Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A few points to "consider"

The Reverend Stuart Campbell is unhappy, and that makes us all sad.  His blogpost today has left a lot of people wondering in all seriousness whether he's even an independence supporter anymore, because its sole purpose seems to be to undermine the impact of the new Panelbase poll (commissioned by Scot Goes Pop) showing that Yes is back into the lead.  Why would the most-read Yes blogger make such systematic efforts to sap the morale of his own side?  It's really odd.

His basic point is that there have been "Yes surge" headlines in previous years based on polls showing Yes at 52% or higher, and therefore the "Yes surge" headline relating to this poll's 52% finding must be bogus or misleading.  But here's the thing, Stuart: the Yes vote dipped again after those previous good results.  Now it's gone back up, that's a surge.  Or an increase, or whatever word you'd prefer to use.  It really is just basic arithmetic.

His most disingenuous point is that 52% is 7% lower than the 59% for Yes recorded in a Scotpulse poll immediately after the EU referendum in 2016.  He claims he's being "generous" in "discounting" that result as an "outlier", and notes that Scotpulse are not affiliated to the British Polling Council.  But the problems with that poll went way beyond the lack of BPC membership - after all, Lord Ashcroft is not a BPC member and we still take his polls seriously.  The basic issue is that Scotpulse do not appear to weight their results properly.  The 59% result wasn't reliable, and I said that at the time.  To the best of my knowledge, the best ever Yes showing in a credible poll is 54% with both Survation and ICM.  But 52% is the joint highest ever result for Yes in a Panelbase poll.

Stuart also popped round to the comments section of this blog last night, and if I didn't know he was a fellow fan of milk I'd have concluded he was a little "tired and emotional".  He left a trademark abusive comment complaining about my use of the word "consider" in the Plan B poll question, and suggesting that made me a "hypocrite" because I had previously criticised his use of the same word in one of his own poll questions. When I deleted his comment for being abusive, he then said I was a "coward" and was trying to cover up my "hypocrisy".  Er, no, Stuart, I really did delete your comments because you were behaving like a toddler.

I'm more than happy to have a grown-up discussion with anyone about the reasons for my use of the word "consider", but it's simply a fact that I didn't use it in the same way Stuart did.  He asked whether respondents would "consider" voting for a list-only pro-independence party, and then suggested the percentage of respondents who said they would consider it represented the potential support for a Wings party (even though the Wings party wasn't even mentioned in the question).  That was grossly misleading.  If you ask respondents whether they'd consider voting for a party, they'll think to themselves "I'm a reasonable person, of course I'd consider it".  If you ask them whether they will vote for a party, you'll get a different result.

The question I posed was whether respondents think political parties should consider the "Plan B" option - and that was an appropriate use of the word, because not even proponents of the idea think it should definitely be done.  It depends on circumstances - for example on whether the courts end up closing off any legal route to a consultative referendum (and of course many legal experts don't think that will happen).

33 comments:

  1. I have no idea why anyone pays the Reverend any attention anymore, let alone why they would continue paying him money to undermine the independence cause.

    It's quite clear why he's doing this, and has been for some time. There's no money or future in an independence blog if independence is attained, and Stuart knows that. So he'll go on cynically attacking the cause, while claiming to support it, and while his ever diminishing circle of supporters continue falling over themselves to donate their grannies to keep him in the manner to which he has become accustomed.

    This no longer seems to be about independence for him. It's about his bottom line.

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    1. Oh spare us the pointless mind-reading

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    2. I agree. It's utterly pointless.

      Primarily because it's so self-evident.

      It's a sin, really, watching him continue to take advantage of folk who obviously aren't all there in the head.

      Delete
  2. Actually, the now sadly-disillusioned Rev Stu does have something of a point, which is that 52% support for indy - which was, don't forget, a real stunner of a result back in IR1 - isn't exactly the much-wished-for great breakthrough we desire, and likely nothing like enough to convince the reluctant "60-percenters". It rather begs the hoary old chicken-and-egg question: which comes first, demonstrable support or a campaign? Always bearing in mind that as some believe (including yours truly), the numbers won't ever rise unless-and-until there is an actual up-and-running campaign. So I can share his impatience with progress without turning into a ridiculous impossibilist, many of whom are not - and never were - supporters of independence, or belong to fringe no-hoper groups bitter with jealousy of the SNP.

