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Scottish questions

It is, as I type this, only a few hours since the polls closed, and this graphic is not the result of Britain’s General Election. It is merely a guess, based on asking people just after they had voted who they voted for. But, for what it’s worth, here it is:

Conservatives316

I found it at the Guido Fawkes blog, which has been the pair of spectacles, as it were, through which I have mostly been viewing this now-concluded election campaign.

I have learned the hard way that what I hope for and what will happen in elections are not the same thing, not least because I tend to choose my electoral spectacles on the basis of pleasure rather than mere enlightenment. But the story told in the above graphic is very close to what I was and am hoping for, given the plausible possibilities or likelihoods that it made sense to be choosing between.

(What I would have liked, in a perfect, parallel-universe and wholly implausible world, would have been an election in which candidates were falling over themselves to offer swingeing tax cuts and competing about who could close down the most government departments and slash and burn the most in the way of government spending. All this, while the voters all stood around jeering, and saying: “Yeah, they say they’re going to slash and burn the public sector, but do they really mean it? They would say that, wouldn’t they?” Dream on, Micklethwait.)

The TV broadcasters have now been saying, for several hours now, that the Conservatives are doing significantly better than had been expected but not well enough to be truly happy because destined to occupy more Parliamentary seats than everyone else put together, that the Scottish Nationalists are engaged in sweeping Scotland and annihilating the Scottish Labour Party thus causing Labour, who are not doing well in England anyway, to do very badly indeed in the UK as a whole, that the Lib Dems are taking a hammering everywhere, and that the UK Independence Party is going to get a small mountain of votes, including a great many from Labour, but only a tiny molehill of seats.

The biggest story, as I watch my telly in the small but getting bigger hours of Friday morning, is the electoral earthquake (choose your preferred geological or climatological metaphor) that is erupting, exploding, sweeping across, engulfing, swamping, blah blah blah, … Scotland.

As one who detests the Labour Party, and who in particular detests the way that Scottish Labourites have been in the habit of ruling us English like a bunch of medieval aristocrats from a different part of Europe ruling a country full of alien serfs, I am delighted about what is happening in Scotland. Some hours ago, I heard a UKIP guy on the telly trying not to be too gleeful about how the Scottish Labour Party (Gordon Brown in particular) had huffed up and puffed up a great wind of anti-English feeling in Scotland, for Labourite electoral purposes, and were now reaping the whirlwind. I share that UKIPper’s glee, but not his professed desire to conceal it. Another guy, the Labour Party’s Owen Jones, explained how Labour lining up with the Conservatives during the recent referendum campaign made them many enemies among Scottish Labour voters, who thus switched to the SNP, like spurned lovers.

Inevitably, it will be argued that Scottish independence is now back on the map, and that there will very soon be another referendum. Interestingly, the Scottish Nationalist leader is not herself now saying and has not been saying this. She wants to maximise Scottish clout within the UK. So, maybe there will not now be a big push towards Scottish independence. Or, maybe there will be a referendum, again, but maybe “No” (to Scottish Independence) will win, again. In other words, many who voted No in the last referendum campaign then voted SNP in this election, but will again vote No in a later referendum. Plus, and I forget where I read it, but someone recently pointed out that if you get forty something percent of the vote in an independence referendum, you lose, but if you get the exact same percentage in a general election, but if the opposition to you is divided between several different parties, you win, huge. Thus, the SNP, on the back of nothing like all the votes in Scotland, are now going to be the only major political party in Scotland.

But eventually, I think, Scotland is going to go independent. And so do lots of others, which actually means that it will probably happen quite soon. Once you lose the future, as the “UK” is now losing it, that means that everyone, even those who regret the future that they now see as inevitable, had better all get used to the different future, and the sooner everyone does that, the better. This was also how the USSR collapsed. That lost the future, and just as soon as it did that it disintegrated, with startling suddenness to all but the very few who had been paying close attention to this circumstance.

To repeat something I have attempted to explain here before, the basic reason that I think this about Scotland is not so much because of popular opinion, but rather because of official opinion. Anglo-Scottish unity, in the “UK”, just is not the big deal that it used to be.

