Friday, October 25, 2019

Labour MPs' endless can-kicking on an election could lead to the very thing they don't want - a No Deal exit next year

With Jeremy Corbyn holding off to hear how long an extension the EU would offer before deciding whether to vote in favour of the election motion on Monday, the most quintessentially Brexit thing to happen was clearly for the EU to announce that they won't actually decide on the length of the extension until Monday or Tuesday.  That presumably guarantees the election motion will fail if it goes ahead on Monday, which in turn means that if Boris Johnson doesn't put the vote back until later in the week, we can reasonably infer that he's playing games.

That said, it's beginning to sound like the vote will probably fail whenever it's held.  So Labour won't allow an election to take place, Johnson won't allow parliament the chance to pass his own withdrawal deal unless there's an election, and the DUP probably won't allow a vote of no confidence to replace Johnson with an interim Prime Minister who could break the deadlock.  (I presume the DUP's vote with the government on the Queen's Speech can be taken as a pretty strong signal of what they would do on a motion of no confidence.)  On the face of it, that means we'll just stumble on like zombies for an indefinite period with the government unable to govern and Brexit being continually kicked down the road - although never very far down the road.

I'm guessing the optimists on the Labour side think the effect of what they're doing is to gradually make Johnson look utterly ridiculous in the eyes of the electorate, and thereby start to wear down his opinion poll lead.  The theory will be that it won't much matter if Johnson has been thwarted by forces outwith his control - all the electorate will see is that he made a series of grand promises that he utterly failed to deliver.  "Do or die, Brexit on 31st October with or without a deal, I'd rather be dead in a ditch than ask for an extension beyond that date."  That could be much more of a problem for him if Labour spin the crisis out until the spring or beyond.

But I'm not so sure that's how it would play out in practice.  For the crisis to go on indefinitely, Labour would need the EU27 to play ball and continue unanimously granting extension after extension.  So far President Macron has always backed down on his threats to veto a proper extension, and he'll probably do so again this time, but I suspect there'll come a point next year where he'll feel he's earned enough capital to be able to say "we've bent over backwards but enough is enough".  If and when that happens, it will lead either to No Deal or to parliament effectively being blackmailed into passing Johnson's deal as the only possible alternative.  That might be an indirect boost for the Scottish independence cause, but it's not what Remain-supporting MPs are supposed to be working towards.

I'm particularly puzzled by the SNP leadership's role in all this, because we've been told for weeks that they're eager for an election as soon as possible.  That makes perfect sense, partly to avoid any clash with legal proceedings against Alex Salmond, and partly because they have a handsome lead over the Tories and Labour in the polls and it's always good to strike while the iron is hot.  And yet if they wanted to maximise the chances of their preferred timing, the mood music last night should have been "we can't go on like this, in the national interest we need to break the deadlock before Christmas".  Instead Ian Blackford launched into a monologue about dark December nights in Inverness and how it was "barking mad" to hold an election in winter.  Well, waiting until winter is over means waiting until at least March, and more likely April or May.  That's surely far too long.

It's perhaps asking too much of Labour to back an election in which their working assumption is that they'll lose seats.  Chuka Umunna on behalf of the Liberal Democrats hinted last night that he might drop his opposition to an election if he could receive some guarantees from Johnson that the Brexit process would be suspended until polling day.  So maybe the way out of this impasse is for the three parties that think they have something to gain from an immediate election (the Tories, the SNP and the Lib Dems) to try to reach some sort of understanding between them.  Admittedly, that would require Johnson to stop behaving like a toddler, so it's a long shot.  But a short piece of legislation circumventing the two-thirds majority stipulated by the Fixed Term Parliaments Act could be a way forward.  Another possibility is that the SNP or the Lib Dems could be given parliamentary time to table a motion of no confidence, and that the Tories could abstain to ensure it passes.

60 comments:

  1. "stumble on like zombies for an indefinite period" um.....isn't that the British system for the last...

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  2. I can understand the SNP leadership in a way. They might fear being accused (as in 1979) of ushering in a Tory govt if they back an election without the support of other parties and Johnson gets a majority.

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    1. I don't see how that accusation could possibly stick. We have a Tory government at the moment, and an election is an opportunity to remove it from power. Not having an election keeps Johnson in office.

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    2. I agree. But at the moment there is a zombie govt that has to do as it's told. If that were to be replaced by a Brexit fanatic govt with a clear majority, I can see how the 1979 allegations could unjustly rear their heads again.
      I also think it helps independence for people to see the shambles that WM rule is.
      However, I'd love a GE soon.

