They Shall Not Pass, Brave Wallace Cried!

I’ve just realised after 24 hours of media consumption that Ruth Davidson and the Tories won the election. I got my sums all wrong. I thought 63 was more than 31 and that if you got fewer seats you actually lost the election. Nowadays it doesn’t work that way. If you’re really popular with the media and fit the newspaper proprietor’s agenda, you get to win regardless. Must try to keep up.

Not only that but judging from some shouty comments from Ruth Davidson, she’s now running the country and demanding a promise not to stage a referendum. That’s a referendum on independence, of course. There’s nothing wrong with having one on EU membership against most people’s wishes or having one on not taking in destitute orphans who are foreign or anything else the Tories might fancy. This little narrative – that there’s something undemocratic about consulting the voters on independence – is a running right wing theme. The anti Scottish neo con hothead Iain Martin takes up the argument, as has Alex Massie and now Davidson who says the case for it has been shredded. On what electoral basis she doesn’t say except that she got elected and she doesn’t want a referendum. It’s true it isn’t in the SNP manifesto explicitly – it is a qualified offer based on popular demand – but is the right wing now arguing that no government can do anything if it isn’t in the manifesto? Half the Westminster Tory policy programme would need to be ditched if that were true.

And so we see how this is going to work. Ruthie bellows out what she won’t stand for and the media turn it into a demand that the SNP must meet – because of course the Tories advanced and the SNP lost their majority. Ergo, the Tories won. In the Scotsman Bill Jamieson shudders at the thought of all the clouds on the SNP horizon – which turn out to be nothing more than any government faces anywhere on earth. But the landscape has changed, you see. Now they have a champion they can believe in because she’s not Labour. She’s right wing, pro old-fashioned business and small government so she’s the real winner. Forget the largest number of constituencies or highest number of votes ever.

In their glee our newspaper propagandists have missed something. In the same way they laughed all the way to near oblivion in the indyref, so they now are blind to what has happened. First, on assuming official opposition status, Davidson is now herself a target in a way nobody could bother to make her previously. Being opposition leader means more than shouting and pointing. It means devising an alternative programme for government and fully costing it. It means leading debate not piggybacking on Labour. It means being answerable for every howler and misstep of her own government in London – a whole swamp of sticky stuff in which to get enmeshed.

This in itself will begin to turn the rest of the parliament against her because there is no one who defends Cameron in the rest of the chamber. Given the hammering suffered by the Liberals and the evisceration of Labour, it would be suicidal for them to continue on their one-trick pony act of constant attack on an SNP which is now in a position of having to negotiate. There is no monolith, no one-party state to attack when you can get your way by negotiation. (What will Willie Rennie dae noo?) To constantly moan about the Nats now will be facile and will look to many like identifying by association with the Tories. There is no excuse for Liberals not to seek ways of advancing their argument through negotiation rather than using rhetorical ridicule to batter harmlessly at the walls of a majority government. And if Labour don’t come up with a constitutional case of their own to sell, and quick, they will be the butt of every joke at Holyrood. Seeking bolder change for Scotland along the lines promised before September 2014 rather than what was delivered by Smith should mean more alignment with the SNP instead of knee-jerk opposition. When the common opposition is the Tories, how can Labour side with them against a progressive SNP with no urgent requirement for a referendum on the one issue that could divide them? Labour are about to be skewered by an immediate dilemma while at their lowest ebb.

Getting interesting, isn’t it?

There is now a genuine gulf between governing party and opposition. It is Progressives against Conservatives. The space that was blocked by Labour with their new-found left wing credentials and historic claim to represent the working class, has been vacated.

It is as if (forgive me, I’m a Nationalist) Wallace had manoeuvred Cressingham into sending his cavalry across Stirling Bridge a few at a time…as if he chose the battle field and led his enemy on to it. If you asked a Nationalist strategist for his dream scenario to make the case of independence, he’d pray for a Tory opposition. This is the perfect ground.

It’s as if David Cameron and George Osborne had been elected MSPs. Their presence will hover over the Davidson benches and provide the seed corn for years of Tory baiting. And just how strong will her opposition be? Holding to account is fine pre-election talk but after…? As Labour and the Liberals have found, opposition for the sake of it comes across as vacuous and unprincipled. When the door is opened to budget talks, do you slam it in their face? And when you do start dealing with the hated Nats, what does that say about the reason – the sole reason – you were elected, block the SNP?

