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Do we need a GE2015 thread?

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  1. SRD

    Two things that I have read recently:

    I thought this piece by Gerry Hassan was very good on Scotland, but left the England side of the equation hanging.

    Happily Irvine Welsh seems to have picked it up:

    Posted 7 years ago #
  2. SRD


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    Posted 7 years ago #
  3. wingpig

    Wonder if anyone will try and hire the actress who portrayed Patronising BT Lady for a scornful parody PEB for GE2015? Maybe she had to sign something agreeing to not accept any work for any other political groups/campaigns for a defined period after the indyref.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  4. LaidBack

    The old school politicos sound exasparated that the people of Scotland might not be re-employing all of them #ScotDebates
    The BBC are again having problems trying to report this. Luckily we have other news sources. You'd think people would celebrate diversity of opinion and the ability of people to think and decide for themselves in an intelligent manner.
    Patrick Harvie was allowed to point out that a move away from oil is what we need. The current low oil price is an ideal encouragement to think beyond oil.
    I don't expect environmental issues to appear again on the GE2015 run up. Could be wrong though!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  5. gembo

    I agree with patrick harvie that we need to move away from oil. I am not making a party political point but an economic one. Saudi sheiks in collaboration with US frackers control the world economy. In clunky Marxist theory this is the base. Politics is the superstructure on top. You can tinker with the superstructure - move away from two party politics, coalitions, elections every year or two etc but this is not a fundamental change. Changing the base is what would alter things. For example some scottish socialists may argue that ownership of the means of production (e.g. North Sea oil) should belong to the people of Scotland. However, that would not move us away from the motor car. Greens arguing for switch to sustainable energy sources would be another way of changing the base.

    Until then the Pentamvirate will abide (though no Arabs or ruskies in the Pentamvirate, however surely Col Saunders position in the Pentamvirate is looking vulnerable?)

    Hope more laughs in this thread if it continues than the independence one which was as dour as a sturdy highland sporran.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  6. I were right about that saddle


    I watched the debate last night. I can't think of anything to say that wouldn't give you visions of a sporran hacked from solid lead with an axe.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  7. PS

    Decent piece by Gerry Hassan. There are some level-headed and sensible commentators out there, but you really have to search through a lot of party-favouring dross to find it.

    I am frankly sick of the polarised nature of the "debate". The fact that policies are rejected simply because they are associated with one particular party, rather than evaluated on their own worth, is playground-level stuff.

    I don't agree with every one of (or even most of) the policies of any party, but I can see the value in a bit of one and a bit of the other, which makes coalitions and regular changes of government attractive.

    For my money, the key political issue we have now is an electoral system (first past the post) that is not fit for purpose, in the parlance of our times, when there are more than three parties in play - and even then it was pretty creaky. So that needs sorted.

    I'll be interested to see how "progressive" the SNP actually is should it hold the balance of power at Westminster.

    Problem is, if FPTP delivers the predicted result, the SNP will be incentivised not do anything that leads to a change in the system that has just delivered them a skipload of MPs.

    Is a constitutional convention still a Miliband policy?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  8. fimm

    "The fact that policies are rejected simply because they are associated with one particular party, rather than evaluated on their own worth, is playground-level stuff."
    I had an interesting personal experience of this the other day. I followed a link from Facebook to an online survey questionaire thing that basically offered you the policies of the various parties in various areas. (I assume taken from the manifestos.) You picked which one you liked the best. At the end you found out what proportions of your choices were from the various parties.

    I came out with a mixture of parties A and B, neither of which I was proposing to vote for, and none for party C, which I did intend to vote for!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  9. SRD

    that debate was so grim. reinforced all the worst aspects of politics. I'd kind've been enjoying the election until then. Wish I hadn't watched it!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  10. gembo

    I have deliberately avoided these debates.

    If polls right we are heading to a one party state with SNP occupying the role Labour held for years which people find objectionable. None of the above is tempting. Greens only ones advocating any actual change.

    On the plus side had a blast out the Lang Whang early this morning. Met a guy from my commute out past Woolfords. He hails from Annbank in darkest ayrshire. Took him for a wee rhubarb pie in the apple pie bakery of CarnwAth. Our pace picked up as in unity there is strength. Apparently the apple pie bakery of carnwath' rhubarb pie is like a Cumnock pie. This is praise indeed.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  11. SRD

    @gembo with all respect, I can't see how either westminster or holyrood could possibly be described as one party states for the SNP.

    yes, it looks like they will m make a very good run at the scottish westminster seats, but they will still be a minor - if potentially influential - party there.

    and yes that is likely to put them in a strong position for the holyrood elections, but the electoral system will ensure other parties are represented.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  12. chdot

    "If polls right we are heading to a one party state with SNP occupying the role Labour held for years which people find objectionable."


    You crystalballing a year ahead?

    As SRD says "the electoral system will ensure other parties are represented"

    Anyone arguing for FPTP for Holyrood? (Don't think so.)

    More surprising is that there seems to be silence on 'PR for Westminster' - presume at this stage it would look like defeatism.

