A Very Difficult Night 299

Quite possibly the most ungracious speech I have ever heard from Michael Gove. So much for uniting the country. Five years of vicious triumphalism and denigrating opposition loom.
The SNP vote share in Scotland is just higher than the Tory vote share in the UK. So if Johnson has just been given a resounding mandate for Brexit, then the SNP has just been given a resounding mandate for Independence.
Banff and Buchan was the constituency held by the Tories which means Johnson is now definitely over the line with a majority. One thing I can absolutely guarantee is that the duped fishing communities will be sold down the river completely when serious negotiations with the EU on trade get going next year.
I normally manage to find some sympathy for MPs who have lost their job, on a purely personal level. But it is hard to believe that their Tory replacements can actually be worse than Caroline Flint and Ruth Smeeth.
Astonishingly, after results from all kinds of Scottish constituencies, the SNP is currently at over 50% of the popular vote itself. With the news from North Belfast, it looks like Boris has got his Brexit and lost the Union. This is vital; the break up of the UK is the only way to break the weird imperialist delusion that feeds this extreme English nationalism.
The BBC, in case anyone isn’t feeling bad enough about Boris Johnson’s triumph, now bring out war criminal Alastair Campbell to lecture us.
Seeing the back of the inane Kirstene Hair in Angus was particularly welcome. Putney was cheerful and gave hope for Uxbridge. In Scotland the SNP getting swings of about 5% from both Unionist parties.

It is hard to doubt the basic accuracy of that exit poll now the Conservatives have taken the Blyth Valley. If the Conservatives sweep to power in England, then we have to move very early – and I mean within weeks – on Scottish Independence.

I am extremely sorry for all my friends in England who have no such escape route from the Conservative Party. I am much more impacted by this result than I have ever been before, because it brings a still more right wing Conservative Party to untrammeled power, and because I genuinely feel the electorate which has swung are fueled by anti-immigrant racism. I am not vehemently opposed to Brexit itself, funnily enough, but the ending of freedom of movement and single market access I view as crazed xenophobia.

I am also unhappy with the campaign itself, which seemed to take media bias to new levels in ways I have documented, particularly from the BBC. We saw the same in 2014, and the entire experience has been a reminder of how difficult to fight any new independence referendum will be.

If the SNP takes 50 seats in Scotland I shall be delighted. Scotland is of course a Remain area. I am for the next glass of Lagavulin clinging to the idea that Remain leaning areas in England may cause trouble for the Tories too.

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299 thoughts on “A Very Difficult Night

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  • Vronsky

    We are at the start of a path. As you know, the way ahead will not be a pleasant walk. We must start walking anyway.

  • Tony

    Unfortunutaly, Craig, this GE has turned out to be solely about brexit. I, myself, am a wholehearted supporter of brexit. But I put my support for the only honest, decent, humanist party leader ahead of my desire for brexit, and voted theright way, for Labour. Brexit won the day. And Remain is squarely responsible for the obscene government we now have, due to it’s hijacking of Labour’s EU policy. Ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • N_

    There should be a civil disobedience movement to stop Brexit. It does not have majority support. I don’t care what happened 3.5 years ago. It’s now that counts.

    • Tony

      This election has been won on brexit. Put your prejudices aside, and do some soul-searching. I put my pro-brexit prejudices aside to vote for Labour. I concede that we lost because the majority want brexit, and have voted in a revulsion-inducing government because they were the only ones who promised brexit.

      • N_

        Polls are showing a pro-Remain majority, and I think (although we shall soon find out one way or the other) that only a minority of voters today supported pro-Brexit parties.

          • Mark Russell

            What would one expect to happen if a party guarantees they will respect the result of the 2016 referendum and the majority of its MPs are from leave voting areas and then it turns its back on them and takes advice from middle class urban remainers?

      • Ian

        It’s also been lost on the Corbyn coterie’s piss poor leadership. They are already getting their excuses in, and will not take responsibility, but carry on with their feeble blaming culture on everybody else in their party, despite the rather obvious fact that they are in charge. Corbyn is a perfectly decent man, but he is not a leader. What is much worse is the coterie of unelected advisers and spin doctors like Lansmann, McCluskey, Milne, Murphy etc, all of whom haven’t the faintest idea how to run a party or an election campaign. They all thought simply being right was good enough, they are clueless about strategy and communication. And still they have the gall to blame everybody else. Pathetic. The idea that if it wasn’t for Brexit somehow they might have won is so deluded it beggars belief. But it does show you out of touch they are, lost in a fantasy past.

