People are changing their views in Scotland, including many lifelong Labour supporters. Mike Dailly was a leading Labour Party and 'Better Together' campaigner in 2014, but his views have changed on Scottish independence. #ProgressScotlandpic.twitter.com/92qL2tigY5
This is a sharp reminder that intelligent people do change their minds when incontrovertible facts are presented to them. We need to present these facts as clearly as we can and then be ready to welcome, with open arms, the people that they convert.
As predicted by some, this morning three Tories crossed the floor of the House of Commons and joined the Labour MPs who, over the last couple of days, have left the Labour Party.
This raises some questions.
Is it a flash in the pan or is it the beginnings of a reshaping of British, or rather, English politics. (There are no Scottish MPs involved and politics in England and Scotland are very different, the one from the other.)
If the independent group grows, as some predict it will, and its numbers overtake the number of SNP members, will it become the third largest group in the Commons, and entitled, in place of the SNP, to a front bench place and automatic questions at PMQs?
And should that happen (which it may well not) what should the SNP’s response be?
And, do Munguinites think that it should be compulsory for members who were elected under the banner of a party and that party’s manifesto, to stand down if they leave that party regardless of which parliament and which party?
As @Theresa_May arrives in Brussels with 37 days till Brexit, we’re here to welcome her with this giant billboard in the Place de Brouckère in the city centre. What do you call a Prime Minister whose only policy is something she thinks is *against* the national interest? pic.twitter.com/QFTHK68Ils
Thank goodness they voted Tory. Because, if this is strong and stable, I don’t think I could have withstood weak, wobbly and chaotic. (Note to self, look up the definition of chaotic.)
Billy the Bigot is in a bit of a snit at the BBC, until recently, seemingly his close and trusted friends.
It seems that the story he gave about being invited on to the BBC’s Question Time shows has been denied most fulsomely by that august British institution’s management. And our Billy Boy isn’t happy about being called out as a liar.
He’s has been going back through his diary and has tweeted: “I sat down and looked up all the Q.T shows I was on and got all the dates and people who were on panel and I’m so tempted to blow the lid on BBC again… 4 times NOT EVEN CLOSE, if BBC want to start I’m ready”.
Firstly, I’d like to say that once again today we’re thinking about the victims of terrorists. This time it was in Notre Dame de Paris on the Ile de la Cité, one of my favourite places to sit and watch the world go by.
Secondly, I’d like to mention that Robert Salmond, Alex’s dad, died today at 95 years old. So we’re thinking of Alex and his family too. Sad time, but it’s worth reading what Alex says his dad would tell him now.
As the election campaign draws to a close, we find ourselves in a very different situation from that which we expected when it kicked off.
After telling us over and over that she would not call an election, Mrs Strong and Stable wobbled and called one. She was hoping, I’ve no doubt, to establish herself in her role (not with the EU, who are happy to negotiate with her based on the referendum result), but as prime minister and leader within her own party, which is split over Brexit among other things. Mr Corbyn was leader of a split party and miles behind her in the polls. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, try EVERYTHING!
It seems that being appointed by the Tory party, the least offensive of a really bad bunch, meant very little scrutiny for May, and the BBC and the Press, with the cooperation of members of the Labour Parliamentary Party, were able to talk Mr Corbyn down.
But the scrutiny of a general election campaign, particularly one which was unnecessary, has put both the potential prime ministers under the spotlight.
In the case of Corbyn, it has given him an opportunity to display that he can be calm and measured, even under fire… and that he never loses the plot (OK, except one time on the radio where he forgot one figure). And most of his opponents in his own party have at least kept quiet over the campaign. (Well, with some exceptions.) Corbyn has shone as a potential statesman.
On the other hand, Mrs May, who has been standing on a platform of “strong and stable”, has made a mess of every appearance she has made; every interview she has done, and frankly, she’s become a laughing stock. As people have said, if she can’t face Corbyn in a tv debate, how will she be able to deal with the EU representatives?
I tend to think that people should be careful picking catch phrases like “strong and stable”. And before they chose them, they should be absolutely sure that they haven’t been used before. In this case, “strong as stable” was previously used by Adolf Hitler. It would only have taken a few clicks on Google to find that out.
