn’t know how to do themselves a favour if it came with an idiots guide for dummies.

      just after the ge, the tactical vote in holyrood looked like a real option, but in the last 4 months it has been killed….stone dead

      the greens, ssp and rise are now angry that the snp supporters wont lend them their list vote? know this guys, this isn’t of what the rev and terry Kelly have said against this idea, or indeed the unionist concern trolls, (the unionists are terrified this could have happened)…it is because of the way YOU have acted…hell mend you

      1.snp.2.solidarity

      the rest couldnt agree on the coulour of shite. stick that in yer documentary Loki…and smoke it

    70. Helena Brown says:

      On the subject of one party states, you can only be one if you are the only party allowed to stand. Last time I looked there were any number of parties covering any number of ideas but it seems that those people voting mostly choose to vote for the SNP.
      In my case no choice, SNP twice.

    71. jimnarlene says:

      Nana, that’s great news.

    72. David McDowell says:

      “the Lib Dems will be able to hold their next conference in the back of a van in a Lerwick lay-by.”

      I dunno, we are talking about some pretty well-fed arses to get them all into one van.

    73. Dan Huil says:

      More proof today that SNP/SNP is the thing to do in May.

    74. Grendel says:

      Labour are struggling utterly with this, there are no Councillors willing to step up to the plate for fear that they will make themselves unelectable as mere councillors the following year!
      The Tories apparently have David Mundell trying to block his own son from standing as a Tory candidate as well.

      This doesn’t mean the SNP should become complacent. I think Ronnie would agree that with an embarrassment of talent available there’s no excuse for having candidates such as Airdrie’s Sophia Coyle on the list:
      http://www.kaleidoscot.com/leading-snp-candidate-opposes-same-sex-adoption-5827

      With LIST candidates such as this the only way to bump them down the list is to vote against the actual candidate, so a good MSP could lose votes because they have been saddled with a poor compatriot on the list.
      What’s also concerning is the thought that if the list ends up packed with party cronies who are there as reward for services rendered rather than a reward for their ability, it signals that ambitious talent within the party should perhaps look elsewhere if seeking to advance themselves.

    75. schrodingers cat says:

      yesindyref2 says:
      @schrodingers cat
      That’s interesting. I would think the SSP will be watching very carefully, to see if they should just stand on their own in most places. I think they should.

      then the socialist left go from 2 to 3 parties standing
      (although rise was meant to pull the greens into the fold..deluded or what?)

      thing is, the ssp is heavily invested in rise, grogan may have just split the party. colin fox is very quiet tonight.
      allan bisset tweeted a fairly snotty comment to “other yessers” today

      HEY, cracked it, wings should launch a political party and stand 3 candidates in every region, we need 24 volunteers…..and the party will be called….

      SNP2

      🙂

    76. Balaaargh says:

      Zara Kitson’s photo looks like it came from a dating website.

      Needs more duckface, though.

    77. electionsarehard says:

      I see you’re continuing with your deliberate electoral illiteracy… If the opposition leaders are elected on list seats, it’s because people vote for their parties. That’s the way AMS works.

      If you’re going to continue with your “CONSTITUENCIES ARE THE ONLY VALID MSPs” campaign then have fun, but that’s not how the system works. It’s a far fairer system than, say, one party getting 37% of the votes but a majority of the seats…

    78. yesindyref2 says:

      @cat
      RISE have hacked a lot of people off with their “a list vote for the SNP is wasted” when provably it isn’t wasted at all. Not overall and not everywhere, there may be one or two regions that are possible, but not all. Most would result in one less SNP MSP.

      If on the other hand they’d been honest about it, done some homework instead of vague untrue generalisations, then they might have made a case on a region by region basis, and on a street level campaigner to campaigner basis. Too late now though, they’ve angered too many people.

      Some, not all, Greens are tarred by the same brush it seems.

    79. caledonia says:

      Ok hands up who clicked on the link “sexy new young blood” expecting something else

      guilty as charged

    80. schrodingers cat says:

      i think a party called SNP2 might just wing it lol

      volunteers?