    The SNP seems likely to win quite a few seats next month partly because of the electoral system but largely because of the current state of the Labour Party in Scotland (and what it may or may not have done in recorded history).

    At Holyrood it (currently) has more seats in spite of PR. When the Holyrood voting system was devised (not just picked off a shelf somewhere) it was assumed that no party would ever have a majority.

    The fact that it does is due to 'the people' (voters). It's what passes for democracy. Whether people are voting for the SNP or just not (enough) for the other parties is uncertain.

    I think I would prefer that the SNP didn't have a Holyrood majority next year. Their record on 'transport' is hardly outstandingly good. (Not merely from a 'cycling' point of view.)

    I feel sorry for Labour loyalists. I suspect some are defending (an idea of) a party that no longer exists. I am fairly sure that the prospects for Labour (in Scotland) will not improve over the next 12 months if there is any prospect that Jim Murphy could be First Minister.

    By contrast I expect that the Tories will gain seats (from the three other 'main' parties) next year - even though they will only have one (or perhaps no) MP.

    IF the SNP has an overall majority (or are even just the largest party still) next year, it will be because that's what 'most people want'. Or at least because the SNP is the best option of those available.

    Anyone wanting anything different has a lot of work to do in the coming year.

    I just hope it doesn't involve many more TV debates!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  13. gembo


    The history of post war scottish politics is the Labour Party as the dominant party culminating in elections where no Tories were elected. There were a few constituencies with Lib Dem or SNP but very marginal. From 1979 to 1997 this ran counter to the government that the people of Scotland were given. Now the SNP runs the risk of becoming ZANU PF instead of labour. I am not saying this is definite just what some polls are suggesting. Obviously, this is not a big deal in westminster election coming up, it will mean conservatives still in power but possibly as a minority government?? SNP clearly fancying five more years of Cameron and an EU referendum where england opts out, thus triggering another Indy ref before the next generation. You know how well that worked out for Quebec. Might not pan out that way of course, just taking consequences of SNP landslide in scottish bit of a westminster election to one possible conclusion.

    switching to 2016 - At first Holyrood election there was a brief feeling of change with greens and SSP finding a voice. Alas the labour as strongest party in a coalition that donald dewar thought he had constructed is now MAYBE becoming total SNP wipeout of all opposition. I do not see this as good for democracy or change or indeed cycling. Maybe POP4 will see some MPs and MSPs on bikes?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  14. chdot

    "Now the SNP runs the risk of becoming ZANU PF instead of labour."

    If you really think that is a genuine parallel, there's no point in any further discussion.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  15. gembo

    It is a metaphor not meant to be taken literally. SCOTLAND was dominated by one party (labour.) and now it may become dominated by another (SNP). The problems of croneyism in a country dominated by one party is not do do with the party's politics but their dominance.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  16. PS

    Agree that continuing domination by any one party (even one with which you share a lot of views) is rarely, if ever, a good thing for a parliament.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  17. SRD

    Dominant party is a very different phenomenon to single party (i have a first year lecture + powerpoint if you want to book a lecture theatre).

    I also have an about-to-go-to-press book on ZANU(PF) and can assure you the parallel is absurd, even as a way of getting a discussion going.

    care to try again?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  18. chdot

  19. gembo

    , I have been clumsy in my analogy. Many apologies. ( though some things Jim Sillars said during the Indy ref were quite absurd, and he made this even more absurd by saying he only said them to get on the radio. Of course he is merely one person).

    My point people can ignore or consider is not a dig at the SNP but a suggestion that what is happening with the SNP dominance is the same as the virtual one party scenario that labour had in SCOTLAND in the 1980s and 1990s. This dominance is what Is damaging to democracy not whether labour or SNP dominate.

    The greens and the SSP do not seem to be as high in the mix as they were at the first Holyrood parliament. I do not know why CHdot feels there is a tory revival in the offing, nor why people might think Holyrood version of PR is immune to an SNP landslide. If polls are to be believed this is perfectly possible scenario which unlike Westminster will not be tempered by being fought over or shared. Also to reiterate a further point that has not been addressed above (my fault for clumsy analogy), if you vote SNP in a westminster election you are likely to see a tory government in westminster, however, this may well be what the SNP wants?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  20. SRD

    gembo - you are totally right to suggest that some parts of scotland are shifting from labour dominance to SNP dominance, and that that is something to be wary of. however, I still feel as though you are comparing apples to oranges. i understand that labour dominance was much felt in contestation for Westminster seats, and in local councils (since when have they been pr? i should know that...). But was it equally so for holyrood? The point i'm trying to make is that dominance by a party which is also dominant (or at least a major player) in westminster seems rather different to dominance by a regional party. I may well be wrong. the end effect may be similar, but the context seems enough different to generate a different effect.

    on the 'vote SNP get tory' angle, I don't buy it. doesn't play out in any of the scenarios I've seen.

    have already 'de-friended*' a labour activist over posting conspiracy theory crap on FB.

    *we were only ever FB friends, and I don't know why he ever friended me in the first place, except perhaps that we have friends in common

    do hope not to lose any real friendships (including mainly virtual ones on here) over this. so, hope you will also accept my apologies for throwing my weight (such as it is) around in my original reply.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  21. wee folding bike

    I voted for Westminster PR five years ago.

