Saturday, December 19, 2015

"Just forget about Scotland", part 2

I've been having a listen to the Polling Matters round-up of 2015, in which Rob Vance has once again been doing his "just forget about Scotland" routine.  He doesn't use those exact words this time, but the basic sentiment hasn't changed at all from his last offering on the subject a few months ago.  It's very telling - and rather amusing - that he starts out by saying that Labour can't take power without putting together a majority in the "British parliament".  That of course is absolutely right, but he actually means the opposite, ie. that Labour need an English rather than a British majority, and therefore that the Scottish component of the British parliament can be largely ignored.  He doesn't even properly correct himself after 'mis-speaking', which tends to confirm my theory that certain London commentators are literally incapable of differentiating between an English and a British parliament, between English and British public opinion, between an English and a British party system, etc, etc.  To them, it's inconceivable that Scotland could ever matter in a British general election, because Britain is England.

The problem for Vance is that arithmetical laws and basic constitutional principles don't really yield to what is essentially a chauvinistic cultural conceit.  You kind of sense that the rational part of his brain knows this, which explains why he feels he has to hang his assumptions on the vague notion that English Votes for English Laws will progress in such a way as to render SNP MPs practically irrelevant in the formation of a British government.  He adds almost as an afterthought that he's not sure of how that will happen.  But here's the thing - if he can't at least make one or two realistic suggestions of how it's even possible for Scottish voters to be disenfranchised to quite such an extreme extent, what he's saying is effectively gibberish.  The moment that Scottish MPs are barred from voting on motions of confidence (and thus helping to determine who forms the government) is the moment Scotland has ceased to be part of the United Kingdom.  We'd essentially have the same status as Gibraltar or Bermuda or any other dependent territory that lacks representation in the UK parliament.  That just isn't going to happen.

A fairer point to make is that a more radical form of English Votes for English Laws could leave a Labour-led government that has a British but not an English majority in the position of being 'in office but not in power', ie. without the ability to drive through its programme on English health, education and possibly even taxation.  But the bottom line is that it would still be in office, which is not nothing.  And in any case, there is no sign so far of such a radical version of EVEL emerging - all we have to date is a very casual change in the House of Commons' Standing Orders, which an incoming Labour government could easily change back in the space of a single day.

What this is really about is that Vance finds it emotionally impossible to accept that Labour will either have to defeat the SNP in Scotland to take power at Westminster, or else do a deal with the SNP.  But barring an implausibly enormous pro-Labour swing in England, that's exactly the position.

27 comments:

  1. Another possibility is that Labour recovers in Scotland. Not likely in the short to medium term, but let's not get complacent and pretend it's impossible.

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    1. Labour has nothing to represent in Scotland. During the Blair Government Labour in Scotland simply went along with his views. It didn't fight to grab a share of the Scottish revenues and attempt to regenerate industry or fund new industries.
      The unions represent a small part of the UK workforce.
      Even in the public sector they have a much smaller presence than European equivalents.
      It wants a SG to be a subsidiary of the Westminster center.
      It has made no recognition of the Yes/SNP majority, instead focusing on the No side ('we' voted no so shut up), which in reality contains a large % of Conservative voters. The party it purports to oppose.

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  2. The only way Labour can make a comeback in Scotland is through Scotland regaining its independence. After independence all parties will start with a clean sheet.

    James' first paragraph sums it up perfectly. The Westminster BritNat-bubble types still don't have a clue about Scotland; their arrogance and ignorance towards Scotland is frustrating, yet also amusing.

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  3. Labour are entrenched in civil society in Scotland. The media, the bureaucracy, some of the sectors of business - property developers for instance. It is rather like the post communist societies in Eastern Europe.

    It is not enough to beat them in a few elections. If you want to eliminate their malignant Mafia grip on our country they have to be rooted out.

    I suspect many conservative no voters were dissuaded from voting yes by fear of the corruption which dominance by Labour could result in post independence.

    That party long ago ceased to be beneficial to Scotland. I hope they disappear forever. I do not oppose their original principles, but I doubt in their hearts, that too many of those who represent them really believe in those principles today.

