Dying to be British

This Conservative government is literally killing us. I wish that was just rhetorical hyperbole, but sadly it’s a stark and cruel truth. Researchers based in Glasgow have calculated that due to the Tory austerity policies which slashed billions of pounds from social security payments and public services that between 2012-2019, almost 335,000 more people died between 2012 and 2019 than would have been expected across the UK based on previous trends between 1981 and 2011.

As Liz Truss is wont to say, That. Is. A. Disgrace. However we all know that she won’t be saying it about the devastation and despair her party has created, certainly not when she has Austerity 2.0 in mind in order to pay her tax cuts which disproportionately benefit the wealthy. This number does not include the excess deaths caused by the British Government’s woeful mishandling of the covid crisis. When Better Together made their pitch to Scotland in the referendum campaign of 2014 they didn’t say, Vote no so that more of you can die, but tragically that is exactly what has happened.

The report’s co-author Prof Ruth Dundas, Professor of Social Epidemiology at the University of Glasgow told the Herald newspaper: “This study shows that in the UK a great many more deaths are likely to have been caused by UK Government economic policy than by the Covid-19 pandemic.” To which all that can be said is : “Are you Yes yet?”

Today Liz Truss gave her first speech as party leader to the Conservative party conference. It could very well be her last. It was the typical monotone and stilted speak your weight machine performance we have come to expect from Truss, full of outright lies and unintentional self-owns. The most exciting thing about it was that it was interrupted by two Greenpeace protestors brandishing a sign saying Who voted for this. The sign was quickly ripped away, only for the protestors to bring out another, showing that they had more foresight and preparation than the woman robotically intoning content free slogans on the main stage.

Perhaps the only saving grace was that she didn’t mention pork markets. She claimed to be the first Prime Minister to have gone to a comprehensive school, which must come as news to Gordon Brown and Theresa May, both of whom were educated at state comprehensives. Truss talked about how she had witnessed poverty, social exclusion and economic stagnation in Leeds and Paisley in the 1980s and 1990s, and how she saw struggling families and people who had lost all hope, she told us this experience informed her politics now. The big problem with that is that there was a Conservative government throughout that period, Truss seeks to emulate the very worst of Thatcher’s policies. Presumably what she means is that she is determined to repeat that miserable experience for a new generation.

Naturally Truss couldn’t resist a dig at Nicola Sturgeon, trying to lay the blame for the energy crisis in Scotland at the door of the Scottish Government for refusing to build new nuclear power plants. Scotland is a major energy producer, exporting both gas and electricity to England, Scotland is able to meet all its domestic electricity needs from Scottish produced renewable energy resources and still to produce a large surplus. Scotland also remains a significant producer of oil and gas. However energy policy is reserved to Westminster which has insisted on tying the price of electricity to the price of gas on the international markets in order to protect the energy companies, even though this is more expensive for the ordinary consumer. Scotland has no need for new nuclear power plants. Scotland does not have an energy crisis, it has a Conservative Government crisis.

Truss and her party blame shirkers for not working hard enough to make the British economy a success. The people who are shirkers are not the ones on benefits who are often working but just do not earn enough. The shirkers are those in Tory party pilfering the public purse to enrich their wealthy cronies at a cost which is counted in actual death.

Meanwhile Home Secretary Suella Braverman has said that her ‘dream’ is to see a front page headline in the Telegraph over a photo of a plane taking asylum seekers to Rwanda. If your dream is someone else’s nightmare, it is safe to say that something is very very wrong with you on the level of basic human decency.

Of course the assorted talking Tory heads will have praised Truss’s speech. They did the exact same thing following Iain Duncan Smith’s speech to the Conservative party conference in 2003, but that didn’t stop them from turfing him out as party leader within a few weeks and replacing him with the even more useless Michael Howard. Truss’s plodding and pedestrian speech was short on ideas and contained absolutely nothing to broaden her appeal within her own fractured party never mind to endear her to a wider public which has already made up its mind on her and decided that they don’t like what they see.

