Part of the Union 249

Labour voters are switching straight to Tory as second preference and Tory straight to Labour in Scottish local government by-elections held under the STV system. These are not opinion polls, they are real elections.

I was shown results and transfer sheets yesterday in the margin of the SNP vetting assessment of potential candidates which I was attending. Unfortunately I did not have a chance to copy down the figures, but the pattern was clear.

For those unfamiliar with single transferable vote, you mark the ballot paper 1,2,3 in the order you prefer the candidates. What is now becoming clear is that Labour voters tend to put the Tories at 2, and Tories put Labour as 2. I have been arguing for years that there are no significant policy differences between Labour and Tory – it is a fake choice. I will never forget at the count in Clackmannan the Labour and Tory councillors and their wives all celebrating together, all looking well-heeled and arrogant and entitled, impossible to tell apart.

That the few remaining Labour voters put the Tories as second preference, instead of the Greens, SNP or Liberal Democrat, shows that the core Labour support base is largely Blairite. Which explains why the ultra-Blairite Jim Murphy, scion of the far right Henry Jackson Society, is set to become Labour Party leader in Scotland. It is also interesting that Tory voters are happy to give second preferences to Labour, recognising that Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper, Tess Jowell and Harriet Harman – every one a millionaire – are doughty protectors of the rich and the established order.

I haven’t been able to find a website that records local byelection results including the transfers – some results are listed on but only give the final result after all transfers. If anyone can find the data online I would be grateful. I should love to see an analysis from James Kelly on this one.

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249 thoughts on “Part of the Union

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  • Phil


    What you say about my objections is true but not the full story.

    Even accepting that people get elected to lead I have objections to Craig Murray running for office. I shall try harder to express myself clearly.

  • Phil


    In my comment above I said “and” instead of “as”. I meant to say:

    “You seem to mistake my objections to your nationalism as my own nationalism.”

  • doug scorgie

    8 Dec, 2014 – 8:28 pm

    “Whoever cuts production loses market share. Russia might play it out a bit longer and see who breaks first.”

    So you agree Fred that this is an economic war on Russia instigated by the USA (hurting a little bit) and its allied despots in OPEC.

  • fred

    “It’s not going to $40 IMHO!”

    If it breaks the $60 mark chances are it will keep going to $40.

    It will probably hold at $60 though.

  • fred

    “So you agree Fred that this is an economic war on Russia instigated by the USA (hurting a little bit) and its allied despots in OPEC.”


  • Ben the Inquisitor

    In the game of chicken the question is who will blink first, American Frackers or OPEC

    “There are other explanations for what appears to be Saudi complacency about the price. Some analysts, I believe, over-emphasize the Saudi desire to challenge U.S. shale production –particularly given that increased American oil production over the past few years has eased what would have been enormous pressure on Saudi Arabia to bolster its own production capacity, at great cost. That said, Saudi decision-makers might be happy to put another dart in the efforts to bring the shale-oil revolution global, something that has already been moving more slowly than expected. The Saudis are also perfectly content to see Iran and Russia struggling domestically. And then there is the fact that it is easier to make no decision than to change course, something which should not be underestimated in the Riyadh government, where decision-making has become notoriously slow.

  • Squonk

    Fred, Ben

    I stand to be proved wrong of course but too much big money is invested in it not going to $40. US Gulf of Mexico production is trashed at $40 as well as the rest of US “unconventional” resources. Canada oil sands aren’t profitable at $40 either.

  • Phil

    Lance Vance
    “What, sitting around furiously tapping away at your keyboard, thinking that’s going to change anything? Pfft!!”

    Word up!

  • Ben the Inquisitor

    The break-point is 60-70 bucks, AA. But Saudi Arabia has 750 billion in reserves. At some point, the momentum has velocity and a free-fall is the gambit.

  • Squonk


    TPTPB can overwhelm a market freefall. It’s quite easy to drive the oil markets in one direction or another if you have (printed) money to waste. The physical WTI price is tied to the Front Month Futures (gambling) market.

  • Ben the Inquisitor

    I think I’m way off. At 180 million dollar loss per day (40 per barrel) it seems in excess of 4000 days. Oh I give up 🙂

    My calculator won’t go to billions so I have to pare it down. Lol.

  • Peacewisher

    According to RT the Saudi’s aren’t just pushing the price down to spite Russia… they want to make US shale oil uneconomic as well. Obviously enjoying their position of power while it lasts…

  • Tony M

    Peacewisher, you assume they – the Saudi clique – have the least bit of autonomy. Instead, as with the 1970s OPEC rises, they act I would aver, at the behest of their imperial masters i.e. the US, however counter-productive/damaging or ‘good news’ these acts might seem to have been or are to western or other economies. The motivation(s) and indeed cause(s) for this glut still remain unclear.