    81. Ken500 says:

      There is no such thing as ‘ a new breed of younger looking moderate Tories’. They are all an inbred bunch of parasite bastards like Cameron/Osbourne. A bus load of misogynist, bully, blackmailing, coke smoking parasites driving people to their death.

    82. Dan Huil says:

      If some pro-indy voters, for honourable reasons, decide to split the SNP vote they risk giving amunition to unionists should the SNP fail to fulfill expectations in the number of seats won.

      Confidence in the independence movement could be adversely affected.

      I’m not risking giving succour to unionists.

      SNP/SNP in May.

    83. schrodingers cat says:

      Not overall and not everywhere, there may be one or two regions that are possible

      I agree with this, but i would look again closer to the election if their were potentially more

      i think rise, ssp and the greens have been playing this wrong from the start,

      people would have been more willing to accept them as msps rather than the chance of one or two snp msps had they been more consistent and less abusive of the snp

    84. yesindyref2 says:

      @cat
      SNP2 – that’s funny 🙂

    85. Iain More says:

      Off Topic

      I cant help commenting on the Donald.

      I wonder if Britannia TV Aberdeen will stop kissing his arse now. I wonder if the P&J (The daily Trump) will have an editorial denouncing him and advocate the ploughing up of a certain Golf Course and advocate planting wind turbines on it. I was also wondering if Sir Iain Quizzer Wood will return his honorary degree to Robert Quizzers Gordon Uni.

      I know – in ma dreams!

    86. ClanDonald says:

      Ross Greer is the best thing that ever happened to the Green Party. As long as you don’t like the Green Party 😀

    87. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Maggie Chapman ain’t an MSP, btw. A rare inaccuracy…”

      I THINK YOU’LL FIND IT DOESN’T SAY SHE IS.

      (Cough. I mixed her up with Alison Johnstone because you never, ever hear anything from or about The Green MSP Who Isn’t Patrick Harvie.)

    88. Nana says:

      @jimnarlene

      It certainly is, waiting to see if there will be a further announcement.

      Time to send Trump to the dump!

    89. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If you’re going to continue with your “CONSTITUENCIES ARE THE ONLY VALID MSPs” campaign”

      That’s a quite spectacularly stupid interpretation of the article. It neither says nor means any such thing.

    90. caz-m says:

      I see Jim Leishman fancies his chances in Mid Scotland and Fife as a list MSP.

      The Scotsman:

      “Mr Leishman is expected to face competition for a top ranking on the list from former Dunfermline and West Fife Labour MP Thomas Docherty, who lost his seat in May’s General Election but now hopes to become an MSP.”

    91. Andrew says:

      This has been bothering me for a while because Rev Stu’s trumpeted this line a few time now;

      “every single opposition leader has been explicitly personally rejected by the electorate, but snuck into the chamber on the list vote.”

      This is 100% the wrong way to be talking about electing MSPs under the PR system he have. It is using the language of First Past the Post, and the same anti-democratic attitude that Westminster displays, and that we should be scorning.

      Elections should be about gauging opinion, and having a parliament (and parliamentarians) that reflect people’s views, not some arbitrary race where one person “wins” and everyone else loses. If a person fails to win a FPTP seat but still garners thousands of votes they have not been “explicitly personally rejected”. Thousands of people voted for them and those people need to represented in parliament as well, to an appropriate proportion. It’s more than possible whoever won had less than 50% of the vote, so they were “explicitly personally rejected” as well FFS!

      There might not be a high enough concentration of tories to elect Ruth Davidson to one constituency but the list MSPs are elected to represent larger areas than constituencies to try and overcome the effects of concentrated support for one party. Simply put, if Davidson is elected from the list, she has not been “snuck” in, she’s the Tory leader, everyone knows she’s number 1 on their list, and she’ll only get in if people who want a Tory to represent them vote for it. It doesnae matter a ha’penny jizz whether or not she “lost” a FPTP contest.

      The idea that you’re only a real MSP is you had a constituency has caused bizarre splits and fights in Labour and christ knows we could do without that.

      We should be better than this Rev.

