And It was All Yellow

B1NDI98CQAAHKlSNicola Sturgeon began a national roadshow in Edinburgh this week, with further events planned in Dumfries, Dundee, Inverness, Aberdeen and Glasgow, where she is set to speak in front of a capacity crowd of 12,000 at the SSE Hydro.

Meanwhile the “victors” of the independence referendum have embarked on a new paroxysm of internal feuding, as the disastrous fallout to the Labour party’s commitment to the Austerity Union continues to unfold.

John McTernan believes that the SNP has already been “routed” and is “in danger of irrelevance in Scotland at the next general election”. But with Scottish sub-samples in the 12 Populus polls conducted since the referendum finding the following support: SNP 37% (+17%), Lab 28% (-14%), that’s some rout. In fact, a new poll from Mori today has the SNP on 52% and Labour on 23%, meaning only four Labour MPs would survive, and the SNP would have 54.

This is self-delusion at a grand scale, emboldened by the no vote. Now, stepping into the ring in a potentially damaging (or cathartic) process are the MSPs Sarah Boyack and Neil Findlay (shadow health secretary) and MP Jim Murphy, who have declared they will stand for the leadership of the Scottish Labour party.

But this branch of the Better Together continuity group are not happy campers. Malcolm Chisholm has said that if a Westminster MP is head of the Scottish Labour party “a crisis would become a catastrophe”. Former first minister Jack McConnell has also weighed in, saying: “She [Johann Lamont] was completely undermined by the decision to remove the head of the party organisation in Scotland. We have to resolve that issue [of control] before the next leader can properly carry out the job.” The trouble is that Lamont’s diagnosis of Labour’s problem – that Scotland is treated as a regional branch of the UK party – is precisely the argument for yes she’s been denying. It makes them look at best ridiculous and at worst deeply deceitful.

But Labour’s woes are the least of Scotland’s concerns right now, including its strangely quiet no voters. The famous silent majority is hushed and somnolent. The paradox is that, as they “own the media” in the words of Alan Bissett’s The Pure the Dead and the Brilliant, we don’t know what no voters think at all. In the absence of any credible alternative media we are left to speculate what they think about the raft of announcements that confirm pretty much all that was said by the yes camp during the campaign. The unionist media, that was used to hush the nationalist voice, now silences the silent…

Read the full article at Comment is Free here. See also Adam Ramsay here.

Comments (34)

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  1. Shaun says:

    How does 52% of the vote transform into 54 seats, or 90% of them? Does this take into account how concentrated the vote might be?

    1. Steven Bruce (@Aqueously) says:

      FPTP works both ways, it’s about the way the votes are counted.

      1. Shaun says:

        I understand how FPTP works. In order for such a result based merely on an overall voting percentage, it must be predicting extremely narrow SNP wins in the vast majority of seats. I can’t see that happening. They’re going to absolutely dominate in certain areas but in others they’ll be quite far behind.

      2. To be clear Shaun – it’ll be astounding if this actually happens.

  2. Is “I told you so” enough?

  3. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    It’s revealing that nobody is really talking about Alex Salmond’s resignation. I can’t recall any unionist politician talk about the demise of the SNP due to his departure as First Minister and leader.

    I am convinced that this is greatly due to Nicola Sturgeon’s standing. She, I believe is even more feared by The Labour Party. Not only is she a formidable performer and strategist, but her persona attracts a degree of unity among the Scottish people and other Independent political parties and fringe groups..

    Combine that and Labour’s deception together with their blind obedience to London. The result is a perfect storm!

    1. Brian says:

      A Perfect Storm indeed. best garb your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show. Nicola will make a mockery of them. She is a very clever lady indeed, and it would be a fool to think that they could take her on and win.

  4. David Williams says:

    Excellent article. Like Mike I’m ashamed to live in a “country” that doesn’t want to govern itself although I do take some perverse pleasure in watching the chickens of UK government come home to roost. Just one question for all of the many people who voted “no” to independence but apparently intend to vote SNP at the next election: can you justify yourself, please?

