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Going into insurgent mode

Brian Taylor | 14:51 UK time, Monday, 12 April 2010

Distinctive thinking on two fronts today, reflecting the nature of this UK General Election campaign in devolved Scotland.

Firstly, Labour has produced a single transferable version of its manifesto for Scotland, blending pledges on reserved issues determined at this election with forward planning on ideas for implementation at Holyrood.

Those devolved ideas would be addressed now, if possible, from opposition but would, alternatively, form part of Labour's manifesto for the Holyrood elections next year.

This is a way of finessing the core conundrum of post-devolution Westminster politics in Scotland.

How to talk about the voters' concerns such as health and education while acknowledging, openly, that these matters are controlled at Holryood.

Labour has frankly been tripped up by this conundrum in the past. Today's approach is an attempt to resolve that.

Distinctive thinking, part two, this time from the SNP who were formally launching their campaign by the banks of the Forth, benefiting hugely from the sunshine on Leith.

Day job

Privately, SNP strategists acknowledge that, as they planned for this campaign, they contemplated a possible series of problems.

Problem One: their leader, Alex Salmond, is not a Westminster candidate, opting inevitably to concentrate on his day job as first minister.

Problem Two: even if they win every Scottish seat, they cannot take UK power. Problem Three: politics is in disrepute.

Problem Four the danger of a squeeze as voters focus on who might be PM.

So, in essence, the SNP cannot "win" this election in the conventional sense - and voters are scunnered anyway.

Solution: don't fight a conventional election, addressing both points in one.

Political protest

Alex Salmond even went as far as to suggest that voters endorsing one of his candidates would not be choosing a politician in the usual sense.

Instead, they would be picking a "champion" of both local and national interests.

Mr Salmond went further still. The SNP campaign, he suggested, would be like an "insurgency", a sustained protest against politics as usual at Westminster: such politics having, he argued, landed the UK in a mess and the reputation of politics in the mire.

In particular, Mr Salmond said the SNP would stand firmly against substantial cuts in Scottish spending.

Which, of course, begs its own questions. Won't the Scottish government face tough choices of its own on spending?

Can Scotland be immune from the impact of the UK deficit?

The answers to those questions are, respectively, yes and no. The SNP leader says that the UK cuts can be mitigated by, for example, scrapping costly programmes such as Trident. He says he would press to protect Scottish budgets.

But, more generally, for this campaign, Mr Salmond is in insurgent, not governmental, mode.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Demcrats' Tavish Scott unveiled his party's Highland manifesto, while the Tories campaigned on fair fuel prices.

Comments

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  • 1. At 3:12pm on 12 Apr 2010, govanite wrote:

    Labour are pledging to close the poverty gap. Again.

    Poverty is the life blood of the Labour Party. They will never do anything to destroy it. They never have and they never will.

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  • 2. At 3:14pm on 12 Apr 2010, ambi wrote:

    "PS: While waiting for this new post, my online colleagues kept open the responses to an earlier blog to allow you, our readers, to comment. As promised. As delivered."

    Can I ask re. previous blog, in best interrogative tone, what was promised, and what was delivered?

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  • 3. At 3:18pm on 12 Apr 2010, romeplebian wrote:

    Problem Three: politics is in disrepute.

    yes in Westminster it is, many people I know say why bother voting, Labour have wrecked the country , the tories wrecked it before and speak with forked tongue with regards to Scotland. But we should vote, so in that respect the best vote would be for the SNP, because lets face the whole point of voting is to vote for your local candidate to do the best for the local area, we do not vote for the Prime Minister, I do not have that choice on my ballot paper, I vote for my local candidate to represent me at Westminster, who will do the best for my local area, so in that case a vote for the SNP is not a wasted vote if you think they will do best for you.

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  • 4. At 3:19pm on 12 Apr 2010, hadrianswall wrote:

    Brian, are you trying to confuse us? Are you taking up the Labour message that the SNP are irrelevant? Your blog gives the impression that only Labour matter in Scotland.
    The only way Scotland can defend itself is voting SNP. Labour have already told us that cuts in Scotland will be deeper than Thatcher's.

    Freedom

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  • 5. At 3:21pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    "The SNP campaign, he suggested, would be like an "insurgency", a sustained protest against politics as usual at Westminster..."


    That has always appealed to me. I long ago realised that nothing shakes up the Tory/BLP clique in London so much as a surge in support for the SNP.

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  • 6. At 3:21pm on 12 Apr 2010, hadrianswall wrote:

    Brian, this blog was closed on Sunday morning. Please explain why the British BC are stiffling debate in Scotland.

    Freedom

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  • 7. At 3:24pm on 12 Apr 2010, john wrote:

    Brian,
    I am disappointed that a totally irrelevant labour manifesto takes precidence over a wholly relevant SNP one on the politics page. Labour know they are in trouble and so are talking about anything except their record in westminster. In that they are being helped by a very compliant media. I hope the Scottish people are not fooled by this duplicity.

    "This is a way of finessing the core conundrum of post-devolution Westminster politics in Scotland.

    How to talk about the voters' concerns such as health and education while acknowledging, openly, that these matters are controlled at Holryood"
    It is not finessing the conundrum, it is deceit and you can bet that when there is noone about to pick them up on it they will not be acknowledging that the matters are completely out of the control of the representatives we are about to vote for.

    John

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  • 8. At 3:26pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    "This is a way of finessing the core conundrum of post-devolution Westminster politics in Scotland."

    Or a way of deceiving voters.

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  • 9. At 3:28pm on 12 Apr 2010, minuend wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 3:32pm on 12 Apr 2010, Saporian wrote:

    Another Liebour scandal and the blog closes down. How convenient.

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  • 11. At 3:32pm on 12 Apr 2010, Saporian wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 12. At 3:33pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    Ah, well... well... well...

    Blither with Brian open for comment. That promise and deliver thing didn't last long apparently.

    As to Mr. Salmond, he is one of the most effective politicians I've ever had the pleasure to watch. Of course, the SNP is currently being hurt by a lack of large donors and they're pretty open about it. They are hurting badly for money. (I notice Mr. Taylor didn't mention that) As our President Obama's campaign proved, small donors can have a HUGE impact. The Obama campaign was largely funded through them. But will the small donors in Scotland 'pony up' and put their money where their votes obviously are?

    A good question.

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  • 13. At 3:40pm on 12 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    "Mr Salmond is in insurgent, not governmental, mode."

    Which is totally appropriate since this an election on UK issues.

    Labour still vulnerable to being asked "What have Holyrood issues to do with your Westminster candidates?"

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  • 14. At 3:40pm on 12 Apr 2010, minuend wrote:

    Not a mention of Gangstergate?

    How much did Mr Rodden bid at the auction to raise funds at Jim Murphy's fundraiser?

    It would appear that Brian Taylor hasn't got a 'SCOOBY' about what this is all about.





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  • 15. At 3:45pm on 12 Apr 2010, john wrote:

    Good start Brian, Half an hour to mod the first comment. Way to get a discussion going.

    John

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  • 16. At 3:51pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Why has the BBC given a video of c17.1 sq ins for Labour yet only one of 6 sq ins to the SNP Brian! You wouldn't be trying to infer anything would you Nah.

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  • 17. At 3:53pm on 12 Apr 2010, Keith wrote:

    How about a new political concept - the hung parliament manifesto. Labour is tired, tories are unproven, lib-dems cannot win. What we need is a period during which the politicians prove that they are fit to govern and capable of governing. A few years of focussed problem solving.

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  • 18. At 3:55pm on 12 Apr 2010, Calum McKay wrote:

    Brian wrote:

    "So, in essence, the SNP cannot "win" this election in the conventional sense - and voters are scunnered anyway."

    Surely the SNP win a Westminster election if they gain 50.1% of votes cast, or secure 30 seats?

    SNP can then eneter negotiations with Westminster on disolving union.

    C McK

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  • 19. At 3:56pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 20. At 4:02pm on 12 Apr 2010, HughEdinburgh wrote:

    Brian,

    You fail to point out in your list of problems that most of these have been created by the "we can break our own laws and get away with it if we want" attitude of the main parties at Westminster.

    And surely it's a valid goal for the SNP to protect Scotland (under the current and temporary arrangement) from the Westminster cuts which are coming Scotlands way, due to the huge deficit that emerged under Westminsters watch.

    It's funny Gordon Brown talking about being in the future business, when they have destroyed the future for many, while ensuring they have more than enough for their own futures.

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  • 21. At 4:02pm on 12 Apr 2010, john wrote:

    "Problem Two: even if they win every Scottish seat, they cannot take UK power."
    I would call that a mandate for independance, something that may be relevant to the people of Scotland, but you don't want to talk about that do you. It is not part of the London centric election plan that you have been following, so let's not mention it.

    "Problem Three: politics is in disrepute."
    And please tell me, without seriously libelling yourself, how precisely this is the SNP's problem alone as you imply? I would have thought that a certain other party (mentionned elsewhere on this blog) would have more problems with politics and disrepute.

    This has got to be one of your worst efforts for a long time, but then I suppose that the BBC's election coverage is just getting into gear.

    John

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  • 22. At 4:08pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Scottish Independence - A History

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  • 23. At 4:09pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    Let's see. This morning I received two emails saying two of my comments had been removed from this blog for supposedly violating the rules. And what was that violation?

    Merely MENTIONING that information on the subject of the blog (the subject Mr. Brian Taylor brought up) IS available elsewhere on the internet. One is apparently not allowed to disclose that it is public knowledge who was receiving certain messages.

    Now why would that be? One is left to wonder.

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  • 24. At 4:12pm on 12 Apr 2010, impeachblair wrote:

    6. At 3:21pm on 12 Apr 2010, hadrianswall wrote:

    Brian, this blog was closed on Sunday morning. Please explain why the British BC are stiffling debate in Scotland.

    Absolutely correct.

    After perusing the Sunday web, I logged on to Brian’s Blog to pass comment. This was after all the first Sunday of a GE!!

    “Closed to further comment”…Incredible!!!!!

    When I rang Pacific Quay to complain the gentlemen went on the site to check…and then registered my complaint.

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  • 25. At 4:13pm on 12 Apr 2010, impeachblair wrote:

    Bob Thomson Quoted in the Sunday Herald yesterday:

    Bob Thomson, Scottish Labour’s treasurer for most of the 1990s, does not mince his words about the state of the party as it goes into its toughest election fight for almost 20 years.

    “There’s no organisation on the ground. There’s no excitement in the party. There’s just a big feeling of disillusionment,” he says.

    “After 15 years of New Labour, what have we achieved? We have the biggest deficit in history. Our manufacturing base has been destroyed.

    “People say Gordon Brown saved the banking system, but that’s like thanking an arsonist for putting out the fire he started. From any objective standard, he’s been a disaster.”

    Great stuff Bob - keep it coming!!

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  • 26. At 4:13pm on 12 Apr 2010, dear_wendy wrote:

    Brian,

    Alex Salmond and the SNP are not wanting or trying to govern Britain. Never have - never will. I'm sure they don't see it as a problem now, any more than it has ever been.

    Their position is no different than in all previous Westminster Elections, but they can still "win" without forming the government.

    A majority of Scottish seats would be victory, and would pave the way to the SNP goal of Scottish self determination.

    In effect, the "problems" you highlight could be said af any truly Scottish Party, or Scotland itself.

    Scotland is in democratic deficit within the Union, and will remain thus until Independent.

    No separate Scottish party could ever form a Westminster Government, whereas a separate English one could. Equally, Scotland cannot dictate the Westminster government, England can.

    Which is why there are no other Scottish parties, only London parties with Hey Jimmy hats on when it suits them.

    It's nothing new, or peculiar to this Westminster Election, Brian.