Now she’s come up with “Enough is Enough”. A reaction to the terror attacks that have plagued London and Manchester. Surely that would ahve applied after the first attack… Did she not think that THAT was enough? And again, it’s a massive pity (for her) that she didn’t check back to see if the phrase had been used before!
Whatever the result it looks very unlikely to be one anywhere near the massive majority that she was hoping for, well counting on, when she launched this campaign. Indeed some polls suggest she will have a smaller majority that she has now, Some say even no majority at all. Her rivals are starting to count their support!
But as all politicians say, the only poll that counts is the one on Thursday. And on Friday morning, and not before, we will know.
Finally, the 2015 (correction thanks to Hugh) result was amazing for the SNP. 56 out of 59 is an extraordinary achievement. It was never going to be able to be repeated. The Tories have been bragging that they may take 18 seats; Labour think that they might get some, as do the Liberal Democrats. SNP supporters should expect to lose some seats and should take it on the chin. When the press gleefully announce that the SNP and independence are dead in the water we’ll know perfectly well that they are not.
Scotland above all needs a strong voice in London. Brexit is about England (and Wales). They wanted it (very narrowly). We did not. But because of their population size, they will get what they want and we can go hang. We are not being listened to by London. None of the solutions proposed by teh Scottish government will be aired in the talks. No Scottish voice in negotiations. Only England’s. Scotland’s concerns NEED to be heard. We have friends in Europe, but when the negotiations start they won’t be allowed to hear what we say. We need someone like Angus to make sure that we are heard, loud and clear.
In my opinion, Angus Robertson has been a superb leader in London and an excellent opponent to Mrs May, and Pete Wishart has been a staunch member for his constituency and put up a brilliant fight against the anti-democratic and expensive House of Lords. Let’s hope that they manage to keep their marginal seats. Scotland, and indeed Britain, is the better for them being there.
OK. So according to Dean, the Daily Express and even some of the real press along with the BBC, the Tories won a victory on Thursday, and Scotland said no to independence, presumably preferring to be “strong and stable” with Brexit May and her chaotic bunch of clueless ministers. (Any bets on who will have to go after her election win?)
But, to be fair, the Tories did very well by their standards in Scotland. Since the days of Thatcher, they have been poison here. Playing down the “Conservative” name, the utter chaos of the Labour Party (for which the priority seems to be internecine warfare and voting along with whatever the government comes up with) and failing to talk about any actual policies except SNP BAAAAAD, have played well for them.
They made the election about the Union and about being “strong and stable”, whatever that actually means. (Seriously does anyone see Theresa May as being either strong or stable, or indeed anything other than a rather silly woman who sells weapons to Saudi, while ranting that NT left “Easter” out of their egg competition?) They made it about visceral hatred of the SNP, of independence, of the Greens, of Scotland as anything other than a region… So much so that none of us has any idea what their policies for local government are, although I’m pretty sure we can guess. As they don’t actually control any councils, at least we are sure that whatever they stand for will be tempered by decency and humanity.
And to an extent, it worked for them.
But the truth, of course, is that the SNP had a great night.
1. The SNP won the election nationally, with the largest number of councillors and the highest vote share of any party.
2. They’ve won more councillors, with 431 elected compared to 425 in 2012.
3. The SNP is now the largest group in 16 of 32 councils.
4. The SNP has ended almost 40 years of Labour control in Glasgow, becoming the largest party in the city for the first time.
5. The SNP are now the largest party in Scotland’s four largest cities: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee.
And so now we move to the general election which in England they will fight on “strong and stable” leadership as they come out of Europe leaving chaos in their wake. In Scotland, they will fight on a “strong and stable” leadership for the union.
I’m not expecting to hear much about how some police officers and nurses are reliant upon Food Banks to feed their families, the sale of the NHS to Virgin, Tory electoral fraud, 40,000 deaths caused by pollution, war in the Middle East, abysmal trains, potholed roads, reduced pension, rising prices, thousands of deaths as a result of corruption in ATOS and their likes, sanctions, black hole in the incompetent Defence Minister’s budget, Mrs May’s closest, well, only, friends, Trump, Erdogan, Netanyahu, and Salman… etc, etc.