The only realistic choice

This one is easy. For May’s local government elections there’s been all sorts of discussion and the banging of heads off brick walls in an attempt to explain the simplest tactical voting strategy to reduce the number of DTBs who get elected. That’s Durrty Tory Basterts, in case you were wondering that’s the real name of the Conservatives. The relative merits and demerits of ranking the rank smelly party last in a vote until you boke tactic versus not ranking them at all have been debated ad nauseum, or more accurately, ad bokeum. There’s been a lot of disagreement, but we all agree on the basic principle – that we want as few DTBs elected as possible. The disagreement is purely about how best to achieve that.

However Theresa May’s Erdogan election is conducted under the stone age first past the post system, and the best tactical voting strategy to reduce the number of power grabbing Conservative authoritarians is equally primitive. Vote SNP. That’s it. That’s all you need to know. In Scotland, a pro-independence vote for any other party is a wasted vote. It’s that simple. I’ve got a lot of time and sympathy for both the the Greens and the Socialists, and under different circumstances I might even vote for them.

The Greens and the Socialists might stand in some seats, but realistically they have as much chance of getting elected as there is of Ruth Davidson standing up and saying, “You know, I’m going to be consistent and put it on the record that we shouldn’t be having a General Election because the people don’t want one. Less than a third according to a UK wide poll, that’s fewer people than want that independence referendum that I’m always banging on about no one wanting. And I promise never to go near a tank again. Also, I am utterly mortified that Katie Hopkins supports me. Totally affronted. It’s even more embarrassing than when someone lets Murdo go on one of his rampages on Twitter.”

In June’s General Election we have one priority, and that’s to reduce the number of Tories to the minimum. Ideally to zero. The way to do that is to vote SNP. There are other elections in which voting Green or Socialist can make a difference, this isn’t one of them. It is vital in this election that the pro-independence representation is as high as possible, that can only be achieved with an SNP vote. Voting for anyone else splits the pro-independence vote and at best achieves nothing, at worst it allows a Unionist through the middle.

Labour voters have to decide where their priorities lie. Their party has no chance of getting elected. Theresa May called this election in the first place because Labour is so weak. Labour voters in Scotland need to ask themselves whether they want to split the anti-Conservative vote and allow a DTB to slip through the middle, or to lend a vote to the SNP. Let’s be honest, the Union that Labour stands for is dead. The Britain of the welfare state, of public services, of nationalised industries, it’s never coming back, and Britain is facing decades of a hard right Conservative government that will strip us all of employment and human rights in a way that not even Thatcher would have dared. The Tories aren’t hauling us out of the European Union in order to create a utopia of workers’ and civil rights. This isn’t an election about what Labour has achieved in the past, this is a vote about the future, and a Tory future is bleak, barren and filled with the sobs of the hungry and homeless and there’s nothing Labour can do to stop it. The harsh truth is that for Labour’s pensioner vote, the chances are that they won’t see a Labour government in Westminster again. A Labour vote is a vote for hopelessness, for uselessness, for weeping in the graveyard while your children’s hopes are buried. The Tories are destroying Britain with a tiny majority, it’s terrifying to think what havoc they will wreak when they’re returned to power with a large one. Every Labour vote in Scotland makes that more likely.

What’s more important? Tribalism or defeating the evil of Theresa May’s inhumane and cruel government? Sadly for some, tribalism will win. The sparkling wit and raconteur Iain Gray, at least when compared to James Kelly, along with Anas Sarwar, have spent the day on Twitter accusing the SNP of not wanting to get rid of the Tories because they abstained in yesterday’s vote. Labour, on the other hand, trooped obediently into the same division lobby as the Conservatives and voted to back a Conservative motion. If their party had the slightest bit of sense they’d have refused to back the motion too, then the only way Theresa May could have got her vanity election would have been to put forward a humiliating motion of no-confidence in her own government. She’d still have got her election, but Labour could have made it difficult for her. They were too afraid of negative headlines in the Tory press, because Jeremy Corbyn’s party never comes in for negative headlines otherwise does it. Oh wait…

Instead, Labour made it easy for her, and allowed her to look as though she was in total control. But in the tribal world of Ian and Anas, it’s the SNP who are to blame. It’s all the more pathetic because everyone and their granny knows that in this General Election, Labour is going to get gubbed. That’s the sole reason for Theresa holding it in the first place, and Labour went along with it. That’s Labour for you, the party of soft boiled eggs that votes for spoons.

