The Great Mistake 226

The SNP risks a great loss in putting Independence on the back-burner. They have the huge energy of the street Yes campaign behind them. Shifting from fifth gear to reverse risks not only loss of momentum, but damage. “Go out and work for Independence!” is what 80,000 new members want to hear. “Go out and work for Devo-Max and a supply and confidence agreement with Labour at Westminster”, is not.

I was not too concerned at reports that Alex Salmond had said that Independence may not feature in the SNP’s coming Westminster manifesto, and it would be up to Nicola Sturgeon. It was just one interview, and the great man was possibly just musing, I thought. But then we had Nicola Sturgeon’s message to all members, repeated as adverts in the newspapers, setting out the stall for the General Election. This makes no mention of Independence at all.

I think there are two major mistakes here. The first is that rather than state its fundamental beliefs, the SNP is tailoring its message to be appropriate to a specific tactical situation – a hung parliament with the SNP able to sustain a Labour-led government, in return for certain demands. Tailoring the message to this circumstance is a mistake because it is a scenario which is entirely beyond the power of the SNP, or even Scotland, to bring about. And my very firm prediction is that it will not happen.

Labour and the Tories are neck and neck in recent polls, but I fully expect the Tories will make ground, as the incumbent government always does in the final months before a UK general election. They have the opportunity of a populist budget to boost them. UKIP support will dip, disproportionately returning to the Tories. Murdoch will back Cameron, along with the Mail, Express and Telegraph. The Tories have over twice the campaign funds of Labour. The LibDem vote will plummet but they will hold on to more of their own seats UK wide than a uniform swing would indicate. I am willing to bet that the Conservatives remain in power, probably still as the ConDems, after the General Election.

In this scenario, what happens in Scotland is irrelevant to who forms the UK government – as so often. Whether there are more Labour or more SNP on the opposition benches will make little difference to Cameron and Osborne. What will happen, however, is an increasingly urgent demand for Scottish Independence in the face of five more years of unwanted Tory rule in Scotland.

It is tactically essential that, in this scenario, the SNP MP’s can claim to have been elected on a clear mandate for Independence. The SNP may have a majority of Scottish MP’s after May. There will be a vote on whether the UK leaves the EU. Should the UK vote to leave the EU (which is not improbable), the demand for Scottish Independence may become overwhelming. If at that stage we have a majority of Scottish MP’s clearly elected for Independence, there are a number of possible options for achieving Independence. If however those MPs were elected only on a platform that prioritised Devo-Max, the arguments look very different.

The second major mistake is that Devo-Max is unobtainable. Whitehall and Westminster will never agree to hand over to Scotland its full oil or whisky revenues. It is in any event not possible for Scotland to run an expansive fiscal policy within the overall control of the Treasury and Bank of England. It is possible to get limited extra powers for the Scottish parliament. The Smith Commission is very close to the limit of what Westminster will ever agree within the Union. Even were Smith to be fully implemented (which like Calman it won’t) it is no substitute for Independence.

And as I have frequently stated, so long as our foreign and defence policy is still controlled by Westminster, so long as they can still send Scots to fight and die in illegal wars, so long as they can involve us in hideous torture and permanent conflict in the Middle East, we have not obtained ethical responsibility, and the rest means little.

Many No voters already regret their vote. The SNP does not need to pitch its message to appeal to continuing unionists. As the Independence vote is heavily behind the SNP, while the Unionist vote has more significant diversions between Labour, Tory, Liberal and UKIP, under first past the post the Yes voters alone will sweep the board – which is precisely what opinion polls show as happening.

The other thing we know from the Referendum is that a significant number of SNP voters, voted No. The truth is that not every supporter of the SNP is a fervent supporter of Independence. Certainly a great many members do not relate to the social radicalism and desire for sweeping societal change that motivated so much of the astonishing street Yes campaign.

The SNP has now a substantial professional class. It has MSP’s, Scottish ministers, MP’s and MEP’s, and all their research assistants, secretaries, constituency secretaries and SPADs. It has paid councillors, committee chairs, leaders of councils. It has a Chief Executive and HQ staff. If the process of gradualism has brought you a good income and a comfy living, it is a natural temptation to see the accretion of a few more powers, and the addition of a lot more jobs for MP’s and their staff, as all part of useful progress, without wanting to risk anything too radical. Independence can become a misty aspiration, lost in the day to day concerns of genuinely ultra-important stuff like running the NHS or schools or local transport.

