Media Tory Lies Stripped Bare by Ashcroft Poll 797


You would never guess it from the media but Lord Ashcroft’s latest major polling effort strips bare the entire lie about a Tory and Unionist bandwagon rolling in Scotland.

You would never guess it from Lord Ashcroft’s Tory agenda-driven report of the findings either. This tendentious nonsense ignores Scotland completely – indeed I do not think he even mentions the nation’s existence. No paid media journalist would ever dream of reading more than the executive summary of the report, and certainly would never comb through the data tables, which contain the actual information on which the report is just a gloss.

But the data tables break down the sample by “region”, of which Scotland is one, and thus give us a very great deal of information. The Ashcroft polls have a 10,000 sample and the Scottish sub-samples of over 900 are more than used for many standard Scotland only polls.

So here are the highlights:

It is indeed true that Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is more popular than Nicola Sturgeon – but only in England.

Contrary to constant media propaganda, Nicola Sturgeon rates over 12% higher than Ruth Davidson. Invited to rate their performance from 0 to 100, Scottish voters gave Nicola Sturgeon a mean rating of 52.91% (Table 47) and Ruth Davidson 40.52% (Table 48). Despite Davidson being proclaimed by the media as the new Jim Murphy/Jesus Christ, including constant lying claims that she is the more popular.

But Ruth Davidson is very much more popular than Nicola Sturgeon – with the English. In every region of England, Davidson is widely preferred to Sturgeon.

There is no Tory Revival in Scotland.

Asked whether they would consider voting Conservative at the next Westminster election, on a scale of likelihood from 0 to 100, 65% of Scots voters answered 0-10 “there is no chance I would vote Conservative” compared to only 10% who answered 91 to 100 “I will definitely vote Conservative”. (Table 8)

The mean Tory score in Scotland on this scale was 23.84. This was narrowly behind Labour. (Table 9) Typically Ashcroft’s poll does not even ask about the SNP. But note this methodology gives a mean result that is higher than a party’s actual percentage vote: totaling the party mean scores for England gives you more than 100%. So Tory support in Scotland is running below 23.8% and below Labour.

Again this is completely contrary to the media propaganda that has been blasted constantly across Scotland.

Tory Britain is Totally Alien to Scots.

In answer to the question “Do you think Britain is on the right track, or heading in the wrong direction” Scots stated by a resounding 67% to 33% (excluding don’t knows) that Britain is heading in the wrong direction.

This compares to a clear majority in England that Britain is heading in the right direction. (Table 15).

Again contrary to constant media propaganda, Scots are much less obsessed than the English with controlling immigration. Only 28% of Scots named controlling immigration as one of the top three political issues, significantly lower than any region of England. (Table 19) A tiny 4% of Scots think immigration is the most important issue (Table 20).

But more revealing still is the ability to discern continued Scottish support for more left wing approaches to the economy. Here Ashcroft accidentally does us a favour by his exclusion of the SNP from the question.

Asked who would “have the best approach to growing the economy and creating jobs”, and not given a chance to answer SNP, Scots favour Labour over the Tories by a conclusive 46% to 36%. This compares to an equally strong preference for the Tories across England. (Table 25). Interestingly an extraordinary 15% of Scots plumped for the Lib Dems, presumably in reaction to no SNP choice being offered.

Again this is a devastating disproof of the media narrative that Scots have swallowed Torynomics. The Scottish preference for Labour over the Tories shows up in later tables on schools, the NHS, the environment etc.

Tory Scotland is a Myth the Media are Trying to Propagandise into Reality

As we gear up for the next referendum, I am cheered that the poll clears up the difference between empirical observation of the Scottish public and the picture portrayed by the media.

The media are lying.

The Blairite leadership of Scottish Labour betrayed their party by close collaboration with the Tories in Indyref1. As a result the party is in meltdown – but there is still a strong public sympathy for what might be described as real Labour values. This mantle has been taken up by the SNP.

But because the Scottish Labour Party as an organisation is a laughing stock, and because the Tories are highly hubristic and have convinced themselves of their own propaganda about their popularity, in Indyref2 we will face an open clash between Independence and Toryism. The Tories will no longer be lightly disguised behind Gordon Brown. Hard-faced anti-devolution unionism and City of London economics will be shoved down voters’ throats.

I have no doubt at all we will win this battle and finally achieve national independence again. If Ashcroft has the honesty to look at the message hidden in the unused data of his own poll results, the Tories realise it too. Which may explain their aversion to a referendum.


797 thoughts on “Media Tory Lies Stripped Bare by Ashcroft Poll

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    • James Docherty

      I’m sure it’s not Scotland that they’re trying to convince, but if the English are convinced, then after they vest again and win indiref then it’ll sound like sour grapes AGAIN

  • reel guid

    62% in Scotland voted to remain in the EU in 2016.
    61% (Survation poll) in Scotland think that Holyrood has the right to decide if there’s to be indyref2.
    67% (Ashcroft poll) in Scotland think Britain is heading in the wrong direction.
    65% (Ashcroft poll) in Scotland say there’s no chance whatsoever they would vote Tory in next GE.

    No wonder the Britnats don’t want another independence referendum.

    And strangely enough independence opinion polls seem to have become quite rare. Now why should that be?

    • fred

      37.2% (Ashcroft Poll) of SNP voters in Edinburgh and Glasgow voted Leave in the EU Referendum.

      How would they vote in a referendum?

      • reel guid

        Some people are of course pro-independence and anti-EU. There must be many in that group however who give precedence to their support for Scottish independence over their dislike of the EU. Added to which must be the consideration that by no means all of these voters wanted a hard brexit.

        • michael norton

          But you fail to understand that Brexit is going to happen.
          Get used to the idea.
          It is going to happen, in two years time, if/no there is another Indy ref.

