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Wings Over Scotland

The ultimate irony

Posted on December 01, 2014 by

We’ve long known that Labour’s attachment to the Union was founded on the belief – though a statistically erroneous one – that it couldn’t form a secure UK government without the block of MPs (currently 40) that it sends to Westminster from Scotland.


But a fascinating article from YouGov president Peter Kellner on the YG website today suggests that the party’s desperate and eventually successful efforts to secure a No vote could turn out to be the most Pyrrhic victory of all time.

The piece is an analysis of current polling figures, adjusted away from the conventional uniform-swing calculations to take account of several real-life factors. (Interestingly, the rise of UKIP south of the border isn’t a significant one – Kellner’s prediction gives Nigel Farage’s party just one seat, half as many as it has now, despite a forecast vote share more than twice that of the Lib Dems.)

It’s a well-documented phenomenon that the current electoral system and boundaries give Labour a significant advantage over the Tories, whereby they can lose the popular vote but win the election. Kellner contends that this is no longer the case, and that the primary reason for it could be Scotland.

On a current uniform swing, he initially projects a wafer-thin overall majority for Labour, but one which is swiftly lost due to something called the “incumbency effect” protecting 20 Tory seats which would otherwise be expected to fall. Miliband then needs the remaining Lib Dems to form a government with a small majority.

Kellner’s post doesn’t detail those numbers (which are predicated on current polls and take no account of the fact that Labour’s lead has been shrinking steadily over the last two years), but they’re as follows:

Labour: 298
Conservative: 290
Lib Dem: 27
Others: 27

But the picture changes radically when Scotland is treated separately.


Assessing the current spectacular implosion of Labour’s vote in Scotland, Kellner comes up with a startling figure of 48 seats for the SNP and Plaid Cymru combined (current total: 9). That seems extremely high, but the nature of First Past The Post is that once a party passes a certain tipping point it tends to be vastly disproportionately rewarded in terms of the number of seats returned, so it’s not impossible should the present polling levels stay broadly unchanged.

The irony, then, is that Scotland switches from Labour’s biggest “banker” territory to its Achilles heel. Without Scotland, a Labour-Lib Dem alliance would give Miliband just about enough seats to form a majority in an rUK Parliament, once absentee Sinn Fein MPs were taken into account. But having kept Scotland in the Union, he’d be nowhere near. Winning the referendum would have cost Labour the election.

Scottish Labour, of course, will shriek frantically about precisely this scenario in an attempt to scare Scottish voters back into the fold on pain of sending David Cameron back to power. But on Kellner’s figures the Tories wouldn’t be able to form a majority even in coalition with the Lib Dems either, and the SNP have already given an unequivocal, cast-iron guarantee that they wouldn’t prop up a Tory government.

The situation, therefore, would be that Miliband would be able to command a working majority – even without the Lib Dems – so long as he had the support of the SNP. The Nats would be able to ensure that any new devolution package wasn’t to Scotland’s detriment, something that the Smith Commission proposals threaten to be, and have also said that they’d make the non-renewal of Trident a red line issue.

The Scottish electorate will therefore find itself faced with an unusually high level of power next May. They can vote Labour yet again, bringing about either a weak Labour administration which nevertheless needs only the Lib Dems to pass its legislation, or a weak Tory one that can get over the line by also enlisting the DUP.

In either case, the Prime Minister can safely ignore Scotland – and indeed will almost certainly HAVE to, or risk losing his majority thanks to backbench rebellions.

Alternatively, Scots can send a large cohort of SNP MPs (probably including a certain A. Salmond) south, at which point Scottish votes will become absolutely crucial to the occupant of 10 Downing Street and can extract huge concessions for Scotland.

The law of unintended consequences can rarely have unfolded more unexpectedly.

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    1. 01 12 14 15:39

      The ultimate irony | Politics Scotland | Scoop...

    2. 01 12 14 15:40

      The ultimate irony - Speymouth

    3. 17 03 15 23:45

      The Devo Files: Katy Clark (North Ayrshire & Arran) | A Wilderness of Peace

    145 to “The ultimate irony”

    1. wingman 2020 says:

      Milliband & Murphy’s desperate panic precisely explained.

    2. So, to make this clear in my own head:

      If we had voted for independence, Scotland would be looking after its own affairs, and the rUk would be looking after its own. And we’d get along fine as friendly neighbours.

      Now, after they’ve thrown the kitchen sink and the rest of BT Lady’s kitchen at us to get Scotland to vote No, there’s a strong possibility that the SNP could have a major say in what happens in the whole of the UK.

      Is that correct?

    3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Noel: Yep, that’s about the size of it.

    4. caledonia says:

      we need to get the message out
      vote labour and its the end of free prescriptions, bus passes and free tuition

      all this talk of the economy to the man/woman in the street wont wash its the hard in your face scare stories that will win the election

    5. ClanDonald says:

      Excellent analysis, Rev. Can someone get this on a flyer that we can put through every door in Scotland? This is exactly what we need for the doorsteps.

      This is the only possible outcome that is in the interests of Scotland.

    6. Seasick Dave says:

      David Cameron loves Scotland so much, he won’t have a problem with us dictating matters.

    7. Macart says:

      There you go.

      Yet more evidence that Karma works. 🙂

    8. Dan Huil says:

      To protect Scotland’s interests it is essential we elect as many SNP MPs as possible. To elect Labour MPs is to put Scotland’s interests in jeopardy.

    9. Labour deserve every kicking they get, north and south of the border.

      Meanwhile the English elite, they stood shoulder to shoulder with, have announced £15 billion of road upgrades … in England. £1.5 billion from taxes raised in Scotland.

      Pooling and sharing, pooling and sharing……

    10. Piemonteis says:

      “(Interestingly, the rise of UKIP south of the border isn’t a significant one – Kellner’s prediction gives Nigel Farage’s party just one seat, half as many as it has now, despite a forecast vote share more than twice that of the Lib Dems.)”

      To be fair, the reason this projection doesn’t show any Ukip gains is that he explicitly avoids taking account of Ukip. Including Ukip gains in his projection would make the article about twice as long as it is in the first place, as we would need a detailed explanation as to how to apply uniform swing to Ukip.

      Interesting to see the SNP take two seats less when incumbency is considered, though. I wonder what seats. Charlie K must be one. Caithness the other?

    11. muttley79 says:

      I am not exactly a optimist, and so unfortunately I can see the SNP vote falling the closer we get to next May. A combination of being kept out of the main debates, and BBC ScotLab will probably see to it that SLAB’s message gets beamed constantly, without scrutiny, and uncritically on the TV. I really, really hope I am wrong. However, when Murphy gets elected next month, the MSM will rally behind him as well. I think the SNP would be doing brilliantly to get 30 plus seats in Scotland next May.

    12. MajorBloodnok says:

      And it couldn’t have happened to a nice bunch of tossers.

    13. Brian Powell says:

      It would be the right thing to do now, the great thing to do for Scotland, the only course we should take.

      Then there is the Scottish voters: if there is a victory to be drawn from the jaws of defeat, many will let out a lusty whimper of, “What?”

    14. Ken500 says:

      Labour have only once twice needed ScottishMP’s for a majority in Westminster. Once for six months. The West Lothian myth. Scotland has had years of Tory rule, they did not vote Tory.

