Category Archives: Politics

Lord Arsonist of Invergowrie

Setting a fire in an inhabited building is a crime of violence.

Mike Watson, Lord Watson of InvergowrieAt the Scottish Politician of the Year awards ceremony at the Prestonfield House Hotel in November 2004, Mike Watson got very drunk. He’d been drunk at the dinner, he got even more drunk at the VIP party after the dinner, and as the hotel staff were clearing up, he was “asking forcefully for more wine” and they gave him an open bottle, evidently hoping he’d go away.
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Filed under Justice, Politics, Unanswerable Questions

A year ago today…

keep-calm-and-voteI voted No.

Am I sorry, ashamed, apologetic that I voted No?

Never in this life.

I don’t think anyone should feel apologetic or ashamed or sorry for how they voted in the referendum: we came together in the largest turnout since the 1950s, after two years of intense debate. Each of us voted, and. as agreed, we abide by the majority. Everyone who voted in the referendum voted rightly, whether it was Yes or No.

If I’d known on 18th September 2014 what I know now on 18th September 2015, would I have voted differently?
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Filed under Scottish Constitution, Scottish Politics

God Save Our National Anthem

Good thing we won the Battle of Britain.

Otherwise, people might be forced to join in singing patriotic songs to prove their loyalty to the regime.
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Filed under Other stuff on the Internet I like, War

Political Smearing: Project Islington, I

On Friday 11th September, David Cameron intended to launch Project Islington: a series of dirty-bomb attacks on Jeremy Corbyn based on weeks of research over the summer as the Tories realised to their horror that the backbench Labour MP from Islington North with all those dreary left-wing ideas might actually win.

Prime Ministerial staff have been trailing Corbyn round the country ever since the YouGov poll revealed on 22nd July that Corbyn had a solid lead over any of the three candidates the Tories would have preferred to be leading Labour today.

Unfortunately, Cameron was caught making a little quip about people from Yorkshire

“We just thought people in Yorkshire hated everyone else, we didn’t realise they hated each other so much.”

Welcome to Yorkshirewhen he didn’t realise the mike was live, and what should have been a resounding speech denouncing Jeremy Corbyn became an amused discussion of Cameron’s loose lips.
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Filed under Politics

So, Jeremy Corbyn won. What now?

Burnham, Cooper, Kendall, CorbynSo, it’s over: Jeremy Corbyn won.

Despite all of the attacks, personal and political, from Louise Mensch in New York to Liz Kendall in the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn is now Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Labour Party.

Atul Hatwal wrote in Labour Uncut on 22nd July: Sorry, that Labour leadership poll is nonsense. Jeremy Corbyn is going to finish fourth.

As the new deputy leader of the Labour Party wrote in the New Statesman a few days ago:

Good debate, above all in a process like this, should also be about listening. It’s easy to forget in the passion of one’s own beliefs, but you also have to listen to the others. All of them.

And you have to start from the position that, inside the Labour party, we are all good people with good motives – indeed, with the same motives – and nobody is right about everything. And nobody is wrong about everything either. Liz Kendall is not a Tory and Jeremy Corbyn is not a Trot, and saying either of those things – on Twitter, on Facebook or in real life – just plays into the hands of our real opponents – the Tories. And they hold enough cards at the moment as it is.
Tom Watson

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Jeremy Corbyn and David Cameron: Syria, 2013

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, 11th July 2013:

Those Members with long memories will recall that interventions and arms supplies have all kinds of unintended consequences. When the Soviet Union went into Afghanistan in support of the Najibullah Government, who were under a lot of pressure, the USA responded by supplying vast quantities of arms to the mujaheddin opposition, along with training, facilities, logistics and all the other things that are now being talked about in relation to Syria. Those arms all ended up with what eventually became the Taliban, and then with what eventually became al-Qaeda, and they are still around and have perpetuated the most appalling situation in Afghanistan for many years, including our intervention in that country. We should think a little more carefully about where the arms go.
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Filed under War

How to rig an election

I don’t believe the Labour Party administration are rigging the leadership election to keep Jeremy Corbyn from winning. I don’t think that’s what they’re trying to do, and I don’t think they’d succeed in doing it if they tried. I think Jeremy Corbyn’s likely to win: if he loses, it won’t be because of the Labour Party’s purge of voters.

We’ve seen in the US since Bush was awarded the victory in November 2000, that a determined group of people with the power to have hackable e-voting machines built and installed, the power to ensure legal investigations are only used against the opposition, the power to shut down voter registration for the opposition, and of course the power to “cleanse” electoral rolls of voters likely to choose your opponent, can deliver victories for the Republican Party: the outright vote-fixing may be mathematically detectable.

I don’t think that’s what’s happening in the Labour leadership election.
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Filed under Elections, Politics