SNP fails at first challenge in Westminster

Do Tory voters really want this idiotic mob rampaging through their streets and backyards after an innocent creature, intending to rip it to shreds? Well, they support "welfare reform", which isn't far from the same.

Do Tory voters really want this idiotic mob rampaging through their streets and backyards after an innocent creature, intending to rip it to shreds?
Well, they support “welfare reform”, which isn’t far from the same.

Some of us knew the Scottish Nationalists were more full of wind than bagpipes, but now we’re all seeing the evidence of it.

It seems the 56 members of the SNP who managed to con their countryfolk into electing them to the Westminster Parliament are set to betray the rest of the United Kingdom in the worst possible way – or betray their own “principled” position – over fox hunting.

Everyone in the UK should be aware, by now, that the Conservative Government is planning to repeal the Hunting Act 2004, in which hunting foxes with dogs was banned in England and Wales.

Scotland banned hunting in 2002, therefore supporters of the SNP merrily told the rest of us that the Parliamentary SNP would be holding to its “principled” position, and would be abstaining from the vote on whether to repeal the ban.


This directly contradicts statements made by party leader Nicola Sturgeon that the SNP would represent the interests of all of the UK. Here’s what she said: “If the SNP emerges from this election in a position of influence we will exercise that influence responsibly and constructively, and we will always seek to exercise it in the interests of people not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK.”

Not only that, but does anybody remember the stink the SNP (amongst others, including notably the Greens) kicked up when the Labour Party abstained from a vote on a moratorium on fracking (in England, not Scotland) in January (this vote was always doomed to failure; Labour was supporting a move to regulate fracking, that would delay any work until after the election)? Or the stench the SNP created over an abstention on a vote (that was actually totally irrelevant) on the Bedroom Tax? These were used very strongly in the run-up to the general election to create the impression that Labour had betrayed the people of the UK and supported the Conservative Party.

In that case, would an abstention on fox hunting not be a similar betrayal of the people of the UK – and support of the Conservatives – by a party that had made a solemn vow to represent the interests of people “not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK”?

Most people in the UK don’t want the Hunting Act to be scrapped. They don’t want hordes of overprivileged stupids riding roughshod across their property, chasing some poor, innocent little creature that will be ripped to shreds if it is caught. Some of us find that barbaric and abhorrent.

Still, supporters of the SNP made it perfectly clear that they were 100 per cent behind an abstention on the “principled” grounds they had mentioned: That the rest of the UK is a foreign country and it is none of their business; their own ban will not be affected.

Then Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The SNP has not yet taken decision on this. We certainly don’t agree with repealing ban.”


Oh! That puts a new complexion on the matter, doesn’t it?

Now they’re damned either way.

If they abstain, they betray Nicola Sturgeon’s promise that the SNP would use its influence “in the interests of people not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK.”

If they vote, they betray the “principled” position claimed by supporters, that they would not vote on matters that do not affect Scotland.

There is no way out of this dilemma.

Now, can you imagine the torrent of abuse that flowed from SNP supporters on Twitter as this matter was tweeted out on Saturday (May 16)?

Don’t bother; here are some examples received just by this writer.

In this exchange, we see SNP supporters claiming that Scotland is a country completely separate from the UK, implying that SNP MPs voting on fox hunting in England and Wales would be similar to French, German or Luxembourg MPs voting on it (the difference being that those really are separate countries, with no representation in Westminster. The SNP has put MPs there, so it has a duty to vote on legislation there):





Here’s a little more on SNP “principles”, claiming the rest of us don’t understand what they are, along with more about the rUK being a foreign country:



Then there are the person attacks. Here are some milder examples that were aimed at this writer yesterday. Notice that very few have anything to do with the subject at hand:



This one is based on the oft-repeated lie that Labour’s support of the Charter for Budget Responsibility was also support for £30 billion of spending cuts planned by the Conservative Party. There is no mention, in any of the charter’s 20 pages, of any spending cuts at all. The Charter has been available for many months – plenty of time for everyone to read it. Therefore anybody suggesting Labour supported any cuts at all, by supporting the Charter, is a liar – including Oscar Carr.


The SNP is, indeed, to blame for the SNP planning to abstain on the Hunting Act repeal.

The SNP is, indeed, to blame for the SNP planning to abstain on the Hunting Act repeal. This Writer isn’t causing problems, though – just bringing them to public attention.


They all know This Writer supports Labour – this was a weak attempt to pour ridicule on that party by association.


This one is absolutely bizarre. One can only posit that this person lost the capacity for rational thought.

Nobody mentioned any "wide spectrum" of SNP supporters; the discussion was focused on those involved in the conversation.

Nobody mentioned any “wide spectrum” of SNP supporters; the discussion was focused on those involved in the conversation.


This one seems to think Yr Obdt Srvt tweets for the Labour Party:


Finally, here’s someone who’s a bit confused. Presumably they had read the dialogue and presumed that the Hunting Act under (loose) discussion related only to England, because in a weak bid to attack This Writer, they tweeted:


Yes, Mr Buckley. Welsh MPs will definitely vote on the repeal of the ban on fox hunting in England and Wales.

These are just examples – mild examples – of the personal abuse that comes from SNP supporters when anybody dares to question the actions of their party (apart from the last tweet, which was a mistake, made in a mistaken belief). It was time somebody made this behaviour public.

But will the SNP itself do anything at all to bring its supporters’ behaviour back to acceptable levels of conversation? Or does the SNP revel in it?

After all, what could do more to help the cause of Scottish independence than an impression that Scottish people are insensitive, selfish bullies who’ll do their best to batter opponents into submission by whatever means are available?

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230 thoughts on “SNP fails at first challenge in Westminster

  1. NMac

    If the Act is repealed won’t it include Scotland as well? I thought the SNP was opposed to this barbaric pastime.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Scotland has its own anti-hunting law, which won’t be affected.
      The SNP supporters’ have an “I’m all right, Jack” view that their part of the country won’t be affected, so everyone else can go hang.

      1. Scots gordon

        No if you care to think about it….Remember the outcry of the possibility of the Scots voting on English matters! The replacement was ‘Unless it affects Scotland we won’t vote on it’ Make up your minds! Fox hunting remains banned in Scotland ! So what’s your choice do you want us voting on English matters or not?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I didn’t cry out about Scots voting on English matters. Scottish Labour MPs have been doing it for centuries; Scottish Tories and Lib Dems likewise.
        Are you making this argument up?
        This blog has never suggested that MPs from Scotland should not vote on all matters that arise in Parliament.
        Would all commenters please bear this in mind?

      3. George Mcgrory

        honestly why did you write this ? you are the one making up an argument mike . the snp cannot in all fairness vote on english only matter and keeping to its word should be commended not twisted because you feel strongly about foxhunting . and as for the im all right jack attitude from snp supporter well that is just a cry for attention from yourself . your looking to get replies that you feel insult you or are aggressive . your whole blog is aggressive and slanderous and your an attention seeking fool.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Honestly, why did you bother to comment? All your arguments have been defeated already and you are left with nothing but a personal attack on me, which I’ll file with the others. The SNP really does need to be told about the disgusting manner in which people like you defend it.
        Also, you need to look up the legal definition of slander.

      5. Gareth

        if u wrote from a view taking both sides in to account it would be more honest ,,in regards to the fox hunting stuff if the snp start voting on English matters the Tories may start doing the same in regards to Scots matters ,but I think ur just trying to coz a wee bit division, its this kind of view that has lead labour to the state its in and a party in denial ,as id say u are ,its every bodys fault bar labours ,think u need to stand back and look at how labour ended up losing to DC as u guys should have walked that one,have a nice day

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        I did take both sides into account. Wrong is wrong, whichever colour you paint it, though, and the SNP is plain wrong – whatever it does.
        So perhaps the SNP might consider the plight of the innocents in this matter – foxes that happen to live in England, even though they themselves have no conception of national borders – and vote according to what’s best for them?

        Tories are going to mess around with Scotland no matter what the SNP does – you need to get used to that idea.

        Your comment that it’s healthy criticism of the SNP that has led Labour to its current state may have some truth in it – look at the huge amount of unfounded and in some cases abusive criticism this blog has faced down from ignorant SNP supporters. It seems logical that such ignorance is carried over from the election and support for that party prior to that.

        I’m not arguing with your comments about Labour. They are irrelevant to this discussion, which is about the SNP.

        Please try to understand that.

      7. Donnie Hampson

        First thing is Westminster isn’t sitting so there is no vote on Fox hunting as yet.
        Second. The last vote was a “free” house vote so no party lines or whips involved.
        Third. You may not have but constantly the SNP and Scotland have been accused of “the tail wagging the English bulldog” ( bbcqt + various news progs) so why should the SNP be the moral conscious of the South?
        Personally I’m against this barbaric “sport” and whether the 56 mps vote against or abstain is up to them in a free vote.
        Lastly this blog started out slating the SNP in a vote that hasn’t been put before the house, in a one-sided argument against the 56 because “we knew they were more full of wind than bagpipes” and then the “look at their supporters reactions!”.
        Look up objectivity, substance, balanced, reasoned and above all “current proposed legislation on the statute books”.
        Happy trolling .

      8. Mike Sivier Post author

        Nobody here is trolling anybody else. You clearly have an agenda in suggesting that this is the case.

        The rest has already been addressed elsewhere and is more or less from the SNP “message script” that you all seem to be using.

      9. ronnie porter

        I my self am totally against fox hunting , but we in Scotland have our own Scottish Law on this , so this particular law IS totally ”English Vote for English Law ” .as Cameron has already stated … So you cannot blame our SNP for voting or not voting on this issue ..

        You don’t want SNP to vote on English matters , yet when they dont , you jump on then ….Make up your minds..

      10. Mike Sivier Post author

        Yeah, yeah, you have your own law. Blah blah SNP message script…
        EVEL is just a matter for discussion and has not been brought in at all. Scottish MPs not only have a right to vote on this; they have a duty as representatives of the UK citizenry.
        I have already pointed out that this blog is perfectly happy for Scottish MPs to vote on any matter that comes to Parliament. You must be a little hard-of-understanding to still be spouting tosh about the opposite now.

    2. J. R. Tomlin

      No. This is an English only matter so why suddenly is Sivier insisting that the Scots MPs should vote on English matters? In interesting opinion. I thought his ilk were all screaming that the SNP should stay OUT of English-only matters.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, the Scots should exercise their democratic duty, as United Kingdom MPs, as they have been enfranchised to do by the people of their constituencies.
        It isn’t rocket science.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Then think again. This blog’s stance has always been that anybody elected to Parliament should vote on all matters put before Parliament (unless prevented by illness or other duties, obviously).
        There is nothing sudden about this blog’s position; Vox Political has always held it.

      3. Max Solanis

        Isn’t it this very issue that the “English Votes for English Laws” malarky has come about? You don’t want us to vote on issues affecting England only, but when it’s something you disagree with, then we’re unprincipled if we don’t vote! Damned if we do and damned if we don’t!

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        I’ve already pointed out the error on EVEL. It seems you are not alone in holding a misapprehension.
        What a shame it has taken the threat of a mass betrayal of the British people by SNP MPs to reveal this to you.

      5. Gareth

        Mike Sivier reading thro ur page and Ive a question to ask,have Labour or urself ever been wrong ? here is and example,,Jim Murphy was NOT lying when he said Labour would provide more nurses for the Scottish NHS, yet u have skipped by the fact that 2 elections would have had to be won at the time of writing this ? come on buddy its this kinda thing that lost him his job ,and ive seen a vid of him saying it was an example ,have u not seen that ?

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        Yes to both.
        Bit of a silly question, since I’ve attacked Labour over some of its choices on this very blog, and have also issued corrections to mistakes I’ve made – again on this very blog.

    3. A.P.Scot

      Difficult. This truly is an “English-only” issue. Fully devolved. If the SNP MPs vote against the lift of the ban, there’ll be “English votes for English laws” within days and they won’t be able to have any say on austerity and welfare cuts. Strategically, I’d wish them to abstain.
      It isn’t the SNP’s fault that the English electorate voted in a bunch of psychopaths.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, it isn’t an English-only issue. The law relates to fox hunting in England and Wales. Don’t try to say you didn’t know; it’s highlighted in the article.
        I’m sure the SNP’s Welsh-nationalist colleagues, Plaid Cymru, are very interested in the Scottish party’s attitude to this issue.
        Your claim about the consequences is unfounded.
        And yes, the SNP is partly responsible, for reasons discussed many times over the last week or so.

    4. Royal Sigs

      What a load of utter shit!!

      So they vote and then half of England moan like little babies that the Scots are voting on English matters as this is devolved to Scotland who has banned it!

      Or they abstain and you get morons like this reporting saying they refuse to vote on English matters even although the matter is devolved to Edniburgh.

      You are a moron and a shit stirrer. Lets try cause maximum annoyance.


      The people of Scotland voted SNP to help Scotland in the UK parliament, not help dig England out of their legal issues. Scottish law is not even the same as English with regard to property etc!!!!

