Monday, May 11, 2020

As predicted, Stuart Campbell performs *another* 180 degree turn: his new case for a list-only party flatly contradicts the one he was making only a few months ago

Stuart Campbell's latest rant today is fascinating (and mildly depressing) in at least one respect.  I had assumed his initial positive noises about the setting up of a new pro-indy fringe party meant that the idea of a Wings Party had finally been laid to rest, and that he would be throwing his weight behind the new outfit instead.  But nope, not a bit of it.  He says a list-only party can only work if it has "a well-known brand or profile or leadership figures", which strongly suggests he's still nursing the misguided notion that the Wings "brand" and "profile" can somehow overcome a lack of well-known or credible leadership figures.  (As I've pointed out before, Wetherspoons is a very well-known brand, but it's not like you can put the word Wetherspoons on a ballot paper and expect to have a viable political party.)  So it now looks possible that pro-independence representation at Holyrood will be threatened next year by the intervention of at least two new fringe parties who stand little or no chance of winning any seats at all.

As I noted when Stuart's own Panelbase poll was released last week, the Holyrood voting intention numbers effectively destroy the specific case that he made last year in favour of his own party.  He argued that, in the absence of a 'helpful' intervention such as a Wings Party, we were heading for the loss of the pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament in 2021 - mainly due to the supposed inevitability of the SNP taking an enormous hit as a result of the Alex Salmond trial.  He's been proved wrong about that, and his own polling suggests that in the post-trial world, we're now on course not just for a pro-indy majority, but for a single-party SNP majority.  But the other thing I noted last week is that arguments in favour of "gaming" the system have a habit of conveniently mutating when circumstances change, and we therefore shouldn't necessarily assume that Stuart would give up the ghost.  And so it has proved.  He's now making entirely the opposite case to the one he made last year - he's arguing that because the SNP will win so many seats, they won't need any list votes.

So just to be clear: if the SNP are expected to do badly, that makes the case for a list-only party.  If the SNP are expected to do well, that makes the case for a list-only party.  Literally everything makes the case for a list-only party in Stuart's mind.  (Unless of course it's 2016, in which case any attempt to game the system with a list-only party is a "mug's game".  But, hey, Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia, yeah?)

I'm pretty confident I felt my ears burning at this point in Stuart's piece - 

"One website has now published, we think, over 30 articles packed with increasing amounts of raging personal abuse about it, although none of them have ever attempted to address the arguments in Gavin Barrie's calm, professional analysis from last September."

Hmmm.  I must confess I haven't kept track of the number of times Stuart has made passive-aggressive comments of that sort, but I suspect it's rather more than 30.  (Before today's, the most recent was of course his petulant reaction to my column in last month's iScot magazine, which he clearly felt should have been censored - in spite of the fact that neither it, nor any of the other articles he's fuming about, contained even the slightest trace of personal abuse, "raging" or otherwise.)  All the same, it's quite an achievement for Stuart to have a purported running tally of Scot Goes Pop posts about the Wings Party, but to have mysteriously missed my detailed twenty-three paragraph rebuttal of Gavin Barrie's pseudo-scientific assertions.  Having a bit of a snooze that day were we, Reverend?

Incidentally, one thing that puzzles me about the new Independence for Scotland party is that there's quite a bit of overlap between its supporters and people who hope that Joanna Cherry will become SNP leader.  If there's a vacancy at the top at some point in the coming years, I can well imagine that I'll find myself supporting a leadership bid by Ms Cherry, but I can tell you one thing for certain: that bid will not be helped by some of her natural backers having left the SNP altogether.

44 comments:

  1. I don't even bother looking at his website any more. He seems to be permanently angry at everyone else who wants independence, and not at all angry at our opponents. Why he chooses to do this at a time when support for independence has never been higher is beyond me.

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    1. I think you will find it started after the police took his computer.

      The state has been known to use coercion to get people to do their bidding.

      But I suppose we will never know, unless it's in the memoirs of an MI5 agent.

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  2. He was superb, a real asset to the cause for several years and his take on the gender issue - except in a very, very, very few anomalies of mistransmission and expression, the genetic facts are irrefutable. But in the delivery of his opinions he seems to have gone crazy, and the idea of another party successfully taking over the independence cause is hard to sustain.

