Saturday, December 24, 2011

Brazen : Westminster considers legislating to force the SNP to break its election pledges

I trust if the plan being touted in today's Scotsman ever sees the light of day, we'll hear no more from the unionist parties about "broken SNP promises" - because what is being suggested is that Westminster could literally legislate to force Alex Salmond to break his word on the timing of the independence referendum. It beggars belief - first they move heaven and earth to prevent a referendum being held in 2010 as planned by the SNP, and call that an SNP broken promise on the grounds that Salmond didn't go through the motions of putting a doomed bill to the vote. This time, after a dramatic mood-swing, they're pondering a clause in the Scotland Bill to force the referendum to be held earlier than was pledged. Well, we can accuse them of many things, but certainly not of consistency.

One intriguing point here is that if they do attempt to do this through the Scotland Bill, they'd still need legislative consent for the bill as a whole from Holyrood. They didn't show much sign of making the necessary compromises to get that consent before this latest revelation, and heaven only knows how much ground they'd have to give to get the new wheeze through.

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I've just received an early Christmas present in my inbox -

"Jimmy, you are my long-awaited man!

Greetings my dear! I am a beautiful woman from Russia and I dream to meet you.

I am very energetic but within reasonable limits. But still there is a lack of one person in my life.

That is why I am here. I am waiting for my special man to come to my life. Doors to my soul are open for him. Look at my pictures...I will be waiting for you."

I'm so glad she gave me fair warning about only being energetic "within reasonable limits" - I'd have been bound to do something rash like enter her for the London Marathon otherwise.

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If you enjoy voting in online polls, you might be interested to know that the superb Nationalist posters Mick Pork and TheUnionDivvie are among five people in the running for Political Betting's "Best Newcomer" of 2011. Naturally, given the nature of the site, it's a bit of an uphill struggle for them to get votes, so I thought a small plug might be in order! You can find the voting form here.

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Last but not least, a very happy Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Admin : Probing the psyche

Where does he find the time? No sooner has Admin been appointed by Johann Lamont to the vital role of Shadow Minister for Conducting a Review Into the Use of Modern Technology (looks like he'll be rivalling Wendy Alexander's old status as 'Minister for Everything'), than he's back at the Labour Hame grindstone, churning out yet more public-spirited citizen journalism. In his latest article, he poses the thought-provoking question -

"Does it matter that a prominent nationalist website doesn’t consider accuracy as important?"

Thought-provoking, I mean, in the sense that it provoked a few other questions to creep into my own thoughts. For example -

1. Does it matter that a right-wing politician joined a left-wing political party solely for the purposes of career advancement?

2. Given his stated concern about the supposed lack of journalistic standards at Newsnet Scotland, does it also concern him that his repeated use of the term "NewsNat Scotland" would have fallen foul of the Better Nation moderation rules had he submitted his piece as a comment there, let alone that it would have precluded the article's use in virtually any other serious publication?

3. What is the significance of his repeated use of the spelling "Yoonyoonist" when characterising the speech patterns of nationalists, given that it is a perfectly natural phonetic rendering of how anyone would pronounce the word? (Unless of course "Un-yun-ist" is preferred in the Harris household.) Could it, by any chance, betray his extraordinarily authoritarian mindset, ie. that he is incapable of seeing people who diverge from his own views as 'mature'? That his brain automatically converts their speech into 'baby-talk', and the only response he can imagine is to try to patronise them into submission? In a nutshell, does he have a deep subconscious need for others to see him as a father figure who they look to for guidance and chastisement? And should we fear for his well-being now that his own party have comprehensively rejected him for the father role, instead preferring him for the (admittedly mega) technology review role?

4. Does he have no sense of shame about going into apoplexy over hair-splitting examples of the "inaccuracy" of others, given that it's only a matter of weeks since he lied through his teeth that a nationalist banner outside the Royal Concert Hall had read "End English Rule", and given that we all know he'd never have half-heartedly acknowledged that gross inaccuracy unless he'd been supplied with incontrovertible photographic evidence? What conclusions are we entitled to draw about a politician who does lack such an appropriate sense of shame?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mr Popular

Nobody does unintentional comedy quite like the Guardian these days...

"The least well-known Scottish leader in its history, Lamont defeated another lesser-known backbencher, Ken McIntosh, and popular Westminster backbencher Tom Harris, the MP for Glasgow South, to win. McIntosh won 40.3% and Harris 7.95% of the vote."

Call me peculiar, but I always thought elections were a rather good test of popularity. So let's recap : Tom Harris is "popular", but he's just taken a gubbing at the hands of "the least well-known Scottish Labour leader in history" and "another lesser-known backbencher". Heaven only knows what would have happened to him if he'd been unpopular.

Ah well. Scottish Labour's gain is the blogosphere's loss. Or something like that.

And I really do think the Guardian are grossly overstating the scale of the challenge facing Johann Lamont as leader. Surely it's high time the press picked up on the inspiring message of hope and renewal that Labour's electoral college has just decisively delivered, ie. "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".