      What a load of trash. A report designed to troll and cause discontent and division. This guy should be reported to the police for inciting hatred! Shocking and terribly out of touch!

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        That’s right, the SNP is damned if they do and damned if they don’t – and the only people to blame for it are the members of – you guessed it – the SNP.
        There’s no trolling going on here. Get a grip of yourself.
        The SNP sought election to the UK Parliament in order to have a say in UK affairs. Now they’ve got it, they want to abandon their duty.
        You think I should be reported to the police for inciting hatred? Ye gods! Grow up!

        I’ve not edited this comment. It seems important now that abusive SNP commenters like this should be shown for what they are.
        I wonder if that party is proud of this person.

  2. Simon

    Being duped is hard to accept. They will blame anyone who points this out, even an innocent fox!

  3. Nationalism Rules

    This is the biggest load of pish I have read, SNP will only vote on English issues that have a financial consequence on Scotland, it’s in the manifesto, perhaps you should read it. Vile scum like you have no place in Scotland.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s that kind of selfishness that will create real hatred between the rUK and Scotland, and between SNP supporters and the rest of the Scottish people.
      So I’m “vile scum” now, am I? We’ll add that to the list of baseless insults in the tweets that I mention in the article.
      I shall not be lowering myself to your level in response. I do draw attention to the fact that you dare not post under your real name and that you give your email address as (and I’ve edited this for decency) “f***you@toryc***”.
      There are no Tory c*** suckers here but I hope this demonstrates the kind of individual you have shown yourself to be.

      1. Scots gordon

        Mike Sivier you defiantly have a serious problem either understanding or grasping the situation….. the stance ofnthe SNP has and is they will not vote on english maters! Remember the outcry when they said this will happen? No chances not as you aooearntohave sekective memory. Might is suggest you take off your jodhpur as they seem to be restrictions g your oxygen flow.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        My understanding of the situation is rock-solid. It is as I laid it out in the article.
        Are you denying the tweet that Nicola Sturgeon sent?
        Are you denying the SNP’s attitude to Labour’s abstentions and what this means for the nationalist party if it chooses to do likewise?
        Are you denying Ms Sturgeon’s claim that the SNP would try to represent the interests of the whole UK, rather than just Scotland?
        If you are, then you are mistaken.
        If not, then the facts are irrefutable.

        You seem to have allowed your passions to get the better of you in your last couple of lines.
        If the last sentence was intended as abuse, I’ll add it to the pile.

      3. Chris Dark

        As mentioned before, the SNP said they would vote on English only matters if it had direct consequences in Scotland.

        Since Scotland has already banned fox hunting, why would the SNP need to vote on this English only matter?…It’s not rocket science.

        English people can’t complain one minute that the SNP shouldnt have the right to vote on English only matters, and then whine about it when they abstain from voting on an English only matter. The SNP cannot do both.

        I notice in your article you’ve ommited all the tweets from English people against Scottish people regarding this issue. So much for balance, eh?.

        This article is just another in a long list of anti-SNP articles popping up everywhere, clearly you’re beginning to clutch at straws.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Read the article and learn something. I’ve already responded to another commenter about this (who’ll appear further down the comment column because I did it out of order) but you seem to be quoting from the same “message script”.

        It’s boring. Get a new argument.

        As for the tweets from English (and Scottish) people who disagreed with the SNP, there’s a very good reason they were omitted: I was showing the abusive nature of the SNP tweets. I didn’t include all the tweets from SNP supporters either, because some of them were actually trying to handle the matter in a reasonable way (up to a point, anyway).

        Oh, the “clutch at straws” comment is from the message script too.

        You people really are getting desperate.

  4. S

    So you’re comparing a failure to block fracking and the bedroom tax with fox hunting, then using this one vague policy position on animal welfare to demonise the integrity of SNP policy across the board? Please, what a waste of time.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No I’m not. But you clearly have an agenda to follow.
      I’m comparing the conclusions drawn by the SNP and its supporters about the Labour abstentions with their opinions of their own party’s stance on fox hunting – I’m not comparing the issues themselves but the attitude to the actions of the parties. Please do not try to mislead others with this kind of misrepresentation.

      1. J. R. Tomlin

        The SNP party stance is and always has been NOT to vote on English-only matters. The leadership is currently considering whether this in fact an English-only matter. But that doesn’t fit your ‘SNP evil’ agenda.

      1. Maureen Luby

        What part of ‘SNP won’t vote on English only matters’ don’t you understand? This is just another labourite getting caught up in the ‘SNP bad’ rhetoric that we have been forced to listen to ad nauseum since 2007. London labour’s Scottish accounting unit have shamed themselves with this kind of stuff. We need an effective opposition in Holyrood and they have proven they are unable to provide that. So glad this party got their comeuppance at the GE and looking forward to seeing the same at next year’s Holyrood election and the council elections in 2017. We need rid of the dinosaurs.
        As for vile abuse, the only piece of research done on this showed that the majority of the abuse comes from the unionist side.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        What part of Nicola Sturgeon’s words: “The SNP has not yet taken decision on this. We certainly don’t agree with repealing ban” do you not understand?
        Don’t throw the Labour Party at this blog; I’m a Labour member, sure, but I don’t write as a representative of Labour. You really need a new angle because that one won’t work any more.
        Your comment on abuse would have more impact if your fellow SNP supporters hadn’t spent the last 36 hours, or so, sending abuse at me. You can see some of it in this very comment column.

  5. jane jacques

    If a cruelty or injustice occurs then the question how to resolve it must be asked. “Party policy” and fudging the issue is not good enough. Cameron and his party have shown their contempt for animal welfare and public opinion if they repeal the fox hunting ban. The SNP have campaigned as being superior to this. Many other issues will come up, but this is still important and still needs to be voted on.

  6. Stuart Wallace

    Political party says then will do something and then political party does that thing. That is the entire story you are commenting on.

      1. Scots gordon

        Personally mike in would like to let the SNP take a leading roll in English affirm, more to the point of austerity cuts as it is defiantly affecting your care in the community! But heyho we stand by our point and not become involved in English matters after all the tories were voted in by the English electorate!

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        The Tories were voted in by the electorate of the United Kingdom. Yes, most of them won their seats in England, but it was a UK vote.
        You Scots seem to forget that, if England really was a foreign country, you would not be able to send MPs to Westminster.

  7. Julie

    Um….I thought everyone in England was up in arms that Scottish MPS would expect to vote on English only matters. Now I’m hearing that you want to elect the Tories but you want the SNP to save you from its policies, even ones that don’t affect Scotland. You can’t have it both ways.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I want to do WHAT?
      You’re on the wrong blog if you think supporting the Tories is entertained here in any way.
      This blog supports neither EVEL nor a Conservative Government.
      I recommend a hearing test.

    2. hstorm

      “I thought everyone in England was up in arms that Scottish MPS would expect to vote on English only matters.”

      Well you thought wrong. There are loads of people down here – including me – who don’t mind at all.

      “Now I’m hearing that you want to elect the Tories but you want the SNP to save you from its policies”

      Oh I see, so you also think ‘everyone in England’ is a Tory supporter. How simple-minded.

      And the Scottish Nationalists never stop moaning about being victims of English prejudice? It’s laughable some of the generalised stereotypes I’ve heard the Nats propagating about England, and you’re keeping the tradition alive.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      We’ll just add that to the collection of pointless SNP-inspired abuse, then.
      Anyone who’s an actual member of the SNP, please take note: This is how your supporters represent you!

  8. Jim Brown

    I’m not sure what all this speculation is about? Is it not normal for any political group to discuss, then decide, then either put forward a motion or an amendment to any bill?
    How do these bloggers know how the SNP is going to react? The fox hunting arrangements in Scotland seem to work fine!! How do they know that this is not the type of amendment that could be offered?
    Life is not always black or white.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      SNP members and supporters told me how that party is going to react. Apparently the pledge not to vote on matters that don’t affect Scotland is also on the SNP website.
      However, we’ve seen that matters are not clear.
      Life isn’t always black or white.
      Rabid SNP supporters need to remember that.

  9. Pahdraig Brennan

    Why should scotland be voting on a law that affects another country! You guys still don’t get it, we aleady have a ban thats our choice if your country does not want a ban that is YOUR choice! Twats

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Scotland would NOT be voting on a law that affects another country.
      You just don’t get it, do you? Scotland would not be sending MPs to Westminster if the rUK was another country.

      I’ll toss your one-word display of abuse in with the others from your colleagues. It’s building up into quite a collection! Are you sure any of you should be allowed to mix with other people, with an attitude like that?

      1. Brian

        Mike I’m sorry but you do need to think before you reply. Scotland WOULD be voting on laws that affect another country – England & Wales being the countries in question. Scotland sends MP’s to Westminster because the UK is a Nation of countries & it’s parliament is in Westminster. Unfortunately you have stumbled into the crux of the problem. Westminster might reside within the country of England but it belongs to all of us – not just the English!

  10. Shuggy

    Labour have repeatedly stated that they will not work with the SNP.

    It follows that, if the SNP vote against the repeal of the Act, Labour will automatically vote in favour of it, i.e. with the Tories. No real surprise there.

    Whereas if the SNP abstain, it gives Labour a unique opportunity to vote freely, based on principle, rather than their vitriolic hatred of the SNP. Smiles all round, yes?

    Of course this assumes that Labour are capable of forming alliances with anyone else, which, in turn, assumes they’re willing to make an effort. Bit of a tall order there.

    Seems they’d rather spend their hours of employment playing Blame Bingo:

    “It’s the Nats!”
    “It’s the Tories!”
    “It’s the voters!”

    Clue: It’s number 3.

    Glad to help.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Your logic is at fault. Labour can vote against the Hunting Act, independently of the SNP.
      You didn’t really think that Labour policy would depend on what the SNP does, did you?
      Your comment about “Blame Bingo” (amusing name!) is utterly irrelevant to this discussion.

    2. hstorm

      “Labour have repeatedly stated that they will not work with the SNP.

      “It follows that, if the SNP vote against the repeal of the Act, Labour will automatically vote in favour of it, i.e. with the Tories.”

      That is one of the silliest things I’ve ever read in my life. You think that sharing an opinion with someone on a particular issue is the same as working with them?

      My local butcher commented to me the other day that the weather was bad. I agreed with him. Does that mean I was working with him?

      Study the fallacy of false equivalence sometime.

  11. David Houldsworth

    If the rest of the UK didn’t want the ban on foxhunting lifted, they should have voted Labour – what did you think was going to happen ? THEN they blame the SNP for not standing up for them. You couldn’t make it up.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Like Shuggy, your logic is at fault.
      Only 36 per cent of the voting population supported a Conservative Government, and this represented only 24 per cent of the electorate. On top of that, there are those who didn’t register to vote.
      Those who didn’t register and didn’t bother to vote can’t complain about anything that happens over the next five years, even if they have an opinion on subjects like this.
      That still leaves a massive 64 per cent of the voting public – the majority – who didn’t want a Conservative Government and, yes, the majority of them voted Labour.
      Nobody is blaming the SNP for failing to stand up for them personally.
      EVERYBODY may blame the SNP for failing to stand up.

  12. Tony Dean

    Cameron has promised a free vote on the repeal issue so it is not the certainty of it being passed that some people seem to think.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’ve already responded to this, regarding how it affects the SNP.

  13. Will Reid

    The SNP have for years decided not to vote on English only things at Westminster. Since fox hunting is devolved in Scotland they have no need to vote on it. Whether there is fox hunting in England or not will not affect scotland in the slightest so it’s fairly obvious why the SNP would abstain from this vote

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That point of view is covered in the article. You have not given any information that disproves what is stated in the article.

  14. mike cullen

    You begin your entire piece with an insult, then go on to complain about receiving insults, accusing SNP voters to be full of “wind”, then going on to call them criminals guilty of some kind of “con”. Not the most auspicious start to any blog, when you are guilty of the very thing you try to blame on others.

    However, once you get past insulting people, you do point up an interesting dilemma – that the SNP will be continuously challenged on this issue, and the difficulty arises from being able to judge which is a devolved issue, and which is a UK one. There will be many examples of this in the years to come. This problem has a very easy solution, really. Dissolve the UK, and it all gets sorted out. That the problem exists is surely testament to how nonsensical it is to continue with this archaic and ludicrous “union”. Thank you for adding to the endless list of reasons for bringing the union to an end.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Your first paragraph would have more impact if the words that form the basis of your complaint weren’t accurate. As the article demonstrates, they are accurate. The same cannot be said for the ill-chosen abuse flung at this blog and myself by SNP supporters.

      The difficulty does not arise from judging what is and isn’t a devolved issue. The difficulty arises from Scottish people having been duped into voting for a party that is determined to give the Conservatives – hated by most of the Scots – a free ride over who-knows-how-many future Parliamentary Bills.

      The solution you propose was rejected decisively by the Scottish people last September. That you cannot accept the result merely shows how backward and divisive the SNP and its supporters really are.

