Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Wings party, and the cautionary tale of Mr Archie Stirling

Remarkably, the debate over the wisdom of the proposed Wings party is still raging after the best part of a week, and it's started to take on a noticeably 'harder' tone.  Many of Wings' keenest supporters already seem to be identifying as partisans of an electoral force that doesn't, we should recall, actually exist yet.  That means they're instantly taking offence at any hint of scepticism towards the proposed party, and in some cases at anything that falls short of total enthusiasm.  Every time I log onto Twitter now, there are dozens of new notifications that tend to fall into three broad categories: people are either irate that I don't accept that a Wings party can successfully game the Holyrood electoral system, or they're professing incredulity that I could possibly think that way, or they're trolling me about it. 

This was one of the comments I found particularly exasperating -

"Why don’t you try & find a way that will work. That would be of help, rather than it will nae work"

To remove any doubt that she was trolling, she added a 'crying with laughter' emoticon to the end of her tweet.  But actually it's me who doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at comments of that sort (and there have been a good few of them).  They imply that it's somehow imperative that the Wings proposal be made to work, because it's the solution to a problem that has to be addressed, and that it must be possible to make it work with sophisticated number-crunching and strategising.

Both of those assumptions are misplaced.  In fact, the Wings party is a solution in search of a problem that as of yet doesn't exist.  We have a pro-independence majority at the moment, we've had it for eight years, and current polling suggests that we're on course to hold onto it.  Of course the polling situation can change between now and May 2021 (and it can change for either the worse or the better), but the time for highly risky, panicky measures is when we actually have something to panic about.

And there's no Baldrick-style cunning plan that can be devised to make the plan work, because the problem I and others have identified is a very basic one - that the Wings party is unlikely to have enough popular support to win list seats in any region.  That being the case, any list votes it takes will simply make it harder for other pro-indy parties to win list seats (and by extension easier for unionist parties to win list seats).  There's nothing I can do about a basic shortfall in the required number of votes - other than winning the lottery and helping to pay for Wings billboard ads.  Remember that the broadcasters will feel able to largely ignore the Wings party because there's no evidence of significant support in previous elections.  There'll almost certainly be no invitation to leaders' debates.  The newspapers may give the party an occasional mention, but only in an attempt to whip up mischief.  Social media will therefore have to carry the weight of any campaigning, which is a tough ask when the party won't have an especially distinctive policy platform (except on gender self-ID).

Stuart Campbell has pointed out that we don't yet know exactly what the potential level of support for the party is, and that he'll be conducting more opinion polling before making a decision about whether to stand candidates on the list.  That's fair enough, but when this polling appears, I would urge people to look closely at the format of the question before getting carried away with the results.  Questions along the lines of "how likely would you be to vote for Party X?" are notorious for producing wildly misleading results. 

The classic example was in the run-up to the 2007 Holyrood election, when Archie Stirling used his wealth to set up a new centre-right party called Scottish Voice.  (I know very little about Archie Stirling other than that he's the father of actress Rachael Stirling, who dutifully came out in support of the doomed party.)  He commissioned a YouGov poll that supposedly showed that 21% of the electorate would consider voting for the party, and on that basis managed to convince the newspapers to breathlessly report that Scottish Voice was on course for 20+ list seats and maybe even the balance of power.  In the event, of course, Archie didn't even trouble the scorer - he took just 0.1% of the constituency vote and 0.3% of the list vote, and didn't come within light-years of taking any seats.

How could a poll be so misleading?  Basically if you ask about a party in isolation, people will think "well, I'm a reasonable person, this party sounds fine, of course I would consider voting for it".  But when they see the name of that party in a menu of options, it gets lost in the crowd and they instead focus on the party they prefer the most.  We saw the same problem earlier this year with polls offering wildly inflated suggestions about the electoral potential of Change UK.  Other polls that asked "if the Independent Group stood in the next election, who would you vote for?" produced somewhat more realistic results, but I think they were still problematical because they artificially drew people's attention to the new party in the question's preamble. 

