Sunday, 10 May 2015

SO THIS HAPPENED...ELECTION REFLECTIONS III

By Panda Paws


Scotland now has more nuclear submarines than unionist MPs and one of them is anti-Trident! I doubt many of us predicted that the SNP would win 56 seats. I literally cheered as some of the results came in. No louder cheer than when Kirsten Oswald defeated Jim Murphy.  A constituency that as recently as 1997 was solid Tory and had one of the highest No votes in 2014 now has a SNP MP. In 2010, the SNP got circa 4000 votes, in 2015 over 23,000, the majority of them coming from former Labour votes (and the lower number of Tory votes indicated tactical voting from them as I expected). The Tories madams of the Mearns are having a fit of the vapours.

Of course this SNP dominance is a reflection of the unfairness of FPTP; the same unfairness that allowed Labour to dominate Scotland’s political landscape for decades. Only now will it be seen a problem and parties that were lukewarm on PR voting previously will be taking a second look no doubt!

The SNPout lot are proclaiming the delivery of a majority Tory government as a success for them. (Is it bad of me to be amused that Effie Dean’s MP is now (apparently) Alex Salmond?) The SNP will be powerless they say sniggering to themselves; too myopic to see that nothing says useless, dysfunctional union more than the democratic will of Scotland being completely irrelevant. Perhaps I’m naïve but I believed the SNP when they said they wanted to lock the Tories out of Downing St, but there is no getting away from the fact that a majority Tory government is the last thing an ailing union needed and a great boost for the independence cause. The 2015 general election wasn’t a mandate for independence but 5 years of right wing policies and a likely EU referendum might well be.

But what of the here and now? As one of the 1% - the bottom 1% that is, the next few years will be tough. Less than 24 hours into government and the Tories were talking about slashing Access to Work, the scheme that helps disabled people enter and remain in the workplace. And repealing fox hunting legislation – apparently that’s a priority in the list of the UK’s problems. So that’s the weak and vulnerable in their sights. No-one under 50 is likely to remember what full fat Toryism is like. So let me give you an idea - you should be grateful they aren’t legalising the hunting of the unemployed!

The best we can hope for is that the SNP show Labour what an opposition looks like. And it isn’t being slightly less toxic than the Tories. I’m pleased that the 6 have become 56. The dog’s abuse thrown in the 6’s direction would have tried the patience of a saint. At least now they will have allies around them.


But what of Labour?

At the time of writing Jim Murphy aims to remain as leader of Labour in Scotland. However some trade unions are already calling for him to go, his erstwhile opponent Neil Findlay has resigned the shadow cabinet and there are mutterings behind the scenes. And indeed in front of them. Iain, “the doing”, Davidson interviewed on BBC on election night fully booted the boot in Murphy making it clear he wanted him gone.

The man who's led us to the biggest ever disaster." Ian Davidson on Jim Murphy ex MP.

And that, my friend, is what bayoneting the wounded looks like!

The Chinese had it right; we are cursed to live in interesting times. 
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Thanks Panda Paws for this superb post. Much appreciated too!!!

Can I also recommend Bruce's post reflecting on the election, and that of Andrew Page, who looks, as ever, very honestly, at the Liberals' plight.
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You might like to take part in the poll about Jim's future, if you haven't already got voting fatigue!
See in right hand side bar...

45 comments:

  1. Who's the anti-Trident unionist MP? Of the three options, I can only assume it must be Carmichael - who was just part of a government which supported renewal.

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    Replies
    1. I'd guess that he may be, now that he no longer has to take the Tory whip.

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    2. It.s the Lonely Labour guy apparently

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    3. Ha ha... him with the jaiket?

      I suppose we will have to learn his name. He'll be the shadow Scotland secretary.

      I'll do it tomorrow or... maybe next week.

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  2. tris

    Yeah ! yeah ! whatever any ways Mandie say Labour should of been more new Labour
    and than would of done better...Obviously blind eying the snp getting the odd seat for being
    a more progressive left leaning political option.

    His motto is he who wins the south wins the election.

    you cant fight new battles using old tactics i says

    You must watch the dark charisma of adolf hitler bbc 4

    has some old film of him making speeches subtitled
    they would fit right in with the present day fit Cameron/Osborne
    like a glove.
    hardworking germans good ...lazy feckless unemployed weak disabled
    and elderly bad and unGermanic .