      Westminster just wanted to secretly steal Scotland’s wealth for political purposes. Westminster secrecy and lies

    15. Doug Daniel says:

      “and have also said that they’d make the non-renewal of Trident a red line issue.”

      Prepare for the first Labour-Tory Westminster coalition government! Better Together was just a (successful) trial run.

    16. Pentland Firth says:

      We could be nearing the end game. I wonder if, rather than grant “concessions” to large SNP block in Westminster, Labour and the Tories would form a “Government of National Unity” and just ignore what had happened in North Britain? After all, they have very recent experience of working happily together for their own joint purposes.

    17. Andy smith says:

      Caledonia, to be fair to Jim Murphy he did make a vow to continue funding all of the above…oh, wait a minute, he just added that not everyone currently entitled to such benefits should receive them.
      No worries though,if you’ve lost both arms,legs and body,Jim guarantees free bus travel to you,providing someone carries your head on in a box and it doesn’t take up a seat/luggage rack.

    18. Colin Dunn says:

      One amusing effect of Scotland having a major influence on the UK government for the first time ever (petards and being hoist springs to mind) would be that it would energise the rUK voters who want to be shot of Scotland like never before, and they’d be agitating for another indyref as quickly as they can. Fingers crossed, and we’d better get the popcorn ready.

    19. Macart says:

      You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. 🙂

    20. starlaw says:

      Bang on ‘caledonia’ the message to get out is, end of free prescriptions, bus passes, tuition and do you want a water meter in your house, talk of economy is over the heads of most folk

    21. Colin Dunn says:

      “Can someone get this on a flyer that we can put through every door in Scotland? This is exactly what we need for the doorsteps.”

      Happy to try to design that if someone can summaries the article in nice punchy style.

    22. muttley79 says:


      Are there T-shirts of Salmond fighting Darth Vader with that quote, or did somebody just photo shop it on the internet (or whatever you call it…)?

    23. Morag says:

      I wonder how it would change if it was possible to factor in UKIP targeting a number of seats in England? It seems likely they’ll concentrate on a manageable number and succeed in more than one of them.

    24. Colin Dunn says:

      Doug Daniel says:
      “Prepare for the first Labour-Tory Westminster coalition government! Better Together was just a (successful) trial run.”

      Considering how p*ssed off many voters were in 2010 that they voted LibDem and got Tory anyway, a coalition between Tories and Labour would turn off Labour voters like never before. Can see the entire WM balance of power falling apart.

    25. No no no...Yes says:

      Superb article which should make Murphy’s eyes water.

      Dan Huill 2:32pm “To elect Labour MPs is to put Scotland’s interests in jeopardy.”

      If the Daily Record ran a headline, “1000s of Jobs in Jeopardy” some of its readers might ask, ‘Where is Jeopardy?”

      I’ll get my coat…

    26. Al says:

      I wonder if, rather than grant “concessions” to large SNP block in Westminster, Labour and the Tories would form a “Government of National Unity” and just ignore what had happened in North Britain?

      Aye, but it would be hard to ignore because a certain Alex fae Strichen would (if he stands) become the leader of the UK official opposition!

    27. Macart says:


      I’d pay good brass for that T shirt. 😀

    28. Murray McCallum says:

      “Scottish Labour, of course, will shriek frantically about precisely this scenario in an attempt to scare Scottish voters back into the fold on pain of sending David Cameron back to power.”

      Despite the article spelling out the flaw in this argument, I expect virtually every Scottish news and press analysis pushing this message.

      Everything will be about stopping the Tories and returning Scotland back to the Labour fold. This is despite all the historical statistal fact and future prediction. It’s the referendum all over again!

    29. galamcennalath says:

      Labour will be very worried. However, it’s been a slow suicide over decades.

      Fixing the 1979 Referendum.

      The Feeble Fifty under Thatcher.

      Taking up a devolution role which was about keeping Scotland in line with London, even when that wasn’t in Scotland’s interests.

      Instead of opposing the SNP at every turn in Holyrood they should have behaved like grown ups rather than stroppy spoilt kids who had their toys taken away.

      Then, failure to accept that most Scots want a lot of power devolved, not trivia.

      Finally doing the Tories dirty work.

      They don’t deserve to be allowed to prepresent us at WM!

    30. This is huge, and i agree we must get this message out to the people, THE 45 can swing this. THE 45 can dictate Scotlands wishes. WE MUST DO THIS.

    31. Gary says:

      For this reason, a vast upset in the balance of power, expect Labour to carry out a dirt and smear operation. The Referendum Campaign from the ‘No’ camp was the dirtiest political campaign I have ever witnessed. I expect they will resort to the same behaviour and will be, again, fully assisted by the media. It will be slightly harder this time though – no monetary assistance from rich Tory donors, next to no coverage in London papers and a desire by Tories everywhere to see Labour fail. On top of this there has (no, really) been a tiny but perceptible change in the Scottish media. The unionist parties “overbullshitted” themselves and even to the friendly TV media became unbelievable. Remember the difference when the London media were crafted in at the last minute? Labour will not be able to concentrate their entire might in Scotland as they will have to campaign hard in England and Wales to see of the UKIP threat. To summarise, Labour are humped.

    32. Grouse Beater says:

      Anmd the leader of that SNP UK group at Westminster will be …

      Alex Salmond, MP.

      I’m luvvin’ it.

    33. Joseph Robinson says:

      Gary yes, the labour machine will go into overdrive and stink and smear as much as they can, the bbc will side with them, but we have facts not available before the referendum, the various job losses and the oil suddenly being fruitful after the referendum, this is a totally different beast of a battle, we have the lies to back us up, we may even have many No,s on side to, but if were gonna do this we have start now.

      The 45 out there, the war is not over.

    34. think again says:

      Seems too good to be true, therefore – you can fill in the rest. Good polls before the referendum induced panic and begat the Vow but have still to bring forth actual life.

      Not being a gambling kind of guy I merely seek guidance from the bookmakers, who are, encouragingly now, showing SNP heading for between 21 and 31 seats. They also show Murphy being leader, twelve days and we will know for sure. The dinosaurs might not be standing but there is nothing to suggest they will not campaign. Brown, rarely seen in HofC but was to be the Guarantor, it was total crap but it worked.

      The unionists appear to be in the midst of their death throes but wounded animals are dangerous, they have everything to lose and we know from the Referendum they will stop at nothing. No lie to little or great to be spread by MSM.

    35. Clootie says:

      muttley79 says:
      1 December, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      To muttley – Sticking with the Star Wars theme

      “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
      Darth Vader – A New Hope

    36. Swami Backverandah says:

      @ Colin Dunn

      A vote for the SNP WILL keep the Tories out, and WILL bring the best result for Scotland.

    37. Cath says:

      I wonder if, rather than grant “concessions” to large SNP block in Westminster, Labour and the Tories would form a “Government of National Unity” and just ignore what had happened in North Britain?

      I’d love to see a huge cohort of SNP MPs just to see if this happens. I wouldn’t put it past them. Their core voters would both be happy: the rest of the UK, not so much.

    38. YESGUY says:

      Great work Rev.

      We can campaign in the spring and finally get rid of “Scotlands Bane” Labour , once and for all. They have kept us back for decades . No more.

      keep your powder dry folks. This battle is a wee bit away and we don;t want to peak early , as if…

      Murphy on the Wreckord saying the vow is done. Promises fulfilled . Does he think we are daft ??

