Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Let's not forget the moment during the campaign when the London parties promised "not just Devo Max, but Devo SUPER Max"

Yesterday, I had a brief exchange with Flockers, who is one of our occasional visitors from Political Betting (aka "Stormfront Lite").  He was trying to make the case that it was naive to think that the London parties could possibly be held to their perceived pledge during the campaign that a No vote would lead to Devo Max - ie. the devolution of all powers with the exception of foreign affairs and defence.  All they had done was sit back and let the broadcasters do their work for them by referring to their proposals as Devo Max, and if the voters were stupid enough to be deceived, then tough.

But that excuse doesn't quite work.  You see, it's not the case that the No campaign were only guilty of failing to proactively set journalists straight.  Of the many extraordinary decisions made by "Better Together" (the umbrella group representing all three London parties of "The Vow" fame), the most extraordinary of the lot was the decision to nominate George Galloway as one of their two representatives in a set-piece TV debate just a week before the referendum.  The BBC couldn't have been clearer about the basis on which he was there - both verbally and in captions, he was billed as the Better Together representative, meaning that he was directly speaking on behalf of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties when he explained that a commitment had been given that a No vote would lead to "not just Devo Max, but Devo SUPER Max".

Quite how it's possible for Scotland to be granted a form of devolution greater than maximum devolution is a bit of a mystery - perhaps we can look forward to the devolution of foreign affairs?  I'm certainly excited to find out.  Either way, let's make very sure that the London parties stick to the solemn pledge of "Devo SUPER Max" made by their handpicked representative just days before the vote.

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  1. Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina, where "Super Max" has a rather worrying meaning. It refers to maximum security prisons with even higher levels of security than regular maximum security prisons. The simplest personal liberties and dignities are denied to inmates. The State owns their life, body and soul.

    Perhaps that is what Gorgeous George meant?

  2. LOL.

    I think the most eloquent response came from Alex Salmond: "It's totally inadequate, it's not enough. It's nothing approaching the powers that Scotland needs to create jobs, to save the health service and build a better society".

    Clearly he was under the impression that nothing like devo super max was being offered.

    The offer, per the Westminster leaders, was of "extensive new powers". That is what must, and shall, be delivered.

    Galloway is guilty of using loose language, like lots of people. As I said yesterday, many have used devomax when they mean devoplus, or have used it thinking it means something different to your interpretation. Which is fine. politics is often reduced to soundbites.

    The fundamental illogicality of your position is that the better together leaders all categorically ruled out a currency union, and yet you seem to suggest they impliedly (through failing to correct newspapers and Galloway's loose language) accepted unlimited borrowing powers for Scotland, backstopped by Westminster, with no controls other than over foreign affairs and defence. You did not believe that was the position on Thursday evening (because it was not). No use pretending it is now.

    It's just poor quality propaganda, designed to try to continue the regrettably divisive campaign at a time when we should all be moving forward and trying to reach a constructive settlement.

  3. Flockers, it's far, far too late now to backtrack on the pledge of Devo SUPER Max from your campaign's representative George Galloway. If you're arguing that he mis-spoke, you had ample time to issue a correction before polling day. You failed to do so.

    But don't worry - Devo SUPER Max sounds like exactly the sort of constructive settlement that both Yes and No voters can unite behind. You must be thrilled.

  4. James, that's risible. The vow spoke for itself. It was in writing. Nobody - literally nobody - was saying, or believed, or even thought it was remotely possible, that Westminster was offering devolution of all powers bar defence and foreign affairs. It would have been completely illogical. You did not believe that on Thursday night, did you? You don't even believe it now.

    "Extensive" powers are on offer. It was (stupidly) ill-defined, so there is plenty of scope for legitimate debate, and even genuine fist shaking, over whether what is ultimately offered is suitably extensive. You should keep your powder dry for that debate, rather than burning your credibility by trying to pretend that an intelligent and engaged electorate went to bed on Thursday night believing that the only issues to be resolved were defence and foreign affairs.