    92. K1 says:

      Looks like we’re taking our Independence. Such a good article, really shows what stage we’re at, no wonder the corpmedia ain’t reporting on much of it. I agree with Macart, galamcennalath and others who point out the whirlwind effect and the necessity of this developmental stage to achieve our aims.

      (did we win…really)

    93. Ruby says:

      http://tinyurl.com/qgfmxly

      Dugdale ‘short of cash’: Lean Labour

      SCOTTISH Labour is facing its leanest-ever election battle, according to party insiders who claim the war chest for next May’s Holyrood contest is “virtually empty”.

      The party, led by Kezia Dugdale, is understood to have been told by Labour headquarters in London that it can expect little financial help after a disastrous general election in May which left the party with one MP — Ian Murray, in the prosperous constituency of Edinburgh South — north of the border.

      It has emerged that the cost of winning that seat was about Pounds 1m.

      ‘Million Pound Murray’

    94. Tam Jardine says:

      yesindyref2

      Have you come across the Scottish Libertarian Party… appears to be a newly launched pro-yes conservative party. Not sure what to make of it and indeed if it will make any impact whatsoever.

      The Scottish political scene always seemed to me to be fairly crowded for a country this size so I question if there is room for a party aimed somewhere between SNP and the tories (from what i can make out).

      With regards to the rest I still feel somewhat dismayed that the bon accord between the Yes parties has dissolved. I am for pretty much everything Rise stand for but the SNP is the vehicle for independence and competent opposition to Westminster. They are also a very capable party of government working in difficult circumstances.

      Anyway- all the tactical voting stuff being pushed from some quarters is just the kind of thing we ridiculed the unionists for in the general election. I don’t like being told who I should vote for. I do like parties campaigning for my vote, and there are really is nobody actively trying to campaign for my vote.

    95. K1 says:

      Message to all MP’s kicked out at the GE: Fuck off. Your’e no getting back in through the back door. Take a hint and getae.

    96. Ruby says:

      http://tinyurl.com/oe37akn

      UNSUPPORTED: Deserted by voters and short of money, Labour leader Kezia Dugdale looks doomed to fail,

      While Labour is likely to remain the second biggest party at Holyrood, the mood in the party is grim, with supporters of Dugdale fearing that allies of UK leader Jeremy Corbyn in Scotland are already manoeuvring to replace her if the results of May’s election are as bad as polls predict.

      Paul Sinclair, an adviser to former Labour leader Johann Lamont, recently wrote in The Sunday Times that Labour found leadership plots “addictive”.

      “You would have thought the party might have united around [Dugdale] but like alcoholics unaware of the damage they are doing to their own family the plotting goes on.”

    97. electionsarehard says:

      “the Scottish Parliament looks set to find itself in a situation where every single opposition leader has been explicitly personally rejected by the electorate, but snuck into the chamber on the list vote.”

      So, Stu, you say that, but you don’t think list MSPs are somehow lesser? Something tells me you’re either being stupid or just hypocritical here. Votes are votes, MSPs are MSPs, no matter which side of the system they’re elected under.

    98. HandandShrimp says:

      I don’t really get the Rise thing. There is a perfectly good and established full on left wing party in the SSP.

      What is it with the left and the splitter thing :/

    99. Dr Jim says:

      We’ve always had the BBC for the official opposition now STV have cast off their cloak of invisibility to join in as the other half of the opposition, so nothing to worry about there

      And we have what’s left of the So Called News Print Media they’ll not stop opposing for a while, other than that the First Minister might have to run around opposing herself

      Looks like after that all that will be left is for Davie Cameron and his Porkie Chums to declare war on Jockistan as a failed state run by terrorists, well that’s what Willie Rennie says we are
      Still he won’t have any trouble hitting SNP civilians with his Brimstones we’re everywhere

      SNP/SNP to win and then we’ll have a party

      If nothing else but to shove it up the Porkie Lovers Snouts
      (not literally)… Eugh!! Pictured it there

    100. davidb says:

      I like the line about “scaring up a candidate roster”. If its a typo, its funnier left in.

      Be afraid, be very afraid…..

    101. Anagach says:

      Those list seats… like a place on the last helicopter out of Saigon.