I believe that the end of the necessity for such unity, in the eyes of those who have the clout to allow such arguments to take place, or if they prefer this to silence them, came when the Cold War ended. That was when the rulers of “Britain” switched from definitely requiring Scotland to remain in Britain to being neutral about this. For as long as “Britain” had to be able to threaten victory in a re-run of the Battle of Atlantic, then Scotland had to stay in the fold. But now, the security threats to Britain, England, Scotland, whatever, are not of the sort that they were. Budgets that used to go on port facilities and aircraft carriers and armies and navies and airforces now go on such things as internet security and phone-tapping.

What this has meant in this particular electoral campaign is that the Conservatives did everything they could to boost the Scottish Nationalists, by for instance contriving that the SNP leader participated fully in British leadership telly shows. This was because smashing the Scottish Labour Party was far too enticing a project, for the English Conservative leaders, to be trumped by any supposedly over-riding need to preserve the Union. Preserving the Union is just not that over-riding, the way it once was. If Scotland goes independent, well, that would be most regrettable, but if so, so be it.

Crucially, the Unionists in Scotland, of whom there have been a very great many over the years and who have been very vocal and determined people, will have been noticing all this for quite some time. They are now being betrayed by their former Conservative (“and Unionist”) English allies. These Scottish Unionists can surely now see the writing on the wall, to the effect that Scottish separation is only a matter of time.

Scottish BBC lady Kirsty Walk has just been saying that, indeed, the SNP’s leader won’t be wanting another referendum any time soon. What she will want is to “extract a price” for the continuation of the Union. Careful Madam Leader. We English just might decide that we don’t want to pay your price. She’ll say something like: pay this much to Scotland, or we leave, assuming we’ll just hand over the cash. But, we just might say: okay then, bye bye. You think this can’t happen? This is exactly what did happen between Czecho- and Slovakia.

The next story, if I can muster the time and energy to write it, some time tomorrow morning or afternoon, is that the Lib Dems are being royally stuffed. Good. I can’t now find the piece here in which I explain just why I so totally despise the Lib Dem Party, but it is here, somewhere. Tomorrow I will perhaps try to find it. Vince Cable has just got the boot, and I think I heard, an hour or more back, that the abominable climate catastrophist, Ed Davey, had also been dumped. Yes.

Final point: which is that, finally, at about 5 am, the telly people are at last starting to realise what had been obvious to me from the start, which is that the Conservatives might do even better than that 316 number that the exit poll predicts, to the point where they get an overall majority. They only need to get a handful of seats more than 316 for that to happen. For about the last five hours, all the telly people could think to say was that 316 was the upper limit of what was possible for the Conservatives. But why could that number not be wrong, in being too small? I predict nothing. I merely ask.

Now I’m finalising this, and the BBC is now saying it: small Conservative absolute majority.

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61 comments to Scottish questions

  • Phil B

    I see Scotland as the lamprey on the body of the UK – they want to suck all the benefit from England BUT want their own independence – which they have got. So vote to stay sucking at the teat but also vote SNP.

    If Salmond had enough sense to pour piss out of a boot, he would have insisted that breaking up the United Kingdom was of interest to everyone in that Kingdom and therefore ALL the UK should have had a vote on Scottish independence. I reckon that he would be in an independent country by now, the English in particular being fed up of the Scots.

  • The greatest pleasures so far have been the disappointed look of Ed Miliband and the annoyance of the SNP that they are unable to hold the UK to ransom with an SNP/Labour coalition.

    Ed Miliband hasn’t yet formally resigned, but it looks like he’s been handed his hat. I’ll be surprised if he lasts the day, never mind the week as leader.

    Just praying that Ed Balls loses his seat.

  • Mr Ed

    Socialism always ends in cannibalism, whether economic and real or political and metaphorical. Two miles left in a box overnight usually become one fat mole. UK politics is mainly about economic cannibalism, but at least the vilest are getting their taste of destruction, Schadenfreude is not immoral, no reasons to rejoice, but the scene this early is bearable,

  • Patrick Crozier

    If Cameron wanted to be a real bastard he’d offer the remaining Labour seats the choice of “your benefits or your representation.” My suspicion is that they’d prefer to keep the benefits.

  • Lee Moore

    Another laugh out loud moment on the BBC just now. Beeb lady with mike tramples over a giant map of the UK announcing she’s going to talk to four voters who were undecided, about what they finally plumped for, and why. The answer turned out to be Labour, Labour, I’m a politics lecturer and I don’t want to say, and SNP. To be fair the two Labour voters did sound as if they had genuinely been torn between Labour and the Communist Party.

