Monday, November 30, 2015

For as long as unionism has 50% support, the main opposition to the SNP is bound to be a unionist party

There's a new article at Bella Caledonia by Jonathon Shafi of RISE, which is - at least in part - yet another attempt to bang the drum for the bogus idea that "tactical voting on the list" is viable.

"The SNP’s electoral supremacy is so complete that all recent polls show a consistent pattern: the party can almost certainly win the Scottish election on the constituency seats alone."


That strikes me as a very slippery choice of words. Most people would concede on the basis of the current polling evidence that it is possible the SNP may win at least 65 out of the 73 constituency seats, which is what they would need to do to retain their outright majority in the unlikely event that their supporters are foolish enough to abandon them in large numbers on the list ballot. So yes, the SNP "can" do that, but what do the words "almost certainly" add? It's hard not to conclude that Jonathon is trying to convey the impression that the SNP "will" almost certainly win on constituency seats alone, but without making that claim directly. He's wise to avoid such an enormous hostage to fortune, because the most recent Ipsos-Mori and YouGov polls have the SNP on 50% and 51% of the constituency vote. That means if they slip only a few percentage points over the next five months (or indeed if the polls are overstating their support slightly), they will require a large number of list seats to win an overall majority - just as they did in 2011.

"Once we embrace this fact, the Scottish elections could suddenly become very interesting. For independence supporters, voting SNP twice becomes counter-productive to maximising independence MSPs."

When RISE issued their notorious "tactical voting" press release the other week, they prayed in aid a TNS poll that showed the SNP were on course to win "only" six list seats. Simple question : how is it counter-productive to prefer to hold onto those six pro-independence seats, rather than wasting list votes on a party that at the moment has almost literally zero support in the polls, and no credible prospect of taking any seats at all?

I was contacted by a reader a couple of hours ago, who asked this -

"How reasonable are [Jonathon Shafi's] claims?

I know you have written about this more than once, but the myths in this narrative refuse to die. Why?

Jonathon makes a broader appeal to support RISE as part of a new opposition to the SNP, one that replaces Labour and is independence-minded. This, for many independence-minded progressives, has great appeal and is, I suspect, one reason why the myths refuse to die.

Many of us would like to see Labour replaced by a progressive independence-favouring opposition that will hold the SNP to account.

To kill these myths, that if I understand you properly are more likely to undermine rather than enhance the chances of independence-minded parties being in a majority, it may be worthwhile exploring what the realistic possibility of a pro-independence opposition is and, critically, how it might realistically come about.

My guess is that Jonathon forgets there remains significant support for Unionist parties in Scotland and that, whilst we might applaud his ambition, his prescription is flawed."


The last sentence gets to the nub of it. Unionism has roughly 50% support in Scotland. For as long as that is the case, it's almost inevitable that the main opposition to the SNP will be a unionist party - and in spite of the current horror show, it's highly likely to be Labour. Jonathon Shafi is of course implying that it's possible to exploit a "bug" in the electoral system and get an overwhelmingly pro-independence parliament without actually doing the hard work of increasing support for independence. For reasons we've discussed many times on this blog, that's either a delusion or a con.

I'm trying to imagine what a viable pro-independence opposition to the SNP would look like, and I struggle to see it looking much like RISE or even the Greens. Where there is considerable scope for growth in support for independence is on the centre-right, so in theory there's a gap in the market for a popular pro-independence party with a very different outlook to the SNP - but I don't think that's the kind of alternative opposition that the "tactical voting" brigade are looking for.

There's also a very small chance that Labour might eventually attempt to triangulate themselves out of the pickle they're in by embracing independence, in which case we might end up with a pro-independence opposition automatically, as long as the die-hard "cultural" Labour voters keep the faith.  Highly unlikely, I admit, but still more likely than Colin Fox as Leader of the Opposition.

138 comments:

  1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 7:34 PM

    The pattern is clear. The Scot Nat sis can hold onto power as long as the Scottish majority wish to remain in the Union. So the Unionists who hold various opinions and vote for various parties are lumbered with the Nat sis who will eventually fall to nepotism and corruption. It has probably started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GWC,sometimes amuses other times,mostly,is just boring.Childish is probably more apt for him/her.

      Delete
    2. GWC forgets to munch on his Coco Pops due to munching on his Unionist cauld kail @Harry Lauder guff

      Delete
  2. "Labour might eventually embrace independence, in which case we might end up with a pro-independence opposition automatically,"

    My view is that to have a realistic chance of winning the next Referendum it is essential that a large number of current Labour supporters change from NO to YES. And looking at the shambles the Labour Party has become that may not be as far fetched as some think. Kezia has stated publicly that there is no problem for the brothers to support Independence which is a step along the road.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 7:44 PM

      Nonsense the Labour Party support the Union and know doing a U Turn will not get them into power. Why would a Unionist vote for an opportunist turncoat.

