Monday, July 17, 2017

But we can still RISE now, and vote for a unionist party again...

So is there anything to be said for Cat Boyd of RISE "proudly" voting Labour at the general election?  Well, there's certainly something positive to be taken from the fact that she's admitted doing it.  There's been a tendency among the unionist commentariat to treat the 27% of people who voted Labour as if they were part of some pan-unionist bloc vote comprising more than 60% of the population.  The reality, as we already know from the opinion polls, is that Labour's support was a coalition incorporating people who voted Labour because of its stance on independence, and also people who voted Labour in spite of that stance.  It'll be very useful to have a high-profile example like Cat Boyd to illustrate that point.  This episode may also be helpful to the SNP on the list vote at the next Holyrood election, because RISE (or whatever succeeds RISE) will find it even harder to pitch for 'pro-independence tactical votes' now that their commitment to independence has been shown to be rather superficial.

However, there's an idea doing the rounds that we must show veneration and respect towards Ms Boyd for voting Labour as part of an alternative strategy for achieving independence.  That is, it has to be said, a bit silly.  Voting Labour in the hope of furthering the cause of independence is no more and no less irrational than voting UKIP in the hope of keeping Britain inside the European Union.  It's been suggested to me that I'm missing some incredibly sophisticated point here, ie. that pro-indy people voting Labour are starting a conversation with the party that will eventually lead to a change in its constitutional stance.  But voting is essentially a passive act - you're not entering into a dialogue with the party you vote for, you're simply endorsing them.  It doesn't matter if Labour are privately conscious of the fact that much of their support is pro-indy - the lesson they'll draw is that those people have already proved stupid enough to vote for them, and so they can just persevere with the same policy and expect the same results in future.  If you reward undesirable behaviour, don't complain if you get more of the same.  For the proof of that, simply consider the fact that a substantial minority of Labour's voters in the decades leading up to the 2014 referendum were solidly pro-indy.  That had no impact at all.

Entryism can sometimes be a viable tactic for changing a party's stance, but that involves actually becoming members and activists (and then trying very hard not to get expelled).  Merely voting for a party you disagree with and have no influence within is entirely counter-productive - and that really ought to be a statement of the bleedin' obvious.

Are there any circumstances at all in which voting for an anti-independence party can help independence?  I can perhaps think of just one.  In the closely-fought 1992 general election, Labour were firmly committed to the establishment of a devolved Scottish Parliament.  It was not unreasonable to take the view that devolution was a necessary first step if independence was ever going to happen (as Margaret Ewing put it, there was never going to be a "Big Bang"), so the priority had to be to ensure that devolution happened.  There were a very small number of Labour-Tory marginal seats in Scotland, such as Stirling, that were going to help decide whether there would be a pro-devolution Labour government or an anti-devolution Tory government.  There was therefore a case to be made that tactically voting Labour in a seat like Stirling was a constructive act for a pro-independence voter.

Nothing that happened in this year's election was remotely analogous to that.  Labour were not making any sort of constitutional offer at all, and there were no Labour-Tory marginals in any case.  If Cat Boyd voted Labour in an SNP-Labour battleground seat, she was helping an anti-independence party against a pro-independence party.  If she voted Labour in an SNP-Tory battleground seat, it was even worse than that, because she was harming both independence and Corbyn's chances of becoming PM.  It was, in short, a very foolish thing to do, no matter which way you look at it.

46 comments:

  1. I have long doubted that Ms Boyd's main aim is independence for Scotland. I'm increasingly of the opinion that Ms Boyd's main aim is the furtherance of Ms Boyd.

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  2. Succinctly put James. As with Loki "An Invisible Hand Made Me Vote Labour" McGarvey (remember cringing listening to him on Election Night), there are a number of Indy alt-lefties who were never SNP-friendly, and only happy to erroneously traduce the Party's progressive credentials in return for a little attention. If they were not contrarian, no-one would listen. The other thing put to bed should be the idea that the SNP meekly leaves itself open to the idea they are a lesser cog in the Independence cause; dependent upon this so-called wider Movement. No way - the SNP is the vehicle for Independence and our 'critical pals' have proved exactly how fickle they are ;-). By the way - no harm to them. But if they are happy to declare for SLAB then it's entirely reasonable to tell them to sling it?

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    1. I totally agree that Cat Boyd is only interested in her career in politics like so many pseudo-socialists.

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  3. Cat Boyd the female version of big Tam the working class hero who probably never had a joab and never paid tax into the system. Like tae hear their ain voices....and well hear their ain voices and contribute F all tae society...

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    1. The troll "GWC2" calls scottish people "jocks", made death threats on this blog while posing as a Yes supporter, advocates arming Leave campaigners, arbitrary deportations and public mutilations, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial, homophobic and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister.

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    2. The GWC2 troll sounds terribly like the Brian Spanner troll. Righto.

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    3. Respectfully disagree. Spanner can spell.