Tories will demand progress on the economy. That is a good thing. Our economy needs development and sustainable expansion. Our tax base has to grow. But whenever you go far enough down the economic road in Scotland you come against one main obstacle – not oil prices, but lack of powers. A Tory party genuinely interested in prosperity and forced daily to address big economic questions with credible answers, will come up against the brick wall of reserved powers because no one can grow their economy without access to the levers and buttons of corporation tax and the multitude of taxes and tax breaks a normal Chancellor takes for granted from competition policy to immigration to targeted investment. Credible opposition will force Tories into confronting the practical problems of business, taxation and investment without the tokenistic slogan talk of tax and spend. That can only lead in one direction – eyes looking south for more powers. And won’t Davidson be expected to deliver when it’s her government running the show in London? Indeed, might not the Tory government be inclined to accede to such requests when they come from a resurgent Scottish party that can claim credit for any success? She will be unable to dodge responsibility for real decision-making instead of sloganising and, to be credible, she must fully engage, not decline to participate as on local taxation reform.

Not only did the SNP win the election, they are now in a more promising position, able to pick and choose who to deal with on which issues.

Meanwhile their main opponent is a sitting duck.

The awkward issue of a referendum without the obvious support is now hedged by minority administration.

The pressure is also on Greens to deliver something because having run a campaign largely based on SNP second votes they need to demonstrate their contribution to the strength of the independence movement. At the same time their promise to be bolder must be met to satisfy those voters.

As an aside, I don’t blame anybody for standing in an election and winning votes. I wrote beforehand that you vote and hope and should be true to yourself. It is clear that in Davidson’s seat, the Green candidate swallowed the votes that would have elected Alison Dickie. But that’s the way it works. Every party should do what it can to maximise its vote and that does sometimes hurt others – in fact it’s bound to if you stand for election. One reason why I was reluctant to spread my vote to other parties was their refusal to stand candidates in constituencies because that takes talent and money. Just asking for second votes looked like the opportunistic option while letting the SNP do the heavy lifting. So I can’t complain when the Greens do just that.

I suspect too that this election was a true reflection of opinion. The background talk has been of an over powerful party – I don’t agree – and the switching of votes to back any Unionist against a Nat is a reflection of that. The point is that at election time, every party is an opponent. If this parliament works well, we may learn that majorities aren’t necessary at all and that the need to compromise draws together the politicians in common purpose – even the angry shouty ones whose sole slogan is ‘No!’







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51 thoughts on “They Shall Not Pass, Brave Wallace Cried!

  1. Interesting does not cover it. How now the EU Ref? Woe are they who side with Ruthie. The SNP have been handed a delicious meal and will eat it with relish.

  2. Good article, Derek, but you’re overlooking a number of points about the Tories:

    1) Their vote has hit the glass ceiling. So they swept up the Unionists? No big deal for the indy movement, they will never vote yes, but this is the high water mark for Davidson – it’s unlikely to get any better.

    2) Tory civil war after the EU referendum. Win or lose, the Tory grassroots, and a number of Tory MPs will never forgive Cameron for being seen to sell out Britain to Brussels. Expect to see this civil war damage the party, which neatly leads to point 3.

    3) A crumbling government on the ropes, austerity biting, and Ruth Davidson having to stand up and defend this…

    Good luck with that.

    Far from putting indy on the back burner, the next five years is a shoot-out between Nationalists and Unionists.

  3. Thanks you for that, I think that’s how the media will play it out, when Ruth Davidson, demands the SNP, do something or not to do something, the unionist press will back her to the hilt, thus amplifying her demands.

  4. Couldn’t agree more Derek.

    Ruthie is about to have a rude shock about the nature of politics and her guardian of the union schtick. The ‘right’ honourable has just made herself the go to girl of all things Westminster and instead of holding the FM to account may just find herself having to defend punitive, restrictive and harmful legislation levied by her heroes in London. No more Labour to act as the fall guy. No more Kezia acting as a shield for the union. Just Ruthie and her new found unionist voters, right out there for all to see. Still, she’s the girl who decided that standing on a constitutional only ticket was the right road to stardom. She may find that having absolutely zero policy input and a bag full of gripe won’t travel very far in today’s political environment.

