Saturday, 10 June 2017

Bursting the SNP bubble


A few months ago there were two main strategic challenges facing Britain. How to leave the EU successfully and how to keep our country intact? There are in addition, of course, the usual challenges facing any government. How to keep the economy growing? How to earn more than we spend? How to keep our people safe? Other unexpected challenges will arise from time to time. But these challenges are different in kind from the two main ones. Leaving the EU and keeping our country intact are existential challenges. They involve the nature of our country's existence. 


Some people thought that leaving the EU might cause the break-up of the United Kingdom. Many Remain campaigners saw this as one of the main arguments for staying in the EU. Some apparently Pro UK writers have been terribly pessimistic ever since last June. Scotland voted to Remain, Nicola Sturgeon and indeed Alex Massie were very angry, therefore Scotland would soon be independent. We were doomed. I gave up reading this sort of stuff. It was all too depressing.

The problem with most political journalism is that it is far too short term. It thinks that the day to day affairs at Westminster or Holyrood matter. They don’t. No-one much follows what happens and no-one much cares about the day to day trivia. What matters is long term strategy and getting to the essence of the issue.

Leaving the EU is keeping our country intact. The threat from Nicola Sturgeon even two or three months ago looked real and imminent. The Scottish Parliament voted to hold a second independence referendum and if it had been held I have no idea who would have won. I think it would have been very close indeed. Campaigns are very uncertain things as we have just found out. A big lead can be lost. People get caught up in the heat of the moment. We might have lost in 2014. We might have lost in 2018. But the moment passed. The moment of greatest danger is already behind us.

Whatever her faults, I will always be grateful to Theresa May for standing up to Nicola Sturgeon. If she had not done so, then I do not think we would have had the result we had yesterday. Nationalism in Scotland is probably always going to be with us. But it can be kept manageable or it can be unleashed with all its force. Now it looks to be going into a decline. Let us hope that this continues for Scottish nationalism has the power to divide not only the UK but Scotland too. I think it is this above all that the Scottish electorate sensed. The SNP are being punished for the fact that the 2014 was so unpleasant for so many of us. It was bitter and traumatic. The majority of the electorate will vote for anyone to avoid a repeat of the experience.

But more than this it was voting the EU that concentrated minds. Scottish independence fundamentally depended on the UK remaining a part of the EU. Voting to Leave was the condition for the possibility of defeating the SNP. Paradoxically not getting what Scotland wanted in the EU referendum destroyed the SNP argument. The UK outside the EU looks an awfully lot more independent than Scotland within it. This is why so many SNP supporters voted to Leave. But they too misunderstood how this fundamentally destroyed their position. Scotland is tied to the other parts of the UK in terms of history, family, and economic relations. Brexit and Scottish independence would sever those ties and put us on radically different paths. It would put a chasm between Scotland and England. It made Nicola Sturgeon and all her threats look fanatical. She does not care whether Scottish independence would damage Scotland just so long as she can grasp it in her little hand. It must have seemed so close.

We must keep fighting in Scotland to lessen support for the SNP. We must try to bring back the time when the SNP were a minor party who won a few seats here and there. This is now quite close. SNP people in the big cities will return to Labour recognising that there best chance of achieving socialism is to vote for Labour. Tartan Tories in the countryside will return to the Conservatives. The long period of Conservative decline in Scotland has ended. The ghost of Margaret Thatcher has been exorcised by Ruth Davidson and so it no longer haunts us and defines what we are. This is an historical achievement by Davidson. She has done it by being herself and by being above all a Unionist. No-one could doubt that she above all other Scottish politicians would stand by the UK. Well done indeed.

We may soon end up with a situation in Scotland like it was until the 1980s. It will be a political fight between Labour and the Conservatives with the Lib Dems winning a few seats here and there. We must disagree fellow Pro UK Scots. We must fight each other for these Scottish seats. We must talk about the constitution less and public services more. When independence is no more an issue than restoring the Stuarts, only then will our country will be safe. So for the meantime let us fight our different fights. We all are making our country safe from Scottish nationalism. Let us try to remain on friendly terms. But above all let’s try to move our country on from a sterile debate and a question that was settled once and for all in 2014.

Britain’s Northern flank for the present is secure. We must be wary and watch for nationalists trying to get around it, but we must move on to the greater strategic challenge.