    (Could be other posters in the 17 unmoderated ones above at time of writing make similar points - if so, apologies for the repetition)

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  • 27. At 4:15pm on 12 Apr 2010, bmc875 wrote:

    As predicted yesterday - the '17 to 20' four were kept in until after the bell went Brian. Fancy that. As one of those detained, I can only assume that I have upset one of the moderators on a previous entry. BTW, Anyone attend a fund raiser recently? Sayonara.

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  • 28. At 4:15pm on 12 Apr 2010, Freenonbrit wrote:

    So: the Labour Party's manifesto gets top billing, above the SNP's - although the SNP is the Government in Scotland and Labour is one of its opposition.
    Nothing, either, about the latest evidence of the Labour Party's involvement in graft and corruption, and its connections with organised crime; if the SNP had had a former council leader in Purcell's present position, and gangsters for supporters, the media would have made it headline news every day until after the election. But, as with all the mountains of evidence about Labour's various dishonest, unethical and downright criminal activities over the years - for my part, half a century of observation - somehow the Scottish media seems to forgive and forget each fresh revelation very quickly. This is not a healthy modern democracy.

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  • 29. At 4:20pm on 12 Apr 2010, mince and mealie wrote:

    Has Labour's manifesto been approved by their supporters in the "business community", such as attend their fundraising dinners?

    Some of the Sunday papers, including the Sunday Herald, reported yesterday how senior west of Scotland Labour figures are on first name terms with at least one very interesting high profile entrepreneur; a story which the BBC has not featured because of some inexplicable oversight..

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  • 30. At 4:25pm on 12 Apr 2010, InfrequentAllele2 wrote:

    Oh so we're open for business again. What was that about a promise? Or is democracy in Scotland only a part time occupation with part time promises? A bit like the Labour manifesto, come to think of it.

    Can Scotland be immune from the impact of the UK deficit?

    We can't be immune from the effects of Westminster's spending priorities as long as we are a part of the UK. Simple logic that. So the answer to your question Brian, is "Yes we can".

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  • 31. At 4:27pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    22. cynicalHighlander

    So the mods don't like it when the 2005 Labour manifesto has been shown to fail on 27 counts.

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  • 32. At 4:27pm on 12 Apr 2010, dear_wendy wrote:

    Brian,

    Labour, it would seem are proposing to provide the miracle that is Full Employment in their manifesto.

    1. What makes them presume they can do so now, when they never achieved it in 10 "boom years" (i.e. back when "bust" was still - ahem! - "abolished").

    2. If it is a case of they could have done so previously but just chose not to, then why not? Were the unemployed of 2002 somehow less deserving than the unemployed of 2010?

    3. How will the other side of that particular coin (i.e. the rather Tory-like removal of benefits for those refusing a Labour "job" offer) sit with the core Labour vote in Scotland?

    Difficult questions?
    Perhaps. I'm sure the BBC will step up to the plate on behalf of license payers like me though.

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  • 33. At 4:30pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    13. oldnat
    "Labour still vulnerable to being asked "What have Holyrood issues to do with your Westminster candidates?""

    If devolved issues are relevant to the British Labour Party's general election campaign in Scotland, how can the SNP possibly be irrelevant?

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  • 34. At 4:35pm on 12 Apr 2010, CramondFC17 wrote:

    What a gift to all the other parties !

    Chaytor, Morley and Devine, (The Labour MP's charged with theft) have been granted Legal Aid to mount their defence.

    Can't really think that the Great Gordon will be pleased with this news.

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  • 35. At 4:35pm on 12 Apr 2010, Denno wrote:

    hadrianswall - Hey, at least Scotland gets a blog (or is that two?). Any chance of an English one?

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  • 36. At 4:35pm on 12 Apr 2010, raisethegame wrote:

    Jim Murphy got an easy ride on Radio Scotland this morning and an even easier one on the Politics Show yesterday with Glenn Campbell allowing him to talk over Angus Robertson and to reiterate his 'SNP talking down Glasgow' nonsense . You caN watch it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/the_politics_show_scotland

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  • 37. At 4:40pm on 12 Apr 2010, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    Well, looks quite easy.

    All we need to do is Ask the Northern British NuLab Canvasser who turns up at the door whether their candidate will vote in the Westminister Parliament on issues that are Devolved to Holyrood.

    And watch them run.

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  • 38. At 4:43pm on 12 Apr 2010, Saporian wrote:

    Why was my comment at no. 11 moderated? Never mind, see comment 14 instead.

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  • 39. At 4:51pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    # Hanging out# In the chamber# And they're off!# On a journey# Here one minute . . .# The Twitter election# Going into insurgent mode

    Are writing a story Brian?



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  • 40. At 4:56pm on 12 Apr 2010, Nat_very_likely wrote:

    Labour's manifesto cover looks like a 1930s railway poster with a bit of cornflakes packet.Trying to appropriate every colour as in the early New Labour days.The figures in the foreground looking towards a bright new dawn.Just like Tony's bright new dawn when they gained office 13 years ago.But if an energetic new government couldn't deliver then how is a sleazy,tired out one going to deliver now?I suppose the nostalgic 1930s design is aimed at having subliminal appeal to potential UKIP/BNP voters.

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  • 41. At 4:59pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    31. cynicalHighlander

    2005 Labours failed manifesto promises (27 in all)

    1) p. 12: ‘Our ten year-old pupils are . . . the fastest improving in numeracy.’

    Ofsted Report, 2008/09:
    • 2 million children in England being taught in mediocre or failing schools;
    • 30% of 11 year-olds failing to reach basic standards in English and Maths.

    Ofsted Report, 2009/10:
    • 50% of schools ranked either satisfactory or inadequate;
    • Schools ranked inadequate increased from 4% in 2008/09 to 10% today;
    • Only 9% of schools ranked outstanding.

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  • 42. At 5:00pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    41. cynicalHighlander

    2) p. 12: ‘. . . long-term youth unemployment has been virtually eradicated . . .’

    Latest unemployment stats:
    • Long-term unemployment: 663 000 – its highest since 1997;
    • Unemployment amongst 16 to 24 year-olds: 923,000.

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  • 43. At 5:01pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    42. cynicalHighlander

    3) p. 15: ‘In our third term we will build new ladders of social mobility . . .’

    Since Labour came to power in 1997 social mobility has decreased and the gap between the richest and the poorest has increased.

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  • 44. At 5:02pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    43. cynicalHighlander

    4) p. 15: ‘We will maintain our inflation target at two percent.’

    In February 2010, the UK’s inflation rate rose to 3.5%.

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  • 45. At 5:02pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    44. cynicalHighlander

    5) p. 16: ‘We will not raise the basic or top rates of income tax . . .’

    April 2009 Budget, Chancellor Alistair Darling announced an increase in the top-rate of income tax to 50%.

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  • 46. At 5:03pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    45. cynicalHighlander

    6) p. 18: ‘The Labour Government backs manufacturing . . . we will continue to do so.’

    More than 1 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since 1997. In 1997, manufacturing accounted for 20% of the UK economy; by 2007, it had decreased to 12.4% – that scale of decline is almost 3 times greater than during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.

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  • 47. At 5:06pm on 12 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    Another version of the BritLab Manifesto cover

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/article_images/articledir_11815/5907533/1_fullsize.jpg

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  • 48. At 5:10pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Legal aid for New Labour expenses piggy MPs (12Apr10)

    This beggars belief.

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  • 49. At 5:15pm on 12 Apr 2010, minuend wrote:

    ....... and right on cue here is another Labour scandal.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8616261.stm

    LegalAidGate

    Labour MP Jim Devine gets legal aid over the expenses scandal.

    Time shut down this blog again Brian.

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  • 50. At 5:23pm on 12 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    Any Gaelic speakers around?

    Worth posting the 3 racehorse poster from Moridura's site on the BBC Gaelic political blog

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/niallogallagher/

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  • 51. At 5:23pm on 12 Apr 2010, Saporian wrote:

    Jim Devine. LEGAL AID! You can not be serious!

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  • 52. At 5:28pm on 12 Apr 2010, heraldnomore wrote:

    Brian is there a time limit set before comments are closed out, or do we just have to wait on the latest bad news for NuLab hitting the news wires? Perhaps it was just an off day for the Arabs visit to Glasgow.

    All this talk of 'win' and 'scunnered' is as you mentioned on the news bulletins. Don't you think a sizeable Celtic Block with a possible minority government would be a good thing Brian?

    No problems with the other manifesto, the alleged corruption spreading across the border from Glasgow to South Lanarks, far less the fundraising with gangsters? Or is just irrelevant?

    Have you made your vote on Kenneth Roy's article yet Brian - remember it's what you think rather than what you want.

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  • 53. At 5:37pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    General Election 2010: SNP to 'restore faith in Westminster'

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  • 54. At 5:42pm on 12 Apr 2010, peteraberdeenshire wrote:

    4. At 3:19pm on 12 Apr 2010, hadrianswall wrote:
    Brian, are you trying to confuse us? Are you taking up the Labour message that the SNP are irrelevant? Your blog gives the impression that only Labour matter in Scotland.
    The only way Scotland can defend itself is voting SNP. Labour have already told us that cuts in Scotland will be deeper than Thatcher's.

    Freedom

    Of course only Labour matters in Scotland, at least according to the BBC. Why else does every report begin with "labour says" etc?
    Just back from a fantastic trip to Mexico where they are preparing to celebrate 200 years of Independence and despite the problems that country like all others has there is a sense of pride in their people. I have never seen such huge flags flying in a city, its almost like saying we are Mexican and proud of it.
    The press today mentioned how oil related business in the north east had soared lately including sending men and materials to Asia and places like Mexico, not bad for a country deemed too wee too stupid too poor by the unionists!

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  • 55. At 5:43pm on 12 Apr 2010, Skip_NC wrote:

    Brian, you are usually such a good writer. However, you seem to misunderstand the SNP approach over many years. Let's go back in time to 1987. In Edinburgh East the SNP candidate was Mungo Bovey. He had stood in the regional elections the previous year and had lifted the SNP vote a bbit. It was no surprise that the party sought to capitalize on this effort by adopting him as the GE candidate.

    I remember at one election meeting he openly admitted that the SNP could not win the seat, nor could they win the GE. However, that was (and is) not the point. The point was (and is) that each vote for the SNP sends a message to the London parties that people want real change. Well, about 10% of the voters took his point. Now, fast forward twenty years. Remind me, who won Edinburgh East in the SP elections?

    So, you see, the argument that the SNP cannot "win" is quite beside the point. The SNP has never fought a UK GE on that basis. So Alex Salmond's message is merely a continuation of a message that has been around in Edinburgh East (and other places, I'm sure) for a quarter of a century. Why is a long-term strategy that has, obviously, worked considered by you to be a "problem"?

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  • 56. At 6:00pm on 12 Apr 2010, heraldnomore wrote:

    On second thoughts Brian it couldn't have been the Tangerines trip to town that closed down the comments could it? Must have been coincidence that the Glenn Campbell luv-in was going to air just after. Wouldn't want to give any opportunity for those that disagree to have an outlet to vent their spleen would it? Or is that another dept, as no-one at the Beeb seems remotely interested either in the closing of your blog, or the propaganda of your colleagues. Do you have any views?

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  • 57. At 6:05pm on 12 Apr 2010, ruddyrutherford wrote:

    I am constantly amused by the criticism of this blog.
    This blog is about politics in Scotland as viewed by Brian. Therefore its his blog.
    If people don't like the content, fair enough. Go elsewhere. May I even suggest that you start your own blog.
    If, however, you feel that this blog stimulates debate, whether you agree with the points made or not...great.That's what it exists for.
    But all I constantly read is whinging about its very existence.

    As a floating voter (I have mainly voted SNP, Green and Lib Dem in the past and have no compunction to voting Conservative if they meet my needs) I find Brian's views fair and balanced.

    And if the blog goes down....whoopee do. It happens. The BBC have no legal requirement in keeping this blog open so please be patient and wait til it opens again or find another outlet.