    Be interesting to see how Labour reacts to the union’s latest betrayal. After everything they sacrificed in the name of their own HQ. Who they got into bed with, what they themselves did and the final betrayal of having their own hard line unionist vote stolen from them must have stung quite badly you’d think. Labour by a mix of their own actions and betrayal by their own erstwhile union partners have been made an irrelevance in Scottish politics. Where now for Labour in Scotland?

    On the SNP? Increased vote share and historic third term is pretty much all anyone needs to know. Ruthie couldn’t stop a referendum if one is required or requested and anyone who stands in the way of one if it proves necessary to safeguard the needs and priorities of the Scottish population may find themselves on the receiving end of shortest political career in history. I’d feel a welling of great pity for anyone foolish enough to cause harm to the population in the name of short-termist party politics and career advancement.

    Politicians come and go, but people don’t forget. Ask Labour how that goes.

    • I have to agree. She is now Westminster’s woman in Scotland. She was put there by folk who abandoned labour – not for tory politics – but to protect unionist interests in Scotland(not the other way around, which is key to understanding what she will do next). Davidson is, for what its worth, the sole inheritor of a middle class “I all right jack, so don’t tread on me” NO vote.

      She will now be scrutinised in a way she never has before. Since 2011, she has hid behind the coat tails of labour, as did Rennie. Their performances, when they did peek around Dugdales skirt, did not impress but the sheer face melting levels of stupid that was being thrown around by labour, pushed the two back into the shadows.

      What is also important here, is that it seems these voters who ditched labour, have also ditched the pragmatic unionism that Labour once promoted, in favor of a more “Thou shalt not” hectoring and abusive “new unionism” that demands respect for Scotland’s role as the ugly child of the UK. Pushed out of labours shadow stands Ruth, who played a political sectarian card and in doing so, cannot reach out to anyone but those who voted no. She is the mouthpiece of a UK party that worships at the alter of austerity. She will have to answer for it and defend it. When she attacks the SNP, she’ll have to say what she would do that is different. The battle lines have been re-drawn. It’s pro union neo-thatcherism vs pro-independence progressives . The old Tory vs Lab paradigm that shaped a lot of Scotland’s political history has become…well…history.

      So what will Davidson do?

      One half of me thinks that she will revert to comfortable neo-thatcherism tropes and slowly lose a lot of those No voters, who will see what a Conservative vision for Scotland in the Union will cost them and then drift back to a less harsher version of it under labour.

      The other half – looking at her past performances – thinks that she will pretty much repeat the failed formula that Scottish labour tried. Aided and abetted by an equally idiotic media, she too will choke on the UK kool-aid that did so much damage to Scottish labour. Poor old Scottish labour – they used to be big around here – now they’re nothing more than the stoneybridge toon cooncil.

      So what I suspect will happen in the long run, is that the tories and labour will descend further into absurdity, while trying to triangulate that floating NO vote campaigning to be the “opposition”.

      There is a certain satisfaction to be had as a yes voter, contemplating Scotland in the union but knowing that keeping it there cost the unionist parties their relevance as well as their credibility.

      • Ruthie simply isn’t the real deal. She’s no leader and isn’t particularly intelligent. She’s no Lang or Rifkind or Forsyth that’s for sure. She’s a photogenic tub thumper whose facade of congeniality and good humoured ‘up for a ruck’ character is basically bog paper thin. Tear that bog paper and you’re left with a shouty, nasty, rude wee bully who thinks loud and angry means leader material and ‘must be listened to’.

        She’s going to be disabused of that attitude in short order. That and a great many other things. She’s at the sharp end now David.

        • At the sharp end, without the sharpest of wits, means glaring exposure. I do think Nicola cut Kez slack at times, but there will be none such nonsense now. Cowgirl and jolly hockey sticks demeanour ain’t going to cut it.

          Great piece, Derek.

      • Free Scotland

        Enjoyed your comments, David.

  5. We will shortly see politics in Scotland moving into a straightforward pro-indy versus anti-indy position. Not before time.

  6. Great post, Derek, as ever. You are absolutely right. Interesting times. Interesting times indeed.

  7. I think the SNP have to take the kid gloves off with the Tories. I heard Ruthie in full condescending, patronising, holier-than-thou mode telling the SNP they would have to improve. This from someone who barely mentioned Conservatism during the election and has the whole gamut of vile Cameron/Osborne policies to defend. I also heard Cameron talk about compassionate Conservatism – well perhaps Ruthie could start by giving us an example of what that is, because I don’t think many of us could identify a single example.

