The case for the Union needs to be made

  Two veteran commentators give instant pronouncements on the implications for the Union of the SNP landslide. Leaving aside the Northern Ireland overtones just for now (please!) Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph makes the obvious point that the essential case for the Union has yet to be put. The trouble is, the English political class can be the least qualified to make it, as their version of Britishness is so often post-imperial Englishness with a bit of multiculturalism thrown in. … Read more

“There will be a referendum on Scottish independence”

BBC Scotland’s Political Editor Brian Taylor says a referendum on Scottish independence  will happen. He would not have put his ample shirt on it to be wrong, when he could have hesitated. Folk in Scotland understand devolution. They get the concept. But they believed that they were voting in a parliamentary election – a Scottish Parliamentary election. Not a rehearsal, not a dry run. The more Labour reminded people that the main Unionist party was back in Westminster power, the … Read more

Zombie thread

It is election time and as such I wish to continue the tradition I began last May by discussing monsters. Last time it was werewolves: this year it is going to be zombies. I have discussed zombies before but I think we need another thread on this issue. Whilst on holiday for the last couple of weeks I chanced (between breaks in Dave’s Top Gear coverage) upon Channel 5’s The Walking Dead. I have always been a fan of zombies … Read more

Scotland getting interesting…

Political Betting reports on the latest Scottish opinion poll. And those committed Scottish Nationalists report it in the Scottish Sun….(Me I’d have told Murdoch to shove it…) So ten points up – if true this could mean: a) An SNP majority (the voting system was precisely defined to prevent this…) b) An independence referendum. c) Tangentially the LibDem wipeout predicted would surely scupper the Westminster coalition (I’m hearing whispers that Salmond might even be planning to visit Orkney and Shetland…) … Read more

Plaid (of all people) mix up our poets…

Plaid launch our manifesto (of which more later)…. Plaid’s vision for what it describes as the next decade of delivery is reflected in the title of the document “Ambition is Critical”. As Wales prepares in 2014 to mark a centenary since the birth of Dylan Thomas, his words have been adopted by Plaid as their guiding principle for both the manifesto and the next Welsh government. Except..wrong poet…introducing David Hughes… Oh well, the slogan is good and all publicity….. DewiWelsh … Read more

Strange Tale from Wales…

Chris Bryant, MP for the Rhondda, raised this strange business at Westminster. Here’s the BBC report.: (it’s worth watching the video for a Bercow put-down…) Labour and Plaid Cymru are locked in a row about dirty tricks over an assembly election campaign leaflet. The leaflet, which attacks shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, has been posted on the internet. It calls on voters to deny Labour a majority and accuses Mr Hain of plotting behind the back of Welsh Labour leader … Read more

Salmond – the comeback kid…Scottish Lib Dems becoming a relic?

In contrast to Wales, where a pretty healthy Labour lead is being confirmed regularly, things are tightening in Scotland. UK Polling Report gives the latest from TNS-BMRB. Holyrood Constituency: CON 15% LAB 38% LDEM 7% SNP 37% Holyrood Regional: CON 14% LAB 35% LDEM 8% SNP 35% Green 5% Two things stand out: 1) It’s tight at the top. 2) The LibDems. 1) To put the Poll in context there’s been a fairly consistent 10 point odd lead for Labour … Read more

I’m the leader of the Welsh Labour Party….no you ain’t!

As the euphoria of the referendum result pales so the pre-election rows commence. Your friend and ours, Peter Hain, plays the attack dog (from the BBC). Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has branded Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister in the assembly government, “ineffective”. And…Carwyn Jones, first Minister replies: “Those are Peter’s comments. These are not comments that are issued by the government….. Ieuan and I know that over the next few weeks we will have to … Read more

UK splits over university fees and taxation

This is turning out to be quite a week for the fissiparous tendency in the British body politic. As students demonstrated against the prospect of 80% cuts in tuition funding throughout the nation, it was the Welsh Assembly government which stole the march on the others by promising to pay the difference between the present fees and the £6 to 9,000 a year universities will soon be able to charge. What’s more, the subsidy will extend to Welsh students studying anywhere in … Read more