Friday 28 November 2014

The National becomes permanent

Now that it has been announced that the National will continue indefinitely beyond its initial five day test period which ended today, I wonder how long it will be before people start calling it the Nat? That way the on-line version can be dubbed the Cybernat!

I thang you...

Monday 24 November 2014

The National hits the stands: here's my take

Did you hear the one about the Englishman, the Scotsman and the American woman who all went looking for The National at about 7 o'clock tonight?

I'm the Englishman who had been thinking about getting off his bum all day to wander round to the local newsagents to pick up the first edition of the new Scottish daily which will editorially support Scottish independence. The Scotsman was the bloke who got there a minute before me to snaffle up the last copy, before holding it up with a downward tilt to his mouth to show how thin it was. The 32 page tabloid is skinny indeed, and at 50p a bit overpriced, but we both agreed that a new paper is just a good thing these days, and then we wandered along to the next newsagent on the street to see if I could get a copy. For his part my new friend wanted to buy as many as he could to give to his friends, but he agreed to scamper on ahead of me with a promise that one copy was for me.

An American woman had gone into the shop just before him and when I arrived he announced that all the copies had gone. That was when she announced that she had bought the last three, and completely unbidden gave one to me. She even refused payment, saying "war all have to stick together on this one," so I not only got to read The National, but it came as a freebie as well.

So what do I think of it? My first reaction is that it is a bit preachy. Most of the stories are seen though the eyes of a committed, fire-breathing Nationalist, and more of the Yes voters are now people who want to get on with their lives. We fought a good fight, but there is more to our lives than trying to turn the referendum into a neverendum.

Secondly, I am dubious about the exclusive story which claims that Rangers and Celtic have combined to undermine the government's anti-sectarian drive. The point here is that Prods and Papes may enjoy hammering seven bells out of each other, but that does not mean that they are anti-independence. It means that they have a different set of cultural values to the ones propounded by the hacks who write for The National, but that is not the same thing. If the paper wants to attract the type of people who stuff a tabloid into the back pocket of their jeans then the self-righteous, bourgeois gittery needs to go.

Staying on the same theme, I could have done without the two page spread that profiled Hassan Rouhani. That's OK, as I had never heard of him, either, but he turns out to be the President of Iran...

Overall, the paper gives me the impression of something that has been knocked out in haste, so much so that the website is nothing more than a holding page at the time of writing. That in itself is not a major problem as the committed will buy the paper in the same way that Labour activists bought the News on Sunday back in the 1980s. However, does Scotland really need a paper that is only bought out of a sense of duty by the ideologically pure at heart?

If The National is to succeed then it needs to attract readers from the Daily Mail and its similar middlebrow competitors such as the Daily Express. The paper is obviously not aimed at the Sun's readership as there are not enough tit, bum and celebrity pages to attract that market. The problem is that as a mid-market tabloid it is not chatty enough to bring those readers over, and the air of pulpit pounding seriousness may put them off as well.

It's not the end of the world, and I hope that The National succeeds in its aim of giving Scotland a new daily paper that looks at the country through a nationalist lens. If it can acquire a character all of its own, one that appeals to a nationalist-leaning readership that is made up of people who have other things to do that talk about politics all the time, then it should do well.

Friday 17 October 2014

It's official: UKIP really is a pussy party

Well, I have been saying for quite some time that UKIP is top-heavy with cunts, and this seems to be the proof.

For those of you who don't have a Filipino - English dictionary to hand, that's what puki means down there, as it were...

Sunday 12 October 2014

Brooks Newmark stops being cocksure

Do we need to rerun the story of Brooks Nemark's downfall? Of course we do, if only for the laughs that it provides. Brooksie is the fat, balding, middle aged Tory minister who thought that svelte young things would enjoy seeing photos of his corpulent flesh, so he was in the habit of sending photos of his naked self to just about anyone female. The problem was that the girl on the left was actually a male freelance journalist who had nicked the photo of a Swedish fashion model to use as bait, and Brooksie sent a selfie that showed him wearing paisley jimjams with his dick sticking out of them. It's not just the fact that he is fat, balding and middle-aged that has made the internet roar with laughter. What tickles everyone's funny bone is that he thinks that paisley jimjams are sexy!

What can we say? Brooksie is claiming that he is suffering from some convenient mental disorder and has scampered off to a psychiatrist to have his head shrunk. However, that leads us to ask what was David Cameron thinking about when he appointed this head the ball in the first place? How can anyone trust a government that has people like Brooksie in it ranks?

Not only that, but even though he has promised to step down at the next election, why should the good people of Braintree be forced to endure  this buffoon as their member until May next year - he should resign now and let the people choose someone who hopefully has a bit more self awareness than this fool has so far displayed.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Another Tory MP set to defect to UKIP on Saturday, as minister resigns in sex scandal

A UKIP source has told me that another Tory MP is set to defect to the Purples on Wednesday, so as to cause maximum humiliation to David Cameron on the day that he makes his speech to the Conservative conference. The purples are reported to be concerned that the Tories will manage to out this man before then, so UKIP are trying their best to keep a lid on the situation for the rest of the week ahead. A pity that their senior figures were talking strategy over more than a few beers in a pub within earshot of my source.