      • Borncynical


        I was in exactly the same position as you and voted with my heart and my brain …for Labour. I dread to think what the future holds for the country under the ignorant, deceitful and incompetent shower who have been given the electorate’s endorsement. I would like to think we are proved wrong but I fully envisage saying to people in the future that they only have themselves to blame for being so blinded by the simplistic “Get Brexit done” campaign as if nothing else was of any consequence.

        The only ray of sunshine for me was that Mark Tami, my local Labour MP representing Alyn and Deeside in NE Wales, scraped in having worked tirelessly for the area since 2001. I have written to him on several occasions regarding issues of national importance and I have trust in him to follow a moral code which is more important to me than vacuous Conservative promises. It is quite frankly appalling and depressing that a man of his integrity and longstanding dedication came close to losing his seat because a significant number of his constituents were taken in by egregious smear campaigns against Jeremy Corbyn and the brainwashing effect of Johnson’s “Get Brexit done”. Who would have thought that three little words could prove so damaging?
        The first thing I did this morning was email Mark Tami to give him my heartfelt congratulations.

        • porkpie

          He was my MP too until a few weeks ago. Now the only non-tory in the whole of NE Wales.

          I now find myself with a tory MP (Vale of Clwyd) for the first time in my life…

    • Wikikettle

      N_. Boris lies to everyone. His ‘Brexit’ won’t be Brexit at all…ask Farage. The people again chose to be fooled. They thought Brexit would mean no more foreigners. The business community will always get as many workers from abroad in as needed and we will will have more folk from non european countries.

    • Arthur

      One rule for England and another for Scotland is it? You claim elsewhere that the SNP failing to get over 50% of the vote means independence has been rejected. Yet the anti Brexit parties failing to get over 50% of the vote in England is somehow irrelevant? Your arrogant English nationalism is embarrassing to watch.

  • Robert Graham

    The SSPA are requesting people to stop phoning their switchboard , they are aware of the threat to Nessie and are taking steps to stop lardarse Davidson from entering Loch Ness , included in the message is We Will Use Force if Required and warning shots will be fired to protect a National Treasure .
    Message Ends —— YAH DANCER ———– YIPPEE ————

  • Baron

    What did the damage was the cumryd himself, and the policy shift to the left, all that nationalising, big spending stuff, the country will not stand for it, many still remember how badly nationalised parts of the economy preformed last century.

    • Alan Crerar

      And many seem to have forgotten how absolutely dismally the privatised bits of the economy have done since. Except for the shareholders, obviously.

    • Tony

      Thanks for that nonsense “Baron”. Every privatised version of nationalised business has performed infinitely worse. Go catch a train or bus, or compare your gas and electric bills to what you were paying before said services were sold off to foreign companies, to see where you are talking out of your arse,. Hope you weren’t involved in the rape of public taxes that PFI and Carillion turned out to be btw.

  • Brianfujisan

    Heartbreaking For England…JEEZO

    Thanks for your Two days of Hard work Craig..Enjoy yir wee dram

  • Hatuey

    Rest assured, Craig, the vast majority in England want to Tories and brexit. Who are we to deny them?

    Time to part company and fast, as you say.

    I dread to think how timid Sturgeon might be, though. I don’t think she’s the sort of leader we need right now, the sort that will go to the mattresses.

    It’s time to stop waiting on approval from Westminster.

  • Brian Forrest

    I agree, Craig.

    I just hope the SG are ready…and sufficiently willing…
    to take immediate and decisive action to safeguard Scotland’s position. Any dithering at all, any weakness, will doubtless cost the Independence camp dearly.

    “Now’s the time, and now’s the hour.”

    • Shatnersrug

      Pah! You’re kidding right? I’d be happy to be proved wrong, but if the SNP are what I think they are then you’ll see Yorkshire independence before you see it from them.

  • Glasshopper

    The anti-democracy Slippery Snob Gatekeepers are getting their comeuppance! What larks!

    Still droning on about racists and xenophobes, looking down their noses at the vile plebs.