    Watched an English woman on tv middle class white of course explaining
    how afraid she was of the snp teaming up with Labour to rule England.
    amazing I mean i dont love the snp but ffs

    David Davis eurosceptic and the new referendum saying put to one side Immigration
    (really ) most of the 5 million immigrants are in jobs and not on benefits..

    sub text- dont worry bosses we will ensure a supply of cheap Labour even if
    we vote to leave the EU wonder how the ukippers feel about that.

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    Replies
    1. Another couple of years and your maister will be SNP too Taz.

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    2. conan

      Scottish Labour (Scottish branch )

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    3. Aye Niko.

      I've been reading the papers today and all the Labour grandees are saying it's all the fault of Ed for taking the party to the left... Like they forgot it was the party of the working man.

      Mandelson and Blair himself. in particular.

      You are right of course. What they are doing is talking about England, and at that, SE England where they feel at home.

      Dismally unaware that the move to the right (because no one believed Murphy's sudden transformation into grey haired, nationalist, lefty...not for a second), was exactly what lost them most of their seats.

      Now there is talk of setting up an entirely separate party in Scotland... They say they need to reflect and listen and learn. But I thought they were supposed to do that when Wendy stood down, then when Iain stood down. I remember reading Lance Price's book about his spin doctoring for Blair. He was regularly despatched to Edinburgh to make sure that Dewar was doing what Blair wanted.

      Actually nothing changed. Every time they seemed to come to the conclusion that they needed more autonomy... I could say independence... for the Scottish branch... and each time they got it, on paper, but not in reality. Ironically Johann eventually resigned when they sacked her staff without consulting her.

      The lesson surely is that the word "united" in the United Kingdom, is a bit of an exaggeration. Scotland and England are very different countries, as indeed are Wales (maybe less so) and NI (maybe more so).

      Ruth must look too at a Tory party in Scotland that completely fails to understand Scotland. Murdo was right. We need an entirely separate Labour and Conservative Party here... and they need new names so there is no connection with the old one.

      The trouble is that they will never do it.

      I agree about the EU situation too.

      They are never going to realise that immigrants make a net contribution; and that without them they would have to close the NHS, transport systems, farming and probably a pile of other things.

      Conan... I think Taz IS the master!

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    4. Niko, until there is a "Scottish " labour you are voting for the party who voted or abstained all the way through the last Parliament on the subject of much which affected the poor and disabled. How does your conscience survive. Meant to ask am I barred from your Blog, because I would have thought someone with a more liberal turn would not be all bad.

      Delete
    5. I'm sure Niko would never bar anyone from his blog.... :)

      I can't post of Wings or Bruce's blog.

      I'm sure neither has barred me.

      It's to do with cookies, but well more than Munguin or I know how to sort!

      Delete
  3. tris and others

    Jim Murphy not a MP or a MSP perfect choice for leader

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I voted for him to stay.

      He's perfectly qualified to deliver a result that will suit me nicely next year.

      I read the Herald today (OK, you can say it's biased, and it probably is), but his colleagues leave him without a name. Vain, cocksure, strident, unliked... Oh yes, he's the ideal man.

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    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzUR_Q0GCc0

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    3. Ha ha ha ha...

      so he is

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    4. Well he is being supported in his ambition by the SNP supporters as the best Leader Labour could have.

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    5. Bless him...we like his style.

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  4. Umm i know next Labour (England branch ) manifesto first
    promise/pledge/vow/monolith

    Invade Iraq asap

    that will do the trick....new Labour is back and badder than ever

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if that really goes down well with Labour supporters in England.

      I guess the answer is no, but the Tory supporters love it. They always make money out of wars ... and they'd be happy to vote for a party that was always ready to go to war.

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    2. Has it been carved onto the stone of oblivion though?

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  5. Labour needs their own independent party in Scotland. Whether they support independence or not is irrelevant, but they need to reconnect with the party's roots.

    Scotland has a huge problem - there is only one party with any focus. It doesn't matter what you believe in, but not having any choice is bad for democracy. It breeds arrogance in the ruling party, and contempt for the voter, with the assumption that you will always get the votes. Exactly what happened to Labour.

    The SNP hasn't really increased it's share of support by any significant margin since September. Party membership is not a indicator you can extrapolate support with. What is significant is the number of traditional Labour areas that blew that party out of the water.

    Labour won't be ready to cause any threat until at least the next GE. In the meantime, the SNP need to consolidate their position. Independence ain't going to happen before then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. We need a good opposition, one that actually cares about issues instead of scoring points.

