Thursday 21 October 2010


The SNP has very significantly closed the gap on Labour in the opinion polls in this week following the launch their 2011 election campaign at the annual conference at Perth last weekend.

In a Yougov poll of 1,405 people across Scotland taken between the 18th and 20th October, just after SNP conference the party saw its share of the Holyrood vote increase by 5 points across both constituency and regional vote.

Labour’s vote has stayed the same and the Liberal’s vote has fallen seriously away.

The SNP is polling at a higher level than at the same time prior to the 2007 election. Since September the SNP vote has increased to 34% of the constituency vote and 31% of the regional vote, a 5% increase in both cases.

The poll puts the SNP on 34% in the constituency vote, against 40% for Labour, 14% for the Conservatives and 8% for the Liberals. On the regional vote the SNP is on 31% against 36% for Labour, 15 for the conservatives and 8 for the Liberals.

So that’s a healthy start, although we have to remember that every party experiences a bounce post conference.

It will be hard work. Labour is in front of us. This is a natural position after four years of government. But it certainly isn’t an unassailable lead. People need to be reminded that we wouldn’t be having all these Tory/Liberal cuts if it were not for Labour’s mishandling of the economy and their so called “light touch” regulation of the banks, which in reality meant no regulation at all.

They also need to be reminded over and over again of Iain Gray. Who’s that? I hear you say.

Well, we’ll soon find out, to our cost, if we don’t mobilise to make sure that he is not the First Minister of our country. Surely no one from any party (probably including Labour) wants that.

Pics. Iain Gray and two short planks.


  1. Tris,

    Thought you might appreciate this. Its my favourite satirical image of Mr Gray...

  2. There is far more substance in two short planks and love the pencil drawing of an egg timer. If Scotland ends up with Gray as FM mass emigration will be on the cards as that band of incompetents are scary.

  3. It matters not a jot to me. Labour/SNP are just different cheeks of the same socialist arse.

    What Scotland needs is a strong centre right independence movement.

    I support Scottish independence, but not the SNP version which will replace London with Brussels.

  4. Elmer was campaigning for a rise in council tax the other day and saying it's what people want. Well I've never heard anyone asking for a rise in council tax. Is he bonkers ?

  5. Lallands... What an amazing likeness. I'm inclined to agree with your conclusions in your beautifully worded piece.

    I wish I could write like that!!

  6. Thanks CH.

    Yes... I think I'll go to Finland if that muppet is first minister...

    Well, I suppose... if I can learn Finnish....argh!

    Maybe I'll just have to stay here and suffer...

    Imagine, the Tories in London and that twerp in Edinburgh.... If only I didn't have an electric cooker!!

  7. Hello Rab...

    I think that's a dream that won't come true.

    I heard that the Tories were thinking of breaking away from the English Conservatives, but it will take them a long time to lose the "nasty" tag.

    Actually, the SNP will more or less fade away after independence, as people chose left and right, join Labour or whatever the Tories become... join the Greens, join what might be left of the Liberals (Tavish and his sheepdog).

    And I think there will be referenda on what kind of country Scotland will be... Republic, NATO, EU, EFTA....etc

    Let's just get the damned independece first and worry about the rest later.

  8. LOL Ukipper... it was like Mrs T saying people want to pay for their eye tests.... Who in the name of hell did she ask to get that answer?

    If your reading this Elmer. I DON'T WANT TO PAY MORE BLOODY COUNCIL TAX... GOT IT?

    Damned numpty....

  9. "Let's just get the damned independece first and worry about the rest later."

    Concur and as an aside "dumbell" is a better description witout the substance to increase its weight.

  10. We could use both Cynical?...

    Damed dumbell numpty?...or numpty dumbell, if you like....

  11. "People need to be reminded that we wouldn’t be having all these Tory/Liberal cuts if it were not for Labour’s mishandling of the economy"


    Well said.

  12. "They also need to be reminded over and over again of Iain Gray."

    What they need to be reminded of is that Iain Gray and Labour will be fighting to retain David Cameron as the Scottish PM and to keep the pain of George Osborne's cuts coming. To put it quite bluntly Labour will be the Tories' shock troops in Scotland fighting the SNP to keep Scotland under Tory rule.

