Sending a message

That didn’t last long did it. Just a few days ago the usual suspects were crowing that Ruthie Davidson was the most popular politician in Scotland, all on the basis of a shonky poll from SkyNews which didn’t even pretend to represent a balanced sample. But that didn’t stop them from hailing Ruth as the chief buffalo girl. And then along comes a proper opinion poll, one carried out by no less a person than the Tories’ former paymaster Michael Ashcroft, a poll which puts Ruth a long way behind Nicola Sturgeon in the popularity stakes in Scotland.  So that’s Fraser Nelson’s thesis buggered then.

Ruth’s supposed popularity was always a product of hype. If you tell people often enough that she’s the most effective and most popular politician then she’ll become so. Unfortunately that was only ever going to work if there was more to Ruth than looking good on the panel of Have I Got News For You and posing for amusing photo ops with buffaloes, fish, and other dumb creatures – like most of the Conservative MSPs. Behind the glossy image of Ruth as a new type of Tory, a modern Conservative for the 21st century, there is a policy vacuum. A vacuum in which all you can hear is a scream “no one wants another referendum”, despite abundant evidence that a great many people do.

Ruth is defined by being opposed to whatever it is that the SNP stand for, but remains silent on what she stands for herself. That’s because what she really stands for is whatever her bosses in the Conservatives at Westminster stand for, and she’ll turn 180 degrees in her views depending on the way the windbags of Westminster are blowing. Naturally her pals in the media don’t press her too closely on this uncomfortable truth. Ruth is a walking irony, a shouty politician who shouts so loudly in order to cover up the fact that she’s saying nothing at all.

The myth is that Ruth appeals to a broad spectrum of the Scottish public. She doesn’t. She appeals to Conservatives, she appeals to that minority of Scottish opinion which has an ideological and emotional commitment to the United Kingdom come what Theresa May. That’s always going to be a relatively small minority of Scottish voters. During the independence referendum of 2014 I was constantly struck by the number of people who said that they were voting No, not out of any sense of loyalty to a British state that they knew had no loyalty to them, not because they believed themselves to be British to the core of their beings, but simply because they felt that the time wasn’t right, or that the risks were too great. Ruth can’t appeal to those voters. She can only make her pitch with any success to the diehards. That’s why even though she’s being touted in the British media as the woman who will save the Union, she will ultimately fail. She’ll fail because for many many Scots her party represents everything that’s wrong with Britain.

Ruth rails against the divisions in Scotland but she has no answers to them. The Tories don’t have the slightest idea of how to heal the divisions that they claim are fracturing this country. They think that the way to deal with division is for everyone who doesn’t agree with them to shut up and to suck it up. It’s meaningless cant born of desperation, because the Tories know that they have no solutions and no ammunition for contesting another independence referendum. What are they going to say? Their strongest argument last time round was why risk independence when you can have the safety and security of the UK, and they’ve destroyed that argument all by themselves. Brexit dominates everything in UK politics now, so attempting not to talk about Brexit in the context of a second independence referendum is going to be doomed to failure.

Despite this, Ruth is described as “ecumenical” in sympathetic write ups in supposedly left of centre and liberal newspapers like the Guardian. Who knew? Well there’s me discovered a new synonym for “shouty”. And just as in the referendum of 2014, we discover that when the Guardian has a choice between defending social democratic values, or defending the British establishment, they’ll go for the British establishment every day of the week.

Now the Tories have revealed their election strategy for the local elections. It consists of avoiding talking about local issues. The Tories want you to waste your vote in the local elections. They want to turn it into a referendum on not having a referendum. Use your say in order to say that you don’t want a say. And once you’ve done that, you can elect some Tory councillors who will destroy your local public services and won’t be able to prevent a referendum being held anyway.

So in the upcoming local elections use your vote wisely. Use it to rank all the candidates who are standing in your ward, give your first preference to the pro-independence candidate of your choice, then work your way down the list, give your next preference to your next favoured pro-indy candidate, and so on until you’ve run out of pro-indy candidates.  If you are, say, an SNP supporter, don’t stop once you’ve ranked the SNP candidates.  Give your next preferences to other pro-independence candidates, Greens, Socialists, or pro-independence independents.  Equally if you’re a Green, don’t stop after you’ve given your first preferences to the Green candidates.  Rank all the pro-independence candidates.  It means that they have a better chance of getting elected ahead of any Unionists.