But even worse than Iain and Anas is tribalist extraordinaire is Ian Murray, Labour’s sole remaining MP in Scotland, at least for now. He’s made a call for Labour supporters to vote tactically for Tories in order to keep the SNP out. He’d rather increase Theresa May’s majority and condemn us all to the bleakest of Brexits under a Prime Minister who is even more authoritarian than Margaret Thatcher than see any support for a party which seeks to give the people of Scotland a vote on their constitutional future. That’s truly shameful, as shameful as Ruth Davidson’s support for the rape clause. A Labour MP, who presumably knows the evil effects of Tory policies on the poor, the vulnerable, and the low paid, and yet he’d still prefer to see a Conservative government than concede that the people of Scotland should have the right to decide for themselves what the place of Scotland within the UK and the EU should be. It would be beautifully karmic if Ian’s call for people to vote Tory tactically backfired on him and allowed the SNP to take his seat.

If you choose a better Scotland, a Scotland where hope flourishes, where the future is to be embraced not feared, where we tell Theresa where to go instead of her dictating to us, an SNP vote is the only realistic choice.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-20th-april-2017

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37 comments on “The only realistic choice

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug The only realistic choice […]

    • Ian W says:

      Local council elections – vote ’till you boke;

      General Election – vote SNP

      Recognise that voting SNP is, for a goodly number of people – a ‘tactical’ vote until Scotland becomes independent – then you can choose another party if you wish as, from then on, they will all be truly ‘Scottish’ parties? Of course some (like Labour) have already and probably permanently, shot themselves in the foot whilst others (Greens?) have come into prominence.

  2. Andy Anderson says:

    Excellent Paul. Clarified as clearly as always. I cannot understand why Labour supported the DTB party.

    • wm11 says:

      Because when the Union is threatened, the English close ranks. Lab know they have no chance of winning a GE, and don’t much care by the look of it. It’s not as if they were ever a meaningful opposition anyway is it? Abstained on nearly everything important, giving the Tories an easy ride. Wouldn’t even partner with others to oppose the Tories.

      They know if Indy2 becomes a reality, the Union is toast. So Corbyn took one for team GB imho. Westminster had no clue that Scots would get another run at Indy so soon and they are furious about that. They all blew their credibility last time and they know it.

      So look at the polls, take a shufty at the CPS waiting in the wings, and calculate that a GE would return the Tories to Westminster with a big majority; Tessie will handle the “crushing” of the “saboteurs” of the precious Union after.

      That’s us.

      The homegrown useful idiots are already spouting lies and disinformation. And not even clever lies. Same old recycled and debunked ones. Won’t stop them. Tribal right enough. Blind and uncaring. “They would see this Country burn, if only to be kings of the ashes”. How do they sleep at night?

      • maxi says:

        They know that out there is still a barra load of knuckle dragging vacuous moronic union flag waving rule Britannia evil foul-mouthed excuses for scots spouting their bile in pubs and clubs everywhere. They think that they and their secrets are above the rest of Scottish society. They are just a bunch of serf-minded traitors who one day will have to pay the piper.

      • james says:

        Where did Corbyn come from? Suddenly a “socialist” back bencher becomes leader of the party. Corbyn is probably an establishment “sleeper”, brought out to muddy the waters. The Westminster big parties will always join to keep the “union”.

  3. Macart says:

    Superb Paul and right on the nail. So nicking DTB at the first opportunity. 😀

    Just to be perfectly clear though.