      The vow is a worthless piece of smoke and mirrors to give the No voters some relief. By spring they won’t know whats hit them.

      30 Plus SNP and Alex Salmond leading the charge. How good will that be we can’t know for sure but it puts Scotland in a good place. Hope bot fear 🙂

    39. YESGUY says:

      oops Hope NOT fear 🙂

    40. jimnarlene says:

      Hopefully Kellner is accurate, interesting times; interesting times indeed.

    41. chalks says:

      I’m sorry, but all these people saying that things will go back to the way they were before are being very naive.

      The SNP is nearing 100,000 members, nearly every or a very large % of Yes voters are now intent on voting SNP (88%)….as well as some lapsed No voting Labour/Lib Dem voters….in order to go for Devo Max.

      You throw in that the activists of the SNP are more pissed off and focused than ever before and you’ll be looking at the very least 20+ SNP seats. Oh and we also again have a tremendous sales package on offer on the doorstep.

      Vote SNP and we can hold the bastards to account and become more powerful than they can possibly imagine.

      The force is strong.

    42. muttley79 says:


      So would I!

    43. Xaracen says:

      To Muttley – Sticking with the Star Wars theme:

      “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

    44. Luigi says:

      And what happens if a weak red or blue Tory government point blank refuses to cooperate with a big SNP contingent, and no concessions at all are given (in order to protect the union of course)? They won’t ever give us anything near devomax or home rule, even if the unionist parties are completely wiped out in Scotland.

    45. Graeme Doig says:

      O/T early i know. Sorry Stu.

      Just had a thought that AS may be keeping any announcement re standing for WM to coincide wi Murphy’s coronation just as a bit of mischief and to steal some thunder 🙂

    46. Jim McLean says:

      I would be very careful of YouGov polls regarding Scotland. They produced the scare poll just before the referendum and galvanised the NO side. They have produced a forecast of many more SNP seats which will only emphasise the mantra “Vote SNP and get the Tories”. It will be difficult for the SNP to get more than a handful of seats in 2015 and YouGove is helping to spread another scare story which will only galvanise the Labour vote again.
      I don’t trust Kellner.

    47. chalks says:


      Then they would face meltdown in Scotland and a referendum may well be very close by.

      They’d be governing on a minority ticket and the people of Scotland would see their votes really do not matter.

    48. Onwards says:

      The SNP needs to reframe the contest away from Labour v Tories.

      But SCOTLAND v red or blue Tories.

      Make it the tactical vote to protect Scotland’s interests, and ensure maximum powers regardless of who gets in.

    49. Iron Broon's Timetable of Doom says:

      People here are expressing concern that the Scottish MSM will go into Labour overdrive mode, but…

      Labour will be fighting on two fronts.

      Labour have been out manoeuvred by Cameron on EVEL and an EU referendum.

      Labour will be short of activists and Tory cash.

      Thanks to the membership increase SNP will have a hardcore of volunteers pounding the streets and spreading the word.

      Labour have Ed Miliband as leader.

      Labour have Ed Miliband as leader.

      It needs saying again that Labour have Ed Miliband as leader 🙂 The Tory press will paint him as Neil Kinnock MK.2

    50. tombee says:

      The posters here advocating exposing the free prescriptions, bus passes etc, being placed in jeopardy, are spot on. Leaflets containing all of those concerns are the way to go. But don’t stop there.
      Why not include all of the information relevant to the danger of TTIP, and MPS expenses claims. In particular those made by Curran, Murphy, Davidson, etc. As well as the troughers in the House of Lords.
      Get all of that out there. Folks will find that easy to understand all right, and to help them make their minds up in light of the number of bairns who’s parents have to resort to food banks.
      Let’s start fighting dirty just like the unionists do.

    51. Lollysmum says:

      Also posted on Jock Bingo thread hoping to bring a smile to some faces around here 🙂

      I’ve had a bit of fun this morning. Had to walk past Westminster & found a piper busking right outside so I gave him a tenner to belt out Caledonia as loud as he could for the benefit of the troughers & our Dear Dave who so loves the sound of the pipes

      There was another piper on Westminster Bridge so I gave him a contribution as well. Certainly put a smile on my face but I did get some funny looks from tourists as I walked along looking like the cheshire cat!

    52. manandboy says:

      Kellner’s appraisal is certainly of great interest.

      The Referendum campaign also contained lots of interesting material but the MOST INFLUENTIAL and indeed DECISIVE element was TV.

      Under Unionist State control and with constant unfettered access to almost every person in the country, TV has the power to influence and persuade millions at both conscious and sub-conscious levels and on an hour by hour basis.
      No other media can hope to compete with TV.

      UNLESS the Indy Alliance parties can come up with a strategy to match the Unionist daily onslaught via TV,
      it would be wise to maintain one’s expectations well below that which are being projected by the Polls.

    53. MochaChoca says:

      Ms Sturgeon’s early intervention of stonewalling the Tories and openness to support an English Labour government is beginning to look like a very clever move.

    54. cearc says:

      If the labour party are marginalised in Scotland (as we hope). How keen will labour UK be to commit money and resources to fight against independence?

    55. Nana Smith says:

      My how the unionists bleat the message. Danny Alexander and John Thurso up here. They are all doing the rounds of the papers who seem only too happy to help them tell the lie.

      Iain Gray MSP said: “Today is a promise kept for the people of Scotland. Before the referendum we made a vow which today we honour. A stronger Scottish Parliament as part of the United Kingdom. An agreement which respects the sovereign will of the Scottish people. A transformative package of measures to deliver a powerhouse parliament.

      There will be plenty who will fall for it unless we get the posters and flyers out there with the truth.

    56. MochaChoca says:

      I suspect SNP could stregthen their vote still further by going into the WM election with a manifesto commitment to devo-max.

      60%+ of Scots consistantly poll as wanting at least the powers that come with devo-max.

      If a true majority of the electorate here were to vote for it, it would have to happen or a snap indyref would surely see a YES result.

    57. cearc says:


      For lib-dem seats, I think a leaflet setting out their voting (or not) record in this parliament would be very effective.

    58. Nana Smith says:

      Sorry Rev for going off topic but this is rather good…

    59. AuldA says:


      Yep, and the Scottish remake involves Alec Guinness-Salmond and Darth Gordon.

    60. Papadox says:

      As I said to the unionists before the referendum ” BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR, BECAUSE YOU MIGHT JUST GET IT”. Looks like they maybe going to get it ……… RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES. Toodal pip the noo.

      Let’s get rid of these treacherous cretins, and please stop using the term Scottish Labour there is no such creature.

    61. The leader of the STUC has said uncomplimentary things about Smith. So I would hope that he and his union General Secretaries withdraw their funding to the Labour party. How can unions support a party who wants to ban free school meals, free prescriptions, impose tuition fees.

      A party like the one described can hardly be socialist.

    62. liz says:

      The above situation is the one I fear most.

      lab will be pushing all the emotional buttons that some Scots can’t seem to resist.

      Vote for us to keep the tories from ruining the UK, we need to support our friends etc in the North (of England).

      It would be easier if there was a larger gap between Lab and Cons, therefore voting SNP would be the only sensible option.

      It’s going to be hard but as has been said SNP have 90,000+ members.

      They have to make the best use of these new members.

