Friday, 27 March 2015

How Scotland voted in the IndyRef tells us a lot about how she will vote in May 2015

The Daily Record has published a breakdown of how people voted in the September 2014 Scottish referendum. They are making a big fuss about how those who were Scottish born voted Yes whereas people from the rest of the UK tended to vote No, but the real devil is in the details which tell a more interesting story.

In a nutshell, the working class on low incomes and people living in rented accommodation voted Yes by quite large margins. People who live in their own homes and high income earners voted No. There was also a clear religious divide, which this being Scotland is also very important. Members of the Catholic and Anglican Churches voted Yes, as did the atheists (Yeah!) On the other hand Church of Scotland people gave a majority of their votes to the No camp.

These figures may go a long way towards explaining something which we mentioned last night, namely that the SNP are basically dumping their old Tartan Tory policies and putting forward new ones that appeal directly to their new voting core. Unlike Labour in England, the SNP are not trying to toss a few table scraps to their core, they are inviting them to join in the feast.

It's nice to feel wanted!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The SNP are now the party that defends claimants

If you want to know why the SNP is riding high in the Scottish polls as Labour struggles to stay afloat, then look no further than the two parties' attitudes towards claimants. Last week Labour's Rachel Reeves announced: “We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work.” Now the SNP has announced that it supports claimants' groups who have demanded the suspension of benefit benefit sanctions, pending a review of the whole system.

It's not difficult to see what is going on. Reeves' comment was actually hedged with that many caveats that it was obvious to the astute reader that she wasn't really promising to put the poor back into workhouses. However, that is what the headlines suggested would happen which is why claimant groups were so outraged. Labour was obviously gambling that its claimant voting core would be able to read between the lines, or get a few nods and winks from the party activists on the doorsteps. Or it could be that Labour reckons that ordinary people have no option but to shrug their shoulders and troop off to the polling stations as usual to vote Labour. Certainly Reeves must have known what she was doing when she uttered those inflammatory lines which were clearly aimed at picking up a few nasty votes from the Daily Mailoid element.

This wheeze may work in England where working class people have no choice but to vote Labour, but it will not play in Scotland because the SNP is clearly now aiming at attract the votes of everyone who is either unemployed or under-employed.

Labour's response to all this can only be described running in circles and shouting silly things. The latest bit of silliness comes from Michael McCann MP, who claims,  "SNP activists have infiltrated local schools in a bid to brainwash pupils into supporting their political brand."

Actually, all the SNP is doing is encouraging its army of young activists to get to work with their friends during break time and try to encourage them to vote for the SNP, something which is pretty bog standard for any party that actually has a youth wing. Alas for Labour, it doesn't.

It is quite possible that one of the reasons why Labour does not appeal to the young is the fact that McCann was arrested during the referendum for trying to pick a fight with a 17 year old SNP activist, something which is hardly likely to endear Labour to the youth of Scotland.

So whilst the SNP puts forward policies that are aimed directly at the urban working class, all Labour can do by way of reply is to howl like some deranged dog when faced with a full moon.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

"Scum" attack Farage and his family

UKIP should be on the ropes right now, given the pounding they have received this weekend. The Janice Atkinson business when a member of her staff seemed to be engaged in dodgy dealings over expenses looked to me like the uppercut that would put the party on the canvas, and I was looking forward to watching the whole of Kipperdom reduced to public ridicule.

When I read the accounts of how Farage and his family were disturbed over a pub lunch by a gang of weirdos that included these two little darlings holding plastic dolls to plastic tits for reasons best known to themselves, my first reaction was that UKIP had gone along to a theatrical agency and hired a group of freakshow performers. It seemed to me as if it was the last, desperate throw of a dying party, and nobody was going to believe that creatures like this would be anything other than a put-up job by the UKIP press office.

How wrong I was, for these are genuine freaks who honestly believe that they have achieved something important today However, all they have done by terrorising Farage's teenage daughters is to turn the light away from UKIP's scandals and provide Farage with just enough  public sympathy to start refloating his political ship. 

If UKIP does recover from its self-inflicted wounds then today's idiocy will have a lot to do with it. I hope the people responsible are happy with that result, but I suspect that their limited sense of self-awareness means that they will not realise just how much normal people loath them.