    For the first time ever Labour are campaigning in Airdrie. I'm glad they feel the need.

    Ms Nash even sent me a personalised communication today.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  22. le_soigneur

    @gembo This came up on my wall lately, somehow the Vote SNP get Tory mantra doesn't ring true...

    Posted 7 years ago #
  23. chdot

    "I do not know why CHdot feels there is a tory revival in the offing"


    What I said - "I expect that the Tories will gain seats (from the three other 'main' parties) next year"

    I suppose that can be characterised as a "revival". OK, my prediction/expectation -

    Unless the SNP make a mess of being in Westminster over the next year (entirely possible) support (as seen at the May 2016 ballot box) will be reasonably high. I see no reason to think that the LDs will win as many seats as 2011. Labour will probably have many fewer seats (unless something remarkable happens) - some will go Tory (most SNP). If the SNP is seen as 'more left wing' under NS there can be little doubt that some parts of Scotland will 'return to the Tories'. In addition Ruth Davidson is presenting the Party (in Scotland) in a very different way from previously - which will undoubtedly appeal to some.

    Please remind me how wrong I am in 13 months time.

    ", nor why people might think Holyrood version of PR is immune to an SNP landslide."

    That's the nature of the Holyrood PR system, the List 'top-up' is designed to 'balance' the number of seats more closely in line with votes cast.

    For the SNP to get a significant number of List seats (in addition) would require a LOT more votes than is likely.

    But if that happened, that would be a democratic outcome which would presumably lead to IndyRef2!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  24. chdot


    Andrew Neil (@afneil)
    09/04/2015 22:10
    SNP extends its lead in latest Scotland in YouGov/Times poll:
    SNP 49 +3
    Lab 25 -4
    Con 18 +2
    LD 4 +1
    On uniform swing SNP = 50+ seats


    Looks like an argument for PR for Westminster...

    Posted 7 years ago #
  25. SRD

    Ruth Davidson is an impressive and capable politician. I just happen to disagree with all her policies.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  26. wee folding bike

    She did get laid into the UKIP guy. I'll give her points for that.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  27. gembo

    @SRD, I would hope no one falls out on a cycling forum about politics.

    Polls today nudging labour ahead in rest of UK and SNP onwards to almost 90 per cent dominance in SCOTLAND.

    So either vote SNP and get Labour, which is two mildly left of centre parties (trident being the difference)

    Or vote SNp and get Tories - which given 1992 scenario I think is more likely and is the same as Le soigneur's poster. Why is this not a scenario that adds up? Deduct the SNP gains from any labour gains in England and wales and Tories will be ahead, if not already. So the arithmetic is clearly possible. Is the other bit, that this is preferable to SNP not also viable argument? Better to rally against Tories?

    I am happy to be shown to be wrong, I can do being wrong I am. Used to it. :-)

    For instance, I could not foresee the recent Holyrood voting pattern emerging in a Westminster election. Just on basic vote SNP cannot get you SNP in westminster because of the obvious arithmetic. But it is not apples and pears now, it is medlars.

    Single transferable vote introduced to scottish local elections for the 2007 elections.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  28. wee folding bike

    It doesn't add up because more SNP seats does not equal more Tory seats. We know the SNP wil not support Mr Cameron. Even Ruthie's good joke about supporting Ed Milliband isn't going to change that.

    In 2010 Mr Murphy said that Gordon Brown, as sitting PM, had the right and responsibility to form a new government. He wasn't in the biggest party. Mr Murphy is wrong about 1924 too. The Tories formed a minority government in '51 using members of smaller parties.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  29. Nelly

    Gembo, I understand some of your "vote SNP get Tories" rationale.

    But since the Indyref, many many lifelong Labour voters (e.g. me) have left them - maybe forever - scunnered by the tactics and lies.

    Also, Sturgeon is gaining many women voters (e.g. my wife) who see the other, mostly male, leaders as pompous and belittling of her gender and intelligence.

    So - regardless of both labour and Tory tactics, the swing to SNP in Scotland will happen. And if it means another Tory govt, but one which is voted down by labour/snp on certain crucial policies, then so be it.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  30. wee folding bike

    A Tory minority can only happen if they get enough votes from UKIP, DUP etc to pass a Queen's speech.

    Ms Sturgeon has said she that she will not support a Tory Queen's speech.

    Jim Murphy said that Labour have always voted against Tory Queen's speeches. That's not quite the same as saying they will not support it in the future. I've not seen any comments from Mr Milliband on whether they would or would not support a minority Tory speech.

    Supporting a Tory Queen's speech would be disastrous for Labour in Scotland but I suppose they might decide that it can't get much worse. I don't know what would happen in England where there isn't an alternative for people who don't want to vote for Labour or LibDems anymore. I can see Ed Milliband being worried about precipitating another election like happened in the '70s. Labour would not be in a position to fund a second campaign in a year.

    Most interesting election for some time.

    Posted 7 years ago #

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