Yesterday saw the defection of Mark Reckless MP to UKIP as well as the resignation of Brooks Newmark MP, who was caught sending photos of himself in his jim-jams with his cock thrusting forth for what he fondly imagined was the delectation of a young woman. Alas for him it turned out to be a sting by the Sunday Mirror and the recipient was not only a journalist, but a man to boot.

As if all that wasn't enough, a new opinion poll of three key UKIP target seats show the Tories losing Boston & Skegness along with North Thanet to the Purples, but Labour increasing its majority in Rotherham.

Brooks Newmark isn't the only Tory with his dick hanging out during this Black September for the Tories, who are increasingly seen as in office but no longer in power. 

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Everyone's a doctor when it comes to the disabled

Meet William Stanway, who is a nine year old cerebral palsy sufferer. Quite rightly, his mother gets a blue badge for her car which can be used when Bill is with her. Recently the two of them went shopping in a Stoke supermarket, and returned to find this charming note on the car windscreen.

Needless to say,outraged mum,Joanne Harris got in touch with the local press and hopefully the buffoon who left the note is now feeling thoroughly humiliated, but that is not the point.

I can only speak for myself, but I am really sick and tired of the fact that when it comes to disability, everyone seems to fancy themselves as a doctor who can tell at a glance when someone is swinging the lead or not.

Not only that, but when proved to be wrong, they fall back on the line that the system is being routinely abused. In other words they pull figures out of their bums.

What do the disabled have to do just to be left alone by these idiots?

Monday 22 September 2014

Labour is happy to work with the National Front

The Scottish Labour Party seemed to have entered into an agreement to support not only big business, but also the Scottish National Front to get people to vote No in the recent Scottish referendum:

As you can see from the poster on display in Aberdeen on the 13th September, Labour now reckons that it is "Best for Business," and never mind the people that private business has left on the cobbles in its drive for profits.

The woman standing on the right of the photo seems to be Sarah Boyack MSP, but who is the baldie at the front?

Here he is again, this time with Dame Anne Begg MP:

He is Dave MacDonald, leader of the Scottish National Front, a party which thinks that the BNP is far too liberal for their tastes.

Clearly they don't feel that way about New Labour, and given the smiles all round, New Labour seems to be very happy with them.

Here's Dave with some of his other mates, showing off their NF banner on the same day that he was photographed with the Labour crowd.

So, the New Labour Party is happy to mix with big business, the Tories, the Orange Lodges and now the National Front.

Is it any wonder that their core vote of unskilled and semi-skilled people who live on the estates are dropping the party like a hot brick?

Sunday 21 September 2014

West Dunbartonshire strikes blow for freedom!

Who says you can't have a laugh about politics even in defeat? Some clever bugger has paid a visit to the West Dunbartonshire Wikipedia page and made a few alterations. Sometime tomorrow when the council workers who are responsible for this page find out I have no doubt that everything will be switched back to normal, but here's a link to an archived copy.

Killer text:

West Dunbartonshire is administered from Dumbarton, although Clydebank is the largest town. On September 18th 2014, West Dunbartonshire was one of four council regions along with North Lanarkshire and the cities of Glasgow and Dundee, to present a majority 'Yes' vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum. Just under 54% of the electorate voted in favour of independence, casting 33,720 Yes votes compared to the 27,776 (46%) No votes. Many residents were overheard discussing the benefits of "no bein shitebags" and actually taking the opportunity to kick the Tories in their collective metaphorical ballsack. Another hot topic was the economic possibilities of independence and how the "toon centre" could become more than pubs, bookies and "pish stained alkies". 

As such, the area is considered a sovereign region, comprised of those brave enough to truly proclaim themselves Scots. This bastion of fairness and equality has thrown off the shackles of Westminster to forge ahead for the betterment of society, leaving behind the fearful and meek people of other council areas in Scotland to ponder the consequences of them jobbying themselves at the polling stations.

Whoever you are: nice work!

Saturday 20 September 2014

Labour may be the real losers in the IndyRef campaign

A lot of people in Scotland are devastated by the failure of the country to vote for independence on Thursday, but it may very well be that Labour will turn out to be the main loser in all of this.

Capitalism is very good at giving enough people enough prosperity to leave them feeling that they have a stake in the system. Then capitalism creates a fear in their hearts that their little bit of prosperity will be taken away from them. Finally, capitalism encourages those people to think that they are superior to the ones below them. We can think of this bunch as the middle class, or take the New Labour line that they are aspirational, but I prefer to think of them as the pissants who are terrified that the anthills that they piss from will be removed. On Thursday the 18 September 2014 those pissants turned out in force to hold onto their anthills.

New Labour led the charge to keep the United Kingdom together by directly appealing to the Scottish pissants. There was nothing in the Better Together campaign that owed anything to the old Labour ideology of progress and collective action for a better tomorrow. Instead, it aimed at nothing more that persuading pissants to be afraid of the future.