    Did a round of the usual suspects today and dear God the reasoning leaves you speechless.

    Aye, apparently the Scottish government’s success during this election should be judged on vote share, not seats won.

    Following this logic, it doesn’t matter if they still return a majority of the Scottish seats. Doesn’t matter if they returned an MP from ALL 59 seats. If the vote share dips in any way, they and we the electorate simply have to accept that self determination is done.

    That’s their argument in a nutshell.

    The democratic deficit which Westminster governance enjoys already, apparently isn’t enough at this point. They want your opinion, your rights, your choices removed altogether.

    Are we getting the picture yet of what Westminster governance means? Do you understand what extended Conservative government actually means for you at this point?

    Your inalienable human and civic rights are at stake here.

    Your right to choose is at stake.

    If you think such statements are being overly dramatic then I give you the rape clause, the cutting of bereavement benefits, the cutting of housing benefits for teens, sanctions UK and indiscriminate deportation policy.

    These are with us TODAY and enacted by the Conservative government which has just called a snap election for no better reason than it wishes to extend its current tenure in office, secure a Conservative stranglehold on Westminster politics for the next twenty years, enact the GRB, the ‘British’ Bill of Rights and the Henry VIII clause. (Oh, and cover its arse over the possible loss of MPs from election fraud charges)

    The next few ballots are ALL about protecting your rights. If you lose them? They’re gone and nothing will bring them back while Westminster dominates the politics of these islands and our nation. You lose the right to complain or fight any policy brought about by that hoose on the Thames, pretty much end of.

    Worth thinking about, yes?

    Link: QED!

  4. AnnieM says:

    As Nicola said at FMQs, if the Tories can push through something like the diabolical Rape Clase with a small majority, heaven help us if they get a large majority. We desperately need large numbers in Scotland to vote SNP and elsewhere in the UK to vote anything but Tory. TM can’t be stopped, but if there is the will in the UK she can certainly be reined back.

  5. Be careful about which wall you bang your head off, Paul. I’d avoid PFI Schools, hospitals and prisons, lest the Airfix glued bricks fall from the wall and crush you to death.
    A superb piece. There is only one option if we want to protect Scotland from the Madness enveloping England.
    Today at FMQ, we had Rapefinder General Davidson defending the Blue Tories quite evil austerity measures, and Dugdale rounding on NS, punting the mad logic that by abstaining, the SNP were supporting the Tories while Iain Murray exhorts Labour supporters to vote Tory.
    Wullie Rennie, looking even more like a cartoon character from a Dudley D Watkins Sunday Post funnies strip, giggled and laughed his way through the whole session, his only contribution to the day was pressing NS to include membership of the EU in the SNP manifesto.
    Nicola Sturgeon was the only leader in the room with a dog in the UK GE fight.(sorry, Patrick.)
    She is the leader of the SNP, and has 56 MPs at Westminster. The SNP is a grown up UK Party, and we voted for them overwhelmingly last time.
    Davidson Dugdale and Rennie are Branch Office placemats Up Here.
    They have already formed Better Together 2, a ‘Coalition of Chaos’, and have only one agenda; attack ‘the EssEnnPee’ at every turn.
    Dugdale should of course be ripping Davidson’s lungs out over the Evil Austerity cuts, but she isn’t. Iain Murray voted through the £25 billion austerity package in Jan 2016, along with his Blue Tory partners, so Dugdale can hardly attack the Blue Wing of her ‘Coalition of Chaos’ for destroying the lives of rape victims, widows, the severely disabled, and 260,000 Scots children in state engineered poverty.
    But she doesn’t have to.
    All these nasty ‘diificult decisions’ (Ed Balls’ words) are being implemented by the Big Boys down in England.
    I could not agree more, Paul. The only way to stop this cancer is to vote SNP at local and national level.
    I look forward to Mundell Murray and Carmichael debating the issues on BBC Scotland’s Election special from Scotland.
    That should be fun.