You can, if you want, stop there. It won’t damage the pro-independence cause any, but equally it won’t help to prevent a Tory getting elected if there are only anti-indy candidates still in the running.

So if you want to use the rest of your preferences, you can use them to minimise the chances of a Tory getting elected. Next rank those who are neutral on the issue of independence. There are some Labour candidates who are neutral on independence, there are even some who privately support it. There may be independents standing in your ward who are neutral on independence. Then rank the other Labour candidates or the Lib Dems, and then and only then rank the Tories and Ukip and your actual fascists lowest of all.

You might say “I’m never going to vote Unionist under any circumstances.” And that would be fine.  Putting a smile on Jackie Baillie’s face is distasteful, I get that.  But by the time you get to your final preferences, any chance of a pro-indy candidate getting elected will already have gone. All those pro-indy candidates who were going to get elected will already have been elected. What this is about is minimising the chances of any Tories getting elected. Any Tory who gets elected will view it as a vindication of Theresa May and her message to Scotland to get back into its shortbread tin.

You don’t have to rank all the candidates. You don’t have to rank any Unionist candidates at all, and that’s just fine. It won’t do any harm, but it won’t make it less likely that a Tory gets elected. A winning candidate still has to be voted in. You’re not going to minimise the chances of a Tory getting elected by failing to express a preference in what will by the time all other preferences have been counted have become a contest between a Tory and another candidate who isn’t pro-indy. Vote indy first, then later choose the lesser of two evils, and that means ranking someone else above a Tory. Then we can send our own message to Ruth. And that message is that Scotland does want a referendum, and it doesn’t want Tories.

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75 comments on “Sending a message

  1. AnnieM says:

    What I particularly loved about that poll was the fact that Ruthie didn’t even come anywhere near Nicola. Angela Merkell came second ffs!!

  2. Saor Alba. says:

    Ach, we knew it wis aw’ hype. She tries tae be something’, bit, as we aw’ ken, ye cannie be whit ye urny urr!

  3. Saor Alba. says:

    Mibbe that should be ‘canny’.

  4. Weechid says:

    Out of 6 candidates for 3 seats we have only 1 pro Indy candidate yet I’m told I should still use all my preferences and vote for people who I would not choose to represent me on a WI committee – let alone a council. Disappointed that SNP have so few candidates and the Greens have none in my ward.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Then just vote for the pro-indy candidate and no one else.

      • Weechid says:

        Thank you. That was my intention but so many are saying that you should use all of your votes. I don’t think I could bring myself to mark anything against a Unionist – other that a rude remark – and that would spoil my paper. To be honest, I’m in D&G and I can see the same auld faces getting back in again. Oh fur a council that disny fly the Butcher’s Apron at every opportunity.

        • Ian McGeechan says:

          In your case I reckon you’d be best to choose your SNP candidate and then an independent. Without seeing the list I’d say lib/dem 3rd and then another independent if there is one, then lab, then tory. Keeping lab and tory propping things up is the best bet I think. I was going to leave my nethers blank, but I’ve changed my mind having read weegingerdug.

          • Weechid. says:

            2 Labour 1 Tory 1 SNP and 1 “Non Alligned” I thought there was another Tory but doesn’t seem to be. I’d say because of Kirkconnel and Sanquhar I’d imagine the 2 Labour will get in. Previously we had 2 Labour 1 Tory and 1 SNP. We’ve lost a seat. and 3rd seat could now be anybody’s. The non-aligned was a former election agent for the previous Tory councillor who is not standing this time.

        • Saor Alba. says:

          I have no intention of voting Tory or Labour – they will not get a vote from me.
          The SNP will get my first vote(s), then the Greens (if they have a candidate).
          Then I will carefully have scrutinised the list to see what other candidates are worthy of my precious vote.

      • Illy says:

        No! NONONONONONONO!!!!

        Pick who you want least to get the seat, number them last, then repeat up the chain.

        Your preference order can effect who gets in between lab and con, even after your higher preferences *have already been elected*

        Go read ScotGoesPop for more details on why that’s the case.

        • Morag says:

          Illy is right, Weechid. And that’s a good way to do it. Decide who you least want to get a seat, number them last, then work up.

          Don’t think of it as a vote for that person. Think that the bigger the number you put against someone’s name, the bigger the insult. Then go and insult the Tories good and proper.

