stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland


The punch Ali didn’t throw

Posted on April 27, 2015 by

Right. We’ve got some slightly bad news, readers, and we might as well bite the bullet and tell you now. It’s touch and go whether Project Red is going to arrive before the election. (The good news is that going by the polls it isn’t going to matter.) Our vast team of coders is still working on it around the clock, but it’s looking like a tall order.

alipunch

So we better tell you why.

The plan was for a huge interactive database compiling together information from a whole clutch of resources that are currently something of a laborious chore to access, including The Public Whip, They Work For You and the MPs’ expenses register, in order to show at a glance what sitting MPs in every Scottish constituency had done in the last five years, and how much it had cost taxpayers.

And one of the reasons that turned out to be so hard to do is that business in the House of Commons is a lot more complicated than it seems, and MPs often act in bizarre, irrational ways that are impossible to neatly summarise.

By way of illustration, here’s John Robertson, the well-fed Labour (ex-)MP for Glasgow North West most recently notable for voting for the Tory welfare cap and telling lies about shipbuilding before the referendum.

johnrobertson1

But Mr Robertson’s voting record hasn’t always been so clear-cut. In a newsletter to his constituents 18 months ago, not long after the Parliamentary vote on military action against Syria, he claimed this:

johnrobertson3

But that, at best, is a partial truth. Because there were two key votes on the Iraq war in 2003 just 45 minutes (ironically enough) apart. One was for a motion saying that the case for the war had not been made (ie, basically a vote AGAINST the war). Mr Robertson voted to support that motion.

But less than an hour later, a second motion came before the House proposing that the government “should use all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction” – that is, a vote FOR the war.

Mr Robertson voted “Aye” on that motion too.

(He flatly and repeatedly denied the second vote at a recent hustings in Drumchapel. You can see him doing so from six minutes into the recording of the event below.)

The curious contradiction of the MPs – and there were more than one – whose votes on the two motions weren’t consistent is detailed on The Public Whip. Six MPs (all Labour) voted first against and then for the war in the space of those 45 minutes. Dozens more voted against, and then absented themselves from the second vote rather than vote against it again.

pwhip2

And to cut a long story short, the sheer volume of votes and counter-votes, and MPs changing their position on the same bills, or on the same subjects over the five years, looks like it’s simply made it too big a job to finish in enough time for it to be of any use before next Thursday. There were over 76,000 individual decisions to manually analyse for Scotland’s MPs, just for one aspect of the project.

And when those decisions involve trying to concisely state a definitive position when an MP voted both for and against the same thing on the same night, they’re pretty much impossible anyway.

So we’re really sorry about that, and we hope you’ll forgive us. As we say, judging by the current polls the bulk of the electorate has already made its judgement on those who it sent to Westminster in 2010, even without a forensic breakdown of what they did there and how much they slurped from the gravy train in the process.

And the likes of John Robertson, who tried to have it both ways, look set to reap their just rewards. Hopefully all will be well that ends well.

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    94 to “The punch Ali didn’t throw”

    1. Betty Boop says:

      Aww – but thanks for all the work and for trying so hard to bring this project together.

      Still hope you manage it though 🙂

    2. A noble endevour nonetheless brother.

      Thanks to you and your team for making the effort.

    3. Bruce says:

      No worries, Rev. Thanks for the info: straightforward and honest as ever.

    4. mogabee says:

      I forgive you. 😀

      There’s always the Scottish election next year!

    5. Betsy says:

      Well there’s always 2016.

    6. I think all the disappointment is on the Labour side that none of their mudslinging has only left them with dirty hands. This is the first election in my lifetime that I’m actually looking forward to.

    7. Nana Smith says:

      Is this the same John Robertson suggesting this evening that the polls are fiddled in favour of the snp

      See Ashcroft’s response on twitter

      https://twitter.com/LordAshcroft/status/592800493501558784

    8. MajorBloodnok says:

      Not to worry, your time is better spent expressing your sincere admiration for the Nazis anyway.

    9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Is this the same John Robertson suggesting this evening that the polls are fiddled in favour of the snp”

      Yes.

    10. Patrician says:

      To be honest, I had forgotten all about Project Red until someone mentioned it on Saturday at the Wings stall.

