Sunday, January 3, 2016

The BBC's guidelines for Holyrood election don't merely defy natural justice - they also defy logic and precedent

I'm finding it hard to work myself up into my customary state of moral outrage over the BBC's (provisional) decision about which parties should be treated as 'major' in the coverage of this year's election, because this time it's not really the SNP that is being disadvantaged - although admittedly it's possible that overly-generous coverage of the Liberal Democrats could harm the SNP in its bid to prize away the Northern Isles constituency seats.  But in spite of my relative inner calmness (and it's genuinely a novelty), I can't deny that the decision and the reasoning behind it is just as indefensible as ever.

Consider this.  In 2003, the Green party won 6.9% of the list vote, and seven out of the 129 seats.  At the subsequent election in 2007, they were still treated as a second-string party, and were barred from most of the leaders' debates, which were still the traditional four-way affairs between the SNP, Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.  In 2011, the Liberal Democrats won 5.2% of the list vote, and five out of 129 seats.  That was clearly inferior to what the Greens achieved in 2003, and yet for some reason the Lib Dems are still being defined as one of four parties who attained "substantial representation" in 2011.  There's no explanation at all of why the goalposts have shifted over the last nine years.  It's murderously hard not to conclude that the BBC's flexible definition of "substantial representation" boils down to "whatever the Lib Dems have, and whatever the Greens don't have".

Of course, those sympathetic to the Greens are framing this as an injustice towards Patrick Harvie's party, but it could just as easily (perhaps more easily) be argued that both the Lib Dems and the Greens should be barred from the main debates. I'm not saying that would in any way be fair or desirable, but it's the only real conclusion that can be drawn from the 2007 precedent.  It should be noted that prior to last year's general election, Ofcom made clear that it was only the Lib Dems' performance in 2010 that justified their status as a major party in Scotland - their support in the most recent Holyrood, local and European elections wasn't sufficient.  It's hard to see how Ofcom will be able to avoid the conclusion that last year's result is the final piece of the jigsaw, and that the Lib Dems should now be relegated to the second tier alongside the Greens.  OK, Ofcom is not the BBC, but it will be distinctly odd if the two organisations diverge on such an important point.

*  *  *

Tom "Bomber Admin" Harris, now very much an ex-MP, quoted at Stormfront Lite yesterday -

"Corbynistas bang on about their man’s “mandate”.  If party rules had been respected, he wouldn’t even have been on the ballot paper."

Those ridiculous anti-democratic rules, requiring that any candidate for the Labour leadership can only go forward to the ballot if they are nominated by 15% of Labour MPs, were of course respected to the letter.  Jeremy Corbyn received the requisite number of nominations, fair and square.  It's Harris, McTernan and their ilk who disrespected the process by making a bogus distinction between "real nominations" and "nominations by moron".  All a bit reminiscent of their fallen hero Tony Blair unilaterally rewriting the rules of the United Nations Security Council to incorporate the novel concept of the "unreasonable veto" (ie. a veto exercised by any country other than Britain or the United States).

59 comments:

  1. BBC's “Electoral Landscape” briefing paper from October largely dismisses opinion polling, though in London, Scotland & Wales - the 3 biggest GB elections - polling was pretty accurate.

    38. Questions remain for the polling industry, following the 2015 general election result, when the strength of the Conservatives relative to Labour was, to say the least, underestimated. It’s worth remembering, however, that over a long time period, the polls did give indications regarding other parties which turned out to be more reliable: the strength of UKIP in England and Wales; the surge in support for the SNP after the referendum in Scotland; the longterm decline of the Liberal Democrats across Britain; and the relatively modest improvement of the Greens in England.

    39. In assessing relative levels of electoral support, running up to May 2016, there is a substantial amount of evidence from real votes in real elections and, for the time being at least, comparatively little useful additional information from the limited number of voting intention polls.


    Ths justification for UKIP being treated as equivalent to SGP can only be based on Euro election (ie nonsense). In 2015, only Survation show UKIP as having as much as 5% support. Of all the 2015 polls, only two show GSGP with less support than LDs.

    There are three "major" parties (SNP, Lab, Con) : two "minor" parties (SGP & LDs) : various "minnow" parties (UKIP, SSP etc).

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  2. So the BBC appear to be pro Unionist!! Now there is a surprise!!

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 4, 2016 at 3:39 PM

      Please note that the Scottish people voted to remain in the Union. No doubt the Nat sis would want a SBC under full control of the likes of Kim Jung Eck and Co.
      Their personal propoganda tool.

