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Historical connections

Brian Taylor | 17:18 UK time, Wednesday, 20 April 2011

In pursuit of votes, David Cameron was in Inverness today, speaking in the chamber where the British Cabinet met in emergency session in 1921.

Perhaps it was that historical connection that led him to draw upon Winston Churchill for an attack upon the Alternative Vote.

Churchill - who attended that 1921 event as the Colonial Secretary - apparently called AV "the stupidest, the least scientific and the most unreal" method of electing politicians.

Mind you, Churchill wasn't always entirely consistent in his opinions.

A Tory who became a Liberal then a Tory again, he commented that anyone could rat on a party but it took a certain ingenuity to "re-rat."

On another historical note, those Inverness discussions forged the formula which led, ultimately, to the creation of the Irish Free State.

Mr Cameron did not seem in a mood to replicate such a process with regard to Scotland.

Government efforts

Addressing nationalists, he argued that Scottish independence would damage Scotland's economy, adding, with emphasis: "Don't these people get it?"

At roughly the same time, Alex Salmond was in Kilmarnock arguing that the latest round of economic figures proved the case for his government's efforts - and the need for more economic powers in Scotland.

Resolutely declining to "get it", Mr Salmond argued that the biggest threat to Scotland lay in the economic policies being pursued by the UK coalition.

Scotland needed fiscal autonomy.

Mr Cameron had more to say on the economy.

Labour's only offer, he said, was to spend much more money on interventionist schemes.

Deliberately echoing the departing Labour Chief Secretary, he said there was no money left: Labour had spent it.

Again unaccountably, Labour's Iain Gray declined to heed this message.

Debt payments

Labour, he argued, would be able to divert resources into tackling youth unemployment in particular.

Back in the Highland capital, the PM argued that the spending cuts were necessary to tackle the deficit and cut debt payments.

He argued further that Britain, including Scotland, would be revived through an entrepreneurial boost to the private sector.

Intriguingly, the PM's visit to Inverness coincided with a homecoming campaign tour by Danny Alexander, his Cabinet colleague as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Mr Alexander - once more, to widespread astonishment - disdained the advice on offer from the PM, at least with regard to Scotland. (As coalition colleagues, they share a wider perspective on the economy.)

The LibDems, he asserted, had the right ideas for Scotland with their proposals for regional development banks.

And AV was a good wheeze, whatever Churchill had said.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Brian,
    "On another historical note, those Inverness discussions forged the formula which led, ultimately, to the creation of the Irish Free State.
    Mr Cameron did not seem in a mood to replicate such a process with regard to Scotland.
    "

    Masterly understatement re Mr Cameron and Ireland. I'll certainly take your word for it.

    I bet he didn't mention electoral reform in connection with Ireland or why a Westminster "Speaker's conference" of 1917 imposed it on that island from 1918 onwards, or even why both parts of that divided island choose to use STV whenever they're allowed to, to this day.

    Did Cameron even compliment the people of Scotland for being bright enough to understand how to vote using AV (in council by-elections), unlike the poor people elsewhere on the island of Great Britain who would find AV bafflingly complex according to Mr Cameron and his new best friend Mr Reid only the other day?

  • Comment number 2.

    "adding, with emphasis: "Don't these people get it?""

    The person that really doesn't "get it" is Call Me Dave himself. You can't expect to talk about a respect agenda, throw that out the window in an attempt to impress Obama and then expect the people of Scotland to listen to anything you have to say.

  • Comment number 3.

    Av is a great wheeze. It'll work well at the next election when we see Labour being helped to seats by Tory votes just like at Glenrothes. That'll really put down the marker for Nats versus the Unionists from thereon in.

  • Comment number 4.

    Brian,

    You are continuing to fail to blog on the wholescale inadequacies of the current Liebor leader in Scotland.

    Goodness me, even Gorgeous George can see it!!

    And Beeb Scotland cannot??

    Get a grip!

  • Comment number 5.

    Tory speaks. No one listens.

  • Comment number 6.

    ' he argued that Scottish independence would damage Scotland's economy, adding, with emphasis: "Don't these people get it?" '

    Since when does 'Don't these people get it? ' constitute an argument?

    Brian, you are, in your professional capacity, very careful with wording and language. This is actually and factually dogma not an argument. To be precise it is is political dogma - an established opinion, belief, or principle. (of this Tory)

    An argument it is not.

    Just as a little aside, Camerons sidekick - the Chancellor - has currently coffers that are far worse than empty, he is raiding the Scottish Economy for a FURTHER 2 BILLION, just to ease he pain the Anglo economy deficit. This is real, provable, actual, damage.

    However this is a BENEFIT to UK public purse. Scotland getting control of its own revenues would 'damage' the UK purse. So I guess what he means is that Scotlands economy would be damaged in not having to support the UK purse (his dogma) but would only benefit Scotland at the expense of his beloved uk (unthinkable).

    Seems to this poster, Brian, that you take that as an argument?

  • Comment number 7.

    "Perhaps it was that historical connection that led him to draw upon Winston Churchill for an attack upon the Alternative Vote.

    Churchill - who attended that 1921 event as the Colonial Secretary - apparently called AV "the stupidest, the least scientific and the most unreal" method of electing politicians."

    One wonders how Winston Churchill would have reacted to the current batch of politicians who have so readily accepted the anti-smoking mantle, especially in their treatment of the mentally ill.

    http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2011/04/give-psychotic-drug-to-mentally-ill.html

  • Comment number 8.

    INDEPENDENCE Yes disrespect Dave this is a Scottish election and you are not running for any seats up here.