    It's just a shame though that Stu has got himself into such high dudgeon over this "Wings" list party proposal. While his reasoning was worthy of due consideration, IMO, given his qualities he was never going to be the right person to lead it, and the current poll results in other respects appear to indicate that his reasoning is now obsolete. Whether he is big enough to recognise realities and desist from being a miserable dog-in-the-manger hosting a website that has increasingly become a nest of vipers instead of the wonderful diamond-in-the-rough it used to be is only for him to know. I do hope though for all our sakes he does return to devoting his real talents more productively, because we could all benefit from them.

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  3. I did think as I read his blog earlier that it would be a pleasant read for unionists looking for reassurance. He's just trolling the Yes movement now.

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    1. Big Eater From PerthJune 9, 2020 at 7:01 PM

      It can no longer be denied that James Kelly indulges in massive censorship. He's just (con) trolling the Yes movement now.

      Delete
  4. Bloggers will censor from time to time, it's their right to do so if they *consider* a poster is being abusive or just telling lies, the difference is in the case of Stuart Campbell he delights in abuse for no other reason than he believes himself to be the messiah like Nigel Farage does

    Surely we've seen enough of the messiah complex to last us a lifetime, and what have we got for this behaviour Dominic Cummings, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, and we know that every one of those people are liars who become extremely aggressive when they're found out to be so, just like Stuart Campbell, another fraud in a long line of frauds, those folk who haven't sussed it yet, will eventually, and they'll kick themselves when they do, a bit like how when people come round to the idea of Independence they stick with it because they've seen the light

    Stuart Campbell is trying to make you stay away from the light, you figure out the reasons, I already have quite some time ago

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    1. Dominic Cummings, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Rev Stuart Campbell

      What do they all have in common?
      Oh, they don't live in Scotland and aren't able to vote for indy.

      Delete
  5. Wingers have pointed out that James Kelly is sweet on the Greens for the list vote.
    What I say is vote SNP 1 and Tory 2 for business-as-usual and my vehicles will be winging their way up the A9 superhighway in no time at all.

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  6. Could it be the Rev is a little jealous?

    Here is this site, crowdfunding specific amounts to commission specific polls (I'm assuming you're not taking a cut at all James!), which then get newspaper headlines and printed media attention.

    All quite up front and transparent.

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  7. Consider this
    The slip that brought me
    To my knees failed
    What if all these fantasies
    Come flailing around
    Now I've said too much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
      That fate is thine - no distant date;
      Stern Ruin's plough-share drives elate,
      Full on thy bloom,
      Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,
      Shall be thy doom!

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    2. To sit to think and drink some tea,
      Often makes you want to pee.

      Delete
  8. More to the point about the "consider" is that the WOS article is talking about a headline, whereas the article on SGP clearly repeats the question itself. Headlines are often used to emphasise, and indeed SGP has made it clear in the past that it likes to sensationalise its headlines in response to something I completely forget what all the same, Smithson or something.

    On the other hand, how many of the Wings headlines even have the slightest resemblance to the contents of the article itself.

    "The hot potato" for instance is NOT about BBQing a baked potato (best microwaved for 5 minutes first, don't forget to fork it. I said fork it). The article, actually a very interesting one does NOT give cooking tips! One could consider this to be misleading, and indeed disappointing if one was looking for cooking tips.

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  9. the snp hierarchy obviously see by these posts and on blogs that many people are dismayed by the way they are treating the very people that put them in the position they are in..many prominent bloggers insist the snp need to get the nearly yes voters..that is pointless if the snp are alienating the confirmed yes voters.in my unknowing opinion I think stu campbell is more in tune with what's happening in the snp than most.we have to be prepared to be led down the hill again.personally i would suggest our best bet to mitigate that would be to vote snp 1 sip 2. Any other combination gives a free hand in the parliment to the very people who are causing this mayhem.