          • reel guid

            Michael

            Not only do you not have any bait on the end of your line, you don’t even have a hook on the end of your line.

          • D_Majestic

            Millions of Brexlemmings jumping off a 2km. cliff. Wow-something to look forward to. Roflmao.

        • fred

          Then what Nicola needs to do is fight the next election on a manifesto of holding another referendum, or if she can’t wait dissolve Parliament and hold a snap election.

          Otherwise I think the people of Scotland have a right to hold her to her “once in a lifetime” and her “a vote for SNP is not a vote for independence” promises.

          • reel guid

            The SNP fought the last election on a manifesto of bringing in a second indyref if there was a material change in circumstances. Brexit is such a change. Especially since it’s a hard brexit.
            There is no need to secure a mandate to hold a referendum. The mandate is already there.

          • fred

            No, they didn’t.

            In their full manifesto there was a paragraph starting “We believe” not “We will” but apart from that, the quick read manifesto and what was said in public and on the media.Nicola Sturgeon promised she would not push for another referendum unless there was strong public support for one and there is no indication that support is there.

            The SNP do not have a mandate and that is that. If Nicola was confident she had public support she’d call an election. It’s no use pretending there is a mandate that isn’t there.

          • reel guid

            fred

            David Cameron’s government brought in an EU referendum bill when support for Leave was averaging 35%.

            Support for independence is substantially higher than 35%.

            To say Holyrood politicians can’t bring forward a referendum with 44% to 52% support for change but Westminster politicians can with 35% support for change is simply a case of double standards.

          • fred

            David Cameron fought the 2015 election on a well publicised manifesto of definite renegotiation followed by in/out referendum. No “we believe” buried deep in the small print then say something else to the media.

            No mandate and Nicola knows it, no public support or she’d call an election.

          • reel guid

            fred

            The SNP manifesto commitment to a second indyref was not sneaked in in the small print. It was openly talked of in interviews, tv election debates, hustings and the manifesto launch event itself.

          • fred

            I didn’t read the full 76 page manifesto and the vast majority of voters didn’t read the full manifestos of every party before deciding who to vote for either.

            They rely on parties putting the important bits in the quick read version and stating their intentions in television debates. Before the election the SNP stated repeatedly they would only propose a second referendum if it was clear the majority of people in Scotland wanted one.

            No mandate.

          • JOML

            Well, Fred, I suppose you could boycott the referendum if / when it comes around, on the grounds you don’t believe the SNP have a mandate. Others will likely participate.

          • fred

            From the SNP manifesto:

            We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people – or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.

            That is only stating what the SNP believe, it only says they believe they should have the right, it is not a statement that they would hold a referendum.

  • Node

    Anybody read Viz comic? Does this character remind you of anybody?

    The Male Online – A middle-aged man who spends most his time in his study looking at and posting on the Daily Mail website and ranting about health and safety, foreigners coming to Britain and other right-wing paranoia.

    HERE is an example

  • reel guid

    Holyrood Magazine gives the percentages of women candidates of the total number fielded by the parties in the Scottish council elections.

    The pro-independence parties are well ahead of the unionists.

    Scottish Green Party – 45%
    Scottish National Party – 41%

    The unionists not so good.

    Scottish Lib Dems – 33%
    Scottish Labour – 32%

    It’s still a man’s world in the Tory party.

    Scottish Conservatives – 17%

    Add to which the SNP government has had a gender balanced cabinet for two years. Although the London based media and the Scottish unionist media have studiously avoided mentioning it.

      • RobG

        bevin, thanks for the link. A good article, although from my perspective there’s a good reason why Jean Luc Mélenchon won’t join forces with Benoit Hamon (thus almost ensuring a ‘leftist’ President): Hamon is ‘pretend left’, just like Bernie Sanders is (Hamon was the first one to be labelled by the press as ‘the French Bernie Sanders’). With massive support behind him, Sanders could have stood as an independent presidential candidate, and would have had a very good chance of being the now President of the USA. Sanders, who is well aware of how totally corrupt the US political system is, didn’t do this. Likewise, Benoit Hamon is not really part of the ‘Nuit debout’ movement and the huge demonstrations that have been going on in France. Hamon also has some really whacko policies, which make him an easy target for the corporate controlled media. Thus I would describe both Sanders and Hamon as ‘fake left’.

        Jean Luc Mélenchon is the real deal, although as I’ve pointed out previously he does have his faults. If he does become President and then does ‘a Trump’ on us I will be quite happy to eat my words.

        One thing I do strongly agree about with Alan Minsky in his Truthdig article is that the 2017 French presidential election is going to be a key moment in history, much more so than Brexit and the election of President Trump.

  • Mark Golding

    Security considerations for my colleagues. (Please excuse the intrusion)

    Passion is a great thing. It is a powerful emotion and most humans have a passion for something. If your enthusiasm and dedication to an entity is publicly or openly disclosed via for instance blogs, messaging, social media or in fact any online activity then it can be exploited by an expanded CNE unit within GCHQ. I can reveal some insight into this effort and the methods on trial:

    1. An email circumscribing your passion with a link to a place of interest to you. The intention is to direct you to a website that will plant some code on your device that might record and deliver activity, although more importantly when law-abiding, frustrate you with persistent problems with your hardware that might prevent you attending to your normal day to day network activities. This might well be especially important to you if your passion is starting, promoting or expanding a business using the Internet.

    2. GCHQ have control over the Internet highways and can easily block access to any wired resource you employ by using your MAC address or more usually your IP address, both identifying you on the Web. Using ‘TRACERT’ you can identify this although classifying the source is at present difficult or impossible.

