The putrid political opportunism and stinking dollops of hypocrisy from the likes of arch Tory unionist and principle-free Ruth Davidson will have convinced hundreds of thousands even more that the crucial Scottish Parliament election in seven months’ time will be a day of reckoning for these parliamentary imposters.
They do nothing more and nothing less than talk Scotland down while picking up a hefty and over generous salary and expenses package from the Scottish Parliament.
They sneak into the Parliament via the d’Hondt voting system back door because of the silly ‘two votes SNP’ policy but that access point is about to be slammed shut and many arrogant smirks will be wiped from their faces.
Davidson was the darling of the unionist media in Scotland for years and they gave her every possible opportunity to promote unionism and Tory politics with substance-free soundbites and challenge-free interviews. She was the Scottish Tory leader who would ‘slay the Nats’ (SNP) and ‘burst the independence bubble’ claimed the dewy-eyed unionist media. In fact, despite her easy media ride and constant promotion, she couldn’t even raise Tory support in Scotland to the levels the despised Margaret Thatcher achieved in the 1980’s. She failed miserably during her long tenure of almost eight years as Scottish Tory leader and any objective account of her record can only result in a ‘dismal failure’ award. Even fellow political travellers have had to conclude she was a consistent political ‘flip-flopper’ who always did and said what she thought was popular, not what she thought was right.
Lords Get More in a Day than Universal Credit Claimants Receive in a Month
Davidson spread joy when she announced her retirement to spend time with her new family and accepted the ultimate political failure award when offered a seat in the wholly undemocratic retirement home for political flops, flunkies and forelock tuggers, a seat in the unelected House of Lords. She can reflect on her comment that only 12% of Scots households actually contribute to the economy while she signs in for her £323 Daily Allowance for donning her red ermine robe and sitting on her red leather benches picking up more money in a day than a Universal Credit claimant over 25 is entitled to in a month.
Her ethics free approach to politics was further exposed when she accepted a cushy PR job with big communications company Tulchan Communications last October while still an elected member of Parliament, an appointment which compelled the largest representative body of the Public Relations industry world wide to condemn as “wholly unethical” and to further state:
“It is simply wrong for lobbying agencies to employ legislators. The possible conflict of interest in doing so is clear and damages the reputation of both our industry and of the political process”.
Davidson has announced she will not stand for re-election to the Scottish Parliament next May despite years of arrogant boasts that she would become the First Minister of Scotland. I have debated publicly with Davidson on several occasions and looked into the eyes of an ambitious, principle-free woman who would do anything to climb the greasy political pole, and I believe her standing down decision has nothing to do with spending time with family and everything to do with the realisation in unionist circles that the Holyrood voting system ruse has now been sussed by the independence supporting community and no longer will unionists get elected via SNP two votes stupidity. Davidson is jumping before she is pushed. Exactly what I would expect from someone with her grasp of integrity.
Margaret Ferrier Unfortunately Has to Resign
Her nasty opportunism was writ large in her enthusiastic Tweets about Margaret Ferrier MP over the last forty-eight hours. Margaret was elected to represent the Rutherglen and Hamilton seat at Westminster for the SNP in 2015, lost the seat in 2017 and then won it back again in December 2019. She is by all accounts a very good constituency MP and a consistent independence warrior. It is therefore with a heavy heart that I have to conclude that her actions last week in travelling to London without waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test she took because she felt ill, and then even more irresponsibly travelling back from London on a train for over four hours after being told she had COVID-19 are a resignation issue. For her own good and the good of the SNP and wider independence cause Margaret has to gather her thoughts over the next day or so and then announce her resignation for a serious and severe lack of judgement which endangered other people and was in all likelihood criminal. She is now subject to a joint Metropolitan and British Transport police investigation.
I believe she has to prove she is bigger and better than the likes of Dominic Cummings who should have resigned or been sacked for serious breaches of the tough COVID-19 restrictions the rest of us were expected to obey; and Tory MP Peter Gibson who also broke the rules imposed on everyone else and endangered the public while travelling 250 miles on public transport with COVID-19 symptoms yet escaped proper punishment.
Margaret’s errors were multiple, serious and over several days. They are not forgivable for someone in such a leading, lawmaking position. She has to resign and do so before Parliamentary sanctions open the door to a public recall petition and forced by-election. A by-election she would justifiably lose if she clings on in the face of her own party’s advice and the justifiable anger of the public.