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    2. Can you not conceive of an SBC that is not under the "full control" of the SNP? How does Westminster manage to have legislative powers over broadcasting without having "full control" over the BBC?

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 4, 2016 at 9:56 PM

      When the Nat si rent a mob converged on the BBC Scotland HQ pre referendum with their usual moaning this was of some concern to my wavering friends.
      You can get away with being economical with the truth but bullying is not on.

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    4. Yes, heaven forbid that peaceful demonstrations should be allowed outside the BBC in an allegedly democratic country.

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    5. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 4, 2016 at 11:38 PM

      Seemed like an angry mob tae me James and controlled by someone. Mobs do not turn up out of the blue. I have no problem with them turning up. It helped the Naws.

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    6. What an analogue little man you are water closet. It's just this m'obs don't appear out of no where 'that marked Labour as being so out of touch with social media. It's called a flashmob (the fact that it has a name should let you know that it's not that new).
      Just as in the Arab spring, these protests were organised by normal people on Facebook and twitter.

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  3. Meanwhile in another place HolyWullie has an article talking about the Green-Liberal future for Scotland.

    It contains a couple of interesting mistakes.

    1. "As Scotland goes back to work today." I'm on holiday. Most of us are on holiday. Scottish people get the 2nd as a holiday or the first Monday if said date falls on a weekend.
    For a man who lives in Scotland and wraps himself in the flag to try and hide the truth of his evil britnat soul to demnostrate just how out of touch he is with Scottish life is quite something.

    Is that revolting hag CL setting him up in preparation for her leadership bid?


    2. The 5 liar party MSPs are, "punching above their weight," in parliament. Lovely. Can anybody here name all 5 without cheating?

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  4. I guess they could argue the LibDems have constituency seats and the Greens don't. Pretty flimsy excuse but.

    From an SNP point of view the LibDems are slightly useful in helping to split the unionist vote three ways.

    But on balance I'd like to see them disappear altogether. If any party deserved to die it's them. It's not as if they're a valuable voice for liberalism either.

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    1. I consider myself a liberal, and I could never vote for the party that has twisted my ideals so blatantly. For liberalism is not anything whatsoever to do with Nick Clegg or Alistair Carmichael.

      I would consider both of these men to be machine politicians, willing to surrender whatever liberal ideas they ever had for power.

      Indeed, I cannot find a word about asylum seekers on their web site.

      You might be amused, in a sad sort of a way with what does come up:

      http://www.libdems.org.uk/search?q=Asylum

      If there is ever to be a new liberalism, it would have to exclude people like that.....

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  5. On the plus side, it gives people more opportunities to call the Scottish Lib Dems 'Tartan Tories'...

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  6. Yet more proof of the backwardness of the BritNat bbc in Scotland.

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  7. It's interesting to see the mental gymnastics Tom Harris is forced into by the obligation to confront the fact he lost his own seat. Corbyn's political positions are wrong because they render him 'unelectable', yet Harris' positions have absolutely nothing to do with the loss of his own seat in May or the dismal failure of his Scottish Labour leadership campaign four years earlier, thus his own 'unelectability' is just plain bad luck and requires no self-reflection whatsoever.

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    1. I'm looking forward to members of the party faithful following Ian Smart's guidance and delivering leaflets for the Tank Commander. Should be entertaining, and there's precedent.

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  8. Just listened to BBC political correspondent on Radio 4, saying that he has been told by numerous Labour MPs that, if Corbyn even attempts to move Benn, Eagle and other Blair/Brownites (?) in the Shadow Cabinet shuffle, at present underway, then we "have seen nothing yet".

    Talking about MPs walking out on Jeremy during PMQs, Labour MPs asking hostile questions to Corbyn in Parliament, up to a full year of MPs constantly and openly attacking their own Leader, rather than the Tory Govt.

    Had to take a minute, just to digest what was actually being threatened.

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    1. It's beginning to sound like Corbyn has been successfully bullied into keeping Benn in place. I hope he at least replaces Maria Eagle with somebody anti-Trident.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 4, 2016 at 10:06 PM

      My personal view is that Benn bailed Corbyn out with that speech. Anyone who calls themselves a socialist must oppose fascism. Corbyn has to satisfy the far left idiots that have attached themselves to Labour.
      As for Trident I fully support the retention. We do not live in a smashy and nicey world James there is always a new crocodile around the corner.