      Mature and clever.

      Not Labour then.

      Nearest thing we have had to an opposition was the Tories under Annabel.

      Her policies were mainly crap but she was intelligent and a good debater most of the time.

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    2. 1,454,43 million votes! September was not a vote for the SNP so what point, if any, are you trying to make? Trolling!

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    3. i doubt that you will meet anyone in the SNP who would argue anything different, unlike Labour who spent the whole of the Referendum holding meetings indoors with select people we have been out speaking with people. We want a principled opposition something not one Branch of the Labour Party has managed to be for decades. They turned Tory to win England, therefore they lost Scotland. They will have to break the apron strings to become "Scottish" but some how I cannot see that happening any time soon. They are the authors of their own misfortune, they needed no assistance. Ed Miliband allowed the Tories to write his script and showed him up for the weak leader he was. A bit more back bone, an few less lies and he might have been PM today. Jim Murphy, well a man with no ideas, even less conscience, better with Neil Findlay, and even then I am not too sure.

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    4. Even if Labour in Scotland become a truly independent organisation, they will take up the party whip at Westminster and be outnumbered by the right leaning "national" Labour party.

      Delete
    5. I know that they have to become separate, and yet they have to remain the same.

      It beats me.

      Somehow they manage to make it work in Americva...more or less...

      Danny explained to me that Democrats in the Northern state and Democrats in the southern state are miles apart. And some Republicans in teh North arte more like Democrats in the South...

      The Tories need to do it too.

      But I do;t see how it will work if they have to obey the orders of London in Westminster.

      It is going to look as if none of them actually have any beliefs or principles.

      Oh yeah....

      Delete
  6. The latest post on Sunny Hundal's blog Liberal Conspiracy has an 'interesting' take on what went wrong for Labour. I think it fails to acknowledge the general movement of the political mid-point in politics. I can see the social differences between Labour and the Conservatives, but not so much the economic differences. And, of course, on constitutional issues, hopefully absent the ECHR, they are peas in a pod, as we know all to well.

    I bring this to your attention as Liberal Conspiracy is in your blog role.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Douglas. I'll get over there.

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    2. Not sure about Cameron being competent.

      The economy is completely in the tank. The debt is out of control, the deficit is still up there, the NHS is in crisis... the paedo crisis is not being dealt with, immigration is up not down, Of course every government has problems but I'd hardly call that last lot competent.

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    3. Thanks for looking.

      I was sort of astonished that this was an apparent apology piece for Ed.

      Am I alone in thinking that it all went wrong for Ed in England when he didn't put clear blue water between himself and the Tories over further austerity? In other words a widening of the gap between Labour and Conservatives in England might have been beneficial? Adopting Keynsian economics if he couldn't bring himself to say 'I agree with the SNP'?

      I doubt any of that would have made the slightest difference up here. It really is a different country these days...

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    4. I really don;t know what people in England think. My mate from London is a real socialist. He supports the likes of Dennis Skinner. He wants Labour to be a pre Blair party.

      But I hear today that Blair and Mandelson and others are saying the party has to go back into the middle ground. They need another Blair ... Chuka Umunna or David Miliband maybe, to win enough votes in England, or at least in the South.

      That won't begin to cut it in Scotland. Certainly not while the SNP is there, led by Nicola Sturgeon.

      The problem is that we are two different countries. Much more so that Norway and Sweden are two different countries.

      The same solutions won't work.

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    5. Tris I agree about Norway and Sweden, they can work together, they are still fond enough of each other for Swedes to joke about becoming Norwegian. I can never see that happening here.

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    6. It's probably a way off. At the moment the press and the Tories are stirring up anti Scottish sentiment in England. That will probably die away, but the uninformed in England (see article in the Herald) really do think that we are dreadful people who live off English taxes, far better than the English and now these savages are going to come down and interfere in their parliament!

      Delete
  7. That picture at the top is just begging for a caption competition. The look Teflon Dave's getting! I'll start,
    "Just you wait till you find out what you've actually won, Davie-boy."

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    Replies
    1. Ha ha... Alex...

      I'm up for that, although Munguin informs me that he spent the money for competitions on Lobster Bisque for his dinner, so there is no prize!

      "Come on. Have a go, if you think your hard enough!"

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  8. I don't think Jim will be allowed to survive. If there is one skill the Labour party has honed to perfection, it is backstabbing.
    I think they have a special breeding programme for sacrificial goats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He seems to be relying on some regulations that say that, whilst you can resign if you want after humiliation (like Mr Miliband did, despite his humiliation being far less), they can't actually get rid of you, except at a Conference.

