SNP Headed For Overall Majority 61

It is 5.30 am and I haven’t been to bed. I intended to watch the first few results from the elections and to turn in around 2 am, but the first Scottish results were so riveting, I have been unable even to think of leaving. And just a moment ago “SNP gain Paisley” flashed up. Paisley!!

The SNP so far have won 28 constituencies on the first past the post part of the election, with many still to come. Compared to seven of these last time. If this were a first past the post election, the SNP would have a thumping absolute majority. But I reckon the regional lists wil still result in an overall majority to the SNP. As Scottish independence remains the practical political goal to which I am most attached, I am absolutely delighted.

Alex Salmond has already indicated that he will use his mandate to push for more powers for the Scottish parliament – most crucially, the power to borrow money so Scotland can run a more Keynsian economic policy, and the power to vary corporation tax. These will be resisted by the Tories, which will set up precisely the confrontation needed over the next four years to prepare for a referendum on independence.

I vote Lib Dem when in England and SNP in Scotland. I am sorry in a sense to see the collapse of the Lib Dem vote in Scotland, not least because Tavish Scott is a very decent person and a genuine liberal. But the atavistic unionism of the Scottish Lib Dems in recent years deserves a kicking, not least because it is the precise opposite of the party’s historical and philosophical roots, and would have Gladstone and Rosebery spinning in their graves. Any real Liberal in Scotland in 2011 should want Scottish independence, and it was only recently in my adult life that the view started to be taken that belief in Scottish independence is incompatible with being a Liberal Democrat.

That Liberals were prepared in Scotland to spend years in coalition with war criminals, but would not enter a coalition with the SNP because of opposition to letting people have a referendum on independence, was so stupid and illiberal, that bluntly the Scottish Lib Dems deserved their virtual annihilation.

New Labour will get an enormous raft of MSPs on the regional list system, having lost 75% of their constituency MSPs. By and large these list candidates are not the same people as the defeated New Labour MSPs. Amazingly, they are on the whole even less talented than the obnoxious numpties the electorate have just sent packing. There is not going to be any effective opposition in the new Scottish parliament, and I hope that the horrible regional list system at least throws up some greens and independents to liven things up,

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61 thoughts on “SNP Headed For Overall Majority

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  • Ruth

    Surely independence for Scotland heavily relies on the independence of Salmond, a privy counsellor, who presumably has take an oath part of which is as follows:
    ‘You will to your uttermost bear Faith and Allegiance unto the Queen’s Majesty; and will assist and defend all Jurisdictions, Pre-eminences, and Authorities, granted to Her Majesty, and annexed to the Crown by Acts of Parliament, or otherwise, against all Foreign Princes, Persons, Prelates, States, or Potentates. And generally in all things you will do as a faithful and true Servant ought to do to Her Majesty. So help you God.’

  • Suhayl Saadi

    As for Paisley – the town of David Tennant (McDonald)! and also where I grew up – while it was always a Labour stronghold, in recent years, that had began to change, with the SNP winning the Council elections for the first time. This Scottish Parliament win for the SNP consolidates that trend.

  • Vronsky

    “Polls undertaken on the matter consistly hold support for a ‘Yes’ vote in a referendum at around a steady 35%”

    I notice that in any yes/no poll, absent a campaign you will get a simple three-way split: 1/3 yes, 1/3 no, 1/3 don’t know/don’t care. The thirty something percent figures you see are often a percentage of the entire electorate, in other words the true yes/no divide may be much closer to 50/50.

    But that’s without a campaign. Here’s a thought experiment: if you listed the powers at present reserved to Westminster (i.e. not devolved to the Scottish Parliament), put a tick box beside each one and asked the average Scot to place a tick beside any powers that he thought should remain at Westminster, which do you think he would select? Any? My point is that ‘independence’ is just a word that can have different emotional connotations for different people. Once a campaign puts solid information in there, the game changes – and the SNP campaigning machine is formidable. You can confirm this line of reasoning by noting that the Unionist parties, including the ‘liberal’ ‘democrats’, will not under any circumstances countenance a referendum – quite simply their guess is it would get a ‘yes’.