Those pissants were joined by a chunk of Protestant working class voters from the far right who regarded the Nationalists as wicked Communists, who were probably all Papists to boot.

It was the Orange march in Edinburgh on the 13 September which seems to have given the pissants their second wind. Certainly by the following Monday, rather a lot of windows had suddenly gained No posters, as the pissants realised that if push came to shove they had a army of bootboys who could be relied on to do the fighting for them.

Also by last Monday, New Labour persuaded the Tories and Liberal-Democrats to sign up to a hastily drawn up back of an envelope deal to give Scotland the maximum devolution that the SNP had asked for but which the Tory government had rejected two years ago.

That was probably the clincher because it gave the pissants the excuse to vote No and feel self-righteous about it as well. The middle class are very good at cloaking their self-interest in sanctimonious gittery, so New Labour gave them the perfect opportunity to say that this was not about fearing the loss of their anthills, it really was about the public good.

It worked, as we know. The pissants, feeling that they had backing of the thuggish Orangemen and given a moral fig-leaf by New Labour's backroom deal with the other parties, slunk off to the polling stations to vote No.

The problem that New Labour has is that its core vote did not support the party, as large numbers of formerly loyal Labour people trooped off to vote Yes. Now the national party has been caught in a bind as it has saved the United Kingdom, and lost the bulk of its voters in the process.

The party will hope to repair the damage by pushing through the Devo-Max wheeze before the May general election, but the Tories are already reneging on the promise that they signed up to less than a week ago. If the pledge is not honoured then it is impossible to see New Labour holding onto its working class strongholds. If that happens, then the Nationalists will be invigorated because they will be able to claim that the Unionists did not keep their pledge, and thus start a new drive for independence.

It would be one of the great ironies of history that by mobilising pissants to save the United Kingdom, Labour destroyed itself in Scotland. Doubly ironic if it turns out that all the party did was delay independence by a few short years, rather than stop it dead.

Thursday 18 September 2014

It looks as if the Noes have won, but there is plenty to cheer for Yes people

The count has only just begun, but it looks to me as if the No vote has won the Scottish independence referendum. I thought yesterday that the final split would be 55-45 in favour of No, and now it is just a matter of waiting for the 32 separate counts across the country to be held and the result collated.

Under normal circumstances I would be cheesed off at yet another defeat to go along with everything that has happened since 1979, but I am actually quite relaxed about the situation.

Thanks to the recent declaration of more powers for the Scottish parliament, we are in a position where Scotland can expect devo-max, even though we lost the vote for independence. Reading the London based press this morning, it is obvious that many Tories in England are unhappy at this, but they can either like it or lump it.

Scotland voted No on the basis of those promises to radically increase the powers of Holyrood. If those powers become a reality, then we have a quite wonderful consolation prize that will please most people in this country, including me.

On the other hand, if the Tory backwoodsmen force the government to renege on that promise then we can start the whole independence campaign over again.

I call that win-win for Scotland.

Yestival Day is here!

The Yes campaign had my polling station covered, and the activist pictured above on the left told me that there is a roter so that it will be manned right through until the polls close at 10.00pm. The No team had not arrived when I pulled up a minute or two after 7.00am, 

My plan was to be the first to vote at my station today, but it turned out that others had the same idea and the first voter got there at 6.30am, a full half hour before voting began. The guy on the right in the photo above was the second to cast a ballot and he arrived at 6.40am. By the time I arrived a few minutes after polling began there was a short queue of people waiting to vote. 

The officials are prepared for a massive turnout. Normally there is one desk at a polling station, but for this vote there are two, with the voters from half the streets being directed to one desk or the other. That has the potential to cause confusion since there is only one small sign to tell people which desk they need to go to. Aside from that, the officials do not seem very experienced, and I got the feeling that at the desk I went to it was everyone's first time. To be fair, they are probably keeping the electoral old lags in reserve for later in the day when the bulk of the people will vote.

I will keep posting throughout the day as the mood takes me, but for now the great Yestival has begun!

Wednesday 17 September 2014

How to deal with No campaigners, Princes Street, Edinburgh

The plan today was to go shopping, but I ran into this bloke from Yorkshire at the junction of Princes Street and North Bridge, who told me that if Scotland can make it to freedom then Yorkshire is next. He went on to tell me that the large Yes team that had been leafleting in that spot had all gone off to the pub, leaving him with some leaflets to hold the fort.

Before leaving someone had climbed up to the top of the Duke of Wellington's statue to leave a Yes cone on the Iron Duke's head:

Aside from the  Duke and the Yorkshireman, that section of town was being held by the massed forces of reaction. Well, there were half a dozen No campaigners who were being given some serious grief by members of the public, most of whom wanted nothing to do with Tory stooges:

Pretty soon other people showed up, including one who had a handful of Yes leaflets so I grabbed a few and we started handing them out. Within a short while more members of the public had joined in and we quickly created an impromptu Yes campaign. People began to take our leaflets, with the result that we were quickly running out so someone volunteered to go and find some more.