    "Better Tory run and Tory cuts than independence", is the Labour mantra.

  13. DougtheDug,

    If the SNP seriously think the key to victory is to mudsling at Labour you will lose.

    The SNP are closing the gap, because they had a 'good' conference and secondly because Ian 'idiot' Gray handed them a golden ticket with his pledge to put council tax up.

    Fight on policy, and the gap shall continue to diminish, start badmouthing and you turn voters off.

    They want to know what you are offering, not what you dislike about the opposition.

  14. tris

    keep it up the world needs dreamers like you

  15. Tris: I should point out that the Lib Dems did not get a "bounce" after their conference. Also their compliance in the recent attack on the most needy and vulnerable people in society has caused their yougov rating to drop to 10% in the UK. The 8% in Scotland is what I would expect for them seeing as they are in bed with the Tories who are poison up here. If this goes on they may not even exist by May and they certainly won’t be much of a prospect for coalition partners with Iain Gray.

    The shocking attack by the Tories on the poorest and most vulnerable makes a mockery of the idea that we are “all in it together”. The poorest will pay while the likes of George Osborne stash their millions away in the British Virgin Islands to avoid paying any UK tax. The list of mockeries goes on: the respect agenda; new politics and now we are all in this together hah!

    What a bunch of total ba****ds to forward their ideological agenda by attacking the poor in that way. They are assuming that all people on benefits are shiftless malingerers, whereas that is simply not true. The majority are the weakest and most needy and to penalise them like this is a sin. If they want to get the shiftless and work shy they should target them instead of using a cheap catchall that will hurt everyone. A total disgrace!

  16. Where are all the 'poor' I keep reading about?

    As far as I can see, there are no poor in this country. There are just people who have different priorities when it comes to spending money.

    Talking about the 'poor' is nonsense. No such thing.

  17. Well Dean, thanks you for that. Of course Alan Johnston was right when he said that some on the opposite benches were delighted that the cuts were being made for ideolical reasons rather than out of necessity.

    There were scenes of jubilation on the Tory benches at the thought of some of the privations that the poor were about to endure.

  18. Yes Doug. I agree with that too. Labour in Scotland will simply ensure that the Tory rule of Scotland continues. A big majority for the SNP could start the process of putting an end to the South East and Home Counties ruling Scotland for ever.

  19. Yes Niko, I think you're right there.

    If people hadn't had dreams we'd still be tugging forelocks to the "maister".

    Have you never had a dream?

    Oh yeah, of course you have, but it what a lot of us would call a nightmare. iain Gray as FM.....

  20. Well said Munguin. It's true that the most vulnerable will be the ones who are hit by this. The tick list of reasons why everyone should be out there working (at what exactly I'm not entirely sure)will hurt the timid and the ill most.

    There will be deaths and they will be on the consciences (huh) of Osborne and Alexander.

    If the Tory millionaires like Osborne and Green and the English Transport minister blokey and that greasy looking Internation Development man to name but a few, would just pay the tax they owe without trying to dodge it, then vast amounts of this package would be unnecessary.

    But no. They have to add yet more millions to their millions. And if a few people starve or freeze, and many more live in abject misery, then it's clearly a price worth paying so that they can get even richer.

  21. With respect Rab, I could take you and show you people who have been made redundant. People who have worked all their lives for minimum wages, lived in cheap nasty housing with tiny rooms and hardly any sound insulation. People who have had to buy cheap food from cheap shops and buy cheap clothes that look worn out after two washings with cheap washing powder.

    I could show you people whose health is poor from living in damp rooms with no double glazing or central heating, and not having enough fruit and veg, too many "tasty, filling" foods.

    And what little bit they had is now gone. They are bereft of hope because the kind of jobs that they can do are now gone. And the few jobs that are available are part time.

    Of course there are some people who are just hopeless with whatever money they have. That’s why millionaires can become bankrupt. But the bulk are decent folk that are not really equipped for the post industrial age. Who can’t go these computers and office jobs and telephones and being polite and talking posh.