  • But eventually, I think, Scotland is going to go independent. And so do lots of others, which actually means that it will probably happen quite soon.

    Given the almost clean sweep that the SNP have made in Scotland, proposals to move to a more federal model (as raised by BoJo), which would previously been greeted with horror are now treated with something akin to resignation.

    If it can contain the potential damage of the socialist SNP and also limit a return of Labour then it might be worth the sacrifice.

    I have no problem with the Scots, but an SNP governed Scotland ruled by Nicola Sturgeon is a threat to the wider UK and moving to a more federal structure would restore the primacy of the English over England and for that reason alone it must be considered.

  • Patrick Crozier

    The problem with a federal structure is what would be done at the federal level? Normally, this is things like defence and foreign policy but on both those questions the SNP has completely different opinions from the rest of the country. They want to scrap Trident AND they are big fans of the EU.

  • Roue le Jour

    Most annoying thing so far is the 20 y.o. Scottish bird telling millions of grown up Englishmen that she is going to change the face of English politics.

    Cameron now has a clear majority in UK minus Scotland, so lets look at that independence thing again.

  • Now forecasting Conservatives to have 329, so predicting a tiny majority government.

  • *snigger* – Labour have requested a recount in Morley and Outwood which suggests that Ed Balls is on the verge of losing the seat. Recount is expected to take at least an hour.

  • Roue le Jour

    What are you following, John?

  • @Roue le Jour:

    Twitter tag #GE2015 (from John Ray of ITV)

    #GE2015 Ed Balls asked for recount after trailing by 200 or so votes, I am hearing from a thus far reliable source

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    As a convinced Unionist, I’m very down at the Scottish result. I had hoped that the predictions of 48 seats were exaggerated! The one good aspect of it is that the SNP will be hampered in its usual game of getting the propaganda benefits of being in power and being in opposition simultaneously. This time, they are going to have to take ownership. If Cameron wants to protect the Union, he needs to visibly give the SNP devo-max and portray EVEL (English Votes for English Laws, for those unfamiliar with this delicious acronym describing one possible answer to the West Lothian question as complementary to it.

    But fie on all talk of anything being the inevitable wave of the future. The commies thought history was on their side and look where it got them. I note that Quebec is still in Canada.

    Has anyone got a link to a table of absolute numbers of votes rather than seats?

  • Nicholas (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    I am shocked!!!
    That Graph should have the SNP on the far left, and the LibDems between the Reds and Blues! We don’t want to confuse the poor electorate, do we?

  • Has anyone got a link to a table of absolute numbers of votes rather than seats?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2015/results

    About 1/3 of the way down the page:

    Conservative have the following results:
    10,430,092 total votes taken.
    36.4% share of the total vote

    Labour have the following results:
    8,793,390 total votes taken.
    30.7% share of the total vote

    UKIP have the following results:
    3,558,747 total votes taken.
    12.4% share of the total vote

    Liberal Democrat have the following results:
    2,244,578 total votes taken.
    7.8% share of the total vote

    Scottish National Party have the following results:
    1,454,436 total votes taken.
    5.1% share of the total vote

    Green Party have the following results:
    1,073,491 total votes taken.
    3.7% share of the total vote

  • Roue le Jour

    The Scots position is despicable. They don’t want to leave the union but they will vote for a party which they think will get them more English money. Ideally Cameron has enough votes to stop them dead. Redraw the boundaries, scrap the Barnett formula and no Scottish votes for English laws. I’m not holding my breath.

    I’d like to see the popular vote as well, interesting to compare UKIP to LibDem.

  • Roue le Jour

    Thanks, John.

    As expected, UKIP has suffered from having its support widely dispersed.

  • Ed Balls is out!

    My prayers have been answered

  • Chip

    Quebec stayed in Canada but only after decades of wealth transfers to keep them from throwing the rattle out of the pram.

    English Canada funded their socialism and still does today.

    I suspect the SNP plans the same thing – lots of Scotland! Scotland! but hand over the cash.

  • Duncan S

    Regarding the Scotland result, note that the SNP only got 50% of the votes cast in Scotland, on a 71.1% turnout.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Chip, to avoid funding Scotland’s socialism is why Cameron has to devolve as much as possible.