  • Comment number 9.

    Mr Taylor,
    You wrote:
    "Resolutely declining to "get it", Mr Salmond argued that the biggest threat to Scotland lay in the economic policies being pursued by the UK coalition."

    Indeed. Look at the extra tax being levied on North Sea oil operators and the unemployment that will flow from that? A decision taken in London that will impact
    adversely on Scotland.

    It also points up the flaws in the Scotland Bill. Scotland will be given powers to raise taxes BUT London decisions, such as the windfall tax on North Sea Oil, can reduce Scotlands tax base by creating unemployment. Nice.

  • Comment number 10.

    Mr Cameron fears the SNP more than Labour. When both Gordon Brown and David Cameron say they will do anything to keep the Union they really meant it.

    'Addressing nationalists, he argued that Scottish independence would damage Scotland's economy, adding, with emphasis': "Don't these people get it?"

    Its an overt threat - nothing more or less than a clear warning. BUT

    Scotland can look after her own affairs and its people of all persuasions. Lets push on regardless and ignore the bullying tactics of the both these Unionist parties.

    Neighbours other countries can be ; but not the landlords. We need to vote to take control of our country and run it how most people living in Scotland want our society to be.

    Look at the stark contrast in the healthcare provision for starters.

    Meanwhile I'm expecting both the fake 'Scottish' Lib-dems & Tories to wise up and review their future and would not be too surprised if there was a Scottish breakaway movement in the next two years from one or the other.

    On the 5th MAY I'm voting for the only 'Scottish' party who deserve to win because of their performance over the last 4 years.

    PS: Brian

    Has labour calculators been hard at work costing any more of their policies today Brian, surely after Kerr and Baker have failed the maths their must be another contender stepping up to the plate.



  • Comment number 11.

    #8 cheesed_off
    "INDEPENDENCE Yes disrespect Dave this is a Scottish election and you are not running for any seats up here."

    Not personally, but have you forgotten Aunty Bella's admission on Newsnicht that she is merely leader of the Conservative MSPs?

    According to the Electoral Commission website, Scottish Conservative and Unionist and Scottish Conservatives are "registered descriptions" of "Regulated entity" PP52, the Conservative and Unionist Party, of 30 Millbank, London SW1P 4DP, prop. David Cameron.

    No other descriptions containing the word Scottish are registered for use by the party in plurality or list seats. This should therefore preclude a plurality seat candidate calling him/herself a Scottish Conservative, since only the plural is registered. If s/he wishes to use the "S" word, s/he should be described on the ballot paper as a Scottish Conservative and Unionist.

  • Comment number 12.

    Don't we get it?

    Oh yes we get it? We get it very clearly that it's the malign influence of the Treasury and Dave's chums in the City that have done so much damage to the Scottish economy and that if we don't rid ourselves of that influence the Scottish economy will go nowhere.

  • Comment number 13.

    At least Iain Gray finally found his niche, playing guitar in a backing group. If Alec Salmond paid a bonus to those who rake in the votes for him, Gray would be earning as much as Fred the Shred. Mind you the greyman didn't look too happy on the BBC news, but he still managed to mutter in a dull unconvincing monotone, something about unemployment. It was hard to work out whether it was his employment or somebody else's though , that he was mumbling on about. David Cameron had a lucky escape too, imagine getting into a full blooded embrace with Big Bella, his ribs could have been a goner.

  • Comment number 14.

    Brian,

    And then you say, A Salmond declined to get it - surely you mean to say that the imperial master brought in from down south - one D Cameron, continues to fail to get it???

  • Comment number 15.

    A man with one MP from this country seeks to tell us how we are getting it wrong !!! The bit he dos not seem to get is that Scotland has long rejected the Tories.
    Has anyone heard anything about the Ipsos Mori poll due out tomorrow?

  • Comment number 16.

    1.Barbarzenzero:

    It's worse than that, the Tories use AV to elect their leader so his current position is the result of an AV vote. Apparently he, Reid & the rest of our dodgy political 'overlords' can understand but the majority voters in the British Isles can't according to him.

  • Comment number 17.

    "Back in the Highland capital, the PM argued that the spending cuts were necessary to tackle the deficit and cut debt payments."

    Cut the foreign wars, trident, that unelected house which he has just added over 100, tax avoidance and evaders, bank bonuses that's for starters.

  • Comment number 18.

    15. At 20:21pm 20th Apr 2011, soosider wrote:

    A man with one MP from this country seeks to tell us how we are getting it wrong !!! The bit he dos not seem to get is that Scotland has long rejected the Tories.
    Has anyone heard anything about the Ipsos Mori poll due out tomorrow?

    Whispers are it could be game changing.

  • Comment number 19.

    #18. At 20:43pm 20th Apr 2011, cheesed_off wrote:


    Has anyone heard anything about the Ipsos Mori poll due out tomorrow?

    Whispers are it could be game changing.
    -----------------------------------------

    I've heard rumors for a couple of days, but rumors mean even less than polls themselves. Still, it sounds like this might be an interesting poll.

  • Comment number 20.

    Angus MacLeod of the Times is twitter that the Ipsos Mori poll in tomorrows Times and Sun,he describes it is devastating for Labour and Gray.

  • Comment number 21.

    "Don't these people get it", get what? The condescension that simply drips from that statement? Yes Dave, I do get that. I hope you get it it too Dave, "it" being the first train back over the border. I'll even pay your fare as far as Carlisle, you are on your own from there though, pal.

  • Comment number 22.

    Link for that twitter from Angus Macleod http://tinyurl.com/3feoyts

  • Comment number 23.