Far more important than the opinions of Truss loyalists, a poll out today has found that Truss is less popular with voters than Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn at their lowest ebb, new polling shows. Truss’s net favourability score has plunged by 28 points to -59 in less than a fortnight, according to the latest poll from YouGov. The lowest score ever recorded for Johnson was -53 while even Jeremy Corbyn never went lower than -55.

Even more alarmingly for the Conservatives, twice as many Conservative voters (60%) have an unfavourable view of the Prime Minister than a positive view (30%). Truss is clearly a big vote loser for the Tories. Another poll out today gives Labour an enormous lead of 38% over the Conservatives in the critical so-called ‘red wall’ seats which were vital to the Conservative victory in the 2019 General Election. That’s an increase for Labour over the Tories of 15% since the last red wall poll just two weeks ago.

These are polling levels which the Conservatives are going to struggle to turn around before the next General Election and which they will certainly be unable to make much of a dent in as long as they are lumbered with a massively unpopular leader with all the charisma of an abandoned mattress. Truss did say that she didn’t mind being unpopular, she has been a disaster at everything else in her short time in office, but as far as unpopularity is concerned she’s a runaway winner. Let’s just hope she doesn’t kill too many more of us before she’s booted out of office.


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74 comments on “Dying to be British

  1. Derek says:

    Do you mean 2019 rather than 2010? (pre-pandemic) – 1st para.

  2. Dr Jim says:

    I scribbled on the previous thread that the Tories by their policies have lead to the premature deaths of 20.000 Scotland, not by pushing them down stairs or shoving them in front of a bus, they did with the stroke of a pen from the safety of their offices in England

    What makes this report even more offensively insane is that in the media in Scotlands reporting of this they made it sound no more important than an *and finally* *cat stuck up tree* story instead of being aghast at the magnitude of what they had just reported, had this been a story from some foreign land the BBC and STV would’ve acted in a completely horrified way that any government in another country could get away with imposing policies that would directly lead to deaths in a neighbouring country

    *Tory voters cause deaths in Scotland* how’s that for an accurate headline

    • The irony is that the Tories are killing unionists primarily. It is the elderly that are most Tory while also being the most vulnerable to austerity cuts to welfare and public services.

  3. Hamish100 says:

    And Tory voters look away singing KSTK and tele tubbeees!

    Probably see some at the Kirk on Sunday.

  4. Statgeek says:

    Notice the glut of Scottish polls now that Labour is in the ascendancy.

    Funny old world, isn’t it? Almost as if someone is hoping.

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, they’re hoping all right. With a different champion now that the former hoped-for Big Winner has crapped out. But they’ll hope in vain – just a different door on the same old blocked dunny. And people know it.

    • I remember when Corbyn was the saviour.

      I quite liked him myself.

      • grizebard says:

        Got a leaflet through the door the other day from SiU. Maybe something’s about to happen in a week or two? And they’ve given up on false saviours, so are DIY-ing it now?

  5. Dr Jim says:

    In a new poll Labour look to have overtaken the Tories in Scotland while the SNP and others have remained the same, the conclusion appears as though Tory and Labour voters are interchangeable with each other, so are Labour voters and Tory voters now the same thing or are they just anti SNP, or are they anti Independence voters and any party will do ?
    None of the results show any indication of the Independence vote lessening or indeed the SNP not winning any future elections by the usual large margin

    Is Scotland stuck with a load of people who think they can’t look after themselves and need Englands voters to do it for them? or could it be like all polls a snapshot of a guess at something happening that could all change in a fortnight if the Tories in England give pensioners an inflation busting rise and Englands voters all immediately switch back to being Tory voters again, thereby making mugs out of the Scottish switchers who think they have some influence over which political party is elected in England to be the government over all of our four great precious nations

    I scratch my head in puzzlement regularly over folk in Scotland who think they have any say in who becomes the UK government, sixty years of in your face evidence shows they don’t yet still they haven’t worked it out

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, the well-meaning deluded have long confused coincidence with effect in UK elections. Helped along by professional Labour liars who regularly claim they “need us to win”.

      But the thing is, it is provably a lie, because when they manage to get their occasional Buggins turn in London, they ignore us, patronise us, over-rule us and exploit us just as badly as the Tories. If they really needed our votes rather than just our resources, they would be a darn sight more attentive and careful.

