Friday, November 18, 2016

The corner of Scotland that will be forever Trumpton

Just a quick note to let you know that I have a new article at the TalkRadio website, about the terrifying lessons Scotland has learned about Donald Trump from our own ill-fated dalliance with him a few years ago.  You can read the article HERE.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Winning With Willie (again)

Much of the mainstream media breathlessly and uncritically reported Willie Rennie's claim at the weekend that the Scottish Liberal Democrats were "winning again".  For those with short memories, here is how the Lib Dems actually fared at the Holyrood election in May...

* SLIPPED from fourth place to fifth, after being overtaken by the Greens for the first time.  To put that in historical perspective, in 1999, 2003 and 2007 they were within just one seat of tying the Tories for third place.

* FAILED to make any seat gains, remaining on the miserable 5-seat tally they've held since 2011.  For comparison, they won 17 seats in both 1999 and 2003, and 16 in 2007.

* SLUMPED to their lowest-ever share of the vote on the constituency ballot - just 7.8%.  For comparison, they took 14.2% in 1999, 15.3% in 2003, and 16.2% in 2007.

If all of that amounts to "winning again", the mind boggles as to what a humiliating defeat would look like.  Apparently on Planet Willie, they can tell that they're winning from the "howling" of "Cybernats".  But back in the real world, we can tell that they're losing simply by checking the results of the election.

The losing streak continued today in the Scottish Parliament as the Lib Dems grotesquely joined forces with the Tories to vote against continued Scottish membership of the single market, but mercifully were defeated by the combined forces of the SNP and Greens, with the pro-European motion being comfortably passed by 65 votes to 32.  This means that an absolute majority of Scottish parliamentarians have now explicitly backed continued single market membership, and the taking of any steps necessary to ensure that.

Labour are taking a lot of flak for abstaining on the motion, but for my money it's the Lib Dems who deserve the opprobrium on this occasion.  You can make an arguable case for abstaining on an elaborate motion that contains several different points, some of which you agree with, and some of which you don't think are ideally worded.  But for a party that was once the most passionately pro-European outfit in Scotland to actually vote against single market membership is nothing short of extraordinary.  They have abandoned all pretence of being anything other than British nationalist zealots - for them, as for the other unionist parties, it's now Brexit or Bust.