Politics

Go on yersel, England. Scotland is sticking with the lady in red.



The Scottish Parliament at night: Photo by Rob Bruce

It was all wrong on the day of the poll, like a scene from Shakespeare, unseasonal thunderstorms, flooding, owls hooting in the afternoon. ‘Is that a dagger that I see before me?” someone tweeted when Boris Johnson praised David Cameron. “Beware the march of IDS,” said another. Guardian columnist Nick Cohen compared Michael Gove and Boris Johnson to Regan and Goneril, the bitchy daughters in King Lear. Joyce McMillan the next morning in the Scotsman quoted Rome and Juliet: "A glooming peace this morrow with it brings." Then the UK’s EU commissioner Lord Hill resigned with Lady Macbeth’s last words: “what’s done cannot be undone”.

Read more: Go on yersel, England. Scotland is sticking with the lady in red.

A Scottish 'No' Voter Pleads: "England, Don't Let Us Down!"



This week in East Berlin wherever I went, I seemed to hear the sound of bagpipes. First, a man in a Glengarry playing the pibroch in the famous street Unter den Linden; then a Pole in a Celtic top playing an ancient set of pipes his grandfather had acquired in the Highlands.

Read more: A Scottish 'No' Voter Pleads: "England, Don't Let Us Down!"

At the Holyrood Election Thursday: First Vote Labour, Second Vote Tory?



Whether Labour or the Conservatives takes second place on Thursday (May 5) is the talking point of the Scottish election. Betting company Paddy Power thinks Labour; Professor John Curtice says it could go either way.

 

Professor Curtice is probably right. He knows when to poll them, and he knows when not to call them - as “The Pollster”, a satirical version of the the Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler” dedicated to the Prof by Vic Rodrick and Annie Gunner Logan has it. (For reasons of copyright etcetera, the pair’s sharp-witted parodies are only ever heard live and if they announce dates for this year’s Fringe, grab a ticket.)

 

Whichever way the cookie crumbles, the opposition vote is likely to be split between Labour and the Tories. So is there scope for them to pool their resources in a new politics? Is it possible for Kezia Dugdale and Ruth Davidson to work together on at least some issues to form a coherent opposition?

Read more: At the Holyrood Election Thursday: First Vote Labour, Second Vote Tory?

Oops. Are the SNP's Roots Showing?

A couple of things have come up for me this week as the Scottish election campaign builds towards another seemingly inevitable SNP triumph.

 

Firstly, a friend, a committed ‘Yes’ voter and an SNP member said he was going to have to stay home on polling day. He could not bring himself to vote SNP this time, he said, because he is so appalled by the SNP’s inaction over MSP Sandra White’s behaviour.

 

The SNP MSP  apologised for re-tweeting a grossly offensive anti-semitic cartoon posted by a Neo-Nazi she follows online and whose tweets she has reposted before. She said she posted the image “in error” and no disciplinary action has been taken against her. The implication for my friend was that a degree of anti-semitism is tolerable within the Scottish National Party.

Read more: Oops. Are the SNP's Roots Showing?

Five Reasons Boris Johnson is the Donald Trump of UK Politics.

One. Looks.

Fat and flamboyant, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are alike well known for their blond locks which are of the type that used to be described in shampoo adverts as ‘unmanageable’. Just like both of them.

Read more: Five Reasons Boris Johnson is the Donald Trump of UK Politics.