    This is a night to remember the faces on the sanctimonious snooty types who’ve spent 3 years sneering at the working classes.

    • Tony

      The saddest thing is, we would have had a civilised government if Remain hadn’t hijacked Labour’s brexit policy,.

        • Michael McNulty

          Not only did you push for your anti-democratic result at the cost of your democratic result, it looks like you’re not getting your anti-democratic result either. You screwed-over democracy so you remainers fucked up big time.

  • Bones and Dirt

    Stockpile food. Obtain arms. Form militias. Erect road blocks at the border. Blockade Faslane. Demand the loyalty of the Scottish regiments and police force. Storm the British Imperialist institutions (Scottish Office, BBC). Start printing Scottish pounds. Declare Independence and plead for international support to repel the RUK military response.

    The Conservatives have no right to rule in Scotland. In Scotland the people are sovereign, not the monarch or her courts.

    (posted with only a small twist of sardonic humor)

  • Laguerre

    To put this comment on its more correct page:

    Of course, the exit poll suffers from at least one of the same problems as earlier more traditional polls: particularly that it is a national poll. Statistically evening out over the whole country, when there are radical local changes that the weighting doesn’t properly allow for. Well, we’ll soon see whether they’re right or not.

  • kashmiri

    Your friends in England just brought this party to power.

    Not that it’s good for the country. But Labour’s campaign was apalling. I for one had no idea what their plan for the country was. Same with LibDems – their campaign in my borough (swing LibDem-Tory) looked much less professional than that of an afterschool club.

  • AKAaka

    If they can get away with this then the only way to independence is bloody and that will fail. If they do get away with this then revolt is inevitable eventually in the UK as a whole. If they succeed with this sham of a result, then the likes of Corbyn will never be allowed so close again, indeed, the tried and tested machine will be used against anything that attempts to stand in their way and it will be stronger than ever, and fuck me it’s strong now. That includes indy fucking ref 2. I’m sorry, I wish you were free and I wish you could be. I would beg for your acceptance of me and my family into one of your communities, but if they get away with this, we’re all fucked and I’ll be fighting along side you anyway.

  • Loony

    What is your problem?

    You overtly hate and despise the working classes and then affect surprise when the working classes tell you to fuck off.

    • Ian

      Yeah, yeah, still bleating over stuff you haven’t a clue about. You’re so working class, of course. Not.

  • MBC

    Here’s an upside. If Johnson has that lead, he is less dependent on the ERG. Moot point therefore if it makes a hard or a soft Brexit more likely.

  • jmg

    Craig on Twitter:
    “Well, we really gave it our best. Sorry for all my friends in England, you are going to have a dreadful time, but we just don’t share a political culture and we are leaving.
    “Independence Now.
    11:21 PM · Dec 12, 2019

    The many replies are mostly about not blaming him, with quite a number now considering moving to Scotland.

    • AKAaka

      Well fuck you very much Craig. I’ll still be fighting right beside you when you realise we are still all in this together.

      • Ingwe

        Bang on AKAaka- Craig thinks he can just pull up his ladder in Scotland and dribble out his sympathy to us in England. He’ll be as fucked as the rest of us.

    • George McI

      “…quite a number now considering moving to Scotland.”

      This an everyday occurence for the past quarter century where I live in the South West of Scotland. They all know it’s shit down there.

  • Baxter1967

    I really thought Labour learned the lesson from Foot’s defeat in 1983. I remember vividly that horrible night . Tragically the same mistakes have been repeated but this is even worse. It took 16 years to recover. Labour wins when it has a strong leader with a social democratic message. Hard facts are hard to swallow for the fantasists.

      • Shatnersrug

        Christ. What a load of bollocks. Corbyn hasn’t fought the conservatives this election – they were largely invisible apart from Johnson in his fridge. No Corbyn has fought the media. And if he’s lost that’s a black day for all of us.

        Because that media is now worse than the first Indy ref and it’s worse than the brexit ref. We should all be very scared about what comes next.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            I used to think that too, but much of the world lives in abject misery, and, perhaps unfortunately for us, human beings are remarkably resilient, and will endure the most extreme hardship without complaint.