    I’ve often thought that maybe one reason the US is consistently more right wing than the UK is that because of the still-significant differences between the laws and economic policies of individual US states, Americans can learn from good and bad examples. For instance, Seattle’s recent hike in the minimum wage is visibly having the effect any economist would predict, and it shows up in comparison to other states. When Labour introduced the British minimum wage it was over the entire UK so the only thing to compare the actual effects to was a hypothetical scenario.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)
    May 8, 2015 at 7:48 am

    The most delicious thing about Seattle’s minimum wage is the closing of the socialist book store because they couldn’t afford it. Just deserts.

  • Much as I usually oppose government boondongle infrastructure spending, I am all for rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall. Seriously, Scotland is a write off, a gangrenous limb, and any Scot with an attachment to liberty needs to head south sooner rather than later.

  • PeterT

    For me, the main objective of this election was to make David Cameron unemployed. I am therefore not happy. It would also be very sad if Farage does not win his seat. I understand this outcome is likely. It would also have been nice if UKIP had won a few more seats but that was always unlikely and frankly not essential as long as they had a good chunk of the popular vote (I read that it was about 10%) and Farage in parliament. I voted for them with my head held higher than at any other election.

    It now seems very likely that we will have an EU referendum and unfortunately it also seems likely that the bulk of the Conservative leadership will not be campaigning for exit.

    It is hard not to feel a bit happy about Balls and Cable (and Davey, thank God) losing their seats – but no doubt there will be a bunch of new equally odious (and probably Scottish) politicians to replace them.

    The potential bright side of this election has already been pointed out, but the combination of England going true blue, and Scotland now being fully nationalist will be interesting. Increased devolution seems inevitable. Sturgeon had promised to interfere in England’s politics but I am not sure this is any longer in her interest.

    The best outcome of this election would have been for the conservatives to do badly enough and UKIP to do well enough for Cameron to have had to resign, with the new leader reaching some kind of rapprochement with UKIP. A minority Labour government supported by SNP would be weak and unloved and hopefully by the time it had collapsed there would have been momentum for English devolution and exit from the EU.

    Of course, Cameron is adept at turning most opportunities for change into opportunities for a continuance of the status quo and a continuance of his career. So I doubt very much that England will be a better place for liberty in 5 years time than it is today.

  • Maybe we should invade Scotland, put the Scottish Parliament to the torch and install a pro-Unionist government Perry? 🙂

    I’m actually not worried, because a Tory majority means that the ability to redraw boundaries (including Scotland) to address the balance. Along with a constitutional settlement which ensures only English MP’s vote on only English issues, this would be sufficient to keep the SNP under control and limit any future damage by Labour MP’s in the event of a resurgence in the 2020’s.

    But for now, let us just bask in the fact that the fear of a Labour/SNP coalition has brought the shy Tories out of their hiding places with pegs on their noses to vote for David Cameron.

    Personally I wish they could all lose, but keeping the socialists out of Downing Street has to be considered a win even if you don’t like David Cameron or the Tories.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    It’s worth noting the disparity between the utter triumph of the SNP in terms of seats and their impressive but not so overwhelming result of about half of all Scottish votes, according to the Telegraph here.

    Crudely, the unionist vote in the referendum is split four ways: Lab, Lib, Con plus, as is obvious now, plenty of people who voted No in the referendum were happy to vote SNP in the election. In contrast it’s safe to assume that almost the entire Yes vote in the referendum has voted for the SNP.

    If another referendum were held tomorrow, the unionist side would still win.

    What I fear is what use the SNP will make of their control of a semi-sovietised economy, to call into being a client class whose place on the gravy train will be assured by separation.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Perry,

    Scotland is a write off, a gangrenous limb

    I refer you to the limb-chopping Monty Python analogy I made just before the referendum.

  • Personally I wish they could all lose, but keeping the socialists out of Downing Street has to be considered a win even if you don’t like David Cameron or the Tories.

    I agree, and much as I loath Cameron, the idea of a far-left Miliband/Sturgeon alliance triumphant is beyond a nightmare. But I cannot for the life of me see why the UK needs to exist as it does. Scotland has a demonstrably different political culture now, so what is served by keeping England shacked to it?

  • Paul Marks

    I have no hesitation in agreeing with the person-in-Kent (if I must call him that – by the house rules), that Scotland does seem to be a different society.

