Scary Woman

How can there be a winner when there isn’t a motion or a vote? Don’t you hate the way the knee-jerk media numpties boil everything down to Win and Lose, cheapening it into a TV game show…

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Last night’s leaders debate – minus Cameron and the other one – was all the better for not being nearly as divisive as some of the previous efforts, at least initially, and I found myself actually listening to the content and even warming at times to Ed. So rational and reasonable did it begin that I had a hallucinatory moment in which Ed was the heart-of-gold but dithering PM and Nicola was his acerbic and demanding deputy – it only needed Blackadder as the spin doctor to be commissioned.

But the more managerial and competent Nicola sounded, the more it dawned that southern Tories would view it as confirming their worst fears – this woman is actually good at what she does and so must be resisted at all costs…different if it were Natalie but this scratchy wee Scot is not flaky, however squiffy her ideas. When she says she plans to keep him marching steadily leftwards, she means it.

This combination of well-meaning nincompoop Ed (think Hugh Laurie) and fierce ideologue Nic pushing the UK away from the basket of policy options on which the middle classes have prospered, is pretty much the perfect deterrent for Tory Britain… ‘and she wants to break up the country I love’.

It didn’t really need their Eton Boy hero to sneer from the stage as if everyone else were part of the household staff. In fact it was probably stronger in impact for his absence, allowing the right wing southerners to grasp for themselves the full horror of not one but two social democratic parties working out how to distribute the wealth to make things fairer. Pro Europe. Trade Unions. Red tape. Progressive tax. Even Trident under threat. You could imagine doors bursting open in Surbiton and wide-eyed women, arms flailing, running screaming into the street.

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This plays into my own long-term prediction – which has been knocked sideways by Labour refusing to retreat in the polls – of a late Tory surge composed of those who flirted with UKIP but found it too outré for their taste and Blairite swingers turned off by Miliband. Labour don’t usually get the number of votes they are predicted to and the last week or so always forces the reluctant to make up their minds which means looking from one leader to the other and picturing them on the steps of Number 10. Ed fails at this point because he looks like he’s soliciting on behalf of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

We can’t also forget the gold rule of modern elections – look at the economy. Every pointer says Improving, On the Up, Lift-off but only in that way you see at a British space launch where no one dares look in case the rocket veers off into a nearby car park. Still, even the IMF says Britain has the answer (suspiciously announced while Osborne was attending an Ebola conference with Christine Lagarde) and, if you’re minded to believe the brain-dead media analysis, there are signs of progress. Not before time, you might say, since the Americans seemed to leave behind the crash and bank bailouts years ago.

Forgetting that employment is now part-time, zero hours, sole trader, or even training, and pulling a veil over the national debt which the Coalition doubled on our behalf – oh, and an appallingly poor rate of productivity – things are better in terms of numbers if not actually on your contactless payment card.

So it may be that Cameron scored rather well by not appearing last night – a bit like Scotland going up the world rankings by not playing games. It’s how he won the referendum too remember and it could be a new way of doing politics…I’ll sit at home with a gin and you lot wound each other mortally – then I stride in and strip you of your valuables and remove your gold fillings. (The Labour term is bayoneting the wounded).

The dilemma is of course, that it still doesn’t get Cameron a second term unless there is a similar boost in Lib Dem fortunes, which I don’t see. But I do subscribe to the view they will work with the Tories again if the numbers work because they are really proud of what they’ve achieved, have discovered their inner Tory and really have little left to lose. What’s done is done…

But, all you Scot Nats, beware. If the Tories do struggle home, lances broken, flags in tatters, bloodied and bruised, it is we who will be blamed. The revenge of Labour will be forever to stain the memory with Tartan Tory legend.

And twice beware. If the SNP helps Labour form a government, the irrational Scot-haters in the media are even now preparing the ground for a full assault on our nation for cheating them of their democratic birthright under the Union (that’s the right to rule us). We are variously mad, hypnotised and stupid and some of the Spectator, Mail, Express and Telegraph stuff is stopping just short of encitement. If the Scots really do deliver the blow to English supremacy predicted, the cybernats will appear as but fleglings compared to the squawking vultures of hatred that will take flight. We are about to discover who the real zealots are – in an age of recently confirmed UK hegemony– and what really lies in the heart of Unionism. It won’t be pretty.