    "Historical"

    An extremely apt word to describe the Tories in Scotland.

    It really comes to something when Annabel Goldie probably politely asked David Cameron not to bother coming in case it dropped the Toy voting share to single figures and number of seats to eh... single figures.

  • Comment number 24.

    all is quiet on the national health front, the calm before the storm.

    so lord snooty comes up here to stir it up surely he has enough trouble in his own back yard without stirring it, up here. just like hitler he,l lose this war he fighting on two many fronts!

  • Comment number 25.

    Thanks soosider. I was just about to ask for details on the rumours. Good to have a rough idea of what may be coming out.

  • Comment number 26.

    Just been checking the betting for the party getting the most MSPs, William Hills now has Labour and SNP both on 5/6. Now that is a monumental change in the odds over the last few weeks.

  • Comment number 27.

    Be fair to Annabel, under her the Tories have become the second choice to the SNP instead of dead last. Full credit for this goes to Iain Gray and Nick Clegg though, it takes talent to be less electable than a tory in Scotland but somehow they've pulled it off.

  • Comment number 28.

    R @ 27

    "Be fair to Annabel, under her the Tories have become the second choice to the SNP instead of dead last"

    You are having a complete giraffe arent you? Tories 2nd behind the SNP, perhaps only in LaLaland.

    SNP & Labour around 40% each, Tory 10% or so, LibDem 5-10%, Greens et al whats left. Annabel has taken the Tories presisely nowhere other than on a few more day trips to seaside resorts.

  • Comment number 29.

    "Dont these people get it"

    We do and i dont think this comment will be fotgotten for a while, especillay after the recent tax grab. AG may have come across as relatively sensible on a few matters compared to the automatic vote against attitude of others but this kind of attitude only reinforces the long held belief in Scotland that the Tories are bit players, and will long continue to be so.

  • Comment number 30.

    'A Tory who became a Liberal then a Tory again, he commented that anyone could rat on a party but it took a certain ingenuity to "re-rat."'

    I wonder how much ingenuity it takes to promote certain manifesto 'promises', rat on them for the sniff of a cabinet post and then re-rat on collective cabinet responsibility for short-term (and unlikely to occur) electoral advantage?

    Wee Danny Alexander is certainly an ingenious young fellow.

  • Comment number 31.

    Ok ...hands up which of you watching the news today were wishing Glen Cambell would slip and fall in the water ?

  • Comment number 32.

    #28 re #27.

    She herself as a leader is second to the SNP perhaps thats what you meant. However, as a party, perhaps the poll coming tomorrow will prove you right.

  • Comment number 33.

    Ubinworryingmasheep, me,me ,me!
    The very thought that the stones would/could be slippery entertained me for at least 30 seconds before disappointment set in.

  • Comment number 34.

    Speaking of tweets, perhaps my favorite of this campaign for making me laugh: AMacleodTimes Angus Macleod
    Quote of the campaign from George Galloway : Hyperbole can sometimes be a fault with me.

    No? Really? *snicker*

    *snicker*

    On the poll, one has to assume that Macleod knows, but I'm suspicious of polls even when I have the numbers in front of me, so I don't tend to think much about one we won't see until tomorrow. There has been heavy buzz in the air about it.

    We'll see when we see.

  • Comment number 35.

    AS is on Newsnicht in about 10 minutes

  • Comment number 36.

    Ipsos Mori poll
    SNP ahead 11 points on Constituency and 10 points ahead on List
    according to Newsnicht

  • Comment number 37.

    Constituency Lead.....11%

    Regional List Lead....10%

  • Comment number 38.

    Brian,

    So, Dave BigBoss comes up here strutting his arrogant empirical britishness:
    "Addressing nationalists, he argued that Scottish independence would damage Scotland's economy, adding, with emphasis: "Don't these people get it?""

    Oh, yes, Dave, we get it all right. We get that westminster has been "giving us one" big time, and for a long time. The truth of the matter is that without Scotland westminster is a busted flush (well, even more than it already is). Without Scottish oil and Scottish whisky to back up westminster's obcene borrowing they'd soon lose their AAA rating.

    And another thing, if these british unionists think that we haven't noticed the attempt to undermine the Scottish nation with their obnoxious Scotland Bill they better think again. We have noticed, and unfortunately for the union We, the people of Scotland DO have a choice. ONLY Scottish independence can ensure a stable Scottish economy. Only independence can rid us of the westminster parasite.

    Often in an abusive relationship there comes a point where the victim can take no more. I think many Scots are now at that point, and it is time to end the relationship. "Don't these people get it?" from Dave BigBoss just utterly underlines that belief for me.

    "Intriguingly, the PM's visit to Inverness coincided with a homecoming campaign tour by Danny Alexander, his Cabinet colleague as Chief Secretary to the Treasury."

    Intriguing indeed. The timing of Dave's and George's glovepuppet, Danny "the brain" Alexander's homecoming "campaign tour" and the BigBoss visiting couldn't be more telling.

    Danny needing some reassurance he'll be cared for once he's out of a job? He knows which side his bread is buttered on, evidenced by his brainwave of "giving one" to the oil industry. It's mostly Scottish jobs after all. Won't harm his career prospects being such a loyal unionist.

    Danny Alexander and Michael Moore are such a pair of Toom Tabards, ermine before country is their plot, and they don't care what they do to Scotland to achieve that end.



  • Comment number 39.

    36&37 - crumbs, lookin like baw burst for Gray and Labour.

    SNP/Green coalition anyone? (if Greens can swallow a 2nd Forth Road bridge...)