    1. MBC says:

      I’m not sure they did. Westminster seats are FPTP. SNP may come first, but they don’t command more than 50% of the vote, never mind of the electorate, many of whom may not bother voting normally, but turned out to vote No because of Project Fear. The high turn out and the fact that the unionist vote was combined, was probably what did it.

    2. Annette says:

      I think there are people who vote SNP because they agree with the rest of the SNP’s policies, apart from independence.

  5. Steve Bowers says:

    The silent majority, let’s not underestimate them, much work needs to be done. They nod their heads when you speak to them and you think “job done” but as soon as you’re out of their eyeline, they’re back to looking around, feeling like they can pay their bills, eat and keep warm, then all of a sudden ” fuck that, I’m not rocking my own boat” that’s what we’re up against ( and the entirity of the bwittish media screwing us over).
    We need to still be having the conversation, we need to be providing proof that “we’ve” been duped, we need to start now and using the next 6 months to reinforce the message. Complaceny is our biggest emeny and WM knows it !

  6. Derek Henry says:

    The Common Weal has given it’s verdict to the Smith commision.

    Read it, it is excellent !

    I’m going to one of it’s first meetings in Glasgow.

    Get you tickets they are holding meetings all over Scotland.

  7. oldbattle says:

    Keep the heed people. There will be nothing like 54 seats to SNP in May ,try 25-30. Don’t trust these polling shysters.

  8. How the BT -UKOK Media circus want Scotland to percieve the referendum result and it’s aftermath is what we are seeing.
    Doesn’t mean thats how it is in reality.
    Thing are about to improve and we will have options of alternatives to counteract the loaded outpourings of BBC,STV, CH4,CH5 and 99% of all media and newspapers.
    That’ll make a nice change!
    Because whats on offer makes me want to puke.
    Even radio is indoctrinated-and their skewed messages are always proposed as the norm.
    They are very powerful to voters who don’t do online so we need to use the spoken word-just like in the old days!-to get the message across to these uninformed types.
    Nobody died and the pro-Independence movement is going from strength to strength.
    That can only go one way inevitably.
    The Sunday Herald for me are a welcome contradiction to the powerful state servers, but I can’t help feeling a bit suspect about them as I think they have always been part of the disinformation agents network-why is the Monday to Saturday Herald is just like the rest- and I can’t shake the feeling of distrust against any of that shower.
    It’ll be much better to have truly free media choices and the groups concerned are well up to the job.
    The social media of WOS ,Bellacaledonia,Wee Ginger Dug,Scot goes Pop,Butterfly Rebellion, etc-and there are many more, are brilliant and inspiring sites but we will soon have TV and newspaper media outlet who can advocate free and truly impartial platforms for Independence-focussed ideas and inspirations.
    It’s going to be enlightening.
    It’s also going to be David v Goliath all the way
    .And I still expect David to win.
    I’m not prepared to blame or scapegoat any group,age related or otherwise,for the referendum result,as this would be how the Westminster State Propaganda machine want me to behave and that’s the wrong way.
    We cannot let them manipulate us anymore as that’s simply not acceptable.
    To cause division between the forces for change is their main agenda.
    Me personally,I don’t believe the ref result was true or honest,but I’m trying to move onto what I can actively do to counteract their significance.
    They are already onto the next phase as they never sleep.
    This is to prepare the Scottish for the Great Houdini-Jim’ walking dead ‘Murphy-resurrecting the new totally improved-and all at the same time exactly the same as before type of blatant ‘who gives a fcuk about what the jocks think’ type of Labour party we deserve.
    Don’t feel too unsettled by their interpretation of what we should do next,its only what they want us to do next and that’s not how it works now.
    We now know better and can only improve and strengthen our own agendas.
    Let the chips fall where they may.