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33 thoughts on “Scary Woman

  1. Beware?

    After September, I think we’re more than ready.

    • Yes, of course we are, well said. And with Nicola (not Nic, Derek) proving to be such a capable successor to Alex, all the more so.
      Right on Statgeek!

  2. I think you are right Derek.

    No reason to doubt that the opportunist Liberals will back Cameron for a second term. If he can take the unionists from N Eire and the dozen UKIP mp’s. Bingo he is back in power.

    The balls in Milibands court as he could stop this. But alas like Brown, he will allow party ideology and partisanship to get in the way of intelligence!

  3. Union?
    What union?
    According to the Tories and their new pals in British Labour their is only Greater England and it’s various regions,one of which is known as Scotland.
    That is the reality as long as we continue to send representatives of English based parties to Westminster.
    Hopefully not too many in May because that is the only way things are going to change in our favour.
    Thanks Derek.

  4. Katrine Paterson

    By now Derek, we Scots are used to being demonised. So let’s give the ‘elite’ a good kicking on the 7th May.
    I turned off the previous debate in disgust. Last night’s was a mostly orderly event, giving everyone a chance to be heard.
    Milliband is becoming more like a programmed robot with every debate. It was interesting to see that the southern English audience seemed to like what they heard from all three women. Nicola in particular seemed to strike a chord with them.
    One even said that the two ‘extremists’ had proved to be not at all extreme.
    Things are bound to hot up from now on as panic begins to take over. I’m wondering what Cameron is holding back for the last few days. No doubt he will promise something miraculous that some of his little helpers have dreamed up.
    Keeping a low profile while his stooges take the flack is puzzling though.

  5. The three Grace’s stole the show alright and the warning klaxons went off in W1. The reception Nicola’s offer to Ed got must have had the press corps spinning like tops.

    Oh calamity, a government by consensus and trust? Oh the humanity of it. 🙁

    Ed missed a trick on that, so determined was he to pander to the Tory lite swing vote, he seemed to forget (once again) just who Labour are supposed to represent and there’s a lot more of the great unwashed out there than there are six figure earners. If he’s leaned just a little more left and said ‘Labour welcomes working with all progressive views’ or ‘though we disagree on the constitution Nicola, so long as we agree on progress for the peoples of the UK’… All non committal statements, but more importantly they sell as statesmanlike.

    But no, the halfwit still harked on about basically how wrong SNP involvement in the UKs democracy is. He misrepresented and rehashed the old 79 lie yet again and wound up having Nicola slap him down publicly. The final impression you were left with was that of a petulant schoolboy, not a leader.

    It may take a while for the ladies to train him in properly. 🙂

    • Cameron also said how wrong it would be for the SNP to be involved in government and like Miliband he would veto another referendum. Such is the state of democracy in the UK. What they forget, (or probably don’t know) is that in Scotland the people are sovereign not the self-serving, self-enriching apparatchiks that pass for mp’s in England.

      • They’re in for an awfy shock if they ever tried to block any future referendum. 😀

        We are a separate country and fully entitled to run a consultative referendum to determine our own governance, but I’m sure they are aware of that already. 😉

        Equally they have precisely zero say in whom the Scottish electorate deem best suited to represent our interests and oversee our current partnership at Westminster. THAT would be none of their beeswax. We’ll let them know in due course right enough. 😀

        • Wasn’t the power of Westminster approval necessary to ‘legalise’ the September Referendum, which, by that, I took to mean there would be no legal challenge made against the process or result?

          Would implementing a YES result from another ‘un-legalised’ Referendum, albeit an officially Scottish Government arranged poll, under the terms of that Edinburgh Agreement for the past Referendum, be open season thereby. for all sorts of nonsense and challenge from the usual suspects?

          Something, no doubt enthusiastically tagged by the BBC and MSM as being akin to UDI?

          Just saying like.

