The common priority

The parties contesting the Scottish elections have started to delineate their pitch to the voters for the Holyrood elections which are now just a few weeks away. Yesterday Nicola Sturgeon gave her first big speech of the election campaign in which she set out some of the key promises and commitments of the SNP should her party be re-elected with sufficient support to form the next Scottish government. Among the most notable promises was a commitment to doubling the Scottish child payment from £10 a week to £20 a week for each eligible child. In another move designed to help tackle the issue of food poverty, the SNP leader announced that her Scottish Government would extend free school meals – both breakfasts and lunches – to all primary school pupils, in all classes, all year round.

This will make a significant difference to the lives of children living in families struggling with poverty as a result of the Conservative assault on the social security system and the way in which Conservative policies have encouraged a proliferation of low paid and insecure employment. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, one of the UK’s leading charities working to solve the issue of poverty, over two thirds of children who live in poverty live in a household where at least one parent is in work. Since the Conservatives introduced its Universal Credit scheme, the number of families who must resort to foodbanks in order to put food on the table has soared. A recent report from the UK’s biggest food bank network said half of all households visiting food banks struggled to afford essential goods such as food and clothes because they were repaying universal credit debts.

Foodbank use in Scotland has soared in recent years, figures from the independent food aid network show that foodbanks distributed more than twice as many emergency food parcels in June and July 2020 as they did during the same months the previous year.  The report finds that a large and increasing number of people are falling through the widening cracks in a social security safety net that has been weakened and undermined by successive Conservative governments. Despite the Labour party’s attempts to pin the blame for the epidemic of child poverty that Scotland is faced with, the truth is that it is a direct result of the financial and economic policies of a Westminster government which jealously guards its control over the macroeconomic levers which exert the real influence over the shape and direction of the economy.

As welcome as a doubling of the Scottish child payment is, all that any devolved Scottish government is able to do is to ameliorate the worst problems created by the impact of social security, employment and economic decisions made by governments in Westminster, it can’t actually prevent those problems from arising in the first place. These problems have been greatly magnified by the Johnson administration’s woeful mishandling of the pandemic.

Over the coming months and years it’s going to be absolutely vital that Scotland charts a path out of the pandemic that leads to a rebuilding and developing of the Scottish economy in a way which tackles poverty and inequality in a secure and environmentally sustainable way. The only way that this can be achieved is by ensuring that Scotland’s parliament possesses the full range of powers that will enable it to do so. That in turn means independence.

The anti-independence parties will be fighting this election on the basis of their claim that the independence issue and the demand for another referendum are distractions from the vital task of rebuilding Scotland after the devastating personal, social and economic effects of the pandemic. They could not be more wrong and in her keynote speech yesterday, delivered online to party activists, Nicola Sturgeon tackled this claim head on, saying that “independence was not a distraction from the country’s recovery after the pandemic but was “essential to secure a recovery that is made here in Scotland and based on the values the majority of us subscribe to.”

It’s only with independence that Scotland can unlock this country’s full potential, and it’s only with independence that Scotland can free itself from the need to have to ameliorate Conservative economic policies that lead to an increase in poverty, deprivation and inequality. Another independence referendum is far from being the distraction that the Conservatives and their British nationalist allies claim it to be, it is absolutely vital to securing a recovery from the pandemic that benefits everyone in Scotland and which is designed to produce the best outcome for Scotland.

As the First minister said yesterday in her speech to party activists, this election will ensure that voters “have the right to decide our own future in an independent referendum when this current crisis has passed, so that Scotland’s recovery will be in Scotland’s hands, so we can build the Scotland that we know we can be, a country of compassion, equality and love”.

For their part the Scottish Greens can agree that independence is absolutely vital to realising their vision of a sustainable Scottish economy which can provide an environmental model for the rest of the world to follow. Independence and the referendum which is required to bring it about is not a peripheral issue or a distraction, it is absolutely essential if we want to realise that better Scotland to which we all aspire.

Although the new Alba party has yet to announce its policy programme, it will certainly do so over the days and weeks ahead. Whatever the details of that announcement there can be absolutely no doubt that the Alba party also shares the view of the other pro-independence parties that Scotland’s democratic right to another referendum is very far from being a distraction from the challenges that Scotland faces, but rather it is absolutely key to unlocking the incredible potential that this country possesses and to putting it to work in the best interests of the people of Scotland. Whatever our disagreements about strategy or tactics, or about the wisdom or otherwise of the launch of this new party, that at least is something about which all supporters of independence can agree.

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership ,or about some other issue not directly related to Scottish independence – there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

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212 comments on “The common priority

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug The common priority The parties contesting the Scottish elections have started to delineate their pitch to […]

  2. latest poll has constituency

    snp 50%
    greens 4%

    the case for voting greens 2 would be much stronger if they withdrew their constituency candidates

    the case for indyref2 needs snp to get 50%+ in the constituency

    • Agreed.

      If a Green candidate tips a constituency to a Unionist, it harms their party’s chances on the list.

      Same logic that Paul wrote about, the other day, regarding Alba’s prospects.

    • Capella says:

      I asked over on the previous thread for a link to the poll SC? James Kelly is still too busy criticising the SNP and promoting Alba to do the analysis.

  3. raineach says:

    I guess a lot of people are concerned about ‘wasting’ their second vote on a party that will not secure list seats. As an intellectual proposition – leaving aside all other considerations – Alba has a point. If Alba are, for sake of argument, getting 10% of the vote then there could well be a temptation to vote for them, if they are at 1% then plainly not. In my private chats with SNP voters, so far I reckon Alba will take 5% of SNP voters for 2 – 3 % of the list vote. We could do a straw poll here about how we feel, and that might act as some kind of torch in the darkness. Right now I’m oscillating between SNP or Green on the list

    • weegingerdug says:

      Not sure a straw poll here will help to cast any light I’m afraid. It would be a self-selecting sample. My own hunch is that Alba will not make the impact its supporters expect it to – but I genuinely don’t know. We’ll just have to wait for some proper opinion polling and see

      • raineach says:

        i buy the argument that if we all vote the same way then the impact would be impressive. Of course such an abuse of the top up vote may well bring a revision of our electoral system by our owners down south

        • Col says:

          The whole point is that this becomes the last election before Independence. We won’t have owners for much longer if people don’t waste their 2nd vote like the West of Scotland 1350000 down the tube in 2016.

          • raineach says:

            Which is why an opinion poll would really help. As I say, all the feedback I have received, most of it volunteered, suggests highly limited support for Alba, and that was before their latest run of unfortunate remarks and needless error. On the other hand it could well prove that a second vote Green could work, or perhaps SNP 2 is the wisest way after all. I dipped into WoS today. Wow. What truly puzzles me is all these people who have stopped voting SNP, yet the poll ratings are simply not picking this up? Is this an attempt at gaslighting? Are the Greens the real target here?

    • This whole circus is designed to get Salmond a seat at Holyrood; nothing else.
      If they scrape enough votes to earn one list MSP, who will that MSP be?
      The Fat Controller of course.
      Meanwhile Gary Robertson and BBC Plantation Quay broke purdah already at 12.30 pm today.
      They broke from Sturgeon’s Covid briefing to get Sarwar Dross Rennie and Alison Johnstone on our tellies giving their take on how the pandemic is being tackled.

      So we were denied Public Health Information so that this quartet could get free broadcast exposure, and Robertson got to feed them the Lines To Take to smash the SNP/
      Tonight at 7.50 it begins.
      Orange jersey man in the front row.
      ‘First question from Mar…oh, the lady, in the front row in the red white and blue Top Hat;.

      ‘When will Sturgeon resign and admit that Proud Scots do not want a second Indyref?’.

      ‘Before I come to you, Nicola, let’s get reactions from the rest of the panel.
      Should the FM quit politics and accept that it is all her fault that Scotland is shite?’

  4. Hamish100 says:

    I agree but won’t happen I assume as each holds onto their own domain.

    WGD states that ALBA may produce policies over the next few days and weeks. They do know postal votes can be cast near the end of April.
    Still if they don’t produce a policy it’s hard for them to be pinned down. Probable satisfies the left radical trotsky wing as well as the pro brexiter what’s like us brigade.

    I note another mysoginist attacking the FM.

    I have no doubt this is the FM’s fault for being a female.

  5. Hamish100 says:

    Aye and her mother and sister too, and her was English you know….it’s a complete conspiracy…

    Has Dr Walker apologised and resigned/ sacked.