  • Ben the Inquisitor

    This is the 36th Dead Banker of the year (via Beforeitsnews):

    1) David Bird, 55, long-time reporter for the Wall Street Journal working at the Dow Jones news room
    2) Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG
    3) William Broeksmit, 58, former senior manager for Deutsche Bank
    4) Ryan Henry Crane, age 37, JP Morgan
    5) Li Junjie, 33, Hong Kong JP Morgan
    6) Gabriel Magee, 39, age JP Morgan employee
    7) Mike Dueker, 50, who had worked for Russell Investments
    8) Richard Talley, 57, was the founder and CEO of American Title (real estate titles)
    9) James Stuart Jr. 70, Former National Bank of Commerce CEO was found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz
    10) Jason Alan Salais, 34 year old IT Specialist at JPMorgan since 2008
    11) Autumn Radtke, 28, CEO of First Meta, a Singapore-based virtual currency trading platform
    12) Eddie Reilly, 47, investment banker, Vertical Group, New York
    13) Kenneth Ballando, 28, investment banker, Levy Capital, New york
    14) Joseph A. Giampapa, 55, corporate bankruptcy lawyer, JP Morgan Chase
    15) Jan Peter Schmittmann, 57, voormalig topbestuurder ANB/AMRO, Laren, Nederland
    16) Juergen Frick, 48, CEO Bank Frick & Co AG, Liechtenstein
    17) Benoît Philippens, 37, directeur BNP Parisbas Fortis Bank, Ans, België.
    18) Lydia…, 52, bankier Bred-Banque-Populaire, Parijs
    19) Andrew Jarzyk, 27, bankier, PNC Bank, New York
    20) Carlos Six, 61, Hoofd Belastingdienst en lid CREDAF, België
    21) Jan Winkelhuijzen, 75, Commissaris en Fiscalist (voormalig Deloitte), Nederland.
    22) Richard Rockefeller, 66, achterkleinzoon elitebankier John D. Rockefeller, Amerika
    23) Mahafarid Amir Khosravi (Amir Mansour Aria), 45, bankeigenaar, zakenman en derivatenhandelaar, Iran
    24) Lewis Katz, 76, zakenman, advocaat en insider in de bancaire wereld, Amerika
    25) Julian Knott, Directeur Global Operations Center JP Morgan, 45, Amerika
    26) Richard Gravino, IT Specialist JP Morgan, 49, Amerika
    27) Thomas James Schenkman, Managing Director Global Infrastructure JP Morgan, 42, Amerika
    28) Nicholas Valtz, 39, Managing Director Goldman Sachs, New York, Amerika
    29) Therese Brouwer, 50, Managing Director ING, Nederland
    30) Tod Robert Edward, 51, Vice President M & T Bank, Amerika
    31) Thierry Leyne, 48, investeringsbankier en eigenaar Anatevka S.A., Israël
    32) Calogero Gambino, 41, Managing Director Deutsche Bank, Amerika
    33) Shawn D. Miller, 42, Managing Director Citigroup, New York, Amerika
    34) Melissa Millian, 54, Senior Vice President Mass Mutual, Amerika
    35) Thieu Leenen, 64, Relatiemanager ABN/AMRO, Eindhoven, Nederland
    36) Geert Tack, 52, Private Banker ING, Haaltert, België

  • Mary

    Torture? Never!

    CIA torture report: US raises security ahead of release
    The report appears to conclude CIA officials lied about the programme to Bush administration officials

    Torture report: Battle lines being drawn
    CIA interrogation techniques exposed Watch
    Memo reveals response to CIA ‘abuse’

    Security has been stepped up at US facilities around the world ahead of the release of a report expected to reveal details of harsh CIA interrogations, the White House says.

  • Mary

    UK Muslims face ‘worst job discrimination’ of any minority: report

    A researcher cited ‘growing Islamophobia and hostility’ against British Muslims as being a reason by the lack of employment prospects. (Photo courtesy of

    Al Arabiya News
    Sunday, 30 November 2014

    British Muslims face the worst job discrimination of any minority group in the country, according to research seen by London-based daily The Independent.

    Muslim men are up to 76 percent less likely to have a job, compared to white male British Christians of the same age and qualifications, according to the newspaper. For Muslim women, the figure stands at 65 percent.

    The research was drawn from government figures of half a million people and undertaken by Nabil Khattab and Ron Johnston from the University of Bristol.

    “They [Muslims] are perceived as disloyal and as a threat rather than just as a disadvantaged minority,” the newspaper quoted by Khattab as saying.

    Khattab cited “growing Islamophobia and hostility” against British Muslims as being a reason by the lack of employment prospects faced by the minority.

    “Within this climate, many employers will be discouraged from employing qualified Muslims, especially if there are others from their own groups or others from less threatening groups who can fill these jobs.”

    British Jews, on the other hand, topped the list, being the only ethno-religious group with better prospects than white British Christians – with women and men being 29 and 15 per cent more likely to be employed.

  • Ian Westbrook

    Sounds like the “Preferential System” to me. It looks to me that people were not well prepared for the introduction of voting different from simple plurality, otherwise they would have seized on the opportunities for strategic voting. Perhaps, the SNP, if this was their policy, should have put it to a referendum. Then alternatives, such as the system used in Germany, might have been available for consideration.

  • nevermind

    Sofia, congratulations, now you have two parents again, isn’t that great so close before xmas.

    Now your dads unemployment has been concerning to us, but luckily in Norwich there is a great new media scheme proposed and they need people like him.
    The thing is, during election time it would be right pesky if people write all sorts of factual truth on their establishment newspaper website.
    So they are looking for people in ‘real life’, well they say they are looking, and the job would suit your dad right down to the ground.

    He could speak up for Cameron and all he does, lift UKIP into the Stratosphere without an afterburner, just the kitty.

    You see if they have normal people’s comments already impregnating their daily news, they can argue that this is the public opinion and switch the comments sections on their stories off, or censor them so heavily that its futile to post in the first place.

    What do you think? Is dad up for lording it over others, berating them? making out something is what it really is not? If the answer to these question is YES, then tell him to hurry up and apply to Annabelle Dickson at Arsechant, oops, its Archant, my mistake.

    Thanks for the lovely video Ba’al, something to look forward to.

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