Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Your verdict : if they were wise, Labour would pick Ken Macintosh

This is probably the kiss of death if Murdo Fraser's example is anything to go by, but for what it's worth, your advice to Labour is to elect the MSP for Eastwood -

Ken Macintosh 44%
Tom Harris 29%
Johann Lamont 25%

I must say I'm slightly astonished to see Bomber Admin in second place, although perhaps that's more an indication of just how awful a leader Johann Lamont would be. Labour's very own Ian Smart gave her this ringing testimonial over at A Burdz Eye View yesterday -

"...while Johann may even be a strategist, the problem is that her strategy is wholly misconceived.

Insofar as one can work out what criticisms she has of the 2011 Campaign, they appear to be the wrong criticisms. Not that we were insufficiently negative but rather that we were not negative enough. Not that many of our candidates were useless but that they were simply badly organised and under-resourced. Not that Scotland has moved forward but rather that it must be persuaded to move backwards.

You genuinely wonder if the only chance that she might support a multi-option Referendum would be if the other option was the outright abolition of the Scottish Parliament."

Unfortunately, Ian then ruins this perceptive analysis by announcing that he's plumping for Admin of all people, on the curious grounds that, while Harris may have the wrong ideas, it's better to have the wrong ideas than no ideas at all. Seriously, it's not, Ian. Margaret Thatcher had the wrong ideas, John Major had no ideas at all (other than the Citizen's Charter). Who did less harm as Prime Minister?

There's no denying that Admin is very articulate and has a strong personality, so perhaps that's why he did tolerably well in the poll - these are unquestionably perceived as leadership qualities. But if anyone doubts that he would be an utter disgrace to his office, it might be an idea to peruse this selection of his recent tweets, as collated by RevStu. Some of them are admittedly legitimate (if unwise) examples of political knockabout and mischief-making, but others are deeply offensive or frankly delusional.

* * *

Many thanks to everyone who left a comment of encouragement on the previous thread - I wasn't fishing for that, honestly! I just thought I'd better give some kind of explanation of why blogging here is likely to be (at the very least) slower than it has been. One interesting point that a few people raised is that "blogging matters", especially in the run-up to the independence referendum. It's very hard to judge whether that's true or not. I can't help feeling at times that I'm exclusively speaking to two groups - the already converted and the totally uncovertible (ie. people like Alex Gallagher and the Kevin Baker Fan Club). Because the daily readership of a blog like this is relatively modest, it's hard to escape the feeling that these are the only types of people who ever visit. But on the other hand, the absolute unique visitor figures over a longer period (such as a month or a year) tell a very different story. So I suppose the real question is - can a blog expect to have any real impact on the large number of casual visitors who just drop by once or twice, and perhaps only stay for a minute or two? Very hard to know. But if by any chance it can, the good news is that the pro-independence blogosphere (which of course is much broader than the SNP blogosphere) has never been in a healthier state.


  1. Ezio Auditore da Firenze - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Pep TalksNovember 22, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    I, and indeed the people of Florence on the whole, would like to extend the credit for the SNP's stunning victory in Glasgow Anniesland unto you, James!

    If only four people from that great constituency read your blog at any one time and were converted to the noble cause of independence and changed their vote from New Labour to the SNP, you were personally responsible for the victory!

    I will think on that as I raise a glass of the heartiest wine to you tonight, dear fellow! And as I sup gratefully from the glass I shall glory in the fact that people like James Augustus Kelly have such an impact on the political scene!

  2. Ezio, your promotion to Secretary of State for Pep Talks is scandalously overdue - and I'll be bitterly disappointed if Cameron doesn't chuck in Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster as well!

    Mind you, if four extra votes is the object of the exercise, perhaps bribery or postal vote fraud might be quicker? (My trip to Glenrothes the other day had nothing whatever to do with putting that thought in my head.)

  3. Ezio Auditore da Firenze - "Disgraced former minister"November 23, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    If you can believe it, Cameron feels that this Florentine nobleman is "too common" for his Cabinet! Even the finest of artistocratic blood which flows through my Florentine veins doesn't make up for my lack of an Eton education!

  4. James

    I can see your influence spread wider than your recurring readers. I have seen your excellent analysis, and humour, deployed elsewhere in countering some of the idiocies and variances from reality that some perpetrate.

    Keep with it

    Though you SHOULD have contributed positively to the Sectarianism bill, you really should.


  5. You're right, I've been kind of avoiding the sectarianism issue, because I haven't thought it through in enough detail. Having said that, I was on the bus home a few weeks ago, and a couple of "Rangers supporters" were sitting opposite me, going through their full 'purging the land of Fenian scum' repertoire. It was a bit uncomfortable being that close, given that they were effectively talking about the likes of me, but did I want them to be put in jail for that? No. The threats and abuse would have to be more personally-directed for them to become genuinely traumatising - it was effectively just pantomime sectarian hatred.

    I'd like to see people thrown off buses for that kind of behaviour, but not thrown in jail!

  6. James

    Sorry, i didn't mean to put that on you like a burden

    I was referring to the Labour MSP James Kelly who is on the committee and was one of those sitting on his hands.


    You are not here to keep us entertained, well, not solely

  7. James
    Interesting poll result and allusion to Fraser by you (Peter on Moridura seems to be plumping for Ms Lamont, but all shadow puppets to me compared to RB Cunninghame Graeme, MacDiarmid, Burns, MacLean, Connolly et al ad infinitum (almost)).

    Still, the actual vote should be interesting. My guess is the "membership" will "bottle it" and do a Davidson by electing Lamont en route to popular oblivion (perhaps, now, historically inevitable anyway given the LP's track record of sell-out of the Scottish working class and people?).

    Most interesting times, indeed, and a critical mass being reached?

    Best with your path and karma!

    Ganbatte kudasai atto fighto

  8. Many thanks, David!

    Anon : apologies, that went completely over my head! What a joy it is to share a name with the esteemed MSP for Rutherglen...