    • James Mills says:

      He is”mortified” he claims . Strange that – did he not READ his comment before tweeting ? Was he NOT mortified before he sent it .

      Is he a medical doctor – in which case I would hate to be a patient . ” Take two of these twice a day and if they kill you I will be mortified !”

      • raineach says:

        well the patient will certainly be mortified!

      • grizebard says:

        (Do I get a feeling that this won’t be the last such post-hoc “mortification” from this “trigger-happy” confederacy?)

      • Jim says:

        I am voting SNP but I detect a whiff of hypocrisy in the comments here. It’s as if very SNP ministers in the current parliament hadn’t tried to seduce 16 year old boys or sexually harass women.

        There are very dodgy people in all parties.

  6. Ken says:

    The Greens compete for Indy constituency votes. If they were so supportive they would not.

    The Greens opposed the AWPR, Queensferry Crossing, sport Developments, international airports, being students in. Cycle lanes totally empty. The trams debacle. Totally mismanaged.

    They do not support the Oil industry. It would have had to be imported in. Before the change over to renewables. The Greens have wasted £Billions of public monies that could be better spent. Spent alleviating poverty and on essential services.

    They complain about poverty etc. but cause it. Opposing every reasonable essential development. To improve the economy. It becomes more expensive because of delays.

  7. WT says:

    Good article Paul. I hope that soon the factionalism in the independence movement will settle a bit and we can get focussed on the real task of convincing NO voters to move to YES. In this election I hope that the outcome is positive for the YES movement but I fear the noise of our factionalism might make YES a less attractive land to settle in. As professor John Robertson often says we have to keep up the positivity and leave the negativity to the unionists

    One thing about the SNP policy on school meals. This really is a great initiative. Having worked in some very low paid jobs when bringing up my children under Thatcher I know that getting food on the table is the number one task for parents – clothing being the second. We used to feed them first and take whatever was left. Walk to work, anything to get food on the table. This was long before food banks and although they provide a great service, the 6th biggest economy in the world should have no need for them. Unfortunately, having seen some of the food on offer in schools it would be good if we could also set a minimum requirement for size of portions and nutritional value. I don’t mean super healthy food or anything, just a good size meal that will fill our children’s tummys.

  8. Macart says:

    A good summary Paul and the message couldn’t be clearer for the YES movement.

  9. exile says:

    Paul, keep safe and well, and don’t overdo things. Scotland needs you. The kindness, tolerance, intellect and breadth of vision in your articles cheer me, and I’m sure, many many other people who read your blog but don’t post. Thank you for all you do for Scotland, and of course for “The Common Priority”. Best wishes to you and yours.

  10. Alex Clark says:

    The free school meals for all primary and nursery pupils is a fantastic example of a social policy that will benefit Scotland’s children in a lot of ways and just making sure that they don’t go hungry. It’s been proven that children who have eaten breakfast are more able to concentrate on their lessons than those that have not and many children go to school having eaten nothing in the morning.

    The opportunities that will open up for an Independent Scotland are huge, first, we need to get there and that means persuading any doubters and ensuring a majority Yes vote. That is still the task ahead of us and we mustn’t lose sight of that one fundamental requirement and the sole purpose of a Yes movement.

  11. Christopher Rosindale says:

    My God, Cardiff may soon join Holyrood in posing a lethal threat to the UK Union.

    As a 3-way split, with no party having a majority, is now viewed as the most likely result of the Welsh Assembly election in May, Tory fears are growing that Adam Price will force Mark Drakeford to agree to a Welsh Independence referendum as his price for Plaid Cymru propping-up a minority Labour government in the Senedd.

    It is no longer impossible that a 2nd front might soon open-up in the Tories’ Union crisis, or even a 3rd if the Northern Independence Party (NIP) (who are campaigning for an independent Northern England, creating a separate country from the rest of England) do well in the Hartlepool By-election. I keep seeing social media posts saying that their support is growing rapidly in Northern England, particularly among younger generations who are desperate for real political change, and the potential for a political earthquake there may be increasing. The NIP are modelling themselves on the SNP, and have been in contact with the SNP over tactical advice in the past few weeks:

    • grizebard says:

      Hi Chris. You’re not exactly a neutral observer on the N. England thing, are you? Is there really a serious oldie-youngster divide there? Whatever, good luck all the same. {grin}

  12. Capella says:

    There’s been a steady stream of policy announcements from the SNP since Friday. The National Care Service and nationalised Scotrail are also good. A laptop or tablet for every pupil is a must (remembering Lesley Riddoch’s docu about Estonia).

    Don’t recall seeing any policies from the opposition yet. Do they not know there is an election in 5 weeks time?

    • James Mills says:

      Scottish Conservatives and DRoss Party :

      1. No to another divisive Indy Ref.
      2. No to another non-divisive Indy Ref.
      3. No to , wait , I haven’t got that far in my letter from HQ in London .

      Scottish Labour and Unionist Party :

      1. No to another divisive Indy Ref.
      2. No to any of our members wanting to vote for Indy Ref.
      3. No to , wait , I haven’t got that far in my letter from HQ in London .

      LibDem and Wee Willie Winkie Party :

      1. No to Alex-Sold Hamilton .
      2. No to Mike Rumbled !
      3. Yes to Wee Willie making an arse of himself in every photo op.

      Alba Party / Wings over Bath :

      1, Whatever Alex says .
      2. Whatever the F*x$ Alex wants or I will come back and live in Scotland ( Stu the potty-mouthed man’s Dominic Cummings ) !
      3. I’ve already told you all you need to know – so vote for me !

      Green ( with envy ) Party :

      1. Please don’t vote Alba !
      2. Pretty please , don’t vote Alba !
      3. Ah , F8ck it !

      • Capella says:

        I think you’ve captured the essentials 🙂

        • stewartb says:

          I’m all for a bit of ridicule at Unionists’ expense. However, to capture the ‘essentials’ we might want to acknowledge the information on a sub-set of new policy proposals below, especially given it’s from another pro-independence party!

          “Scottish Green plans to move the age children start formal schooling to seven, and instead introduce a play-based kindergarten stage for the early years that can have a vital role in reducing the attainment gap.”

          I noted the interest in learning from Estonia. Well Estonia is one of the European countries that already have a kindergarten system with children starting primary school at age seven. Scottish Green’s learning from Estonia too?


          “The Scottish Greens manifesto will include proposals to allocate 10% of frontline health spend to mental health by 2026, invest an additional £161 million into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and expand access to remedies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Social Prescribing. The party also want more focus on a preventative agenda.”

          I suspect my sense of humour is no longer what it once was given all the stuff and nonsense that’s about. It will hopefully return in time!

          • Capella says:

            Good points. I’m all in favour of Scandi social democracy i.e wages, childcare, pensions, environment and education. Lesley Riddoch has made some excellent docus about them.

          • Ken says:

            Scotland has the best education system in the world. Life long learning. 30% go to university from school, 20/25% mature students, 15% EU student. + foreign student paying the full fund.
            55% + 15% (If EU students are not included in the total of mature students. Not likely)

            70% + foreign students. The highest in the world.

            Canada the next highest 56%.

            There is no attainment gap in Scotland. It has the highest university educated in the world. Plus Colleges and apprenticeships. More university pro rata. 15 pop 5.5Million

            Scotland has the best education systems in the world. It could be even better without Westminster appalling interference. Totally mismanaging and wasting Scottish revenues and resources.

            Scotland does not need to learn from Estonia or any where else. Simply the best.

            • stewartb says:

              “Scotland does not need to learn from Estonia or any where else. Simply the best.”

              As a wise person once said to me, it’s sensible in this world to realise that there will always be someone or some place doing some of what you do better than you. So with humility coupled with justifiable self-esteem, keep looking, listening, learning, adjusting for context, making changes in order to progress and improve.

              So in short, I don’t agree with this assertion of your’s in principle.

          • ArtyHetty says:

            I wonder what they have in mind re ‘preventative agenda’. It’s a massive subject.
            As for CBT, it does not work for everyone, does it work for anyone in fact? What is ‘Social Prescribing’? Do they mean higher wages, (like the living wage which the SNP have secured for many in Scotland) fewer hours of toil and daily grind at work, for time for people to spend with family, amd housing that is conducive to the actual peoples’ needs and well being, and environments which cater to the people not just a rich few, I presume so. It’s really what the SNP have been trying to do for the past decade and more, against huge odds of being shackled to the English Governments’ rule.
            It can only be improved on with a party hatt is working FOR Scotland, not a party working for their masters in London, ie the BritNats. The work, energy and time involved in order to try repair the terrible social and economic damage to Scotland over decades in fact centuries is a mammoth task, to say the very least. The Greens can be a geat asset to Scotland, with the right attitude and acknowledgement of what the SNP have already achieved in the first place.