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  3. "...partly to avoid any clash with legal proceedings against Alex Salmond..."

    I honestly can't see why pro-indy supporters should worry about this. They all know the British nationalist media has already condemned Alex Salmond as guilty. The britnat media will drool for days and weeks over it all, so much so that even non-indy people will be pissed off by every britnat hypocritical front-page headline. Likewise all the britnat bbc coverage to come.

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    1. Echo, meet chamber. The Scottish Tories are absolutely salivating at the thought of an election during the Salmond trial. It will give them space to launch all sorts of highly effective, highly unethical electioneering tactics and smears - ones which SNP supporters will dutifully stamp their feet and cry foul about, but which will win the Scottish Tories seats regardless.

      The fact that the Scottish Tories are rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of an election, and SNP supporters are somehow baffled by that, is sadly disconcerting. Just wait until you see the cesspit of attacks the Scottish Tories unleash on the SNP and Sturgeon.

      The SNP may huff and puff and scream it's unfair, but it will lead to a sizeable dent in the SNP lead nonetheless. And that's all that matters. Ordinary Scots will lap that stuff up.

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  4. This is all getting a bit "If he is saying that I didn't tell her, that she wasn't right about him refusing to acknowledge his guilt in this matter, then I have to deny that she was wrong about him being right".

    I'm a fairly avid observer of politics, but we are so far down the rabbit hole, that things like logic, right and wrong etc have become meaningless.

    I am sure of only one thing. If the SNP ever walk through the same lobby as the tories, I'll resign my membership immediately, regardless of how convoluted the reasoning is.

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    1. The SNP have undoubtedly already walked through the same lobby as the Tories multiple times in this parliament, and in every other parliament they've ever sat in. It's unavoidable - in an endless series of binary votes, two parties with little in common will occasionally find themselves on the same side about specific issues.

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    2. Can you recall an occasion when the SNP have voted with the tories? I can't. I've been trying to access a list of votes without success, and I'm open to being corrected, but I can't recall a single occasion....

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    3. They are the Scottish Tartan Tories. They have to pretend they hate the Tories but that ruse will end some time in the future.

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    4. Alex Birnie is suffering from WDS. Wings Derangement Syndrome. Unfortunately it has spread throughout his body and is now terminal.

      He'll be coming for you soon JK.

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    5. "Can you recall an occasion when the SNP have voted with the tories?"

      Yes, I can recall multiple occasions, and there's really nothing surprising or horrifying about this. Suppose, for example, there was a vote on banning upskirting. The Tory government are in favour, but a few headbangers on their own backbenches force a division and vote against it. The SNP can either go through the Aye lobby "with the Tories" to ban upskirting, or they can perversely abstain to avoid voting "with the Tories". Which course of action do you think they should take? Yes, exactly.

      By the way, in the 2007-11 Scottish Parliament, the SNP and Tories were voting together pretty regularly - the first SNP budget only went through with Tory support.

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    6. Sorry, James but that's not a satisfactory answer. I honestly can't recall a single occasion when the SNP voted with the tories on anything, at least in recent years. I'd be grateful if you could elaborate on these multiple occasions.......

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    7. With all due respect, Alex, I'm not your slave, and there is no requirement for me to "satisfy" you by trawling through Hansard at this ungodly hour. The answer I've given you is accurate, and moreover it's a statement of the blindingly obvious. You'd have to be astonishingly naive to believe that it's somehow possible for the SNP to avoid voting in the same lobby as the Tories on any subject at all, even on the routine, uncontroversial matters that are the bread and butter of parliamentary business. But if that's what you're determined to believe, suit yourself.

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    8. OK. - I'm not communicating properly. I didn't mean to ask you to trawl through Hansard. You said that you can recall multiple occasions. If you can recall multiple occasions when the SNP have voted with the tories, can you give a specific example from memory?

      It is impossible for me to prove a negative, but relatively easy for you to recall an occasion when the SNP voted with the tories?

      If you can't recall a specific occasion, but insist that you are right, then just say so, and I will trawl through Hansard myself - once I discover how to do that. If you CAN name one occasion, all it means, is that I will stand corrected, and it will save me a lot of time. It's no big deal.

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    9. I imagine there are a decent number of times the SNP have voted with the UK Tories on motions like 'This house condemns the murder of...invasion of...crackdown on...'.