            Another equally unfortunate factor is that the more time that passes since the abandonment of the post-war settlement, the fewer people will remember what well-funded public services and infrastructure look like – and eventually even the language of socialist policy will be lost to them.

  • Ralph

    ‘the ending of freedom of movement’ – well then Craig, you know what you can then do, don’t you??? You can campaign HARD in Scotland for freedom of movement, so that all and sundry can go and live in Scotland instead.

  • Hatuey

    England as we once knew it has gone. Time to move on. Maybe we can ship some plant down south in future and take advantage of the Shanghai model and cheap labour their new economy will provide.

    As for Scotland, we can assume that Boris and the Tories will move to placate, divide, and rule, as usual. My guess is they’ll try to palm us off with the same sort of EU deal that they have planned for NI.

    I hope Sturgeon rejects that and everything else they offer.

  • Xavi

    Blairite Remainers are already trying to frame this result as a rejection of Corbyn and McDonnell’s left wing economic policies. Policies that are actually overwhelmingly popular compared to anything they are offering.

    What was not overwhelmingly popular in the 67% of Labour constituencies that voted Leave was the party’s adoption of a policy of re-running the EU referendum of 2016.

    That policy was forced upon Corbyn and McDonnell, men whose instincts told them to respect the 2016 result.

    Prime among those forcing the 2nd referendum policy on Labour were the Blairites who will now spend the following weeks claiming that Leave voters in the North and Midlands are actually crying out for woke centrist neoliberalism.

    The reality is that all those seats were lost today because the Blairites insisted on hanging a heavy anti-democratic yoke around the neck of the Labour party. These people are the problem not the answer.

    • Ian

      Nice rewrite of history. Already. Same old, same old. The failure is from the top this time, not some fantasy other.

      • Xavi

        The election was lost in Labour Leave seats. Those voters are not crying out for a Remain Labour leader I’m afraid. You are a fantasist if you believe that.

          • Ian

            Face it, the leadership and all around them made some catastrophic errors, poor judgement and colossal blunders. That is on them, they had complete control. But as always, it is someone else who is to blame, never them. The public didn’t buy what Corbyn and co were selling, which goes much deeper than your convenient excuses.

          • Xavi

            The election was lost by adopting a policy that told Leave voters they would have to vote again on leaving the EU.

            That was a colossal blunder considering two thirds of Labour seats voted Leave.

            I suspect you supported that colossal blunde wholeheartedly, yet now you’re telling me you have the winning strategy.

            I don’t think you have Ian.

          • Ian

            Did I say I have the ‘winning strategy’? No. See how easy it is for you to continually make stuff up about other people in order to remain in denial. Typical Corbyn fanboy – they are still saying he ‘did well’. And anybody who points out the bleedin obvious must be a ‘centrist’ remainer blah blah blah. The lack of imagination or concession to reality is classic cult stuff.

          • Xavi

            You were part of the echo chamber always insisting he must come out “boldly for remain”, damning him for being “weak” for not having done so.

            Don’t suddenly run away from your prescription. Own it.

          • Ian

            There you go again. Lol, what a denialist. Wake up and smell the coffee. Corbyn did appallingly in both leave and remain areas. And still you cling to paper thin myths.

        • Shatnersrug

          Xavi – correct remainers are being wiped out, momentum forced out local candidates to put in remainers its was a completely stupid policy now they’ll Blame Corbyn.

  • Chris Young

    Mission accomplished, objective (or not) achieved…all hail the BBC and its strategic partners.
    Nearly 50 years ago at a school sociology class the subject was why are there working class voters who vote Tory? I think at the time it was considered to be an aspirational intent.
    For me, today indicates just how powerful the media is in influencing opinion. I also suspect that populations are in someway becoming more pliable and docile at the expense of questioning and analysing for themselves.
    Keep positive. Who knows maybe the Conservatives will continue devouring themselves?

    • AKAaka

      Right on. Except the ouroboros ain’t rebirthing anything worthwhile just yet and they are making it evermore impossible.

  • Ross

    I’m not seeing the silver lining in this for Scotland. The SNP could get a clean sweep, bu how does that make independence any more possible, faced with Johnson and a large majority backing him up? I suspect his response to any overtures from the SNP vis a vis another independence referendum will be, “go hang”. I’d suggest the unfolding electoral calculus makes Scottish independence impossible.