The SNP is not the small band of noble rebellious souls it once was. It is now a major institution in itself, and part of the fabric of the British state. Institutions, even composed of the nicest people, always develop and protect their corporate interest.

I worry that the downplaying of the Independence goal for the General Election may drain the fire from those 80,000 Yes-oriented new members. I worry even more that this may not be an accident.

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226 thoughts on “The Great Mistake

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  • Tony M

    On the coins, a special commemorative issue would have Blair’s face behind a portcullis, signifying behind bars, to remind us how lucky we are to be free of the whole lot of them.

  • Keith Crosby

    It looks like the Snats are getting ready to castrate themselves, like the Liberals in 2010 and Liarbour in 1997.

  • RobG

    [ – this comment stayed stuck in the spam filter until 11:00 14/01/2015]

    It’s a general rule that any place in Spain beginning with the letter ‘S’ will be pleasing on the eye.

    It’s also a general rule in comment threads that once the term ‘Nazi’ is used the thread has reached its nadir.

    (Mods, thanks again for your help. If the spam filter was going through that data center in Utah, ‘spiderbomb’ might be a problem. I dunno. It might be because I’m using an ancient laptop and web browser. I’ll have that rectified sometime soon, even if it is a bit chilly at this time of year for some male prostitution.)

  • A2

    “Conservative estimate of oil prices between 2013 and 2018”

    lets revisit that at the end of 2018 instead of a couple of weeks into 2015 a third of the way through the period before we make any statements on accuracy shall we?

  • Mary

    I see I am being denigrated again and more lies are told. Why is the troll allowed to make these offensive throwaway ad hominem remarks about me and others.

  • A2

    Have to disagree with your general point Craig, there simply aren’t enough people on our side at this point.

    Continually the weak point of the left in the UK is believing they have more support than they do. Most people out there simply don’t care. This is time for consolidation, Independence is not off the agenda as a long/medium term aim but while you aren’t in a position to achieve it (short term through Westminster) it’s a bit pointless to have it as Manifesto commitment within the next parliament. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver regardless of how successful at the polls.

    I think this may be what they meant by “lack of commitment to group discipline” 😉

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Interesting, thoughtful and topical recent post from Brian Barder on his blog – well worth a careful read.

    Let’s have lots more posts on here on this and related themes in the next few months!


    “The poll figures currently suggest that the general election in May will produce another hung parliament, with neither major party likely to win an overall majority of the seats. The commentariat continues to write and speak as if this must mean another coalition government, right? No, wrong. Or at any rate that the party with the most seats has the right to have the first shot at forming a government, OK? No, wrong again. Well, it’s bound to mean that if the LibDems hold the balance of power again (i.e. if they win enough seats to put either Labour or the Conservatives over the top), they will try to negotiate the terms on which they would join either in a coalition, starting with whichever of them has won more seats? Not necessarily — not even probably. OK: but it might not matter that much: the Tories are already trying to raise even more money from their hedge fund manager friends to enable them to fight a second election later in 2015, which Cameron would be entitled to call if he emerges as prime minister in May, wouldn’t he? Again, not necessarily.

    There was a significant but almost wholly unnoticed constitutional amendment sneaked onto the books shortly before the 2010 election, mainly by the then Cabinet Secretary, Sir (now Lord) Gus O’Donnell. Just one month before that election, I wrote a blog post in which I described, with links to the sources, a constitutional development with major implications in the event of a hung parliament in the following month:

    There is a fear that such uncertainty [caused by the failure of either party to win an overall majority], if it lasts more than a very few days, will cause a run on sterling, turmoil in the bond markets and a possible need to raise interest rates, which would slow down and perhaps reverse Britain’s economic recovery. To avert this potentially damaging fall-out from a hung parliament, the Cabinet Secretary, encouraged by the prime minister (and possibly with the agreement of the other party leaders), has written a new “rule book” — although No. 10 Downing Street has demurred at this description, asserting that it’s no more than a codification of existing and hitherto unwritten constitutional practice. The Cabinet Secretary’s code, apparently taking the form of a new chapter for the Civil Service Manual, provides, among other things, that if a hung parliament results from an election, the incumbent prime minister, regardless of the number of votes or seats his party has won, should not and must not resign as prime minister until it’s clear that there is a specific alternative MP likely to be able to form a government that will win the support of a majority of members of the House of Commons, expressed in majority support for that government’s programme, as defined in the Queen’s Speech. This formulation is designed to protect two fundamental constitutional principles: the nation’s government must be able to be carried on without a significant hiatus; and the monarch must not be placed in a position of being forced to make a decision (such as having to choose whom to invite to try to form a government when there is no consensus on whom she or he should choose) that would entail, or seem to entail, political partisanship as between the parties, thus potentially damaging confidence in the monarchy’s position above party politics.