      Voting with other parties is absolutely fine. People don't care about that, they care about what motion/bill it was you voted upon. SNP will of course be opposed to most if not all Tory core policies.

      As for 'coalitions', informal or formal...

      Scots had no issue with the SNP using Tory votes 2007-11 to pass budgets etc. That was because the Tories 'enabled' an SNP government (to some extent). The other way around would have been unacceptable, as the English lib Dems discovered, and the SNP would never do that. It would destroy them.

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    10. "It's no big deal BUT I DEMAND THAT YOU PROVIDE ME WITH AN EXAMPLE NOW."

      A quick Google search took me to the Commons Votes website, and turned up at least four examples of the SNP voting in the same lobby as the Tories over the last few months. Here's one as an illustration, and it's exactly the sort of thing I was talking about earlier. An uncontroversial Yvette Cooper amendment in February that all parties were in favour of, but a very small number of Eurosceptic headbangers were opposed to it and forced a division, which led to the Tories, SNP, Labour and the Lib Dems all voting for the amendment in the Aye lobby. The amendment was carried by 502 votes to 20.

      https://commonsvotes.digiminster.com/Divisions/Details/616#ayes

      Your SNP membership card is now in the bin, no doubt.

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    11. OK..... I can see that you've gone into full "Stu Campbell" mode. I am now in the process of trawling through Hansard, for examples of votes, where the SNP voted with the Tories in opposition to Labour on a meaningful political issue, and I haven't found a single example this year.

      I'm doing this, because of the evasiveness of your answers. I didn't count that vote that you mentioned as being an example of what I'm talking about, because, as you say, it was "normal" people, voting against fruitcakes.

      Unlike you, I don't worry too much about making mistakes, and then admitting them, so I'm going to continue to trawl through Hansard, to find a vote, where the SNP voted with the Tories, in a vote that was substantive.

      I'm not expecting to find one, but I'll be sure to let you know if I do.

      My SNP membership card is still intact.

      Right ..... 2018 .........

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    12. "If the SNP ever walk through the same lobby as the tories, I'll resign my membership immediately, regardless of how convoluted the reasoning is."

      "I didn't count that vote that you mentioned as being an example of what I'm talking about, because, as you say, it was "normal" people, voting against fruitcakes."

      Lol

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    13. I have finished checking Hansard for 2018, for examples of the SNP voting with the tories, and they did so twice, once when they voted on a motion that had cross-party consensus, when they walked through the lobby with tories and labour, and the other time, when they were voting on amendments to the bill for restoring the Palace of Westminster, again, with both tories and labour members.

      On every other issue, they voted against the tories,

      I amend my original statement to read "If the SNP ever walk through the same lobby as the tories on anything substantive, I will resign my membership immediately".

      This should avoid any further arguments about semantics.....

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    14. I am absolutely speechless. You can forget the "Stu Campbell" tripe - you were absolutely explicit that you were talking about any occasion when the SNP had walked through the lobbies with the Tories. I pointed out that would inevitably happen on "uncontroversial" matters and used upskirting as a hypothetical example. You were still disbelieving that such a thing could happen in real life and demanded that I provide a specific example. I did so, and then you immediately shift the goalposts and decide that uncontroversial matters don't actually count after all, even though that was plainly what we had been talking about.

      Pathetic. Waste someone else's time in future.

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    15. Alex: I've deleted your latest comment. You're still welcome to comment here, but you're not welcome to play the kind of games you've played over the last 24 hours. You asked me for evidence, assuming it didn't exist. No, in fact you demanded that evidence. When I took the time to actually do as you ask, you then started acting like a buffoon to cover your embarrassment. It really isn't any more complicated than that.

      This matter is now closed.

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    16. Alex, please stop attempting to post on this section of the thread, I've already told you the discussion is closed. And you certainly haven't got a leg to stand on complaining about "politeness" given the way you attempted to throw your weight around earlier. You demanded evidence, I provided it, you then wished I hadn't. End of story.

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    17. Closed means closed. Seriously.

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    18. How generous, but actually the invitation was unnecessary. What would be the equivalent infantile insult? "Midget"? Stop wasting my time and your own.

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  5. A reliable site for informed opinion. Keep up the good work.

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  6. "An anti-Nat Unionist pact may be unholy but it's essential"
    says Alan Cochrane

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2019/10/24/anti-nat-unionist-pact-may-unholy-essential/

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    1. My favourite thing about the Telegraph is the pay-wall.