          You don’t have to, as Paul says. But you can’t possibly harm the chances of the pro-independence candidates by doing it, and you may deprive a Tory of a council seat. Imagine if the last seat in your ward goes to a Tory and that lets the Tories take over your council? While if the LibDem had got it then the SNP could have been in administration. And your vote could have helped the LibDem but you didn’t do it. Really, it could be that important.

          • Weechid says:

            I don’t think any party in D&G is fielding enough candidates to get an outright majority in the council. There are over 40 seats and the most any party have is 17. Looks like the Independents may hold the balance of power and I always assume that they are Tory. Can’t say for certain what will happen in my ward but it’s a fair bet that we’ll have 2 Labour – the third choice is anyone’s guess.

    • Al. says:

      OR ……. stand for election !

      • Weechid says:

        No thanks. I’d have to represent everyone – even Tories. Besides I’m too airy fairy. I get bored with things too quickly and want to move on to something new in a very short time. I’d get annoyed at having to have meetings about meetings where nothing ever actually gets done – and I’d have to put up with moaning members of the public – like me:-)

      • Morag says:

        Good luck trying to stand for the SNP. Nobody knows what you have to do to pass that candidate vetting, only that three quarters of the people who applied were told they weren’t good enough. Even highly-qualified people who had been SNP activists for decades.

    • The Soupdragon says:

      Earlier today a thought occurred to me. I also can’t bring myself to vote for any of the unionists in my ward. There are 4 seats, and only 2 SNP candidates, plus a pro-indy fringe party whom I intend to rank 3rd, but expect to be the first to be eliminated.

      So the other 2 seats will be won by unionists regardless of what I do; on past form that will be the 2 Labour candidates (though one of their incumbents who was deselected is trying his luck as an independent).

      But there are lots of reports of “excess” support for the SNP. If that materializes, and the surplus has nowhere to be distrubuted because people like me have stopped after 2 or 3 preferences, the unionists will still be elected. But they might be elected by default – when there are only 2 candidates left – without reaching the quota.

      That would be pretty embarrassing – and given that they’ll get in regardless, I’m using that as a justification for not voting for them….

      • Weechid says:

        Thanks. Much the same here. I expect the two labour to get in regardless. The SNP currently have a seat, as do the Tories but I think we are being reduced from 4 seats to 3 so I’m not sure whether SNP will retain a seat or not.

      • Morag says:

        You’re right that certain seats will be won by unionists regardless of what any of us do. What we can do is influence which unionists get those seats. I’m urging you to hold your nose and get your hands dirty and vote the non-Tory unionists above the Tories. That will deprive the Tories of council seats and even control of some councils. We can do this and we should do this.

    • Doug Daniel says:

      Unfortunately, the way STV works means it can be counterproductive for a party to put up more candidates than they can reasonably expect to get elected. You must live in a ward where the chances of the SNP vote reaching 50% are essentially non-existent, which is what a party requires to get two elected in a three-member ward.

  5. […] Wee Ginger Dug Sending a message […]

  6. Clive Scott says:

    I had a look at the Electoral Reform Society website that has an “explanation” of the STV electoral system that afflicts the upcoming local elections. There is a worked example of the way votes are counted. Nope. Couldn’t follow it. Absurdly, a candidate who had not done well in any of the counting rounds ended up getting elected! So, even if a Tory were to be 20th on a list of candidates I won’t be casting number 20 against their name. I won’t legitimise their candidacy by recording a vote for them. It should be a condition of membership of the SNP.

    Was canvassing this evening for SNP in Falkirk. Never done it before and it was fascinating. The last of 5 questions was “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Four staunch SNP voters answered No and four staunch Labour voters answered Yes. Nobody admitted to being a Tory or Lib Dem voter. They may have been amongst those who answered the door but declined to answer any questions. A couple mentioned Green as second preference though most SNP first pref voters said Labour and Labour first pref said SNP. The logic defeats me. Nobody was apparently in at approximately 35% of the doors knocked. Of the doors answered where opinion was given SNP was well ahead on first preference. Not a single person raised a local issue. Finally, one person declared that they never voted but were strongly in favour of independence! A curious bunch this electorate seems to be.

    • Morag says:

      I wish it was possible to explain to you how you are wrong about this, and how giving the Tory your absolute bottom ranking will help minimise the number of Tory councillors and even the number of Tory-controlled councils. But, like James Kelly, I’m beginning to despair of ever getting this across.