The goal is to that the UK becomes an ordinary country like Australia, New Zealand, Japan or the United States. Our Parliament should be supreme. No-one should tell the UK electorate what it can or cannot vote for. We should be able to trade freely with who we want depending on their agreement, but in no way should be controlled or constrained by those we trade with. We should be able to decide how many or how few people from elsewhere come to Britain. Let our political parties argue over this. I am in favour of having reciprocal rights with European countries and perhaps even English speaking countries. But let that be a matter for debate. What we want in leaving the EU is quite ordinary. It is not nationalistic or immoral for Japan to not wish to be part of an Asian Union ruled by Beijing. But Japan trades quite successfully with China. What we seek from the EU is free trade and nothing else. We want to be an ally and a friend, but we don’t want them to tell us what to do. That’s it.

Theresa May is right in terms of strategy. She has been damaged. Who knows how long she will last? But the last thing we need is yet another Prime Minister seeking a personal mandate. Let Theresa May at least see us through Brexit. Her strategy is sound. We want free trade and we should be willing to pay a little for the privilege. But we should not be willing to pay more to trade with the EU than it would cost us if they charged us a tariff. That is the bottom line. As soon as they wish to charge us more, or if they want to constrain our newly won freedom, then we must be willing to walk away. They must know that we will do this. That is the only way they just might grant us the goal we seek.

We are in a strange world politically. We are continually surprised. Two years ago the SNP looked invincible. Now they must fear that their support is a bubble that just went pop.

The Lib Dems and UKIP look like an irrelevance. The ultra-Remainers who hoped to win 48% of the vote ended up winning 12 seats. The ultra-Leavers won none. It would be better by far if both parties ceased to exist. They can prevent another party winning, but they cannot win themselves. For the Lib Dems to get back to their 2010 level will require decades at this rate. Long term the attempt to challenge the two party system that began with the creation of the SDP in 1981 looks like ending in failure. Liberal support has returned to the level it had in the 1970s and for Lib Dem bird is more dead parrot than phoenix.

The Labour result is extraordinary. Jeremy Corbyn in affect is a communist. He is a revolutionary socialist who wanted the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to win the Cold War. He would like our country to be more like the USSR than the USA. He would very much like to turn Britain into a socialist country. It’s like New Labour never happened.

Jeremy Corbyn has proved Tony Blair and Neil Kinnock wrong. They believed after the defeat of Michael Foot in 1983 that for Labour to be relevant it had to move towards the centre. They set about reforming Old Labour and in effect ditched socialism. Tony Blair was a social democratic and his party apart from a few diehards like Mr Corbyn was social democratic. The conventional wisdom was that it was this that enabled Tony Blair to be elected three times.

Mr Corbyn’s success in winning more than 40% of the vote means that all those who challenged him since his surprise election to the leadership have been wrong. All those Labour MPs who said they had no confidence in him last summer were trying in fact to get rid of their greatest electoral asset. Some of them have already recanted and repented. “Give me that old time religion” sings buffoon in chief Owen Smith.

For the foreseeable future Labour are going to be a Far Left party with the aim of turning Britain into a socialist state. The problem is that socialism doesn’t work. The fundamentals are wrong. If you doubt this, look at the Korean peninsula. They started from the same point in 1945, but the socialist north is now one of the poorest and least free countries in the world, while the capitalist south is a wealthy western democracy.

At some point given Labour’s present level of support they are going to win an election. This no doubt is good for our democracy. The biggest trouble with socialism is that it is so attractive. If only we could create a world without poverty, where everyone was equal, we would have paradise on earth. “Imagine no possessions” sang John Lennon, but you don’t need to imagine, you just have to look at where this experiment was tried. It is above all for this reason that this song was played over the credits of the 1984 film the Killing fields. The ideology of John Lennon and Jeremy Corbyn ultimately leads to Pol Pot and Cambodia. That is what you voted for folks.

But socialism is so attractive that each generation has to learn its lesson. 2008 is rather a long time ago if you are twenty. 1979 might as well be 1789. Labour will have to try again to create its socialist paradise, because perhaps this is the nature of man always longing for the Garden of Eden that we lost. Always trying to storm the gates of heaven and create heaven on earth.

Labour will win an election at some point, but then they will fail. The Far Left will wreck the UK economy again and the electorate will realise its error and turn once more the Conservatives. This is the British electoral cycle. What Labour breaks, the Tories mend until the electorate forgets that Labour made them poorer and asks them to try again.