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    2. The National rag seems to have twinned itself.

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  7. Alan Cochrane is the ultimate cringing prop the bar up red nosed Brit *journalist* that everybody avoids in the Holyrood lobby, even his own kind dodge behind the pillars when they see him coming

    A man with no friends

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    1. Far too many politicians are hiding behind pillars at Holyrood.
      50% cut in numbers and wages required. Lebanon seems to have recognised its useless beaurocracy and spongers.

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    2. Says the unemployed sponger who lives on Scot goes Pop with his mummy bringing his spaghetti hoops on toast into his room for him

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  8. My mags arrived today. Tomorrow I'll be spending some quality time with my left hand and a tube of vaseline so I won't be here till Sunday. If then.

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  9. Interesting how many SNP politicians make self-fulfilling prophecies.
    IB declares that people won't vote in December.
    MH claims that voter ID would be a disaster for the Yes campaign and suppress turnout.

    Either they should shut up or be shut down. Hate him or hate him but AS was relentlessly upbeat about elections and motivating supporters to get out and vote.

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    1. Voter ID absolutely would be a disaster. Nevertheless, your point has merit. The SNP lack a galvanising force, and have done for a long while.

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    2. Edith Snellgrove-WhitmanOctober 26, 2019 at 10:22 AM

      Bollocks - IB said he wanted the GE to be a week earlier.

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  10. Slightly off topic but I really worry about Scotish rugby in the future now. Look what Ireland and Wales have achieved in the 4 years since the last world cup. England have gone from nothing to world cup final in 4 years, Scotland (along with France) have stood still at best.

    Real risk is that Scotland will be seen as an unattractive proposition for world class coaches and coaching teams. If you are a world class or even just a very good coach looking for your next challenge then turning Frances fortunes around or aiming to get a country like Japan into the knock out stages of the next world cup might seem like a more attractive job.

    Unless things are sorted out over the next couple of years then the highlight for Scottish rugby fans might be picking up the odd win here and there.

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    1. Putting aside the ups and downs all teams go through...

      Scottish international sports teams will always be hampered by the fact Scotland remains in no man's land re independence.

      This has profound physiological factors, as well as the other issues associated by Scottish leagues being smothered by the bigger English leagues money / coverage-wise.

      When Scotland was solidly unionist and the national question was not at the forefront, it's teams had a better track record. As a country it was relatively content about it saw itself as a nation. I grew up to Scotland qualifying for international championships regularly.

      However, since it's begun moving to indy since 1997, this unresolved nationhood issue has damaged performance. The footie team is a classic example. I think 2014 was disastrous in this respect. If you don't even have the guts to be a country, then how can you take on wee countries internationally like malta who do? Malta had the guts to go for indy. Hard to say they're not a braver people with more self respect.

      Then, as noted, we have e.g. English footie forced down Scots throats with the wages attracting any talent southwards. The BBC is happy to pay for English games but often as not you need to cough up for Sky to see Scots teams playing. It's a disgrace.

      The sooner independence comes the better for sports teams and associated national pride.

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    2. Not talking about ups and down Scotland has not one a major tournament in 20 years, that is not normal up and down.

      Secondly the notion that a professional sportsman would suddenly play better just becasue Scotland is not independent is farcical. Professional sportsmen (and women) go out to play to the best of their ability every time they play. If you suggested to an international player that they did not do so just because Scotland was independent then think you would get a very unpleasant answer back.

      THe fact the as mentioned above Scottish international rugby has fallen over 20 years and as you mention International football has done the same over the same sort of time period shows that there has been a major failing from grassroots up in both sports. If you are not discovering and nurturing talent from grassroots then you have a vacuum of talent appearing at the top level, leading to a fall in results. Again Independence does not change this, players do not suddenly become more talented because Scotland becomes independent.

      Once you have this vacuum of talent it then becomes harder to get top level coaching teams as mentioned in my first post.

      As for your little rant about the BBC paying for English but not Scottish games, it has payed for and shows the highlights for both the Scottish and English premiership as well as rights for some Scottish Championship fulls games.

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    3. Scottish SkierOctober 26, 2019 at 1:07 PM

      "Putting aside the ups and downs all teams go through...

      Scottish international sports teams will always be hampered by the fact Scotland remains in no man's land re independence.

      This has profound physiological factors..."

      You are Gordon Strachan and I claim my 5 merks and a subscription to "EUgenics Weekly".

