Putting lipstick on a pig

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. There’s no spin you can put on it, no positive gloss. This hasn’t been a good night for the SNP. The results of the General Election have been terrible for the party. Some of its biggest names are no longer representing Scotland in Westminster, replaced by third rate Tories and no-hope Labourites.

All the Unionist parties made gains against the SNP. Scottish Labour may have cost themselves government with their myopic and destructive hatred of the SNP leading them to nod and wink at Tory voting in order to defeat the evil nats. People in this country looked upon the Tories with their clueless Brexit, their rape clause, their benefits sanctions, and their wholesale destruction of the NHS and said to themselves “Aye, I’ll have some of that.” Now it looks like it’s Scotland that’s foisting a Tory government on England. Oh the irony. Seats that really shouldn’t have fallen fell. Maybe we need this to remind ourselves just how horrific the Tories really are. In Scotland the media never discusses Tory policy, they just let Ruth Davidson attack the SNP. We’re reaping the consequences now.

The only consolations, and they are large consolations, is that the results haven’t been any better for Theresa May and they were an utter disaster for Ukip. Tory insiders were reported as saying that they’d lost every marginal constituency that Theresa May had visited. Wish she’d spent a bit more time in Scotland. She called this election in order to take advantage of the polls which predicted a massive majority for her, and she did so in order to secure her position within the Conservative party. She made this election entirely about her. And she failed. The people of Britain have told Theresa May that they’re not disposed to give her that blank cheque to implement those Brexit plans that she won’t discuss with us. The big winners of this election are the EU Commission.

Yes, the SNP had an impossible time trying to cut through a media that was overwhelmingly biased against them. Yes, they were facing unprincipled opposition which had no compunction in lying and dissembling and which cheerfully conflated devolved issues with Westminster issues. But none of that is new. The truth is that the SNP campaign was weak, lacking in focus, and didn’t resonate with the electorate. There was no vision being given, no dream, too often it seemed that they were simply going through the motions. “Stronger for Scotland” isn’t a vision, isn’t a story. People need a story, and all the SNP offered was a soundbite. It’s not enough. We need to paint a picture of a better country, we need to tell its story and sing its songs and make it live in the imagination.

And it needs to be said that in some areas the internal disputes and divisions within the party did it no favours. The SNP should never have been at risk in a Yes voting area like Coatbridge. The fact that it lost in a Yes heartland has a lot to do with a local party that has been suspended and a central leadership that didn’t crack down sooner and more heavily on cronyism, factionalism, and in-fighting. You can hardly blame people in Coatbridge for not being attracted to an SNP which was perceived as being every bit as corrupt and dysfunctional as North Lanarkshire politics have been in the past. Pro-independence parties have to be better, and have to be seen to be better. You can’t sell a vision of a better country if you practise all the ills that you’re saying independence can remedy.

But it’s not entirely bleak. The results of this election don’t mean that support for independence is any less than it was. I’m hearing of many pro-independence supporters on the left who switched to Labour this time because they were attracted by Jeremy Corbyn’s message. There are a lot of people in Scotland who are attracted to the idea of independence because it means an opportunity to implement a left wing agenda, you can hardly blame them for being attracted to a man who seemingly offers them that agenda, even if it’s in the context of the UK.

By any objective standard the SNP won. We’re judging them against the artificially high tide of the post-referendum protest vote which saw them take almost every seat in the country. You don’t win 95% of the seats in every election. The SNP are still by far the largest Scottish party in terms of seats and in terms of vote share. They won a majority of Scottish Westminster seats and that means they secured their triple lock on an independence referendum. The Tories fought their campaign in Scotland on the sole issue of opposing another referendum, and they lost. They failed in Scotland, and their failure across the rest of the UK means that paradoxically that smaller number of SNP MPs could wield greater influence in Westminster than the larger contingent elected in 2015. Despite what you’ll be hearing in a Unionist newspaper near you, the dream of independence remains very much alive. They’ll be doing their usual thing, trying to insist that by winning the largest number of seats, by putting in their second best performance ever in a Westminster General Election, by securing a majority of Scottish seats, the SNP still somehow lost and the Tories won.

But the big news is that Theresa May has lost her clawlike hold on Brexit and lost her majority in parliament. Things have got bloody difficult for her, and by the time you read this she may very well have resigned. She’s now a zombie PM and her hard Brexit has been rejected. The Brexit negotiations begin in a few days time, and Theresa May has failed to get the backing that she wanted. She’s weaker than she was, and she was in a pretty weak position to begin with. She put party before the country, and she lost. She’s damaged goods and her authority has been fatally undermined. The vulture-like Boris Johnson has already started to circle, scenting blood. Theresa May is finished, her tenure as Prime Minister will be one of the shortest in history. She won’t be missed.

This is a pig, yet independence isn’t dead, but it now depends on what happens with Brexit, a Brexit which is now even more uncertain that it was, and it was always deeply uncertain. Scotland’s future is no longer in Scotland’s hands. We can still win this, but we won’t win by putting all the blame on the Unionists. We need to look at ourselves and consider what we can do differently. We owe that to the vulnerable, the poor, and the weak within our own communities. We owe it to our children and our grandchildren and generations yet to come. We owe it to ourselves. But we can do this. And we will.

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110 comments on “Putting lipstick on a pig

  1. Erik says:

    You are right on this. The Snp got hit hard, but stood up against a tide that was overwhelmingly against them. I am not sad for the losses to labour, for they were Corbyns labour.

    • John Edgar says:

      Just read in the Independent, May could have a majority with 10 DUP support.
      Dugdale’s Slabbers may just have denied Corbyn a government due to the “support” Tories to keep SNP out in the marginal seats. Be careful what you wish for!!

    • Hr Anderson says:

      The shift to Labour was negated by labour votes for the Tories to block SNP… A new low in Scottish politics!!

  2. Cloggins says:

    If Theresa goes to Brussels for brexit talks they will first question her mandate. Brussels didn’t mind as long as she had a majority, however small. Now the position has changed and she should step down.

  3. panda paws says:

    I fully agree. I’m for independence and the SNP is a vehicle for that. I think that have run two bad campaigns in a row. Yes the media is against them and they always will be but they need to buy better strategists. I like Nicola but less time on selfies and more time on the offensive please.