Strategically Labour is in a worse position than it was. Social democracy has a chance of working. It has a chance of winning three elections in a row. Socialism ultimately takes Labour back to 1983 and the need to reinvent itself again. So have a nice little celebration dear socialists. You may well win next time. But you will go into that election with a Far Left leader and a Far Left manifesto and if you win your Government will be saddled with ideas that don’t work and which are doomed to fail.

All this though is for the future, for the moment we can allow ourselves a little pause to reflect on things. One thing is going to happen in the next few years and another thing is not going to happen. We are going to leave the EU and there will not be another referendum on Scottish independence. The one will not happen because of the other. Not only this. I believe we have a great chance of gaining a free trade relation with the EU and the process of leaving will in the long run make Britain much more prosperous. It is not necessary to have political union between the vastly different peoples of Europe in order to have free trade. That is the EU’s long term strategic error. 

The SNP’s error on the other hand is that it makes no sense to split up people who are fundamentally the same. It certainly makes no sense to do so in order to make Scotland socialist.

Party fortunes rise and fall. In the end this is a matter of a few years. We have had a Labour Government before and we will have one again. They will make a mess, but we will get through it. That is democracy and it is no long term threat. The SNP were the greatest threat to our country in its more than three hundred year history. They came close to breaking up our country. But history written one hundred years from now will reflect on how they failed. Keep fighting folks, they are retreating and we can let loose our cavalry. Now is not the time to cease our attack but rather to attack with renewed vigour. That way we can turn defeat into a rout.    

63 comments:

  1. This is very good, give us some cheer on a dismal morning; for me a Scot of a long line of Scots who served first Scotland then the UK and India with distinction I was appalled at the obsession for independence. Let us hope Effie is right and it is back in its box and our whole nation of UK does not fall into the lure of Corbyn's sinister socialism. The young do not understand his back story but they are wooed by his promise of all things free which shows that their leftie tutors at colleges are lying to them. Nothing is free and as a nation we have to balance books. Labour constantly tries the magic money tree....Gordon Brown did it and their man left a note saying 'there is no money left' in 2010. The Conservatives had to clean up that mess. Now the young are lured like kids in a play park by a dirty old man to go and find his free sweeties....come on Britain we can do better than that.

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    1. Tories have doubled UK debt ....not sure much has been sorted out Aline.

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    2. Due to the deficit they inherited. Are you arguing for faster, deeper cuts RM? More austerity?

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    3. Just pointing out the facts....they were elected on promise to remove deficit by 2014

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  2. So leaving the EU is now the only way to keep the union intact....wow , that's quite a U turn...

    Tory terrorist coalition day 2....

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    1. Thats so 1980s RM. There has been peace in Northern Ireland since 1998.

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    2. Tell that to Johnny Adair, John Gregg and Rab Carson....ooh wait that's not possible given two were murdered in 2003.

      Peace process could be damaged by entertaining the DUP mentalists ... Ulster says NO dinosaurs, abortions, climate change or papes

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    3. If they're going to abandon peace because a democratically elected party joined a temporary governing arrangement, then they are pretty thick.

      I don't believe there will be a return to violence. The funding isn't there anymore and the world now takes a very dim view of terrorism due to the Allahu Akhbarists. They are more likely to get a cruise missile up their arse these days than any kind of concession.

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    4. Maybe it passed you by but there are actually some major issues in Stormont at the moment that need fixed....Adding UK Government with new ties to DUP won't be condusive to smooth resolution

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    5. The problem with the power sharing government was caused by Arlene Foster blowing a shitload of taxpayers cash on some nonsense scheme. We can fix that for them by writing a cheque, if the DUP prop up the Tories.

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    6. I think the issue is actually Arlene herself whom the SinnFein/IRA won't deal with as they say she is tainted.

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    7. Jesus Christ! Pot, kettle!

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    8. Not sure any of the nationalists are tainted on the money side....

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  3. Very well put Effie.

    Sensible, logical and rational. The priority is to turn the SNP defeat into a rout, and ensure the country is safe.

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    1. How's that Tory majority doing ?

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    2. 14, by my calculations, when the DUP - small 'c' conservatives - are included, and the speaker and Sinn Feinn taken out of the equation.

      Interestingly enough, there would have been a 'progressive' alliance (lab+lib+snp) overall majority of 2 had the 13 Scots Tory seats voted for someone else.

