Thursday, February 8, 2024

Don't Ski Back In Anger

A few days ago, I posted a critique of some polling analysis written by "Scottish Skier", formerly a regular in the comments section of this blog, and since 2021 a regular in the comments section of the Wee Ginger Dug blog.  Basically Skier claimed that the polls are completely wrong and that SNP voters have not been switching to Labour.  That's a very difficult claim to take seriously, given that even yesterday's Ipsos poll, which used a completely different data collection method from other polls, shows that the SNP lead over Labour is much smaller than it was at the last general election, and that a substantial 14% of people who voted SNP in 2019 are now planning to vote Labour.

I'm grateful to "Independence for Scotland" for alerting me to the fact that Skier has responded to my piece.  I took a look, and it really is quite an astoundingly angry and bitter reply.  Ironically, Skier has instantly resorted to what might be called the Bath'ist playbook.  He apparently has no plausible argument to offer against the critique, so instead he's tried to pathologise the critique by suggesting its very existence is evidence of "stalking" or of mental illness.  I'd just gently point out to him that he regularly posts what purports to be serious polling analysis in a prominent public space where it is presumably read by hundreds of people at the very least.  If you go down that road, you can reasonably expect your work may well be critiqued in other public spaces, and there's nothing unnatural or weird about that.  If the "stalking" schtick is a tactic to try to deter me from writing similar critiques in the future, I'm afraid it's likely to have precisely the opposite effect, as the Bath'ists themselves have previously discovered.

In his reply, Skier makes one specific claim about me that I can only describe as defamatory, and another claim that I'm highly dubious about.  The defamatory claim is that I was adjudged three years ago to have been guilty of a breach of contract.  That's a ludicrous allegation without any basis in fact whatsoever. I've actually seen the correspondence he's referring to, because he either sent it to me at the time or published it somewhere, and it quite simply does not contain the statement he claims it contains.  Nor does it contain anything that could even plausibly be construed in that way.

The claim I'm merely dubious about is Skier's suggestion that he put it to me that he and I should "team up for some joint work in the past when I used to post there, but he told me where to go".  I'm reluctant to call that a second outright lie, because I can't totally rule out the possibility that something like that happened and I've somehow completely forgotten about it, but I very much doubt that's the case.  In fact I distinctly remember that just a few weeks before he threw his toys out of the pram about me joining the Alba Party, I had been seriously considering asking him if he'd like to team up for multiple episodes of an election podcast about polling.  Although I've always thought some of his ideas about polling are a bit wacky and fantastical, he's neverthless an articulate and provocative character, and I thought a joint podcast might work quite well.  So if I was thinking along those lines, it seems pretty unlikely that I would have "told him where to go" if he had come to me with his own proposal.  Obviously my reaction would have depended on the exact nature of the proposal, but I very much doubt I would have said anything like "sod off", so what he's claiming just doesn't have the ring of truth to it at all.

What really does worry me, though, is that Skier goes on to double down on his claim that SNP voters haven't switched to Labour, because he can't think of any motivation for them to have done so.  Several other WGD commenters are in complete and vigorous agreement with him on that point. What it reminds me of is Tories who reject polls showing support for independence because "I never meet anyone who supports independence" or "I can't see any good reason why anyone rational would support independence".  Such claims always say much more about the people who make them - about their narrow-mindedness, their lack of imagination and empathy, or their limited social circle.

Anyone who thinks people can be expected to continue voting SNP by default (unless they have a reason for voting Labour that is strong enough to pass the "Skier test") is potentially in for a very rude awakening, and so I just hope the delusion doesn't extend to the SNP leadership itself.  Many voters actually have the opposite default setting in Westminster elections - they'd be inclined to vote either Labour or Tory, depending on who they want in Downing Street, and it takes something quite special to get them to consider any other party.  There have indeed been special circumstances over the last three general elections that have worked in the SNP's favour, but most of those have gone now.  For example, the SNP no longer have a leader who is far more liked and trusted than the counterparts from other parties. They're no longer up against a Labour party thought to have little or no chance of winning in England.  Their only real hope is to offset the loss of these advantages by making a strategic shift that can galvanise the Yes vote - and that has to mean a big and credible offer on independence.

