The 2014 Independence Referendum and the Tory Blunders After
Cameron blundered hugely: having actually signed a vow promising Scotland substantially extended devolution, the very day after the result, he turned around and retrospectively slapped conditions on it.
The point is —– Cameron took a giant public dump on a signed pledge just days old.
A huge kick in the teeth to the “no”voters in Scotland. Unwise.
The British Nationalists of the Tory, Labour, Libdem party’s were determined to continue with their unparalleled economic incompetence holding the union together regardless of the adverse impact of their policies, promoting austerity, inequality and privatisation.
Nicola Sturgeon said that it would be up to the people of Scotland, at some future date to decide if there would be another independence referendum.
But even provided with an explicit statement of intent Unionist politicians continued with their ridiculous claims that those that Scots choose to send to Westminster to represent them are akin to fifth columnists infiltrating parliament.
This is offensive, beyond understanding and will bring forward the date when the Scottish parliament will be petitioning for another referendum.
It is the case that Scots are only a part of the Union just as long as they do not have the temerity to attempt to participate in its governance.
The Conservative position on Nicola Sturgeon is starting to sound a bit like: Tory HQ: She’s a witch! Burn her! Electorate: Did you dress her up like this? Tory HQ: No, no, no! Yes, yes. A bit. But she’s got a wart.
Independence is not all about the SNP. The Scottish Greens also support independence and they now have more members than the Scottish branch of the Labour party.
And there are one or two smaller parties that are also pro-independence.
The Tories burned their legitimacy in Scotland, promising devolution that they had no intention of delivering then, when their votes in Scotland plummeted, they indulged in petty acts of revenge, using Scotland as testing site for their most bloody minded policies. ……Tories making dishonest promises to Scotland and then indulging in petty acts of spite…sounds familiar.
It is ironic that during the 2014 referendum the “yes” side was persistently accused by “Better Together” of supporting entities of paranoia and seeing conspiracy’s everywhere against them.
In some cases, their fears were entirely justified, in others the right wing press, covering the outcome of the referendum in the months before Xmas 2014 confirmed their fears.
So it is amusing in 2017 to witness the Unionists seeing secret plots, pacts and alliances everywhere…..”The SNP have been negotiating secret deals with Labour” say the Tories,……”No, the SNP are actually in unholy alliance with the Tories ” say Labour……….”Actually it’s both of them !!” claim the Lib Dems…….Any wonder that people in Scotland see and hear this and then decide to support the SNP
The Tories started “Operation Totally Terrified”, demonising Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.
Entire pages of daily newspapers were devoted to the “evolution” of Nicola, complete with “comments” such as “Jimmy Crankie” “Mary Doll” to the “vile” “nasty” and wishing she has an accident or car crash. Way over the top.
Lord Forsyth – Former Secretary of State for Scotland – Why Scots are determined upon another Independence Referendum
Forsyth challenged the way in which Cameron played the English card in the immediate aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum by offering English MPs a greater say over English only laws.
Later toughened up to a “veto” in the Conservative 2015 election manifesto.
He said: “David Cameron, instead of going up to Scotland the next day [after the referendum] and saying ‘look we’ve got to look at this now from the point of view of the whole United Kingdom’, started the English votes for English laws thing which was not a unionist position and that shattered the unionist alliance in Scotland against the breakup of the United Kingdom.
I personally don’t support English votes for English laws.
It doesn’t seem to me to be a very good policy to try and deal with the rise of Scottish nationalism by stirring up English nationalism.
We need to find ways of binding the United Kingdom together, of binding that partnership together.”
He added: “questioning the legitimacy of SNP MPs is unwise and runs counter to the assurances offered during the referendum about guaranteeing an inclusive UK.
And I have limited sympathy for Labour, which is paying the price for adopting the language of nationalism in the 1980s then claiming that the Tories had no mandate to govern in Scotland.
They now find themselves being devoured by the nationalist tiger.”
Forsyth’s remarks add resonance because he is an ardent Thatcherite and unionist who played a leading role in fighting Labour’s plans for a Scottish parliament in the 1997 election campaign.
Ruth Davidson Hires a spin doctor from a controversial private healthcare firm to work for her at Holyrood.
Gordon Hector will head up her press and research team, from offices based at Holyrood.
He was previously head of communications for Circle Healthcare, the first private company to run an NHS hospital in England in an experiment that went badly awry.
Circle took over struggling Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridge, which had 250 beds, 1,500 staff and a Pounds 111 million budget, in a 10-year contract in 2012.
Three years later the Care Quality Commission branded the hospital “inadequate”, it was put into special measures.
Circle then pulled out of the deal early admitting it could not find the savings needed to make the hospital financially sustainable.
