Self-Immolation for Dummies

ChuYg0rWUAAcLzS.jpg largeWith Labour facing an extinction event very early on poor Thomas Docherty declared it ‘self-immolation for dummies’ in a desperate attempt to shift blame onto Labour’s ‘left-wing’ agenda. But this is rise of the sore winners, the hurting Unionist right coagulating around the Tories. Whilst the media will focus on Ruth Davidson’s wins the reality is this: a clear pro-indy majority, the Liberals knocked into fifth place, a historic third term for SNP and surge for the Scottish Green Party.

Here’s the final result: SNP: 63 MSPs (-6) CON: 31 (+16) LAB: 24 (-13) GRN: 6 (+4) LDEM: 5 (-)

Questions may now be asked about the SNP campaign, which was bland and presidential and may have been effected by premature complacency. We will also now be facing creative discussions between the Scottish Green Party and the SNP about the terms of support, case by case or supply and demand.There is much common ground and room for discussion, not least publicly owned renewable energy, affordable housing and a ban on fracking.

There’s a number of issues and highlights to consider from the night.

Labour’s nightmare was clear with key SNP constituency victories: Ash Denham beating Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale by almost 5,000 votes in Edinburgh Eastern; Clare Haughey elected MSP for Rutherglen, gaining the seat from Labour’s James Kelly who has held the seat for 9 years; Humza Youssaf taking Pollok from Johann Lamont; Ben McPherson taking Leith from Lesley Hinds by more than 7000 more votes and Ivan McKee elected the first SNP MSP for Glasgow Provan.

Karry On Kezia
It’s a mark of how far they have fallen that a Labour leader could preside over a campaign which took them to third place behind the Tories and not be forced to resign, but that is the reality for Kezia Dugdale

Tank Girl
The gloves will be off for the cherubic Tory leader. Each week she will have to stand up and take responsibility for the Westminster government we didn’t elect. While she can pick holes in the SNP programme of government (she will no doubt channel the hysteria about the Named Person legislation) she will have to do more than photo opportunities week after week at FMQs. It will be interesting to see how she fares in the harsh glare of light where she becomes for the first time more than an embarrassing media sideshow.

Despite wall-to-wall media coverage for Brexit, Holyrood will not be contaminated by the toxic buffonery of David Coburn’s UKIP who flopped to a dire 2.6% of the vote in the Highlands.

Green Surge
The Green party have trebled their number of MSPs m\king them Scotland’s fourth largest party with Patrick Harvie, Alison Johnstone,  Ross Greer, Andy Wightman, Mark Ruskell, with Maggie Chapman and Sarah Beattie-Smith narrowly missing out. Andy Wightman’s election means the pre-eminent expert and most respected land reform activist will be given a voice and resources to take that forward.

What does it mean for the case for independence?

It means that the case will need to be made. There’s no point just demanding a referendum now (which we’d lose). The case has to be made. The difficult questions will need to be resolved and confronted not shushed away under a blame game.The pro-indy movement needs to be nurtured and sophisticated ideas and arguments developed. Thoughtless tribalism for a party that didn’t have a referendum in its manifesto has, unsurprisingly failed.

Maybe now people will realise that the summer campaign that Sturgeon announced will need to reach out beyond the SNP and reconnect a movement of vibrant ideas. It will need to be bold and imaginative not safe and triangulated. The strategic position of the Greens could be significant in this process. The media will have you focus on the surprise Conservative gains, but this is a sideshow with no constitutional impact other than to expose them to the light of day.



Comments (32)

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  1. thomaspotter2014 says:

    Well done Mike.
    Now how many Rise MSP’s made it?
    SNP no majority.
    Well done.

    1. Valerie says:

      The exhortations to use the second vote to promote these fringe parties, and lock out Tories worked out well, eh?
      Wall to wall ‘SNP failure, no case for Indy.
      Thanks Bella and Space cadets.