    • stewartb says:

      ‘.. the conclusion appears as though Tory and Labour voters are interchangeable with each other ..’

      Agreed. Just like ‘traditional Labour’ voters in ‘red wall’ seats that voted in 2019 for Boris Johnson’s Tory vision of the UK? And voted for Farage’s vision of the UK in 2016? And yet Labour leaders condemn those of us that support self-determination for Scotland because we lack solidarity with folk in England!

    • Derek says:

      There are a number of Labour party members who are in favour of an independent Scotland. There are probably also a number of Conservative party members in favour, but they’ll be a lower percentage. I don’t see where the Labour lead is coming from, as it’s all just “not tory” rather than for someone else, I think. Current Labour isn’t socialist and hasn’t touted re-nationalising things as a ploy, so I doubt that they’ll do well here. So; who to vote for? No-one’s promoting nationalisation in the face of rising energy bills; are all the parties in thrall to the status quo?

  6. While this is the worst Tory political generation in my lifetime, they don’t form two thirds of all governments because they are mugs.
    I would expect Truss to get a mid-night chap on her door very soon.

    There will be a Tory “dark horse” being wooed this very second.

    Ben Wallace V Keir Starmer in 18 months time?

    A toss-up in England but a clean sweep in Scotland for the SNP, if we are not already prepping for Indy (I am not a pessimist over the Supreme Court, if the judiciary have proper regard to international law).

    • grizebard says:

      They form two-thirds of UK governments because self-evidently too many English people are mugs! {laugh}

      Joking apart, you have a point. They know which bells to ring with the public, and that there is no consolation prize for coming second. At least until lately. Suffering an almighty hangover after being rather too successful with their Brexit sales pitch.

    • Alex Clark says:

      They win as many elections as they do because those with the most money back them and they have total control of the media. They only ever lose when they have made an arse of it for far too long and the voters of England become fed up with them and decide they need change.

    • “I would expect Truss to get a mid-night chap on her door very soon.”
      Who is this chap who appears at Truss’ door in the dead of night?
      Asking for a friend.

  7. Alastair says:

    Paul, as usual a great post, but in the interests of accuracy, can I be pedantic?
    I think you are perhaps being slightly ‘economical with the truth’ when you say that Gordon Brown was educated in a ‘Comprhensive’. Brown is just under 6 years younger than me and we both attended Kirkcaldy High School. His ‘Wikipaedia’ page informs that, as part of an education experiment, he started at KHS two years younger than the regulation age, so I recon, since I stayed for a 6th year and having started there at the ‘regulation’ age, his and my KHS schooldays must have overlapped by perhaps a year. My recollection is that when I left, KHS was ‘selective’. I may be wrong, but it certainly was when I started, ‘cause I passed the ‘Qually’ to get there! Interestingly, during my first year, KHS was located in the old building in St Brycedale Road, directly opposite the ‘Kirk’ where, I think, Brown’s father was minister. In this building pupils were ‘streamed’, ‘A’ and ‘B’, from 1st year on, but the following year, when KHS located to it’s present ‘campus’ at Dunnikier Way, the ‘B’ stream pupils were left behind!
    Anyway, whether or not KHS was officially regarded as a ‘Comprehensive’ when Brown started, or by the time he left, ‘Wiki’ also records that as part of the aforementioned educational experiment and presumably throughout his time at KHS, he was amongst those included in an academic hothouse education system taught in separate classes. So not ‘comprehensive’ then?
    To be fair to Gordon Brown, he has stated that, personally, he loathed and resented ‘this ludicrous experiment’ on young lives.
    Finally, greetings to any KHS former pupils who might read this.
    Did any of you attend school at the St Brycedale Road site and do you remember Jock’s Shop?

  8. stewartb says:

    In her speech today PM Truss said this (copied from a transcript published by The Spectator magazine): ‘I WILL NOT ALLOW the anti-growth coalition to hold us back. Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP, the militant unions, the vested interests dressed up as think-tanks, the talking heads, the Brexit deniers and Extinction Rebellion and some of the people we had in the hall earlier.’ (my emphasis)

    Oddly, now on two occasions, the ITV TV news coverage – broadcast at around 1815 and 2215 hours – showed a clip edited to tell viewers ONLY this:

    ‘ ‘I will not allow the anti-growth coalition to hold us back, ……… the militant unions, the vested interests dressed up as think-tanks, the talking heads, the Brexit deniers and Extinction Rebellion and some of the people we had in the hall earlier.’