    1. Frankk says:

      I am sceptical to independent media because you are basically preaching to the converted. We have to reach the doubters and No voters by using their media. Our comments should made to the articles Scotsman and the Herald to counteract the lies as they are printed. There are some excellent articles here which are directly linked to the Guardian. They get a larger readership there, both online and in print than they get here. The comments are both for and against which helps the doubters and NO voters to change their minds.

      Happily Labour are doing such good job of contradicting themselves that little effort is needed from us to point out the lies. Even Gordon Brown has shut his mouth for the moment..

  9. leginge says:

    “but we will soon have TV and newspaper media * thomaspotter – what do you know, pray tell ?. I have not heard anything on any website about tv and newspapers ? But the bottom line is IMO, without a means of communicating outside these pro-Indy websites all we’re doing is talking among ourselves and ultimately we will fail to educate and convince the masses we need to join us..

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Hi ‘leginge’ – we have a strategy for reaching out and growing our membership. There is nothing intrinsic about a website that means it remains closed to Yes voters.

      1. Brian Fleming says:

        But only those who use the Internet can access it. I believe that is leginge’s point.

  10. There’s to be an RT/UK News channel on freeview and sat systems starting tonight for one.Another is Butterfly Rebellions monthly Mag,and Commonweal’s Common Space should be operational shortly.There are more coming soon .All good and the way forward.There is also Batemans broadcastingand there will be more.Hopefully a newspaper will be part of this.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      There are several new initiatives and – just to repeat – we are working closely with the new Newsnet group – and are on the board of Commonweal – plus of course we are rolling out a new video news service.

  11. Monty says:

    This gives more value to McTernan’s comments than he probably does himself. He has a weekly column to fill. Whilst also giving greater credence to an opinion poll than it deserves during what must be Labour’s worst week in a bad year. I am also sure that No voters were very varied as to why they voted the way they did. Some out of self interest, some because they believe in the idea of a small island being a political union, some because of a distrust of nationalism or because they dislike Salmond or a mixture of these and other reasons. To believe that a large number of them are deluded, self interested, brain washed or just plain wrong is perhaps one explanation as to why the referendum was lost. Yes Scotland just did not and could not understand why people could vote no for genuine reasons. This is fine in the short term but in the long term could damage the pro independence side. Blaming the no voters at least keeps the pro independence side together for the moment but perhaps a little reflection and an attempt at empathy though perhaps painful might be more beneficial in the long run.

  12. McIntosh says:

    Monty, I agree with you on the complexity of the No vote – and the Yes – but one other category needs to be added, the Self Hating Scot. Like the self hating Jew, the self hating Scot accepts the basic assumptions of the dominant ideology of Britishness about the Jocks or Paddys or Taffs. Like the McTernan’s of this world they seek to curry favour of their rulers by internalising the dominant discourse and using their access to the media to propagandise it.
    They see themselves as marginal, adopt the definition of the Jocks as ‘not officer material’ and believe being Scottish will hinder their success.
    The issue is how you can give them confidence so they can overcome the psychological surrender.

  13. Iain Hill says:

    Any chance of an Internet link to Nicola’s event at the Hydro? Would pay!

    At McTernans state of delusion, it is unnecessary, indeed cruel, to comment.

  14. Barontorc says:

    It’s all very quiet from a legal point of view of the manipulation and misinformation presented by the Daily Record ‘VOW’ and the forging of Cameron, Milliband and Clegg’s signature?

    Can this simply be just forgotten about?

    Are there no consequences to flow from that action and who’s responsible for getting it started?

    Surely, there’s somebody with an insight into the potential implications for this travesty.

  15. Of course we al realise that a couple of polls seven months out from a UK General Election doesn’t deliver anything, except perhaps another boost to the already surging SNP morale. Complacency, however, would be idiotic in the extreme. Some might draw from this that the SNP don’t need the other parties and groups from the broader Yes Movement which, of course, would allow the Lab-Tory Union & Media Partners to enhance their characterisation of independence as the obsession of one, now monolithic, party.