  • Comment number 40.

    Ipsos Mori poll showing SNP ahead 11 points on Constituency and 10 points ahead on List

    I think twin factors of Iain Gray shaming himself at Glasgow Central Station and Alex Salmond making a fantastic showing at Question Time. (I already respected AS but he absolutely wiped the floor with them)

    Still that is an awfully large lead. I'd want to see another to be sure it's not closer than that--I hate to use the word outlier, but it could be a lot closer than that. One poll is only one poll.

  • Comment number 41.

    Relaxed and strong performance by Salmond tonight. Answered the questions well and i think even Gordon seemed to accept there was no drama available tonight.

  • Comment number 42.

    Hopefully, hopefully, if the SNP can gather enough seats, we can amend/scrap the damagiing Scotland bill

  • Comment number 43.

    No-one trusts the Tories, this is Scotland and they people dinnae like us, while Labour can be safely described as old fashioned, Labour are very much a party of the past.
    The Liberals have done a big woopsie by climbing into bed with the Tories, a loss of trust and credibility which can only lose them votes across the entire country.
    Higher education fee increases and funding cuts have been a disaster for the Libs.

    Alex doesn't actually really need to bother electioneering, Scotlands opposition parties have done the job for him.
    He can go away on a walking holiday, then come back on May 6th, deftly skipping around the dead bodies of opposition politicians piled up outside the entrance to Holyrood and easing his weary body into the first ministers chair.
    Then muttering to himself:
    "I wish everything was going to be as easy as that was"

    Stands for his victory speech:
    "I would like to thank the sterling efforts of the Tory, Liberal and Labour party politicians who made my re-election as first minister of Scotland possible...."
    (cue stirring background music)
    yada yada....victory....la-la-la...forwards into the future together....etc

  • Comment number 44.

    "even Gordon seemed to accept there was no drama available tonight."

    No drama James?

    Surely turning an 15% deficit into an 11% lead in around a month is fairly dramatic!

  • Comment number 45.

    I'd beware reading too much into this poll. Strikes me it may just be a frightener to try and scare the labour vote out.

  • Comment number 46.

    newsnight what a grumpy amatuer. performance by gordon brewer, it was if alex was being interviewed by iain gray instead of an expierenced presenter!

  • Comment number 47.

    http://yfrog.com/hsihocuj

    Apparently what The Times says about it. I still think it's a mistake to get too excited about one poll especially this far before the election. Am I mistaken that mail balloting starts tomorrow?

  • Comment number 48.

    #43 ...its called letting your guard down. Labour think its their god given right to lead Scotland.

    As for the Tories ..well the toxic brand wont go away ever I think. They Scottish arm need to break free totally ...probably after independence.

    The Lib Dems ...well only Clegg knows why he got in bed with the Tories ..surely he couldnt have been that stupid not to realize the consequences in Scotland.

    People on this and the other News site have long predicted that the perfect storm was brewing.

  • Comment number 49.

    #45. At 23:46pm 20th Apr 2011, X_Sticks wrote:

    I'd beware reading too much into this poll. Strikes me it may just be a frightener to try and scare the labour vote out.
    ---------------------------------------

    Being tempted into complacency would be a very, very bad idea. Parties behind in the polling have been known to win. Look at the SNP one month ago and it shows you how deceptive polling can be.

    I doubt that it is some kind of conspiracy, but taking this as written in stone is not wise at all. The SNP could still lose.

  • Comment number 50.

    Good call JR - distance lends insight!

  • Comment number 51.

    49. JRMacClure:

    "Parties behind in the polling have been known to win."

    Usually depends on the postal vote. We'll be watching like a hawk, and make sure no documents are "lost" again anywhere there might be any questions needing asked. No more Glenrothes incidents.

  • Comment number 52.

    GMS will be interesting.

  • Comment number 53.

    Re 49. At 23:57pm 20th Apr 2011, JRMacClure wrote:
    #45. At 23:46pm 20th Apr 2011, X_Sticks wrote:

    Agree, no room for complacancy. I have been chatting with people in the office.
    3 existing SNP no plans to change
    1 Labour convert to SNP
    1 Tory convert to SNP
    1 undecided
    1 non voter to SNP
    and 2 in laws to SNP
    many more to chat with. I wouldencorage everyone to get speaking with the people they know.




  • Comment number 54.

    #53 madpiratedad ,Facebook is an invaluable tool. Even the friends not interested in politics cant avoid the posts with short simple facts.

  • Comment number 55.

    54. At 00:38am 21st Apr 2011, Ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Good call, thanks

  • Comment number 56.

    Unconfirmed poll numbers being posted elsewhere

    Constituency
    SNP - 45
    Lab - 34
    Con - 10
    Lib - 9

    List
    SNP - 42
    Lab - 32
    Con - 10
    Lib - 8
    Other - 8

    Roseanna Cunninghame saying that would mean SNP with 61 seats.

    Gray, Kerr, Baillie might all lose their seats.

    "There's mony a slip tween cup and lip" though! Niced to speculate but there are two weeks to go.

  • Comment number 57.

    They say on another site that Gray ; Kerr and Baillie will lose their seats if this poll is correct.

    I hope when I wake up in the morning that i haven't dreamt this.

    Still two weeks to go however!

  • Comment number 58.

    The UK PM asserts that Scotland needs Blighty in order to be prosperous. Scotland is prosperous in the UK? Its energy resources, revenue from which has bypassed it since the 1970s because it is in the UK, would clearly have made Scotland prosperous if it had left Blighty decades ago and could still make it prosperous if it were to leave the UK now, although, were it to do so, poor old Blighty would fare somewhat less well than it has been accustomed to doing as a result of siphoning off Scotland's wealth and purloining it for itself.