    11. Mae Carson says:

      Wow! A gargantuan task, not in the least surprised you & compilers struggled to complete on time.

      BUT

      “well done all” for even attempting to do it.

    12. Ian Mackay says:

      John Robertson caught lying to Drumchapel. Oh dear… that won’t go down well.

    13. RogueCoder says:

      As Project Lead, I’m responsible for delivery. I apologise for the delay, and I’m sorry to disappoint avid Wings readers who were looking forward to a new campaigning tool.

      However… work continues apace. What we have currently is a massive database of information collected from a variety of public and private sources. This data will be key in supporting Wings through to the 2016 Scottish elections and beyond. At this point, we haven’t spent any actual money on it (volunteer hours only), and we’ll make future resourcing decisions based on the priorities which Rev directs.

      Again, I apologise for the project’s tardiness, and hope you’ll bear with us whilst smaller parts of the project are released online – more on that at a later date.

    14. David McKeen says:

      Don’t sweat it, Rev; the support for the SNP has become an unstoppable force clearing aside all those unscrupulous bastards that thought their sinecure was safe.

    15. Oneironaut says:

      You should give Taranaich a job there.

      Looking at how much info he managed to pull up in his Devo Files, he could probably have dug up the data easily enough 🙂

    16. Just shows the machinations and transparency of the Westminster election.

      We all appreciate the work you’ve done and anyway…

      they’re flat out on their backs and the referee is at 9 in his count.

    17. caledonia says:

      Any chance you could find a labour politition that has told a truth in the last few years

    18. Any shit on Ian Murray of Edinburgh South? – got a bit of msm tweet coverage to undo

    19. rosa alba macdonald says:

      So – hold fire. Wait till it settles. Get a head start on Similar for Holyrood. It needs to be ready to distribute 6 weeks on before election.

    20. thingy says:

      Doesn’t look like he’ll be needing a foodbank anytime soon.

      Project Red – That’s the way it goes sometimes. No matter, we have other business at hand. 🙂

    21. Mealer says:

      Best to keep it up you’re sleeve til you can do it to the excellent standard of WBB.

    22. Mosstrooper says:

      A wee re working of an old army song.

      Feck em all
      Feck em all
      The paedo’s the liars an’all
      Feck all the Tories, the Lib Labs as well
      Feck all the UKIP and send them to Hell
      For we’er saying goodbye to them all
      Westminster, Jim Murphy an’ all
      We’ll vote SNP and we’ll make Scotland free
      So cheer up my lads

      FECK ‘EM ALL

    23. HandandShrimp says:

      Did he bother to check what he was voting for?

      I like the idea that all the polls, telephone, face to face and on line are all skewed in favour of the SNP. Are they skewed because they keep finding SNP voters by any chance?

    24. Doug Daniel says:

      Och, if it’s going to be available for 2016 instead, then at least you don’t have to rush it.

    25. Gary45% says:

      Looks like Toodleoothenoo has more competition for the pie wresting title.
      Just watched rep scot on the iplayer.
      Toodles was up in Inverness today, there are reports of serious food shortages.Num,Num,Num.

      Stu, depending on how many Labouratories are left next year,
      project red will come in very useful.
      Gary

    26. Gallowglass says:

      Any news on the iOS version of your app?

    27. Macca73 says:

      I’d like to thank you Rev. for the time you’ve taken on this. It must be a massive undertaking and it’s a horrible thing when you have to look through just thousands and thousands of Parliamentary papers to get what you’re you looking for.

      We understand!

      Thanks again

    28. RogueCoder says:

      @Doug Daniel
      Och, if it’s going to be available for 2016 instead, then at least you don’t have to rush it.

      It’s designed to support ongoing Wings activity, so we are striving to deliver to Rev ASAP. The public facing elements of it… well, I don’t want to put a time frame on that yet for the simple reason that there’s a huge amount of technical detail still to work out.

      Once again, I take full responsibility for the delay, and apologise to Wingers for not having it online in time for GE15.

    29. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’d like to thank you Rev. for the time you’ve taken on this.”

      In fairness, I personally took almost no time on it. Lindsay’s the one who’s been burning the midnight oil to do it so far, in his usual Herculean manner.