    If you haven’t seen these people, Rab, come and shadow me for a week.

  22. Such an amazing likeness, that one of these days I'll have to make some enquiries to find out if Gray was a deliberate model or simply haunted the artist's unconscious unbidden. Glad you appreciated the phrasing. Like most things I write, it is probably a bit overwrought!

  23. Well Lallands he is the kind of image that haunts most of us unbidden... very unbidden.

  24. Rab are their no vulnerable people in Britain then, no ill people either, no people with learning difficulties, no people who are mentally ill? What are they? Just people who have different priorities over the way they feel and or behave? Don’t suppose you have seen any of them either in your travels, but of course it always helps if you open your eyes and your mind!

  25. Dean: Unfortunately we have always been reasonable and fought on the issues and Labour has lied and lied and lied and slung mud at us.

    There's only so much of that you can take, before you ahve to have a go back.

    We won't lie, but we will point out that Iain Gray is just not First Minister material. he would at very best make a provost in a small town.

    The thought of the affairs of our country being in the hands of someone who makes a fisty cuffs gesture to the FM at Question Time is utterly unthinkable.

    We need to remind people of that.

  26. Good comment Munguin.

    The government always likes to portray the people on benefit as shiftless and scroungers, making their way from the pub to the betting shop.

    But then they would. The truth and the government are total strangers.

  27. The cuts are progressive, and there is no ideological element to it.

    Any talk of this is silly, rubbish, and I will refuse to partake in it. I rather think it is peurile to pretend Tories went into politics to do the poor harm.

    That is so unbelievably childish that I reject to even discuss it.

  28. OH! Dean.

  29. Dean: I’m amazed you have the temerity to attempt to justify the Nasty Party’s (and their pet yellow vulture’s) slash and burn approach to the weakest and most needy members of our society. It is a cost cutting exercise pure and simple, part of their seedy agenda to cut welfare at all costs while ignoring those in their own ranks who secrete their wealth in British tax havens in order to avoid paying tax. To dress this up in a tissue thin farrago of progressiveness is a sickening insult to any thinking person!

    I see for example that Brenda is to get a Sovereign Support Allowance. Is this to be like Employment Support Allowance for people who were hitherto fore on Incapacity Benefit and therefore to end after a year, no matter what the state of the palaces is. Somehow I doubt it, so yet again we see that we are all in it together, but some of us are more in it than others.

  30. Tris

    With the nasty party showing their true colours again you can bet your last pound that the people who will get hit hardest by this are the genuine sick and unemployed. All the people who can play the system (just count all them holding their money sticks hobbling down any high street near you) will still be claiming and getting benefits.

    I wonder if anyone can answer this, if the Scottish Government is not allowed to carry money over from one year to the next, how did labour manage to leave the SNP government an extra £1.5 billion when they left office? Is this another figment of Grays imagination?

    Is this the same labour party that when McConnell was FM sent back £1.5 billion to Westminster as it was not spent. Why send one lot back when they were still in government, yet supposedly leave the same amount to an incoming SNP government?

  31. P. 10 Dubbieside

  32. Cynical

    Thank you for the link. Reading it does however raise two important questions.

    If there is some end of year flexibility why did Labour return £1.5 billion to the UK treasury?

    If as the accounts show the end of year flexibility for 2006-2007 was £25 million where did Gray get the £1.5 billion from? Was this another figment of his imagination?


    I think this is rather like some of the people who comment here ;)

  34. We know it fits you Dean anyone else in mind.

    "Though his thrusts are decisively repulsed, his arguments crushed in every detail and his defenses demolished beyond repair he will remount the same attack again and again with only the slightest variation in tactics."

  35. Dubbieside: I'd written a long response of possibilities when I noticed that CH had provided us with an answer. I read it and asked exactly the same questions as you did.

    I imagine that Iain Gray either can't count; doesn't know the difference between 1.50 billion and 25 million, or is a liar and said the first stupid thing that came into his empty little head... or even a combination of all of the above.

  36. LOL @ Dean.... and CH!!!

  37. Munguin, why twist what I am trying to say? Of course there are vulnerable and ill people in this country, what has that got to do with the so called poor?