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  4. Unless C Boyd reasoned that the Tories were the biggest threat and calculated that only the Labour party that could come close to removing the Tories. Many of the young ones I know, who voted, voted Labour. They wanted the Tories out! I can understand it, but, even though the numbers at Westminster are stacked against the SNP being anything more than a third opposition party in a Westminster General Election, my heart and head, refuses to vote other than SNP.

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    1. Given that the SNP had said it would work with Corbyn in a progressive alliance, even that explanation doesn't wash - besides which I doubt she lives in a seat where the Tories were competitive. She stood on the Glasgow list for Holyrood.

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  5. Having shone brightly during the Indyref1 campaign, I fear Cat Boyd has lost her way: not voting at all in Euroref, and now having voted for a pro-Brexit Unionist party at this last GE.

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  6. Cat Boyd apparently didn't vote until she was 29; didn't vote in the EU referendum, yet publicly condemned the result; supports independence, yet voted for a unionist party out of admiration for its leader who is anti-independence and pro-Brexit ... you can't help concluding that she is hopelessly naive and foolish.
    She describes herself as an 'activist'. What coherent, consistent argument or policy is she an activist for?

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    1. "Cat Boyd apparently didn't vote until she was 29"

      Really? By a rough calculation I had already voted fourteen times before turning 29. How frightfully un-radical of me.

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    2. Voted since I first could now 65 and cant count the times I voted and always for the SNP.

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  7. I think her main aims are socialist economics and labour are the closest to that in some view. Independence is mostly a means to that end for Rise and they're as unhappy about eu as corbyn is so it makes sense.

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  8. Cat Boyd apparently didn't vote until she was 29"

    Not to be ageist or anything - but how old is the lady? 35 not 25?

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  9. Unsurprisingly she's being defended by the same people who stood by that racist slattern, Claire Heuchan. Angela Haggerty, Kirsty Strickland, Vonnie whatever she's called nowadays. A feminist is being attacked so they rush to her defence.
    If lickle kitty-cat boyd and her fellow travellers had not been given so much free publicity in last year's election then there would still be an SNP majority and the yoon campaign against another referendum would be dead and buried.

    Still, I bet her mother's proud she raised such a moron.

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  10. We are debating the number of angels which can dance on the end of a pin. Rise etc have influence. That is down to a very good website, and a penchant for publicity. They are good talkers, they seem to be motivated campaigners. And they garner very few actual votes.

    Mr Corbyn himself attracted quite a few voters. They bought the publicity coming from the south. They clearly did not know in some instances why they were voting for him - as some were pro EU and he is not. The same news/ publicity machine which has people seduced into reverence for the monarchy, just as easily builds up a politician, or a majority for something as daft as Brexit, or support for a war. Ms Boyd is free to vote whoever she wants. We all are. Hell I have stayed off work to see the Queen before, and am as republican as you can get nowadays. These are my principles, if you don't like them I have others. Whats new?

    You said yourself that Labour put on only a few hundred votes. If we discount those blue ones which went to the member for Red Morningside, their vote fell. You know there are internal Party reasons which can explain our own lacklustre performance. But Labour only picked up seats in Scotland by fluke. The Conservatives with the help of the State machinery, and the Libdems by colluding with those same Conservatives. Labour are still a side show. We need to get the finger out - and lose the fear - and Ms Boyd is free to come on board the freedom train next time ( after Labour rips itself in two ).

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    1. It was probably someone else you saw make the point about Labour only putting on a trivial number of votes. It's one of those things that is technically true, but still a red herring, because the overall turnout was down.

      "But Labour only picked up seats in Scotland by fluke."

      Not really. The net swing from SNP to Labour was roughly 8%. Under FPTP, it doesn't matter if your own vote doesn't increase much - if there's a big net swing, you're likely to gain seats, with or without tactical voting.

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  11. What would be the advantage of Cat Boyd voting SNP? We'd already had two years of the 56 in Westminster what had they achieved? Angus Robertson may have been mega impressive as the leader of the party in the commons, there were some fantastic speeches, they attended all the debates that affected Scotland and the party clearly had a wealth of talent on show but what did we get out of it? The SNP put massive emphasis on being effective opposition in Westminster but (most) SNP supporters don't want effective opposition or to play BritNat politics, they want indy. If the SNP is not prepared to use UK GE's as a route to getting independence what is the point of any pro-indy Scot voting SNP in UKGE's? Does it not make sense just to give the Tories a bloody nose by voting Labour? Many floating voters and undecideds will have done just that. In 2015 the SNP took 50.4% of the vote and 95% of the seats and yet we are not one step closer to indy than before, so why vote for them? Come UKGE2017 the SNP may have failed to get their supporters out in the same numbers and I think more and more reasons for that are surfacing everyday. The SNP needs to have a good hard look at itself before it loses more ground.