      • Saor Alba. says:

        I believe what you and James are saying is that it is better to put the Tory with a high number at the bottom of your list, rather than record a no vote for them, since the high number will have a negative impact on them, whereas a null vote will have a neutral impact.
        A high number puts them definitively last, whereas a null vote puts them nowhere and does not count. Is this a correct interpretation?

        • Morag says:

          Actually, no. It’s not necessary to fill in the last (highest) number at all. A single blank box with all the other candidates ranked is exactly the same as putting that final number in the box. So if you’ve ranked everyone but the Tory then you can choose whether you write the last number in that box or not, as you please.

          I was just saying, high numbers are an insult, to try to explain to people that giving a rank to a candidate isn’t an endorsement if it’s a low rank – it’s more like an insult. You can give a positive insult by writing the last number in the box, or a negative one by leaving it the only one blank. The point is that ranking Labour or LibDem just above the Tory should also be seen more as an insult than an endorsement.

          The important thing is not to think – unionists, they’re all the same, I don’t care which one of them gets that last seat. You should care, because we want the Tories to have as few councillors as possible so if our votes can no longer help pro-independence candidates we need to use them to vote the non-Tory unionist candidates above the Tory.

          • Saor Alba says:

            Thanks for that Morag. I was toying with leaving the last place blank, but I have decided to use all the numbers and the rest of your advice.

  7. Suspect the Tories will still gloat about Ruthie being more popular than our FM as she is in Ashcroft’s English poll figures which they will pretend covers Scotland as well. But the Scottish poll shows Nicola streets ahead with Angela Merkel beating Ruthie. Never knew the German Chancellor had such a following in Scotland – must be something to do with our 62 per cent vote for remaining in the EU!

  8. Macart says:

    Oh, I think we got the message loud and clear from the Conservative and Unionist party. They don’t want a referendum you know. Now is not the time. Brexit is a tremendous opportunity. We’re building empire 2.0. Let’s get behind Britain.

    Loud and clear. Uh huh!

    ‘Course there’s an alternative view of Conservative politics. There’s austerity UK. Sanctions Britain. The intolerant, isolationist, xenophobic Conservatism of the fleg wavy right wing meeja. The Conservatism that brought you bedroom tax max, the Scotland bill, the cutting of bereavement benefit, housing benefits for teens and latterly the rape clause. Yes. It’s fair to say I’m certainly getting the message loud and clear.

    This is not a Conservatism that gives a shit about the local community. This is not a Conservatism that cares about your services, your schools, your roads, your shops, your street lights, your local rented housing shortage, your waste ground development or even your bin collection. No. They want to use your vote on local elections to send a message on something else entirely.

    They want you to underwrite the sterling record of care in the community of their heid office in London.

    Personally? I’m concerned about local sustainable and affordable housing.

    What kind of message do you want to send?

    On another tack…

    Ruthie has placed an awful lot of constitutional eggs in one basket. What happens if the Tories get a serious and utterly well deserved spanking in the local elections? The problem with running a campaign on tickets that are entirely inappropriate? Sometimes you don’t get the answer you’re looking for.

  9. The STV system confuses all who sail in it – as long as your first choices go to your first choices i.e. SNP if that’s who you want elected, Greens if that’s who you want elected, then the rest of it is a bit of a lottery.

    Last August in Irvine there was the crazy situation where Robin Sturgeon gained the most votes in Round One but not enough to win outright. Counting went on into Round Six where he lost to Lab due to Lab/Tory tactical voting. Personally I thought his was too big a scalp to risk and that Lab would have joined forces with Attila the Hun to say they had beaten him, but there ya go

    Ruth the Mooth has had a bashing on social media all weekend over the rape/coerced sex clause which many people will hopefully challenge tory candidates with. Equally if faced with the cry of “No referenda” from Unionist canvassers, the obvious retort on the doorstep is “Yes but what are your local policies ?” as mostly they haven’t bothered thinking of any

    Anyhoo all to play for on the fourth of May, bring it on

    • Weechid says:

      I wish I got people at the door with whom to have such conversations. Not even a leaflet through so far – from anyone.

    • Morag says:

      It’s a lottery, but the smart move is to keep playing, not throw your ticket away before the game has finished.

  10. Andy Anderson says:

    If it was not for a unionist biased media Ruth the mooth would be even lower down the list in Scots opinion polls. I can’t stand her ranting and insincere expressions. She should be called ‘ birler Ruth’ as she changes direction so many times.
    If you get one of her canvassers at your door just ” now is not the time” leave a time gap and continue “and it never will”.