      The soap opera of Labour’s decline looks to turn very nasty, this should make for entertaining viewing.

    102. Free Scotland says:

      There’s only one answer for these languishing parties: give all of your members chips and tell them what to do.

      P.S. Labour, remember to go heavy on the vinegar to keep that bitter together vibe alive and to help your members to mimic Johann Lamont’s sour-faced demeanour.

    103. Ruby says:

      “Scottish Labour does not wash its face,” says one former politician who does not want to be named. “In the past 18 months the UK Labour party has sent up Pounds 2m for the referendum campaign and the general election — Pounds 1m of that was spent on extra staffing for the general election, a huge amount of polling and swathes of literature.”

      ‘It didn’t pay off. Dugdale’s determination to have an autonomous Scottish Labour party was met with the riposte that she would have to raise her own funding in Scotland to fight the Holyrood election.

      “They basically said, ‘You spent Pounds 1m to get one MP. Why is chucking money at an election we are going to lose a good idea?’ There was frustration in England that the Pounds 1m could have made a difference in winning seats [south of the border] but in Scotland it went on securing one MP,” the former politician says.

      “Murphy hired people on large salaries and he maxed out the budget right up to 2016,” the Labour insider concurs. “They were saying to donors like Willie Haughey, ‘We’ll prove we can do this and then you fund us’. Instead, they spent all the money and proved they couldn’t do it. Since they overspent the budget, Kez has been hamstrung. She can neither hire nor fire anyone”.

    104. Dr Jim says:

      Alison Johnstone’s OK but it must be tough being just “the other one” although she’s a mile more effective than Patrick “canny burn the oil captain” Harvie

      Seriously though she’s OK, I wouldn’t vote for her, but still if you happen to be a Greenie I’ve watched her in committee, didn’t know she was “the other one” at first, but better than any of the Labour Numpties and her boss

    105. Patrick Roden says:

      Remember folks, the people are sovereign in Scotland, so if we are not happy that MSP’s who are being repeatedly rejected at the ballot box, are allowed to infest OUR parliament with bile and lies, we need to start writing to out local branch or MSP/MP to tell them how we feel.

      It has become common knowledge that our parliament was designed by Treacherous Labour (is there any other type?) MPs, who set out to make sure that we never got an SNP government, and that OUR parliament was never more than a ‘Pretendy Wee Parliament’

      So let’s show them and their media pals that we are not happy with these cretins.

      Perhaps a change of electoral law (if possible) so that an MSP can only go on the list once, and if elected they must stand as a constituency candidate the next time around?

      Why should we have to listen to people who we are telling at every election, ‘we don’t want you to represent us/or this area’?

      This is an affront to our democracy, and while I’m sure ‘self interest’ may make the SNP MSP’s reluctant to support this aim, if enough of us get behind a campaign of sorts, it will happen.

      Let’s never forget how these people have smeared and denigrated us so many times over the past few years, and let’s put them under even more pressure.

    106. schrodingers cat says:

      yesindyref2
      @cat
      SNP2 – that’s funny 🙂

      ok dads, i’ll do the jokes if you do the flyers

      SNP2 manifesto

      1. will never vote against any snp motion.
      2. will bring forth a bill to abolish the bbc
      3. arise sir rev
      4. will ridicule the unionists, mercessly, at every opportunity

    107. Famous15 says:

      The Tories should get ardent Unionists like the Anglican Bishop Of Chester to stand for them.

      I mean there is the good bishop sounding off in the House of Lords about the Scotland Bill and all he is lacking is democtatic confirmation. C’mon Tories,you know he is your sort of new breed,younger dynamic Tory. He could bookend with the Slovenian Tomkins.

      BTW who is Jan from Aberdeen who was sounding off on call Kaye yesterday that there was no emergency plan for the Bridge and backed up by Kaye and another zoomer. So me and my mates wasted hours and hours on emergency plans that do not exist!

    108. Iain says:

      The Labour party in Scotland, a small divided party that has little popular support and heading for oblivion. Revenge a dish best served cold, with great relish.