While he was away, the Noes were joined by this Christian activist who wanted to talk about the evil that is homosexuality, but for some reason the Noes did not seem all that keen on mixing with him, so one of our rapidly increasing gang encouraged passers by to chat to the fellow, so that his No message would reach a wider audience:

What can I say? Being democrats we just think that it is important that the No message is heard as widely as possible.

By now the TV crews had arrived, so I was interviewed, in English, by Ukrainian television, and then in Spanish by a crew from Spain, While that was going on, someone galloped off to try and hunt down his mate who speaks Ukrainian, but we were able to handle the Polish crew who then showed up from our own rapidly increasing polyglot bunch. The Noes did not look very happy at the way things were going with our mini United Nations, but aside from the kid in the cheap suit who received the bollocking in the video, most looked more like grunters than speakers, so it was their own fault for being so monolingual and thick.

Finally, the cavalry arrived in the form of a gang of anti-Trident activists, quickly followed by a group from God knows where, but at least they had plenty of leaflets.

Then the No activists just fucked off and left the 50 or so of us who then occupied that section of Princes Street in command of the field.

Today was a good day!

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Miliband's Edinburgh walkabout turns into a disaster

Ed Miliband was due to go on a walkabout at the St James shopping centre today, but as with everything else that the No campaign does these days, it turned into a balls up.

I was in the area quite by chance when I saw a large group of people gathering on the esplanade that leads into the mall. I asked a bloke what was going on and he told me that Miliband was due, so I decided to hang around and watch the sport.

The women pictured above formed the main part of Ed's greeting team. Yes, that's the bulk of them, hard though it may be to believe. Just outside the entrance to the mall was an equally small group of No people, who were faced by a much larger group of Yes campaigners. Standing in front of the entrance was the press pack, along with two pretty No girls:

The plan was obviously for Miliband to walk up the main steps from the street and then across the esplanade and into the mall, but the problem was that he was late arriving. That meant that more and more people like me who were just passing by came to see what was going on so an an impromptu demonstration for Yes was created just by virtue of Miliband's lateness.

Then Miliband arrived, and was taken into the mall by a side entrance, which led the press to go into blue arsed fly mode as they charged into the centre, knocking hapless customers out of the way as they tried to get to their man.

So what was planned as a chance for Miliband to talk to ordinary people turned into a scrum of hacks and TV cameramen who surrounded the Labour leader, with a gaggle of what few supporters he had managed to drag along surrounding the scrum, and a much larger gang of Yes people surrounding all of them.

No wonder Miliband took refuge in a shop, but unfortunately for him it was a hairdressing salon called Supercuts, and that name alone provided many laughs for the crowd.

The No campaign is going from bad to worse, but its chief woe is that it has to ship demonstrators in to provide the illusion of a grass-roots activist base. The Yes team can just rely on members of the public launching ad-hoc protests whenever they find themselves in the company of the carefully stage managed No events.

After a short while, Miliband left the St James Centre, his people were loaded into vans to be driven off to the next event, and the rest of us just got on with our day having done our bit for the Yes cause.

Now the homeless are campaigning for a Yes vote.

Meet Danny, a homeless Yes campaigner. I couldn't believe it when I saw him, so I wandered over for a chat. Danny takes the view that his life is pretty crap and is certain to stay pretty crap if the Noes win. He reckons that with independence his life may not be great, but he will settle for a life that is a bit less crap.

He's registered to vote, since the homeless have a special form that they can fill in that allows them to nominate a street corner or park bench as their normal place of abode and their polling station is the nearest one to that spot. 

When homeless beggars turn themselves into political activists you just know that change is in the air.

Three main parties offer Scotland major bribe to vote No

The incredible thing about this is that we are in the period of the campaign known as purdah, when no new polices should be introduced. Not only that, but almost twenty percent of the voters have postal ballots and most of them have already been cast. In other words a sizeable chunk of the electorate have voted on the basis of policies from the Unionist parties; policies that have now been torn up!

I suspect that Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg will be able to get their respective parties to agree to this memorandum, but there must be some considerable doubt if the Tory backbenches will be quite so compliant. Just looking at the wording of the agreement, especially the bit that entrenches the Barnett Formula that allocates resources from the centre to the regions, and we can see trouble on the horizon from Tory backwoodsmen who will be worried about the suburban English vote switching to UKIP.

Had this come in a month ago, with time to fine tune it, then it might have proved a winner. As it is, it relies too much on Cameron being able to keep his knuckle-dragging backbenchers in line. To say nothing of the average loathsome Tory voter.

Monday 15 September 2014

Labour loses the Scottish plot and shows contempt for its voters

I am stunned by this desperate throw of the dice from Labour which tells people that if they are too stupid to understand the issues at stake all they have to do is vote No. The headline: If you don't know, vote No! cannot have any other meaning.

Time was when Labour believed in workers' education, in night classes, public libraries and Ruskin College, Oxford. Then the party would have said that if people did not understand something they should educate themselves on the issue. Now it seems to think that its voting residuum are thick as two short planks, so it advises them not to trouble their addled brains with the issues of Scottish independence and just vote No to it.