    I find these blogs insightful. But its ruined by those bleating about it. I wonder how much others are put off by these posters?



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  • 58. At 6:07pm on 12 Apr 2010, Jim Stevens wrote:

    Jim Murphy annihilated Angus Robertson on the Politics Show. It was embarrassing, Mr. Robertson was pathetic. Murphy didn't need or didn't get any help from Glen Campbell. Comments to the contrary from 'Raise the Game' are the product of either paranoia or desperation, or both.

    The SNP manifesto launch was surreal. Alex Salmond chuntered on about local champions and called on the Scottish people to reject Labour and Tory cuts. At one point he asserted "in an election, the people choose the reality'.

    The reality is that the bankers have screwed the economy and the real choice facing Scots is between a Labour Party intent on protecting UK public services or a Tory Party intent on cutting tax for the richest families in the country and for their paymasters in big business.

    The SNP are simply irrelevant. It is no wonder that Mr. Robertson and Mr. Salmond look so ridiculous spouting this cynical guff. Scotland needs champions not chancers!

    Jim

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  • 59. At 6:10pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    29. mince and mealie
    "Has Labour's manifesto been approved by their supporters in the "business community", such as attend their fundraising dinners?

    Some of the Sunday papers, including the Sunday Herald, reported yesterday how senior west of Scotland Labour figures are on first name terms with at least one very interesting high profile entrepreneur; a story which the BBC has not featured because of some inexplicable oversight..
    "

    Now you have to agree that being on first name terms with such a "high profile entrepreneur" is what Labour does best. And you can hardly expect the BBC to report on something that really isn't news--since it seems to be par for the course.

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  • 60. At 6:16pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    40. mistydougie
    "Labour's manifesto cover looks like a 1930s railway poster"

    I can't quite agree. It's an occasion when I agree with Hamish McDonnell. They look like people facing a nuclear holocaust--which with the Labour Party wanting to spend billions on new Tridents while your country is nearly bankrupt and even the US and Russia agree to cut back on nuclear weapons is just...

    Too ironic for words.

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  • 61. At 6:20pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    36. raisethegame
    "Politics Show yesterday with Glenn Campbell allowing him to talk over Angus Robertson and to reiterate his 'SNP talking down Glasgow' nonsense ."

    I *ahem* tend to bypass the BBC attempts to keep foreigners from seeing their political coverage. (Wonder why that is?) And watched that Glenn Campbell interview. (They attempt to block foreign IP addresses for anyone who isn't aware of it)

    It was its usual definition of glenncampbelly bias but I thought that Angus Robertson handled himself well in managing to get his points across very well anyway.

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  • 62. At 6:26pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Burning Our Money has a good take on the Labour manifesto launch, scary.

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  • 63. At 6:32pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    So I take it that the fact that Jim Devine was a Scottish MP means that the fact that he is receive legal aid for his defense is not a matter for Scottish news according to BBC Scotland.

    Former Labour MP receives legal aid

    You'd think that MIGHT merit a mention by BBC Scotland. Yet funnily enough it is covered by UK BBC. Odd that.

    A bit embarrassing but hopefully if you don't mention it, then it all goes away.

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  • 64. At 6:36pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    BNP, UKIP & Greens banned from TV debate

    The main parties have stitched up a deal which means Labour and the Tories will both have equal numbers of supporters in the studio audience and the Lib Dems slightly less.

    democracy please

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  • 65. At 6:39pm on 12 Apr 2010, cwh wrote:

    Reporting Scotland at 6.30pm: Leads on Labour Manifesto launch. No mention of SNP manifesto launch although main 6pm BBC news did cover it.

    In the course of RS report on Labour Manifesto gave Labour's 2011 Holyrood campaign a WEE boost.

    Did mention Devine though but still...

    This is beyond parody.

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  • 66. At 6:41pm on 12 Apr 2010, john wrote:

    Just watched the most despicable local news bulletim I have ever seen. Full headlines on labour's launch, but not a mention of the SNP's launch until a snippet half way through a second report on fuel duty.

    BBC scotland disgusts me, and is an affront to the democratic process in Scotland. Please remove the word Scotland from your title as you do not deserve it.

    John

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  • 67. At 6:45pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Marf

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  • 68. At 6:46pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    You might swing by and read some of Guido Fawkes comments on this manifesto. In particular "an introduction from Ellie Gellard, but she was kept away from the press and it is no wonder..." No wonder indeed. One's past blog remarks can come back to bit you where it hurts. No link, of course. BBC is not fond of links to Guido Fawkes.

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  • 69. At 6:48pm on 12 Apr 2010, kaybraes wrote:

    Is it an accident but does the front page of Labour's manifesto look like it was lifted off the Lemon Jelly Lost Horizons album ? Maybe this is something else they had to borrow along with several thousand billion quid.

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  • 70. At 6:50pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Labour caught out over NHS petition e-mails

    Labour was today caught up in a new row over its use of personal data after e-mailing NHS professionals using their work addresses to ask for their support.

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  • 71. At 7:07pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    57. ruddyrutherford
    "And if the blog goes down....whoopee do. It happens. The BBC have no legal requirement in keeping this blog open so please be patient and wait til it opens again or find another outlet."

    Its got time clock!

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  • 72. At 7:07pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    58. Jim Stevens
    "Scotland needs champions not chancers!"

    Indeed Scotland does, as do all nations. Now the question is: Which party has the chancers?

    What are the chances of chancers?

    What are the chances of paying for chancers?


    Hmmmm... Might want to think that one over.

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  • 73. At 7:09pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    47. oldnat
    "Another version of the BritLab Manifesto cover"

    My own version.

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  • 74. At 7:12pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    57. ruddyrutherford
    "I find these blogs insightful. But its ruined by those bleating about it. I wonder how much others are put off by these posters?
    "

    Apparently you don't understand the point of a blog which is to stimulate discussion, not be spoon-fed opinions which one meekly accepts. If you don't like discussion and varying opinions, I suggest sticking to the news page. It's still there you know. And no one is allowed to argue or express a differing viewpoint so it sounds like it would suit you quite well.

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  • 75. At 7:18pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    62. cynicalHighlander

    Let's see if they'll allow a link

    Buring British Money?

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  • 76. At 7:24pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    58. Jim Stevens
    "Alex Salmond chuntered on about local champions and called on the Scottish people to reject Labour and Tory cuts."

    The idea of MPs representing the interests of voters rather than the party machine seems totally alien to you. This would suggest that you are a supporter of the British Labour Party.

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  • 77. At 7:27pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    63. JRMacClure
    "You'd think that MIGHT merit a mention by BBC Scotland. Yet funnily enough it is covered by UK BBC. Odd that."

    The case is in the England & Wales jurisdiction.

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  • 78. At 7:27pm on 12 Apr 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #58
    You are joking,of course. Just posted that to get a response I'm sure.
    I suspect that every time Jim Murphy appears on the box the SNP gets a steady stream of new support.
    And,yes. Glen Campbell always interupts SNP spokespersons. I have written to BBC to complain about this - particularly after one crass incident in which he interupted Roseanna Cunningham five times in the course of her trying to answer one short question after not having interupted the Labour guy even once.

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  • 79. At 7:30pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    64. cynicalHighlander
    "BNP, UKIP & Greens banned from TV debate

    The main parties have stitched up a deal which means Labour and the Tories will both have equal numbers of supporters in the studio audience and the Lib Dems slightly less.

    democracy please
    "

    A telling quote from the debate organisers,

    "They were all keen to ensure no-one else has a platform."

    "They" being the anti-democratic Tory/BLP alliance.

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  • 80. At 7:38pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    1923

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  • 81. At 7:39pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    70. cynicalHighlander

    I found this in The Telegraph rather interesting as well:

    Senior Labour minister Sadiq Khan has been accused of abusing House of Commons expenses to support his election campaign.

    Mr Khan, a transport minister, used Commons stationary and pre-paid envelopes to write to hundreds of voters in his marginal seat lauding his own record. ... official stationery can only be used for official parliamentary business.

    Interesting.


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  • 82. At 7:50pm on 12 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #57 ruddyrutherford
    "The BBC have no legal requirement in keeping this blog open so please be patient and wait til it opens again or find another outlet."

    Welcome to BwB and BBC blogging. It is true that there is no legal requirement, but if they wish to retain their near-monopoly in Scotland they have to consider the licence payer. I don't know how long you've been lurking rather than posting, but you might consider the following:

    First, like most other BBC blog threads, Brian's have normally been left open to comment indefinitely to allow situations to develop. In the past, we'd have been able to await publication of the GCC minutes, for example, and comment meaningfully on Brian's In the chamber thread when more data was available. This will not now be possible.

    Second, this is the BBC's main political blog for Scotland and was rightly given a place, with six other BBC political blogs as the core of the BBC's new DEMOCRACY LIVE Blogs and comment page, yet is the only one of those seven now being closed to comment as a matter of course. This is actually in direct contrast to Nick Robinson's Newslog, which was regularly and draconianly closed for comment until the DEMOCRACY LIVE initiative.

    Third, Brian himself is clearly embarrassed by this new policy or else why would he post his PS on the previous thread:
    "While waiting for this new post, my online colleagues kept open the responses to an earlier blog to allow you, our readers, to comment. As promised. As delivered."

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  • 83. At 7:54pm on 12 Apr 2010, hamish42 wrote:

    One of Labour's claims to fame. "We now have a bigger middle class", (said Gordon Brown today).

    No mention that we also have an even bigger "not working class".

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  • 84. At 7:54pm on 12 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #57. At 6:05pm on 12 Apr 2010, ruddyrutherford wrote:"I am constantly amused by the criticism of this blog".
    If you're so amused, what are you complaining about? Most of us pay good money for our amusements. Seriously, though, the complaints mainly because just one blog shuts down - this one. Not only that but there is a distinct bias against ONLY one parties supporters. Most Scots cannot stand unfairness.

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  • 85. At 7:56pm on 12 Apr 2010, hamish42 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 86. At 8:00pm on 12 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    How much more powerful would the Labour Manifesto have been if it was a single sheet of A4, the front bearing the single word "SORRY" and the back the message "We will always remember who elected us, and we will try to do the right thing," with the signatures of all Labour candidates underneath.

    After all, manifestos are unenforceable and hence manifestly without value.

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  • 87. At 8:02pm on 12 Apr 2010, Blackivar wrote:

    #57 ruddyrutherford

    I couldn't agree more. I used to post, a long time ago, now I occasionally browse it, but this blog while not quite as bad as the Scotsman is going the same way.

    Also, I see a lot of people complaining that Labour was mentioned first. Maybe that is because labour launched their manifesto today, the SNP only launched their campaign, their manifesto is out next week.

    I would have thought a manifesto, with some, albeit questionable, substance to it, ranked above a simple campaign launch. I would expect the SNP will be top billing when their manifesto is out.

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  • 88. At 8:02pm on 12 Apr 2010, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    57. ruddyrutherford
    "I am constantly amused by the criticism of this blog."
    No you're not. That's why you're here sweenging about it. Oh, wait, were you being sardonic?

    "This blog is about politics in Scotland as viewed by Brian. Therefore its his blog.
    If people don't like the content, fair enough. Go elsewhere. May I even suggest that you start your own blog.
    If, however, you feel that this blog stimulates debate, whether you agree with the points made or not...great.That's what it exists for.
    "
    Brian's chief political editor for Scotland as part of a publically funded institution which has lot's of restrictions placed upon it terms of content and service. It's not the same as the blog of a private individual.

    "But all I constantly read is whinging about its very existence."
    Untrue. Thankfully anyone reading the blog will be able to go back over this or any other thread to ascertain for themselves the lack of truth in your assertion.