    Cramping your style is ‘de rigeur’ in this instance because ‘the Borg’ want you to conform by affirming control of your life in extremely subtle, sophisticated and indirect ways and means. This modus operandi is absolute in any human hierarchy including whole nations by simply controlling the financial systems that make exchange possible.

    GCHQ will never steal from you, never stand-up to you and never berate any lawful activity. They will however read your communications for advantage even if encrypted by using ‘back-door’ manipulation of prime numbers – https://eprint.iacr.org/2016/999.pdf

    Knowing this I hope will strengthen your resolve while those of us engaged in revolution will devise unique, wise techniques, customs and habits to break from this temporal machine..

    • IBen

      It’s only an intrusion if info is the enemy Mark.

      Cheers. Can you give me your assessment of Trump in the short, as well as long term?

      Is he in league with, or plausible deniable collusion with Putin?

      • Mark Golding

        Hi Ben – no secret understanding with Putin and no marriage. Trump is bound to Israel and as such associates with Russia in a common cause to accelerate the implosion of America (and Britain) arising out of government corruption, political instability and financial decay.

  • reel guid

    The Tories have now suspended three of their council candidates.

    The latest is the delightful Mr. Ken MacBrayne who was one of their candidates for Western Isles Council.

    On social media he has repeatedly called for violence against Nicola Sturgeon as well as ranting against immigrants and Muslims. He even liked and shared a racist post from Britain First.

    Looks as if the Scottish Tories have very efficient vetting procedures for their candidates. Such as not bothering to even take a gander at their social media accounts.

    And this party has aspirations to form the Scottish Government with Ruth Davidson as First Minister.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Not surprised really, especially by the antics of the first odious candidate you mention. In my opinion the Tories and Ukip, were separated at birth.

      I see Ruth (tank girl ) Davidson has backed the nasty rape clause. Is it any wonder then that she’s less populsr than Margaret Thatcher.

      • reel guid

        Ros

        One of the things MacBrayne said online was that he would move south if Scotland became independent.

        I suppose we should call him Non-Caledonian MacBrayne.

        • Republicofscotland

          Ah nice one reel guid, but would we really miss Mr MacBrayne-less if he kept his promise?

  • Republicofscotland

    Stormont could be become the largest stage in the world for marionettes, if they don’t get their act together soon.

    James Brokenshire (a lovely man who denied many a person entry and residence in Scotland) acting on behalf of Westminster, has given the political parties until May to come to a consenus to govern NI, if not, then NI could be governed from Westminster.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/brokenshire-n-ireland-could-face-direct-rule-if-no-powersharing-deal-agreed-35617038.html

  • Republicofscotland

    Did anyone else find it delightfully entertaining watching the CEO of United airlines squirm and grovel uncomfortably at the disgraceful treatment of Dr Dao, a passenger mistreated aboard one of their aeroplanes.

    Oscar Munoz, the CEO apologised as United share price tumbled, over the widely shared manhandling of a bloodied Dr Dao.

    Isn’t it wonderful the power of social media, that it can bring to heel a $6.7 million dollar a year CEO.

    • glenn_uk

      Attempting to use social media to slime the passenger they assaulted certainly backfired on them. What is odd is that some news organisations were trying their best to help UA in this task:

      http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/msnbc-scrambles-to-slime-united-passenger-were-working-hard-to-confirm-he-had-run-ins-with-the-law/

      MSNBC said on Tuesday that it was “working hard to confirm” that a 69-year-old passenger who was dragged from a United Airlines flight had a “run-ins with the law,” although it was not immediately clear why a criminal history would be relevant to the current case.

      • Republicofscotland

        Glenn.

        Thanks for the link, yes that’s a disgraceful, attempt to distract from the shocking treatment dished out to Dr Dao.

        As you say what relevance is it to his past (if he has past offences) to him literally being dragged out of a aeroplane, because he wouldn’t give his seat up.

        Social media has the power to change opinions, but only if we work in unison.

        • Sharp Ears

          Someone who knows them. He notes the smearing that took place too.

          Forced Removal from United Airlines
          Binoy Kampmark / April 12th, 2017
          Flying United Airlines was never a pleasant business. Functional, sterile, with staff more appropriately disposed to a deep freeze morgue than the hot blood of enthusiastic living, the airline was always an entity you wished ill towards, even as the flight started taking off. Dreams of flying a Gulf carrier or Singapore Airlines would fill the mind in the uneasy sleep.

          Brusque, indifferent, and generally rude, it came as little surprise that violence also featured in an incident that has lit up the internet with a deservedly wicked fire. Central to the story was Dr David Dao, a 69-year-old who claimed he was being singled out on Sunday’s United Express Flight 3411 in Chicago because he was Chinese.’

          http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/04/forced-removal-from-united-airlines/

          • Republicofscotland

            Thank you Sharp Ears, another good link, it’s fascinating how the media quickly tried to turn Mr Dao, into Mr Hyde.

            From your link it would appear United is not the best company to fly with, if you seek small things in life, such as pleasentaries. ?

          • reel guid

            Poor Dr. Dao. Being dragged out a plane against his will.

            Like Scotland being dragged out the EU against our will.

    • Michael McNulty

      I think this event shows how unsafe we have all become in the west’s new “security state”. It has been many years since supply-side economics [“you get what we give you or you do without”] overturned “the customer is king”, but I doubt it would have turned brutal so quickly had it been an ejection from a retail premises like Walmart. It’s because of America’s security paranoia on the air transportation system which made this manhandling acceptable to United’s CEO. He has confused the TSA with the Gestapo. But not for long, eh?

      • Michael McNulty

        The last sentence may seem flippant but I meant soon the TSA and Gestapo will effectively be the same.