This is not the first time that the Labour dominated Better Together campaign has demonstrated its contempt for the ordinary people that as a party it was set up to represent. Just two weeks ago an unnamed Labour figure in Better Together dismissed the Radical Independence Campaign's drive to register voters by saying: "People with mattresses in their gardens do not win elections."

That earlier matter could be dismissed as anonymous gossip, but the letter reproduced above has the signatures of both Gordon Brown and Johann Lamont on it. That means it's official: the Labour Party thinks we are too stupid to understand what is at stake.

Let's show them that we understand only too well that the only hope that ordinary people have of a better tomorrow is to vote Yes on Thursday!

Dan Snow tells Scottish lower orders to know their place, via London party

Meet Daniel Snow, formerly of St Paul's School, where he was captain of boats, and Balliol College Oxford. He's the son-in-law of the Duke of Westminster, and he thinks that all those working class types in Scotland should damn well vote No on Thursday.

So keen is he that to encourage us to know our place that he has organised a party for tonight where lots of his friends will turn up to show just how much they want to keep Scotland in the Union - and the assets of his wife's family secure.

The party starts at 6.00pm in Trafalgar Square. That's in London, by the way, which is over 300 miles south of the Scottish border, but it's the thought that counts. Besides, you cannot expect people like Dan and his chums to travel outside London, can you?

People, just vote Yes on Thursday. Just do it. You know it makes sense.

Three ways to spot a No voter

Follow these three simple rules to spot a No voter:

1. They dress like fuckwits.

2. Their leaders believe they are fuckwits, which is why material like this is produced to show them how to vote.

3. The rest of us know that they are fuckwits because they cannot string a sentence together and are forced to carry out their activities late at night when the pubs have shut.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Orange marchers enthuse No voters

Not the greatest video I've ever made, but it gives you an idea of yesterday's Orange march through Edinburgh. The parade was routed through this side street before joining the Royal Mile a little further along, which is where most of the spectators were located, not that there were all that many, to be honest. The Yes campaigners ignored the march, and concentrated on talking to as many undecided voters as possible, rather than wasting time shouting at these committed No voters.

That said, the march may have encouraged some Noes to come out and show their colours, as today I saw several houses in the swishier parts of town decorated with Unionist banners and posters. However, all that has done is encourage yet more Yes people  to decorate their houses, so in the battle of the posters, the Yes team are still way ahead.

Saturday 13 September 2014

Pretty girls liven up the Edinburgh Orange march

Today saw the largest Orange march in Edinburgh since 1951. I wandered along to video the action, but before I upoad the bulk of the footage, I thought you might be interested in this clip of two fine examples of Orange totty in their best wriggling action. Either of them could persuade the Pope in Rome that John Knox had a point, but I can't decide which was the tastier. The first girl had a saucy smile as she caught the camera looking at her and the second has legs that go all the way up...

Thursday 11 September 2014

No campaign enlists employers to intimidate workers into not voting Yes

The No campaign seems to have lost all sense of reason, if this threat from McAlpine's to its workers is to be believed. This is Scotland, and all nonsense like this this will do is leave a lot of McAlpine's building workers with a simple way to stick two fingers up to their employer without any consequences in this hire and fire world that we all endure.

The management of this company must have known that, and felt that the risk was worth taking.

That means that the fuckers are running scared. Come on folks - let's all out for Yes on Thursday and really give them something to shit their loads over.

Nick Robinson of the BBC has his arse handed to him by Alex Salmond

I have always had a soft spot for Nick Robinson ever since university, but I have to admit that Alex Salmond left him with his arse hanging out the window in this exchange.

Is it just me, or is Salmond looking more and more like a confident winner as he strolls into the last few days of the campaign? 

For the disabled, a Yes vote is like a lifeboat in a sea of cuts

Are you disabled like me? If so then here are three policy areas that should lead any of us to vote Yes for Scotland:

The Work Capability Assessment was created by New Labour to force as many disabled people as possible off benefits. Under the Tories, a system that was set up to pander to the Daily Mail's readers has become even more inhumane.

The Scottish government has pledged to remove Atos Healthcare and ensure that as a stop gap measure all assessments would be carried out by more sympathetic public sector workers. Then, an independent Scottish government  "will ensure that the people most directly affected by the system of welfare support, those in receipt of benefits, will play a central role in its design."

Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment are policies that concern most disabled people and the Tories are determined to push them through. For its part, New Labour has criticised these odious plans, but has given no firm commitment to abolishing them. How can they when Scottish Labour is nothing but an appendage to a national party that panders for the votes of the Southern English middle class? That is probably why Johann Lamont went on record as saying that Scotland is a "something for nothing" country. How can any disabled person put any faith in such a party or want to live in such a country?

For its part the Scottish government has already rejected these schemes as being unfit for purpose and will halt the role out of both into an independent Scotland.

The benefit cap and bedroom tax are both hated in Scotland, and aim at reducing expenditure for Westminster and the taxes of its supporters. The Edinburgh government has pledged to abolish both within the first year of independence.