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  3. I've started to wonder if Stu has a personal leaning to becoming trans himself?
    No big deal if he does, but it shouldn't destroy what he has built.

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    1. Everyone is trans. It's a 'spectrum' remember.

      I'm personally 'non-binary trans' because I don't believe in - nor see myself as conforming to - sexist gender identity stereotypes.

      This is according to Stonewall anyway.

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  4. The history of splinter groups results in elections for the past 150 years suggest that they wither away over time, some quicker than others. SDP, SLP, Commonwealth etc.

    At the present time there are no well known persons known to the wider general public involved in the two competing groups. Twitter is a political bubble and I doubt if more than 9% of voters do twitter. Also I would want to know who the candidates who are standing for my votes are? What is their history? I wouldn't want to vote for a nutcase so I would want to know who they are.

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  5. Is it not as simple as:
    1. Prior to the recent SNP polling jump the arithmetic might have made a list party with a sufficently high profile viable;
    2. The jump to 54%, if sustained, knocks this on the head;
    3. There's very little to suggest that adequate profile is achievable anyway ? (Genuine question)

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  6. I don't like being lied to, and when someone tells me I can cheat a PR list, they are lying to me. That's it, end of. It's a lie. They are trying to get me to give them my most important vote by knowingly lying to me.

    Your regional list vote is the one that will always be counted (threshold caveat aside). It is your most important vote. The constituency vote is secondary, and where tactical voting is possible.

    If a party asked me to vote for them outright, and were honest that I should give my most important PR list vote to them - then gamble with a tactical vote for another party on the constituency FPTP vote - I'd be much more likely to actually consider it. I don't like dishonesty though.

    Your list vote is PR and your most important vote. It should be for the party you really support as it's the vote you can be sure is counted. If you want to vote tactically, do so under FPTP, which is the only way you can do that.

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    1. "I don't like dishonesty though" - so all those who lied and conspired against Salmond aren't getting your vote. High Heid yins in the SNP and Scotgov.

      The SNP need a good clear out. The Britnats masquerading as independence supporters are causing all these problems.

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    2. No, I certainly wouldn't vote for those people. However, as far as I know, they are not elected from my area. Nor do I even know exactly what went on, so I won't jump to conclusions in the same way I didn't when similar siren voices told me Salmond was guilty. The civil service is also British; it is not ultimately controlled by MSPs.

      Certainly, I'm not aware my local MSP was in any way involved, and there's no doubt about her commitment to indy.

      Anyway, it doesn't change what I said. I won't vote for one dishonest party just to not vote for another dishonest one.

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  7. James - what happens if the SNP do win an absolute majority next year and we see the same crushing inertia on the move towards actually winning independence? I think it's pretty indisputable at this point that Sturgeon is (at best) paralysed and hasn't been able to take the next steps for at least the last couple of years. Our Parliament has a pro-indy majority and has already voted to hold another referendum, but Sturgeon has refused to even pursue a legal challenge to the refusal of a Section 30 Order.

    The chief purpose of any new pro-indy party should be to push the SNP harder. The leaders of the SNP know they're not going to lose pro-indy votes to unionist parties and it feels very much as though their plan for the last few years has been to keep promising a vote is just around the next corner, then settle down and just enjoy the power. At the moment, they're unassailable. Labour and the Tories aren't going to overtake them in the foreseeable future, so pro-indy voters are trapped. How do we force the SNP to do its first and most important job if we have no choice but to vote for them then hope for the best? I feel like anyone warning against a new party needs to offer an alternative strategy, because otherwise I can see us asking all these same questions five years from now, and actually being further from independence then than we are now.

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    1. How would this party vote on all other policy areas? What about budgets - would the just vote through SNP ones or would they seek to make radical changes for support? Would this new indy party be right / left or in the centre of the spectrum?

      It will need to decide all this as it will have to vote on such matters in the chamber for up to 5 years.

      This is why single issue parties always flop in national elections. People vote on lots of issues, not just one. So you need to address as many as you can with policies.