    And keep saying “We won, you came a long way second.”

  8. Free Scotland

    The phrase I think best describes this article is: thoroughly inspirational.

  9. Aye okay Derek, good stuff, but just remember that other parties lent their votes to the SNP as well. Again.

  10. First, on assuming official opposition status, Davidson is now herself a target in a way nobody could bother to make her previously. Being opposition leader means more than shouting and pointing. It means devising an alternative programme for government and fully costing it. It means leading debate not piggybacking on Labour. It means being answerable for every howler and misstep of her own government in London – a whole swamp of sticky stuff in which to get enmeshed.

    Correct. Ruth Davidson, as the new opposition leader to the SNP in Scotland, is now going to have to defend everything the UK government does at Holyrood, in a way she has never had to do before, and this really is going to be an horrendous task to put it mildly. The numerous deaths directly related to welfare cuts, the voting scandal that is emerging from the general election, the tax haven issues, the legacy issues from her political heroes’ reign, such as the extent of the cover up over the Hillsborough Disaster, Orgreave is looming into view now, there are numerous other ones as well. Then there is EU referendum, no matter the result the Tory party in England is never going to be the same again, you simply cannot stoke this level of resentment and internal divisions within a single party, over a major constitutional referendum, and then expect everyone to shake hands and walk away from it with no hard feelings, when the result is announced!

    What has been largely overlooked during this election is the STV debate, where Nicola Sturgeon exposed Ruth Davidson on her policies. For all those Tory commentators crowing about the Scottish Tories coming second, remember this, the Tories’ own election leaflets went out of their way to hide the fact that they were associated with the UK government in anyway, and even the name of the Scottish Conservatives was hidden away. This is not the stuff of secure foundations for the revival of the Tories in Scotland, in fact it tells us that it is built on sinking sand.

    • If you look at actual votes per election , the Tory vote in Scotland has actually increased steadily since 2001 .indeed that was the nadir with only 360k votes ,

      2005 they had 369k votes .

      2010 412k , and 2015 434k

      The 500k + that voted for them this week benefits them as in Holyrood , they actually get MSPS based on share of the vote (22% of vote , 24% of MSP’s )

      due to FPTP , the 434k that voted Tory in 2015 only got one MP .

      It does help with Panda jokes , in another sense it has lulled many in Scotland into thinking they dont exist ! , do people not trust the evidence of their own eyes ?

      Everywhere you go in Scotland , there are small business , cafes , shops , tradesman , today’s Scots Tory , is far more likely to be a self employed courier driver , valiantly working through their pile of parcels , whilst keeping an eye on fuel prices , fielding complaints from online retailers , and trying to pay their mortgage .

      Its as true in Bathgate as it is in Basildon .

      • People vote SNP in Basildon?

        • People vote SNP in Basildon?

          They would do , if you stood some candidates , whats not to like ?

          The Tory vote in the GE was 11 million plus , they cant all be Hedge fund managers and wealthy landowners , thats one is 4 of the total electotare

          They are more like to be mortgage paying self employed , the wide country over .

      • Now take a look at Tory votes as a percentage – as so many were happy to point out, Ruth Davidson is less popular in Scotland than Thatcher was!

        • You Can use that metric re popularity

          this is also true

          More Scots voted for Margaret Thatcher as leader of the Tories , than ever voted for Alex Salmond as leader of the SNP

          Thatcher got 920k votes in 1979 , Salmond never got near 650k , in any GE , he was ever the leader of the SNP

          • Indeed she did; how did she get on from then onwards? Apart from a slight rally in ’92, it fell so far that in ’97 her vote share had dropped to 493k & her party was totally wiped out in Scotland!

            Coming back to last week, I imagine you’d think it churlish of me to point out that, of the 31 Tories elected, 24 of them (TWENTY FOUR!) were rejected in the Constituency vote.