    More immediately, the Scotland Act, aka the Calman Proposals, will be re-visited. This was another Unionist sop to deflect separatist feeling, but now they are hoist with their own petard. Legislation that they expected to be largely empty of anything but rhetoric, nursed through by a Labour-dominated committee now looks like a piece of heavy artillery fallen into the hands of the enemy. The Scotland Act that started its journey towards the statute book under the last government will likely be a very different animal from the one that arrives. Professor Calman should have stuck to telling us that BSE infected meat was safe to eat.

  • Paul Johnston

    Whilst people have mentioned Trump just a thought for Seve’s family.
    St Andrews will always be 1984 for me and not that idiot Trump!
    RIP Seve.

  • Subrosa

    It was an exciting night which extended well into day. A memorable time indeed.

    As for the commenter who states Trump is trying to evict pensioners from their homes, that is untrue. He withdrew his legal protest some months ago and the pensioners and others, are safe.

    In the past 24 hours so much has been said about England not having their own parliament. The solution lies with the English. If they continue to vote for unionist parties then they will have a unionist parliament. Of course, once Scotland takes independence little will chance. Westminster will continue to be the parliament of England, Wales and N Ireland.

    As I say, the solution is in the hands of the English.

  • mary

    Off topic but this made my blood boil.

    ‘Alisher Usmanov, the Russian mining magnate, has risen to become Britain’s second richest man after more than doubling his wealth to £12.4 billion.’
    See Craig here and other posts of you enter Usmanov in the search box.
    Alisher Usmanov, potential Arsenal chairman, is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist
    by craig on Sep 2007 2nd in Usmanov, Uzbekistan

    I thought I should make my views on Alisher Usmanov quite plain to you. You are unlikely to see much plain talking on Usmanov elsewhere in the media becuase he has already used his billions and his lawyers in a pre-emptive strike. They have written to all major UK newspapers, including the latter: Mr Usmanov was imprisoned for various offences under the old Soviet regime. We wish to make it clear our client did not commit any of the offences w…

  • deep green puddock

    Independence is a complex idea, moreso nowadays, when there is a wideranging interdependence between nations, so even if there is a successful referendum on independence, it will be more about a re-negotiation of the terms of interaction with the various entities we are already aligned with. Westminster will still have a great influence, and all intellectual activity in the rest of the english speaking world will still be important, rprobably more than the domestic or home-grown variety.
    What independence-seekers are saying, in effect is that within Scotland we can set up fiscal administrative and institutional systems and some (limited) policies that will be more effective than those that exist at the moment and are determined within the context of the larger entity called the UK.
    Independence will not be a panacea and will probably create as many hardships and inconveniences as those that are relieved.
    in a sense the process is going against the stream of the last period of history which has seen amalgamation and union, as a more effective means to access better prosperity.
    I am not arguing against independence, but trying to place it in a realistic context.
    i see the situation as a little like the slightly analagous situation that existed in relation to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, within the context of Scotland, where a distinctive and generally more stable and serviceable set of arrangements for critical matters such as education existed alongside a much larger, dominant value system-that of the central belt.
    Unfortunately, for reasons that I cannot quite discern-(complex demographic and political/economic changes?) these distinctive and effective values and arrangements were eroded and undermined anbbd became less serviceable than elsewhere, and what was good was lost or became untenable in circumstances. The situation that now exists is worse, or at least as bad, as elsewhere. i.e. there is no longer a distinctive or more serviceable value system.
    I think i am saying that there are, whether we like it or not, forces that are impossible to resist and smaller groups can find themselves exposed at times.
    Now of course I don’t mean catastrophically so, just relatively so, and that may lead eventually to a call to amalgamate in some way.
    The relationship of technology and how technique can favour or disfavour smaller or larger political entities is also complex. i think it is possible that mass communication is creating a desire within mature technical societies such as in the UK, more needy of distinctive qualities, and is creating the confidence to seek those many comforts of smaller groups which in turn favour social unity, while remaining connected to the wider world.
    as for Salmond being a privy counsellor, there need be no conflict, since he can maintain his oath while askinng for a change in political arrangements. he is not calling for a separation from the crown, but an adjusted relationship.

