House of Horror

Storm clouds billow and the wind moans as we peer at the ghostly outline of the castle, black against the inky night. Through the woods torn by the gale, a desperate figure struggles onwards clutching a small bundle. It is the life-enhancing serum, the last chance for survival of the disfigured bag of bones barely breathing inside the coffin lying open in the damp dungeon. Will the traveller make it on time or is this the moment when, finally, the blood-sucking bag of corruption croaks and dies in its deserted stronghold?


It probably will require a stake through the heart to finish off Scottish Labour and even then, you feel, a spindly hand will reach up and grip the side of the coffin. That’s what makes horror movies so much fun – you never quite know.

Today’s Ashcroft polling

dispels any lingering doubt about how dire Labour’s position is, demonstrating that the excuses that his first round of Scottish seats were all in known Yes voting areas were unfounded – his selection of eight seats this time is just as bad with the biggest swing of all from Labour to the SNP in the totemic Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath ‘stronghold’ of Gordon Brown.


It doesn’t mean this is how we will actually vote, it’s true but it does show how the Scots are thinking and there’s little difference in reality between Labour, Lib Dem and Tory seats as if to confirm that it is the entire Westminster hell hole that is being rejected with the added relish of a revenge vote by defecting Labour people sickened at what their true party has become.

It’s an unfortunate link to mention the Unionist journalist Jenny Hjul in a piece about horror films but she is in the Herald today announcing the piece de resistance of the No movement…a pro-Union coalition to encourage anti-SNP tactical voting. Yes, the people who boasted they were better educated than Yessers are showing just how stupid they are by repeating the same mistakes. Scotland in Union will be Better Together Mark Two. Same people, same outlook, same doomed policy of pretending to have common interests when to the voters they clearly are an alliance made in Hell.

Telling Labour people they must vote Tory or that Tories now find it acceptable to vote Labour is death on a stick in Scotland. The message is now 35 years old but the diehard Britnats are still living in the Tory-voting 1960’s. Watch out for former Army officers, investment bankers, landowners and vested interests telling us that saving Britain is more important than party – even if it means Ed Miliband ‘destroying the economy’.

This chimes with David Torrance’s increasingly desperate Unionist pleas that ‘Britain isn’t broken’.

(Strange I thought that was the phrase of his party leader David Cameron before the election). We are to believe that this is a great country – just discount the evidence…of benefits so low they are in breach of Council of Europe civil rights levels…of social mobility going backwards…of inequality levels nearly the worst in the OECD…old people dying of neglect…young people abused by organised gangs and ignored by the authorities…of disabled support denied…of food banks…grasping politicians prostituting themselves…facilitating and accepting evidence from torture…unsustainable debt…failed pensions…even letting down allies by failing to defend the country properly.




But all this to the true believers is not a negative but a matter of pride, above party politics and above policy. You’re welcome.

But I suspect the very people they wish to help – the Jim Murphys with their own team of Better Together retreads – will groan with despair as the grisly spectre of the No campaign looms again over Scotland. Murphy may wish people privately to hold their nose and vote against the Nats but he can’t defend either Labour members doing that or Tories backing him. Oh, the exquisite torture.

The Hjul piece is also a reminder of what is not at stake this time and that’s independence. Much as readers here would like it to be and much as Alex Salmond hints there may still be a way, this is explicitly not a vote for independence. That was settled last September and the result accepted – by most. There will be no Westminster deal that delivers independence ‘by the front, back or side door’. The SNP’s objective is to wrest powers from Whitehall to be used within the Union context – that’s the settled will of the Scottish people.

Following the precedent of the referendum, there can’t be any move towards independence without a second one, nor should there be. (There is a distinct possibility that the conditions which make that happen could emerge – see previous post).

This is a no-risk vote, just like voting for the SNP in 2011which many did in the knowledge that they would have a separate say on independence if they elected an SNP government. This May is not about a vote to bring Scotland out of the UK but to make sure the Scots get what most have wanted all along – maximum autonomy within the UK.


Labour people can see that a vote for the SNP will provide support to remove the Tories and replace them with a Labour government that will be obliged to deliver for Scotland on extra powers – it is the perfect solution (unless Labour voters really do dislike Miliband enough).

There is nothing guaranteed to add to Labour’s discomfort more than bringing back from the dead the Better Together ghouls who so revolted Scots last year. This could be the first time the sequel is actually better than the original.

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14 thoughts on “House of Horror

  1. Steve Asaneilean

    Super piece Derek – thanks

  2. I am in no doubt that the polls are artificially inflating the supposed SNP surge so that the Unionists can salvage something after they are spectacularly defeated. I am equally clear that there should be no complacency from anyone wanting a Scotland with some say over it’s future.
    Thanks Derek for yet another great piece but might I ask a question? It has bothered me for some weeks now that I get a strong feeling that no-one want to win this General Election and the incompetency is really a cunning plan to “throw the match” so the other lot get it AND the Scots will be a handy target for frustration and blame. Of course I may be wrong – they really might be that incompetent – any views?

    • hossmackintosh

      You need to check out Jame Kelly at Scot goes Pop. The SNP polls have actually been down weighted due to previous 2010 voting.