    I'd be a liar if I said I hadn't thought about doing what Cat Boyd did but the difference is, I didn't. I could never forgive Labour for years of lies and deception of Scots and the self serving attitude of their politicians be them local of national but giving the Tories a bloody nose posed a real dilemma.

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    1. "What would be the advantage of Cat Boyd voting SNP?"

      "To avoid seriously damaging the cause of independence" is the obvious answer, and that should be more than sufficient for anyone whose commitment to independence is more than skin-deep. RISE also had the option of standing candidates themselves if they couldn't bring themselves to vote SNP. Voting for an anti-independence party was, in a sense, a lifestyle choice for them - and an extremely destructive one.

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    2. As for "giving the Tories a bloody nose", for the love of God, did you not see Adam Tomkins' utter jubilation when Labour started gaining seats? The Tories and Labour were ALLIES in Scotland. The SNP were the Tories' only opponents.

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    3. Cat Boyd is doing her growing up period and voting Labour is progressive. She has obviously sussed the Nat sis out as right wing Tartan Tory scumbags.
      I thought she was once a leading light in the Nat si movement the love child of Kim Yung and Knickerless. How things change when you do not toe the line in the Nat si movement.

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    4. James, it's yet to be seen if she's damaged the indy cause. I think she's only damaged her own reputation. Floating voters do this stuff all the time but they are not in involved in politics or have a column like CB so we don't know about them. The SNP failed to deliver on 2015 success and people felt disappointed by that, I know I was.

      Have you forgotten that I was speaking generally? Many people will have voted Labour to give the Tories a bloody nose but at no point did I say it was right. Remember, I didn't vote Labour to get the Tories out of office we are talking about those who did. You may be away of all the goings on but that doesn't mean everyone is so to them their thinking and reasoning made sense just as yours does to you.

      We need YES men not yes men.

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    5. I don't have any complaints about non-political people who gave their vote to Labour without much thought as to the consequences. But the likes of Cat Boyd do not fall into that category.

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    6. Those non-political people are political enough to vote. Many of them are the very people we need to convince of the benefits of independence, they are the ones who believed all the lies and vows in 2014.

      I don't think Cat Boyd is significant enough to damage the yes movement it's only Yessers who know who she is. Ex-no's who are now Yes, like former Better Together organisers and campaigners, journalists and actors some have featured in the Journey to Yes series of films have given the no campaign a real kick in nads. All these people will help get Scotland out the UK and end the union.

      Cat Boyd has done a Trump and folk will see that and eventually, so will she.

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    7. I was for independence since the time of Wilson,even then as a teenager I could see how deceitful Labour was,and wondered why the "adults" couldn't see through them.I still wonder about those that vote Labour thinking Labour will be for the worker,ha ha ha .

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  12. "Ms Boyd for voting Labour as part of an alternative strategy for achieving independence. That is, it has to be said, a bit silly."
    C'mon James stop pussyfooting with her: it is RIDICULOUS. The untalented Ms Boyd and a number of similar others who have risen without trace, are parvenus, who owe their current position to IndyRef14.

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  13. Miss boyd sees herself as a defender of the working class.
    But please tell has she ever worked.
    Or just another trendy lefty blowhard
    Like Galloway or Sheridan.

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    1. Galloway did work and was a trade union rep.

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    2. Take your agenda and run far, far away, little bird.

      Your pathetic mewling is wasted here.

      Adios.

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  14. Shame Cat Boyd didn't join the SNP and become an MP. She'd have been a good one. I think she may feel a bit left behind as others got political careers out of the 2014 referendum and she didn't.

    RISE were always negligible in electoral terms anyway. I say that as someone who attended their conferences many times but never voted for any of their candidates or Greens.

    I do think that independence will be difficult until the question of Jeremy Corbyn is apsettled one way or another. Either he will fail to win office, or he will win and will disappoint the Scottish left yet again. But it could take a while to play out. And we don't have a lot of time before 2021. So it's a tough one for Sturgeon to know how to play.

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    1. She clearly is not a narrow back nat si and would not be welcome in the nat si party.

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    2. The resident impersonator nat si fash bigot is relentless. What do those abbreviations mean!

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    3. Take your agenda and run far, far away, little bird.

      Your pathetic mewling is wasted here.

      Adios.

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    4. Always wanted to use Jock Nat si intellectual words such as mewling. .. Better than the constant moanin....

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    5. That's nice, dear. Nobody's stopping you using big wurdz innat.

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    6. GSTQFTPWEEARAPEOPLE, whit dis it aw mean?

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    7. You tell us, troll.

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    8. I will leave that to you fash bigot.

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    9. The left in Scotland are beginning to turn away from independence and towards Corbyn's Labour. The initial predictions about Corbyn are true - he is bringing Scotland on board again, thus saving the union.

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    10. RISE got fewer votes than the Proclaiming Christ's Lordship Party.

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    11. You have a sense of humour Aldo. I thought the Nat sis were the PCLP.

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