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    4. That was quite a rant Adam. I didn't rant at all. I don't watch football. I was just saying what football fans have said to me.

      You clearly know nothing about sport though.

      Talent and confidence / pride (in your team / your country at internationals) are required in equal measure to succeed in sport.

      You could have the best team in the world, but if they lack confidence in themselves / pride in their country, they'll fail. Why do you think playing for their country means to much to them? Why do you think old historical rivalries are significant?

      Maybe you should take up some sport and then you'd understand this?

      Polling shows Scots believed indy would give Scotland a big boost in national pride. The opposite as happened.

      The e.g. Maltese can rightly laugh at Scotland (not Yes voters of course) for not having the guts to do what they did and stand on our own two feet.

      If you honestly think the success of international sports teams is not in a decent part linked to national pride / confidence, you are clearly clueless.

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    5. There are other factors involved like you say.

      However, if Scotland votes for independence, its fortunes on the international sports stage will improve due to that.

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    7. Erm up until the age of 17 i was fully expecting to play rugby at some sort of professional level. Sadly a series of dislocations to my right shoulder caused a weakness that put that pan put of my reach, no club is going to employ a center that has a weakness to his shoulder that could lead to further disolations at any time putting him out of action due to injury for weeks at a time.

      Had I been lucky enough to be picked for Scotland i would off played with the same amount of pride and energy if it was independent or not. The fact that you think otherwise shows that you have never played sport at a high level.

      honestly you need to provide evidence, please provide evidence that any Scottish sports person has said that they or there team would play better if Scotland was Independent. As i said most would be extremely insulted that you thought they were putting anything but 100% every time they played.

      Pride does not generate talent, you would have to be an idiot to think otherwise. A team that has lot of pride but little talent will loose 9/10 against a team with more talent and less pride.

      Using Malta as an example it has not got any better at football since independence just because (in your mind) they have more pride. It is limited by the talent that it has at its disposal.

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    8. Erm, it's naff all to do with what individuals think. They might not even know it themselves. This is obvious. We are talking about national pride / confidence, not that of the individual.

      I honestly cannot believe you think people from a country without the balls to even be a proper country can take on other countries on the world stage. 2014 was a national announcement that Scots didn't have the baws for this. The union campaign was 'We are too pathetically poor and stupid to be a country. We haven't a hope in hell of surviving on the world stage'. And they won.

      And if Scotland isn't independent, it shouldn't really have a football team. It's typical British arrogance to think only the Brits should get to have 4 international teams when all other sovereign states just get one.

      I voted indy. I have the right to seek a Scottish international team. If someone doesn't want Scotland to be a country, they should stop arrogantly demanding still to have a Scottish team. It's brexiter levels of wanting cake and to eat it.

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    9. Scotland has an international football team and and an international rugby team so not sure what you are getting at. Are you now saying that people who pay money to go and watch Scottish teams playing have no pride in Scotland? You really need to provide some evidence to back this up.

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    10. I notice you don't even read what people right before ranting at them. I said this:

      "Talent and confidence / pride (in your team / your country at internationals) are required in equal measure to succeed in sport."

      Yet you attack with this:

      "Pride does not generate talent, you would have to be an idiot to think otherwise."

      And Malta has a higher FIFA ranking to population ratio than Scotland. It punches higher than Scotland football-wise for it's size.

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    11. Its also fallen 100 paces over the last 15 years. Does that mean that they have less pride in their country than they did 15 years ago?

      your talking nonsense. As i said you need to provide some some evidence that Scotish players are not playing well because of lack of pride in Scotland.

      Honestly, thinking that the reasons for Scotland's woes in Rugby and football are due to not being independence is Brexiter levels of delusion.

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    12. Malta is higher than Scotland in ranking per capita. That is all that matters regarding my point.

      Can you please provide evidence that national pride / confidence (including players and support) has nothing to do with team success? Next you'll be recommending the coach tells the team they're all shit and the SFA shout Scotland is too wee, poor and stupid to be a real team. That will get them at the top of their game.

      You really are an unpleasant person. You lie so freely and naturally. It's like second nature to you.

      I clearly said this:

      If you honestly think the success of international sports teams is not in a decent part linked to national pride / confidence, you are clearly clueless.

      I never once said national pride was the sole reason. You just lied to make that up.

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    13. and i have repeatedly said that players playing for Scotland do have pride in playing for Scotland. Therefore any success attributed to 'pride' would already be taking place.

