Thursday, June 27, 2013

Political Betting's Smithson embarks on another "I will not be defied!!!!" rant and then bans me yet again

Apologies for anyone getting bored by this, but as you know I made a promise to the PB moderation team that if they continued to muck me about I would simply repost the exchanges here. Regrettably, that's now become necessary for a third time -

Mick Pork : Sadly as everyone on PB knows by now one persons mischief and jolly japes is another persons smears and tension filled trolling. Or something. ;)

I trust Malcolm did not storm off in the huff vowing never to return?
There's been a bit too much of that of late from some of our right wing friends sadly. :)

Alan Brooke : ah yes Tories like Old Nat, Stuart Dickson, JJPG2 famously huffed and vowed never to return. Good to see them still posting.

Mick Pork : OldNat left of his own accord without making a complete t*at of himself like some I could mention and the site is poorer without him. You might want to rethink the definition of leaving willingly for Stuart Dickson. Don't know if you're telling the truth about JJPG2, sorry. Before my time.

Me : "You might want to rethink the definition of leaving willingly for Stuart Dickson."

Exactly. He was banned for the heinous crime of using the words "pure comedy gold".

Mike Smithson : You know the rules. If you want to continue posting here you do not discuss moderation

You break this time and time again and I am getting sick of it.

If you have issues contact me directly.

Me : Mike, you know my position. It has not changed and it will not change. I will not be bullied. Sorry.

Mike Smithson : When you come onto my site you accept the house rules.

If you don't want to then you must accept the consequences.

Me : "When you come onto my site you accept the house rules."

I'm afraid I don't, Mike. As I've made abundantly clear, I'm prepared to follow sensible rules like not posting about matters that could get you into legal difficulty. I've always attempted to follow those rulings to the letter. But I'm not going to even attempt to follow daft rules, and I've made that abundantly clear to you again, and again, and again.

"If you don't want to then you must accept the consequences."

Nope. If you ban me or delete my posts for no good reason, that is a decision you've made, not me. That is your responsibility, and something that you have to justify (if you can). It's not something that I "must accept", and I have no intention of doing so.

* * *

I was of course then banned yet again, and unlike last time (only a few days ago) my photo has now disappeared and been replaced by a "banned" image. That might indicate this is intended as an indefinite ban.

For the uninitiated, Stuart Dickson was for many years PB's leading SNP poster (and indeed one of its leading posters, full stop). He was originally subject to an indefinite ban for - get this - posting the results of Scottish subsamples from UK-wide opinion polls, and calculating the percentage changes in each party's support from the previous general election, which is a format that Smithson disapproves of (as it happens I also disapprove of it, but I don't exactly regard it as a hanging offence). That ludicrous ban was eventually lifted after TWO YEARS, a development that unsurprisingly Stuart was oblivious to until I alerted him to it. Having got back on, he was indeed banned again just days later simply for using the words "pure comedy gold".

It's not hugely surprising that Smithson subsequently introduced the Kafkaesque "the first rule of moderation is that you don't talk about moderation", because it's the only hope he has of covering up his past antics (and perhaps more to the point the ongoing antics of his 'noble volunteer' Tory moderation team), which he simply can't even begin to justify. So I've been banned for breaking that rule, while Tory posters continue with their free licence to be abusive, and in many cases frankly racist.

That's the profoundly ugly state of the site that Mike has moulded through his own free choices, and if he thinks that's a site that he can be proud of, and one on which he's happy to build his career as a media pundit, then I think that's rather sad.


  1. PB has become a BNP-lite xenophobic hellhole. Don't know why you'd even want to continue posting there.

  2. James, did you spot that Mike S responded to your final post with one word "goodbye"? Just when I thought the man couldnae get any more twattish.

  3. Yes, I saw that a few minutes ago. That's the final confirmation that this is intended as a permanent ban. I've emailed Smithson to basically give him a condensed version of what I wrote above, and also to wish him luck in the future with trying to maintain his fiction that he doesn't have a clear track record of banning left-wing posters.