    I think the Tories will try to form the next government though the irony of EVEL means their shiny new ScotTories will be sometimes be useless as will the DUP.

    The Chinese were right – interesting times and cursed indeed.

  4. On a positive note….. if the SNP results in Scotland are a prediction of seats that would vote yes in indyref#2……. we’re riding that pony all the way home,its not a massive majority but its a majority none the less

  5. crabbitgits says:

    Calm and composed Dug. For me, without picking over the bones, I have always felt; since the indyref vote and before that the SNP just aren’t aggressive enough in the face of a totally hostile media and are happy to play by the rules, whatever they are. However, it’s not a disaster as the Dug says.

    • Janet says:

      Indeed, they need to bite back, whether it’s on PISA tests or GERS, simply being mealy-mouthed is pathetic. A bit of tub-thumping if you please!

  6. Andy Anderson says:

    Agree that the campaign was poorly driven for SNP. Look at their political broadcasts. Kids and that’s it. No hard hitting stuff and a good slogan. Not much through the door either. Only one SNP leaflet and at least ten Tory for me near Perth.

    I agree Indy is still alive and SNP did well. We must remember they were fighting to keep a huge win last time. Looking where the blue is on the map it looks to me like oil and fishing hurt the NE.

    Interesting now what happens at Westminster, May leaving probably and in the longer term brexit.

    Onwards and upwards. Remember how we felt on 19 Sept 14. This is not as bad as that.

    • Peters says:

      Concern troll alert! There were plenty of SNP leaflets in every constituency. Stop lying.

      The fact is there has been the usual massive voter fraud. The usual postal votes of course but also making sure that all those lovely english nazi scum who make up HMQ’s armed forces used their vote in Moray and not their home towns.

      Add in the bbc and raving yoon lunatics like leask and gordon at the herald and there’s no way the SNP should even have won 20 seats. 34 is a miracle.

      The only way the next vote will be won is by destroying the bbc and not cowering before it. They are the enemy of Scotland and must be fought.

      Take on the whore of pottermore. Stop letting her buy votes. And drive that bloated cunt Daisley over the english border and then harpoon him.

    • heathermclean19 says:

      Regarding the leafleting, I’m not sure whether you’re aware of it, but the leaflets that drop through your doors are delivered by volunteers, the Tories have plenty of money to pay people to deliver or post their leaflets and from what you say, with 10 leaflets, they obviously spent that money!
      Perhaps you might consider volunteering to deliver some SNP leaflets in your area next tine around, I’m sure your help would be appreciated, and you don’t have to be an SNP member to do it, supporters are welcomed!

  7. Ian Murray says:

    It might have been a bad night for the SNP but it was an even worse night for independence. The independence movement is bigger than the SNP and the sooner people realise that the sooner we can move forward.

    • Ken. says:

      And the desire to remain in the UK is bigger than the Tories. 63% of Scotland voted for unionist parties.

      • Correction – 63% of those who bothered to go and vote. In the North East Scotland seats taken by the Conservatives, the number of people who didn’t bother to vote was greater than the total Conservative poll by 30,000. It was apathy that won in these constituencies and it had nothing whatever to do with whether or not voters (or, indeed, non-voters) wished to leave the UK. In case you had forgotten, this was a UK General Election NOT a single-issue referendum as the Unionist parties have tried to make it.

  8. Macart says:

    In the days to come through brexit and what appears to be a hung parliament, people will come to understand the term ‘you get who and what you vote for’ only too well.

    They can’t say they weren’t warned.

    Before today, I’d had a figure of around 40 seats in mind. Right now they’re sitting on 34 with only a few to declare. I’d reckon only one more is a possibility at this point. Paul’s called it right IMO, but it’s still a kick in the gut that media and the appalling Tory campaign in Scotland has had such an impact.

    Just to repeat though, you get who and what you vote for. Something those people with new MPs should remember.

    Very much a case of ‘Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me’.

    It’s not out of the bounds of possibility that he UK faces the prospect of a further GE in the near future. Brexit is now a looming omnishambles of epic proportions with absolutely nothing settled in terms of UK governance. Cuts and austerity WILL continue and our new MPs have achieved their current posts on a single policy. They’ll vote the way their head office tells them.

    What the establishment parties and the media have done will cause untold suffering.

    The only saving grace is that the SNP though weakened and with the loss of some exceptional parliamentarians, have won the election in Scotland. They’ve won it in the face of one of the most appalling campaigns outside of the the EU ref and after ten years of office. The triple lock has been costly and hard won, but won it has been. Two years ago most pro indy voters would have bitten your arm off for twenty seats in the 2015 GE.

    What happens next?

    It’d be a brave soul to call it. What is certain is that the whole UK is set for some very hard times regardless and it can and should be lain firmly at the feet of central government and the media.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Last paragraph is very true.

      I wonder how the EU Brexit negotiators will see this. probably make them negotiate harder.

      • Macart says:

        Their position won’t change a jot Andy and it’s the same one they’ve had from the beginning. The four freedoms are the foundation stone of the EU. They’re non negotiable. This WILL be a hard Brexit regardless.

        The UKs one hope to retain single market access was a Labour/SNP block negotiating the halfway house Norway option. I doubt very much that’s on the cards at this moment. The government and politics of the UK is in chaos and society is split between hardline and progressive stances which, at this point, have no centre ground or consensus. Within that societal split are multiple fractures, too many to count.

        In pursuit of the big chair over the decades, the political class and the media have done a bang up job of destroying societal cohesion across all the nations and populations of the UK. What we’re seeing unfold now is the inevitable and catastrophic end result of politics as it is practised…etc.

        We can still win out in the end, but any indyref is still around two years away after we know the details of the deal.

        In the meantime… This is going to hurt and we need to be ready to help folks where we can.

        • Sam, it is the End of Days for the Union.
          Somebody has to turn up in Brussels in a week or so.
          If May limps on, we shall continue with the destruction of Civic Scotland, and No-Brexit which is where we are headed, will usher in the Night of the Long knives as No Deal Westminster strips the three non English countries of their powers, in the name of creating he One Nation, ‘smash tomorrow’ Britain Made Greater.

          The timetable for Indyref 2 is still on; Oct ’18, April ’19.
          The EU know that they face a WM Government in tatters.
          The four freedoms were immutable when May had a slim majority, they will be in tablets of stone
          now.
          On the 4th August 2016, Mark Carney handed the Banks £60 billion in QE, plus £10 billion in bonds , to shore up the UK economy which was in danger of going into free fall that soon after the Leave decision.
          Well, unless he has another ‘magic money tree’, reality is about to bite.