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    2. It's an interesting point Kenny, because if the casual conversations I have with relatives and neighbours is any guide, the SNP now appeal to people who would never in a million years consider a yes vote to indy. Make of that what you will.

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    3. Kenny

      "Push the SNP harder." It is a sad state of affairs that the supposed party of independence should actually need pushing towards independence.

      You are correct no one is putting forward any "alternative strategy" if the SNP just go on collecting mandates for a referendum but just keep coming up with excuses for doing nothing.

      My solution is a purge of all the Britnat saboteurs in the SNP and Scotgov.

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    4. It's easier to keep voting SNP to ensure their dominance and force a leadership challenge should the inertia on indy continue from current leadership.

      That's far more sensible than fragmenting the entire Yes movement and hoping the pieces fall in the precise manner you want them to, because if they don't you'll have done the Unionists work for them.

      It's clear as day to anyone with half their wits that for the last year the Rev has been coasting on his past work to provide cover for the fact he is no longer working towards indy. His website is now a dedicated SNPBad diatribe where yoons and useful idiots can gather to do Boris's dirty work for him.

      At best he's a crank who's gone off the rails and at worst he's a money grubbing cynic taking advantage of a cult of psychologically imbalanced individuals to keep him in the manner to which he's become accustomed. He knows an indy Scotland would mean he'd have to find another money pot and he can't bear the thought. So he either needs his daft party to keep him flush with cash or he needs to scupper indy. If he can achieve both then that's all the better for him.

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  8. The SNP won't win list seats in most of the regions so we could end up with literally thousands of wasted pro independence votes, unless people actually wise up and vote for independence on the list, rather than letting the unionists in via the backdoor.

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    1. Alternatively people could wise up and realise the SNP wouldn't have won an overall majority in 2011 without the help of their 16 list seats - which were won across SEVEN of the eight regions.

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    2. Actually, Unknown, I was going to reply to your comment rather than delete it until I saw the infantile trolling at the end. The point I was going to make is that it "wasn't 2011 anymore" even in 2011 itself - because opinion polls were suggesting a very different result from what we ended up with.

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    3. It's not the headline polling numbers, but the voting patterns, the SNP have replaced Labour as the party of choice for the working classes on central Scotland. The tories have gained ground in the North East and the Lib Dems have collapsed. All of which would require a once in a generation structural shift in voting intention for the SNP to gain list seats in most of the regions. Not gonna happen with Richard Leonard, no significant event on the horizon such as indyref. Covid would really have to go tits up. Indy, Covid and Brexit already priced in and favourable to the SNP.

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    4. James isn't suppressing information or opinion. People can do this freely on their own blogs. Ergo, nothing is being suppressed. You are visiting James's hoose (blog); he gets to decide who's allowed to visit, and etiquette. If you don't like it, you can freely go elsewhere.

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    5. How would you know what opinion James is allegedly suppressing unless you are James. You are supposedly an independent contributor.

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    6. I read it before the unwanted guest was removed from James's private residence.

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    7. So you sit 24/24 365 days in an observation capacity? Are you tired?

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    8. Covidia seems tired. It's so repetitive.

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  9. Where is the manifesto for this alternative party?

    They can't sit on their erses for 5 years like Farage in Brussels.

    They need to be prepared to govern.

    Only a complete fool would give a blank cheque to a party, which is what you do if they don't have a manifesto and clear political stance.

    An alternative to the SNP needs to a manifesto just like the Greens have.

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    1. The greens have a manifesto and vote broadly in relation to that. They have both opposed and supported the SNP on policies and budget issues.

      I've never voted Green, mainly because the SNP manifesto has historically been more suited to me.

      I can't vote for a party when I don't have an idea how it will vote on taxation, welfare, NHS, schools etc. That if it turns out to back the Tories on most issues? If I gave it a blank cheque, I can hardly complain.

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    2. The, SNP controlled Glasgow have cancelled green policies. The food and grass bin collection cancelled the bottle/glass collection cancelled. Meanwhile a huge Labour force is at home sitting idle and wanting out. Seems no one in this Nat si regime is capable of logistics and safe management of workers.