      But if the unions say there is no money, and Shadow Cabinet members with some principles resign, then i guess he will find life impossible.

      FMQs should be fun this week.

      Delete
  9. Wow As they say, If looks could kill, David Cameron would not be celebrating an election victory, but being mourned by a few instead.
    I must be in love with Nicola, for every time I see or listen to her my heart jumps. But I guess I am not alone there. Scotland is blessed to be led by such an incredible woman.
    I had to keep going back to the picture to realise it has a Mona Lisa effect. Do those eyes hold contempt, pity, or perhaps compassion for a lost soul. Whatever, for me they hold the perfect balance of steel and compassion. A caption offering " the eyes have it."

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  10. British Labour,dominated by the politics of England,is agonising over whether to remain Tory lite or become the real thing.
    Jim Murphy is waiting to see who emerges as the leader and is clearly hoping for someone of his own political persuasion who might be keen to keep a right wing politician in charge of their Scottish branch,no matter what the plebs might think.
    Another Westminster place man in Scotland.
    Anyone know if Blundell has been appointed Governor General yet?

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    Replies
    1. I don't know but Ian Murray, anti Trident Labour MP has been appointed Shadow Governor General!! I guess Cameron is appointing the important ministers first - I mean Scotland that's where he goes hunting, it's not like it really means anything. Maybe Cameron's considering doing it himself in between chillaxing?

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    2. I mean they don't have a huge choice do they.

      The Tories can only have Muddle; Labour can only have whatshisname, and the Liberals can only have Carmuddle.

      In the case of the Tories they should, in theory have someone to do the Minister of State job. Unfortunately for them no one was elected.

      So they will have to impose either a Scottish Lord, which is quite possible. Most departments with several ministers have someone who can answer questions in the other place. It doesn't really matter who they are, because most of the old fools sleep through it.

      Alternatively if they can fine one, they could appoint someone who is Scottish but represents an English or Welsh seat.

      Or they could leave Muddle to sort it out himself. The trouble is it may be quite a job this time, and Fluffy is hardly what you'd call a rising star, however nice a man he is. I think he might find the Scottish government above his pay band.

      On the other hand he probably wouldn't have a lot of trouble with whatsit or Carmichael.

      It must be worrying Cameron.

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  11. Voters will never trust Labour again Tris.

    This election victory wasn't a surprise . We were told daily how the numbers were rising in the indi parties and the SNP membership in particular was huge.

    We , at this moment, already have an oppostion in Scotland. It's the WM parties. After indi we would see a right rainbow of true Scots parties but Labour will never be one of them.

    They are hated now. more toxic than the tory's .... Says it all. And the proof is only a few days old and they still deny it.

    Two months ago the bookmakers were offering 25/1 for less than 30 seats. 11/10 for more than 40. Why anyone was surprised was beyond me. Incidently they got the referendum spot on too. I have yet to meet a poor bookie.

    These are my own beliefs Tris. I know i am biased and am still gonna work towards indi regardless of the result but take a good look at the size of the majorities overturned and they were hammered on an extinction event level.

    This show the huge difference between Scotland and the rUK.

    Once again a tory govt has been forced onto us and i doubt very much that we will wait for 5 more years of cuts and sanctions to do something.

    Surely in legal terms the Unionist parties have no right to rule us . They are only represented by a single mp from each one and a tiny minority got them over the line.

    They have no mandate to rule here . The Scots have spoken.

    2017 we will be an independent country. Or why bother voting at all. England ALWAYS gets the party it votes for and anything else is a lie.

    Just saying Tris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aye... we get what England votes for, and more than ever what they vote for is NOT what we vote for.

      I simply don;t know how we can reconcile the two in teh same country.

      I wouldn't expect England to be dragged to the left by us, but I don;t see why we should be run by warmongering money grubbing neo-liberals.

      it seems that the only way is independence, but let's see what the politicians can come up with in the meantime.

      UDIs are messy...

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    2. Richy,

      We are still hovering around the 50 - 52% mark. We will not be free without another referendum. Let us see what evil the Tories try to inflict on us over the next few years. Och I don't know, recinding the ECHR so's they can reintroduce hanging: or Brexit, whatever.

      If and when we get to 60 - 65% declaring they want independence, that is when all bets are off. It won't take long, IMHO.

      Delete