    This (probably new) rule has important implications. Newspaper editorials claiming that Brown will be morally and politically obliged to resign immediately as prime minister if Labour comes second or third in terms of votes cast, have got it wrong. Brown and the Labour government would be obliged to continue in office for as long as there was any uncertainty about how the LibDems would vote on a Labour or Conservative government’s Queen’s Speech or on a vote of confidence in either government.

    What’s more, the dilemma facing Nick Clegg will not be which of Labour or the Conservatives to ‘support’ in a hung parliament, but whether deliberately to bring down the existing Labour government in the vote on the Queen’s Speech or in a vote of confidence in the government.

    As we all now know, my prediction turned out to be wrong on at least two counts: Gordon Brown, lambasted by the media for his failure to resign the day after the election as soon as it became clear that the Tories had won more seats than Labour, resisted pressure from the LibDems and the Tories to hang on as prime minister until the terms of a Tory-LibDem coalition under Cameron had been agreed, got fed up with being vilified for “clinging to office”, drove to the Palace, and resigned anyway, taking the rest of his administration with him (not physically, of course); and it became clear that whatever the state of the parties’ negotiations in the effort to glue together a coalition commanding a Commons majority, there could be no question of the LibDems being willing to serve in or even support a government under Gordon Brown as prime minister, so low was his standing in the country at the time. His resignation was thus inevitable, whatever the new O’Donnell rules might say about the incumbent prime minister having a duty to remain in office until a clear successor with majority support in parliament had emerged.
    The situation next May will however be different. The biggest difference is that in 2010 the incumbent prime minister was Labour, whereas in May 2015 the Tory leader will have the huge advantage of incumbency — an advantage which Gordon Brown was unable to exploit because of his unpopularity. Regardless of which party wins the most seats in a hung parliament, and even if Labour with support from the LibDems, SNP, Greens and some leftish nationalist MPs win enough seats to constitute a majority, David Cameron will still be entitled to remain in office, even until the new parliament meets. At that point Cameron would be entitled to present a programme for government in the Queen’s Speech and seek approval for it in the House of Commons (which would in effect constitute a vote of confidence in his government). If the Tories plus UKIP and some LibDems (if any) plus the right-of-centre nationalists managed to muster a majority in favour of the Queen’s (i.e. Cameron’s) Speech, Cameron could constitutionally continue as prime minister: the question of his resignation would not arise, and the Queen would have no power to demand it, even if she (and her advisers) thought that Miliband had a better chance of forming a government likely to command a more durable majority’s support in the House.
    This scenario is by no means far-fetched: Cameron, ever the opportunist unhampered by principles or political philosophy, is quite capable of putting together a programme in the Queen’s Speech so alluring, so full of populist goodies, that it would be difficult for any reasonable centrist party to vote it down. In that case Cameron would almost certainly reject any idea of another coalition, heading a minority government, possibly with an informal “confidence and supply” understanding with UKIP and the other right-of-centre parties under which he would need to try to assemble a majority for each individual measure but would resign as prime minister only if defeated in a vote of confidence or on an issue involving the vote of funds to the government.
    Even if events turned out in this way, or something like it, the time might well come when Cameron might calculate that if there were to be another election within a few months, the Tories would stand a good chance of winning it, this time with an overall majority. He would then be tempted to resign and hope to win an ensuing general election outright (the dubiously constitutional Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 could easily be circumvented or if necessary repealed). Hence the reported decision of the Tories to start now collecting money to fight a possible second election in 2015. But this depends on a questionable assumption. David Cameron could resign and — if asked, but only if asked — advise the Queen to dissolve parliament, followed by a fresh election; but this is one of the few occasions when the Queen is not bound to accept her prime minister’s advice. She might well reject it if, for example, soundings by her advisers suggested that Ed Miliband would have enough backing from other parties to form a government with majority support in the House of Commons — and if she thought that the expense of another election so soon after the last would not be justified, especially in view of the risk that the outcome would be similar to that in May. In such circumstances even a prime minister in office can’t be sure that his resignation would necessarily precipitate another general election.
    All this is of course pure speculation. It could well be falsified by any number of unpredictable factors, including the party arithmetic of the May election results and the extent of Cameron’s willingness to tough it out and hang on in No. 10 Downing Street until parliament meets even if Labour has won more seats than the Tories and would be generally regarded as having ‘won’ it. Or indeed Labour might win an overall majority, in which case Cameron would automatically resign and Miliband would accept the Queen’s commission to form a government. An overall Tory majority would similarly make speculation about the implications of a hung parliament redundant.
    However, at the time of writing, the opinion polls seem to point to a hung parliament with Labour as the biggest party: and with less than five months left before the election, Labour clearly ought to be making contingency plans for that outcome.
    So what could the Labour party do now to minimise the danger of Cameron winning fewer seats but contriving to continue as prime minister until he can stitch together a majority in support of a Tory programme in the Queen’s Speech? The first priority must be to begin now to put together an agreement with the LibDems, the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru on the essential points of a minority (or indeed majority) Labour government programme for which they would all be prepared to pledge support, whatever the arithmetic of the new parliament. All this needs to be done urgently and above all publicly, so that the electorate knows what it will be voting for. It should not be difficult to find enough common ground for a programme manifestly more fair and humane than anything currently on offer from the Tories, while still being economically and fiscally responsible. For almost all concerned apart from UKIP the prize — an end to the Tory project of destruction of the welfare state and Britain’s departure from the EU — should be too great to turn down. Such a widely supported progressive Labour programme, publicly endorsed in advance by the majority of the parties likely to win seats at the election, would maximise the chances of a clear overall majority in the new parliament — and offer the best hope of preventing the Tories plus UKIP being able to assemble a counter-majority, with some support from the dithering centre. It will go against the grain and instincts of many good Labour people to begin now to look publicly for common ground with either the LibDems or the SNP, both of whom have so recently been sworn enemies of Labour. But if we are to have any hope at all of a Labour government next May, we need to swallow our pride and our prejudices and seek support for a progressive alternative to Cameron and Osborne wherever we can find it.
    To be absolutely clear, I am emphatically not advocating a Labour-led government coalition with the LibDems or anyone else. If the new parliament comprises a medley of small parties, several of which would need to support any government measure in a kaleidoscope of different combinations for it to secure parliamentary approval, a laboriously negotiated coalition agreement between four or five different parties would be unachievable, as well as unmanageable and therefore undesirable. Failing an overall Labour majority (clearly the best outcome of all), the aim should be a minority Labour government with enough broad support from the other progressive parties to ensure parliamentary approval for the key elements of the Labour election manifesto to justify an informal confidence and supply understanding. For once Tina has proved her case. There Is No Alternative. But time is already dangerously short. To quote another former and very different Conservative prime minister, Action this day!”