  4. You won't be missed, Kelly. Maybe post on a Quebec politics forum instead?

  5. Well, I must say I'm hugely surprised to hear that you won't be missing me, Mr Bravely Anonymous PB Tory. Your second sentence wouldn't be intended to imply that I'm "not really Scottish" because I have French-Canadian ancestry, would it? That would certainly be extremely untypical of the type of ethno-nationalist Tory poster that Mike seemingly wants to encourage to populate his forum in place of the likes of me and Stuart Dickson.

  6. So, if i join PB, and my first post is to ask about site moderation rules, i'll get banned? :-)

  7. "So, if i join PB, and my first post is to ask about site moderation rules, i'll get banned? :-)"

    Well, not if you're a Tory. There's a sub-section to the rule giving immunity to Tories (or so I gather from the way the rule is/isn't enforced). Or maybe that just falls under the catch-all rule of "The main rule is not to do anything that pisses me off. That one is quite hard to define." (He really did say that.)

  8. You're well out of it, JK. PB is dying so let it die. The daily post count is well down.

  9. "You're well out of it, JK. PB is dying so let it die. The daily post count is well down."

    Yes, that's been my vague impression as well, although I don't know if that's just because people can't be bothered registering under the new Vanilla posting system.

  10. What was it Groucho said about clubs.......

  11. A cynical person might suspect that the reason Smithson banned you when he did was because he was just about to post a Scottish thread and didn't want anyone knowledgeable challenging his narrative. So now instead the watching tens will be treated to the "insight" into independence referendum betting trends of Mr Sean Thomas!

  12. Six different right wingers broke Smithson's 'house rules' on that same thread. Some mere minutes after you had been banned.

    David Herdson also broke the rule about talking about moderation as openly and flagrantly as AlanBrooke has.

    NONE have been banned like you have.

    That's blatant hypocrisy and making Smithson look like a complete chump who can be walked all over with impunity as long as you are right wing.

    Just so it's clear, banning anyone for breaking that 'rule' is lunacy and I'm not advocating banning anyone on that site. (despite the often open racism that gets posted on there by the herd) It's the right wingers who repeatedly ordered the moderators to ban left wing poster on PB. Tim, you, me, we've all been subject to it yet no bans were ever handed out to those right wingers who did that and broke Smithson's rules.

    That's why Smithson's words about him being sick of you breaking the rules are such a joke. I've watched that rule get broken daily for months by most of the same right wingers with complete impunity. None were banned. Hardly any were even deleted. The moderators almost completely ignored it.

    Every time they break that rule from now on it will be noted and we'll see how long this ludicrous excuse can be maintained.

    You were banned because you aren't one of the herd. If that wasn't the case Smithson would have banned all the other posters that broke his rule and he self-evidently hasn't.

    Either his house rules apply to everyone on his site or they don't.

    Even the far right simpletons that dominate PB should be able to understand that.

    If they still don't understand it now then they'll understand it when all the details of what the moderators were up to are revealed because Smithson can't stop you doing so on here.

    I hope Smithson reconsiders and finally gets some credibility back by lifting his unjustifiable ban on you. He clearly needs to apply sensible rules clearly set out to EVERYONE and not just those left wing posters his right wing moderators obviously despise.

  13. Maybe left wing views are so shocking, that it seems like trolling to the nice folk?
    Like someone else said, you're better out of it. I haven't commented on your blog beforr (i think) , but i reaf it regularly.Keep up the good work James.

  14. Juteman : Thanks very much. I think you're right - through their sheer rarity value, left-wing views on PB seems strange, alien, and probably unhealthy.

    Mick : "I hope Smithson reconsiders and finally gets some credibility back by lifting his unjustifiable ban on you."