  11. Anne says:

    ‘Shonky’ is a new word for me. Had to look it up.

  12. There are six candidates for councillors in my Ward, so I have a maximum of 6 votes to make.

    2 SNP, 1 SSP, 1 Slabber, 1 Tory and 1 Unionist Party. (Google the latter ‘bunny boilers’ as you will not believe me)!

    I will be voting SNP 1; SNP 2; SSP 3; SLAB 4, UP 5 and lastly Tories 6.

    I could just stop at 3 and not vote for any of the Yoonuchs but by abstaining and only making 3 votes out of my possible 6 votes, I am leaving it up to the Yoonuchs to decide who will be the other councillors to get elected, (as under this voting system, some Yoonuchs unavoidably must get in).

    But I don’t want the Yoonuchs to have all that freedom of choice and I really want to mess with Treeza by minimising Tory councillors.To minimise the number of Tory councillors getting elected, vote for everyone else first in your Ward. You may have a Rise candidate or whatever but use all your votes up and always put the Tories last.

    By the way, this is how SinnFein voters ousted the DUP in Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish are well used to this vote system. They decribe it aptly as ‘vote til you boak’. By working the system as it is supposed to be worked, all the SinnFein and other non-unionist N Irish parties all placed the DUP last, after voting for every other candidate before them. So even though you are boaking when you do it, it will keep the Tories numbers to a minimum. It is insane that the SNP high heid yins are not educating their huge support to do this, as this is a huge own goal. Do they think we are too daft not to understand?

    VOTE TIL YOU BOAK!

    • Arthur Martin says:

      Well said!
      I’m puzzled too regarding the lack of co-ordination from the SNP to their considerable support, particularly party members, as to the tactics that should be employed in these types of elections.

      I’d wager that the majority of voters in Scotland don’t understand how this system works.

    • Morag says:

      Well said.

      I don’t think the SNP understands this itself. I explained it to my branch meeting but while they agreed I was right the convenor then said, but on the doors we still have to say just vote SNP and nobody else. It’s bonkers.

      Especially as he was the one who was banging on about how we don’t want a Tory council but we may well get one becaus a lot of LibDem voters have returned to the Tories. Well for God’s sake man, explain to SNP voters the advantages of ranking the LibDem above the Tory on the ballot paper! I’m afraid we’ll wake up to one SNP and two Tory councillors in this ward, when we could have have one SNP, one Tory and one LibDem if we’d really pushed this point.

    • Ealasaid says:

      Does this also hold when we have to choose 3 councillors from 1SNP, 1Green, 1LibDem, 2CON, and 1LAB = Scott Arthur, the Dr from Heriot Watt who likes to get into the audiences of debates and take over. I would rather put him last as the CONs and LibDem may also vote him quite moderately and he could well get in! The CONs would do less damage in council and might even let someone else speak.

      • Morag says:

        If that’s your considered opinion, then follow it. I can certainly see there are places where Labour may seem more obnoxious than the Tories and it’s a tough call. If there’s no danger of the Tories taking control of the council as a result of getting an extra councillor, I’d probably be of the same mind as you in your situation.

    • Saor Alba. says:

      Thanks Bibbit. You have cleared that up nicely for me.

  13. AnnieM says:

    This on the EU Citizens for an Independent Scotland FB page:

    “Friends, we have been receiving reports of tactics being used by Conservative local party campaigners, canvassing on doorsteps in the Stonehaven area. When speaking with EU Citizens, Tory campaigners have been stating that if they voted SNP and SNP won, EU Citizens would be deported.

    While we know this to be false, there are many who are less aware, less involved in politics, and who may be vulnerable and already anxious due to Brexit uncertainties.

    Now, this may just be a particular canvassing team, but it is still enough to give us cause for concern.”

    At the moment I wish that I was living in Scotland and was able to vote. Please, please, please folks use all your votes to get rid of as many Tories in Scotland as possible.

  14. Brian Fleming says:

    How can the SNP possibly put up just one candidate in a three-member ward? Do they actually want to win these elections or not?

    • Weechid says:

      Couldn’t get enough people to stand in my area so they have no chance of winning an overall majority. Who wants to be a councillor? (Not me)

    • Morag says:

      It’s a difficult tactical decision and a bad flaw in the STV system. If a party puts up too many candidates it may find it doesn’t get any elected as the first preference vote is spread too thinly and candidates are eliminated early.