    Unlike the above mentioned gentleman, I remain a Unionist – but I accept the logic of his argument.

    My Unionism is based upon sentiment.

  • Kevin B

    I’m actually not worried, because a Tory majority means that the ability to redraw boundaries (including Scotland) to address the balance.

    John G, do you really think Cameron will have the balls to do this in the face of a screaming media and opposition. Particularly the opposition from the left wing of his parliamentary party.

    I don’t think so.

    Safer tory seats might cause a drift to the right and opposition to his ‘centrist’ veiws.

  • Jacob

    Pardon my ignorance: but in Case of Scottish independence – who gets the North Sea oil and gas ?

  • Scotland but who cares? I like the idea of the state having to get its money from taxpaying voters. If they really want English energy, let them frack the hell out of Southern England.

  • I think Kevin B is correct. The last thing that jackanapes Cameron wants is a drift to the right.

  • John G, do you really think Cameron will have the balls to do this in the face of a screaming media and opposition. Particularly the opposition from the left wing of his parliamentary party.

    I don’t think you can look at it that way. The Tories have suffered significantly from the boundary discrepancies which give Labour something like an 8-point advantage.

    In addition there is the electoral pledge to reduce the number of MPs to 600 from the current 650.

    Both of these are things which the bulk of the Tory party support.

  • Jacob

    Another dumb question: how is the revenue from North Sea oil divided now (before the partition), between England and Scotland?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Jacob, the question is where the sea border is drawn. But I don’t see that as a difficult issue compared with many others. And it certainly won’t be an immediate issue. Sturgeon just said something along those lines.

    A comment of general interest: it’s striking how different the trends in Wales and Northern Ireland have been to the sea change in Scotland. Wales has changed only slightly compared to the rest of the UK. An unspectacular 3 seats gained by the Tories from Labour and Lib Dems. Plaid Cymru steady on 3 seats.

    Same-ish for Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein have lost Fermanagh and South Tyrone to the resurgent Ulster Unionists, who had no seats last time. The Democratic Unionists have gained one new seat. SDLP steady.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Jacob, in answer to your second question, so far as I know revenue from North Sea oil and gas goes in the first place to the oil and gas companies who extract it. Some of it then goes to the UK-as-a-whole government as taxes. The amount of taxpayer money that then is spent on Scottish “public services” compared to the rest of the UK is decided by the Barnett formula, which was devised as a temporary expedient by the civil servant of that name in 1978 and has stuck ever since. Oil or gas revenue is not treated separately.

  • John Mann

    any Scot with an attachment to liberty needs to head south sooner rather than later.

    That is a thought that does keep occurring to me. Or maybe trying to move to New Hampshire.

    But, one the plus side, yesterday morning I was resigned to the country having a Labour government, either in coalition with the SNP, or with the SNP in a position to have very significant influence.

    This morning I know that the SNP is in no position to have significant influence on Downing Street.

    So, for the moment, no urgency to head south – as long as devo max doesn’t turn out to be too awful.

  • Roue le Jour

    I find it hard to see how this result will not be seen a vindication for the Tory modernizers. It also demonstrates how first past the post favours regional parties. UKIP got many more votes than the LibDems and matched the SNP, yet is practically out of the game.

  • PeterT

    Well it IS a vindication for the Tory modernizer, so I agree

    Unfortunately the Tory modernizers are not small government conservatives.

    To be fair there is nothing wrong with a status quo bias in principle; it is just that the status quo is so awful!

    Anyway, across the pond, I hope Walker/Paul turn out to be the second coming of Harding/Coolidge. Hopefully we can open up the champagne then, even if we poor Brits can only look on from afar.

  • Paul Marks

    The oil is near the Shetland Islands – these islands did not vote for the SNP (they voted Liberal Democrat) and were part of Norway far longer than they were a part of an independent Scotland.

    Any claim made by an SNP Scottish government to the Shetlands and other such islands, would be absurd.

    Let Glasgow and other such cities fund themselves – if they truly wish to be independent.

  • “I note that Quebec is still in Canada.”

    Indeed. And my understanding of the events there is that they followed a very similar pattern. Of course, Scotland isn’t Quebec, and Britain isn’t Canada. There’s no EU equivalent over there, for example, which makes a difference. It’s easier to be a nationalist if you can avoid independence. But it is interesting that anyone who followed the Quebec experience could have predicted the last couple of years almost to the letter (even down to the last-minute surge for “Yes” in the polls last year).