  • Republicofscotland

    It is interesting that Trump claims he informed China’s president Xi, of the imminent strikes on Syria over dinner at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Did he do that to gauge Xi expression or opinion, or to exhibit a show of force to the Chinese president, not to mess with the US.

    Or could Trump have been seeking Xi’s approval before the strike? Also was Trump seeking a mutual understanding over North Korea.

    As the Great Satan sends a fleet of ships into the South Pacific to intimidate North Korea, and Trump already having met Xi, and no doubt discussed NK, one wonders if any moves will be made against the regime, in the near future.

    As for Tillerson meeting with Putin, over Syria, the chemical attack, which we now know to be dubious, and the retaliation strikes by the US (though in my opinion the Russian/Syrian forces were forewarned). It would appear that relations between the two nations have for the time being deteriorated.

    Trump and his industrial military complex war machine seems determined to remove Assad in any way it can. In my opinion Tillerson will be trying to get that message acros to Putin, in a polite as manner as possible, the question is will Putin a cagey old fox himself, have a plan of his own.

    With the eyes of the world watching this one, one wonders who’ll blink first.

    • michael norton

      Again wrong topic RoS this is the Scottish ranting page not the Syria War page.

      • nevermind

        You see, Michael, what we don’t do here is to just press reply with our issue of concern, ignoring the debate that is being carried on with out wayward message of Zebedee’s independence from the magic roundabout,

        But there also is the unwritten rule that you can post off topic’s after page one has had the first discussions on topic, so now you have had the guist explained, try and be with it.

  • Geoffrey Prime

    Thank you, Mark Golding, for the security tips. I myself use an impregnable firewall – a splash screen of Jonbenet in a fetching cowgirl outfit that causes the CIA-blackmailed GCHQ pedos to drop what they’re doing and exhaust themselves in furious pell-mell wanking.

  • giyane

    This week some agency resurrected a female skype contact with whom I had corresponded about teaching abroad. They used a red heart emoticon, and the idea honey-trap instantly sprang to mind. I put it down to the corporation to which I am applying for work rather than the political spies. Corporations have acquired legal rights to spy on any employees’ use of the internet outside or inside working time. I suspect mosques are given a blind eye from GCHQ to do the same as part of a reciprocal exchange of information on terrorism. As we soeak Boris Johnson stands in the same place as the majority of Deobandi mosques on the use of Al Qaida and Islamic State to achieve USUKIS global hegemony ambitions. Needless to say anybody participating in that neo-colonialism destroys the livelihoods and safety of the Muslims.
    Craig :
    Post author
    April 10, 2017 at 21:49
    ” Because, Alcyone, the metropolitan always waxes while the colony wanes. That’s the entire purpose of colonialism.”

    Mosques who jump on the Metropolitan bandwagon against the residents of small villages in Libya, Afghanistan , Somalia, Syria or Iraq, are the enemies of Islam. ” Oh you who believe, do not take as political allies the Jews and Christians ” Qur’an. Lying, spying and confederating with the enemies of Islam are all detestable activities, now commonplace in the UK Muslim establishment.

    Fortunately they are unable to admit publicly to their crimes in the UK because our liberal democracy would lock them up for illegal oppression of others’ rights. You will find very few Syrians who voluntarily make their way to the confederacy of Mosques and neo-cons that has attacked their country for seven years. It takes a very particular kind of lunacy to struggle to get inside the loony bin.

    • RobG

      Your post is so muddled that I can’t even be bothered going into it.

      “You’re all being screwed” is perhaps the best way of putting it.

      And let’s all go to war, again…

      • giyane

        I join an organisation that totally opposes colonialism, whose principal representatives’ ancestors suffered terribly under it, but who when they get the opportunity to benefit personally from it, ally themselves with it against their own brothers and sisters in Islam.

        It’s like these fervent socialists who get into power and gravy train on the privatisation of everything and are now millionaires. It may be muddling, but I’m not muddled myself. M. Melenchon could be the epitome of liberte egalite and fraternitie now before the election , but 2 days after the election be calling for air strikes on Damascus. He will not be elected unless he has guaranteed in blood in writing to serve the interests of Msinoiz.

        Have the Scots nats ever collectively opposed the neo-cons? No they are just manoeuvring between UK neo-cons and EU neo-cons. They are joined at the hip with the UK even though the two heads talk different slogans. Unionism is not imposed on them from above but is in their DNA.

        Same with the Muslims. They will follow the non-Muslims into the lizard’s hole. If they have nukes we need nukes . If they have bunker buster bombs we need bunker buster bombs. If they have war, we need war. if they have politics , we need politics, if they create terror in Ireland , we will create terror in our neighbours as well.

        Thank you so much for apologising in advance for when it all goes pear-shaped in France in 2 weeks time.

        • reel guid

          Giyane

          “Unionism is not imposed on them from above but is in their DNA”.

          Cultural sociology – as distinct from more traditional sociology – has made great strides in recent years in bringing the unconscious cultural structures of society to light. Unionism is not in anyone’s DNA but in these societal structures of which people tend to be unaware.

          In many ways the task of the independence activist is similar to that of the cultural sociologist. The outmoded societal structures developed by the union are being replaced by newer structures that have relevance to 21st century Scotland. The provision of new socially produced meanings which suit a modern, progressive independent Scotland in an interdependent world.
          As opposed to the socially produced meanings unionist Scotland once had in the era of British empire and its concomitant militarism and disciplinarianism.

          The tricky part is that these older societal structures and meanings have to be changed and not simply thrown out altogether since society needs such structures. The SNP has always been a gradualist movement for that reason. It does not mean that pro-independence Scots are hopelessly thirled to unionism as you assert.