      1. Shuggy

        Scottish people were well aware of the SNP’s long-standing position of not voting on matters which have no bearing on Scotland. People then voted decisively for the SNP, not least because it is clearly a party of principle.

        In the last of the tweets you reproduce (above), the question is asked “Will Welsh MPs vote?”

        Following your answer, you say of all the tweets:

        “These are just examples – mild examples – of the personal abuse that comes from SNP supporters when anybody dares to question the actions of their party. It was time somebody made this behaviour public.”

        If you consider that question to be an example of even mild abuse, then perhaps you should set the parameters of the comments section more appropriately.

        Perhaps: “No dissent tolerated” would suffice?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, I didn’t consider the question to be an example of abuse in itself – although it seems clear that person was trying to set me up for abuse in a later tweet. It seems clear he had been led to believe (by SNP tweeters) that fox hunting was an England-only issue and was trying to set a trap for me. The fact is that the SNP tweeters were wrong and had wrong-footed him; the Hunting Act covers England and Wales, so Welsh MPs including those representing Plaid Cymru will be voting on it.

        Is that the best you can do, though, really? You’re taking issue with me for putting a tweet in the section of the article that dealt with tweets, and for then referring to the abuse that constitutes the vast bulk of them – without excepting that one? That’s your argument?

        Pathetic. Absolutely, utterly hopeless. Desperate.

        Tell you what – I’ve amended it to point out that the last tweet was a mistake. Now where’s your argument?

      3. simon paterson

        Hunting laws are devolved. SNP only said they would vote only English matters if it affects Scotland. This doesn’t. They made this perfectly clear before the election, so why put this article up?

    2. hstorm

      ‘That the problem exists is surely testament to how nonsensical it is to continue with this archaic and ludicrous “union”.’

      The union between England and Scotland was formed in 1707.

      Scotland, on the other hand, was formed at some point in the Tenth Century, as a union – well conquest in fact – of three kingdoms by the rulers of Irish raiders.

      Which union do you think is more archaic and irrelevant to the modern world?

      You are doubtless in favour of breaking the British union, on the basis of it being archaic, while wishing to retain the Scottish union, even though it is about eight centuries older.

      One of the reasons why I find ScotNats rather risible; they are unshakably convinced that Britain is artificial and that Scotland is more ‘real’. In truth, *all* countries are artificial, and are accidents of history. By the ‘Scotland-was-there-first-therefore-it-is-more-real-than-Britain’ reasoning of the ScotNats, Pictland is more real than Scotland.

      1. Donnie Hampson

        I think you mean the United kingdom. Britain is a group of islands. But hey good idea on names. England, probably tired of that centuries old name, could be more modern and up to date and be renamed as, “Letdownbylabour”.
        Anyhoo it’s the UK not GB.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        In that case, we can all look forward to Scotland renaming itself “LetdownbyNats”.

  15. Richard McHarg

    What a bloody stupid and pointless article.

    It’s beyond belief to see supporters of the Labour Party criticising any other party for the betrayal of principles of any sort.

    Just because the SNP stuffed the Labour Party in Scotland, due to Labour having betrayed its principles, you shouldn’t get your knickers a twist over this issue.

    It’s an English-only issue.

    The SNP will vote on issues that have a knock-on effect on Scotland. Horrendous as fox hunting is, this does not affect us, so is an issue for the English.

    Stop blaming the SNP for that shower of morons in the Tory Party, or for the failure of Labour to be an effective opposition to them.

    If you’re going to write something criticising the SNP, you essentially stick your head above the parapet, and therefore risk having it shot off.

    You’re better than this!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What, you think Labour has betrayed its principles, so no other party can be accused of the same? In what parallel universe would this be anything other than a very limp false argument?

      You’re yet another SNP supporter who’s got his own knickers in a knot about Labour when this is nothing to do with Labour. It’s about the SNP. Try not to think about Labour when thinking about this. You’ll understand the issue better.

      I can see you’re another SNP supporter who thinks saying “It’s an English-only issue” will make it go away. Think again. The arguments in the article hold water; the SNP will be ridiculed for the next five years if it begins like this. You can be sure of it.

      You’re also another SNP supporter who thinks this article is somehow blaming the SNP for the actions of the Tories. That’s three repeated claims in a row, so now I have to ask:

      Are these statements coming from some SNP “message script”?

      It seems too much of a coincidence that you are all saying – and repeating – the same silly things, long after those arguments have been dismissed.

      Regarding your penultimate paragraph, I’m well used to putting my head above the parapet. I’m in no risk at all of having it shot off when all the hostiles are firing wide.

  16. j e

    dammed if they vote, dammed if they dont vote, either way they cant win in your eyes, so what the point reading anything you write about them, its always going to be anti SNP anyway. If you dont like how they run Scotland and you live in Scotland, the answer is simple, ask Mr Cameron for a house in England, for everyone one that leaves, it will help ease the strain on our food banks.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      This is probably the second most ignorant comment I have read today.
      The aim of the article is to show people what’s going on, and that the SNP is actually betraying the trust Scottish people placed in that party.
      Your suggestion that Scottish people who don’t like the SNP should move to England is, I suspect, deeply offensive – not only to Scots who don’t support the SNP, but also to any right-thinking Scotsperson who has supported that party until now.

  17. Jason

    I am always baffled when it is stated that a “clear majority’ voted to retain the Union, or in your case “rejected decisively”. The percentage of Scottish public eligible to vote, who voted for independence, was 45%, which is almost half. Yes it may have been a numerical majority, but proportionally, a significant number within the country were in favour of a split.

    With that aside – with reference to Scotland being a different country – legally, it is not. However, it has its own legal system, its own government, its own education system, its own currency, it’s own land border and not least, as shown in the recent general election , its own political ideals which are in stark contrast to that of England. It may as well be its own country. Labour – rejected. Conservative – rejected. Lib Dem – rejected.

    For you to call the SnP “more full of wind than bag pipes” is abuse is it not? For one who condemns criticism of your own thoughts and ideals, how can you openly criticise the ideals of any other belief contrary to your own which is all I have read here. For a frank and open discussion to be had about anything, ideas from both sides need to be considered equally which you are failing to do at the first hurdle.

    Yes, Nicola Sturgeon is left in a quandary by failing to stick to what was stated in her manifesto but your entire article is based upon this one petty point. If you skimmed the surface of any political party in the UK, you would find far worse examples of double standards – far worse.

    The sooner David Cameron pushes through English votes for English laws, the better. Then this issue will never arise again. You cannot pick and choose when you would like the Scottish to vote. It is unethical to expect Scottish MP’s to vote to support something which is important to you, but then complain when they can also vote on something else which is contrary to what you believe.

    On a side note, David Camerons promise to legislate this within 100 days of winning the election is unprecedented. People grow old and weary before legislation is passed normally. The Anti-Scottish Rhetoric that was prevalent in English media and Politics in the run up to the Election was abhorrent, leaving little wonder why Scotland voted the way it did.

    This article is clearly nothing about Fox hunting, but a weak attempt at stirring contempt for a party which won decisively in Scotland, and “clearly rejected” (a genuine clear rejection) every other party.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes, a significant number were in favour of a split, but the majority against was 10 per cent – which is also a significant number. Therefore we can say with accuracy that Scotland voted decisively against secession.

      Your claims about Scotland being its own country are only true if one accepts the point of view from which you make them. As we have just seen, 55 per cent of Scottish citizens felt otherwise. Also, Scotland has not rejected Labour, the Tories or the Lib Dems as all have a Scottish seat in Parliament. How many seats do they have in Holyrood?

      My “bagpipes” reference to the SNP is accurate. Read the article. Nobody has been able to disprove its statements, therefore I stand by my assertion. The abuse to which this blog – and myself – have been subjected is unsupported by any fact at all. Readers are welcome to criticise VP articles in a constructive way; I have yet to see that from the majority of SNP-supporting commenters (yes, there are a few exceptions).

      The problem with your claim about worse double standards elsewhere is that we’re not discussing anyone else – we’re discussing the SNP. And the SNP set out its store very clearly with its accusations against Labour, as described in the article. And the SNP set out its store very clearly with its “principled” stand on matters that don’t affect Scotland. And the SNP set out its store very clearly with Nicola Sturgeon’s claim that SNP MPs would work “in the interests of people not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK”. It seems that any frank and open discussion that is to be had, must be had among members and supporters of the SNP.

      You say “The sooner David Cameron pushes through English votes for English laws, the better”. As an SNP supporter, you are supporting the Tories on this as well? This will only reinforce the impression among people across the UK, including Scotland, that the SNP are Tartan Tories.

      As you would know if you had read the responses to other comments, nobody here is trying to pick and choose when the Scottish should vote. It is disingenuous of you to make the suggestion. Also, your claim that “it is unethical to expect Scottish MPs to vote to support something which is important to you, but then complain when they can also vote on something else” is a false argument because nobody does expect that. This is about the SNP abstaining in order to give the Tories an easy win (and also, in relation to your comment, about the SNP supporting the Tories when that party’s leader said it would do nothing of the sort).

      You want to think very hard, and very carefully, about what you’re supporting. It seems his name is David Cameron.

      1. Jason

        You make too many assumptions. I never at any point said I was a supporter of the SNP. And as 56 out of 59 seat decided that what the SNPs policies are entirely relevant to how they wish the country to progress politically, your petty rabble raising on this ‘blog’ has little significance. And has been stated before, it is very short sighted for you to hold the SNP accountable for a conservative success in any pending or future legislation.

        Just as in your own words, “we can say with accuracy that Scotland voted decisively against secession”, we can also say with accuracy that England voted decisively with a clear majority for the afore mentioned Conservative Government.

        It would do you good to look closer to home, to the constituencies that turned from Labour to Conservative in England and from the Liberal Democrats to Conservative. Simply because Scotland has been a labour powerhouse for more than a decade, doesn’t mean it will continue to be so if the party does now meet the requirements that best suit the country.

        If anyone can take some blame for the success of the Conservatives, it is Labour themselves. Why vote labour (which in it’s current state is a watered down Conservative wing) when you can have the real Conservatives.

        Labour signed its demise in Scotland when they aligned with the Conservatives to preserve the Union. Never before have three main opposition parties become so close to press on the idea of Unionism, and then fracture and try and claim their differences when it came to the general election – and Jim Murphy was surprised? It is beyond belief.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Oh, I’m sorry. Your comment in support of the SNP seemed to be a clear indication of where your loyalties lie on this matter.
        The article is “petty rabble raising” with “little significance”, is it? Then why are so many SNP supporters – like yourself – trying to shut me up?
        Check what’s going on again. There will be a free vote on the Hunting Ban; MPs vote according to their conscience. The SNP can’t even hide behind the whip or party policy.
        You could suggest that England voted for the Conservative Government – but this was a UK-wide vote; it is more accurate to say the UK voted for a Conservative government. Without the 12 seats they won in Wales and Scotland, the Tories would not have the slim majority they have today. That’s simple arithmetic, by the way.

        It would do you good to read some of the other comments in this column, particularly the response quoting a Facebook poster who explained why voters in England turned away from Labour in response to the SNP blaring out that they would be holding a minority Labour government to ransom. The UK doesn’t want that so the Conservatives got those votes instead. On that level, if anybody can take blame for the success of the Conservatives, it is the SNP – but that doesn’t agree with your narrative, does it?

        Your comments about Labour itself are irrelevant to this discussion, which is about the SNP.

      3. Jason

        “…why voters in England turned away from Labour in response to the SNP blaring out that they would be holding a minority Labour government to ransom…”

        If you can find me a direct quote of Nicola Sturgeon stating that she will be holding a minority Labour government to reason, then I will believe it, if not, then you are breaking your own “logic” by basing your opinion on mere tattle rather than good solid hard facts.

        Being a ‘Media Man’ yourself, you should know more than anyone how the media is used as a tool to manipulate the opinions of the general public in one way or another depending on where their loyalties (and funding) are. Shame on you for believing the Anti Scottish Rhetoric and using this to blame the success of the conservative government on the SNP when it is in fact the failure of the Labour party which is directly responsible. Tsk.

        “…Without the 12 seats they won in Wales and Scotland, the Tories would not have the slim majority they have today. That’s simple arithmetic, by the way…”

        I think you will find that without the 1 seat that the conservatives won in Scotland, the result would have remained the same. If Labour had retained all seats in Scotland that they previously had, the result would have remained the same. Where does this leave the responsibility? In England and Wales. That… simple Arithmetic by the way.

        I have no narrative, I have not stated where I am from or my political loyalty.

        I just find your opinion quite focussed in one direction, with no consideration for any other, dismissing anything on the contrary as uneducated opinion to be put “on the pile”. If you were openly willing to consider the opinion of others, you may get a more balanced response and less of the abuse which you are receiving at the moment. Self inflicted I am afraid. Shake a bee hive and you will get stung.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Salmond is the relevant SNP member in this instance – Nicola Sturgeon does not have a seat in Westminster.

        Any questions?

        I do have a link to the video of Salmond saying he’ll be writing Labour’s budget, if that will help, It’s embedded in this article:

        Now then, what’s this about a failure of the Labour Party? Labour certainly failed in certain matters but the SNP must accept its own part in what happened as well.

