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76  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Finally visiting the States: 2 to 12 November on: September 27, 2014, 12:44:21 pm
Welcome. I'd invite you to see New England in the fall, but by November most of the bloom is off the rose (or maple), at least around here.

I've been told it's quite something. If we car hire we'll probably head to Massachusetts et al for one or two overnights. I tend to like to hop around and can take things in pretty quickly.

I'll let everyone know where I am if anyone wants to meet a rambling Scotsman.
77  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 27, 2014, 08:33:00 am
Well in a Scottish context a capital U Unionist has often been used to mean...

To mean..... what? We're not mind readers Tongue

Conservative. The Conservative Party was called for a long time Unionist Party in Scotland. Officially, they are still called Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.

And to confuse matters further the Unionist part referred to the policy on Ireland.
78  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Finally visiting the States: 2 to 12 November on: September 26, 2014, 12:43:49 pm
Michaels folks are in Monroe County so it's commutable from NY anyway. If we went to Florida then we would be stopping by St Augustine; he went to Flagler but it's a bit of a trip.
79  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 25, 2014, 03:18:13 pm
Some councils are releasing lower level results.

Here is the Yes vote by Scottish Parliamentary Constituency for Glasgow. Who holds the seat at Holyrood is in brackets

Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn - 57.1 (Labour)
Glasgow Provan - 56.97 (Labour)
Glasgow Pollok  - 53.87 (Labour - Johann Lamont)
Glasgow Southside - 52.99 (SNP - Nicola Sturgeon)
Glasgow Cathcart - 52.80 (SNP)
Glasgow Shettleston - 51.36 (SNP)
Glasgow Kelvin - 52.44 (SNP)
Glasgow Anniesland - 50.79 (SNP)

Interesting that Anniesland had the lowest percentage. Provan and Maryhill towards the top (and the only two removed from the overall result by more than 10pts) would tend to confirm the suspicion about ethnoreligious background, though Shettleston maybe not... but then what are the boundaries of Shettleston like again?

Glasgow Baillieston was abolished; the poorer half (Easterhouse et al) was moved into Provan and the richer half that used to be in Lanarkshire (Garrowhill, Mount Vernon) moved into Shettleston.

But yeah, Glasgow and Lanarkshire seem to show the pattern that we've talked about and indeed it could be suggested that the proportion of Labour voters saying Yes was higher than some of the surveys were suggesting. Which is why Scottish Labour seem to be bricking it post referendum.
80  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 25, 2014, 06:19:12 am
Some councils are releasing lower level results.

Here is the Yes vote by Scottish Parliamentary Constituency for Glasgow. Who holds the seat at Holyrood is in brackets

Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn - 57.1 (Labour)
Glasgow Provan - 56.97 (Labour)
Glasgow Pollok  - 53.87 (Labour - Johann Lamont)
Glasgow Southside - 52.99 (SNP - Nicola Sturgeon)
Glasgow Cathcart - 52.80 (SNP)
Glasgow Shettleston - 51.36 (SNP)
Glasgow Kelvin - 52.44 (SNP)
Glasgow Anniesland - 50.79 (SNP)

The Yes vote was strongest in Labour held seats (these are the seats they held during the 2011 wave) The Yes vote in South Lanarkshire was highest in the Rutherglen seat, again the only seat held in South Lanarkshire by Labour.
81  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Finally visiting the States: 2 to 12 November on: September 25, 2014, 06:04:24 am
More information Smiley

We're flying into New York and staying with friends up in Washington Heights. While Michael is a fast (lead footed) driver we're not sure if we'll rent. He can bomb it down to Florida in 16 hours which we might do, though it does mean loosing a day each way. We'll be dropping by the Poconos to see his family but only for a day or two. It makes sense I think, given that it's November, that we'll stay fairly local.
82  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Office of Mideast Governor TJ on: September 25, 2014, 06:00:31 am
This is the sort of legislation I felt that the Mideast would eventually pass, in time. The political atmosphere of the region was in part behind the decision I made to leave after nearly ten years of residency. I've commented on this for other reasons however.