  • @homeneara*

    So the rational seems to be that if anyone is deemed offensive to Fred (and god knows what that actually means) he has a full licence to be as reactionary, offensive and abusive as he wants. He in fact guarantees he will be the most abusive.

    I know a group operating recently in French who’s ideology is not dissimilar.

  • craig Post author

    Fred argues that an independent Scotland would be dependent purely on oil, and that nationalists are Nazis. Both are demonstrably wrong, but his attachment to them is plainly conditioned by some experience that clouds rational thought. I really don’t think this justifies either the levels of abuse or attention he receives; the abuse he gives is predicated I think on the belief he is abusing Nazis.

    Jonathan I think you are subscribing to the Scottish cringe. It is generally accepted as fine in political rhetoric to abuse your opponents. To call Tories evil and stupid would raise few eyebrows. But we are not allowed to say it about Unionists. Interesting.

  • Republicofscotland


    I see you’ve dodged my comment at 6.37pm, in favour of spouting your dross filled drones.

    No surprise there then.

  • Robert Crawford


    After reading Jonathan’s repeat of your opinon of NO voters, you are spot on.

    How can anyone NOT want to be Independent?

    Where is their self esteem?

    Poor souls, stupid with it!

    The NO voters should be reaching out to us YESSERS, and appologising for their HISTORICAL MISTAKE.


    Roll on Indyref. 3.

  • Republicofscotland

    Ed Miliband WON’T rule out a coalition government with the SNP, according to most of the press today.

    Only the Labour/unionist rag the Daily Record, of which its masters reside at London’s Canary Wharf, goes with the strapline, “Ed Miliband, rules out chance of forming coalition,with the SNP after May’s general election.”

    Anyone watching the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, would have seen Marr pressing Miliband on several occasions, on the question at hand, not once did Miliband decisively say no to the possible coalition.

    Murray Foote the Daily Record editor, is pushing the Labour/unionist agenda, which has led to a significant drop in sales, at the so called Scottish paper.