    John Mann: Yes. Although if I could afford to, I’d probably leave ASAP.

  • So, for the moment, no urgency to head south – as long as devo max doesn’t turn out to be too awful.

    Devo max is inevitable, and yes it will be awful for anyone who is not an apparatchik.

    SNP are National Socialists, and if a plurality of the electorate willingly vote them in to office, what more do you need to know? My advice to Sam, and any in his position, is hit the road as soon as you get your affairs in order… it does not matter if they take the high road or the low road, or who gets there first, just as long as it does not lead to Scotland.

    It is best to get out before the enemies of liberty have time to plan how to appropriate your stuff in the event you do indeed get the hell out. I have my doubts an SNP de facto one party state will be long term bullish for fixed assets north of Hadrian’s Wall, so yes, there is some urgency in my view, at least if you have anything you want to sell before you wisely scarper.

  • Duncan S

    Specifically to address any hyperbolic media headlines about “landslides”, “tsunamis”, etc, and to counter any media (and political party) assumption that the change in colour of the Scottish political map (for Westminster) to SNP indicates a fundamental change to September’s No vote.

    September 2014 – Referendum Yes votes: 1,617,989. (44.7% of 84.59% turnout = 37.9% of the electorate) Electorate 4,283,392

    May 2015 – General Election SNP votes: 1,454,436. (50% of 71.7% turnout = 35.5% of the electorate) Electorate 4,094,784

    The reduced electorate figure for the GE is because the referendum included 16-17 year olds.
    .

    I think we can take it that No still means No.

  • Patrick Crozier

    I think it is worth bearing in mind that this is no great vindication of Cameron. Against rubbish opposition he has a majority in single figures. In 1983, also against rubbish opposition Maggie got a majority of 144 (IIRC).

  • Mr Ed

    Cameron has gone in one bound from Ted Heath to John Major, having had an unstable Parliament welded in place, but now having a tiny majority.

    However, the alternative of a combination of Ed ‘Sauron’ Miliband and the Scots Nazgûl would have been far worse for liberty. The UK is a better place today that it appeared yesterday that it might have become.

  • lowlylowlycook

    Is the collapse of the LibDems something that British parties bounce back from or is the downward momentum going to continue into the next election?

  • Mr Ed

    llc: The Liberal Democrats and their predecessors seem to have carried on regardless of results for decades until the bizarre circumstances of 2010 meant that they lucked into power. Mr Clegg’s plan was blatantly “Whoever you all vote for, I should be in office“, and the party’s base has been Lefty areas where Labour have no base. With 6 MPs making 5 candidates in Orkney, west Wales, Norfolk, Greater London and Cumbria (-Clegg in Sheffield) to choose from for a Parliamentary leader, none of whom I could name for £1,000 right now, they will plod on and hope to ‘mould the break’ (sic.) in British politics with every by-election that comes up in the next 5 years.

    You have to wonder what sort of person would wish to choose a career in such a party.

  • […] agree with commenters on the piece I did early this morning, who said that the result of this election is a least worst outcome. All […]

  • Lee Moore

    Roue : UKIP got many more votes than the LibDems and matched the SNP, yet is practically out of the game.

    In fact, UKIP got more votes than the Lib Dems and SNP put together. Or keeping it to national parties, they got more votes than the Lib Dems and the Greens put together. But I am willing to bet that on the EU referendum, the Lib Dems and the Greens between them, will get about four times the BBC facetime as UKIP gets.

    Incidentally, there are still thirty or forty EU fanatics in Tory ranks. How is Cameron going to get an EU referendum past them with a majority of 12 ?

  • Phil B

    Could I point out that rebuilding Hadrians wall to firewall the Scots out of England will leave virtually ALL of Northumberland and most Cumberland to the Scottish?

    In case you hadn’t noticed, both are ENGLISH counties.

    I would wholeheartedly agree to a wall along the Scottish border with no gates in it. The building of the wall will be more sensible than the London to Birmingham rail folly and cheaper too. Plus the Scots could be persuaded that, as this is a Government scheme (not one of those nasty private, for profit schemes) they would enthusiastically support it.

  • Pardone

    The nation state is a stupid concept. Let it die.