          The combined media and Yoon Parties hounded NS for 7 weeks, and she never faltered.

          Next time, which will be sooner than everybody thinks, the SNP must spread the load.

          NS made herself available for every debate, every interview, every TV programme.

          The SNP must politely refuse to allow the Yoon Media unbridled access to her. It was a deliberate ploy to physically and mentally exhaust her.

          There are plenty of fine SNP politicians who can step up to the plate, and go hand to hand combat with the Davidsons, Dugdales and Rennies of the political swamplands.

          Despite everything the SNP won the GE in Scotland.

          The Labour Party need to kick Dugdale out. She probably cost them the chance to form a workable minority Labour Government by gifting 15 seats uncontested to the Blue and Yellow Tories.

          I wonder if George Square will be bedecked in Union Flags today held aloft by goose stepping Brit Loyalists?
          We live to fight on; that’s the thought to hold in our heads.

          • Saor Alba says:

            You are absolutely correct Jack – Dugdale and her supporters stopped Labour forming a workable minority – mainly due to her hatred. Disgusting and undignified.

  9. AnnieM says:

    It seems as though the UK is hell bent on destruction at the moment. I’m delighted that TM’s plan for domination has totally back-fired on her.

    I think what we need to focus on now is getting the best SNP leader we can in the Commons. The loss of Angus Robertson is a severe blow IMO and an extremely hard act to follow, but there are still enough SNP MPs to have a strong voice with the right person leading them. SNP are still the third party in Westminster.

    Another thing we have to remember is that the Scottish Government hasn’t changed and still has a pro-indy majority. Ruth the Mooth, with all the posturing and blustering in the world can do nothing about that!

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Agree that SG is in place and they have a mandate for an Indy ref which has been enhanced by this vote also.

      I think we continue as planned and ask the SNP to be more aggressive to get the message across. Lets write to them to tell them this. Stop playing exactly by the rules and being ‘Mr Nice Guy’ as the yoon parties do not. Learn from the yoons, it is OK to lie, they do.

      • Alistair Herd Swanson says:

        Sorry to disagree, but do not let us lower our standards because “others do”.
        Go for the highest, the honest, keep people informed.

  10. Grafter says:

    Enough of this electoral charade. Lets declare UDI.

  11. Therapymum says:

    Thanks Dug.I needed that reality check.

    In my last post on this forum I said that I lived in hope, but unfortunately that hope has not materialised. I also said in that post that I was concerned that the SNP had not found a way to cut through the negative electioneering of “No Indyref! No SNP!” The contrary narrative of “No Tories!” clearly did not really cut it with the voters. Corbyn’s positive campaign was well fought and well done to him for managing to overcome the vile press he has had since he was elected. His success might be a benchmark on making the media eat their words. To go from the very bottom and be apparently unelectable to be a serious challenger in 8 weeks is an amazing achievement. It was also, hopefully, a slap in the face to the PLP and people like Ian Murray.

    The SNP and Nicola worked hard over this election. I feel deeply sorry that Alec Salmond, Angus Robertson and the others who have lost their seats. However, the SNP need more effective, positive strategies and the vision of a better future. They have done a lot for Scotland and it’s people, and need to re-establish that feeling of aspiration that has somehow been lost since 2014. You are right. It’s not the end of the world. The vote has held so independence isn’t dead, but a serious rethink is necessary. Next time!

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Yes to a rethink.

      We do not know why 13% of people swung away from the SNP. This needs to be researched. Yes some will be because of ‘No Referendum’ but others will be for a host of reasons such as supporting Corbyn to keep May out, anti EU stance by fishermen (which I cannot understand, they shat on their own nest and it was the EU that did something to help the fish stocks recover), possible job losses in the NE due to oil (people do not know who manages what) etc. etc.

      This swing away from the SNP does not mean that all these people swung away from the independence cause.

  12. Weechid says:

    The disaster for me is that Dumfries and Galloway have lost the best MP they have ever had and been landed with someone so out of touch with ordinary folk that he might as well come from the planet Zanussi. I can’t understand what more has to be offered to voters. I don’t get what the Tories had to offer over the SNP and I’m dismayed at the selfishness of people who would condemn others to death by voting for a right wing govt hell bent on killing off as many of the poorer members of society that they can. One woman, when canvassed, admitted that she’d come to live in our area from further south because of the benefits she got living in Scotland under an SNP govt – but she was still going to vote Tory. I hope she thinks on that when her pension is cut and she has to sell her house for medical care. Hell bloody mend her.

    • Jamie MacDonald says:

      Same story here Weechid, north of you in Ayr, carrick and cumnock, lots moved in and reaping all the benefits, while never voting for the party providing them..
      Hell mend indeed, this may just be the start of that period.
      We have lost Corri Wilson to Tory boy Bill Grant, my 11 year old boy was playing with scissors the other day, I gave him one of Bill’s leaflets, it is ironic that these folk have, however unwittingly(!), installed ‘Ruth Davidson’s candidate -ill Gran-‘…

    • Eriador says:

      There’s too many of those ‘identikit’ bastards in D&G. Its too easy to flop over the border into our heaven.

    • Eriador says:

      There’s too many of those ‘identikit’ bastards in D&G. Its too easy to flop over the border into our heaven.

      • M says:

        You are lucky, here in Wales the border is the whole length of the country and is closer to the big cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.

      • M says:

        You are lucky, here in Wales the border is the whole length of the country and is closer to the big cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.

    • mogabee says:

      So right about Richard. Utter madness electing a Tory who will do damn all for the area but there you go…

  13. douglasclark says:

    How do the SNP maximise their impact in a hung Parliament? That, it seems to me, is a question worth considering.

  14. diabloandco says:

    I am depressed this morning by my countrymen and woman.
    Who would have thought that they would vote for no free lunches for the weans, Trident polluting subs in our waters, winter fuel under threat , bus passes under threat , a privatised NHS , prescription charges and the BBBC?
    And I thought Scotland had woken up.