      But also, it appears that the SNP rejected three quarters of the people who applied to be candidates. Wards were struggling to find eligible people to stand because people they were expecting would be candidates had been failed at the vetting.

      Nobody understands what was going on. Well-qualified people with many years of experience and party membership were being failed for “not being media-savvy” and things like that.

      • Weechid says:

        Personally I’d have thought that in Council elections it should be more about living locally and understanding local problems, being able to communicate with local people. I find it sad that the local elections have become so political when they used to be about who would do their best for the community.

  15. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Big problem for the Yoon units in Scotland is that they have no real research , in depth, of the Scottish electorate’s mood and aspirations.
    Their outreach is to a small diehard faction of blue rinses and dyed in the woolies.

    Their strategy is therefor crafted by hired guns on short term contracts; poltical scrbblng whores who will move on after their gig is up to writing lies for what will be left of the MSM after indie.

    If I was a manufacturer making widgets, the last people in the world I would wamnt to navigate my Company would be that bunch of charlatons.

    Thus the charlatons are reduced to the King’s new clothes strategy and media sledging to get accepted by enough to get them by.

    We in Scotland after 2014 are ahead of their game and England is not even at the starters gate.

  16. Nancy Jardine says:

    Shonky definitely covers it. Thanks also from me for a spanking new word to use for more than our dishonest media.

  17. Brian Powell says:

    Has Sky, STV or BBC reported the Ashcroft poll?

    • AnnieM says:

      I assume that this is a rhetorical question. LOL!

    • Macart says:

      Not a peep on any channel or their sites, but then we’re still awaiting acknowledgement of the weight and success of the FMs trip to the states, or the 50 MEPs and the letter with 26 signatures support for Scotland as an independent member of the EU.

      The traffic, unlike last time, is all one way for the Scottish government and the bastards know it. If it’s good news for Scotland it is whispered very very quietly, or completely ignored.

      The UK media at its very best.

      Thankfully there’s a big wide world of media out there who are happy to share and more than happy to let Scots know they appreciated.

  18. CapnAndy. says:

    On a light hearted note. I have to say Thank You for the description of Ruth as ‘Ecumenical’. I can now keep myself out of trouble any time Ruth is mentioned in conversation by sagely nodding, keeping a serious face and saying, “That’ll be an ecumenical matter”

  19. In Orkney we have 2 Green Party candidates. The rest are ‘Independent’, which given the secrecy of the OIC seems to translate as Mafia. I would love to vote till I boak, but with no transparency on affiliation that isn’t possible.

  20. Hector S says:

    Paul, I enjoy your work and salute your integrity but it’s cheapened by nicknames. “Ruthie” – who I hold no love for – sounds sneering and infantile to me. It shifts your opinion from sounding well considered to sounding derisory. Otherwise, carry on.

  21. Robert Graham says:

    Even with all the lipstick a pig with lipstick on is still a Pig , and this Tory Turd cant be polished anymore , any party whos government has been investigated by the Police , the Red Cross , the United Nations is not worthy of any type of respect .
    As to the Council Elections if you dont vote for a Unionist candidate it cant be transferred or allocated to anyone its that simple .

    • Saor Alba. says:

      That last sentence might be important to me Robert.
      I may have to go back to my original thinking of not voting for all candidates.

      • Morag says:

        Robert may be inadvertently misleading you. What is being advised is to keep your vote in play as long as possible so that even after all the pro-independence candidates are either elected or eliminated, it can still help keep a Tory out. Yes, it will do that by helping a LibDem or a Labour candidate get elected, but these are dying parties and another councillor or two ain’t going to resurrect them. The Tories are the enemy and we need to minimise the number of councillors THEY get – and so the number of councils they end up controlling.

        It won’t change the number of unionist councillors, but some unionists are definitely worse than others. You don’t have to rank the Tory, but rank all the others.

  22. Heartsupwards says:

    There still remains a rather elephantic character in the room when it comes to the next Indyref. How to persuade at least two thirds of English people living in Scotland to vote against the continuation of an English Government governing Scotland.

    • Weechid says:

      Strange – almost all English people that I know are Pro-Indy and say that’s why they came to live here.

    • Macart says:

      THAT is the problem, but not so much of a question. The problem is reaching them in sufficient numbers and it’s simply down to hard slog and boots on ground. Assuming of course that the msm are as helpful as ever.