I can at least thank Skier for one thing, though.  I genuinely burst into prolonged, uncontrollable laughter when I saw that he had said of me: "If he ever shows his findings via graphs etc, I’d be interested in a head’s up. I don’t know how any analysis can be sensibly presented without this."  Never let it be said that our noted graph enthusiast is a walking caricature or anything like that.  "If it's not in a graph, it doesn't exist!"

95 comments:

  1. I’m honestly disappointed to hear that we could have had a pod with the two of you. Think of the heated discussion we’ve all missed out!

    The Yes movement is a bit short of regular podcasts. For an audience our size—the larger half of Scotland—we are underserved in media quite a bit.

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    1. “The larger half of Scotland!!???

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    2. Well, if you don't think Yoons are slimmer, don't take the compliment, then.

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    3. If I remember correctly, James invited one of his critics from WGD onto a podcast before to debate with him. Surprise, surprise no takers.

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    4. Felix - yes there was a specific invite to Hamish100 who no longer posts on WGD. Perhaps he saw how stupid he had been.

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  2. Talking about graphs and it doesn't exist. His own infamous Skier independence Ski slope graph has not been seen on WGD for some time now.

    With regard to Skier lying he is a self confessed liar and proud of it so a lie or two in that post would be in character.

    His latest posts claim that Prof John Curtis agrees with him.

    The key thing I took from Skier and other WGD numpties is that they believe the 'missing' SNP voters in the polls will return in the actual election - they seem to think they are in hiding and will jump out on Election Day and totally surprise the Britnat parties. Does that count as a conspiracy theory?

    He is certainly a " provocative character" who always seems to have a family member, a work colleague or a friend who just happens to be the issue of the day. Could he be lying?

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    1. That picture the National always uses of Prof. Sir John Curtice always makes him look like he’s lurking in the bushes, ready to pounce like Skier’s storied fantasyland.

      He jumps out and declares: No one ever expects the Polling Commission!

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    2. This is what amazes me. He's been on WGD for about 3 years now and they still haven't noticed all the lies and contradictory statements he makes! The level of delusion on that site is stratospheric.

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    3. This picture, over and over in their archive:

      https://www.thenational.scot/topics/john-curtice/

      “Funny you should say that,” announces an onlooker, unnoticed till now, “our poll of polls says no such thing.” The fellow looks at once dishevelled and yet ready for TV. “Our analysis suggests they’re stuffed!”

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    4. @Felix: Skier has certainly settled into the rΓ΄le (of mad prophet) and displays a superb deftness of touch (he knows his audience are as thick as a bag of willies). We can all agree!

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    5. Vote SNP for independence.

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    6. πŸ₯•πŸ₯•πŸ₯• for you
      🍸🍸🍸 for your MP

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    7. "He is certainly a " provocative character" who always seems to have a family member, a work colleague or a friend who just happens to be the issue of the day. Could he be lying?"

      My wife is a transgender Ukrainian, but her mother is half-Israeli, half-Palestinian, the product of love forged through the barricades. I asked her if Skier is lying, and she used her unique moral authority to tell me that no, he is not.

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    8. WGD started out not accepting any criticism with the words England or English in them they actually barred people who criticised England and English people they are firmly in the camp that anyone who lives in Scotland can be treated as being Scottish skier repeats this over and over i think because he is not actually Scottish himself , he is i beleive , Irish and his partner French but thats bye the bye , personally ive never been taken in with the english scots for yes thing or the everyone living in Scotland is Scottish and thats because i beleive a Scot is a Scottish person and i go by what nearly every country in the world goes by which is you were either born in Scotland or one of your parents or guardian were born in Scotland ,this idea that you only have to live in Scotland for a day to be Scottish not only devalues what it means to be Scottish , to have a nationality , but it also devalues other nationalities , all those people who live in Scotland but were not born in Scotland whose parents / guardian were not born in Scotland are being insulted when treated as Scottish without them actually commiting to Scotland.Being Scottish is a two way process. Unionists love the idea that Scottish nationality is being treated so trivially they certainly would not do the same to English nationality and thats all part of their scheming trick to lay British nationality on us all , we all know now that British is just another word for English.