    • jfngw says:

      I think Anas Sarwar claimed all the SNP policy announcements were stolen from Labour, and here was me thinking Monica Lennon lost the leadership contest.

      The only question about Alba is how many WingsoverSalmond Twitter accounts will be suspended through the course of the campaign (he’s currently on account number 2). Come on you twitter account holders you can get this number up, get reporting (I’m not on twitter so can’t).

    • Petra says:

      There’s no rush for that, Capella. Whenever it comes up their humph they’ll just copy and paste SNP policies with a wee tweak here and there.

  13. JMD says:

    Over the last couple of days or so I’ve been mulling over the pros and cons of using my regional list vote to increase pro indy numbers at Holyrood. The notion of seeing parasitic unionist trash like Fraser, Wells etc being kicked out of Holyrood via list votes is – superficially at least – great and it seems – again superficially at least – a bit of a no brainer to do it through list voting for a 2nd pro indy party.

    However I’ve come to the conclusion that despite the fact that I’m in a constituency that’s a virtual shoe-in for the SNP I’ll be sticking with SNP 1 & 2. There’s something about the Alba thing that doesn’t pass the sniff test especially when you consider the main protagonists involved, namely AS and Mr Angry from Bath. There also seems to be something reckless about it. I said that the SNP are a shoe-in in my area but would I bet my life or my country’s future on it? Also the dubious timing of it and also the hostility and belligerence from some elements of its support directed at the SNP, NS in particular and anyone else who doesn’t agree with them. Not exactly a class act.

    More importantly though some of the commentators on here have convinced me that even if a few pro indy list seats were gained it’s not going to make any appreciable difference. Seems to me that it’s not doing anything to boost indy support, just ultimately taking votes from the SNP and Greens. How is that supposed to help get us over the line to Independence?

    I think what the WM regime fears most is a strong showing and indisputable majority for the SNP on May 6th so that’s what we should be aiming for. The average unionist dimwit understands less about the d’Hondt system than even I do and to them Alba probably represents another threat, but the more savvy variety will see it as an opportunity to split and dilute the SNP vote and prevent a majority in May and thus ensure that from then we’ll be stuck in UK hell indefinitely.

    May 6 SNP 1 & 2

    • Col says:

      How does SNP 2 give a majority. It’s just the same person as the one giving the SNP 1 vote. Yes great if SNP 1 is a majority that’s great, or is it only a majority if both SNP 1 and SNP 2 are over 50%? Surely the pointless SNP 2 votes, 135000 down the pan last time in west Scotland, would be better utilised getting a pro Indy person elected.

    • UncleBob says:

      I’ve been doing the same. Letting things filter through my brain and see what pops out the other side.

      I think that Mr Salmond is yesterdays politician in the same way that Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and even Nigel Farage are. Someone to drag out of the cupboard from time to time and then to quickly wish you hadn’t.

      I want to look to the future when I think of Scottish Independence.

      I don’t think I can see or want to see Mr Salmond back at Holyrood in any capacity. If he led the Alba party with the proviso that he would never take up a seat I think the party would have more chance of success. He could be an advisor who never became an MSP?

      Still a few weeks to go, but at the moment I don’t see how the Alba party with Alec at the helm can sway me.

    • Golfnut says:

      Well said.

    • Tatu3 says:

      The only sure way to get rid of Murdo etc is to make sure the SNP get in with as big a majority as possible, then vote YES in the referendum. Vote SNP 1&2.

    • grizebard says:

      I hate to be a stuck record on this, but you can’t get rid of Murdo. {ugh} Well you can, but in the existing system only by converting Tory votes in his region into something else, even Labour. But in the region where he’s standing, even Labour can’t do that, I fear. Even in Glasgow Region there could be enough residual Tory votes to give Annie Wells another outing.

      If Alba’s apparently more reactionary evolving stance were to do that, it would be quite the thing, but they won’t. Such as they’ll achieve anything, they’ll pick up SNP votes instead, which isn’t much help from the “ex-ing” Murdo POV.

      The only answer is really along similar lines to what Paul says, in this case to convince persuadeable Tory-friendly voters that another vote for that shower of duds will seriously damage their own well-being. Ask them to imagine {shudder} DRoss being FM in a BitterTogether coalition, instead of our current very assiduous and competent FM. If anyone can convince some of these folk, it’s surely Nicola and nobody else. (Which is why BT and their media enablers were so very desperate to eliminate her by other means).

  14. Capella says:

    Precisely JMD.
    It seems that James Kelly has abandoned analysing opinion polls in favour of boosting the vote for the Alba Party. His explanation of the attraction of this party is enlightening:

    Anyone looking for a safety-first party with bland candidates who have never gone off-script in their lives would be sticking with the SNP anyway. The real attraction of a new party is for people who want a bit of fire, a bit of passion, a bit of authenticity, a bit of free-thinking, and a bit of risk-taking – even if that means the odd mistake here and there. Why do they want that? Because that’s the sort of party they can imagine delivering independence, rather than settling in and enjoying the next thirty years of devolution (or however long is left before the Tories abolish the Scottish Parliament). ..
    Suppose we get the majority and the remaining obstacle to independence is that the SNP government continue with the excessive caution that has blighted the last four years. Imagine what a difference it will make if Alex Salmond gets to stand up every week at FMQs as the leader of the third, fourth or fifth largest party and demand a progress report from Nicola Sturgeon on independence. It would literally be possible to shame the SNP into action.

    He adds that people are emailing him to say that they will now vote SNP1 because Alex Salmond told them to. So all those people who have torn up their membership cards are going to vote for them after all apparently.

    • raineach says:

      I am deeply impressed at the number of people who have stopped voting SNP, and this at a time when the party is apparently polling at or near to 50%. Or am I missing something here?

      • Capella says:

        It’s remarkable. 🙂

      • David says:

        I’ve only recently started looking at Wings over Scotland. But one thing I’ve noticed in the comments is an undercurrent that seems to be very angry that a yes vote for independence can only happen is people who voted no before change their minds. They seem to be of the view that if a few dozen of them decide not to vote for independence it is done for. Whereas what independence needs if it is going to happen is to persuade thousands of no or undecideds to actually vote yes. Nicola Sturgeon does seem to have some success in persuading people to change their minds. I’m not sure Alex Salmond will.

      • Clydebuilt says:

        Aye they never voted SNP in the first place!

    • James Mills says:

      ”excessive caution that has blighted the last 4 years ” ( James Kelly ) – Surely he more than anyone would know that we have NOT had a lead in the polls during much of that time ,
      so what ? We push for a referendum which we lose ?

      Jeezz , the power AS has over some people , he should change his name to Svengali !

    • stewartb says:

      My memory is not perfect but was the key feature of James Kelly’s contributions in his blog over the years not based around his careful analysis and modelling of empirical polling data?

      The article referred to above is (just) pure polemic – contentious rhetoric – with a tinge of a strawman (‘settling in and enjoying the next thirty years of devolution’). Of course Mr Kelly and the rest of us are entitled to indulge in such writing. However, it would be a pity to find this becoming his new normal.

      Over the next few weeks we really need detailed, quantitative modelling of evolving polling data at the level of each region to inform the list voting decisions of pro-indy supporters: I suggest we all need this to avoid serious, negative unintended consequences.

    • Petra says:

      ”He adds that people are emailing him to say that they will now vote SNP1 because Alex Salmond told them to.”

      More like members of the Bathman site are emailing him and James Kelly is seemingly being taken in with this 🙄.

      • Potter says:

        He censoring comments, didn’t like my question of the impact of the Tories withdrawing candidates due to Salmonds intervention, didn’t answer and deleted it.

    • grizebard says:

      Alas I can’t even post there anymore since his exclusive Googleoid-only requirement came into being (due to a longstanding “interference” {ahem} problem he had). Like a lot of people and not just the trolls. Has he acquired a new set of trolls now then? {grin}

  15. Arthur Thomson says:

    You are a star Paul. You have done what others won’t because they can’t. You have taken those steps back and described the situation with intellect rather than emotion ( not that I imagine for a moment that you aren’t feeling the emotion but that just makes your achievement that much greater).

