Daily Archives: May 8, 2016


Cheer Up! The Glass is Full for Independence.

I find some social media comment unduly pessimistic on the prospects for Independence, which have never been brighter. We have almost all Scottish Westminster MPs. We have a pro-Independence majority in Holyrood (the other Green MSPs are much better than Patrick Harvie) for another four years. The SNP is back for a historic third term, having polled more than twice the votes of anybody else. We can neutralise a Scottish Lib Dem as Presiding Officer – they will do anything for a title and a cushy job. It is not a question of whether the glass is half full. It is full. The head on the beer may be a wee bit deeper than we wanted, but the glass is full.

The percentage supporting Independence has risen fairly consistently and it is now around 50/50, as reflected in this election result. Support will continue to grow.

But the most helpful development of all is that it is now absolutely plain to everybody that the choice is between Independence and the Conservative Party. The falling in of the unionists behind the Tories is the greatest boost we could have – the media promotion of the Gordon Brown social compact lie is now finished for good. In a straight choice between Independence and Tories, Scots would only go one way. Only one in nine of eligible Scottish voters, voted Tory. If that is the unionist base, good. You will also find that the age profile of that 1 in 9 is going to be highly problematic to the unionists.

It is perfectly legitimate for Independence voters to have different tactical views in the election, but now we have to come together again. I am willing to put myself at the disposal full time of the SNP’s pro-Independence campaign this summer. They have expressed an intent that this will not be a purely Party campaign. As we all gear up for it, please remember me as a potential speaker in your area.

I have no doubt something will crop up to justify a new Indyref within the next four years. Brexit. Another illegal war by Westminster. A firm opinion poll lead for Indy. Some nutty right wing Tory policy proposal. Do not worry. It will come.

A brief note on Labour. A quietly spoken truth is that I do not know any Scottish nationalist who would not like to see Jeremy Corbyn in power in England (with all due respect to Caroline Lucas, for whom I have great respect). The Labour Party has no role to play in Scotland before Independence. It is just getting in the way, and humiliating itself. Post Independence, I suspect quite a lot of Nationalists would join a genuine Scottish Labour Party. In the meantime, the unionists should just off and join the Tories.

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An Honest Man at the BBC @KKeaneBBC

I have identified the remarkably brave BBC correspondent who followed the massive Tory propaganda of the Sarah Smith BBC Scotland election night package by “let us not forget the SNP won a historic victory” as Kevin Keane. I also see that he has yesterday changed his twitter photo to one with a strapline underneath reading “SNP won a clear and emphatic mandate.”

Yorkshireman Mr Keane’s salary is approximately £170,000 pa less than that of Laura Keunssberg and significantly less than that of Sarah Smith. I am afraid his unfortunate addiction to truth telling is not going to have a positive effect on reducing that disparity. Indeed I fear for his continued employment. But we will ensure he is always welcome in Scotland.

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BBC Lies and Statistics #SackKuenssberg

Here are the basic facts from Thursday’s plethora of UK elections, limited to those affecting the relative Labour and Conservative Vote

English Council Elections
Labour 1,291 councillors Conservative 828 Councillors

London Mayoral Election First Preferences
Labour 45.2% Conservative 35.0%

Labour also won the three other mayoral elections in Bristol, Liverpool and Salford

Scottish Parliament elections constituencies
Labour 22.6% Conservative 22.0%

Welsh Assembly Election Votes
Labour 34.7% Conservative 21.1%

And yet the BBC ran a claim all day that the “projected” national vote share was Labour 31%, Conservative 30%.

This simply cannot be true. Labour won the London mayoral election by over 200,000 votes. They were 130,000 ahead in Wales. Taking all the elections except the English local council seat elections, Labour were 360,000 votes and approximately 6% ahead of the Tories. To balance this plus the majorities of the 1,291 Labour English councillors elected, each of just 828 Conservative English councillors elected would have to have an average majority of approximately 1,000. Random sampling shows this is absolutely not the case.

My own calculations, based on knowing all the other results and extrapolations from samples of the English local council results, is that the national vote count was Labour 34% Conservative 29%. It might not be precisely correct, but is not far out.

But I can say for certain is that the BBC 31/30 figure is a despicable and quite deliberate lie. The BBC has become a caricature of a state propaganda machine.

UPDATE It has been pointed out that in the Scottish regional list vote the Tories beat Labour by 520,000 to 431,000, a huge disparity with the aggregate constituency vote which Labour narrowly won. But if you use the regional rather than the constituency total in the UK wide calculation, the extra 89,000 Tory lead only marginally affects the overall calculation.

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