For my money, to get a meaningful sense of how well a Wings party might do, a poll would need to ask...

If the following parties stood on the regional list ballot, who would you vote for?

Scottish National Party (SNP)
Labour
Conservatives
Liberal Democrats
Greens
Brexit Party
Wings Over Scotland
Change UK
UKIP

If 5% or more of voters selected Wings unprompted on a robust question of that sort, then we might not necessarily be looking at a suicide mission.  And if 15% said they would vote Wings, then Stuart might be on to something.  I don't think that would be the result of such a poll, but realistically that's the test.

*  *  *

Stuart has been protesting over the last couple of days that he isn't trying to "game" the Holyrood voting system, and that standing candidates in a democratic election isn't "gaming" the system.  The latter point is strictly speaking true - standing candidates on the list isn't in itself an act of trying to game the system, but it becomes one if 90% of your pitch to the voters is about gaming the system!  I defy anyone to read Stuart's posts on the subject and conclude that isn't what he's trying to do.  For the most part he hasn't been talking about policy but about tactical voting - about how the number of pro-indy MSPs can supposedly be increased by voting SNP on the constituency ballot but switching to Wings on the list. 

To me, this is an academic point, because I would have no moral objection to gaming the system if I thought for one moment it was actually going to work.  But words do have meanings, and yes, the Wings party would be a clear attempt to game the system and win a bigger number of pro-indy seats than the size of the pro-indy vote would normally warrant.

95 comments:

  1. Archie has his own wiki page and is pretty much a Tory in the Alister Jack mould by the sounds of it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archie_Stirling

    I think there is much ado about nothing at the moment given he is only going to set up the party if the promised referendum doesn't happen in 2021. So mibbe folks stop trolling people for pointing out the pitfalls.

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  2. The trouble is that the system has already been "gamed" by the yoons back in 1999.

    Why are there not equal numbers of list and constituency seats?

    Why do we cast 2 ballots instead of just using the constituency vote to calculate list seats?

    Why does the entire media in Scotland continually lie about the electoral system?

    3 questions with one simple answer. Yoons have to yoon. Labour thought they'd dominate the constituency vote forever so biased the parliament towards that side of the count. And the double vote just allows the quisling media to create endless confusion, to the benefit of the yoon parties.

    Why don't you do a quick calculation of the election results from 1999 if there was only 1 vote and equal numbers of list/constituency MSPs? With pictures, pie-charts and graphs for those who struggle with words.

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    1. Labour thought they'd dominate the constituency vote forever so biased the parliament towards that side of the count.

      If they were so confident of that and wanted to engineer the system to their advantage, wouldn't they just have gone with FPTP?

      And the double vote just allows the quisling media to create endless confusion, to the benefit of the yoon parties.

      How does the confusion benefit Unionist parties more than anyone else?

      Delete
    2. There's no conspiracy about there being two votes - various countries use similar systems, including Germany and New Zealand. The idea is it allows you to vote tactically with your constituency vote and for your preferred party with your list vote. Using just the constituency ballot would defeat the whole purpose of trying to have a system that gives representation to smaller parties. The real solution is to abolish the constituency vote and just have party lists, but the British obsession with constituencies is something people refuse to shake off.

      So if someone is "lying" about the voting system, it's not the media...

      Delete
  3. In other news. The Morrisons at Hunters tryst is selling doughnuts in blue and white Saltire boxes. They've had nothing but RW&B UJs on those particular delicacies for years now. So it came as a shock.

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  4. "And there's no Baldrick-style cunning plan that can be devised to make the plan work, because the problem I and others have identified is a very basic one - that the Wings party is unlikely to have enough popular support to win list seats in any region."

    You may believe that it is unlikely to have enough popular support but you have no evidence for that. At the moment it's a just a hunch of yours.

    "And if 15% said they would vote Wings, then Stuart might be on to something. I don't think that would be the result of such a poll, but realistically that's the test."

    This is another hunch, might be better waiting until you have some hard evidence to comment on, I'd think that'd be the way to go.