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    9. Anon at 8:47, we’re all British.

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    10. LOL. No we're not.

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    11. Oh yes we are and to suggest otherwise is utterly rediculous.

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    12. Get the Brits out of Scotland. They don't even know how to spell 'ridiculous'.

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    13. Embarrassing BS.

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    14. They are embarrassing, but that's not how to spell 'Brits' either.

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    15. We’re all British til we gain independence. Pretty obvious fact!

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    16. You can be a baked spud, too, if you like. KC

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    17. I’m not KC but I am British and proud of it.

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    18. I know. Just nonsensical to talk about "pride in being British" at a time when Britain is implicated in genocide. Not exactly the era of Cool Britannia, is it?

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  3. Mad British Irish liar fool Skier loves his graphs, my recent favourite is his straight lie ski slope graph showing SNP support growing steadily since 2008. The graph shows support after his 'baseline' adjustment of course or his batshit crazy Skier load of nonsense adjustment

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  4. Mean't to say 'straight line graph' but lie probably sums it up even better.

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    1. He's up there with Stu Campbell's flatline graph of cherry-picked polls of course. They'd make a cute couple!

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  5. It wouldn’t surprise me if the SNP do considerably better than expected in the GE. Here’s hoping.

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    1. However they do, I’m 100% sure you'll be satisfied and very proud of Humza.

      Let's test that to the limit, eh?

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    2. Anonymous at 9:36pm, I agree it wouldn’t be a surprise if the SNP polled better than expected at the ge. It would certainly be a much needed boost as let’s face it, we need a strong snp to have a realistic chance of independence.

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    3. We need a strongly independence-seeking SNP to ever achieve bugger all, absolutely.

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  6. The lunatic Skier has actually started posting dartboards now.

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    1. Well darts has been on the telly a lot recently.

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    2. Frankly, I don't think James can be taken seriously as an analyst until he presents his data in the form of...er, dartboards.

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    3. "Precision versus Accuracy: Polling 101." That's some spin you're putting on "choose whatever polls suit you" there, Skier.

      The crucial thing about darts (or archery or whatever he's going for) is we can all see the target, right there. Skier's poll reports however, only he can call the bullseye. The rest of us can only see the bull.

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  7. The WGD numpties are getting all hot and bothered and very confused. They are not happy that the Britnat media said Sturgeon was not human but they in return call her a witch, as in the Covid Inquiry was a witch hunt, but funnily enough do not call the hunting of Mathieson a wizard hunt. Is it only witches that are not human is that why Mathieson is still thought of as being a human by the Britnats. But surely if Sturgeon was a witch and Mathieson was a wizard they would have used their magic to make Scotland independent by now. Or more realistically Sturgeon would have turned Salmond into a pig and Mathieson would have turned Dross into a donkey. The crazy bizarre world of the WGD numpties.

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  8. This site really has gone from strength to strength recently. Congratulations, James. Also glad to see your fundraiser is making progress.

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    1. I concur wholeheartedly. The blog has really got its mojo back. And best of all, Skier gets his comeuppance. Brilliant to see somebody finally sticking it right up Skier.

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  9. Right on cue: Prof. Curtis emerges from the bushes, to, according to the National, argue both for and against the narrative that the SNP is losing voters straight to Labour:

    The professor added that there is a “tendency to assume” that polls tell a narrative of Labour “gradually and increasingly gaining ground at the expense of the SNP”.

    However, he said this was a “misinterpretation of the evidence” as Labour’s gains could be traced back to Boris Johnson’s partygate scandal and Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget, both at the Scottish and UK-wide level.

    vs.

    "He also argued that the SNP will need to try and win back Yes supporters from Labour, pointing to polls that suggest Labour are picking up one in six of those who voted for the SNP in the Holyrood elections in 2021."

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/24107598.john-curtice-gives-verdict-new-polls-really-mean-snp/

    As fuzzy as he is, I think he's right: Labour's rise is primarily because of the Tories collapse in Trusst. But that chunk of Labour voters who are also Yes is growing, too. The Tories are far from alone in their recent failure.