By way of contrast, New Labour has already pledged to keep to Tory spending plans until at least 2017, and the Fabians have already come up with a policy document that seeks to cut a further £5 billion off the social security budget by attacking attendance allowance for pensioners.

A far more sensible way to raise revenue would be to ensure that businesses and wealthy individuals pay their taxes, but since the Westminster parties are creatures of business and the rich, that is not going to happen.

Scotland does not have the same belief that the spivs, pimps and Rachmans of this world are necessary for its well being - quite the reverse in fact.

A vote for independence is a gamble with out future, but it is a gamble that is well worth taking for the disabled. If we vote no then we know that the future will be as awful as the present, because none of the Westminster parties is actually offering us anything other than the same old policies.

If we vote Yes then we are voting for the hope of a better tomorrow. Let's be honest: even if things do go wrong, can it get any worse for us than it is at present?

Tuesday 9 September 2014

ICM poll is now being carried out

The ICM telephone poll is now being carried out - I know that because they called me.

After answering the girl's questions, I started to ask her a few of my own for this blog. She put me through to a supervisor who explained that they are a consumer marketing firm who do political polls as a sideline. I knew that already, since ICM are the only polling outfit that got the 2011 AV referendum bang on.

He explained that the calls are made via an automatic dialler, and the girls then start by asking the person's age range. It seems that the company has enough answers already from people over 65, and are now only polling the 16 to 64 year olds. He went on to explain that the poll should be ready over the weekend, but I hope that it is leaked earlier, since this is the one that everyone is waiting for.

ICM are known to weight down by 50% the people who did not vote in the last election. However, they also asked about the previous UK general elections as well as the last Scottish one, which suggests that they are weighting for both in this poll. That may be a problem if turnout is very high next week since only 50% voted in the last Scottish elections.

The main objection I have with the ICM method is that it only covers people who have landlines, which excludes an awful lot of young people, those who live in shared houses, and the poor who rely on PAYG mobiles. That is a big chunk of the Scottish population, so an awful lot of weighting must be going on.

That means that the resulting poll may not be as accurate as the AV one of 2011.

Why Gordon Brown's IndyRef initiative looks doomed

In case you have forgotten, this is Gordon Brown, the former UK Prime Mentalist. In a desperate attempt to head off the looming Yes vote next week, Brown has been put in charge of the Better Together campaign and has started to promise pretty much anything to the people in the hope that we will vote No.

Also in case you have forgotten, here is the reason why Scotland looks set to vote Yes:

So long as there was the possibility of a Labour government that would cancel the changes that the old slag on the right made, then most of Britain was happy. However, in 1997, we did not get a Labour government, what we got was a regime headed by the grinning buffoon on the left, who carried on Thatcher's policies.

The argument is that Blair's changes were needed so that Labour could get elected, and that is true. However, all that means is that Southern England had changed and the rest of us hadn't.

Voting Yes on the 18 September is a vote to give a two-fingered gesture to the Tories, to New Labour, and to those who pander to them. It's a gamble, but one well worth taking for a people who have now spent over thirty years with crappy jobs, for a crappy wage, under a crappy employer, all interspersed with long years on the social.

A Yes vote is about more than independence for the northern third of the island of Britain: it is a vote for revenge.

Let's seize the moment.

Monday 8 September 2014

New IndyRef poll confirms momentum is with Yes

The TNS poll was embargoed until midnight, but the Guardian broke it at 11.00pm. It shows a statistical dead heat between Yes on 38% and No on 39%. The rest don't know.

This poll is very important as it is carried out face to face on the doorstep by a company that is mainly asking about consumer issues. The IndyRef question has been tacked on to that, which means it is a poll of genuine ordinary people, as opposed to the others which involve a panel.

The only clear lead that No now has is amongst the over 60s. Every other group, the teenagers, women, people born outside Scotland, who a month ago were strong for the Union are now moving to Yes in a big way.

What we now need from TNS is a rerun of their 2011 AV referendum poll that was carried out over the telephone. Of all the polling companies, TNS is the only one that got the result bang to rights.

Edinburgh is becoming a sea of Yes posters and more

There is a fair wind blowing towards the independence shore, and Edinburgh is becoming a sea of posters to herald it. The battle now is not between Yes and No as the Noes never even took part in that fight, so sure were they that victory was theirs. The contest now is within the Yes camp to see just how much of a display can be arranged in the windows.

It started off with the odd solitary poster in people's windows, such as this one of mine which stood alone on my street for quite some time:

As more and more posters appeared in windows, some bright sparks decided to make their display more noticeable by putting out a flag:

Not to be outdone, the people opposite this flag flyer decided to combine flags with posters:

What a wonderful pissing contest this has become!

Travelling down Leith Walk today I saw two shops with Yes posters in their windows. Frankly, I have never seen a political poster in any shop window before as shopkeepers know that you don't alienate customers, but that rule seems to have gone out the window here. Could it be that they know that the numbers they risk alienating are getting fewer with each day that passes?

Let us pray that the fair wind continues to blow and that we shall reach harbour safely.