      Delete
    2. What's this about then?

      https://archive.is/AfRrj

      Glasgow Labour councillor announces support for Scottish independence

      A Glasgow Labour councillor has come out in support of Scottish independence, putting him at odds with his party’s pro-union position.

      Russell Robertson, who campaigned against separation in the run up to last year’s referendum, revealed his U-turn in an impassioned Facebook post.

      It is understood the councillor for East Centre has also privately discussed following his former Labour colleague Stephen Dornan into the SNP...

      ...Writing on Facebook, Councillor Robertson said: “I am fed up to the teeth with London lording over me – the Tories stink, the House of Lords stinks, the establishment stinks, the anti JC (Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader) agenda stinks, the blood lusting to bomb Syria stinks, the rule Britannia mentality stinks. “We are a nation and must govern ourselves – warts n all.”


      How many more are there waiting in the wings?

      Delete
    3. How long did it take them to wrestle the bottle of buckie from him?

      Delete
    4. One assumes the buckie bottle was taken from him and he saw the light after he became sober. Are you suggesting returning it to him, and making him a unionist again?

      Delete
    5. Perhaps Aldo is suggesting he commits suicide as Robertson does not have Aldo's strength of character

      Delete
    6. Good one anon - made me chuckle

      Delete
  3. "There's also a very small chance that Labour might eventually attempt to triangulate themselves out of the pickle they're in by embracing independence.."

    It may have started already - a Glasgow Labour councillor declares support for independence and apparently at least four others voted YES last year. Kezia is said to be very relaxed about Labour voters/members supporting independence. Are they testing the waters or are we being prepared for something?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Luigi -

    You are correct.

    The official SLAB response to the Labour councillor supporting YES was -

    “Kezia has previously said that people who support independence should feel that they can have a home in the Labour Party,” said the spokesman.

    It is also noted that at least 2 more Glasgow councillors are of the same mind.

    Drip by drip,Labour in Scotland is seeing Independence as their only chance of survival.revival.

    More and more of their voters will also realise this, as time goes on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will SLABBERS be allowed to campaign for a YES vote, should they so wish, when IndyRef 2 comes along?


      Mmm, I wonder!

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 9:15 PM

      Allowed! What a stupid childish comment. Labour is not run by Nat ISIL.

      Delete
    3. No. It's run by London. Labour members won't be allowed to campaign for independence, and it will be London Labour that will do the disallowing. In the same way that GWC isn't allowed to think for himself.

      Delete
    4. "Allowed! What a stupid childish comment. Labour is not run by Nat ISIL."

      GWC, the same person that almost always refers to Indy supporters as Nat sis, accusing someone of issuing a childish comment!

      Another touch of hypocrisy from the unionist camp.

      Delete
  5. In my opinion Jeremy should have used the whip but he did not. Now the people of Scotland will see Cameron taking us into another disaster scenario, supported by Labour. What do you think that will do for the Independence support in Scotland? Will it also accelerate the movement of labour MPs, Councillors, Activists and Voters to the Independence cause. I think it will and today will be a historical turning point in that cause. How appropriate on St. Andrew's Day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 9:11 PM

      Every day is a turning day for you Nat sis and then you lose. Turn your erse towards Jeremy's whip he will not be around long.

      Delete
    2. Every day you mock the millions of Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis. You are a sick individual.

      Delete
  6. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    St Andrews Day is based on a myth like all the various saints conjured up by man tae keep the idiots in line. And you Nat sis are conjuring up your dreams just now. The Union is solid.
    And David Francis you weak minded Nat sis along with the hard left and liberals are more of a threat to liberty and free speech than IS and all the other religious freaks cobbled the gither.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. North Morningside and the Grange Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 9:57 PM

      GWC = Tartan Tory.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 10:08 PM

      South Moarning Side Nat sis say, Nat si Tartan Tories are devastated and need immediate councilling otherwise mass suicide expected.

      Delete
    3. Have you got some kind of speech impediment?

      Delete
  7. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 9:04 PM

    Alt Hexenmeizter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 9:48 PM

      Anon, whichever fanny you are tonight. You lost the referendum becàuse you were exposed as typical jock fanny merchants. Confirmed by Alex Bell.

      Delete
    2. Hey you f*cking ladyboy moron. How hard is it for you to grasp you are not welcome here. Now bugger off and eat your cereal.

      James, pretty please find a way to ban this tw@t.

      Delete
    3. For the seventeen billionth time, it is not possible to ban people on this platform. I'd have to delete each comment individually.

      By the way, could I make a plea to everyone, trolls and non-trolls alike, to moderate their language? It's getting a bit out of hand.

      Delete
    4. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 10:37 PM

      Gap between rich and poor in GP services getting wider under Nat si ism.
      How many more Nat sis will be caught with ra finger in ra pie 2016.