    You serve us well. Thank you.

  16. yesindyref2 says:

    Yay! At last that’s it, I’m off, can’t post in the National any more even though I buy paper copies but not every day, and vouchers would be useless as many places on my business tourism travels in the season hopefully coming up cos I need the dough after a not great year last year don’t take them from any paper cos it costs them too much and they don’t get their money for weeks with a load of hassle, so it’s hard cash in rural areas still (or was). I did manage to correct the AMS / d’Hondt pile of poo this morning as my second last act there as I was still on.

    My life is my own again, I’m off to celebrate with the pressure washer 🙂

    Anyways, I’ll post here still until chucked off by WGD, be good and remember who the real opposition is – Westminster not each other.

  17. boskie says:

    I have also been mulling over my list vote and have been trying out a couple of calculations
    Using list figures for Mid Scotland and Fife
    SNP 120,128 – Tory 73,293 – Labour 51,373 – Libs 20,401 Greens 17,860.
    SNP 8 Constituency seats – Libs 1
    Lets say assuming 10k votes lent to the Greens return to the SNP I still cant find in my calculations where the unionist parties would loose any seats it looks as though the only gains would be an extra seat for Labour.
    Maybe some one could enlighten me if my calculations of the system are correct and possible what the best use of my 2nd vote would be to help cut down unionist gains as I honestly would like both my votes SNP but I am not sure it is going to help with these sort of numbers

    • Capella says:

      Schrodingers Cat will be along in a minute to explain. No point in looking at Scot Goes Pop, he’s given up psephology for idolatry.

      • jfngw says:

        At one point the ISP had a link to a calculator where you could adjust their percentage of the vote and see the effects (obviously it based on the last election numbers), The first seats to go were Green & SNP list seats, the number needed to become quite large before I saw many unionist seats disappearing (it required them to take somewhere between 30-50% of the SNP list vote to have any real impact, it’s a while ago so just relying on my memory here).

        • Capella says:

          As we expected. They have some explaining to do before I’ll change my mind from both votes SNP.

        • Petra says:

          The reality is that the Tories, Labour, Libdems and Greens ain’t going to vote for Alba. Alba has to take votes from the SNP, but they ain’t getting mine or those of my extended family and friends.

      • grizebard says:


        It’s really quite puzzling how he’s gone AWOL from his own longstanding logic. Frustration with SNP inner wranglings, or just got gambling fever?

        For continuing rational psephology, I can recommend (He’s an openly-declared Green, but doesn’t let that get in his way.)

      • Clydebuilt says:

        Has he given up with polls incase ALBA don’t do too well in them.
        Enabling him to continue to talk them up

      • aye, disappointed in JK, he should base his opinion purely on the maths.

        but when folk chose sides, they automatically look for reason/weakness etc to confirm their polemic

        eg ive seen snp 1&2 supporters make ageist comments about the white men joining Alba. even i know for a fact they are not agist or racist against white men. Same for those making homophobic comments against wgd .i think its a sort of confirmational bias combined with ignorance.

        disappointed in JK though, for a psephologist it is kinda important to remain objective

      • Petra says:

        It’s really sad to see what’s going on, on Scotgoespop now. He says that Alba could lose us a majority, while running down the SNP, and then goes on to promote it. Is he a gambling man now too? Gambling with Scotland’s future? Everyone losing their head?

    • Schrödinger’s cat won’t “explain” anything Capella. He’ll just say vote Alba because magic voodoo numbers.

    • Stuart McNicoll says:

      Forgetting the gaming the system mantra flooding the ether at the moment, consideration should be centred on what’s the backup plan if the SNP lose constituency seats, the answer is the list allocation. The more constituency seats the less you get on the list and vice versa. Most of those advocating gaming the system are looking at 2016, your guide should be what happened in 2011. The mix of constituency and list seats have the SNP a majority government. The risk is that if the SNP lose constituency seats without the back up of list votes, we’re in serious trouble and don’t just mean the SNP I mean independence.

      • Golfnut says:

        The moniker should be Golfnut.

      • Petra says:

        Alex Salmond previously said vote SNP x 2 and that’s good enough for me 😉.

        • Tam the Bam says:

          ” Bombs gone”

        • Tam the Bam says:

          I respect your comments and all the work that you do for links….
          In fact…just being a branch member of my local SNP……gets me a dirty look in the street when I wear my SNP badge with pride…..its Glesga!…xxxx

    • Alex Clark says:

      I had a good look at this seat, the Greens won the last Additional Member Seat with 17860 votes.

      The SNP who won 8 constituency seat which made their divisor for the AM seats 9, since they got 120,128 votes on the list their share of the vote for the final seat was 13,348.

      The Tories won 4 constituency seats and their figure for the fimal seat was 73,293/5 = 14,659

      Labour 2 constituencis and votes counted for the final list seat 51,373/3 = 17,124

      Lib Dem 1 constituency seat and final votes 20,401/2 = 10,200

      The Tories won the 2nd last list seat and that is the key seat if more than one Independence supporting party is to be elected.

      The Tories won that seat with a divisor of 4 since they had just 3 list seats at the point in time, or in numbers, 73,293/4 = 18,323 votes. Using the results from 2016 as a for 2021 then to win an additional seat here for an Independence supporting party i,e, say Greens and Alba then they would need to capture the last two list seats and that means both parties beating the Tory vote for the 6th seat of 18,323.

      If both parties don’t win more than 18.323 votes then just one would be elected or even none, if neither of them get more votes than Labours total for the final list seat of 17,124 votes.

      • jfngw says:

        Checked what would happen if Alba took 50% of the SNP vote, by my calculation:

        Tories took 4 seats and would take 3
        Labour took 2 seats and would take 2
        Greens took 1 seat and would take 0
        Alba would take 2 seats

        The net change is plus 1 indy seat.

        If Alba take 30% of the SNP vote then the only change is Alba takes the Green seat.

        Net indy change is 0

        • Alex Clark says:

          There is the risk and it is a very tall ask for Alba to hope to win 30% of the SNP list vote, Alba could win the Green seat with less than 30% if the Green vote was to fall assuming Alba take some of their votes also.

          But as you rightly point out there is no gain of Independence supporting seats just an exchange of 1 seat from Green to Alba and the Unionists in Mid Scotland and Fife will keep their 6 list seats.

    • correct, if everyone who voted green on the list in this region voted snp, the snp would still NOT won a list seat. all 7 would have been won by the unionists

  18. cuckooshoe says:

    I think the Alba Party should be renamed the Alba Labour Party.

  19. jfngw says:

    Everyone notice the BBC Scotland Covid briefing only covered the FM’s factual based procedure about the coming lockdown events and current data, the journalists questions were cut off (15 minutes of the briefing, quite a bit of it by the non-political experts). We were then subjected to three opposition parties making political points on how they thought the pandemic could have been handled better. This in effect three mini PPB’s for the opposition parties (4 if you include the Green’s) with no input from the current governing party.

    Could you imagine this happening at BBC London, all the parties allowed to have their input but the Tories.

  20. Dr Jim says:

    Anas Sarwar apart from thinking up all of the SNP policy announcements before they did will offer a luxury Mediterranean cruise to voters who vote for him in the upcoming election

    Willie Rennie is offering to cure the electorate of all mental health problems and hand out free bouncy castles to all if he’s elected

    DRoss is offering to reverse time and unmake Covid 19 which Nicola Sturgeon had the power to do and failed to act

    Two of the high calibre candidates for the Salmond party called FM Nicola Sturgeon a cow want rid of Romanians and are anti vaccine

    That’s the news where we are

    • JoMax says:

      Oh well, that’s me definitely voting Labour, then. I could fair do wi’ a wee cruise roon’ the Med. Aw, wait a minnit. Is it only in his constituency? Damn. Alba? Naw. Beginning to sound a bit like UKIP to me. Willie’s bouncy castle is a stately home too far for me. DRoss Murray it is then. I want to be 21 again.

      Only joking. 🙂

  21. Capella says:

    Tweet from Doug Chapman to say he’s sticking with the SNP and not defecting. Was a lot of speculation I believe.

    • Clydebuilt says:

      And what about Angus B. McNeil. Sitting on the fence, to see if it’s safe to jump?

      • Capella says:

        I believe tomorrow is the deadline for registering to be a candidate in Holyrood. Of course he could stay in Westminster and call himself an Alba MP. I imagine his constituents would be pretty mad if he did desert them.