            Sterling work chaps…

  11. Derek, Just brilliant! You, WGD and WOS have lifted my post election depression. Thanks!

  12. Scots_wa_hey

    A couple of things jumped off the Airwaves on Friday the there is now no mandate for indyref 2 repeated over and over by a gleeful media.
    Only one party stood on the constitution question the Conservatives therefore by their own argument with 22% of the vote 78% have rejected the union.
    And finally Jackie Bird stating as Fact that Scottish Education is failing to John Swinney
    Not according to the ONS it’s not “Scotland has best educated workforce in EU” for a journalist on Scotlands main news to state as Fact? Bad journalism or deliberate misinformation?
    And this is coming from Someone who thought instead of picketing at the BBC it would have been better folk knocking doors as Unionists were doing here
    So poor research or deliberate

    • I’m getting tired of this constant carping that people who went to the Pacific Quay demo that Sunday were somehow slackers who weren’t actually campaigning. I went with three guys from Plaid Cymru who were staying with me to help with the leafleting and canvassing. It was our official afternoon off. Calum Kerr said, no campaining that day, have a break. We chose to go to Glasgow.

      The cameraderie and companionship of the social indy events kept me going all that long summer. Please don’t insist that I should have been canvassing 16 hours a day with no recreation at all.

  13. An excellent analysis, Derek.

    If the Tank-Straddler had any sense, she would be waking up at three in the morning, drenched in sweat when she considers what is ahead of her.

    She will have to defend Cameron and his revolting policies against the forensic mind of the FM, day in, day out.

    The Tory boys in London will write her script but will toss her aside as a useful idiot when she becomes a liability. Next up…oh, eh, no-one.

    For me, the main interest is, which way will the British Labour in S______d fall? Are any of them smart enough to see this an opportunity? Cling on to the independence coat tails of SNP and begin to regain some ground with the Socialist Holy Grailers?

    Naw, me neither.

    I bet NS sleeps well.

  14. Apologies to go OT, but signed this as i am sick and tired of BBC shit and corruption, thought some of you guys may want to add your names


    I just signed the petition, “BBC: We demand Producer of Daily politics along with Andrew Neil/Laura Kuenssberg be sacked.”

    I think this is important. Will you sign it too?

    Here’s the link:


  15. Steve Asaneilean

    This is one of the best election dissections I have read so far Derek and you are spot on – this is the almost perfect outcome for SNP.

    Nothing better to add to the excellent and accurate comments above so will leave it at that.

    But please, please keep your blog going.

  16. Great article Derek and some interesting comments. My thoughts turn towards the Scottish media protection of Ruth Davidson. Massie and Martin and the Scotsman are all minnows in the media pool with little reach. The BBC is the big organisation that i think the SNP should seriously consider a policy of limited co-operation with, but that’s another story.

    But what about the other big newspapers ? What the hell are the Herald and the Daily Record going to write about. Are they going to just continue attacking the SNP, which in effect means protecting the Tories ? Could that affect sales ?. What is Trorcuil Crichton going to write about. Is Daisley at STV going to become a Tory ? (or at least come out the closet)

    What about The Sun ?

    Derek, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the how the press are going to handle Davidson’s new found power as the main opposition.

    Surely the obscurity that labour finds itself in now must loose them column inches, and being seen to be pro-Tory press in Scotland is not a sustainable business model.

    Are the media going to find themselves in a compromised situation ?

  17. Richard montgomery

    Brilliant analysis as usual.

  18. Thank you, really useful article!

    As I said on Wings, Ruth’s feet are going to be fair blistered with all that being held to the fire = )

  19. Forgive me if I am incorrect, but my reading of the Scotland Act asserts that the people are sovereign in Scotland, and as such, any constitutional question must be the will of the majority of the people, yes?

    Given if that is the case, then Nicola Sturgeon cannot rule a second referendum out, or in, for that is simply not her decision to take. Ruth Davidson could not have ruled it out if elected, nor Kezia Dugdale, nor anyone. That power, being a sovereign issue, goes beyond the First Minister and the Scottish Parliament.

    Great article Derek, and you raise some brilliant points in it. Having read it, I now actually look forward to watching Ruth Davidson squirm when the SNP demand “Show me the money.”

  20. Totally brilliant Derek. Your analogy of Wallace luring Cressingham onto the narrow Stirling Bridge where he was an immobile sitting duck and could be… well, flayed, is totally brilliant analysis. Davidson has been lured on to ground of the SNP’s choosing – the constitutional question – where she is unfamiliar and can be attacked endlessly. Even Dugdale wasn’t that stupid. All roads lead back to Rome. Finally it is out in the open. When Davidson attacks Sturgeon on any point of policy Sturgeon can point back to who really holds the purse strings and is the ultimate puppet master in the UK theatre – Osborne. She will be able to make the independence case with utter clarity. An opportunity never had before. And all will see the irrefutable logic of independence.

