Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dan Hodges : The gift that keeps on giving

A couple of quotes from Dan Hodges' keenly-awaited New Year address to the nation, which this year is on the thrillingly novel topic of "why Ed Miliband won't be Prime Minister".  (Good to see him expanding his range.)

"The idea of a “Nat Pact” has become the talk of Westminster. The odds on Sturgeon entering the cabinet have been slashed to 6-1."

"Those speculating about a Labour/SNP deal do not understand the basic psychology of how politics operates north of the border."

So a man who thinks that a Labour/SNP deal would somehow involve Nicola Sturgeon becoming a UK Cabinet minister, even though she is not standing as a candidate for Westminster, is lecturing others about their failure to understand Scottish politics.  Righty-ho.

I dare say it all makes sense in Hodges' head, and probably has something to do with Princess Diana.


  1. Lol, nice one James, I love it when these ill-informed so called journalists, who spout out their Garbage from the useless or even pointless MSM, are called out and exposed for the hypocrites that they are.

    And a Happy New Year to you James and a heart felt thank you for all the work you put into this site. :-)

  2. Well put, James. A happy new year to you and many thanks for all your hard work.

    Putting aside Hodges' metropolitan bawbaggery it occurs to me that the SNP are already manipulating another win-win scenario with regard to the political scene IN SCOTLAND before our very eyes.

    Given that it is widely accepted that independence will happen when there is an undeniable majority in favour of it in the scottish electorate then the Westminster elections are only part of a longer game. Ruling out a coalition with the tories has concentrated the minds of the SLAB leadership and their chimps in the media on the possibility of pork-barrel politics between the SNP and LAB - see the discussions a couple of threads ago.

    I expect that, irrespective of how many MPs we get, the SNP will make no deals at all with either Labour or Conservative parties. Any enfeebled tory administration could be effectively be challenged while the tories with a strong majority based exclusively on votes in England would be further evidence of the gap in the two countries' political compatability.

    On the other hand a Labour administration would be forced to take ownership of the horrifying effects in Scotland of their "one nation pooling and sharing." agenda. SLAB mouthpieces like Kelly, Dugdale and Baillie could no longer berate the Holyrood SNP government for the inadequacies of their own party's policies coming from London. Every welfare cut, every energy price rise, every funding row's ultimate cause will be dumped at the feet of Slab and their masters in London.

    Twelve months of that before the election to Holyrood in 2016 should do nicely.

    1. ... with a 6 months stocktake to decide whether to put Indy Ref 2 into their manifesto at the November conference.

      Mind you, I think the SNP will help to keep a Labour Government up and running, in return for a lot, a lot of beneficial legislation for Scotland, such as the devolution of powers right up to Devo-Max.

      I don't hold with Trident being the main focus, but perhaps it's a bit of a diversionary tactic, though a part of the deal.

    2. Amen to your final point. The priority in any deal has to be no more WM veto on whether and when iref2 is held. Forgetting about Trident for now might be necessary, also full Devomax, which it's hard to see us ever being granted anyway.

      Condidence and supply in exchange for Holyrood calling iref2 unopposed and new powers somewhere between Smith and Devomax: that would do nicely.

  3. I always thought that tests of voter competence were totally evil, but when I see things like this, I begin to wonder.

  4. On second thoughts maybe there should be competence tests for political commentators?

  5. Hold on there one minute, Bald Eagle... While I have no doubt any 'deal' the SNP will do (if they are fortunate to be in that position) with Blue Labour will be on a confidence and supply position ARP Warden Hodges' premise is sound - there is no requirement for Ms Sturgeon to be an 'elected' member of the HoC. For proof witness how unelected Lords have been put in the Cabinet at various times.


  6. And how exactly would that advance the cause of more (permanent) powers for Scotland?

    Apart from the fact that HoL is part of Westminster.

  7. If the SNP do find themselves holding the balance of power, they should just take some time off on holiday directly after the election. If Ed or Dave call, assistants can just say NS etc will be in touch in a few weeks and a meeting can be arranged in Edinburgh.


    1. You make a telling point in an amusing way, SS.

      There are all sorts of ways for Sturgeon to play this, including a masterly strategy of waiting for the other guy to blink first. The opposition will portray whatever the SNP want as bluster and unreasonable demands, so let them go public on what they will accept before even answering the phone.

      As I wrote earlier, I think we are in the early part of a longer game. We do not need to do anywhere near as well as the ridiculous expectations of around 40 seats that are being raised by our enemies - anything in double figures is a great gain in my book.

      In addition to Trident, Ref2, EVEL there are all sorts of other goodies that could be unlocked in the meantime - land reform, environmental issues, infrastructure and broadcasting could be done in public.

      The ratchet still has a few turns to go yet.

  8. Also from the article: "Scottish Labour politicians hate the SNP far more than they hate the Conservative Party, ..." Absolutely correct, Labour in Scotland's hatred of the SNP comes above enything and everything. It fills their very existence.