      Delete
    5. I am not anon. I think you are being a fucking arsehole on here, the absolutely insulting, Nat si, is an insult too far. I am not a Nazi, which is the playground game you attempt to play.

      My father faught against the real Nazi's. You have no claim whatsoever on accusing him, or me, of being like them.

      This is trolling of the worst sort, to get a reaction and frankly, I admire Mr Kelly's committment to free speech has gone too far.

      I trust he will allow my free speech.

      Fuck off.

      Delete
    6. I won't delete that comment, Douglas, but please don't do it again. I just cannot let this frequency of extreme swearing on the threads go on - it's getting ridiculous.

      Delete
    7. Lengthy expletive riddled rants probably aren't the best idea when posting to / about someone you believe to be a troll. You may as well hand them a warm mug of your tears, lol

      Delete
    8. James,

      Fair enough.

      I shall clean up my act.

      But.

      You are allowing a bampot to hijack the entire below the line comments.

      I admire your commitment to freedom of speech, I was brought up on American web-sites. Where a lot of what we see as unreasonable is passed as well, reasonable. I learned to live with that.

      But even they would have seen this as ridiculous.

      Your desire to allow any comment whatsoever is ruining any debate or discussion whatsoever.

      The cleaned up version of my comment, at least in part, is that my father fought in the Second World War, he fought, directly against Nazi's, Whether he knew how bad they were or not, I do not know

      But he also, kind of, supported Scottish Independence, in a wishy washy sort of way.

      That was way back in 1959. I think I was eleven.

      I will not have him traduced by a frankly sad wee person.

      Your mileage varies. I think you should get rid of the troll but you don't.

      It is your web site. Do you want to hand it to Glasgow Working Class the expert on Trollybus Garages in Glasgow, or do you want to have a reasonable discussion?

      I love what you do here, but you are ignoring how atavistic GWC has become. It is not just me, a lot of regular commentators are saying the same.

      Anyway, he is more than a tad annoying.

      If you don't see that.well, hell mend you. You were told and you didn't believe.

      Delete
    9. I can't get rid of him. I can say that until I'm blue in the face, but people still won't take it in. Even if I deleted every single comment, some of them would remain up for hours before I notice them. If I introduce registration, he could register. I'm really not sure what people expect me to do. There is no banning facility on this platform.

      Delete
    10. Hi James, why not delete his posts? You don't need to do it every five minutes - just do it whenever you check up on the site. Why do you leave the messages there? What does it serve? This guy is spoiling your site. Please don't let him. Just delete all of his messages, then people won't respond. Please.

      Delete
    11. Another Blogger blog I read every day had to go to pre-moderated comments because of one single person. He was re-posting the posts the blog owner deleted as fast as they were deleted. There was really no alternative under the circumstanes.

      It has severely curtailed the discussion on that blog, because it is no longer possible to converse in real time. It would be a much bigger issue for Scot Goes Pop. I totally understand James's problem and wish he'd consider moving to another platform. Wings can and does ban people for less than GWC has been doing.

      Delete
  8. Squeaky bum time eh?

    If I wake up on May 6th to a unionist majority I will fall down laughing and have a joker-style grin plastered on my face for at least 6 months.

    But if the seps win again then it sets up not as instantly pleasing a scenario as the first but perhaps a more interesting one. As the SNP stumble from one crisis to the next (it's the third term!), fall into the tory traps and fail to deliver a second independence rreferendum, we can watch them fail and be rejected - rather than simply falling victim to an electoral fluke.

    And I think that would be more fun - and more in unionism's long term interests.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Tory traps"

      LOL

      Delete
    2. People on here whinge about them all the time anon. "It's a tory trap!" is a common declaration on here whenever the Scotland Bill is discussed.

      Well, if there are such traps, I hope they work!

      The real trap is this - half your support want higher taxes and higher spending and the other half will bugger off if it's even suggested.

      Delete
    3. Aldo,

      Sorry,

      You will not wake up to a Unionist majority. Now remove the paper handerchief from around your dick.

      We know you are setting tory traps

      We don't spend all our time masturbating.

      Delete
    4. No. You've not been able to get it up since the referendum.

      Delete
    5. Hmm...

      50% for Independence

      SNP win 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland?

      Pretty impressive, dontcha think?

      Delete
    6. No. You still haven't got independence.

      Delete
    7. No,but we're working on it.

      Delete
    8. I can see that. The Yes2 camp outside Holyrood really has us shaking in our boots...

      Delete
    9. "As the SNP stumble from one crisis to the next (it's the third term!), fall into the tory traps and fail to deliver a second independence referendum, we can watch them fail and be rejected"

      So Also, you admit that by voting to remain part of the union, you are perfectly happy that the Tories have set some traps that will have a massive detrimental impact on people's lives in Scotland?

      That's very nice of you.