    My guess is that he'll either keep the ban in place permanently, or else do what he did with Stuart's lifetime ban, and lift it after an extremely long period of time in the hope that I won't notice (thus allowing him to innocently claim that "no SNP posters are currently banned", which was the one and only thing that alerted me to the fact that Stuart's posting rights had been restored two years on).

    "If they still don't understand it now then they'll understand it when all the details of what the moderators were up to are revealed because Smithson can't stop you doing so on here."

    I dearly wish I could publish the credible information I was once given about Smithson's head moderator, because it was absolutely jaw-dropping. But unfortunately it was sent to me on condition that I didn't make it public.

  15. LOL, just spotted this PB post from Roger -

    "MODERATED... but following up immediately with a thread on Scottish independence is surely the unkindest cut of all.

    FPT. Of all the lines written on the last thread this little grouping made me laugh most

    (Tim) "It wasn't a hit by the Sun, Scott, it was a tweet by the fop."

    The moderated bit must have been about James' banning, so they're obviously threatened by people even knowing about what's happened. Pathetic. That thread is now filled with Brit Nat buffoons all furiously agreeing with each other about how unlikely Scottish independence is and how bad the Yes campaign has been, and there's nobody to interject into the sneerfest because Smithy has banned half the SNP posters. The site is a joke!

  16. Cordon Blah : In a perverse way it's almost liberating not being able to post on that thread. I'd probably waste half my evening rebutting all the drivel.

  17. And is ScottP going to be banned for using the highly offensive term "leftards" just a few minutes ago? Of course not. This is PB, and ScottP is a Tory.

  18. Seems its one rule for the Tory, and another rule for the not-so-Tory.

  19. Is Plato still allowed to post there? In fact has Plato EVER been banned, even for five minutes?

  20. That's Miss Plato to you!

    Just because she's a ukipper dolescum blairite, doesn't mean you get to be rude about the mad old cat lady. ;^)

  21. Plato was one of the right wingers who most frequently ignored the supposed 'house rule' on talking about moderation. No Ban was ever given and no almost no posts ever deleted that I saw.

    She also went well over the line on legal matters more than once which should have been an instant ban but never was.

    That didn't stop her whining to the moderators about others daring to reply to her and those who displeased her.

    For some peculiar reason she thought she was above the rules and appears to have a kind of 'special understanding' (shall we say) with one of the moderators that he would do her bidding unquestioningly.

    She certainly seems to have been right on that if on nothing else.

  22. It is a shame that the PB site is not the almost conversational site as was back in 2005 when I first visited it. Only a few Tories then. Mostly LD but I found the site owner to be more of a National Liberal then a LD, far to the right for most LD's. We left wingers have always been in the minority. Has Malcolm had enough? I used to like the way he replied to the most childish insults of the Tories.

    I have not registered under the new system so will no longer post anything there for the forseeable future.

  23. I've said it before and I've never found anything to make me rethink my opinion: Smithson sounds like a completely mad, Monckton type, swivel eyed loonie.

    Only the stupidest of people want to hear only their own arguments, because only the stupidest of people get can find no answer to an alternative argument that makes good sense.

    It's a very long time since I visited the site and I probably never will again, however I assume from what you write that the Ukippish Smithson is absolutely against Scottish independence, but, like most Britnats, completely unable to provide any cogent argument for the union, other than power, nuclear bombs, G8, more power and being America's right hand man anytime they need a bag carrier?

    You come out of it with your head held high, while Smithson appears to me to be a petty "old woman" with nothing better to do with his life than make silly rules and demand that people stick to them, as long as they aren't hard right wingers.

    He sounds in short, like a total prat.

  24. On the PB theme. Does anybody know why the Tims get so mental over MMR? Given that they support mutilating babies as an anti HIV measure.

    A grand total of 0 deaths were caused by the deadly measles outbreak in Wales. Curious that it was headline news for weeks then just vanished. You'd think the media were being fed stories or are they just scientifically illiterate?