      If I had my druthers, then this campaigns focus would be upon reaching out to ALL new Scots, those of English origin included. What those of continental European origin have to lose is self evident, I’d doubt if many of those who voted no last time out will be repeating that decision anytime soon. What those of English origin have to lose is every fiscal and societal benefit they came to Scotland to enjoy and that needs to be communicated clearly and repetitively. That the greatest uncertainty today rests squarely on the shoulders of remaining in political union with Westminster politics and its system of governance. I’d make it loud and clear that there is no such thing as a status quo.

      Last time out was ALL about the positivity of independence. This time I’d temper that with a healthy dose of reality concerning the ongoing negatives of Westminster politics and its appalling track record.

  23. Cormag Rangvald says:

    “her party represents everything that’s wrong with Britain.” – nail hit on head.

  24. TSD says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    Good advice.

  25. MI5 Troll says:

    Nice piece Dug! “Meaningless Cants”-indeed.”Heartsupwasrds”- we are going to have to ask face up to some difficult choices in the next year. I think your figures sound about right. If we ask the same question to the same people, we might find we get the same anwser.

  26. Craig P says:

    My understanding is that my choice of unionist will only come into play only after all my indy people are elected. As I am in the fortunate position of having 3 pro-indy candidates in a 3-member ward, my ranking of unionist candidates won’t therefore have any effect.

    Would be good to have that assumption confirmed. I will still likely rank them anyway.

    • Morag says:

      It could have an effect so you’re right to rank them. If the last seat to be allocated is between unionists only (that is, all independence-supporting candidates have either been elected or eliminated by then), a fraction of your vote could still transfer to help the one that isn’t a Tory beat the Tory.

      The system is set up so that it pays to keep your vote in play for as long as possible, by ranking all the candidates. You can’t possibly damage any of the indy candidates because their fate will already be sealed before your remaining fraction vote gets that far.

      • Craig P says:

        Thanks for the clarification. I will indeed ‘vote until I boak’ 🙂

        My ward’s independent was the tory candidate until BNP-level comments he made about Muslims became public knowledge and he was expelled from the party. Too late though, leaflets had already been delivered under his name. It will be interesting to see how many first preferences he gets.

  27. Someone here (sorry I can’t remember who) said no-one, not even the SNP, seemed to understand the STV system and I have to agree with them – I had two private conversations with twitter peeps which made me think I understood what I needed to feed back to Branch, but then I watched the video clips on the SNP college section of the Members website and it was sort of the same but well, a wee bit different. So I fed back both versions and advised prospective candidates to watch the videos for themselves until we got information from HQ. Aye well,…….there’s the issue, getting information back from HQ.

    Now I’ve read the advice given here and I’m not seeing what I was told back then, about the 50% +1, the 25% +1, your grannie’s age plus the labour candidate’s inside leg measurement etc etc

    We’re asking folk to vote for SNP 1 and 2 because we have 2 candidates in our ward and we reckon we got around 50% of the vote last time. What happens with the rest of the votes……I guess we’ll know on 5th May

    Voting fur a tory you say,,,,aye that’s gie’in’ me the dry boak richt enough

    • Morag says:

      The SNP Headquarters people don’t seem to understand this themselves, and that is a tragedy. That lack of understanding and appropriate advice may lead to the Tories getting more councillors and more councils than would be the case if they were on message here.

      You don’t have to vote for a Tory. What you have to do is to vote for all the other candidates so that the Tory is pushed to the bottom. The point is that if it so happens that the last seat to be allocated is between two unionists, you’ve done your bit to weigh in on the side of the non-Tory unionist.

  28. farci says:

    ‘…And just as in the referendum of 2014, we discover that when the Guardian has a choice between defending social democratic values, or defending the British establishment, they’ll go for the British establishment every day of the week…’

    Repeat and rinse your mouth out when watching Channel 4 News. Islington mafia

  29. chicmac says:

    Vote SNP for top choices, the other pro indy parties next if any, pro indy Lab next if any, pro indy Independents next, if any, Lab next, LibDem next, Independents (if known to be not a closet Tory). That’s it.

  30. Just asked my local SNP branch to vocalise your take on STV and asked if they are informing the electorate of the STV totalling system . I was shocked by their email saying that they have been told By SNP HQ only to rate the SNP candidates 1st and 2nd and leave the rest blank. I live in Dumfries area.

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