Sunday 7 September 2014

Noes lost the IndyRef plot a long time ago, that's why Yes is on a roll

It has been obvious for over a month now that Yes is on a roll as we head towards voting day next week. There are many reasons for this, but the one that sticks in my mind is that people are sick and tired of the lies that are being told about them from the other side of the River Tweed.

What can we say about the lies? The one about No voters being afraid to stick posters in their windows for fear that nationalist mobs will break them is one that bubbles up constantly, and constantly irritates. People do have No posters in their windows, stickers on their cars and badges on their lapels, but there are not many of them. Surly if they were afraid, then there would be none at all? Instead they exist - and are ignored. To the best of my knowledge there have been no instances of windows being broken by nationalists who are outraged at No window posters - none at all. It's a myth that was created by a lie in the press.

What is clear is that the No campaign and its supporters are indolent in the extreme. For instance I found out yesterday that back in January Yes Scotland rented most of the billboard sites in the whole country from tomorrow for the next two weeks, and when they discovered that Better Together had not rented any at all the nationalists went back and hired the remainder. That's right, as of tomorrow this country is going to be wall to wall Yes hoardings and the Noes will be left with their dicks in their hands arguing amongst themselves as to who was to blame.

If Better Together cannot even organise something as simple as renting hoarding space in plenty of time is it any wonder that their supporters cannot be bothered wearing badges and sticking up simple posters in their windows? 

Hubris, that unshakable belief that they were certain to win, without any effort at all. that's what did for the No campaign.

YouGov IndyRef poll puts Yes ahead: I was part of it!

A new YouGov poll has just been published which puts the Yes campaign marginally ahead for the first time with a 51/49 split. Instead of talking about the possible effects of this poll I want to chat about its mechanics, as I was a part of the YouGov panel which gave that result.

The problem with modern polls is that the companies cannot afford an army of people to go round knocking on doors trying to get a representative sample of the population together. Instead they rely in a panel of volunteers who are paid about 50p for every survey that they complete. YouGov does not ask its full panel to complete every survey as that would rather defeat the object of trying to get a panel together that reflects the population being surveyed by demographic, gender, age and class. For that reason the YouGov IndyRef survey was restricted to about a thousand people who live in Scotland in the first place, and then further restricted by the other criteria. I was obviously selected as representing the late middle aged, disabled, Englishmen who live in Scotland - or something.

Normally I can complete these surveys in a few minutes, but this one was ferociously complicated. That's not to say that it was intellectually challenging, just time consuming as it asked questions that obviously aimed at discovering how likely we were to vote. For instance we were asked not just how we planned to vote, but how we had voted in the recent European elections and the previous 2010 general election. 

All in all it took about twenty minutes to complete, and I filled the survey in with total honesty. If everyone else did the same then we should have a pretty good snapshot of opinion in Scotland taken during the first week of September.

Saturday 6 September 2014

Noes now resort to censoring the news that doesn't fit the narrative

Yesterday the Scotsman newspaper ran an amusing account of how Labour leader Johann Lamont paid a visit to the Pollock district of Glasgow and was met with sheer indifference. Despite having an army of Labour activists knocking on doors, only three people agreed to speak to her, with many more only opening their doors to toss the leaflets that had been pushed through their letterboxes back into the hands of the Labour workers. Speaking afterwards, Lamont "insisted it had been a successful exercise and not a waste of her time," thus proving that she is quite mad.

By today the embarrassing story had been pulled from the Scotman's website, but not to worry as any number of people had already saved it. Click here to bring up the copy from Archive.Today.

This is an example of the Streisand Effect in all its glory.  Whenever someone tries to hide something, all it does is make the rest of the people want to see it for devilment's sake. Had the Labour Party not schmoozed the Scotsman into pulling the story only a few people would have chuckled over Johann Lamont's humiliation.

However, now a much larger audience can slap its collective thighs in glee at the latest unforced error from the No campaign.

Daily Mail claims that the English are being ethnically cleansed from Scotland

The Daily Mail is reporting that English people are now being targeted by Scottish nationalists who are in full blud und boden mode as they seek to ethnically cleanse their homeland of the Saxon occupiers.

Yes, I know, it is wank of the highest order, since there are over 400,000 English people living in Scotland and if brown shirted mobs were attacking any of my kith and kin I am sure that I would have heard something about it.

The Mail's story concerns one English couple who seem to have problems with their neighbours and are selling the tale of "savage racism turning Scotland into a no-go area for the English" into a nice little earner. So weak is the Mail's story that it has to be padded out with yet another telling of Jim Murphy and the egg incident. That may or may not prove that some Nats are over enthusiastic, but doesn't demonstrate anything about the English.

Why is the Mail running this lie? The only possible answer is that with less than two weeks to go to the referendum, the Noes are running scared so now is the time to throw anything into the mix in the hope that something, anything, will prove to be a game changer.

They have good reason to go into sphincter clenching mode. Up until a couple of weeks ago if I saw someone on the street wearing a Yes badge we would often stop and chat about the referendum, but now as more and more people sport them it has just become something so normal that it passes unnoticed. The number of Yes posters in windows is growing by the day, with the result that we stop noticing them as well. So some people are now flying Scottish flags with the word YES written on them, just to attract attention.

