Friday, September 26, 2014

Stewart Hosie for deputy leader

I wasn't expecting to take a view on this so quickly. If it had simply been a choice between the personal qualities of Stewart Hosie and Keith Brown, I'd probably think it was quite evenly balanced.  But I must admit I've been much more impressed by what Hosie has been saying so far, and in particular the refreshing clarity of his call for the devolution of all powers other than foreign affairs and defence.  Brown seems to be somewhat more focused on the managerial side of the deputy leader role, which is undoubtedly important, but given that we're looking at a coronation of the leader, it's only natural that members will want to use the only competitive election to express a view on policy direction.

Obviously there's nothing to stop the Westminster SNP group pushing hard for maximum devolution anyway, but there may well be something in Hosie's point that it would be helpful if he was there in London with the full weight of the deputy leader role behind him.

Lastly, I'm a bit disappointed that Brown seems to have gone out of his way to play down any chance of the much-needed electoral pact between the parties that will be pushing for Devo Max.  For all I know Hosie and other senior SNP people may take exactly the same view, but it seems depressingly "tribal politics as usual" to be rushing to rule things out at this early stage.


  1. Hosie it is or can it be?

    I just joined last week so, do I get a vote from France?

  2. Surely new powers will have to be delivered? I mean, I don't expect anything spectacular (and potentially I see these new powers as acting as more of a punishment than an award to Scotland, such as the income tax regulatory powers on the cards), but surely if they didn't deliver them at all they would have to face another referendum, this time with a LOT of no voters joining the 45%?

  3. I was tending towards Hosie for Deputy Leader and Brown for DFM.

    We need a strong team in Westminster and Hosie fits the bill alongside Robertson.

    After all, check out the Yougov subsets for Scotland. Today's is something quite remarkable (SNP 45%, SNP+PC 6% of UK), coming on the back of a major shift in the past few weeks.

  4. SS

    Does SNP 45%, SNP+PC 6% of UK.

    Does PC = Parly Constituency

  5. Aye, Yougov don't separate SNP and PC in the final weighted shares for the UK as a whole. However, you can assume at the very most 1% and that's being generous. Today's figure is ~0.85% PC of UK total based on share of Midlands/Wales subset. So SNP = 5.15% of UK.

  6. I'm not sure if they want to have a joint effort because it would make them a target for a losers pact for Neverendum. That way the Meeja could slide easily from demonizing Alecsammin (copyright weegingerdug)to the new group.

  7. War, glorious war, fracking Tories and UKIP...

    Any regrets Scotland?

  8. Indeed Scottish_Skier

    This is not, I repeat NOT, a parody or spoof.

    Tony Blair: People should listen to my advice on Isis as I have been to war in Iraq before

    Leslie Huckfield ‏@huckfield 2h

    RT @HumzaYousaf: Q. What kind of peace envoy seems to advocate war every time he opens his mouth? A. This guy

    Needless to say almost all of the out of touch westminster twits, warmongers and chickenhawks don't seem to have a clue just what they will be voting for.

    Roddy McHardy ‏@Radgecase 20m

    Ten reasons why the British parliament should vote no to bombing Iraq - Stop the War Coalition:

  9. Any regrets Scotland?

    These things often take time to sink in. Soft NO voters are still in shock at the speed of bad news stories appearing since the 18th.

    Expect angry denial at first, but the evidence of their errors of judgment will soon become overwhelming. When they realise they have been duped, after a short time of feeling rather silly and ashamed of themselves, they will decide how best the cold dish of revenge will be delivered.

    2015 GE?

  10. Instinctively, I feel that Hosie has the gravitas and experience for the DL job. I'm a big fan of the man. I did wonder if Robertson might stand, but if he doesn't then it's Hosie for me.

    I wonder what the effect might be of so many brand new members voting in the internal party elections this year? I remember as a very new member 20 years ago, sent as a conference delegate, trying to grapple with the competing claims of people whose track records I was simply not familiar with.

    Hosie has made some spectacularly good speeches in Westminster, and his Westminster experience is something that will stand the leadership in good stead now that Alex is out of the main picture.

  11. I would choose Stewart Hosie for deputy leader of the SNP.

    In regards to a Yes alliance, there is a major problem with it. If it occurs, and it is no secret that the pro-independence parties are helping each other electorally, then I am afraid it would almost certainly provoke a reaction from unionist parties and voters. It may make elections in Scotland from now on a farce.