    109. Their was a time when the Red Tory`s could stick a red rosette on a horses ass and the mind dead faithful would vote in their packs to get it elected,

      if it was not for the MSM flogging the same near dead horse ,trying to get another mile out of it, they should let its end be a dignified one instead of this zombie mockery of a once great political party.

    110. schrodingers cat says:

      no emergency plan for the Bridge

      what is it with the SNP and plan B’s?

      kezia’s first question on thursday

    111. Truth says:

      They’re doing it on purpose so that they can say Scotland has truly turned into a one party state.

    112. schrodingers cat says:

      HandandShrimp

      What is it with the left and the splitter thing

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb_qHP7VaZE

      the guy from the Judean peoples popular front at 1.05 does look suspiciously like Conan the Librarian

    113. Cadogan Enright says:

      I am sure the unprepared nature of the Unionist parties will be all over the State and Corporate Media tomorrow.

    114. Capella says:

      Re the left and splitters. I think it’s about purity. Who has the purest interpretation of the theory? Same with the Wee Frees. All faiths which depend on “it is written” are bound to fall out over the interpretation.

      Whereas the Tories are focused on power and getting it and keeping it. They couldn’t care less about principles. It’s about winning.

    115. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Look, I’ve typed this before and I’ll type it yet again.

      For next year’s Holyrood election, if you’re an SNP member/voter/supporter, you must vote SNP/SNP.

      However, if your allegiance lies elsewhere (Solidarity/ RISE/SSP/A.N.Other), if you are pro-indy, and if your particular preference does not have a candidate standing for YOUR constituency, you MAY decide to lend your constituency vote to the SNP.

      In the regional/list vote, you will vote for your first preference, if that party is putting forward a candidate, or candidates.

      As others have pointed out, the left, represented by Solidarity/SSP/RISE, has become fractured by internal divisions.

      I think it’s gonna come down to individual performances in the regional campaigns. I’d like to think that if Alan Grogan stood in the north-east region, he might have a chance of election.

    116. Dan Huil says:

      Living in Scotland today is like living in a foreign country, at least as far as experiencing the media is concerned. I mean, what country is the media in Scotland talkng, or not talking, about? It sure ain’t Scotland.

    117. dakk says:

      Greens excepted they would all be better joining and standing for UKIP or BNP.

      It would be a tad more honest of them,and I believe and hope the majority of the Scottish people realise that fact now.

      Scottish Labour,Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Liberal Democrats….Aye right yaes are !

    118. liz says:

      @Ruby – that is very interesting.

      Murphy spent loads on big salaries -ie McTernan?? and Kez can’t afford to sack any of them (losers) – so that’s why they are still around.

      If those failed Lab ex MPs get in, their side will be a full of duplicitous wasters, can’t bear the thought of the increase in SNP bad stories.

      Oh and reading through some tweets, the unionists seem to hate the ‘SNP bad’ meme

    119. McBoxheid says:

      liz says:
      8 December, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Oh and reading through some tweets, the unionists seem to hate the ‘SNP bad’ meme
      ____

      Do they hate it because the SNP and supports say it, or do they UNDERSTAND why we say it?

    120. Quinie frae Angus says:

      @Ruby, 7.45pm and 8pm

      Thanks, your transcript from pay-walled Sunday Times article on Scottish Labour’s self-inflicted woes makes very interesting reading!

    121. Gary45% says:

      Nana@6.25.
      Jeez Nana I hope this is right.
      Just imagine The Donald’s hair piece slipping on the big red button. World annihilation by a bad dose of hairpiece.
      I know some naysayers, and they are starting to get worried about the prospect of the Donald being in charge of the big seat.
      Worrying times ahead, unless the rest of the world, mans/woman’s up and tells the Yanks “no more”.

    122. Albaman says:

      Ah so , tomorrow (9th) will be “C” day, Carmichael will find out his comeuppance,
      As for Jim Leishman’s shot at the election, he is probably thinking “if Alex Rowley can get into Holyrood surely I can as well”, well, maybe two years ago Jim, but times and views, they have changed, so it may not be a walk in the “east end park”.