      As I have repeatedly asked you need to provide evidence that players playing for Scotland don't have any pride in doing so because Scotland is not independent. I'm assuming you have this?

      Who said Scotland is not a real team?

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    14. What's the point. You are unable to grasp the concepts I'm discussing it would appear.

      I have even made it as clear as possible I'm not talking about individual players, nor even the team as a whole, but national pride / confidence.

      Yet on you drone. There's just no point if you can't even begin to consider the bigger picture.

      But okey dokey. The performance of national sports teams is not ever related to the current national circumstance / feeling / pride. Whatever you say...

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    15. Bigger picture aside, it's also incredible that you don't think things like Scotland voting No and/or Brexit might not even affect the general mental state of at least some Scots players individually.

      You think none passionately support Independence? None were depressed by the vote? They are are somehow immune to such things? They have no national pride for their country which might take a knock when folk vote to say their country isn't one?

      Jeez.

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    16. Just seconds to search and examples abound...

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-news-mental-health-a8866256.html

      Brexit uncertainty affecting mental health of 1 in 3 UK adults, study shows

      But not football players obviously. Nor supporters. Nor the whole nation. Not affected by such things at all.

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    17. As i mentioned above we are talking about a 20 year decline in Scotish Rugby. Clearly things like 2014 had no effect on players mental health post 2014.

      Also anyone whos work is being effected by the result in 2014 needs to seek some mental support. Nothing to be ashamed of but being effected by an event that happened five years ago to the extent that it affecting their work needs support.

      Anyhow my original statement that all the time that Scotland continues to underperform in comparison countries with similar resources / populations it will struggle to attract top class coaches /coaching teams stands. You have said nothing that disproves this statement nor have you provided any evidence to support your statement "The sooner independence comes the better for sports teams". So I think will leave it there.

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  11. I thought Blackford was complaining about the 12th because it was too close to Xmas and students will have gone home etc., isn't he proposing the 5th as a better alternative? I saw something in my feed that the Lib Dems are prepared to consider the 5th and both are talking to Labour about it...with Labour swithering to a maybes aye on the 5th. It says the source is the Sun so that last part could be total nonsense.

    If they can get an extension and avoid any no deal shenanigans from Boris the 5th would be better. However, with Corbyn vs Johnson I can't see Labour cracking England and it could result in Tory majority now, next spring or 2022 if they kick the can that far. Labour's only hope is if Fandango's lot split the angry gammon vote (actual Tories will almost certainly vote Tory).

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    1. We could cancel christmas and have it on 25 Dec 19. Save a few bob.

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  12. It can be a mistake to discuss this issue, as you do, in terms of the individuals and parties, rather than in terms of the real protagonists in the process -- which are 'The United Kingdom', and the 'European Union', of which of course the UK is a member that wishes to leave.
    Article 50 of the EU Treaty was framed to allow this to happen, but it was intended not to allow the leaving state to drag the process out indefinitely. It is true that the ECJ ruled that a nation could 'revoke' -- ie give notice that it no longer intends to leave. The EU was a party to the case, and argued against this interpretation. Since revoking/unrevoking could go on for ever, it's not reasonable to expect the EU to facilitate such a process -- which, in effect, nullifies the intended effect of the Article 50 mechanism.
    The bottom line seems to me to be this: an extension of 3 months or so would not be long enough for all the steps that would be necessary for the UK to revoke article 50 (general election resulting in a majority government, followed by the legislation and carrying out of a binding referendum: I'm sure there will be an argument that this would not be legally necessary, but ultimately this would be the Supreme Court's decision -- and anyway, I'm damned sure that such a referendum would be politically necessary). So at the end of the extension (assuming it is granted), either the legislation will have gone through Parliament with no more amendments than the EU is immediately able to accept, or we shall leave, as they say, 'without a deal'.
    The only way, it seems to me, to 'get no deal off the table', at this stage of the process, it seems to me, is for Parliament to ratify this deal, or something very close to it (such as Mrs May's deal).

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  13. Remainer hopes in England being dashed.

    Britain Elects
    @britainelects
    Opinium (Con +16), Deltapoll (Con +13) and YouGov (Con +15) all showing Conservative leads in excess of 10pts.

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    1. I see the Opinium poll has the SNP on 5%. That looks pretty healthy. It would suggest that Scotland goes one way and England takes a very different road. Can Labour do anything to reverse their doldrums?

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