    "As a floating voter (I have mainly voted SNP, Green and Lib Dem in the past and have no compunction to voting Conservative if they meet my needs) I find Brian's views fair and balanced."
    I have also voted for different parties, although I wouldn't currently describe myself as a floating voter, and I find Brian's focus to be missing the target more than hitting it lately.
    So two people have different views on it. Wow.

    "And if the blog goes down....whoopee do. It happens. The BBC have no legal requirement in keeping this blog open so please be patient and wait til it opens again or find another outlet."
    The blog's not going down, it is being closed to comments.
    It usually isn't (famously so in fact).
    There are lots of stories about just now, and it's a GE.
    Suddenly the blog starts getting closed for comments.
    I would say that all precedent and no explanation leaves contributors legitimately concerned. If you think otherwise, I look forward to you explaining why they have no reason to be.

    "I find these blogs insightful. But its ruined by those bleating about it. I wonder how much others are put off by these posters?"
    I disagree, but I brace myself for the imminent torrent of posters supporting your claims :)

    As with assertion and opinion about the content, behaviour and community on this bog, the entire history of all comment threads are there for all to read and make up their own minds.

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  • 89. At 8:02pm on 12 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #68 JRMacClure
    "BBC is not fond of links to Guido Fawkes."

    Quite so, although to be fair, Guido is permanently listed on the Westminster drop-down of the DEMOCRACY LIVE Blogs and comment page. They could certainly do a better job of listing more representative blogs for the "home" nations of the UK, though, especially Scotland.

    And, BTW, I do agree with your view of the "nuke" cover of the North British Labour manifesto.

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  • 90. At 8:04pm on 12 Apr 2010, RandomScot wrote:

    The GMS mention of the manifestos I heard this morning gave prminenet position to the Labour manifesto then seemed to ellide the SNP and Tory menifesto releases as if they were the same thing

    So business as usual for the Beeb

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  • 91. At 8:07pm on 12 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    #57, ruddyrutherford wrote:

    "This blog is about politics in Scotland as viewed by Brian. Therefore its his blog."

    I am sure that Mr Taylor has signed the usual contract whereby any work he does in the course of his BBC employment is the intellectual property of the BBC - including production of and conrtribution to this blog.

    And because of "the special way the BBC is funded," it is [as the Corporation spend oodles of pounds telling us a few years back] OUR B.B.C.

    Ipso facto, it's OUR blog!!!

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  • 92. At 8:10pm on 12 Apr 2010, Astonished wrote:

    Brian I am stunned by ruddyidiot (I think that is his name) @ 57; Who attempts to con us with this gem :

    "As a floating voter (I have mainly voted SNP, Green and Lib Dem in the past and have no compunction to voting Conservative if they meet my needs) I find Brian's views fair and balanced."


    We all know which party he actually supports (and is possibly paid to blog for[although they are running out of money and supporters])."Utter stupidity" is their watchword; Or possibly "utter stupidity and legal aid".

    Brian,You must be delighted that a member of the most dishonest party in British history thinks you reports are fair and balanced.

    How very glencampblly.

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  • 93. At 8:12pm on 12 Apr 2010, Astonished wrote:

    I would suggest to relieve the stress on "labour online" - You all blog on "Newsnet Scotland" - whoever they are ?

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  • 94. At 8:19pm on 12 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #58 Jim Stevens
    "Jim Murphy annihilated Angus Robertson on the Politics Show."

    Welcome to BwB and BBC blogging.

    Having watched yesterday's Politics Show twice - live on BBC1 Scotland and the repeat on BBC Parliament, I wonder if you are referring to a previous appearance of the viceroy? Yesterday, he repeatedly refused to answer straight questions and would not stop talking when Angus Robertson was asked to respond. Or by "annihilated" do you mean boorishly and true to form?

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  • 95. At 8:20pm on 12 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    58. At 6:07pm on 12 Apr 2010, Jim Stevens wrote:"Jim Murphy annihilated Angus Robertson on the Politics Show".
    You must have seen a different version than most other folks. Anyway, A labour minister, (Dennis Healey), once said, "There will be pie in the sky, by and by, for you and I". I think that description fits every Unionist manefesto for this election.

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  • 96. At 8:25pm on 12 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    Labour Manifesto - again

    http://i40.tinypic.com/7237rr.jpg

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  • 97. At 8:26pm on 12 Apr 2010, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    58. Jim Stevens
    "Jim Murphy annihilated Angus Robertson on the Politics Show. It was embarrassing, Mr. Robertson was pathetic. Murphy didn't need or didn't get any help from Glen Campbell. Comments to the contrary from 'Raise the Game' are the product of either paranoia or desperation, or both."
    Ah well, at least the thing can actually be watched on iPlayer for anyone who missed it and then they can make their own mind up about it.

    "The SNP manifesto launch was surreal. Alex Salmond chuntered on about local champions and called on the Scottish people to reject Labour and Tory cuts. At one point he asserted "in an election, the people choose the reality'."
    Surreal eh, I could say the the Labour one was pointillist, but who's got time for artistic punning ;)
    If you find the notion of local champions objectionable, perhaps you also find the UK's democratic system of political representation at the local constituency level similarly distasteful?

    So Mr Dali, what is it that the electorate decide if it is not the political reality? If it doesn't amount ot that, why do you vote?

    "The reality is that the bankers have screwed the economy and the real choice facing Scots is between a Labour Party intent on protecting UK public services or a Tory Party intent on cutting tax for the richest families in the country and for their paymasters in big business."
    The economy is screwed, under labour's watchful gaze. They came in after the several tory administrations had wrecked the UK's other sectors, and fixed them. Oh no they didn't! At least they stopped the rich from getting richer at the expense of the poorer. Oh no, they didn't!
    It's convenient to try and make out htat only the tories are in the pocket of big business, but the facts don't wash. Where did the billions of NHS IT spend go to for example? It didn't stay in the public sector did it?
    Labour and Tory are peas in a pod now.

    "The SNP are simply irrelevant. It is no wonder that Mr. Robertson and Mr. Salmond look so ridiculous spouting this cynical guff. Scotland needs champions not chancers!
    "
    That attitude is why the unionist influence in Scotland will continue to wane. People can look for themselves and decide for themselves, and when the parties that have brought the whole of the UK to its knees decry the party voted into power in Scotland as irrelevant it is all the message we need.
    Independence!

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  • 98. At 8:27pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    81. JRMacClure
    "I found this in The Telegraph rather interesting as well:

    Senior Labour minister Sadiq Khan has been accused of abusing House of Commons expenses to support his election campaign.

    Mr Khan, a transport minister, used Commons stationary and pre-paid envelopes to write to hundreds of voters in his marginal seat lauding his own record. ... official stationery can only be used for official parliamentary business.

    Interesting.
    "

    Again? He's already been done for the same thing.

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  • 99. At 8:28pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    81. JRMacClure
    "Mr Khan, a transport minister, used Commons stationary and pre-paid envelopes to write to hundreds of voters in his marginal seat lauding his own record. ... official stationery can only be used for official parliamentary business.
    "

    I see The Telegraph are hedging their bets on the spelling of "stationery/stationary".

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  • 100. At 8:29pm on 12 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #80 cynicalHighlander
    "1923"

    Thanks for that - raised a smile on a bad day for democracy. Back to the future yet again, though perhaps the 1923 slogan - Give Labour it's chance - is more apposite today, too. After all they've only had 13 years this time and Duff Gordon not yet three.

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  • 101. At 8:29pm on 12 Apr 2010, fairforfochen wrote:

    cynicalhighlander I have seen more of the leaders of UKIP and the Greens than I have of the SNP Andrew Neil, Andrew Marr and two other presenters whose names I do not remember have all interviewed them some of the programmes were half an hour long and two at least were repeated during the wee sma hours

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  • 102. At 8:33pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    82. Brownedov
    "First, like most other BBC blog threads, Brian's have normally been left open to comment indefinitely to allow situations to develop. In the past, we'd have been able to await publication of the GCC minutes, for example, and comment meaningfully on Brian's In the chamber thread when more data was available. This will not now be possible."

    The real problem is that this is a blog with comment facility which is being used as if it was a message board (forum). They are very different things. And only the latter is suitable for ongoing discussion.

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  • 103. At 8:37pm on 12 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #79. At 7:30pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:"The main parties have stitched up a deal which means Labour and the Tories will both have equal numbers of supporters in the studio audience and the Lib Dems slightly less".
    Anyone able to explain just how The BBC knows who supports who? So, taking their known bias into account, why do they even need to know the person's political leanings?


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  • 104. At 8:39pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    77. Electric Hermit
    "The case is in the England & Wales jurisdiction."

    You're right. It is. So when a Scottish public official is charged with crimes in other jurisdictions (and uses the public purse for his defense)--it is NOT NEWS where he is elected.

    Now that's an interesting take on it but I'll take your word that the Scots really don't care.

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  • 105. At 8:39pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    81. JRMacClure

    If you go to that Glasgow uni human rights blog (mods pull links) has Willie Bain telling lies to his constituents on Sadiq Khan.

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  • 106. At 8:42pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    Scottish view of the Labour Manifesto cover?

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  • 107. At 8:43pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    93. Astonished
    "I would suggest to relieve the stress on "labour online" - You all blog on "Newsnet Scotland" - whoever they are ?

    "

    Excellent as the Newsnet Scotland blog is, the stringent character count limit on comments means that it is even less suitable as a forum for ongoing discussion than this place.

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  • 108. At 8:46pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    87. Blackivar
    "I would expect the SNP will be top billing when their manifesto is out."

    With J Murphy sitting in his armchair in Pacific Quay with his valet G. Campbell pulling it to pieces in a derisery manner.

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  • 109. At 8:48pm on 12 Apr 2010, GrassyKnollington wrote:

    91 Miss Terri Poster wrote,

    "Ipso facto, it's OUR blog!!!"

    Too right, and If Call Me Dave ever callls in the receivers, I bags the red braces, Glen Campbells kennel and spiky collar, the Tunnocks tea cakes and the phrase "toodle oo the noo."

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  • 110. At 8:51pm on 12 Apr 2010, fairforfochen wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 111. At 8:56pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Magic

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  • 112. At 9:03pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    96. oldnat

    You beat me to it!

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  • 113. At 9:07pm on 12 Apr 2010, fairforfochen wrote:

    Further to my earlier post UKIP leader again on the parliament programme with Andrew Neil!!!

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  • 114. At 9:08pm on 12 Apr 2010, brochie wrote:

    I agree with Ruddyrutherford

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  • 115. At 9:12pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    57. ruddyrutherford
    "And if the blog goes down....whoopee do. It happens. The BBC have no legal requirement in keeping this blog open so please be patient and wait til it opens again or find another outlet."

    In your infinite wisdom can you explain THIS then!

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  • 116. At 9:13pm on 12 Apr 2010, brochie wrote:

    good point, CramondFC17.

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  • 117. At 9:18pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    103. Auld Bob
    "#79. At 7:30pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:"The main parties have stitched up a deal which means Labour and the Tories will both have equal numbers of supporters in the studio audience and the Lib Dems slightly less".
    Anyone able to explain just how The BBC knows who supports who? So, taking their known bias into account, why do they even need to know the person's political leanings?
    "

    I believe the audience is being selected by an independent organisation. What is telling is that this "independent" organisation seems to have been briefed to ensure that the audience is not representative of the electorate.

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  • 118. At 9:22pm on 12 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #102 Electric Hermit
    "The real problem is that this is a blog with comment facility which is being used as if it was a message board (forum)."

    Point taken, although the BBC have done their best to blur the distinction by converting most of their message boards to blogs as well as the HYS fora which were neither. Oddly, the iPlayer message board is one of the few left.

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  • 119. At 9:27pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    104. JRMacClure
    "77. Electric Hermit
    "The case is in the England & Wales jurisdiction."