      Hopefully we will never have to hear from Broon ever again

    63. gillie says:

      This is worth crowd funding.

      “How The BBC Stole The Referendum is a book currently being written by GA Ponsonby. The book will chronicle the role played by the corporation in the independence referendum and its influence on the final vote.”

      “Below is a draft of the first chapter, which may be subject to minor changes. It is published here with a view to attracting funding to help with publishing and promoting the book when it is complete. The provisional completion date is April 2015 … in time for the UK general election.”

      Please donate.

    64. Macart says:

      You can just see Gordon on the cloud city telling Darling…

      … I am your father…. Nnnnnnnooooooooooooo! 😀

    65. schrodingers cat says:

      even if we elect 59 snp mp’s from scotland, if any of the unionist parties can form a majority, with our without a coalition………they will ignore us completely and we will all be back here discussing what to do next

      it is a long shot but this graph highlights the potential of ukip,dup, libdems and cons not having an over all majority over the snp + labour MP’s

      in this senario, granting the snp FFA or real devo max would remove the snp from voting in 90% of the bills passed in westminster, leaving the tory coalition with an overall majority.

      it would also solve the EVEL issue. the bill from a tory coalition on an EU referendum would only pass if the SNP abstained from the vote 🙂

      i would ask alex to include the option for scottish mps to vote electronically in the HOC and then return all 59 to carlton hill where they could form part of and start discussions about how scotlands upper chamber is to be governed 🙂

      in an ideal world…….

      at least a heap of indy mps would give credence to alex salmonds definition of devo max

    66. handclapping says:

      Sort of OT but on the theme of getting troughers out.

      Most people cant imaging what £200,000 looks like in real life so just posting MP’s expense claims doesn’t cut the mustard. What does a foodbank cost?

      Could we quantify Mp’s expenses in terms of foodbanks, like if it wasn’t for the generosity of the public XXY foodbank would cost £xxx,xyy a year. That’s £xy less than M. Curran charges as her expenses for a year.

    67. Ros says:

      This does make the assumption that a Tory/Labour coalition isn’t plausible….can we be certain that’s not a possibility these days?

    68. schrodingers cat says:

      the above senario also precludes a labour snp coalition

      if the labour gave in to alex salmonds demands for devo max, it would immediately mean the snp would not vote on 90% of the bills in the HOC leaving labour as a minority government for 90% of the time

      a coalition of absent snp mps wont be a coalition

      it would allow a libdem labour coalition though

    69. ScottieDog says:

      @Doug Daniel,
      I would imagine the establishment (underlying fabric of elites in the city of London) would be very happy with a Tory-lab coalition!
      Tory and labour are very compliant with the 1% so I reckon the establishment will be paying much more attention to the SNP than people realise. Be prepared for the onslaught.

    70. Joseph says:

      That sort of coalition, is not just the final nail is the hole dug, filled and earth going on top for labour if they dared to go with the torries.

    71. Ananurhing says:


      Here’s Broon talking about indy, and the devolution of income tax.

    72. Stoker says:

      A response to TV Licensing:

    73. heedtracker says:

      This kind of thing will really rattle teacups in Pacific Quay. They have the whole field bar The National so its just going be BBC in Scotland style Project Fear 2.0. Lot of pressure on them though. Bet they’re cooking up another THE VOW style fraud for that last minute Gordon Brown style blast at the Labour heartland. Vote Labour and we’ll get Trident moved sort of con, with savings used for social housing etc Then, planned Trident move not possible due to teamGB geology or some such bollocks.

    74. Carin Schwartz says:

      I think a new “Wee Blue Book” might come in handy for the next election, with simple straight forward messages.

    75. desimond says:

      ‘Winning the referendum has cost Labour the election’ – Mags Curran Former MP May 2015 ( I pray)

      The people worrying about a full on Labour onslaught between now and May are correct to worry, but the comfort that its the last thrashings of a dying beast.

      The Media, yes even in Scotland, will soon desert the sinking ship when they realise its fatally doomed come May if not sooner.

      Which is nice.

    76. Les Wilson says:

      Well, methinks that this would explain Nicola Sturgeons conciliatory actions across the population. The naysayers may not be so scared to vote SNP. Is there a mastermind playing in the background??

    77. galamcennalath says:

      Sturgeon has already said she would not work with the Tories. That would be the ultimate poison chalice!

      That just leaves Labour. SNP could support them on a vote by vote basis in return for pro-Scottish concessions. That doesn’t sound like getting anywhere fast.

      As discussed above, there could be a Con-Lab coalition of (English) national unity. Labour wouldn’t agree to an EU referendum, so that opportunity for IndyRef2 might be missed. However, together ConLab might refuse to give any powers to Scotland. If Holyrood 2016 returns a lot of pro-Indy MSPs then IndyRef2 might follow on the basis of DevoFA.

      SNP keep using the phrase something like “there can only be another referendum if the people of Scotland want one”. What is that code for? Perhaps simply a constitutional issue coinciding with strong pro-Indy MPs and MSPs? Or, more likely, also opinion polls showing something like 60% Yes.

    78. Macart says:

      @ Ananurhing

      Amazing! I didn’t know that admiral Ackbar did impersonations of unpopular imperial masters.

      Wi talent like that, he’ll go far. 😀

    79. gordoz says:


      In terms of Labour nemesis and the Star Wars ref surely the starring character for the rebel alliance and new MP for Gordon constituency would be none other than ‘Alex Sandman’

    80. Stoker says:

      @ Carin Schwartz (4.50pm)

      Many of us have been badgering the Rev with that very suggestion.

      I fully agree with you but it would have to be a different colour, or labelled WBB II, to differentiate it from the first WBB.

    81. arthur thomson says:

      Some good ideas here about ways to present our case. I would like to hear more of them and from today on I am going to log them for future reference. I suspect that many of the people who have moved from south of the border to Scotland have been home owners who have done so because of the advantages of Scottish care for the elderly. They are some of the very people who voted down our independence. I wonder how they would start voting if they were faced with prospect of losing those advantages.

    82. Robert Bryce says:

      Of course this all hinges on the polls holding up and not be swayed by another Labour ‘Project Fear’ campaign designed to scare little old ladies into voting Labour in May.

    83. shibboleth says:

      A truly wonderful prospect. Vote nationalist at both elections and you get a popular, effective administration north of the border whose principles encompass much of what we thought Labour once stood for – and we get to export all the shite that has blighted UK and Scottish politics for years to Westminster – Murphy, Alexander, Brown, and that sordid mealy-mouthed woman who must rank as our greatest national embarrassment, Margaret Curran. Give our neighbours another decade of these tossers and they’ll think again before meddling in our affairs. It’s enough to make you feel sorry for them…

    84. McDuff says:

      I would be very uneasy if the SNP got into bed with either the Tory`s or Labour as to do so would be political suicide, the Lib Dems being the perfect example. The SNP would be tarnished by such a coalition and all the subsequent unpopular policies emanating from Westminster.
      The SNP are popular because they are seen not to be associated with the Westminster trough and it is prudent to keep it that way.