    Catalonia, as an independent nation, would be one of the richest countries in the world, according to the former IMF Chief Economist Kenneth Rogoff, who states this in an interview with Capital magazine, in which he reviews the economic situation of Spain, which the bond-market vigilantes are preparing to converge upon even now. Rogoff, currently a professor at Harvard University, concedes that Spain, like the UK, has many strong points such as excellent companies and the resources of a particular autonomous community with a substantial independence movement, but he thinks that, although an independent Catalonia would certainly not have to be bailed out, there is a high probability that Spain may have to be rescued. This is the case as Greece, Ireland and Portugal will have to restructure their debt. When this happens, markets will "go crazy”, and rescue will be almost unavoidable. If Europe does not rescue Spain in those circumstances, however, the entire Eurozone will be at risk, as will arguably the UK, although it is mistakenly believed by many commentators in England who should know better that the mere fact that the UK is outside the Eurozone is in itself a sufficient protection for it.

    Actually, as many of us are well aware, the fact that resource-rich Scotland is still in the UK protects Blighty, just as the fact that Catalonia is still in Spain protects the decrepit Castilian state. In the same way as Spain needs to hold on to Catalonia to keep its head above water, the UK needs to hold on to Scotland. Just as Spain needs Catalonia more than Catalonia needs Spain, so the UK needs Scotland more than Scotland needs the UK. This is why it matters to Mr Cameron to travel to Scotland not to argue his case, evidently, which would be difficult for him,
    but simply to insist that those who do not accept it simply do not understand.

    Where would UK politics be without its sound bites? "Don't these people get it?" Hasn't that been in a television commercial somewhere? Probably n

  • Comment number 59.

    The numbers I quoted above are now confirmed in another place.

  • Comment number 60.

    My #58 continued:

    Where would UK politics be without its sound bites? "Don't these people get it?" Hasn't that been in a television commercial somewhere? Probably not, as "these people", by virtue of being referred to in this way instead of directly addressed and appealed to, are virtually bound to be alienated by such a patronizingly negative approach. It is little wonder that the Tories are not popular in Scotland and are indeed growing more unpopular by the minute.

    Mr Cameron's capacity for relating to the Scottish electorate appears to be in the same class as that of the Iron Lady of the Sermon on the Mound. Why he didn't make a complete job of putting everybody off by turning up in Inverness in the morning suit and top hat that he is apparently to be going to the royal nuptuals in beats me. One might even say that I don't get it. Of course, the problem for Mr Cameron is that those who are in favour of independence actually do get it, whether they are in Scotland or Catalonia. States such as the UK have suffered financial ruin as a result of their catastrophic response to the great systemic crisis of neo-liberally deregulated capitalism. That being so, they need to hold on to the geese that lay the golden eggs, as any bond-market vigilantes among us will not hesitate to confirm. If those geese should choose to keep the eggs for themselves in future, however (not least as they are worth about 1500 dollars an ounce on the gold market now), it is because they have understood that they would be better off keeping them. It is not because they don't get it but precisely because they do get it. As for the price of a barrel of crude . . .

  • Comment number 61.

    #56 reincarnation

    "Gray, Kerr, Baillie might all lose their seats."

    ... and none of them are on the regional lists

  • Comment number 62.

    RE the latest poll.....The red tops backing wont have influenced the vote yet either. It would be easy to dismiss newspapers backing but for a lot of the uninterested people out there it may make all the difference.

  • Comment number 63.

    #61. At 01:19am 21st Apr 2011, Damac wrote:

    #56 reincarnation

    "Gray, Kerr, Baillie might all lose their seats."

    ... and none of them are on the regional lists
    -----------------

    Which, when you consider that even AS is on the regional list, (*rolls eyes* yes, I really do follow this stuff) can only be the utmost arrogance or stupidity. Your choice which. Maybe both?

    I suspect that this may be on the outside of the probability range which doesn't mean that the poll is wrong, but remember that ALL polls have a range of probability. (WHAT idiot banned OldNat who has a great understanding of polls--way better than mine?) I have a feeling he would be the first to say that this may still be much closer than this one poll makes it look.

    Mind you, I'll be thrilled for my Scottish friends if the SNP ends up with more than 60 seats, but I'm very cautious about this.

  • Comment number 64.

    Since we have very bad news for Labour, I guess this thread must be due to close!

  • Comment number 65.

    #63 ...'WHAT idiot banned OldNat who has a great understanding of polls'

    I always considered Oldnat to be the Yoda of BWB !

  • Comment number 66.

    Sorry to be off topic slightly but I am sure Brian is all tucked up in bed recovering from his footie team's experience the other night.

    But we may be seeing something highly significant happening today with the new poll news.

    Experts on this site and others have always pronounced that certain polls tend to under estimate the SNP vote. Does this poll fall into that criteria?

    Also I see that the Labour vote is only down -2 0r -3 % and that we seem to be picking up disenchanted Libs + some Tories.

    With two weeks to go this new poll gives me great comfort but there is a bit of me that cant accept it and I always see the danger of these converts to the SNP slipping back to their old habits when in the polling booth.

    Any views out there to interpret all this.

  • Comment number 67.

    I'm sure that oldnat (were he still around) would have pointed out that at the UK General Election, telephone pollsters like ipsos-MORI were more accurate than online pollsters like YouGov.

    Also he'd have said that the poll was conducted before the Sun and Express endorsed the SNP.

