I noticed earlier that the Stack Data poll from shortly after the Holyrood election, which showed the independence question tied at 50-50, still hadn't been added to the Wikipedia list of polls. So I've just put that right. The poll was a wide-ranging propaganda survey commissioned by Gordon Brown's anti-independence organisation Our Scottish Future, and the detailed datasets make for fascinating reading. As you'd expect, the questions were framed in a way that maximised the chances of getting the desired results, but there were a number that backfired. Most importantly, there was a question that asked respondents to rate their support or opposition to independence on a scale of 0 to 10, and the results were startlingly different to the standard question...
Friday, June 4, 2021
Drama as it emerges that Gordon Brown's post-election propaganda poll showed a majority for independence - and found that voters don't think they should have to wait "a generation" to get a choice on their own future
Take 3: The parliamentary petition on transferring all powers over broadcasting to the Scottish Parliament! (Updated)
UPDATE: Thanks to your help, the petition has received enough signatures to be checked for publication, and no more signatures can be accepted while that is happening, so I've removed the links below. I'll let you know what happens.
So, as you'll probably remember, I made a second attempt a few days ago at starting a petition on the UK Parliament website calling for all necessary steps to be taken to bring about a Scottish entry at the Eurovision Song Contest. I completely changed the wording to address the stated reasons for the rejection of the first one, and I identified specific steps that could be taken that are fully within the Westminster parliament's powers. I suggested on this blog that a second rejection would leave little room for doubt that the people in charge of the petitions process weren't acting in good faith - and that's exactly what has happened. Ludicrously, the wording of the rejection email this time was identical to the first one, even though the reasons in it quite plainly didn't apply to the new petition.
What seems to be going on is that they have a stock rejection wording for any petition with "Eurovision" in the title, and are just sending that out regardless of what the petition actually calls for. That being the case, there's clearly no point in trying to adjust the petition any further, and it's time for a completely new tack. I'm now attempting to start a petition calling for the wholesale transfer of broadcasting powers to the Scottish Parliament, and I've merely mentioned a Scottish Eurovision entry in passing as one of several possible benefits.
On paper, this petition meets all the conditions for publication, so it should be accepted, but in practice there are no guarantees - I had a look through a number of rejected petitions relating to devolution, and the reasons for rejection were often entirely bogus (ie. "this is a matter for the people of Scotland and Wales", when in reality Westminster retains the absolute power to unilaterally change the devolution settlements without consent, and indeed has repeatedly used that power). But all we can do is try. Once again, five signatures will be needed for the petition to be checked (and thank you for your patience in this matter!).
By the way, I know some people will object to this petition on the basis that we shouldn't be trying to 'make devolution work', we should instead be trying to get independence and that way we'll automatically get broadcasting powers. But the whole point of the exercise is to demonstrate that devolution isn't working and can't work, because no UK government will ever respect the wishes of the people on what powers should be devolved. If by any chance the petition is published and reaches 10,000 signatures, the government would be required to respond to it.
Petition title: Devolve legislative powers over broadcasting to the Scottish Parliament
What is being called for: Scotland's devolution settlement should be strengthened by removing broadcasting from the long list of policy areas that are reserved to Westminster. The elected Scottish Parliament should be given the power to restructure the TV and radio landscape in line with the wishes of the people of Scotland.
More details: Westminster's retention of essentially all powers over Scottish broadcasting is inconsistent with the claim that the Scottish Parliament is "the most powerful devolved parliament in the world". The long-overdue transfer of these powers to the Scottish Parliament would enable BBC Scotland and the Scottish ITV franchises to be reformed to meet the needs of Scottish audiences in terms of drama, news, comedy, a Scottish entry at the Eurovision Song Contest, and coverage of Scottish sporting teams.
Thursday, June 3, 2021
It's true that his own lawyer called him a sex pest and described his behaviour as inappropriate. I also think you're a disgusting individual for defending his behaviour, James. pic.twitter.com/pCUS8rfUHC— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
Lucky you. James does make me angry, for excusing the behaviour of a sex pest, for insisting we welcome creeps and centre their feelings, for the audacity to suggest it's a blunder to do otherwise.— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
I think we should welcome you, Jack, and the irony is I think we genuinely have.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
Who the fuck do you think you are to extend a welcome to me?— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
Ah, how the mask has slipped.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
I was warmly welcomed into the SNP, and into the places I've lived and worked and spent my time since I moved to Scotland.— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
I reject absolutely the welcome of random sex pest apologists.