  • mary

    Off topic but this made my blood boil.

    ‘Alisher Usmanov, the Russian mining magnate, has risen to become Britain’s second richest man after more than doubling his wealth to £12.4 billion.’
    See Craig here and other posts if you enter Usmanov in the search box.
    Alisher Usmanov, potential Arsenal chairman, is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist
    by craig on Sep 2007 2nd in Usmanov, Uzbekistan

    I thought I should make my views on Alisher Usmanov quite plain to you. You are unlikely to see much plain talking on Usmanov elsewhere in the media becuase he has already used his billions and his lawyers in a pre-emptive strike. They have written to all major UK newspapers, including the latter: Mr Usmanov was imprisoned for various offences under the old Soviet regime. We wish to make it clear our client did not commit any of the offences w…
    /….. {}

  • amk

    “most crucially, the power to borrow money so Scotland can run a more Keynsian economic policy”

    The mess in the Eurozone right now has convinced me that monetary union without fiscal union is a Really Bad Idea.

    If Scotland were to borrow money whilst still using the British Pound it would adversely affect the rest of the UK, while Scotland retains the whole benefit. It’s a form of the Tragedy of the Commons but asymmetric: Scotland alone would be motivated to borrow recklessly, threatening the prosperity of the whole of the UK and forcing it to cut spending.

    Expect lots of quite justifiably pissed off English too.

  • paul mclean

    I want scottish independance we will get the benifits of our Gas & Oil.Freedom
    too decide whats best for Scotland.Not told to do by another Nation

  • Dick the Prick

    It’s good fun for constitution watchers. The Crown Estates must be massive. Fascinated how this one’s gonna develop. 4-5 years is a long time, ceteris paribus.

  • Dick the Prick

    The more you think about it, the more reasonable it sounds for Scotland to want to fuck off but not go independent. It gets slightly irritating to get economic or speak of currency or soverignty but to speak of land mass, not only oil wealth but HQd there and manufacturing there etc etc. Very interesting.

  • mary

    I heard on the BBC this morning that the Abbottabad house is going to be blown up ‘to prevent it becoming a shrine’. You could not make it up.

  • ingo

    Cameron must be filling his trousers over the prospect of an Independence bill being advanced. Such move would also be the final straw for English democracy, no longer could we be without and english Parluiament that replaces that of the UK, with all its fineries. You get a scottish treasury raising its own taxes and no more problems over split loyalties.
    Not to speak of that nice big thistle you get on ya passport.:)

  • mary

    B+stards. They know they have us over an (oil) barrel.

    9 May 2011

    British Gas owner Centrica warns of higher prices
    Centrica has warned it may close a UK gas field because of higher taxes
    UK gas field may close in tax row
    Oil study wary of tax hike impact
    Chevron issues oil taxes warning

    The owner of British Gas, Centrica, has warned that customers may face higher energy bills.

    Centrica said “end-user prices” did not reflect the price it was paying for gas on the wholesale market.

    The company also said that it was likely to cut investment in the UK after the Government raised taxes on North Sea oil and gas production.

    Centrica said the tax hike would erode profit growth in 2011, sending the company’s shares down 3%.

    The company’s statement said that the worldwide energy market had been thrown into turmoil following the natural disaster in Japan and unrest in Africa and the Middle East.

    “In the UK, the forward wholesale prices of gas and power for delivery in winter 2011/12 are currently around 25% higher than prices last winter, with end-user prices yet to reflect this higher wholesale market price environment,” the statement said.

    The company said average residential gas consumption in the first four months of the year was 19% lower, while electricity consumption was down 4%.

    Centrica also warned of the impact of a rise in energy taxes. Last month, the government unexpectedly raised a supplementary tax charge on North Sea oil and gas producers from 20% to 32%.

    “We continue to expect growth in our 2011 group earnings but at a more modest rate than anticipated at the time of our last results announcement as upstream profits have become more highly taxed,” the company said.