  21. It is really very satisfying to have this thoughtful analysis of the political chessboard as it stands right now. It’s hard to know if the fawning Unionist press have created an alternative reality for the Tories in Scotland or if Kim Jong-Ruth forgot that she’d have to produce a workable vision for people in Scotland, such was her focus on creating her own image as a supreme warrior.

    I was in the count hall in the early hours of Friday when she stormed in followed by a train of ululating followers, (buffalo probably tethered outside) and a lot of clicking cameras. Her speech was by far the most ungracious of the night. Grimaces of distaste all round, where others had gained appreciation for their generosity to opponents. She is not a politician who is going to pull in followers from the wider population, in spite of the best efforts from the usual suspects in the media.

  22. No matter how Davidson performs in the chamber, what will be very interesting to see is the strength in depth the Tories have, being mainly composed of nonentity list candidates. Some of these may surprise us as they take on their shadow roles, but I suspect that we will be entertained by a shoal of fish out of water.

  23. in terms of second votes Derek in 6 out of 7 regions all those hundreds of thousands of SNP list votes elected: NOBODY. IF you voted SNP on the list in Glasgow it was wasted, utterly wasted. Think of the Greens or RISE people that could have been elected oh so cheaply and instead of unionists. That is what really hurts. All those jibes from SNP acolytes that Green votes would just somehow elect unionists all those BothVotesSNP did was ensure Ruthie’s triumph and failed to put the boot into Kezia and Willie.

    I hope all you SNP both voters (except in the Borders) are feeling proud of yourselves. We sneaked a Yes majority in the parliament in the teeth of opprobrium, ridicule and deliberate mathematical ignorance.

    • The wasted SNP x 2 vote is just another lie.
      James Kelly: How the SNP missed out on widely touted majority
      MAY 7TH, 2016 – 12:07 AM JAMES KELLY
      “Put simply, the reason the SNP lost their majority is that their list vote was a little down on 2011 – and if you fall significantly short of securing a majority on constituency seats alone, it’s the list percentages that will broadly decide the result. The overall composition of parliament is intended to be proportional to how people vote on the list, not on the constituency ballot. There was a lazy tendency among the presenters of the TV results programmes to say “Oh well, of course the SNP haven’t won any list seats in Region X, because they won too many constituency seats”. This reinforced one of the most frustrating myths about the Additional Member System – namely that list votes are guaranteed to be “wasted” if you’re voting for a party that sweeps the constituencies in the region. But any viewers with a memory of at least five years would have known that what they were being told didn’t quite add up – because the SNP were losing list seats in some regions where they either failed to make any constituency gains, or actually suffered constituency losses. The reality is that the party could have won at least one list seat in every region if the list votes had been there in sufficient numbers – but they simply weren’t.”

  24. Alasdair Macdonald.

    A couple of observations:
    1. The electoral system came up with as proportional a distribution of seats as we have had in any of the Parliaments. For many who consider themselves to be ‘progressive’ and ‘democratic’, that is surely a good thing and should lead to a more nuanced debate and deals will have to be done to move things on.
    2. The mainstream media and the broadcasters will continue to pour out the anti independence bile and will propagandise on behalf of Ms Davidson and her party. Today, for example, on BBC Radio Scotland, there was no Green spokesperson to comment on the possibilities. The LibDems were, of course represented. In the Observer, the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh elections were classified as ‘regional’.
    3. Mr Bateman is right that having Ms Davidson as the Leader of the Opposition makes the Tory/Westminster/austerity versus SNPGreen/Holyrood/anti austerity divide clearer; Union or independence or federalism or further devolution. Ms Davidson will be under the spotlight as much as the FM.
    4. Can Scottish Labour really change? Look at the MSPs who have been elected. There are very few new faces. They have spent nine years being knee jerk oppositionists, proposing almost nothing permanent (look at the manifestos; the recent one a week before the election when many electors had voted by post). Already there are mutterings about replacing Ms Dugdale. Already the failure is being put down to ‘adopting the “ultraleftist” polices of Jeremy Corbyn’ despite the fact that the doomsayers’ predictions of massive losses in English councils did not materialise in any parts of England; despite the fact that Labour won the mayoralty and assembly elections in London; despite the fact that Labour broadly hung on in Wales, although the gains of UKIP are worrying (for the Tories, particularly) and despite the fact that two explicitly left wing and anti austerity candidates were elected in Belfast. The problem is Scottish Labour’s of its own making. The kinds of policies being found increasingly attractive to voters, could be classified as ‘traditional Labour’, but SLab has allowed SNP, Greens and even LibDems, Tories and UKIP to scoop up aspects of them. Those still running SLab are still those who have an unshakeable sense of entitlement that they should be in government and the voters are deluded – the basturts! Henry McLeish has made pleas and proposals for change, but we saw how brutally he was despatched as FM by his ‘comrades’ when he tried to do things differently. Ditto Wendy Alexander, and even, Johan Lamont!