    No doubt, he'd also have reminded everyone that the strong SNP lead in the polls in the run-up to the 2007 election dropped away in the last few days, so that activists need to keep working up to the last minute.

  • Comment number 68.

    #67. At 02:15am 21st Apr 2011, reincarnation wrote:

    I'm sure that oldnat (were he still around) would have pointed out that at the UK General Election, telephone pollsters like ipsos-MORI were more accurate than online pollsters like YouGov.

    Also he'd have said that the poll was conducted before the Sun and Express endorsed the SNP.

    No doubt, he'd also have reminded everyone that the strong SNP lead in the polls in the run-up to the 2007 election dropped away in the last few days, so that activists need to keep working up to the last minute.
    --------------------------------------

    All excellent points that I have absolutely no doubt he would make.

  • Comment number 69.

    From the horse's mouth - the Times 21/04/11 says that the poll of those certain to vote on May 5 shows that on the constituency vote for Holyrood, the SNP is on 45 per cent, with Labour on 34, the Conservatives on 10 and the Liberal Democrats on 9. On the regional list vote, the SNP is on 42 per cent, Labour is on 32 per cent, the Conservatives on 10, the Liberal Democrats on 8 and the Scottish Greens on 6.
    According to a seat projection by Professor John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, if repeated on May 5 the SNP would have 61 MSPs, 14 more than now and only four short of an overall majority, while Labour would be well behind on 45 (1 down on now).
    The other parties would be also-rans with the Conservatives on 10 MSPs (down 7), the Liberal Democrats with 9 (down 7) and the Scottish Greens with 4 (up 2).
    By my calculation, if Margo is re-elected and one of the other parties supplies the Presiding Officer, that would give an absolute majority of pro-independence MSPs of 66 to 63. Bring on the referendum!

  • Comment number 70.

    By the way, at the time of writing, this piece of news hasn't been deemed important enough to feature on the BBC News website. Strange . . .

  • Comment number 71.

    70:
    Well they wouldn't say that wouldn't they! ( amended from Mandy Rice Davies trial )

    Still two weeks to go!



  • Comment number 72.

    I doubt that Independence in Europe will make most of us any better off.
    The folk at the top will do well...but the folk at the bottom...na.
    All the small countries in Europe are struggling bigtime, food costs an absolute fortune and prices go up FAST in the Eurozone.
    Food prices in Ireland are un-be-liev-able...and Ireland is one of the most agricultural places on the planet.
    All that happens is we become slaves of the rulemakers in Brussels instead of slaves of London.

    If we REALLY want any benefit from independence we need to go the route of Norway/Iceland, i.e. stay WELL away from any form of colonial master.

    As far as "oil riches" are concerned I wouldn't be in the least surprised to see our oil revenue money squandered on useless trophy projects, there's a bit of a Scottish disease for those kind of things.

    After an Independence from the UK vote I would like to see an Independence in Europe vote.

    There's the renewable energy industry, the oil industry, the fresh water industry, and most important for me, the fishing industry.
    Europes fisheries policy has annihilated fish stocks and someone with a small braincell really needs to take over and sort things out for all our future generations.

    The Icelandic people are smart, they know that they'll become slaves if Europe gets a hold of them, and their fish stocks will be utterly annihilated.

    London only helps London to prosper.
    Brussels only helps Brussels to prosper.

  • Comment number 73.

    For those of you who haven't yet seen it:

    http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/holyroodelection2011/3538818/Labours-old-nags-arent-at-the-races.html

    Sorry too lazy to make a tinyurl out of it.

  • Comment number 74.

    This is the same David Cameron who said in his inimitable and supercilious response to Angus Robertson in Parliament in November 2010:

    "If you had an independent Scotland, you wouldn't be flying planes, you'd be flying by the seat of your pants".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRklzcMQ4tw

    We get more than you think, Mr Cameron.

  • Comment number 75.

    So much " respect" coming from Mr Cameron eh?
    Perhaps someone should remind him just how lonely is the conservative MP .

    5th May is the only poll to worry about - this one brought a smile to my face too but there is an event about to encourage massive obfuscation,spin and union flag waving .
    Many an opportunity will be taken so to do.
    I understand there is wall to wall coverage.

  • Comment number 76.

    Churchill aka re-rat...does that include the ginger variety...the more I look at him the name BEN springs to mind! How many people did they manage to squeeze into this 1921 room, I'm sure the numbers were representative of the CONDEMS popularity! Now how long will it take for the nasty student politics to kick-in, aka the odd skeleton in the cupboard jumping out? courtesy by the most secretive state in the west.............

  • Comment number 77.

    74. At 07:42am 21st Apr 2011, MarkerPost wrote:

    This is the same David Cameron who said in his inimitable and supercilious response to Angus Robertson in Parliament in November 2010:

    "If you had an independent Scotland, you wouldn't be flying planes, you'd be flying by the seat of your pants".

    Well remembered - and under the Unionist Bonus how many bases are left in
    Scotland ?. Looks like the only way to keep any military spending will be to have
    our own.

  • Comment number 78.

    #73 - "Thatcher will stab your kids," says Labour and most people don't believe it."

    Nice summing up by the Sun. It may not be the most highbrow of red tops but it can still turn a phrase now and again.

  • Comment number 79.

    #59 reincarnation
    "The numbers I quoted above are now confirmed in another place."