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    Replies
    1. That it's unlikely to have sufficient public support is not a "hunch". It's a perfectly reasonable working assumption based on the fact that the vast majority of new parties that are set up without any roots do not make an instant breakthrough. If someone is making an extraordinary claim like "this party is going to be the exception to the rule and is going to be wildly popular", then it's really up to them to provide some evidence to support that claim. Thus far, there isn't any.

      I'm not sure what my second "hunch" is supposed to be, by the way, that part of your comment isn't very clear.

      Delete
    2. "I don't think that would be the result of such a poll."

      That's the hunch, since it's your best guess based on no evidence that's specifically related to Wings.

      Delete
    3. If there's evidence that Wings will succeed where practically everyone else fails, let's see it. The only partial exception to the general rule that I can think of is the Scottish Senior Citizens' Unity Party - and even that only took one seat, which falls well short of Stuart's ambition for his own party.

      Delete
    4. I've no idea if this will even get off the ground, we'll have to wait and see. James, please read my first post again as that's exactly what I was saying regrading evidence.

      "might be better waiting until you have some hard evidence to comment on, I'd think that'd be the way to go."

      Delete
    5. Yup, saw that. Answered it. We could go round in circles all night.

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    6. The big difference is that Rev Stu already has a dedicated following who would be highly motivated to campaign, deliver literature and turn out to vote on his behalf. How many "unknown" maverick campaigners can you say that about?

      Delete
    7. So if a Wings canvasser came to your door would it be a case of "Ding, Dong, Avon calling."?

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. SNP plan to back Corbyn to the hilt is pure genius.

      https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/08/17/48-35-britons-would-rather-have-no-deal-and-no-cor

      Scots would much rather have Corbyn in No. 10 + EUref2 than hard brexit, particularly soft no indy leaning Labour Remain voters.

      In England, Labour and Lib Dem voters also feel that way, putting Jo Swindon on the spot.

      But England as a whole prefers an extremist right wing fascist hard breixt to a social democrat PM by over 48% to 35% (58% ex DK). Barely a 1/3 backing a second EUref.

      60% Yes draws closer each day.

      Delete
    2. Hardly right wing fascist. It is the various remainer fascist groups that do not accept the democratic vote. Fascists actually calling democrats fascist. You are a victim of your own Nat si propaganda Herr Skier.

      Delete
    3. There is no democratic mandate for Scotland leaving the EU.

      You can bleat all you like about '2016 being UK-wide'. That doesn’t matter shit as it wasn’t legally binding on Scotland or the UK as a whole.

      What is legally binding is the EU exit bill.

      However, 74% of Scots – in a 'Scotland only' vote - rejected Westminster having the powers contained in that bill, meaning the Scottish parliament rightly refused legislative consent for it.

      As a result, no legal / democratic mandate exists for Scotland leaving the EU.

      But then English fascist MPs just tore up the constitution, overruled the 1997 referendum, and the Scottish parliament, to force Scotland out of the EU anyway.

      Delete
    4. Here is your Scotland-only vote which overturns any 2016 UK-wide mandate.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-44113864

      Holyrood refuses consent for Westminster Brexit bill

      Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPs united to back SNP members in rejecting the Westminster bill, saying it would restrict Holyrood's powers.

      The Scottish Conservatives voted against, and have blamed the SNP for the failure to find an agreement.

      MSPs voted by 93 to 30 that Holyrood "does not consent to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill".

      Delete
    5. I have found very entertaining the rather bizarre unicorn-brigade notion that democracy requires that there only be one vote (if they win) and that the voters should never be asked that question again, because asking the voters is a betrayal to democracy. Of course, if Remain had won the 16 ref, I wonder how long it would have been before these same brexiteers would have been calling for another referendum? Doesn't anyone really believe that Farage would have not been already pushing for another referendum by now if his side had lost? Of course, a sensible design (not possible from the likes of Cameron), would have been to have one ref on the question of whether to start to negotiate leaving the EU, and then a second ref when the results of that negotiation could then be approved once they were known. As it is, it appears that a unicorn parade was approved, and that is now being justified as a drive towards the iceberg of a no-deal Brexit which was never on the ballot and never campaigned for.