  6. Kupo says:

    I personally think the greens and all other pro-scot/indy parties should not send any representastion at the general election on June 8th.

    My reasons are based on past general elections results in Scotland. Look them up and you will see what I’m talking about The smaller parties can’t make a positive difference in this upcoming election, only hinder the one party that can, the SNP.

    This is being framed as a pro-Scotland vs pro-unionist election up here. Labour are finished as their remaining unionist fringe teleport over to the DTB (nice one Paul). The liedims natually may hold onto their orkney post (sigh) but will pose no threat. All of this will lead to a vast swing to the DTB in all of the constituencies, putting at risk the SNP numbers captured in 2015.

    Tactical voting WILL occur to stop us in our tracks, so lets use the same tactic and turn it against them. This isn’t about party politics this time round, and I hope the greens will have the humilty to campaign with the SNP and encourage their voters to transfer their votes to the SNP to maximize our pro-indy vote and stop the DTB getting in. The greens have at least a1000 plus vote count in most constituencies in recent elections, especially 2015.

    I wouldn’t be advocating such a stance under any other circumstance, but these are not normal circumstances in a not-so normal period in the history of these isles ( or the world for that matter).
    There is simply too much at stake for piffy party politics right now, and I certainly won’t be happy if we have another Mundell moment but this time in multiple areas around Scotland all for a couple of candidates having their names called out on TV for a brief moment of acknowlegment on the day of the count as a DTB smirks on stage to give their speech and says “this proves that Scotland doesn’t want another referendum” crap.

    Finally, no offense meant to green supporters or minority parties, (SNP were at one time a minority also) but this needed said.

  7. Jan Cowan says:

    Not a difficult decision to “lend” your vote in order to save Scotland from the Tories. After all, once we are independent we’ll be free to vote for any party we consider worthy.

  8. Robert Harrison says:

    Snp is the only choice right now I’ve had it with unionist ah who Don’t care about people like the poor or the disabled or the homeless or even rape victims English voters cant see the truth but we in scotland Should never turn a blind eye to these tory injustices may and her lackeys impose on us like ruth davidson wants us to I’ve seen the English turn a blind eye to these tory injustices when i lived in England thats why i moved to scotland as the English Didn’t want to listern they was totally believing the bbc lies and i know a lot south of the border still believe the bbc lies even now hence why im for independence from the ruk and why im voting snp the 3rd time in a row

  9. […] Source: The only realistic choice […]

  10. Bill McDermott says:

    Paul, can you help me here.

    The SLAB tactic at FMQs was to blame the SNP for abstaining and not voting against the Tories. But what was their point since as I understand it, Labour voted with the Tories for an election. What was the point of their complaint?

  11. wm11 says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/20/european-parliament-will-welcome-britain-back-if-voters-veto-brexit

    UK welcomed back to EU if voters changed their minds about brexit on 8th June.

    Corbyn rules out putting vote on brexit result in Lab GE manifesto. So he’s another one: Brexit means Brexit.

  12. Saor Alba. says:

    I think the Guardian is, as usual, avoiding the truth here.

  13. What’s in front of us is hugely frightening. Another Tory victory, this time with a large majority, will strip us of everything we cherish in the way of institutions and services, and crush our pride in being Scottish. Nothing will avoid the flood as laws get trashed, finance and pensions are slashed and the NHS is privatised because the NHS in England will be and so funding for ours will end. The Scottish government will be powerless to mitigate the effects as they will struggle with budgets cut to the bone. They may even be forced to ditch some of the policies they hold dear and which we rely on – free prescription, free university education, free care for the elderly.

    Despite all that has been said and done since the last indyref by MPs in Westminster and the Tory government, despite all the mayhem leaving the EU will cause, the number of people who still intend to vote Labour, LibDem or Tory because they hate the SNP is highly depressing. How to get through to these people, and do the indy parties have sufficient activists and strategists on the ground to swing opinions?