          We are now at the stage where the newer and more relevant societal structures now have the upper hand. Which is why unionist activists are sounding ever more strident and uneasy. It is however actually in their best interests too that Scotland becomes independent.

          • giyane

            If Scotland stands for anything meaningful, it should ally itself with others of the same beliefs, like Greece or Damascus. Independence is like peeing down your leg and playing with the steam so far as the neo-cons are concerned.

            Otherwise the accusations that the SNP wants power for its own sake stands, sociology or no sociology, the sociopathy of power.

        • RobG

          Strange, how as a ‘Muslim activist’ you always support western intervention.

          What other jokers are GCHQ & Co going to spew up?

          These totally criminal agencies are entities above the law.

          They (historically) traffic drugs, weapons and children,as well as supporting mass murder and mayhem in numerous countries around the world.

          These people are scum, utter scum, and they are going to be held to account.

          • glenn_uk

            RobG : Think about it for a moment. Would Craig Murray, and the Mods, allow the likes of “GCHQ & Co” to hang around on this site, making post after post – for years – as you appear to be implying?

          • RobG

            You don’t seem to understand what propaganda is.

            Nor the fact that you live in one of the most insane societies that’s ever existed on Earth.

          • glenn_uk

            Rob: Doubtless I don’t understand it as well as yourself.

            Nonetheless, you have accused many individuals of being part of GCHQ etc. – so I have to ask, do you really think CM & Mods would allow them to hang around here for years on end, seriously?

          • giyane

            RobG

            RobG
            April 12, 2017 at 22:03

            ” Strange, how as a ‘Muslim activist’ you always support western intervention ”

            So, you never read anything I write, but when you sense a slightly greater sense of outrage than your own, you align me with the neo-cons. Brother , you’re in the right place in France, bloody-minded independence for its own sake is the French tradition. I remember all those Perigord tobacco-growers who wanted to shoot De Gaulle but never shot a sanglier for Sunday lunch even.

          • giyane

            RobG

            Obviously you have swallowed the lie that the Islamist Jihad opposes Western interventionism. No. Islamist jihad IS Western proxy interventionism, just the jihadists are rather better at acting than Western neo-con politicians. Sorry to puncture your rural fantasies my friend.

  • michael norton

    Analysts are now contemplating the previously unimaginable prospect of a run-off between Mélenchon and Le Pen, a clash between the extreme far-left and the extreme far-right that would represent a seismic upheaval in French and European politics.

    The Guardian

  • Republicofscotland

    Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has registered to run in the presidential race next month, defying an edict from the country’s supreme leader not to do so.

    It may upset Hassan Rouhani chances of being re-elected. I’d say Ahmadinejad, is a hardliner, and with the US looking set to renege on it deal with Iran, he might just get elected.

    However in my opinion the uncertainty of Ahmadinejad election chances lies, in his defiance of supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    It’s certainly one to watch.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/12/iran-mahmoud-ahmadinejad-run-president-election-despite-khamenei-warning

    • nevermind

      Thanks for this head up Mike, just as many of us suspected, we are being hoodwinked by another Ghouta type manufactured event. Thing is, the share price of Tomahawk cruse missiles, from which president Trump is benefiting, went up after some of the old stock was reduced by remodelling an airstrip, and new stock ordered.

      Are we seeing the first president of the US causing calamity death and international tension to enrich himself? and what did JFK do that some people saw the need to shoot him? Did the stoppage of the Cuban missile crisis and ‘lack of war’, stopping the military industrial mongers earning money, cause his murder?

      what are the odds that Trump is going to get re-elected?

  • Republicofscotland

    Russia has vetoed a UN resolution condemning the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria and urging a speedy investigation.

    Boris Johnson is said to be dismayed at the veto. Yes I’m sure he will be, as he hoped France, Britain and a whole host of minions who follow the Great Satan, would’ve had a green light to remove Assad.

    Bolivia vetoed the resolution, while China, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstained.

    “British scientists told the UN Security Council they had found sarin in samples taken from the site of an alleged chemical gas attack, while Turkey also claimed to have found evidence of sarin gas use after testing the bodies of the victims.”

    Yet going by the video footage, non of the first responders suffered any effects, surely that’s incompatible with Sarin. Mind you the first responders appeared to be the White Helmets, who seem to immune to Sarin, and to the truth.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/russia-vetoes-un-draft-resolution-on-syria-gas-attack-probe-a7681181.html

    • Brianfujisan

      Aye Ros.. Also –

      Vladimir Safronkov, Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN, Slams the UK for the same old Lies that they Ruined Iraq, and Libya with

      ” Don’t you date insult Russia!”….“Don’t turn away your eyes! Look at me! Why are you averting your eyes?”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vV05osFc5cw

      • Herbie

        That’s very undibblymatic.

        http://www.stalkerzone.org/safronkov-britain-unsc-move-eyes-away-dont-dare-offend-russia-anymore/

        Can’t quote from it, but some choice gems in there.

        If the Russians and US find some arrangement that suits themselves, then they’ll be looking for someone else to blame for the chaotic and slaughterous post-Cold war period, which could otherwise have been so good.

        Don’t volunteer.

        Is what i’d say.

        I think this is the full exchange at the UNSC:

        https://www.c-span.org/video/?426903-1/us-tells-russia-stop-covering-assad&live=

        The new RF ambassador to the UN speaks about two thirds in, the British ambassador early on.

        Methinks, Trumpie and Pootie have concocted some devilish popish plot.

        A web.

        Perhaps.

      • Dave Lawton

        If people Swallow what Porton Down says they will swallow anything like a Sarin test.They tried to experiment on us saying they
        wanted volunteers for a cure for the common cold which was a lie and was in truth a trick to obtain guinea pigs for their
        chemical warfare experiments.