        Existing MSPs lose their current seat on 5th April AFAIK.

  22. dakk says:

    Would vote for anyone/party if I thought it would help Scotland’s indy prospects.

    Can’t easily disassociate the Alba Party from the 2 year attempted coup d’etat by Wings however.

    Bad enough Wings was fighting with and for the britnat parties and their propaganda machine.

    The fact the attempted coup was based on nothing more than lies, tittle tattle and spin, means that I no longer trust anything coming out of Wings.

    Alba and Wings may not be the same animal but I’m sure they both had the same plan A (take Sturgeon down with a concocted web of hearsay/lies).

    Whatever their plan B might now be they are badly tarnished by the 2 years of shite they have been fomenting.

    Political cowboys is what I see in Alba.

  23. what daak says…

  24. Dr Jim says:

    Statement on TV by Willie Rennie

    “We’ve been through one of the worst years of our lives, thousands have died, thousands more have lost their lives”

    Well eh now oh erm what can one say in reply to that then

  25. ALASTAIR says:

    James Kelly at scot goes pop has a new post with a questionair at the end on voting intentions for the list vote.
    SNP for me.

    • Capella says:

      Voted – SNP 🙂

      • not sure how valuble online polls are, but 51% of JK’s followers support Albaon the list

        i’ll stick my neck out now, next full scale scotland wide opinion poll will show the green party heading for extinction

        • Capella says:

          I can’t imagine they are very representative – the btl comments are fairly evenly divided though. Let’s see what it says tomorrow at 5.45 once all the wingers, murrayites, jeggits and barrhead boys flood in 🙂

        • Jim says:

          I wouldn’t bet on that Cat. The Greens are very popular with the younger voters (and a lot of us older voters too) and following tonight’s debate have, I think, increased their popularity.

          Young people have climate change very much at the top of their agenda.
          They support independence overwhelmingly.
          They support social justice and the right to protest.
          And they know that it’s THEIR future that we are debating.

          I am excited about the prospect of Alba taking out, if possible, every unionist in Scotland and would vote for Alba if that were guaranteed, but it’s not.
          There seems to be more chance as you say that it could annihilate the Greens which to me would not serve our purpose well as the Greens have been our sole stablemates in the quest for independence for the last 14 years.

          I support independence with all of my heart but I also support the Green agenda as I believe that this is the way forward and can unleash tremendous potential for an independent Scotland, particularly with the generation of hydrogen power from renewable energy to replace petrol and diesel transport.

          The Greens have supported independence because they understand that the only way to achieve these goals are to have to full fiscal powers in order to deliver it.
          Westminster is already a lost cause and Dross exemplified that tonight with refusing to commit to any forward thinking on how to build a better society.

          If the success of the Alba party was to be at the expense of the Greens I couldn’t be a part of that. Not with a clear conscience anyway.

          I am open to discussion on this as I think you have brought a different angle to the political debate on this blog which is refreshing but for now for me in Glasgow South it’s SNP1 Green2.


  26. Hamish100 says:

    I cannot quite get Kelly. Watched some of his videos when he debates Tommy Sheridan arguing against the gaming of the list vote. It doesn’t work he states. Weird.

    It is now Noticeable by the absence of a blogger who continued to call snp supporters as liars. Obviously now SGP is deemed acceptable. Does Kelly really think the sun shines out of AS bahookie?

    Still, The Herald is now reporting on wings and Alba’s close links. Their ire has moved from snp it seems ( no doubt temporarily), which is upsetting them.

    You could almost feel sorry for them. Actually it isn’t.

  27. Golfnut says:

    I don’t think many people are going to be taken in by the sudden appearance, conjured out the thin, of the Alba party.
    Anyhow this is pretty good summary of what the intentions of AS were, at least as far as the info we have so far.

    If anybody can post a link for those not on FB.

  28. Terence Callachan says:

    Nicola Sturgeon and SNP are fantastic.

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou for saying this.

    “Although the new Alba party has yet to announce its policy programme, it will certainly do so over the days and weeks ahead. Whatever the details of that announcement there can be absolutely no doubt that the Alba party also shares the view of the other pro-independence parties that Scotland’s democratic right to another referendum is very far from being a distraction from the challenges that Scotland faces, but rather it is absolutely key to unlocking the incredible potential that this country possesses and to putting it to work in the best interests of the people of Scotland. Whatever our disagreements about strategy or tactics, or about the wisdom or otherwise of the launch of this new party, that at least is something about which all supporters of independence can agree.”

  29. jfngw says:

    Spent the evening working out the complexion of the 2016 parliament if Alba had taken 30% & 50% on the list

    SNP – 60
    Grn – 3
    Alba 15 (9 taken from unionist, 6 from SNP/Grn)

    SNP 59
    Grn – 3
    Alba – 19 (12 taken from unionist parties, 7 from SNP/Grn)

    Both scenarios leave the SNP requiring Alba support to form government (I think that is the real intent) and neither produce a super majority. SNP lose all their list seats at 50% and retain 1 at 30%. Greens lose 3 with both.

    • weegingerdug says:

      That’s very interesting, thank you

    • Alex Clark says:

      I think both 30% and 50% are unrealistic considering that only 19% of SNP voters have a favourable opinion of Alex Salmond and even they might not all vote for the Alba party nut I get your point.

      “Q:scot9. Do you have a favourable or unfavourable view of Alex Salmond?”

      Responses from SNP voters only:

      Very favourable 6%

      Somewhat favourable 13%

      Somewhat unfavourable 30%

      Very unfavourable 43%

      Don’t know 8%

      FAVOURABLE 19%


      • Dr Jim says:

        I think somewhat favourable really means Hmm maybe but Nah, so at the last minute becomes unfavourable when it’s a voting choice

      • jfngw says:

        I did a quick check at 10% in Glasgow and South Scotland, at this level. there was no change in seats, although a few percent more a SNP seat would go in South Scotland.

        • grizebard says:

          Well, a list challenge in South Scotland, if it happens, is completely unfathomable, unless you accept your – eminently sensible – premise that the underlying motive is to become kingmakers (and I mean kingmakers not queenmakers).

          Power without responsibility. (Now of whom was that once said…?)

        • Terence Callachan says:


          So is 10% in Glasgow and South of Scotland likely ?
          I would have thought the two would differ ?
          Cant see those two having the same can you ?

          • jfngw says:

            I did the two different levels for each region and three for a couple, it is too much data to post BTL on a blog. I gave what I thought was a summary, I wouldn’t use it as any prediction of the coming election but just a example of what would have happened last time.

        • Alex Clark says:

          The real risk though is that if some of that 10% came not just from the SNP but also from the Green vote in Mid Scotland and Fife then Alba wouldn’t win any seats and the Greens would lose their list seat to Labour if their cote was only a few hundred lower. Alba would need to win over at least 15% of the SNP vote to win a seat and that would only displace the Greens from the 7th seat.

          It will all come down to the level of support Alba can obtain in every region, if it’s too little to win seats outright then it risks losing existing Independence seats to the Unionists with no compensation. In other seats where Green or SNP got the last seat then it might just replace them for no gain overall.

          • jfngw says:

            I know, the vote movement will be much more complex that my simplified example. I was more interested to see at what level the number start changing, if I was a bit more savvy with spreadsheets I could probably have made it more flexible. I would think the greatest damage to indy seats is somewhere between 10-20%.

            • Alex Clark says:

              I would think so too, though it will vary by region and each region should be looked at separately. I also want to point out for anyone reading this we are talking only of the % of SNP lists votes that might transfer to Alba and not % of the list vote overall that they might win.

              • grizebard says:

                Of course, what we all tend to forget is that with something like 55% of the overall list vote, the SNP begin to pick up list seats as well as constituencies. Then we wouldn’t even consider all this list vote agonising (apologies jfngw – no slight intended).

                As Prof Curtice has rightly observed, if you get >50% of the vote overall, no scheme, however cunning, can beat you.

                I just wish we all kept our sights aimed much higher, then others might actually be encouraged to join in. The “momentum” thing, y’know.

                • Alex Clark says:

                  I think the point being made here by both jfngw and myself is that a vote for Alba is unlikely to result in a “supermajority” and may in fact cause seats already held by the Greens or SNP to be lost on the list.

                • Alex Clark says:

                  Without any gains by Alba. As Nicola Sturgeon has said it is a gamble.

                  • grizebard says:

                    Indeed. Being pretty free with our precious futures as stakes, besides.