          • The point of the consultative referendum was to legitimise an approach to the Westminster parliament. I doubt if a YES result alone would have resulted in independence. It would merely have acted as an advisory of intent of an electorate’s choice to exercise their right to self determination under international law. If either signatory wished to exercise that right they can do so as often as they feel the need to.

            In short, the right course was always the S30, it cuts to the legal chase as it were, but neither signatory to the treaty can deny their partner the right to choose. Cameron realised this early doors in the process, hence the move from consultative to S30 at the outset. The consultative would have excluded any Westminster interference whatsoever being totally within the remit of the SG. It would not have been binding in and of itself, but any YES result would have been difficult if not impossible for Westminster to ignore its legitimacy as a mandate from the Scottish electorate.

            IMO the right course is still the S30 route. The precedent has been set on both sides. WM knows that if enough people vote for one, they cannot ignore it and the SG know the best way to achieve independence is for the people to ask for it and then vote for it.

        • Thank you for that Sam. i am sick of the referendum BS thrown out by the unionists as if it’s a gift.

          Derek we already experience dirty tricks on the MSM and up and down the country folk are saying bollocks enoughs enough.

          Check the polls and the Bookies.

          We’re better prepared now than we have ever been. And don’t forget the core of the unionist parties support are auld. We have time , they don’t.

          And we only need to win once.

          Go Scotland and the SNP. WM are shitting bricks.

  6. Very sharp take on this debate and on Tory reaction Derek.

    I have begun worrying about Labour doing better in Scotland than the polls have been suggesting after I read that apparently 29% of Scottish voters have yet to decide. (The polls only reflect the decided).

    If despite Labour austerity and mediocrity nearly 30% of Scots have by this late stage still not been won over to the SNP’s progressive message and record of competent government, that can only mean one thing; they are unlikely to jump to the SNP when the day comes. The best that might be hoped for by these feeble-minded ditherers is that they are so under-enthused by Labour that they at least do the decent thing and just stay at home.

    So Miliband might yet get in on the back of more seats retained in Scotland than has been predicted by pollsters because of the same grey silent majority that emerged from the shadows to do their worst on September 18th.

    • MBC, 29% undecided may well contain a contingent of ‘feeble minded ditherers’, but it will most certainly contain an army of people comprising the family, friends and neighbours of Labour councillors, together with an untold number who have been ‘offered’ jobs in Local Councils, and many more who have received favours from Labour councillors and other office bearers. All these people are ‘duty bound’ to vote Labour – or else.
      Not unlike the way any average everyday Mafia works in fact.

  7. I think I would have to agree with the first comment. We’ve been “there” since the indy ref was launched.

    I am not as concerned about the “grey and silent” wing of the scottish electorate. If these people were roused, like sleeping giants filled with a terrible resolve at the threat Independence could cause – why would they fall silent again with the SNP surging ahead? We have to remember these people were promised a great many things if they voted for the status quo. None of these things are going to happen. Also the relentless attacks on the SNP do not seem to have shaken them from their lethargy. They will also have seen the mind melting stupidity of “A vote for the SNP is a vote for labour” from cameron and Scottish labour’s a “vote for the SNP is in fact a vote for cameron.” #SNPouters telling labour voters to prop up a tory, memo gate, Scottish labour’s self defeating attacks on FFA that can’t/won’t happen. Murphy being bitchslapped in public over who is in charge and Nicola beating them bloody in three debates…Three!

    I see a westminster system that is sh*tting itself but I am supposed to believe things would suddenly be ok if we went back to voting labour? Cameron would be cool and down with losing, if Miliband won because the Scots voted for labour rather than the SNP?

    United Kingdom my arse.

    • You also have to remember that the grey silent majority also suffer from a poverty of aspiration. And complete lack of imagination, except for the imagination of disaster which Project Fear Mk2 is stirring up with respect to FFA.