Ultimately this is a game. Part of the reason why over the decade of this game, we don't have laws like this on the statute books in Atlasia is because of the make-up of the forum and the make up of the players does not reflect reality. Over 1/3rd of the Forum identify as LGBT. To approve by signing, or to tacitly approve by allowing the legislation to simply become law a piece of legislation in this game which is deeply offensive and deeply personal to many people who play it, I think sets a worrying precedent. Part of the reason is because unlike many of the other issues we play about with on Atlasia this is something very tangible for people. As a statement, which is precisely what this piece of legislation is (and given the person it comes from) it is designed to do nothing but offend and rile. I would request that this bill be vetoed.
83  Forum Community / Forum Community / Finally visiting the States: 2 to 12 November on: September 24, 2014, 02:16:16 pm
It's booked. At last. Will be New York bound.
84  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: September 23, 2014, 02:00:59 pm
Hifly, I warned your privately about this sort of behaviour. Cool it.
85  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion on: September 23, 2014, 10:54:37 am
The SNP announces that it has doubled it's membership since Thursday and now claims a higher level of membership than the Lib Dems.
86  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: September 23, 2014, 06:20:34 am
Nonetheless, not a bad starting point.

It's an interesting idea. Many of the regions themselves were in many ways defined by geography; signal strength being dictated by hills etc.

In terms of 'federalising' England, The North East is fine as it is, though it might make sense to re-establish the border with Yorkshire at the Tees. Yorkshire is a defined entity; the current region but excluding North Lincs. The North West is broadly fine. Cumbria is a bit of a problem I suppose but it's links are certainly south rather than east. The West Midlands makes sense too as does the East Midlands. It's once we get south that things get problematic.

The South West actually makes sense but perhaps it would be better served by having 'the peninsula' as one area and then unite the rest with Oxford, Bucks etc into a central southern region. The Sussex's, Kent, Surrey can be the rest. Perhaps I don't care enough about the South anyway :p
87  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: September 22, 2014, 04:09:06 pm
Some form of regional government makes sense, but it's fairly clear that the regions should not be the current official ones (which are essentially statistical entities). Possibly it would make sense to dust off the Redcliffe-Maud report and then adjust accordingly.

If there's anything the North East referendum told us, with the results in places like 'Cleveland' (and the NE Region is probably the most well defined of the lot, Yorkshire excluded) is that even if they are well defined, they will still piss some people off. The 70's re-organisation was good, but we've lost defined mets and counties into a maze of piecemeal suburban centred 'Localism'™ which is difficult to patch up.

Perhaps I have my 'bathwithashortA' hat on but when I do a little federal exercise in my head once I get the past the midlands I have no idea how you create acceptable units. Where on earth does Northants go? It's like the Powys of the Midlands.

While Scotland is comfortable with it's central belt dominance and Wales seems to get by despite being culturally split east-west and north-south, it's difficult to 'impose' regions. I read a paper once that suggested that post-war, one of the best measures of local attachment was through the power of the tellybox; the old ITV regions were surprisingly powerful. Might be a strange place to start.
88  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: September 21, 2014, 04:05:55 pm
The big problem for Labour in Scotland is that the aftermath of the referendum might be a gift that keeps on giving

Such as this charming photo of Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South and Dave MacDonald leader of the Scottish wing of the National Front.


89  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 20, 2014, 08:52:18 am
The only thing that could justify a referendum in the short run would be it becoming clear that no more powers were being devolved.

I think so. You have 45% who voted for independence including, it seems a majority of basically everyone from 16-65. It makes sense in that case to make a commitment to some form of federalism. What we will get are a few new powers, but nothing substantial that gives us control over much. Just 'bits' of things. They have already said no to devolving corporation tax for example.

I think Scottish Labour are suffering from a very slow bleeding wound which is probably one of the positives to come out of this campaign.
90  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: 2014 Selfie Creepfest/Post a picture of yourself thread on: September 19, 2014, 05:30:07 pm
It's only fair to post this.