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  10. I don't really see that 52% as a great result. It's a good result - definitely - but it could (and will( be better. So _ I don't really get what's he getting emotional about. His Panelbase poll showed 49.5 per cent support, this one shows 52 per cent. It's all within margin of error TBH.
    The accompanying questions are far more interesting because they show that our completely realistic goal at the moment should be somewhere between 60 and 65 per cent. And that is a very good and healthy majority.

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  11. Is W*ngs really the "most-read Yes blog"?

    Just because the zoomers are all prolific commenters BTL that doesn't automatically make it the most-read does it? And it's not as if there is any published figures anywhere for readership of blogs that I know of?

    I mean W*ngs doesn't even have any twitter followers!

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    1. I'm not sure a large number of the BTL zoomers can actually read, so you may be correct. Nor is it functionally a Yes blog.

      "Most-dribbled Yoon blog" would perhaps be more accurate. Or "Most-frothed".

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    2. I mean W*ngs doesn't even have any twitter followers!

      Too soon

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    3. Many visitors to his site and posters in fact don't support an Independent Scotland, so trying to ascertain the numbers is meaningless.

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  12. Replies
    1. Most of the comments that he makes are those of a foul mouthed deranged moron and yet his followers think that he's messiah. His proposal to go forward with a new party would fail at the first expose hurdle and he probably knows it. Some totally delusional people talk about Alex Salmond hitching up with him whereas I'm sure that Mr Salmond won't want his reputation damaged anymore than it is already and wouldn't touch Campbell with a barge pole.

      Delete
  13. According to this website Wings Over Scotland is valued at $422. It also claims the site has 578 unique visitors a day.

    The Alexa Traffic graph at the bottom shows the readership jumping off a cliff.

    https://www.siteworthtraffic.com/report/wingsoverscotland.com

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    1. Quite interesting to say the least! Thanks for sharing

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    2. Hmm, I’d be cautious about the information on that website. I know the website I have for my business has had more visitors than normal lately, as I have been posting Coronavirus updates on it. Yet the site you quoted says zero visitors per day.

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  14. Richard H TaylorJune 10, 2020 at 4:37 AM

    I think the difference with previous results is that Yes is at 52% without there being a concerted independence campaign. The 45% result in 2014 was achieved after a huge focus on independence. Alex Salmond's SNP got the numbers of Scottish voters willing to try independence up from the high 20's to 45% - a huge achievement despite being a loss. Now the Yes vote is drifting slowly upwards even though there is no big effort to push them in that direction. That's significant. It's not often in politics that you go all out for a result, lose, but then support for your idea keeps getting higher without you doing much about it. And support for ruling parties tends to drop over time.

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    1. I could be wrong in this analysis, but I think (if it comes in the next couple of years) there will be a very different feeling around a 2nd indy ref.

      By that, I'm trying to think from the perspective of someone who in 2014 was a soft-no centrist (but labour voting person)... in 2014 it was almost as if (despite austerity and the coalition) independence was 'something nice' that we could have

      Whereas with the continued clusterfuck of the UK, the optics have now changed so independence is more than just nice a thing to have but an absolutely critical thing to have


      Just as a reminder, these will be the things that this hypothetical floating voter will have to reflect on the UK between the last referendum and the next:
      - broken promises of the no-side
      - England voting a tory majority in 2015 to 'stop the scots'
      - Brexit
      - England continuing to vote tory in 2017
      - Brexit still being fucked up, then Blair McDougall's false-prophecy on Boris Johnson coming true
      - then Boris being fully endorsed by the England in 2019 election
      - UK Gov bungling and dragging their feet on coronavirus (with plenty of fuck ups still to come)
      - the conclusion of whatever the heck is going on with Brexit

      Delete
  15. Frankly, it is past time for serious supporters of Scottish independence to start ignoring Stu Campbell. Yes, he was an asset at one time and did serious journalistic work. That is simply no longer the case. He no longer limits himself to a few abusive tweets on Twitter.

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    1. Well, he did get chucked off Twitter...

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  16. Stuart Campbell used to be a benefit to the cause but, now he's an absolute menace, languishing in his own faux celebrity status and out for nought than his own recognition. The man has descended into madness and is a liability to independence. He simply shouts abuse at those like yourself James, who point out the flaws, sensibly, in his viewpoint. He has become the Bath based Scottish Trump!

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