    Thanks for that, I'm afraid that with no "hard" figures available and UKPR down, I called it a night just before your post was visible. That must have been just before the Times/Sun released the detail for the PA to release their SNP surging ahead of Labour - poll, giving rise to stories across the media, with the best I've seen so far being the Herald's New poll puts SNP within reach of Holyrood majority, including the eminently reasonable:
    "The SNP’s chief concern will now be that their careful strategy to build slowly towards May 5 may have seen them peak too soon. But the danger for Labour leader Iain Gray is far worse – that his entire campaign may begin to disintegrate as his failure to impose himself as a leader flips a healthy lead just a few weeks ago into a commanding lead for his arch-enemy."

    All unsurprising. Perhaps slightly more surprising is that despite Gordon Brewer holding up the Times' front page on Newsnicht, nobody else in the BBC seems to have noticed. I wouldn't expact BBC Scotland to put details on the Scotland [sic] politics page, but thought it might just get a mention on the What the Scottish papers say [07:26 GMT version]. Oddly, the only poll that mentions is a YouGov one "showing almost two-thirds of Scots believe that students in Scotland should have to pay for their university education" in the Hootsmon.

    I'm not normally a fan of GMS, but listened to the whole 08:00-08:30 BST segment where to my surprise the poll got not a mention. I could be suffering from selective hearing loss, I suppose, but Brian didn't mention it in his snippet on Cameron, and nor was it mentioned in the apparently live interview with Cameron. Oddly selective reporting, I'd say, unless of course the interviews were pre-recorded last night, but then It would still merit a mention in the news bulletin.

  • Comment number 80.

    Why exactly was Mr Cameron in Scotland? Was it to reassure the Scottish people that if we don't vote for his party he will unleash his fury and we won't have suffered anything compared to what he is prepared to dish out.

    Personally I hope Alex romps home with a great majority which will send a clear message to Mr Cameron and his henchmen. We don't need an overgrown spiteful schoolboy in our midst.

  • Comment number 81.

    I though it was just me. I've searched the website, tuned into bulletins, phoned a friend.

    I'm sure i heard a rumour of a double-digit poll lead. One would have that turning round a 15 point deficit in a few weeks was news in itself, but turning that into an 11 point lead must have the political commentators in turmoil.

    We do pay the state broadcaster to bring these matters into our homes don't we?

    Oh well, suppose I'll find out about it elsewhere. Anyone seen Elmer today?

  • Comment number 82.

    Mike Smithson confirms that the unmentionable poll was taken before the announcement by The Sun, you know the announcment that the BBC were at great pains to point out wouldn't make any difference. Maybe it hasn't. Brian do you think there will still be an 11 point lead after The Sun is factored in?

  • Comment number 83.

    Meanwhile, the Record's Magnus Gardham follows the BBC's lead of ignoring the polls and "analyses" [for want of a more apposite word] Cameron's Inverness speech in his Tory leader David Cameron: I can work with Alex Salmond's SNP. Truly dire and desperate stuff with gems including:

    "The speech fuelled claims the PM is campaigning behind the scenes for an SNP victory on May 5 in a desperate bid to embarrass Labour leader Ed Miliband."
      and
    "The English-based Tory supporting Sun newspaper have been told to back the Nats in Scotland as part of the strategy. And it led to claims Salmond was Cameron's "stooge"."

  • Comment number 84.

    morning, no mention of the said poll on GMS It could of course be that the BBC are too busy working out how they managed to back the wrong horse in a two horse race! they are still trying their hardest all the same with this mornings

    the tory's doing such and such the lib dems are doing such and such the snp are doing such and such and the Scottish labour leader Ian Gray is doing such and such

    lets see what happens on the 5th of may and then see what happens at pathetic quay. maybe misreporting Scotland will have time to report the poll

    where is wee glen "outrage" Campbell is he lying down in a darkened room?
    Sid

  • Comment number 85.

    SNP surge ahead, so BBC Scotland talk about everything else that can be thought of to detract attention; you couldn't make it up.

  • Comment number 86.


    So the new Labour line, I mean BBC coverage, is that the SNP are Thatchers Monsters who will help the Tories destroy Scotland...

    Fear - always good to appeal to peoples basic instincts, especially when all out of rational arguement, logical arguement and common sense.

  • Comment number 87.

    R4's Today prog mentioned the poll this am, but just to push the 'SNP luv the Tories' narrative, they had Magnus 'I'm alright in the Union Jock' Linklater and that objective political commentator John McTernan on talking up a 'collaboration' between the SNP and Tories. Even they presumably baulked at mentioning coalition, since Alex Salmond had very definitely ruled it out on Newsnicht Scotland the previous evening.

  • Comment number 88.

    Reporting the IPSOS-MORI Poll Today

    STV
    The Herald
    Some other news website that is profane and doesn’t exist.
    And of course The Times and The Sun.

    Not Reporting the IPSOS-MORI Poll Today

    BBC
    The Daily Record
    The Scotsman
    The Press and Journal
    The Dundee Courier
    The Edinburgh Evening News

    Now, this was a real poll. Not a fake poll on a made-up list of “manifesto pledges”. La,La,La, we’ve got our fingers in our ears (or other anagram thereof). We’re not listening……

    Of course, the only poll that matters is May 5th.

    But I think that it’s clear that “Scotland’s Bob Worcester”, the estimable and unbiased Professor John Curtice, had better hang on to his swingometer.

    Maybe Brian could tell us from his many centuries of observing the politics of North Britain if a party has ever converted a 15% deficit into an 11% lead ?

    In an opinion poll.

    And as we all know, Opinion Polls don’t matter.

    Unless you rig the question.

  • Comment number 89.