    Alas the Daily Record still employs Torcuil Crichton, whose hatred of the SNP is legendary.

  • Republicofscotland

    Home Office mandarins ‘are seeking to subvert abuse inquiry’

    Members of the independent panel that is running the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse are accusing Home Office officials of attempting to subvert it.

    Panel members are livid that civil servants in the department arranged for Theresa May, home secretary, to “consult” a non-representative group of just two abuse survivors and a pair of campaigners who are known as vehement opponents to the inquiry.

    They believe that officials are trying to bounce May into abandoning the panel in favour of a judge-led inquiry. And this is despite overwhelming backing for the panel from scores of abuse survivors who attended a series of consultative meetings.

  • Republicofscotland

    The Conservatives have secured a six point lead over Labour in a major opinion poll, just a week after the parties exchanged the first blows of the general election campaign.
    With four months until the election in May, the Tories are on 34 per cent with Labour trailing on 28 per cent, worse than their 2010 result under Gordon Brown.
    However the survey, by Lord Ashcroft, reveals more than half of voters think the country is heading in the wrong direction.

    Should we take the poll by a billionaire Tory peer, with a pinch of salt, or has it any substance to it?

  • Republicofscotland

    It is not often that I see eye to eye with George Osborne, but a few days ago I found myself agreeing with him on the subject of the general election debates.

    He made the point that if Ukip are to be included in these debates then other parties should be too. He may not have meant the SNP but, even if inadvertently, Osborne was caught telling the truth.

    Following the Scottish independence referendum, the political landscape has changed utterly. The SNP is now the third biggest political party in the UK in terms of membership – and more and more people across Scotland are putting their trust in us to stand up for them at Westminster.

    So when it emerged that the broadcast regulator Ofcom is failing to even consult on the SNP as a major party in the UK in its review of parties ahead of the general election, this signified a major failure to understand the changing nature of politics.

    The fact that Ukip is included only crystallises how out of touch the regulator is with developments in Scotland.
    Similarly, the Guardian’s involvement with a consortium seeking to exclude the SNP from a digital debate with “the UK’s five main political parties” – which isn’t true whether in terms of number of MPs or size of membership – is just as disappointing.

    The major UK parties and the unionist press, really do want the SNP excluded from the lives debates, and with the help of the obedient Ofcom, they may just get their unjust way.

  • Dreoilin

    “I see I am being denigrated again and more lies are told. Why is the troll allowed to make these offensive throwaway ad hominem remarks about me and others.”


    FFS, Mary, if you can’t hack it, just stay away.

    Or, if “lies” are being told about you, why don’t you dispute them? Point out what the “lies” are and why/how they are “lies”?

    Coming in periodically and demanding that any references to you be deleted is just daft. And betrays your belief that you have a special place here, which you don’t.

  • Squonk

    O/T But allegedly “ISIS” has just hacked US Central Command’s social network feeds.
    US Centcom Twitter account ‘hacked by Islamic State’

    US Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts have been hacked by a group claiming to back Islamic State.

    One message said: “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back.”

    It was signed by Isis, another name for the Islamic State. Some internal military documents also appeared on the Centcom Twitter feed.

    US Centcom said it was taking “appropriate measures”. The Twitter account was later taken down so no tweets could be viewed.

    The hack happened as President Barack Obama was preparing a major speech on cybersecurity.

  • Republicofscotland

    The Ministry of Defence have ignored warnings of wind, rain and snow and driven nuclear weapons across the country, through Glasgow and over the Erskine Bridge.

    The convoy of four nuclear bomb lorries plus a very large escort left the Atomic Wepons Establishment at Burghfield in Berkshire at 9 am on Sunday 11 January. It was probably transporting new nuclear weapons to Scotland.

    It was tracked across the country by Nukewatch. The convoy was filmed as it passed Birmingham on the M6 earlier in the day (youtube video). (Photo: @BrumNewsPhotos)

    On the M74 at Hamilton it drove under an overhead sign which said “winter weather take care”. It then went through the centre of Glasgow on the M74 and M8 between 11.35 and 11.55 pm. There were illuminated “high wind” warning signs on the approaches to Erskine Bridge, but the convoy ignored the safety notices and continued over the bridge, 45 metres above the Clyde.

    John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND, followed the convoy. He said:

    “The Ministry of Defence has shown a callous disregard for public safety by driving nuclear weapons through the centre of Glasgow and over Erskine Bridge while Scotland was being battered by gale force winds. It is time we abandoned Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and stopped the madness of taking nuclear bombs through Scotland’s largest city.