    30. DaveDee says:

      I hope the Rev will forgive this early O/T

      Daily Record Front Page

      https://twitter.com/ARobertsonSNP

      .

    31. Zen Broon says:

      Make the data you have public access, though. There will be many theses and history books to be written explaining the timely demise of the Labour Party in Scotland.

    32. cearc says:

      Having trawled through lots of Public Whip voting lists, I can only commiserate.

      I doubt that many of them have a clue what they are voting for or against when they are dragged out of the restaurants and bars to go and vote.

      Interesting to hear on R4 this evening that the MPs and BBC are now discussing Grand Coalition. It took them several months to catch up with Wingers!

    33. Shaun the Sheep says:

      Project Red is taking care of itself by all accounts, according to the polls. Thanks for your continuing hard work to keep us up to date with the news we need to have and share with others.

    34. Cadogan Enright says:

      Can I ask the Rev as part of the project to create a “Hall of Infamy’ for Journalists who distort or lie lie like that last one.

      Nominations should require specific examples. I have about 10 for Nick R.

      We could have a league table – unattributed rubbish articles can be given to the correct editor.

      We could have BAFTA awards for a whole list of categories like ‘Distortion of the Year’ or ‘most transparent Lie’ or ‘biggest failure to corroborate ‘

    35. crisiscult says:

      MSM have been bashing away in last few days at Paisley and Edinburgh South. A bit of ammo to return fire would be great.

    36. thedogphilosopher says:

      A good idea worth holding on to for the future!

      Never again should a political party be allowed to get into the cosy, unchallenged position that the Labour Branchers have occupied in Scotland for the last fifty or so years.

      Once Independence is achieved then it’s game on!

    37. muttley79 says:

      O/T Just watching the Guardian coverage of the disturbances in Baltimore. Looks like it is getting a little out of control…

    38. Graeme Doig says:

      No need for apologies Rev. I reckon you’ve given us more than enough ammo.

      Thanks to you and your team for all your efforts.

    39. X_Sticks says:

      Will it be possible to adapt the app for the Holyrood elections?

    40. Capella says:

      Looking forward to seeing Project Red when it’s ready. If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing.

      From that Daily Record front page even they are having to accept the enormous change in Scottish attitudes. This site is central to that change so you can rest on your laurels -but not too much!

    41. AllyPally says:

      Although this project is not an immediate success, I’m glad to see you’re delegating. I’ve thought for a long time you need support staff: perhaps paid, perhaps volunteers. The job is too big for one person.

      There’s lots of us happy to help. Let go a wee bit.

    42. neil bruce says:

      Mosstrooper @ 11.09

      The Long and the short and the tall?

      Your version is better.

      By a country mile.

    43. dramfineday says:

      Oh no, not another one of these daft jock projects coming in late, over budget and incorrectly scoped?

      Off to the project management hall of infamy with you where you’ll be in fine company with such illustrations as “Building tram networks in historic cities by dummies”, “Appointing the comms manager to build your parliament” and that old saw “The importance of building blast walls after you complete the initial parliament structure”.

      Still, look on the bright side guys, what would oor Eleanor have named the successfully completed project…..?

      PS As a project sponsor I accept your explanations about the difficulty in sorting out the data about our slippery MPs. Now what is that cobblers they keep chuntering on about “if you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear?” Harrumph!

    44. Gary says:

      I don’t get it. Why would any parliamentarian vote against an issue then, 45 minutes later, vote in favour of it?

      If there was time enough between the votes to obtain new evidence or for the situation to change, then I could understand!

      The only POSSIBLE reason to do this is so you can present your position either way, later on, for reasons of voter conning.

      I should expect it by now that they’ll flat out lie about anything that suits.

      Is EVERYTHING they say a lie??

    45. Davy says:

      At least your new system will be ready for 2016, as their will be a lot of ex-red tories MP’s trying to claim seats in Holyrood, hoping to get their snouts back in the trough.

      Hell mend the bastards.

    46. Betty Craney says:

      Boris ( CaltonJock ) has a lot of good info on his website …I send folk there regularly from FB and he provides links to his articles .

      Tarranaich ( Wilderness of Peace ) is another good site .