    Is ‘NOT ALLOWING’ other political parties in a parliamentary democracy seen as too damaging a plan?

    • Statgeek says:

      She couldn’t stop a 2nd rate collection of back benchers from opposing her plans. As with Boris, she’s only strong when her MPs vote with her. Given polling predictions, they’ll have one eye on 2023-4, and one eye on the next job opportunity.

    • Alex Clark says:

      What kind of party would it be that decried all other parties as being anti,,, anything?

  9. Capella says:

    If England wants a PM who talks like a pre-recorded message that’s fine with me. Can we go now?

  10. Dr Jim says:

    The new Tory leader is already being prepped and readied apparently, and guess what, we’re back to Penny Mordaunt again, remember her? the members original first choice until the parliamentary party weeded her out, and now they want her back along with guess who? Rishi Sunak, they want Mordaunt for PM and poor old Rishi back in his old job as chancer
    I don’t reckon he’ll go for that, but you never know, chancer by Christmas PM by next summer? (following Mordaunt stepping down as PM after a BBC investigation uncovers a dodgy 20 year old video of her and Boris)

    I invented that last bit of course, but with this lot you actually can make it up and it’s likely to be right

  11. yesindyref2 says:

    There is one result of these polls, and that is that it’s unlikely now there will be a challenge for the UK Labour leadership, with Labour at Oddschecker at 1/2 or 2/5 for PM after the next GE.


    We can also be reasonably sure the Gories won’t mess around to get an early election or most of them are cashing in their chips.

    Which means gaming around the next PM for the sake of Indy can at least cut down one half of the possibilities – it’s Starmer, so the better we get to know him, the better. And it’s 2024, not 2023.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      It also means that if the UKSC decide the Ref is within competence then it can go ahead in October 23.

      But if they decide it is not within competence in its current form, or refuse the reference, or cause any delay at all after December this year, then it pushes any Ref until after 2024 – e.g. 2025 at the earliest – and that is a severe political and adverse democratic result of their decision, which should not be within the remit of any court in the land to cause if it respects the Rule of Law.

      • Golfnut says:

        Unfortunately the UKSC has form. They delayed the decision on the SG Continuity Bill long enough for the UK gov to invalidate the bill by a change to the UK Withdrawal Bill.
        I’m not anticipating any favours from the UKSC.

        • We should never have gone down the SC route anyway. I think it’s fine for a citizen, like Martin Keating, to do so, but our government is a different matter. The very existence of the Supreme Court is a violation of the Treaty of Union and asking its opinion gives it legitimacy that it does not deserve.
          Personally, I think that we should just go ahead and challenge absolutely everything that Westminster do. We should act as if we are already Independent and invite legal challenges that tie the UK Government up in the courts. We really have to stop being so passive and grow a pair.

          • Golfnut says:

            However much I applaud the sentiment the reality is that the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament is subordinate to the Union Parliament through both Scotland Acts. We failed to make the Scottish Parliament subordinate to the Scottish people in 2014, despite that the SG action is a direct and brave challenge to the allegedly democratic mother of all parliaments.
            Patience is required though I believe the shxx will hit the fan sooner than we think.

            • Our MPs are our sovereign representatives. They could walk away from Westminster, which would immediately destroy any legitimacy the place has over Scotland. We must never forget that we have the claim of right on our side constitutionally. The monarch had to promise to protect the claim of right in that bizarre nonsense we witnessed a few weeks ago. Obviously that included the anti-Catholic bits which are abhorrent, but failing to utilise the fact that the people are sovereign because of other aspect of the claim is just throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

              • grizebard says:

                But if you don’t take “We the People” with you, it becomes just an empty gesture. Worse, it becomes an embarrassing damp squib that damages the cause. That’s the crucial ingredient that impatient constitutionalists like you keep on missing. So for such things to work, it’s necessary for most everyone to see that all possible alternative remedies have failed, and remain determined to prevail regardless. The actual visible blocking of all democratic pathways could even be the necessary catalyst for the necessary tipping of public opinion, which can then be followed by appropriate more-dramatic action.