    2. Actually the SNP did incredibly well and we have a pro-indy majority in the parliament.

      RISE failed to make any impact whatsoever, but each party needs to take responsibility for the success and failure of their own campaigns.

      The SNP has won an historic third term in the Scottish Parliament with 63 MSPs, over a million votes in Scotland’s constituencies – a first – and the highest share of the constituency vote ever achieved.

      Here’s a run-down of the Scottish Parliament 2016 Holyrood election in numbers:

      At over a million, the SNP polled a record number of constituency votes – 1,059,897 to be precise. No party has ever done this before. The previous highest number was 908,392, polled by Labour in 1999.

      In fact, the SNP polled more than Labour and the Tories put together. Collectively they polled 1,016,105 votes.
      The SNP has won 59 constituency seats, surpassing the previous record of 53 seats, achieved by Labour in 1999, as well as the SNP in 2011.
      The SNP has polled 46.5 per cent in the constituency vote, up from 45.4 per cent in 2011. This is higher than the previous record.
      The SNP won a clean sweep of six out of Scotland’s seven cities: Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling and Perth.

      No bad?

  2. David Sangster says:

    Summer campaign? Dream on…

  3. Jac Gallacher says:

    Yup SNP majority not gained so blame everyone else except the SNP. Sounds familiar

    1. Tony Little says:

      SNP overall vote up; constituency vote up 1.1%; most constituency MSPs than any party ever. So not a bad result.

      On the Regional List, the d’Hondt system did its job. It’s frustrating to lose the majority, but the SNP and Greens have 69 MSPs between them, and if the Greens remain true to their claims of support for Independence, then should that possibility arise, their vote should be counted on.

      Could the SNP campaign have been different? Yes, but would the result have been different? that’s impossible to tell. Next five years will determine the future of Independence, not yesterday’s result.

      1. Hi Tony, I think that’s the key point: ‘Next five years will determine the future of Independence, not yesterday’s result.’

        The case has to be made and won, and that process begins today.

    2. James Coleman says:

      It would not surprise me if the SNP were not secretly glad to have missed an overall majority by a mere two MSPs. It will take a lot of the manufactured heat out of the ridiculous accusations of a one Party State, and remove some of the heat from those in its own membership who are/were clamouring for an early Indy Ref.

      Also, the SNPs majority is so massive that not having an overall majority of two votes is hardly going to affect its governing – there will always be a few MSPs on the opposition benches who will agree with whatever policy the SNP wishes to force through. The Greens also support Independence, and I am sure many individuals in the Labour, LibDem and even the Tory Parties do. So if the SNP really wanted another Indy Ref it would not be too difficult in pulling together a coalition in support of that.

      Me? I would like another Referendum when the SNP et al, and circumstances, has convinced a good majority of the population that it would be the best thing for Scots. But I don’t expect it to be within this Parliament. Mind you, if the English vote for Brexit and the Scots for Remain and the overall result is a small majority for Remain, then the English outrage may be enough for THEM to call a referendum to separate themselves from Scotland.

  4. David Hood says:

    Unionists ‘coagulating’ round the Tories?
    More like ‘congealing’….. or ‘foul flatulating floculating’ perhaps…

  5. Bert Logan says:

    Labour to Tory – unionists, more like a sewage blockage holding back independence. LibLiars though? Who voted for them. Turnout poor for my eyes.

    SNP . meh! D’hont fails but it makes little difference.

    Smaller parties get squished, but woop Green.

  6. Gordie says:

    ‘Thoughtless tribalism for a party that didn’t have a referendum in its manifesto has, unsurprisingly failed.’

    That sums you up Mike.

    Credit and criticism where it is due and all that. You attacked the SNP in order to gain a share of the action for yourself and your favoured party and when the votes didn’t come your way in sufficient numbers you attacked the SNP voters you wanted using the same language as the MS unionist media.

    You mate are a fraud and an arrogant unrepentant one at that.

    1. ‘You attacked the SNP in order to gain a share of action for yourself’. Tell that to my SNP candidate in Leith, my SNP friends or my SNP board members Gordie.

