Sunday, September 8, 2019

The SNP may be largely insulated from the effects of a Tory/Brexit Party pact

Today brings the first dark whispers about the possibility of a Tory/Brexit Party electoral pact at the general election.  Would that change the equation?  Of course it would.  Until now nobody had seriously factored that possibility in, because until now it seemed utterly unthinkable.  But Dominic Cummings is a revolutionary at the heart of government, and he's attempting two simultaneous revolutions - most obviously he wants a Hard Brexit before the end of this year, but he also wants to remake the Conservative party as a populist, hard-right outfit, completely purged of its pro-European and "One Nation" (I use the term loosely) elements.  A party with Philip Hammond and Dominic Grieve in it was never going to climb into bed with Nigel Farage, but a party without them just might.  I think a huge amount is going to hinge on whether the calls to restore the Tory whip to the rebels become irresistible.  If Johnson rides it out, then the Tory internal revolution may be complete.  (The other news today that the Tories are planning to put up a candidate against John Bercow in Buckingham is another sign of the way the wind is blowing - that would also have been unthinkable before Cummings came on the scene.)

Now for the good news.  As you know, there was a YouGov poll the other day conducted exclusively in the constituencies currently held by the Scottish Conservatives, which suggested a complete Tory wipeout north of the border.  And, reassuringly, in the case of most of those projected SNP gains, a split in the pro-Brexit vote was not the decisive factor.  The Brexit Party recorded just 5% of the vote across all of the Tory seats, and if that vote was added to the Tory share, it would help the Tories rescue just two seats - Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale, and Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk.  There would also be a third seat, West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine, that would become a virtual dead heat.  But the SNP would still be firmly on course to gain the other ten Tory seats, which is scarcely bad going in the circumstances.

We know there's a potential pro-Brexit vote in Scotland of up to 38%, but that's not to say all of those voters are going to buy into an extreme, Faragist version of Brexit.  It looks like the Tories will require more than a pact with the Brexit Party to hold the bulk of their Scottish seats - they'll have to reach out to more moderate centre-right voters.  And, paradoxically, a pact with the Brexit Party and the whole Cummings Revolution that made a pact possible, is likely to drive those moderate voters away to the Lib Dems or in some cases even the SNP itself.

However, at UK level a united Leave vote up against a hopelessly divided Remain vote is obviously a recipe for a Hard Brexit government after the election.  I wonder if this might concentrate minds to such an extent that other previously unthinkable things start to be seriously considered - such as a Labour/Lib Dem pact, of either a formal or informal variety.

*  *  *

Scot Goes Pop link list:  Thank you for all the excellent nominations for the link list.  So far I've added Talking Up Scotland Two (by the legendary Professor John Robertson), Councillor Dick Cole (by the leader of Mebyon Kernow, no less) and Don Roberto and Me.  It looks like the latter isn't updated very frequently, but it's a highly intelligent blog, and who can resist learning more about the mysterious and fascinating Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, upon whose shoulders we all stand?  I'll probably be adding more blogs in coming days.  I tried to add Arc of Prosperity, but the feed couldn't be detected.

UPDATE : With a little help from Elisabeth, I've now located the Arc of Prosperity feed, so that's been added as well.  I'm still mulling over what might be the best Welsh blogs to add.

25 comments:

  1. Thank you for adding Talking up Scotland two by Professor John Robertson , he is a must read .

    ReplyDelete
  2. It seems England is determined to shift politically even further to the right in its desperate need for brexit. I believe a virulent right-wing England can only boost the independence movement in Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As I said before, the neighbours are tiring of England.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-news-latest-article-50-delay-france-boris-johnson-extension-a9096361.html

    France will veto another Brexit delay unless UK ends political chaos

    'In the current circumstances, it’s no. We are not going to go through this every three months,’ says French foreign minister'

    De Gaulle was absolutely right about England being nothing but a problem if it joined the EU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not just brexiters that are the problem, but Lab + Lib + Remain Con too. They can't demand extensions when they have no agreed plan, nor ability to deliver it either.

      The UK is an international joke of a state. It would be a carry on film if it wasn't so serious.

      Only Scotland could ask for an extension on the basis of holding an iref for example. That's a credible plan.

      If Johnson breaks the law by refusing to ask, the Scottish government should do it for him, at least for Scotland.

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

    ReplyDelete
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l73URVRMZfo

    ReplyDelete
  6. If you actually listen to what he says here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puRUfTrjBYw (all in French), then it's clear he's frustrated, but I think the article you linked—as well as other articles kicking around the British media—are really bad summaries of what he said. He talks about how there's a fundamental conflict of legitimacy between the referendum result, which reflects "the will of the people" and Parliament, which is also an expression of "the will of the people". He's annoyed and frustrated that the UK won't accept the terms they negotiated with the EU, but also won't propose any new ones, which is an entirely reasonable reaction to have. However, he doesn't say anything about being fundamentally opposed to granting an extension. It's just that the UK needs to identify a single reason for wanting/needing one (he doesn't literally say this—this last bit is my take).

    I also notice that the English media are leaving out his comments about how the current impasse risks the UK losing Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aye, je le comprend (je parle un peu français).

      There does need to be a reason for another extension. If it's simply to sit around for 3 months before going through it all again, then what's the point?