  25. IndyRef2 campaign starts now. The tories have made it abundantly clear.

    • Good luck with that Dan , I am sure a 20 year campaign will do the trick , the Yoons will all be gone by then .


      Judging by the turnout @ 56% it seems interest in politics is on the wane , compared to 71% GE TO , and 85% referendum TO .

      But Holyrood 2016 , is actually up on the 50% turnouts that they normally get , in 2011 , 2007 and 2003 .

      Council elections next year , might breach the 40% TO barrier , might be an idea to put indy in the manifesto and declare UDI !

      that’s not the way to go .

      The Yes campaign was dominated by the far left , and the Yoons , were scared that there hard earned gains , were going to taxed off them to pay for the feckless and workshy .

      One thing that might erode the Yoon uncompromising stance, is the introduction of workfare .

      if they see the permanent unemployed , picking up litter by the side of the road , they may start to favor the SNP more , its a double edged sword though , and would go down like a lead balloon in Dundee .

      • I think we can safely rely on the tories, by their words and minimal deeds, to bring forward IndyRef2. Antagonizing people is their forte.

      • Have you considered the fact that Westminster still controls the major taxation, welfare, energy etc powers over Holyrood for the different turnouts this year and last year? How can you possibly compare the turnout in the most important vote in Scottish political history for over 300 years (18th September 2014) with a Holyrood Scottish election?

        One thing that might erode the Yoon uncompromising stance, is the introduction of workfare .

        What else exactly do you want to ape that is horrendous about Westminster rule over Scotland? Do you want there to be even more foodbanks than there are now, more people dying from cuts to welfare?

        With respect the Yes campaign was not dominated by the far left. What a ludicrous thing to say. I must have missed the far left figures who replaced Salmond and Sturgeon for the major TV debates.

        • @Muttley

          Out of respect to you , I do read your posts and admire your conciliatory stance , my remarks on welfare , were given the circumstance intemperate , and we can debate them on Bella or Wings sometime ?

          re turnouts

          1,45 million SNP voters turned up in 2015

          1.05 million turned up last week

          if they had turned up like the did before , you would have had a majority

          I noticed form my SNP friends a general lack of interest , you cant be at fever pitch forever .

          generally speaking GE attract 60 odd % , Holyrood 50% , and council elections 40% .

          the GE of 2015 , was 71% TO the highest in Scotland since 1992

          I put the high TO in 2015 to the almost universal awareness of the referendum , it galvanised people to vote (on both sides )

          that energy is ebbing away now .

          political activity goes in waves , I bet the TO in 2020 GE is back to the 60% level .

      • Neil Anderson

        Are you suggesting that people (yes, people. That’s human beings.) are to blame for not having a job? Not employers, or our wonderful administration in London? Perhaps you’d like to look at this article (admittedly, from the Guardian but I’m sure the research can be easily found elsewhere) which maintains that there are around 400,000 job vacancies in the UK. And 2,680, 000 unemployed people. Unemployment is NEVER the fault of those looking for a job. Just out of interest, what job do you do?

        • Neil Anderson

          And here’s the link, which I failed to provide due to my anger at your stupidity:

          • Your are as well showing that link to the half million or so migrants that come to the UK and work , they seem to manage to find work fine enough .

            My point re workfare , Is I think that people who receive benefits should work the money off , by doing civic work , like clearing wasteland , sorting out litter etc

            depending on how much their total benefits come to , if you get housing benefit and the dole , you are getting £150- £200 a week as it is , so work it off

            I did not mention anything about people “dying ” , nor did I infer as such .

        • People “dont have jobs ” the wide world over , including Eire , Norway and Iceland , I would guess North Korea has no unemployment .

          though no doubt you consider it some kind of “Yoon conspiracy , aided by the MSM and MI 5 “

  26. Totally agree Derek

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