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  10. Labour are not getting more popular, it's just the Tories getting less that makes it appear so, and the media in Scotland have their job to do making that appear as though everyone is delighted at the Labour comeback that really isn't by carrying out an all out assault on the SNP

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    1. That's not what happened in Rutherglen though. ("Local circumstances, counts for nothing, move along now…")

      The polls are showing a weakened SNP, whatever way you look at them. Without a strong central offer on independence, there's just nothing compelling about them any more. They've conned themselves that nationalism is wrong and that they're really a social democratic, devolutionist party. I wish them the very worst of luck with that, as a Yesser who wants *OUT* of the Union. The polls suggest I’m one of many who has left them.

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    2. All very well, but we need a strong pro Indy party.

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    3. We do, so what would you suggest? Right now the SNP are neither particularly strong, nor particularly pro-indy.

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    4. Bingo. You can only vote for what's on offer.

      The SNP's failing us—the Indy base—which leaves us one of two choices:

      1. Keep voting for them and gnashing our teeth every time they bow to Westminster's will, cosy up to the British Establishment, and tell us how they're beyond "Nationalism." Namely: wheesht for Indy while pension pots are paid and their coming lordships are made.

      2. Get it right up them.

      Only one of these will send the message they need to hear.

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    5. What does "2. Get it right up them" mean in concrete terms?

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    6. Cut off our support. Certainly don’t vote for them until they change their ways. If there’s another party you like, feel free to vote for them instead of the Scottish Not-A-Nationalist Party. If there’s not: then abstain.

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    7. The last part is crazy, Anon. Independence supporters abstaining in a crucial election would be like Christmas for unionism.

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    8. The choice isn’t in my hands, James, if Alba doesn’t run here. I’m done voting for parties that are not for independence.

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    9. Of course the choice is in your hands. Abstaining is a choice.

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    10. Exactly! Abstaining *is* my last remaining choice. I’m hardly going to vote for the Brits.

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    11. But there'll be no constituency where only unionists are standing, so abstaining is an active choice, and a needless one.

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    12. Have to agree with James. Indy supporters abstaining is rediculous. This will only benefit the unionist parties, especially Labour. Absolutely crazy.

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    13. "GRAVEST OF MISDEEDS AT THE HEART OF THE STURGEON ADMINISTRATION" - Fergus Ewing SNP MSP.
      That alone is a good enough reason not to vote SNP but hey if you can stomach voting for that and more years of Hate Crime type legislation and absolutely nothing happening on independence then its your vote use it as you see fit but don't be a WGD numpty and try and claim years later it is not your responsibility for everything that then occurs.

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    14. Correct IfS. A few of us will have Alba candidates to vote for, but it's not in our hands as voters whether they run in our constituency or not. Alba only ran where I live the once: in 2021, and I duly voted for them on the Holyrood list. Next to no chance they'll run in every seat in Edinburgh for Westminster though.

      I've heard the Greens are running here, but dear me what a choice that is. Frying pan or fire?

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    15. Look at it this way: everyone and his dug knows independence isn't on the table in this election. The SNP refuses to put it there, and the other major parties are against it. So what am I being asked to vote for? No indy or no indy?

      Turnout's going to suffer in this election with an irresistible offer like that.

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    16. Abstaining will certainly not help the Indy cause.

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    17. Voting for the SNP in this state doesn't help independence either.

      What do we want?
      Lord Pete Wishart!
      When do we want it?
      Once he's got his ermine robes!

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    18. Lords Blackford and Flynn first, surely, as honourable spokesjocks of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

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  11. Nan and Sam CrumlishFebruary 9, 2024 at 11:53 AM

    What surprises us about the posters called Scottish Skier and Independence for Scotland is that they choose to haunt and piggyback on established reputable blogs rather than splash out on their own to attract attention to themselves. "Just pay the two dollars!"

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    1. Skier did set up a blog of sorts a while ago but I can't find it. Search engines just take me to photos of Glenshee and Alain Baxter.

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    2. Blogging to yourself is no fun at all. Audience is hard to come by, it takes persistence and ultimately luck. Commenting on an established blog is so much easier than spending a year or more publishing posts read by no one.