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    6. THat is in regards about the 'power grab' nothing about not leaving the EU. Anyhow like i keep saying stop worrying about the past, Scotland is only months away from a crushing 60% yes indy win right?

      Delete
    7. Anyhow to end this even if Scotland has not got its consent it changes nothing without indy Scotland leaves when/if the UK does. That will lead to a Indy majority and Scotland leaves, just what you want so you should be happy:)

      Delete
    8. Scotland has voted to stay in the EU by rejecting the EU exit bill as proposed. This was a Scotland only vote and cancels any 2016 UK-wide based mandate.

      If the EUref bill had not overturned the 1997 referendum result, Holyrood would have had much less of a case for refusing consent.

      I quote:

      http://archive.is/FvOPB#selection-1783.0-1787.200

      It is certainly a constitutional first...

      ...It would overturn 20 years of constitutional convention and precedent.


      So much for the UK being a democracy. Referendums are just ignore when it suits.

      Delete
    9. Good job you are leaving the undemocratic UK then :) onwards and upwards....

      Delete
  6. Well there is an obvious difference between consideration and action. I might consider buying a bottle of champagne the day before pay day, but the chances are that I won't be able to afford it. Similarly, I would consider continuing to vote for the SNP, but I won't if I have a decent alternative available which speaks to my personal priorities. Therefore comparing a consideration in a poll with the actual result is not a like-for-like comparison.

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  7. The EU referendum was legally binding as it was voted for in Parliament by a huge majority. Anyhow Skier do you ever take your French bit out for dinner? You seem to be permantly commentating! Are you being paid?

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    1. It was passed by cheaters who lied. To be legally binding both sides need to have acted in good faith. Where did you all put those 150 millions pounds?

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    2. I spent my weekly £40 allowance today.(hic)

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    3. As I understand it, the EU Referendum was a consultative poll and *NOT* legally binding.
      Mind you, going against a popular poll might well cause a bit of a problem or more, unless it was at odds with the wishes of those in Scotland, which, of course, can always be ignored.

      Delete
  8. Unlike the EU referendum, the result of which was not legally binding, the GFA is legally binding under international law.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/northern-ireland-voters-back-brexit-backstop-lbrjn0f5g?shareToken=36d5bf82231ee484cf017ed50e996702

    Northern Ireland voters back Brexit backstop

    ...Some 58.4% said they would favour Northern Ireland remaining “more closely aligned with the EU than the rest of the UK”, while 39.5% said they would vote against; 2.1% did not know how they would vote.

    Meanwhile...

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-times/uk-faces-food-fuel-and-drugs-shortages-in-no-deal-brexit-times-citing-official-documents-idUKKCN1V70M4

    UK faces food, fuel and drug shortages, says contested leaked document

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  9. The tragic thing is that the foodbanks will have empty shelves first as people either can't afford to donate (most charitable donations come from the poor) or are unable to because of shortages of basic items.

    Yet the pound crash inflation will force many more to seek help from foodbanks as they can't afford to feed themselves any more. They will find the shelves bare.

    Boris and friends however will still be stuffing themselves and supping the finest champagne while Mogg makes a killing for them shorting the £.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/price-rises-will-hurt-poor-food-banks-braced-for-surge-after-no-deal-brexit-583mzkgl2?shareToken=db45fb57f2311d1b3d8aeb57568aae35

    Price rises will hurt poor — food banks braced for surge after no-deal Brexit

    Brexit is for the super rich. this is why you don't have charities all backing it with fervour.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And with free movement brought to an end for the poor (but not the wealthy), they can't even go and find work in another country where the economy is doing well.

      Delete
    2. Having to leave your country for work is a failure of government and industry. Spain is the worse in the Southern EU that is leaving Greece aside. The fact is is that Germany and the Northern states have cashed in on the EU

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    3. Trapping people in a country after the government / industry fails them is even worse.

      Which is what the plan for brexit is.