    And then there is the question of finance for a general election. The Tories’ coffers will be awash, but I suspect many SNP branches will be down to pebbles. Let’s hope the finance appears and the will to retain seats becomes apparent because we have a huge hill to climb and not much time in which to do it.

    • jingsandthings, I share your caution, if not your despondency.
      The SNP are in a fairly healthy position to fight this immoral UK GE.
      They have 56 sitting MPs, and concomitant Short Money to fight the campaign.
      The Northern Branches of the Blue Red and Yellow Tories have an impossible 7 weeks to cobble together 59 candidates each, which was kinda the point of May springing a snap plebiscite on the nation. Corbyn has been caught with his trousers down reading Das Kapital in the loo.

      The Unionists Down There know that Scotland is a lost cause; that’s why the WM HO’s aren’t all that bothered that lightweight idiots like Davidson Dugdale and Rennie manage the Branch Offices.
      Our print and broadcast media collude in propping up the tattered amateur Unionist detritus Up Here: the strategy is to shout and bawl and EssEnnPee Bad as often as possible, in the hope that the now politically clued up Scottish electorate will fall for their lies and distortions, or at worst, bow down to our Imperial English Masters, because of 300 years of brainwashed subservience.

      But we have reached the end of our tether.

      Up Here, we still have a society that retains certain basic human values and most of us live our lives following a broadly ‘ecumenical’ moral code.

      Most of us walk the talk Up Here. Our society still cares about children, especially the children from poor and vulnerable backgrounds, widows, pensioners, infirm and disabled citizens, citizens who are the victims of violent crimes, including but not exclusively rape, families surviving on low wages, the homeless, and the unemployed.

      We still adhere to, protect, and promote the fundamental elements which constitute a fair inclusive civic society; education, health, an affordable retirement, the immutable right to warmth, and food, a home, the right to work, the right to vote.
      Our basic rights in our free society are under threat as never before.

      If as expected the English return May with an increased majority, then we must expect the worst.

      Jackson Carlaw lied on air about the Rape Clause, and was allowed to do so unchallenged by the broadcaster.
      No need to fill in a form? He lied. No challenge.
      We are in for 6 weeks of this Unionist ‘collaboration of chaos’.

      I look forward to Joanne Cherry debating with Mundell Murray and Carmichael, with Glenn Campbell chairing, to an audience of Jordanhill and Hyndland ‘professionals’.
      The criteria to stand as a candidate for the Yoon Parties this time may be fairly lax: if they hold a pocket mirror up to your nose and it clouds over, you’re in.

  14. mullwharcharcom says:

    As always…..You said it all. Thank you.

  15. Waiting for Scotland says:

    It is blindingly obvious that the Conservative and Union Party has chosen the General Election as the time for a referendum on the independence of Scotland. In essence, now is the time. The hypocrisy is breath taking. The timing is also profoundly cynical. Not in the least surprising really. Being two faced is apparently normal for these people.

    May and her factors know that time is not on their side in two years – the suggested timing of the Section 30 motion recently approved by the Scot’s “Parliament” and which still has received no official response.

    Two more years of young Scots joining the voting electorate. Two more years of ever increasing austerity – turbocharged on steroids. Two more years of the bumbling ineptitude that is Brexit. Coupled with a complete re-alignment of supply chains across the whole economy, the next ten years are going to be extremely grim for the people. It will be another lost decade to add to the last one. An entire generation living through Dickensian levels of poverty and jurisprudence. The demographic changes alone favor independence two years down the road.

    This is why they are forcing the issue now. While there is still a significant contingent of colonials defending the Union Jack, added to our fearful pensioners. They probably believe they have the numbers needed to thwart independence until after 2022.

    They would loose the vote in two years. That is why they want it now. I have faith our people will respond with resolution.

    Steel yourselves because the next six weeks will be a tidal wave of frightful mendacity and degradation. The pro-independence Scots are to be the bogeyman to rally the English and pensioners to the Tory banner. It will be utterly despicable and probably hilarious.