It is too early to claim that victory is assured, but one thing is certain: the No campaign seems to have fallen apart and no longer has a coherent strategy as we enter the last few days of this campaign.

Hence nonsense like this from the Daily Mail

Thursday 4 September 2014

The latest idiocy from Better Together

Have you seen the latest Better Together posters? All set to be driven down a street near you, carrying the message that you have to vote No if you love your family. Seriously? These buffoons actually think that telling people that Yes voters do not love their families is the way to go.

The No campaign appears to be run by people who have lost the plot completely.

Two weeks to the IndyRef and London finally wakes up.

In two weeks the polls will open for the Scottish independence referendum, and nobody has any clear idea as to what the outcome will be. There have been just two opinion polls in the last two weeks, but at least three that are concerned solely with Clacton, where the Conservative MP resigned to join UKIP. During the same period there have been any number of polls that have tried to predict the outcome of the May 2015 General Election, and event that possibly will not exist if Scotland votes Yes later on this month.

The lack of polling should trouble all of us, since it is creating an unnecessary amount of panic . The Scottish newspapers cannot afford to commission polls and the so-called national press is so London-centric that those papers seem to be indifferent to a vote that is possibly the most important event that we will ever see.

An increasing number of Tory MPs have finally woken up to what is potentially about to hit Westminster and are calling for the next General Election to be postponed until after Scotland becomes independent. The problem with that desperate idea is that it would involve parliament first repealing the Fixed Term Parliament Act, and there must be some considerable doubt whether the Labour Party will go along with that idea, to say nothing of the House of Lords. If Labour does vote against, then it is inconceivable that the Lords would allow the bill to pass. The Commons could overrule the upper house, but not when an election has to be held by law in eight months.

Could David Cameron survive as Prime Minister? His position may be untenable, anyway, even if there is a No vote. Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader has already publicly admitted that the Tories are on course to lose the next General Election, so the temptation to dump Cameron in a last ditch attempt to shore up the right flank against UKIP may probably be overwhelming. On the other hand, if Scotland votes Yes it is impossible to believe that the man who lost Scotland will survive the post-referendum deluge that will hit an unsuspecting London like a tidal wave.

To make matters even more interesting, the pound is falling thanks to all the uncertainty, and all of this panic has its roots in the failure of the newspapers to commission polls, because when hard information is lacking, the rumour mills take over.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Scotland's electorate: the final numbers

Registration closed at midnight last night, so an estimate can be made of the final figures. Out of a population of just under 5.5 million, Scotland has roughly 4.5 million who are over 16 and eligible to vote. At the start of August, about 300,000 were estimated to be unregistered, and now we need to figure out how many of them have handed in their forms.

The only area where we have exact figures is the Lothian region which covers Edinburgh and three surrounding councils. The electorate numbers 705,000, and 645,000 are now registered, which is a rise of almost five percent over the past three months. That is as high as it has ever been, so if replicated across the country it looks as if just about everyone who is even considering to vote will get a ballot paper.

The question now is how many will actually vote?

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Better Together admits its contempt for ordinary people

I don't know who the "senior pro-UK strategist" is who supposedly made those comments to the Daily Telegraph, but it's nice to know the contempt that the political class has for ordinary people.

Monday 1 September 2014

Neil Masterson pleads not guilty to assaulting George Galloway: Americans fund his defence

Following on from Saturday's posting about the assault on George Galloway MP, Neil Masterson (39) appeared in court today accused of religiously aggravated assault on the MP, assault on a member of the public and possession of cannabis. He pleaded not guilty to all counts and was remanded in custody until the 15 September when he will appear at Isleworth crown court, West London.

It is believed that Masterson is a bachelor who has not worked for quite some time, and is reported to be the carer of a close friend. Wearing a grey sweatshirt, he only spoke to confirm his name in court.

Normally such a person could expect legal aid to pay for his barrister, but Masterson's defence may be funded from the United States, as a woman named Sarah Israel launched an appeal for funds almost as soon as Masterson was arrested on the 30 August. At the time of writing it has attracted $3,745, which is roughly £2,225, from 94 donors. The highest amount given was $360, seemingly from an Israeli, and there are many donations in the $100 region.

Saturday 30 August 2014

Man charged with assaulting George Galloway named as Neil Masterson

Joking aside, it is pleasing to report that a certain Neil Masterson has been charged with assaulting both Mr Galloway and a member of the public who went to the assistance of the MP.

Both of them were posted yesterday, as was this curious comment:

The case is due to be heard on Monday so we will find out more then. This Neil Masterson is a Roman Catholic who seems to have quite an interest in Israel, if his photo is to be believed:

Terror weapons found - Galloway assaulted by rabid Nat

As the Tories announce that the terror threat has been raised to severe, I expect that any moment it will be announced that photos such as the above are evidence that a major new arms cache has just been discovered. 

I also await with baited breath the news from the Unionist press that George Galloway MP was assaulted in the street by a supporter of Yes Scotland to prevent him from speaking out in favour of the Union.
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