      Delete
    4. Free movement is the most socialist policy there is. It is the greatest equalizer; people can take their labour freely wherever they want to, escaping the workhouses. They can also send cash back home to help their own struggling countries during downturns. Free movement acts to distribute wealth far more evenly across the globe in the long run. It's why hard right Tories hate it. And national socialists.

      Delete
  10. Wings could cause upsets for us and split the Indy vote, now if he was serious about going into politics then perhaps he should stand in all of the next 5 elections or so or is he just wanting to force the hand of elected politicians by forcing them to do something against their better judgement. Could he force them ? I don't think he could as they really do know better but he could get a lot of folk thinking he is right and then they go into petty moods stamp their feet and proclaim they wont vote for independence ? but most of us are not so daft keep on doing it James. One last thought Wings could be full of what drops from the sky as those wings fly over you.

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  11. You could offer your services to Stuart in the formulation of his poll...?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Did anybody else notice that Daniel Gravel is joining in with the yoonstream quisling media (Massie I'm talking about you) by describing the Rev Campbell as an Alt-Nat? That woman is not and never has been a Yesser. She's just another media whore.

    On the subject of media whores. She also uses Gamergate as another line of attack. Which just goes to show, as Gamergate arose when female "journalists" were exposed as writing positive reviews in return for money, gifts, promotions, and other favours. When they were exposed for their crimes they ran away screaming sexism and the entire feminazi believe her metoo horde of mongos rallied to their side. As a result the truth is now the lie. The guilty are now innocent.

    Which also resembles her take on the Alex Salmond case when I saw her in an interview saying that she didn't know anything but here's 2 Million reasons why a white man must be guilty.

    I really hate creatures like her. We live in a world where half of all wildlife is going extinct and they get to live. That's not right.

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  13. Split vote. He's taking the indy movement into the same trap the unionists have fallen into - multiple similar parties competing against each other and handing victory to their ideological opponents.

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  14. It would be simple enough for the SNP to outflank a Wings party if they wanted to. Ensuring women's sex based rights are kept in any GRA reform is hardly controversial for example. Add that to fighting tooth and nail for indy with no backsliding (which should really go without saying) / the same devotion as Catalan leaders and they're sorted.

    But then I get the impression that the intent of Wings is simply to get the SNP to do both these things.

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    Replies
    1. I do not think a bloated character with or without wings is going to upset politics. After Brexit we will need a socialist government in Holyrood and the MSPs need to be reduced by 50%. The Scottish railways and buses must be nationalised without compensation immediately.

      Delete
    2. Do you have a collection of different kinds of spoon that can be cleaned in the dishwasher?

      Delete
    3. See. Not too difficult. Was it.

      Delete
  15. Multiple similar parties? The Greens pro-independence? Well maybe. What other pro-Independence parties are there at Holyrood? Zilch?
    Confusing for voters at the ballot box? No SNP candidate on the List vote, but a Scottish Independence candidate. Would that be clear enough to voters?

    I do not feel inclined to give my List vote to the Greens, their lack of support for the Football Anti-Social Behaviour Act was a bad show. So which Indy candidate could I vote for since as demonstrated, voting SNP on the List is a pointless?

    Rev Stu has demonstrated by his stats that the D'Hondt system is not fit for democratic politics.Any other suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your first priority is an SNP MSP it's not pointless.

      It would only become pointless in this case if you knew the result of your constituency ballot before voting on the list. Which obviously isn't possible.

      You could have some confidence the SNP candidates has won the constituency from polling, but you can't know for sure, and there is considerable risk. Sudden rapid swings in the final days are typical of elections, including in Scotland.

      If your fist priority is a Wings MSP, then obviously it would be pointless voting SNP on the list.

      Delete
  16. Hey Skier the late scare story is the Germans and Frogs are going to delay trade on the Channel links until the food rots and starve us out. The U Boats failed so they try something else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I asked you about spoons. Are you scared to answer me?