      • nevermind

        Indeed Brian, the UK empirical leaders are miffed that their brexit has left them out in the rain, that their punching above their weight has finally ended.

        Now they are playing up to the crowd by insulting Russia to the full, confronting expertise, knowledge and diplomatic efforts with rants about false flag money making war mongering, just to be heard.

        there is Boris, I didn’t really mean it, trying to heap more sanctions on Russia before the experts found out that the CW attack was falsified and staged by western supported ‘moderate rebels’.
        Thing is EU foreign ministers are not inclined to follow fence sitters like him, one could thin k that this Government is yearning for war with Russia, the only thing that can improve their economy now…..

        we are led by psychopath puppets.
        @ Mark G. Thanks for the hints on GCHQ, just waiting to be recruited……haha.

    • giyane

      Who cares what that pig Johnson is said to think? He got his corkscrew into a bottle of very expensive vinegar and should be sacked for the disgusting false accusations he’s made, and pay for the Syrian planes his political lies destroyed out of the proceeds of his own farm sale in Tory Oxfordshire. It must be a record for a neo-con to acquire the Blair rictus grin from war crimes in less than six months in office.

  • mike

    The frightening thing for me is that I find myself in complete agreement with Peter Oborne and Peter Hitchens !

    Are we really going to swallow the same war-mongering crap for a THIRD time? Iraq and Libya are in ruins because of us.

    It’s time Boris had a haircut, because his Aryan filaments are clearly draining his brain of precious bodily fluids…

    Power is moving east I would hope even a Tory Government has enough sense to grasp that, and to plan for it.

    America is fucked, but it hasn’t yet fallen to the canvas. It’s a big tottering mess that will create a bit more chaos before it stops shooting its load all over the place like a sex-starved baboon.

    • Brianfujisan

      Mike

      I wouldn’t hold out much hope of Even the Tories having a Mote of Moral sense.. Remember, it was Mere Months ago When Fallon said –

      Britain ‘would be ready for war against Russia in two years’

      WTF

    • RobG

      The frightening thing for you is that you no longer have any legal rights whatsoever.

      How fecking stupid can you be?!

    • reel guid

      In that photo Cressida Dick’s uniform looks like something the buffoon wears in a comic opera.

  • mike

    Fair enough, Brian. Maybe Fallon meant “ready of war” if the Russians charged at us with spoons…

    • Zebedee

      Oh do get real; did “the forces of good” succeed in protecting us against the IRA? Not really, did hey? The “forces of evil” somehow managed to kill Mountbatten, and they nearly got Thatcher, and I would conclude that this “God” must really be testing us, which kinda reveals how “all knowing” he is……

      • JOML

        I’ve heard it said that the IRA did ‘the children ‘ a favour when they killed Mountbatten – so who knows which side ‘God’ was on.

  • Zebedee

    Of course, I now expect some meaningless twaddle from either Norton or RoS to distract attention from my question now. What say you Craig?

  • tempesttteacup

    The finding that those polled in Scotland expressed an affinity with Tory Britain that has been shrinking year on year is not surprising. It is in many ways a tragedy that an anaemic Labour Party, by vacating any leftist critique of capitalism, financialisation and deregulation, has enabled to a large extent the rightwards lurch of the English electorate. They have a responsibility equal to the New Democrats in America – as the first Dem President since Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton was able in some ways to force through “reforms” (to welfare and criminal justice) that the Republicans only dreamed of. He, his wife, and the whole raft of corporate Democrats have triangulated the country into a state of such desperation that a reality TV star with all the integrity of a man playing 3 card monte on a street corner took the Presidency instead of the very flower of Democratic Leadership Council orthodoxy.

    Labour, by agreeing with the principle of austerity and for considering, for too long, adherence to the militarism of nationalist and conservatism as some sort of necessity in order to appear “governmental”, have left themselves with nothing substantial to say. Like the Democrats, they become merely technocrats and professional sympathisers for a misery the production of which they have long since lost the intellectual background to dismantle, or even to question. “The same, only slightly less bad” is, surprise surprise, not a very enticing settlement to put before voters – especially not 8 years into a financial crisis/recession that has been used as a pretext to experiment with “shock” therapies and various esoteric economic techniques for shrinking the state and cutting lose the poorest 1/5th of the population as pointless and irrelevant.

    And so I’m quite sympathetic with Scottish alienation with Britain. I also understand the long-standing contempt evinced by Westminster towards the rest of the Union. And yet, on the other hand, I have some trouble backing any political movement that is built around national identity. Trotsky it was, I think, who said that national liberation struggles are the means that the petty bourgeoisie turns to when an inflexible or corrupt ruling class excludes them from political power despite their wealth/education/social status. We see the truth of that in the leaders of liberation struggles in the 60s, from Cuba to Algeria to Vietnam.

    My problem, then, is that even if the reasons are sensible, relying on nationalist sentiments instead of class solidarity makes such movements vulnerable to opportunism and only shallow gains. Is that the case with Scottish independence? I’m not qualified to say – and to repeat myself, I do appreciate the desire to cut loose from Westminster, its arrogance, and its disgraceful government (which has no end in sight). And yet – struggles for justice, for redistribution of wealth that reflects who produces it, expanded healthcare and education, and all the rest, are surely best worked towards with a larger, rather than smaller, population of people…And although the possibility of England learning to ignore the overdetermination of the rabidly right-wing press, while rediscovering the joys of solidarity and class struggle, seem very remote right now, is it not a fight worth contributing to instead of erecting borders and focusing on a narrowing sense of national identity?

    • Alcyone

      1. Nationalist sympathisers are at best up to 50%. (Which isn’t really a case in itself for another once-in-a-lifetime referendum. It IS a case for immaculate divisiveness. Excellent for raising the game of football.)