      Yes, Scottish Conservatives saved Britain from communism. Lord Nelson would be proud ;0)

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    3. DUP as small c conservatives ... lolz . As a Larkhall man I am not surprised the new DUP overlords are acceptable in Aldotowers

      Can't see May surviving this. It's surely a shot in the foot too far. Certainly the least impressive PM in my lifetime.

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    4. Election has been a disaster for Tories and more importantly the country.

      Brexit turmoil awaits which at least makes me happy . Harder it is the more likely they'll do a fascade exit. Rather than the previous suicide exit...

      Calling this election might be one of poorest political decisions in last 100 years. Honest question must be why did she call it. Maybe a reaction to Sturgeon's independence referendum and vote , that would show very poor judgement.


      If it was strategy to firm up Brexit stance then that must mean it's now critically damaged. I've said before , it's not boring at the moment for sure.


      The funniest horns must be Rape Clause Ruth now having to sup with the homophobic DUP and Kezia's rubber stamping of Tory tactical voting for Labour voters might have lost them the election.

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    5. By their double barreled name shall ye know them as warmers....

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    6. I would agree that May is finished. The Conservative government is damaged, with Corbyn on track to win the next election. Brexit will have to be softened.

      But these things don't particularly matter that much to unionists, RM. What matters is the integrity of the UK and that's as safe as houses after this election, for a variety of reasons.

      The big question now is: will Sturgeon resign? The vote in Scotland was a direct rebuke to her indy shennanigans. Several long serving colleagues have lost their job because of her and the backlash put the Conservatives into office alongside our very own tea party - the DUP.

      She can either continue to pursue indy and suffer similar losses next time or she can row back on indy. But, if she does that, she'll have to resign - and the hardcore nat nutters will drift away.

      An impossible decision for Sturgeon. I'm guessing she'll follow the route that guarantees her own survival in the short term i.e. bang the indy drum for a few more years and get clobbered.

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    7. Was it. It sturgeon who delivered the broken back of Westminster elections don't get SNP votes....

      I think it's wishful thinking on your side , she is a very good and popular politician. Not as polarizing as Salmond and gets women voting.


      Death of SNP much wished for I know but the majority stands .... more than can be said for Tories

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    8. Tories: 318/650

      SNP: 35/650

      Maths not your strong point RM...

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    9. Aldo's argument for independence right there....I'm with you brother, nice you have seen the light.

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    10. Just pointing out that a majority in Westminster terms is 326. Obviously, the SNP are nowhere near.

      That's not an argument for indymince - I'm perfectly happy with the arrangement.

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  4. Think running man is a tad angry.

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    1. Why say that Anonymouse , pretty rational and pragmatic as ever . This time last week I was threatened with 80 majority Tory government ......

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    2. Still a Tory government though. Brexit is still happening. Your SNP are fooked.

      It's not going that well for you is it?

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    3. Is it.....its not yet Aldo and you know it. They need a Queen's speech and its not yet a done deal....

      I see quite some trouble ahead. As I have said, Politics is no longer boring due to all the fuck ups. This current government in waiting will be entertaining throughout its probably short life(if its not yet still born).

      A Tory government with confidence and supply from DUP is not a Tory government with 80 majority.

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    4. But its still a Tory government, with a working majority of 14 after Sinn Fein and the speaker are discounted. The 2015-17 government had a working majority of 17.

      So its pretty much as you were. You wanted a leftist rainbow government. You fell 8 seats short.

      Maybe if the SNP hadn't been such arrogant dicks....who knows? You could have socialism now. Instead you've got Toryism mixed with puritanism from Northern Ireland. Serves you right!

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    5. Its not yet though ...is it...still no deal, Queens speech delayed...

      Pretty much as you were...FFS, you do talk some pish sometimes. It's nowhere near where it was and you and your Toryboys were looking for an majority of 80-100 to force through eejit level Brexit.

      Look I'm personally fine, the undulations of UK politics don't really affect me. I'll probably be better off under the Tories and to top it up I'm a Gers fan so rest assured I'm not losing any sleep over this pish. So sorry there is no leverage on me in any of that crap.

      The good thing is this whole debacle will end what seemed like unending Tory hegemony. This will be down to the unholy wedlock of Tory/DuP ending very very badly.