91  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 19, 2014, 05:18:04 pm
I don't know what will happen and neither does anyone else, though I'll note that there are obvious political reasons for the SNP to insist (for now) that this was a once-in-a-generation vote.

My personal view is that few political phenomenons exemplify bad faith more than neverendums, and so I hope that we are more fortunate in that respect than Canada was.

Down with the gerio-cracy!

The SNP are a comfortable eighteen months or so away from a test at Holyrood. In the last few polls of this campaign some temperature checks on voting intention were done which indicated that, for now, the lopsided support for the SNP at the Holyrood level is still there. I think Salmond lumbering on would have been problematic. Nicola Sturgeon has been positioned into the leadership role for a number of years and is personally popular. Whether or not the 'stairheid brawls' between her and Jimmy Krankie start to become tiresome and as a result off-putting is another matter.

Closer to home, 2015 is still an unknown. There is a potential for the bloc Yes vote, that which is still politically engaged anyway, to coalesce around the SNP particularly if there is stagnation when it comes to further devolution
92  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 19, 2014, 04:20:06 pm
Just to let people know there are clashes in George Square in Glasgow. Loyalists have gathered and have set off flares. Other flares going off in small numbers across the city. Getting under control.

You're staying safe, assuming its perilous which...possibly not, I hope?


The main square saw the police 'kettling' the loyalists but it's spilled out on to the other streets because more people have turned up. They have been blocked off now.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152645465120901&set=vb.720735900&type=2&theater
93  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 19, 2014, 02:08:13 pm
Just to let people know there are clashes in George Square in Glasgow. Loyalists have gathered and have set off flares. Other flares going off in small numbers across the city. Getting under control.
94  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 19, 2014, 01:59:28 pm
Which means we also know more or less exactly who the twenty to thirty percent of Labour supporters (as highlighted by basically every poll) who voted Yes are. It makes a degree of logical sense; less attachment to the British state and - in a more functional sense - to the rest of the UK.

(Btw, have you ever considered a variant of 'this thing of ours' a generic jokey semi-euphemism for it?)

It's a shame that we don't have lower level results, because I'm now fairly sure that ethnoreligious background was a factor.

Evidently. Excluding Dundee it seems that support for independence was actually at it's highest in the areas that were Labour's last stand in 2011. Which in turn also correlated to 'thethingyouretalkingabout.'

So SNP projecting socially and culturally inclusive nationalism backfired and anti-Catholic bigotry resurfaced? But why now? SNP's has had broadly the same concept since Salmond got control of the party. Was it just because it got serious now?

The areas that voted strongly in favour of independence were more than likely areas with high Catholic populations. What's important to note that these areas in 2011 also (and this was most clearly seen within Glasgow itself at that time) remained Labour 'boltholes' in an otherwise sea of yellow that year. For that reason, with a bit of intuition, it seemed to me that in west central Scotland those who voted Labour in 2011 may have been more inclined to vote Yes in 2014. What is also striking, excluding E.Duns and E.Ren, the borders, and the islands which have their own special way of thinking is that the parts of the country where the SNP was strong didn't back Yes, or indeed backed No much more heavily.

These areas of the country are richer, have faster growing populations, low Catholic populations and high areas of 'No Religion' in the census amongst the young and high levels of Presbyterianism amongst the old. One would have expected the opposite result across the country. It would be helpful, though it is impossible to see, what the results by council would have been with the over 65's stripped back.

What is all the more curious is that Catholics in 1979 were less inclined to back the Assembly on the basis that there was a not too illegitimate fear that Scotland would become another Ulster. At that time there was a feeling that unionism (not that Catholics ever backed political Unionism in the Scottish sense) was a stalwart against state Presbyterianism.

I don't think there was anything remotely anti-Catholic about the vote. Given that it is likely that Yes led amongst almost all age groups until those in their 60's if anything the map doesn't tell us as much as it ought to. There's a bit of a 'grey mist' that makes meaningful interpretation difficult.
95  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 19, 2014, 01:27:05 pm
It's a shame that we don't have lower level results, because I'm now fairly sure that ethnoreligious background was a factor.