    You're right. It is. So when a Scottish public official is charged with crimes in other jurisdictions (and uses the public purse for his defense)--it is NOT NEWS where he is elected.

    Now that's an interesting take on it but I'll take your word that the Scots really don't care.
    "

    Indulging your penchant for creative reading again, I see. I did not say, or even imply, that "Scots really don't care". If I had, you would have been able to quote me to that effect. Something you were unable to do despite quoting me in full.

    In reality (please feel free to visit) all I did was point out the reason for this matter being UK news rather than Scottish news.

    There are plenty genuine instances of BBC bias against the SNP/Scottish government. You don't have to put quite so much effort into inventing examples.

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  • 120. At 9:34pm on 12 Apr 2010, cwh wrote:

    103 Electric Hermit wrote:
    "The real problem is that this is a blog with comment facility which is being used as if it was a message board (forum). They are very different things. And only the latter is suitable for ongoing discussion."

    Absolutely agree with this comment.

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  • 121. At 9:34pm on 12 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    Scottish YouGov poll tomorrow

    Lab – 38, SNP – 24, Con – 17, LD – 16.

    This can't be compared with the last Scottish poll, as they have introduced 2 methodology changes since then.

    Change from 2005
    Lab (-1) : SNP (+6) : Con (+1) ; LD (-7)

    ScotlandVotes would have a single seat change on such figures – Ochil & South Perthshire from Lab to SNP.

    Need to see a MORI poll soon - but expect the MSM to triumph over the Labour lead for a while first (despite the SNP having moved into 2nd place for Westminster and a higher vote share than the LDs previously enjoyed).

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  • 122. At 9:34pm on 12 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #114 brochie
    "I agree with Ruddyrutherford"

    Welcome to BwB and BBC blogging. Brian certainly seems to be attracting new posters tonight.

    Admirably short though your first contribution was, perhaps you'd be so kind as to elaborate with which aspects of Ruddyrutherford's maiden post you agree and, more pertinently, why?

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  • 123. At 9:35pm on 12 Apr 2010, Tom wrote:

    Jim Stevens:

    #58.

    "The reality is that the bankers have screwed the economy and the real choice facing Scots is between a Labour Party intent on protecting UK public services or a Tory Party intent on cutting tax for the richest families in the country and for their paymasters in big business."

    The reality... since when was funding weapons of mass destruction considered protecting UK public services.

    Since when was cutting the Scottish grant considered protecting since that grant is for front line services in Scotland.

    Reality? Yes, please come back to it because your talking rubbish.

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  • 124. At 9:42pm on 12 Apr 2010, ambi wrote:

    Ah, another fine crop of new posters who feel so strongly about the Union they've never felt the need to post before, ever, about anything. They come, they go, but never stay. Stick around chaps, the water's lovely, if sometimes a little astringent.

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  • 125. At 9:48pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    98. Electric Hermit
    "Again? He's already been done for the same thing."

    If the article is correct, it is indeed "again".

    99. Electric Hermit
    "I see The Telegraph are hedging their bets on the spelling of "stationery/stationary"."

    Haha! Good catch. I missed that little detail.


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  • 126. At 9:55pm on 12 Apr 2010, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    I'd like to address what seems to me to be the most remarkable aspect of Brian's blog - namely his use of the word "insurgent". Quite an emotive word that, in this day and age.

    A quick look at the dictionary gives this definition - "rising in opposition to civil authority or established leadership: rebellious".

    Putting aside, for a moment, the obvious associations with Iraq - do we think the SNP would like to think of themselves as being in opposition to "civil authority" (i.e. Westminster) and as "rebellious"?

    Sure's tootin' they would. The idea of being seen as some sort of Scottish 'Che' Guevara would have Alex Salmond posing with a stogie and beret faster than Jim Devine can put up shelves.

    Would anyone usually make such a comparison? No. The SNP steer clear of any such emotive imagery for fear of being continually branded as the political equivalent of Mel Gibson's blue woad facepaint - emotive, anachronistic and at odds with reality. And the SNP's opponents would never describe them thus because a) Everyone knows rebels are sexy and b) It's true - the SNP are the party of opposition to civil (Westminster) authority in Scotland. And God forbid the people of Scotland ever start taking that concept seriously - or who knows where we'd end up.

    So - emotive language from Mr Taylor. Far more so than other commentators would use. Quite a remarkable step, in some ways. Maybe the worm's turned. Let's hope so.

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  • 127. At 10:04pm on 12 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    119. Electric Hermit
    "77. Electric Hermit
    "The case is in the England & Wales jurisdiction."

    You're right. It is. So when a Scottish public official is charged with crimes in other jurisdictions (and uses the public purse for his defense)--it is NOT NEWS where he is elected.

    Now that's an interesting take on it but I'll take your word that the Scots really don't care."

    Indulging your penchant for creative reading again, I see. I did not say, or even imply, that "Scots really don't care". If I had, you would have been able to quote me to that effect. Something you were unable to do despite quoting me in full.

    In reality (please feel free to visit) all I did was point out the reason for this matter being UK news rather than Scottish news.

    There are plenty genuine instances of BBC bias against the SNP/Scottish government. You don't have to put quite so much effort into inventing examples.
    "

    I wonder why you're getting all excited. I said I'd take your word for it that something that occurs in the English-Welsh jurisdiction is of no interest or concern to Scotland. *shrug*

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  • 128. At 10:16pm on 12 Apr 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

    # 103 Auld Bob

    "Anyone able to explain just how The BBC knows who supports who?"

    Hello Auld Bob, how are you? This is well beyond 1984 and I suspect that govt employees such as those that work with the BBC and/or for Labour would be privy to much info which you or I or other normal bods might be shocked to hear.

    I would imagine that before such an event the labour party (and friends) would furnish the BBC with a copy of their election canvas returns, instantly warning the BBC of any possible Scots “insurgents” or supporters of the SNP. They would filter through the results and only invite applications from know definite supporters.

    This would therefore allow the BBC to construct a biased and unrepresentative audience in favour of their friends/peers/heroes of their England parties.

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  • 129. At 10:17pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    122. Brownedov

    The silence is deafening, talk and trousers comes into sight as the sun sets on this immoral UK dictatorship.

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  • 130. At 10:18pm on 12 Apr 2010, Bandages_For_Konjic wrote:

    "Firstly, Labour has produced a single transferable version of its manifesto for Scotland, blending pledges on reserved issues determined at this election with forward planning on ideas for implementation at Holyrood.

    Those devolved ideas would be addressed now, if possible, from opposition but would, alternatively, form part of Labour's manifesto for the Holyrood elections next year."

    Are you honestly, blithely going to let Labour get away with campaigning in this election on the basis of issues that Westminster candidates will have no right or legislative competance to address? What's the point of any of this then? I'd be as well campaigning on the basis of what I could do for Scotland when I become
    Emperor of the Moon - I'd stand as much chance of being able to direct cancer waiting lists or knife crime in North Lanarkshire as the local Westminster candidates would.

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  • 131. At 10:21pm on 12 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    For those of you who like to see opinion polls in graphical form, you might like to take a look at this from Electoral Calculus

    http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/index.html?polls_scot.html

    The "enormous shifts" that seem to appear are largely the result of different pollsters with different methodologies, but the pattern is clear.

    As someone pointed out above, the SNP position in any UK election isn't to "win", but to constantly increase the vote.

    Those of a historical bent should note that the current level of support at Westminster would be second only to the 30% of Oct 1974.

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  • 132. At 10:37pm on 12 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    #126 Bandages_for_Konjic wrote:

    "Maybe the worm's turned."

    Mental images of Diana Dors commanding her troops from Barbara Castle abound...

    As for for Alex Salmond as a 'Che Guevara' type, ROFL. I wish I was still at art college - I would have had a go at screen-printing an appropriate image on a T-shirt.

    After all, if such treatment is good enough for the Son of God, it's good enough for Wee Eck.

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  • 133. At 10:42pm on 12 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #50. oldnat wrote:
    "Any Gaelic speakers around?

    Worth posting the 3 racehorse poster from Moridura's site on the BBC Gaelic political blog

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/niallogallagher/ "

    Ah! don't do that to the poor boy.
    He has had no comments to his blog for the last 3 postings.
    It would be such a shame to spoil it by making the first a 'negative' one for him.

    Thereagain, maybe his blog shuts down quicker than this one - you know how the mods hate anything that is not in the English language.

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  • 134. At 10:49pm on 12 Apr 2010, LaReunion wrote:

    OMG. Just read this blog for first time. ALL the comments are from a swarm of angry, vicious, nasty people.

    It's just so sad....

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  • 135. At 10:49pm on 12 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #53. cynicalHighlander
    "General Election 2010: SNP to 'restore faith in Westminster' "

    Wow. That is a seriously interesting map on your link to the Telegraph
    As a Graphics teacher (techy in old money) this map is so skewed it is unbelievable.

    Stirling, Perth and Dundee are just about out the top of the map and linking onto Orkney.

    Skye has joined the mainland.

    And our dear wee nation is exactly that - VERY VERY WEE.

    OK I can see why they did it - each constituency getting a wee button and we have less constituencies, but if any of my class try to copy this for their folios they will fail dramatically.

    Try it - See if you can predict where your own constituency is. Bet your wrong!

    It terms of football - the Arabs and the Staggies will be sharing the same busses to the final if this is the new layout of Scotland.

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  • 136. At 10:54pm on 12 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #27. bmc875
    "As predicted yesterday - the '17 to 20' four were kept in until after the bell went Brian. Fancy that. As one of those detained, I can only assume that I have upset one of the moderators on a previous entry. BTW, Anyone attend a fund raiser recently? Sayonara."

    That's OK though because the ones from 2 blogs ago that were still in detention looked after them well and gave them sandwiches to keep them going.

    If the blog shuts down is that the messages still waiting to be moderated stuck for all eternity. Is there any point in keeping checking if they have been set free over the next few days to see if any interesting points of conversation crop up?

    I just asked because it takes rather a long time in the morning to get my i-touch to load each page and if there is no point because they are 'lost' that's an extra 10 minutes in bed possible.

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  • 137. At 10:58pm on 12 Apr 2010, Jake-the-S wrote:

    If you look closely at the picture at the front of the Labour manifesto I think you will agree that Peter Mandelson and Hazel Blears must have modelled for it.
    This is probably why it looks like something out of Stalin's USSR in the 40's

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  • 138. At 11:03pm on 12 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #129 cynicalHighlander
    "The silence is deafening, talk and trousers comes into sight as the sun sets on this immoral UK dictatorship."

    Quite so. Would anyone know the collective noun for trolls? A drapeau of trolls, perhaps?

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  • 139. At 11:04pm on 12 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    Sorry if I'm behind the times folks, but I am working my way through the comments and have now reached the 60ish mark

    #58 Jim Stevens "The SNP manifesto launch was surreal."

    and

    #65 cwh "No mention of SNP manifesto launch although main 6pm BBC news did cover it."





    ???????
    The radio on the way home tonight told me that the SNP launched their 'campaign' today and that the 'manifesto' was due to be launched next week.

    Someone is obviously wrong here.
    Any idea who?

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  • 140. At 11:07pm on 12 Apr 2010, brochie wrote:

    I find Brian's views fair and balanced.

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  • 141. At 11:10pm on 12 Apr 2010, ambi wrote:

    Iain Gray being interviewed by Gordon Brewer tonight - oh dear. Is Smurph being protected for better things while Gray is sacrificed as a lost cause?

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  • 142. At 11:11pm on 12 Apr 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I am generally a sensitive and sympathetic soul. I have had to stop watching Iain Gray on Newsnight Scotland. It is altogether too painful

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  • 143. At 11:11pm on 12 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    The Gray Man on Newsnicht absolutely guaranteeing no rise in income tax, but VAT may have to rise?

    So a party that was once for the lower earners guarantees that direct taxes (which hit the highest paid most) won't rise, but indirect taxes (which disproportionally hit the lowest paid) are OK?