                But however its obtained, it’s public opinion that’s fundamental, not constitutional “barrack-room lawyering”, however much all the high-falutin’ theorising might appeal to a few.

            • Our MPs are our sovereign representatives. They could walk away from Westminster

              Yes, that’s in the armory, if we give them a mandate. This could even be done by them all stepping down and seeking a mandate by by-election. Doesn’t need England to call an election.

              If the people want it, there is no stopping them voting for indy. Not if they can freely vote.

        • grizebard says:

          We are all sceptical to some extent or another, but I think in your evident degree of pessimism you underestimate the very high stakes for the SC here. Given the strength of the legal case for a DIY indyref, if it chooses to ignore all that in favour of some spurious defence of Westminster absolutism, it abandons any notion of following developed law and instead retreats into hollow legality. It effectively neuters itself and becomes a slavish defender of the status quo as in places like Russia. That’s not a situation that jurists in the UK are used to, to put it mlldly. As the upholding of the cases of Gina Miller and Joanna Cherry attest. Jurists must surely also be well aware that if they do funk it, the problem that was their responsibility to tackle will merely migrate elsewhere instead. (Like the next UKGE for starters.) The problem doesn’t dissipate, instead it grows.

          What we have here is a test of will. That’s the problem that faces Truss & Co. as well. They’ve got to the stage now where they realise (I think) that cheap bluff can’t hack it any more. They can no longer just ignore the situation or wish it away. So they either have to concede as graciously as they are able, or push back. Maybe even a favourable SC judgement can be bypassed by some draconian new law passed in WM, but all that does is allow more pressure to build up and make the eventual unavoidable resolution all the more forceful.

          What the indy hot-heads and maybe some others need to understand is that a responsible government like ours is obligated to try all available means to pursue our legitimate rights, and either achieve a smooth and sustainable resolution thereby, or demonstrate to all (both here and abroad, but especially here) that the Union is a sham and there is no democratic remedy available. Only then can we have our own Maidan.

          But personally I don’t think it will come to that. If we succeed in maintaining and hopefully even increasing our determination to succeed, sooner or later London will fold. It doesn’t have the strength to do otherwise.

          Don’t be fooled or neutered by self-doubt. Our only real difficulty is to overthrow the self-colonisation that’s going on inside our own heads. And as always, the truth will set us free.

  12. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, a good snapshot of the complete mess the UK is embroiled in due to political dogma, Truss is no Iron Lady, more a rusty bucket, pronounce bouquet.

    The Glasgow Uni analysis on excess deaths should be getting major headlines on the BBC, yet doesn’t even rate a mention.
    HMS James Cook is too busy promoting DRoss as saviour of the “vulnerable”, as much to deflect from his and their campaign for SG to follow England in the scrapping of 45p tax band for the richest.

    Whatever else happens between now and Starmer taking over the reins of government, it’s going to be pretty brutal for most, whilst the news will obsess over the latest nonsense from the Tories.

    Starmer is no Attlee, there are no soldiers returning from a brutal war to demand change for the populace or else.
    Labour will do the same as Bliar, wring hands and maintain the status-quo until the Tories return from the banishment with new tales of unicorns and sunny uplands.

    Scotland must extricate itself from this endless cycle of government created crises, abandon London’s politicians and oligarchs to play their messed-up games with rUK.
    It really is time to go before they kill any more of us…

  13. Welsh_Siôn says:

    You may well know this petition – but for those who don’t, I encourage you to sign.



    The Stone of Destiny Should Stay in Scotland.


  14. Capella says:

    335,000 deaths in 7 years is a wartime death toll. When did hostilities break out?

  15. Capella says:

    Lesley Riddoch: Truss has given Nicola Sturgeon an open goal for the indy case

    This is not a game.