    Independence will never be achieved by the dominance of a single party. The big lesson of the Yes Movement that emerged is that a diverse, inclusive alliance of the broad left constituency in Scotland will win more than anything the SNP could every achieve on its own, no matter how many members. I have the utmost respect for Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond, and believe they’ll take encouragement from these polls and the (dis)array of the Labour Party’s contenders without being sucked into the hubris of many of its supporters.

    The Westminster system is gerrymandered, corrupted and rigged and always has been. It is, however, vulnerable to an intelligent strategy that transcends short-term party electoral interests to focus on common principles and long-term goals. Most people hate party politics and if we play by their rules we die by their rules. A Yes Alliance for 2015 running on maximum powers for Scotland / anti-Trident / anti-austerity could harness the vast majority of the 1.6 million Yes votes – who must never be taken for granted – plus a significant swathe of disaffected No voters. Effective, thoughtful targeting of vulnerable Labour & LibDem seats and pooling of resources can re-activate non-SNP Yes campaigners could turn out a spring show of our grassroots, and stimulate future growth.

    All our assets are in an active, participative movement engaging and informing an awakened electorate. Go with that and we can send a formidable grouping to Westminster. Perhaps that group could organise with the GPEW and Plaid to augment itself into an even more effective phalanx. Whether it holds the balance of power would depend on many factors – which is the largest party, the relative sizes of UKIP, the LibDems and maybe the Ulster parties too – but properly organised it could achieve much for Scotland and ordinary people elsewhere in the UK and rewrite the entire political agenda in a new democratic left hand.

    1. benmadigan says:

      have you seen the news about the new multi-media portal scot2scot?This seems to be a step in the right direction in consolidating yes supporters for the 2015 GE

  16. McIntosh says:

    Drew, this is a well thought out strategy. The great thing about the YES Campaign so far is that it has, so far, avoided self destruction implosion and disillusionment despite defeat. Many commentators hoped it would follow the path of the pro devolution forces in 1979 and collapse.
    An issue is how to help move beyond the necessity of adapting to the limitations placed on us by electoral politics and the roles given to political parties. We need to recognise that it was not irrational to vote NO but rather the conclusion of individuals carrying out cost benefit analysis’ of their position. How do we get them to rework the analysis and find a different answer to their cost benefit calculations. Your suggestions begin to give the components of building a bloc of support that goes beyond the YES supporters.
    In this way, to paraphrase Marx, we can begin to develop the new relationships and communities of interest in the womb of the old society that are needed to move things forward and reduce the tensions between the YESers and NOers.
    If Labour elects Mr Murphy it may help in this. Among his strengths are his enormous gifts for political intrigue and ability to develop a self serving narrative. On the other hand he does seem to mix aspects of the personalities of Roy Keane and Kevin Pieterson – and neither of them has been particulary succesful team builders.

    1. Drew Campbell says:

      Agree with the analysis of Jim Murphy – a strange, aloof and self-serving figure, I never really got why people thought him so impressive. Also wonder if his boyhood in Apartheid South Africa taught him something about divide and rule.

  17. Fed up with the lies and propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

    Sarah Smith of Newsnight Scotland last week asked the question ” We all know what the 45% Yes voters want but what do the 55% No voters want ?”

    I’m going to take a wild guess, 30 pieces of silver ?

    1. Dr Ew says:

      I take it you’re not in favour of constructive engagement with the 2 million of our fellow citizens voted No?

    2. Annette says:

      That’s unfair. I know people who have been held to ransom by their own adult children who threatened they’d move to England in case of a Yes vote. I’ve really only spoken to a few no voters, but none of them were against independence in principle, they were just not convinced it could work, at least not at this time. So what do they want? They want solid evidence that an independent Scotland would flourish.

  18. macart763 says:

    The first opportunity for people to make their feelings known about the events which have transpired post September 18th. If WM and most especially Labour do not deliver on their pledges and statements made during the referendum campaign then watch for the seats falling like skittles come May.

  19. Capella says:

    It’s actually worse for Labour than that map suggests. See the correction which shows Labour would only hold one seat on those voting figures.

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