        Your comment in response to my “12 seats” point is irrelevant as the question was whether England elected a Conservative majority. England did not.

        Ah, I see you’re modifying the original claim so that it relates to England and Wales. Shifting the goalposts. Poor form.

        I do wish you and others would stop continually trying to present misinterpretation of what I have said as fact. Abusive comments go “on the pile” as you put it. You’ll see that I have addressed your comments directly and that, although they have been dismissed, you have been treated fairly.

        “Shake a beehive and you will get stung”? I hardly think that is an appropriate description of the abuse being aimed at me. I would equate the quality of that abuse with being licked to death by kittens; it’ll take a long time before it has any effect!

      5. Michael Clarkson

        Mike, your response to the comment about the SNP holding Labour to ransom includes a piece of Tory propoganda … the video of Alex Salmond allegedly saying he would be writing Labour’s budget speech. For a start, the video takes a comment out of context. Salmond has a sense of humour; Scottish humour may be so different to English humour, or perhaps your politicians have no personality? The joke was regarding the Tory propoganda that Labour would be the puppets of the SNP, under the control of Alex Salmond. So by perpetuating the myth, you tell me that you, along with so many other Labour supporters, actually believed this would be true. How ridiculous!

        And you censor comments because you don’t believe that they are actually telling you what you want to hear, therefore they have to be lies or comments that your warped logic has dismissed.

        You are happy to edit to change the tone or tenor of a response, misrepresenting the intention of the poster.

        Shame on you.

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        How can the video of Alex Salmond saying he’d be writing Labour’s budget speech by Tory propaganda? He definitely said it. It’s definitely an indication that the SNP believed it would be holding a minority Labour government to ransom. Don’t try to spin it; take it for what it is.

        Your comments about censorship are starting to beggar belief. As I said before, I’m cutting comments that repeat claims that have already been discussed, for the reasons I stated earlier.

        You seem more than a little censorious yourself, in the way you’re trying to twist my words. Now, why is that, I wonder.

        And no – the shame should be heaped on you.

  18. Lawrence Armour

    People like you are exactly the reason why Scotland is better off on it’s own. Your argument doesn’t persuade anyone. Keep up the good work. Without people like you, Labour would still have a majority in Scotland.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I notice you haven’t even tried to present any kind of argument against the article and its claims.
      I will take that as an admission that I’m correct.
      Oh, and this has nothing to do with Labour and everything to do with the SNP, the things it said to get elected and the things it’s going to do, now that it has been.

  19. Stewart.

    The SNP has not said it might vote on a Westminster fox-hunting Bill that doesn’t impact in Scotland. If the English had wanted a fox-hunting ban they wouldn’t have voted Tory. It is not the SNP’s job to stop the disgusting pastime of fox-hunting in England; that job is for the people of England. Must the SNP be held responsible for ALL your shortcomings?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Are you denying the Sturgeon tweet that I copied from Twitter and pasted into the article?
      Why are you referring to “the English” as if every single man and woman in England voted Conservative when you know they didn’t?
      It IS the SNP’s job to represent the will of UK citizens – from across the country. That party sought election to Westminster on the basis that it would do so. Was that claim a lie?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      All things considered, from you, based on what you’ve stated here, I’ll take that as a compliment. Don’t come back in a hurry.

  20. paulrutherford8

    I was told last night by one of those tweeters [above] that SNP also won’t vote on any Bedroom Tax issues that may arise [not that any will??], because “the SNP have mitigated it in Scotland”.

    Another proudly stated that was why NO SNP MP had voted in any of the Opposition Day BTax debates.

    Another also pointed out that Welsh MPs don’t vote on English policies.Yet another thought that EVEL already exists.

    Some seem to believe that the SNP *will* be able to enact Scots policy in Westminster, despite being in a minority. I think some believe it is a southern office of Holyrood.

    The mind boggles.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I hope you pointed out that Labour’s plan to end the Bedroom Tax altogether would have meant all the money being used to “mitigate” it in Scotland could be turned to better things?

      The one who said no SNP MP had voted in any Opposition Day Bedroom Tax debates really should have known better. Bedroom Tax still affects Scotland.

      Welsh MPs DO vote on English policies. These people are seriously misguided!

      Obviously we all know that EVEL is still only a discussion topic at the moment.

      Your mind boggles, my mind boggles… Theirs seem to have boiled.

      1. Florence

        Mike, these rabid responses from “SNP” supporters is a real eye-opener for those of us who don’t tweet. Some of the rot here about Wales, and English & all Tory & Scotland (never just the SNP, but the entire nation gets drafted in regardless) & Scottish Westminster MPs “foreigners” in the UK parliament and government is risible.

        You do a remarkable job parrying this lot given the ultimate futility of their claims, and futile attempts at personal insults and trolling. Futile because anyone following your blog will know you are one of the most tireless campaigners on behalf of victims of the DWP, across the whole UK, in a fight for the truth. We know your true values and integrity.

        It’s bad enough that the Tories are trying to remove our rights of free speech and to control communication of political opponents, but we see a disturbing totalitarian reflex exhibited in spadefuls in this vitriol. They just don’t see how it looks when such tactics are deployed with the subtlety of a flying brick, actually undermining their own positions.

        Still, despite all this, most of the UK know Scotland and the Scottish MPs to be integral to working democracy in the Westminster Parliament. And that is our greatest strength in the face of this failure of a few to engage. I am sure they are no more representative of the majority in Scotland than the pro fox hunting brigade is the the whole of the UK.

  21. Lisa Samson

    What a stupid and ignorant article. Scotland has banned fox hunting and It’s your problem if your country are full of despicable, psychotic, bloodthirsty toffs who get off on shredding poor animals to bits! It’s time English people who think like you, Mike Sivier, to take responsibility for your own country’s failures and obscenities instead of blaming the SNP!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Show me some proof that we don’t?
      Unfortunately a quarter of our fellow citizens supported the Tories because they were made to fear a Labour/SNP alliance that only ever existed in the minds of Tory (and SNP) strategists.
      The article isn’t ignorant. It is based on accurate information – as you know yourself because otherwise you would have presented a better argument than that you think it’s “stupid and ignorant”, along with material that has already been dismissed.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Comment from Royal Sigs trashed because it relied on nothing new. I said I’d do this so you have no reason to expect otherwise.

      2. Royal Sigs

        Yeah why should someone who served their country have any say over your bigoted views! You are a disgrace and I will be reporting your attempts at inciting hatred to the Police for them to deal with!

      3. Royal Sigs

        You make perfect reason why nobody should answer your bigoted trash and nothing short of racist claims.

        Delete comments which people spend time posting because it doesn’t fit into your agenda, what a wanker you truly are!

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, I delete comments because they are merely repeating points that have already been dismissed – possibly in the belief that if a lie is repeated often enough, people will believe it. Not on this site!

      5. Lil

        I used to enjoy your articles Mike, from what you used to write about I thought we were all on the same side… I actually thought you were a real journalist….

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        I am a real journalist.
        Real journalists tackle hard issues, no matter whether they attract a great deal of criticism or not.

      7. Joan Edington

        From your blinkered hatred of the SNP at all times you could easily get a job for the Daily Mail.

      8. Mike Sivier Post author

        There’s no hatred of the SNP here!
        (There is a lot of hatred from the SNP – perhaps that’s what is confusing you?)

      9. Steve Clarke

        A lot of hatred from the SNP? I’ve just read through this and it appears that rather than hatred directed your way there’s a lot of justified head shaking, and no little wondering about what you exactly want since you seem to be screaming about any of the options open to the SNP, and when I say screaming I mean screaming. The whole tone of your article is one of uncontrolled hysteria. And it seems that this is partly generated by the fact that some SNP supporters may have a different viewpoint than the party line. Wow, incredible really when you think about it – imagine, individuals having different opinions. Of course if they all had the same opinion you’d no doubt then start to bawl about that as well.

        Your stance is even more ridiculous as its based on something that hasn’t even happened yet. The SNP have failed their first test on a vote that it yet to happen. Yeah well, But this..”If you had, you would know why it is perfectly possible to point out the part the SNP played in persuading a large number of English voters to go Conservative (including Alex Salmond’s creepy relationship with Rupert Murdoch),”

        If large numbers of English voters ran to vote for parties they don’t support due to the fear of Scots voting for a party they do support, then that’s not our look out. If Xenophobia is so rampant in those areas where a “large number of English voters” decided that having a Scottish party at the heart of government, or even influencing that government, was so outrageous that they reacted in this way, then why should Scots then care what happens over the border? After all pro-fox hunting parties picked up well over 60% of the vote.

        You cannot say on the one hand that the SNP is so disliked by English voters that they flocked to the Tories, and on the other demand that the SNP then acts to save the English voters from themselves. But are you actually asking the SNP to vote as you seem to believe this will damn them as well. Quite simply the kind of bizarre temper tantrum opinions that we’ve come to expect from Labour, and one of the reasons you have a solitary MP here.

      10. Mike Sivier Post author

        You should see some of the comments on Facebook!
        In fact, you might. I’ll be sending them to Nicola Sturgeon with a few pointed questions about the way she wants people to see her party and its supporters.

      11. Steve Clarke

        So how are we to see them if you are sending them to Sturgeon? Do you think we can all nip round and have a peek at them over coffee?

        You really need to grow up though. Have a look at the the abuse Tories and UKIP get from alleged Labour supporters on social media, how would you react if someone ran blubbing to your party demanding that somehow the Labour party censors or corrects the opinions of all its alleged supporters? I expect Sturgeon will just ignore you and rightly so.

      12. Mike Sivier Post author

        Seriously. You don’t think I’m only going to send them to Sturgeon, do you?

        It’ll be interesting to see how some of our media outlets cope with the quality of the language.

        And look, I’ve been around a long time now. I’ve seen the kind of abuse that runs between Tories, Labour supporters, Kippers and so on; I’ve been subjected to some of it (although interestingly the Tories have long since given up). I wouldn’t be objecting to it if it wasn’t utterly beyond the pale.

      13. Mike Sivier Post author

        I think she needs to know how her party is being represented on the social media.

      14. hstorm

        “You make perfect reason why nobody should answer your bigoted trash and nothing short of racist claims.”

        Well, Royal Sigs (such a brave serviceman, too scared to comment in his own name), if that’s what they are – and they’re not – why *are* you answering them?

        As for inciting hatred, you’re the one using hateful words like ‘wanker’, Mike has shown remarkable restraint in the face of all the stupid bile on this comment thread. You, on the other hand, are throwing abuse around.

        So here’s a clue: Constructive, logically-developed criticism is not the same as hate-speech. But calling people rude names *is* hate-speech. So if you want to report this article to the police, you go right on ahead, and let them read the abuse you’ve left all over it; I’m willing to bet you a thousand pounds YOU will get arrested for inciting hatred before Mike does.

  22. paulrutherford8

    I really *do* hope that the SNP lot who have commented on foxhunting are TOTALLY aware that it was the minority Labour administration in coalition with LibDems in Scotland who brought in the hunting ban there.

    How do we know SNP don’t support hunting???


  23. Mike Sivier Post author

    Here’s some more SNP abuse. I hope nobody’s about to suggest that THIS is reasonable in any way (apologies in advance for the profanities):

    SNP abuse

    1. Bawbags

      Not only do you fail to understand SNP’s stance on English only matters you fail to distinguish the difference between opinion and abuse! This article is nothing but vitriolic bile but you will get the reaction you so desire if you cast out often enough.

    2. Royal Sigs

      As an Ex forces member, ex police officer and also an English man, you sir are a first class idiot. Abuse? Really?

      You appear to know everything about everyone. NEWSFLASH you know nothing and are a shit stirring troll who deserves a visit from the local boys in blue!

      You are nothing short of an anti Scottish bigot! You are a disgrace to all that is English! If England cannot vote in a party who will prevent this being reintroduced do not expect the Scots to help bail you out! England did everything they could to prevent the Scots getting any power and now hypocrites like you claim they should assist on English only matters? Really?

      Get a grip of yourself.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        I should send this to the SNP as an example of how its supporters conduct themselves.

      2. Royal Sigs

        Supporters of who? You idiot. I live in Newcastle and voted Labour, I can’t vote SNP you fool! What a bigoted moron you are! People like you are shameful. You should hang your head in shame, bigot

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        You posted in support of the SNP. Really, as a former Serviceman, you should conduct yourself with more dignity.

      4. Trevor Moore (@TrevorHMoore)

        If Mike has shown a propensity to be anti anything (apart from fox hunting, of course) it is ant-SNP. This is quite a different thing from being anti-Scottish, despite what the SNP would have you believe. Indeed many would say it was quite the opposite.

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        Yes indeed. I’m only anti-the SNP because they keep saying one thing and doing another.

    3. Stanisław Frontczak

      Is that Tweeter a member of the SNP, an official SNP spokesperson or just a random Tweeter with a Yes twibbon?