                    Has everybody forgotten RISE, which didn’t? And no amount of expired magic fairy dust can make it any different now.

                  • grizebard says:

                    Oh, except that “getting the band back” with a new frontman might, this time round, just manage to be successful enough to rob the independence movement of some precious seats, as you both suggest. Vengeance Of The Splitterist Swamp Monster coming soon to a screen near you.

                    Like others (if for different reasons), I’m hoping that some reality might begin to dawn when new polls begin to come in.

    • Terence Callachan says:

      So is this good
      Or is it bad

      I suppose for Scottish Independence its good even excellent

      SNP got 63 greens got 6 so total 69 but if Alba had been around on 30% it would have been 78

      SNP got 63 greens got 6 so total 69 but if Alba had been around on 50% it would have been 81

      Take your pick 69 or 78 or 81

      I think i will go for 81

      • jfngw says:

        It doesn’t matter what you go for, it is only a model based on a previous election, there is no reliable figures at present as to what the support for Alba is in reality.

        It depends on your point of view whether it is good or bad, it makes AS the king maker, holding the balance of power, the Green’s are effectively taken out of the equation.

        But it’s historical voting data and may bear no similarity to the coming election result.

        • Terence Callachan says:

          So you spend all afternoon getting these figures together
          Then say it doesnt matter if they are good or bad ?

          Ahhhh i see what you are getting at
          You think Alba are trying to usurp SNP but doing it in a way that guarantees failure by contesting LIST seats only

          Nah , thats just plain silly

          At present we have SNP relying on the greens for support the greens are not a Scottish independence party they merely support it in return for favours but in reality could stop supporting it at any moment , well we know they have already done that dont we , people are still baffled why they voted against some of the SNP proposals that failed.

          Alba are a Scottish independence party Scottish independence is their priority they are only going for LIST seats

          What is it you are afraid of ?
          Why do you consider the greens a better option than Alba if Alba will probably get more seats ?

          • jfngw says:

            No, I left it up to you to decide if it is good or bad, surely you can make up your own mind.

            I will be voting SNP on both if that helps you.

          • Tam the Bam says:

            So is Terence still harping on about 2016 Election?
            Terence…it was 2016.
            Ever heard the expression..’a week is a long time in politics?’
            Well x 6 !
            There is NO WAY you can assume an SNP majority in ANY constituency.
            End of.

  30. yesindyref2 says:

    You have to wonder why someone would post on another site they’re supporting Labour and Alba on the list for one constituency, but on this site support SNP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Must think we zip up at the, err, thing.

    And then you see an article in the Herald.

  31. M biyd says:

    It’s a shame the SNP attended the debate given it was hosted by Sarah Smith on any objective test she should recuse herself due to the perception of bias notwithstanding accusations of actual bias in her reporting. In addition, where was the ALBA party.

    Sturgeon has always been renowned for her debating skills but tonight she looked fragile, vulnerable and in need of a more authoritative, reassuring figure by her side. She missed Patrick Harvie’s support I thought.

    In an era where Sarwar and Ross clearly have a backroom gaming plan- judging by tonights debate- Sturgeon should be alert to not ostracising bedfellows if she is genuine about independence.

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, you are a caution. Alas about as objective as the Hon. Sarah, if politically elsewhere entirely.

      SNP not attend? You might wish! {scornful laugh}

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Mybid (or whatever your name is)

      That you think she looked..’fragile’..vulnerable..and ind in need of a more authoritative figure’…….tells me a great deal of where YOU’RE coming from.
      Not going to go to the bother of why you’re condemnatory points are ill founded…but I would say this:

      Have you ever had to stand and address the nation on bad news….day out?.
      Have you ever had to withstand the disgusting vitriol from various quarters for doing the right thing?

      Well have you?

    • It’s not you, me or anyone likely to read this that’s going to decide this election (& the referendum that the outcome is reliant upon). It’s ordinary people who, by and large, don’t really care about politics from one hustings to the next.

      How does NS get the message across, without engaging with everyday folk, who still watch the Beeb in relatively large numbers?

      Would you adopt the same time if AS had been present?

    • Eilidh says:

      Oh please I nearly barfed on my mobile phone screen at your comment that Nicola looked fragile, vulnerable and in need of a more authoritative, reassuring figure by her side. How patronising can you get. Contrary to popular belief most people who read Paul blogs don’t have heads that button up the back. Nice try but no banana for you

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Nicola is tired Eilidh….no shame in that….in fact….power to her elbow!!!!

        • Eilidh says:

          Exactly but being tired and I am sure she is entirely different from being fragile and vulnerable and needing a more authoritative and reassuring figure by her side. That smacks of she is just a daft wee lassie who needs a man by her side which I am sure is what Mbiyd intended

  32. Hamish100 says:

    SNP FM doesn’t attend a leaders debate? Whit! What would the headlines say?
    I do despair at times.
    Then I remember the games that are being played.

  33. graemedbruce says:

    Never assume your SNP constituency MSP is a shoe in. Look what happened in the 2017 Westminster election in Angus. A concerted Tory effort overturned an SNP majority from 2015 and we ended up with Kirstene Hair. Normal service was resumed in 2019 when the SNP were returned again. But 2017 happened and it could happen again.

    • grizebard says:

      {ahem} “shoo-in”

      (Though some candidates of other parties might well merit a public reception involving such objects, we’re thoroughly respectable here and have to behave accordingly.)

      Your actual point, though, is well made, and deserves attention, not least from those currently caught up in gold fever.

      • graemedbruce says:

        It worries me to see folk assuming the 2016 constituency vote will go the same way for the SNP. All it takes is a few constituencies to fall and folk have given their second vote away and we lose an SNP majority.

        • grizebard says:

          Yup, it worries me too. In politics nothing is a given, and those of us who’ve been around long enough have seen many an unwanted reversal to thwart fond expectations. Hopefully though the now-started electoral campaign will soon enough sort “the wheat from the chaff” in all sorts of ways.

        • Tam the Bam says:

          Exactly the point I’ve been attempting to drive home…..SNP CONSTITUENCY MAJORITY IS NOT A GIVEN.
          The only Regions where I would give free reign to SNP voters to deviate would be SOUTH SCOTLAND..and…NE SCOTLAND….the guys in the know will get back to you on this but thats my take.

        • we lose an SNP majority……….havers. the snp dont have a majority, we have an indy majority because of the greens

    • Tam the Bam says:

      This is the point I’m attempting to drive home Graeme…thanks for mentioning it again!

  34. Stephen McKenzie says:

    Now I know its click bait for the Herald, but every little helps if you could cast your vote as otherwise it will may be used against us.

  35. Capella says:

    The National link Golfnut. Was Alba Party’s list-only stance forced by Nicola Sturgeon’s vindication?

    • Golfnut says:

      Thanks Capella, family zoom call priority tonight. 👍

    • Petra says:

      Thanks for the link Capella. I reckon most of us can totally relate to Dan Wood’s comments.

      ..”Clearly standing only on the regional lists was a concession forced on them by the FM’s vindication by the Hamilton inquiry. There is little doubt in my mind that they would have stood candidates in the constituencies in the light of the obvious crisis that would have emanated in the SNP leadership as a result of the FM’s failure and resignation.”..

  36. Hamish100 says:

    Is it just me but every time time I see the Alba logo and Alex Salmond I think it is a Bank of Scotland advert?

    • grizebard says:

      Maybe it’s a devious sponsoring scheme? Some kind of craftily-devised subconscious product placement?

      Besides that, who is actually bankrolling them? (SoB passing on some of the now-dwindling funds many of us sent him before he went postal? Some other well-endowed corporate sugar daddy?)

  37. Golfnut says:

    In a nutshell, the Alba party are trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, indeed their solution for this non existent problem could cause a serious problem for the Indy movement.

    • James Mills says:

      Alex Salmond ”knows” that Boris Johnson will ignore Nicola Sturgeon because she is a wee lassie – but BIG Alex will put him in his place .

      He hasn’t said it – yet – but this is the impression I get every time AS speaks on his Supermajority and it is the slant put on some of the anti-Sturgeon comments I have read today in various outlets .