    Some folk won’t survive this winter because of the colossal mistakes made by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng last week. Claimants already struggling with the meanest, most judgmental welfare system in Europe may give up if benefits aren’t inflation-proofed. Not just because that would mean the biggest single cut to welfare in British history. Not even because inflation for the poorest people (who spend more on energy and food) is nearer 15% than 10% right now. But because, after a long horrible decade, we’re almost back where we started facing austerity, persecution and destitution, with only the prospect of more Holyrood mitigation to protect the most vulnerable in society.

    It’s depressing.


  16. I see Liz Truss plans to face down half the population of Scotland.


    Liz Truss pledges to ‘face down separatists’ in Conservative conference speech

    How will that work? Withdrawal of voting rights for Scots? English troops / police on Scots streets beating up indy supporters / marchers? Jailing of SNP politicians? I’m intrigued.

    But seriously, pejorative terms like ‘separatists’ are normally reserved for propaganda when the number of these is very small. In such a case, most people don’t know a separatist, and well, maybe they could be nasty pieces of work? Hard to be sure.

    But now everyone in Scotland knows a ‘separatist’. They are peoples’ wives and husbands, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, friends and colleagues… They are the majority of Scots.

    Liz Truss insulting peoples’ family members etc like this is not going to help her cause. Quite the opposite.

    But then if you understand she’s not talking to Scots, but to the British/English, it takes us back to my first question. If the plan is not stop Scottish indy by persuading Scots of the merits of the union, then the only other option is violent democratic repression…

    There are only two options open to governments; peaceful free democracy or violent repression. There is not a single country in the world where the will of the people is repressed ‘peacefully’, such as just by simply declaring voting for certain thing illegal. That’s just laughable. Nope, you always need to use violence if you take away or restrict the ballot box. Iran right now is case in point. They are prepared to beat up women, and well, it looks like they’ll need to do the same to school children too now these are bravely standing with their mums and dads.

    So Liz, how will you ‘facedown’ Scots schoolkids like my 15 year old daughter exactly? She won an award for her modern studies work, which covers all this sort of thing. She’s very astute on politics, democracy etc. She’ll be voting Yes if she can next year, depending on when the vote occurs. How will you deal with schoolchildren ‘separatists’ like her? Like Iran is doing? Like Russia? Or will you just let her freely vote for the government she desires for her country?

    Over to you.

  17. Further Yougov snippets. Changes on end May 22.


    How would you use your constituency vote in a Scottish Parliament election? (asked since 2021 Scottish Parliament election)
    49(+2)% SNP
    26(+3)% Lab
    13(-5)% Con
    8(+1)% Lib
    4(-1)% Other

    In principle, do you think there should or should not be a referendum on Scottish independence at some point in the next five years?
    47(+3)% Should
    40(-1)% Should not
    12(-5)% DK
    =56% Should ex DK

    Do you think Nicola Sturgeon is doing well or badly as First Minister?
    51(-)% Well
    40(-2)% Badly
    9% DK

  18. Statgeek says:

    John Curtis notes that the poll shift isn’t affecting much of Scotland’s electoral fortunes (yet).


    Nothing we didn’t really know, but encouraging to read it in a source that UK politicians and drum beaters might take as less ‘partisan’.

    “The impact of recent events at Westminster has clearly washed across the border. But this has not made the Union look any more secure.”

    Simply because changing the captain doesn’t change the direction of the ship. Changing the policies might, but the ship under the current lot will still sail into scary waters, and even if the party changes, the ship will still be sailing on, trying to discover new, uncharted ways to make Scots part with their resources while keeping them assured that they are too wee and poor etc.

    Many people know that, and all the changing at Westminster won’t give them hope of real change. Ever.

    • Aye, exactly as wiser heads would say. If centre-left Corbyn (who, deep down, realistically does think it right Scots should be free to decide, even if he squirmed when Labour leader on the subject) couldn’t do it, then Blairite Sir Keir ‘We English own you Scotch!’ is hardly going to manage it.