    123. liz says:

      @McBoxheid, They hate it because they think it’s too good a way for us to discredit what they are saying and they don’t know how to argue against it

    124. Clootie says:

      …what needs to be added 🙂

      If you want to see an Independent Scotland then we need to continue the clear united message SNP X 2.

      When we gain the RIGHT to decide our politics IN Scotland then that will be the time to decide which party bests reflects our personal view.

    125. Glamaig says:

      @Capella 8:38
      Its called the narcissism of small differences. For example:

      I was walking across a bridge one sunny day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: ‘Stop. Don’t do it.’
      ‘Why shouldn’t I?’ he asked.
      ‘Well, there’s so much to live for!’
      ‘Like what?’
      ‘Are you religious?’
      He said: ‘Yes.’
      I said. ‘Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?’
      ‘Christian.’
      ‘Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
      ‘Protestant.’
      ‘Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?’
      ‘Baptist.’
      ‘Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?’
      ‘Baptist Church of God.’
      ‘Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?’
      ‘Reformed Baptist Church of God.’
      ‘Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?’
      He said: ‘Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915.’
      I said: “Die, heretic scum,” and pushed him off the bridge.

    126. Kirsty says:

      Are the unionists who constantly complain that FPTP in Westminster means that the SNP MPs don’t *really* represent Scotland because it’s not democratic now going to complain about MPs who were kicked out by voters in a democratic vote using PR to sneak back in at Holyrood as MSPs? Or is FPTP only a bad thing when a party they don’t like are voted in and PR’s great so long as it’s letting the party they do like in, even if the voters previously booted them out, but not when a party they don’t like get a majority? I’m confused.

    127. ronbon says:

      I believe Alex Rowley invited Jim Leishman to seek election for the Council on the basis of his popularity and with the promise that he would be nominated as Provost. Leishman himself admitted he is not a politician and he would have little to offer as an MSP.

    128. Nana says:

      @Gary45%

      Well AgenceFrancePresse & Laura Bicker among others have tweeted the announcement so I also hope it is true.
      The thought of that clown in the Whitehouse fills me with dread.

    129. caledonia says:

      snp2 party could be the opposition party

      firstministers questions could be

      snp2 hello nicola how you doing today
      snp fine
      snp2 thats great
      snp any more questions
      snp2 nah

    130. heedtracker says:

      If SLab is low on cash, cometh the hour, cometh the English nationalist.

      Another million quid for UKOK unionists would not be missed, next May is clearly a crucial staging post towards Scotland running Scotland, fcuk knows she’s desperate to stop that happening and she’s clearly rather keen to make her presence felt in the US.

      So her Scotland region should be a worth a million quid punt, with Project Fear 2 vote SLab Says BBC fury heading our way, it all worked last time, wonder what Blair MacDougal did with Rowling’s million anyway, other than retire to house husbandry, not that there’s anything wrong with that, Rowling will have told him to go nuts with the dosh anyway.

      Arise Lady JK Rowling of Mayfair.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3351175/Trump-bad-Voldemort-s-insult-Voldemort-J-K-Rowling-claims-presidential-hopeful-s-call-ban-Muslims-makes-worse-Dark-Lord.html

    131. schrodingers cat says:

      snp any more questions

      schrodingers cat, list msp for mid Scotland and fife, leader of the shadow cabinet

      1. can i get your autograph?
      2. any news on indyref2?
      3. did you hear the one about the unemployed yoon msp and the oil for isis sex slave …..:)
      4.can i get your autograph?

    132. ArtyHetty says:

      Hmm, I think this just seems too good to be true. Voters beware, remember the unionists are all absolutely desperate to oust the SNP at all costs, even if it SEEMS like they are sooo sure of losing their seats and even party leaders.

      I absolutely do not trust them one bit and could well imagine thy are playing a big, orchestrated game here. Instill in the minds of the electorate, Ukok wide, that Scotland really is nothing more than a one party state, a regime, and certainly not the democracy that it in actual fact is.

      What would that mean constitutionally? What would westmonster have to do to install democracy once again before Jockistan gets totally out of hand. They say the SNP are at the moment ‘arrogant’, tomorrow, who knows? One party state, as your next door neighbour? Chilling eh.