  7. Polwarthian says:

    Gordie, that phrase stuck with me as well, and I echo your sentiments.

  8. Bibbit says:

    SNP popular vote increased from 2011. SNP broke through the 1 million vote barrier.

    RISE’s self-indulgent, vanity project is at an end.

    The real enemy of Scotland has been flushed out into the open – the tories.

    Harvie is a weather vane but I am pleased that ‘the poor had no lawyers’ author is now in the parliament.

  9. Coul Porter says:

    Jackson Carlaw states that if the SNP fails to win an outright majority then Nicola Sturgeon will have the mandate for Indyref2 ‘stripped away’.

    That’s the same Jackson Carlaw who represents a non-majority Tory party which has the mandate for an EU referendum?

    We should start an appeal for the brain-dead of Eastwood. On second thoughts, no – the Tories will give them life support.

  10. Alan says:

    Almost had a Sep19th2014 feeling today but on second thoughts perhaps the 6 Green MSPs might just help to “legitimise” even more the SNPs work in finishing the bridge, and end the objectionable claims of a one party state. Perhaps a positive aspect also is that Holyrood is maybe now definitely a Yes against Yoon parliament with the Tories being the representatives of Yoonism, thus further concentrating the minds of those who directly or indirectly (try to) split the Yes movement

  11. MoFloBro says:

    It’s great to see Andy Wightman elected. I voted Green on the list vote because I wanted to vote Green. It was the SNP I ‘lent’ my constituency vote to. It’s funny how the assumption is always the reverse.

  12. Wulls says:

    Sky news are still banner scrolling “LibDems 5 , Others 6” with no mention whatsoever that the 6 seats are all greens.
    Absolutely abysmal reporting.
    And we thought the BBC had an agenda ????

    1. MoFloBro says:

      I wonder how much media attention the Greens will get over the next parliament compared to the lib dems. Not much if this election is anything to go by. The lib dems seem to live a charmed life, they’d surely be long forgotten if not for their media advantage.

  13. Jacques Coleman says:

    “Questions may now be asked about the SNP campaign, which was bland and presidential and may have been effected by premature complacency.”

    Disagree totally. Nothing SNP could do about Loony YOONS in the Orange Order deserting Labour and voting Tory. SNP campaign was excellent judging by results of constituency vote.

  14. Alf Baird says:

    “Thoughtless tribalism” is right – three quarters of a million+ pro-indy list votes ‘spent’ on returning a measly 4 SNP list seats, leaving a free run at list seats for the unionist parties. The inevitable consequence of the SNP1+2 mantra was always going to be a large pile of unionist list seats.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Actually it was 953,587 list votes for SNP (41.7% share), which achieved a measly 4 seats (7% of list seats). That averages out at 238,396 votes per seat compared with the Tories 22,000 votes/seat. What a scandalous waste of Indy movement votes.

  15. Redgauntlet says:

    Great result for the SNP and the Greens, well done to them both. Really pleased for Andy Whightman, a man who has almost single-handedly put land reform so high up on the agenda in Scotland.

    Big questions to be asked about the dismal debut of RISE. While I was hardly expecting a great result, I was amazed to see Sheridan’s Solidarity beat them for votes in Glasgow, for all Cat Boyd’s media presence, and sorry to see too that there will no Jean Urqhuart in Holyrood.

    Both would probably have done better running as independent candidates. They are more of a brand than RISE are.

    The electoral system in Scotland – surely everybody pro indie must see this after last night – absolutely requires three strong indie parties to harvest as many seats as possible.

    The SNP will always be the biggest party, but we also need the Greens and a left wing party which can pockle what is left of the Labour vote, a great part of which abandoned ship for the Tories, ie, the die-hard Unionists of the Labour Party.

    I am totally confounded as to why Scotland, with its left-wing tradition and its long history of radicalism, cannot produce a pro indie Left Wing party attractive enough to significantly capture a big junk of the traditional Labour vote….