    • John Monro

      Scotlands calls a “Unilateral declaration of Independence”. America gained its independence in such a way and had to fight for it, as did the vast majority of independent nations. The independence of many former British ruled states came about by agreement, but often with unstated threats or just bowing to the inevitable. Scotland just has to declare it will go its own way, ensure first good planning, and England’s not going to fight – perhaps Scotland could take the nuclear submarines hostage just in case?.

      • Ross

        A lovely idea, but you must know that isn’t going to wash? I promise you, when this ratbag government has had its run, and another election looms, Scotland will still be part of the United Kingdom.

  • John Monro

    From New Zealand. Enjoy your dram, Craig. So sorry about the result. A huge number of voters who would have voted Labour, and always have, have been beguiled, propagandised and persuaded to vote against their own interests in supporting a nasty, reactionary and corrupt right wing government, devoid of empathy or social concern, for the next horrifying five years. Some people say they were conned, but someone else in the Guardian suggested, rather more accurately, I believe, that they were complicit. If you accept the thesis that any adult in the UK old enough to vote, is old enough to do so wisely, I think labelling this as “complicit” is very fair. I wonder how long it will take the residents of Blyth Valley to realise their mistake, their complicity? A few weeks perhaps?

    For Labour to have agreed to this election was a huge, huge political error, and I said so at the time. It was always going to be about Brexit, nothing but Brexit, so all those other issues that it should have been fought on, which are ultimately much more important, were ignored. An appalling election and an appalling result.

    But a good result for the SNP might see Scotland make its own way. I can’t see any other honourable option for the citizens of your beautiful and historic country. So good luck for the future all of you.

    • Loony

      Why not blame the voters for their own stupidity . so much easier than taking any form of responsibility.

      Go back a few years and you will find that Stalin was not exactly popular. Once Hitler made his move people seemed to rally behind Stalin. Maybe you think the Russians of that era were also beguiled, propagandized and persuaded to act against their own interests.

      Is it not possible that people then, as now have chosen the lesser of two evils?

  • Aran Mc Mahon

    Nice article. Loved your speech in London on the 29th of Nov. Looking forward to reading your books.
    I organised a protest at the British embassy in Dublin for Human Rights Day with Some friends. We just have to keep going, don’t we…? Don’t get down get Angry and get somewhere! Good Luck with your next move. Liberate Scotland? I hope to hear you speak one day.

  • cubby

    How many electoral mandates does the SNP need to win to proceed with Indyref2.

    The Tories are acting like fascists. Scotland NEEDS to terminate the UK.

    Tell Johnson to get stuffed and get on with it.

    • Shatnersrug

      The SNP work for the tories. I’m amazed that people can’t see it. The tories are all to happy to see you all up there raging and voting snp. As long as you don’t vote for those nasty socialists then fine and dandy, they’ll keep cutting your social services

  • Loony

    You have to hand it to the Labour Party. Most people would have thought it impossible to persuade northerners to forgive the destruction wrought on them by the Conservative Party, and for them to actually vote conservative.

    Step forward miracle worker Jeremy Corbyn. He has achieved the seemingly impossible. What a player!!!!

    • Wikikettle

      Loony. If you think Boris is going to give the hard Brexit supporters the Brexit they want – you are mistaken. Ask Nigel Farage, he will have years of more MEP wages, expenses, meals out in Europe complaining about EU. As for those traditional Labour supporters who voted to stop foreigners – they will see more people of colour coming in to do fill jobs from commonwealth countries to their chagrin, not mine.

      • Loony

        Sure – the Conservative Party will sell the people out. Ideally the Conservative Party needs to be utterly destroyed, but Jeremy Corbyn has made certain that such an ambition cannot be achieved.

        Sure there will be more immigrants and sure they will drive down wages and drive up housing costs. The fact that this does not bother you explains why people have not voted for the Labour Party. Why . not just take white working class people outside and shoot them? At least such a policy proposal would have the benefit of honesty.

        • Wikikettle

          Loony, so you agree, Brexit was all about for foreigners, not about austerity, lack of investment, lack of child care, lack of housing, good education etc…well freedom of movement was brought in by the Tories, it was Enoch Powell that went to the Carribean to recruit much needed workers. Its the Tories who destroyed manufacturing and the unions.

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