Friday, July 30, 2021

Solidarity with Craig Murray, and Alba nominations

I think we're all a bit in shock that Craig Murray is actually going to jail, even though we've known for a few weeks that this moment was likely to arrive.  Some will say "well, he's not above the law, you know", but what's truly staggering about this case is that we've discovered that equality before the law does not actually apply: bloggers are held to a higher standard, and are dealt with more punitively, than mainstream journalists.  Lady Dorrian ludicrously justified that novel principle with reference to the IPSO code - an entirely voluntary code which has no legal standing that I'm aware of and that is rather selectively enforced, to put it politely.

As for Lady Dorrian's cheerleaders, probably the most reprehensible thing I've seen is a relatively well-known person within the SNP who indicated that she wanted Craig in jail, because if he was sentenced to community service he'd worm his way out of it due to his health conditions.  Either the implication is that his health conditions are fake (in which case doctors are lying about them for some unspecified reason) or that she would rather Craig's life was put at risk than see him escape punishment.  Never again can that individual claim to be a progressive: she has betrayed a repugnant right-wing belief system that is incompatible with restorative justice or rehabilitation, or indeed common decency.

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If you're a fellow member of the Alba Party, you'll have received a flurry of emails over the last few days about registration for the forthcoming conference, the election of office bearers, and a consultation about the party's draft constitution.  A few people have messaged me to ask whether I'll be going to conference, and one person also wanted to know if I'd have any objection if he nominated me for one of the ordinary places on the National Executive Committee.  I certainly would very much like to go to conference - the only snag is that I have a lot of contact with a vulnerable person, so I'll have to see how risky the virus situation seems at the time.  But I plan to register to give myself the option of going if it's safe.  And I don't have any objection if anyone genuinely wants to nominate me for the NEC - other than the inevitable mild embarrassment when only one person actually does it!  (Ten nominations are required to make the ballot.)  I'll probably send in nominations of my own for some of the various positions, but as the deadline is a few days away I'll give myself time to have a proper think about who to nominate.  Alex Salmond for leader is a no-brainer if he wants to continue, but there are several possibilities for depute leader: Kenny MacAskill, Neale Hanvey and Chris McEleny would seem to be the obvious candidates, but there may be a feeling that a woman should take the role if the leader is male.

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Poll fundraising: We'll get there eventually!  I'm still fundraising for the poll via the Scot Goes Pop general fundraiser - if you'd like to donate please click HERE.  A million thanks for all the generous donations so far.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Bombshell poll from Redfield & Wilton shows support for holding an independence referendum IN THE NEXT YEAR

There doesn't seem to have been a full-scale Scottish poll on independence for over a month - OK, it's summer, but I wouldn't be surprised if such polls continue to be thin on the ground for the rest of 2021, unless the SNP start injecting some urgency.  However what we do have, weirdly, is a Britain-wide poll on the subject - the rough equivalent of a Europe-wide poll on whether Brexit is a good idea and whether it should have been 'allowed' to happen.

Redfield & Wilton Strategies found 29% of the GB public in favour of independence, and 33% opposed to it - roughly a 47-53 split with neutrals stripped out.  Far more interesting is of course the Scottish subsample, which shows 40% in favour and 41% opposed - essentially a dead heat, which is better than the last couple of full-scale Scottish polls, although the small size of a subsample means the findings are much less reliable.

One unusual feature of the poll is that there are figures for people who identify as Scottish, irrespective of where in Britain they live.  These should provide a warning for Tories and unionist commentators hankering after a blood-and-soil franchise for the next indyref, because Scottish identifiers are much more strongly supportive of independence and an early independence referendum than other groups.  53% want a referendum in the next year and 35% don't.  However, even among the actual indyref franchise (people who live in Scotland regardless of their national identity), there is a plurality in favour of a referendum in the next year, working out at roughly 52% in favour when neutrals are removed.  That rather helpfully gives the lie to Councillor Hunter's provocative comments of the other day.

Incidentally, the supposedly poor personal ratings for Nicola Sturgeon commented upon recently appear to come from another GB-wide Redfield & Wilton poll, so can essentially be disregarded.

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Scot Goes Pop poll fundraising update:  We're kind of in no-man's-land at present - a substantial amount of money has been raised, but we're still quite a way short of where we'll need to be to make a full-scale poll happen.  I know some will say I shouldn't have used the Scot Goes Pop general fundraiser to seek the funds, because that makes it harder for people to keep track of how much has specifically been raised for the poll, but there would also have been substantial downsides to running two different fundraisers simultaneously.  Rest assured I'm not going to leave the job half-done, the poll will definitely happen sooner or later, it's just a question of when.  If you haven't donated yet and would like to speed things up, please click HERE.  To give you a rough idea, the £5500 required for the type of poll we've run in the past will have been raised when the running total on the general fundraiser is a little above £13,000.  For a cheaper option (which may be more realistic at this stage), the running total will have to be slightly in excess of £11,000 at an absolute minimum.