      Ffs – she has led the country through the worst 12 months that most of have probably ever endured ( short of war time ), has been daily subjected to a media interrogation that would have Boris Johnson looking for the nearest fridge or ditch , has been scrutinised , vilified , ridiculed and denigrated by a bunch of nonentities on a Holyrood committee for 8 hours because her former boss couldn’t keep his hands to himself ( then asked by a numptie on said committee to ”apologise ” for this !).
      Yes , Alex would do better – I don’t think !He couldn’t even handle a question on currency form

      • James Mills says:

        ??? What happened ?

        couldn’t even handle a question on currency from Alistair Darling which a 5 year old could have told you was coming !

        No , thank Alex . I’ll stick with the wee lassie !

        • Petra says:

          He didn’t have to deal with Brexit or the pandemic but still lost Indyref1, FGS. NS has been dealing with it all, including him losing Indyref1, and was well on the way to getting a majority in May and then along comes the sleekit, leech. He and three others that I can think of akin to the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

      • Tatu3 says:

        Alex Salmond – egotist, misogynist, chauvinist ….

  38. Dr Jim says:

    A political party normally unite in saying the same thing, the Salmond party so far can’t manage to do that, one minute it’s let’s be friends, the next minute it’s let’s decapitate Sturgeon, then it’s vote for Sarwar to bring the SNP down, or let’s get rid of the Romanians and Sturgeon’s a cow, then it’s oh sorry we really mean let’s be friends, and finally, we all want the same thing once the witch is dead and if you vote for her you’re all pathologically stupid

    These are some of the messages from your Salmond party candidates and sponsor, stay tuned for more of the same

    Yeah Scotland’ll vote for this definitely

  39. P Harvey says:

    Talk about a loaded Audience in the leader’s debate tonight!
    Was there only 1 or possibly 2 favourable Indy questions tonight?

  40. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Brexit the elephant in the room tonight at Scottish leaders debate…..huge impact on Scottish exports…..fishermen seeing their businesses/livelihoods destroyed…..according to James Withers, of trade body Scotland Food and Drink, the impact has been “horrendous”…..he also said the seafood sector alone was losing “about a million pounds a day”…He also said “There’s no sign of any improvement soon,” …… “In fact, he said , there are many signs things could get worse.”

    NEW data from the Office for National Statistics reveals the true extent of Brexit’s devastating impact on the Scottish food and drink sector.

    EU-bound consignments for January 2021 were down 63% on the previous year, while Scotland’s largest food export category, fish and shellfish, was down a crippling 83%.

    Meat and dairy also suffered with exports plunging 59% and 50% respectively, the ONS found.

    Covid recovery ?….what about trying to recover from the resulting chaos and catastrophe of the hugely damaging Tory Brexit……lies and promises made pre EU Referendum now the resulting mess exposing the Tory Brexit as a policy that failed to deliver indeed was not fit for any purpose other than to make rich people richer , keep the Tories in power and isolate and seemingly to trap us Scots in a Tory Hell whole called the UKnotOK……once more imposing a Tory policy that Scots did not vote for via a majority or indeed ever ask for or want …..

    Unionists on panel needed shut down with a few facts and figures on how much Brexit has impacted Scottish economy…huge detrimental impact…..and thus a good a reason as any for Scotland to get it’s independence……as the Union is literally destroying our economy, our opportunities, hope, trade agreements, people’s livelihoods, our freedom to travel hassle free and our alliances with Europe…… and that list is not an exhaustive one….and the Unionists of all parties are standing by and doing and saying sweet fanny Adams………as per…..plenty to say on supposed Indy Ref potential consequences from their Unionistic and less than impartial perspectives….

    Independence which has, as yet , NOT even been voted for or implemented but they know how it will pan out ….how do they know what will happen…cause they are Unionists…..their facts and figures all stand teetering on a mountain of lies……however they are currently ALL strangely silent on the clear and current negative effect… as in the right cluster ‘rhymes with’ Duck effect..of Brexit …which BTW has happened… no excuses…. as the actual consequences are here…..and are having a “horrendous” effect on Scotland’s businesses and economy…..

    And let’s not forget the Tory pantomime at WM via Theresa May and then Boris as Tory PM’s trying to get both their respective numerous withdrawal and trade deals passed at WM…..and the numerous GE’s it took before WM voted for final deals on both thanks very much to Unionists Tories and some Red Tories….plus the side shows of proroguing parliament ,lying to Queenie , and she knew it , and all of the Tory MP’s defecting to other parties and some going independent …..strong and stable with the Tories in their Union (Non) is it ? ….aye right….

    Scottish Green lady tonight did mention Erasmus……but our freedom to work and live in Europe , with exception of Ireland, is impacted also… in all exciting new exploration of and new adventures to experience in Europe….if we wanted to long term or permanently….. as a possible future choice while we are still a part of the UKnotOK are well and truly Donald Ducked…..suddenly the world has become a much smaller place for our children…..Thanks Tories….

    Funnily enough no member of the audience saw Brexit as a huge issue for Scotland as no one seemed to highlight it or have a question on it…..not surprising when MSM are by large suppressing the reality of it….and Gove and other Tories glossing over the facts and figures…..but come on social media is awash with the Brexit reality……and tis bad very bad….

    I’ll finish with a joke …some Torygraph biddy aka Madeline Grant just stated In BBC Paper Review that WM ought to stop treating the SNP like dignitaries as opposed to an opposition party…..Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha etc etc….mind you in a way she is right but just not in the way that she tried to SPIN it ,as in her incorrectly inferring that the SNP were treated with too much respect and reverence at WM as if they were ‘dignintaries’…so she was correct in that the SNP ARE treated like dignitaries…i.e. foreign ones as in those who are EU members…… who are treated with contempt and ridicule by Tories at WM……indeed exactly how the SNP are treated on a daily basis………she also had something to say about independence….didn’t really listen as her opinion on that subject amounts to diddly-squat and filed under clueless and Tory fake news ….also tis OUR business not HER business.

  41. Glasgow Gowan says:

    Nicola is right.

    It is better to have honestly elected unionist list MSPs in opposition than ALBA list MSPs who have cheated the system.

    Nicola will deliver a thumping majority.

    Sarwar will be routed if he dares to stand against Nicola.

  42. Glasgow Gowan says:

    Is Alba posing a risk to the SNP or not?

    Can someone please give an honest answer.

    Should we here be worried or not?

    What is the best thing to do if there is a risk of Alba preventing an SNP majority?

    • grizebard says:

      If you follow the case put upthread, the danger is very real. If Alba go off “at half-cock” (as the old gun analogy goes), they could well siphon-off enough SNP or Green votes to spoil the chances of these parties where they matter, without being near strong enough to make any gains themselves. And there is good reason this could happen, since there has been no “preparing the ground” with the indy-supporting public beforehand, which was absolutely essential for such a scheme to hope to work. (It’s odd that the various alt-indies never seem to have appreciated this crucial fact. In fact, they even began attacking the SNP instead of backing it as initially promised, which was a terminally-fatal error.)

      Given the short time left, there’s no way that this lost ground can be sufficiently made up. They’re trying, which is why we were bombarded by a bunch of mostly strangers these last few days trying to belatedly repair the damage. (While making a typical cack-handed job of it by “laying down the law” to us about how we all jolly well had to behave.)

      Add to that the reality that, while Alba is led by a figure who may – as an article of faith – remain popular with some who have evidently closed-minds on the issue of personal behaviour and/or have assorted political axes to grind, for the vast majority of ordinary voters, Alba is a completely unknown quantity with unknown polities. Whereas it’s only the SNP that has the presence and hard-won reputation to attract the essential crossover voters to be able to gain ground. (Just think about it: why else were the opposition so desperate to “decapitate the SNP”?)

      Since the entire electoral system is expressly designed not to deliver a one-party majority, the possibility of further progress for independence is at an existential crossroads, and not to be gambled with in the vain starry hope of a “big-ticket win” whose chances are almost nil. (You might have a better chance winning big on the Lotto and then all you’ll lose is a couple of quid, not your entire future.)

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I thought you’d already decided on the other blog “Andy”:

      Vote Labour 1 and ALBA 2 in the Constituency of Glasgow Southside on 6th May 2021

  43. Petra says:

    Some relevant articles and facts from one source alone.

    ‘Joseph Rowntree Foundation on the SNP’s Scottish Child Payment.’


    ‘While we’re all so interested in poverty.’

  44. Petra says:

    ‘Sarwar Labouring under amnesia.’


    ‘Danny Dorling:- Mind the gap: New Labours policy on child poverty.’

    Click to access dannydorling_publication_id0596.pdf

  45. Tam the Bam says:

    Nonetheless …. I though tb Sarwar camme across well……and as for wee Dross…………..