      • Dr Jim says:

        On a visit to Belfast the Princess Katherine was told by a woman in the crowd that she’d have done better to stay in her own country, the princess Katherine replied by saying that it doesn’t stop them visiting, the woman replied Ireland belongs to the Irish

        The woman was shaking hands with the Princess and filming the exchange on her phone as she made her views known, and very politely I have to add

        I have a feeling as she walked on the Princesses knees must’ve wobbled at the thought of what could have happened

      • It’s kindae embarrassing for the Brenglish monarchs that they still use the harp and shamrock in their heraldry when Ireland is a republic and the people that do actually support them in the partitioned north don’t identify as Irish, but British.

        Union flag is the same; still has the saltire of St. Patrick on it.

        It’s like wearing your wedding ring to pretend you are still married when your partner left you years ago for being a total wanker, and is now happily in union with someone else.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Prof Curtice stating a few home truths there in the Times article.

      Here’s a link to the archived version. https://archive.ph/XsNlZ

  19. James Mills says:

    The Anti-Growth Coalition , according to Truss’s speech yesterday , amounts to the entire political class with the exception of Tories , Nigel Farage and Dross – but DRoss is likely to U-turn shortly – oops , he has ! Oh wait , he’s changed again !
    Watch this space !.

  20. Bob Lamont says:

    Slightly OT, but just digest this opener in the National – “HOUSEHOLDS across the UK could lose power for up to three hours at a time this winter if gas supplies run extremely low, the National Grid has warned.” – Note particularly the ” across the UK ” part…
    Scotland is almost entirely self-sufficient in gas and electricity, and despite being nearest the point of generation, consumers have been fleeced for higher charges because of an energy landscape 30 odd years ago, now telling us that’s warm rain running down our backs in the dark of a power-cut.
    The real problem exists only in England because of a succession of myopic governments THEY elect, but us separatist subsidy spongers whose government they choose to ignore are “Better Together”…
    Are you YES yet ?

    • grizebard says:

      And thanks to the selfsame perverse and negligent ideological energy policies of UKGov, the harnessing of power from tidal flows is still largely undeveloped, and its potential completely dwarves what we already have, (as well as what was stolen over past decades). Power that thanks to the Moon, will never falter or run out.

      • JoMax says:

        Yeah, but this is Scotland and we have to be careful. The moon is moving away from the earth at the rate of 3.78 cm per year, and in millions of generations or so will be so far away it’s effect on the tides will be negligible. Scots need to be aware of this before relying on tidal energy and plumping for Yes. Wir no’ ca’d canny for nothin’.

    • Statgeek says:

      Well the far and Northern reaches of Scotland had to put up with decades of over-charging on delivery charges.

      The far and Southern reaches of England can suffer the worst of the energy problem. If it happens down there, the eejits in Westminster are more likely to twitch too.

    • Dr Jim says:

      BBC Scotlands *expert* in all things Douglas Fraser went to great convoluted lengths in an attempt to avoid admitting England can’t power itself so Scotland has to suffer the consequences of their incompetence and lack of investment

      So Douglas Fraser called it *sharing*, Gordon Brown would’ve been proud even though Douglas missed out the *pooling* part

  21. grizebard says:

    A pertinent illustration of the background to this unforgiveable self-abuse:


  22. Statgeek says:

    Food for thought on weighting Indyref polls by 2014 vote – https://twitter.com/Celebs4indy/status/1577759594499215360

    Which says to me that YouGov’s Indyref polling has a question mark over it. Something I have privately suspected for a wee while.

    • Yes, I’ve been pointing this out for some time. There is some form of ‘false recall’ going on which means that while unweighted samples remember how they voted in recent elections well, and even not bad for 2016 EU, their recollection is often way off for 2014 and almost invariably in overly in favour of Yes. This happens even in the Labour-rich Yougov panel. While past SNP voters are less common, the unweighted sample is, on average, disproportionately Yes.

      It’s likely a factor of time passing (8 years FHS!), meaning the electorate today is demographically more yes than it was simply due to ongoing generational changes, combined with false recall from those that wished they’d voted Yes etc. The average e.g. 60 year old Scot today is more yes than there counterparts of 8 years ago, even if nobody had personally changed position.

      After the mess that 2010 weighting caused for 2014, with pollsters openly admitting it was a problem and swapping to 2011 weighting mid-campaign, you’d have though this red flag would have them concerned. Just just a few years on and false recall (due I think to SNP voters tactically voting Labour 2010 then saying they supported SNP when that flopped) was huge then, so 8 f’n years and various elections / referendums on now? It’s just silly to be 2014 weighting. 2021 would be fine. Also 2016 EU at a push.