    I recommend that the SNP avoid the Unionist media like the plague – it will only be used against us anyway. But, every falsehood must be be challenged by all pro-independence parties and people.

    May has forced this battle upon us. We didn’t choose it. The odds are long but its time for all of us to put it on the line. Scotland is within our grasp again. We must seize it on May 4th and June 8th to save ourselves and our nation.

  16. I envy Scotland the SNP, for the rest of us there is no credible alternative. Only the lib dems opposé Brexit, what a choice!!

  17. Jonnny come lately says:

    Very interesting article below explaining why Mayhem has been forced to call an election. It would appear that the Tory press has been so busy banging on about the fantastic article 50 letter, that they have forgotten to inform us of the EU’s reply letter. Enjoy:)

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/anthony-barnet/why-is-she-frit

  18. Sheryl Hepworth says:

    Now folks is the time for our 56 on the election hustings to get a GRIP and come out fighting!! To long have we been ‘nice’ to our dirty opponents. To long have we answered lies with ”yes but…” NOW we need to say ‘STOP right there you say A) we know and have the proof here (waving facts paper) that you are lying” To ask they others ‘What about B) and C) and D) let’s hear now what it means’.. We teh /Scots people can do this at husting, stalls etc and it is time NOW to do it!! Heaven forbid that folks don’t see we will lose our SG and all rights if we don’t stand up and fight NOW!!

  19. Bill McDermott says:

    I see that Wings is down. No doubt this will be the security services acting on behalf of Theresa, just in time for the election.

  20. Tinto Chiel says:

    You said it all, Paul: wonderfully articulate and concise.

    The choice is an independent, inclusive, progressive Scotland or Eternal Tory Night.

    It really is that simple, yet BLiS______d choose the night.

    As the poet said, “After such knowledge, what forgiveness?”

    Hell mend ’em…..

    • Marconatrix says:

      It’s a chilling thought, especially for those not in Scotland or with friends and relatives across the border. Will the silent, long-suffering majority (??) of decent English folk awake in time … or go gently into that far-from-good night? I only hope …

  21. TheStrach says:

    I was back in Scotland this week and met many SNP supporters who’ll be trying their best to wipe the Unionists from Scotland at the General Election. It was great to see and hear the positive and determined voices being raised against the Tories in particular.

    We can and must win. I don’t know exactly how and when we’ll gain independence but it is only a matter of time.

  22. wm11 says:

    The people in Scotland who support Indy are on the right side of history: finally. I think we are going to win it, and soon. No idea how, but if Sovereignty is vested in the people (it is) we will find a way, no matter what Westminster comes up with to try and stop it.

    Still a long hard road though, but by God it isn’t as long as it looked in the ’70’s. Indy has had false dawn’s before but we have always come back from it. We are at the front of a queue that stretches a long way back, and we must try to do them proud in this GE.

    As a miserable old sod generally it’s quite a surprise to feel positive for once! We still have the power of the State against us, the State Media, the Useful Idiots, the knuckle-dragging fleg-waving half-wits, the Academic-Whores. But they seem this time to have all lost their power.

    IndyRef1 was a heartbreak, but also a watershed. We have seen behind the curtain of Westminster and it’s cronies. There is no great an powerful Oz. Just a pack of grubby careerist’s scrabbling for our approval, trying desperately to keep the proles in line with threats.

    And when that’s all the Yoons have left, it’s already over. We CAN do this, if we commit to support our Yes movement.

    Saor Alba

  23. I don’t know. That is my befuddlement right there. If I was to take a cynical view, I could say that politically, it’s just business as usual right now. This is disappointing.

    I see no signs of Defcon One or the ante being upped in any way. I want to scream stop doing this Westminster’s way – you’ll never ever get unionists recognition that you’ve won independence ten times over already. That is just an ever decreasing infinity where the hare will never beat the tortoise.

    As I said, I just don’t know. Can we not get a move on with this project?

    As one insect says to the other in a bug’s life, ‘I’ve only got 24hrs to live and I don’t want to spend it doing this!’

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