      Delete
  9. Who is this Glasgow Working Class helmet? James, do us all a favour and flush this troll down the toilet. He's probably enjoying Cameron's war speeches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Say what you like, he is a statesman!

      Delete
    2. Cameron statesman. a self-serving ,narcisstic cretin.

      Delete
    3. You really should look closer to home. A certain A Salmond missed a debate the other night because he was unveiling a picture of himself and telling people he's a sex God.

      Delete
    4. That is patently untrue and you know it, Aldo.

      Delete
  10. SNP/SNP in May. BTW Good article in Newsnet.scot today by G A Ponsonby

    ReplyDelete
  11. Westminster unionists seem intent on spilling more blood in the Middle East.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blood of terrorists and their enablers. Spill as much of that as you like.

      Delete
    2. What does "their enablers" mean? The civilian population? Because we all know that British bombs will kill innocent civilians.

      Delete
    3. The civilian population in Nazi Germany supported and enabled the Nazi government. Willingly or unwillingly - they were part of the problem.

      This is why Arab and Muslim governments must do more to oppose groups like ISIS. If they hadn't got off the ground in the first place, we wouldn't now have to bomb them out of existence - along with anyone else who happens to be there.

      Delete
    4. So I presume we can look forward to you celebrating when British bombs kill civilians - just as you took pleasure in the civilian massacres in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      Delete
    5. Deserved retribution is always welcome. They shouldn't attack us.

      Delete
    6. I hope three-year-old children are suitably contrite when they lie dying in the streets.

      Delete
    7. Regrettable, James - but so are the deaths of French, British and American children. Our children. I would blow up the middle east 5 times to prevent another Paris or 7/7 or 9/11. These are our people. We fight for them and alongside them - always.

      Delete
  12. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 10:53 PM

    Alec Salmund appeaser of Islamic Fascist maniacs who are trying tae out dae Adolf in atrocities. Piece off keech he is. People being butchered and raped. He sat on his arse while people were being slaughtered in the Balkans. He is the worst kind of detestable humans who make political capital while innocents are being murdered. A wee Joke scumbag in my estimation. I wonder how he would have helped the Jews during the War if he had been around. Sent them shovels maybe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He does seem to be anti military action. Period. Is he a pacifist or just an opportunist, siding against the "British establishment", even when it does good things?

      Whichever it is - he is unfit for elected office.

      Delete
    2. Anyone who disagrees with your views is unfit for elected office? I don't think you've quite grasped this "election" concept.

      Delete
    3. I think pacifists are certainly unfit for elected office. And if you're going to oppose necessary and just military action just to put someone's nose out of joint, then that also means you are unfit.

      In my opinion.

      Delete
    4. "I think pacifists are certainly unfit for elected office."

      This seems to be the Iranian version of "democracy" - you can vote for any candidate you like, just so long as we've pre-approved them.

      Delete
    5. I'm not a democrat James. My ideał system would be a form of technocracy where people are cleared to vote and cleared to run for office. China works that system. They're doing well.

      Delete
    6. Hmmm. John McDonnell was clearly on to something when he quoted the Little Red Book at the Tory benches.

      Delete
    7. You need qualifications to be a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, an engineer. You even need a qualification to drive a lorry. I see no reason why the same principles shouldn't be applied to voting and running for parliament.

      Delete
    8. Yes, great. So, you get to decide what the qualifications would be, Aldo, and never mind what anyone else thinks makes a good politician? Nah, not interested in that lark, thanks

      Delete
  13. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    Just got my heatin allowance today. And those tax credits doon tae Gordon Broon. What have the Nat sis ever done fur uz besides moanin and hard dun tae stories backed up by sad songs about Cherlie ma wee darlin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is "Cherlie" Bonnie Prince Cherlie?

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 11:49 PM

      Aldo he wisnae Bonnie or Scottish and the idiot got a lot off Scots killed for his ego. But that was the Clan System. However we have the Nat sis now. Make ye vomit they wid. Tak ye bak tae Feudalism they wid. Real nutters.

      Delete
    3. Child. Eat your cereal.

      Delete
  14. Glasgow Working Class,

    You are such a wee child, someone will want to cuddle you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He creeps me out. I think he has bodies under his floorboards and he's probably banned from going near play parks and primary schools.

      Delete
  15. I see that there is already talk of the American Intel Authorities "sexing up" the inetelligence on ISIL.

    Ring any bells over here?

    This looks like potentially being THE biggest disaster/debacle of the Pig Shagger and his pals - even bigger that the present sexual/blackmail scandal presently engulfing the Tories.

    Cameron's alleged 70,000 "friendly" troops on the ground in Syria, turn out to be around 100 separate factions, all having their own territorial/ideological wars already and totally incapable of taking orders from anyone, let alone a "Western Alliance".

    The whole thing will be an utter failure, will not destroy ISIL capabilities and will inevitably result in more chance of a direct terrorist attack on British soil.