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    3. Nan and Sam - nice touch there KC - Steve P or whoever you are. Very imaginative name this time.

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    4. IFS, not me this time. Wrong again pal!

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    5. Steve P KC TartanTam Anon - as you are a proven liar who just comes on SGP to troll why should I believe anything you post.

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    6. IFS, can assure you Nan and Sam ain’t me. Has it not occurred to you there might just be more than one “troll” as you put it?

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    7. IFS, does Nan and Sam’s post even look like one of mine? You’re not the sharpest tool in the box are you?

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    8. I don't care who you are pal but what you are is a complete pillock with this obsession you have with IFS. If you're going to troll somebody try and do it with some humour - schoolyard insults aren't cutting it.

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    9. Absolutely! πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

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    10. 12:41,1:08, 1:12, 3:22, 3:27 Five posts in less than three hours, none of them saying much about anything, seems a bit obsessive to me.

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    11. Whit a Britnat obsessed with me? He'll be stalking me next.

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  12. It looks like the big dug has gone all 'attack dog' on Keir Starmer of late but when it comes to the mad lying fool lunatic, he's all Skier Charmer. There is now a post from the man with an Irish gran containing 7 graphs, I shit you not ,7 graphs!

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    1. One good thing to look forward to on election night: the wind knocked right out of him and that bubble of farts over there. They'll be sore pressed to adapt their narrative to "events."

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    2. If more than 2 or 3 even look at his wittering on and on poll postings, I'll eat my Salomon Equipe downhiils. If I can find them.

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  13. I'm going with Curtice on this:

    https://www.thenational.scot/politics/24107718.podcast-can-snp-galvanise-yessers-win-next-election/

    Seems the figures show "70% of Yes voters polled by Ipsos said they would vote SNP, but that a further 9% have said they would back other pro-independence parties such as the Greens or Alba."

    leaving 21%, and that about matches the YES figure compared to the SNP figure.

    The SNP need to make Indy central, but also it seems to me utterly stupid playing ring a ring a roses with the Greens who are upping their support directly at a cost to the SNP.

    Yousaf: "We support the Bute House Agreement and welcome it being good for the Greens who have cost Scotland hundreds of millions of pounds with their sheer incompetence, and bad for the SNP who are being wagged by the donkey yoking the cart. Hoorahhh Yippee!"

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    1. One good thing about the Greens: beside them, the SNP top brass looks competent!

      I have more hope the SNP will wake up and return to its defining purpose than I do for the Greens. That party's got the hottest global brand in politics and has been represented in the Scottish Parliament since its inception, yet when they actually show up anywhere near power, they cannae recycle glass bottles? Ngh!

      I've voted for the Greens plenty of times over the years, all the way back to the Robin Harper days. Can't see doing that now.

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  14. He left the Green party because he thought they'd lost the plot. But on the other hand he really has gone full-blown unionist. He was well respected though - apart from by the Green party he built up from nothing. They wanted to discipline him like an errant schoolboy! The SNP are the same with their own grandees.

    Morons.

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    1. That was to Anon at 4:10 PM.

      That may be another reason for declining SNP support - the way they turn on their own people for daring to disagree or criticise. In no particular order, Hanvey, MacAskill, Forbes, Regan, MacNeil, Ewing,,

      I don't think ordinary people like that.

      Says the SNP: "We are the Borg. You will be assimilated".

      Nope, sorry, no we're not.

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    2. Burn the heretics! Burn them all to hell!

      Ahem. And yes do keep voting for us, dear public. We are strong and stable and there’s nothing to be seen here, not in the polis tent at all.

      You forgot one, by the way: Salmond.

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  15. Grousebeater asks where is Peter Murrell, last of the white puddings, hiding? I've already answered that previously on SGP. Sturgeon has hit him locked up in the garden shed. How do I know that - the wee field mouse who shares the shed with Murrell told me.

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  16. Having now looked at the liar Irish Skiers dartboard post I can say with confidence I find most of his posts both low on precision and low on accuracy.

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    1. If he was a darts player, his walk-on music would be "I'm The King Of Wishful Thinking" by Go West.