      I am very sceptical about this kind of tactic, by the unionists, they really will do anything to be rid of the SNP and given how they were all in bed together in the lead up to 2014, this may well be a sinister and planned move.

      What better way to cause doubt and disillusion than to cause havoc within your own ranks? It’s a rouse. No political party panics like that so far from an election, they are pulling candidates as a tactic for their own gain, not to the voters advantage!

    133. ArtyHetty says:

      Oh and if your neighbour is dangerously resembling a one party state, as it surely must be very soon, it would be most sensible and crucial to have them watched over by a second chamber to keep them in order. Chosen by non other than said neigbour of course! Aye, crafty, underhand and deceitful lot the britnats.

    134. ArtyHetty says:

      Oops, last comment messy, meant the crucial second chamber would be chosen by the saviours, South of the border. Let’s see shall we, desperation can bring on strange and extraordinary delusions of power.

    135. Lollysmum says:

      I’m starting to like the sound of SNP2 🙂

    136. arthur thomson says:

      I am sure no-one on Wings and no-one in the SNP is taking the state of the opposition at face value. Absolute effort will be required to get the Scottish Government re-elected with a majority in May.

      Also, the task of getting the SNP re-elected will be part of the process of engaging with the electorate to ensure the steady move towards independence.

      I would be amazed if there are not people in the Green Party who are state sponsored moles – and similarly in the radical left wing groups. These people will be creating problems for the Greens because of their commitment to independence. Hardly necessary in Slab because they are outright unionists but maybe some bolstering of their clearly useless personnel.

    137. ahundredthidiot says:

      God bless the camper van owner I passed last night with Yes2 plastered all over it.

      That’s a commitment beyond me. (keeping powder dry and all that)

      We are not yet a country. Agree, disagree, I don’t care. But it needs to be be SNP x 2 until we have our own country.

      Then, we can do what we do best. Debate, argue, compromise, argue some more, thrash out the detail, reach common ground, have different opinions, ultimately reach an agreement, in the best way all things Scottish.

    138. ben madigan says:

      Totally agree with Heedtracker
      “next May is clearly a crucial staging post towards Scotland running Scotland,the Uk’s desperate to stop that happening ”

      Unionist parties may be in disarray as Rev Stu suggests, but this is not the time for slacking, sitting back and thinking “that’s wonderful”

      As soon as the Xmas holidays and bad winter weather are over, Scot Nats need to get out door chapping, setting up stalls, leafletting, coffee mornings, tea afternoons, pub evenings, and so on and so forth.

      I am convinced we have to minimise the number of Union participants in Holyrood. I wouldn’t worry about accusations of a one party state – in 1918 Sinn Fein in Ireland got over 70% of the vote – nobody screamed about a one-party state – the UK took it on board and the rest is history. !!!

      if Scotland really wants her independence at present SNP 2 is the way to go and people have to be convinced of that.

    139. Lollysmum says:

      ahundrethidiot

      It wasn’t Wings very own Boorach was it? His camper van is very distinctive in advertising his desired status for Scotland 😉

    140. Lollysmum says:

      Ben Madigan
      They’ve all beaten you to it. The teams have been out for weeks now 🙂

    141. Valerie says:

      Great thread, and piece. I needed cheering up, with the Donald, and bombing Syria.

      The cat and Dr Jim are in good form. 🙂

    142. ben madigan says:

      Lollysmum – i hope the teams have been out for weeks now –

      If Scotland really wants independence another Referendum-like push is needed-

      Independence-supporters have to make sure that unionists are eliminated from Holyrood as much as is humanly possible!!

    143. A2 says:

      You have got to wonder how healthy this is and will it in the long term affect the quality of the SNP candidates?

      What I don’t want to see is the SNP repeating SLAB’s position where you could stick a red rosette on a Donkey. That’s where complacency lies.

      As a (ideally) green supporter (Let’s not revisit that posters 😉 ) I am disappointed but not a bit surprised, seen it more than once before.

    144. Sooz says:

      Great piece as usual, plus a slew of wonderful comments.