    …my fear/suspicion is that RISE is the old socialist discourse with a new label, certainly if some of Cat´s videos are anything to go by – said with the greatest respect. We need a new discourse…

  16. My Cocaine says:

    “What does it mean for the case for independence?

    It means that the case will need to be made.”

    The case was made a long time ago: do you want to run your own country? Or do you want another nation to do it for you?

    Anything else about currency, being a fiver better or worse off in an indy Scotland etc etc

    is pure bollocks.

    1. Well we made the case and lost. If we made the same case again we’d lose again.

      I don’t need to be convinced. I’m not the problem.

    2. C Rober says:

      Snp now have a mandate to prove the concept of psuedo home rule , more than just a jumped up chocolate teapot super council given token powers via Westminster whims.

      A minority government is a hard thing , which I fear shows the SNP at their peak , for with every concession made to get a bill through – it can only affect them over the longer term as a result , positively or negatively with each one.

      They have the next five years to show their badge of Socialism is true , or suffer for it as Slab regroups with a new ideaology of FFA , one to counter the Nationalists in a similar manner as they have done with out socializing Slab.

      They have to now be a thorn in side of Westminster at every opportunity with the devolved powers they have , and to drive towards indy through popular consensus as a result. In particular , housing that doesn’t create wealth for banks , thus London , reducing the spendable income which would be kept in Scotland instead.

      Whinge politics may have given them an edge over Slab for the last 5 , but they have less to whinge about with less labour in the house when questioned on their own supply for the next 5.

      The rise of the Tories in Scotland , now is that as a result of splitting the vote or a warning of the power of affluent regions? No Surprises that farming and oil regions have increased that supply to Holyrood. So what is the answer , the carrot or the stick?

      There is a primary reason why the CT freeze is there , used as a weapon against what was once heavy weight Slab politics , a bit like the poison chalice from the YOONS of partially devolved benefits and penny on income tax.

      Once the councils are breaking ground to SNP dominance the CT freeze will change , either increasing again to prove supply is better under them through increased funding , or to replace it with a fairer system , hopefully with something else more punitive to land bankers and estate owners.

      5 Years as a power while a majority , 5 future years as perhaps a coalition with the Greens , a party pro indy themselves. I hope that this is the beginning of something better than just the SNP solely running Holyrood for it.

      The future is brighter than one would think , that is if they let the Greens in on operations of the Scottish Government , specifically housing , land reform and the environment , rather than let their own “landlord” politicians set policy on housing , lack of land reform , which is their biggest liability for things 2019 onwards.

      The greens may also push for the medicinal use of cannabis , something that Germany will start in 2017 through chemists. Reducing some of the reliance on petrochem meds , thus NHS spending.

      The demise of RiSE , predicted , but I will leave it to the conspiracy theorists on radical middle class socialists being simply vote splitters , and now they can get back under that wifi rock from which they came.

      But will there be an EGM from Slab members , to change tack on policy , we will have to wait for council elections for that. , ostrich syndrome is in their DNA , but soon there wont be any ostriches left.

  17. C Rober says:

    Has anyone done the maths with a regard to applying it to council elections , which should have happened this year , but has given the last of SLAB a years reprieve instead.

    I suspect the next 12 months will be a mad dash for broon envelopes to replace the broon troosers next May.

  18. Robert Warner says:

    Labour will have to reconsider it’s new position. Their apparent demise is linked to their association with the Tories in 2014 and their lack of action after 2015 Westminster elections. They need to ensure that are not seen as continuing in this vein.
    Their seemingly intense dislike of SNP will have to soften if they wish to avoid further accusations of being Tory minded. I’ll be curious to see how they manage being on third place.

  19. Steve says:

    Despite the increase in pro-Indy votes, the number of pro-Indy seats is down from 2011. There were 72 in 2011, including Margo and Greens and just 69 now. But it’s just a minor quirk of the system. Great performance by SNP and good by Greens. But we may have reached peak SNP for now. Without a referendum I’d be surprised if there isn’t some decline over the next 5 years.