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    3. "Anyone who calls themselves a socialist must oppose fascism."

      Yes, but there are two preliminary steps : 1) to educate yourself on what fascism actually is (and what it is not), and 2) to gain the understanding that dropping bombs and "opposing" something are not one and the same thing.

      It's precisely because we don't live in a smashy and nicey world that we've got to urgently reverse a course that makes a nuclear war more likely.

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    4. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 4, 2016 at 11:10 PM

      David, does that include the Tartan Tories?

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    5. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 4, 2016 at 11:32 PM

      James., fascism is easy to identify considering we have plenty of history since Adolf and Mussolini. Dropping bombs on them is a good tactic. And unilateral disarmament is not going to get others to disarm. Disarmament can never really be verified. Are you suggesting that the IS tactic of killing dissenters is not fascism? Only strong defense and the will to use all at your disposal will keep the crocodiles away.

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    6. "James., fascism is easy to identify considering we have plenty of history since Adolf and Mussolini."

      Excellent. Now all you have to do is explain why Hilary Benn, Stephen Daisley and yourself (assuming at least two of you are not the same person) seem incapable of differentiating between fascism and religious fanaticism.

      By the way, nuclear bombs aren't much use against crocodiles. Or at the very least, they're a bit harsh on anyone standing within thirty miles of the crocodile.

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    7. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 12:04 AM

      Actually James if you read about fascism it does have a religious connotation. Christians killing Jews. Pinochet and Galtieri played the religious card etc.
      And the crocodiles will not use the Bomb knowing they will be hit. That is why it is a deterrent. Long live the crocodiles.

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    8. "Actually James if you read about fascism it does have a religious connotation. Christians killing Jews."

      Er, nope. The Nazis hated Jews on a racial basis. It didn't matter if you renounced the Jewish faith - you were defined as a Jew based on your ancestry and appearance.

      Why are you pathologising crocodiles?

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    9. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 12:48 AM

      Nah James it was a religious racial Christian hatred against Jews. The Nazis were Christian. You know this. Adolf acknowledged his Christianity in Mein Kampf.

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    10. Mein Kampf isn't a book I've read personally.

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    11. I've got to be honest, neither have I. How about you, GWC?

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    12. James / Skier, I doubt that the troll has read Mein Kampf. The constant conflation of the SNP with the Nazis illustrates a profound ignorance of what fascism really is.

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    13. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 12:21 PM

      You are a profound fool. Got your teddy back I see.

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    14. James / Skier, appears I've struck a raw nerve there. Doubtless the troll can reflect on the relative wisdom of insults while delivering leaflets for the Tank Commander. Ian Smart would approve.

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    15. I'm possibly the only one around here who has read Mein Kampf, about 20 years ago. The parents of a fellow student had a copy in their library up in a house near Inverness. Must have been a holdover from the war.

      It's pretty much a grievance tome. Everything is the fault of the Jews, if it wasn't for Them we'd all be doing great. We're a mighty people being kept from our birthright by foreigners, etc etc.

      You get the idea. it's just an extreme Nationalist screed with an extra layer of genocidal threats and anti-semitism on top. If it wasn't for the future infamy of its author it would probably have sunk without trace.

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    16. Thanks for the summary. Sounds like the polar opposite of our benign civic nationalism.

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    17. Sounds like a UKIP party election leaflet. Shades of Tory too:

      http://www.liamfox.co.uk/news/britain-must-go-it-alone-%E2%80%94-and-shun-eu%E2%80%99s-one-way-road-integration-1

      "It is time for us to recover our birthright. That is why I’ll be campaigning to leave."

      But then on the authoritarian scale, Tories and notably UKIP are not that far from the Nazis:

      http://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2015
      https://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2

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    18. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 8:31 PM

      So why did Churchill not join the Nazi project?

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    19. He had his own. He was very racist and loved the Boer war for example, where the British operated concentration camps; they were the inspiration for Hitler's ones.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/not-his-finest-hour-the-dark-side-of-winston-churchill-2118317.html

      His fight wasn't against fascism; that was just a by-product. It was against another big powerful country that was threatening the lavish incomes of the wealthy from the British empire.

      Funny how it was ok for Britain to enslave nations with violent rule and suppression but not when Germany did the same.

      Oops of course! The British empire was benign and countries loved British rule. That's why they didn't all fight for independence.

      Oh, wait...