      Yes, that talk of a second chamber from Foulkes has me sniffing the air and scenting a rat. They must see down south that all is not well with the opposition parties up here and they’re desperate to stop an SNP government leading from the front. You can bet that second chamber would be stuffed with people who will simply vote down everything the government wants to pass. We have to stop that in its tracks. I’m pretty much in favour of oversight, but on our terms, not on some remote bunch of unionists who still treat us as irritating occupants of their Scottish playground.

      It’s beyond bizarre that parties, who can barely talk to one another, think they have a hope in hell’s chance of convincing the electorate that they would be a good bet in Holyrood. I wish they were stronger – I want to see a good spread of opinion in parliament, but the shower of incompetents they’ve got doesn’t fill me with confidence.

      And whose fault is it if they can’t get their acts together? Certainly not the SNP’s. We’ll hear a lot of yowling and teeth-gnashing about how it isn’t fair and SNP-bad and how awful it is that we have more armies of canvassers than the rest of them put together, but frankly, my dear …

      That Jim Murphy, eh. What a disaster for Labour. And have they managed to prise McTernan’s cold, dead fingers from the Labour party’s throat yet, or is he still following them around like a cross between Gollum and Nosferatu?

    145. Daisy Walker says:

      I’ve replied to Loki… Telt it tae him straight…

      The new bridge should be called FORTUITOUS.

      That’s him sorted;)

    146. Sandy Henderson says:

      There is talk of our becoming a one party state by, of course, the losers.
      However, this could be not as bad as it sounds, not like China or USSR style. There are advantages. Those elected would have their country at heart, not like corrupt Westminster (& it is corrupt as has been proved many times).
      Just think, with an honest parliament, the party whip could be done away with & a free democratic vote take place. Let’s face it, that is how companies, clubs, etc work.
      To ensure integrity, any elected member abusing his/her position, be immediately removed & dependant on the degree of abuse, be automatically charged under law &, if guilty, sentenced to a MINIMUM period in prison, ANYTHING UP TO 20 YEARS.

    147. jdman says:

      Art Hetty
      ” No political party panics like that so far from an election, they are pulling candidates as a tactic for their own gain, not to the voters advantage!”

      Wow
      what?
      Like this?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjPBp6DOwgU

    148. David Wallace says:

      Electionsarehard wrote:

      So, Stu, you say that, but you don’t think list MSPs are somehow lesser? Something tells me you’re either being stupid or just hypocritical here. Votes are votes, MSPs are MSPs, no matter which side of the system they’re elected under.

      Can’t you see that there is a HUGE difference between winning a constituency seat and – in Ruthie’s case – coming fourth? Not winning does make them losers, which – if you care to read properly – is what the Rev actually said.

      Those who stand for the list only and are elected are quite different to those ‘losers’ who ‘hedge their bets’ surely?

      Standing in both constituency and list is surely an abuse of the democratic process as it limits democracy to only a chosen few. Ruth obviously approves of that credo anyway…

    149. David Stevenson says:

      Can someone recap Nicola Sturgeon’s political history please? I have a feeling there is a lot of political amnesia among the posters decrying candidates standing on the list and a constituency simultaneously. Reminds me of the pish that our local Labour hacks used to pump out pre-2011. Anyone echoing them should take a step back.

    150. Davy says:

      Imagine a unionist politician being to scared to stand up in front of the public and say vote for me. That says everything about the unionist parties in Scotland, to scared to stand up for their country.

      Hell mend them.

    151. Andrew McLean says:

      ahundredthidiot says:11:04

      yes I have seen that campervan, I have also seen a caravan towed by a 4×4 that had SNP stickers on it, the wife will only let me put on Saltires.

    152. Willie John says:

      I’ve been away a few days and only just seen this. It would appear that there is at least one brave soul willing to put her head above the parapet. http://www.hebrides-news.com/labour-candidate-221115.html.

    153. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The idea that you’re only a real MSP is you had a constituency”

      I’m getting really tired of this straw-man pish. Absolutely nobody has said such a thing. It’s an assertion you’re quite wrongly extrapolating from the unarguably true statement that a party leader thrashed in their constituency seat has been personally rejected by the electorate.



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