Scottish general election, 6 May 2021

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  • #68829 Reply

    The Torygraph reports that Boris Johnson “will make clear on Sunday that he will not grant a second Scottish independence referendum, even if the SNP wins a majority in May’s Holyrood elections.”

    His stated reason? Because a referendum would be dangerous during a pandemic. Seriously! Remember that the May election has not been postponed. In fact in May there will be elections in many other places in Britain too, ones that have already been postponed for a year. If there can be an election in May without everyone catching the lergy, then there could be an independence referendum 6 months later. Anybody who says otherwise is taking the p*ss.

    If this is true about what Johnson will say at the weekend, it’s great news for the SNP.

    It’s hard to believe that Johnson and the Tory government could be so stupid, but let’s assume it’s true. Why is he saying this? The reasons would appear to be as follows:

    1. He thinks it will win votes for the Scottish Tories in the May election. It might win them a small number of votes, but it would win the SNP far more. Anybody who knows Scotland knows that. Any idea that “England is stopping Scotland from doing something” plays directly into the SNP’s hands. If somebody knows nothing about Scottish politics and they want to start by learning something, that fact is what they should learn. It’s from the very first class in Scottish Politics 101.

    2. On the basis of polls conducted in the past week, he thinks that while there is a majority in favour of the union, there is a larger majority against holding a referendum soon. In other words, he thinks a fair proportion of those who are pro independence are against holding a referendum. Now why might that be? Well it might be because a) that proportion of the electorate prefers to achieve independence by fighting an armed struggle, including against the majority of people in Scotland – perhaps beginning with a Washington DC-style “Capitol” event somewhere near a pub – but I think that’s unlikely. Or it might be b) because they think SARSCoV2 would be more likely to fly up their nostrils in a polling station if they’re voting in an indyref than if they’re only voting in a general election, especially given that turnout in the indyref would be much higher. That’s rubbish too. It’s much more likely to be c) because you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the polls. It’s obvious that a vote for the SNP or for their helpers the Greens is a vote for another referendum and soon too.

    I wonder whether the Scottish Tories will call Johnson before Sunday and tell him he can f***ing do one.

    I’ve said it before, but if the British rulers actually do want to retain the union (and that’s not necessarily the case) and if there is an indyref rerun then they will have to get rid of Johnson beforehand. He is a liability and he could totally screw things up in the course of one bad afternoon. They would have to replace him before the referendum, probably with Michael Gove who is Scottish, possibly with Jeremy Hunt or Rishi Sunak, but not with Jacob Rees-Mogg (who I doubt would run for the leadership anyway).

    #68985 Reply

    OK. It turns out that Johnson has NOT said what the Torygraph predicted he would say. He has not promised “no referendum, no matter how people vote in May”. Whether he was preparing to say that, I don’t know. But if he was, then presumably he listened to Scottish Tories who, as might be expected, know Scotland better than Tories do who are based in London.

    As for the “creation of Civil Service jobs” in Scotland, including posts in the Cabinet Office and Foreign Office, rather than primarily an “employment” measure this is probably to do with buying votes in Glasgow by giving bungs to those who are considered to have an influence over how people vote in that city.

    It will be a fascinating election, particularly in Glasgow. The party that came second in all seven Glasgow seats in the 2019 British general election was…Labour! In 2017 Labour came second in six of them, the exception being Glasgow North East, which they won. In the 2016 Glasgow city council election, Labour won more than twice as many votes as the Tories. (When I lived in Glasgow Northeast – or Glasgow Springburn as it was called then – the seat had a 22000 Labour majority.)

    In places such as Glasgow North East and other parts of Glasgow too, Nicola Sturgeon or whoever leads the SNP in May may find it hard to articulate the message “If you vote Labour, you’re helping the Tories”. Many who have never voted Tory in their lives may not take kindly to being insulted like that. It’s true that the Tories may find it hard to articulate the message “Vote Labour”, but they’re unlikely to be saying that openly anyway.

    Might Sturgeon possibly be attackable as a West Coaster who has sucked up to the Edinburgh establishment? 🙂

    I will be celebrating if the fine city of Glasgow tells the SNP where it can go.

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