Saturday, November 26, 2011

An unintentionally vivid insight into the modern Tory view of women

Neil Benny at Tory Hoose, speculating on why Alex Salmond has 'held back' with Ruth Davidson thus far -

"Salmond has a problem with women. When he debates them in his normal manner he looks like a monster. It’s OK for him to rough up Ian Gray, he’s a man and can take it. Doing that to a woman would look terrible on TV – like kicking a puppy or punching a cow."

So let me get this straight - debating in a robust fashion with a female politician would look like "kicking a puppy" or "punching a cow"? Just remind me, is Ruth Davidson a confident and articulate 33-year-old woman, or is she in fact an eight-year-old girl with braces and pigtails?

It's as if they think they've elected a human shield...

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.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Poll : if they were wise, who would Scottish Labour elect as their new leader?

Apologies for going quiet of late. I suffered a bit of a setback during the latter part of the summer - it was a very minor thing, on the face of it, but for some reason it had a profound effect on me, and I've been (for want of a better phrase) reassessing my priorities ever since. To begin with I was able to 'blog through it', so to speak, although it was probably noticeable that my posts became somewhat half-hearted. But just recently I've found that I've completely lost all interest in following political news, which makes writing a political blog a touch difficult! It may just be a temporary phase I'm going through - time will tell. In the meantime, one thing I can still do is run the poll that I've been planning for a while on the Labour leadership contest. The question is the same as for the Tory poll I ran a few weeks ago - it's not about who you would like to see as Labour leader (because it would work in the SNP's favour or whatever), but who Labour would pick if they were wise. And there's no cop-out "who cares?" option - we all know that would win by a mile, and tell us absolutely nothing!

I must admit, though, that I haven't really got a clue what my own answer would be, other than "not Admin, obviously". Macintosh is the more likeable and assured of the two credible candidates, but he's so softly-spoken that I can't help wondering if he might run into the same problems that John Swinney had as SNP leader. It also shouldn't be forgotten that he made a spectacular error of judgement over the Shirley McKie affair, giving foursquare support to the breathtakingly arrogant pronouncements of fingerprint experts who had already been utterly discredited.

You can find the voting form in the sidebar, and the poll will close tomorrow.