Didn't you threaten to leave the SNP once? Didn't you suggest it was "transphobic" or some such nonsense? Come to think of it, you *actually left*, didn't you? Apologies if I'm misremembering this, but I don't think I am.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
The party lost my trust last year so I left. The party made sufficient changes to restore my trust so I rejoined. I'm quite motivated to see decent local councillors selected and elected next year.— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
Was your name read out at the NEC and were you banned for two years?— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
You'll need to find someone else to leak NEC proceedings to you, sorry— Jack Deeth (@JackDeeth) June 3, 2021
I'll take that as a no.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
It was. But then 99% of the transphobes left to form Alba.— Jon Smith (@S_U_A_R) June 3, 2021
Alba must be bloody enormous, then, if you're suggesting those people previously dominated the SNP.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 3, 2021
So this is, as far as I can see, a legitimate observation - Jack publicly resigned from the SNP in precisely the same way that the defectors to Alba did, and yet he's been readmitted well within the two year period that he should have been automatically banned for. It seems that different rules apply (or different interpretations of the rules) if your stated reason for resigning was that the SNP weren't taking a sufficiently extreme stance on identity politics.
I must confess I had no idea before this exchange that Jack harboured such bitter hatred towards me on a personal level. I've met him twice in real life at 'separatist dinners' and he seemed very pleasant and friendly. As a result we followed each other on Twitter for a number of years, although he quietly unfollowed me (in fairness he didn't block me) after the 2019 general election. I'm 70-80% sure the reason he did that was a single tweet I posted listing my personal five favourite results from the election, which amounted to aggravated thoughtcrime because Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was one of them. It wasn't top of the list, I hasten to add - East Dunbartonshire was, but it seems that simply celebrating a pro-independence win is deemed a form of "bigotry" these days. If memory serves me right, Jack had said he would like to campaign for Labour in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, and he also gave a pretty strong indication that he wanted Joanna Cherry to lose her seat - which was even more outrageous, given that Ms Cherry, unlike Neale Hanvey, wasn't suspended from the party, and her only credible challenger was the Tory candidate.
I've belatedly put Jack out of his misery and blocked him, along with a few of his ultra-zealot tag-team chums.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
The UK Government was elected on 44% of the vote, and the Scottish Government was elected on 48% of the vote. Murdo Fraser, naturally, only thinks the latter is a problem.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
How many resignations will it take before the leadership recognise that the problem is not the NEC's critics, it's the NEC itself?
I’ve resigned from the NEC of @theSNP. A number of factors have prevented me from fulfilling the mandate party members gave me to improve transparency & scrutiny & to uphold the party’s constitution. I won’t be making any further comment at this stage.— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) May 31, 2021
The SNP are a grown-up party of government but they don't have a grown-up NEC to reflect that. It comes across as a student body with a disproprtionate number of members who haven't politically matured.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 31, 2021
You know what I said last night about the NEC coming across as a student body?— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 1, 2021
"New hashtag I'mwithIan"
"Up for that hashtag"
For goodness' sake, that's cringeworthy stuff for a major political party's governing committee.https://t.co/oLrBk223JN
* * *
Ed Coulson works in community radio in Ireland, and he was kind enough to record a sort of masterclass for me when I first started talking about the possibility of a Scot Goes Pop podcast. By the time I listened to it, I had already recorded the first podcast, and unfortunately I realised that I'd done the complete opposite of a lot of what Ed had advised! However I've taken some of his advice on board for the subsequent episodes. He got back in touch the other day and was the bearer of bad news - I had said the Scot Goes Popcast was now a 'proper' podcast because the episodes are downloadable from Soundcloud, but it turned out that's nowhere near enough, and I needed to set up an RSS feed and submit it to various podcast directories.
I finally seem to be getting there - the Scot Goes Popcast is now available on Spotify and on Stitcher, and I've also submitted it to a couple of other directories. I haven't submitted it to Apple yet (which appears to be the most important one) because there were a few extra hoops to jump through, and I was a bit uneasy that they were asking for payment details. However, I may still do that at some point.
Having gone to all this trouble, and having also taken out a paid subscription on Soundcloud, I kind of feel like I'd better continue with the podcast now, so keep the suggestions for potential guests coming. My last three invitations all drew a blank, although as one of those was to renowned environmentalist Alistair McConnachie, maybe it was just as well.