    I think there should be discussion about tactics among the SNP, Greens, and SSP, but I am not convinced at all that a formal electoral alliance would work.

  12. I seem to remember that you had to a member of the SNP for a specific period of time before you got a vote in internal elections so as to avoid candidates signing up members for their own ends. I hope that is waved for the Leader and Deputy Leader contests.

    Stewart Hosie or Keith Brown? I am torn between the two. I remember the impressive young Keith Brown as a first time Parliamentary candidate in Dundee West in 1992 and my local lad Stewart.

  13. I'd agree.

    I've seen Stewart a lot at local meetings as well as on tv, as he is my local MP.

    He's a first rate communicator and has a really solid grasp on his portfolio.

  14. What convinced me for Stewart Hosie was the way he gutted, filleted and disposed of Lord Robertson Nukem CEntral at Dundee University and turned the students round from No to yes.

    Thinks well on his feet and doesn't allow a BBC interviewer to talk over him. He is cool, cooler than Angus Robertson who always seems to me to be a bit nervous.

    A R may well be a better strategist.

    Horses for courses.

  15. Bold prediction. Salmond will stand for Westminster 2015. If elected he will be Westminster leader. I could tell by his demeaner he has something worked out.

  16. Nick Robinson ‏@bbcnickrobinson 4m

    SNP MPs to vote against military action in Iraq as they have "deep deep worries" re a "3rd Iraq War" says @MorayMP

    Claire Gould ‏@ClearGlued 4m

    Angus Robertson says SNP will not be supporting Govt in vote on air strikes in Iraq - as the motion makes no mention of 'winning the peace'

    AngusBMacNeilMP ‏@AngusMacNeilMP 5m

    SNP will vote against motion on action in Iraq due to open ended nature of motion - could be 10yrs of Bombing - also lack of plans for peace

    How RIGHT they are. Excellent decision. I will back them to the hilt on this and this will please local SNP members greatly.

    There is no exit strategy or remotely viable route to the desperately needed diplomatic solution in the area (involving Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and others) while Iraq's civil war is being exacerbated and inflamed by yet more carnage and bloodshed.

  17. The political earthquake has also not stopped and is still surging.

    Peter Murrell ‏@PeterMurrell 35m

    New @theSNP members 40,358, totals 66,000. Be part of it, join and make a difference:

  18. Salmond will NOT be standing in Gordon.

    He has stepped down to spend more time with his wife, he isn't going to bugger off to London and leave her

  19. It has to be Hosie as second in command, the DFM is another story.

    Meanwhile for services rendered.

  20. Interesting bit of historical context. Tweet from an Ipsos-MORI staffer:

    "36 years of #indyref polling - last week's result was (almost) the high point in support for indy"

    The high point (~50%) was in the period between the 1997 referendum and the 1999 election.

  21. Mick

    Douglas Carswell has suggested that the real membership of the Conservatives is under 100,000 and c70,000 has been also suggested.

    Of course the Labour Party claims 190,000 but the reality of their true membership has always proved to ephemeral, at best.

    Social members, unaware TU members, the Co-op membership and double counting seems to be de rigeur, just as in the TU voting fun and games.

  22. True indeed Bugger Le Panda.

    Let's also not forget that 'scottish' labour may have already been overtaken by the Scottish Green Party depending on which estimates we use.

    Though since those are the most recent HoC estimates even the most partisan tory would have a job claiming they are an underestimate.

    Be very interesting to find out the true figures of course and there might, just might, be a very good reason why the Labour and Tory parties shroud them in so much secrecy these days. ;-)

    Either way the numbers joining the SNP and indeed the scottish greens are mindblowing. This is without question a political earthquake and one which will have massive consequences soon enough.

  23. Here's hoping.

    Saw your activity on the Guardian and perhaps elsewhere.

    I tried on the Telegraph and exposed someone from the Aberdeen area who had been chased from the Scottish blogs as an idiot and a rich Tory one at that who used to yap about speaking Danish and Russian. At that time I have a bidey-in from Denmark and she fed me sentences in Danish.

    She disappeared after but but on the Telegraph, I was unceremoniously banned.

    Big deal

  24. No voters, what do you think of Iraq War 3?

    I wonder what the referendum result would have been next week?