    If Labour rebels allow Cameron to claim a substantial majority for bombing Raqqa, the Labour Party as a whole, will suffer the same blame as the Tories, when the shit hits the fan and the "plan" falls to bits - and this will have a direct effect on Scottish Labour voters up here, who will be sickened with Westminster Unionists lust for yet another conflagration.

    The SNP look very, very likely to come out of all this, with yet more support from disenchanted Labour voters and the attraction of Independence, to get ourselves completely away from those strategic imbeciles in London, who have a truly atrocious record of puting their big feet in the wrong place at the wrong time all over the ME, will only grow even more.

    The losers in all this, are those poor tens of thousands of innocents in Raqqa itself, who will suffer yet more "collateral damage" from Western missiles and bombs, on top of the barbarity they already have had to endure from the ISIL nutters.

    ISIL, of course, will simply go into their maze of underground tunnels, take off their uniforms and blend into the local populace.

    Real intelligence on the ground is virtually non-existent and the "smart bombs" will not be able to find them.

    Apart from giving Cameron and the dross that will support him, a collective hard-on, the whole thing will achieve nothing whatsoever.

    Sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely,

      And James Kelly will tell me I am on a final warning, because that is the major issue in the world. The sensibility of GWC.

      Not that we are being incredibly stupid on a World Stage, oh, no.

      Delete
    2. Final warning? Where's that coming from? All I'm saying is that if people keep up the extreme swearing, I'm going to have to start deleting some of it. It's got nothing to do with GWC's sensibilities - the issue is extreme swearing.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 11:55 PM

      I used tae represent people who had final warnings.Working people, trade unionists. Something Nat sis do not understand.

      Delete
    4. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 1, 2015 at 12:08 AM

      David, you are absolutely right Cameron knows there are not 70,000 Syrian freedom fighters and there never was. The Arab Spring was also nonsense as has been proved in Egypt, Libya and Syria etc. You being an old bugger like me know it is about economic interests and trade. However this fascist IS needs tae be gone ASP.

      Delete
  16. There is in fact a way to exclude trolls on this platform.
    Its called "Comment Moderation"
    This facility allows you James Kelly to have complete control of what gets posted on this blog.

    Here's how: https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/42537

    Denying trolls this site as a platform for their insulting drivel is in no way a restriction on freedom of expression.
    Trolls remain at liberty to start their own blog where they can air their views.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scot Goes Pop - but only certain types of Scot, whom we agree with.

      Delete
    2. I was talking about realistic options, not blanket pre-moderation for every single comment that anyone posts. This isn't the Adam Tomkins blog.

      Delete
    3. Do you know what, Anon? I'm just going to delete that response of yours, because it's bang out of order. Pre-moderation is not appropriate because it would kill even the remotest possibility of debate.

      As for "can't be arsed", I would have thought it ought to have been blindingly obvious to you that if I don't want to delete every one of GWC's comments individually (and I've already said that I don't), I'm hardly likely to be receptive to the idea of PRE-MODERATING EVERY SINGLE COMMENT THAT ANYONE EVER POSTS.

      If that seriously hasn't occurred to you, I hope it's clearer now.

      Delete
    4. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 1, 2015 at 12:17 AM

      Well said Anon we will hiv tae read your drivel. It is consistent drivel with no sensible content however if you are happy with your drivel then so am I for you.

      Delete
    5. Pre-moderation would not kill debate, it would just slow it down a bit.

      Delete
    6. A bit? A BIT? It would take DAYS to have a conversation that currently takes minutes.

      Delete
    7. But would instantly end trolling.
      Maybe its time to migrate to a new platform with a more comprehensive feature set?

      Delete
    8. No. This is a free platform and I'm sticking to it.

      Delete
    9. There is perhaps an argument to have a limited period of pre-moderation (but don't announce the time limit in advance) so that the trolling cools off a bit. Can understand if you feel that that is too much work though. Unfortunately as things stand, decent debate in the comments section on this site is nearly a thing of the past

      Delete
    10. I already offered you a free place on my server. Free, gratis, for nothing. You would only need to pay for a domain every year - could be under a tenner unless you pick an expensive tld like .SCOT.

      Delete
    11. I'm struggling to maintain my indifference to your stance on this James. Almost every commentator here is telling you that the current state of the comments is putting people off, and you are so determined to maintain the status quo that I can see people being put off by your stance on the trolling, more than by the trolling itself.

      You seem so determined that everyone who visits this blog should wade through all the shite posted by GWC and other borderline trolls because of your own preconceived notion that somehow it would be detrimental to the fluidity of the debate - a notion that I don't see many people sharing.

      Why not TRY it for a few weeks (take up the offer in this thread, even), and compare the quality and quantity of the debate then and now, as well as the general happiness of your readership, before coming to such a conclusion?

      You are generally very thorough in your analysis and for that reason I continue to read your blog every day or two, however I cannot fathom why you are so, frankly, pig-headed about the one negative factor.