  15. John Edgar says:

    An interesting datum appeared in a poll. If May/Tories formed the government, then 37% of Labour voters would back independence.
    The Tories are still the largest party in England! They will return, so a Corbyn interlude supported by the SNP to get the Brexit debacle sorted is vital.
    The English do not want the SNP pulling things!!
    How ironic if Dugdale’s tacit support of the Tories leads to another Tory government!!
    Be careful what you wish for.
    The message from Scotland is that the SNP are vulnerable! Yet, SNP are still the Largest party with seats and share of the vote and geographical spread.
    The independence movement goes beyond the SNP. Labour under Corbyn ate in second place!! The Tories will return.
    Independence is the only guarantee to keep Scotland Tory-Westminster free!

  16. AnnieM says:

    You know what, the people of Scotland don’t deserve the Scottish Government! Maybe the SNP should stop protecting them from the worst excesses of the Westminster Tories and give them a taste of what a Tory Government in Scotland would be like.

    • Skip_NC says:

      There will come a time when the SG simply won’t have the money to mitigate Tory cuts. To do that, it would need the full array of fiscal levers. Once people realize that, independence will come.

  17. DaveM says:

    Bang on the money, Paul. I’ve not been inspired by the SNP at all in the last couple of elections. They feel a bit New Labour for me at the moment, and need to find some direction and a bit of bloody passion – and pronto. Their vote share from 2015 was unsustainable anyway, but they’re being outmanoeuvred. What happened to their apparently famous local campaigning juggernaut? I saw not a single SNP canvasser in my area. Thankfully Deirde Brock was re-elected though.
    Where do we and the movement go from here? I feel depressed this morning.

    • Therapymum says:

      In my area in Dunbartonshire, the only canvassers in my area were SNP. The constituency has returned Jo Swinson LibDem again despite her voting record while in coalition. Folk have short memories.

  18. Kat hamilton says:

    Feeling pretty deflated this morning,even tho,snp still polled around 35 seats…the blue menace will always be with us, disgruntled brexit fishermen, Anglo residents in the borders, hard unionist in central belt…they can’t be dislodged I’m afraid…the snp sound bite of strong voices didn’t resonate, sounded feeble and uninspiring….they still react and are on the back foot defending their stance, wrong message again…time for a new strategy…Jeremy corbyn found his voice, and we must get that same momentum found for Scotland, or it’ll be back in th shortbread tin again…why didn’t we leave this corrupt, spent union in 2014…is indy two now kicked into the long grass…

  19. StephenJ says:

    I’m an indy supporter and while I’m not that keen on the SNP, I do see them as the only way to secure another indyref. The loss of some of the best SNP MPs must be, at least partially down to the pro-brexit farming and fishing communities who want out of the EU asap and hate the idea of an independent Scotland re-joining. I suspect the rise in Conservative votes in poorer urban areas may be down to the same populist right-wing nonsense that lead to the rise of UKIP in England before brexit.

    • jk.scobie says:

      Hell mend them in the n/e when they give away the fishing rights and take the subsides from farmers

  20. wm11 says:

    The SNP need to be far more aggressive in their campaigns, it’s not as if the Tories haven’t offered open goals galore. Which the SNP ignored. Two weak campaigns in a row. The minute I saw the “strong voice at westminster” crap I knew Indy would take a kicking; we don’t WANT to be at Westminster Nicola. That’s the point. With the bar set that low, and no going for the Tory throat, what chance did we have? Wishy-Washy kumbaya happy clappy nonsense!

    And mitigating Tory policies is proving to be an electoral mistake. Pass on to the yoons the poison they are voting for. And then YELL about whose fault that is and make the 12 new turncoats in Parly try to explain why it’s a good thing.

    Give Angus Robertson the job of running the SNP election and media campaigns.

    • Hr Anderson says:

      Why Angus Robertson? He did nothing about Party organisation and education…an idea he pinched from Tommy Sheppard. That was such a wasted opportunity ignoring the new blood into the Party who saw the need to capitalise on the surge of members!!

  21. Iain says:

    Throughly scunnered with the outcome of this election. Yes the SNP have been a bit weak but then they have been deliberately targeted by the unionist and media in this country. I can not recall any instance where a debate was allowed to tackle the real election issues, it was all about attacking the SNP. I am so disappointed looking at some of the swings as they look like direct SNP to Tory swings, and I can understand how that can be. To be honest I do not know if the idea of Scotland is even worth it, it would seem that many in this place are happy to be Brits and just take what they are given. Really sad and has me thinking about getting out of here.

  22. Kat hamilton says:

    Annie, you are so right..the scottish electorate really don’t deserve nicola and co…I’m tempted for them to call their bluff, and jack it in saying we’ve done all we can, no powers worth talking of, mitigating all the ills of a harsh Tory government, can’t do any more, bye Scotland, have a nice life under the blue brigade…call us when you face woken from your slumber…enjoy Tory rule…love nicola..I know I’m critical of their campaign. It was lack lustre and flat..but deep down I’m gutted the public are shunning them for hard unionism…

  23. northbritain says:

    I think you’re being overly harsh on the SNP (except in North Lanarkshire where they need to sort that nonsense out!). No-one seriously expected the SNP to take all the seats in Scotland, did they? Or even keep what they had, given they had almost all?

    Look at it this way: the SNP have lost a chunk of middle class rural Scotland to the Tories. Bad, yes. I’m gutted that Salmond and Robertson lost in particular. But this is a NE Scotland and Borders who bought the Brexit guff by the Tories. Farmers and fishermen who bought the simple line that the EU hampers them. That wasn’t dealt with effectively by the SNP. It should have been. Both sectors would be f**ked with Brexit; both left with no-one to sell to. Think NZ Lamb when we entered the single market. Virtually gone on UK supermarkets.

    But the plus side…

    Theresa May is surely toast. The architect of a Hard Brexit. Even if she does manage to continue – her mandate for a Hard Brexit has surely gone. Brexit is looking more and more like a disaster every day. If the SNP get back on message in rural Scotland its theirs for the taking.

    As for the Scottish Tory MPs? Well they would be needed to prop up any govt. Its a real pity then that with EVEL they won’t have any say in England’s affairs. That’s a disaster for the Tories! How can they govern what is effectively an English Parliament with add-ons without a commanding English majority? (And with EVEL the usual Tory bedfellows of the DUP would be similarly useless in an English context). Scottish Tories are still a rare breed thankfully and their untested new assortment of MPs – being tories – are likely to have more skeletons in the closet than an anthropologist. Kitten strangling and the like.