      2. Everyone is talking about how to redistribute/carve the cake differently NOT how to make the cake bigger. (Not so in the East where they are taking strides in real growth.)

      3. Real growth does not necessarily call for population growth, throwing more people into the economy. It calls for innovation and augmenting use of technology towards productivity and/or new ways of delivery or completely new products, beating traditions e.g. drones and graphene. Let me be the first ever on this blog to use words like nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, biomedical engineering, beyond information and communication technologies and ocean energy, etc, etc.

      Politics without economics is lame, economics without business is blind, business without technology is mindless.
      (© All rights reserved–except to play politics to narrow the mind.)

    • reel guid

      tempestteacup

      You are bang on with your analysis in the first two paragraphs of your post.

      However the vast majority of the people of Scotland and all the pro-independence parties and groups believe in maintaining free healthcare and free education. Things which have disappeared in England and which will be guaranteed to disappear in Scotland too if Scotland stays in the UK.

      Even if Westminster government was fair and enlightened – which you admitted seems a remote prospect – why would Scotland need to be governed from hundreds of miles further away?

      The best and only effective solidarity Scots can show to the people of England now is to push ahead with becoming a leading progressive European country through independence. The influence that would have on English political thinking would be substantial.

      • fred

        Hawaii is 4,772 miles from Washington but they don’t have a problem with it, Alaska 3,333 miles no complaints. There are loads of places in the world with seats of government thousands of miles away that seem to manage just fine.

        • bevin

          “…Hawaii is 4,772 miles from Washington but they don’t have a problem with it, Alaska 3,333 miles no complaints…”
          You really don’t know what you are talking about, Fred. In both places and particularly amongst the indigenous people, there are lively movements for independence and Washington DC is viewed sas the seat of a distant, foreign imperialist government.
          You seem intent upon undermining your ostensible position.

          • fred

            There are still a lot of places in the world with their seat of government thousands of miles rather than hundreds of miles away from them. In this day and age it shouldn’t be a problem.

        • Bayard

          “There are loads of places in the world with seats of government thousands of miles away that seem to manage just fine.”
          We’re not talking physical distance here, we are talking mental distance. Mentally, for Westminster, there’s the south-east of England and there is the rest of the world.

          • fred

            There was a time when if someone in the Highlands dialled 999 their call was answered locally, by someone with local knowledge. Thanks to the SNP government calls are answered by someone in the Central belt. How long before they start outsourcing to India to save e few bob for their tax payer funded holidays abroad or to buy more useless cardboard baby boxes nobody wants?

            Yesterday a lorry went over on the Braes and the controller didn’t know where Berriedale is.

            https://www.facebook.com/mreiss2017/photos/a.1275139535917026.1073741828.1275088815922098/1305913692839610/?type=3&theater

            The government which is supposed to be closer is moving everything further away. When a pregnant young mother now has to travel over a hundred miles to give birth how is that closer?

        • Republicofscotland

          Desperate Libdem leader Tim Farron is in Edinburgh today, landed with the thankless task of trying (ultimately failing) to make the Libdems appear remotely electable.

          The chances of the Libdems making any headway in Scotland are slim. Especially after their disasterous time in government with the Tories.

          They should now be looked upon as a cautionary tail, as to what happens to a political party when it sups with the Tory devils.

          No doubt wee Willie Rennie, the branch manager of the Scottish Libdems, will be fawning over his bosses every word today.

    • Stu

      For me Scottish independence is an ends only a means.

      If by some miracle we were to get a UK socialist government in 2020 i’d rather stick with them than the SNP third wayers and empty headed nationalists. But to any Scot with a clear view of the field of play a socialist independent Scotland looks a lot more likely than a socialist UK.

  • Republicofscotland

    “The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia failed to prevent a school siege in Beslan in 2004, in which more than 330 people died.”

    Well it took less than 24 hours (after Russia veoted the infamous “Sarin” attack where first responders appeared superhuman like in their inmmunity to the deadly gas). For a report to be released condemning Russian handling of the Beslan School Seige, it’s as if the report was already waiting in the wings, to be released knowing Russia would veto the resolution.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39586814

    I forgot to add yesterday that, April 12th is celebrated as the Cosmonautics Day in Russia and the International Day of Human Space Flight worldwide.

    It was on April 12th, 1961 that the great man Yuri Gagarin, made the first manned flight into space.

    No Sarin gas or White Helmets, featured. ?

  • Republicofscotland

    Washington think tank claims that North Korea is gearing up for another nuclear missile test.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-nuclear-weapons-test-new-primed-ready-38-north-punggye-ri-launch-site-us-donald-trump-a7681391.html

    In my opinion Washington is desperately trying to muster international support to lay down some sort of marker against NK.

    It is claimed here that China has deployed 150,000 troops to North Korea’s border.

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2017/04/10/2017041001086.html

    It’s thought the missile strikes by the US shocked China, and that a preparedness is the approach over NK by China. For NK is a buffer zone between the West and China, something worth defending in the eyes of the Chinese government.

    Surely Trump isn’t foolhardy enough to attack NK? Would China defend its interests in the process.

    I wonder how the Great Satan would react to a Chinese fleet or Russia fleet, parked in international waters just off the coast of the US.

    That’s what Trump is doing along with previous US presidents, to intimidate nations around the world.

    • bevin

      Perhaps Trump, who knows as much about international politics as i know about embroidery, thinks that what he is doing in the huffing and puffing department, will be of benefit to the right wing candidate to replace the right wing President recently impeached in the south Korean election. He is wrong.
      It is the South Koreans who are going to be the victims of any war against north Korea. The movement to get the US bases out of Korea is growing, as is the movement for a Peace Treaty and re-unification. The Korea which emerges is NOT going to be an ally of either the USA or the ultra right imperialists who run Japan.