      I've got popcorn and patience. You have a deadline or its Corbyn and the SNP lolz

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    6. Hows that deal coming along Aldo ? :+) Don;t take it too bad mucker, if one thing is certain this current PM can always make it worse than you imagine.

      I also see we're on the EU timetable and their agenda order as well....Going swimingly so far.

      Queen with a blank sheet of A4 at her speech and the EU calling the shots at Brexit, I'm imagining Davis being made to sit in a tiny primary school chair...

      Just in time for the dunces at SNP HQ to agree with Tories on tail docking in Scotland....One thing for sure the politicians never surprise us on the upside.

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    7. @Anonymous , Runningman current state of mind , pissing himself from a nice distance. Just signed up for another 12 months in Frankfurt, well why not. Paid in Euros will be better than GBP for sure and I get to watch teh wonder of May unfold.

      Schoenetag noch bei euch....und viele spass mit Brexit...

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    8. Corbyn and the SNP? Doubtful. Labour and the Tories will cut deeper into SNP territory next time. Let's imagine the SNP are left with 20 seats - you would need a very narrow set of circumstances in which those seats come into play in forming a government. If Labour or the Tories can cut a deal with someone else or form a majority government on their own, the SNP will remain an irrelevance. Even if they did get into government a unionist majority might be in place in Holyrood by then, with the ability to oppose any Scotland only measures attempted by the SNP in Westminster.

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  5. Police are warning everybody in the Gordon area of Scotland to be on alert after the scalp of an extremely fat man was found in the street, early indications are a Tory is on the lose and all SNP members should stay indoors.

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    1. Haha!!

      I never expected Gordon to fall - and neither did Salmond. He picked the seat quite deliberately because the incumbent Lib Dems were very weak and the other parties were nowhere. It would never have occurred to him that he could lose to a Tory, until the final hours.

      The entire North Eastern flank of the country has gone conservative, with the exception of Aberdeen North. The SNP has lost its traditional heartland and gained a new heartland - the central belt. But their grip there is weak - Labour are hot on their heels in lots of seats.

      Another 1 or 2 elections at the most and the SNP will be busted back down to a more appropriate size.

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    2. What is the prediction here...further Tory gains ? lol

      Did you miss the fact that they lost their majority...

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    3. I expect Labour, the Tories and the Libs all to make significant gains in SNP territory next time. Glasgow was 5000 votes away from being completely Labour. Lots of other seats across the country were 1 or 2% SNP leads - some with majorities in the hundreds or below 100.

      The message couldn't be clearer - ditch indymince and start governing Scotland or face severe consequences.

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    4. Tories are done, Labour possibly but they need to sort out the UK/Scottish thing.

      What I find funny is that Corbyn gained popularity using SNP policy.....A thing that Kex and Co have fought from day 1...

      Tories will get wiped out across UK in next election. Labour will make sweeping gains everywhere, people think they can win and so they will win.

      On the plus side Blair MacDougall got his card marked :O)

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    5. "Tories are done"

      They are 20 votes away in North Perthshire. Also, people have said what you've said every time the Scottish Tories advance. They always respond by advancing further.

      I would expect the vast majority of rural Scotland to be Tory after the next election.

      "Cornyn gained popularity using SNP policy".

      Wrong, as usual. Corbyn gained popularity using socialist policy - something Labour were advocating long before the SNP even existed. An ideology that predates even the Labour party itself. The SNP doesn't own it.

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    6. Really, like prescription charges and tuition fees abolishment... Certainly not Scottish Labour policy

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  7. Good read, thanks.

    "What Labour breaks"

    To be fair, no single party has a monopoly on bad ideas.

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  8. I'm ok as long as Brexit is either chucked into long grass or watered down. Nationalists cannot yet win independence without disaster Brexit happening. Corbyn revival also IMO weakens case. My other prediction is Kezia is toast before end of year

    It was Brexit nonsense that reopened the discussion, if it's watered down to Norway style agreement it's good long term for nationalists and great short term for the country as a whole

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    1. Meanwhile back in reality 26.5 million people just voted for party's with core manifesto commitments to leaving the EU and ending free movement of people.

      It is the case now that in all four countries of the UK the people voted in majority for pro Brexit and pro UK party's.

      The amount of people now supporting Brexit has increased by 8 million.

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    2. Davis ....Business focussed Brexit
      Corbyn ...Jobs focussed Brexit....