    47. Davy says:

      Sorry Rev for the O-T, but yet another over 50% poll in favor of SNP, over on “Scot go’s pop”. 2nd of the day.

    48. dakk says:

      Excellent insight into Westminster’s duplicitous mechanisms and the modus operandi of these political chameleons.

      Robertson is my MP and is almost untouchable,so you ‘fingered’the right man sure enough (sorry,but you started it Rev) 🙂

      This expose will add vigour to the campaign in Glasgow NW I’m sure.

    49. Morag says:

      Srsly, rope Taranaich in.

    50. Les Wilson says:

      I agree Rev, it is pointedly a huge task, so now perhaps better to take a bit more time when the opportunity is there to grow the concept in time for the 2016 Scottish election.

      It will be a blockbuster for that, and something that needs to be got out everywhere. perhaps large posters and any other effective advertising. Your work could make a huge difference,and credit to all at wings to have worked so hard on it.Keep it live.

    51. DerekM says:

      Thanks for trying Rev and team it was a mammoth task you undertook and i am sure it will come in handy in the future ,plus it gives you time now to work on it instead of chasing a deadline.

      Fortunately circumstances seem to be in our favour and the SNP are bursting with confidence its quite infectious,and the red tories are running about with their heads up their backsides mainly thanks to you guys debunking all their lies.

      it lets the SNP get on with spreading their message without having to resort to spending all their time chasing north branch lies,keep up the great work everybody.

    52. Bob Sinclair says:

      O/T
      I’ve just had a horrible thought that Labour are planning to let in a minority Tory govt then at first opportunity call a vote of no confidence within months forcing a GE. And guess who they’ll blame.

      Please tell me I’m wrong.

    53. Billy says:

      @ (00:11)
      Wonder why the Daily Record has swiftly changed its tune
      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/record-view-were-witnessing-history-5594643

      THE RECORD VIEW

    54. Taranaich says:

      I know your pain, folks: the Devo Files lurched to a halt precisely because of the vagaries of parliamentary language and voting. I don’t know how many I’ll get out before polling day, but I’ve been busy trying to win Inverclyde, and that has to take priority – as it should be for every constituency.

    55. Les Wilson says:

      Cadogan Enright says:

      Totally agree with that suggestion. Expose them for what they are I would include tv reporters of course. Actually could be many categories, we are spoiled for choice.

    56. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Rev
      @ RougeCoder.

      Its a pity that the work you all have done to date, wont be available in time for the Election. I,m sure you,s have worked tiressly,but as has been said previously up page there is always 2016 Hollyrood Election & that information will keep.And on a more positive note it shows that WOS is not packing up its tent anytime soon.

      Paragraph Break ha ha.

      Thanks to all the Compilers, Onward N Upward.

    57. desimond says:

      Nothing a few exploitative Zero Hours Contracts wouldnt fix….

    58. thedogphilosopher says:

      RougeCoder? Sounds kinda sexy!

    59. manandboy says:

      All that hard work is deeply appreciated but hopefully the project will retain it’s value as an potent and unpublished resource for 2016.

      It would be a shame if it was launched now and the contents revealed but not actually needed due to the enormous lead in the polls which so clearly carry the country’s desire to see Labour gone from Scotland.

      The only hope for Labour lies in their ability to interfere with the election, specifically with the postal votes.

      Support Nicola, support Scotland, support our young people’s future.

    60. Sooz says:

      I know that you and RogueCoder and others are working your fingers to the bone, for which I give many thanks. Things happen for a reason, is what I always say, because I’m a born optimist.

      The enormity of the task just proves quite how unwieldy and unfit for purpose the system is and how radical reform should be, although with independence we could wash our hands of the whole sorry mess and get on with what we do best: being a democratically-minded country in theory and in practice.

      Whatever you come up with and whenever, I know it will be groundbreaking stuff. It will come at the right time when it can cause the most upheaval. 🙂

    61. Macart says:

      Hell of a project.

      Wow.

    62. Luigi says:

      Not to worry. As folk say, Project Red will be up and running in time for the 2016 Scottish elections. So, any unemployed red tory ex-MPs sniffing around looking for selection for MSP lists can be quickly scrutinized. Caution: it may actually help Labour in that they could end up choosing better candidates. However, this would be far better for Scottish democracy, if those characters were kept well away from Holyrood and so IMO the Labour party should be “helped” in this way.