      Other blogs do moderation and make it work, I'm sure you can too.

      Delete
  17. James Kelly Esq,

    You sir, are in a muddle.

    You think,and all credit to you for thinking this, that you are being a liberatrian, or an American fredom of speech perfectionist.

    I used to be a huge fan of Space.com's hidden comments thread.

    It was a favourite place for brain dead morons giving it jip for 'nuclear parking lots' and alternatively telling them they were arseholes. (Sorry, sweary word, I apologise.)

    I loved that site.

    I loved the fact they had rules.

    You don't.

    I suggest you too start having rules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have rules. I've already told you about one of them on this thread, and your response was to start complaining about "final warnings" I hadn't issued.

      Delete
  18. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 1, 2015 at 12:45 AM

    Douglas Clark, you are in a puddle right up tae yer muddle an ye cannae get oot. But you can think your way oot if ye try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smell yer maw. Her rat is howling.

      Delete
  19. You don't have rules, you have GWC posting and jiggering up (is that Ok, not swearing) your entire btl comments.

    It is an embarrassment to see you allowing that.

    So, no, you don't have rules James. You just get angry at me for swearing at your complete inabilty to manage your own web site! That's your problem, but it becomes any readers after a while.

    Bloody hell, I like your web site. I think it is very very good.

    You should respect what you do here a lot more. I am respecting it, you aren't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Douglas, what you're complaining about is that you don't approve of the rules I do have, but would approve of rules I don't have.

      Sorry, but it's my blog.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 1, 2015 at 1:32 AM

      Mr D. Clark. So what has the Union done for us besides gettin rid of Clan Mafia and Feudalism. Building Bridges and laying roads. Opening up Scotland to the world. Building the greatest Empire ever known with Scotland being the greatest participant. So you will now unplug your computer in shame! So dae it now. China is now on the scene.

      Delete
    3. The nurse unplugs the computer for you and straps you back into bed. People have never looked at you the same after that incident with the dog and the baby oil. This is your only social release.

      Delete
  20. Sure, it's your blog.

    Your rules are, well, weird.

    Oh! goodness me.Ii have tried to tell you how you, personally, are being attacked.

    You ignore that in favour of what exactly?

    You cannot be unaware that GWC is taking the piss?

    Please do not, please do not attempt a reconciiation. The man is doing his best to take you down.

    You ,it seems are more activated by the rules you don't have than the rules I may say the other rules that you should' thave.

    One rule I do have, you are daft for allowing GWC to call you or me a Nat si,or whatever. Doing that, allowing that, is pretty poor in my book,James

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, you've lost me. What is "weird" about having a rule against a high frequency of extreme swearing?

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 1, 2015 at 1:45 AM

      Mr D Clark. The host I am sure has a sense of humour and has a grasp of politics. And knows the difference between takin the piss.

      .

      Delete
    3. Yer da sells his ring doon behind the Barras. The things burst to ribbons.

      Delete
  21. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 1, 2015 at 2:25 AM

    Dear James, while we waffle on people are being killed and degraded by IS. We know this is happening. The UN is supposed to stop this! And if not what is the point of the UN. SALMOND knows the killing fields are happening. And yet he plays politics.So if I have chosen words for him and the Corbinites then I do not apologise. We need to stop the killing first then talk the shite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The same rule applies to you - cut down on the swearing or I'll have to start deleting some of your comments.

      Delete
  22. "St Andrews Day is based on a myth like all the various saints conjured up by man tae keep the idiots in line."St Andrews Day is based on a myth like all the various saints conjured up by man tae keep the idiots in line."

    Sooo beyond the Pale, you either ban that clown or I won't be back,
    there's a "free platform" then there's just providing the knuckle draggers a free opportunity to say what they like no matter HOW OFFENSIVE it is to people of faith!

    Sorry James I like your blog, but your so wrong about allowing freedom of speech meanwhile allowing THE MOST offensive poster I have EVER seen to say what he likes without ANY regulation. bye
    jdman

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, goodbye. The moderation policy on this blog is fair to everyone, and I'm getting a bit sick of people trying to blackmail me into changing it. If you can't accept the decision is mine it's probably best if you leave.

      By the way, "free platform" meant "free of charge".

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately it is no longer a free platform it has becom a GWC Platform. Whilst I agree with a previous post to simply ignore the offender it is obvious it is his desire to destroy this site. There is little you can do about a suicide bomber. However I for one will not allow him to succeed, I will ignore him, and I will go on posting as I feel fit. Thank you James.

      Delete
    3. And GWC wins.

      What do you think we should do James? Here are the options as I see it:

      1. Ignore him
      2. Reply to him
      3. Stop reading all comments
      4. Stop coming to your site
      5. You delete his comments
      6. Crowd fund a paid for website to allow you some way of banning him

      Ignoring him won't work. The man is a committed troll, and he is determined to bring down your site. He sees the influence that you have, and he doesn't like it. People will always bite, because he is so offensive, and stupid. This leaves the comments section unreadable.