  25. Marcia : No, Malcolm is still going strong, and is still the scourge of the PB Tories! I think the only SNP posters left now are Malcolm, Mick, and TheUnionDivvie. I may have forgotten someone, but those are the only ones I can think of (and of course Mick is constantly subject to random post deletions and temporary bannings for a variety of weird, wonderful and totally unconvincing 'reasons').

    Tris : Thanks. Smithson is a bundle of contradictions - as Marcia says, he's very much on the right-wing of the Liberal Democrats, but to be fair to him he did oppose the Iraq War. For a short while, the SNP were flavour of the month with him simply because they were giving the Labour government he detested such a hard time. I don't think he gives a monkey's about independence one way or the other - above all else he's driven by his pride in his own supposed skill as a political pundit. So he just falls in love with his own narratives, and because his knowledge of (and interest in) Scotland is essentially zero, he doesn't even notice the contrary evidence most of the time. His moment of maximum absurdity came when he went on and on for weeks on end about the SNP "disaster" in last year's local elections, apparently totally oblivious to the fact that the SNP had won those elections, and had enjoyed a bigger increase in both seats and votes than any other party!

    It would be easy to dismiss him as a bit of a buffoon as far as Scottish matters are concerned, but he's dangerous because (incredible though it might seem) other London journalists respect him, assume he knows what he's talking about, and sometimes take their cue from his 'analysis'. That's the main reason I kept giving into the temptation to go back to PB, because there were times when I felt his nonsense was crying out to be challenged. Hopefully TUD and Mick will still be able to do that if the need arises.

  26. This was the result of a valiant but inevitably futile attempt to resist an increasingly tyrannical and depressingly one-sided moderation policy. Meanwhile, the site is polluted with the drivel that Plato et al. insist on filling the threads with, which rarely has anything to do with politics and/or betting. Shame to see the departure of a highly intelligent poster, even if it is one I regularly categorically disagree with. All the best James!

  27. Hate to burst your bubble, James, but this is one pb rightwinger who thinks your ban was wrong and misguided.

    You were foolishly prickly, and you invited the punishment, but nonetheless a total ban is over-the-top.

    Hope fences can be mended. Your feisty if sometimes monomaniacal perspective will be missed.

  28. Anon : MMR is just one of many issues that Tim feels strongly about! I don't really agree with him, but as his long-running 'opponent' on the subject is the pompous know-it-all Charles, it's been difficult to take sides.

    By the way, I'm not at all convinced by the idea that there are several 'Tims' - his posting style seems entirely consistent to me. It would be difficult to mimic.

  29. "All the best James!"

    Thanks very much, Anon.

    "Hope fences can be mended. Your feisty if sometimes monomaniacal perspective will be missed."

    Thankyou for most of that comment, Sean! In a sense you're right, of course - I did 'invite' the ban in as much as I could have evaded it by going through the motions of accepting his right to set rules, however absurd. Maybe I would have done that in the past, but I've been so royally mucked about in recent weeks that I'm past the point of tugging my forelock.

    As far as a possible reconciliation is concerned, I don't really see how that can happen because Mike has cut off all means of communication - I can't post on PB, and he ignored my email. But time will tell, I suppose.

  30. I tend to agree with Sean - although you can be mind-numbingly obtuse at times, James- you really really don't need to have the last word on every subject.

    More to the point though: if you are going round to someone's place you obey their rules. Just basic politeness I'd have thought. After all, I wouldn't sit in your front room and be rude about your mother.

  31. James

    You can at times be your own worst enemy.

    You deliberately challenged Mike Smithson to ban you by refusing to accept a clearly stated blog policy.

    Mike gave invited you to discuss the policy with him in private by email but you decided instead to make yourself a martyr.

    Mike's decision was nothing to do with your political identification or views and you know that well.

    I happen to agree with you that PB's moderation policy needs to be more transparent and accountable to users.