    63. john king says:

      Donal Urquart @ 10.58
      “Any shit on Ian Murray of Edinburgh South? – got a bit of msm tweet coverage to undo”

      He provably lied about a case of vandalism at his surgery alleging that yes activists had painted slogans on his door, in fact Morag pulled a picture of his surgery taken several years before on google street maps clearly showing the same (badly painted over) graffiti and the only evidence of any yes activity was a minuscule sticker on his window supporting yes.

    64. john king says:

      I think I seem to remember he even had the brazen cheek to complain that the “vandalism” (sticker) had put his staff “into a state of fear and alarm”

      omg theres a sticker on the window,
      what next?
      a petrol bomb?

    65. john king says:

      Oh,
      and he has shit dress sense
      http://tinyurl.com/ot7n2dc

    66. john king says:

      Davedee @ 11.22pm

      Looks like the Record are trying to bail out the sinking ship with a teaspoon awww
      “economically illiterate” are they avin a giraffe?

    67. john king says:

      dramfineday @11.47pm

      Ye drapped yer monicle there Colonel Bogey,
      let me pick it up for you,
      (farts all the way down and back up again) there ye go Colonel ah’ll jist wipe that speck o dust of it with the erse o ma troosers. 🙂
      __________________________________________________________
      thedogphilosopher says @11.21pm
      “RougeCoder? Sounds kinda sexy!”

      Khmer big boy!

    68. jimnarlene says:

      As has been alluded to, keep your powder dry for next year.
      A herculean task, right enough.

    69. Alex Waugh says:

      My home constituency is Glasgow North West and, if I can do nothing else in this election, I will at least add one more vote to the political demise of the odious John Robertson, and I’ll be proud to do it. In fact, I have gone out of my way in order to be able to vote against him despite the fact in the past I was a staunch Labour voter (that all stopped the day Blair revealed his true colours).

      The Dug had a stunning rant about the rationality of anger the other day but I went past anger months ago, now I’m deep into disgust with the Labour machine in Scotland – it doesn’t even merit anger anymore; just pity and the quick death that pity affords a sick animal.

    70. Macandroid says:

      Rev Stu
      As someone who knows the real Neil Hay and how nice a guy he really is, could you manage to put Ian Murray’s data online please?

    71. Calgacus says:

      Thank you Rev and Lindsay for the hard work.

    72. Effijy says:

      Rev Stuart, Could you aim for a shorter version that perhaps just focused on the more marginal or key seats.
      Let;s make sure Mr Salmond win his seat, let’s ensure Smurph gets that severe lick in the pants he so richly deserves, The Alexander brothers must go Danny and wee Dougie, Maggie Curren must be retired.

      I’ll be up all night to see their faces when the numbers are rolled out on election night,praying that justice is done.

      We need some of your magic bullets to secure these victories!

    73. Neil Scott says:

      Dear Stu Thank you for trying. I cannot even work out what (very much hopefully ex-MP) Lib Dem Alan Reid voted on from the HoC voting webpage. I strongly suspect it is all deliberately obscure.

    74. Another Union Dividend says:

      Donald Urquhart @ 10.58

      Where to start on Ian Murray?

      Apart from lying over stickergate, voting with the Tories on 13 January on more austerity and failing to oppose Trident on 20 January, he didn’t vote against Bedroom Tax on 26 March 2014.

      Check out Ian Murray’s expenses: 2014 Ian Murray £189,015.53

      Also benefited from using services of a seconded member of staff from the accountancy giant PwC, at an estimated cost of £45,000.

      That suggests a conflict of interest, particularly as Margaret Hodge, the chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said it was ‘inappropriate’ to accept unpaid help from the firm accused by MPs of promoting tax avoidance schemes on an ‘industrial scale’.

      2012 /13 Expenses Breakdown

      Ian Murray must be struggling on his £66,396 a year salary as according to the Edinburgh Evening News, on 6th November 2013 he claimed the highest amount of any Lothian MP for his energy bill of over £747. Good to see taxpayers paying for an early energy freeze for MPs when many are struggling to heat their homes.