      That's your door creeping open right there. Say night night to your dream of hard Brexit, you should however be happy as the impact of a crazy Brexit decreases so does the threat of independence.

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    3. Both Labour and the Conservatives have core manifesto commitments to end free movement of people, no EU membership or affiliate membership is available without free movement of people.

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    4. Oohh well if its in the manifesto....FFS

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    5. As you say yourself Running Man, a softer brexit shoots the SNP fox. No more excuse for indyref2.

      I'm entirely okay with the idea of a soft brexit. It's what the British people would appear to have voted for, by removing the Conservative majority and forcing a consensus on this. That is absolutely fine. It would have been an abomination if a soft brexit had been pursued simply to please one corner of the UK. With this election result, that is no longer the case.

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  9. This seems to be a trend with you balloons , you do know it's possible to vote for a party on multiple facets of its policies.

    Just because you are all swivel eyed on Brexit or saving the union does not mean normal voters are.

    This concept of chucking all the votes you fancy into a bucket on the issue you are interested in isn't really how it works.

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    1. So the staggering swing against the SNP that ousted Salmond and Big Agnes and replaced them with Tories was caused by.......people agreeing with Ruth's policy on the environment?

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  10. Pretty sure it was caused by Lib Dems voting Tory.... Staggering swings lolz...How many seats did you get...As I said you eejits don;t get to add all the votes in a bucket, its not how it works, as you can see from SNP majority of 35 seats...A real majority as well

    What do we see now. Queen Ruthie walzing into London saying exactly what SNP have been saying since Brexit...

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    1. Why do you insist on miscalling people on here RM? Why are you so angry? Is it because you can sense indymince slipping away?

      The swing from SNP to Tory in Moray was 20%. To put it in perspective, the nationwide swing in 1997 - the famous Labour landslide - was 10%.

      Why are people so eager to vote out the nationalist party and replace it with the conservative and unionist party? I just can't think why that might be.....

      Ruth Davidson was advocating a soft brexit all along RM - she just wasn't jumping up and down and stamping her feet and generally behaving like a spoiled child, like the SNP were doing.

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    2. 'SNP closes down indyref2 fund early, after half the original target raised' - Scotsman.

      'First SNP cabinet since general election fails to mention indyref2' - Scotsman.

      'We will reflect on what has happened.....it is clear that indyref2 was a factor in these results' - Nicola Sturgeon.

      'Indyref2 is dead' - Peter Kellner, leading pollster.

      Indymince is slipping away RM. Expect an announcement soon from the SNP admitting defeat on this and shelving indyref2. It will be dressed up as some sort of victory, I'm sure - but it will really be a defeat for separatism.

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    3. Correction - the swing in Gordon was 20%. The swing in Moray was 13%. The National swing from SNP to Tory was around 13-14%. Massive swings, relative to what usually happens in elections. You were saved to a certain extent because your starting point was so high. That wont apply next time ;0)

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    4. Correction and not for the first time.....

      'Relative to what happens usually'...you mean like in 2015...

      What will save the Tories when the national vote collapses after this DUP foray and the resurgence of Labour....

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    5. I imagine the Tories will have a spell in opposition then come back again a few years down the line, as they have always done.

      You must realise that a socialist government in London kills off indy? Why would the Scottish hard left west central belters go for pseudo socialism in a box marked 'independence', also containing unknown nasties, when they can get real, 1945 Attlee style socialism from the British government? They will desert the SNP in droves.

      And then, when socialism fails, they'll turn to the Tories or the Liberals, having witnessed first hand the shitstorm that made 18 years of Thatcherism necessary.

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  11. Personally I am disappointed the SNP didn't do better; a good SNP performance would have brought forward Indyref2 and then we English might finally be rid of Scotland.

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    1. We English....that's it in a snapshot

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    2. You should be happy Running man; I am an English nationalist and believe passionately in Scottish independence - for England's sake.

      You might be surprised to learn that we English don't want to control Scotland or hold you under our jackboot. You really aren't that important to us.

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    3. We are stronger together SJ. Great Britain is an island. You can drive from John O'Groats to Land's End in a day or less. There is no point at all in partitioning this island. What the UK government needs to do is grow a pair and reform the Barnett Formula. Let the British government award x spending per head in all the regions of the UK. If the devolved administrations want more, they need to raise local taxes. It's time Scotland and Wales paid for their socialism. They might then be less inclined to support it. But break up Britain? Never.

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