      Replying doesn't work either. This is what he wants. People know who he is, from the content of his embarrassingly stupid comments. Somebody is going to say something libelous at some point, and what then?

      The comments section used to be a very interesting part of your site. Whenever I read it now, I leave feeling bad. Somebody just called me a Nazi again, yay! If this is the only option, then I'll take it, but I this will diminish your site hugely.

      There are two sites I go to every day. This is one of them. I've contributed money to this site, because I think it does a vital job. I don't want to stop reading this site.

      You've already said you won't take his comments down, because it would take too much time. But you will take down comments with swearing. That doesn't seem fair to me, but it's your site, and your rules. Why can't you change your rules? Where are your rules anyway?

      Why not try crowd sourcing a new platform? I would definitely contribute, and I'm sure others would.

      And I genuinely would like to know what you think we should do.

      Delete
  23. Its your site and its up to you how you run it James.I think this site would be better without GWC.His contributions stifle debate and spoil things as he intends.Out of interest,what would it cost to get rid of him? For clarity,I'm not suggesting we crowd fund a hit man.I'm just asking what it costs for a paid for platform where he could be quietend down a bit atleast.

    ReplyDelete
  24. James, you have made it abundantly clear that this is your blog and your rules, but you would do well to at least take a step back and look at your blog as it is now, compared to how it was not so long ago. The comments have been effectively hijacked by one or two individuals to the point where it is impossible to have a civil discussion or even sift the wheat from the chaff.

    You have allowed this and must therefore accept the consequences, one of which is seeing the genuine contributors slowly drift away and perhaps the eventual demise of the blog. Speaking for myself, I find that I now drift in and out, depending on whether I feel I have the willpower to wear out my scrolling finger or not.

    It's your choice how you deal with the problem, but one thing's certain- it is a problem.

    Oh, and if you are going to start deleting posts which contain swearing, you could do worse than deleting those containing "Nat sis". That particular word/phrase is a whole lot more offensive than most others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally with James and his stance on moderation of his blog. Do some of you truly believe that us lesser posters cannot dicern wheat from chaff?

      A post does not need to be free of foul language or choice vulgar rhetoric to make no sense or valid contribution.

      Scroll past and ignore, let the trolling remain as testament to the lack of intelligence and decorum certain types are reduced to when they have nowt of worth to contribute.

      Shagpile.

      Delete
    2. Shagpile, I do not believe that posters cannot discern wheat from chaff, just that I, for one, find that I have better things to do with my time. As for being 'lesser' posters, I think you'll find that's your word, not mine.

      I agree that there is a valid argument for letting the trolling remain as testament, but if nobody but the trolls visit the site anymore, then what was the point?

      GWC is ruining this blog. He's achieving his goal. He's winning. It's as simple as that.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 1, 2015 at 1:15 PM

      I have no intention of winning anything however if you do think I am winning then you must think you are losing. You need tae raise yer game then and stop hiding behind a veil of lies. Alex Bell told the truth. Now what you say!

      Delete
    4. I agree that he is trolling this blog, he is, what has become the sreriotype unionist. Unable to make a case for the union. Reminds me a lot of cooncilor Braveheart.

      Not only has it not heard of Goodwin's Law, it would not be able to understand the thing.

      However, I doubt he is damaging this blog. He/she is only making itself look stupid. That stupidity is not lost on you. Nor the rest of us... only the stupid.

      The sacrifice made by those who faught real Nazis is not lost either. They would be proud of the fredoms they paid for with their lives. It may have the right to troll, besmirch and abuse. We have the right not to respond to the drivel.

      It's his/her face that will be the only one smiling at the attention you pay it. Perhaps it's paid to troll. It is really hard to be passionate about a concept you cannot make a constructive case for.

      IndyrefII is not far away... can you not smell the fear?

      Shagpile.

      Delete
    5. No but I do smell shite.

      Sorry - does that count as swearing?

      Delete
  25. Sorry James, I understand your reluctance to move to a platform where you can actively moderate/ban certain posters. However, GWC seems to have upped his game recently and the once great comments sections are fast becoming an utter farce. Personally I find GWC's constant comparisons of the SNP with Nazis as highly offensive, much more so than the occasional swear word (which are usually only uttered in response to GWC). I'm all for free speech and dissenting voices as without that you cannot have a reasoned debate, however there have to be limits.

    If it were possible for everyone to just ignore GWC then that might maybe work, he'd get bored and move on? However he seems to have made commenting here his full-time occupation (making a mockery of his own pseudonym Glasgow 'Working' Class) and a quick count of the comments on this post alone shows that GWC has posted 20% of them (19 out of 98). With that sort of dedication to his cause it makes ignoring him virtually impossible.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just turned 50 so maybe dementia is setting in, but I clearly remember we used to elect SSP people to our parliament on the list. If that could be done once oh Great Sage Kelly, why can it not be done again?