    Labour are not the party that lots of their voters think!

    Brewer asking reasonable questions of him - but stumble, stammer, fail from Gray.

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  • 144. At 11:19pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    127. JRMacClure
    "I said I'd take your word for it that something that occurs in the English-Welsh jurisdiction is of no interest or concern to Scotland. *shrug*"

    Not my word. The voices in your head.

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  • 145. At 11:21pm on 12 Apr 2010, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    #131

    I note that Electoral Calculus are using the discredited YouGov Scottish polls (which no serious person believes any more since they conceded that their methodology was wrong) as their last few results but have left out the Ipsos Mori one of 19th March which put SNP and Labour neck and neck.
    There are contiuous rumours of supressed polls which leads me to believe that the SNP is back in the lead in Scotland.

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  • 146. At 11:22pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    126. Bandages_For_Konjic
    "I'd like to address what seems to me to be the most remarkable aspect of Brian's blog - namely his use of the word "insurgent". Quite an emotive word that, in this day and age.
    "

    It occurred to me that there might be some ulterior motive in this choice of language. But I dismissed the notion on the grounds that such a ploy was rather more clever than we have any reason to expect.

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  • 147. At 11:23pm on 12 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #111. cynicalHighlander wrote:
    "Magic"


    "free tubby custard for all"
    Brilliant
    Wonder if my head teacher would put that one up on the large monitors round the school.

    I propose that this now becomes the new front cover for the manifesto

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  • 148. At 11:25pm on 12 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    128. rog_rocks
    "This would therefore allow the BBC to construct a biased and unrepresentative audience in favour of their friends/peers/heroes of their England parties."

    The audiences are being selected by ICM Research Ltd (ICM).

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  • 149. At 11:27pm on 12 Apr 2010, X_Sticks wrote:

    Brian,
    The voters are certainly scunnered with Westminster politics. I sincerely hope that the Westminster politicians of all varieties get a serious wake up call regarding Scotland. I have a sneaking suspicion that none of them will have a mandate in Scotland after this election. Where will that leave us then?
    If the SNP then fulfil their promises to fight for Scotland and to protect the country as best they can from the ravaging cuts that will come whatever Westminster party is elected then they will get their mandate at the 2011 Scottish election. Where will we be then?
    57. At 6:05pm on 12 Apr 2010, ruddyrutherford wrote:
    "I am constantly amused by the criticism of this blog."
    Are you one of the mods on his day off?
    Expenses MPs Devine, Chaytor and Morley get legal aid. Does anyone else find this particularly distasteful? Flipper Darling acknowledged the public would be "hopping mad" over the decision, or, to decipher that, the public can stamp their feet as much as they like. We are untouchable.
    As promised, as delivered....hmmmm.....something smacks of politics here...


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  • 150. At 11:32pm on 12 Apr 2010, RandomScot wrote:

    Alex Salmond and Ché Guevara?

    http://bit.ly/dpIOdB

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  • 151. At 11:32pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    Welcome to STV's Election 2010 website

    Our team of reporters are on the road with each of the four main party campaigns and will be sending back reports from events as they happen.

    Lets see!

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  • 152. At 11:33pm on 12 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    # 128. At 10:16pm on 12 Apr 2010, rog_rocks wrote:"Hello Auld Bob, how are you?
    This is well beyond 1984", First up, I'm fine. That was exactly my point - it comes down to a non-violent version of, "rentamob"

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  • 153. At 11:37pm on 12 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    134. LaReunion

    "Just read this blog for first time."

    Odd. You posted here before on 18 January. You were complaing about the BBC's "biased piece of journalism" at the time.

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  • 154. At 11:38pm on 12 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #134. At 10:49pm on 12 Apr 2010, LaReunion wrote:"OMG. Just read this blog for first time. ALL the comments are from a swarm of angry, vicious, nasty people".
    Indeed they are - and we nationalists have been complaining about them for some time now.

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  • 155. At 11:39pm on 12 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #134 LaReunion
    "OMG. Just read this blog for first time. ALL the comments are from a swarm of angry, vicious, nasty people."

    Poor you. Seems to have driven you to memory loss. Was this post from an imposter?

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  • 156. At 11:42pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    135. highlandarab
    "Try it - See if you can predict where your own constituency is. Bet your wrong!"

    Trial and error works! It suits there egos let them enjoy while they can, compassion and all that.

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  • 157. At 11:47pm on 12 Apr 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    136. highlandarab
    "that's an extra 10 minutes in bed possible"

    Since you'll spend 20 -30 years there what's 10 mins!

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  • 158. At 11:48pm on 12 Apr 2010, handclapping wrote:

    #121 oldnat
    HEC gives 2:41:6:10 on those figures. I can't see the LibDems loosing that much support without loosing seats heavily, but Ladbrooks have them holding on to nearly all. However I wouldn't reccommend the bet as HEC has not been tested in an election yet!

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  • 159. At 11:49pm on 12 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #134. LaReunion wrote:
    "OMG. Just read this blog for first time. ALL the comments are from a swarm of angry, vicious, nasty people.

    It's just so sad...."




    Aaahhhh! Was it something we said? Don't you like us anymore?

    Still! Pity that if ALL of the blogs are from angry, vicious, nasty people then your own one has just been added to the list. C'est la vie as they say elsewhere.

    Although, since I have some messages here, you may be able to tell from the tone whether I am angry or not - I would suggest I am raising points and trying to get a better understanding of what is going on and just joining in on a conversation.

    In terms of vicious and nasty ???? I have never hit anyone, I never get out of control with drugs or alcohol and lose my temper, I have no criminal record in terms of violence, I have never gained any points on my driving licence and have never had any dealings with the police of our country before. I played football and gained 2 bookings in that time (over 30 years at various (low) levels of competance. Both of these were for timewasting as a goalkeeper, delaying the kick from hand until my dozy forwards were up the park, breath back and in a position to receive the ball.

    I would say that I have a particular point of view but it is at the opposite end from violence and nastyness.

    If any trouble starts up in my vicinity I would be the first to remove myself from the area. I want absolutely nothing to do with it.

    I can't speak for everyone here, but I can speak for one voice - mine - and you have got me SO wrong.

    You may decide that at this point I am angry (but I'm not really) - you will have to decide for yourself if you are still sad....

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  • 160. At 11:54pm on 12 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    I don't often feel sorry for Jim Murphy, but lunchtime's RS - which saw the reporter gleefully describing him as "no longer an MP" [following the dissolution of Parliament], and captioned simply as "Jim Murphy, Labour".

    Although no longer an MP, Murphy remains a Government Minister - the Secretary of State for Scotland - until he or a successor is (re)appointed following the GE, and I am astonished that the Labour-loving Pacific Quayers didn't see this as an opportunity to heap attention on the status held by the Party's leaders.

    And what on earth does the Westminster campaign have to do with Iain Gray, tagging along with his London overlord? Gray is Leader of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament, nothing more!

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  • 161. At 00:09am on 13 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    132. Miss Terri Poster
    "As for for Alex Salmond as a 'Che Guevara' type, ROFL. I wish I was still at art college - I would have had a go at screen-printing an appropriate image on a T-shirt."

    Che Salmond

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  • 162. At 00:14am on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #141 ambi
    "Iain Gray being interviewed by Gordon Brewer tonight - oh dear. Is Smurph being protected for better things while Gray is sacrificed as a lost cause?"

    I wondered if Brewer's introduction of Gray as Scottish Labour leader put dour Iain in fear of truly being "annihilated" by the viceroy.

    #142 sneckedagain
    "I am generally a sensitive and sympathetic soul. I have had to stop watching Iain Gray on Newsnight Scotland. It is altogether too painful"

    Not really a spectator sport, is it? Reminds me of seal culling.

    #143 oldnat
    "Brewer asking reasonable questions of him - but stumble, stammer, fail from Gray."

    And you're surprised?

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  • 163. At 00:14am on 13 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    141. ambi
    "Is Smurph being protected for better things while Gray is sacrificed as a lost cause?"

    Is Smurph positioning himself for a leadership challenge after the election?

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  • 164. At 00:20am on 13 Apr 2010, Haggistrap wrote:

    We are constantly being told that the SNP are irrelevant because this is a Westminster election. On Newsnight Scotland tonight, Jim Murphy, MP was unable to appear yet Iain Gray, MSP was able to appear and explained how they would act in opposition at Holyrood.

    Gordon Brown representing a Scottish seat NEVER explains that he is speaking for England only in matters devolved - it would too uncomfortable to admit the truth and tell his constituents and the Scottish public that he cannot speak for them. Accuracy? He should have the guts to say he is speaking for England only when making pronouncements on domestic issues and I hope he and the other leaders do this in the leaders debates. In the interests of fairness the BBC should have Scots in the audience. Finally, is the BBC not guilty of bias by allowing incorrect information to be broadcast in Scotland?

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  • 165. At 00:36am on 13 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    144. Electric Hermit
    "127. JRMacClure
    "I said I'd take your word for it that something that occurs in the English-Welsh jurisdiction is of no interest or concern to Scotland. *shrug*"

    Not my word. The voices in your head.
    "

    Since I'm not arguing with you and said in the first place I was taking your word with it, you really are to the point of arguing with yourself, EH. Calm down.

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  • 166. At 00:40am on 13 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    139. highlandarab
    "The radio on the way home tonight told me that the SNP launched their 'campaign' today and that the 'manifesto' was due to be launched next week.

    Someone is obviously wrong here.
    Any idea who?
    "

    I *think* that you are correct and that it was the campaign launch today for the SNP. I believe a few people confused the two.



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  • 167. At 00:49am on 13 Apr 2010, JTomlin wrote:

    131. oldnat

    Interesting graph.

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  • 168. At 00:50am on 13 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 169. At 00:54am on 13 Apr 2010, hamish42 wrote:

    The differences in treatment between Scotland and England in the Labour manifesto.

    Gray was totally unconvincing. His was a manifesto for grievance against the SNP. He went on about clean hospitals. Why didn't Brewer challenge him on that one. Hospital infections have been brought under control with the present SNP government.

    The Scottish manifesto is an expression of the Labour Party's continuing disbelieve that they are out of government in Scotland.

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  • 170. At 01:11am on 13 Apr 2010, universality of cheese wrote:

    Victory for Cheese.

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  • 171. At 01:35am on 13 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    165. JRMacClure
    "Since I'm not arguing with you and said in the first place I was taking your word with it, you really are to the point of arguing with yourself, EH. Calm down. "

    Once again I am at a loss to fathom what has provoked your latest tantrum.

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  • 172. At 01:38am on 13 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    132. Miss Terri Poster
    "As for for Alex Salmond as a 'Che Guevara' type, ROFL. I wish I was still at art college - I would have had a go at screen-printing an appropriate image on a T-shirt.
    "

    I posted a link to an image but it has been censored - despite the fact that an earlier link to the same place was allowed. There's just no consistency.

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  • 173. At 01:53am on 13 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    164. Haggistrap
    "In the interests of fairness the BBC should have Scots in the audience. "

    Hello. My first post because this makes me angry--that there will be no Scots (or no one who lives in Scotland anyway) in the audience because everyone has to live in the area of the broadcast and they're all in England. What do they mean excluding anyone who lives in Scotland, Wales or Ireland?

    That is the worst discrimination I've ever seen. We're not even allowed to ask questions! It makes me really angry.

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  • 174. At 02:31am on 13 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    173. GrannieAnne
    "That is the worst discrimination I've ever seen. We're not even allowed to ask questions! It makes me really angry.

    "

    It's the Tory/BLP party machine asserting its grip on power. If people in England had their wits about them they too would be protesting this blatant manipulation. At a time when more voices than ever are being raised to demand better choice, the establishment parties collude with the media to ensure that choice is denied.