      Furthermore your blog smacks highly of thought police type trouble making. There hasn’t been a Queen’s Speech yet, nothing has been set before the House of Commons in terms of a bill to repeal or amend the current legislation so all you’re doing is speculating on the position the SNP, or indeed any other party, might take.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Oh, I’m “thought police” now, am I?
        You’re entitled to your opinion I suppose. Dream on.
        I’m not speculating, because the evidence in the article is real and demonstrable.

  24. TrinKats Jewellery

    Labour rejected the hand of friendship and cooperation offered to them by the SNP, quite publicly in front of the nation and on tv no less. Had they not fallen into the tory trap and instead asserted their position as the largest party in a possible partnership with SNP and others, spelling out to the UK voters that they will accept the support of the democratically elected representatives of the Scottish and Welsh people for the good of all people of the UK things might have been very different. For a start the 56 SNP MP’s would have willing agreed to vote to keep the fox hunting ban as part of progressive alliance working for the interests of the UK people. However, with such public rejection of a fair and honest offer of support and alliance labour cannot now expect the SNP to act as if the offer had been accepted. SNP’s only option is to return to their original position of not voting on english only issues.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Read this, by Douglas Thain on the VP Facebook page:

      “Do you really believe that the SNP didn’t know what the reaction would be from English voters at the prospect of a minority labour administration controlled By the SNP?

      “And do you not think it was obvious what they were up to every day, shouting “we are going to control a minority labour administration”?

      “The SNP kept on rubbing it into the English voters – the prospect – and the Tories, conveniently joining them in collusion with Salmond’s best mate Murdoch and the Sun.”

      That’s your “hand of friendship”. Not a fair or honest offer of support at all. More of a poisoned chalice, really.

      1. TrinKats Jewellery

        If you can find just one directly attributed irrefutable quote from an SNP candidate or party official that said they were “going to control a minority labour administration” I will happily agree with you that labour have been hard done to and all SNP MP’s should vote for the fox hunting ban as you suggest. However, the SNP, more especially Nicola Sturgeon, only every phased the offer in terms of asking that Miliband join the SNP and other progressive parties to fight the tories and keep them out of downing street. They were not shouting all over town that they were going to control westminster or labour, that was done by the mainstream media and the tory party.
        I would also like to see your evidence for alluding to a best mate situation between Alex Salmond, Mr Murdoch and The Sun. Clearly you are more influenced by the mainstream media than you would care to admit and have come to believe their spin and lies about the SNP.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You want those exact words, do you?
        Well you’ll want them – I’m not wasting any more time on it. I’ve already found enough evidence on this matter. You’ve read that Mail article and seen the Salmond video, I take it? Still not satisfied? That’s too bad. It suggests to me that you never will be satisfied and you want to send me on a wild goose chase. I’m not playing.

        As for Salmond and Murdoch, try:

  25. Gizmo

    Poor form. You’ve not really disguised your agenda here – which is to provoke people and then point the finger and exclaim “oh look at those nasty SNP voters”.

    If there is a matter which is devolved to Holyrood it is unlikely the SNP will vote on legislation at Westminster dealing with the same issue, out of principle – unless changes occur which has a knock-on effect on the Scottish Parliament. I’d imagine as a vocal Labour acolyte – still stinging from the walloping your party received from the electorate across the UK – if the SNP had broken their principles here, on this particular issue, you’d have been just as quick to cite them for that.

    There are abusive, forthright and aggressive posters on twitter, blogs and elsewhere that cover the entire political spectrum. You do yourself nor your opinions any favours by suggesting – like the MSM and Scottish Labour indulged in throughout the GE campaign – that ONLY SNP supporters behave in such a manner.

    Such whataboutery failed to win Labour the election and it does not strengthen your argument.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The only agenda here is to put facts before readers. Why are you trying to claim I had any other intention? Could it be that you have an agenda here?
      I think it could.

      The rest of it is pretty much from the SNP “message script” I mentioned earlier – unoriginal and uninteresting.

      Your comment about posters on Twitter is worth a response: My point is that pro-SNP tweeters are almost universally abusive. It is impossible to have a reasonable discussion with them because they fly into a frothing rage at the mere suggestion that their party might have done something questionable. Or they try to ridicule the person who has made the suggestion – which is, of course, a defence reaction and a sign of underlying anger.

      1. Gizmo

        No, pro-SNP twitter posters are NOT universally abusive. I’m not and a good many friends aren’t. You, clear as day, have an agenda to try and promulgate the same idea the spin doctors of Labour did – the immoral John McTernan and the mendacious Blair McDougall that all SNP supporters are cyber-trolls and the unionist parties supporters are whiter-than-white. This tendency to attempt to smear the SNP rather betrays that they, nor you, are winning the arguments against them so resort to underhand tactics – can’t attack the message, attack the messenger.

        That you reject my concise summation of the SNP’s principle regarding devolved issues as “on script” rather reveals it has undermined your argument. Unoriginal indeed, possibly the weakest counter-argument ever. From an established blogger!

        And no, I’m not angry at all – indeed anyone reading your blog can make their own minds up as to who is the zealot here – it certainly isn’t me – I’m only here to address your incorrect assertions.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I’ve had a couple of days of this kind of nonsense, almost non-stop, and it really is very tiresome. You clearly haven’t bothered very much with the article beyond realising it’s critical of the SNP and wanting to get a couple of shots in at me for that reason alone.

        Look at the way you attack the Labour Party when this article is about the SNP. Look at your language – there is no smear of the SNP going on here. The information is freely available and inarguable.

        Your claim about the SNP’s “principle” is so off-target as to be laughable. It was dismissed in the article, before any of the commenters got hold of it. It is part of my original argument. You put it up and then claim victory? Please.

        If I seem angry on occasions, perhaps it is at having to read the same nonsense, time and time again, having defeated and dismissed it in the original article.

    2. hstorm

      The point you are missing is that most of the SNP are saying one thing, while Nicola Sturgeon, who rumour has it is supposed to be their leader, is saying another. It’s the contradiction that is being highlighted.

    3. Sean McNeil

      The SNP have an overwhelming number of followers who launch insults on anyone who disagrees with them. Scotland is less democratic now than it has ever been. We now have a cult organisation here, which has divided the nation. Very sad to be fair, as it has done nothing to add value to everyday people. The very people coned by the lies from the SNP are the very people who are being impacted!

  26. Jo Aelfwine

    Mike, you wouldn’t know facts if they sat down with you for dinner. Or truth. I’m not sure why anyone bothers to read your drivel. I’m disappointed to learn that any one with even a modicum of intelligence bothers to do so.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s possible that people read my blog in order to learn facts that would otherwise escape them – facts like those in this article, which there seems to be a very clear attempt by the SNP and its supporters to suppress, for example.
      Plus, of course, there’s the possibility that anyone with even a modicum of intelligence considers their familiarity with this blog to be a sign of that intelligence.
      You may be interested to know that Vox Political had 44,500 hits yesterday.

  27. Ellie Mayze

    Mike – long been a fan – but stopped reading pre-Referendum in order to focus on the ‘Yes Scotland’ campaign. This is the first article of yours that I’ve read since 2013 – and may I mention that I’m genuinely shocked at a) how livid you seem to be at something that has not occured and b) the ascerbic tone of some the comments from various people both for and against the assertion of your piece.

    What has really stood out for me was your reply to a comment after the article in which you say:-
    “I can see you’re another SNP supporter who thinks saying “It’s an English-only issue” will make it go away. Think again. The arguments in the article hold water; the SNP will be ridiculed for the next five years if it begins like this. You can be sure of it.”

    For my husband, who is from N.England, the months leading up to the Indy-Ref were a real eye-opener as he saw the contempt and scorn that the main stream media was pouring on the pro-Indy supporters and their campaign. The No campaign was literally dubbed ‘Project Fear’ by it’s creators, with the official letters and emails that leaked this fact being a major help in convincing many people that they would prefer to be good, friendly and honest than deliberately set out to scare people. ‘Hope over Fear’. The SNP will be ridiculed every single day for the next 5 years anyway. It’s nothing new for that to be the case – but it’s fairly normal. It’s not exactly decent behaviour by 98% of the UK press, but it’s definitely normal. My husband used to rail against the ‘biased b**stards’ in the UK press, but now he accepts that all the newspapers will treat the SNP MPs with a hysteria and a level of faux panic that it’s a wonder no-one has written a pantomine about it.

    I am, like you – sure of the ridicule that the SNP will suffer. The one thing that unites all the people in this thread, ALL of them – will be that truth. That no matter what the SNP party says, does, thinks, acts or dreams, they will SUFFER from ridicule.

    I say – more power to the SNP’s elbow. With Nicola Sturgeon’s twitter account being inundated with desperate pleas from South of the border regarding this vote – and with most SNP politicians experiencing the same pleas flooding into their emails, twitter accounts, facebook pages etc – it’s clear that many people WANT this to be a UK issue.

    What I think though, is that the issue of clarity over EVEL vs current HoC daily business is being used by people like yourself to be devisive – and Nicola Sturgeon is right to reconsider what her party should do. This is about the wellbeing of the UK, is it? Tens of thousands of you emailing wanting the SNP to vote, is it? Well – it’s possibly time for Scotland to put her foot gently down – and remind you all – that where we already have our own laws – must not be a place for England and Wales to tread in hobnail boots, and vice versa. THIS is a test of decorum, I think, not as you put it ‘betrayal’.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m glad you agree about the ridicule the SNP will suffer.

      Can you also see that, in this case, any adverse comment that party attracts will be entirely of its own making?

    2. Sean McNeil

      Animals do not operate by the same boundaries set by us humans. Having a different law on this matter is wrong for an island 800 miles long. The same applies to the drink drive limit, as it makes no sense to have conflicting levels.

  28. Graham Ennis

    I have to make the point that some people are utterly desperate to smear the SNP. If failing to support a ban on fox-hunting, (which is probably not true) is the best they can do, then that says everything. The way in which the writer has expressed himself, with the usual stereotypical and unconsciously racist attitude towards all things Scots, with his sneering references to “More full of wind than Bagpipes” etc, is something very typical of Anglo-Saxon Supremacists. What really matters though, is that 56 out of 59 Scottish Parliamentary seats are now SNP. So perhaps the great majority of the Scottish People do not agree with him. Or this typical diatribe desperately scrabbling for a foothold. Perhaps the writer ought to look at other aspects of Scotland, and what the Scots actually think. (if he can avoid any further remarks about Bagpipes). he has, of course, nothing to say about why people have abandoned Labour in Scotland, and regard it as utterly toxic. The 500,000 hungry children in Scotland, the housing crisis, the social problems, all of which Labour (Branch Office) Scotland have utterly failed, in the last 18 years, to solve or address, might give him a clue. I think we have a unique case here, of a rat joining a sinking ship.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Some people may be utterly desperate to smear the SNP but that doesn’t mean the SNP should escape justified criticism.
      Don’t try to con people that the article is racist when the attitude of Scottish nationalists, in response not only to the subject but to the article itself, contains such a strong vein of racism itself, against the rest of the UK.
      Look at this comment from Jan Russell on the Facebook page: “Typical English. Always want to blame someone else.” She apologised – after someone pointed out how offensive that was.
      If an accusation of racism is the latest strand of attack from the SNP cultists, then I think the article is safe.
      The rest of this comment, I note, fails utterly.
      If there are hungry children in Scotland, ask why the SNP in Holyrood diverted £1 billion, intended to alleviate poverty in Scotland, into local councils to mitigate the effects of the Scottish Parliament’s cuts to those councils’ budgets.
      If there is a housing crisis, ask why the SNP in Holyrood has done nothing to resolve it.
      Social services are also devolved to Holyrood.
      The SNP has been running the Scottish Parliament for seven years now – why aren’t you asking that party why it hasn’t fixed those problems?

      1. Gizmo

        The SNP has built thousands of social homes – over 4300 in 2013 alone. Contrast that to Labour’s record of 346 houses in their TWO terms in power at Holyrood.

        The SNP also allotted part of their budget to alleviate the effects of the Bedroom Tax.

        Why aren’t you fact-checking before you point the finger of blame at an administration that has done more to tackle social justice than Scottish Labour ever did?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        If you’re right about housing, why were you complaining about it?
        We all know the SNP is using public money to pay Bedroom Tax in Scotland. That money would be put to far better use elsewhere – perhaps sorting out the social ills that you also mentioned – or was that also a deception?
        Why are you posting lies to try to trick me? Do you think this will make the SNP look good, having liars arguing its case?

  29. George

    You are a complete moron did you really expect the SNP to win at every vote. Leave the SNP alone and concentrate on the Westminster Tory bigger moron who are bring the UK down on its knees for another 5 years of austerity, and disabled people that is going to die because of all the benifits cuts,NHS privatisation, at least in Scotland the SNP is for the Scottish people as Westminster is for Westminster not the English people. End of rant.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No – but I expected the SNP to try. Instead they are bending over and preparing to let the Tories do their worst.
      Don’t you worry, by the way – I’m not letting the Tories off the hook!
      Just remember, the SNP has to shoulder some of the blame for there being a Tory government right now – as explained elsewhere on this column, I believe.