    85. Bob Nugent says:

      I agree with Cairo Schwartz another wee read book for the next election, BUT let’s get all the alliance parties to imput.
      We need to show the undecided(no voters) that if they vote labour NOTHING WILL CHANGE.
      Everyone who has ever visited Scotland always says that it is a Very Beautiful Place to visit.
      However if you look at the fabric of our Towns , Cities they have been neglected and deprived of investment During Tory and then Labour governments .
      Let get the Government we Want and vote for vote Always for an alliance party.
      Good to see mr Brown is not staying around to witness his Vow of near republic status for Scotland
      He Knows It Will not Happen.
      Mr Smith from Maryhill should also be unhappy to have sat in on this sellout.

    86. Helena Brown says:

      McDuff I agree with you, if there is a need for a coalition then agree to support on the basis of item by item and only if you think they are worth supporting. Time Westminster had to run with a minority government in fact the Lib Dems would not be in the state they are today if they had done so.

    87. Jim McLean says:

      Another scenario: (A) The Tories win the election and SNP get the blame if the lack of Scottish Labour MPs is decisive.
      (B) Labour wins but are kept in power by a large SNP block. Then Labour refuses to agree to SNP demands and a vote of no confidence arises and the government is brought down, making way for a Tory win!
      Fascinating stuff!

    88. Anne Lawrie says:

      After May, many Scottish MPs will sorely regret the lies & fear they spread through the BBC & MSM. They will lose the thing the value the most – their place at the trough. Perhaps this will prevent others rising up against Scotland at a future referendum. Such interesting times ahead.

    89. heedtracker says:

      Noel says “there’s a strong possibility that the SNP could have a major say in what happens in the whole of the UK.”

      But what would that mean? Give us devo-max like what Crash Gordon, Daily Rancid’s THE VOW promised us in Sept or just give us whatever it is the Lord Smith farce plopped out last week?

    90. Dan Huil says:

      @ Jim McLean (A) “The Tories win the election and SNP get the blame if the lack of Scottish Labour MPs is decisive.”

      Only labour would blame the SNP and by then Labour in Scotland would be irrelevant.

      As for [B] the Labour party in England would know it was pointless asking for SNP support since they were so hated by the remnants of Labour in Scotland.

      Interesting trip down memory lane, though.

    91. manandboy says:

      Some seem to think that gaining Independence is inevitable, and will ‘happen’, almost as if the Lab/Con referendum alliance plus wishful thinking and a bit of canvassing is going to be enough.

      Please think again.

      Only, this time, think of the catastrophic consequences for rUK of Independence.

      The BIGGEST OBSTACLE to Independence is Westminster’s DEPENDANCE on Scotland.

      Indy will plunge rUK into bankruptcy. With £1.3 trillion of debt and without Scotland’s enormous assets as security, no one would lend WM any more money, which is vital for George Osborne to pay his bills and fund the Tory pet projects.

      In addition, rUK would lose a huge amount of status in the world. Out of G7 and G20. Out of OPEC. Out of the nuclear club. Militarily it would have to shrink enormously and lose influence in the world which the establishment loves so much. Embassies would close everywhere – it just goes on and on.

      Indy for WM spells catastrophy. They are literally clinging on for dear life which is why there is NOTHING they will NOT do to keep control of Scotland’s wealth.

      I urge you to take more seriously WM’s DESPERATE need of Scotland’s resources.

      This is why David Cameron never ever speaks about Scottish Oil & Gas. He is terrified that the Scots should discover how weak and vulnerable WM is and how much they have taken from Scotland while at the same time hammering the poor.

      Believe the facts. WM would sooner declare war on Scotland than allow Independence. Remember the 600 armoured personnel carriers and water cannon costing £4billion which David Cameron ordered last year? Did you think they were toys for the army to play with? They will be kept ready and waiting should the need arise.

      So what do we do? We get responsible. We get serious. We join an alliance party. We get active. We fight for Independence from now until the next referendum. We support Stu and Wings. We buy The national. Forget your TV. If you’re an addict, get help to switch it off. Forget the Christmas SEASON – have a CHRISTMAS WEEK – that’s enough.

      Westminster will NEVER AGREE to letting us have independence.

      We’re going to have to take it. That’s the bottom line.

    92. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      A pithy wee summation to all this is the line..

      Miliband can’t win a majority.

      From that (and the polling will keep backing it up as even Labour know that Ed Miliband is a massive electoral liability) the scottish public will realise that to gain maximum influence for scotland they need to vote for SNP MPs to counteract the malign influence of the yellow tories and the kippers in a hung parliament.

    93. Grouse Beater says:

      Sorry Rev for going off topic but this is rather good… – a new book on how the bBC tricked Scotland.

      When you read the stark black and white truth of how the BBC stole independence from the people of Scotland by manufacturing a series of astounding lies, and then tieing them together with discredited, semi-retired backbencher, Gordon Brown, you want to torch the whole bloody edifice.

      The lying, duplicitous, sodding bastards!

      Who would give BBC Scotland the time of day let alone an interview?

    94. davidb says:

      If we are clever enough to elect a huge number of SNP MP’s, I don’t care who Nichola “assists” in Westminster. Parnell made the place ungovernable before the Irish escaped. That is what we should do. I don’t care who the English elect, so long as we get Independence or failing that, the consolation we were promised of total home rule except defence and foreign affairs.

      I know the SNP wants to supplant Labour, but they should rule nothing out and nothing in. I would think to be fair, a better more reliable deal may be struck with the blue tories than the red ones. But a plague on both of them. Neither do Scotland any favours. 2 cheeks of the same arse as Galloway called them.

    95. Flower of Scotland says:

      @ manandboy 6.08

      Thanks for that. I’ve copied and pasted your piece for future use.

    96. Willie G says:

      @manandboy…… The rUK is still a hydrocarbons producer….. Just not on the scale of Scotland.
      rUK will also, despite the high borrowing, have a stable and thriving economy, just not on the scale of Scotland. They will not go down the plug hole, they will just have to learn to live within their means……which is not a bad thing.
      If Miliband can cut a deal with the SNP to form a government who would be deputy PM ????????????????
      The thought makes me chortle.

    97. wingman 2020 says:

      @Jim McLean

      Of ‘Scottish Rebel Songs’ fame??

    98. heedtracker says:

      Crash Gordon gets lovely send orf from teamGB Tory boy media but somehow they all leave out the fact that Crash was second in command when they invaded Iraq. His fellow BetterTogether camper Galloway says it all on vote NO or else BBC telly,

    99. Jacob1972 says:

      Good analysis as wingman2020 states this has probably already been realised by Ed and murph. Labour is now having to fight on two fronts: Scotland and England. if PC get their act together the perhaps a third front. Successfully fighting this will require a significant amount of resources principally money but also boots on the ground. Can Labour manage this? In contrast the Tories and UKIP don’t have to fight in quite this way, and can focus their fight on England only. The lib de,a will only be trying to keep their own seats and fight a rearguard for their major figures, with the backbenchers being left to fend for themselves.

      A significantly enlarged SNP should in theory have much more resource in Scotland relative to the Labour party, the dome side being that they don’t have the media buddies at the bbc that Labour has.

      As I saw someone else comment the other day, the next UK GE is going to be a multi-front battle, almost like a game of Risk.

    100. lollysmum says:

      @ manandboy says:
      ‘They are literally clinging on for dear life which is why there is NOTHING they will NOT do to keep control of Scotland’s wealth.’