      The EU are prepared for a hard brexit and the effect on them will be tiny compared to the effect on the UK. The average French voter is unlikely to even notice. Also, France stands to benefit quite a lot from businesses relocating, particularly in the financial industry. Paris can scoop up a lot of work London used to do. So why stretch this shit out? Let it go on and on and on.

      If the UK crashes out, it will likely be signing the original deal soon enough anyway. The empty shelves, unemployment and riots will have politicians rushing to sign a deal. It's the UK that's totally unprepared and no deal doesn't change the situation; a deal is still needed. The economic collapse in the UK would at least give it a kick up the but pushing it to sign something.

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The UK needs a deal. It can't have no trade deal with all 31 of it's neighbours.

      So no deal just means negotiating a new trade deal with the EU/EFTA while on your knees in the gutter, economically ruined.

      It doesn't mean a tough few months until it's all settled. It means years of economic ruin until trade deals are finally signed. During which the UK will have to make all sorts of concessions as it will be in such a weak position.

      A hard brexit was bad for the EU if it was not prepared. Now it is prepared - having spend 3 years getting ready - it's not such an issue for them. The UK had a few cards in the recent negotiations. Post hard brexit it will have none. The EU will be unsure what to play it's hand will be so stuffed with aces.

      Delete
  8. Now that Wings over Scotland has gone full Nigel Farage in his attacks on the SNP in order to promote his own as yet nonexistent party do we think this will have any affect on the SNP vote now these Mr Campbell seems to have attracted the far left to his website in some sort of momentum attempt to anger impatient voters into voting for, at the moment nothing, except a mibbees he'll have a political party or mibbees he won't but he knows he doesn't like the SNP anymore because *they're lying* he claims

    ReplyDelete
  9. Young James you refer to the Cummings hard right agenda. Would you describe the actions of the EU in impoverishing the Greek working class as right wing or perhaps left liberalism?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erm, the Greeks just voted in the Tories. Again.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/07/greeks-choose-between-beach-and-ballot-in-first-post-debt-bailout-poll

      Greek elections: landslide victory for centre-right New Democracy party

      Unfortunately, too many Greeks like to have Greek Boris and the 'tax avoiders alliance' in power. Which is what got them into debt in the first place. It was not the neigbours that that put Greek credit cards in the red. Greece isn't like the UK where England can splurge on shiny trainsets/radioactive penis extensions and claim Scotland spent the cash. Greece actually did spend what it didn't have. Even then it wasn't the EU that lent it money, it was some EU countries, including glorious Great Britain.

      Why doesn't the Brexit Britain cancel the money Greece owes it?

      Anyway, god knows why they've just elected the party that got them into debt and crashed their economy in the first place. Only Greeks know I guess.

      Delete
    2. Dominic Cummings v. Rev Stu Campbell v. Sir James Kelly in three-way Thai kick boxing. Who's your money on?

      Put up or shut up.

      Delete
    3. Indeed Skier the Greek working class have been demoralised like the British working class 1979 with the help of the Scottish Nat si party.

      Delete
    4. Because the Scottish Nat sion has turned its back on Greek yoghurts.

      Delete
    5. Greece and the UK have no bilateral loans for 'Brexit Britain' for it to write off.

      Delete
  10. France may not feel much effect but of course Ireland will. Crashing which is one of your fasting growing economies is not something that the EU is going to do in a rush, especially with Germany's economy circling around the drain.

    One way or other things will be over by the spring. If the Conservatives / Con/Brex get a majority then UK will leave with or without a deal. If Lab, lab/LD, Lab/LD/SNP, there will be a second ref and the UK will either leave or remain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any Scottish iref really needs to be before a second EUref. Otherwise, Scots could vote to keep England in the EU, then vote for independence shortly after (it's currently 51% Yes on average while we are still firmly in the EU).

      Right now, it's N. Ireland and Scotland ruining England's brexit. Take away MPs from both and the Tories had a majority. It seems grossly unfair that this may happen again in an even clearer fashion. Even if brexit could be miraculously stopped, that won't stop break up of the UK. Brexit is simply another symptom of the final empire demise.

      Home nations need to make their minds individually going forward. Those that pick brexit can then choose to go for that together if they wish. Otherwise, it's all going to just be a great big mess where nobody gets what they want, just like is happening now.

      Delete
    2. When we leave the EU Skier will have no role on this blog. Will probably go back to fenian o'toole or some Frog Blog.

      Delete
    3. Its been English Tories who've been voting and killing the Brexit attempts. If the English Tories had voted yes, the May's deal passes and the UK is now into the "transition phase" of Brexit.

      Delete
    4. The EU was always going to take the side of the nation that is a member of the EU and happy to stay in the EU over taking the side of the nation that was leaving the EU while throwing insult after insult back towards the EU. That the EU wouldn't do exactly that was always a prancing unicorn.

      Delete
  11. Stupid Jock BrexiteerSeptember 8, 2019 at 10:25 PM

    I apologise to all the clever remainers who want Scotland to be a small parish burgh in the EU and to be run from Berlin.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Maybe its the perspective from across the pond, but its always looked like the question was whether Tory+Brexit+DUP could gain a majority. From realizing that, its only a short distance to politicians actually realizing that maybe they should try to maximize that total (for or against). If you know you will ally with others after the election, working to maximize the total of your future alliance only makes sense. Of course, LibDems working to help the Tories while hurting their own interests isn't unheard of.

    ReplyDelete