He was previously a senior speech-writer at the Department for Education, writing for Conservative junior ministers and Michael Gove, the then Secretary of State.
He also worked for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, where he was its public affairs manager.
He began his career at Fishburn Hedges (Media Management), working on public affairs and media accounts.
Profiling Ruth Davidson
Davidson’s profile has risen in recent months, in recognition of her party’s improved performance at the last Scottish parliamentary elections.
She has also moved the party to the “right” of Scottish politics and now claims, with some pride that she leads the only Unionist party in Scotland.
Labour and the Libdem’s have been sidelined in preference to their support of a “Federalist” UK within Europe.
The result in Scottish political terms is a return to the two party politics.
Ruth Davidson now has a media Svengali (Gordon Hector) who provides advice, direction and guidance, in the presentation of her policies in Holyrood, the media and in public.
Under his mentoring she has distanced herself from the images of, “Buffalo Bill from Maryhill” and “Tommy the Tank Engine” to stateswoman.
Evidenced from her recent bellicose performances in parliament she is basing her character on Margaret Thatcher and in this venture she could have no better mentor than Gordon Hector who wrote his thesis at University on his favourite politician.
Other aspects of promoting the new image include referring to the party as “Unionist” since the word “Conservative” still rankles Scots of all political persuasion.
Another tactic favoured by Hector is the use of the “Content Seeding” strategy through extensive re-broadcasting of mind manipulating information (using internet social media sites Facebook and twitter are two examples) greatly favouring Ruth Davidson and constantly attacking Nicola Sturgeon.
In Nicola Sturgeon’s case this entailed allocating a group of staff to search Facebook and Twitter creating a database of any any person that may have posted a negative comment about Nicola. The database is the driver for negative “Content Seeding”.
Public Relations Strategy – Content Seeding
The internet and the accompanying fast growth of Social media provides opportunity for the rapid spread of information targetted at specific individuals and groups and is being increasingly used by marketing and journalist professionals to get their messages across to a widespread community numbered in the millions.
The title of the innovation is “Contract Seeding”.
Content Seeding aims to ensure widespread awareness for a politician by planting positive “seeds” across the web.
These “seeds” consist of little content pieces, aiming to trigger the interest of a pre-determined target group.
To ensure control all seeds are linked back to the main platform of corporate communication (this can be an article, a landing page or even the website itself).
Content Seeding triggers the interest of target groups reaching well beyond press releases and written content to promote the politician.
Strategic planting of content on targetted platforms ensures fast forward sharing of the information through its target audience.
Balance is imperative and Content Seeding uses multimedia content across channels.
The primary focus is to create content which target groups will be keen to receive, and consume, for information and strategic purposes but also for sharing with its peers.
The result can be an instantaneous sharing of seeded content well beyond that which the information was designed to reach.
Seeding campaigns are time consuming and staff intensive, ranging from the use of free sites to costly ventures.
15 March 2017: Petition against a second Scottish independence referendum
A petition stating;
” A second Scottish Independence referendum should not be allowed to happen” has reached 123,000 signatures. It stated: “We in Scotland are fed up of persecution by the SNP leader who is solely intent on getting independence at any cost. As a result, Scotland is suffering hugely.
The majority of Scottish voters wish to remain in the British union, despite Nicola Sturgeon’s latest demands for a Scottish referendum, according to the latest polling from YouGov.
Some 57 per cent of Scots would vote No in an independence referendum, according to the poll, although younger people aged 18-24 were overwhelmingly in favour of independence.
The petition, on the Government’s official website is growing daily and is well in excess of the 100,000 signature threshold required for a debate on the issue at Westminster.
Ruth Davidson’s Media Manipulation Team In Action
The passage of time might reveal that the petition was a “spoiler” prepared and submitted to the internet social media by Ruth Davidson’s recently appointed high profile media manipulation team headed by Gordon Hector.
But fair play the ploy worked since it succeeded in raising the public profile of the possibility of another Independence referendum, which (at the time) had not been given mention by anyone other than Ruth Davidson.
The bellicose behaviour of Ruth Davidson at First Ministers questions, in the period after publication of Mundell’s pronouncement gave impetus to this review and analysis of information arising from the petition.
Methodology – Analysis of Petition Figure’s
Information was sourced from official lists and records providing numbers of acceptable signatories by Scottish Constituency.
Electorate totals were included and a percentage signatory total was established for each constituency.
From that the mean figure of 3.75% was used to forward project the outcome of an Independence referendum, should one be held after Brexit.
The figures suggest that from an electorate of 4,021,203 the outcome of another referendum would result in a: 48.00% “Yes” vote in favour of independence with 52.00% preferring to remain with the Union.
