Thursday, 12 June 2014

A short guide to why politics in Scotland is different.

The d'Hondt PR system has given the Scots electorate the ability to control the parties at Holyrood by use of their constituency / list voting preferences to the extent we have overturned a system which was designed to ensure the SNP could never garner enough seats to form a majority Scottish Government in 2011.

If I want something done I can go first to my constituency MSP who knows if they try the Westminster pass the buck method of MP letter I can contact one of the list MSP's instead. I can, in effect, use their own political party positions and persuations against them. My constituency MSP is one of the few Conservative MSPs directly elected. They have, as his list MSP colleagues for my region, three SNP and one Labour. In 2011 he only just scraped in by less than 2% from the SNP candidate.

This all tends to ensure, no matter your voting preference, the constituency MSP remains highly sensitive to their constituents concerns. The list MSPs also know, on local matters, if they do not work together they are just as likely to be toast as the decline in Labour list MSP's in my region has demonstrated.

This is unlike my Westminster MP who will do everything and anything to avoid upsetting the status quo as they shin up the Labour Party's Westminster greasy pole. They could not be bothered to turn out to support Labour's anti-bedroom tax maneuver at Westminster even though the majority of Scots want an end to this crass piece of legislation.

So there you have it; direct MSP accountability under PR in Scotland, no MP accountability in the failed Parliamentary oligarchy at Westminster.

Labour tried the Westminster style ' Jist dae as yer telt' at Holyrood - and look where that has left them, trailing a SNP second term government by miles. The SNP are cannily following the fundamental premise of Scots Law and constitutional practice - The considered will of the people of Scotland is paramount - and are acting accordingly. Hence the independence referendum which they promised in the second half of the current Scottish Parliament and with their clear majority state they had the Scottish electorate's approval for and not simply a bill at Holyrood announcing a unilateral declaration of independence which they would have had the majority required to pass on Westminster style terms of 'parliamentary democracy' or as Enoch Powell once defined democracy at Westminster - an elected dictatorship.

This is why so many English political commentators do not understand or are able to comprehend the actual political dynamic which is currently in action in Scotland, in the run up to the September referendum, because they are trapped in their Whig / Tory, binary politics way of thinking.

Scots are not thinking on party political lines on independence, they are thinking about what will be best for Scotland's future. Party politics and the PR system will then decide how that better Scotland is to be created and which vision is the template to deliver after a 'Yes' vote.

Today's Daily Record's editorial is suggesting 'Yes' will win as it increasingly looks like a Tory victory in 2015 - even without that claim, their monthly poll shows the gap between No and Yes has closed to under 8% with No trending downwards (-3%) and Yes upwards (+4%). This rising trend of Yes voters can be seen across the Poll of Polls and one statistician is projecting a 14% majority for Yes, on the 19th of September, with a 95% certainty, they were the only political polling statistician who predicted the SNP majority in 2011.

Scotland is a different country. Better Together are losing because they have failed to recognise this at every turn with their mud slinging, scare stories and focus on old political party scores. A methodology of demonising Scots and the SNP which is only going to get worse over the last 100 days as yesterday's media attempts to make Ms Rowling some sort of martyr to their cause clearly demonstrates, sadly the media did not note Ms Rowling is a good pal of Gordon Brown's and a longstanding Labour Party supporter and funder. Just as they failed to pick on Ms Lally's deep, personal links with the Labour hierarchy in Scotland, her active participation in Labour politics in Scotland and the UK in their defence of her as an 'ordinary housewife'.

The Better Together message can be precised as:

"Jist dinnae dae that, jist dinnae ... 'cos, 'cos ..... am tellin youse, jist dinnae dae that!"

Hardly an inspiring reason to save the UK Union - is it?


  1. I hope you are right Peter about people seeing beyond party politics.
    The No hopers have been trying to portray it as Labour vs SNP which seems to have stuck with some of more mentally challenged.
    They may have made a rod for their own back however,now that the immediate prospect of another Tory Westminster government looms.
    Party politics may play a part after all.
    Thanks Peter.

  2. Reader from Yorkshire writes -
    Mr Thomson thank you for writing your blog, it helps me make sense of what is going on in Scotland. there's many excellent pro independence blogs - Wings, Bella, etc are very informative while Wee Ginger Dug is hilarious, are their any Unionist blogs worth reading?