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  • 175. At 05:44am on 13 Apr 2010, Choosedayschild wrote:

    I’m surprised no one has yet drawn attention to the following three recent articles which are very apposite at this time.

    Joan McAlpine’s piece in this Sunday’s Times sets out precisely what David Cameron’s dilemma will be should he become PM. Her argument is this:
    Should DC risk annoying the Scots by cutting the SG block grant funding and prompt an SNP landslide in the 2011 Hoyrood elections (especially as the Scots ungrateful y don’t vote in many Tory MPs anyway), or lose support in Middle England by not cutting the grant?
    He could cut Scotland free and lose the Scots Labour MPs and their 40-odd MP advantage at Westminster which would give the Conservatives an almost-permanent majority in England (he must have thought about it), but he would also lose the oil income from the Scottish sector of the North Sea which has kept the UK solvent for the past 30-odd years.

    Gerry Hassan has a thoughtful piece in his blog (posted 12 April) about a possible federation of the countries of the British Isles.

    The BBC website ran an item last Saturday (now removed) reporting that Reform Scotland had commissioned two of Scotland's leading academics to study the case for more fiscal powers, and they have put forward a detailed case for Scotland to hold almost all the taxation powers.
    Prof Andrew Hughes-Hallett, an economist at the University of St Andrews and George Mason University near Washington DC, and Prof Drew Scott, a legal expert at Edinburgh University, concluded Scotland should have power over all its taxes, and should send a portion of them to Westminster.
    It is argued this would provide accountability for money raised at Holyrood, along with the powers to boost the growth rate in Scotland, while retaining stability. Calman is unworkable, they say.

    My IT skills are minimal so I can’t tag these articles but I am sure most readers here can track them down.

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  • 176. At 07:31am on 13 Apr 2010, Stewart Anderson wrote:

    Oh the excitement of it all. More promises being made that won't be kept. Makes one wonder why the parties didn't carry them out whilst in power.
    And what about those MP's facing criminal charges being given legal aid!! That's rubbing salt in to the wound.
    Mr Cameron has stated that Labour should stop telling lies. Sorry Mr C. I have yet to find any politician that told the truth regardless of the party and gave a direct answer to a direct question.

    By the way. It's raining here in Spain, but at least I don't have junk mail being stuck through the letter box. It was only good for lighting the fire!

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  • 177. At 08:16am on 13 Apr 2010, wilddog wrote:

    Did the Grey man drop a clanger on Newsnight when Brewer him if it was wrong for Devine to get legal aid he Grey said it was wrong oh dear what will Murphy have to say,we know Brown when asked said nothing,come on BT or GC get going and ask them.

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  • 178. At 08:18am on 13 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    #172, Electric Hermit

    Thanks for the heads-up on Che Salmond.

    Knowing that such an image did exist, I was able to find it online myself - ain't Google (other search engines are available) grand!

    A classic!

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  • 179. At 08:22am on 13 Apr 2010, Mystery Poster wrote:

    #176, Stewart Anderson wrote:

    "It's raining here in Spain,"

    Mainly on the the plain?


    I'll get m' coat!

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  • 180. At 08:28am on 13 Apr 2010, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    #163 EH and #141 ambi

    Not beyond the realms of possibility that there will be a few Parly consituency spaces following May 6th. Although my heart says otherwise, Margaret Curren in Glasgow East and Cathy Jamieson in Kilmarnock and Loudoun stand reasonable chances of gaining their tickets to the Gravy Train. Given the fact that they have both raised hell about Eck having a Dual Mandate, they can not in all conscience stay in Holyrood.

    Also given that the Murph is a better than evens bet to lose East Ren, look for a new Northern British NuLab leader by October.

    Aside, is it just me that we seem to have a number of "first time" posters. I suppose that elections bring people to the fore and that we were all first time posters once, even when (mentioning no names) the posting was in oggham :)

    Welcome all, hang around if you are genuine posters. You'll get a better quality of debate here.

    When BwB is open.

    Further Aside, I was going to post this yesterday but the blog was closed. Again.
    -
    By The BBC displaying a picture of a young man carrying a Saltire looking over a wintry landscape,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/uk_enl_1270987071/html/1.stm

    can we be assured that the Opposition in Scotland will be creating as much of a stramash as they did about this...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8400349.stm

    Frankly though, it's a great metaphor. The youth of Scotland Struggle up the Hill to find the Saltire waiting at the summit.

    Nice.

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  • 181. At 08:49am on 13 Apr 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    Labour's attitude to industry is neatly summed up by them offering us a copy of their manifesto on a USB memory stick that is almost certainly made in China!

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  • 182. At 08:57am on 13 Apr 2010, hamish42 wrote:

    #164 Scots in the audience.

    But the BBC did their usual thing with token Scots. They had one asking a question on the Chancellors' debate.

    A token Scot, a token ethnic rep. (the Welsh the Irish I am not sure).

    There ain't no flies on the Beeb! They are the experts at creating a veneer.

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  • 183. At 09:44am on 13 Apr 2010, raisethegame wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 184. At 09:52am on 13 Apr 2010, Ron wrote:

    The appearance of Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems on the platform with the two major parties has changed politics for good. For the first time it has been decided it will be a three horse race and therefore more acceptable to vote for a party who can not win a majority. the post of HM Leader of the Opposition is abolished. We are moving away from an elected dictatorship to concensual government. This will definitely strengthen the SNP vote.

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  • 185. At 10:09am on 13 Apr 2010, minuend wrote:

    This election is now about the MESSENGER not the MESSAGE.

    We have in Scotland an incompetent and corrupt Labour party. In any other country such a situation would be an outrage........... but this Scotland and we have BBC Scotland.

    The election reporting has shown how pro-Labour BBC Scotland are.

    It really doesn't matter how much drugs Labour politicians take BBC Scotland will not report it or challenge the Labour party.

    It really doesn't matter how offensive Labour members are about the opposition or the electorate BBC Scotland will not report it or challenge the Labour party.

    It really doesn't matter how much Labour MPs abuse the public purse BBC Scotland will not report it or challenge the Labour party.

    It really doesn't matter how close Labour members are to well known criminal figures BBC Scotland will not report it or challenge the Labour party.

    We have in Scotland a corrupted public broadcaster - BBC Scotland - like the Labour party it is closely associated with it simply cannot be trusted.

    The Scottish electorate should no longer tolerate how politics is filtered, skewed and presented in a overtly partisan way by BBC Scotland reporters.

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  • 186. At 10:16am on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #175 Choosedayschild
    "I’m surprised no one has yet drawn attention to the following three recent articles which are very apposite at this time."

    Welcome to BwB and BBC blogging.

    Re Joan McAlpine, I'd have linked to her Charmed, David, but let Scotland go free on Sunday had there been a BwB thread open.

    Re Gerry Hassan, could you be more specific about the article's title? Three recent articles of his are both on topic and well worth reading:
    A Tale of Two Labour Manifestos: ‘Choice’ and the Absence of England
      [Open Democracy. April 12th 2010]
      "The British Labour manifesto and its Scottish equivalent are strange documents
      in many respects, trying to catch up and reflect these unsettling times that we are
      living through, but mostly are defensive documents attempting to hold the line.
    "
    The Battle for Scotland and How It Can Change Britain
      [Sunday Times, April 11th 2010]
    Caledonian Dreaming and the Slow Separation of the United Kingdom
      [The Guardian Comment, April 9th 2010]

    Thanks for drawing attention to Douglas Fraser's More tax powers could boost growth says Reform Scotland. As you say, it does not seem to be linked to from any of the main Scotland pages, but is well worth reading.

    If you want to post links, see my #84 on the New ways into blogs thread and my #75 on the same thread containing more about HTML.

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  • 187. At 10:40am on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #184 Ron
    "The appearance of Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems on the platform with the two major parties has changed politics for good. For the first time it has been decided it will be a three horse race and therefore more acceptable to vote for a party who can not win a majority. the post of HM Leader of the Opposition is abolished. We are moving away from an elected dictatorship to concensual government. This will definitely strengthen the SNP vote."

    Welcome to BwB and BBC blogging.

    You make an interesting point, and I tend to agree that admission that the race in England is three-way can only help the SNP vote in opening eyes to the fact that the choice in Scotland is no longer a binary one within the "Labservatives", whilst the estimable Mr Scott deserves at least some recognition for putting his party into fourth place according to all opinion polls in the Scottish race.

    A quibble, perhaps, but I think you're being premature in predicting the demise of the post of "HM Leader of the Opposition". That's something the combined "Labservative" contingent in the next House of Cards can be guaranteed to vote to retain.

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  • 188. At 10:42am on 13 Apr 2010, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    Is the BBC Airbrush out already ? Was that the distant sound of a dozen former editors of Pravda revolving in the Kremlin Wall ?

    On the scrolling banner on the front page

    "Gordon Brown says that three ex-Labour MP will have to pay back expenses case legal aid"

    to

    "Gordon Brown 'thinks' three ex-Labour MP will have to pay back expenses case legal aid"

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  • 189. At 11:00am on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Entirely relevant in answering the question: Why is North British election coverage in the press so biased, Kenneth Roy's Conspiracy of silence on the STV news takeover in the Scottish Review is well worth a read. I particularly liked:
    "Had it been any other business deal, the Scottish media would have been all over it. The tartan commentariat would have been aghast." and "Of course none of this would matter much if the public broadcaster in Scotland was on the ball. But, as I noted in last weekend's column, BBC Scotland's voice is subdued ..."

    The ever-readable Mr Roy is putting it mildly, I'd say!

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  • 190. At 11:04am on 13 Apr 2010, govanite wrote:

    What hypocrisy from the unionists of all colours. They say the SNP is irrelevant, then the unionists campaign on devolved issues. Weak, cheap and cowardly.

    I enjoyed Dour Iain Gray twitching away on newsnicht. Brewer didn't even have to try too hard. It will be good to see the unionists debating against Angus Robertson. Their hypocrisy will be exposed for all to see.

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  • 191. At 11:31am on 13 Apr 2010, dubbieside wrote:

    Just watched the car crash that was Iain Gray on Newsnight.

    They have just left another open goal for the SNP. The question that Gray could not answer, and presumably Murphy did not want to be asked, is, "why are voters in England being promised a vote on under performing schools and hospitals yet not in Scotland?

    Once again Labour treating Scots as second class citizens.

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  • 192. At 11:38am on 13 Apr 2010, minuend wrote:

    I understand that there are pictures of Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy shaking hands with Lewis (Scooby) Rodden circulating editors desks.

    Will the Daily Record publish the pictures?

    Will the Scottish Sun publish the pictures?

    Will the Scottish Daily Mail publish the pictures?

    Will the Scottish Daily Express publish the pictures?


    Will the Scottish Daily Mirror publish the pictures?

    Will the Glasgow Herald publish the pictures?

    Will the Glasgow Evening Times publish the pictures?

    Will the Scotsman publish the pictures?

    One thing for sure BBC Scotland won't!

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  • 193. At 11:48am on 13 Apr 2010, MartinOfBothwell wrote:

    Really enjoyed Newsnight last night. Iain Gray - Skewered by Brewer!
    Brewer can really be very good when allowed to do his job.

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  • 194. At 12:02pm on 13 Apr 2010, kaybraes wrote:

    Will Iain Gray know which orifice to stick his memory stick into ? Murphy maybe told him, apparently he's got all his own memory downloaded to it, all 256mb.

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  • 195. At 12:03pm on 13 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    178. Miss Terri Poster
    "Knowing that such an image did exist, I was able to find it online myself - ain't Google (other search engines are available) grand!"

    Couldn't have been this one as I only created it after I read your post.

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  • 196. At 12:05pm on 13 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    180. Chiefy1724
    "Also given that the Murph is a better than evens bet to lose East Ren, look for a new Northern British NuLab leader by October.
    "

    But Murphy isn't the Northern British NuLab leader. That's Gray. Although I'm not sure either of them are aware of this.