  30. TGC

    If most of the UK does not want this act repealed by have they voted for a party that does not serve their interests (ie conservatives)? Also, why are they not exercising democracy and inundating their conservative candidates with complaints about it?? This is what happens in Scotland when elected party members are NOT serving the interests of the people. Blaming the SNP for a Conservative issue is not the way! If the rest of the UK does not want this law to pass (let’s face it the Tories have the majority) then the only way is for people to apply pressure to their own candidates

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Most of the UK voted against the Conservatives. Did you forget that already?
      I’m sure people are lobbying the Conservatives strongly, but many members of that party are either extremely selfish and will go against those wishes, or they are in thrall to others who demand it.
      That’s the Tory Party for you.
      You misinterpret the issue at hand. Read the article again and you will see that the issue is about the SNP lying to the public.

  31. Liz White

    Mike I know where you are coming from and the fact that people want to hunt an innocent animal and watch it being ripped to shreds is barbaric and to call it sport is appalling, it’s up there with trophy sports of elephants, lions and other beautiful animals which I would never support or agree with.
    I get that your angry at the thought of this being allowed again I am too. Scotland has its own laws regarding hunting and if this was ever to be debated with a view of bringing it back we would be out on the streets protesting against it.

    I find it difficult though that you chose to target the SNP on their stance regarding this matter. Firstly we have 56 SNP MP’s in westminster and if the Tories and labour vote to repeal this law then our vote will do very little to stop it even though they would be 100% against it.

    Your article is such an angry piece and I understand why but you have to see it from Scotland’s point of view, since Septembers NO vote we have had people in England (not all) telling us that we should have no say in how their country is run and indeed even David Cameron has the same point of view with most MP’s agreeing. We were told Scotland will not be allowed to vote on English only matters and most people agree with that.

    I am not saying you are one of those people but you seem to want the SNP to fight against this law come hell or high water, but would you be as supporting of the SNP if they were voting on something that on that you didn’t agree was their business. And you seem to think that SNP members know what the SNP are thinking and how they will react, only the SNP know this.

    You cannot suggest that every comment you have received are either false, inaccurate or simply slanderous or anti anything. We have been told English matters are none of our business so how do you expect people to react when you are blaming them and their representatives in westminster for something that English MP’s wants brought back no matter how barbaric.

    If it were a public vote then those SNP members, voters and MP’s would be voting with you and not against you and it is important that you understand this Mike as it is wrong of you to suggest that Scotland will be almost singlehandedly responsible for the reintroduction of fox hunting. You know this is not the case, you need to focus on finding a way to get the people out on the street shout and scream tell westminster you will not stand for it. Why should a small minority of people have their voices heard above the majority and why should the rules favour them while ignoring the masses.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Scotland does indeed have its own laws regarding hunting. They were brought in by Labour, with help from the Liberal Democrats.

      Why do you think Labour would ever vote to repeal a law that it introduced, in Scotland, England and Wales, in the first place?

      Whether you were told Scotland would not be allowed to vote on English-only matters or not is irrelevant, not least because this matter also concerns Wales. EVEL is just a matter for discussion at the moment; Scottish MPs can do what they like.

      The simple fact is that an SNP abstention would be unprincipled support for the Conservative fox hunting lobby, in contradiction of everything the SNP said it supported in the run-up to the election.

      Yes, I do think SNP members know what the SNP is thinking and how it will react. They ARE the SNP.

      I’m not suggesting that every comment I received is false or inaccurate – and certainly not slanderous because, as a reporter, I happen to know what that actually means. However, most if not all of the comments from SNP supporters have been based on opinions that the facts don’t support.

      You are proceeding from a false premise.

  32. facebookfriends2011

    You all need to get your heads out of your rear – No one in Scotland want’s Fox Hunting – that is why we banned it. YOU elected your “Betters” into a position to tell YOU what to do (not us) WE tell our elected Members what WE want and they LISTEN TO US. Get together and show your elected members what you want and don’t go round blaming others for your failures!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Labour banned fox hunting in Scotland, with the aid of the Liberal Democrats – and even then, only up to a point. Apparently it’s still possible to flush foxes out of hiding to be shot.
      I did not vote Conservative, and you can get off that high horse about my “betters” right now.
      If the SNP MPs listen to you, then why aren’t you telling them to stop standing on their silly “principles” and stand up for innocent animals instead?
      Or is the situation exactly as I have described it: “I’m all right, Jack”?
      Look at you… You don’t even have the courage to post under your own name.

  33. Joan Edington

    “I did take both sides into account. Wrong is wrong, whichever colour you paint it, though, and the SNP is plain wrong – whatever it does”.

    That says it all, doesn’t it Mike? Your pure hatred of the SNP, starting before the referendum and becoming nigh on all-consuming by the GE, seems to have become the main topic of your blog, rather than the sensible, illuminating posts I used to enjoy.

    I am not going to repeat all what you call “message scripts”, although I don’t know why you say that about anyone who shares an opinion that is different to your own and, incidentally, mostly shared by me.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Don’t be silly. Who says I hate the SNP? The SNP and its supporters do, just because they came in for a little bit of criticism.
      You know the saying: “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” I raised perfectly reasonable points in the article and all I’ve had since from the SNP is a lot of crying about it. That party and its supporters need to grow up.
      If you think the SNP is the main topic of this blog you must be out of your mind. Vox Political concentrates on the injustices heaped on us all by the Conservative Party, with particular reference to the harm done to people on benefits. As I type this, I am also printing out a request for a Mandatory Reconsideration of an ESA decision for a neighbour who has fallen foul of that regime.
      My “message script” comment refers to people who blindly repeat points that have already been raised and dismissed many times. Clearly they have ignored the fact that their points are redundant and it seems likely they are repeating them because they have been told to. The SNP subscribes to the Tory tactic known as the “Big Lie” – repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it. Well, they won’t believe it here.

  34. Michael Clarkson

    Firstly, Nicola Sturgeon’s position is on an anti-austerity platform. If the SNP can influence Government policy to prevent more extreme measures being imposed, it will.

    While fox-hunting is an archaic and barbaric practice, and one that the SNP is most definitely against, would the vote be a conscience vote or a party political vote? If a party political vote, and the ban was continued by the effect of the SNP contingent, it would provide ammunition to those who feel that on a purely English matter the Scots inflicted their views on the rest of the UK. And in this instance, they would be right. How could they then take the moral high ground on matters such as the NHS? Matters which although devolved, would significantly affect Scotland’s budget?

    Whilst I personally sympathise with your position, Mike, I think that while these matters are important to you, it is more important that localised lobbying of your MP to make your views known and the strength of support the cause has will more directly influence the outcome than whether the SNP chooses to vote against or abstain.

    After all, even if all opposition parties voted against the practice, which I’m sure they won’t, the ban would continue.

    The SNP has to pick its battles, and while upsetting for you, fox-hunting may not be one of them. It doesn’t make the party liars, or go against their principles or election promises.

    I am a party member and activist, and these views do not represent the party, only my personal interpretation of the political position.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s a free vote, so MPs are asked to vote according to their conscience.

      You are mistaken in your belief about localised lobbying. If a huge block of 56 MPs decide to abstain, it will hand victory to the Tories who want to repeal fox hunting. Such a victory is not a foregone conclusion due to the existence of Blue Fox, the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting organisation – which of course you’ll have read about in responses to previous comments, so I have to ask why you are raising issues of whether it is a free/whipped vote and the numbers needed to win, now?

      Even if the SNP does have to pick its battles, I’m afraid I disagree with you about what this issue means. If the party abstains, its members will indeed by liars, and they will indeed have gone against their principles and election promises (opposing the Conservatives).

      It’s as I stated in the article: There’s no way out of this for the SNP.

      1. Michael Clarkson

        Mike, again, I respect your views, even if I have to disagree.

        The SNP stood on a manifesto pledge to be “Stronger for Scotland” in Westminster. Only people in Scotland voted for the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon also publicly said that she would fight for social justice throughout the UK, and stand against austerity and further privatisation of the English NHS. Not clear where Fox hunting falls into this?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        The SNP is perfectly entitled to follow through on its “Stronger for Scotland” pledge – but Ms Sturgeon very clearly stated, “We will always seek to exercise [influence] in the interests of people not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK” and there is no getting away from that either.

        The rest of your comment follows the SNP “message script” so it has been cut.

      3. Michael Clarkson

        Mike, let me say how disappointed I am. You think there is some kind of SNP message script. You “censored” my last reply to you because the constructive comment about lobbying the individual SNP MPs about their position on the legislation doesn’t suit your position. There is no such thing as a “message script”, perhaps the similarities come from so many people telling you the truth about the SNP position, that you don’t want to accept or believe.
        That you want to censor responses that are respectful, honest, intelligently thought out shows you don’t really want to engage in political debate, which I enjoy, but want to have your own platform to spout your opinions without challenge. You even restricted the post so I couldn’t reply to you, so you want the last word. Shame on you.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Grow up please. Of course I don’t honestly believe there is an SNP “message script” about this – my point was that you and the others were all saying the same thing, blithely inconsiderate of whether anybody else had done the same or what the result had been. The impression is that you are all quoting from some document somewhere, in a similar way to the Liberal Democrats, with their mantra about “helping people get on in life”. There is no point in me clogging up the comment column with any more of that junk. We are up to 150 comments already; it will become impossible to read. Or is that the idea?

        There’s no censorship involved as the sentiments being expressed have already received a full and frank airing.

        Oh, and I didn’t restrict your ability to reply – at least, not intentionally. I wonder why you suggest that.

  35. Yolly

    I think the SNP’s position has been absolutely clear from the outset. SNP MPs will vote on issues which affect Scotland, and many of these issues will also affect the United Kingdom as a whole. There are issues that will affect other parts of the UK, but NOT Scotland, and in those cases alone they will not vote. Seems fair, reasonable, and clear to me.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If it was clear at the outset, someone should have told Nicola Sturgeon. Her comments are also absolutely clear.
      You, on the other hand, don’t seem to know what you’re writing about.

  36. Iain Mackie

    Quite the troublemaker Mr Silver. How is your party planing to vote on the fox hunting ban sir?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The troublemakers are the SNP MPs who planned to abandon their duty to the British people.

      Do you mean Labour when you refer to my party? That is irrelevant to this discussion. You should be able to infer the answer from the fact that Labour introduced the ban in Scotland, England and Wales.

  37. Sunshine on Crieff

    56 SNP MPs were elected on the basis that they would not vote on matters that do not affect Scotland, ie English-only or, as in this case, English and Welsh-only matters. When they stick to that promise no one should be surprised.

    One thing that abstention by the overwhelming majority of Scots MPs will do is bring home to the English and Welsh electorate that they will have to take more responsibility for the way they vote. If you vote to hound the poor, the sick and the vulnerable, don’t be surprised if the same people you’ve elected turn their vicious nature on to the wildlife.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, they were elected on the basis that they would represent the whole of the UK – as described in Nicola Sturgeon’s comment. When they deviate from that promise – at the first opportunity – everybody should be angry.

      One thing that abstention by the SNP MPs will do is bring home to the Scottish electorate the irresponsibility of voting in a gang of nationalists who don’t care a jot about their duties.

      If you want to talk about hounding the poor, the sick and the vulnerable, consider the SNP’s record in Holyrood.

  38. Graeme Purves

    So, are you primarily concerned with preventing the return of fox-hunting in England, Mike, or are you more concerned with smearing the SNP? ‘Just asking.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The article was written primarily to point out that the SNP is not what its supporters so desperately want to think it is.
      I was very angry that the nationalist party would use the plight of innocent foxes, both to highlight its “We don’t care about our duty to the UK” attitude, to show its support for the Conservative Party, and to show that it will happily go back on its “principles” if challenged.
      Don’t try to trick me with a false argument – in this case, argument by question. You’ve just cast yourself in a very poor light indeed.

  39. Steve Bowers

    There there, your desperation is showing poppet, deep breath now, it’s only a 5 year fixed term Parliament , won’t be long till there are 59 of them .

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      And you think a comment like this puts the SNP in a good light, do you?

  40. Alan Martin

    Have you ever been wrong about anything? Just because you see something from a particular perspective it does not automatically make that view accurate,……Personally, it sounds like you’re extremely upset by the current political situation and are striking out at the SNP simply because,… careful, big fat truth here,…. SNPbaaaaad, that’s all you have left, it’s all Labour have left,…..can you not see why voters rejected Labour,….? Really?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Another false argument-by-question – and one which I have already answered. Please read the comments before passing one of your own.
      If you do, you will see that your conclusion is in error.
      I note you are another one who thinks this is something to do with the Labour Party. Perhaps you’d care to explain why you presume that, when Labour is only mentioned tangentially in the article?