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    3. You are free to work in the fields. It's just lazy brexiters don't seem to be coming good on that promise.

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    4. So you think a disabled Unionist pensioner who had worked for 49 yrs should replace the younger fit generation of Scots who are hunkered up scratching their haw maws? Tell me when and where to report for duty.

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    5. The brexiters said they'd plug the gap in foreign workers, so it's up to them to come good on that. You can't vote to create a shortage of workers, then demand someone else step up.

      https://www.indeed.co.uk/Farm-Hand-jobs

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  10. Young James Cherry is an erse who supports the EU and wants to hand over billions when our own people are locked in unable to attend food banks and depend on home deliveries from volunteers.

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    1. Covidia needs to cite its evidence.

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  11. We should try and get Keira Knightly to front the Wings Party. She ruins everything she's been involved in. She's massacring a film I'm watching just now. I call her Sheira Shightly

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  12. Anyone mind back in 2016 when the polls all pointed to an SNP majority on constituencies alone and then surprise surprise, it didnae pan out.

    It's like everyone who's firing that argument out there has conveniently forgot that the polls and the pundits were all dead cert on an overall majority then. Until suddenly on the night they weren't.

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  13. I've just seen an ad on Film4 patronising me yet again and calling me a hero and urging people to clap for me. I'm not a fucking hero, I'm a professional doing my job. Don't clap me. Pay me. Condescending fuckers.

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  14. Rev Stuart Campbell is not now nor has ever been a supporter of Scottish Independence
    Stuart Campbell is a supporter of Stuart Campbell and whatever cause he thinks can make him well known and convince the public to pay him enough to write what they want to read
    He jumped ship from the Independence idea too early for another cause that's flopped and now he's paying the price for doing that and it's made him and angry wee man, so he figures if he pours out enough hate for Nicola Sturgeon he can capture the folk who hate her too, thus money will be parted with by those folk for more lappy uppy badness from the pen of the rev

    This guy would never consider getting a job or anything like that, or is he unemployable, for should enquire into whoever he worked for and why they don't seem to like him anymore, in fact nobody does, Hmm?

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    1. Curious that his annual crowdfunder is well overdue without so much as a peep, and he shows no signs of having it anytime soon either. Very curious indeed.

      Perhaps he's state funded these days instead?

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  15. George Galloway funded

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  16. I really don't get what all the fuss about Joanna Cherry is?
    I'm no fae the burgh, but she doesn't seem to be the best of communicators, or possess much charm or personality.

    Ignoring if we're independent or not (and the past few days of the UK Government's shenanigans shows how much we desperately need that), I'd predict that an SNP led by Cherry will be the beginning of the slide just like Scottish Labour's leadership in the naughties.

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  17. I have said this already on Peter Bell, it's simple the SNP start acting like and independence party or they will be replaced. For years labour took advantage of their core vote. Whether people would actually vote for a new party or not I'd like to see an alternative. I was always against splitting the vote and agreed with James and others but lately and especially after the Salmond trial there is something really rotten. Fuds like Pete Wishart drain my soul. Don't leave argue for change from within is going nowhere with the stasi like grip of conferences. I was never member but all I hear is people renouncing their memberships, what does the figure stand at now. We are at a crossroads in time like in Ireland between home rule and out and out independence. I never thought I'd say it but I'm totally scunnered with the SNP right now. If there was another party I would look at it and consider it

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    1. All you hear about are people renouncing membership cause your submerged in Rev Stu's loony badfaith Britnat bubble. Stu stirs them up into a froth so they attack attack attack and keep "the world's most read SNP Baaaad blog" in business indefinitely.

      It's not in his financial interest for us to achieve independence and yet his cult are only too willing to bankroll him to demoralise them and do Westminster's dirty work and then foam at the mouth that its others who are sabotaging the movement.

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    2. Hi Kenny, I'm not an SNP member but sorry to hear your feeling scunnered. It's probably worth remembering that just 5 months ago the SNP made gains at the last general election and support for independence in polling is hovering around 50%.

      The truth is we've never been closer and support has never been stronger.

      To turn a phrase, we just need to keep the heid

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