      I have to agree but WM is closer than you think to the abyss.They are literally clinging on by their fingernails. Scotland & Wales natural resources are the guarantors of UK debt. Whils they sit on UK’s balance sheet, everything is OK just. If UK loses them then bankruptcy looms & WM knows it. That is the only reason they are desperate to keep Scotland in the Union-the physical assets mean that UK has a credit rating-not brilliant but OK. Without them-UK would have junk status rating & thus be required to pay even more interest % points on loans if they could get them at all.

      Which brings me back to your point-there is nothing they will not do to keep Scotland’s wealth. Well said.

    101. manandboy says:

      @Willie G
      @manandboy…… The rUK is still a hydrocarbons producer….. Just not on the scale of Scotland.
      rUK will also, despite the high borrowing, have a stable and thriving economy, just not on the scale of Scotland. They will not go down the plug hole, they will just have to learn to live within their means……which is not a bad thing.


      Sorry Willie G, but you’ll have to do a lot better than that.
      England has no offshore oilfields apart from those illegally donated by Dewar and these will be reclaimed with independence.
      Shale has hardly started and with oil prices so low the industry cannot accelerate from here.

      The idea that England will have a stable and thriving economy after Independence is straight out of the George Osborne book entitled “My Biggest Lies as Chancellor”.

      Nice little diversion at the end though linking Milliband with SNP at Westminster and the possibility of Alex being deputy PM. Utterly fanciful, and anyway it would be either Angus Robertson or Stewart Hosie.

    102. aranciaca says:

      Seems to me that Mr Kellner is simply catching up with the unpleasant electoral arithmetic, which, I hope, is keeping Mr Milliband awake at night.

      The only similar event in British history, I suppose, would be the 1910 elections: a Liberal minority government, sustained by Irish Nationalist votes, and which, had World War I not intervened, might well have led to home rule in both Scotland and Ireland. At present, I can’t see Labour getting much more than 300 seats in England – enough to form a bare majority if losses to the SNP can be kept to about 10.

      And if an SNP/PC/SDLP/Green alliance had close to 50 seats, it would be in a good position to offer a confidence and supply agreement, while extracting a programme for real constitutional change.

    103. Swami Backverandah says:

      O/T but you may not know that the Groan has deigned to devote some of its sacred pro-Establishment space to reviewing some pro-indy blogs. Haven’t read the article yet, just thought readers might be interested.
      Am trying the archive tool.
      hope it works.

    104. Betty Craney says:

      O/ T
      Has anyone heard from Robert Peffers ?

      I haven’t seen any posts lately and he’s usually a regular .

    105. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      MochaChoca at 4.07

      As soon as the SNP go into an election supporting devo max that comes off the table.
      We would then be offered half of that. That’s how the game is played.

      The SNP must support sovereign independence at all times and never waver from that. The cloimbing independence vote is why we are getting incremental increases in devolution

    106. galamcennalath says:

      SNP have a policy of not voting on English only issues. I would presume that will continue, even if we send a bus load of MPs South.

      That does have some effects.

      EVEL would become an overnight reality which would actually please a lot of English voters.

      Also, the largest party would have control over all English only business. If Con or Lab win rUK, then effectively they would form the government, but could be out voted in any pan UK issues. That is, if they don’t have a LabCon coalition.

      Lots of scope to stubble from one crisis to the next! The English electorate will be glad to see the back of us. The elites, who know they rely on Scotland’s wealth – they are a different matter.

    107. Onwards says:


      Putting natural resources aside, I imagine the loss of prestige that many unionists would feel from ‘losing’ a third of the UK land mass was a big influence.

      There was an interesting quote from megalomaniac Tony Blair in Alastair Campbell’s diaries, after the 1997 election:

      “TB said it was clear he had the chance to be a major player and that gave us a great opportunity.
      “It’s just a shame Britain is so small, physically.”

      I suppose this attitude played a part in the relaxed immigration controls and the aim to turn London into a world megacity. For population to compensate for land area.

      It shows that British nationalism, and looking at maps still has a major influence.

      If it came down to it, I imagine Scotland would be allowed full federalism, full tax powers and all sorts of special treatment and bribes to stay in the UK.

    108. Nana Smith says:

      @Betty Craney

      I have been wondering the same for a few days now.

    109. Mark Coburn says:

      We need to make this happen. No point in idle talk. Let’s do it. We need to force Labour out.

    110. Famous15 says:

      Sarah Smith advertising her 2014 programme tonight “We will be discussing Gordon Brown and the the end of his Titanic career”
      Did she mean that or was it a Freudian slip? (I wouldhave thought he was the iceberg and Team GB the Titanic but heyho!)

    111. ecruden says:

      Stu, have you read this?

      it’s a weird old piece. Anyway…excellent analysis in your piece, i’ve sent it on to my non-web-literate faimly.

    112. caz-m says:

      I think the BBC News Channel are actually going to film the Brown speech that he is making from the pulpit in Kirkcaldy.

      It was only the other day the BBC had him all our screens all day from Glasgow. Breathtaking bias from the BBC.

      And not a question asked.

    113. geeo says:


      1x murphy’s expenses = ×2 doctors wages sort of thing ?

    114. caz-m says:

      Tried watchin Broon, lasted seconds before I had to turn the lying bastard off.

      Where’s aw’ the gold went to Gordon?

      One of many questions he will NOT get asked by the Scottish media.

    115. No no no...Yes says:

      geeo 7:11 and handclapping.

      Also need to tell folks about the lazy Labour Peers:

      Baroness Adams of Craigielea (Labour) Total expenses – £53,252; Spoke in 0 debates, Has never asked a written question (since entering the Lords in 2005), Has not been a member of a Committee since 2007-08.

      Lord Kirkhill (Labour) Total expenses – £51,849; Spoke in 0 debates, Asked 0 written questions, Has not been a member of a Committee since 1988.

      Lord Elder (Labour) Total expenses – £48,843; Spoke in 0 debates, Hasn’t asked a single written question since 2003, Was a member of the Refreshment Committee 2008-13 (i.e. the Committee that oversees the restaurants and bars in the Lords)

      Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill (Labour) Total expenses – £45,143; Has never spoken in a debate (since at least 1999), Has asked 0 written questions since 2002, Is a member of 0 committees, Attended for 122 days in 2013-14.

      Lord Howie of Troon (Labour) Total expenses – £39,300; 0 debates in the last year, 0 written questions in the last year and no questions since 2009, No committee since 2006-2007

      Lord Leitch (Labour) Total expenses – £12,000; 0 Debates. 0 Written Questions, No Committee, ever.

      Join the Labour Party for your own benefit rather than the community. Career path options- Office bearer at branch, regional or national level, Local Cooncillor, MSP, MP, House of Lords.

      GE2015 tick tock..

    116. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      What’s all this talk about “conventions”. We already have enough of them. They are called the SNP, the Scottish Greens and the SSP. These are all open and easy to join organisations who discuss ideas all the time and they are designed to achieve political objectives.
      At this juncture we require these and various other think tank organisations which already exist to agree to disagree on lots of issues but co-operate around a central aim of independence as they did over the referendum campaign.
      Their range is so wide I can see no need for any more but the radical left in particular has a long history of continually splitting up and loosing combined strength

      A splintering up into many more groups would be exactly as our enemies wish and be very wary indeed of anybody suggesting such a path.