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  17. It is worth remembering that when liar Irish Skier ran off in a huff to the home of the doggers he and all the other WGD numpties, as well as SGP numpties btl, were adamant that Sturgeon would deliver a referendum, we just had to vote SNP, and all would be well. Anyone else who said Sturgeon was a charlatan, who would not deliver a referendum, had to be called a Unionist. Like President Biden the numpties memory is failing them these days. A bit of humility and good grace to admit they were wrong is also missing.
    So here we are 4 years on and the same line is being pitched vote SNP and all will be well.

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  18. If WGD is the home of doggers, is SGP the home of poppers?

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  19. I think its very difficult to say N Sturgeon is guilty of wrongdoing just as it was very difficult to say A Salmond was guilty of wrongdoing. The thing is Scotland has no media of its own , we all know we do not get the truth from the English media for that reason alone you cannot beleive anything said about N Sturgeon , she has not been charged with anything nothing whatsoever unlike A Salmond who even though the English media inplemented a witch hunt against him and the court extraordinarily barred the people from the court but let the BBC and english newspapers in who proceeded to lie about what was said in the court trying their best to paint a picture of certain guilt before the eventual court judgement .N Sturgeon has not been found guilty of anything but has had the same guilty saturation that A Salmond had .When are we going to wake up and see that this is all done on purpose by England because they know well that what Scotland lacks most of all , is a leader.
    Many Scottish people seem to think they have to choose between guilty or not guilty with the only evidence before them being the BBC STV , english newspapers and unionist politicians.Gees come on , at least stay on the fence until you have proof.I did that for A Salmond whn all around me were being suckered by the english newspapers and BBC who found him guilty long before the actual trial.
    I am sure the same outcome will be for N Sturgeon , lots of innuendo but not guilty in the end.
    Wise up , every leader of Scotland will be demonized by BBC STV and the english newspapers.
    There are zero Scottish newspapers .

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    1. There is plenty of non - Britnat media evidence that Sturgeon's gang plotted to first of all finish Salmond in political terms then when that failed try to send him to jail. When that failed they then got their bought and paid for mouthpiece ( Brindley) to go on the Britnat media and say Salmond was guilty. This was then topped off with Sturgeon doing the same during her Covid briefings and on news programmes. Ewing has broken ranks in the SNP.

      You should wise up. Sturgeon's gang worked with the Britnat media. They are corrupt.

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  20. Is Pete Wishart Deid?

    Pension Pete has been very quiet recently so I thought I would see what cosy slippers was saying these days. Still the same post on his blog from 11/1/23 in which he says it has to be a de facto referendum but the type and flavour of de facto that he wants.

    Wishart says:- " What can not happen is any attempt to "dissolve" the current Scottish parliament and cause an early Scottish election. That would only lead to First Minister Douglas Ross."
    Now that statement in his blog is just a downright lie. A deliberate lie to prevent independence supporters seeing that there has always been this option.

    Wishart says:- " We will only become independent and be recognised as an independent nation internationally when there is an agreement with the UK. " So if you agree with Wishart we will never be independent because Westminster will never agree. Wishart is raising the white flag of surrender.

    No way am I voting for phonies like Wishart.

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    1. Pete Wishart is absolutely correct. There has to be agreement with the UK in order to be recognised as an independent nation internationally. That should be obvious to any sane person.

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    2. Not exactly true. International recognition can build without the agreement of the jack boot. It certainly is better to have that agreement, but not essential and I kind of want independence before Jim Kirk is flying about the galaxy.

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  21. You say it's "...difficult to say N Sturgeon is guilty of wrongdoing just as it was very difficult to say A Salmond was guilty of wrongdoing." Sorry, very wrong here, Salmond was definitely not guilty of wrongdoing -court case etc.. As for Sturgeon, wait and see about criminality, but she has definitely been guilty of some wrongdoing and that's deleting her whatsapp messages. People try to make this seem insignificant but it's not and, unlike others included in their whitabooterie these others didn't declare publicaly that they would definitely make them available to any inquiry. Now, it might not be criminal, but it is wrong doing - big fat ugly wrong doing in my book.

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