    That one killer fact puts the lie to your SNP acolyte assertions that electing people from a similar ticket on the list cannot be done and is not worth risking your precious petals trying.

    Well sod that. I haven't given the SNP my list vote for several parliaments. They are not going to miss it, are they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was then, before the Sheridan debacle. This is now, when in case you hadn't noticed, the SSP isn't even standing.

      If you support RISE and its policies and want to see it gain seats in Holyrood, then vote for it. Nobody's stopping you. If you want more people to vote for the party, off you go and persuade people on the basis of these policies. Nobody will object in the slightest.

      Just quit trying to bamboozle people whose primary support is for the SNP into casting a "pity vote" for RISE, on the basis of a pack of lies about misrepresented statistics.

      Delete
    2. And to get back to the main topic of the blog post, don't run away with the idea that RISE has any chance of gaining more seats than Labour, because it hasn't.

      (Cue: "But it would have if all you selfish SNP supporters would just make us a present of your list votes, and stop trying to hang on to the paltry half-dozen list seats you might need to retain your majority. Why won't you do that? Wah wah wah not fair!")

      Delete
    3. The SSP are standing, they are part of RISE. Do try and keep up.

      Delete
    4. They are not standing in their own right. There will be nowhere on the ballot paper where someone can vote "SSP".

      Do try to keep up.

      Delete
  27. Whilst watching Jeremy versus The PLP over the Syria bombing debacle I was reminded of being a teenager in the late 1950/60 era. This is when we were rejecting an Authoritarian society. Of course that process started around the first world war.

    Jeremy is the reluctant teenager and the PLP think they are the Authority. It would appear Jeremy has the support of the membership but the PLP have control of the votes.

    Remind you of something? The Establishment have control of the media and the Independence movement are gaining the support of the Scottish voters.

    Where do we go from here? I think the Labour Party are finished both here in Scotland and down south.

    How will they reform? Probably by forming two new parties south of the border and a Scottish Labour for Independence Party (SLIP) here in Scotland.

    What will this mean for Scottish Independence? It will bring it a whole lot closer and more certain. Provided we do not let RISE & SLP delude us into “divide and rule”.

    That said the YES movement including the SNP spent most of our efforts the last time, playing table tennis with how the numbers stack up today on a fixed income Barnett formula. What we need to do is ignore all that irrelevance and paint the picture of how Scotland could be if it was Independent, making it's own economic decisions and show our people how that would work to their benefit.

    In all of the areas of life and economics we have the experts who could do this on our side. This should be organised like an improved version of the White Paper and include the draft constitution answering all the questions we were defending up to 18th Sept 2014.

    Then a suitable launch date after May 2016 could be set accompanied with a full bloodied yell for YES resounding around Scotland. The preparation needs to start now. We gotta get organised, attack with our own ideas, instead of defending numbers that would not exist in an Independent Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sigh the ignorance is strong here today. The SLP and SSP combined to form RISE, the marriage was encouraged and officiated by RIC.

      Delete
    2. Scottish Libertarian Party (SLP) as described in The National today. Check your facts!

      Delete
    3. So, he admits the SSP no longer exists. We progress.

      Delete
  28. GWC bothered me a bit when he first appeared. After a few weeks I just ceased reading his childish guff. I see 'Glasgow ' and my eye shifts down to the next post automatically. The same with 'aldo'. Train yourself to disregard both of them and the comments section is again readable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwww! S'no fair!! (sniff)

      Delete
    2. Agree.

      There are plenty of sites throughout the internet where the ATL stuff is great but you wouldn't read the comments which are either rehashed twaddle or outright trolling,

      This site often bucks that trend, as there are some very knowledgeable posters. Although I don't agree with a lot of what he says, I will still read Aldo's points as I don't really want to live in an echo chamber and, like it or not, it's another viewpoint that exists in world out there. I don't see the point in deluding myself that it isn't.

      GWC, on the other hand, is merely rehashing the same nonsense over and over again so can safely be ignored. I have read his spiel and could write it myself, it's inane. So I too just scroll by, and would urge others to do the same.

      Delete
  29. James, whatever you do, don't change your policy. There is no doubt that GWC is out to troll your site, but he is only able to do so, because people react to him. Can I suggest to the regular contributors that for a short period, nobody replies to GWC. As John Donne said, no man is an island, and GWC needs your replies more than you need him. Your replies are the oxygen he needs. Starve him of oxygen, and he will either go away, or start making some sense.....:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. It's as tiresome scrolling past "eat your cereal".

      Don't. Feed. The. Trolls.

      Delete
  30. SwagBucks is the biggest get-paid-to website.

    ReplyDelete