    I also believe it has led to many valuable posters, including yourself, to leave the site, whether voluntarily or by exclusion.

    So stop trying to be a martyr, write an email of apology to Mike and set out your views on moderation as articulately and intelligently as you do on subjects covered on this blog.

    A lot of posters, of all political persuasion, value your contributions to PB and want to see you back.

    Just leave Plato alone!

  32. Separately, I don't post on MMR - I did a couple of times (I have a kid of that age and it was just my personal musings).

    tim seems to try to use it as an excuse to attack me.

    And ignores the fact that my professional career is in vaccine technology. Oh, well - I just ignore him (which is what I'd recommend you do with posters you don't like)

  33. James, I can't help but feel you are being more than a little immature about this.

    I have it on good authority that there is some sort of vote coming up in Scotland next year and whilst I don't agree with your views I always enjoy reading them.

    PB is the poorer without Stuart who I used to very much enjoy debating with and Marcia. It would be a real shame if you were not contributing in the run up to the poll as well. Please try and sort this out rather than remaining in a huff.


  34. I'll make this as clear as I can because for some reason those from PB are still deliberately missing the point.

    James can't just 'obey the rules' or 'accept stated blog policy' because it is simply not consistent or applied equally to all posters.

    The ONLY reason I haven't been banned for good yet is that I have been dealing with the absurd interference and seemingly random bannings and deletions for so long that I am accustomed to it and know any post on the matter from me will be deleted.

    James was understandably exasperated with the unfair moderation on him and decided to speak out.

    I do not have a blog like James so my frequent bannings and harassment went unnoticed by most for a long time. However, they are very real and when I say I have been banned 87 times it is not a joke. It is the correct number.

    Those pretending that there is no political motivation are not constantly on the receiving end of the moderation and the list of who have been banned or harassed speaks for itself.

  35. I have been moderated for discussing moderation policy (and a few other things).

    I have never argued with Mike (or the other mods) over it as its his site and his rules.

    There are other places I can sound off if I need to do so.

    I would have been interested in your opinion on Salmonds proposed cut in Corporation tax to create GDP growth.

    Perhaps the SNP are turning back into the "Tartan Tories", certainly it is an interesting break from a left wing high tax recent tradition.

    The Foxinsoxuk

  36. "More to the point though: if you are going round to someone's place you obey their rules. Just basic politeness I'd have thought. After all, I wouldn't sit in your front room and be rude about your mother."

    I'd question whether posting on PB is the equivalent of entering Mike's front room. That's an analogy that a lot of people seem to be terribly fond of, but I don't really see it. Likewise, I don't really feel that you've entered my front room by posting on this blog. OK, I might be held legally responsible if you said something unlawful, and that's the one sense in which Mike has a point. As I made clear, I've always tried to follow his rulings on subjects that are banned for legal reasons.

    There are reasonable rules, and unreasonable rules. "Don't enter my house and then insult my mother" and "Don't post things that could get me landed in court" are reasonable rules. "Don't enter my house without wearing a turquoise jumper and a bag over your head" and "You and you are alone are forbidden to reply to a certain poster or even mention their name" are unreasonable rules, verging on the vexatious and malicious.

  37. "Mike gave invited you to discuss the policy with him in private by email but you decided instead to make yourself a martyr."

    Avery (for I believe it is you), Mike does not engage over matters like that by email, as several of us can testify. You'd be lucky to get a one-sentence reply out of him. "Contact me directly" is code for "shut up because I don't want others to know what's been going on".

    David : "PB is the poorer without Stuart who I used to very much enjoy debating with and Marcia. It would be a real shame if you were not contributing in the run up to the poll as well. Please try and sort this out rather than remaining in a huff."