      • FFA is a non starter – Sturgeon will not get it from labour and she won’t get it from the Tories. Murphy’s campaign to generate heat on a phantom is scuppered from the get go, because Miliband has already put it down tat he won’t support it and so has Cameron. Even Sturgeon has wisely stepped away from it for now. Project Fear MK2 has been blowing up in Scottish labours collective faces for the past month now. They keep pushing it of course. What else can they do? They can’t suddenly turn around and say Scotland is totally capable of handling FFA, anymore than Miliband will openly say he will accept support from the SNP. Cameron played a very dangerous card with his vote SNP get labour – the UK MSM are having a field day with it. The danger is to the UK, not the SNP. By asserting that Scotland would impose a Labour government on the UK, he effectively took labours assertion that the SNP are tartan Tories and tore it up in Scottish labours face. To take the argument to its logical conclusion, there is now no party that Scotland could vote for that wouldn’t be seen as an affront to “British” democracy. To reach out to that “grey vote” – Miliband and Murphy should have attacked Cameron, right there, right then for Scotland’s place in the union. What did they do? They decided to be childish and assert it was the other way around.

        I would not say they have a poverty of aspiration but a jaded outlook and general level of tolerance for things that younger folk don’t have. But they are not so dumb that they can’t tell when they are being shat on and seeing these concern trolls for union, wiping their arse on the status quo.

        Be honest with yourself. Could you have imagined this outcome on Sept 19? I personally didn’t think it would happen until 2016 onwards when the penny dropped. I didn’t expect it to drop this quickly though. Change is coming. The behavior of the Westminster parties has pretty much made it impossible for a large majority of the electorate to be reconciled with the idea of being British. Thats not went unnoticed.

        • No, I couldn’t have imagined this outcome. Nor could I have imagined Murphy’s campaign falling apart just quite so quickly. I was afraid when Murphy was elected – not that he would win, or convince 1.6 million determined Yes voters to get back behind Labour, but that the rawness of his abrasive style would poison our political culture and it would all turn horribly fratricidal. Thankfully we’ve all held up. The damage he’s done has been more of an annoyance and it has rebounded on him.

          But I still don’t believe these polls. But I do believe a good number of No voters did vote No reluctantly because they had been terrorised, and out of the precautionary principle of ‘better the devil you know’. But this is different. It is safe to vote SNP. And the other thing is that Miliband, Clegg, and Cameron just look so wooden and hapless. Against them Sturgeon has passion and clear argument. It shows them up for just how hollow and rotten the system they are propping up is.

          I think people are also noticing that Darling and Brown have just disappeared off the scene, after captaining folk into a return to shore, they have abandonned those that trusted in them. The penny is dropping that they were conned.

  8. The threat to the SNP of a narrow Tory win and the resultant ammunition this may offer Slab, is I think far from being as clear cut as you think. If Labour are short of a majority or if Labour / SNP are short of a majority, in either case, the net effect is the same.
    How could Slab seek political capital from a narrow Tory win if that win occurred because the anti-Tory front, however composed, fell short?

    • And there are other parties that might be willing to join a Labour-SNP pact, like Plaid, SDLP, Greens, maybe the odd independent. That might pip whatever forces the Tories could muster.

      As somebody highlighted, the main objection to this in 2010 was Gordon Brown. English voters loathed him, only partly because he was Scottish. It was also because he was Gordon. And had become PM by the back door.

    • I suspect the spin would be that the SNP surge put off potential Labour voters in England and caused them to swing behind the Tories. It would be even more tendentious than the 1979 libel – and far more difficult to make stick – but ultimately comes from the same place: Blame others and take no responsibility for your own manifest(o) failures.

  9. Alasdair Macdonald

    This is a real ‘we’re doomed!’ piece by Mr Bateman. There is always a case for counselling against believing the election won before the votes are cast, but this was gloom mongering. Essentially, Mr Bateman is saying that Mr Cameron has won because Ms Sturgeon did well and because Mr Miliband did quite well, too, because, by doing well, Ms Sturgeon has frightened UKIP voters back to the Tories and because although Mr Miliband has done well and has been doing quite well throughout the campaign, he really is the wimp which the media have decided that he has to be. And, so, because the Tories will win, we will be trashed by them once they are back in power.
    So, what is Mr Bateman saying:
    We should not have pushed for a referendum and got such a large minority?
    Ms Sturgeon should behave in a mediocre way in debate?
    Mr Miliband is a wimp because that is what the media have determined him to be and Mr Bateman is part of the media?

    This all reminds me of Alistair Reid’s poem ‘Scotland’.