      It could be that the SNP leads are larger than shown by the adjusted Ashcroft figures. That would also tie in with what the army of SNP canvassers are picking up on the streets.

      Our aim should be for >50% of the vote across the country and this could be achievable if we can campaign and refute all the lies coming from the Unionists and Labour in particular.

      Derek – you are doing a great job and many other too.

  3. Great dissection Derek and couldn’t agree more. They are indeed still fighting the referendum where as near as I can see Scotland’s vote is changing because of the referendum. Similar, but not the same.

    The unionist parties revealed their natures during the referendum, warts and all. They showed us that there was no ideological difference between them, that they were in fact one and the same beast with a change of tie. They went too far, showed too much of themselves in their burning need to retain their system, their duopoly.

    Giving lie to Mr Torrance’s utter drivel, the UK state has been fractured for quite some time. From the ever widening wealth gap to the evident wide scale corporate compromise and corruption of Westminster government. From the narrowing ideologies of the parties, more interested in setting agendas and manipulating opinions, rather than following and reflecting those of their electorates, to the open, naked denigration, intimidation and terrorising of same in the name of power and entitlement. The actions of Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat representatives during the referendum have turned this fractured state into a full on smashed glass. The ongoing actions of those same parties starting literally less than a week after the September vote and which continue to this very day, have polarised voting opinion in Scotland as nothing else could.

    As I have said many times, the SNP would have little to do other than govern reasonably well and let Westminster be Westminster. They simply can’t help themselves.

  4. The attempts to resurrect the Westminster Party will not play well with Labour voters,many of whom left the party in droves following the referendum and for that reason.
    Should we send a significant number of SNP MPs to London and the Westminster Party is seen to block our democratically elected representatives from having a say in how Britain (and especially Scotland) is governed,then it will be time for another referendum.
    Excellent Derek,thanks.

  5. IMHO shifts in voting patterns can be explained as the result of longer term responses to the Blairite version of Thatcherism, the Iraq War (in the face of widespread public disapproval), the turning away from the Progressives as they were absorbed into the Conservative Party and, of course, the consistently successful managerialism of SNP rule in Holyrood. From this point of view, the Referendum was a catalyst that sped up the voting public’s realisation of how parties had changed. If I were the SNP’s strategist, I would simply advise steering a straight course and letting the other parties founder on the rocks as they seek alternative routes. E.g. the questions for Jim Murphy on what his intentions towards standing/not standing in the two parliaments are.

  6. Yeah, I am looking for some serious leverage at Brit Nat Central. Indy can wait, for now……

  7. Steve Asaneilean

    The key to succcess in any future referendum is (and always has been) to get as many powers seceded to the Scottish Parliament/Government then demonstrate good governance so that people can see life in Scotland can be different and better given the necessary tools. In this way it becomes almost impossible to argue against independence.

    I want (Not) Labour to be wiped out in Scotland – but that doesn’t mean I want Scottish Socialism to go the same way. I simply don’t regard (Not) Labour as Socialist anymore in any shape or form. Even the supposed left of the party cannot seem to decide which way it wants to go if this is anything to go by:

    I was mighty impressed by Cat Boyd when I saw her speak the other day and if she is typical of organisations like RIC then I think, politically speaking, the Left in Scotland has a bright future and that prospect is something I embrace.

    Independence will allow that flower to bloom.

  8. smiling vulture

    A strong SNP within the Union,protects Scotland

    Lord Robertson “Devolution will kill Nationalism stone dead”

    How about”Nationalism will kill House of Lords stone dead”

    Looking back,nothing changes about Labour,Devolution,Smith Commision was never about Scotland but Westminster.

  9. Bugger (the Panda)

    Derek et al

    Murphy’s crypt is deep in the bowels of Pacific Quay.

    He is surrounded by protective proto vampires.

  10. I think Scotland is starting to wake up to the fact if we all act together for a common purpose we can change Scotland for the better. And I for one am starting to feel so proud of the people of this country .
    You can only take the public for granted for a limited period then when they start to catch on you are really in (DEEP SHIT) The referendum just fired the whole population into life now we are all taking stock and saying their is much more we can do to improve our life . It is like a woman giving birth to a child when the
    waters burst there is not stopping it .

  11. good article.

    Minor piece of pedantry re “This could be the first time the sequel is actually better than the original”

    “The Godfather Part II” won more Oscars than the Godfather…

  12. Derek what we have endured up to this point in time is nothing, to what is round the corner. The back room deals between all the Unionist Parties to deny the Scottish People their democratic rights. They will go to any extent to protect the Sacred Union & Their Positions. Giselda Stuart MP ie ( Grand Coalition). They could Limbo dance under the bar on the ground.

    Keep On Keeping On Derek, ah wuld say sterling work but Mark Carney would object LoL.
    sheeesh dont tell him ,you do STERLING WORK.

  13. How much of the SNP’s rise in support is down to sites like this one? Very difficult to measure of course but the fact that SNP support is stronger amongst younger voters could be an interesting pointer.
    I’m older than you, Derek, by the way.

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