    And Scottish Labour? Well, they seem to have recovered a bit after a Corbyn bounce. However with Scottish Labour and Corbyn still on different pages of different books, I don’t see how they can reconcile. Maybe this will finally shut up the Blairites of the Scottish Labour Party but I can’t see that happening. Scottish Labour talks shite. Always has, always will.

    The SNP has around 60% of the MPs in Scotland. The mandate for indyref2 is rock solid, whatever Ruth Harrison says.

    The Tories are in trouble. There may even be another GE this year. The SNP would be wise to regroup, address local issues and come out in strength. Push for indyref2 and keep attacking Brexit.

    By dint of Westminster arithmetic the SNP voice will be even louder this time. They need to be sure to keep the Yes vote on side.

    A weak Westminster with a strong Scottish Government might open some No voters eyes to what could be possible with more power.

    • John Edgar says:

      When the dust settles and Slab see that May is contiuing , it will occur to them and the LabourforIndytef2 , and Henry Mcleish that a few more non Tory MpS from Scotland would have denied the Tories and May!!
      How ironic.
      Even more so, May would have liked to have that majority the snp have over the Tories in Scotland for herself!!
      Yet, we can expect the yoons to congratulate themselves in making on roads. Yet,the yellow and red Tories have blown it. The blue Tories are likely to be back this time as a minority administration “strong and supported by the DUP unless the IRA MPs return to Westminster, to support the peace process key question , are there any?? Seen nothing in the press? Or do they not stand?

    • jk.scobie says:

      Agree, how can anyone in N/L elect a tory,{ short memory}
      N/E, and borders, will come back to bite them in the arse
      Yes, two of the best speakers in politics lost
      EVEL – Expect the tories to change the rules on this
      Time SNP started to attack tory policy, and show the electorate in Scotland the lies
      The only time Labour may get back in Scotland is through voting for Independence, that is why SNP , as they have said, SNP is a tool for Independence, then a goverment may be elected, be it by any party who you wish to elect

  24. SNP 35; The Yoons 24.
    In a FPTP system that’s quite a victory.
    Campbell and the gang are on this morning, with the usual gaggle of Yoons announcing that Independence is dead, surely?
    Sorry, guys, we are not going away.
    Now the real fun begins, as WM tries to cobble together a Government of any hue, and a team to take forward Brexit.
    That should be fun. Over the next 12 months as whoever is at the helm Down There, makes a coo’s arse of the EU Divorce, there will be as many Up Here watching and witnessing the car crash from behind the sofa.
    Dugdale should resign of course. She handed Ruth a dozen seats and Davidson laughed in her face. Paper candidates indeed.
    The storm clouds are gathering, chaps. The game’s afoot.
    Onwards.
    We are still on track : Boris as leader of the Tories? Oh,plueeze.
    Roll ‘n’ square slice and black tea for me.

  25. Abulhaq says:

    There exists an independence movement outside the SNP. Time the party recognised and embraced it. It is where the radical imagination and drive are. The dated UK style politicking is simply dull and boring. Corbyn caught the alt mood. We need fire to blaze our way to freedom. The current SNP is just too damp.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Yes, I agree, the independence movement is more than the SNP. However without the SNP there would be no effective campaign as it is the SNP that is in power at Holyrood that gets publicity and enough votes to hold referendums. Good parties like the Greens, Rise, SSP etc. need to support the SNP as they well know if they are to get a chance at growing in an independent Scotland.

      On a different subject the BBC media seems to have forgotten what we all know. That the new 24 Yoon MP’s cannot vote on most of the laws that go through Westminster due to EVEL.

      • Therapymum says:

        I agree. The SNP is currently the only Independence party that is a fully fledged and electorally competitive and have successfully managed to win 4 successive Scottish elections, and a massive return to Westminster in 2015. That is a good record, and it was unlikely that they would repeat the same numbers as 2015. I’m still gutted but there are positives. I feel rather like Diaboloandco above. I find it difficult to believe that Scots would really vote for Ms May’s abhorrent policies. So if they didn’t vote for the policies was it really the “No Indyref!” that made the difference?

      • Abulhaq says:

        Agree, the SNP is the core but they could do with being less arrogant re the ‘alt indie’ groups.Now is the time for change. They need to get closer to the fire!

        • mogabee says:

          Main problem with those groups is always the same…they fight amongst themselves..that’s an issue needs sorting.

          • Abulhaq says:

            true, for some it can be a vanity project..that’s where that thing ‘leadership’ comes in. independence is a beginning not an end. it ought not to be sacrificed on the altar of factionalism. not if we’re genuinely serious about the project, that is.

  26. northbritain says:

    O/T: The Catalonia Government has just declared that they will hold an Independence Referendum on 1st October 2017.

    The question will be: “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent country in the form of a Republic?”

    If Spain tries to block it the Catalan Government says it will declare UDI.

  27. Thank you Paul for the usual voice of sanity; added to be some sound contributions BTL. Onwards folks. Let’s see who commands the confidence of the House, and what that means for Brexit. Then, as it was before last night, indyref2 comes into play once we know those terms, or not as the case may be…

  28. A good night for foxes & elephants.

    SNP win 60% of Scottish seats!

    Tommy Shepherd must be next SNP Westminster Leader.

    Scots Tories now have nowhere to hide their policies when their new MPs inevitably vote to sell out fishermen & farmers in Brexit.

    This result brings Independence closer.

    SNP do need to take off the kid gloves against BBC Scotland. It was nonsensical for the SNP to just meekly debate education. Sturgeon was weak there but Dugdale & Davidson were both car crashes but the BBC gave them teflon coated protection.

    UK will now be ruled by Ulster which was ignored throughout UK election campaign. England will not thole that.

    Brexit will be delayed. England will not thole that either.

    We’ll be back at polling stations by end of October.

    SNP need to play hard ball.

    As English bard said,

    “There is a tide in the affairs of men.
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are we now afloat,
    And we must take the current when it serves,
    Or lose our ventures.”

  29. TheStrach says:

    Only our second best result ever in a Westminster election! We’re still Number 1 with almost 60% of the seats. We’re disappointed because our expectations were much higher.

    I helped with the telephone canvassing for the Ochil and South Perthshire seat and, of those who would tell me, there were several reasons for not voting SNP this time.