  25. A lot of no voters just care about their own selfish lives. Blunt but true. I have met so many with the story. I've got kids or I've got a mortgage. Like every yes supporter is a reckless freedom fighter. We are all in the Same boat but some of us care about our fellow citizens and want a more equal society.Ultimately we want to run our own nation. It's woken me up to how selfish and I individualistic the middle classes are in Scotland.The old story they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing!

  26. The "The people have spoken. The bastards." attitude isn't really going to get us anywhere.

    As for the war, I don't think it will have much (if any) effect either way any time soon. It's not obviously wrong or unpopular in the way that 2003 was. There's legitimate reasons for opposing it and I think Labour were daft in whipping the vote, but the IS is a problem that needs to be addressed. Both for the region and western states, because it seems to be acting as a new training camp for extremists.

  27. I'd like to see a discussion of what we think the qualities a deputy leader should have.

    The things I can come up with.
    1. A clear understanding of the goals and principles of SNP.
    2. A comprehensive grasp of economics, statistics and an ability to express them in a way that the public get it.
    3. An ability to speak well, to deal with hostile interviewers.

    What else?

  28. In regards to a Yes alliance, there is a major problem with it. If it occurs, and it is no secret that the pro-independence parties are helping each other electorally, then I am afraid it would almost certainly provoke a reaction from unionist parties and voters. It may make elections in Scotland from now on a farce.

    It might provoke a reaction but what reaction will that be. What can the Unionist parties realistically do when faced with a Yes Alliance?

    Very little. They might rescue a couple of Lib Dem seats by persuading Labour voters to vote tactically. But they aren't going to persuade many Labour voters to support Tories or Tory voters to back Labour.

    The stark reality is that there is very little they can do other than hope the message isn't clear enough amongst Yes supporters on how to vote tactically in the 2015 election and I would be fairly confident that such an engaged population will follow the call with enthusiastic glee.

  29. @Alasdair.
    I don't think Labour and Tory voters would have a problem with supporting each others candidates.

  30. "As for the war, I don't think it will have much (if any) effect either way any time soon."

    Either way?? You seriously think there's the possibility of some kind of jingoistic 'bounce' for the chickenhawks and warmongers as the bombs and carnage escalate ever further in Iraq yet again? Good luck with that one.

    "It's not obviously wrong or unpopular in the way that 2003 was."

    A few YouGov push/polls does not a popular war make. I suggest you go out on the street where there is little to no enthusiasm for yet more Iraq stupidity and a good deal of anger.

    The crucial point also being yet. The out of touch westminster twits were forced to admit this new Iraq idiocy will likely go on for years. Months and then years into another pointless bloody quagmire. So the second rate Blair impersonators at westminster are somewhat unlikely to get much 'acclaim' from the public in case they have forgotten how these things work in Iraq.

    "but the IS is a problem that needs to be addressed."

    Granted, there are still some gullible enough to fall for and believe all the propaganda coming from Cammie, little Ed, Clegg and the establishment media like the BBC. However, the truth of the matter is the Iraq and Syria civil wars are the problem that needs to be addressed. Not merely one faction of them.

    ISIL are a sectarian Sunni militia and one faction of the civil wars. They are a particularly vicious one but they are hardly alone and they are joined in their barbarity by some of the Shia Militias and indeed the Iraq government forces who have all been implicated in war crimes along with ISIL.

    For that matter long before the current crisis, with the establishment media shrieking about IS, the Iraq civil war was raging with a massive civilian bodycount because the hardline Shia Iraq government forces had enacted brutal sectarian policies which had poured petrol all over an already volatile and bloody situation. It was that utter chaos which vicious Sunni militias took advantage of.

    So keep that in mind the next time one of the ignorant poodles for this new Iraq war tries to tell you that everything is fine because some in the Iraq Government now want foreign troops to attack their Sunni enemies.

    "because it seems to be acting as a new training camp for extremists"

    It might not be the best idea to rerun Blair's 'greatest' excuses and justifications for the Invasion of Iraq. Particularly since we all know what causes the greatest threat to us all from extremists.

    Former MI5 head: Iraq war "increased terrorist threat"

    The former director-general of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, has told the BBC that the war in Iraq "increased the terrorist threat"

    Something we will be sure to keep reminding the chickenhawks, warmongers and their poodles of every single time they try to use that as an excuse for this new Iraq war idiocy.