In other words, a vote for UKIP is just as much a vote against these freaks as it is for UKIP.

UKIP's Sergi Singh and his wonderful election poster

This is just so very stunningly awful in so very many ways that I am not entirely convinced that it is not a fake. That said, Sergi Singh is the UKIP candidate in Hull North, so I suppose it could be genuine.

Just sit back and shake your head in wonderment.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Esther McVey: getting the "wicked witch of the Wirral" out of office

Whenever I see Esther McVey, the Tory MP for Wirral West, I always think nice body, shame about what's going on in the brain. Aside from getting involved in the usual dreary expenses scandals - in her case over misuse of House of Commons stationary - McVey is one of the senior figures in the war against claimants that the Tories have waged for all this parliament.

There is even a catchy song that has been composed and sung by Alun Parry to help do just that. It comes complete with the rather engagingly catchy refrain "The wicked witch of the Wirral's had her day" and can be downloaded at this link. Or you can watch it below:

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Jim Murphy is wrong to claim that the biggest party always forms the government

I don't mind it when politicians dissemble, or even when they subject the truth to a wind tunnel test to see how much stress and strain it can take. What I do object to is when a party hack lies through his teeth and then dissembles to try and defend his lie. That's what Jim "Spud" Murphy did on Newsnight last night.

Spud claimed that "the biggest party gets to form the government," and that is just not true. The man who is sent for by The Queen to form Her government is the man who can command a majority in the House of Commons. Normally that is the largest party because that party has a majority, but it is the majority that matters, not where it comes from. Spud was at it again when he said that "it isn't the case that you add up the party that comes second, the party that comes third, the party that comes seventh," because that is exactly what can be done if those parties agree to vote together against the single largest party that does not have a majority.

Cameron as leader of the largest single party could try to hang on, but if Labour and the SNP have a majority of the seats between them and vote against him then he will have to resign. The Queen is then constitutionally bound to send for Ed Miliband if he can offer Her a government that commands a majority in the Commons.

If you want the Tories out, and want to see a government more to your liking come in, then you should ignore Spud's porkies and vote Labour in England and SNP in Scotland.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Vote UKIP to keep the Tories in power

When I joined UKIP it was still able to present itself as a broadly based anti-EU front, and on that basis I was proud to shake Farage's hand in the run-up to the 2013 council elections. When Thatcher was summoned to join Hell's legions I quickly became an ex-Kipper and the people of Pendle Central were denied the chance to vote for UKIP, but one candidate in one ward does not amount to very much. UKIP could still pretend that they were trying to speak for the people on the estates who drank themselves into a happy oblivion when the news of the old slag's death reached them. Well not any longer, not after today.

Now it is clear that if you vote for UKIP then you are voting to keep the Tories in power. The Tories, the creatures who are lower than vermin, the party of the employer and the employer's man. Vote UKIP and keep Cameron - that's the deal on offer.

As a strategy to take votes off the Tories it might be a winner, as the sons of Alf Garnett really do seem to hate the Bufton Tufton element who rule the Tory roost. However, the wheeze will crash like a lead budgie on the estates where the desire for revenge for the 1980s is still palpable. Farage must know that, so his willingness to ignore the estates can only mean that he has written off the working class, big city, council estate vote.

In Scotland the SNP has realised that there are not enough people who have done well out of the post-1979 era who are willing to vote for a party that wants Scottish independence, so it has changed its policies. Instead of speaking to the old Tartan Tory element it now puts forward polices that are aimed at the traditional working class. This appeal to vote for a better tomorrow almost succeeded last September when the council estates voted Yes and the landed ones didn't.

UKIP seems not to have the political nouse to realise that it's middle class supporters who put leaving the EU above everything else are already in the bag and will vote for the party come what may. Nor does it have the wit to grasp something which the SNP quickly did, namely that the core Labour vote is very, very soft indeed. Policies that involve keeping the wages up and the management down would probably work for UKIP as well as they work for the SNP.

Instead, UKIP prefers to remain the voice of the crappier small towns, speaking for a demographic of men who wear their cardigans and ties at home to eat the traditional Sunday roast, prepared by wives who have cast iron perms and sour expressions.

The message to the cities is clear: vote Labour in England and SNP in Scotland. UKIP isn't interested in your vote and is offering you nothing other than more of the same from the Tories.