    "... and the feeling is reciprocated." Not really. Labour are an obstacle to progress in Scotland, it's as simple as that. It's exceedingly unlikely they'll ever reform, so they need to be diminished and pass into the west.

    "Any political deal has to built on some sort of basic foundation of trust. No such foundation exists between the Scottish leadership of the Labour Party and the SNP leadership. Jim Murphy would hurl himself from the battlements of Edinburgh Castle before even countenancing such a deal"

    In UK terms Murphy is totally irrelevant, inlfuence level of 0.00000% and that's being generous. It's what Miliband would want that counts.

    Happy New Year all, and James, keep up the good work, it's always a pleasure reading your blogs even if at times (not often) I disagree.

  9. "Those speculating about a Labour/SNP deal do not understand the basic psychology of how politics inside Dan I hate Ed Miliband Hodges works ."

  10. Bloody hell, you'd think that a political journalist could at least get the basic constitutional differences between parliaments correct. Probably naive to think that.

    Though I suppose she could in theory be given a cabinet position, if she was given a seat in the House of Lords and took it. Though I think if that happened then I must have fallen through a portal into some bizarre parallel dimension.

    1. As far as I know, if she took a seat in the Lords, she'd have to resign from the SNP. So it would be a pretty far-out alternative universe.

      If the SNP did send as many as 40 MPs to Westminster, including Salmond, why in the name of all that's holy would anyone imagine Sturgeon would be invited into the cabinet even if there were some theoretical way for an MSP to be a member?

      I want to know where these odds came from. Please tell me there's no actual bookie offering odds on the actual impossible!

      Oh and happy New Year everybody.

  11. Happy New Year to James and his regulars. :-)

    As we all already know Hodges is not a serious political commentator. What he is though is a mouthpiece for the remaining Blairites so it's not exactly rocket science to see what prompted this latest hilarity.

    Blair sticks his oar in with another amusing rant where he somehow mistakes little Ed for Arthur Scargill. His master's voices including the Eggman phone around their pet journos to have a go themselves and feed them some standard Blairite spin. Thus the inept Hodges starts opining on SLAB/London branch office matters with the usual very funny results.

    Fact of the matter is there are plenty of Labour voters who have quite clearly had more than enough of little Ed's Red Toryism from London and they are somewhat unlikely to be swayed by the Eggman and Hodges kneejerk response, which is to screech that the SNP are the enemy. Yeah, that's a fucking new one, we've never heard that before from desperate Labour idiots fearing for their jobs and expenses in westminster.

    It should also be noted that a great many Labour voters are far from happy with Trident. (I encountered this personally during the first Indyref campaign and I was very far from alone) Bit of a problem for the ultra-Blairite Eggman so as usual the 'solution' is ignore the actual concerns of Labour voters around Trident and just shriek about how much he and many of his westminster chums hate the SNP. The irony of this is superb considering even Blair admitted this about Trident in his biography. "The expense is huge, and the utility in a post-cold war world is less in terms of deterrence, and non-existent in terms of military use." Bit difficult to paint Labour voters deeply unhappy with Trident as a bunch of communist hippies when even Blair knows how feeble the arguments in favour of it are.

    We will be fighting to gain the SNP seats at the expense of tory MPs, yellow tory MPs and the red tory MPs . We have no problem at all with the ever growing number of Labour voters sick to the back teeth of westminster politics as usual. A sickness exemplified by little Ed and westminster placemen like Murphy and so many other Labour MPs in scotland who treat their own voters with contempt and who have nothing to offer them but fearmongering and more of the same tory cuts and tory policies from a corrupt and out of touch westminster elite.

    We have a mountain to climb to overturn some of the massive Labour majorities but the staggering complacency and sense of entitlement on show from the westminster bubble media, and indeed London branch office placemen like the Eggman, hardly bodes well for them.

  12. As yesindyref2 says, Dan Hodges is correct when he says that SLAB politicians hate the SNP more than the Tories. This has been evident for ages. Murphy said for quite a while that he would not share a platform with Tory politicians, by the end of the referendum he was hugging Annabel Goldie. If SLAB think people are going to forget their love in, and self preservation pact, with the Tories in a hurry, then they are in for a shock. Austerity is affecting more and more people, and Labour and the Tories are basically as one in supporting this abhorrent attack on the poor and vulnerable.

  13. James have you a link to the article?

  14. The snp have just gone fav in a Glasgow seat for the first time.
    Glasgow North 8/11
    Labour evs


  15. Found the article. Apart from the howler about Sturgeon joining the cabinet, the article is pretty sharp. The SNP is using all this talk of a Labour/SNP deal to screw Labour, clever politics.

    1. It's a dreadful article. Hodges even cites the witterings of a Spectator "panel" as proof that Miliband can't become PM. That kind of thing is beyond parody.