    Jst heard Radio Scotland news, no mention of the poll again; I am glad I have stopped paying for the BBC license fee, no broadcast TV; so I don't have to watch your praganda/drivel. I wonder how long will it be before I have a couple of terrorists at my door demanding money.

  • Comment number 90.

    #84,

    In addition to nothing on GMS, which is remarkable enough, it has not even made this site despite an update at 09.16 today.

    The BBC must address this point quickly. I would like to think it has nothing to do with the poll being published in a Murdoch organ, not Auntie's greatest pal of course.

  • Comment number 91.

    #81; "Anyone seen Elmer today?"

    I'm sure that's him in here (Standing up just to the left of the 79p poster on the left)...
    http://www.ballyclarecot.com/members/Subway%20shopfront.jpg

    I see he has an A4 bit of white paper in his hand too! :)

  • Comment number 92.

    One crumb of comfort Mr Ed may be able to take from the new poll is that by serendipity, a number of senior Labour ex-MSPs will stay that way after the election should they lose their plurality seats, some of them very marginal if the collapsed L-D and Con votes go more to the SNP than to Lab, before even considering any Lab to SNP swing.

    Iain Gray did not have the foresight to put himself on a regional list and although I haven't had chance to check all the list candidates, others report that Mr Kerr and Ms Baillie are not on any lists.

    This would at least give Mr Ed the opportunity to blame "the departed" and to start re-building his Scottish team from scratch.

  • Comment number 93.

    88. At 10:01am 21st Apr 2011, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    Reporting the IPSOS-MORI Poll Today

    If a poll falls in the woods and no one gets to read about it
    does it make no noise ?

    Guess the BBC North of London political editor hopes so.

    Are we seeing the mix of subtle and petty bias that was still 'deniable' moving
    into the outright obvious ?.


    Or will we see a conversion ?, are the BBC political team in Glasgow currently
    on their road to Damascus... or are they organising their deck chairs... pick and
    mix your metaphors here...roll up, roll up, roll up the lot of them.

  • Comment number 94.

    I'm sure Mr Cameron will be thrilled with the news about the SNP's lead. Long may it continue!!

  • Comment number 95.

    #88 Chiefy1724
    "But I think that it’s clear that “Scotland’s Bob Worcester”, the estimable and unbiased Professor John Curtice, had better hang on to his swingometer."

    Could some scholarly rivalry be occurring in the University of Strathclyde's ivory towers?

    I note that Prof. Curtice reigns supreme behind the Thunderer's paywall but also that in the Scottish Sun's Labour’s old nags aren’t at the races the place of the estimable Curtice is taken by Prof. Jim Mitchell from the same institution, with the following direct quote:

    "These numbers are staggering. The only question now is whether the SNP has peaked too early and can they keep up the momentum that we have seen building in successive polls. Maybe they can - but it means the total collapse of the Labour campaign.

    If Labour support goes below the levels they got in 2007 that would be disastrous for them. But I don't think that will happen because of the collapse in the Lib Dems support.

    In any event, these figures show clearly that as the election has gone on the focus has shifted from Westminster on to issues like who will make the best First Minister, who will make the best Scottish Government.

    I suspect these results would surprise even the SNP and must surely raise very serious questions about the entire Labour campaign.
    "

    Can we expect to see the new kid on the block on Newsnicht soon, I wonder?

  • Comment number 96.

    No coverage of the latest poll on the BBC today? That's an editorial decision that confuses me. Does BBC Scotland realise there is an election campaign underway?

  • Comment number 97.

    STV have got it.
    http://news.stv.tv/election-2011/244602-snp-out-in-front-in-new-poll/

    "The Ipsos/MORI poll, in today’s Times and Scottish Sun newspapers"...etc this first line destroying it's credibility since these outlets are an integral part of the evil Murdoch Empire.
    Anyone who believes what a Murdoch publication tells them needs to stop drinking the kool-aid.

    If it's correct then there's no real surprise for anyone up here.

    The REAL guys to watch are the bookies, even the odds on a majority at Holyrood have been slashed recently. 3/1 for a majority while it's at 1/2 on the most seats.
    The chances are that the SNP line will be closed soon.

  • Comment number 98.

    If the Tories or Labour had shown such a lead in a poll all other news would have been cancelled. Mr Cameron would no doubt be on the roof tops of Westmister but we havn't seen him today!! I'm really gutted.

    I saw Alex Salmond on Newsnight - at least he answered the questions put to him by Gordon Bruar unlike the representatives from other parties. Maybe the people of Scotland are coming to realise that the SNP are at last the real alternative to the other parties who have only self interest at heart.

    I look forward to casting my vote on 5 May FOR THE SNP.

  • Comment number 99.

    94. At 10:53am 21st Apr 2011, ziggyboy wrote:

    I'm sure Mr Cameron will be thrilled with the news about the SNP's lead.

    Hes probably not bothered. Hes got a wedding to go to, local elections in
    the Home Country to worry about and a new War to mission creep into. An
    SNP win, or rather an Ian Grey meltdown will give him, at best, a couple
    of really good jokes for Prime Ministers questions.

  • Comment number 100.

    #87 ambi
    "R4's Today prog mentioned the poll this am, but just to push the 'SNP luv the Tories' narrative, they had Magnus 'I'm alright in the Union Jock' Linklater and that objective political commentator John McTernan on talking up a 'collaboration' between the SNP and Tories."

    Thanks for that. As so many here - including me - have been puzzled at lack of broadcast coverage of the poll by BBC Scotland, it's only fair to praise Radio 4's James Naughtie for making an attempt to cover it. That entire 5m section of his Today interview is now available here.

 

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