    I've returned to PB several times in the past after resolving to leave of my own accord, so pride on my part certainly wouldn't be a barrier to going back after a banning. But it's quite simply not in my power at the moment. I've no remaining means of communicating with Mike - other than to do what Avery suggests and write a grovelling email of apology, which I've no intention of doing because I 100% stand by what I said about the daftness of the rules Mike was expecting me to follow. (They'd be daft even if they were being applied consistently, which as Mick points out is light-years from being the case.)

  38. To be honest James it's always baffled me why you waste your time with these right wing Britnat nutters. Having looked at the comments some of them have left on here they come across as a bunch of sanctimonious, patronising bawbags that know nothing, and care less, about Scotland. Leave them to their pathetic little games while the rest of us get on with building a progressive, socially just, independent Scotland.

  39. pictishbeastie : I did manage to leave PB for a good long spell a while back (I think it might have been as long as 6-8 months). As I said earlier, my main reason for continually ending up going back is that although the readership of PB is relatively small and narrowly-based, I know that some in the London media take their cue from Smithson, and it's therefore hard to let nonsensical narratives like the "SNP local election disaster" stuff to go unchallenged.

    But anyway, the decision has been taken out of my hands now.

  40. Sorry to read about this, James. Always enjoy your contributions.


    Matt (dugarbandier)

  41. Thanks, Matt. All the best to you as well.

  42. Lots of Jungian projection by yourself and your posters: Get over it. I've been banned - and I think I know which moderator did it :cough: PtP :cough: - but, eventually, found I could post again.

    Take the time to read and comprehend the views of others. If you want to slag-off others do it in a uniform way (or, if you're really pished, mark their mumblings as a "troll") and not target Plato (as a mouse-scroll can be more satisfying at times). Screaming victim whilst victimising others is so 'Noughties....

    Oh, isn't asjohnstone a SNat? Viva independence, viva a grown-up Scotland...!

  43. Holy Jesus. We now seem to be moving firmly into PB's lunatic core. I'll be expecting visitations from Richard Dodd and Monica any minute now.

  44. At this rate the whole of pb will have migrated here by the weekend

    Mike Smithson isn't a rightie. I think he cares more about betting and about the exposure the site earns him as a political pundit. Politically I think he is Labour; his most strongly held conviction is a visceral loathing of public schools. If I were to start an inclusive political blog I'd pretend to be LD for tactical reasons; I'd then be bitten on the arse when the unthinkable happened and the LDs got into government. That's why he isnt happy.

  45. Have a visitation from me (I'm not sure whether I count as lunatic or not), just to let you know that I think that your contribution on pb has always been incisive and interesting, even though I usually disagree with it.

  46. The reference by Alanbrooke to "JJPG2" probably refers to myself (JPJ2).

    You won't be surprised to know that contrary to his claim that I have returned to posting on PB I have NEVER done so since I left many moons ago now, having become convinced the moderation on the site had become politically one-sided.

    I prefer to watch the PBers being thoroughly misled about Scottish politics by the likes of the Tory, Fitilass :-)

  47. Typically much more reasoned than my rant against Smithson, James.

    I'd have never had him as a Liberal, although I suppose I know little about the right wing of the Liberal Party, except that it now appears to have joined the Tories (along with the left and centre of the Liberals) and will, with them, doubtless shortly be more or less defunct. "Go back to your constituencies and prepare for a return to the day when there were only 6 Liberal MPs."

    I can see why you would want to present some reason on the blog; the total disaster that the SNP suffered when it won the council elections is frustrating, and with your innate logic and ability to explain using statistics to back your arguments, I understand your desire to enlighten and to repeatedly disprove what is being said about the SNP or about Scotland.

    But the truth is that it seems that it is essentially an English site with no interest in, or knowledge of, Matters Scottish. And that Smithson runs it as some sort of personal "don't piss me off" fiefdom where no one is allowed to argue with him.

    In short, it seems like a lost cause.

  48. Have a visitation from me (I'm not sure whether I count as lunatic or not), just to let you know that I think that your contribution on pb has always been incisive and interesting, even though I usually disagree with it.