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  • 197. At 12:07pm on 13 Apr 2010, heraldnomore wrote:

    Well, well, well, credit where it is due. Joan McAlpine speaks up for BWB, and of course in so doing highlights the imbalance elsewhere on other news outlets of the BBC. What with Hamish beginning to turn out credible articles and Brian praised for balance, is the worm beginning to turn? No one wants to be seen backing a loser, do they? Now about Dour Iain, Murphy, cooncils et al, will Glenn Campbell join this new club?

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  • 198. At 12:10pm on 13 Apr 2010, Electric Hermit wrote:

    188. Chiefy1724
    ""Gordon Brown says that three ex-Labour MP will have to pay back expenses case legal aid"

    to

    "Gordon Brown 'thinks' three ex-Labour MP will have to pay back expenses case legal aid"
    "

    Gordon Brown could well find himself facing charges of contempt of court. It is not his place to pontificate on such things. It is a matter for the court.

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  • 199. At 12:12pm on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Missed this from the Sunday Thunderer, but their Trawlerman Tory Jim Buchanan blasts BBC ‘bias’ shows that it's not just the SNP who are concerned re BBC bias, with:
    "Buchan, from Peterhead, has accused the corporation of double standards for not forcing the Labour peer Alan Sugar to step down as host of The Apprentice while claiming that his own appearance in the documentary about North Sea trawlermen would breach guidelines on political impartiality."

    Oddly, the article doesn't seem to know that Alex Salmond is not standing for Banff and Buchan this time, but otherwise an interesting read.

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  • 200. At 12:20pm on 13 Apr 2010, X_Sticks wrote:

    189. Brownedov
    This is a very worrying development. Scotland will undoubtedly be the loser from this ill-concieved, ill-considered takeover of the STV news by a conglomerate of out and out unionist businesses. Scotland will soon not have any MSM except the unionist MSM. The propaganda will continue until we ALL think unionist. That seems to be the plan. I've news for those with that thought. Think again.
    Independence!

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  • 201. At 12:22pm on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Duff Gordon is emulating an old client of mine with an "I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure" attitude to the Xs three.

    This website's Expenses MPs should repay legal aid, Gordon Brown says now reports that he said:
    "We have actually abolished this free legal aid from the end of June, so it has to be means-tested from the end of June and they wouldn't have got it in these circumstances. The law has changed, so I think the money will have to be paid back."

    Breathtaking clarity!

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  • 202. At 12:30pm on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    As ever, Brookes in the Thunderer's cartoon has a good take on the Labour manifesto.

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  • 203. At 12:47pm on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #197 heraldnomore
    "Joan McAlpine speaks up for BWB, and of course in so doing highlights the imbalance elsewhere on other news outlets of the BBC. What with Hamish beginning to turn out credible articles and Brian praised for balance, is the worm beginning to turn? No one wants to be seen backing a loser, do they?"

    Quite so. Pity that McAlpine doesn't mention the blog closure issue in her otherwise excellent Brian Taylor got it right, pity about his producers, though.

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  • 204. At 1:09pm on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    It would seem that Cameron is almost as desperate to avoid making decisions as Duff Gordon. I'm not sure if the North British Conservatives plan their own manifesto - no sign that they do on http://www.scottishconservatives.com/ - but in the main one, we're given a few crumbs on p83:

    "The Conservative Party is passionate about the Union and we will never do anything to put it at risk."
    This tells us nothing new and is not even backed by hot air.

    "The Scottish Parliament should have more responsibility for raising the money it spends. We will produce our own White Paper by May 2011 to set out how we will deal with the issues raised by Calman, and we will legislate to implement those proposals within the next Parliament."
    So the plan is to keep the details a secret either until the 2011 Scottish general election or possibly even after it!

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  • 205. At 1:22pm on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #200 X_Sticks
    "Scotland will soon not have any MSM except the unionist MSM. The propaganda will continue until we ALL think unionist. That seems to be the plan. I've news for those with that thought. Think again."

    Quite so. Unless I missed it, we're still waiting for oldnat's further analysis of the Czech/Slovak "divorce", which was not the "preferred" option of either side but became inevitable when neither side would "back off" from fundamental demands. I would be very surprised if there were not media parallels in there somewhere, hardening attitudes on both sides. Whether so or no, it cannot fail to do just that.

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  • 206. At 1:30pm on 13 Apr 2010, Jim Stevens wrote:

    139 Highlandrab

    I'm in your debt for pointing out taht what I saw on TV yesterday was the SNP campaign launch and not their manifesto launch. This will give the seperatists much needed time to come up with something relevant to say to the Scottish people about the forthcoming election or even about the mugs game that is Scottish Independence.

    I have been away from Scottish politics for a long time and am amazed to see that for many, Glenn Campbell, Brian Taylor and BBC Scotland are now regarded as a major stumbling block to Scottish freedom. Yes, without these poltroons, Angus Robertson would be coherent, Alex Salmond's fiscal calculations would add up and the SNP would have something salient to say on the economic and social issues of our time.

    Clearly this 'parcel o rogues' should be dispatched to the McGulag forthwith so that Che Salmond can dispel the mist of false consciousness blinding the aspirations of ordinary Scots.

    When I was involved in Scottish politics in the 1980s and 1990s, there were 2 Grand Dames towering over the political scene. These ladies were called Prudence and Independence.

    Prudence seduced Gordon but he grew tired of her charms after 4 or 5 and years at the Treasury. She has now a new and better life and purpose with Alistair, who truly understands her. Alex was besotted by Independence but the passion now seems to have faded. He never writes, he never calls. Not even a wee tweet!. Whilst prudence was treated badly by Gordon, Independence has been humped and dumped by Alex and the SNP executive.

    So, when the SNP launch their manifesto next week will Independence be the clarion call. A nation again in 2010. I don't think so! And no doubt, this will all be Gordon Brewer's fault!

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  • 207. At 1:41pm on 13 Apr 2010, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    #196 EH,

    Yup, my scenario would be that when Ms Curren or Ms Jamieson join the trek south, as they are constituency MSPs, there will have to be a by-election. If the Murph gives us a Caledonian Portillo Moment in East Ren, I don't think that he's going to be top of the (steaming) heap for Paws Resignation Honours. Murph to the Parly and it will suddenly appear in the depths of the Northern British NuLab Constitution that there will have to be a Leadership Election.

    Lots of ifs and buts to be sure but one path for the Murph to take the reins in time for 2011.

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  • 208. At 2:08pm on 13 Apr 2010, loveme2times wrote:

    206 - I have been away from Scottish politics for a long time

    Says it all really.

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  • 209. At 2:18pm on 13 Apr 2010, ambi wrote:

    #206. At 1:30pm on 13 Apr 2010, Jim Stevens wrote:
    "Prudence seduced Gordon but he grew tired of her charms after 4 or 5 and years at the Treasury. She has now a new and better life and purpose with Alistair, who truly understands her. Alex was besotted by Independence but the passion now seems to have faded. He never writes, he never calls. Not even a wee tweet!. Whilst prudence was treated badly by Gordon, Independence has been humped and dumped by Alex and the SNP executive."

    Don't give up that day job (unless it's anything of a literary or journalistic bent).


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  • 210. At 2:26pm on 13 Apr 2010, Auld Bob wrote:

    #206. At 1:30pm on 13 Apr 2010, Jim Stevens wrote:"I'm in your debt for pointing out taht what I saw on TV yesterday was the SNP campaign launch and not their manifesto launch. This will give the seperatists much needed time to come up with something relevant to say to the Scottish people about the forthcoming election or even about the mugs game that is Scottish Independence".
    Oh! That's all right then!Don't concern yourself, after all you have been away and thus understand matters so much better than the rest of us.

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  • 211. At 2:29pm on 13 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #206 Jim Stevens
    "Yes, without these poltroons, Angus Robertson would be coherent, Alex Salmond's fiscal calculations would add up and the SNP would have something salient to say on the economic and social issues of our time."

    Although very few posting here would agree with those opinions, none I have come across would challenge your right to hold them.

    However, to state these without justifying your case will convince nobody. If you have criticisms of Robertson's and Salmond's media performances, try explaining why instead of attempting to rubbish them. For example, if you are a "son of Trident" fan, give us some positives for spending £100 billion on it. If you cannot, then at least post some names and links to politicos you do respect so that we can make comparisons.

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  • 212. At 2:49pm on 13 Apr 2010, mrbfaethedee wrote:

    206. Jim Stevens
    "I'm in your debt for pointing out taht what I saw on TV yesterday was the SNP campaign launch and not their manifesto launch. This will give the seperatists much needed time to come up with something relevant to say to the Scottish people about the forthcoming election or even about the mugs game that is Scottish Independence.
    Since you're all about irrelevance, perhaps you can explain why Labour saw fit to offer shiny new baubles in Health and Education to the natives in England, but felt them to be irrelevant to the natives in Scotland?
    Thank goodness you're here to be the arbiter of what is relevant to the people of Scotland, we're obviously too thick to be able to come to that determination ourselves, eh Jim Stevens?
    Do please elaborate on why independence is a 'mugs game' but foreign wars, weapons of mass destruction, economic meltdown, increasing wealth divide, and perpetually low social mobility are better.

    "I have been away from Scottish politics for a long time and am amazed to see that for many, Glenn Campbell, Brian Taylor and BBC Scotland are now regarded as a major stumbling block to Scottish freedom. Yes, without these poltroons, Angus Robertson would be coherent, Alex Salmond's fiscal calculations would add up and the SNP would have something salient to say on the economic and social issues of our time."
    You seem willing, at least for the sake of argument or rhetoric, to concede that for many here there may be issues around political impartiality in McBeeb. If that's the case, do you honestly contend that that would not constitute some kind of impediment to the fair free flowing of information that is required for proper democratic processes?
    I look forward to you presenting Alex Salmond's flawed fiscal calculations ?!?!?!
    Again, the people will judge what they feel to be salient. If you have specifics you feel are not salient then by all means spell them out - we do enjoy going over the detail on this blog! But your blanket assertions of irrelevance are tired old political spin already - it's never off the telly!

    "Clearly this 'parcel o rogues' should be dispatched to the McGulag forthwith so that Che Salmond can dispel the mist of false consciousness blinding the aspirations of ordinary Scots."
    Calm down dear! no need for such histrionic reactions! A bit more balance in selection and presentation of stories will be quite sufficient.

    "When I was involved in Scottish politics in the 1980s and 1990s, there were 2 Grand Dames towering over the political scene. These ladies were called Prudence and Independence."
    Well we've still got Panto Dames though! Labour & Tory parties! That's why we're trying to escape the absurdities of the UK political theatre.

    "Prudence seduced Gordon but he grew tired of her charms after 4 or 5 and years at the Treasury. She has now a new and better life and purpose with Alistair, who truly understands her. Alex was besotted by Independence but the passion now seems to have faded. He never writes, he never calls. Not even a wee tweet!. Whilst prudence was treated badly by Gordon, Independence has been humped and dumped by Alex and the SNP executive."
    Ah, i see; so the utterly ruinous state of the UK economy is a minor thing compared to the fact that the SNP won't make themselves an easy target for you by only ever talking about independence! That's an interesting analysis... You really are still a long, long way from Scottish politics aren't you?

    "So, when the SNP launch their manifesto next week will Independence be the clarion call. A nation again in 2010. I don't think so! And no doubt, this will all be Gordon Brewer's fault!"
    Why would it need to be? It will in all likelihood be a balanced document presenting what they'll seek to do in the current devolved setup and what they'd like to do as an independent nation.
    Really, it's not that hard to figure out, even if you don't subscribe to their position. Are you really so divorced from politics in Scotland that you can't work this out? Or is your post just empty unionist marketing strategy?

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