A pro-independence blog by James Kelly - voted one of Scotland's top 10 political websites.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
More on that totally coincidental link between J K Rowling's misogynistic Twitter-chum and popular journalist Euan McColm
1) Out of 320 million possibilities, why was Euan McColm the very first person that "Brian Spanner" followed on Twitter?
2) Why was Think Scotland (a right-wing website to which McColm has contributed many articles) the second Twitter account that Spanner followed?
3) Why were Alex Massie, Iain Martin, John Rentoul and David Torrance (all journalistic chums of McColm) the third, fourth, fifth and sixth accounts that Spanner followed on Twitter?
4) Why does Spanner - an abusive troll who regularly uses the C-word, and who has a relatively modest 4,622 followers on Twitter - boast such a large number of the unionist establishment (especially the journalistic unionist establishment) among his followers? Examples : Blair McDougall, J K Rowling (who STILL follows him!), Alex Massie, John McTernan, Kenny Farquharson, Iain Martin, Chris Deerin, Stephen Daisley, David Torrance, Kevin Schofield, Alan Roden, Iain Harrison, Ruth Davidson MSP, Harry Cole, Nick Cohen, Gemma Doyle, Melanie Ward, Tom Greatrex, Stephen Hammond MP, Paul Martin MSP, Alex Fergusson MSP, Mike Crockart, Charlotte Wace (Scottish Mail on Sunday), Tom Martin (Scottish Daily Express), Lord Lewis Moonie, Maggie Vaughan (Alistair Darling's spouse), Murdo Fraser MSP, Paul Sinclair, Rob Shorthouse, Catherine Stihler MEP, Ben Borland (Scottish Sunday Express), Ian Smart, Ian Murray MP, and yes, Euan McColm. Are they ALL fans of deeply offensive misogynistic trolling and the C-word?
5) On a related point, is it really a total coincidence that Spanner and McColm both love using the C-word? Maybe I'm just careful with who I follow on Twitter, but I can't say I encounter the word very often.
6) Why are McColm and Spanner both so obsessed with the same picture? See HERE, HERE and HERE.
Friday, January 29, 2016
The misogynistic tweeter, his friendship with J K Rowling, and the ENTIRELY COINCIDENTAL link to popular journalist Euan McColm
"In a parallel universe, Euan McColm is the darling of the London media for being beastly to a billionaire SNP-supporting children's author."
But within only a few minutes, I had started wondering if McColm is in fact quite as unconnected as I thought to Rowling's latest antics, and more specifically to the misogynistic tweeter "Brian Spanner" that she once expressed such touching support for. First of all, it became clear from a tweet in December that Stephen "centre-right socialist" Daisley is a mate of Spanner's -
Stephen Daisley : "Oi, "@BrianSpanner1". You about for a coffee tomorrow?"
Secondly, I noticed that I was blocked by McColm on Twitter, even though I couldn't recall any particular trigger for that.
Thirdly, I noticed that I had blocked Spanner in November. I had no recollection of doing so, but when I looked up the relevant exchange (it was a Neil Lovatt spectacular) I couldn't help feeling there was a vague McColm-esque air to the whole thing. Could "Spanner" conceivably have retaliated by blocking me on another account?
Fourthly, Mark Jardine noticed that "Spanner" is the first person listed under the following names : David Torrance, John Rentoul, Iain Martin, Alex Massie, Think Scotland and Euan McColm.
Fifthly, McGlashan noticed that a couple of weeks ago, Spanner randomly said "It is. Thanks." when someone pointed out that it was Euan McColm's birthday. J K Rowling directly responded to Spanner with the words "Happy birthday, Euan".
Of course none of this is remotely conclusive and I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent explanation.
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UPDATE : A few more total coincidences have come to light - see HERE.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Panelbase hints that the gap between Holyrood and Westminster voting intentions no longer exists
It's been brought to my attention that deep within the Panelbase datasets there seems to be the equivalent of a full-scale Scottish poll of Westminster voting intentions. It's presented as the subsample of a GB-wide poll, but it's derived from a proper-sized sample, so assuming it's been correctly weighted, the numbers can be regarded as credible. With Don't Knows excluded, they appear to be -
Liberal Democrats 5%
Nothing desperately surprising there, you might think (except for the Tories' unusually good showing), but what's interesting is that the traditional gap between Westminster and Holyrood voting intentions seems to have vanished in a puff of smoke. If this result turns out to be typical, Labour can't blame their low-20s showing in recent Scottish Parliament polls on "the Holyrood factor" - they seem to have genuinely lost even more support since last May. By the same token, anyone who has been thinking "the SNP got 50% for Westminster, so they're bound to do even better this year" is probably barking up the wrong tree.
The most important reason for the traditional gap was of course that some voters didn't think the SNP were relevant in a Westminster election. That no longer applies, so it's perfectly logical that the gap has gone.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Punchy Panelbase poll puts SNP lead at 29%
Labour 21% (-2)
Conservatives 17% (+3)
Liberal Democrats 6% (n/c)
Greens 3% (n/c)
UKIP 2% (n/c)
Labour 19% (-3)
Conservatives 17% (+2)
Liberal Democrats 7% (+1)
Greens 5% (-1)
UKIP 2% (-1)
As you know, I am unconvinced by the excitement over the Tories supposedly finding themselves on the brink of becoming the second largest party. Although some polls (including this one) have shown a very small gap between Labour and Tory, not a single one so far has shown the Tories break out of third place, while TNS have continued to report a very substantial Labour advantage. But for those of you who think the earthquake is possible, it's worth bearing in mind what to look out for - because in the race for second place, only the list vote matters. Even if Labour and the Tories pick up the odd constituency seat here or there, it's highly unlikely that either will find themselves over-represented on constituency seats in any region, so their numbers in parliament will be entirely decided by the list. And, unfortunately, past history suggests that polling is significantly less reliable on the list ballot than on the constituency vote. So it's possible we'll go into polling day with some uncertainty hanging in the air over whether Dugdale or Davidson will be leader of the opposition. (In my view, it'll be Dugdale - unless she resigns.)
Panelbase are unusual in listing the Greens as an option on the constituency ballot. It's simultaneously both a meaningless and fascinating exercise, because self-evidently there's no way the Greens can get 3% of the constituency vote if they don't stand in most constituencies, but on the other hand it's a useful insight into what the gap would be between the party's constituency and list vote if the electorate had an equal chance to vote for them on both ballots. The answer is that the gap probably wouldn't be all that big. There's certainly no sign that Green voters are minded to give a "mass tactical vote" to the SNP in the constituencies before switching to their preferred party on the list. At most, 2% of the electorate are that way inclined, and the true figure may well be lower.
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SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS
Some of the percentage changes in today's update of the Poll of Polls will seem thoroughly counter-intuitive. The reason is that YouGov have now dropped out of the sample because they haven't conducted a (published) Holyrood poll for over three months, and Panelbase are returning to the sample after dropping out a few weeks ago.
Constituency ballot :
SNP 52.5% (-0.3)
Labour 20.8% (n/c)
Conservatives 15.8% (-0.5)
Liberal Democrats 6.0% (+0.2)
Regional list ballot :
SNP 47.5% (+0.7)
Labour 19.5% (-0.3)
Conservatives 15.3% (-0.5)
Greens 7.5% (-0.3)
Liberal Democrats 6.8% (+0.5)