    A better Scotland would be better without Labour.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 20, 2015 at 5:43 PM

      I doubt Labour will recover in my time. Scotland since gaining prosperity over decades is mainly middle class now. The old class struggles fought by Labour is being forgotten and eroded. The Nat sis never took part in those struggles but just moaned for decades as they do now... I doubt the Nat sis would disband in an independent Scotland as they have tasted power and money. They would find an excuse to stay intact. The Scottish underclass will remain into perpetuity with this right wing scared to tax the rich bunch of hypocritical Nat sis. AYE.

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    2. Did you finish cleaning the Jag yet? Your Unionist overlords are annoyed by your tardiness.

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  4. "The Westminster BritNat-bubble types still don't have a clue about Scotland..."

    Not looking for excuses but they don't get any help to get informed either for instance through the BBC's (predominently English) TV News Channel. As a matter of interest, has anyone ever undertaken academic research into the balance of devolved national regional compared with purely English news stories that feature there on average over a period of time?

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  5. Sturgeon rated higher than Farage UK wide in that opinium poll.

    Looks like Carswell was on to something with his hatchet job.

    (also higher than Corybn and some guy called Tim Fallon or something, whoever he is).

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  6. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 20, 2015 at 7:57 PM

    People who perform and deliver should get recognition. Sturgeon struts around in her frumpy dress with her spin machine, She and the SNP have never fought the class struggle but have inherited the fruits.

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    1. Labour gave up on the class struggle decades ago. Your point, caller?

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  7. "People who perform and deliver should get recognition."

    Like all those Scottish Labour working-class heroes who strut around wearing ermine cloaks, park their fat subsidised bums on unelected house of lords' benches, whilst dreaming up stupid little titles to give themselves.

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  8. "People who perform and deliver should get recognition."

    Like all those Scottish Labour working-class heroes who performed by supporting illegal war in the Middle East. And who performed by strutting through the voting lobby in support of Tory austerity cuts. And who enjoyed doing the Tories dirty work during the referendum.

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    1. Out of interest, how many Labour politicians have been elevated to the aristocracy / jobs for the boys HoL vs the same for SNP?

      Oh, I just checked. No need to answer!

      Those lovely ermine coats, titles and nice expenses = Labour re-distribution of wealth.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 20, 2015 at 9:10 PM

      Skier, the only way to distribute wealth is by taxation. The Tart and Tories do not do this. What would we have dun withoot George Wade and Telford. The Jokes would be asking where they are and admiring sheep.

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    3. Look after that robe properly or the Labour man will be angry with you.

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  9. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 20, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    I was talking about working class activists since industrialisation. Get a life you ungrateful nut job and history deniar. Your Nat sis are milking the progress made by the working classes and you lot never contributed anything except wind.

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    1. I know.---and do you know the best thing about it? We're getting away with it!

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 20, 2015 at 10:57 PM

      The reason I mention it is because you are getting away with it but hope others will notice. A week in politics!

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    3. Others have noticed.About 50% of the Scottish people at the last count.As the late Harold Wilson said,"A week is a long time in politics".Your long week is coming in the first week in May.Yer tea's oot,get used to it.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 20, 2015 at 11:31 PM

      I have been used tae Tories running the show for most of my life although I never thought for a moment the Tartan Nat si variety would replace them and indeed turn out to be similiar liars and anti working class. But there you go a week in politics. But do dwell in your perceived victory and glory. Time marches on and you will be history and forgotten.

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    6. The Labour man wants you to pick up his dry cleaning. He hasn't time to do it himself - expense claim forms don't complete themselves.

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  10. Latest Opinium UK voting intentions (Scottish Sub-Sample),with all the usual caveats -

    SNP - 62%

    Con - 14%

    Lab - 10%

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 21, 2015 at 12:28 AM

      Looks like the braindead have overcome the braindead. And the Tories have won.

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    2. Dismissing those you disagree with as brain dead - and you wonder why your beloved Labour Party are in the state they're in.

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  11. James have you never considered a moderated comments feed. Some of the pejorative terminology being used is really not on and possibly puts moderates off from taking part. The "Nat sis" thing would be verging on criminal if it were said to someone in real life and there's no real reason to tolerate it.

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    1. The moderation has to be self moderation, ie an up or down vote system. Then gwc would be voted down to invisibility for most people. Like the Slashdot system.
      Does this platform allow this? Incidentally what exactly is the platform?

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