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    20. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 8:55 PM

      Would that be the British Empire built by the Scottish bayonet. And Churchill knew what the Nazi were about since the early thirties. Great man he was. Can you imagine the shoite Kim Yung Eck defending Scotland in his narrow parochial nat si mind.

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    21. What, must have been 1 Scots bayonet for every 10 English ones?

      So if the Scottish bayonet built the empire, we clearly don't need the British army for defence; we must be hard as nails.

      Churchill knew from the 30's and stood back, doing nothing? He let millions die?

      I guess he was too busy wanting to get elephants to trample to death peaceful seekers of Indian independence?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill#Political_isolation

      "In response to Gandhi's civil disobedience campaign, Churchill proclaimed in 1920 that Gandhi "ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back. Later reports indicate that Churchill favoured letting Gandhi die if he went on a hunger strike.[123] During the first half of the 1930s, Churchill was outspoken in his opposition to granting Dominion status to India. He was a founder of the India Defence League, a group dedicated to the preservation of British power in India. Churchill brooked no moderation. "The truth is," he declared in 1930, "that Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed."

      Gandhi was a true fighter for freedom and justice. Churchill was a violent suppressor of such things. Little better than Hitler.

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    22. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 9:18 PM

      The Empire is gone now Skier. Enjoy a Tunnock's carmel wafer and celebrate. Sad that some Nat sis were Adolf admirers.

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    23. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 9:26 PM

      So Skier on reflection would you have supported Hitler given the choice? My father fought with the British 8th Army in the Middle East and Europe, was he wrong? Should the Jews have been exterminated entirely? Should the Jews have their own State in Israel?

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    24. Aye, no reason for the UK any more. Empire was it's purpose after all. I'll pass on the tunnocks; don't have a sweet tooth. Prefer a nice bit of Wensleydale myself. Nice that it has a wee English flag on it in my local Tesco; proud of its country of origin.

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    25. Some of Churchills'own party weren't short of a few"Seig Heils" either.Lord Halifax for example

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    26. Some of Churchills'own party weren't short of a few"Seig Heils" either.Lord Halifax for example

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    27. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 6, 2016 at 11:12 AM

      Actually, you are right. All my ranting and raving against the SNP sis, it was bloody mental considering my former party, the Tories, had a parliamentary group that fully supported Hitler's aims until 1939. There is a parliamentary record.

      Both votes SNP from now on. Thanks hootsman.

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  9. Not sure if this has been posted. Yougov UK Scottish subsample:
    52% SNP
    20% Con
    17% Lab
    5% UKIP
    3% Green
    3% Lib

    Usual caveats apply, mainly that the same is small and will contain too many English people, increasing Tory UKIP Lab etc.

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    1. The subsamples nearly always show Tories ahead of Labour in Scotland but Scottish subsamples show Tories flatlining. I wonder why that's the case.

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    2. Sorry, full Scottish surveys show Tories flatling but subsamples have them consistently ahead of Labour.

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  10. Glasgow Working Ass is the biggest numpty on the internet there is nothing like being a delusional coward is there fool. Name yourself or get lost you are nothing but a idiot!

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 12:24 PM

      Old David the leftie knows me.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 9:53 PM

      P.S I only post on the thread to sicken readers.

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 6, 2016 at 11:15 AM

      P.P.S. My lodge is looking for new members.

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  11. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    James, I did read a small part of Mein Kampf to verify Hitler was indeed anti Jewish.

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  12. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    Mad cyber nat sis at it again wanting to ban Tunnock's T Cakes.

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  13. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 9:50 PM

    Two votes SNP in May.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

      Eat yer caramel wafer.

      Delete
  14. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    Aye Skier, ye cannae beat some cheese and bickies with a few glesses of port followed by the Loyal Toast tae ra Queen.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 5, 2016 at 10:54 PM

      I forgot to mention the toast to Adolph each night before I kiss his photo on my pillow. Such love. I sometime get excited.

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  15. Fred Dibnah Steeeplejack Workin Hard fur Britain.January 5, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    Jock nat sis have lost the plot and are impersonating GWC. Time for a cup of tea and a Tunnock's tea cake tae think again.

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    1. Fred Dibnah Steeeplejack Workin Hard fur Britain.January 6, 2016 at 11:19 AM

      I apologise for that message. I can't delete it. When I read it over, I realised it actually makes no sense. Sorry guys.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 6, 2016 at 5:59 PM

      I don't make sense at the best of times.

      Delete