    Tris, I agree with what you are saying but define poor. The people you speak of would be rich in Africa, for example.
    Perhaps we should speak of the 'less rich' in this country.

    To be poor, in my understanding, is to be hungry and living in a slum or even homeless.

    Let's define what 'poor' actually is.

  38. Usually Rab, the definition of poor, which of course is a relative concept, is that one has less than 2/3 of the average income of a particular area or state or...whatever you are measuring.

    The average income in the UK being around £25,000, the poverty level would be around £16,000.

    Of course that is incredibly well off compared to people in Paraguay, or Botswana. And it isn’t disastrously badly off in the UK in my opinion anyway, as long as you don’t expect to have much in the way of pleasure in your life. It will pay your living expenses, just very few extras.

    None the less, by comparison with the average wage earner the pensioner on £6,500 is very badly off; the person on dole money of £2,500 is extremely poor.

    There are people who sit in the cold with their coats on to save money.

    In rich countries the cost of living is higher. Not to mention reasonable expectations. Money goes less far than it does in Botswana. I remember being in third world country and spending about a tenner all week and living relatively well. Then I flew back via Zurich and lived less well, in a less agreeable hotel, but spent £200 in a day and a half.

    So, anyway, if your heating bill is £1000 a year, having an income of £6,500 is not very much. A Botswanan electricity bill would never come to anything like that amount.

    I'm sure you get my drift even though I've not explained this too well.

    There are, therefore, people living with multiple deprivations in this country, as there are in most countries.

    Of course there are stupid poor people who manage their finances badly. There always were. Men used to come out of the factory on a Friday with their pay packets and arrive home in the house at 9.30 with 1/4 of it spent on beer.

    Some women ran out of housekeeping money on a Tuesday and had not a thing to feed their kids on a Wednesday or Thursday. My grandmother knew them.

    Now of course there are poor who do just the same.

    "They wouldn't be so broke if they didn't smoke and drink" say some. True, but they always have. It’s a way of blotting out the awfulness for a while.

    I shouldn't answer for Munguin, but I get what he was saying.

    Often people who are ill are on that very poor benefit system.

    Watch how the target oriented paramedic doing the medicals will brow beat the sick person with very little energy and perhaps not much in the way of ability to resist... and they will find themselves on a course learning how to pick up waste paper... and on less money.

    Once you involve the target system, staff will do anything to get their numbers as their bonuses depend upon their achieving targets. I know, I've worked with some of them. I've seen what they've done to people.

  39. Dean instead of cheap wise cracks you could attempt to answer some of the genuine points raised in the comments on this thread. It is not us that are impervious to reason and sticking to a cribbed ideology in the face of facts no matter what. If you want to see one Dean find a mirror!

    Rab are the vulnerable and the ill not usually poor as well? I turned what you said round in order to demonstrate that there is no such thing as a sweeping catch all that is fair. Of course there are poor in this country to say that everyone is adequately well off but some choose to spend that wealth on.......well I’m not quite sure what you meant here as you didn’t explain but I’m assuming you meant drugs or booze, in which case you are saying that the only poor people in this country are dipsomaniacs and drug addicts with no consideration taken of any underlying psychological or mental problem. Mental health I guess is just not part of the right wing lexicon and these people should pull themselves together and kick their relevant habbits!

  40. Tris, you should add into the mix the benefits the less well off get on top of any income, ie, council tax paid for them etc etc and also take into account the deductions of those who are paid a salary.

    I hear what you are saying, but I'm still not convinced!

  41. Sorry Rab... Missed your comment here.

    Yes for sure. There is housing benefit, for those who have to pay rent. Some don't of course. But for surprisingly many there are no passported benefits.

    Believe it or not (at least until April when our government gets rid of them) people on Incapacity Benefit have to pay for their prescriptions.

    Unbelievably, pensioners have to pay for their dental treatment. Sometimes hundreds of pounds for plates and faulse teeth.

    I certainly know some who just can't afford to have their teeth done...and that's if they can find an NHS dentist.