    117. Doanld says:

      If Labour go into coalition with the SNP, England won’t be happy. They’ll see it as being “ruled” by the jocks and the only alternative will be voting the Tories in next time. So Labour would be toast at the election after this one.

      Only way to avoid that is for the SNP to bend over backwards to make sure they’re not perceived as taking advantage of holding the balance of power. But even still, all Labours laws on English issues will be won with Scottish votes.

    118. David Agnew says:

      It has never needed Scotland or its votes. But to keep its resources, it needed a pragmatic pro-union party to keep Scotland in the union. I think we can argue that Scottish labour was sacrificed to keep Scotland in. This begs the question what follows next? If the smith commission was meant to cover the gap, then they made a hash of that as well.

    119. Chiterinlicht says:

      Great analysis.

      This really cheered me up.

    120. Robert Peffers says:

      The short version is – Any mixture of Labour, Tory, LibDem or UKIP, including any mixture of that particularly revolting mess of potage, will be a disaster for Scotland.

      Only preventable by a substantial proportion of the Scottish electorate voting for Scottish independence parties. Which will actually not only prevent the looming disaster but be a very, very good thing for Scotland. It may even force the English electorate to vote for independence – For England.

      As someone, I forget who, once said, “Bring it on”.

    121. De Valera says:

      The only way Scotland can have any say in how this Union is run is an SNP vote in May, I hope more and more people realise this. (Apologies to the Greens and SSP and Solidarity etc, there will be a place for you in an independent parliament.)

      Labour are the unionist tool for subjugating Scotland. The Tories and their press pals may try to bail them out up here as the SNP are a real threat to their cosy consensus. Labour were their useful idiots in the run up to the referendum, they will be again.

    122. Darien says:

      Sorry to be a party pooper but if required a ‘better together’ red and blue Tory alliance at westminster is far more likely than any Labour-SNP deal. Maintenance of the British state trumps everything else for BT parties. 48+ SNP MP’s could jump up and down all they want to but it would make no difference. UDI anyone?

    123. Luigi says:

      Famous15 says:
      1 December, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Sarah Smith advertising her 2014 programme tonight “We will be discussing Gordon Brown and the the end of his Titanic career”
      Did she mean that or was it a Freudian slip? (I wouldhave thought he was the iceberg and Team GB the Titanic but heyho!)

      Gordon Brown is “King of the World” as far as BBC Labour are concerned.

    124. Kirsty says:

      I think the real issue with Labour (apart from shafting us in the referendum) is that they, alongside the “main” UK parties, showed their cards too obviously when they protected the bankers who destroyed the economy, who instead of getting jail terms got bonuses, whilst they punished those who had least to do with the crash/depression. I don’t think that surprised anyone when it came to the Tories – it’s expected of them so they’ll still have the voters who’ve always voted for them – but Labour ruined themselves by doing it not just in Scotland but UK-wide. It’s pretty hard to claim you’re the “people’s party” when you’re siding with those who are making the people’s lives a misery.

      Even my 90 year old granny who’s voted all her life for Labour (vociferously so) is now telling everyone to vote SNP and praying she’ll live until May so she can too. That’s a big deal – she’s voted Labour for decades, was very loyal to them, and now wouldn’t spit on them. That’s how far Labour have ruined themselves. All the SNP need to do is exactly what they have been doing – putting the people first – and they’ll continue to grow in strength, I think.

    125. Caroline Corfield says:

      I agree with several posters above, there is a real danger of a Tory/Labour and token Libdem coalition. They would call it a Unity government and it would be portrayed as the Forces of Democracy fighting the evil Nationalists.

      It would not lose a lot of support in England for Labour as most of their support agrees with their lurch to the right, they have abandoned everything left wing so going into a ‘unity’ coalition would be accepted.

      Cameron would probably remain PM, Labour guys would get welfare and there would be some tokenism wrt to an easing up on reforms. The Libs would get little, maybe Beaker would stay in the Treasury. There would be an emphasis on obedient Scots MPs getting positions in the cabinet and the talk of EVEL and banning Scots MPs would cease for the life of that government. This would also fit in nicely with an attack on UKIP and the EU too. All Dunkirk spirit, British bulldogs, back to the wall stuff.

      You know the BBC and the press would lap it up.

    126. David Doherty says:

      Have there been any polls taken regarding constitutional reform, since Sep 19th?

    127. Lollysmum says:

      Absolutely spot on.

      I’ve always voted labour but never again!Labour have brought their downfall on themselves.

    128. Caroline Corfield says:

      just lost a post 🙁

      so quick summary.

      Labour/Tory/Libdem coalition distinct possibility. Unity Government like the war. Forces of democracy (sic) versus evil Nats.
      Cameron PM, Labour given some leeway on welfare to make them look like good guys a wee bit. Danny Alexander stays at Treasury. Good obedient Scots MPs given roles in cabinet and it all goes quiet on EVEL and banning Scots from votes for a while.

      Captures the Bulldog spirit, can also be turned on UKIP and EU.

    129. Robert Peffers says:

      Come on folks! Wise up!

      What England’s voters DO NOT want to end up with, post the looming General Election, is a hostile European Union to their south, a hostile independent Scotland to their north and a hostile Wales and Republican Ireland to their west. The fact is, “Little Englanders”, have never really actually wanted a real, ” Little England”.

      England’s entire history began with the Germanic Tribes being invited to come to Britain where they established, “Angle Land”. They have been attempting to not only dominate all Britain ever since but to also dominate the entire World. The historic facts show that with the, “British Empire”, they almost succeeded. Mind you they then had the might of the Scots, Irish and Welsh on-side.

      When the horror of what they have almost now done penetrates their conscious minds there will be a rather swift reaction and a rather faster retraction and retreat in an effort to prevent what now looks to the rest of us as inevitable.

      They will become all sweetness and light. (Until, that is, the next time they see a chance). Let us never again give them a chance. This is not a swipe at the normal people of England for these are basically the same as the rest of we Britons. It is the always elite English aristocracy and moneyed class. These are the people who have always held a firm grip upon the powers of the State.

      Who was it who said, “History always repeats itself”?

    130. Tam Jardine says:

      Great article Rev

      Not able to wade through all the posts but one thing struck me today. Membership and activism of the SNP, Scottish Greens and SSP along with all the other Indy groups – RIC, business for Scotland, Women for Indy et al is what can drive us to sending vast numbers of MPS down the road to push for all the things we need for Scotland.

      It strikes me that there is a degree of complacency (my only frame of reference being the SNP to be clear). Many have joined but there are, i expect hundreds of thousands who are open to joining even if it is just to contribute.

      I have had precious little I from the SNP to push for more members. They must have loads of dough now – surely now is the time for a major recruitment drive for all these organisations before we get into the campaign proper in 2015.

      For my own part I can think of 2 who are open to joining the SNP and maybe one who would join Women for Indy. I will do what I can but now is surely the time, when we are on the front foot for a concerted effort to push membership up.

      Talk of struggling to get membership packs out and self congratulatory back slapping is pointless. We need to attack and move forward now rather than resting on laurels. I will contact SNP on this but the other parts of Yes could do with a reminder. The stakes are too high.