    As I said, it's just bad propaganda.

  5. Galloway's vow on behalf of the UK government and the Labour party is on tape - it was broadcast on national television. No correction was issued. Pretending that he did not say it is propaganda of the most cynical kind, and is exactly the sort of thing that is eroding trust in politics. Do the decent thing and get behind the push for the London parties to honour their pledge of a form of devolution that is somehow even greater than the maximum amount of devolution possible.

  6. Chris Elliott ‏@CosmicChrissie 9m

    Me officially CERTIFIED! Got thru to #SNP hotline,now proud 52thousand n sumthinth member 💙

    For the out of touch tory twits and red tories who still don't grasp the enormity of the political earthquake happening right this second, that's over 52,000 SNP members now, and STILL rising incredible fast.

    S-A Somerville ‏@S_A_Somerville 8h

    One new member is joining @thesnp every 15 seconds. Wow! Want to join them? http://my.snp.org/join

    david brown ‏@davzob4rn 6h

    I am now an official member of the SNP and so is my 16 year old son exciting times ahead never thought I would leave labour the time is now

    davie1 ‏@dmcgtweet 8h

    If someone had told me a year ago I would be an SNP member, I would have laughed in their face. Joined this morning. Get in there !

    Grahame Case ‏@Grahame_Case 3h

    Lifetime labour member has just filled out snp membership form I gave him - says labour party is finished

    Curious? Certainly doesn't look like all the promises, pledges VOWS and talk of DevoMAX is killing the SNP "stone dead". Nor does it seem to be putting a dent in the 45 and the fightback. Quite the opposite in fact. :-)

    How now Brown Vow?


    *DevoMAX - All powers apart from foreign affairs and defence.

  7. James, you're making yourself look more ridiculous with every post. The pledge from the London parties was for devolution of further, extensive powers. Salmond criticised it as being insufficient. In his own concession speech he referred to the offer as being "further meaningful" powers. He was under no illusion, you were under no illusion, and nobody else was under any illusion that the offer was not as all-encompassing as you now suggest.

    If you think your fellow Scotsmen are stupid enough to believe your new position on this, then truly you treat them with contempt.

  8. "The pledge from the London parties was for devolution of further, extensive powers"

    Not so - it went much further than that. The London parties' nominated representative, a Mr George Galloway, made clear that Devo SUPER Max would be delivered in the event of a No vote. As you know, Devo Max is a contraction of "devolution maximum", meaning the maximum amount of devolution possible, ie. everything transferred to Holyrood apart from foreign affairs and defence. Mr Galloway's use of the word "SUPER" indicates something over and above that - perhaps powers over nuclear weapons, for example? I must I'm finding the prospect of Devo SUPER Max terrifically exciting, and I suspect you are too.

  9. Andrew Weir ‏@Andyweir96 7m

    Became a member of the SNP before it was cool


  10. I won't post further on this topic, but will let you stew gently in your own absurdity.

    On another note - congratulations to the SNP on their membership drive. On a day when Ed Miliband demonstrated yet again the limitations of top down leadership ("here's your agenda - now get excited!"), the SNP has hinted at a different future for political parties bold enough to decentralise and grasp it.

  11. I think I made the SNP cool.

    Anyway, Flockers, the vow was a blank piece of paper, now we're filling it in.


  12. There's no point trying to reason with Britnats as you know well.

    There's a lovely comment thread on Cif full of the revolting scum attacking Andy Murray for daring to come out for Yes. Wall to wall racism but as the target is Scottish they can say what they like.

    Changed days from when Christina D and Plato were foaming at the pants because AM touched their flag and mumbled their song.

  13. "I won't post further on this topic, but will let you stew gently in your own absurdity."

    Oh, go on, Flockers. I know you're looking forward to Devo SUPER Max as much as the rest of us.