      The Edinburgh South Labour MP claimed a total of £181,840 in expenses, on top of his salary, including the third highest amount in the UK for his Constituency Office at £26,593 which is crazy as since Devolution Scottish MPs have fewer responsibilities than English MPs.

      Office rented from the former disgraced MP Nigel Griffiths but he can’t afford matching paint for his shabby front door. The Office expenses don’t include his staff salaries amounting to £121,430 which also provides extra household income by employing his partner as a secretary.

      http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/ViewAnnualisedTransactionalData.aspx

      Employed staff on Zero Hours contracts

      http://www.sunnation.co.uk/if-zero-hours-contracts-are-so-bad-how-come-these-68-labour-mps-used-them/?CMP=spklr-Editorial-TWITTER-SunNation-20150401-SunNation-163416812

    75. gerry parker says:

      No probs Rev. If we have it in time for all the Westminster troughers who have their eyes on Holyrood in 2016, that will be just fine.

    76. Robert Peffers says:

      @RogueCoder says: 27 April, 2015 at 10:56 pm:

      “As Project Lead, I’m responsible for delivery. I apologise for the delay, and I’m sorry to disappoint avid Wings readers who were looking forward to a new campaigning tool.

      On need for apology, RogueCoder, and Rev Stu’s explanation of how the, now-ex-MPs, so often act like idiots is actually a valuable example in itself.

      People may be too close to details to be see the overall results.(The failure to see the wood for the trees idea). Rev Stu’s example shows the wood in focus by clearing the trees.

      Yesterday I pointed out Rich Listers had more than doubled their richness during austerity while food bank use went sky high. Conceding the two facts indicated they got richer by taking money from the poor, (unless the rich printed their own money).

      A commenter then delved quite deeply with vivid detail of HOW they did it. All good information but it was the trees obscuring the wood. Often the more valuable info is wood obscured by the trees and the truth is we need both the details and the conclusions.

    77. Robert Peffers says:

      @Gary says: 27 April, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      “I don’t get it. Why would any parliamentarian vote against an issue then, 45 minutes later, vote in favour of it?

      If there was time enough between the votes to obtain new evidence or for the situation to change, then I could understand!”

      I’ll spell it out for you, Garry.
      Many, perhaps most, MPs don’t know what they are voting for on any particular thing being debated in the chamber. These members are lobby fodder. Parliament has many eating, drinking and leisure areas that are usually well filled but the debating chamber struggles to contain a full house of MPs. The Parliament Channel often shows debates with a small handful of members in attendance.

      Then see the standing room only events like PMQs. So how parliament works is a few members know the facts and do the work. When a bill needs voted upon the party whips drag the brain dead Lobby fodder out of their hidey holes to the division lobby and usher them through. The Lobby Fodder just do as they are told. Many haven’t got a clue what they have just voted for.

      Hence, when challenged, they deny they voted a certain way. Ask one of those guys to explain a particular thing and watch the confusion on their faces.

    78. Almannysbunnet says:

      Rev, I bags the copyright on project red being called Wingipedia. You can have it off me for a 1p. 🙂

    79. Best wishes to anybody trying to listen to Nicola being “interviewed” by Kaye on B.B.C radio at the moment. Once again, acting as cheer leader for the Labour party, and not allowing the First Minister to answer. Had to switch off before I did my radio some damage.

    80. Robert Peffers says:

      Nicola on BBC RS. “If I don’t get more than three words in we’re not going to get very far”. Kaye, (wi ae e’e), has not allowed the FM to finish a single sentence so far.
      If there ever was a more boring radio presenter I’ve yet to hear them. Good grief Archie Andrews’ head was made of wood and he was a better broadcaster than Kaye, (wi wan e’e).

      http://www.turnipnet.com/whirligig/tv/children/other/archieandrews.htm

    81. Robert Peffers says:

      @Bob Sinclair says: 28 April, 2015 at 12:10 am:

      ” … Labour are planning to let in a minority Tory govt then at first opportunity call a vote of no confidence”

      Do the sums, Bob. With enough SNP, Plaid Cymru and Greens in the house it means Labour and Tory numbers are close in numbers. It also looks like LibDems are reduced in number.

      The only way either Labour or Tory can win a no confidence vote is by, at least some of their own, voting against their own party. That means the SNP/Green/Plaid group control if and when a government stands or falls.

