A new Orangeism in a Tory revival?

A cliffhanger is reported for next Thursday’s Glasgow East by-election, with the Sunday Herald reporting Labour four points ahead of the SNP and only 1,000 votes separating them. Ironically, with the SNP on the rise, the by-election climax offers yet another opportunity for London papers like the Sunday Times to eclipse the Scottish based Herald and Scotsman stables. The spin of the Sunday Times story has the SNP poised to win, in contrast with the more cautious Herald. The Times’s report that the independence referendum is being set for St Andrew’s Day 2010 also plays to the SNP agenda.

Just to show that the thrust is not all in the SNP’s direction, the Times (like the Herald), highlights the report that local income tax, a prime SNP policy, is a non-starter.

In contrast, Scotland on Sunday relegates the by-election as a quiet story during the Glasgow Fair holiday.

Most fascinating is the backgrounder by Geoffrey Wheatcroft in the Independent on Sunday, on the political struggle between Catholics (Labour) and Protestants (Conservatives). Wheatcroft concludes:

“..while Labour hangs on to its residual affiliation – with probably more Labour-voting “Catholics” in Glasgow East than go to Mass – the Tories have been gravely damaged by the eclipse of political Protestantism.

That didn’t stop the Tories winning more votes than Labour at the last general election (another neglected fact), and it is almost certain that they will win more English seats at the next. If they fail to gain a parliamentary majority because of Labour’s Scottish-Catholic hard core, might not “Orangeism” yet return in new guise? “

  • wild turkey

    ‘might not “Orangeism” yet return in new guise?’

    It has and he’s called Diamond Dan (subject to copyright)

  • ex-Belfast

    Having fought a few byelections in my time my view is that the SNP have now admitted defeat. Anyone who knows these things will tell you that when an opposition party says they are behind but close with a week to go then they are not betting on winning.

    I’ve not been to Glasgow East (well, not recently) so I’ve no idea what it is like on the ground, but given what the SNP are saying I’d bet on a Labour victory.

    (Incidentally, the Sunday Herald are reporting what the SNP say, they are not reporting Labour 1000 ahead because, like the rest of us, they don’t know.)

  • If they fail to gain a parliamentary majority because of Labour’s Scottish-Catholic hard core, might not “Orangeism” yet return in new guise? ”

    I very much hope not and I really doubt they’d be that stupid in 2008 to go down that road…it would be much better for them to remember they are supposed to a be a Unionist party and for them to start acting like one, instead of acting as Alex’s back-up team whenever he needs to pull off a close vote.

    And I also think the religious aspect to this bye-election is being overplayed and noticeably by the London-based rather than Scottish media.

  • dewi

    Tories winning mre votes than Labour (Another neglected fact) – If it were true – it ain’t.

  • I suspect that this English journalist knows even less about my home place Brian than you do.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Not altogether sure what Brian is trying to get across here.

    Anyhow, all the orangemen I know, all three of them all vote Tory anyhow. They and their UNIONIST tag are a busted flush and have been for a long time. I would welcome a concerted attempt by the Tories or orangemen to support each other, kinda put clear blue water between Scots and those who clearly do not have our best interests at heart. O’neil is spot on here over the London media and their patronising snobbish portrayal of this election. There is no sectarian element, most Catholics used to vote for Labour because most Catholics were poor, and or working class. If anything Labour has deserted us because now we are not so poor or working class but Labour has moved away from the reasons we voted for them.

    The Herald has run several stories today on voters. If this is taken as a rough straw poll then the SNP should win, whether they will or not I have said from day 1 I think not. Tradition runs strong here.

  • percy

    how are your poor “plates of meat” prionsa from trecking up and down the doorsteps? 😉

  • 0b101010

    Income taxes are taxes on productivity. They’d be better off replacing the council tax with a small rise in consumption taxes.

    They should be looking to abolish income tax altogether.

  • runciter

    And I also think the religious aspect to this bye-election is being overplayed and noticeably by the London-based rather than Scottish media.

    Sectarianism is a political weapon used to great effect by the English ruling classes.

  • Mike

    Eoghan –

    “I would welcome a concerted attempt by the Tories or orangemen to support each other, kinda put clear blue water between Scots and those who clearly do not have our best interests at heart.”

    This reads as if you do not regard Scottish Tories and Orangemen as Scots.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Mark

    I read it and couldn’t believe it got past the editors desk. It was like a white man on safari. I got a great deal on fruit down the Barras today, and managed by subterfuge to stop my eldest buying a Holy Goalie T-shirt. We are in the east end of Glasgow, but a good mile and a bit from the boundry of the Glasgow East constituency at Parkead cross. Even Paradise is sometimes mentioned as being in the constituency. It isn’t.

    Perc

    To be honest I have done no where near enough. I intend to rectify this over the coming days though.