The information would be best used to forward plan strategy.
Edinburgh, Aberdeen, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire recorded higher than average figures favouring remaining with the Union.
Others appear to be less dogmatic which is encouraging.
The 2017 General Election
The General Election in Scotland will be a re-run of the 2014 referendum as such the landslide victory achieved by the SNP in the last GE cannot realistically be achieved.
My analysis suggests 25 seats might change hands with the Tory Party being the main benefactor:
SNP activists will need to get out in force in the under-noted constituencies otherwise they could be lost.
This group of seats are marginals – Risk decreases as the % number drops
71749: Edinburgh West: Michelle Thomson MP : 4388-6.12% Lib Gain
69982: East Renfrewshire: Kirsten Oswald MP: 4241-6.06% Tory Gain
66966: East Dunbartonshire: John Nicolson MP: 3977-5.94% Lib Gain
65846: Edinburgh South: Ian Murray MP: 3579-5.44% (Labour) Lab Hold
73445: West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine: Stuart Blair Donaldson MP: 3961-5.40% Tory Gain
80978: Edinburgh North & Leith: Deidre Brock MP: 4280-5.29% SNP Hold (brilliant performance)
66208: Paisley & Renfrewshire North: Gavin Newlands MP: 3158-4.77% SNP Hold (brilliant performance)
68875: Argyll & Bute: Brendan O’Hara MP: 3277-4.75% SNP Hold (brilliant performance)
62003: North East Fife: Stephen Gethins MP: 2937-4.74% SNP Hold (brilliant performance)
67236: Stirling: Steven Paterson MP: 3175-4.72% Tory Gain
77379: Ochil & South Perthshire: Ms Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP: 3645-4.71% Tory Gain
79393: Gordon: Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP: 3711-4.68% Tory Gain
68056: Aberdeen South: Callum McCaig MP: 3618-4.65% Tory Gain
79481: East Lothian:George Kerevan MP: 3676-4.63% Lab Gain
72178: Edinburgh South West: Joanna Cherry QC: 3283-4.55% SNP Hold (brilliant performance)
72447: Perth & North Perthshire: Pete Wishart MP: 3033-4.19% SNP Hold (brilliant performance)
71685: Moray: Rt Hon Angus Robertson MP: 2995-4.18% Tory Gain
78037: Lanark & Hamilton East: Angela Crawley MP: 3272-4.19% SNP Hold (brilliant performance)
68483: Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale: Rt Hon David Mundell MP:2816-4.11% Tory Hold
74179: Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk: Calum Kerr MP: 3026-4.08% Tory Gain
86955: Linlithgow and East Falkirk, “mp”:”Martyn Day MP”,”signature_count”:3570-4.11% SNP Hold (great performance)
68609: Banff & Buchan: Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP: 2772-4.04% Tory Gain
73445: W. Abdn & Kincardine, “mp”:”Stuart Blair Donaldson MP”,”signature_count”:3961-5.40% Tory Gain
71685: Moray, “mp”:”Rt Hon Angus Robertson MP”,”signature_count”:2995-4.18% Tory Gain
68056: Aberdeen South, “mp”:”Callum McCaig MP”,”signature_count”:3618-4.65% Tory Gain
All of these seats should be retained by the SNP
82373: Livingston, “mp”:”Hannah Bardell MP”,”signature_count”:3065-3.72% SNP Hold
59350: Inverclyde, “mp”:”Ronnie Cowan MP”,”signature_count”:2230-3.76% SNP Hold
83071: East Kilbride, Straven, “mp”:”Dr Lisa Cameron MP”,”signature_count”:3157-3.80% SNP Hold
77268: Inverness, Nairn, “mp”:”Drew Hendry MP”,”signature_count”:3073-3.98% SNP Hold
54109: Ross, Skye & Lochaber, “mp”:”Ian Blackford MP”,”signature_count”:2038-3.77% SNP Hold
69982: Central Ayrshire, “mp”:”Dr Philippa Whitford MP”,”signature_count”:2728-3.90% SNP Hold
72985: Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock, “mp”:”Corri Wilson MP”,”signature_count”:2751-3.77% Tory Gain (once a Tory stronghold)
78037: Dunfermline & West Fife, “mp”:”Douglas Chapman MP”,”signature_count”:2890-3.70% SNP Hold
82701: Rutherglen & Hamilton W, “mp”:”Margaret Ferrier MP”,”signature_count”:2918-3.53% Lab Gain (only 265 votes in it)
65792: Angus, “mp”:”Mike Weir MP”,”signature_count”:2355-3.58% Tory Gain (SNP candidate well outflanked by local farmers daughter)
47558: Caithness, Sutherland, “mp”:”Dr Paul Monaghan MP”,”signature_count”:1679-3.53% Lib Gain (Local issues at play)
34551: Orkney & Shetland, “mp”:”Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP”,”signature_count”:1062-3.48% Lib Hold
21744: Na h-Eileanan an Iar, “mp”:”Angus MacNeil MP”,”signature_count”:674-3.10% SNP Hold
67745: Aberdeen North, “mp”:”Kirsty Blackman MP”,”signature_count”:1829-2.70% SNP Hold
66960: Dundee East, “mp”:”Stewart Hosie MP”,”signature_count”:2029-3.03% SNP Hold
66287: Dundee West, “mp”:”Chris Law MP”,”signature_count”:1338-2.02% SNP Hold
69781: Glenrothes, “mp”:”Peter Grant MP”,”signature_count”:1523-2.18% SNP Hold
75941: Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, “mp”:”Roger Mullin MP”,”signature_count”:2193-2.89% Lab Gain (Labour polled 259 votes more than the SNP.)