      Which is why the SNP will not have a formal coalition. The truth looks like being, that no matter which of the big two are the biggest party, or biggest coalition bloc, that gains office can only actually get into power with SNP/Green/Plaid support and can only remain in power with their support on any particular issue.

      If the Labour/Tory groups cancel each other out then votes of No confidence are decided by the others or by big two ("Tractor" - Ed)s to their own party.

    82. scottieDog says:

      Certainly feels like ropadope just now. Think we need a few big haymakers before the election.

    83. Big Jock says:

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/one-in-seven-to-vote-tactically-to-stop-snp-1-3756167

      The unholy unionist alliance to stop democracy for a second time! These people have no shame! If 52% of Scots vote SNP. These people who are the minority now want to prevent the will of the majority.

      Tactical voting is for people with no soul, and see politics as a game.

    84. Grouse Beater says:

      Robertson can’t even get it right on the Palestinian question.

      He’s all those Glaswegian politicians I’ve met over the decades: over-fed party machines, ignorant, indolent, boasters, serial liars.

      Track back to see what they achieved for their constituency and it’s invariably close to nothing.

    85. Adrian says:

      Have you considered making this into an open source project? I’ve been lurking on Wings since the referendum and never really felt I had much to add. This is something I could help with though.

    86. Derick fae Yell says:

      There will be another election in 2016. Just saying

    87. ronnie cowan says:

      Fortunately for Inverclyde we already have “a huge interactive database compiling together information from a whole clutch of resources that are currently something of a laborious chore to access, including The Public Whip, They Work For You and the MPs’ expenses register.” Its called Taranaich 🙂

    88. dramfineday says:

      John King at 6.04

      My dear chap thank you so much for the title and for picking up my monocle (and polishing it). However while you were on your way down (and back up) I had a very scary revelation: I name you, John King, the phantom raspberry blower (rear quarters) of old Scotia.

      There, that’s you exposed – which you very nearly were in those trousers!

    89. Grendel says:

      Mosstrooper 27/1109
      Much as I would like to agree, the constant cry from many quarters about Westminster being full of “peados” is start to sound rather worn. The list of “peados” who are being labelled on facebook and other social media without a shred of evidence, merely innuendo, does a terrible damage to people who are trying to have their genuine concerns heard.

    90. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Derick fae Yell.

      I hear you managed to meet Ronnie Anderson on Saturday, later on…

    91. Alistair Swanson says:

      Sounds like a worthy cause – are more volunteers required and where do we sign up?

      ( sadly, it’s what I’m good at – awk, curl, sed, etc. )

    92. Cuilean says:

      Hope you make it Lindsay. I checked ‘They Work For You’ for Labour MP, Katy Clark. Ms Clark styles herself a party rebel; vocal at an anti-Trident rally; expressed herself horrified at the Iraq War and the super-rich avoiding taxes. She also says she’s apparently keen on more powers for Scotland. Fair enough, I hear you say.

      But here’s the rub: ~

      Why did ‘rebel’ Katy Clark vote repeatedly in the Commons against a public inquiry into the Iraq War?

      Why has ‘lefty’ Ms Clark voted repeatedly in the Commons against new laws to tackle tax avoidance by the super rich?

      And just why did a Ms Clark absent herself in the last 5 years (13 times in total) every time the Commons voted on devolving more powers to Scotland?

      Apparently she was asked about the 13 no-shows for more powers votes at recent Ardrossan hustings. I was not there but spoke to someone who was). Ms Clark blithely replied that she had ‘lots of funerals to go to at those times’.

      13 funerals?

      Aye, that’ll be right, Katy, you wee rebel, you.

      Katy’ll have another funeral to attend on 8 May 2015, I hope, the death of her party’s North British branch office.

      By their actions shall ye know them.
      It would be wonderful if you could get this info out there still before the 7 May & just post it even if it is incomplete. I am sure it would make very useful reading still to all those undecideds out there.

    93. Hugh Mcmillan says:

      Is it possible that these motions are presented in this contrived way to allow mp’s to state in all sincerity that they voted against something that they ultimately voted for?
      It would be interesting to see how many of the more controversial issues have been presented in a similar way



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