      Delete
  17. Your regional list vote is the most important vote so use it for the party you support and want to see in cabinet. It is PR so you can't 'cheat' it with tactical voting in any way. If your No. 1 party is SNP, vote SNP here. If it's Wings, vote wings. If Green, Green...

    You can vote tactically on the constituency vote as it is winner takes all FPTP. Parties may also stand aside here to maximize votes for another party with a better chance, just like what happens for UKGEs. In this vote, it will likely be the SNP which statistically is in with the best chance, so you may want to go for them even if they were not your first choice. But then you have already safely secured a vote for your first choice on the list, so this is fine.

    This is how you 'game' the Scottish system if you want to, while ensuring your vote for your most favoured party will be counted.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Tories now with a ~7 point lead over labour with this widening rapidly. BMG joins the trend.

    Averages suggest 5 points, but these are not keeping up with the pace of the incredible Tory surge, so ignore them at look at the raw data points.

    http://britainelects.com/polling/westminster/

    This keeps up and Boris and would be looking to win an outright majority in a GE to gain a hard brexit mandate before October 31st.

    Remain vote split right down the middle between Lab and Lib. Lib have hit their historic less than 20% ceiling, so things hopeless for them, while Corbyn + Euref2 less popular than a hard brexit (Yougov), but sufficient to keep the Remain vote split.

    Johnson can easily take 40%+ of the vote in a matter of weeks if he keeps up with the 'leave by 31st come hell or high water' approach. The hard brexit vote more than big enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If 'Remainers' manage to bring down the government, so seeming to put brexit at risk, this will most likely cause a very sudden swing to Con, accelerating their current surge.

      The fact that such a move would come from the 'subsidy junkie SNP jock scum' 'blocking England's brexit' would only throw fuel on the fire.

      Delete
    2. Corbyn is likely well aware of this, but he wants brexit and always has, so Tory win will be fine as it delivers this.

      His goal has always been a socialist revolution outside the EU after the country has been reduced to ashes by a Tory brexit.

      Delete
  19. The Wings idea is based on a scenario where the SNP fail to exercise their mandate to call a second referendum. If this happens (and I hope it doesn't) then all past statistics are void and none of your projections are valid. There are many people like me who support independence, vote SNP1/2 religiously, but are not members of that party or any other. Our electoral loyalty is conditional. If 2021 comes and there has been no referendum, then there is going to be some large-scale adjustment in Scottish party politics. Obviously and necessarily.

    If that scenario comes to pass, and you don't like Rev Stu's idea, what's yours? How should ordinary punters like me respond to that situation? Just vote SNP again, fingers crossed?

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    Replies
    1. I would say the change has to come from within the SNP. Even if the Wings party succeeds to the extent that Stuart thinks possible (and that I don't), it would still be trying to pressurise an SNP government into bolder action, rather than taking the decisions itself. I presume even Stuart would concede that he isn't going to be First Minister.

      Delete
  20. Any chance of a post on Shetland? I'm quite surprised to see the National pushing the SNP's chances there: surely it can't be anything but a walkover for the LDs.

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    Replies
    1. It would be very surprising if Shetland were to return anyone but a Liberal as MSP. Actually, not really "surprising", more like "astounding". Especially as Orkney & Shetland returned truth-loving Liberal Carmichael as their Westminster MP and the UK Liberals have the elocutionists' poster girl Swinson as leader. Surely her bounce can't be over already.

      Delete
    2. Yup. So why's the National talking as if it's within the realms of possibility?

      Delete
    3. Because almost everything is within the realms of possibility. Even Kay Adams and Gary Robertson becoming cabaret dancers on the Foula ferry.

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    4. It's in the realms of possibility because there were only 250 votes separating the SNP and the Lib Dems at the European Election in Shetland. Word is the SNP actually won Shetland in 2017, but Carmichael was saved by Tory types on Orkney...

      Delete
  21. The Rev needs his Wings clipped

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  22. How does Johnson argue with the EU that the backstop needs to be dropped when the N. Irish people want it to remain by an even bigger landslide than the 2016 remain vote there?