      It’s a particular issue for online polls as this is not random sampling, but quasi-random. People are targeted to match established demographics rather than randomly contacted until the correct demographic quotas are found. The SSAS (54% Yes ex DK in a 3-way option in 2021) is full random by contrast. MORI random too and don’t weight by past vote.

      • Alex Clark says:

        There was a Deltapoll from 2018 commissioned by Our Future, Our Choice (OFOC) and Best for Britain.

        Here is the claimed methodology:

        Deltapoll interviewed an online sample of 1,022 adults aged 18+ between 24-29th August 2018. The data has been weighted to the profile of all Scotland adults. Deltapoll is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

        All good so far, right?

        Open up the pdf of the tables and you get the usual dates polled and this.

        POPULATION SAMPLED: All Scotland adults aged 18+

        Still good? Now to the meat of it.

        • For each poll, a nationally representative sample is selected in proportion topopulation distribution from an online panel.
        • Data is rim-weighted to a matrix of geo-demographic variables. Weighting targets
        are sourced from various locations, including Census 2010 updated to mid-year
        population estimates, British Election Study and the National Readership Survey.
        • Recall of 2016 EU referendum vote. Any poll that includes the vote intention suite
        of questions is also weighted back to the 2016 result, making allowance for non-
        voting, don’t know and refusal.

        Mostly looks OK, can’t be much wrong with that, that is until you look at the results. This was very much not an “All Scotland” poll, in fact it was restricted to just those regions that had a sitting Tory MP.

        They didn’t even use the normal description for the regions. They had “South Western” which accounted for 41% of the respondents, “Eastern” which I’m assuming is Lothians and South East Scotland for 34%, “North Eastern” almost certainly Moray and Banff and definitely NOT including Dundee with 18% of the respondents and finally Highland with the remaining 6%.

        These regional figures are totally meaningless as far as a poll goes, they don’t come anywhere near representing the population of these “regions” and to call this poll a sample of “All of Scotland” is stretching credibility a bit too far.

        Even the demographics within the regions chosen is skewed towards Tory voters, far too many with a private pension for example when compared to the true figure for Scotland.

        There’s more than one way to rig a poll and this one has it in buckets as well as spades.


      • grizebard says:

        Seems to me that all these dodgy practices, whether in shoddy methodology or deliberate monkey business, are inherently counter productive. If there is any fiddling going on, to what end?

        If it is somehow to “prove” that there isn’t “sufficient demand” for IR2, that ship sailed long ago. A sustained 10-15% is sufficient legitimacy for a referendum, and this rumbling low-heat constitutional crisis can only be definitively resolved by one. (However much of a short-term intrusion into peoples’ busy lives it might cause.)

        If it is intended to bolster the increasingly shaky support that remains for the Union, how is that going to work when support is now tending to tip over the half-way mark in favour of indy anyway? We’ve now passed the situation of “herd wisdom” defaulting to favouring the Union, so such a ploy is becoming increasingly ineffective. People are more motivated by real “events” (as opposed to manufactured ones), and these keep inconveniently coming along to further degrade support.

        If it is to “prove” that another referendum will deliver the same result as last time, why then also be visibly desperate to prevent a repeat? People can smell a rat there. And nothing better, I would say, for BT Mk2 to come out of its corner fighting, not realising that a segment of its support is entirely fictitious? I hope that will be the case. Let them be deluded, then disappointed!

        If it is supposedly to deter the SG/SNP, they’re woefully misjudging the determination and intent of the current leadership. We always have to be sensitive to circumstances (the major one now having passed to no great effect), but the SNP has visibly got over its wavering period in 2017.

        So all-in-all I’m not too bothered by suspiciously dodgy polls, provided only they’re not leading us into over-estimating our own support.

  23. yesindyref2 says:

    Just to say by the way, that my comment that was held in moderation on ukconstitutional law dot org, did get published as did a couple of other people’s from the same day.

    Just because I’m a little paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.

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