    Mike

    If I appear harsh on the Scottishness of those who do not value it and would rather serve a different master in England or anti-Catholicism, it was meant. I would rather have clarity, there are Scottish Tories who see the way forward as independence rather than the current half-way house. Those who would rather have us tied to a foreign nation despite all the evidence that our interest would be better served in our own sovereign state. I can’t do anything about their Scottishness, but I can question their loyalties. As for Orangemen, they make a mockery of our flag in amongst the union, UFF, and UVF et al flags. All they have is division and hate to offer, as well as trying to keep us tied to a union long past her sell by date. Aye, they were the only ones to celebrate *ahem* the 300th birthday of the Union. Now where is Rabbie Burns when ye need him.

  • BeniMacLet

    “That didn’t stop the Tories winning more votes than Labour at the last general election (another neglected fact)”

    Well at the last election Labour polled 9.5 million votes and the tories 8.7 million which by my maths means the tories didn’t win more votes. So possibly the reason why it’s neglected is that it isn’t true?

    On the by-election, Labour have the momentum and it’s all downward. My money would be on the SNP. The only thing that would make me hesitate is the residual religious factor. Catholic voters are still more likely to vote Labour than SNP whatever the circumstances.

  • If ever there was a rotten borough that deserved to be taken out it is Labour in Glasgow

  • Sunny south east

    Prionsa Eoghan,
    It is ironic that catholics in Glasgow who support Irish Unity still vote Labour who are now the party of the union, why is that? As it seems to me Alex Salmond with his views on the act of settlement as well as independence for scotland is repealing the union more than the ira did. Is religious loyalty to labour a fear of domination by protestants in scotland or like fianna fail in the south people will vote the same regardless.
    I am asking that because it seems labour to be in power needs scotland. As the left do not like scotish nationalism or english nationalism for that matter. What would you reckon the chances the tories instead of turning orange becomes more english if labour win the election.

  • Dewi

    Strange – I’ve spoken to Welsh people who have been up there this weekend and they think we will win – have to say that they found it difficult to find voters on the Electoral Roll….but momentum is on our side…..

  • dewi

    Rumour from Glasgow is that the SNP have done very well on Postal votes.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    SSE

    >>What would you reckon the chances the tories instead of turning orange becomes more english if labour win the election.< < I'd say that the obvious direction, in fact one championed by various Tory intellectuals is actually to become more Scottish and back independence. You have alluded to "the left" above, well the News of the World seem for the moment to have put into a coma a fledgling but real socialist alternative. The Scottish Socialists were a real force, but sadly have now split, mainly due to the lies against Tommy Sheridan and his wife. Labour can in no way be described as a party of the left, the SNP are clearly further to the left and I'd describe them as pretty much a social democratic party. >>Is religious loyalty to labour a fear of domination by protestants in scotland or like fianna fail in the south people will vote the same regardless.<< It was both really and with a mix of several other factors. Like Labour representing the working poor and promising to maintain the Catholic education system. As I've stated many times before here, Catholics preferred the protection of the Union when they looked across the water and seen how Catholics were treated by the Stormont government. More and more my generation of Catholics are voting for the SNP, all of my mob and the missus's mob voted SNP at the last Holyrood election bar my Ma and her parents.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Dewi

    Whisper it………………..but I think we actually CAN do it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Income taxes are taxes on productivity.

    It’s quite wrong to believe that people who earn more are more productive.

    Nah, they’re taxes based on your ability to pay. It’s taxes on consumption, which are levied without respect to ability to pay, that we need to remove.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Some of your Welsh mob photographed here Dewi;

    http://snpforglasgoweast.blogspot.com/

  • Dewi

    I talked to Adam Price the day b4 he went up – he was pretty confident……just get everyone out to vote and we’ll win….

  • 0b101010

    It’s quite wrong to believe that people who earn more are more productive.

    It would be, but that’s not nearly an argument I’m making.

    You can avoid consumption taxes by saving, consuming less or consuming differently — see carbon taxes as an example — but the average taxpayer* can only avoid income taxes through lower salaries or by working less. Lower income will, in turn, force lower consumption by reducing the ability to spend.

    Nah, they’re taxes based on your ability to pay. It’s taxes on consumption, which are levied without respect to ability to pay, that we need to remove.

    We’ve jumped right to the point where we will fundamentally disagree, because I don’t believe taxes should discriminate. I don’t believe our system of special rates for special circumstances works.

    Nonetheless, it’s often suggested that a pure consumption tax system should rebate to the level of poverty so that noone would bear the tax on essential living expenses.

    * The punchline is that those with the greatest “ability to pay” can avoid income tax altogether because it completely ignores wealth!

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    BBC Scotland out interviewing voters today. All of them said that they were either undecided or SNP. This is a place where they should be weighing Labour votes not counting them.

    Frig it I had to bite the bullet. 9/4 SNP win. A patriotic tenner.