    The Tories appear to be gaining from a hint of Ulsterization of our politics. Interesting times.

    1. C Rober says:

      I had also thought about the Ulsterisation list vote being a factor , but given that is specifically a west coast working class thing it would have had little effect outside of it. Maybe once the maths comes in there would be a correlation in demographics to prove or disprove it.

  20. Michael says:

    So what leverage and power we retained when we voted No, i.e. the capacity to call a referendum when we wanted has been stripped away in an instant. Now, we are to be held hostage by the Greens with their absurd one million votes policy and their previous unreliability on the issue. It’s a horrendous result – just think right now about the implications for a Brexit vote. We could see ourselves removed from the EU and unable to call a referendum. Some people are in for a very rude awakening. Those who spent so much time during the recent campaign sanctimoniously griping about utterly trivial nonsense better be ready for what’s coming.

    1. C Rober says:

      Being in the EU doesnt mean squat to protecting a referendum , Catalan? Spain refuses to accept , EU happy to oblige Spain.

      The EU question might well see a UK “protected” zone within Scotland , where English companies can still export with small single person offices located north of the Border to suit.

      I agree though one of the things that was wanted was the ability to ask for a referendum through Holyrood not Westminster , but in removing that , or preventing it , then perhaps Westminster has played into SNP hands over the longer game. Borderline unionists would jump ship with the removal of a protected NHS , well apart from those that can afford private or insurance funded medicine.

      The creation of “some” devolved benefits is a little Baldrickesque for both sides , “cunning plan”.

      Westminster hopes its creating a drain on Scottish finances , and a bugbear for Claimants , hoping the SNP will shoot itself in the foot , from what one of its largest demographic whom vote for them. The SNP though hope its the beginning of the Scottish Civil service by the back door.

      But the biggest thing that the SNP never capitalized on is that the Scottish Parliament was refused by Westminster to be permanent , if there becomes a scorched earth policy in the future about Holyrood from Tory and Slab , directed from London , then its dissolution only takes a vote from within. Something that the removal of FPP does not prevent , if anything it aids that one scenario.

      The SNP is a deep thinker , full of educated lawyers , and bean counters.

      It has the ability to attack using the protected Scots law and with mathematics. It needs to be seen as fighting Westminster , not just whinging about it , or arguing about protecting Scotland from it can only be done by a majority SNP in Holyrood , through actually using the “acts of Union devolved and protected powers ” against the Union itself.

      The Future for indy . the SNP and Holyrood is to be the thorn in Westminsters side at every opportunity , especially its press and media. The future of protecting any semblance of that Union should at the very least be FFA , where project fear is turned onto the Unionist parties themselves – whom will bite the hand off Holyrood and the SNP to get it.

      The Sun Sturgeon photo bomb imo was as deliberate as their reporting on Hillsborough , given the afternath , it was and is an attempt at political assassination . Surprised really they never went for a Gary Glitter “Leader of the Gang” instead of Star Trek for good measure – for the abstract subconscious associations on top. MSM Editors are known for those sorts of things , deliberate juxtapositions.

      The SNP needs to attack the online and printed press with setting up a Scottish body outside of the press one in England , not just letting the new IPSO continue where the PCC dissolved , and with a panel of judges hearing complaints is that way forward. Paywalls too for internet newspapers , removing anonymous public posts , and punitive whole front page retractions , plus a days advertising revenue to the complainant.

      Next it can take on or empower BBCS , through declaring the licence fee noncollectable until it becomes digitally encoded , using a system like SKY do as forced by the EU . Or perhaps just declaring its collection as unjust enrichment of the BBC , and private production companies south of the border , thus an illegal tax.

      Holyrood has the laws there that it can use , despite the airwaves and the licence fee being reserved to Westminster , it just needs to attempt to do it.

      The SNP has yet to use the “Act of Union” against itself , the protected Scottish legal system is that way , for if Westmister over rule it , or remove it , the union itself is contractually broken.

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