Evidently. Excluding Dundee it seems that support for independence was actually at it's highest in the areas that were Labour's last stand in 2011. Which in turn also correlated to 'thethingyouretalkingabout.'
96  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of this Gordon Brown speech on: September 19, 2014, 01:13:25 pm
Family Guy is funnier.
97  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 19, 2014, 01:04:48 pm
Sturgeon is the only politician in Scotland that has higher approvals than Alex Salmond. She will get the job.
98  General Politics / International General Discussion / Devolution General Discussion Thread. on: September 19, 2014, 10:04:30 am
I sort of feel I need to make a ‘speech’ being one of only two active Scots on the forum. At the same time, there are new issues to be faced by the whole of the UK which is why I've started this thread. Though forgive me for opening it with some personal reflection.

I was a passionate supporter of the Yes campaign which for me was the culmination of a number of years in my life in moving towards that position. I used to be opposed to independence, wishing for a federalist settlement for the whole of the UK and it was only when this campaign began back in 2012 that I made a decision to back it. Devolution is and should always be a process but over the past ten years there’s been a reluctance to do anything else with it. All parts of the UK have different dreams and aspirations and when you set up assemblies for 3 of the 4 nations and the nation’s capital, the idea of the UK being a unitary state is already a fallacy. The problem with further devolution in other parts of nation is that the polls and the one referendum conducted, show that the ‘regions’ of England don’t want it for themselves. Yet at the same time it is crowed that Scotland (and what is notable is that NI and Wales are often excluded from this rhetoric) votes for ‘English’ laws. It’s the West Lothian Question. And it remains unanswered. And what’s more, I agree that it’s a problem.

The problem you have is that a century ago, before the welfare state the big national issues were defence and foreign policy and spending (as examples) Today at the GE, it’s the social and welfare issues that matter to the public and that form the centre of the party political platforms. Those are largely devolved in the Celtic nations but not so in England. As such, they are subject to both scrutiny and vote by MP’s who don’t live there. The problem with ‘English votes for English laws’ is that one party might have a majority in the whole of the UK but another a majority in England. This creates potential instability. Whether it actually would is another matter. The only post war elections that would apply to would be 1964 and February 1974 where the Conservatives would lead in England despite Labour leading in GB and October 1974 where Labour would need some Liberal assistance or abstention. 2010 counts too, but only on the basis that the Conservatives could govern outright. One could perhaps assume in the spirit of post war consensus that ‘arrangements’ in both 1964 and 1974 would have probably been successful. The House of Commons has to adapt to these changes.

The other alternative, given that regional assemblies are probably a non-starter, is to deliver Greater London Authority style powers to various parts of England. The problem we have is with local government. The Local Government reforms of the 1970’s have been watered down to such an extent that many of the old units of government; strong county councils and metropolitan authorities which could help deliver these powers locally are now non-existent. Local Government reform in England post 1996 has been piecemeal with local reviews decentralising and then centralising some areas of the country into unitary authorities. You cannot deliver effective local devolution until you tackle local government.
99  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 18, 2014, 02:33:29 pm
Interesting note that IPSOS-MORI have tweeted that if turnout actually breaches 80% then their polls probably won't be valid.

Have they?  I can't see anything of the sort on https://twitter.com/IpsosMORI (I can find other people on Twitter claiming that they have said this, but no links to the actual statement or anything, which makes me suspicious).

I'm not on twitter so I can't say. If it's bad second hand info then apologies.
100  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 18, 2014, 02:21:55 pm
Interesting note that IPSOS-MORI have tweeted that if turnout actually breaches 80% then their polls probably won't be valid.

Wasn't the assumption that it almost certainly would do so?

It's never been known and nor has it became any clearer in the last few weeks of the campaign (as these things usually do). If turnout is high, and is relatively high regardless of where you are, even with traditionally higher turnouts in certain parts of the country, the difference could be less than usual, so not only would your national turnout be wrong, but your subnational turnout levels could be askew too.
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