  41. David Heaney

    Mike, firstly, don’t you think it’s a little odd to respond and refute every single comment on your article. I think it all seems a little smug and attention seeking. I would like to say yes, you are completely right in everything you say, to see if you can disagree with that too, but I think you are wrong. To begin with, It is more than a little bitter to describe the 50 percent who voted SNP in Scotland as being conned. Is it simply the case that you are more clever than all of us? Also, in my view, there is no contradiction in what Nicola Sturgeon stated – when it affects people across the whole of the UK, the SNP will seek to influence. This issue doesn’t, so, there shouldn’t be a SNP vote on this matter, no matter how tempting. In any case, There are bigger fights to be won. Let’s try and win them together, when we can, with what we have. My view on the situation is different from yours. Is that ok?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What, you think I should let the lies, falsehoods and abuse go by without comment?
      You need to understand that doing so might create a false impression that I am submitting to those arguments. No – better to make sure these people know they don’t have a leg to stand on.
      Your opinion is your own and says more about you than this blog.
      You don’t think SNP voters were conned? They said they were anti-Tory, anti-austerity – but here they are (or were), planning to hand the Tories victory over their vote to bring back a form of institutionalised animal cruelty.
      The rest of your comment is just the usual SNP “message script”. Let’s try to be original, shall we?

  42. Alan Martin

    Your continued vitriol towards the SNP, a party which owes it’s current status in large part to disaffected ex Labour voters like myself, is what brings Labour into this,…..and you of course, your motivation is to “show” the SNP for what they are, because…..? Oh yeah, you’re a Labour man,…see how that works Mike? As I said, your perspective on this is just one of a number of ways in which this could be interpreted, not even you can deny that, it follows therefore that all such views are subjective, and all the more so for coming from one who views the SNP as an enemy, as a destroyer of his beloved British Labour in Scotland, hmmmm,..

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What a nonsense argument!
      My vitriol towards the SNP (a debatable subject – I’m only pointing out the position the SNP has put itself into) makes this about Labour because the SNP got into Parliament due to disaffected Labour voters? Then it’s got nothing to do with Labour, has it? Those people voted SNP, not Labour.
      I’m a Labour supporter, sure – but (and I have already stated this several times on this very comment column – why don’t you read it, it’ll do you some good?) I do not represent Labour and I have often criticised Labour. So how that works?
      Your claim that my view is subject is bizarre. The facts speak for themselves.
      You claim that I view the SNP as an enemy – yet you have no evidence for this, other than articles which show nothing but facts. Hmm…

  43. Liz White

    I don’t know what it is you want from us Mike I am assuming that you want the SNP to vote against this in westminster fair play I would like that too. However your replies to every comment on here say that you are right and that everyone else is wrong. If you wish to get everyone on side then why so negative.

    People assume you support the tories by your replies and you being a journalist should know better than most on here that not everything is black and white or as clear cut as we would like them to be. If as you say the Labour Party would not vote in favour of the hunting act then why do you continually persist on pointing out that the SNP have failed before they have been given a chance to begin.

    Labour have voted with the Tories on policies that have affected many people in the UK like the bedroom tax and cuts and have abstained on other votes and that is their choice and the nature of politics. The don’t listen to the people who elected them but in Scotland we get out there and make our presence and feelings known, the poll tax is one example while barns not bombs is another and more recent one.

    I am an SNP member and supporter and I don’t pretend to know what they plan to do other than what they sat they will do and while I was willing to write to the SNP asking them to voice their concerns over this matter I don’t think I will bother.

    You have done nothing to support your cause and everything to turn people off big time. You need to bear in mind that people have different opinions on all manner of things but not one comment indicates that people don’t agree with your stand on the fox hunting law they have commented as to why the SNP might not vote on it. But every reply you have given has been negative and it does no good in getting the support you so desperately want.

    As I said before I am against hunting animals for any reason but I will not accept that the SNP will be at fault if it gets passed. You should try and get labour, Plaid Cymru, independent parties and supporters on side write to the parties, get people to write to their MP get out there and show those tories you and others will not stand for it. No good looking to blame the SNP and the Scottish people and please don’t bother replying I am no longer interested in anything you have to say on the matter.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m replying anyway. Why bother to comment if you don’t want to see my reaction? Here’s the first thing:

      People assume I support the TORIES?

      When I was speaking at the Scriptonite book launch in March, someone asked me how I responded to accusations that, because I criticise one political party, I must support another. I mentioned then that I had been accused of supporting (in addition to Labour) practically everyone – the Lib Dems, UKIP (ha ha!), the Greens, and even the Tories. My response was that it’s something I’ve learned to take in my stride – next week they’ll be accusing me of supporting someone else again.

      The Tories. That’s very funny.

      Your comment about Labour absentions supports my point in the article. Labour was pilloried for those actions by the SNP and people who were influenced by the SNP – now the SNP is planning to do exactly the same and its members seem to think we should accept that, despite their own previous behaviour. Not a chance.

      Labour does listen to the electorate, and was doing what voters wanted but in a smart way. You need to consider the context behind those votes. The Bedroom Tax abstention is easy to justify because it had absolutely no material effect on what the government would do. Check it if you like – none at all. Yet the SNP and the Greens and the others kicked up a song and dance about it. How immature. Labour did not support the Tories on cut. You’ve got that wrong. Labour abstained on the fracking moratorium because that vote was never going to succeed. Instead, Labour put its weight behind regulation which would delay any fracking until after the general election and a (hoped-for) Labour victory. That didn’t happen so fracking is back on the agenda and, for reasons already discussed, we have the SNP to thank for that, in part.

      EVERYBODY mobilised over the Poll Tax. Don’t claim it as a matter in which Scottish people acted alone.

      The fact that you are willing to abandon your intention to get the SNP to act, just because you don’t like my article, speaks volumes about you, I’m sorry to say. You need to take a hard look at the pro-SNP comments that you mention. You think MY comments turn people off? Look at that lot! It makes grim reading and if Nicola Sturgeon has seen this page, I wouldn’t blame her if she was mortified. These people are an embarrassment to the party they claim to represent.

      So yes – I’m negative about those SNP supporters who have come here in an effort to browbeat me, and that includes you. If they want to use it as an excuse to support animal torture and cruelty, that is their decision – and yours.

      Labour, Plaid and the others are no doubt on side already. Why should I waste my time talking to them when it is the SNP that is the sticking-point? That would defy logic.

      Once again you equate the SNP with the Scottish people. Why? almost half of Scotland doesn’t like that party at all.

      1. Brian

        OK so I’ve read all (most!!) of the comments here and I for one can’t see what the problem is from either side. The SNP MP’s will vote on this matter as it clearly doesn’t fall under the EVEL caveat as pointed out by Mike when he says this an Englsh & Welsh matter so why the big issue? Yeah I’ve read Nicola’s tweets and that is a little confusing to me but I’m not under the gun as she appears to be. All I can suggest is that maybe it’s more prudent to wait until after this is voted on and then analyse the outcome? Just a thought – and yes I’m a SNP supporter too!

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        If concerned people wait until after the vote, it will be too late to do anything about the result. This matter has to be thrashed out in advance.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m officially not publishing waste-of-time comments. Get used to it.

  44. Tocasaid

    Lastly, if Labour are too powerless to do anything – they need to look at themselves. Jumping on Ukip’s anti-immigration bandwagon makes matters worse. I’ve not heard Labour say anything positive about immigration, or animal-rights, for years. Indeed Tony Blair is reported to regret ‘banning the hunt’.

    Labour have lost Scotland for a good reason. Go figure.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      How is any of this relevant to the article, which is about the SNP?

  45. Brian

    MIke I do see your point (stable door, horse, etc) but as no decision by SNP about this matter appears to have been made yet would it not, as I suggest, be prudent to wait & see what the SNP MP’s actually do before accusing the SNP of failing? Surely a definition of failure can only be arrived at after the event not before?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Not really – we have the SNP’s stated intent, as shown in the article, the SNP’s attitude to abstentions, as shown in the article, and Nicola Sturgeon’s vow to the people of the UK, as shown in the article. That’s enough evidence for now.

      Have you not considered that, without articles like this to mobilise public opinions, these politicians wouldn’t know what people want? Already Sturgeon has moved to say that the position may change.

  46. Andy Ryan

    I thought Voxpolitical was better than this..never thought I would read Anti-Scottish sentiment on here….disappointed..

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You aren’t reading anti-Scottish sentiment. The SNP is not Scotland.

      1. Joan Edington

        The SNP may not be Scotland but their MPs were as democratically elected as any others, by the Scottish People. You have decided to be of the opinion that all those voters are ignorant and have been conned by a party of liars who are really on the side of the Tories. You are entitled to your opinion, whether right or wrong. I believe you to be mostly wrong and you have never come up with any hard facts to show the SNP are in cahoots with the Tories.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Don’t misattribute words to me. I didn’t say the voters were ignorant. I said they had been conned, which isn’t the same.
        As for the rest of your comment, time will tell.

  47. Chris Bergin

    Best comment ever on fox Hunting ‘the unspeaksble in persuit or the uneatable’ Oscar Wilde I believe. Why do we have to kill everything we cant extract money from? Degrading hobby whoever does it

  48. Heather Allison

    Your anger is almost tangible Mike. I understand your disappointment. I felt it bitterly during the referendum when we got the No vote. I was so committed to the potential for change and it felt almost like a death. England’s vote for the Tories must hurt like hell just now. The second placings for UKIP are also causing a great concern and must be incredibly worrying, (bearing in mind that they are claiming traditional Labour voters moving towards them). It was however, a very narrow win overall by the Bullingdon Boys unlike the huge swings to the SNP in Scotland. The SNP are by no means perfect, but the surge in Scotland dragging them to the left are committed in keeping them to their promises. They have promised to be a strong voice for Scotland. They have never promised to stop England and Wales from fox hunting that I can see. It is a horrific, barbaric pastime and I would gladly see it banned everywhere, but the SNP cannot win every battle from now on, especially those on devolved matters. They are 56 in amongst 650. You seem to have lost sight of who your enemy truly is. Hating those of us who voted SNP is not going to solve any of these problems.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m angry about the betrayal of innocent animals, and I’m angry about the betrayal of voters – but to say it’s almost tangible is going a little far, I think. I’m not so angry about it that I can’t string an argument together (clearly).
      I don’t hate anybody as a result of this issue. Why would I?
      I disagree with your opinion about what the SNP can and should do. I base my disagreement on the comments of its leading figures.
      I haven’t lost sight of my enemies. I have yet to meet anybody who measures up in that regard.

      1. Heather Allison

        To quote Ricky Gervais “It takes a special kind of bravery to take on a fox, with nothing but 25 of your mates on horseback and 35 dogs”. I totally agree with you that this activity is abhorrent. I disagree that it is any blame of a political party elected by Scotland. They have banned fox hunting here. It is the democratically elected Eton Toffs who want to reinstate it in England and Wales. That is their right. It fills me with dismay, but it is a fact. Perhaps it would be better to vent your anger towards them.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        The SNP will be to blame if fox hunting is allowed to happen again in England and Wales because its MPs abstain.
        No ifs, ands or buts.

  49. Alan

    If it was the other way around and the SNP votes were necessary to ensure the hunting ban was lifted you be moaning about the SNP voting on English only issues against an English majority. The SNP are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      But that wouldn’t arise because the SNP opposes hunting. You are proceeding from a false premise.
      And yes, the SNP are indeed damned if they do and damned if they don’t – that’s the entire point of the article.

  50. T

    Mr Sivier. If you state that deleting repeated items because repeating doesn’t mean they are true perhaps you should take some of your own advice. Your perspective on the SNP is well known so don’t try disguise it in moral outrage given your Labour party betrayed everything it stood for to seek power. If England ends up with fox hunting back it is because England chose the Tory party to run it’s government – not everybody but enough people to give the Tories carte Blanche. Lay your troubles at your own door sir.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      See, you lost me when you started in on the Labour Party. Labour doesn’t have anything to do with this; it’s something the SNP has created all by itself, all for itself. Why not go back and reconsider your words from that new perspective? And don’t think the SNP is blameless on the issue of how we got the government we ended up with. You can read about that in this comment column. I lay troubles at the doors of those responsible.

  51. Hamish

    I have read through this thread and clearly there are quite a lot of comments that are not really about your article. I am an SNP supporter and I do accept your points about the comparison between SNP opposition to Labour abstentions and this fox hunting issue. I also appreciate your main point that Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP would represent and try to influence issues that afftected all progressive minded people in the UK.
    On the face of it fox hunting does seem to be one of those types of issues which I hope is why she has stated the jury is still out on this so to speak.
    At the same time I think this type of issue being so clearly devolved in Scotland could be one where SNP involvement could ultimately weaken their ability to influence other government policy. It would possibly create a strong backlash and galvanise anti-Scottish feeling in the parliament in general thereby lessening their opportunity to form progressive alliances in areas related to the economy and social security.
    Having said all of this I strongly oppose fox hunting myself and I hope there will be a no vote to repealing the ban with or without SNP backing.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I sympathise with your concern about a backlash. Perhaps something can be done at grassroots level to undercut any such complaint.
      We’ll have to see.