75249: Dumfries & Galloway, “mp”:”Richard Arkless MP”,”signature_count”:2498-3.32% Tory Gain (Tories held seat from 1931 to 2005) Not a surprise.)
75985: North Ayrshire & Arran, “mp”:”Patricia Gibson MP”,”signature_count”:2631-3.46% SNP Hold
75283: Kilmarnock & Loudoun, “mp”:”Alan Brown MP”,”signature_count”:2285-3.04% SNP Hold
70378: Glasgow East, “mp”:”Natalie McGarry MP”,”signature_count”:1970-2.80% SNP Hold
58875: Glasgow North, “mp”:”Patrick Grady MP”,”signature_count”:1582-2.69% SNP Hold
66678: Glasgow North East, “,”mp”:”Anne McLaughlin MP”,”signature_count”:1300-1.95% Lab Gain (Previously the safest Labour seat in Glasgow)
68418: Glasgow North West, “mp”:”Carol Monaghan MP”,”signature_count”:2126-3.11% SNP Hold
70945: Glasgow Central, “mp”:”Alison Thewliss MP”,”signature_count”:1717-2.42% SNP Hold
74051: Glasgow South, “mp”:”Stewart Malcolm McDonald MP”,”signature_count”:2175-2.94% SNP Hold
66208: Glasgow South West, “mp”:”Chris Stephens MP”,”signature_count”:1960-2.96% SNP Hold
66715: Airdrie & Shotts, “mp”:”Neil Gray MP”,”signature_count”:2296-3.44% SNP Hold
73813: Coatbridge,& Bellshill, “mp”:”Philip Boswell MP”,”signature_count”:2158-2.92% Lab Gain (Internal political wrangling in SNP. Needs sorting)
70269: Motherwell & Wishaw, “mp”:”Marion Fellows MP”,”signature_count”:2169-3.09% SNP Hold
67009: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth “mp”:”Stuart C. McDonald MP”,”signature_count”:2140-3.19% SNP Hold
69193: West Dunbartonshire, “mp”:”Martin Docherty-Hughes MP”,”signature_count”:2060-2.98% SNP Hold
61281: Paisley & Renfrewshire South, “mp”:”Mhairi Black MP”,”signature_count”:2031-3.31% SNP Hold
66178: Edinburgh East, “mp”:”Tommy Sheppard MP”,”signature_count”:1854-2.80% SNP Hold
67875: Midlothian, “mp”:”Owen Thompson MP”,”signature_count”:2182-3.22% Lab Gain (Labour by 885 votes. SNP squeezed but should have won this)
83380: Falkirk, “mp”:”John Mc Nally MP”,”signature_count”:2764-3.32% SNP Hold
The SNP won 35 seats polling 977,569 votes.
The SNP vote share was 36.9%.
This was down from 2015 when it got 1,454,436 votes, half of all the votes cast.
The SNP came second in 24 seats.
The loss of 9 safe seats needs to be investigated.
The Conservatives got 13 seats and 757,949 votes.
In 2015 they got 434,097 votes and just one seat.
Their share of the vote went up from 14.9% of the Scots who voted to 28.6%, almost double.
The Scottish Tories were only second in 9 seats.
Labour only added about 10,000 voters in Scotland.
In 2015 they got 707,147 votes and this time they polled 717,007.
Their share of the vote rose from 24.3% to 27.1% but their seats went up from one to seven.
Labour were the runner-up in 25 seats
The Lib Dems dropped 40,000 votes from 219,675 to 179,061 but they also increased their number of seats – from one to four.
The Greens slumped from 39,205 to just 5,886 – but this was mainly because they only stood in three constituencies.