  14. "Changed days from when Christina D and Plato were foaming at the pants because AM touched their flag and mumbled their song."

    Oh yes, I'd forgotten about that! "He's not your poster-boy" is what Plato said, I think...

  15. Chalks - you'd better not let James catch you say that!

    As I said yesterday, you're perfectly entitled to push for more powers in the negotiation (and the vagueness of the vow was a bad mistake, in my view), just not to pretend that if you don't end up with powers that weren't offered, you've somehow been shafted.

    My serious point today is that people need to move forward and start bringing people together. Vile comments about Andy Murray are totally out of order - he was perfectly entitled to express his view in the manner and timing of his choosing. The same applies to JK Rowling, millionaire lottery winners who donated to yes and, frankly, everyone else who kept within the bounds of law and order.

    But it is really quite poor of James to use his platform to try to mislead Scots into thinking that the Westminster parties promised them something they did not. Above all, it treats Scots with contempt. And in seeking to forment unjustified anger, it does nothing to help Scotland unite and move forward.

  16. I understand James point entirely, the majority of the 25% of no voters that voted no, did so based on the belief that it's devo max we are getting.

    So that's what the SNP and people like myself will campaign for.

    You made your bed, lie in it.

  17. Chalks, I am afraid you're entirely wrong. According to Ashcroft's poll, only 9% of the 55% of no voters made up their mind in the last week of the campaign (during which the vow was made). In total only 25% of no voters cited the prospect of further powers (combined with the security of remaining in the UK)as their principal reason for voting no.

    The vow may or may not have made the difference - we will never truly know. But sure as hell no-one believed the crap James is now spouting at the time.

    Alex Salmond, by the way, has spoken again today about the nature of the powers he hopes will come Scotland's way. He's under no illusion. Impressive as she is, I doubt Sturgeon is under any illusion either.

  18. Anecdotally, the Galloway vow on Devo SUPER Max seems to have been decisive, Flockers. I'm afraid there's no point in trying to wriggle free now.

  19. It seems that there may have been widespread fraud with false ballot papers being handled out at polling stations

    see what you make of this

  20. Anecdotally, yes was going to win by a landslide.

  21. Now that SLAB are disintegrating before our very eyes, and the SNP are enjoying a resurgence in membership, I would surmise that London and Washington will deem Scotland " an unstable regime" politically, since the last bastion of unionism in Scotland, the labour party, will soon be gone.

    They will probably conclude that it would be wise to remove the subs together with their associated nuclear ordnance from Scottish territory asap.

    Be interesting to look out for straws in the wind, methinks..........................

  22. "Anecdotally, yes was going to win by a landslide."

    I gather "the vow" was only anecdotal as well. Much like Westminster manifestos?

  23. So Galloway promised Super Devo Max. Is that better than Home Rule as promised by Broon?

  24. Gordon Brown apparently offered “A system of government as close to federalism as you can have in a nation where one part forms 85% of the population.”

    There was ample time for Cameron or Miliband to refute that; to make it clear that Gordon Brown spoke for no one except Gordon Brown.

    They didn't.

    And, together with the Miliband Cameron "vow", it was a game changer.

    Now Miliband doesn't want to know because the English want their own devolution (which would leave Labour in the cold) and Cameron has already talked about reducing Scotland's money.

    Mr Farage of course is prominent in both their "run up to election" minds.

    No one seems to give a toss what Clegg thinks, says or does. He has even been relieved of his responsibilities for constitutional affairs.

    What on earth are we paying him for?

  25. Flockers, you might recall the sight of Lamont, Rennie and Davidson on Calton Hill promising more powers, you might recall the endless commissions promising more powers.

    All were done before the vow and helped sway the vote.

    I would also, point you in the direction of the BT private polling that suggested Yes were on 53% towards the end of the campaign.


  26. http://thebutterflyrebellion.org/2014/09/23/the-sabotage-of-scotlands-democracy/