Covid19 Rule Breaking Hypocrites Should Shut Up
However, people like me and others who have been consistent in these matters are entitled to express our views with respect. Ruth Davidson isn’t. During the Dominic Cummings debacle Davidson Tweeted not a jot about the need for him to go. In fact in the 128 days since the Covid19 infected political advisor decided to drive hundreds of miles to test his eyesight Davidson has said nothing about him but in the space of only two days has managed 18 different Tweets calling for Margaret Ferrier to go. Such hypocrisy is typical of her and as long as Margaret does the right thing and resigns soon, the independence cause and the SNP will emerge unscathed from the incident but the Tory selective righteous high-horse brigade will be exposed as the chancers they are.
A new electoral force has been formed to attract the 2nd votes of independence supporters next May and it is a game changer for independence representation within the Scottish Parliament. Now independence supporters can use both votes for independence and not waste their second votes. The Action For Independence (AFI) group tried to register as an Alliance but the Electoral Commission rejected the description citing possible confusion. The word Alliance has been replaced with Action but the purpose remains unchanged. To Maximise the impact of independence second votes across Scotland. The new group is led by a man of considerable nationalist substance and credibility.
Dave Thompson’s AFI is a Game Changer for Holyrood Elections
Dave Thompson joined the SNP in 1965 when they were a small party without political representation. He stuck with the independence cause through thick and thin and never lost his enthusiasm or commitment to Scotland being a free nation once again. In 2007 it was his challenge of the returning officer which led to an historic recount of the Holyrood election vote and two seats which were about to be called for the Tories were in fact SNP seats and were critical in giving the SNP their first ever majority. Dave had studied the 2nd vote system, analysed the breakdown at the Highlands and Islands count and knew the original count was wrong. Many criticised him for demanding a re-count, but he was absolutely right. Dave went on to serve for nine years as an SNP MSP. This is a man who has experience, credibility and political respect on his side.
Now after 55 years membership of the SNP Dave has reluctantly left to form the Action For Independence Group not as an anti-SNP formation but as a pro-independence alternative standing only on the Regional Lists and targeting only the 2nd votes of Indy supporters. Instead of wasting almost one million second votes on the SNP independence supporters will now be able to give their 2nd votes to Dave Thompson’s AFI and maximise the number of independence supporting MSP’s elected while severely reducing the number of unionists elected. It is a win/win situation. No wonder the likes of Davidson is standing down and the unionists generally are attacking the new formation.
To understand why Dave Thompson has decided to give up 55 years of uninterrupted membership of the SNP and form the AFI it is essential to explain the basis of the Scottish Parliament voting system.
Both Votes SNP Helps Only the Unionists
The Scottish Parliament is elected using the Additional Member System of election (AMS). The AMS system provides for the election of 73 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) on a constituency basis using the First Past The Post system (like Westminster) but sees Scotland split into eight electoral regions with between eight and ten constituencies within each region.
Seven List MSPs are elected from each region giving a total of 56. The vagaries of the system mean parties that do well in the constituency section of each region invariably do less well in the List section as their overall List vote, called the Regional or 2nd vote, is divided by the number of constituency seats they win plus one.
In my own city of Glasgow, which voted YES for independence in 2014, the SNP secured 111,101 List votes. That represented 45% of all the Regional List votes cast in the city. So how many Regional List seats did they win? The answer is zero. They won all of the nine constituency seats, so their List vote total was divided by 10 (the 9 constituency seats plus one equation attached to the AMS voting system).
The SNP’s 111,101 List votes were slashed to only 11,110 and that was not enough to win a List seat in Glasgow. Instead, unionist Labour with only 24% of the votes won 4 of the seven seats available, the Tory unionists with only 12% of the vote won 2 of the seats and the independence supporting Green Party with 9.4% of the votes (representing 23,398 votes) secured the last of the seven List seats for Glasgow.
It means the YES City of Glasgow is represented by 6 List MSPs who are declared unionists and do all they can to talk Scotland and the cause of independence down.
Those independence supporters who gave both their votes to the SNP in Glasgow not only wasted their vote they inadvertently assisted the election of unionists.
Across Scotland, an incredible 953,000 people gave their Regional List vote to the SNP but in six of the eight regional list seats, those votes counted for nothing. The SNP won only 4 Regional List seats out of the 56 available. One seat was one in the Highlands and Islands region and three were won in South Scotland. According to all eight recent opinion polls in Scotland not only is independence in the majority but support for the SNP indicates they will win all of the 73 constituency seats, giving them a narrow parliamentary majority, but no List seats as a result. In January, their Scottish Parliament support was at 51%. Last month that support climbed to 53%.
Giving SNP Both Votes in Scottish Parliament Elections Helps Only the Unionists. That’s why the likes of Davidson are jumping ship and more and more Indy supporters are declaring for Dave Thompson’s AFI, and smaller independence parties like my own Solidarity party have signed up to join. Hopefully, other smaller parties will recognise the need for maximum unit and follow us into the AFI soon.