    1. Fed up hearing about IndyRef / too much focus on it by the SNP and just want it to go away.
    2. Voted to leave the EU and don’t support the SNP on its EU stance.
    3. Against immigration.
    4. No point voting SNP in a Westminster election as they can’t form the government.
    5 Don’t like the SNP candidate – in this case Tasmina Ahmed Sheik.

    As others have said, Brexit has not yet hit. When it does we should get a lot of these voters back but we certainly can’t take them for granted. We need to up our game and provide a much more compelling narrative about the benefits of an independent Scotland and the dangers of remaining within the UK.

  30. CapnAndy. says:

    Let’s look on the bright side. We can get back to playing the long game. Indyref2 for brexit was far too soon and the SNP let themselves get railroaded into it. If brexit is a total bollocks which it most likely will be, the farmers and fishermen get shafted and UK starts circling the pan. It’ll be good for the independence movement.
    What all the Yoons that voted Tory fail to see is that it is the Tories that are rapidly dismantling all that used to be good in the UK.
    Interesting times ahead folks.

  31. MI5 Troll says:

    What a night. Real mixed feelings but not a total disater. Hey! Now Mrs May is leaving the building can we send Ruth south to take over the poisoned chalice in London as I cannot stand the thought of a few more years of looking at her smug face up here? Oh and don’t put lipstick on a pig especially if there are Tories about. Cheers!(Let’s all have sit back take a collective deep breath and be back next week stronger,wiser and ready for the chaos ahead).

  32. Alba woman says:

    Thank you WGD for, as ever, a beautifully written piece. Fair cheered me up. I wondered during the campaign,why to me, Nicola sometimes appeared subdued. I agree there was no dream offered or other political roads to explore. We need a vision to work towards with hard information and policies backing it up.

    It is ironic that SLAB may have cost Jeremy his chance at power. Tory, Labour and Lib Dem, Zombies, carpetbaggers, all round political chancers, will be making their inglorious way to London.

    We need to research and fund an integrated communication system that opens up questions and debates about our present and future. We need strategies,tactics that are developed from such a communication system. Politics is such a difficult, bruising world.. But it is also an art which expertly honed and implemented, can bring great benefits to humanity. Forwards and Onwards!.

  33. webmasterhill says:

    Several Labour voters I saw were clear about their attraction to the Corbyn Effect. They also said, in an independence referendum they would still be YES. I think the constant conflation of SNP:Independence by the Unionist bloc has consistently ignored a YES movement which is broader than just the SNP and has a grassroots base (currently quiescent). Time to open that channel again and re-introduce vision to the SNP pitch.

    • There’s a silver lining in every cloud, webmasterhill.
      Now that UKIP has crumbled, and its erstwhile Scottish supporters melted back into their Far Right Blue Tory base, and the Yoons threw everything they had at promoting Davidson, only 20.3% of Scots citizens appear to be Ultra Right Wing fascists intent on destroying civic society. The Haves, who don’t give a feck about the rest of us, or the fate of 180,000 EU arrivals working and contributing to our economy.
      We know who you are now, and you are in a pitiful minority.
      Next time, the Yes Movement needs to take the gloves off.
      It’s coming soon: the horizon is darkening.

  34. Who cares if the SNP have lost a few seats. What does the SNP actually do for us? I want scotland to be in charge of all it’s powers but right now I feel the SNP are neglecting the powers they have. I have just recently came out of school and honestly the SNP are doing nothing for education. There new exam system National four and National 5 means lower income background pupils including myself didn’t even get to sit an exam or gain a merit. National 5 you can get graded A,B,C,D but national four is only a Pass or fail and is practically a worthless qualifcation as colleges , universitys and employers don’t want it. It also means you can’t go on to sit a higher. And then the SNP go on a claim record number of exam passes and to be the youths party when people arn’t even sitting exams and are getting oppressed by them it really infurites me. I want away from england but I can’t support a party that fucked up my life and young people like me lifes. I don’t think it’s bad that people were attracted to Jermy Corbyn and his manifesto.

    • mogabee says:

      Don’t understand why your income had a connection to sitting nat4/5? My daughter is in process of exams and income correlation has never been mentioned.

      • I’m not saying that everyone who sits below nat 5 are from lower income backgrounds I’m just saying the majority are because the attainment gap is widening under the SNP. So people who could be sitting nat 5 and getting a C or a B are getting help back and not even being aloud to sit an exam.

      • Fine just go live in your wee ignorant buble if you want.

        • FM says:

          Aye, right.

        • We now have the fate of the UK being decided by a handful of extremists who believe that Eve was made from one of Adam’s ribs, and that two of every animal in the world was saved by a guy called Noah who built a big boat so that they could survive the Flood.
          This is the first rumble of thunder, and the destructive storm to come.
          Will Ruth be guest speaker in Belfast this 12th July?
          In effect The No Surrender Party is running England now.
          I give it a week.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Lower income levels have nothing to do with the exams you sit. It is academic ability or lack of self application.

      • Right so the attainment gaps a myth. OK mate.

        • Keep up the blog, TalesOfAScottishLassie! I liked your piece, Chased by a Bumble Bee. You are total right, learning is a life long process. And as for being outside, absolutely. School can feel like prison for many kids. (My best week in high school was playing truant and hitch-hiking to the Isle of Skye to scramble on the Cuillin Ridge. Mind you, that was 40 years ago.. The 2nd best week was skiing at the Lecht.)
          Keep on keeping on! Have you ever read any of Iain Banks stuff? Wasp Factory, etc. Great writer. Sometimes you just have to teach yourself. All the best!

        • JGedd says:

          Who do you think would best address the attainment gap? Can you cite evidence that the attainment gap is actually growing under the SNP? You appear to want independence and unfortunately, since Scotland voted No in 2014, we are suffering from that situation.With independence we would have control of the levers of power and have sole responsibility for attending to the ills that have beset the Scottish economy for generations.

          Tories and Labour have presided over decades of mismangement (Labour under Jeremy Corbyn voted for the benefits’ cap for example. I urge you to check his voting record.) With the limited powers at their disposal, the SNP government has tried to mitigate what Westminster sends down. They have been trapped into this situation because we have governments in London who legislate for London and the home counties and always will.