    131. HandandShrimp says:

      Of course there in return for ensuring that Ed can run a minority Government without fear of a vote of confidence constantly lurking around the corner Labour would have to agree to ensuring that Smith is suitably beefed up and, in the spirit of Smith, all road sign in the UK to be in Gaelic. 😉

    132. Craig says:

      Before we get confident about seeing what possible number of MP’s the SNP can get into Westminster

      This link should show the dangers of the Unionist parties

      It appears that both, Red & Blue Tories are willing to vote together to keep out the SNP, so sad to see such hatred of a party that fights for Scotland

    133. Grouse Beater says:

      Sarah Smith advertising her 2014 programme tonight “We will be discussing Gordon Brown and the the end of his Titanic career”

      ‘Titanic!’ Amusing slip.

      Let’s take stock of that announcement: the daughter of a former Scots-born leader of the Labour party destined for UK PM before fate stepped in, interviews another Scots-born leader of the Labour party who actually became UK PM and was a disaster for his home nation and a disaster for the UK … and we’re supposed to believe the BBC is strictly impartial?

    134. Martin says:

      Sadly I think SNP looking at 15-20 seats realistically. Never overestimate the electorate. The Tories are squeezing and for too many people British politics will always be Lab v Tory. We can talk all we like about what’s best for Scottish interests, and we’re right…but the MSM machine will be in massive overdrive. We talk about a war on two fronts, but the papers run two editions, and the Scottish version will be wall to wall “only labour can keep the tories out”

      Yes, it’s well proven nonsense, but it will work. Let’s not glory in perceived victory yet. We have more of a fight on our hands than we think, regardless of which halfwit takes over the Scottish chapter of Labour

    135. Ricardo Khan says:

      The Revenge of the Smith (commission) will not be directed in the direction the Unionists had hoped.

      @Robert Peffers

      Sadly, I think my country is going a bit off its rocker. While some of those at the top realise that the strength of England has always depended on its supremacy over its neighbours in the British Isles and on its connections with the rest of Afro-Eurasia, they have whipped up so much anti-Celtic, anti-European, and anti-immigrant hysteria that it seems unlikely that they’ll correct course before it’s too late. The (temporary) defeat of Scotland’s independence movement only seems to have emboldened them to be more Anglosupremacist.

      The establishment is also divided over these matters, what with the millionaire donors funding UKIP. I doubt that all of those in England’s power elite recognise the danger of cutting the country off from the rest of the archipelago and the mainland. Just from their own words, they seem to think they will be able to dictate terms to a perpetually subordinate “Celtic fringe” and a Europe desperate to sell luxury goods (!) to inevitably prosperous Brits/English.

      The tragedy is that British nationalism, as promoted by the likes of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, has been fodder for the Tories and UKIP. The notion of a militaristic, insular British union existing apart from a European one is central to right-wing thought in Britain. By doing the Tories’ dirty work for them, they have bolstered the ideology of the right wing. Kevin McKenna was quite astute when he noted that David Cameron has somehow emerged as the leader of the joint Conservative-Labour Party. Rather than balance out Toryism, those on the alleged “left” of British politics’ centre line have simply joined it.

      There’s another Star Wars analogy in there, I think…

    136. Martin …. as the non-event which is the Smith Commission unravels over the next six months I think it is unlikely there will be very much leakage of the current support for the SNP. I think 30 seats would be a major success for the SNP and rather than getting all glum about the stupidity of the Scottish Electorate I would rather keep my chin up and keep talking about the problems a blue or red Tory Government will create for Scotland.

      Such as; how long did the guaranteed Type 26 orders for the Clyde Yards last as the Royal Navy are openly saying the Franco-Italian frigate build is better suited to the RN’s needs and better value for money or the proposed burial of high level nuclear waste at Chapelcross in Dumfries and Galloway, then there is CBM and ‘fracking’ the Union wants to carry out under housing in Scotland’s central belt … in coal and shale seams which will allow ground water pollution …

    137. yesindyref2 says:

      Wee Blue Booklet
      Wee Blue Factsheet
      Wee Blue Primer
      Wee Blue Textbook
      Wee Blue Guide
      Wee Blue Book: The Sequel
      Wee Blue Book: The Conclusion
      Wee Blue Book Part Two

      Blue blue electric blue
      We’ve done our best
      It’s up to you!

    138. yesindyref2 says:

      Mad Jock
      I heard this on the news, Fallon speaking, but from the DT:

      “He [Fallon] said: “British warships are built in British yards. This aircraft carrier has been built across six British yards in England and in Scotland. So far as the T-26 ships are concerned, it has always been envisaged that they will be built on the Clyde and I can confirm that today.

      “It’s a very complex new warship that’s under design at the moment. We’re obviously working towards announcing some of the long-lead items I hope early next year. We’re not quite ready yet to announce it, but they are going to be built on the Clyde.”

      Mr Robertson welcomed the confirmation, saying Clyde shipbuilders have been “living with the uncertainty that their jobs might not be there” since the First Sea Lord’s intervention. “

      I know from other sources there are problems with the T26 design which isn’t unusual for a highly advanced warship, but I doubt in any case FREMM would be picked – basically it’s a bit top-heavy with a 13 tonne radar mounted high as opposed to a 3 tonne one on the T26. I know which one I’d go for.

    139. john king says:

      Heedtracker @6.44

      I found myself agreeing with that little slug Galloway in spite of myself,
      Cheers Heedtracker,
      I’m confused enough as it is. 🙁

      Robert Peffers

      And what time do you call this?
      do you know we’ve had people out looking for you?
      and the street lights on as well! (bristles with indignation)
      consider yourself grounded young man. 🙂

    140. Haggis Hunter says:

      Politics has never been so interesting as now. The referendum engaged a whole army of onlookers, mostly in the Yes camp.
      80295 Text Call Kaye with 3 words to describe Gordon Brown.

    141. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Sorry to be a party pooper but if required a ‘better together’ red and blue Tory alliance at westminster is far more likely than any Labour-SNP deal.”

      No it’s not. Labour couldn’t campaign for months on a “dastardly Tories” ticket and then form a coalition with them. Of course they might combine on individual votes, but they couldn’t form a government on such a basis. It wouldn’t last a week.

    142. Chic McGregor says:

      “80295 Text Call Kaye with 3 words to describe Gordon Brown.”

      ‘Cheats, shoots and leaves’

      But there are less pandas in Scotland than there are political personae for Gordon Brown.

      There is, however, only one destination on his moral compass.

      “Handcart for Brown!”

    143. The Dude says:

      After running a campaign for two years about ‘democratic deficit’ and not having any power we suddenly have power to change things? This news does nothing but torpedo the nationalist argument that they have been peddling for two years about their democratic rights, which suddenly have leverage. This indicates that the initial argument was not only a straw dog but built on something a lot more hypocritical: fear! The fear that you were being stripped of your democratic right, when you weren’t!

      It sounds an awful lot like heads I win tails you lose logic.

    144. Jane wilding says:

      Interesting reading in the comments… my feeling is that, although (as many commenters say) ‘higher’ economics is of no interest to most ordinary people, so we needn’t bother talking to them about it – what excites me is the logistics of the voting game (sad, eh) and I think that IS really important information to get out. What happens when you vote labour (not in terms of prescriptions, bus passes or any of that) but in terms of how the seats are counted and how the government is consequently made up. How you shoot yourself (or Scotland) in the foot/head. I think that needs to be on the school curriculum 🙂 and got out among the population as speedily as possible. Most people don’t know how it works; I know I never did, before all this rigmarole.

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