    WMD’s pass through Scotland’s largest city, in terrible weather conditions.

    I blame the NO voters, for letting this continue, unopposed, but all they do is spout dross about oil, and how the SNP are Nazi’s, god help us, if that’s their mentality.

  • Mary

    Troll support! Troll support!

    You get the prize Dreolin again. I was not addressing you. Mind your own business.

  • Daniel

    “Fred argues that an independent Scotland would be dependent purely on oil, and that nationalists are Nazis. Both are demonstrably wrong, but his attachment to them is plainly conditioned by some experience that clouds rational thought.”

    Indeed. Moreover, given that deficits (in this case predicated on lower than predicted oil prices) are a significant feature of capitalist economies, his premise that they have to be paid, is nonsense.

    Also, it’s worth pointing out that his argument Scotland does not have the ability to sustain itself economically has been countered by you on this very blog.

  • Dreoilin

    “I was not addressing you. Mind your own business.”

    You were addressing me as much as anyone else. No names were mentioned. Just whining, as usual. Pleading for special attention. God it does get old …

    Either stand up for yourself and point out there the lies are, or just shut up.

  • Mary

    Abject cruelty is described here.

    Gamekeeper George Mutch jailed for killing rare bird
    George Mutch was secretly filmed removing two goshawks and a buzzard from traps on Aberdeenshire estate

    There is no mention in the BBC report (or previous) of the employer or the estate concerned. The Telegraph reports that the crimes took place on the Kildrummy Estate. Who owns it? Anyone?

    Anyone know?

  • nevermind

    “There is a fear that such uncertainty caused by the failure of either party to win an overall majority], if it lasts more than a very few days, will cause a run on sterling, turmoil in the bond markets and a possible need to raise interest rates, which would slow down and perhaps reverse Britain’s economic recovery.”

    Whoever has written this # best tripe# Tm, although fresh and funny. has not much experience with coalition forming. Coalition talks are not steered by financial pirates with a vested interest to lobby and corrupt as fast as possible, hence the LibCon speed dating event, they last four to eight weeks in countries that have formed more coalitions than Britain could ever wish for, although most of them are lucky for having a more fair and democratic election system, not lectured by a unreconstructed bunch of career lawyers and solicitors.

    Overall majorities, when voted for by minuscule minorities can never represent the majority and will always leave a vast majority without being represented, some for their whole lif’es. Another foul aspect and smelly as this system is ancient and rotten, is the fact that when elected these minority leaders tend to look after their own ilk, not realising/ or being ignorant that they have been elected to represent the whole Constituency. a self perpetuating corrupt system of who smears whom.

    Show us when there was a run on the D-Mark, or Euro in recent days, when did Frankfurt go into melt down because politicians made sure to discuss their policies, one by one, to come to a compromise position? This absurd claim is not true.

    Why would one want to regurgitate the ins and out of an unfair electoral system and speculate when not a single MP, compared to the whole electorate, those who vote and do not vote, was elected by a majority? when the system consistently represents a certain sector of society and the establishment, because it can and everyone is so apathetic and turned off by politics, because they never had a fair system, that they turn off and tune into just about anything else.

    everyone knows the parrot is dead, why, would we want to talk to it?

  • Herbie

    “The Kildrummy Estate is owned by Kildrummy (Jersey) Ltd of St Helier”

    He’s been imprisonned, sacked, thrown out of the gillies, had his gun licences revoked, and lost his tied home, but I’d have thought he was doing what his employers wanted, protecting the pheasant shooting.

    Obviously that’s totally wrong and he was acting alone, though god knows why.

    A lot of downside there for very little upside.

    Video etc:

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “I see you’ve dodged my comment at 6.37pm, in favour of spouting your dross filled drones.”

    Craig has already had to correct your mistaken take on Brian Barder.

    And you apologised to him and readers.

    Why are you at it again?

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Mary : “There is no mention in the BBC report (or previous) of the employer or the estate concerned. The Telegraph reports that the crimes took place on the Kildrummy Estate. Who owns it? Anyone?

    Anyone know?”

    <blockquote"Lord Dawson heard at the Court of Session that Kildrummy (Jersey) Ltd became owners of the estate in 1979 after a disposition in the company's favour by James and Hylda Smith, who had been in Kildrummy since 1970. The object of the deal was to mitigate future tax liability, while leaving Mr and Mrs Smith with the right to occupy the estate and receive rents from it."

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