    It's madness. What does he say to e.g. Macron 'I'm English so I decide what people in N. Ireland want, not the Murphies that live there you French turds!'?

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  23. Obviously, given that warnings of a lack of food/medicines are clear, if no deal brexit is pursued and people die because of this, they will have been murdered in an act of premeditated genocide.

    This is indisputable. And before the usual suspects say anything, just imagine it was your partner, child, grandmother who died because of this. So yes, murder. If you let a plane take off knowing it will fall out the sky, killing a lot of people, then you are a murderer.

    If you support no deal brexit, you will be complicit in these murders.

    There is no need for these deaths; brexit can be delayed until the UK is ready.

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  24. Skier you are getting desperate and unhinged. I am seriously considering being sorry for you. Now go and give your French Mrs some good sex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edith Snellgrove-WhitmanAugust 19, 2019 at 8:09 PM

      You are already unhinged.

      Delete
    2. Naw nae Regrets.

      Delete
    3. I regret ever training as a nurse

      Delete
    4. I'm sorry I hung that Picasso under the stairs.

      Delete
    5. I regret saying, The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing, and other pretentious poop.

      Delete
    6. I don't regret calling my child Spike.

      Delete
  25. The good thing is that Jocko politicians will be calling in on food banks when we leave the Fascist EU. There will be jars of cavier for them courtesy of their former EU masters.

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  26. I respect the effort and analysis you provide in this blog James Kelly but I do not agree with your views on this subject.
    I will vote SNP on the constituency election. I will not vote for any Unionist party whatever camouflage title they adopt. No to Tory, Labour, LibDem, and now No to Greens - Football Behavioural issue. So what do I do with my List vote? Abstain?

    WOS has put figures to what I've been moaning about for several years - Wells, Fraser, Tomkins assigned, not elected to Holyrood on a minuscule number of votes.

    A Wings initiated party, List only, named as say, Scot Independence wouldn't confuse voters especially if the SNP only contest carefully selected List seats and so leave the field for the Scots Indy to offer a winnable choice to folk such as me.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The SNP will - as they always have done and as any major party always must do - contest the list ballot in all eight regions.

      Delete
    2. The strategy would only work in regional list areas where the SNP were to take nearly all the constituency seats and have no chance of a list seat. In 2011 the SNP won every seat in the North East and went on to take one list seat. No point in contest South of Scotland if it were to deny the SNP list seats there.

      Delete
  27. Skier you and your bint can still get Eurostar tickets six months in advance. Have you left already to join the real or continuity IRA EU fascist mobsters?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Govan food bank are happy to help EU supporting middle class Scots who may fall on hard times. We do not hold it against you for abandoning us for your personal greed. We are after all Jock Tampons Bairns! AYE.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This electoral commission intervention is surely an attempt to confuse the public.
    The phrase 'Scotland's place in the Union' is revealing.
    The referendum will be about independence. A leave v remain question is a ploy to disrupt the YES campaign.
    Another Brit body being used to stymie the Indy campaign. Looks like they're pulling out the stops.

    ReplyDelete
  30. All the countries in the EU/EEA, the USA rest of the international communityAugust 20, 2019 at 10:05 AM

    Given the British are determined to welch on their own backstop proposal, we can't trust them and so a backstop is essential to ensure the GFA is preserved.

    ReplyDelete
  31. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/brexit/congress-will-block-usuk-trade-deal-if-theres-hard-brexit-border-warns-senator-38418012.html

    Congress will block US-UK trade deal if there's hard Brexit border, warns Senator

    A senior US politician warns lawmakers could block a future US-UK trade deal if the Good Friday Agreement is undermined.

    Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has written to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Congress could work to block a deal if a hard border is introduced on the island of Ireland. A copy of the letter was also sent to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

    Mr Schumer called for the Trump administration to stop "over-promising an unconditional and unrealistic" post-Brexit trade agreement with the UK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A hard border would not be put in place by the UK therefore no need for the Senate to block a trade deal. Also why would anyone support USA interference in UK business. If the EU put up a hard border then perhaps the USA Senate should try and block trade with the EU. The USA are currently up to their eyeballs in interference, eg: South America, Cuba, Ukraine, Syria, etc etc.