  10. I don’t read Derek as saying that, exactly. But rather that these possible outcomes present us with both challenges and opportunities. The challenge to get more of the SNP vote out, and making the case for further powers, and the opportunity to amplify that case should a minority Tory government seek to damage Scotland and with it, the Union.

  11. I was washing my dishes at lunchtime while listening to the Big Debate on Radio Scotland, 12 noon, when I nearly threw a dish at the radio. The dreadful Ming Campbell, putting his tuppence worth in about the idea of Trident being removed from Scotland, saying ‘if Keith Brown had his way, he would move Trident to England.’ So Ming, it’s OK to have Trident in Scotland but not in England. Didn’t know Ming represented only England. Oh! well, the Empire lives on where the Scots did the Westminister’s bidding and turned their back on their own country. Hoping to see the end of Labour and Lib Dems in Scotland as none of them represent Scotland.

  12. That did make me cackle, Derek – your turns of phrase are tickling sticks – but I don’t share your pessimism.

    Nicola has spread Ed’s options out on the floor and invited the entire world to take a good look. “Are you actually saying, Ed, that you would rather see another five years of terror at the hands of the Tories than do the right thing and work in a loose partnership with other non-Tory parties? If that’s the case, Ed, the people will never, ever forgive you.” (cue wild applause from the audience for Nicola).

    The ball is wedged in the corner of Ed’s court and now progressive voters across the country will wonder why he’s sabotaging his opportunity to prise the Tories’ fists off the driving wheel. Is it:

    a) Ed’s fear that if he wins this election he has to sweep up the unholy mess, or
    b) His inability to just man up and work with progressive parties, or
    c) There is an arrangement that the Tories will take the hit for destroying the welfare system, the NHS and anything else that further removes the government’s duty of care, and they haven’t quite finished the job.

    I’ve included (c) because I’m wondering exactly why Labour handed the last election to the Tories on a plate, and if they’re going to do the same thing again. Nicola putting him on the spot so publicly has put the responsibility for that choice firmly on Ed’s shoulders, reminding him that the will of the people is paramount and that he cannot continue to use the SNP as a convenient whipping boy. If he chooses not to form a government to work with progressive, anti-Tory parties – if the vote shows that this is what people want – it will be the Labour party’s death sentence.

  13. A very poor melancholy piece. I think you should take a few happy pills.

  14. On Sturgeon, at more than one point I thought I was watching Angela Merkel in action.

    • Yes agree with Merkel comparison! Nicola presents herself as very calm and stateswoman-like but I just hope our Euro neighbours come forward and endorse Scotland’s right to self-determinism and show support.

  15. The holiday-on -nothing train rider Portillo insulted the F.M.of Scotland as an “oddball” post debate. He also dismissed the electorate of Scotland as being irrelevant as they make up only a small percentage of the total population of U.K..

    A sense of Union Democracy mouthed by an arrogant ignoramus

    My X on the ballot paper will be scored even larger for Nicola and S.N.P..

  16. Get over the guilty downers for thinking Scotland and Nicola might just actually make a difference.

    There’s enough unionists shitting their pants as it is.

    It’s happening big style and the more impressive is it’s happenning in England ,lol,you couldn’t make it up.

    What you haven’t considered or mentioned in this post is the reality that the sham charade- ‘The Westminster Party’- of Con/Lab/Lib are all part of the same group who’s only concern is self perpetuation.End of.

    British state histeria is already cranked up to Defcon FFS and they will naturally have to come together for the ‘national’ interest-England being the national in this scenario-also known as Britain,to keep all those Insurgent hoards from up north having any input asto how their glorious Empire is run.

    The fact that a baboon could run the country better rarely gets mentioned.

  17. Steve Asaneilean

    I share your sentiments and concerns Derek.

    I still believe that the Tories will rally in the last two weeks and if it’s enough to overcome the combination of Labour and SNP seats then, as others have said, it would be hard to pin the blame on the SNP but that won’t stop Labour doing it.

    The saddest thing for me is that this election is laying bare what I always knew in my heart of hearts – the mainstream Westminster parties are profoundly anti-democratic as is the vast majority of our MSM.

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