  • Soothmoother

    After watching that idiot Matthew Rycroft at the UN and the other non-entity politician’s running the show eg. Michael Fallon and the despicable Philip Hammond, Independence is the only answer. I don’t care if I’m worse off in economic terms, I just don’t want to be associated with those spineless animals.

    • reel guid

      Scotland has so much renewables potential it’s almost embarrassing. Yet Westminster can’t see past nuclear power and fracking.

      There’s also the political inexpediency for the UK state in developing Scotland’s green energy sector. It’s hard enough for them to play down the wealth of Scotland’s oil and gas. They know that if Scottish renewables potential was realised too then the spin of Scotland not being able to afford independence would be completely untenable.

      So Westminster is in the dilemma of knowing the UK treasury desperately needs the fabulous revenues that would come from the development of Scottish renewables, yet also knowing that it would sweep away the false and lingering arguments about Scotland being subsidised.

      • fred

        I don’t think an independent Scotland would be able to afford to keep producing so much renewable energy. Renewable is considerably more expensive to produce than conventional, at the moment the extra cost is paid by every household in Britain in higher bills and taxes. There aren’t enough households in Scotland to cover the cost of green energy and if Scotland wanted to export to the rest of Britain it would have to be at market prices, English consumers wouldn’t subsidise Scottish wind farms like they do now.

        • michael norton

          I agree Fred, if Scotland wanted to remain in the U.K.
          as I suspect it does, the rest of the U.K., can pick up the tab, for renewable energy produced in Scotland for the rest of the U.K.

          It can continue to produce more and more until it reaches saturation point.

        • JOML

          Therefore, an independent Scotland would produce less energy and rUK will need to find an alternative source of energy. Market forces would take over and, who knows, it may become economical for Scotland to produce and export energy once more.

          • fred

            England already has HVDC links to France and Netherlands with another two to France and interconnectors to Norway, Denmark and Belgium under construction. They should have 10GW capability by 2022.

          • fred

            Yes, onshore wind, the cheapest renewable, costs over £100 MWh to produce and wholesale price is under £50 MWh. That’s what the market dictates. I don’t see how the Scottish consumer can afford to subsidise that amount.

          • michael norton

            Fred, if Scotland shakes off its English Overlords,
            do you think Scotland will still keep the British Navy work?

          • JOML

            Yes, so an Independent Scotland will stop producing energy for rUK as it would not be economically viable. Fred, I think you are stuck in a “that’s all that matters” mode. Michael, perhaps you’d prefer buying your energy from nuclear sources?

          • fred

            I’m stuck in reality mode. I’m watching them build a 558 MW wind farm out at Beatrice and the owners are guaranteed a price per MWh of more than twice the current market value for the next 25 years. In an independent Scotland where would that money come from? Split over 20 million households it works out at a lot of money, split over 2 million households it’s ten time as much.

          • JOML

            Fred, what you are seeing is one of the largest private investment ever made in Scotland’s infrastructure – made by SSE (40%), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) (35%) and SDIC Power (25%).

  • Habbabkuk

    Behind all the chatter, idle speculation and conspiracy theories in the MSM and the blogsphere, the fate of “President” Assad Jnr is being quietly decided by the US and Russia behind the scenes.

    The Butcher of Damascus overplayed his hand and will not longer be “President” by the end of this year.

    Remember – you read it here first. From Habbabkuk.

    • Alcyone

      Good timing Habby, I shall remember I was the first to read it. I shall watch this space and am curious as to who are the applicunts to fill this job 😉

    • Republicofscotland

      Habb.

      Yes, yes, yes you keep repeating yourself like a broken record, your beginning to sound like Alcyone, unless of course you can offer us anything significant on the matter, other than vague platitudes.

      • Republicofscotland

        Go on Habb, tell us what is going to happen to Assad, if Anon1 weren’t on deployment I’m sure he’d tell us all about Assad’s up and coming fate.

        Instead all we have is your dog barking in the background (Alycone). Do remember to feed him and walk him every now and then. ?

        • Republicofscotland

          Habb appears confident that Assad will be gone as he puts it, let us for a minutes say that Habb is correct. But just what has Putin been offered to quietly stand aside?

          Has he been offered a share of the spoils, the lifting of sanctions? Or does Putin realise that he cannot match the full force of a Western assault? Would it even be prudent for Putin to be dragged into a war of attrition with the West over Syria?

    • Chris Rogers

      Habbabkuk,

      And what SIGINT wire did this ‘croc ‘o’ shite’ come from, be it Five Eyes or your bunker at GCHQ, we’re all intrigued to learn?

    • D_Majestic

      You remind me of some of the demented posters seen in the Groundglassian and Dimdependent. They keep on parroting the same rubbish in vain hope that it will come true. They’ve been telling us that Corbyn is finished for more than18 months now.

  • Alcyone

    economics
    PLURAL NOUN

    1 often treated as singular The branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth.

    2 often treated as singular The condition of a region or group as regards material prosperity.
    ___________
    People here LOVE talking about TRANSFER of wealth and CONSUMPTION, but not a squeak about PRODUCTION other than the claims over the North Sea oil.

    Why?

  • Alcyone

    And I presume the name Paul Wheelhouse is a household name in Scotland?

    “The Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy is a Junior ministerial post in the Scottish Government. As a result, the Minister does not attend[1] the Scottish Cabinet. The post was retitled in May 2016 after the appointment of the Scottish National Party minority administration and the Minister reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, who has overall responsibility for the portfolio, and is a member of cabinet.”

    In other words Wheelhouse is a clerk. God bless Scotland on a wing and a prayer. LOL

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