      1. Joan Edington

        I wonder if you really do sympathise with Hamish. The tone of your comments on this matter so far would more point to your hoping for that backlash. Hamish is spot on. If the SNP do vote to keep the ban, for every one of you who want that because it fits your own point of view, there will be many more who instantly jump up shouting “they said they wouldn’t vote on English only matters”. To say that this also applies to Wales, would be purely pedantic.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You leave Hamish alone! He’s one of very few people to come out with any sense.
        The tone of your comment is intentionally antagonistic; it seems you want people to complain about whatever the SNP does.
        Would that make it easier to persuade the rUK that Scotland should be a separate country – is that what you’re all thinking?
        That would be against the will of the Scottish people, as declared less than a year ago.

  52. Alfie deegan

    So Mike firstly you are accusing the SNP when Nicola Sturgeon has clearly stated she has made no decision on fox hunting and will certainly repeal any attempt to reverse that?So how can you with your spooky,psychic way of looking at a tweet then decide what stance the SNP will take?As everyone on here has stated and tried to reason with you is wrong,can you tell me which magical school you attend so I can learn this reverse psychology on a majority of comments that you are in fact wrong.We are all supposedly to believe your story when again I have to state the SNP has made no decision,what part of that do you not understand?People are angry because you have an answer for everything,you can debunk every argument and then answer us with your superior wisdom!Honestly if you aren’t anti-snp then we all must be deluded and please don’t,t send me a patronising response that I am using SNP rhetoric.You show me the proof,one single word uttered by the SNP which states they will abstain except for someone told me,this is what I think or some other ridiculous statement that your article is even remotely accurate.Charlatan is a word I,d use for you and that spin about repeating a lie enough…well Mike that’s what you are trying and Jim Murphy and co did for the last 2-3 yrs.Scaring pensioners?No Currency?Supporting Nuclear weapons?I don’t believe you condone what amounts to shameless liars ie the labour party all throughout both elections but that’s ok isn,t it?Stop funding the effects of the bedroom tax to better fund other projects like “starving children?I suppose being homeless and starving is better.You are a deluded fool and the reason a majority like 90% of comments is against your post should tell you something?You are like the school grass,a guy so steeped in bile we can smell it off you.Remember we are Savvy now and we can see through blogs like yours,you are insulting our own intelligence telling folk to look up this or that.Well Mike I,ll let you into a secret! We already look everything up and it gets to us eventually…the truth that is and not your word.You think you are smart lol delusions of grandeur come to mind.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, Sturgeon hasn’t said she “will certainly repeal any attempt to reverse that”.
      I’m not psychic – all the information in the article is based on evidence put out by the SNP – but your comment made me smile.
      What’s the SNP’s position on issues that don’t affect Scotland? It doesn’t vote on them.
      What will be the public’s position on Nicola Sturgeon going back on that? She’ll be a hypocrite.
      But what’s the SNP’s position on parties that abstain from major votes? Harsh criticism – as we’ve seen with the Labour abstentions, even though they were justifiable. So won’t the SNP be a party of hypocrites if it abstains from this one?
      Say what you like; there’s no way out.

  53. bigrab

    And so it begins. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The Scottish electorate were conned?
    Under the antiquated first past the post system, it doesn’t matter whether the SNP vote or not, which renders this entire piece of propoganda as totally irrelevant.

      1. bigrab

        So it is a free vote which I didn’t know. Let’s imagine that the SNP did vote and that their votes managed to swing it against the Tory manifesto. How do you think that would be received in England?

  54. Brian Findlay

    So effectively, once everything else is boiled off, England shouldn’t vote Tory in future if it doesn’t want a Tory government?

    Sorry, but trying to blame the SNP for the democratic choices of the English doesn’t hold any water. We all knew that this was something the Tories wanted to do, so the only REAL conclusion is that the English are fine with this abomination, and many others. The SNP are outnumbered by the Tories 56-331, so to have any effect they need to pick their battles very carefully.

    England voted Tory (so overwhelmingly that it will make no difference what the SNP say), and the rest as they say is democracy. If you want to stop this, then bolstering English nationalism will not have the desired effect – you need to nurture English outrage at such a vile act of animal cruelty.

    Clean up your own back yard before you go knocking on your neighbour’s door.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You haven’t read the article, or the comments, very carefully, have you?
      If you had, you would know why it is perfectly possible to point out the part the SNP played in persuading a large number of English voters to go Conservative (including Alex Salmond’s creepy relationship with Rupert Murdoch), and you would also know that the Hunting Act repeal will be a free vote, meaning all MPs will be allowed to vote according to their conscience. That makes it much easier to beat the Conservative Government – but not if 1/13 of MPs simply walk out. If they do that, the SNP really will be in cahoots with the Conservative leadership on this matter.

      1. Brian Findlay

        So the SNP are to blame for the English voting Tory? If you look at the figures from the election results they actually suggest that a large amount of England’s Labour voters didn’t turn up to the polling booth. The Tories getting in is the fault of a) English people voting for them, and b) English people not voting for other parties, specifically Labour.

        Why should the SNP get involved in an English/Welsh matter that’s been fully devolved? As stated, the SNP need to pick their battles. They have pledged to be a voice for progressive politics in the UK, but are still rightfully aware of the constitutional crisis which could result if they over-do it.

        Lastly to suggest that the SNP have any relationship with Murdoch is pure fantasy – go through the various Murdoch tabloids prior to the Indy Ref and you’ll see. Salmond had a book published by a subsidiary of HarperCollins – but of course had the UK public not been failed so abysmally by decades of LabCon dereliction of duty regarding media regulation, then maybe realistic alternatives would exist.

        Anyway, let’s just all rejoice that UKIP didn’t win 🙂

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Labour increased its percentage of the vote.

        As you can see from the evidence presented, English voters were scared away from supporting Labour by the SNP’s claims that it would hold that party to ransom, amplified by the boast of Alex Salmond that he would be writing any Labour budget and the headlines of right-wing newspapers, notably those of Salmond’s friend Rupert Murdoch. David Cameron was able to use all this to persuade people that a Labour/SNP alliance would be harmful to them (even though Ed Miliband had refused any such deal point-blank). And you think the SNP are guiltless in that matter. I’d say it was amazing but it isn’t. It’s what we’ve all come to expect.

        The reason for the SNP to get involved in the fox hunting ban is clear: MPs are elected to represent the best interests of everybody in the United Kingdom, not just the small part of it that elected them. The secondary reason is that, with the SNP in support of a Labour-initiated hunting ban in Scotland, it would be hypocritical to allow the Tories to end the hunting ban elsewhere – the “I’m all right, Jack” attitude I have mentioned elsewhere. Furthermore, the hunting ban repeal will be a free vote, so there is a greater chance of preventing the Tories from having their way – which is something the SNP swore they would do, if elected to Westminster.

        Salmond’s friendship with Murdoch is a documented fact, as demonstrated in the links I posted last night.

        But you knew all that already, I think. It’s all in the article and comments. So why are you wasting our time?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      This is not about Labour; it’s about the SNP.
      I think anyone with a clear mind can see who’s generating pathetic nonsense.

      1. Brian Findlay

        Nope, it’s about English people not being able to see through the media. I’m seeing right through your nonsense right now, and you don’t appear to want to look at yourself.

        It’s always the same with racists/sectarians, they always need to point the finger at someone else 🙂

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You’re not seeing anything you don’t want to, it seems.

        Racists? Sectarians? You can add Nationalists to that list quite easily. Being none of those things, I quite agree. And don’t think you’re fooling anybody with that smiley.

  55. MikeF

    Mike, you’re spending far too much time on this, as are SNP supporters, many of whom as well you know, voted NO in the referendum. I am struggling to separate apparent venom from reasoned opinion here, and cannot help the feeling that your apparent contempt for the SNP is historical and entrenched, and neither reflects nor seeks to reflect recent history.

    Credit nearly one and a half million Scots (by birth and by choice) with some intelligence. We have not all been conned, we do not all fall over ourselves to defend any and every SNP position – seems you have been very successfully conned by the main stream media that you have yourself had good reason to criticise; you seem to be at pains to cite their favoured anti-SNP rhetoric and to mercilessly exploit any dilemma faced. What happened to your objectivity Mike? Why are Scots stupid for running out of patience with Westminster and choosing to support a party that broadly reflects their concerns when the Labour of their past has failed them abysmally?

    Where’s your proportional representation? That’s the measure of the SNP’s modern day success in the Scottish parliament and with a rare FPTP voting electorate majority on top for Westminster. By the law of averages, we can’t ALL be stupid; can we?

    Come on Mike, what really gets your goat? Why does your normally superb reasoning seem to fall over when the SNP gets a mention?

    Sorry to be bloody about this Mike, but read your own words back from your many works (and a lot of bloody good works there are too), and ask yourself, “what happens when I get a sniff of the SNP?”

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Your introductory paragraph is very strange indeed. What evidence do you have that I even have contempt for the SNP, let alone that it is “historical” or “entrenched”?

      You are correct – today I encountered two SNP supporters who did not fall over themselves to defend the SNP’s position on this matter. They were entirely reasonable, understood my point of view readily and expressed concerns of their own about the situation into which their party had put itself.

      I have not been conned by the MSM; I have done my own research. Therefore my objectivity is not at risk.

      You seem keen to run off at tangents and not discuss the facts of the matter at question. The Labour Party is not under discussion here; proportional representation is not up for discussion here (although it should certainly return to the political debate in the near future).

      What really gets my goat, having done my research and come to my conclusions, is how people you credit with intelligence can ridicule the rest of the country for electing a gang of snake-oil salespeople when they have elected snake-oil salespeople of their own.

  56. hstorm

    Reading through all this deliberately-offended outrage is depressing. People of all political shades need to stop getting over-defensive of their chosen parties, and instead make more of an effort to hold them to account. All this ‘how-dare-you-criticise-us?!?’ protestation is a sign of letting individuality sink into a big movement, and encouraging the flawed notion that people owe loyalty to parties and not the other way around. That notion has been a cause of the death of the real Left in Britain over the last thirty years, because parties like both Labour and the SNP keep compromising on important old principles, letting down their supporters who backed them because of those principles to begin with. And yet so many of their supporters keep following them as though the parties have a ‘right’ to it.

    The article is perhaps making slightly more of this particular issue than it merits – if we’re being pedantic we could for instance point out that Sturgeon was talking about the interests of the *people* of the UK and foxes are not people – but the broader point it makes is valid, and we should try to keep it in our sights, above all these crude attempts at shouting-down; what Sturgeon said *is* somewhat incompatible with the SNP’s supposed EVEL-respectful position. That does merit highlighting, and SNP supporters should demand better clarity from their leader, instead of just trying to make a big enough clamour to keep themselves from noticing the paradox. (“Crimestop”, as George Orwell called it.) When party supporters do that – and this applies in *any* party – they are actually dis-empowering themselves, because they are ‘blinding their own eyes’ to any instance of their party letting them down, making them less able to hold them to account.

    It is not hate-speak or smearing to point out the flaw in Sturgeon’s rhetoric, nor is it aggressive, whiny, scapegoating or Scottophobic to acknowledge that there are some consequences of the SNP’s Election campaign that most in Scotland – and indeed in England and Wales – would have little taste for. SNP supporters should be able to acknowledge such things without taking it as a personal insult. (Although, I must say, from my experience living in Scotland in the 1990’s, SNP supporters who *are* so-able are not exactly in a landslide majority.)

    We need to bring back parties that follow their support and don’t drag their support across the spectrum. We need to end the myth that ‘party unity’ is always a good thing, and not just the creation of narrow-minded drones. And we need a more politically-literate electorate who know that holding *all* representatives to account is important, and not just the representatives we don’t like.

  57. Sandra Allen

    Nothing is set in stone! All you Scottish MP critics. This is NOT exclusively an English vote, this is a vote of conscience. This is a vote for animal welfare.
    Red coated animal abusers being deprived of their pomp and egoistic display is not the issue animal welfare IS the issue.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I agree with everything you say here, with one caveat:
      Nobody is criticising Scottish MPs as a whole. Three of them have nothing to do with this and will vote (if they are able).

  58. Deeks

    Poor wee Engerland. Look after yourselves and see if you can fund yourselves when we, like the rest of you Empire have gone.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You can leave any time you want.
      If you’re referring to Scotland, the majority of electors there voted to stay.

  59. Sean McNeil

    Oh dear, the nationalists cannot handle anyone questioning their actions. Just be thankful Mike that you don’t live here. We have failing health services, failing education, failing policing, failing fire services, failing energy, and so on. The referendum is a classic example of what the SNP think about democracy! Scotland voted no and their leaders clearly wish to disregard the Edinburgh Agreement! This partly because their cult following would turn on them if they didn’t continually pursue their separatist ideology, even though it will impact our public services and create unwanted divisions on our island. They will never respect the views of others. Their response to anyone who disagrees with them is to launch insults. Unfortunately for the moderate majority here in Scotland, we are having our good name damaged by these people, as everyone within the United Kingdom and rest of the World look on in dismay.

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