          I sympathise with anyone like yourself who is caught in this trap and it is small comfort to you I’m sure to be told that with independence we would be on our way to solving these endemic problems which have been with us for generations. We need our young people since they are our most important resource and we lose many of them to emigration with each generation.

          All of my children are grown up and so I cannot speak to your situation since regrettably I know little of it but I can testify to a dramatic effect a Labour government had on my eldest son when he was due to enter university soon after Tony Blair was elected. One of the first things which he did was to take away student grants. Later these were re-instated but too late for my son who had to go through uni without any grant. The SNP government later restored some sanity re tuition fees and grants, with limited resources.

          I would also point to local authorities who have responsibility for education in their area. Some authorities, particularly Labour or Tory administrations have not been helpful in the way in which they have allocated funds to education, despite receiving government money for that purpose. The situation is deeply complex and is complicated even further by the fact that we are still thirled to a government in London which reserves control of the economy to itself. Again I’m sorry to say, of no comfort to you.

          • Absolutely correct, as usual, JGedd. Far too many voters cannae see past the end o’ their nebs when it comes to matters like this. The situation vis-a-vis devolved and retained powers is NEVER cut and dried and the Westminster Government (and its supporters in Local Government) can always throw a spanner or two into any works the Scottish parliament sets in motion – and they usually mange to do so! The ONLY way to ensure that Scottish voters get a fair deal is for ALL power to be devolved – i.e. Independence!

  35. Robert Louis says:

    I pointed out right when the election was called, that the SNP would need a strong message, or they would be ignored. That is what happened. ‘Stronger for Scotland’ or whatever it was, was just recycled nonsense – I still have window stickers from a few years ago saying that.

    I agree with the dug, that the SNP and pro indy movement needs to sharpen up, but I also strongly believe they need to clearly state the need for independence. When Salmond was FM, in almost every statement or answer to a question he would reference that ‘this is why Scotland needs independence’ etc.. The current FM rarely, if at all does. This will not do.

    You cannot expect people to buy into the idea of Scottish independence, if you as FM are continually denying you want it. And I would argue that it IS the day job. The FM is charged with doing what is best for Scotland, and avoiding brexit IS the day job. If that means independence, then that too is the day job, and I am astonished that the FM has not yet had the courage to say so.

    I agree with WGD that their needs to be a vision, and that vision is an independent Scotland within the EU. Independence is what the SNP exists for, it is what it believes in, and it needs to start making the case for it, instead of reacting with horror at any mention of it. They seem to have fallen into the unionist trap of making independence an unmentionable subject. That needs to change.

    Support for independence has not fallen, I think, so we just need to get on with it, otherwise we risk going backwards.

    • Well said, Robert Louis! I agree that our First Minister, excellent though she is in most ways, does not often enough avail herself of the opportunity to explain WHY Independence is so necessary in every aspect of day-to-day Scottish government. Alex (for whom my heart is still bleeding) never missed a trick! It seemed to me that Nicola was trying to fight some exceptionally dirty opponents with clean, issue-based politics. This is to be applauded under almost any circumstances … however, this nasty, dirty, vindictive GE campaign could not be (and indeed almost was not) won by fighting cleanly against opponents who had no compunction about using the dirtiest tactics at their disposal. As you say – support for Independence has not dropped, despite what the MSM would have us believe. “Excelsior!” (Upward and onward!”)

  36. Baroness says:

    Scotland has always been its own worse enemy…fighting against each other. You’re right Paul, Independence is still very much on the cards.,The SNP won last night…they need to come back fighting with more than they have given…JC jumped on the SNP band wagon…unfortunately England has much larger population!

    Independence is the way forward for Scotland. Independence first..then decide who governs.

  37. Eilidh says:

    Well what do I think of Scotland and its people on this day. Scotland is as lovely as ever but I am pretty disgusted with a fair amount of its people. I remember a quote from my brother on the day of Indy Ref result ” What a parcel of Muppets in a Nation” that statement fits today too.It appears that a fair amount of Indy supporters voted Labour to try to get Corbyn into power well didn’t work did it now we are stuck with a lame duck Tory government kept in power by a bunch of obnoxious Orange gits in North Ireland. Meanwhile unionist Labour encouragement in Scotland for people to vote Tory to keep out the Snp probably cost Corbyn several seats well done morons. As for the fisherman etc who voted Tory if you think you will not be sold out over Brexit by the Tory’s you are delusional Meanwhile I am stuck with a crap Libdem Mp Jo Swinson who was a coalition Minister up to 2015 why the hell did the Snp not use that against her. It is clear the Snp have gone off the boil a bit and need to refocus. It is a shame we lost John Nicholson,Angus Robertson and Alex Salmond among others. Glad that Pete Wishart hung on though. We still won more seats than the rest put together we need to remember that and keep going.We need to embrace the more radical elements of Indy support and have bolder policies in Hollyrood. I have no doubt that Independence will be ours one day. Well at least today Frau Merkel and Mr Junker will be laughing themselves silly at Thereda Mays expense

  38. What sticks in my craw is that those 12 Scottish Conservative seats have made it possible for the May-bot to pretend she has a mandate to govern the UK. Without them we would have seen Jeremy Corbyn going to Buckingham Palace this morning in her place.

    I was horrified when they announced that Angus Robertson was out, but when it came to Alex Salmond losing Gordon, I was saddened and sickened beyond belief. Alex was a figurehead when I joined the SNP back in the 1980s and has been ever since. His loss is immense.

    Yes, we are still the largest Scottish group at Westminster. Yes, we won the popular vote. But we are diminished and there is no way to put lipstick on that. I am heartsick.

    • Spirits up, Wendy.
      Watch in horror as the Brexit talks fail because the EU will walk all over Theresa May as she marches into the negotiating room at the head of an Orange flute band.
      It just gets weirder and weirder.
      We shall be independent soon. Once the hard facts of NO Deal Brexit unfold, the momentum will gather pace.
      We won 35 – 24 yesterday, despite the greatest propaganda campaign ever mounted by the Establishment and the Fourth Estate.
      Off for a couple of hours shuteye, then a refreshing pint.
      We are still standing..worry not.
      Many who voted Corbyn Labour will vote YES in Indyref 2.
      Bisous

      • Thanks, Jack, and bless you. I stayed up ’til thon time watching the debacle unfold and I seem to have lost the will to live this morning! Doubtless I will rally in due course. Maybe a few hours gardening – in touch with the soil – will make my hands dirty and my soul feel cleaner!