    Thankyou, Antifrank. No, the lunatic core is a very exclusive club!

    Politically I think he is Labour; his most strongly held conviction is a visceral loathing of public schools

    I wouldn't say that's his strongest conviction, but admittedly it does ring a bell from somewhere. He's certainly not pretending to be a Lib Dem, though - he's stood for them as a candidate in the past. On the fateful day in May 2010, he wrote an article practically begging his party to go into coalition with the Tories rather than Labour, which tells its own story.

  49. Tris -

    "But the truth is that it seems that it is essentially an English site with no interest in, or knowledge of, Matters Scottish."

    One problem, though, is that the site does suddenly take an interest in Scotland when it suits the favoured narrative - so for example the recent Ipsos-Mori referendum poll that was favourable to No was heavily covered, while the subsequent Panelbase poll favourable to Yes was totally ignored.

  50. Is it fun talking to yourself, James?

  51. Hello, Mr Anonymous PB Tory II. I feel your pain - that jibe would probably have worked a hell of a lot better on a thread with fewer than 50 comments. Better luck next time!

  52. I agree with you that the "front room" analogy is misguided. Is PB a private members' club intended only for people of like mind (which is what it now resembles) or is it an open forum? The site owner can't seem to make up his mind, but he can't have his cake and eat it. 80% of the posts are off-topic, so the standard rule about moderating for irrelevance can't apply.

  53. Back from pub (yanae, Royal Scots mate n'all...):

    Is tris a euphamism for total retard in Scotland? He obvioussly has a cattled view of OGH.

    James - or should that be Xxx-Xxxxx - these folk don't offer much in the intelligence stakes. I have disagreements with lots of folk - no, I am not kidding - but (sans Unckie Malc's faux charges of "wascism") I shrug it off.

    I must admit that I admire Marcia's perserveance: [Sp?] Her total tolerance of such pre-nurseary behaviour belies her youthfullness. The difference must be down to summinck us Sarf Luhndahnahs will nae undourstound....

  54. Yes, folks, I used the term 'lunatic core' advisedly.

    Please don't abuse other posters, Fluffy. From what I can gather you're now in my living room, and under my roof you'll live under my rules, me laddio.

  55. James, I assume our various pb wagers on the referendum still stand.

    John O

  56. Fluffy Thoughts - I started on a political journey a good few decades ago and like the Harry Lauder song ' Keep right on to the end of the road' I shall. Tolerance has been my middle name.

  57. I more or less gave up reading PB after the Scottish local elections last year.
    One of the main things I had learned from Mike Smithson previously was that you had to be very careful in comparing stats from different elections.
    Yet, as James has pointed out time and again, Smithson dishonestly compared apples and pears and - surprise, surprise - came up with the verdict it was plums for the SNP.
    The site is noticeably more right-wing these days and is increasingly irrelevant to the main arguments happening in Scotland right now.
    Your ban from PB has just given me one more reason not to give them the steam off my shite by even going there.

  58. John O -

    "James, I assume our various pb wagers on the referendum still stand."

    It's interesting that you put it like that - are you unaware that I've already won one of those three bets? It's Number 2 -

    "2. £25 at evens with James Kelly that the voting age in the referendum will be 18 and over."

    That bet was subsequently doubled to £50. In the light of Thursday's events (see HERE) will you now be settling that bet? If not, why not?

  59. I am well aware of that without any need of a reminder from you. All our bets will be settled together when the referendum actually takes place.

  60. Oh really? Who decided that?

    It appears that what you are in need of a reminder of is the meaning of the term 'good faith'. There was no agreement between us whatsoever that you had the right to defer settling a lost bet for FIFTEEN MONTHS at your own convenience.

    I cannot legally force you to honour this bet, but I expect you to. If you haven't done so within a reasonable timescale (let's say a few weeks) I will be drawing the obvious conclusion about your good faith.