  16. James, had to laugh at Herd member Charles saying this at PB tonight:
    I think @OGH is in danger of calling this election very wrong.

    It strikes me as he is searching for evidence to support his views rather than building his views on the evidence."

    ...cos I got banned (yet again) for an almost identical post a couple of weeks ago.

    Smithson truly detests Scots. Especially ones who have the temerity to question his judgment.

    1. "...cos I got banned (yet again) for an almost identical post a couple of weeks ago.

      Smithson truly detests Scots. Especially ones who have the temerity to question his judgment. "

      REEEEEAAALLY? *strokes chin* Please, do go on! :-D

      Sorry Stuart, couldn't resist. I remember his "stuff the jocks" jibe which was met with the usual herd approval. Seems the only thing that has changed in Stormfront Lite of late is that Smithson appears to be sponsored by the tory millionaire Ashcroft these days. Apart from that it's the usual combination of right wing lunacy and westminster bubble thinking unsurprisingly enough.

      Are there any more potty Smithson "Golden Rules" for the general election this time like there was for 2010? Like say, Angus Reid? LOL

    2. Yes, in spite of Smithson's protestations, it's pretty clear that being a pro-independence Scot is the common factor in these bannings. Amazingly there are still four pro-independence posters on PB that I know of, but it would be twice that number (or more) without the bannings.

  17. Snp go joint FAV in Linlithgow and Falkirk East:
    SNP 5/6
    LAB 5/6
    100 bar


  18. "If Ed or Dave call, assistants can just say NS etc will be in touch in a few weeks and a meeting can be arranged in Edinburgh."
    That leads to interesting places. Which ain't such a bad idea. Since Cameron is current PM, he gets first shout at trying to form a new government. Gordon Brown didn't think he could after 2010, so let the coalition in.
    The SNP have already declared no deal with the Tories, so if they hold the balance of power, the Tories cannot assume the support of the SNP to form a new government.
    Forcing the main parties to choose between a grand coalition that makes a nonsense of their supposed opposition to each other, or a new election where their declining relevance (3 elections and 10 years since Labour commanded the confidence of the House, 6 elections and 23 years for the Tories) has been made freshly obvious seems like a much better plan than entering a C&S deal with Labour.
    I think Trident is as good red-line issue. I don't think the SNP gain much from C&S with Labour unless they can extract policy concessions on Trident. If you can get policy concessions on Trident, you can get them on nearly anything else. If the SNP enters a C&S arrangement with Labour without policy concessions on Trident, I for one would be tremendously disappointed in them. If they refused negotiations with Labour, who in Scotland would be disappointed?

    1. Well those who are currently being assured that if they vote SNP they'll get a tamed Labour in the UK. I think it's worth keeping Labour in office even without c&s as it will blunt the charge that the SNP let in the Tories.
      To me it's more important to decouple Scotland from UK politics so that no UK govt has legitimacy in Scotland. That will strengthen Holyrood's hand and lead to a defacto independence with dejure only a matter of time away.
      It's clear that there's a psychological barrier to statehood so that's what needs to be chipped away at.

  19. Wee Jock Poo-Pong McPlopJanuary 1, 2015 at 11:25 PM

    Interesting, to say the least, to hear Prof Curtice on BBC Radio 4 tonight explaining to the UKIP-obsessed London panel that Labour in Scotland were "on present polling" likely to lose around 40 Westminster seats in May. When he says that, it MUST be serious...

    1. Our local SNP convener solemnly warned our nominee to stand against Mundell that if she was chosen as the candidate, on present polling she was likely to end up in London.

    2. I think Curtice actually responds to contrary points of view in comments on his blog, as long as they're presented logically, mathematically and statistically, by examining his preconceptions and realising they're no longer applicable. It's also possible that thought is making a fool of me!

    3. I never really got the Curtice hate to be honest. There seemed to be a wave of hysteria at one point where we had to put everyone into a "pro-independence" or "anti-independence" box, with Curtice seeming to get thrown into the anti-independence side just because he's a bit cautious in his write ups. I've met him several times and the idea that he's some SNP-hating propagandist is just nonsense as far as I'm concerned.

      A No voter perhaps, but he basically just talks the way all academics do - sitting on the fence, never taking a strong view, wanting to see 17 polls before they call something, etc.

  20. A good opening shot has been fired in the G Election Campaign, with Angus Robertson demanding that the full findings of the Chilcot inquiry, be published before the Election.
    His reason is that it could have a big impact on the outcome of the vote in Scotland, because the Labour Leader was such a big supporter of the Iraqi War.

    So the repeated demands that the report be released will help drive home the fact that Jim Murphy was a staunch Right Wing Blairite, and supported a war that was clearly launched for the benefit of wealthy American business interests, as well as a few (Henry Jackson types) in Westminster.

    Nice :-)