    Unionists are Communists and slaves of the Westminster and Civil Service scum.

    Those who believe in the sentimental tosh of the “Union” (which is really purely for the benefit of Westminster), are dunces of the lowest order.

  • Pardone

    Clegg should have opted for Confidence and Supply in 2010.

    But because he wanted the fat pension and limos and status, he took the stupid option of formal coalition.

  • Lee Moore

    because he wanted the fat pension and limos and status, he took the stupid option of formal coalition.

    Don’t think so – I think he wanted PR. Cameron knew he couldn’t get PR past his own party, so they settled on a PR referendum, which Clegg thought he’d win easily. And with PR even if you’re knocked down below 10%, you still get a slot in most coalitions. It was a short odds wager, but he lost it. The tragedy for him is that the Tories got more seats that Labour in 2010. If Labour had been ahead, Gordon would have offered PR without a referendum.

  • Roue le Jour

    Lee Moore,

    The important part to me, the thing I really hadn’t realized, is, FPTP encourages regional parties. Had UKIP campaigned for, say, Cornish separatism, they could have got more seats for less effort. The Balkanization of Britain is not an attractive prospect.

  • Mr Ed

    he wanted PR

    He wanted PR partly from principle but surely to give him power, with one party on, say, 36% of seats, the next on 34%, his lot on 17% would always have a snought in the trough of power. The money was nice, the advance of his wife’s career was nice, but Clegg hoped to see himself, and positioned himself until Friday, as what I would term an unflushable floating turd in the toilet of political life.

  • Paul Marks

    Thank you very much Pardone – I love you to, my darling sunbeam.

    Turning to serious matters.

    The border country of Scotland is actually Unionist (a multi national union – united by the Crown and by history, such as the 70 anniversary of the victory we are celebrating today) – they are not (mostly) supporters of the socialist Scottish National Party.

    And I repeat my point about “the oil”.

    It is near the Shetlands – the Shetlands did NOT vote for the SNP.

    The SNP have no cards to play.

    Not against an opponent who is prepared to face them down.

    “Have your independence – minus the border farming country and the Shetland oil of course…..”

    Glasgow would starve.

  • Could I point out that rebuilding Hadrians wall to firewall the Scots out of England will leave virtually ALL of Northumberland and most Cumberland to the Scottish? In case you hadn’t noticed, both are ENGLISH counties.

    Yes but that is where we lay the north side minefield, silly!

  • “I think we can take it that No still means No.”

    On reflection, I think that’s the most interesting part. A 5% or so increase of share means nothing when turnout’s down and you’re comparing the apples of a GE with the oranges of what was, for many “no” voters, a referendum about the existence of their national identity. Normally, it’s (supposedly) safe to assume that those who didn’t turn out would have voted in the same proportions as those who did. But I don’t think you can do that here at all.

    So they’ve managed to improve the historically flatlined 30% for separation to almost 50% and retain that support electorally, which isn’t to be sneezed at (I certainly didn’t see it coming until late last summer) but it looks as if that advance has now halted. Their concentration on “austerity” seems to have been very successful in convincing “yes” voting Labour supporters to switch sides, but what these raw numbers say to me is that they haven’t managed to attract a single extra “no” voter since the referendum. Which, if I were them, I’d be feeling a little frustrated about right now, since it was reasonable to expect that the decisive defeat in Spetember would make it “safe” to vote for them without risking the Union. Hence, presumably, the repeated assurances that they would “work for the interests of the whole UK” and wouldn’t take a landslide to be a mandate for a second referendum. But the lines were drawn last year, and there they stay.

  • Mr Ed

    If there is a song for the Scottish situation, it is perhaps Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’, see link below, with a rather miscast David Cameron as Lindsay Buckingham singing to Nicola Sturgeon rather miscast as Stevie Nicks (in the vid the hairy guitarist and the lady with the hat and tambourine) with a song he wrote about their break-up, whilst they are still stuck performing in the same band, the performance belying the sentiment.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WjLaj2GROjU#

  • TDK

    Labour lining up with the Conservatives during the recent referendum campaign made them many enemies among Scottish Labour voters

    Hmm?

    Technically true but the Conservatives were basically invisible most of the time both north and south of the border.

    Personally I think that the SNP passed a credibility threshold at the referendum and consequently people who never considered voting for them before, suddenly saw it as worthwhile.