    “We no longer expect to maintain the previously projected high levels of investment in the UK,” it said.

    Centrica said last week that it may shut one of its gas fields in Morecambe Bay as the tax rise made it unprofitable to run.

    It followed a decision by Norway’s Statoil in March to put some developments on hold as a result of the tax rise.

    Are you concerned by Centrica’s warning that energy prices might rise? Are you affected by the issues in this story? Send us your comments using the form below.

  • mary

    Craig wrote about St Andrews University recently. This report of an outrageous action against two students has just come to hand.

    Defend the right to criticise Israel: Wednesday 11th May 2011 at 9:30am

    Meet outside Cupar Sheriff Court
    County Buildings
    St Catherine Street
    KY15 4LX



    Two students at St. Andrews University are facing racially aggravated conduct charges after allegedly making comments and gestures critical of the State of Israel and its flag.
    They are due to be tried at Cupar Sheriff Court on Wednesday 11 May 2011 at 9.30am.
    Media reports have already jumped to the conclusion that the charges are designed to imply: “St Andrews University students in court to face anti-Semitism charges” (Tayside and Fife’s Courier newspaper).

  • mary

    This might be of interest to some of the readers here.

    “Stolen Children, Stolen Lives” was directed, filmed and produced by Gerry O’Sullivan and edited by Cara Holmes. It shows the arrests and abuses of Palestinian children, aged between 9 and 15, in the West Bank. The documentary outlines the impact on these children and on ex- Israeli soldiers. It is in two parts.
    PS Where is Craig?

  • mark_golding

    Sorry Jon I missed your question – What is entanglement?

    Entanglement can be observed in the Quantum world of particles. A single particle of light, a force carrier, can be split into two ‘opposite’ particles that instantaneously communicate with each other. If we erase one the other disappears and if we make one the same as the other they are detected as being opposite. Spooky? No, we are all interconnected in an interconnected universe.
    Entanglement is why we occasionally have numerous feelings of connectedness with our loved ones at a distance. Even our own minds can become entangled and result in the experience of us hearing the telephone ring and somehow knowing – instantly – who’s calling. Such experiences, are due to real information that somehow bypasses the usual sensory channels, yet to some of course such suggestions are mere delusions. Can psychic experiences be studied by science, or are they beyond the reach of rational understanding?

    When the quantum world is examined very closely, we find reality is woven from strange, “holistic” threads that aren’t located precisely in space or time. Tug on a dangling loose end from this fabric of reality, and the whole cloth twitches, instantly, throughout all space and time.

    Science is at the very earliest stages of understanding entanglement, and there is much yet to learn. What I’ve seen so far provides a new way of thinking about the psi. Psi experiences once regarded as rare human talents, divine gifts, or “powers” that magically transcend ordinary physical boundaries may indeed be real and the psi becomes an unavoidable consequence of living in an interconnected, entangled physical reality. The power of intention is bound up with entanglement, it is not an ego driven something you do, rather a force you connect to. Max Planck said, “This force is a concious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” Everything in our universe or the *material* world is intended and we are all connected to that source of intention.
    So, for example if we all think that we live in a dangerous and hostile universe then we *will* live in a dangerous and hostile universe.
    Our connection to the source has been contaminated by social conditioning; our minds work by action and reaction. Every thought *is* an intention, yet our thoughts are in conflict,we simultaneously set a goal and then unset it. We are sabotaging ourselves.
    Our universe has mass which is bound to time. Time is our enemy, it weakens the connection; even if we make a positive intention for the greater good we may ‘run out’ of time. For example you may intend to do something that you believe is perfect, sound, even exciting; you decide to ‘sleep on it’ – alas in the morning something is different, something has dissipated. Time perfectly controls our lives; we plan, we contemplate, we ponder, we mull over, yet the best laid plans…
    Nuclear weapons – nobody likes them, yet we reduce, we argue, we regulate, we deter, we discourage and we defend. We intend to destroy them years from now; again time has defeated us.

    Believe therefore in entanglement and ‘make it happen’ – believe in yourself, collectively we can make anything happen.

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