    • Tam, the man just fecking lies on telly.
      He declares that the Bad SNP should be ashamed of its record in mitigating Child evil fecking lie!
      He doesn’t give a shit about poor kids..he’s a millionaire FFS, whose family firm pays sweat shop wages FFS..allegedly, ‘fair comment-ly’.
      He send his kids to fee paying schools…his father is a Billionaire…
      His ties cost more than a week’s UCS allowance to the ‘poor kids’ that he will step down from his gilded castle to champion.
      He is a liar, like Carmichael, old style, justifying his lies as just ‘politics’.
      Tar and feather and drive out of town..the liars and cheats..

      The Brits lie…they can’t he;p it…how else can they justify straving a third of a million Scots children on the orders of their English Masters?

      Last night was the usual light weight garbage…

      • Check out my typos.

        BBC Jockland is the mouthpiece of the English State…
        Smith is a product of the Jock Brit Nat Elite..
        How far can we be pushed, before the dam bursts?

      • Well Jack, just look at Sarwar’s response to being rumbled over his claim of not being “one of the few”.

        Fair enough he didn’t have any day-to-day control of the family wholesale business, but he did benefit financially from the company. The firm opting not to pay the real living wage torpedoed his implied claim to be “of the many”.

        Onywey, he “gave up” his shares to disassociate himself from the business, presumably so he wouldn’t be seen to be benefitting from the company’s less than generous attitude to it’s workforce & put them in trust for his kids.

        On a moral plane, I really struggle to see any difference between benefitting personally and ensuring that your successors do.

  46. barpe says:

    The BBC excelled tonight in propaganda, the choices, by Sarah Smith, of initial questions was very telling (and very biased!) – presumably to set the tone!!

    However, I also noted the position of the audience ‘screens’, particularly the top middle, where a man was so obviously a Tory (and got his shot at a question) whereas one ‘SNP supporter was positioned low down on the periphery. Smacked of ‘product placement’, as per supermarkets.

    The use of ‘screens’ allows the BBC to very effectively manipulate the questions/comments – which leads me to say this QT format is hopeless for a so-called election debate. I wanted to hear the Leaders speak but was forced to listen to innumerable vox-pops, often from less than articulate ‘audience’ members.

    Come on BBC, this is a vital election, gie’s a break – let’s hear the professionals!!

    • I did warn you, Duggers.
      I didn’t tune in because I knew exactly how it would pan out.

      did note earlier in the evening that Kezia Dugdale was getting a nice little earner from the Beeb on The Nine (audience 4000) to analyse the debate at ‘pick a winner’.

      The corrupt little Jock Anglo ‘Village’ at work;

      62% voted Remain Up Here. But were the Brit Nats ‘building back better’ probed about rejoining the EU?

      They do waht their English bvosses tell them to do.
      Brexit’s done, Jocks…we English voted to leave…back in your Jocks’ box, serfs.

      Naw, Sarah Smith and prominent Yoon audience members would have steered it down the Parish Council route, the ‘wee things’ of which Sarwar Dross and Rennie are nominally in chatge; not the Big Adult Politics of the SNP and Greens..
      Trident, Foreign Policy, UKIM, Brazil beef, the death of our commerce, the Ban on Travel work and freedom of movement in Europe?
      Nothin’ to do with the Jock Brit Blue Red and Yellow Tories.
      England does all that stuff.
      Naw, BBC Jockland and the Brits demand that we forget all that EU nonsense;

      The Hon Sarah and her Masters are there to lie about the Bad SNP and potholes and stuff.

      I note from the silence of the Dead Tree Scrolls online that it must have been a pretty torrid affair for Dross and Sarwar..and wee Willie would just have just grinned a lot like an extra from a Broons cartoon?

      ‘Building back better’…is getting big licks among the hacks and broadcasters right enough.

  47. Ken says:

    Not worth watching. A load of absolute rubbish. No viewers. No programme.

    If people do not know what this is about by now. Why bother. Liars always get found out. Disgusting.

  48. Hamish100 says:

    Dugdale appointment by the Smiths family on television to give an “independent” view on a programme chaired by Sarah Smith.

    Is this product placement?

  49. Naina Tal says:

    GMS this morning talking about the debate on TV. Don’t watch BBC. No licence you see.
    This morning they let Murdo Fraser and that Bailey wummin rant anti SNP nonsense. According to Fraser there’s no demand for a referendum or independence and he says the last 20+ polls show that. Whit????
    Next up was a piece from three supposed neutral audience members. It was very obvious from the start they were anything but neutral. The item finished with them being asked which leader stood out. Each one of them analysed the performance of every leader except Nicola Sturgeon. Not one of them even mentioned her!
    BBC starting as they mean to go on. But then we expected that!

  50. Dr Jim says:

    I didn’t watch it because I’ve seen a thousand like it and the format doesn’t change, at every election they know they have a new group with no understanding or historical recollection of who they’re listening to so take people at their word when they say things, because they naively believe they have no reason to lie, then they match them up with the devoted followers of the liars and Bazinga you’ve got yourself the *unbiased* representation of an audience who think some particular issue they have in their head is important to the people they’re asking the questions of

    72 years old and still reading and listening to the same lies, that gives me around 60 years of understanding what’s going on and always has done, we know young people are going to be the future of our country but they’re never going to be educated by the British media because that’s just not their job, the British media’s job is to convert people to the status quo and keep them there, everything else is bad

    Where do people learn bigotry racism sectarianism political opportunism, don’t look sideways at the person next to you they didn’t invent it, look up towards the rich and powerful government who use it as the control tool, the more you argue with each other the less you look at those who create the trouble and the BBC and others have been working for the British state to make sure that status quo is maintained

    Scotland is a colony, it can’t be a country until it’s a country, when the Unionist politicians use the language of the SNP must fix this or that before any constitutional argument can be had doesn’t mean they mean it, that’s can kicking because they will always say *use the powers you have* or some other such slogan to avoid the truth which is Scotland is a colony of England and will continue to be treated that way for all time never moving an inch forward because we are not *allowed* under the present system to make alterations sufficient enough to do that

    But Mum I’m X years old, I don’t care says Mum, as long as you’re living in my house I make the rules, you can’t grow up unless you leave home and buy your own curtains with your own money

  51. Capella says:

    I read Paul’s latest article in The National – mainly because it was thoroughly traduced by Alba supporters on my twitter feed – so that tells me it must be good. (They think The National is an SNP rag too so you’re not alone Paul). An excellent read IMO and summarises the problems with gambling on the list vote.

  52. Capella says:

    For spreadsheet junkies – here’s a video which analyses the 2016 vote in Central and works examples of varying ways of splitting the regional vote. For example, giving 50% SNP vote to Greens, or to another Indy party, or 25% each to Greens and another Indy Party etc


    Short answer, best results from 50% SNP list vote to the Greens in CENTRAL REGION.

    I think there are links to spreadsheets for other regions btl if you want to spend the rest of the day playing with numbers. However, this is using the 2016 results and there’s no guarantee that 2021 will be the same.

  53. Hamish100 says:

    The GMB being the usual britnat trade union. Pro labour. Makes you wonder when the TU’s over the years gave labour an easy time with back room deals with councillors and others.

  54. yesindyref2 says:

    I just read this on Scot Goes Pop:

    Since I declared my support for the Alba party, I’ve been receiving hate mail from SNP members

    and a little warning, same as for Alba members apparently doing the same to SNP members – there are pretendy people about stirring up dissent and doing their best to create splits and widen splits, and even some just doing it for kicks.

    James is maybe sure they’re actual SNP members, but all ye make sure it is a genuine SNP supporter / Alba / whoever please, before making a fuss about it! We’re on the same side – apart from the faker fockers. Don’t let the trolls make fools of us all.

    • Capella says:

      He says there are two individuals being abusive. Why doesn’t he name and shame? Nobody wants abusive characters pretending to be independence supporters, so the quicker they are outed the better. Otherwise he should just ignore it.

  55. Hamish100 says:

    He allowed 1 pro wings blogger. ( could it possible be?) to be continually offensive to others. The persons no longer online since SGP has gone against his own advice re skewing voting

  56. Potter says:

    Nigel Farage has announced he is standing down candidates in the upcoming Scottish Election in order to help the ALBA Party. Brian Topping, NE list candidate for ALBA, who campaigned for Brexit, commented “Magic, everyone in the North East can see the amazing benefits Brexit has had on our fishing industry”

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