      Delete
    2. There must be a hard border somewhere between the UK and Eire/the EU under WTO rules.

      Delete
    3. "If the EU put up a hard border then perhaps the USA Senate should try and block trade with the EU."

      Lol dream on. US trade with the UK is worth about 20% of its trade with the EU

      Delete
  32. "In fact, the Wings party is a solution in search of a problem that as of yet doesn't exist."

    To an extent. "Back-up plan" would be a more accurate description. It all depends what happens with Salmond's trial and the attempts by his fan club (Cherry, MacNeil, McEleny - all the folk who have been publicly speaking out against the current leadership of late and who made a point of publicly backing Salmond when the allegations came out) to topple Sturgeon.

    This isn't about independence. It's not even about GRA reform, although they've weaponised that very well. This is, sadly, all about a powerful man's bruised ego.

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  33. I cannot believe how much time and effort is being spent debating this (including this my one and only post) as it is surely a moot point as in (of little or no practical value, meaning, or relevance; purely academic).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And if I’ve understood James correctly, our parliament system is aimed at getting the actual numbers of party msps in the parliament to broadly represent the proportionate vote - in the list vote only. So actually the ‘best’ thing is for 60%+ to vote for SNP and greens, as then there will be a majority in support of independence.
      Actually I’m starting to wonder if the tories in Scotland may become the first unionist party to waver and come out for dissolving the union, if only to let them gain some independence of their own.

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  34. Support for a government of national unity to stop no deal, delay brexit and hold a GE.

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/08/20/public-are-opposed-government-national-unity

    Scotland:
    50% Support
    25% Oppose

    UK:
    37% Support
    44% Oppose

    It's almost like Scotland is a different country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's almost as if 1 in 6 people have a different view between the two, and 5 in 6 agree. Much like the brexit vote.

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  35. So a hard brexit means the UK would rely on Vladimir Putin for petrol as British refineries go to the wall.

    'Making our own laws'. Okey dokey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crude oil makes petrol and we have our own refinaries.

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    2. With a no deal brexit we'll lose a number of refineries. The reasons are astoundingly obvious.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49405270

      Brexit: No-deal plan threatens UK fuel plants

      Under current government plans for no deal, they face a "danger to viability" from cheaper imports, while exports to the EU are set to be hit with tariffs.

      Concern is widespread in an industry deemed crucial for both economic and national security.

      Delete
    3. Obvious is not a word sensible people use. The final outcome is what is important. The British people can overcome the warlike obstacles the EU fascists will throw at the UK. You remainers will be given no thought when the EU attacks us such is the brutal mindset of the EU. Ask the working class Greeks.

      Delete
  36. The remainers backed by their BBC/Channel 4 Allies are now on overdrive to block brexit. The previous scare stories have failed and now we have another.

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  37. Am I the only person who has noticed the underlying theme behind the quisling media's attacks on the FM being in Shetland while the fake, fraudulant, national embezzlement GERS figures are produced?

    The clear implication that Shetland isn't Scotland.

    Look at how North Sea and Atlantic oil fields have been replaced by East or West of Shetland. All part of the constant brainwashing that Scotland doesn't have oil, that the islands are not Scottish, that we are too Wee, Poor, and Stupid. Repeat ad-infinitum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shetland is British and the oil belongs to the UK. Even if Shetland is forced into a Scottish Nat si state the oil is British Oil by custom and practice. British resources at present cannot be changed by a vote.

      Delete
    2. Man GWC you talk absolute crap - and your not even funny anymore. Bet you are itching to say something.

      Delete
  38. Trump wants to buy Greenland.
    Now England/UK wants to keep Shetland?
    Shetlanders speak Scots.
    They've never been part of England.
    They don't want to be either.
    Seems the Brits only want us for our oil etc.
    Under the control of the Scottish Parliament our natural wealth will be put to work for the benefit of the people.
    Sounds good to me.

    ReplyDelete