        • Wendy, I have it in my mind that you are in Ontario at the moment. If so, go to the top of the CN Tower, stand on top of the glass floor, and look down.
          The people seem the size of ants.
          Then think, the influence that you allow others to have on your life is all a matter of perspective.
          There wasn’t a Tory ‘surge’ in Scotland.
          1 in 5 Scots support Right Wing Unionism, despite everything.
          I think that it was Mark Twain who quipped:- ‘Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.’
          Or as his great great granddaughter Shania Twain sang: ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’. Not related, Blackadder?
          I recall a story about Cary Grant sitting on the edge of his agent’s desk when he spies a telegram from a European newspaper:-
          ‘How Old Cary Grant?’
          He sent a reply:-
          ‘Cary Grant fine. How you?’
          The medium is still the message.
          Already Distorting Scotland is announcing that Indyref2 is dead, forever.
          Reports of our death are being greatly exaggerated all over the airwaves today.
          Let them have their fun.

          • I’ve climbed the CN tower once, Jack, and, since I get vertigo in thick socks, I’ll no’ be doin’ it again! However, you are absolutely right. No matter the setbacks, we did win the largest number of Scottish seats and the largest share of the popular vote. The British Bull**** Corporation were trumpeting “Independence is dead!” before half the votes were counted and Mouthie Ruthie was crowing “The end of IndeyRef2” like a cock (you should pardon the phrase) on a dunghill.

            It is all about perception, isn’t it? Them that’s agin us will see only 21 lost SNP seats … not 36 retained SNP seats, the third largest party at Westminster (still) and the largest share of the vote in Scotland!

            I still fervently believe in the cause and in our ability to achieve it. It’s just my heart’s a wee bit sair today. Never mind – I will “come good”.

            • jk.scobie says:

              I also believe in the cause, but, the press, BBC and tories all like to put the negative perspective on the SNP, is it not time they were enlightened as to what the real facts are ?

    • Robert Graham says:

      Exactly right , but for Labour in Scotland Corbyn would be on his way too the Palace today , but as usual with help from her friends in the media ,Kezia will never be confronted with this inconvenient wee smudge on her flawless character , ha ha i was joking about her character

  39. Abulhaq says:

    However sympathetic we might feel towards Jeremy Corbyn we need to remember he’s a Unionist, albeit a red one. What we want he cannot possibly deliver. Unionism in any form marginalises Scotland. Our best interests lie in reconnecting, on our own terms, with the world. That message is clear. Some, however, do seem to struggle with the enunciation. INDEPENDENCE…see, it’s easy.

    • Abulhaq, if it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth having.
      We have not gone away, nor are we hiding.
      I am not licking my wounds, but licking my lips in anticipation of the next stage on the Road to Independence.
      I wonder how Arlene the homophobe will get on when she first meets with Ruth? Will they hug?
      God made the world in seven days, don’t you know?
      Brexit should be a piece of piss then.

      • Aye – the irony for Ruthie is that her Boss needs these DUP throwbacks, who, left to themselves, would probably burn her at the stake! I think some fancy footwork will have to be forthcoming, don’t you? (Although not line dancing … because that is a sin, don’t you know!)

    • You are right, of course, Abulhaq. For Scotland none of the Unionist parties are any good. But for my friends and family in England I was SO hoping for a change from Tory austerity and all their other lies.

  40. jk.scobie says:

    At the momwnt I work with two Englishmen, and one Scouser on secondment, and, all three have said today, wtf is wrong with Scotland, you have the chance to get away from the Westminster crap and you did not take it….What could I say….I feel total shame for my own people

  41. highpoh says:

    A few friends in Scotland posit that perhaps some people are OK with voting Tory in Westminster elections, because the Holyrood Government has done quite a lot to try to mitigate the worst of the austerity. I think (I live away from Scotland) there’s still free elderly care (so any attack on that wouldn’t resonate in the Tory core support north of the Border), free prescriptions, decent NHS, water is still nationalised, so a lot is different. They might feel less like voting Tory at Holyrood (contrary to the meeja hype), since that might mean they have to suffer like England and (to an extent) Wales… But I agree with Ginger (and Paul) that the SNP campaign seemed a bit “meh”. My parent’s local SNP MP ran a good campaign, and was popular etc. But the constituency went Tory by quite a considerable margin, which is sort of expected, but a disappointing turn out. SNP really, really needed to get their vote out.

    I think there’s definitely something in people finding something in Corbyn’s manifesto which they like. The guy’s actually a socialist and anti-Trident (I didn’t see him getting ripped apart by “the public” for saying he won’t massacre millions of people with nukes if he gets a bit cross – what is wrong with these people?!). He’s got some fairly traditional Labour policies, so I can see why people might want to vote for that (and potentially still support independence).

    Disappointing, but in the words of Stevie Gerrard – we go again….

    • I think your analysis is spot-on. I think people are cushioned in Scotland from the worst excesses of Tory government in rUK and whilst that is an excellent thing, it definitely leads to some odd and rather lazy thinking when it comes to the Westminster ballot box.

      The “Corbyn Effect” definitely resonated with a lot of old-school Socialists (like myself) and not everyone seemed able to make the distinction that it will be time enough to return to our traditional, political roots once Scotland has achieved self-determination. I think we are far too often encouraged to go for “instant gratification” these days and forget the long game.

      I also agree that the SNP campaign was a little lacklustre. To be fair, I think constantly having to defend against the “single-issue” tactics of the Unionist parties made it very difficult to campaign on other important issues. Added to which, so many interviewers in the MSM deliberately confused devolved matters with those retained by Westminster and not to engage with them would have been seized upon with glee as evidence that “the SNP don’t want to debate policies….” we couldn’t win for losing, to be honest!

      Lastly, I think our First Minister tried very hard to remain what she is – a decent, honest person – and to rise above the gutter politics which was being deployed against her. Very laudable in normal circumstances but in this instance I believe it made her campaign seem “meh”, as you put it. It is a very sad day when playing by the rules causes you to lose out because the other team(s) are playing such a very foul game.

  42. Alf Baird says:

    “They won a majority of Scottish Westminster seats and that means..” the SNP MP’s can dissolve the union of parliaments, insofar as Scotland is concerned, in the same way it began.

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